Meet the Staff
Michael E. Paris, President & CEO
Michael Paris, a Cobb County native, took the Council helm in late 2003, and over the past nine years has worked to expand the Council and to spread its mission of promoting balanced and responsible growth throughout the metro region and the state. The Council delivers its mission and works to influence policy on critical growth issues through the platforms of Advocacy, Information and Education by working closely with elected officials and staff at all levels of local, state and federal government
With a degree in real estate from Georgia State University, Michael has more than 30 years of experience in real estate development, brokerage, land-use planning and association management.
Michael currently serves as volunteer Vice Chair of the Metro Atlanta Voter Education Network (MAVEN) which works to educate voters on the 2012 Regional Transportation Referendum. He served for a number of years on the Cobb County Planning Commission and the Cobb County Board of Zoning Appeals. Michael is involved in numerous community and professional activities. His affiliations include the Board of Directors for YMCA of Metropolitan Atlanta, 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 at 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, Georgia and have two grown children.
Jennifer Head, Membership, Program & Marketing Manager
Born in north Georgia, Jennifer grew up in Charleston, SC. After graduating with two Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and History from the College of Charleston, Jennifer moved to Vermont where she joined the Manchester and the Mountains Regional Chamber of Commerce. There, she managed all aspects of Visitor Services, Membership, Web Site Administration, Events and Marketing for this not-for profit, 700+ membership driven organization. Jennifer returned to her southern roots and joined the Council in 2006.
James Touchton, Manager of Policy and Government Affairs
James Touchton recently joined the Council after spending the last 4 and ½ years in the Georgia Senate. In the Senate, James served in the Senate Research Office as a Senior Policy Analyst and Advisor, where he focused in Education & Youth, Higher Education, State & Local Government Operations, Science & Technology and State Institutions and Properties. In addition to serving as a Senior Analyst, James was named a Senior Fellow to the National Conference of State Legislature’s Early Learning Program and the state contact for “Project Democracy.” James received his Bachelors of Political Science in 2006 from Kennesaw State University and his Masters of Public Administration in 2009.
Josh Stephens, Public Policy Analyst
Josh Stephens was born and raised in Madison, Georgia. He attended Augusta State University and received a degree in criminal justice in 2009. He then attended Georgia State University and received his Master of Public Policy degree in 2011. Josh joined the Council in January 2011 as an intern and now serves as the Public Policy Analyst. Josh serves on the Board of Directors for Mountain Top Boys Home in Sugar Valley, GA. He is very active at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church in Buckhead serving as the President of the Young Professionals group, Co-Chairman of the Single Professionals Ministry and represents Mountain Top Boys Home on the Local Outreach Committee. Josh is also an Eagle Scout.
Karyl Kaye Miller