By Larry Williams, president and CEO, Technology Association of Georgia


The technology industry has been on a roll in 2021. At the same time, the market for tech talent is not working as it should.

The unemployment rate in Georgia for tech jobs is -3 percent. That means employers have a tough time finding qualified candidates in hot fields such as software development or information security. The talent gap keeps expanding, and employers struggle to keep up with the fast pace of emergent technology.

Not only does the out-of-sync talent market stifle recruiting, it also creates an environment where it’s hard for tech professionals to gain needed skills and experiences. We could all use a little help navigating the workplace, and that is especially true for mid-career employees working in technology.

With that challenge in mind, I’m thrilled to announce the launch of Pathways to Leadership, or P2L. This program, led by TAG-Ed, the education and career development arm of TAG under the leadership of TAG’s Heather Maxfield, is geared to elevating the careers of high-performing, up-and-coming leaders. P2L is TAG-Ed’s signature program, and I could not be more proud of it.

How does P2L benefit the companies who participate? It’s an effective way to invest in a company’s most powerful competitive advantage: its people. Employers gain a unique opportunity to develop the next generation of technology leaders.

P2L is a 12-month career development program. It provides emerging tech leaders with the benefits of mentors, C-level communications, and unique networking opportunities. P2L focuses on small group conversations, relationship building, one-on-one mentoring, and unique professional connectivity. P2L cultivates the kind of leadership skills companies reward with promotions and plum assignments.

The first cohort consists of 18 diverse men and women. They participate in virtual and in-person meetings several times a month. The opportunity to collaborate with the best and brightest experts in Georgia is a life and career changing experience that benefits participants and mentors alike.

The cohort will learn directly from industry experts and executives through open discussion style sessions and a hands-on project with Zoo Atlanta.

Congratulations to all the members of the first cohort of 2021-2022. They are:

  • Thomas Alexander— Senior Unix, Storage, and Backup Administrator at FLEETCOR
  • Tamara Aranbayeva— Director of Technology Service Delivery at FLEETCOR
  • Dana Bryant— Enterprise Sales Manager at Comcast Business
  • Nathalie Charlot— Head of the Test Management Office at NCR Corporation
  • Affan Chaudry— Senior Manager of Program Integration at EY
  • Robert Daniel— Director at Auriemma Roundtables
  • Elizabeth Jackson— Director of Application Support and Information Management at Atlanta Housing Authority
  • Rob Keena— Director of Global Unified Communications at FLEETCOR
  • Helen Kenny— Technical Project Manager at Scientific Games
  • Caroline Mayberry— Market Research Analyst at Paya
  • Kirk McAllister— Enterprise Support Manager at Spelman College
  • Ricky McLeod— Senior Manager of Product Sales Support and Analysis at Comcast Business
  • Clarence Mims— Software Engineering Manager at The Home Depot
  • Derek Minnich— Executive Director of Information Technology at NCR Corporation
  • Scott Reynolds— Senior IT Process Analyst at Synovus
  • Alex Rieffel— Director of Systems Operations at Paya
  • Beth Saylor— Senior Manager of Global Information Governance at Aflac
  • Katie Warvel— Training Manager at Scientific Games

TAG-Ed is grateful to Zoo Atlanta and to the organizations investing in these leaders. We look forward to welcoming others as we expand the program with a new and much larger cohort in 2022-23.