A lunch party for ATLeaders was held at Skyline Park at Ponce City Market.
A lunch party for ATLeaders was held at Skyline Park at Ponce City Market.

By Clare S. Richie

The Metro Atlanta Chamber just unveiled its newest effort to mentor young talent, ATLeaders, a council of young professionals under 40. The council seeks to provide these up-and-comers with access to the business community, a network of their peers and the opportunity to make a social impact, specifically in the areas of transit and food insecurity.

“ATLeaders is the perfect marriage of the power, support, and credibility of the Metro Atlanta Chamber with the vision of the leaders of tomorrow, ” Fred Roselli, senior director of communications for Boys & Girls Clubs of America and chair of ATLeaders, said.

The timing of the council is no accident as Gen X and Millennial generations are projected to be 75 percent of the workforce within the next five years. And as Roselli points out, “most Millennials across the nation say they are not being developed as leaders.”

With ATLeaders, young professionals will work alongside established entrepreneurs and CEOs while bringing new energy and ideas to the Metro Atlanta Chamber.

The May recent launch event on the Ponce City Market rooftop drew interest from 600 Atlantans eager to hear the about the council’s vision. “The massive turnout exceeded expectations and validated what we are doing,” Roselli said.

Fred Roselli, chair of ATLeaders, speaks at the launch event.

The steering committee, comprised of young professionals from King of Pops, Georgia Power, Google, Atlanta Tech Village and more, announced the council’s social impact focus areas of transit and food insecurity.

With young professionals favoring walkable neighborhoods with accessible transit, ATLeaders supports the expansion of transit in metro Atlanta. The council will work with community social impact organizations Advance Atlanta, Relay Bike Share, and MARTA and its membership to get out the “YES” vote this November for the a city of Atlanta referendum that increases sales tax by a half a penny to expand MARTA and complete the Atlanta BeltLine.

The council is also working alongside Georgia Organics, Truly Living Well, WeCycle, and Food Well Alliance to address the more than two million Georgia residents, including 500,000 children, who live in food deserts.

“We now have momentum and are busy planning for how to build on it,” Tyler Rogers, Pied Popper of Partying at King of Pops and ATLeaders Co-Chair explained.

Look for an event at least once a quarter. Next up is a transit panel discussion on Aug. 2 at 11:45 a.m. at the Metro Atlanta Chamber. The panel, moderated by Rohit Malhotra, founder and executive director of the Center for Civic Innovation, will feature transit social impact organizations working with the council.

Find out more about upcoming events and opportunities at @ATLeaders on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.