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About ChooseATL

We launched ChooseATL with one goal: to attract and retain next-gen talent to metro Atlanta. Since then, we've reached millions of young professionals and left them inspired by our city's unique mix of careers, community and culture. 

Inspired, Organic & Grassroots

A group of ATL-enthusiasts came together and developed a grassroots movement to shine a light on what makes Atlanta special.

Like most big ideas, their passion-filled initiative was just getting started.

Riding bikes on the Beltline
People wearing backpacks
Beltline art
Scaling Up

The group took the idea to us, the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC). We're a 160-year-old economic development organization representing businesses, colleges and universities, nonprofits and more across metro Atlanta.

Established, but also tuned in to what's next, we hired a few full-time employees to lead what is now a division of MAC called ChooseATL.

People at a Braves game
ChooseATL team
ChooseATL Holiday Party

Our Focus Areas

Careers

Careers are the name of the game. With more than 16 Fortune 500s, 700 startups and 30 innovative centers, we've got you covered.

Community

Diversity is our strength, and people are our passion. From promoting nonprofits to encouraging a sense of community in neighborhoods, we help Atlantans rise together. 

Culture

From music and sports to film and cuisine — culture is in Atlanta's DNA. We're proud of the influence our metro area has on industries, art and activism around the world.

The A-Team

Deisha Barnett

Chief Brand and Communications Officer
CMO (Chief Mommy Officer)
Deisha Barnett (she/her/hers)
Chief Brand and Communications Officer
CMO (Chief Mommy Officer)
Lived in ATL

16 years

Favorite Place to Clock In

191 Peachtree, Suite 34

Favorite Place to Clock Out

Eleanor's

I’m Deisha, a PR, communications and marketing lover and leader who has built a 20+ year career working with big brands and executives. Think Walmart, CoverGirl... Atlanta.

Today, my team is busy convincing talent and businesses that metro Atlanta is unmatched when it comes to nurturing and propelling growth. I’m passionate about diversity, inclusion and equity, and proudly represent for my alma mater, Clark Atlanta University, the Atlanta University Center and HBCUs, always.

I’m Deisha, also known as loud-laughing mom of adorable boys, wife of handsome nerd and friend of amazing people. Time with the kiddos is a big priority off the clock, so I stay up on animated movies, Pokémon characters and anything Nick Jr.

You can also find me enjoying a cocktail with my girls or talking current events with my co-ed crew. I’m a regular at the nail salon and spa where deep tissue massage and a facial is my jam.

I’m a podcast junkie (Freaknik: A Discourse on Paradise Lost is a must-listen), and my newest ATL obsession is hip-hop yoga: namaste, y’all.

Jennifer M. Spann

Senior Director, Content and Design
Designer Shoe Hoarder
Jennifer M. Spann (she/her/hers)
Senior Director, Content and Design
Designer Shoe Hoarder
Lived in ATL

4 years

Favorite Place to Clock In

My home office

Favorite Place to Clock Out

Piedmont Park

I lead the content and design side of the team. From executive thought leadership and internal communications to graphic design and narrative writing, we help tell Atlanta’s remarkable story. We also communicate the organization’s value proposition to stakeholders and partners across metro Atlanta.

Before joining the team, I worked in various communications roles throughout the nonprofit and government sectors. Notably, I spent 13 years with the Mississippi Development Authority, so I understand the tremendous impact and unique nuances of the economic development world.

Forever a Mississippi girl, I’m a proud former opinion columnist for a Mississippi newspaper and co-host of a tourism-themed radio show on Mississippi Public Broadcasting.

Hey there, it’s Jennifer, AKA JSpann to the team. I’m that Gen Xer with millennial tendencies.

Cooking up a gourmet meal or baking a special treat is my jam. When I’m not in the mood to cook, my husband and I love discovering new culinary gems in our neighborhood and beyond. To balance all those calories, I hit the Atlanta BeltLine for a long run or sweat it out at a hip-hop yoga session.

This bougie chick who never wears the same outfit twice insists on living in town, close to the pulse of the city. Enjoying ATL’s energetic nightlife, colorful markets and artsy events is the way I spend my downtime. No kids, no pets, no cares.

Simeon Spearman

Senior Director, Channels and Analytics
Sci-Fi Futurist
Simeon Spearman (he/him/his)
Senior Director, Channels and Analytics
Sci-Fi Futurist
Lived in ATL

28 years

Favorite Place to Clock In

Joe's East Atlanta Coffee Shop

Favorite Place to Clock Out

Argosy

I’m Simeon, a marketing and advertising professional with 13 years of experience in insights, trends and ad campaigns. I studied international affairs and Japanese at Georgia Tech with a graduate degree in futures studies from the University of Houston.

I’ve come up through the Atlanta marketing and advertising industry by working at agencies and big brands. My expertise lies in organic and paid media strategy as well as measurement and analytics – translating data into action.

I’m a mild-mannered marketing dude who geeks out on science fiction and all things about the future. Whether it’s a great sci-fi film (Blade Runner, Alien, Ex Machina, Her) or some classic sci-fi novels (Foundation, Dune, Hyperion), I’m here for anything that pushes our thinking on what’s possible.

I love the future so much, I studied it in grad school, so I’m always up for a great debate on topics like the Singularity, autonomous vehicles and the future(s) of our metro area. I live in southeast Atlanta with my wife, baby and two cats.

