Michael Paris, a Cobb County native, took the Council’s helm in late 2003 and has worked to expand the Council and to spread its mission of promoting balanced and responsible growth throughout the metro region and the state. With a degree in real estate from Georgia State University, Michael has more than 45 years of experience in real estate development, brokerage, land-use planning, and association management. Michael is involved in numerous community and professional activities. His affiliations include the Board of Directors for, 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 of 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 and have two grown children.
Director of Membership & Programs
Rebekah Babovic hails from Forsyth, Georgia and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia. Her professional experience began in the fine arts industry where she acted as a luxury art dealer with a prominent gallery which allowed her to travel the world. Transitioning to less travel to begin a family, Rebekah joined the non-profit sector in the way of event management and memberships. She has directed countless events from galas and auctions to sporting tournaments and festivals. Rebekah has an affinity for marketing, public policy, and sales which has served her well in her career and established proven track records within her affiliated organizations. In her personal life, Rebekah has lived abroad in South Africa, England, and Italy, where she became fluent in Italian. Rebekah is a graduate of Leadership Monroe, Class of 2015. In her free time, Rebekah runs races, plays guitar, and paints, and continues her love of traveling and supporting the arts.
Senior Policy Analyst
Joseph Santoro serves as the Senior Policy Analyst for the Council for Quality Growth. In his role, he analyzes and interprets local and state policies related to infrastructure planning, legislative initiatives, regulatory issues, land use, transportation, and environmental planning. As a member of the policy team, he works with local and state elected officials to promote balanced and responsible growth in metro Atlanta and Georgia. Joseph thrives and is most passionate when connecting with new people and working closely with elected officials, member organizations, and other stakeholders to solve challenging policy issues that positively impact his business community. Prior to joining the council, he worked as head of external affairs at Georgia Bio to unify and align corporate leaders in all aspects of the organizations programs and policy initiatives. He worked with several large committees and working groups to discuss strategy, develop project scopes and objectives, and communicate it effectively to get all corporate leaders onboard to advance the life science industry in Georgia. Additionally, Joseph brings over six years of government affairs experience supporting the innovative strategic direction of large-scale policy programs and managing risks while achieving overall company goals with his roles at the Technology Association of Georgia, Metro Atlanta Chamber, and Invest Atlanta. Joseph received a Bachelor’s degree in Public Policy at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Membership Services & Operations Manager
Sandy Collins serves as Membership Services & Operations Manager for the Council for Quality Growth where she plays an integral role in delivering high value to our members on a daily basis. Sandy also provides management and coordination of operational activities vital to the execution of Council programs, events, initiatives, and office functionality. Born and raised in Lawrenceville, Sandy is an 8th generation Atlanta native. Her previous experience is rooted in Southwest Georgia where she served in a joint marketing and communications role for the Sumter County Chamber of Commerce, Sumter County Development Authority, and One Sumter Economic Development Foundation. Sandy received her Bachelors from Georgia Southwestern State University in Americus, Georgia. She also serves as an adviser to the Lambda Rho chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha.
Kathryn Trussell Jones
Programs & Communications Coordinator
Kathryn serves as the Programs & Communications Coordinator for the Council for Quality Growth. In her role, she coordinates and creates marketing and communications materials for all programs and events, coordinates Advisory Meetings and ELI events, and works to grow the Council’s brand across social media and press in the region. Previously, she worked in both the publishing and interior design industries where she gained experience in media, marketing, logistics, inventory management, and sales. She transitioned to the non-profit sector with the Council to pursue meaningful work in her hometown community. Kathryn was born and raised here in Sandy Springs, only leaving to attend The University of Georgia in Athens. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in advertising and communications from UGA’s Grady College of Journalism. Outside of work, Kathryn enjoys time spent outdoors with her husband and their two dogs. Her hobbies include traveling with friends, discovering new restaurants, and cheering on the Dawgs.
Membership Development Executive
Jennifer serves as the Membership Development Executive for the Council for Quality Growth. In her role, she will focus on bringing in new members and ensuring our existing members are optimizing their current membership. When she’s not working with the Council, she’s busy running her business, MatchKey Consulting. Having worked with business owners and entrepreneurs for 27 years, Jennifer is very experienced in assisting with soft skill training development and facilitation, strategic planning and implementation, relationship selling programming and empowering professionals of all ages. Jennifer is a graduate of Emory University with a BBA in Finance. She was a Commercial Banker, the Commercial Banking College Manager and Commercial Line of Business Sales Director for SunTrust Bank in Atlanta, where she spent 22 years of her career. After that, she spent over 4 years with Atlantic Capital Bank in Atlanta as a corporate banker focusing on specialized deposit programs which included the development of their film and entertainment division, 1031 exchange program and 3rd party escrow service offering. She is happily married to her husband Chris and is the proud mom of her daughter, Jordan, and son, Andrew.