Midtown Alliance Staff
Kevin Green, President & CEO
Kevin Green joined Midtown Alliance in July 2011. Kevin has been a resident of the City of Atlanta for over 25 years and has been working for much of that time to advance livability and economic opportunity in the Atlanta region.
Kevin was previously Executive Director of The Clean Air Campaign, a Georgia non-profit working in partnership with transportation management associations and more than 2,000 public and private employers, schools and universities to implement programs to improve air quality and reduce traffic. Prior to that, Kevin was Vice President of Environmental Affairs with the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, where he worked to implement initiatives to improve water resource stewardship, air quality, transportation and land use and development. During his tenure with the Chamber, Kevin managed public-private initiatives that resulted in the creation of the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District – now managing water resources for a region of more than 5 million, and the Livable Communities Coalition, now a council of the Urban Land Institute, where leaders work collaboratively to advance smart growth in Atlanta. Kevin also practiced law in Atlanta for 10 years, most recently as a partner with Andre, Blaustein & Green, LLP. His litigation experience includes state and federal trial and appellate courts across the Southeast.
Kevin was recently named one of the “100 Most Influential Atlantans of 2014” by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. He currently serves on the Leadership Atlanta Board of Trustees and Executive Committee; the Board of the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau and is a member of the Rotary Club of Atlanta.
Kevin graduated from James Madison University in 1986 and holds a law degree from Emory University. He is married to Karen and has two daughters.
Shannon Powell, Executive VP & Chief Operating Officer
Shannon Powell has more than 20 years of multi-disciplinary city planning, economic development and urban design experience. She is currently Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. She is responsible for strategic planning and implementation, economic development, management of staff and consultants, active communications with board level committees, fund raising, financial planning, and budgeting.
One of her most notable accomplishment has been the development and implementation of the award-winning Blueprint Midtown, a community-based master plan for Midtown Atlanta. To implement the plan, she and her team developed and executed new initiatives for streetscapes, open spaces, land use and transportation that have become models for urban revitalization and a catalyst for dramatic redevelopment resulting in over 40 high-density development projects. Each initiative has led to measurable successes including the execution of over $66 million in capital improvements that transformed 13 miles of sidewalks, added 25 new traffic signals, and completed an AIA award-winning pocket park. She continues to oversee the implementation of Blueprint Midtown now with an additional “green lens” to ensure that all of the projects are environmental sustainable. Most recently, she has assumed responsibility for the development and implementation of a district-wide innovation plan to catalyze growth in high-tech and creative industries and to attract entrepreneurs and investment which will further strengthen Midtown’s long term economic growth.
In 2010, Midtown Alliance was awarded the “Deal of the Decade” by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Other awards include “Outstanding Planning Implementation” by the Georgia Planning Association, “Development of Excellence Award” by the Atlanta Regional Commission, and “Development of Excellence” by the Urban Land Institute.
Norman McKay, Chief Financial Officer
Norman McKay joined the Midtown Alliance staff in October 2011 after being on executive leadership teams at two highly successful Atlanta non-profit organizations since early 2003. He served as the CFO for the Piedmont Park Conservancy and more recently as the CFO for Atlanta Habitat for Humanity. In these roles Norman directed financial and administrative functions, and also helped orchestrate a variety of special events, construction projects, and business development activities.
During Norman’s tenure at Piedmont Park, renovations of the historical portion of the park were completed and the Conservancy successfully updated the park’s master plan and raised over $40 million to add new amenities and expand the park by 40%. While Norman was at Atlanta Habitat, over 100 families became new Habitat homeowners and a significant number of future Habitat home sites were acquired and developed. In addition, a large commercial property was acquired for the organization’s future headquarters and operating facility.
Norman obtained his CPA certification after graduating with an undergraduate degree in accounting from the University of Iowa. He began his career as an auditor with Price Waterhouse and the Walt Disney Company, and earned an MBA degree from the University of Southern California. Norman is a past two-term President of the 3,300-home Morningside Lenox Park Association. He and his wife Leah have been Morningside residents since 1987, and their two daughters are pursuing college degrees following their graduations from Grady High School.
Catherine Smith, Chief Marketing Officer
An Atlanta native, Catherine Smith recently returned to Atlanta after 17 years in Amsterdam and San Francisco. Before joining the Midtown Alliance, Smith was the Head of Communications for Linden Lab where she was responsible for the international communications and promotional activities for the virtual world Second Life. With daily responsibilities that might rival those of the press secretary of a rapidly developing nation, Smith surveyed the virtual landscape to identify those users who were developing the economic, social and creative aspects of Second Life to promote their stories and developed relationships with IBM, Northrup Grumman and Harvard University, among others, to promote enterprise and educational uses of the virtual world.
