Nathalie Stutzmann, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Women Leading Atlanta Attractions, Hotels and Convention Venues

Atlanta history is rich and progressive. Women have left their marks in numerous ways dating back to Atlanta’s earliest days. Many of these women are honored with Atlanta landmarks you can visit today. Meet the influential women who currently stand at the top of Atlanta’s top attractions, hotels and convention centers, showcasing the city’s entrepreneurial spirit and cultural dynamism.

Women Leading Atlanta’s Major Attractions

Paige Alexander 
The Carter Center

The Carter Center is a legacy of President Jimmy and First Lady Rosalynn Carter. (Photo courtesy of The Carter Center)

The Atlanta-based Carter Center, a legacy of President Jimmy Carter’s and First Lady Rosalynn Carter’s dedication to global betterment, is tackling issues like conflict resolution, human rights and healthcare.  Under the leadership of Paige Alexander, a leader with more than two decades in government and non-profits, the center is transitioning from founder-led to founder-inspired.

Jennifer Barlament
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is a vital part of Atlanta’s arts and culture scene. (Photo courtesy of Atlanta Symphony Orchestra)

In 2016, Jennifer Barlament brought her passion for music to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra as executive director. With more than 15 years of experience leading orchestras across the country, she’s no stranger to the world of music. Before Atlanta, she worked at the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra and the Omaha Symphony. Her journey started at Emory University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in music with a minor in physics, racking up awards for her musical talent and academic prowess. Later, she earned her master’s degree at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., and founded the New Eastman Symphony.

Kimberly Beaudin
Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame

College football and all its glory are on display at Atlanta’s Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame. (Photo courtesy of Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame)

The Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame named Kimberly Beaudin as its CEO. With more than two decades of experience in brand development, including roles with Arrow Exterminators, the Atlanta Hawks and the city’s former ice hockey team, Atlanta Thrashers, Beaudin adds to the growing roster of women leaders in college sports.

Visit Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame.

Meredith Evans
Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum

Atlanta’s Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum is one of only 15 presidential libraries in the country. (Photo courtesy of Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum)

Dr. Meredith Evans leads the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum.  With a Ph.D. in library science (archival concentration) from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, a master’s in public history from North Carolina State University and another in library science from Clark Atlanta University, her expertise spans both historic preservation and community engagement.  For nearly two decades, Evans has served as a librarian and instructor, fostering collaboration across institutions. 

Visit the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum.

Leslie Gordon
The William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum

Leslie Gordon, executive director of the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum, is a Savannah native with a bachelor’s in fine arts from the University of Wisconsin and master’s degrees from the University of Gothenburg and Georgia State University. She previously served as director of cultural affairs for the city of Savannah, produced the Cultural Olympiad for Atlanta’s 1996 Olympics and directed the Rialto Center for the Arts at Georgia State University for 16 years.

Visit the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum.

Dr. Bernice A. King
Martin Luther King Jr. Center For Nonviolent Social Change

The Eternal Flame shines bright at The King Center. (Photo courtesy of The King Center)

Dr. Bernice A. King is a global thought leader, strategist and peace advocate. As CEO of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center For Nonviolent Social Change (The King Center), she continues her parents’ legacy of nonviolent social change. Founded by her mother, the center serves as the official living memorial to the life, work and legacy of her father, Martin Luther King Jr. Her leadership drives forward the mission of advancing Dr. King’s philosophy of nonviolence, which Bernice King has re-branded as Nonviolence365 (NV365). Through policy, advocacy, research, education and training, she empowers new generations to embrace the principles of nonviolence and work toward creating the Beloved Community.

Camille Love 
The Mayor’s Office

Camille Love has been the driving force behind Atlanta’s cultural scene since 1998. She is executive director of cultural affairs for the mayor’s office. Her leadership shapes the cultural landscape through initiatives like the Chastain Arts Center and Gallery, the city’s Public Art Program, Gallery 72, Elevate, Contracts for Arts Services, the Cultural Experience Project and the renowned Atlanta Jazz Festival. She earned bachelor’s in psychology from Wake Forest University and has a background in marketing at IBM. She founded For the Love of Art, a consulting practice supporting visual and performing arts, and she opened her own gallery representing primarily African American artists before assuming her current position.

Mary Pat Matheson
Atlanta Botanical Garden

The Atlanta Botanical Garden is so beautiful that you will want to linger. (Photo courtesy of Atlanta Botanical Garden)

Mary Pat Matheson’s journey to becoming president and CEO of the Atlanta Botanical Garden began with her tenure as executive director of the Red Butte Garden in Salt Lake City. Rising from the ranks as a horticulturist, she cultivated her passion and expertise, eventually earning a bachelor’s degree in resource management and park planning. Under her guidance, the Atlanta Botanical Garden has doubled in size, boasting new gardens, a restaurant, Canopy Walk and more.

Visit Atlanta Botanical Garden.

Hala Moddelmog
Woodruff Arts Center

Hala Moddelmog made history as the first female president and CEO of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. After six years there, she took the helm at the Woodruff Arts Center, home to the Alliance Theatre, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the High Museum of Art. Previous jobs include president of Atlanta-based Arby’s Restaurant Group and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. She holds a master’s degree from the University of Georgia (with an honorary doctorate), a bachelor’s in English from Georgia Southern University and she has completed executive programs at Harvard University and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Visit The Woodruff Arts Center.

Jill Savitt
National Center for Civil and Human Rights

Relive the American Civil Rights Movement or learn about it for the first time at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. (Photo courtesy of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights)

Jill Savitt, president and CEO of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, has expertise in genocide prevention. Her journey began at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., where she led efforts to prevent atrocities. She graduated from Yale University and taught at Columbia University,

Visit the National Center for Civil and Human Rights.

