Updated Economic Study Shows Tremendous Economic Growth in Cumberland Area

—Millions of Revenue Annually for Schools—
—Thousands of Jobs Created—
—Cumberland District National Leader—
—More Jobs, Tax Impact for Cobb than Originally Expected—


ATLANTA, June 23, 2016 – A new economic impact study commissioned by Cobb’s Competitive EDGE highlights the tremendous economic growth in the Cumberland Community Improvement District and surrounding areas during the past year and cites SunTrust Park and The Battery Atlanta as key drivers of the area’s economic boom, which includes more than $2 billion in cumulative new projects in Cumberland in the past five years.

“Our sentiment all along was that the move of the Atlanta Braves to SunTrust Park – as well as their adjoining mixed-use development, The Battery Atlanta – would serve as a generational catalyst for Cumberland and Cobb County,” said Brooks Mathis, executive director of Cobb EDGE. “This is exactly what is happening. The long-term impacts of this project are enormous and they are already being felt eight months before the first pitch will be thrown.”

An updated economic benefit study from Atlanta-based Brailsford and Dunleavy estimates that the benefits of this growth will be immense.  These new projects will account for more than $140 million in additional property tax revenue, more than $20 million in new sales tax revenue and more than $30 million in additional hotel/motel tax revenue in their first 10 years.

Cobb County Schools will be the big winner. These new projects in the Cumberland area will contribute in excess of $120 million in additional revenue to the schools throughout the next 10 years.

“The growth in the Cumberland area is already having a positive impact for Cobb County Schools, and that will do nothing but increase in the years ahead,” said Chris Ragsdale, superintendent of Cobb County School District. “But we are also tremendously excited about the professional opportunities the addition of new corporate entities creates for our youngest Cobb citizens.”

Subsequent to Brailsford and Dunleavy’s last analysis in 2013, The Battery Atlanta’s expanded footprint has increased development costs by 37 percent to $550 million, all privately financed. This increase in development combined with an aggressive local contracting effort has resulted in total benefits of more than $178 million in construction spending for Cobb County vendors, as well as more than 2,600 construction jobs created in Cobb County. 

Dating back to the announcement of SunTrust Park and The Battery Atlanta, the Cumberland area has seen a tremendous amount of growth, with more than 1.15 million square feet of office development, 640 new hotel rooms, and 123,000 square feet of retail being added to the submarket before you even consider the Braves ballpark and development.

“Since 2013, the Cumberland CID has been one of the nation’s fastest-growing commercial districts,” said Malaika Rivers, executive director of the Cumberland CID.  “More than $670 million has been added in property value since 2013, more than $2 billion in new investment is flowing into the market, and in 2015, 63 percent of all new business permits in Cobb County were issued in the CID.  Even better, buyers are paying premium prices for our assets, some more than 200 percent of assessed value.  This level of confidence is unprecedented and speaks to our strategic investments, strong community leadership, and the decision by the Atlanta Braves to relocate to Cumberland.”

The growth in Cobb County is not limited to just the Cumberland area. In recent months, longtime Cobb corporations, such as RaceTrac Petroleum, Genuine Auto Parts and The Home Depot chose to remain in Cobb and expand their footprint in the county. Additionally, strong companies like Aaron’s, Vonage and Atlanta United FC have chosen to bring their operations to Cobb to be a part of the thriving community.

“As we interacted with people in Cobb County, we were amazed at how much misinformation had permeated the public consciousness around this project,” said Rob Garcia, Chairman of Cobb EDGE.  “We felt that it was important to provide a single place to get honest, factual information around the impact SunTrust Park and The Battery Atlanta were having on our community.”

GDEcD: Granite to expand in Cobb County, create 50 new jobs

ATLANTA-June 23-The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) today announced Granite Telecommunications, LLC, a provider of communications solutions to businesses and government entities, will expand their current operation in Cobb County, creating 50 new jobs in sales, engineering, support and leadership roles.

