Southwest Connector Trail

Bicyclists ride the Southwest Connector Trail at the grand opening ceremony.
Photo Credit: Kwadwo Atta

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The Atlanta BeltLine

Where Atlanta Comes Together. Learn more

 
 
Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. Staff & Board

A Staff Dedicated to Progress

The Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. staff is an experienced and determined team tasked with the implementation of the Atlanta BeltLine vision. Working closely with the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership, the City of Atlanta, and Partner organizations, the staff at ABI oversees all aspects of planning, developing, and execution of the Atlanta BeltLine project.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Paul F. Morris, FASLA

President and CEO

Paul Morris joined Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. (ABI) in July, 2013 as President and CEO. ABI is responsible for the development of the most comprehensive revitalization effort in the history of Atlanta and among the largest, most wide-ranging urban redevelopment and mobility projects in the United States. This multi-billion dollar sustainable development initiative is providing a network of public parks, multi-use trails and transit linking mixed use development and affordable housing by re-using 22-miles of historic railroad corridors circling downtown and connecting 45 neighborhoods directly to each other.

Read more about Paul Morris

Trained as a landscape architect and urban planner, Mr. Morris has spent his 30-year career in strategic consulting and executive management roles focusing on transportation, urban redevelopment, natural resource management, public parks, and the development of corporate and institutional facilities throughout North America, Europe and Asia. He has assisted communities across 25 U.S. States and 10 foreign countries, offering hands-on involvement in more than 400 programs and projects in major infrastructure investment, regional growth management, natural resource restoration, development dispute resolution, Brownfield redevelopment, and world heritage site regeneration. Mr. Morris’ work history includes projects in cities as varied as Sacramento, CA, Washington D.C. Vancouver, British Columbia, and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Prior to joining ABI, Mr. Morris served as Deputy Secretary for Transit for the North Carolina Department of Transportation where he directed the more than 900 employees and $800M budget of the state’s multi-modal divisions, Aviation, Bicycle and Pedestrian, Ferry, Transit and Rail, while serving as lead for initiatives involving complete streets, transit oriented development, public-private partnerships, innovative funding strategies and sustainability blueprinting. Previous to that role, he worked with a number of consulting and investment firms including Parsons Brinckerhoff, Cherokee Investment Partners and his own firm, McKeever/Morris, Inc. He was president of Greenleaf Strategies, a strategic planning, design and project management consultancy to government and the private sector. At Cherokee Investment Partners, Mr. Morris developed and directed sustainable investment policies, programs and partnerships for institutional and corporate investors of a $2 billion real estate portfolio located across North America and Western Europe. At the transportation planning and engineering firm of Parsons Brinckerhoff, Mr. Morris served as executive vice president and global director of  strategic consulting and  sustainability  – founding  PB PlaceMaking,  an award winning  planning and development group – providing leadership in the areas of transit oriented development, public finance and investment, and organizational management. As managing partner at the policy, planning and design firm of McKeever/Morris, Inc. (acquired by PB in 1999), he oversaw a diverse array of award-winning corporate, institutional and government initiatives across North America and Asia. Mr. Morris has worked on several projects of national significance, such as the World Trade Center Memorial in New York City, the Columbine High School Memorial in Colorado, and the Oklahoma City National Memorial, at which he facilitated a 350-person citizen task force through the process of creating a National Park memorial dedicated to victims of the 1995 bombing of the A.P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. The effort included developing a vision for the memorial, advising 10 sub-committees through programming, fund-raising and community consensus building, directing media and government relations, conveying the long-range message of community building to the larger “world community,” and facilitating an international design competition and defining urban development on the surrounding 20 city blocks. Mr. Morris has served more than 40 organizations from local neighborhood associations to state legislative committees. He has taught at the university level and lectured widely, addressing more than 100 conferences and symposia – including the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Congressional Black Caucus, National Design Forum of Israel and the Royal Institute of British Architects. He has authored, contributed to or been featured in more than 90 publications on topics ranging from public-private partnerships, land use and transportation integration, urban innovation, public health, active living, brownfield redevelopment, and civic monuments & memorials. He has received numerous awards and recognition from groups including the State of North Carolina, The Waterfront Center, 1000 Friends of Oregon, National League of Cities, US DOT and the Army Corps of Engineers.  He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Oregon and graduate certificate in Zoning, Planning and Development from Harvard University. He is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Society of Landscape Architects, where in 2003 he served as national president. Mr. Morris currently lives in Atlanta and is married with two children.

Lisa Y. Gordon, CPA

Chief Operating Officer

Lisa Gordon, CPA, is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) for Atlanta BeltLine, Inc (ABI). As COO, Lisa is responsible for overseeing the operations and implementation of the Atlanta BeltLine. Prior to joining ABI, she served as a Cabinet member for the Honorable Mayor Shirley Franklin.