Prior to joining Linden Lab in 2003, Smith was the Director of Marketing for foolsFURY, an avant garde theater company based in San Francisco. In addition to foolsFURY and Linden Lab, Smith has held senior marketing positions at Uplister (playlist sharing community) and at ActionAce (ecommerce) and Cartoon Network where she began her career as the Space Ghost Coast-to-Coast Brand Manager and later Director of Marketing developing Cartoon Network's first websites. She moved to San Francisco in 1996 to help start Turner New Media.
Chris Leighty, Director of Public Safety
Chris Leighty joined Midtown Alliance in April 2014 as Director of Public Safety, overseeing Midtown Alliance's public safety force, Midtown Blue, and maintenance staff. Chris has 25 years of law enforcement experience, most recently as Chief of Police with the City of Morrow, and 22 years with the Atlanta Police Department (APD). Chris was instrumental in recalibrating the City of Morrow Police Department and reducing crime city-wide. He also served as Interim City manager. Prior to this, Leighty served in numerous leadership roles with the Atlanta Police Department, most recently with the rank of Major and as the Zone 5 Precinct Commander, which includes Midtown. A native of Ohio, Leighty holds a Masters Degree Public Administration and Justice Administration from Columbus State University where he graduated Summa cum Laude and a Bachelors of Applied Studies in Organizational Leadership from Mercer University, where he was also a Summa cum Laude graduate. Prior to his law enforcement career, Leighty also served for 10 years in the United States Marine Corps.
Dan Hourigan, Director, Transportation and Sustainability
Dan Hourigan brings 14 years of diverse urban planning and program management experience in leading Midtown Alliance’s transportation & sustainability initiatives. Dan is currently responsible for developing and implementing projects and programs that make Midtown highly accessible and “green.” Within this role, Dan led the planning efforts that created the Midtown EcoDistrict – the South’s first urban eco-district. Dan was instrumental in helping form the Midtown Improvement District and in launching Midtown’s transportation management association. Prior to his work with Midtown Alliance, Dan worked in marketing and logistics positions. Dan received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Dayton and a Masters of City Planning from Georgia Tech. Dan is accredited as a LEED Green Associate and is a graduate of the Regional Leadership Institute and the Midtown Leadership Program. He is an avid cyclist and serves on the Board of Directors of the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition.
Ginny Kennedy, Director, Urban Design
Ginny Kennedy has worked at the Midtown Alliance in two roles. First, as a staff planner in 1996-97 when the Blueprint Master Plan was being developed with grassroots input from more than 2,000 community stakeholders. This planning process resulted in the single-largest rezoning in the history of Atlanta and set the stage for the remarkable transformation of Midtown into a vibrant urban center. She returned to the organization in 2009 as the Director of Urban Design with a primary focus on ensuring that new development in the district is consistent with the vision originally prescribed by the Blueprint. Working closely with members of the development community and in partnership with the City of Atlanta, Ginny provides development assistance and oversees the formal review process for all projects in Midtown’s two zoning districts – SPI-16 & 17.
Ginny also works on urban design initiatives and capital projects within the Midtown Improvement District. With efforts ranging from pocket parks to major enhancements to existing infrastructure, such as bridges and transit stations, Ginny brings a multidisciplinary approach to creative place-making. Recent efforts have focused on public art and programming to activate street life in Midtown and to engage the community.
A native of Atlanta, Ginny graduated from Pace Academy, received a BA from Smith College and dual Masters Degrees from Georgia Tech in Architecture and City Planning.
Cladie Washburn, RLA, Director, Capital Projects Program
Cladie Washburn brings more than 13 years of proven experience in landscape architecture and project management to the Midtown Alliance. She has been a Midtown Atlanta resident since 2002 and is dedicated to improving and sustaining the quality of life in her neighborhood. Cladie is responsible for implementing Midtown’s capital projects (streetscapes, urban parks, bicycle infrastructure, and other urban enhancements) through project management, design, staff and consultant management, contractor and partner coordination, communications, and outreach activities.
Prior to joining the Midtown Alliance in June 2013, Cladie worked for 10 years as Landscape Designer and Director of Operations at AECOM (formerly known as EDAW), a Fortune 500 company and the top design firm. She is a registered Landscape Architect in the state of Georgia and a published co-author. Cladie has been recognized for her leadership and organizational skills, attention to detail, and ability to deliver projects on-schedule and on-budget. Her project teams have celebrated numerous industry awards for design, masterplanning, and project delivery throughout the United States, including several Awards of Excellence from the American Society of Landscape Architects.
Cladie currently serves on the Board of Directors for Biltmore House Condominium. When she isn’t focused on projects, Cladie enjoys time with her dog and boating with friends on the lake. She is an avid sports fan, particularly when rooting her alma mater, the University of Georgia Bulldogs, on in football.