“Granite’s decision to expand in Georgia is a testament to the highly-qualified industry personnel in the metro Atlanta area,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development Chris Carr. “We look forward to working with our economic development partners in Cobb County to support them in future growth.”

Since 2002, Granite has provided voice, data and other related communications products and services to multi-location businesses and governmental agencies throughout the United States and Canada.

“Our Atlanta sales region—along with the rest of North America—has seen tremendous growth and record sales since we expanded our offices there just a few short years ago,” said Granite CEO Rob Hale. “With our continued rapid growth we recognized an immediate need to increase our salesforce and other personnel and, as a result, expand our office space to accommodate our growing team. We are proud of the work we have accomplished in Atlanta and will continue to grow and provide the business-critical communications services our customers expect from us.”

The company furnishes services to more than two-thirds of the Fortune 100 companies in the United States and 1.5 million voice and data lines under management.

"Metro Atlanta has long been one of the nation's top communications hubs and we are thrilled that Granite is doubling its Cobb County workforce," said Hala Moddelmog, president and CEO of the Metro Atlanta Chamber. "Granite’s decision to expand its workforce in metro Atlanta confirms the strength and depth of our talent pool."

Granite’s current Georgia operation is located at 900 Circle 75 Pkwy, Suite 450, Atlanta, GA 30339. In total, Granite employs over 1,600 people from their headquarter operation in Quincy, MA to Miami, FL, New York, NY, Providence, RI, Chicago, IL and Dallas, TX.

“Cobb County has long been recognized as a top site for corporate relocation and expansion,” said Brooks Mathis, senior vice president of Economic Development for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce. “We’re excited to see Granite Telecommunications choose to stay in Cobb and further invest in this county.”

GDEcD Project Manager Shirlynn Brownell represented the Global Commerce division in partnership with the Metro Atlanta Chamber, the Cobb Chamber of Commerce, and Georgia Power.

About Granite Telecommunications, LLC

Granite was founded in 2002, with fewer than 20 employees. Since then, the company has grown rapidly, today having more than 1,600 employees, $1.16 billion in annualized revenue and 11,000 enterprise customers, including 86 of the top Fortune 100 Companies. Granite provides voice, data and other related communications products and services to multi-location businesses and governmental agencies throughout the United States and Canada. Granite currently has 1.5 million phone and data lines under management and is headquartered outside of Boston, MA with offices in Atlanta, GA, Miami, FL, New York, NY, Providence, RI, Chicago, IL and Dallas, TX. For more information, visit www.granitenet.com.

North Georgia Incubator Solidifies Marietta Headquarters

Kennesaw, GA (June 13, 2016) – North Georgia’s premier entrepreneurial incubator IgniteHQ has officially signed a lease to take over the property at 57 Waddell Street, Marietta, GA 30060 for its permanent headquarters.

The warehouse facility is located in the heart of downtown Marietta steps from the historic Marietta Square.

The property will be officially leased by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia on behalf of Kennesaw State University (KSU). The overall management and maintenance of the property will be the collaborative effort of KSU, Cobb County and IgniteHQ.

“We are excited to announce the location of the official new headquarters of IgniteHQ, north Georgia’s premier hub for inventive startups,” said IgniteHQ Executive Director Nancy Whatley. “This property on Waddell Street will provide collaborative space and resources for our growing community of entrepreneurs throughout the region while adding to the thriving landscape of downtown Marietta,” Whatley said.

IgniteHQ has contracted architectural firm Veenandal Cave (VCave) to design the new space. The entrepreneurial incubator is targeting late Fall for its official opening.

“Veenandal Cave is eager to put our creativity into motion to design a collaborative workspace that builds a community and inspires innovation!” said VCave Design Team Director Lauren Tenpenny. “With attention to both form and function, this unique space will provide a setting for new ventures to grow and inventions to flourish; we’re thrilled to partner with IgniteHQ on such a transformative project,” Tenpenny said.