Read more about Lisa Gordon, CPA

Lisa served in the capacity of a Deputy Chief Operating Officer for the City of Atlanta and was responsible for the Office of Enterprise Assets Management. She also served as the first African American female City Manager of the City of East Point, Georgia from 2004 to 2007. Lisa also served as an Assistant City Manager in Austin, Texas and worked for Broward County. In these governments, she was responsible for Economic Development, Public Works & Transportation, Development Code & Neighborhood Planning, Environmental Issues and Public Safety.

Patrise Perkins-Hooker

Vice President and General Counsel

Patrise Perkins-Hooker is the General Counsel for the Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. In such capacity, she is responsible for all legal matters including general corporate transactions, corporate governance, compliance and risk management, and a wide variety of real estate-related matters including transactional work and negotiations.

Read more about Patrise Perkins-Hooker

Prior to joining the Atlanta BeltLine, she was a partner with the law firm of Hollowell, Foster & Gepp, PC where she was in charge of the Commercial Real Estate Group. In this capacity, she assisted businesses with the formation of their entities, with contract negotiations, with resolution of construction disputes, and with various aspects of commercial real estate developments, acquisitions and land use matters. Patrise assisted with several major Atlanta BeltLine Project acquisitions in her private practice prior to joining the Atlanta BeltLine team. Patrise is a leader in her profession and very actively engaged in the Atlanta community. She is currently the Immediate Past Chair of the Real Property Law Section, Secretary of the State Bar of Georgia, the Parliamentarian for the Atlanta Planning and Advisory Board, and the founding chair of Neighborhood Planning Unit-Q. She is also the Chair of Hosea Feed the Hungry’s Board of Directors.

Marshall Norwood, CPA

Chief Financial Officer

Marshall Norwood is the Chief Financial Officer for Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. In this role he provides leadership managing all financial matters for ABI. This position handles process, policy and procedures for the Finance Department and works with Invest Atlanta, the organization’s parent entity, on financial matters as appropriate. Marshall handles financial analysis for proposed transactions, including identifying financing options for capital investments across the entire ABI program. He manages in an environment of high financial integrity and ensures proper controls are part of all processes and financial transactions.

Read more about Marshall Norwood, CPA

Marshall was elevated to this role in October, 2013. He previously served as the accounting manager since joining ABI in July, 2011, where he was responsible for the accounting function, including financial statement preparation and analysis, accounts payable, accounts receivable, guiding ABI through the annual audit process, as well as assisting with the comprehensive status of the Atlanta BeltLine financial plan. He formerly worked for the State of Georgia, Cox Enterprises and KPMG, and is a CPA. During his tenure at ABI, Mr. Norwood coordinated a major accounting software upgrade, managed ABI’s daily accounting functions and audit preparation, and absorbed many of the accounting functions previously performed by Invest Atlanta. Mr. Norwood began his career with KPMG Peat Marwick, one of the “Big 4” accounting firms.  Following KPMG, he worked for Cox Enterprises, Inc. at various locations around the country serving in Assistant Controller and Controller positions for 15 years.  In these roles, he handled all accounting functions in addition to HR, union negotiations, and contract administration for all building and maintenance contracts. Subsequently, he served as Budget Director for the State of Georgia’s Department of Human Resources for two years where he coordinated the agency’s budget process and presented the budget to the Governor and State Legislature on an annual basis. Mr. Norwood is a Georgia native and graduate from Morehouse College with a B.A in Business/Accounting. His professional affiliations include the Georgia Society of CPAs and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). Marshall’s non-work commitments include memberships in Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and Bible Way Ministries, Intl.

E. Fred Yalouris

Director of Design

Fred Yalouris joined Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. in June 2008. Previously, he was in Boston, where for eleven years he held the position of Director of Architecture and Urban Design for the Central Artery/Tunnel Project, the “Big Dig,” where he directed the planning, design, public participation process, and construction phase services for the surface restoration of the $15 billion project.

Read more about E. Fred Yalouris

This included overseeing the creation of 46 new parks in Boston and Cambridge, several miles of streetscape, over ten miles of trails, the restoration of several miles of harbor and river shorelines, the completion of a major public art program and archaeology program, and hundreds of environmental remediation commitments. It also included the designs of various buildings, pedestrian bridges and other structures. In the public participation process, he worked with a multitude of public agencies, neighborhood groups, property owners, business groups and special interest groups, and was responsible for over 900 public meetings during the planning, design and construction phases of the project. Prior to the Big Dig, Fred served as a college administrator and research associate for 10 years at Harvard, followed by 10 years as a college dean at University of Massachusetts (Lowell), Boston University and Newbury College. He lectured part-time for 20 years at Harvard University Extension, where he taught courses in Western art and architecture and archaeology. His publications cover topics in ancient topography, ancient art and architecture, nautical archaeology, and urban planning. He has received a number of awards for his work in managing the planning and design of parks, streetscapes and public spaces in Boston. Fred holds a B.A. from Harvard College and a Ph.D. from Oxford University (England). He is married with three children. He enjoys travel, collecting art, woodworking and wilderness canoeing.

