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DeKalb Chamber of Commerce Appoints First Female President

Interim President Katerina Taylor selected as Permanent President

(Decatur, GA – September 17, 2014)


Katerina Taylor has been named President of the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce. Taylor, the previous Director of Operations and Investor Relations has been serving in the interim president position since May 2014 after the resignation of Leonardo McClarty. The Chamber’s Executive Board named Taylor permanent president not only for her long list of accolades and achievements but also the impactful enhancements she has made since joining the Chamber’s executive team in 2012. Taylor is now the first female president in the Chamber’s 76-year history.

“I am excited about the opportunity to lead the chamber as its first female president,” said Taylor. “My goal is to drive progression in DeKalb through business advocacy, collaboration, community, and a diverse high performing staff.  I have an outstanding Board of Directors that have been supportive as the Chamber has been in transition. It’s a great time to help lead DeKalb County,” she added. “We have great partners in Economic and Workforce Development, Tourism, Education and in the community at large.  The spirit of business dwells here and I am grateful for the opportunity.”

A 15-year veteran of the financial industry, an entrepreneur and community advocate are only a few ways to describe Taylor. Her business acumen and attention to detail are great assets that have served her well in her career. From 2003-2012, Taylor served as a vice president for SunTrust Banks where she successfully designed and executed business growth and development strategies as well as created training programs for more than 500 regional and local managers.

Taylor joined the Chamber’s executive team in 2012, serving as Director of Memberships and Programs, and later, Director of Operations and Investor Relations. In 2013, she redesigned the Chamber’s new member reception program and increased attendance and engagement by 20 percent. Earlier this year, Taylor oversaw all details of the 76th Annual meeting. She changed the location, brought in new sponsors and secured Atlanta Falcon’s President Rich McKay, tripling gross revenue and doubling the Chamber’s net profit. A strong champion for women, Taylor also started the Chamber’s first women’s resource group, Women Executive Leaders of DeKalb, which fosters collaboration and synergy among women-owned businesses.

Board Chairman John Shelton said he is pleased to have Taylor leading the organization. “We went through an exhaustive search and Katerina rose to the top of the list,” said Shelton, President and CEO of DeKalb Medical. “Her knowledge of the local market, goal orientation and high energy level made her the optimal candidate for the position. The Board of Directors fully supports Katerina and believes she has the skill set to positively position the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce for the future.”

As an actively engaged community advocate, Taylor serves on the board of directors for the United Way of Greater Atlanta and is the immediate past chairperson of the United Way’s Young Professional Leaders Advisory Council. She also serves on the board of the directors for CHRIS Kids, a local nonprofit as well as The Boys Scouts of America as the DeKalb County Community Friends of Scouting (FOS) Chair.

A strong advocate for women’s engagement in board service, Taylor is the Chair of the Johnnetta B. Cole Women’s Society and serves as Chair for the Leading a Life of Purpose Women in Philanthropy annual event co-hosted by Georgia Public Broadcasting and The United Way of Greater Atlanta.

In 2012, Taylor was named an Atlanta Business Chronicle 40 Under 40 Rising Business and Community Leader. That same year, she was honored by the Tau Epsilon Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. with the Doris J. Harris Humanitarian Award for her commitment to the greater Atlanta community. In 2014 United Way honored Katerina with their inaugural Campaign Volunteer of the year Award, for her work in engaging young professionals to be more philanthropic.  She has completed the Georgia Academy for Economic and Leadership Development, and is a 2013 graduate of Leadership Georgia.  She is also a 2014 national fellow with the New Leaders Council, and is currently in the 2015 Class of Leadership DeKalb.

Affectionately known as “Kat,” Taylor holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Texas Wesleyan and an MBA in Finance from Argosy University. She has lived in Atlanta for 11 years. Tweet Kat @katconsults

About DeKalb Chamber of Commerce

The DeKalb Chamber of Commerce is a membership based organization with the mission to support, promote and sustain business development in DeKalb County.  With 76 years of service in the community, the DeKalb Chamber recommends and provides resources through its partnership and affiliations that can assist organizations with business plans, business administration, business regulations, starting a small business, as well as serve as a guide to licensed businesses for your area, and much more. For more information on the chamber, visit their web site at www.dekalbchamber.org or call 404-378-8000.