Debi Mae Starnes Atlanta

Community-Focused Atlanta Entrepreneur Debi Mae Starnes

A longtime Atlanta entrepreneur, Debi Mae Starnes has owned the Sugar Magnolia Bed and Breakfast in the city's historic Inman Park neighborhood for more than two decades. Guests of the carefully restored Queen Anne Victorian home explore a taste of Southern life as it existed in the late 19th century, in Atlanta's first suburb. Debi Starnes and the Innkeeper, Kathryn, oversee all aspects of operations and are dedicated to ensuring that guests from around the world enjoy a memorable stay in charming surroundings. Distinctive features include oval-beveled windows, a grand staircase, fireplaces, and a three-story turret.

Dr. Starnes has also led EMSTAR Research, Inc. as founder, managing partner, and majority owner since 1988. Employing proven community psychology principles, the firm develops and implements program evaluation plans. The firm's team of psychologists, social workers, behavioral scientists, and statisticians offers organizations and programs with critical resources in identifying needs and meeting data collection objectives. Dr. Starnes emphasizes the importance of structuring resources strategically and creating outcome evaluation plans that provide lasting value.


City of Atlanta

Policy Advisor to Mayor

2007 to 2009

EMSTAR Research, Inc


1988 to Present

Sugar Magnolia Bed and Breakfast


1993 to Present


East Tennessee State University


1978 to 1980

East Tennessee State University


1974 to 1978

Georgia State University


1984 to 1987