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Leadership Atlanta names 83 to 2016 class

By Maria Saporta

Leadership Atlanta has selected another high-level group of people to be part of its upcoming 2016 class – with 83 leaders from education, law, business, religion, nonprofits, technology, media, healthcare, politics and government.

The all share a common desire – to move Atlanta forward by delving into some of the city’s thorniest issues.

“We are thrilled to welcome one of our largest, most diverse classes ever,” said Pat Upshaw-Monteith, Leadership Atlanta’s president and CEO. “We are proud to continue Leadership Atlanta’s tradition of bringing together the region’s most influential, engaged and creative leaders dedicated to working together for the greater good.”

Leadership Atlanta

Leadership Atlanta

The 2016 class will learn more about the region during the nine-month program, which will include retreats, full-day seminars, service projects, discussion groups and community tours. The goal is for them to find ways to become more effective leaders and build relationships of trust and understanding with each other.

The volunteer program chair for the 2016 class is Kimberly Esmond Adams, a Leadership Atlanta trustee who is a Fulton County Superior Court Judge.

“Since graduating from Leadership Atlanta in 2010, the region has continued to grow diversify and flourish,” Adams said. “There are significant opportunities to create a long-term, positive impact in metropolitan Atlanta. I look forward to working with this impressive group of leaders to move the needle forward and ensure that Atlanta remains the premier Southeastern city.”

Leadership Atlanta is the oldest continuously running training program of its type in the country. It was formed in the early 1970’s to address a growing need for trained leaders to move metro Atlanta towards unity and shared prosperity. More than 46 years later, Leadership Atlanta continues to educate and inspire local leaders. 

Leadership Atlanta Class of 2016

 Qaadirah Abdur-Rahim
Chief Executive Officer
Future Foundation

Leonard Adams
President and Chief Executive Officer
Quest Community Development Organization, Inc.

Michael Alexander
Research and Analytics Division Manager
Atlanta Regional Commission

Justin Anand
United States Magistrate Judge
United States Courts

Adam Bloomston
Co-Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer
Payscape Advisors

Don Bolia
Peachtree Government Relations

Joan Buchanan
Chief Diversity Officer, Vice President
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Ayanna Buckner
Community Health Cooperative

Margaret Campbell
Troutman Sanders

Julio Carrillo
Vice President & Chief Operations Officer
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta

Ashley Carson
Senior Vice President, Relationship Manager
Atlantic Capital Bank

John Case
Senior Vice President for Operations and Chief Financial Officer
Morehouse School of Medicine

Lindsay Caulfield
Senior Vice President
Grady Health System

Kitty Chaney Reed
Senior Finance Director, Global Leader of Order to Cash
NCR Corporation

Pedro Cherry
Senior Vice President, Metro Atlanta Region
Georgia Power

Jennifer Christensen
Managing Editor/Producer

Eshe’ Collins
Senior Program Director; Member
Jumpstart at Georgia State University; Atlanta Board of Education

Sonji Jacobs Dade
Director, Leadership Communications
Cox Enterprises Inc.

Timothy Davies
Vice President and General Manager
Radio One, Inc.

Audra Dial
Atlanta Office Managing Partner
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton

Joy DiBenedetto
President and Chief Executive Officer
Friendship Force International

Andre Dickens
Councilman, Post 3 at-Large
City of Atlanta

Derin Dickerson
Alston & Bird

Austin Dickson
Executive Director
Literacy Action, Inc.

Amy Dosik
Chief Executive Officer
Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta

Dagmar Epsten
President and Chief Executive Officer
Epsten Group, Inc.

Joseph Folz
Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary
Porsche Cars North America, Inc.

DeLano Ford
Executive Director
Teach For America Metro Atlanta

James Franklin
Chief Executive Officer

Gerard Gibbons
President U.S. Sales
United Parcel Service

Shani Godwin
President and Chief Executive Officer
Communiqué USA, Inc.