Brian Hooker, CCIM, LEED AP

Director of Real Estate

Brian Hooker, LEED AP, is the Director of Real Estate of Atlanta BeltLine, Inc., the organization planning and executing the implementation of the Atlanta BeltLine, one of the largest, most wide-ranging urban redevelopment projects currently underway in the United States. The BeltLine is a $3+ billion project that will shape the way Atlanta grows over the next 25 years and beyond. When complete, it will provide a network of public parks, multi-use trails, transit, public art and thousands of units of affordable housing along a historic 22-mile railroad corridor circling downtown Atlanta, connecting 45 neighborhoods directly to each other.

Read more about Brian Hooker, CCIM, LEED AP

Prior to joining ABI, Brian was Director of CBRE, Consulting, the number one commercial real estate firm in the world. Brian provided site selections, economic incentives advisory services that empowered clients to select optimal locations for headquarters, back office, manufacturing and distribution facilities. Working with commercial entities as well as state and local officials, Brian completed projects delivering nearly 3,900 jobs and $843 Million in capital investments, generating over $255 Million in incentive awards for CBRE clients which included cash grants, income tax credits, special financing, property tax abatements, and infrastructure improvements. As co-founder of Luxcore Networks and its Vice President of Strategic Operations, Brian secured more than $17 Million in venture funding and oversaw growth to nearly 100 employees in under 6 months. Preceding Luxcore, He was a Senior Consultant/Project Manager for IBM Global Services were he developed and managed over $1 Million in new service business annually in web application development and also headed the southern regional diversity council. Brian served on the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games as its Project Manager of Information Technology for the real-time components of the $10 Million Results Management System facilitating World Broadcasters and International Sports Federations agreements. Brian’s ability to lead, change and motivate employees at Fulton County’s Pretrial Services as its supervisor of Court Support Operation, increased staff efficiency from 52% to 96% and increased productivity by 40% which decreased training time for new employees by 60%. Brian has a Bachelor of Science, Electrical Engineering and Computer Architecture degree from Stanford University. He is a LEED Accredited Professional, a Certified Commercial Investment Member, and a graduate of the Real Estate Associates Program (REAP) where he serves on its Board and is Co-Chair of its Program Committee. Brian is Vice Chair of the Board of the City of Atlanta IN REM Review Board; a Past Diversity Task Force Member of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP); Board of Director, Co-Chair Audit Task Force and Past Real Estate Committee Chair of Atlanta’s YMCA Butler Street. In his many media engagements, Brian has been the keynote speaker at the national leadership conference of NAIOP Development and published often in its trade magazine; he was published in Smart Business Magazine on “Green Reality,” an interview covering the tenant perspective on sustainable/green real estate; and a USA Today All-USA Academic Team winner. Brian has been a key contributor for the Atlanta Business Chronicle on subject matters pertaining to Atlanta’s future growth and diversity in commercial real estate. Our own Brian Hooker is also the host for the live broadcasts of WSB TV, Georgia Lottery Drawings.

Beth McMillan

Director of Community Engagement and Planning

Beth McMillan joined Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. as Director of Community Engagement in December 2008. Her responsibilities include coordination of all aspects of community input and the participation of all impacted Atlanta BeltLine communities. Beth was formerly the Director of Planning and Zoning for the City of East Point, Ga. where she managed a department of 15 employees engaged in the planning, zoning, inspection, licensing and permitting functions for the City.

Read more about Beth McMillan

Other responsibilities included the development and oversight of all zoning and development policies, establishment of a current development fee program and the total re-write of a proposed new Zoning Ordinance for the City. Beth was a key partner in the research, presentation and approval by the City Council and Fulton County Board of Commissioner’s of the City’s second TAD, the East Point Corridors TAD. Previously, Beth served for 17 years in planning in different responsibilities in the Fulton County Department of Environment and Community Development. In her last eight years at Fulton County she served as the Assistant Director of Comprehensive Planning. In that capacity Beth managed a staff of 13 professional planners responsible for community planning in North Fulton, Sandy Springs, Southwest Fulton and South Fulton County. There she successfully implemented 10 community overlay districts and managed four design review boards. Under her direction, Fulton County developed and implemented its’ Smart Growth Policy. Beth also led the research, development and adoption of the County’s first total rewrite of its’ comprehensive plan and map.

Ethan Davidson

Director of Communications and Media Relations

Ethan Davidson joined Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. as Director of Communications in September, 2008, where he oversees all aspects of ABI communications and media relations. Prior to joining the Atlanta BeltLine, Ethan was Vice President for Communications and Director of the David Rockefeller Fellows Program for the Partnership for New York City, an international business organization.

