Economic Development

Our Team

Call Us: (404) 880-9000

Economic Development Team Members

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David Hartnett

Chief Economic Development Officer

404.586.8443 |

As chief economic development officer at the Metro Atlanta Chamber, David leads the team focused on the retention, recruitment, and expansion of existing and start-up companies within key clusters, e.g., Mobility, IoT, Cybersecurity, Fin Tech, Digital Media, Supply Chain, Bioscience, and Health IT.

Before joining the Chamber, Hartnett served as the president and CEO of Maco Pharma® (formerly United Pharma) a privately held US medical device/pharmaceutical company based in Duluth, Georgia, headquartered in Lille France. Before Maco Pharma, Hartnett was president and CEO of SteriFx® Corporation, a specialty chemical start-up, contracted by U.S. Department of Defense (DARPA). Prior to SteriFx, he was the executive vice president of the North American headquarters of Given Imaging, Inc. an Israeli start-up with corporate headquarters in Yokneam, Israel. Under his leadership, the company commercialized the “PillCam” video capsule, a disposable capsule that captures video after it is ingested by the patient. Hartnett helped to raise close to $30 million in a private placement for corporate infrastructure development and product commercialization before the company going public in 2001 (GIVN-NASDAQ). Hartnett served as vice president of marketing at ERBE Electro-surgery, the largest manufacturer of electrosurgical systems in the world, where he was responsible for commercial marketing throughout North America.

He has also served in a variety of other senior sales and marketing roles for the following companies: Karl Storz Lithotripsy, Genzyme (formerly Deknatel), STERIS (formerly AMSCO) and the XEROX Corporation.

He holds a B.A. in Communication from San Diego State University with a master’s equivalent in marketing through post-graduate studies.

He currently serves on the following boards:

-Chairman, of the Board, Atlanta Science Festival™

-Board of Trustees, Georgia Global Health Alliance

-Vice Chairman, Innovation Crescent Regional Partnership

-President Emeritus, Southeastern Medical Device Association

-Director/Co-Founder, Venture Atlanta Coalition

-Director, Georgia Bio statewide trade association

-Director/Co-Founder, Health IT Leadership Summit

-Director/Co-Founder, Institute for Healthcare Information Technology

-Quick Start, statewide advanced training program, Board of Advisor

-President’s Community Board (CAB), Kennesaw State University

Hartnett is married with four sons, was raised on Coronado Island, California and is an active member of the Atlanta business community.

 

 

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Jorge Fernandez

Vice President, Global Commerce

+1 404.586.8460 |

Named the vice president of global commerce for the Metro Atlanta Chamber on May 15, 2006, Jorge L. Fernandez leads the international investment recruiting arm of the MAC’s economic development division. Fernandez finds innovative ways to connect Atlanta area companies to international business growth opportunities, furthering Atlanta’s reputation as a top competitor in the global marketplace.

Prior to joining MAC, Fernandez was the international and alliance vice president for Delta Air Lines at its world headquarters in Atlanta. His responsibilities encompassed all Caribbean, Latin American, Pacific and transatlantic operations, including airport customer service, finance, human resources, reservations and sales activities outside of the United States. In addition, he was charged with developing Delta’s alliance strategy, managing the SkyTeam global alliance and overseeing codeshare relationships with 16 partner airlines around the globe.

Fernandez first joined Delta in June 1999 as director for Latin America, and in September 2001 he assumed expanded responsibilities for the Caribbean region. In this role, Fernandez was in charge of full operational and administrative responsibilities for more than 40 nonstop flights to 25 cities in 19 countries, including corporate representation issues and the development of the airline’s regional strategy.

Fernandez joined Delta from Veridian Engineering, where as the senior politico-military analyst, he led the company’s efforts in implementing strategic plans for public agencies and institutions responding to overseas crises. Earlier in his career, Fernandez served 24 years in the U.S. Air Force as a command pilot, strategic planner and international affairs advisor. He held various diplomatic posts, leading air base access rights negotiations for a U.S. Air Force aviation hub and directing mediation between states.

