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Women in Leadership

Ashby Kent talks with Katie Caperton and Maggie Geraghty on the topic of Women in Leadership on this installment of Results Matter Radio.

Katie Caperton/HLN Digital

Katie Caperton is Editor-in-Chief of HLN Digital. Based in CNN’s global headquarters in Atlanta (also the home of sister channel HLN), she is responsible for directing the editorial content for the newly launched website, overseeing its daily “must see, must share” news stories and videos.

Caperton joined CNN in July 2009 as Entertainment Editor at CNN Digital. In that position, she relaunched the website’s entertainment section, which is now one of the most popular user destinations on Her revisions to the entertainment pages include the addition of user comments on and Facebook; breaking entertainment stories and videos; and “Quote Board” highlights of the week’s most controversial or interesting celebrity comments and activities. Addtionally, Caperton is responsible for overseeing the launch of the entertainment blog, The Marquee Blog, one of the most highly viewed on

Before joining CNN, Caperton was the Editor-in-Chief of OK! Magazine, where she also served as managing editor and executive editor. Before that, she held the position of assistant managing editor at Star Magazine. She was also an editorial contributer to InStyle Magazine, New York Magazine, Interview, Atlanta Magazine and the New York Daily News.

Caperton earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications with honors from New York University.

Maggie Geraghty/Thomas Arvid Fine Art, Inc.

Maggie Geraghty is the Director of Marketing and Operations for Thomas Arvid Fine Art, Inc., a boutique publishing firm representing the art of Thomas Arvid. Credited for redefining the modern still life with his monumental paintings of the beauty of wine, Arvid’s work is featured in over fifty galleries across the U.S., Canada and abroad. In addition to working with galleries to sell and promote Arvid, Maggie manages the marketing strategies and production team for the Limited Edition program. She creates and edits all marketing materials including, Living Artfully television pilot, annual Arvid calendar, wine tasting journals and museum catalogs.

Currently, Maggie is also the Director of Exhibition and Sponsorships for Arvid: Reflecting the Good Life at the Marietta Cobb Museum of Art September 21 – December 15, 2012. In addition to managing and organizing Arvid’s first museum exhibition, she was able to raise more than $75,000 in sponsorships and in-kind donations to successfully support an exhibit of more than 46 paintings representing twenty years of Arvid’s career.

Ashby L. Kent/Burr & Forman

Ashby L. Kent has practiced in Burr & Forman’s Litigation section since 2003 where she specializes in general commercial litigation. She has handled a wide variety of business disputes (tort and contract) for both plaintiffs and defendants, and her clients range from individuals and small businesses to large national financial institutions, including banks, lenders, mortgage companies and insurance companies.

Ashby represents her financial services clients in a variety of consumer finance and real estate matters, including actions for wrongful foreclosure, predatory lending, consumer protection law claims and other state and federal lender liability claims. In representing her title insurance clients, Ashby has handled numerous matters which involve evaluating and litigating bad faith claims, boundary line and easement disputes, one-half interest defects, lost or unrecorded security instruments issues, disputes over damages and loss valuations and other issues that frequently arise in the title insurance industry.

Ashby has nearly 10 years of experience litigating in Georgia’s state and federal courts, and has tried cases (bench and jury trials) in both. Additionally, she has successfully, efficiently and cost-effectively resolved numerous disputes through effective settlement negotiation and/or participation in alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, including mediation and arbitration.

How is Atlanta Attracting and Growing New Businesses?

Brian McGowan/Invest Atlanta

Brian McGowan is the President/CEO at Invest Atlanta.  Brian was appointed by President Barack Obama as U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce. In this capacity he was the Chief Operating Officer of the U.S. Economic Development Administration. Brian was detailed to the White House as a Economic Advisor to lead the Economic Solutions Group within the National Incident Command in response to the BP oil spill. He was also elected as a US Delegate to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris.

Before joining the Obama Administration he was appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to serve as California’s Deputy Secretary for Economic Development and Commerce.  Prior to this, Brian was appointed as the Economic Development Agency Administrator for the County of San Bernardino and worked for the City of Ontario and the City of Palm Springs. He was also a consultant for the US Agency for International Development where he developed economic growth programs for cities in Bulgaria and Serbia.

Brian received a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of California, Riverside and a Master’s degree in Politics, Economics and Business from the Claremont Graduate University. He is also the Michael and Mary Johnston Fellow at the Claremont Graduate University where he is completing a PhD in American Politics and Policy.

Councilman H. Lamar Willis/City of Atlanta

H. Lamar Willis was elected in 2001 to serve as the Post 3 At-Large Councilmember for the City of Atlanta. He was then and continues to be the youngest member of the legislative body of the City of Atlanta government. Lamar is currently serving his second term on council, having been re-elected without opposition in 2005. He is currently serving on the on the Transportation, Public Safety/Legal Administration and Community Development/Human Resources Committees.

During his time on Council, Lamar has served as President of Pro Tempore, Chair of the Council’s Transportation Committee for two consecutive years and as Chair of the Pubic Safety & Legal Administration Committee. In his role as Chairman, the Transportation Committee provided oversight over issues dealing with Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and its $4.5 billion dollar expansion program, City Transportation Initiatives, as well as issues pertaining to MARTA. As Chair of the Public Safety, Lamar championed efforts to assist the Police, Fire and Corrections Departments in securing legislation that would both strengthen their departments and ensure they had the tools needed to further improve public safety efforts in the City of Atlanta.