Read more about Ethan Davidson

In this capacity, he was responsible for all external communications and media relations for New York City’s leading business membership organization, comprised of over 200 CEOs of the city’s largest companies, and managed a leadership development program for senior business executives to better integrate them into the civic fabric of New York City by meeting with key leaders in the public and private sectors. Previously, Ethan served for five years in the administration of New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg where he was Director of the Mayor’s Office of Research and Media Analysis, then Press Secretary, and subsequently Chief of Staff for the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS). There, he was a key member of the agency’s senior staff and helped craft and execute the small business aspect of the Bloomberg administration’s economic development agenda and communications strategy. While at SBS, he took a special assignment co-managing media relations and operations for New York City’s Host Committee during the Republican National Convention in 2004. Before joining the administration, Ethan was a research specialist on the Bloomberg for Mayor campaign, and prior to that he was a production assistant at the American Museum of Natural History. Ethan is a graduate of Columbia University in New York with a B.A. in History and resides in Decatur with his wife and two children.

Jill Johnson

Director of Government Affairs

Jill Johnson joined ABI as its director of government affairs, a newly created position, in December 2013. In this capacity, Ms. Johnson actively supports ABI at the federal, state and local government levels to ensure and expand funding, regulatory, and political support for the program.  Ms. Johnson has worked for more than a decade with conservation groups in Georgia and across the Southeast.  

Read more about Jill Johnson

As the President of Live Oak Strategies, LLC, she advocated on behalf of her clients before the state legislature and acted as liaison to legislators, state agencies, and the Governor’s Office on their behalf. She provided help with government and public affairs, public and media relations, strategic planning, and fundraising.

Previously, Ms. Johnson served as the Political Director for Georgia Conservation Voters where she held elected officials accountable for their votes on key conservation issues and helped elect pro-conservation candidates to office. Before that, she spearheaded efforts on land conservation and advocacy at the Georgia Conservancy.

Ms. Johnson is a graduate of LEAD Atlanta and the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership, and received a Bachelor of Science degree from Tulane University. She is married with one child and enjoys running and participating in triathlons.

Jerald Mitchell

Director of Economic Development

Jerald Mitchell joined ABI as the director of economic development in February 2014. In this capacity, he plays a critical role in developing and advancing the economic development strategy in partnership with Invest Atlanta to support the implementation of the Atlanta BeltLine’s mission. Previously, Mr. Mitchell served as the Director of Emerging Industry for the Savannah Economic Development Authority (SEDA).

Read more about Jerald Mitchell

Before he was the Director of Emerging Industry, Mr. Mitchell led SEDA’s Innovation Department focusing on the growth and investment for start-ups and entrepreneurs and previously managed SEDA’s Business Attraction activity as a senior business development professional. Prior to SEDA, he held roles as Regional Project Manager for the Georgia Department of Economic Development and Director of Economic Development for the Coastal Regional Commission. Mr. Mitchell also has significant leadership and management experience in the telecommunications industry and during his 13-year tenure in that field held management positions as Area Marketing and Government Relations Manager, Senior Manager of Customer Care and Operations Manager in both the Savannah and Jacksonville regions for Comcast.

A Savannah native, Mr. Mitchell received his Executive Masters of Business Administration in International Business from the Georgia Institute of Technology and his BA in Economics from Armstrong Atlantic State University. He is a graduate of the Leadership Georgia Class of 2013 and was named one of Savannah’s Rising Stars in 2014. Mr. Mitchell was recognized by the Business Journal and Report’s 40 under 40 business professionals in 2006 and was selected for Comcast University’s corporate leadership program, Leadership Savannah and Leadership Southeast Georgia. He served on the Golden Isles Arts and Humanities Board of Directors, the Savannah Poverty Reduction Initiative’s Policy Committee and Work Development Task Force, the Greater Savannah International Alliance Task Force, and the Leadership Savannah Board of Directors.

Lee J. Harrop, LEED AP, P.E.

Program Director

Lee Harrop is the Program Management Officer for Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. As PMO, Lee works directly with Project Managers from ABI, the City of Atlanta, and outside partners to ensure that projects are properly supported and moving forward as scheduled.

Read more about Lee J. Harrop, LEED AP, P.E

Prior to joining the Atlanta BeltLine, Lee worked in engineering consulting in Atlanta and New Orleans. While working in the private sector, he specialized in community improvement, infrastructure and environmental remediation projects throughout the Southeast and in the Caribbean. Lee studied at Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of New Orleans. He holds a BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering as well as a Masters of Business Administration from Georgia State University.

Kim Nicholson

Procurement Officer

Kim Nicholson has more than 25 years of procurement experience, 20 of which were spent working in public procurement at city and county governments.  Throughout her procurement career, Kim has purchased everything from ambulances to zoo animals.

Read more about Kim Nicholson

Kim has continuously demonstrated exceptional procurement capabilities with a focus on implementing process improvements including development of policies and procedures, developing targeted plans, and delivering solutions within budgets and timelines. Kim has also served as a process leader on several cross-functional teams related to procurement of enterprise resource systems (ERP) and other technological projects.  Kim has been a member of the National Institute of Government Procurement since 1997 and has served on NIGP local chapter boards and received the NIGP CPPB certification in 2004.  Kim graduated magna cum laude from Lincoln College in Normal, Illinois, with a Bachelors in Arts and with a minor in business. Kim has two sons that live in Atlanta and has followed the progress of the Atlanta BeltLine from her home in Bloomington, Illinois, St. Louis, Missouri, and is happy that she can now enjoy the Atlanta BeltLine any time she wants.