Beth Schiavo
Center for Puppetry Arts

Beth Schiavo, executive director of the Center for Puppetry Arts, has background in finance and leadership, including roles at North Highland Consulting and service on the boards of the Woodruff Arts Center and the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta. She is a graduate of Virginia Tech and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Visit the Center for Puppetry Arts.

Nathalie Stutzmann
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Nathalie Stutzmann conducts Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. (Photo by Brice Toul)

Nathalie Stutzmann was named “Best Conductor of the Year” at the 2024 Oper Awards. Music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra since 2022, she is only the second woman to lead a major American orchestra. She worked at venues including the Bayreuth Festival and the Metropolitan Opera in New York. She has been principal guest conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra and chief conductor of Norway’s Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra.

Visit the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

Jennifer Grant Warner 
Fernbank Museum of Natural History

See really big dinosaurs at Fernbank Museum of Natural History. (Photo courtesy of Fernbank Museum of Natural History)

Jennifer Grant Warner is president and CEO of Fernbank Museum of Natural History. Under her leadership, Fernbank has seen significant growth, including development of award-winning exhibitions like NatureQuest and expansions such as WildWoods and Fernbank Forest. Her commitment also led to Fernbank’s accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums in 2018. She emphasizes Fernbank’s role in education and community engagement, striving to inspire curiosity and understanding of the natural world. Since its founding in 1939 to preserve Fernbank Forest, the institution continues to leave a lasting impact on both its visitors and the environment.

Visit Fernbank Museum of Natural History.

Women Executives Behind Top Atlanta Hotels & Convention Venues

Teri Agosta
Signia by Hilton Atlanta

Signia by Hilton Atlanta in the heart of the city. (Photo by Andrew Clark)

Teri Agosta is general manager of the new 975-room Signia by Hilton Atlanta, nestled within the Georgia World Congress Center campus. With views of Mercedes Benz-Stadium, the hotel adds luxury to the heart of the city. The hotel offers 75,000 square feet of state-of-the-art meeting space, a destination bar, a signature restaurant and wellness amenities.

Erica Qualls-Battey
Atlanta Marriott Marquis

The Atlanta Marriot Marquis is Marriott’s third-largest hotel. (Photo courtesy of Atlanta Marriott Marquis)

Erica Qualls-Battey is the powerhouse behind the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, Marriott International’s third-largest hotel. As general manager, she ensures guest and associate satisfaction, manages finances and cultivates alliances. She is involved in community initiatives like the Children’s Miracle Network and United Way, and she serves on the board of directors for the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau. She was recognized as one of the 100 Most Influential Women in Atlanta by the Atlanta Business League,.

Nancy Chacon
Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta

Nancy Chacon leads Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta. Chacon, is fluent in three languages — English, French and Spanish — and she brings a global perspective to her work. Hailing from Guatemala City, Guatemala, she holds a degree in economics and French from Mills College in Oakland, Calif.

Patricia Janssens
Wylie Hotel

Patricia Janssens is general manager of Wylie Hotel, a historic boutique hotel nestled in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood. She has more than 15 years of experience in upscale hotel operations. Janssens specializes in vision, strategic implementation and creative initiatives to drive growth and improve profit margins.

Sharon Kilmartin
InterContinental Hotels Group

Sharon Kilmartin is area general manager for InterContinental Hotels Group in Atlanta. Her leadership has transformed the InterContinental into the go-to destination for meetings in the Perimeter market, thanks to a $43 million renovation. Kilmartin is a dedicated community advocate, serving on the board of the Georgia Hotel & Lodging Association and supporting initiatives that provide relief to people in need.

Grace Mendez
Hotel Clermont

Hotel Clermont is full of history. (Photo courtesy of Hotel Clermont)

Meet Grace Mendez, general manager of Hotel Clermont. Her background in the food and beverage industry includes expertise in catering, event management and accounting, The hotel is home to 94 guest rooms with splendid views.

Mercedes Miller
Georgia International Convention Center

Mercedes Miller is a hospitality veteran with more than three decades of experience in Atlanta’s hospitality scene. She has led the Georgia International Convention Center through significant growth, while also overseeing the Gateway Center Arena, a top entertainment destination. Some years ago she was appointed interim city manager for College Park.

Kristi Cotten-Morris
Hyatt Centric Buckhead

Find Spaceman at the Hyatt Centric Buckhead. (Photo courtesy of the Hyatt Centric Buckhead)

Kristi Cotten-Morris, general manager of the Hyatt Centric Buckhead Atlanta, brings more than 26 years of experience to her role. With 24 years with Hyatt Hotels, she has navigated rebrands, renovations and openings. She is passionate about fostering inclusive, encouraging work environments for her team. Cotten-Morris’s career includes spearheading the $73 million renovation of the Hyatt Regency San Francisco.

Ivy Mpofu
Embassy Suites by Hilton Atlanta at Centennial Olympic Park

Ivy Mpofu is general manager of Embassy Suites by Hilton Atlanta at Centennial Olympic Park. Prior to her role at Embassy Suites, she served as general manager of DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Atlanta Northlake.

Michele Swann
Cobb-Marietta Coliseum and Exhibit Hall Authority

Michele Swann has more than 30 years experience in the hospitality industry. As general manager and CEO of the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum and Exhibit Hall Authority, she oversees a portfolio including the Cobb Galleria Centre, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, ArtsBridge Foundation and Galleria Specialty Shops. Her expertise is in long-range planning, design, financial management, marketing and venue operations.

Meet Women Chefs Redefining Culinary Excellence in Atlanta.

Sofia Espina is a bilingual Emmy Award-winning journalist who believes that everyone has a story to tell. She’s a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion, working to create a more equitable world.

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