Originally from Havana, Cuba, and fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese, Fernandez holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Puerto Rico and a master’s degree in international marketing from Texas Christian University. He is a National Defense Fellow in Brazilian Studies from the University of Miami’s Graduate School of International Studies and completed Thunderbird’s Executive Education Program for International Business in Phoenix, AZ. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Department of State Foreign Service Institute and the Brazilian Air Force Senior Officer Course. Fernandez was named by Hispanic Business magazine as one of the “100 Most Influential Hispanics in the United States” for 2003 and is the recipient of Panama’s 2002 “Friendship Award.” In 2009, he received from the Governor of the State of Georgia the “International Person of the Year Award.” In 2010, the Atlanta Business Chronicle honored Fernandez as one of Atlanta’s International Who’s Who. The honor recognizes leaders who are shaping Atlanta’s global market. Fernandez is a member of the board of the Georgia Council for International Visitors, the U.S. Panama Business Council SE, the Advisory Council for the Center for International Business Education and Research at Georgia State University, and the Asian Studies Advisory Board at Kennesaw State University. Fernandez is a member of the board of the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau.

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Gregg Simon

Vice President, Economic Development

404.586.8463 |

Gregg D. Simon is vice president of economic development for the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC).
In his role, Simon works to build and manage relationships with our economic development partners across the 29-county metro Atlanta region and cultivate job growth across MAC’s industry clusters: bioscience, technology, mobility, supply chain & logistics and global commerce. He also assists businesses and their consultants in their evaluation of metro Atlanta for new or expanded operations.

Previously, he served as senior director of project management at MAC, and worked with partners and MAC’s project management team to support businesses interested in expanding or relocating to the region. Before that he was director of technology industry development at MAC, focusing on building Atlanta’s technology cluster and growing jobs in the areas of Internet security, wireless mobility, software development and digital media.

Simon brings more than 20 years of economic development experience to MAC. Prior to joining MAC, Simon was manager of business engagement for the Atlanta Development Authority (ADA) where he helped existing businesses and attract new ones to the city of Atlanta. Before coming to Atlanta, he was the director of business services for the Massachusetts Alliance for Economic Development, a private non-pro t economic development organization dedicated to business growth in Massachusetts. He also worked for Empire State Development, New York State’s economic devel- opment agency with a focus on business retention and expansion in the Buffalo regional of ce.

Simon’s work in Atlanta, Massachusetts and New York has included administration of tax and nancial incentive programs, business retention and attraction marketing initiatives, economic development policy creation and implementation, and special event planning. He has worked with businesses such as Mercedes-Benz USA, Panasonic Automotive Systems of America, Ernst & Young, Novelis, Kemira, Invesco, Wipro, Bristol Myers Squibb, Straumann, Target, General Motors, 3M, Ford, Delphi and many others to support business expansions resulting in job retention and creation.

Simon is a graduate of the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY and lives in Atlanta with his wife and three children. 

Troels Adrian

Troels Adrian

Director, Supply Chain & Ecosystem Expansion

404.586.8476 |

Troels Adrian joined the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) in January 2015 and serves as Director, Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion. In this role, he leads the ecosystem expansion team’s initiatives in the supply chain cluster as part of MAC’s economic development team. Previous, Adrian worked for the Gwinnett Chamber and its economic development division, where he served as senior project manager for advanced manufacturing & supply chain management.

Previously he worked in Copenhagen, Denmark at the Danish National Police and Information, a Copenhagen-based daily newspaper. He also worked in the finance and operations department for one of New York City’s largest social service nonprofits, CAMBA, leading organization-wide budgeting and financial projects.

Adrian earned his undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Copenhagen and a master’s degree in public administration from Baruch College, City University of New York. In 2010 he earned a second master’s degree from Georgia Tech in city and regional planning. While at Georgia Tech he earned the 2010 Ed McClure Award, given by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, for the best master’s level city planning research paper in the United States and Canada. 

He lives in Midtown with his wife and two sons.