James Alexander

Housing Policy & Development Manager

James Alexander is the Housing and Economic Development Manager for Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.  The Atlanta BeltLine seeks to reconnect communities and create a framework for growth by delivering 22 miles of new transit, over 1,000 acres of new greenspace, 33 miles of new trails, and 5,600 units of affordable housing.

Read more about James Alexander

He works to create and preserve affordable housing near the transit corridor, including the capitalization of an $8.8M affordable housing trust fund.  He also worked with communities and consultants to create long-range master plans throughout the BeltLine, preparing districts for transit oriented development. Before working with the Atlanta BeltLine, Mr. Alexander was an Affordable Housing Development Project Manager at Allston Brighton Community Development Corporation (ABCDC) in Boston, Massachusetts.  There, he oversaw the financing, construction, and lease-up of over 140 units of affordable rental and homeownership housing.  Before working with ABCDC, Mr. Alexander worked at Robert Charles Lesser & Co, a real estate market research consulting company in Atlanta. Mr. Alexander received his B.A. in Urban Studies/Economics from Columbia University in 2000, and a Masters in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2004.

Michelle Thomas

Assistant General Counsel

In January 2014, Michelle Thomas joined ABI in the newly created position of Assistant General Counsel. In this capacity, Ms. Thomas handles legal issues as directed or assigned by the General Counsel and provide legal advice for Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.  

Read more about Michelle Thomas

 Since 2004, she served as Senior Assistant County Attorney for the DeKalb County Law Department handling legal matters related to real estate, construction, professional services, utilities, public works and greenspace. She started at DeKalb County as Assistant County Attorney in 2002.

Previously, Ms. Thomas served as an associate with the City of Atlanta Law Department and prior to that she served as a law clerk with the Atlanta Municipal Court.

Ms. Thomas is a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center and Howard University. She is a member of the East Point/College Park Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Kevin W. Burke

Senior Landscape Architect

Kevin Burke, who joined Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. in January 2009 as Senior Landscape Architect, has more than twenty-nine years of professional experience on a range of institutional, roadway, college and university, and park projects. Kevin’s current projects include Project Management for the the East Side Trail, the Perkerson Park Splashpad, and the Corridor-Wide Design, as well as post-construction oversight of Stanton, Boulevard Crossing, Historic 4th Ward Park II, and Clear Creek parks.

Read more about Kevin W. Burke

He also organizes the annual Organic Land Care Symposium held in March and is collaborating with professionals from Emory, Georgia State, and the CDC on multi-year health outcome studies of the Atlanta BeltLine’s development of multi-use trails. Prior to joining ABI, Kevin was employed from 2005-2008 by the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority as a Project Engineer and landscape architect on the Central Artery/Tunnel Project responsible for providing project management, design, and construction QA/QC services to support the various restoration contracts. These contracts included rebuilding streetscapes, new construction of parks, and coordination with multiple agencies, abutters, and contractors. Between 1994 and 2004, Kevin was a key member of the Central Artery/Third Harbor Tunnel, “The Big Dig,” landscape architectural team. His primary involvement focused on preliminary design of landscape, streetscape, and open space areas throughout the Project. As part of his responsibilities, he led the Community Participation Program for the development of the Master Plan for over 30 acres of urban parkland. He also was involved with development and construction oversight of waterfront walkways along the Charles River and Fort Point Channel. Kevin has also managed projects for Harvard Business School, Boston University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the City of Medford, MA, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Ohio Department of Transportation and the New York State Department of Transportation. Kevin has a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree from Utah State University, in Logan, UT, is a Registered Landscape Architect in Georgia and New Hampshire and is a NOFA (Northeast Organic Farming Association) Accredited Organic Land Care Professional.

Kwadwo A. Atta, PMP

Senior Transit Project Manager

Kwadwo A. Atta is the Senior Transit Project Manager for Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. He has over fourteen years of extensive experience in Transit services, Engineering Design and Construction Management for numerous, diverse construction projects at all project phases. His expertise includes project/program management, audit and compliance, implementing internal technical initiatives to aid process improvement and increased productivity, general supervision of construction operations, management of inspection and contract administration staff, interaction with various clients, and coordination of various construction projects.

Read more about Kwadwo Atta

While working for his former employer, Atkins (PBS&J), he was responsible for the planning and successful delivery of all construction projects within client’s capital development program on schedule and under budget.  Some of the clients he worked for directly include DeKalb County, Perimeter Community Improvement Districts (PCIDs), GDOT and Clayton County. He has also worked on key transit and transportation projects including the Channel Tunnel project and various other projects in London, UK. In the UK, he was responsible for the design and implementation of the new construction management and safety procedures on the country’s largest public-private partnership (P3) contract worth over $60 billion, for London Underground, Ltd. In addition, he was project manager for the Network Rail Structures Exam Contract, a key asset management project that involved the detailed examination and maintenance of 333 metro station terminals, structures and bridges.