A combination of modern day business incubator and coworking hub, IgniteHQ’s stimulating environment is tailored to meet the unique needs of inventors and problem solvers. Through physical workspace, trainings and access to mentors and advisors, the facility will provide inventive entrepreneurs with everything they need to fuel solutions and successful ventures on a global scale.  IgniteHQ’s new facilities will offer members dedicated desks and offices as well as access to conference rooms and collaborative spaces such as a kitchen, gathering areas and free parking.

In partnership with Kennesaw State University and with the support of Cobb County, IgniteHQ aims to leverage its academic and business affiliations to become the entrepreneurial beacon for all north Georgia.

“As north Georgia’s premier entrepreneurial incubator, IgniteHQ affirms our vision of strengthening economic development and community in our region,” said Cobb Chamber President & CEO David Connell.   

“Kennesaw State University ranked this year as the sixth most innovative school in the nation by U.S. News & World Report,” said Executive Board Member and KSU Outgoing President Daniel Papp. “In partnership with IgniteHQ, KSU will further fuel startup activity throughout Atlanta’s Northern Arc. IgniteHQ provides the resources KSU faculty, staff and students require to advance cutting edge technologies primed to change our world. I look forward to watching the great inventions and companies born from KSU in collaboration with IgniteHQ,” Papp said.

To Interview Nancy Whatley contact Karen Jones at 404-483-8226 or karenijones27@gmail.com.

For more information on IgniteHQ, including membership and sponsorship opportunities,

visit www.ignitehq.co or follow @ignitehqga.

HD Supply to Create 500 Jobs In Cobb County- Industrial Distributor to Invest More Than $100 Million in Cumberland

ATLANTA (March 10, 2016)—Gov. Nathan Deal today announced that HD Supply Holdings, Inc., one of the largest industrial distributors in North America, will create 500 new jobs and invest more than $100 million in Cobb County throughout the next five years.

“Our pro-business climate, highly-skilled workforce and manufacturing infrastructure continue to attract companies like HD Supply to Georgia," said Deal. “The company’s expansion will allow them to continue growing as a leader in the industrial distribution industry. I am confident that HD Supply will benefit from opening a new facility in our state and further prove why Georgia is a top destination for job creators.”

The new jobs include a range of positions in sales, merchandising, operations, supply chain management, information technology, and finance, among others. HD Supply currently employs approximately 200 associates at its Atlanta headquarters. The new HD Supply Leadership Development Center and headquarters building will consolidate existing HD Supply and HD Supply Facilities Maintenance field support organizations.

“HD Supply is thrilled to deepen its commitment to and partnership with Cobb County and the state of Georgia,” said HD Supply Chairman, President and CEO Joe DeAngelo. “This strategic growth investment establishes our HD Supply Leadership Development Center, which will accelerate growth as we attract and develop talent, drive customer-centric partnerships and extend our One Team culture.”

HD Supply provides a broad range of products and value-added services to more than 500,000 customers in maintenance, repair and operations, water infrastructure and residential and non-residential construction markets. The company’s leading businesses include HD Supply Facilities Maintenance, HD Supply Waterworks, and HD Supply Construction & Industrial - White Cap.

"Cobb County is fortunate to have HD supply in our community and grateful for their confidence in us as they choose to expand,” said Cobb County Board of Commissioners Chairman Tim Lee. “Over the years, HD Supply has made significant investment, created hundreds of jobs and has undoubtedly contributed to the tremendous economic success of Cobb County. We are excited about what the future holds for HD Supply and thank them for creating more high-quality jobs for our community."

Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) project manager Shirlynn Brownell represented the Global Commerce division in partnership with the Cobb County Development Authority, the Cobb Chamber of Commerce, members of Cobb’s Competitive EDGE initiative, Georgia Power and the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.

“HD Supply has committed to Cobb and this expansion illustrates the strength of our business climate and the partnerships of our regional and statewide economic development team,” said Brooks Mathis, Senior Vice President of Economic Development for the Cobb Chamber and Executive Director of Cobb’s Competitive EDGE. “Companies contine to choose Cobb for its proactive civic leaders, low taxes, and access to talent.”

