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.
Rebekah Anderson hails from Forsyth, Georgia and received her 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 pursue her passion for travelling the world. Transitioning to less travel to begin a family, Rebekah joined the non-profit sector in the way of business development and programs. Rebekah has an affinity for business development, public policy, and strategic relationships, 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 the Regional Leadership Institute (2022), Leadership North Fulton (Class of 2022), and Leadership Monroe (Class of 2015). She is a Soprano 2 in The Trey Clegg Singers, a regular blood donor to the American Red Cross, and serves on the Communications Committee of the Sandy Springs Conservancy and the Events Committee of Atlanta Angels. In her free time, Rebekah enjoys traveling, music, and the arts. She resides in East Cobb with her husband and child.
Director, Policy & Government Affairs
Joseph Santoro serves as the Director of Policy & Government Affairs 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 Director 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.
Senior Manager of Member Services & Operations
Sandy Collins serves as the Senior Manager of Member Services & Operations for the Council for Quality Growth where she strives to deliver high value to our members on a daily basis. Sandy 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, leaving only to pursue her Bachelors from Georgia Southwestern State University in Americus, Georgia. Her previous experience is rooted in Southwest Georgia where she served in a joint communications role for the Sumter County Chamber of Commerce, Sumter County Development Authority, and One Sumter Economic Development Foundation. Sandy is a graduate of Gwinnett Young Professionals Journey Leadership Institute and 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.
Kristen serves as the Council’s Programs Coordinator, where she is responsible for planning all the Council’s many annual programs and other events. Prior to joining the Council for Quality Growth team, Kristen worked as a paralegal in both real estate law and family law. In her free time, she pursued her passion for event planning by working part time for an event company in Savannah, as well as designing and coordinating weddings for family and friends. What once was a hobby for Kristen has now turned into an exciting transition to the non-profit sector where she can use her skills and talents to make a difference in the greater Atlanta community. Kristen grew up just a little south of Atlanta in Forsyth, Georgia, but also spent a good amount of her life in Statesboro. She enjoys spending her time outside of work with her husband and their two dogs. They are both graduates of Georgia Southern University and die-hard Atlanta United fans.
Membership Development Executive
Terrie Ward serves as the Council’s Membership Development Executive where she is responsible for membership recruitment and retention efforts. Prior to joining the Council for Quality Growth team, Terrie worked as Director of Sales & Marketing in both the healthcare and hospitality industries. She is a native Atlantan, and she received a Degree in Journalism from Georgia State University. Terrie is a graduate of Leadership Cobb, she has served as a Pace Leader with the Atlanta Track Club, and she has been a board member on several non-profit boards for children. Outside of work, Terrie is an avid marathon runner having completed 21 marathons, and counting, as well as a golf enthusiast.