Jonathan S. Lewis, AICP

Senior Project Manager, Planning; City of Atlanta Liaison to Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.

Jonathan Lewis serves as Senior Project Manager at the Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. to help regulate current development activities and create long-term land use plans for the Atlanta BeltLine including furthering progress on the Atlanta BeltLine Master Plan. He reports jointly to the City Department of Planning and Community Development’s Office of Planning and ABI.

Read more about Jonathan S. Lewis, AICP

Jonathan assists the Director of Planning in implementing City rules and regulations to accomplish the Atlanta BeltLine planning goals of the Department and assures coordination with ABI. He is engaged in rezoning and development applications throughout the BeltLine Planning Area and helps developers conform to BeltLine design guidelines and the Atlanta BeltLine Overlay Zoning District. He has extensive experience in master planning for communities around Georgia, as well as in creating design standards and assisting local governments with zoning and review of development proposals. He most recently was associated with the Atlanta–based firm Jordan, Jones & Goulding, Inc., where for the past five years he has been a Senior Planner/Project Manager in their comprehensive planning group. Prior to working at Jordan, Jones & Goulding, Jonathan assisted with analysis and development of the Blueprint Midtown Planning Process, the largest rezoning effort in the history of Atlanta. Jonathan holds a Master of City Planning degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a B.S. from the University of West Florida. He lives with his wife and three children in Atlanta’s Lake Claire neighborhood.

Catherine M. Owens, LEED AP, PE

Senior Civil Engineer

Catherine M. Owens joined the Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. team in May 2012 as the Senior Civil Engineer. She has worked for more than 10 years as a civil engineer in the private sector. Catherine comes to ABI from AMEC Environment & Infrastructure, Inc. (formerly MACTEC Engineering & Consulting, Inc.) as a Senior Civil Engineer.

Read more about Catherine M. Owens, LEED AP, PE

At AMEC, Catherine worked with commercial, institutional, and industrial clients on projects ranging from demolition, environmental remediation, industrial facilities siting, environmental permitting, and development. Between 2010 and departing AMEC, Catherine was the AMEC project coordinator and civil engineer for the Perkins + Will-led Atlanta BeltLine Design Team. Catherine’s current projects at ABI include managing the Edgewood Bridge Replacement, the vertical connection between Ponce de Leon and the Atlanta BeltLine, and installation of a pedestrian plaza on the Atlanta BeltLine at Ponce City Market. She will also remain involved in the Design Team Contact, including the completion of the Eastside Trail. Prior to working at AMEC, Catherine lived in the DC area and was an architectural engineer managing projects for both private and institutional clients, providing consulting services for restoration and renovation of existing structures. Catherine has a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology. She lives in the Ardmore neighborhood, three blocks from the Atlanta BeltLine corridor.

Shaun Green, PE

Senior Transit Engineer

Shaun Green brings 16 years of civil engineering experiences to Atlanta BeltLine, Inc., primarily focused on urban, multi-modal transportation systems. Shaun spent the last ten years with the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority, supporting the start-up and ultimate steady-state operation and maintenance of their regional express bus service. Prior to GRTA, Shaun worked as a consulting engineer, focusing on traffic engineering, urban planning and land development.

Read more about Shaun Green

Shaun is a graduate of Georgia Tech, has three daughters with his wife Janet, has been a bicycle commuter in Atlanta since 1994, and is an avid ice hockey player.

Elan Buchen

Project Coordinator, Art and Design

Elan Buchen is the Project Coordinator for Art & Design. He supports the Director of Design in executing the public art initiative “Art on the Atlanta BeltLine” as well as other public art projects that encompass the 22-mile network of parks and trails and provides design support for the senior staff.

Read more about Elan Buchen

Previous to this position, Elan was completing his Master of Fine Arts at the Savannah College of Art & Design, Atlanta campus, in Sculpture. During his time there he helped to design the sculpture curriculum for the Scientific Illustration department and administered multiple workshops to both students and educators on constructive anatomy, lifecasting, and creature creation. His work is on permanent exhibit at the Oatland Island Nature Center in Savannah and the Chattahoochee Nature Center in Roswell. Elan earned his Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from SCAD in 2006, graduating Summa Cum Laude and received the departmental Outstanding Achievement Award. During his career, Elan has acted as designer and sculptor for numerous fine arts and commercial clients from special effects to collected bronzes.

Lynnette Reid

Senior Community Planner

Lynnette Reid joined the ABI team serving as the Community Engagement Advocate. Her involvement in the public sector dates back to 1992 with her involvement with the City of East Orange’s Planning and Community Development Department, State agencies, and the New Jersey Governor’s Office of Constituent Relations.