Laura Moody, Director of Member Engagement & Partnerships
Laura Moody joined the Midtown Alliance as Director of Member Engagement & Partnerships in April 2012. Laura previously served as Director of Community Outreach for the Atlanta campus of SCAD (Savannah College of Art & Design) and as Director of Communication & Exhibitions for Museum of Design Atlanta. While at MODA, Laura curated multiple exhibitions, including “Graphic Noise” an exhibition of contemporary, high-design rock posters that traveled to multiple galleries and museums across the country. Laura is an accomplished event planner and fundraiser, having created signature events for Atlanta-area organizations including Southern Fried Supernova: Core Reaction, Architecture for Humanity and Flux Projects. She is also a volunteer and board member for organizations like The Creatives Project and Modern Atlanta. Laura lives in Grant Park with her fiancé Will and two pugs, Emmy Lou and Otis.
Kathleen Mitcham, Business Manager
Kathleen joined Midtown Alliance in 2002 after spending 5 years at the Arthritis Foundation, Georgia Chapter. Having grown up in the Virginia-Highland’s neighborhood, she was eager to join the organization that was the driving force behind Midtown’s revitalization.
In her spare time, Kathleen enjoys reading, watching movies and spending time with family & friends.
Marvin Clermont, Associate Project Manager, Enhancements
Marvin Clermont joined the Midtown Capital Improvements team in September 2013. In his role as Associate Project Manager, Marvin is responsible for executing enhancement projects and efforts to make Midtown safe, connected, and desirable for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists alike. Marvin recently received his Masters of City and Regional Planning from Georgia Tech with specializations in Land Use and Land & Community Development. Prior to furthering his education, Marvin held positions as an Analyst with several industry-leading organizations including Sears Holdings Corporation and Redbox Automated Retail, LLC. Marvin credits his volunteerism in Chicago with organizations such as LARRI (Lakeshore Area Regional Recovery of Indiana) and OneBrick coupled with his experience as intern at HDDC and the Atlanta Regional Commission as the impetus for continued success in project management. Marvin’s hobbies include landscaping and carpentry, CrossFit, and Florida State University Football.
Susannah Lee, Associate Project Manager
Susannah Lee joined the Midtown Alliance in September 2013. In her role as Associate Project Manager, she is responsible for economic development marketing and outreach, GIS management, and urban design and planning support. Susannah has three years of experience at Georgia Tech's Center for GIS, focusing her research on sustainability, land use, and the relationship between the built environment and public health. Susannah received a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University and a Master of City and Regional Planning from Georgia Tech. She lives in Grant Park where she enjoys gardening and keeping her backyard chickens.
Ashley-Grace Ramocan, Communications Specialist
Ashley-Grace Ramocan joined Midtown Alliance in August 2012. In her role, she manages the digital communications for the organization, sharing her growing passion for community improvement and economic development. Ashley brings with her nearly seven years’ experience in new media, communications leadership and destination marketing. Prior to joining Midtown Alliance, she worked in new media journalism and communications management at Rome News-Tribune as well as Sandy Springs Hospitality and Tourism. While at Sandy Springs, Ashley was designated a "30 under 30" Destination Marketing Professional in 2010--serving as the only representative from the state of Georgia in Destination Marketing Association International's recognition program. Ashley earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in English with a minor in Journalism from Shorter College in Rome, Georgia, where she developed a passion for storytelling and visual communication. She is an accomplished writer, earning the Thelma Hall Creative Writing Award and the Matthew J. Romano Excellence in Journalism Award among others. Ashley enjoys a car-lite lifestyle and commutes daily to Midtown using transit from Cobb County.
Emily Haar, Assistant Director, Midtown Transportation
Emily (Britt) Haar joined the Midtown Transportation team in September 2010. In her role as Employer Program Manager, Emily provides consultation services to employers and property managers to develop customized commute programs and transportation plans. Prior to joining Midtown Alliance, Emily worked as an Operational Excellence Consultant for iHealth Technologies. In her spare time, Emily enjoys event planning and community service. She is a member of the Georgia Forward Young Gamechangers Class of 2014 and the Georgia Tech Young Alumni Council. Emily is passionate about living in a walkable environment and lives one mile from a MARTA station with her husband, Josh.
Sarah Wilgus, Program Manager, Midtown Transportation
Sarah Wilgus joined the Midtown Transportation team in January 2014. In her role as Employer Program Manager, Sarah provides consultation services to employers and property managers to develop customized commute programs and transportation plans. Prior to joining Midtown Alliance, Sarah worked as a Commuter Services Coordinator for The Clean Air Campaign. In her spare time, Sarah can be found rock climbing or hiking. She is a Certified Nonprofit Professional through the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance and an alumni of Georgia State University. Sarah is an avid MARTA rider and supports her passion of environmental protection by volunteering with various organizations.
Debra Brown, Executive Assistant
Debra “Debbie”joined the Alliance in 2006. In her role she serves as the assistant to the President & CEO, the COO and the former CFO. Debra also serves as the office manager. Previously, Debra worked for General Electric for over 15 years. In her spare time, Debra enjoys an active church community, her beloved AKA sorority, and traveling to Florida to spend time with her family. “Midtown is like a chameleon; it’s always evolving.”