Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Our Team

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Innovation & Entrepreneurship Team Members

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Alex Gonzalez

Chief Innovation Officer

Alex Gonzalez is an innovation, strategy, brand and culture curator, catalyst and storyteller. He has over 20 years of experience at several Fortune 500 and 1000 companies where he held a variety of senior executive roles. He is the chief innovation officer of the Metro Atlanta Chamber, where he leads the work to accelerate the region’s innovation ecosystem and serve as an ambassador to metro Atlanta’s innovation brand. Alex is founder, executive producer and host of the Disruptor Studio, a digital series that showcases inspirational leaders and innovators. He is also founder of Highwire Group, a collective of executives, entrepreneurs and thought-leaders that advise executives on being innovators and change-leaders. Alex is also an author and speaker on innovation and business culture and contributes to several blogs.


Alex has extensive corporate leadership experience. At Equifax he held the roles of chief innovation officer, president – North America Commercial Solution, and senior vice president of strategic marketing, where he built the growth and innovation strategy for the company. At GE, he held a variety of leadership roles including customer experience leader for GE Insurance Solutions, where he connected the brand promise, culture and results. Alex started his career in customer-centered roles at Chubb Insurance and received his degree in finance from the University of South Florida.


Alex is active in helping grow Atlanta. His current and past nonprofit board roles include the Metro Atlanta Chamber, Junior Achievement of Georgia, Georgia Soccer, the Atlanta Conventions and Visitors Bureau and Zoo Atlanta. He is also a member of the Georgia State University Marketing Roundtable and is on the Advisory Board of the American Marketing Association-Atlanta.

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Sarah Hudnall

Innovation & Entrepreneurship Program Coordinator

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Sarah joined the chamber in 2017 as an intern and transitioned into her role as Program Coordinator of Innovation & Entrepreneurship (I&E). She works to help grow the innovation ecosystem in Atlanta. In her current role, she assists in supporting Atlanta’s many startup hubs and higher-education institutions.

Prior to joining the chamber, Sarah graduated from the University of Michigan in 2017 with a degree in International Studies and Political Science. She was also a varsity athlete on the women’s rowing team at Michigan. Sarah gained experience through interning with HEC Paris, a leading business school in Paris, France.

A Roswell, Georgia native, Sarah enjoys exploring Atlanta’s restaurant scene and walking on the Beltline.

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Ania Lackey

Senior Director, Strategy, I&E

+1 404.586.8455 |

Ania Lackey joined Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) in February 2012 as Program Manager, Global Commerce. Ania now works as the senior director of strategy, I&E. In her various roles, Ania has managed programs designed to expand metro Atlanta’s global ecosystem by growing the region’s global brand, recruiting foreign companies to open their office in metro Atlanta, and assisting local exporters to find customers worldwide. 

In 2016, Ania joined EY (Ernst & Young) to manage the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year program for the Southeast and Florida. In her role, she led business development activities to engage private entrepreneurs in this 30-year-old awards initiative. In 2017, she returned to MAC to lead the Metro Export Plan and Metro Atlanta FDI Plan under the GCI umbrella.
 
Prior to joining MAC, Ania was a part of the International Trade team at the Georgia Department of Economic Development. In her role as the Project Analyst, she assisted Georgia companies in growing their international sales through exports. She helped organize multiple trade missions to markets strategic to the State of Georgia, including Germany, Brazil, China, Canada, Japan, Israel, and the United Kingdom.
 
Prior to joining the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Ania worked at Reece & Associates, a public affairs law firm in Atlanta. Reece & Associated represented various international companies in Atlanta at the State of Georgia Capitol.
 
Ania is one of the co-founders of the Polish-American Network of Georgia (PANG). In that role, she serves as the point of contact for Polish companies interested in entering the U.S. market. In addition, she works very closely with the Honorary Consul of Poland in Georgia, Mr. Lawrence Ashe.
 
Ania holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science with concentration in International Affairs from the Georgia State University, and a Masters of Public Administration in Planning and Economic Development from the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies. In 2014, she became a Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP), which confirms her extensive knowledge of various aspects of international trade and investment.
 
Ania speaks Polish, and she has travelled extensively across Europe.

 

Vickie Thomas

Senior Director, Innovation & Entrepreneurship

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