 “We are excited about HD Supply’s choice to expand in Cobb County,” said GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr. “This decision is a testament to the region’s pro-business environment, highly-skilled workforce, and well-connected infrastructure network. We look forward to supporting HD Supply in opportunities for future growth.”


About HD Supply Holdings, Inc.

HD Supply is one of the largest industrial distributors in North America. The company provides a broad range of products and value-add services to approximately 500,000 customers with leadership positions in maintenance, repair and operations, water infrastructure and specialty construction sectors.


Braves, Omni Hotels & Resorts Partner to Build Hotel Adjcaent to SunTrust Park

The Atlanta Braves and Omni Hotels & Resorts are partnering to develop a new hotel in the mixed-used development adjacent to SunTrust Park in Cobb County. The luxurious Omni property will be a full-service hotel and will serve as a cornerstone of the mixed-use community.

The Omni Atlanta Northwest Hotel will feature 16 floors, approximately 260 finely appointed guest rooms and suites, rooftop hospitality suites, approximately 12,500 square feet of meeting space, a signature restaurant, an elevated pool deck and bar overlooking the plaza and ballpark. The hotel will serve meeting groups and business and leisure travelers alike, as well as visitors attending Braves games, and the many other events and activities hosted at the mixed-use development. Guests may also enjoy the retail and dining establishments that will be adjacent to the hotel.

Located on the 60-acre mixed-use development site, at the northwest intersection of I-75 and I-285 at Cobb Parkway, the new community will redefine the traditional model of "live, work, play" into a "play, work, stay" destination. The community will also feature residences and premier office space, an entertainment venue, retail and a variety of dining options. The overall layout and design respects and embraces the natural topography of the property, using abundant green space to blend park-like settings with a distinctive urban environment.

The area will be powered by an all-fiber network, which will be the highest-capacity network serving any ballpark and mixed-use community in the nation, capable of delivering multi-gigabit speeds throughout the entire development.

"Our unique brand of hospitality is a big part of the experience of attending an Atlanta Braves game, and we're thrilled to have a partner that embodies that same feeling with their guests," said Terry McGuirk, Atlanta Braves chairman and CEO. "Omni Hotel and Resorts only builds and operates iconic properties in premier destinations. Their presence in this community further enhances our belief that this will be a destination unlike anything in professional sports."

"It is an honor to partner with a franchise as successful as the Atlanta Braves, and we know this collaboration will attract millions of visitors to Cobb County and SunTrust Park for years to come," said Mike Deitemeyer, president of Omni Hotels & Resorts. "This new property will visibly reflect the region -- everything from the rooms, food, design, décor and amenities."

SunTrust Park is being developed by the Braves in partnership with Cobb County, the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum and Exhibit Hall Authority and the Cumberland CID, and will be completed by Opening Day 2017. Located in Atlanta at the intersection of I-75 and I-285 in the bustling Cumberland CID, SunTrust Park will flow directly into the surrounding development, creating a vibrant atmosphere with unique shops, restaurants, offices, residences and entertainment venues that are accessible 365 days a year.

Ground was broken on SunTrust Park on Sept. 16, 2014. The Omni Atlanta Northwest Hotel is expected to break ground later this year.

The Dallas-based luxury hotel brand has 60 distinct hotels and resorts in leading business gateways and leisure destinations across North America, including the Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center.

About the Atlanta Braves
The Atlanta Braves are the National League's winningest franchise since 1991. During that time, Braves teams have earned two National League wild cards, 15 division championships, five National League pennants, and a World Series title. Based in Atlanta since 1966, the Braves franchise is the longest continuously operating franchise in Major League Baseball. Follow the Braves at braves.com, facebook.com/braves, and twitter.com/braves.