 

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Kornelius Bankston

Director, Bioscience Ecosystem Expansion

404.586.8461 |

Kornelius Bankston, director of Bioscience, Industry Expansion, at the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC), is responsible for supporting and enhancing MAC’s efforts to retain, recruit and expand companies across the 29-county metro region. The Bioscience priority industries include, but are not limited to, medical devices, pharmaceutical, biotech and health IT. Kornelius also leads the Bioscience Leadership Council.

Prior to joining MAC, he served as the Program Manager at Morehouse School of Medicine’s Division of Industry Collaborative Research. He managed Morehouse School of Medicine’s industry sponsored clinical trials and relationships with pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies.

Prior to MSM, Kornelius was a Project Manager at the Georgia Department of Economic Development, where he managed Georgia’s relationships with the global Life Science and Biotechnology community.

Kornelius holds a Master of Business Administration from the Georgia Institute of Technology, a Master of Science in Biomolecular Chemistry from Emory University and Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Morehouse College. 

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Natalie Jones

Manager, Global Programs

404.586.8458 |

Natalie Jones is the Manager of Global Programs for the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC). In this role, she is responsible for the management and implementation of the Metro Atlanta Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Plan—as part of the Global Cities Initiative (GCI). Natalie works to provide metro Atlanta’s foreign-owned companies with aftercare services for global growth and also works to integrate mergers and acquisitions (M&A’s) into the Region’s FDI efforts. 

Prior to MAC, Natalie worked for Georgia State University’s Annual Programs department. She served as the project manager for the Class Gift Campaign where she managed a successful marketing and social media strategy. Her content creation for various annual fund direct mail and online giving campaigns helped result in fundraising over $1.1 million for the first time in the University’s history during the 2012 fiscal year.

Natalie has also worked on a U.S. Senate campaign and served on the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Millennial Advisory Panel.

Natalie holds a baccalaureate from Georgia State University in English with a concentration in Advanced Composition and Rhetoric and a minor in Political Science. She lives in West Midtown with her husband and teenage son, and is a member of the Junior League of Atlanta. 

Rebecca

Rebecca Jordan

Associate Project Manager

404.586.8445 |

Rebecca Jordan is an Associate Project Manager for the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s (MAC) Project Management and Regional Partnership team.  In this role she concentrates on the growth of the 29 county metro Atlanta region by supporting companies relocating to the metro area and assisting those that are seeking opportunities to expand.  Atlanta’s job growth is focused on MAC’s industry clusters of Bioscience, Mobility and IoT, Supply Chain and Technology industries.  Rebecca and her team can offer expertise and assistance with workforce, customize market research, business and tax incentives, relocation assistance and site selection.   Rebecca also focuses on cultivating relationships with our local, regional and academic partners along with the real estate community.  Rebecca joined the Chamber in February 2013 as an Executive Assistant to the President and CEO.  In November 2014, Rebecca was promoted to the Project Management team in the economic development division, where she remains today. 

Rebecca graduated from The University of Mississippi with a degree in Managerial Finance.  She also played four years of collegiate volleyball for the Ole Miss. Rebecca lives in Brookhaven with her husband, Clay and two children, Brady and Quinn. 

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Bob Kosek

Project Manager

404.586.8454 |

Bob is native of Cleveland, Ohio and received his BA from Ohio University and MPA from Georgia State University. He moved to Atlanta in 2012 (Ohio by birth, Atlanta by choice!) and began working to bring quality jobs to Metro Atlanta in 2013. Since joining MAC, he has assisted over 45 companies expand and relocate in the region.

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Ania Lackey

Senior Director, Global Business Development

+1 404.586.8455 |

Ania Lackey joined Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) in February 2012 as Program Manager, Global Commerce. In 2014, she was promoted to Director of Global Partnerships. In this capacity, she worked with a group of metro Atlanta business and community leaders to draft and release the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Plan for metro Atlanta as part of the Brookings Institution’s Global Cities Initiative (GCI). In 2016, Ania joined EY (Ernst & Young) to manage the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year program for the Southeast and Florida. In her role, she led business development activities to engage private entrepreneurs in this 30-year-old awards initiative. In 2017, she returned to MAC to lead the Metro Export Plan and Metro Atlanta FDI Plan under the GCI umbrella. Ania manages programs designed to expand metro Atlanta’s global ecosystem by growing the region’s global brand, recruiting foreign companies to open their office in metro Atlanta, and assisting local exporters to find customers worldwide.
 