Ashley Tanks

Senior Director, PR and Programs
Undercover Food Critic
Ashley Tanks (she/her/hers)
Senior Director, PR and Programs
Undercover Food Critic
Lived in ATL

17 years

Favorite Place to Clock In

The Gathering Spot

Favorite Place to Clock Out

Westside Beltline

I’m an integrated marketing and communications leader with a passion for brand storytelling that drives social impact. Prior to joining the Metro Atlanta Chamber, I held various corporate and agency roles across healthcare, consumer brands, government affairs and the TV and film industries.

Today, I lead strategy and programming for ChooseATL. The best part of my role is truly the people. Every day I get to collaborate with amazing people from diverse backgrounds across the metro area who share a love for Atlanta and are doing great work to help nurture and attract new talent to our city.

I’m Ashley, a marketing and communications double agent by day and foodie by night. In the evenings, you can find me checking out one of Atlanta’s many great restaurants with friends or trying my hand at a new recipe at home.

While I love an eclectic mix of cuisines, Atlanta’s pizza scene is one of my favorites, and I have a list of recommendations sure to win over any skeptic. 

Outside of eating my way through the city, I also enjoy traveling, riding my bike and keeping up with what’s trending on TV. I reside in the West End with my chihuahua, Princess.

Akshay Gopalakrishnan

Manager, Content and Design
Bob Ross Protégé
Akshay Gopalakrishnan (he/him/his)
Manager, Content and Design
Bob Ross Protégé
Lived in ATL

25 years

Favorite Place to Clock In

Brother Moto

Favorite Place to Clock Out

Cypress Pint and Plate

Hi, I’m Akshay. I have a passion for creating powerful designs to cultivate impactful brands, spread unwavering messages and develop inspiring conversations. I joined the Metro Atlanta Chamber and ChooseATL as an intern in 2015, and I’ve since become the manager of content and design.

I attended the University of Georgia and graduated with a degree in graphic design.

I’m Akshay, but my friends call me Aki. I’m the music plug, constantly convincing people to go to concerts or try new songs. Whiskey neat is my drink of choice – beer and wine can take a back seat at my rodeo.

You can catch me creating art or playing with pups in my free time. My post-career goals lie somewhere between a cedar log cabin and the green Georgia pines. I’m the unnamed protégé of Bob Ross, and I’ve carried on his painting and nature-loving legacy.

Cameron Adcock

Communications Coordinator
Daylight Streamer and Midnight Rockstar
Cameron Adcock (he/him/his)
Communications Coordinator
Daylight Streamer and Midnight Rockstar
Lived in ATL

27 years

Favorite Place to Clock In

Broad Street

Favorite Place to Clock Out

Variety Playhouse

Cameron Adcock – call me Cam. I’m a communications and media relations professional with ChooseATL and the Metro Atlanta Chamber. I create and implement strategies that tell metro Atlanta’s story to the global community, particularly for the esports, innovation & entrepreneurship, educated workforce and supply chain industries.

I oversee the Chamber’s thought leadership blogs on the Saporta Report and MAC Newsroom, and engage with media to make sure we stay on the pulse of ATL.

I’m a graduate of the University of Georgia’s journalism and political science schools. My favorite quality about Atlanta is its openness – you can make your mark here in a genuine way, more so than any other metro in the world.

I’m a little hard to pin down because I’ve got a lot going on. By day, you can find me crushing the competition across countless games on Twitch. (I’ll give you my gamer tag if you ask, btw.)

By night — we’re talking real rock hours — the volume gets cranked to 11. On top of a record collection numbering in the hundreds, I’m a guitar hero with a few other instruments up my sleeve.

I live in Westside Atlanta with my girlfriend and two cats. Here’s a warning: I might try to show off some French and Japanese multilingualism – stay woke.

Justin Clay

Administrative Assistant, Brand Communications and ChooseATL
Hot Mess Astrologist
Justin Clay (he/him/his)
Administrative Assistant, Brand Communications and ChooseATL
Hot Mess Astrologist
Lived in ATL

14

Favorite Place to Clock In

Hodgepodge Coffeehouse

Favorite Place to Clock Out

The Mammal Gallery

I’m a native Atlantan with versatile communications skills with industry experience across public relations, television news and social media. Here at ChooseATL and the Metro Atlanta Chamber, I work on the brand communications team supporting projects and serving as a point of reference for our Chief Brand and Communications Officer, Deisha Barnett.  

I’m a Georgia State University alumnus with a Bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in both film and women’s gender and sexuality studies. I’m proud to say that my career has allowed me to uplift LGBTQ+ initiatives, including my social media work for Atlanta Pride 2019. Additionally, you can catch me quoted in the Condé Nast publication, them.

Whether it’s video production, publicity, or something entirely different, I’m the one to accept the challenge.  

I’m a typical Pisces with a love for anything of the horror and pop genres. My therapist would describe me as a passionate individual with a big heart…and probably some other things, but we won’t focus on those. I’ve had dreams of being an actor, photographer, news anchor and YouTuber, but my biggest dream right now is finding happiness through any creative project I take on - no label needed.

When I’m not applying a face mask, I’m most likely thrift shopping, practicing yoga, cooking a new recipe or getting beat by 10-year-olds on Pokémon. My partner Vinny and I are cat parents to the two most interesting felines, Kiki and Beau.  

Alexa, stream “thank u, next.”  

Chevron Up Sm