About Omni Hotels & Resorts
Omni Hotels & Resorts creates genuine, authentic guest experiences at 60 distinct luxury hotels and resorts in leading business gateways and leisure destinations across North America. With over 20 world-class golf courses and award-winning spa retreats, to dynamic business settings, each Omni showcases the local flavor of the destination while featuring four-diamond services, signature restaurants, Wi-Fi connectivity and unique wellness options. Known for its distinguished, personalized service, Omni leaves a lasting impression with every customer interaction, with a heightened level of recognition and rewards delivered through its Select Guest loyalty program and the company's "Power of One" associate empowerment program. The brand is frequently recognized by top consumer research organizations and travel publications. To get additional information or book accommodations, visit omnihotels.com or call 1-800-The-Omni.

Braves, Comcast team up to power nation's most technologically advanced ball park in mixed-use commuinty

All-fiber network and multi-terabit capabilities to SunTrust Park and surrounding mixed-use community will create dramatic new opportunities for fan engagement

 Partnership also includes Comcast-branded office tower that will house new innovation lab and more than 1,000 Comcast employees

The Atlanta Braves and Comcast on Tuesday announced a multi-year technology and real estate partnership that will deliver multi-terabit network capabilities to SunTrust Park and the surrounding community, making it the most technologically advanced mixed-use development in the U.S.

Comcast will provide video, voice and high-speed Internet connectivity throughout the 60-acre project, which includes the new ballpark, retail shops, restaurants, an office tower, hotel, an entertainment venue and residential units. The development's all-fiber network will be capable of delivering multi-gigabit speeds throughout the complex on game days and every day in between. Comcast will also become the Braves' signature tenant in a multi-story office building within the development.

"From the outset, we said the Braves would set a new standard of excellence in every aspect of this project, and building the most technologically advanced ballpark in history and redefining fan connectivity is key to accomplishing that," said Braves Chairman Terry McGuirk. "Our partnership with Comcast will keep us head-and-shoulders above other sports venues and mixed-use communities around the country and allow us to meet our fans' high expectations for engagement, awareness and access. Shoppers, hotel guests and office tenants will also enjoy an experience unlike any other community."

The Comcast network will include two datacenters, each with 10,000 fiber connections that are backed by dual 400 Megawatt generators to ensure full redundancy.

"This is a truly unprecedented project and I can't think of a better partner than the Braves, led by the visionary Terry McGuirk, as we bring record Internet speeds to fans, residents and businesses," said Comcast Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Brian L. Roberts. "We're also excited to make the community around Sun Trust Park home to 1,000 of our employees as we continue to grow our technology team and develop innovative new products."

The new nine-story office tower will house more than 1,000 Comcast employees and the majority of positions will be new, added after construction is complete in 2017. The Comcast space will include an Innovation Lab, a dedicated home for the company's growing workforce of technologists, engineers and software architects. It will serve as a primary technology development hub for Comcast, connecting directly via high-speed fiber to the company's other major R&D centers in Silicon Valley, Philadelphia and Denver. The Innovation Lab will be an epicenter for collaborating with the tech industry and academia to foster next generation communications ideas and technologies. In all, Comcast will have exclusive use of the office space. The building will also feature another 15,000-20,000 square feet of restaurant and hospitality space facing into the SunTrust Park plaza.

"The innovation that the Braves and Comcast are bringing to SunTrust Park and the surrounding community will be an enormous point of pride for all of Georgia and will put us squarely on a national stage," said Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal. "I'm particularly excited by Comcast's plans to create hundreds of jobs and to invest in a new center for technology collaboration. Georgia benefits when imaginative new technology and economic development initiatives like this come to our state."

SunTrust Park is being developed by the Braves in partnership with Cobb County, the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum and Exhibit Hall Authority and the Cumberland CID, and will be completed by Opening Day 2017. Located in Atlanta at the intersection of I-75 and I-285 in the bustling Cumberland CID, SunTrust Park will flow directly into the surrounding development, creating a vibrant atmosphere with unique shops, restaurants, offices, residences and entertainment venues that are accessible 365 days a year.

