Meet the Staff

Michael E. Paris, President & CEO

Michael Paris, a Cobb County native, took the Council helm in late 2003, and over the past nine years has worked to expand the Council and to spread its mission of promoting balanced and responsible growth throughout the metro region and the state.  The Council delivers its mission and works to influence policy on critical growth issues through the platforms of Advocacy, Information and Education by working closely with elected officials and staff at all levels of local, state and federal government

With a degree in real estate from Georgia State University, Michael has more than 30 years of experience in real estate development, brokerage, land-use planning and association management.

Michael currently serves as volunteer Vice Chair of the Metro Atlanta Voter Education Network (MAVEN) which works to educate voters on the 2012 Regional Transportation Referendum.  He served for a number of years on the Cobb County Planning Commission and the Cobb County Board of Zoning Appeals.   Michael is involved in numerous community and professional activities. His affiliations include the Board of Directors for YMCA of Metropolitan Atlanta, the Cobb Chamber of Commerce, the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties, the Urban Land Institute, an Association Member of the Board at the Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors, and a graduate of both Leadership Cobb and Regional Leadership Institute.

Michael and his wife Kim live in Marietta, Georgia and have two grown children.


James Touchton, Manager of Policy and Government Affairs

James Touchton joined the Council after spending the last 4 and ½ years in the Georgia Senate.  In the Senate, James served in the Senate Research Office as a Senior Policy Analyst and Advisor, where he focused in Education & Youth, Higher Education, State & Local Government Operations, Science & Technology and State Institutions and Properties.   In addition to serving as a Senior Analyst, James was named a Senior Fellow to the National Conference of State Legislature’s Early Learning Program and the state contact for “Project Democracy.”  James received his Bachelors of Political Science in 2006 from Kennesaw State University and his Masters of Public Administration in 2009.


Amanda Crater, Director of Membership and Programs                                                                                                                                                                                 770-813-3381

Mandy is an Atlanta native and has been advocating on behalf of the construction industry for 13 years. She served as membership and programs director at the Great Atlanta Home Builders Association for over seven years. From there she moved on to working in public relations and marketing focused again on construction. Her most recent position prior to joining the Council was with Goodwill of North Georgia as Regional Manager for Construction and Forklift Training Programs assisting people to gain entry-level skills and certifications to break into the construction industry. She now resides in Buckhead with her husband and two children.


MalloryJohnsonMallory Johnson, Marketing and Operations Assistant

Mallory Johnson is a new addition to the Council team. She previously worked as an accountant at a firm located outside of Atlanta. Mallory is a recent graduate from Kennesaw State University where she received her Bachelors of Business Administration in Accounting. She grew up in and still currently resides in Marietta.


AlexHebdonAlex Hebdon, Policy Analyst

Alex Hebdon was born and raised in Cobb County. She graduated from the University of Georgia in May 2013 with a joint A.B. in International Affairs and a Master’s of Public Administration (M.P.A.), with concentrations in Policy Analysis and Nonprofit Management. She started working for the Council for Quality Growth in August 2013.


BrandonWilliamsBrandon Williams, Policy Analyst

Brandon grew up in the Atlanta suburb of Conyers and is currently a senior undergraduate at Georgia Tech. He is pursuing a degree in Public Policy with a concentration in Environmental and Urban Policy. He has been part of the Council staff since May 2013.



AdriannaPicAdrianna Alley, Policy Intern                                  

Adrianna Alley was born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas. She graduated from Washington and Lee University in May 2011 with a double major in Economics and Sociology. Following graduation, she worked for Senator Mark Pryor (AR) in Washington, D.C. She is currently pursuing her Master’s of Public Administration (M.P.A) at the University of Georgia, specializing in Policy Analysis.