Writer: Alejandro Sanchez
2 min read November 2021 — Despite the colossal challenges brought by COVID-19, business and community leaders speaking at the Focus: Atlanta Launch Conference believe that Atlanta’s economy is not only on the path to a full economic recovery, it is set to experience a new era of prosperity.
“Without downplaying the significant challenges we all faced in the past year and a half, there is little doubt that Atlanta has done very well in weathering the storm,” said Capital Analytics CEO Abby Melone while welcoming guests and panelists to the event.
With three panel discussions on finance, healthcare, and equity and mobility, the Focus: Atlanta Launch Conference, held on Thursday, Nov. 18, on Zoom Webinar, showcased the future of Atlanta from the perspective of both business and community leaders, who also gave their views on what this future means for the region’s economy.
Focus: Atlanta is an annual business intelligence report compiled by media platform Capital Analytics as part of its suite of yearly reports focusing on local and regional economies. “A high quality of life, good economic opportunities and top-notch healthcare and education are attracting both businesses and people to the region, making the Atlanta MSA the fastest-growing metro in the state,” Melone said.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) Senior Deputy General Manager Michael Smith provided the keynote address, highlighting the determination of the city and the region to overcome the challenges of the pandemic, and the importance of the airport in that endeavour. “ATL plays a role as the region’s top economic engine,” said Smith. “We connect Atlanta with the world and we bring the world to Atlanta.”
Known for an educated workforce, a strategic location for traveling and commerce, a diverse business ecosystem and a growing population, Atlanta is becoming a focal point for business activity in the United States.
The first panel, “Financial Future: How yesterday’s challenges are influencing tomorrow’s innovations and opportunities,” looked at the transformation of the industry and the region as a national focus for the expansion of financial institutions. Moderated by Adrian Cronje, CEO of Balentine, the panelists were Fifth Third Bank’s Regional President of Georgia Randy Koporc; Cardea Capital Investment Committee Chair Carolyn LaRocco; and Hancock Askew Tax Partner John McElderry.
The second panel, “Healthcare of Tomorrow: How innovation and technology are shaping the future of healthcare,” discussed how recent technological advancements in the healthcare industry are changing the sector’s landscape and the importance of innovation looking into the future. Moderated by Ted Blum, Greenberg Traurig’s managing shareholder for Atlanta and chair of the Atlanta Corporate and Securities practice, the panelists were Perkins+Will Southeast Regional Healthcare Practice Leader Jim Bynum; McGuireWoods Atlanta Managing Partner Christopher Greene; and Ascend Medical CEO Jason Madsen.
The third panel, “Equity and Social Mobility: How arts, education and technology sit at the intersection of a more accessible future,” looked at the integral role arts, education and technology play in creating a more equitable society. Moderated by Larry Williams, president and CEO of the Technology Association of Georgia, the panelists were the Arts Institute of Atlanta Interim President Elden Monday; Communities in Schools of Atlanta CEO Frank Brown; and Woodruff Arts Center President and CEO Hala Moddelmog.
For more information, visit: https://www.capitalanalyticsassociates.com/
To watch the Focus: Atlanta Event in full, please visit our Youtube Channel