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Metro Business Thought Leadership

Georgia Historical Society and the Metro Atlanta Chamber Unveil New Historical Marker Recognizing 160+ Years of Impact

Last week, the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) joined investors, past presidents, chairs, partners and the Georgia Historical Society to unveil a historical marker at the Chamber’s offices at 191 Peachtree Street. Recognizing MAC’s 163 years of impact on the region and the state, the marker is the latest addition to the Georgia Historical Society’s Georgia Business History Initiative. 

Metro Atlanta Chamber President and CEO Katie Kirkpatrick stood side-by-side with Genuine Parts Chairman and CEO Paul Donahue, MAC’s incoming 2023 Chair; and Georgia Historical Society President and CEO Todd Groce to honor the unveiling.

“Today really is a celebration of our region, our community, our work, but is also a reminder as we look to the future,” Kirkpatrick said. “We look back to our accomplishments in the Civil Rights era, our work with Grady, as well as our work in infrastructure and public education. These pieces serve as a charge to all of us to continue to pursue partnership, opportunity and community, with an eye on the advancement of all people in this region.”

The Chamber has been at the forefront of metro Atlanta’s evolution through industrial transformation, social change and global recognition. Water systems, public schools, interstate highways, air transportation, higher education and transit: MAC has led the way for growth across each of these areas and many more. MAC is also proud to be a champion for equality during the Civil Rights Movement and today as the organization embraces people from all walks of life.

“The story of Georgia in the 20th and 21st centuries is really one of business and the impact, not only on this state and America, but really one on the world,” said Dr. W. Todd Groce, president and CEO of the Georgia Historical Society.

Read the full text of the historical marker below:

The Atlanta Chamber of Commerce was established in 1859 as an attempt to address concerns of local businesses over railroad freight costs. The Chamber reorganized in 1871 to serve the business community and promote commerce. It was responsible for the 1895 Cotton States and International Exposition that showcased Atlanta as a regional business center. In the early twentieth century, the Chamber raised $1.5 million for infrastructure, Grady Hospital, and public schools. The Chamber helped guide Atlanta during the Civil Rights era as the first Georgia business organization to support public school desegregation. Later in the twentieth century, the Chamber campaigned to recruit businesses and improve transportation by advocating for the construction of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA). Today, the Metro Atlanta Chamber continues to drive the region’s reputation as a global competitor.

Erected by the Georgia Historical Society and the Metro Atlanta Chamber

For more on the history of the Metro Atlanta Chamber, visit https://www.metroatlantachamber.com/about/metro-atlanta-chamber/history 

For more on the Georgia Historical Society as well as its historical marker collection, visit https://georgiahistory.com/


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