Leading health IT company brings 150 jobs to metro Atlanta with new technology development center

ATLANTA - Nov. 18, 2014 - The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) today announced that Carrollton-based Greenway Health, LLC, a health information solutions company, will create approximately 150 jobs in metro Atlanta with a new technology development center in Cobb County.

“Greenway Health is laying the foundation to solve future health IT challenges and they continue to find success from Georgia’s pro-business environment,” said GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr. “Today’s announcement is an example of how our thriving health IT sector, one that includes a strong healthcare network, an equipped workforce and a critical mass of enterprise and data center locations, helps leading companies like Greenway Health flourish in Georgia.”

The company’s new development center in the Galleria 300 building of the Atlanta Galleria Office Park will enable Greenway Health to further expand its innovation team. This will speed new information solutions to tens of thousands of current healthcare providers in practices and clinics that use Greenway Health solutions, as well as to potential new customers seeking innovative ways to improve care efficiency, quality, cost and outcomes.

“Greenway Health has long been proud to be an active part of why Georgia — and the metro Atlanta area in particular — has become known as ‘the nation’s health IT capital’,” said Greenway Chief Executive Officer Tee Green. “This latest expansion will enable us to attract and retain the best and brightest to our team and drive the pace of innovation in the rapidly evolving healthcare industry. We’re proud to enable nearly 80,000 physicians and their staff — plus pharmacists in each of the more than 8,200 Walgreens stores across the U.S. — to deliver better coordinated, more effective care that improves population health and quality of life. That’s our commitment, and why we exist.”

Greenway Health, long considered a leader in health IT, is focusing its current jobs expansion on the research and development, customer support, professional services and financial services areas that most directly benefit its customers. The new development office is slated to open in early 2015, with options for expanding beyond the initial space for 150 staff. The company is aggressively hiring to add to its current 1,600-plus staff and has plans to add 200 to 300 positions by the end of its current fiscal year next Sept. 30. These are in addition to the 264 Georgia-based full-time employees that were hired over the past year.

"We have created an environment where businesses thrive and economic development stands strong,” said Chairman Tim Lee, Cobb County Board of Commissioners. “I am thrilled that Greenway Health is committed to its growth in our community, creating well-paying and cutting-edge jobs for our region. I look forward to sharing many more growth moments with Greenway in Cobb County; we are committed to the company’s success."

Georgia’s infrastructure for the health IT industry includes the presence of more than 225 health IT companies, and innovative research institutions that provide a pipeline of the best talent for this industry.

 “ These are the jobs all communities strive for,” said Brooks Mathis, SVP of Economic Development and Executive Director of Cobb’s Competitive EDGE. “High paying, quality jobs and hundreds of those mean so much to the fabric of the business climate anywhere. Our investors in EDGE can feel certain that their commitment is paying off in large forms.  Cobb has seen incredible numbers in job creation and new capital investment. It’s an exciting time to be a part of this vibrant community

About Greenway Health, LLC

Greenway Health™ delivers the clinical, financial and administrative solutions healthcare providers need to effectively manage the delivery of quality care and improve health outcomes for patient populations. For over 30 years, Greenway has offered smarter solutions that help providers succeed in an evolving value-based healthcare system. Greenway’s clinically driven revenue cycle management™ services and comprehensive suite of interoperable solutions improve financial performance and automate clinical and administrative workflows, so medical providers can spend time on patients instead of paperwork. For more information, visit www.greenwayhealth.com or call (866) 242-3805. 

Human Resources Industry Council Kicks Off With "Millennials in the Workplace"

On November 5, 2014, the Cobb Chamber of Commerce hosted the first-ever Human Resources Industry Council at Freeman, Mathis, and Gary. The council will serve as an opportunity for Human Resource processionals to network, learn industry best practices, and earn accreditation. Greg Quinet, Professor at Southern Polytechnic State University, presented his keynote on research on "millennials". Currently 80 million people were born from 1980 to 1995, which have been labeled millennials, or generation y-ers.

"It's important to know about this generation of people, as we might call them boss one day. There will soon be 100 million of them, " said Quinet. 

