ABOUT US

About Virginia Highland

Virginia Highland neighborhood, situated northeast of Downtown Atlanta and ¼ mile from Midtown & Atlanta Beltline, is an original streetcar suburb with walkable, tree-lined streets, and 1920’s bungalow houses. Recently voted the “#4 Best Neighborhood in South” by Southern Living Magazine, Virginia Highland residents & visitors alike agree there’s always something to do in “Va-Hi!” Here you’ll find Atlanta’s favorite restaurants, legacy bars, trendy shops, world class fitness and wellness, as well as annual events like Summerfest and Tour of Homes.

About Virginia Highland District

Virginia Highland District Association is a 501(c)(3) tax-deductible nonprofit created to design, develop, and implement strategies of community engagement and economic development, to advocate for a robust and diverse business corridor with a strong relationship with public and private sectors. Founded by resident stakeholders, Virginia Highland District Association consists of a volunteer Board, with multidisciplinary professionals, invested in the prosperity of the Virginia Highland neighborhood and business corridor.

Our Mission

Our mission is to engage all stakeholders and city planning professionals in creating a clear vision in order to encourage preferred investment and development in our neighborhood for years to come.

Meet the Board

Katie Voelpel

Katie Voelpel

Co-Founder, Board Member

After graduating with her Masters in Architecture, Katie moved to the Virginia-Highland neighborhood where she fell in love with the historical character, great weather, walkability, and wonderful neighbors. There was just one thing that kept bothering her: its potential was far from its reality. 

In early 2018, with the help of VaHi shop owner and friend, Catina Stravoulakis, Katie set out with a goal to reinvigorate Virginia-Highland’s vibe. They founded Beautify VaHi with a similar mission as her thesis project – to build an itinerary of businesses with a marketed lifestyle to support daily life along North Highland. In 2020, with the help of concerned residents, Beautify VaHi became Virginia Highland District Association, an all encompassing dream from humble beginnings excited to make a lasting difference with Atlanta’s top professionals.

Lindsay Wheeler

Lindsay Wheeler

Co-Founder, Board Member

Lindsay, a former VP at Citigroup, managed the commercial real estate portfolio for the West Coast and comes to the board of Virginia Highland District Association with acute business acumen for evaluating business plans. She has an eye for talent and cares deeply about seeing people succeed. After leaving Citigroup, Lindsay transitioned her career to focus solely on elevating customer experience and has helped many of the brands we know and love today go public.

Lindsay’s niche is to help aid in growth while not losing the soul of a small and local business. In her spare time, you may see Lindsay coaching on mindfulness and teaching yoga at Highland Yoga (a vibrant small business in Atlanta) or on the TED stage as she works closely with entrepreneurs, researchers, and doers to deliver simple messaging on complex ideas.

Tyler Wheeler

Tyler Wheeler

Co-Founder, Board Member

Tyler, an Atlanta Native, is a small business owner and practicing physician at the Family Practice Center of Atlanta. He also volunteers his time training medical students as an Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Emory School of Medicine.  Tyler has been awarded for his humanistic efforts and achievements in medicine.  He is passionate about elevating human potential by helping his patients make healthy lifestyle choices. Tyler cares about giving back to the community he lives in and feels strongly that working at the local level is where the greatest impact can be made.

Dora Marquez

Dora Marquez

Board Member

When Dora first visited Atlanta before living in the city of trees full-time, she was immediately attracted to Virginia Highland’s beauty, historical charm, and neighborly vibe. It was abundantly clear this was the neighborhood she would reside in when she moved.

In 2015, Dora graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in journalism/mass communications and moved to Kansas City, where she began her career as an editor. A passion for helping others and enacting change, Dora quickly became involved in fundraising and events for the Kansas City Ballet. She carried that spirit with her when she officially relocated to beautiful Atlanta in October 2019, which sparked her involvement in Beautify VaHi, now Virginia Highland District Association. Dora loves the Highlands’ walkability and is obsessed with the beautiful foliage year-round.

On weekend mornings, you can find her perusing the neighborhood with her husband and fluffy white Goldendoodle Murphy, bopping into shops and supporting the local businesses. Dora loves collaborating and seeing communities come together. To her, VHDA is about reinvigorating and energizing the neighborhood we all know and love. Let her know if you have any ideas for neighborhood events!

Christina Carrick

Christina Carrick

Board Member

Christina is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and has a private practice, Carrick Counseling & Consulting.  For several years, Christina has been an active volunteer for Kate’s Club, a well-established local Atlanta non-profit, that helps kids navigate the grief of a parent or sibling.

Christina has lived in Va-Hi for the last 8 years. She loves this neighborhood because of the rich cultural history it holds, the community of neighbors who come together, and the long-standing businesses that feel like home when she walks in.  You’ll find her walking along Highland almost daily with her rescue dog, Trigger.

As a therapist and local business owner, fostering relationships with her neighbors and the community that she lives in is vital. Christina loves to see businesses continue to grow and support each other. And for us all to work together to have a sustainable community of partnerships. She believes we can thrive when we work together for the betterment of where we live, work, and play.

Melissa Shaughnessy

Melissa Shaughnessy

Board Member

In 2005, after having time to explore all of Atlanta’s amazingly different neighborhoods, she knew that there was no other neighborhood to call home than Virginia Highland, which is also when she realized her affection for beautiful homes, architecture and landscapes. As a licensed Realtor since 2006, Melissa has been working the intown real estate market for 14+ years.  Melissa is now the founder of Team RRP at the Keller Knapp brokerage. Her expertise of the Intown Atlanta market and loyal client following has awarded her the Top Producer Award (top 15% of Realtors) for the last 5 years, consecutively. 

Melissa’s love for real estate, coupled with her drive and passion to see her home and favorite neighborhood thrive, Melissa  knew she had to get involved on the Board to help create exciting events & happenings. Through her various connections, and as the only current mother on the board and a SPARK parent, Melissa will also work to initiate more happenings and events for families and children to create memories together and further unite our community.

Brittany Hester

Brittany Hester

Board Member

Described as a swiss army knife, Brittany is the multifaceted force behind the branding, social media communications and all visual content produced for Virginia-Highland District. After graduating Georgia State University in May 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Film Production as well as a minor in Marketing, Brittany first went on to pursue a career in the growing entertainment industry in Atlanta as a Set Decorator and Art Director for film, television, music videos, and commercials. During that time she worked with clients such as SONY Playstation, Coca Cola, Showtime, and Atlantic Records. Her education in marketing and advertising, along with knowledge of the ever-changing digital landscape, led to a transition into an agency environment where she currently works.

Brittany has developed a passion for visual storytelling through branded content for businesses and organizations; in particular, small and locally owned businesses. As a long-time Atlanta resident, and newer Virginia-Highland resident, she’s developed a deep love for the “VaHi” neighborhood. She wants to use her diverse skillset to support the efforts in not only making the neighborhood and it’s businesses widely known on a digital platform, but actually bringing in new visitors to new business to help make this neighborhood once again one be of Atlanta’s most thriving and exciting places to be.