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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.

Natalie Jones

Senior Manager of Marketing
The Pop Culture Critic
Natalie Jones (she/her/hers)
Senior Manager of Marketing
The Pop Culture Critic
Lived in ATL

25 years

Favorite Place to Clock In

The public library

Favorite Place to Clock Out

Marcel

I create integrated marketing strategies around metro Atlanta’s economic development industry drivers, including supply chain and advanced manufacturing, esports, fintech and more. I spend most of my time strategizing creative ways to let people know that Atlanta is here, now and next.

Before joining the Brand Communications team, I spent several years in economic development where I spearheaded the marketing and rebranding efforts of the Atlanta Global Cities Initiative, managed the creative and logistical execution of the Global Impact Awards and oversaw the visits of foreign dignitaries and delegations.

I hold a bachelor's degree in English with a concentration in advanced composition and rhetoric from Georgia State University. I live in Knight Park/Howell Station with my family.

I’m Natalie, an uber high-functioning introvert. When I’m not wearing my marketing hat, you can find me having dinner with my favorite mixologists at Marcel, running through Oakland Cemetery or screaming at my TV in the fall as a “spirited” football fan (#GoDawgsSicEm #RiseUp).

I’m passionate about generational poverty, gender parity and diversity and inclusion. That’s why I’m proudly overcommitted to the Junior League of Atlanta, serving on the board of Atlanta BeltLine’s AB67 and changing the world as part of LEAD Atlanta’s Class of 2020.

I’m a pop culture enthusiast, obsessed with all things UK, especially the British Monarchy (Hey Megan!) and a forever member of the Beyhive. I live on the Westside with my husband Eddie and teenage son, Preston.

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.

Alexis Everett

Marketing Manager
Crime Fiction Enthusiast
Alexis Everett (she/her/hers)
Marketing Manager
Crime Fiction Enthusiast
Lived in ATL

23 years

Favorite Place to Clock In

Switchyards

Favorite Place to Clock Out

The Local

I’m a marketing professional with a passion for community building, storytelling and Atlanta in general. After studying mass media arts and Spanish at the University of Georgia, I moved back to the city to kickstart my career with ChooseATL.

Today, nearly four years later, I oversee our events and partnerships both in-market and beyond. The best part about my role is the opportunity to meet so many incredible people who call Atlanta home. We're a place made of dreamers and changemakers, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’m a marketing guru by day and a crime fiction enthusiast by night. On any given evening, you can find me at home with a glass o’ vino either reading a book or bingeing my favorite shows. Harlan Coben, Stephen King and Jillian Flynn are my people, and I keep a long-running list of favorites if you ever need a recommendation.

If TV is more your thing, I like to keep it classic with Law and Order: SVU or Criminal Minds (YAS, Shemar Moore).

Outside of my crime-obsessed persona, I enjoy non-serial killer things like riding my bike, working out and hanging at local coffee shops and breweries. I hail from the Eastside and call Edgewood home.

Amanda Suttles

Manager, Brand Communications, Channels and Analytics
Kylie Cosmetics Heir
Amanda Suttles (she/her/hers)
Manager, Brand Communications, Channels and Analytics
Kylie Cosmetics Heir
Lived in ATL

20 years

Favorite Place to Clock In

Flatiron

Favorite Place to Clock Out

City Winery

I’m a communications professional with a passion for all things digital. I graduated from Kennesaw State University in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in communications, with a focus on public relations.

Fast forward four years, I’m proud to live in Atlanta and work for an organization devoted to advancing the metro area. I love telling Atlanta’s story through digital strategy, social media and analytics — there’s something in ATL for everyone.

When Mercury is not in retrograde, you can find me trying out the latest makeup and skincare trends, browsing Sephora or obsessing over the Royals.

If you thought things couldn’t get more basic, another hobby of mine is hosting award show parties at my house with my closest girlfriends – American Music Awards, The Oscars, you name it! The more the merrier, in my opinion.

Other interests include weekly wine shipments, conspiracy speculation and falling asleep to crime shows and podcasts.

Nick Alves

Channels and Analytics Coordinator
Podcast Junkie and Part-Time Pokémon Trainer
Nick Alves (he/him/his)
Channels and Analytics Coordinator
Podcast Junkie and Part-Time Pokémon Trainer