Read more about Lynnette Reid

Her passion for the public sector and underserved communities led her to complete a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration from Trenton State College in 1994. With years of experience in various aspects of planning and community development, in 1996 she completed her Master of City Planning with the Georgia Institute of Technology. She would also go on to successfully pass the American Institute of Certified Planners Exam in 2001. Most of her professional career as a planner was spent with a municipality in the Atlanta area where she served as the Senior Land Use Planner. In her role she worked on policy and regulatory development, community engagement and consensus building, and identified new and innovative was to make communities more sustainable and the community benefits more equitable in underserved communities. Lynnette believes that the mission of the Atlanta BeltLine, will truly make Atlanta a sustainable development community that people will enjoy for generations to come.

Nathan Soldat

Community Engagement Advocate

Nathan Soldat, a forward thinking creative, joined ABI as Community Engagement Advocate in February 2014.  Nathan comes to ABI from the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) where he was Senior Transit Planner working on regional transit coordination and planning. While at ARC he helped guide the agency’s first participation in a hack-a-thon, lead the effort to create open transit data for trip planning tools such as Google Transit and was project manager for the design of a regional unified bus stop signage program. 

Read more about Nathan Soldat

 Since 2011, he has served as a volunteer for ABI actively participating on the Art on the BeltLine Committee.  During this time he also volunteered for the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership speaking at community festivals and helping to support the Ambassador Program’s outreach efforts. Prior to ARC, Nathan worked for the City of Decatur providing zoning review for all plan submittals, implementing new software to assist in plan management, and was a community facilitator during the city’s 2010 strategic plan update. Nathan has a Bachelor of the Arts in Global Studies with a concentration in African Studies and a Masters of Science in Urban Planning with a concentration in Housing and Community Development from the University of Iowa.  He is very active in Atlanta’s public art and creative culture scene.  He is a dedicated transit rider and bicycle commuter.  He lives in Decatur with his wife and two children.

Jenny Odom

Communications Coordinator

Jenny joined the Atlanta BeltLine’s communications team in February 2012 where she works closely with the Director of Communications on all media, marketing, and communications functions. Jenny is an Atlanta native who worked in real estate marketing for five years as Marketing Manager for The Zac Team and then The BeltLine Team real estate group, both focused on intown Atlanta. Prior to her marketing roles, Jenny served as a transportation officer in the U.S. Army in Germany, Kuwait, and Iraq.

Read more about Jenny Odom

Jenny brings experience in writing, blogging, social networking, online and print marketing, graphic design, content management, human resources, public speaking, leadership, and management. She started volunteering with the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership in 2007 where she helped found their local festival program. She has also served on the committee for Art on the Atlanta BeltLine since its inception in 2010. Jenny attended Washington University in St. Louis on an ROTC scholarship and graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in 2002. She majored in graphic design with a concentration in illustration. Jenny resides in Decatur.

Kristin Olson

Real Estate and Asset Specialist

Kristin Olson joined Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. in April 2014 as the Real Estate and Asset Specialist.  Her broad real estate background includes asset management, development, acquisitions and dispositions, valuation, feasibility and strategy across most product types and major U.S. markets.  Prior to joining ABI, Kristin was a Transaction Manager at CBRE, Inc., the world’s largest commercial real estate services firm. 

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In this capacity, she was responsible for transaction strategy, coordination and implementation for large corporate clients, as well as market research and analysis, financial analysis, and feasibility with the goal of reducing real estate expense and increasing efficiency of use of space.  Prior to CBRE, Kristin was an Asset Manager with Trimont Real Estate Advisors, where she provided REO asset management and commercial loan workout services to investment banking clients, as well as performed special servicing for CMBS and CDO assets.  Before Trimont, she was a Financial Analyst at Cousins Properties, working on major developments and acquisitions in Atlanta and other southeastern markets, and an Analyst with Ernst & Young’s Real Estate Advisory Services practice.

Outside of work, Kristin has been involved with the Atlanta District Council of the Urban Land Institute, previously serving in many capacities including on the Management Committee, as Co-Chair of the Young Leaders Group, and as Co-Chair of the Annual Developments of Excellence Awards Dinner.  She has also been active with the Junior League of Atlanta, Hospice Atlanta, and is currently the President of the Underwood Hills Neighborhood Association.  Kristin graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (Management) and a Master of Science in Business Administration (Finance) from the University of Florida, where she was a member of the prestigious Florida Blue Key Leadership Honorary and served as a Florida Cicerone.  She lives in the Underwood Hills neighborhood, just a few short blocks from the Atlanta BeltLine corridor, with her husband, daughter, and two adopted golden retrievers.

Valinda Johnson Brown

Real Estate Paralegal

Valinda Brown joined Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. in December 2009 as the Paralegal to the Atlanta BeltLine’s legal and real estate departments. Valinda works with ABI’s General Counsel on legal matters and research and with the Director of Real Estate on matters relating to property title and acquisitions.