Matt Gove
Chief Marketing Officer
Piedmont Healthcare

Louis Gump
Digital Current, LLC

Heather Hamby
Associate Vice President, Health Center Integration, Executive Associate Dean, and Chief Operating Officer, School of Medicine
Emory University

Eric Harrison
Vice President Sales, South Region

Kim Hartsock
Warren Averett, LLC

Monique Honaman
Chief Execuitve Officer and Partner
ISHR Group

Brian Hooker
Executive Director
McPherson Implementing Local Redevelopment Authority

Bob Hope
President and Co-Owner

Vaughn Irons
Chief Executive Officer
APD Solutions

Ehab Jaleel
Executive Director
Amana Academy Charter School

Erika James
Dean, Goizueta Business School
Emory University

Simms Jenkins
Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Jewelle Johnson
Senior Counsel, Chief Employment Counsel
Graphic Packaging International, Inc.

Ronald Johnson
Professor of the Practice
Georgia Institute of Technology

Tharon Johnson
Managing Director
McKenna Long & Aldridge

Jeremy Jones
Frazier & Deeter, LLC

Cassandra Kirk
Chief Judge
Fulton County Magistrate Court

Grace Kolvereid
Vice President, Tax
AGL Resources Inc.

Jeetendra Kumar
IT Director
Coca-Cola Enterprises

Joshua Lesser
Congregation Bet Haverim

Yolanda Lewis
District Court Administrator and Chief Administrative Officer
Superior Court of Fulton County

Willie Lovett
Fulton County Juvenile Court, Atlanta Judicial Circuit

Dana Lupton
Executive Director
Moving in the Spirit

Jason Martin
Executive Director
Community Guilds Inc

Courtney McBurney
Chief Compliance Officer, Energy Management
General Electric

Paedia Mixon
Chief Executive Officer
New American Pathways

Richard Moultrie
Deputy Assistant United States Attorney
U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of GA

Melissa Mullinax
Senior Advisor to the Mayor
City of Atlanta, Office of the Mayor

Carol Naughton
Senior Vice President
Purpose Built Communities

Reginald OShields
Senior Vice President and General Counsel
Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta

Zachary Parker
President and Chief Executive Officer
DLH Holdings Corporation

Randy Patterson
Chief Human Resources Officer

Michael Paulhus
King & Spalding LLP

Chris Peck
Corporate VIce President, Human Resources

Jannquell Peters
City of East Point

Hunter Pierson
Vice President
Goldman, Sachs, & Co

Condace Pressley
Manager, Programming Operations and Community Affairs
Cox Media Group Atlanta

Steve Reis
McKinsey & Company

Lauventria Robinson
Vice President, Multicultural Marketing
The Coca-Cola Company

Shana Rooks
Clayton County Board of Commissioners

JaKathryn Ross
Director, Community Affairs & Executive Director, YEGeorgia
Georgia-Pacific LLC

Rodney Sanders
Senior Vice President and Market Credit Executive
PNC Bank

Steve Sear
Senior Vice President Global Sales
Delta Air Lines

Salaam Semaan
Deputy Associate Director for Science
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Puneet Seth
Managing Partner
New York Life Insurance Co.

Tina Shah
Assistant General Counsel
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.

Margaret Stagmeier
TI Asset Management/TriStar Investment

Tara Stoinski
President and Chief Executive Officer and Chief Scientific Officer
The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund

Alan Stukalsky
Chief Information Officer
Randstad US

Katerina Taylor
President and Chief Executive Officer
DeKalb Chamber of Commerce

Timothy Wilkerson
Vice President, Store Operations
The Home Depot

Catheren Woolard
Owner and Chief Executive Officer
Catheren M. Woolard, Inc.

Maria Saporta

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.



  1. Imara Canady May 5, 2015 11:57 am

    It’s an AWESOME group this year… Though there is still NOTHING like the Class of 07!!Report

  2. Michael Leo Owens May 5, 2015 1:37 pm

    Congratulations to all of them. I hope some of them will be at the Atlanta Studies Symposium tomorrow — https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwTqdi6NVFWLNXNfYW9lRUxUWVU/view MiLOReport

  3. Clark Dean May 5, 2015 10:35 pm

    Congrats Bob Hope, Adam Bloomston, Joe Foltz, Erika James, and the rest of the next great Leadership Atlanta Class!Report


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