The Atlanta Business Chronicle's Women Who Mean Business Awards program honored Invest Atlanta President & CEO Dr. Elosia Klementich as one of 21 women who drive Atlanta business across different industries and professions. Program honorees were selected for making significant strides in their careers, making a difference in their communities, blazing a trail for others and leaving an indelible mark on the Atlanta business community. Atlanta Business Chronicle honored the 2019 Women Who Mean Business on the evening of Oct. 17.
Dr. Klementich spoke to the Atlanta Business Chronicle in an interview posted here.
Q: You’ve been named one of Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Women Who Mean Business 2019. How can other women leaders win similar accolades for their achievements?
A: Never do anything for the accolades. Rather, when you dedicate yourself to what you love, and you have passion for making a difference in the lives of those around you, your work will speak for itself.
Q: What does leadership mean to you?
A: To lead is to establish a vision, a north star, while creating a safe, innovative environment where people can thrive as they drive toward that vision.
Q: Please give some details about one of your top accomplishments of the past year that you are most proud of.
A: Supporting $342 million in economic investment and 2,753 in jobs while leading the city's first economic development strategy based on economic mobility principles. A vibrant Atlanta begins with an equitable Atlanta.
Q: What past challenge has most shaped your current thinking?
A:. The greatest gift of a challenge is the hindsight it provides. Understanding where obstacles may lie helps me avoid pitfalls to keep our team focused our mission. One of my guiding principles is to question everything, seek support, and rely on my leadership team.
Q: Who is a favorite leader you admire, and why?
A: I have the utmost respect for Madeleine Albright. Not only was she the first female secretary of state but her achievements and impact on this country have been long-lasting, and her inspiration to other women has been profound.
Q: What are you currently reading?
A: “Thank You for Being Late,” Thomas Friedman
Q: How do you motivate and inspire teams to achieve big goals?
A: Offer an environment that allows staff to try something new, knowing that failure is part of the learning process. Encouraging innovation stimulates the team to drive toward higher levels of excellence.
Q: Where do you find inspiration?
A: Personalized notes from the people we serve. I have received many from small business owners who have benefitted from our loan programs, from first-time homebuyers we supported, and from seniors who received financial assistance for critical home repairs. All the notes had one thing in common: Invest Atlanta made a positive difference in their lives. Not only does this inspire me, it is also why I love what I do. I am honored and humbled to be able to provide these services on behalf of the board and the city.