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Valinda previously worked for the present Atlanta BeltLine General Counsel, Patrise Perkins-Hooker at the law firm of Hollowell, Foster & Gepp. Valinda brings 12-years of transit-related experience with her as a previous employee of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) where she worked as an Acquisition/Relocation Officer and Demolition Manager. Valinda received a B.A. degree in Journalism from Georgia State University and is a published author.

Heather Hussey-Coker

Special Projects Coordinator

Heather Hussey-Coker joined the Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. team as Special Projects Coordinator in May 2010. In this capacity she supports the COO and project management team in the implementation of organizational and programmatic projects. Heather began her tenure with the Atlanta BeltLine project in 2005 at the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership, supporting the execution or implementation of many project milestones, including the establishment of the Partnership’s first Board of Directors, the development of the BeltLine Redevelopment Plan and 5 Year Work Plan, and the creation of the Atlanta BeltLine Tax Allocation District.

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Prior to joining ABI full time, Heather established the Atlanta BeltLine Tour Program and continues to coordinate project area tours, leading over 400 tours since the Program’s inception in 2007. Ms. Hussey-Coker received her undergraduate degree in Cultural Anthropology and Human and Natural Ecology from Emory University and her master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She resides in the Riverside neighborhood of northwest Atlanta near the Westside Reservoir Park with her husband and two children.

Robbie Ross

Accounting Manager

Robbie Ross joined ABI as Accounting Manager in 2014 with more than 16 years of accounting experience. He spent more than eight years in the industries of real estate development, construction, and hospitality, handling all aspects of accounting and finance, including month-end close, reconciliations, and financial statement preparation.  

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 Robbie gained strong Construction Accounting and Joint Venture expertise working for Omni Hotels on projects they developed with Turner. He had responsibility for budgets, change orders, in-process billings, forecasts, variance reports, vendor relations, construction draws, and more. Prior to Omni, Robbie worked for Bass Hotels and Resorts where he had responsibility for monthly reporting, maintaining capital budgets, journal entries, and other facets of accounting for the development of new hotels. Most recently Robbie has worked for Feltrim Development NA, Inc., a private real estate development and property management company in Orlando, Florida. Robbie is an Atlanta native and graduated from Keller Graduate School in 2005 with a Master’s of Accounting & Financial Management after attending Georgia Southern for undergrad and Booker T. Washington for high school. He is on track to sit for the first part of the Certified Management Accountant exam in 2014.

Tameka Silas

Accountant

Tameka joined Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. in December 2012 as the Accountant. In her role, her primary focus is on capital expenditures, accounts payable, accounts receivable, and month end close. Tameka brings over 10 years of accounting experience to the Atlanta Beltline.

Read more about Tameka Silas

Prior to joining the Atlanta Beltline, her experience included senior positions in accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll,  process improvement, and accounting system implementation for some of Atlanta’s  largest corporations.  Tameka is elated about joining the Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. team and the revitalization efforts in the City of Atlanta. Tameka received a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Mississippi Valley State University and a Master’s in Accounting and Finance from Keller Graduate School of Management.

Rhonda Forge

Front Desk Coordinator

Rhonda Forge joined Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. as Front Desk Office Coordinator in January 2013. Rhonda assists with daily office management and coordinates all front desk activities and duties. Rhonda, a native Missourian, transferred to the Atlanta area over 13 years ago with shipping giant Federal Express.  She has worked in the transportation and logistics field for over 20 years. Rhonda received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Missouri and is currently studying for her certification as a Data Base Administrator.

Tanya James

Office Manager

Tanya James has 25 years of experience in executive-level support and office operations. Her experience spans from the area of education in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to internal auditing and finance for the City of Atlanta and its utility, Watershed Management. Tanya brings a wealth of knowledge and experience and looks forward to working with the Atlanta BeltLine team.

Tracey Weatherspoon

Executive Assistant to Chief Operating Officer

Tracey Weatherspoon joined the team with over 15 years of experience as an Executive Assistant. Prior to her tenure at Atlanta BeltLine, Inc., Ms. Weatherspoon has served as an Executive Assistant and Department Coordinator to C-level Executives in a wide range of business sectors. Ms. Weatherspoon is a native of Atlanta, Georgia, where she is a part of event forums, outreach programs, and extensively serves in her community.

Board of Directors

The Honorable Kasim Reed
Mayor, City of Atlanta

John Somerhalder
Chairman

Elizabeth B. Chandler
Vice Chair

Ernestine Garey
Invest Atlanta appointee

Cynthia Briscoe Brown
Atlanta Board of Education, Seat 8 At-Large

R. Charles Shufeldt
Atlanta BeltLine Partnership Appointee

The Honorable Emma Darnell
Fulton County Board of Commissioners, District 5

The Honorable Andre Dickens
Atlanta City Councilmember, Post 3 At-large

Cathy Woolard
Community Representative