For the panel, Quinet brought three Southern Poly students from the business school. The students answered questions the audience raised about this next group of workers graduating. 

Human Resources Industry Councils will meet quarterly and present a keynote speaker on relevant topics. If you would like more information about attending, please contact Trent Williamson at twilliamson@cobbchamber.org.

Breaking Ground for New Jobs and Investment in South Cobb

On Thursday, Oct. 30, Cobb County, Cobb's Competitive EDGE and Oakmont Industrial Group gathered to break ground at the future site of Skyline 20 West, a new 600,000 square foot job center in South Cobb. This redevelopment project will invest over $25 million into South Cobb, create new jobs and keep Cobb County competitive as defined in the Cobb’s Competitive EDGE strategy. 

The Cobb County Department of Transportation team and the Development Authority of Cobb County were integral to the success of this transformational project in South Cobb. “I was thrilled to have our wonderful Cobb team assist the team at Oakmont to ensure Cobb County was able to be the beneficiary of their investment,” says Cobb County Chairman Tim Lee. “When our community set out on our economic development journey through EDGE, we committed not only to create new jobs, but to make a direct effort for redevelopment in South Cobb and bring jobs to that part of our county. This project addresses those points clearly, and we know the citizens of South Cobb will be glad to see projects like these spur continued growth in their community.”

Strategically located in the I-20 corridor, this location’s close proximity to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, easy interstate access, low taxes and competitive incentives will spur job and economic growth in the area. “This site will be competitive for our team to market and bring jobs to South Cobb,” says Brooks Mathis, SVP of Economic Development at the Cobb Chamber and Executive Director of Cobb’s Competitive EDGE. “With incredible accessibility, low cost of doing business and the available building ready for use, it will be a perfect asset for Cobb County to generate new jobs and continue to be one of the most successful counties in metro Atlanta due to our diverse economy. We are proud of this multi-million dollar investment into our South Cobb community and are excited to market it to the world as a location for business.”

Going Global at the International Commerce Sessions and Social

On August 6, EDGE hosted the inaugural International Commerce Sessions and Social at The Georgian Club. Madhu Menon of Infosys greeted attendees and gave a glimpse of his organization’s global footprint. Guests were then given the opportunity to hear from panelists experienced in the opportunities and struggles of international business. Daniel Ostergaard of the University of South Carolina Darla Moore School of International Business, Kevin Boyle of Birla Carbon, and Jeff Cashmanof Manhattan Associates led the discussion, each speaking about their experience in international commerce and the opportunities and threats of the future of global business.

Jamila Hall of Jones Day, who has extensive experience working on global matters for Fortune 500 companies all over the world, was the keynote speaker for the evening. She discussed the cultural difference that can sometimes complicate matters when working internationally.

To close the evening, Kennesaw’s Novelis was awarded for their community engagement in Cobb County. Guests were then invited to enjoy appetizers and network with other professionals. 

“ED 101” Brings Cobb Officials up to Speed on Economic Development


On Monday, August 4, newly elected and veteran Cobb elected officials were invited to attend “Economic Development 101”, hosted by EDGE at the Cobb Chamber of Commerce.

Charlie Gatlin, Senior Advisor at Georgia Department of Economic Development, spoke to a crowd that included mayors, council members, economic developers, and state representatives about the “site selection process”.

Mr. Gatlin walked attendees through the process in which companies decide which communities they would like to consider, and possibly call home. As he explained, since no two projects are identical, the best thing a community can do is be ready for anything, always keep an open mind and have all entities working together. With so many projects being very time sensitive, he also mentioned how important it is for communities to have a single point of contact for state economic development project managers to contact.

Discussion included current and prospective legislation that may affect economic development in Georgia and Cobb County. There was also a great deal of interest in the use of incentives and how they work for closing projects.

Guests also spoke about the assets that Georgia, specifically Cobb, has that makes it stand out against competition that is now international. “Our competition used to just be surrounding states. We had a recent project that said they were planning on locating in the Southern United States or go to Mexico, said Gatlin. “That is the reality of the competition we now face”.


