FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Heather Gaylord, heather@leadershipdekalb.org

Leadership DeKalb Announces New Board Chair and Executive Director for 2022 New Leadership Brings Extensive Experience to Long-Standing Community Organization

DECATUR, GA (January 25, 2022) – Leadership DeKalb ushers in 2022 with new board chair, Marquetta J. Bryan, and new executive director, Indras Whittaker, guiding the long-standing leadership development program and its membership of more than 1,000 professionals from the public, private and non-profit sectors.

Bryan, the new board chair, a partner in Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP’s Atlanta office, is an experienced legal advisor to leaders of public, private and governmental organizations. Bryan has a long history of nonprofit leadership. She was a member of Leadership DeKalb’s Class of 2016 and joined the board of directors in 2017. Before becoming board chair, she served on the executive committee and as the chair of the organization’s nominating committee and the finance committee. She also served on the planning, selection and program committee for Leadership DeKalb’s Emerging Leaders pilot program. Bryan also serves on the Boards of Directors of the DeKalb Symphony Orchestra, Georgia Legal Services Program, the Emory University Alumni Board, and is the immediate past Chair of the Georgia Board of Directors of the American Cancer Society. In 2020, she was honored as one of Atlanta Magazine’s Women Making a Mark and Profiles in Diversity Journal named her a 2021 Black Leader Worth Watching. She has also been recognized by Who’s Who in Black Atlanta, Girls, Inc., Rolling Out Magazine, the Atlanta Tribune and the State Bar of Georgia.

“I am thrilled to be our board chair as Leadership DeKalb welcomes our new executive director, Indras Whittaker, and look forward to working with her in moving Leadership DeKalb forward in our commitment to advancing leaders throughout our diverse County,” said Bryan. “Throughout the two-year pandemic, with the support of our board of directors and alumni network, Leadership DeKalb has continued to recruit outstanding classes and provide an exceptional program experience. I am grateful for the trust placed in me and know we will continue to thrive.”

Through her roles as a marketing and political campaign strategist, Whittaker has gained extensive experience in community relations, donor cultivation and business development and operations. She has been a valued member of high-profile national, state and local campaigns leading everything from public events, fundraising, recruitment and onboarding of staff and volunteers, and managing state-wide campaign operations. Whittaker previously served as the marketing director for Jackmont Hospitality, an Atlanta-based franchisee and foodservice management company where she developed and implemented programs to drive franchise profitability. Through her volunteer efforts with Vanguard Leadership Group and the Maynard Jackson Youth Foundation, she has focused on providing leadership development experiences to young adults. Whittaker earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Morris Brown College and a Master of Business Administration from The University of Georgia.

“I am honored to have this opportunity to join Leadership DeKalb as its new executive director. The organization, through its incredible alumni network and annual class membership, has a meaningful impact throughout DeKalb County and the Metro Atlanta Region,” said Whittaker. “I am committed to working in collaboration with our board, staff, alumni, class members, and community partners to exceed our mission in positioning leaders to unite, commit and act to make DeKalb a premier place to live, work and enjoy life.”

Last fall, Leadership DeKalb welcomed 47 established and emerging leaders as members of the class of 2022. Throughout the program year, members of the class view DeKalb County from many angles, learning about the issues facing the region and discovering the impact they can have as well-informed leaders. Class members are also assisting DeKalb County nonprofit organizations with projects relating to strategy development lending their professional skills for growth and development. Since the inception of this Community Service Project program in 2014, Leadership DeKalb has partnered with more than 50 nonprofit organizations providing thousands of volunteer hours.

Leadership DeKalb will begin accepting nominations for the Class of 2023 in March. For more information about participating in the program or becoming a sponsor, please visit www.leadershipdekalb.org and follow us on LinkedIn.

About Leadership DeKalb Founded in 1986, Leadership DeKalb, an independent non-profit organization, is a community leadership program that continues to build a network of leaders committed to addressing and resolving the issues that impact the quality of life in DeKalb County and the metro region. For more information, please visit www.leadershipdekalb.org.