Prior to joining MAC, Ania was a part of the International Trade team at the Georgia Department of Economic Development. In her role as the Project Analyst, she assisted Georgia companies in growing their international sales through exports. She helped organize multiple trade missions to markets strategic to the State of Georgia, including Germany, Brazil, China, Canada, Japan, Israel, and the United Kingdom.
 
Prior to joining the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Ania worked at Reece & Associates, a public affairs law firm in Atlanta. Reece & Associated represented various international companies in Atlanta at the State of Georgia Capitol.
 
Ania is one of the co-founders of the Polish-American Network of Georgia (PANG). In that role, she serves as the point of contact for Polish companies interested in entering the U.S. market. In addition, she works very closely with the Honorary Consul of Poland in Georgia, Mr. Lawrence Ashe.
 
Ania holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science with concentration in International Affairs from the Georgia State University, and a Masters of Public Administration in Planning and Economic Development from the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies. In 2014, she became a Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP), which confirms her extensive knowledge of various aspects of international trade and investment.
 
Ania speaks Polish, and she has travelled extensively across Europe.

 

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Rebecca Markusson

Program & Marketing Manager

404.586.8444 |

Rebecca Markusson is the Program and Marketing Manager for the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) Ecosystem Expansion team concentrating on Bioscience, Mobility and IoT, Supply Chain and Technology industries.  In this role, she works with the Ecosystem Expansion directors to promote the existing ecosystems (Bioscience, Mobility and IoT, Supply Chain and Technology) in metro Atlanta. She joined the MAC in September 2011 as a Project Coordinator.  In this role, she supported the Supply Chain and Business Services industries in recruiting and expanding companies in metro Atlanta.  Previous to joining MAC, she worked in Real Estate Property Management for various properties in metro Atlanta. 

Rebecca graduated from Elon University with a degree in Sports Management and a minor in Business Administration.  She lives in Brookhaven and enjoys playing tennis and traveling.

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Sara Saxner, MPA

Manager, Regional Partnerships

404.586.8441 |

Sara Saxner is the coordinator for the Economic Development team at the Metro Atlanta Chamber. She supports efforts in global commerce and project management for the 29 counties in the region. She works in close collaboration with state, local, academic, utility, and private sector partners to support existing Atlanta businesses considering an expansion or out of market companies evaluating Atlanta for a new operation. She helps grow a connected global network for MAC and the Atlanta region to grow jobs, the regional economy, and the international footprint through telling the Atlanta story globally, growing foreign direct investment and exporting opportunities for companies, and expanding targeted ecosystems.

Sara graduated from Florida State University with a degree from the College of Social Sciences and a Leadership Studies certificate. She earned her Master of Public Administration degree from Florida State and studied cross-sector partnership for improving communities. Saxner previously worked in Tallahassee, Florida during graduate school and after graduation in economic development through helping local businesses across various sectors and cultivating the budding innovation ecosystem in Florida’s capital city.

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Grant Wainscott

Senior Director, Technology Ecosystem Expansion

404.586.8462 |

Grant Wainscott is the Senior Director of Technology Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. In this role, Grant works to retain, expand and attract technology jobs and investment to the metro Atlanta region. He works specifically with the clusters of FinTech, Cyber Security, B2B Software and Film/Digital Media/Entertainment Tech, to support and grow the ecosystem.

Previous to his current post, Grant was the Director of Economic Development & Film for Clayton County, Georgia. In that role as the county’s lead economic officer, Grant oversaw more than $200 million in development and redevelopment projects around the world’s busiest airport, and helped attract more than 2,500 new jobs. In his role as the director of the state’s first county film office, he recruited 55 major television and film productions to the region, as well as commercials, music videos and industrials.

Grant has also served the metro Atlanta area as Vice President for Community and Economic Development for the Clayton County Chamber of Commerce, and as the Director of Economic Development for the City of Morrow. As Chairman of the Clayton County Chamber of Commerce’s International Promotions Council, he led foreign trade missions for the region and has participated in more than 30 business and cultural missions throughout the world.

