Metro Atlanta Chamber Announces Big Bets for 2018, Launches New Platform to Attract Next Gen Talent

November 16, 2017

THEA debuts as first video streaming network to showcase the work, journey and influence of Atlanta’s creators. Russell Stokes, president and CEO of GE Power, David Abney, president and CEO of UPS, and Marty Flanagan, president and CEO of Invesco, set to lead MAC’s economic development, policy and talent attraction engine.

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THEA debuts as first video streaming network to showcase the work, journey and influence of Atlanta’s creators

Russell Stokes, president and CEO of GE Power, David Abney, president and CEO of UPS, and Marty Flanagan, president and CEO of Invesco, set to lead MAC’s economic development, policy and talent attraction engine

ATLANTA – Nov. 16, 2017 – Today, more than 2,000 leaders gathered on the field of Mercedes-Benz Stadium to hear the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) share priorities for driving the region’s economy and attracting talent in 2018 and beyond. While MAC will continue its strategic pillars, grow, advocate and promote, the organization announced big bets for 2018 – reinventing its approach to economic development, accelerating education efforts and lending support to improve economic mobility.

In addition, today marked the beta launch of THEA, a first-of-its-kind video streaming network built to showcase Atlanta’s creators and attract millennials. THEA is a natural extension of ChooseATL, an initiative that launched in 2015 targeting next generation talent. THEA currently includes 15 channel partners with more than 130 videos in categories like entertainment, music, food and technology.

“Metro Atlanta’s continued success will rely on our ability to prepare the next generation for the high-tech positions at our companies and those that will locate here in the future,” said Jeffrey C. Sprecher, chairman and CEO of Intercontinental Exchange, chairman of the New York Stock Exchange and MAC’s 2017 chair. “We’re up for the challenge. We have the jobs of tomorrow, and we’re producing the talent to fill those positions today.”

“We know the best way to tell Atlanta’s story is to let Atlanta tell its own story,” said Hala Moddelmog, MAC president and CEO. “Through THEA, we will attract talent, deliver real economic impact and set Atlanta apart from any other market around the world – using digital media to make Atlanta come alive to the next generations.”

Sprecher presided over the meeting and announced his successors:  

  • Russell Stokes, president and CEO of GE Power, will chair MAC in 2018, followed by
  • David Abney, president and CEO of UPS, who will chair MAC in 2019 and
  • Marty Flanagan, president and CEO of Invesco, has been tapped as MAC’s 2020 chair.

2018 Big Bets

Aligned with its vision to position Atlanta as a top-tier global region, following are MAC’s 2018 big bets:

  • MAC will continue to reinvent how Atlanta approaches economic development. In 2018, MAC and its partners will work more deliberately to grow critical ecosystems like cybersecurity, global health, IoT, fintech and entrepreneurship. At the same time, MAC will create and leverage digital tools to convey the region’s unique attributes and strengths to talent, site selectors, CEOs and others around the world.
  • MAC will accelerate education efforts. MAC will work to expand access to the HOPE Scholarship and needs-based aid programs. These are critical areas tied to meeting our region’s workforce needs and closing the talent gap.
  • MAC will support efforts to improve economic mobility and opportunity. MAC recognizes the critical work led by organizations across the region to ensure metro Atlanta’s growth benefits everyone. MAC will join these efforts with a fresh look at initiatives around transit, education, inclusion and workforce development.

In addition, throughout 2018, MAC will continue to work with Gov. Nathan Deal and the Georgia General Assembly for pro-business legislation and to protect Georgia’s reputation as the number one state for doing business.


A play on “The A,” a popular nickname for Atlanta among young locals, THEA includes familiar Atlanta brands, such as TechStars, How Stuff Works, ReImagineATL, Serenbe and Ideas United, plus content creators such as Motion Family, Friendly Human and Blossom. New videos will be uploaded regularly, and new channel partners will continue to grow a robust catalog of content for THEA’s official launch in 2018 and beyond. THEA is now available in beta on the Web, on iOS devices and on Android devices. It will launch on Roku and Apple TV over the coming months.

2017 Highlights

MAC noted a series of successes throughout 2017 that resulted from its work with regional and state partners:

  • One of the year’s biggest economic development wins was the announcement of Switch, a Nevada-based tech company, making a $2.5 billion investment in Douglas County. In addition, MAC launched new initiatives around IoT, cybersecurity and innovation continued to position the region as a fintech, digital supply chain and global health leader.
  • MAC also had a strong year advocating for pro-business legislation and lobbying for additional funding to enhance transportation infrastructure and increase transit options. MAC rallied around education initiatives in early learning and K-12, including Learn4Life, which works to align educational resources for student success. Additionally, the Your Talent Your Future 2.0 study was released to emphasize the need for the right talent to fill in-demand positions.
  • MAC continued to take metro Atlanta’s story to the world, traveling to 35 U.S. cities and 22 countries. In addition, ChooseATL garnered a Gold Award from the International Economic Development Council.
  • The Atlanta Sports Council continued to elevate metro Atlanta’s reputation as a premier sports destination. Highlights include the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship and the Major League Soccer All-Star Game in 2018, the NFL Super Bowl in 2019 and the NCAA Men’s Final Four in 2020.


About the Metro Atlanta Chamber

The Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) serves as a catalyst for a more prosperous and vibrant region. To advance economic growth and improve metro Atlanta's quality of place, MAC is focused on starting, growing and recruiting companies to the 29-county metro Atlanta region. The Chamber is also focused on expanding the region's innovation economy by promoting and strengthening connections to drive Atlanta's innovation and entrepreneurial culture. MAC is committed to being an active voice for the business community, serving as an advocate for a competitive business climate and promoting Atlanta's story. For more information, visit

Contact: Jennifer Spann, 404.586.8459,