Emily Brenner Hawkins, Executive Director

Emily Brenner Hawkins was appointed to the position of Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director in September 2016, with the goal of leading strategic growth at a critical time when expansion is so important to underserved children in the Atlanta region. Emily brings strong leadership skills and a track record of developing sustainable nonprofit organizations. Before joining Horizons Atlanta, Emily Hawkins most recently served as Executive Director of Kate’s Club, an organization dedicated to empowering children and teens facing life after the death of a parent or sibling. Before that, she was Vice President of Programs for Leadership Atlanta, whose mission is to develop, connect and inspire leaders to strengthen metro Atlanta's communities. Emily holds a B.A. from The George Washington University and an M.S. from Georgia Tech. A proud Atlanta resident since 1997, she lives in Morningside with her husband and two young sons.


Mary-Kate Starkel, Associate Director

Mary-Kate provides leadership, coordination, and strategy development for all of our regional fundraising needs. A seasoned nonprofit professional, Mary-Kate has spent 12 years working on behalf of educational and youth serving organizations in program management and resource development roles, including positions that required the management of federal, state, and local contracts. Her most recent position was Institutional Giving Manager with KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools, where she helped raise $4.2M annually. Mary-Kate graduated from Georgia State University with both her Bachelors of Social Work and Masters of Public Administration in Nonprofit Management. An Atlanta native, Mary-Kate lives in Decatur with her husband, a high school science teacher, and two daughters.


Christine Brodnan, Regional Program Director

Christine Brodnan is the Regional Program Director for Horizons Atlanta, where she oversees and supports regional programming of the nine Horizons Atlanta sites in the metro area, ensuring program quality and fidelity by serving as a lead for the site director professional development community. Chris was the Site Director for Horizons Atlanta at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School for three years, where she managed all aspects of the site at Holy Innocents’, from fundraising and development to managing teachers and volunteers. Previously, Chris worked with the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Atlanta Civic Site, managing a portfolio of community stakeholders invested in improving educational outcomes for children. Chris earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Emory University and a Master in Public Administration, with a focus in nonprofit management, from the University of Georgia. She is an active member of the Junior League of Atlanta and volunteers weekly as a reading mentor through Everybody Wins! Atlanta. Chris lives with her husband and son in the Peachtree Hills neighborhood.