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Business Casual Breakfast Series: The State of Business in Georgia


Breakfast and networking from 7:15 to 8:00 am with the program running from 8:00 to 9:00 am.

You live in the #1 state in the nation for business! 

For the eighth year in a row Georgia has been named the No.1 state in the nation to do business. Come learn from a high-level panel of experts who are driving economic development in Georgia, what makes the Peach State a great place to do business. 

There will be no day-of registrations or walk-ins. Registration closes on Monday, May 23. Proof of vaccination is required.

Join us for this in-person event.

Panelists include:

Associate Editor - Atlanta Business Chronicle

Melanie Lasoff Levs


Melanie Lasoff Levs is a veteran award-winning journalist who has been an editor at Atlanta Business Chronicle for almost five years. In her current position, Melanie manages the media company’s annual 65-plus special sections, which include industry reports and features on economic development in metro Atlanta including Alpharetta, Cobb County, Midtown Atlanta and Gwinnett. She also works with the greater Chronicle editorial and events teams on various awards programs and events including Pacesetter Awards, Women Who Lead and The Business of Entertainment. Prior to joining the Chronicle, Melanie spent 12 years as a freelance writer and editor for clients including The Washington Post, New York Daily News, Women’s Wear Daily, Mother Nature Network and Atlanta magazine. She also has a great deal of experience in the Jewish journalism world, starting her career in Atlanta as a staff writer for Atlanta Jewish Times in the mid-1990s and as editor in chief of Atlanta Jewish Life magazine in the early 2000s. A native of the Washington, D.C. area and a graduate of University of Maryland, Melanie is a proud board member of Congregation Shearith Israel in Morningside. She lives in Candler Park with her husband Josh and their three children.
Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development

Pat Wilson

Appointed Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) in November 2016, Pat Wilson leads the state agency responsible for creating jobs and investment opportunities in Georgia – the No. 1 State for Business for the last eight years – through business recruitment and expansion, small business growth, international trade and tourism, as well as the arts, film, music, and digital entertainment industries. Prior to becoming Commissioner, Pat served as the Department’s Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Commissioner for Global Commerce.

Before joining the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Pat served in a variety of leadership capacities in Washington, D.C., managing federal affairs for state elected leaders at the Capital. He also served as director of governmental affairs for Greenberg Traurig, LLP, in Washington. Commissioner Wilson is a native of Franklin Springs, Georgia, and holds an undergraduate degree in political science with a focus on international relations from the University of Georgia.

President & CEO - Hale Aircraft

Joseph Miller

Mr. Miller gained his education at the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering Degree and master’s in Political Science from Bar-Ilan University. With more than 20 years of experience in the aerospace & defense industry, he is well familiar with commercial and military programs, engineering, development, manufacturing, and maintenance. Mr. Miller is a former vice president with Bet Shemesh Engines, one of the largest A&D companies in Israel.
Served with the IDF artillery corps, honorably discharged as a Lt. Colonel.
Director at Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics

Sandy Lake

Sandy Lake brings a wealth of knowledge and industry connections to her position as Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation's Logistics team. She joined the Center in 2005 and served most recently as Associate Director for Logistics. After graduating from the University of Alabama with a degree in business health care management, Lake worked as a Business Office Manager for HealthSouth, Owner/Operator for Claims Plus, and Associate Director of the National Association of Private Enterprise. She is a Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) and currently serves on the advisory board for the Technology Association of Georgia’s Supply Chain & Manufacturing Society as well as Georgia Tech’s Supply Chain & Logistics Industry Advisory Board.
Senior Vice President of Project and Partner Development, Economic Development at Metro Atlanta Chamber

Gregg Simon

Gregg D. Simon is Senior Vice President of Project and Partner Development at the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC). In his role, Simon works to build and manage relationships with our economic development partners across the 29-county metro Atlanta region and cultivate job growth across MAC’s industry clusters: bioscience, technology, mobility, supply chain & logistics and global commerce. He also assists businesses and their consultants in their evaluation of metro Atlanta for new or expanded operations.
Previously, he served as vice president of project management at MAC, and worked with partners and MAC’s project management team to support businesses interested in expanding or relocating to the region. Before that he was director of technology industry development at MAC, focusing on building Atlanta’s technology cluster and growing jobs in the areas of Internet security, wireless mobility, software development and digital media.

Simon brings more than 25 years of economic development experience to MAC. Prior to joining MAC, Simon was manager of business engagement for the Atlanta Development Authority (ADA) where he helped existing businesses and attract new ones to the city of Atlanta. Before coming to Atlanta, he was the director of business services for the Massachusetts Alliance for Economic Development, a private non-profit economic development organization dedicated to business growth in Massachusetts. He also worked for Empire State Development, New York State’s economic development agency with a focus on business retention and expansion in the Buffalo regional office.

Simon’s work in Atlanta, Massachusetts and New York has included administration of tax and financial incentive programs, business retention and attraction marketing initiatives, economic development policy creation and implementation, and special event planning. He has worked with businesses such as BlackRock, Norfolk Southern, Papa John’s, Microsoft, Deluxe, Honeywell, Mercedes-Benz USA, Panasonic Automotive Systems of America, Pulte, Ernst & Young, Novelis, Kemira, Invesco, Wipro, Bristol Myers Squibb, Straumann, Target, General Motors, 3M, Ford, Delphi and many others to support business expansions resulting in job retention and creation.

Simon is a graduate of the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY and lives in Atlanta with his wife and three children.

Business & Professionals Event Co-Chairs:
Greg Eisenman | Ryan Halpern | Gary Marx | Jeffrey Marx | Daniel Weingarten

Business & Professionals Division Chairs:
Gary Marx, Chair
Michael Wall, Vice Chair

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Questions? Contact Kenny Silverboard.

Thank you for your interest in our Business Casual Breakfast Series. Event registration is now closed. If you would like to be added to the waitlist please contact Kenny Silverboard by email,, or by phone, (770) 856-8590.