Partner & Vice President
As a Partner and Vice President at North American Properties, Liz Gillespie is known around the office as the “idea volcano.” Her boundless imagination and creativity manifests in her and her team’s execution of regional marketing initiatives – also known as experience making. Her innovative, award-winning approach focuses on the “why” rather than the “what”- the heart share rather than the market share – and includes branding, community engagement, events, leasing support, digital and social media strategies, public relations and the extra sprinkling of magic it takes to create truly exceptional experiences that form lasting emotional connections with guests.
Liz recently spearheaded the marketing strategy for Avalon, a $1 billion mixed-use community in
Alpharetta, Georgia. Her bold efforts to deliver “The Avalon Experience” contributed to the property’s highly successful grand opening, with 98 percent of the 380,000 square feet of retail space leased. Since opening in 2014, Avalon has won numerous awards and set a new standard for urban, experiential design in a suburban setting. Today, Liz leads marketing for North American Properties’ $3.8 billion retail-driven mixed-use project pipeline, including the reimagining of Atlanta’s original mixed-use project, Colony Square; the ground up development of Revel, the new mixed-use community set to anchor the Infinite Energy Center in Gwinnett; and the creation of Riverton, a 400-acre waterfront destination in the New York metro area. In addition to her work at North American Properties, Liz applies her unique brand of creativity to the Boards of MODA (Museum of Design Atlanta) and Park Pride, and served as co-chair of the Hambidge 2017 Art Auction + Creative Hive Gala.
Liz has more than 25 years of experience in commercial real estate marketing, and is recognized by
the Atlanta Business Chronicle as one of this year’s “Women Who Mean Business” and by
Bisnow as one of the top 40 most powerful women in Atlanta commercial real estate. She was
also recently named a 2018 “Women in the Arts” Honoree by Synchronicity. Her approach has
won numerous awards, including 29 ICSC MAXI Awards, which honor the highest caliber of marketing,
community outreach, sales promotion and new media efforts within the U.S. retail real estate industry, and she is an ICSC Certified Marketing Director (CMD). Previously, Liz worked as Vice President, Regional Marketing at JLL until 2010 when she made the jump to North American Properties to embark on one of her most exciting journeys: the transformation of the then ailing Atlantic Station into the vibrant community destination it is today.
Sara Irvani is the CEO of Okabashi Brands, one of the 1% of remaining domestic shoe manufacturers. Established in 1984, and now a third generation family business, Okabashi has sold over 35 million pairs from its Buford, Ga factory. Okabashi has direct to consumer operations and partners with retailers including Target, CVS, Walgreens, and Bloomingdales. Sara is on a mission to prove that sustainable American manufacturing can flourish, garnering coverage by Forbes, Inc Magazine, BuzzFeed, Organic Spa, Bustle, and Good Morning America among others.
Previously, Sara advised on strategy for Fortune 500s and worked in venture capital. Sara has a Bachelors in Philosophy with High Distinction from University of Virginia, Masters of Finance from University of Cambridge, and MBA from INSEAD. Sara is an Associate Board Member of the Two Ten Foundation, a 2018 Most Admired CEO by the Atlanta Business Chronicle, a Global Shaper with World Economic Forum, and on the Board of Councilors of The Carter Center.
President & CEO
Hala Moddelmog is a business and civic leader with more than 20 years in president and CEO roles. She also serves as a corporate director for two NYSE companies – FLEETCOR Technologies and Lamb Weston – and as a board member of several blue-chip nonprofit organizations.
As the first female president and CEO of the nearly 160-year-old Metro Atlanta Chamber, Hala works on behalf of FORTUNE 500 companies and SMEs in the country’s ninth largest metro region. Prior to joining MAC, Hala was president of Arby’s Restaurant Group, president and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and the first woman to lead an international restaurant company as president of Church’s Chicken.
Hala’s current nonprofit boards include Georgia Public Broadcasting appointed by the Governor of Georgia, Woodruff Arts Center, The Alliance Theatre co-chair for 2017-2019 and Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business.
Hala has a Master of Arts degree in journalism and mass communications from the University of Georgia and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Georgia Southern University. She has attended executive education programs at Harvard Business School and Kellogg School of Management. Georgia Southern University awarded Hala an Honorary Doctorate of Letters.
Natalie Morhous, President of RaceTrac Petroleum, Inc., started her career with RaceTrac in 2012. In her seven years with the company, she has also served as Director of Strategy and Development, Executive Director of Strategy and Solutions, Executive Director of Energy Dispatch and most recently Vice President of Energy Dispatch before assuming her role as President of RaceTrac.
Prior to joining RaceTrac, Morhous spent five years working as a strategy and management consultant in Washington, D.C. While in business school studying strategic management and marketing, she interned with General Mills in a strategic marketing role. Natalie earned a Bachelor of Arts in government from Connecticut College and her MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Morhous and her husband Hunter have been married since 2013. They have a son, Wills, and a daughter, Hailey. Morhous loves water sports, trying new restaurants and looking for any excuse to spend time with her family’s yellow lab, Mason.
Carla is originally from Gwinnett County and is a graduate of Central Gwinnett High School. She
received her undergraduate degree from Emory University and her MBA from Brenau
University. She is the President of the Gwinnett based architectural and engineering firm,
Precision Planning, Inc.
She serves on the Gwinnett Chamber’s Board of Directors and was honored to be the 2014
Board Chair. She is a 2001 Leadership Gwinnett graduate, serves on their foundation board, as
well as the Leadership Gwinnett Board of Trustees. She serves on the Mitsubishi Electric Classic
Golf Tournament Foundation Board and the Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful Citizens Advisory
Board. She serves on the executive board of the Grayson Cluster Schools Foundation and on
the board of the Gwinnett County Public Schools Foundation. She is the current Co-President
and past Treasurer of the Couch Middle School PTSA. She is also the Team Mom for her
daughter’s Grayson Rams 8th grade cheerleading team.
Carla was the proud recipient of the 2018 Gwinnett Chamber Public Service Award and was
recently recognized as one of the Top 100 Influential Women in Georgia by Engineering Georgia
Carla enjoys playing tennis, snow skiing, camping and the beach. She lives in Grayson with her
husband, 13-year old daughter and their Jack Russell terrier.
Donna Hall is the Publisher of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Donna’s 32-year career with Cox began as an advertising Account Executive for the Dayton Daily News. Two years later, she transferred to radio, also as an Account Executive. After serving as National Sales Manager, Local Sales Manager and General Sales Manager, she became the VP/GM of the Dayton radio cluster in 1997 and continued in that role for 13 years.
As Cox brought the radio, TV and newspaper operations together in Dayton in 2010, she became the SVP of Marketing and Client Solutions and later added Audience in a fully converged role overseeing newspaper circulation, TV programming and Creative Services, radio promotions and B2B/B2C research and marketing for all platforms, including digital.
Donna returned to CMG as the VP/GM of Atlanta’s Radio cluster in October 2014 from sister company Cox Media, the media sales division for Cox Communications, where she was the Group Vice President for sales for Cox Media. There, she oversaw half of Cox Media’s media sales markets.
In 2017, Donna’s role expanded to Vice President of Marketing and Radio/Newspaper Operations for Cox Media Group, Atlanta.