Lamar a life long resident of Atlanta. He graduated from Northside (North Atlanta) High School and went on to attend Morehouse College. He also received a Master of Science degree in Management and Policy Analysis from Carnegie Mellon University and a Juris Doctorate from Boston College Law School.

In addition to his duties as a council member, Lamar practices law in Atlanta (licensed in Georgia and Florida). He is the Managing Partner of Willis Law Group, LLC. Lamar and his wife of 13 years, Dr. Kamili Willis, are the proud parents of a nine year old daughter, Kayla and a four year old son, Henry. His family has been active members of Cascade United Methodist Church for over thirty years.

Brad Baldwin/Burr & Forman

Brad Baldwin practices in Burr & Forman’s Creditors’ Rights and Bankruptcy practice group and represents both debtors and creditors in bankruptcy and financial restructuring. Brad’s debtor representations include serving as lead restructuring counsel for several large manufacturing companies, including a $100 million textile company and a $100 million rope manufacturer. He also regularly represents various creditors in bankruptcy, including financial institutions, landlords, equipment lessors, suppliers, and municipal governments. Brad has personally conducted numerous bankruptcy auctions involving the sale of large companies, and he is adeptly skilled in representing buyers seeking to acquire assets out of bankruptcy.

In addition to bankruptcy, Brad’s practice includes commercial litigation with an emphasis on creditor’s rights, such as collections, foreclosures, receiverships, garnishments and repossessions.

Brad is a member of the Georgia State Bar, the Supreme Court of Georgia, the Georgia Court of Appeals, the U.S. 11th and 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Middle Districts of Georgia. He is a member of the Atlanta Bar Association and is a former Chairman for the Bankruptcy Section of the Atlanta Bar Association. Brad is also a member of the Turnaround Management Association and the Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Advisors.

CoreNet Global Atlanta Chapter Current and Incoming Presidents

Darlene Hawksley/McPherson Implementing Local Redevelopment Authority

Darlene Hawksley is the current President of the CoreNet Global Atlanta Chapterand Director of Real Estate and Business Engagement, McPherson Implementing Local Redevelopment Authority.

Peggy Henderson/Real Property Tax Advisors

Peggy Henderson is the incoming President of the CoreNet Global Atlanta Chapter and Director, Real Property Tax Advisors.

Georgia’s New Research and Development Tax Credit

On May 8, 2012, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed into law Georgia House Bill 868 expanding Georgia’s new research and development tax credit available to Georgia businesses. Find out how this change affects current Georgia businesses and why this may attract more businesses to Georgia.

Edward H. Brown/Burr & Forman

Based in the Atlanta office, Ed Brown is Vice-Chair of Burr & Forman’s Business section and a Partner in the firm’s Corporate law practice group focusing on taxation and estate planning. He has over twenty-four years of experience in franchise law, mergers and acquisitions and personal planning, specifically with federal estate and gift taxation.

Ed’s corporate and tax law practice includes assisting clients who are involved in the formation and development of business ventures and representing both companies and individuals seeking venture capital financing. He represents venture capital companies and investors in funding early-stage and start-up companies and also represents both buyers and sellers in the purchase or sale of businesses, through tax-free mergers, stock purchase arrangements, and asset acquisitions. Ed regularly works with real estate developers and investors in developing effective structures for the acquisition, development and ultimate disposition of property. His experience also includes representing public and private companies in connection with access to capital securities and markets.

Ed is licensed to practice in Georgia and Illinois, Georgia Superior Courts, the Illinois Supreme Court, and the U.S. Tax Court. He is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, the Lawyers Club of Atlanta, and the State Bar of Georgia. In 2012, Ed was named as a “Leader in their Field” in Coporate & M&A Law by the highly regarded Chambers USA, a legal directory featuring client-led intelligence on America’s leading lawyers. Ed recently co-hosted a webinar with Steve Ennen of SocialStrategy1 entitled Corporate Policies in Social Media, where they discussed how companies can create proper social media policies and how to approach social media with the compliance of corporate policies. Ed received his LL.M. in Taxation in 1984 from Emory University. In addition, Ed has spoken before a variety of business and accounting groups, has written on business and tax law issues, and has appeared as a guest analyst on CNBC. Ed serves on the Board of Directors and as President of the Atlanta Junior Golf Foundation. He earned his J.D. in 1980 from Washington and Lee University School of Law and his B.A., with distinction, from the University of Virginia in 1977.

Melissa L. Horne/Smith & Howard, PC

Melissa L. Horne, CPA,  is a Senior Manager in the Tax Group of Smith & Howard, a nationally-ranked “Best of the Best” CPA firm. Melissa’s expertise involves tax planning, compliance and consulting services for high net-worth individuals and businesses. She has worked extensively with manufacturing, distribution, insurance, construction, professional services, and trucking businesses throughout the Southeast. Melissa seeks to help her clients minimize taxes and take advantage of the significant R&D and other tax credits available to them in Georgia.

Melissa received a BBA in Accounting and a BBA in Finance from Valdosta State University, and a Master of Taxation from Georgia State University. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and in the Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants, where she is a member of the taxation section, an alumnus of the GSCPA Leadership Academy and has served on the Financial Literacy Task Force. Melissa is a CPA Professional Mentor and a member of the Atlanta Tax Forum.