Our History

The World Trade Center Atlanta was founded in 1982 by Honorary Chairman Sam Ayoub, former Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for the Coca-Cola Company, John Portman, noted Atlanta architect and Founder and CEO of John Portman & Associates Inc. and Ambassador Andrew Young. The WTC Atlanta secured its license from the WTC Association headquartered in New York City with the legal assistance of renowned Atlanta lawyer, Bill Poole, establishing the WTC Atlanta as the first center in the Southeastern United States. These founders created a board of directors whose financial contributions helped secure the license and enable WTC Atlanta to begin operations.

As the WTC Atlanta grew, new space was required. Brian Hogg, Vice President, Portman Holdings, oversaw the move and expansion of the WTC Atlanta to the SunTrust Plaza building from the Merchandise Mart in 1995. By 2012, WTC Atlanta was celebrating its 30th Anniversary with a line-up of founders and high-level keynote speakers.

Today, the WTC Atlanta is experiencing an exciting transformation. Debates around the value of global trade and investment have raised the profile of WTCs around the world. With new resources and an ambitious strategic plan, the WTC Atlanta is modernizing and aiming to become the pre-eminent organization in global trade and investment, connecting the world to Georgia and the Southeastern United States.