Brian McGowan to become COO of Metro Atlanta Chamber

The Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) announced on March 13th that Brian P. McGowan will join the organization’s leadership team as executive vice president and chief operating officer. McGowan most recently served as President and CEO of Invest Atlanta, where he led economic development and job growth initiatives for the City of Atlanta.

“Brian’s leadership reinventing the Atlanta Development Authority into Invest Atlanta demonstrates the kind of creative thinking that MAC needs as we move into year two of our strategic plan,” said Hala Moddelmog, MAC president and CEO. “Brian joins MAC in a newly created role that will bring together his expertise in economic development and knowledge of Atlanta’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. I am grateful to Mayor Reed for bringing talent like Brian to Atlanta to further strengthen our region’s global competitiveness.”

McGowan will focus on strategic transformation and building new regional economic development initiatives collaborating across all Chamber functions. Additionally, he will oversee the administration of human resources, IT, finance and building operations.

While at Invest Atlanta, McGowan was tasked by the board to transform what was then called the Atlanta Development Authority into a world-class economic development organization. Over the last three years, he fiscally stabilized the organization and rebranded the City of Atlanta’s approach to economic development. McGowan helped to create nearly 18,000 jobs, totaling new investment of $1.56 billion, including major business attraction wins such as Pulte Homes, athenahealth, ExactTarget, Panasonic and Carter’s.

“Brian McGowan was instrumental in the re-positioning and growth of Invest Atlanta,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “I am confident that he will have continued success at the Metro Atlanta Chamber, and believe he will continue to play a vital role in bringing new businesses to the city and the metropolitan Atlanta region.”

At Invest Atlanta, McGowan launched new programs such as StartUp Atlanta, the Business Retention and Expansion program, Home Atlanta, the Catalyst Fund, Neighborhood Lift, the Façade Improvement Program and supported the Better Buildings Challenge through a new grant program. He also directed the creation of comprehensive housing, economic development and workforce development strategies and reformed the city’s Tax Allocation District program, which includes the Atlanta BeltLine. As a member of Mayor Reed’s cabinet, he was part of the team that negotiated the new Falcons multi-purpose stadium, community benefits plan process and served as a member of the stadium design committee.

Before moving to Atlanta in 2011, McGowan was appointed by President Barack Obama as U.S. deputy assistant secretary of commerce, and served as a senior economic advisor in the White House National Incident Command for the BP oil spill. Prior to joining the Obama Administration, he served as deputy secretary for economic development and commerce under California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

“I am excited to join the Metro Atlanta Chamber, and work to execute on the five-year strategic plan to continue growing the region as an economic powerhouse,” said McGowan. “This is one of the largest and most economically dynamic metropolitan regions in the United States, and I look forward to working with our members and partners to continue to grow through innovation and regional collaboration.”

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