County Commission Chair Tim Lee emphasized how important it is for Cobb officials and economic developers to treat every project with the utmost importance, because every business matters in our community.

As Gatlin explained, there are only a finite number of site selection consultants and communities should strive to impress them no matter the project size or scope, because they will surely have another that they could bring into Cobb County.


Cobb Community Supports Dobbins ARB


In March, the Cobb Chamber hosted an after hours event at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, showing the community-wide support of the base and its military men and women. Over 700 business and community leaders attended, networking, learning more about the base and its instillations, and building lasting connections with our local military personnel. This event was part of a larger campaign to raise awareness of the assets Cobb County has with the location of this base, and the need to prevent BRAC from negatively affecting our community. Cobb's Competitive EDGE is actively involved with this strategy, and will continue to support our local military community and Dobbins ARB.

Novelis To Bring More High-Tech Jobs


Novelis Inc. has announced that they are adding more high-tech jobs at their Kennesaw Global Research and Technology Center. The aluminum manufacturer, headquartered in Atlanta, has 25 manufacturing facilities in nine different countries. They are the world’s largest recycler of aluminum and provide products found in everything from automobiles to soda cans. The company currently employs 11,000 people but plans to add 500 additional company-wide jobs this year. With 13 positions currently open, the company plans to hire for an additional 21 high-tech positions, some of which will be engineers, scientists, technologists and technicians in Kennesaw. The expansion is due to the growing demand for aluminum by the automobile industry, which is predicted to grow rapidly in the next 10 years.

“We needed a global facility staffed with top technical talent to continue to grow our knowledge base,” says Jack Clark, senior vice president and chief technical officer of Novelis. “We have a world-class facility for materials characterization, testing and modeling with in-house pilot lines for the development of new and emerging technologies. We focus our expertise on the most demanding segments of the rolled aluminum market – cans, automotive, consumer electronics and architecture – which uniquely positions us as the partner of choice for new product 

EDGE welcomes new team member


The Cobb Chamber's Economic Development team welcomed Strom Mull in May as the Marketing and Development Manager. Strom supports the organization by marketing and planning events for the Cobb Chamber Economic Development team and Cobb’s Competitive EDGE. Strom is a graduate of The University of Mississippi where she studied Family and Consumer Sciences. Prior to her role at the Chamber, Strom was the Catering Sales Manager for Panera Bread in Atlanta, Georgia.

Chairman Lee: Cobb County is the place to do business


Cobb County Chairman Tim Lee recently spoke to a group of 600 business and community leaders for the 2014 State of the County Address where he declared, "Cobb County is the place to do business."  He spoke of the strong business climate and many successes of 2013.  Atlanta Braves to the expansion of Randstad staffing and Arylessence. Lee mentioned the 16 additional business announcements that brought 1,087 new jobs and $41 million of investment to Cobb in 2013. Lee mentioned that Cobb remains one of only 39 counties in the US with a triple-A rating by all three credit-rating agencies for the 17th year. Lee rallied attendees stating, "We have well-positioned ourselves to achieve the long-term goals of increasing jobs, increasing investments and constructing a progressive economic impact for Cobb County."

Principal for a Day


Over 70 business and community leaders gathered at local schools to participate in the 13th Annual Principal for a Day program.  The program was held on February 25th in Cobb County Schools and February 28th in Marietta City Schools.  This half-day program gave the principals for a day an opportunity to shadow a Cobb County or Marietta City public school principal and see firsthand the strengths and challenges of our educational system.  The correspondence between the principal and the principals for a day also provides a chance to begin a partnership between the business and the school.  Many needs can be identified, and a way for them to be met is also established through this program.  Some additional activities that took place during this year’s Principal for a Day program included a tour of the school, making the morning announcements, and meeting with students.  Principal for a Day 2014 was a great way for Cobb’s business and community leaders to collaborate and experience a day in the life of a principal.