Speaker: Hala Moddelmog
Atlanta’s winning combination of education, lifestyle, and talent, particularly next generation talent, are the forces driving the region’s economy, according to Hala Moddelmog, president and CEO of the Metro Atlanta Chamber.
The key note speaker for May, Moddelmog opened her remarks by noting the significant contributions of Linda Wind, the founder of ProWin who passed earlier this spring. Moddlemog credited Wind for influencing the growth, confidence, and professional development of hundreds of women, including herself. ProWin has established a scholarship in the memory of Linda Wind.
During the last 3 years alone, Atlanta became the digital hub for GE, Honeywell-NCR, and CHASE Atlanta. This remarkable growth has billions of dollars going through Atlanta and an era of prosperity. “There are plenty of jobs here now,” Moddelmog said. “Atlanta is the Health and IT Capitol of the world.”
An example of this is that recent estimates place 25% of world’s cyber security going through Atlanta. Atlanta is rated a Top Tier Global Region because of its access to travel around the world, Fortune 500 companies, IT, healthcare, and top universities. Businesses are attracted by an educated workforce from SCAD, GA Tech, GA State and many other higher ed institutions. The current job rate is growing faster than the national level.
Moddelmog noted that recently she spoke to a group in Nashville, TN. “Nashville has more and bigger hospitals but we write your coding in Atlanta,” She joked that the audience was not amused with the comment. And Moddelmog reported more health hub scaling up at the CDC, Emory, the global task force and many others leading to the shifting mindset that “Atlanta is Now.”
Talent is the number one reason corporations come to and make Atlanta their headquarters. Millennials are here: young, educated, progressive, ethnically diverse—built in diversity is here now; so there is no need to look for it or recruit it in. Atlanta is a “Culture Kaleidoscope.” The Falcons and Atlanta United draw the largest crowd attending and most popular sports events in America and the World. The city has the third largest art center in the country.
The city’s historical presence as the birthplace of civil rights has also had an impact. Atlanta citizens endorse paying civic rent and paying it forward. Corporate success drives good corporate citizenship and stewardship.
Currently, the region is trying to green light movie production, one of the growing employment areas and music production. Atlanta is the number one place for film production, according to Forbes, and the number one “Hip Hop Capital of the Universe” with more music created here than anywhere else.
Going forward, Moddelmog said that the story of Atlanta needs to be told more widely to continue to attract talent. And said that “Yes, rapid transit is coming to Atlanta. It has to; everybody understands that now. In order to move forward with continuing to attract corporate headquarters, our transit system has to move forward. It will take some time and possibly be slower than we want, but it will happen. It’s a necessity for future growth and prosperity!
Be sure to join us for our next luncheon in July. Frenita Amerman will talk about how to change the way you see yourself and change your results. Non-members are welcome – it is a wonderful way to learn about all the benefits of ProWIN.