About Us: Our Purpose and History

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Our Purposeatlanta

Pace Cetters is a professional women’s organization whose purpose is to create and actively support an environment conducive to business, networking and community involvement. The group offers professional women in all business sectors opportunities to connect with each other and participate in personal & professional enrichment programs, to collaborate together and serve our community, and to care for one another when members are in need.

Connect * Collaborate * Care

Our History

Pace Cetters was established in 1969 by Linda Calhoun of Peachtree Center Management with sponsorship from John Portman, under its original name, Peachtree Center Pace Cetters, as a way for the businesswomen of Peachtree Center to get together and become better acquainted. Membership was limited to women in mostly secretarial and administrative roles, working in Peachtree Center. As Pace Cetters grew, its membership was expanded to professional women beyond the administrative field and outside the geographic boundary of Peachtree Center, thus the name was shortened to Pace Cetters. Our member ages range from mid-twenties to mid-seventies, providing an exciting environment of experience and new ideas. Many strong relationships are formed with many members not only finding a mentor, but also becoming a mentor themselves.

Our luncheons are on the second Wednesday of the month at the Georgia Tech Hotel & Conference Center, 800 Spring Street, Atlanta, GA 30308. It is our goal to find inspiring and informative business men and women to speak for 30 minutes at each of our lunches. Legendary and key speakers for Pace Cetters over the years have been:

  • Senator Johnny Isakson
  • GA House of Representatives Earl Ehrhart
  • Sam Williams, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce
  • Maria Saporta, Atlanta Business Chronicle
  • Doug Barron, Georgia Ovarian Cancer Alliance
  • Lisa Borders, Henry W. Grady Health System Foundation
  • Paul Ossmann, Chief Meteorologist, WXIA 11 Alive
  • Parisa Khosravi, Former SVP Global Relations for CNN Worldwide
  • Bert Lance, served as the Director of the Office Management and the Budget under President Jimmy Carter
  • The Honorable Maynard Jackson, former Mayor of Atlanta
  • The Honorable Shirley C. Franklin, former Mayor of Atlanta
  • Architect and developer John Portman, Founder and Chairman of Portman Holdings
  • Ben Fortson, former Georgia Secretary of State
  • Max Cleland, former US Senator representing Georgia
  • Ted Turner, Founder of TBS, TNT, and CNN; owner of the Atlanta Braves
  • Franklin Garrett, Atlanta Historian
  • Vince Dooley, former UGA Athletic Director
  • Barbara Dooley, Author and Georgia Personality
  • Bernice King, Minister and youngest child of civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King
  • Fran Tarkenton, former NFL quaterback
  • William Porter (Billy) Payne, the man behind the 1996 Olympic Games
  • Monica Kaufman Pearson, former news anchor for WSB-TV (37 years)
  • Dr. Betty Siegel, former President of Kennesaw State University
  • Dr. G. Wayne Clough, President Emeritus of Georgia Tech; Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution
  • Cathy Cox, former Secretary of State for Georgia
  • Dan Reeves, former Atlanta Falcon’s coach
  • Senator Sam Nunn speaking on the Nuclear Threat Initiative
  • Dr. James T. Laney, former U.S. Ambassador to South Korea
  • Ann Stallard, executive vice president of Graphic Communications Corporation
  • Verna Cleveland, chair of the Hillary Clinton 2008 presidential campaign
  • Donna Buchanan, former president of Junior Achievement (JA) of Georgia; COO of United Way of Greater Atlanta
  • Ron Clark, the Ron Clark Academy

Link to past speakers from the past 7 years.


Annual dues are $100.00 payable by January 15 each year. Dues for members joining during the year are prorated. Dues can be paid personally or by company sponsorship. The Monthly Member Luncheons are $35.00 per lunch and can be paid in full for the year (11 months*) or one at a time. *December's luncheon is typically at a higher price and is always paid separately.