Prior to moving to Georgia in 2002, Grant led economic development efforts and a tech incubator for the tourist destinations of Boone & Blowing Rock, in the mountains of North Carolina.  He and his wife also owned a used and rare bookstore and cigar shop.  Previous to his time in North Carolina, he lived in Washington, DC for several years, lobbying and working with foreign embassies in commercial real estate, and in Florida where he headed up an international tech brokerage firm.

Grant holds a B.A. in International Business from Florida Southern College, and has attended university in Quebec, Canada and Augsburg, Germany, focusing on Franco-Canadian trade relations and European markets. He has studied and lived abroad in five countries, and speaks French and German. He is married with two children and lives in Avondale Estates, Georgia.

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Trent Williamson

Project Manager, Economic Development

404.586.8422 |

Trent Williamson serves as a Project Manager for the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s Project Management and Regional Partnerships team.  In this role, Trent is responsible for managing industrial projects in Atlanta’s 29 county region. Trent is a member of Georgia Economic Development Association (GEDA), Corenet, and Southern Economic Development Association (SEDC). Prior to working at the Metro Atlanta Chamber, Trent was a Business Development and Project Manager at the Cobb Chamber of Commerce. Trent is a native of St. Petersburg, Florida and graduate of Auburn University with a Business Administration and Sustainability degree.    

 

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John Woodward

Senior Director, Foreign Investment

+1 404.586.8447 |

John Woodward is Senior Director, Foreign Investment, at the Metro Atlanta Chamber, one of the oldest and largest chambers of commerce in the United States. He assists foreign-owned enterprises (FOEs) contemplating entry or expansion in the US market. This includes site selection consulting, customized market research, incentives guidance, real estate search, labor and wage analysis, and connections to relevant corporate, government and academic parties.

In almost 20 years in economic development, Mr. Woodward has assisted hundreds of companies relocate or expand, ranging from US headquarters, operations or manufacturing for Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Adidas, “K” Line, Hamburg Sud, Voestalpine, Sany, Dongwon, Elekta, Dekra, Interroll to small/medium enterprises (SMEs) just entering the US with a sales office.

Prior to his role at the Metro Atlanta Chamber, Mr. Woodward was Director of Economic Development for the City of Richmond (Virginia), leading a department that oversaw more than $3 billion in commercial development, recruited major headquarters like MeadWestvaco and Altria, and assisted small and minority-owned businesses.

Before this, Mr. Woodward worked in commercial real estate at the New York headquarters of Cushman & Wakefield. He was also a foreign exchange trader in Washington, DC, with Ruesch International.

A frequent speaker on economic development, Mr. Woodward has been quoted in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and other US and international media. He has been guest lecturer at major universities, and speaks regularly on foreign investment seminars in Europe and Asia. He has served on numerous non-profit boards, including bi-lateral chambers, schools and community.

Mr. Woodward earned a BSFS from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, and an MBA from New York University Stern School of Business. He also completed programs at the Université de Strasbourg and Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC) near Paris. He lives in Atlanta’s Westside with his wife and daughter. 

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Jen Yun

Manager, Global Business Development

+1 404.586.8543 |

Jen Yun is the manager of global business development in the Global Commerce team at the Metro Atlanta Chamber.  She is responsible for the effective day-to-day outbound management and activities related to the Global Cities Initiative (GCI) program in metro Atlanta, and assisting local companies expand their businesses to international markets.

Her main focus for GCI is rolling out the Atlanta Metro Export Plan (Atlanta MEP), which officially launched in June 2015 and focuses on growing jobs in the region through exports.  Yun is responsible for engaging with the economic development partners in the 29-county metro region in this new initiative and working directly with their local companies.

In addition to the rollout of Atlanta MEP, Yun works with regional economic development partners to globally identify metro Atlanta as an international business center by building relationships with bi-national partners and targeted marketing campaigns.

Yun is a Midwest native and received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee and a Master of Science in Public Policy and a Master of City and Regional Planning from Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia.