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Laurens Eckelboom and Tina Dwyer with Parkmobile and Stephen Adkins with The McCart Group

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Laurens Eckelboom and Tina Dwyer/Parkmobile LinkedinTwitterFacebook

Stephen Adkins/The McCart Group Linkedin

Stephen Adkins has more than 25 years of experience in the commercial insurance industry. As Chief Operating Officer, Stephen is responsible for the operational management and leadership of EPIC’s Southeastern region and is charged with maintaining enterprise-wide profitability.

Prior to joining The McCart Group, Stephen spent 19 years working with national commercial insurance carriers, most recently serving as Product Manager and National Underwriting Director with CNA Insurance Company concentrating on the logistics, transportation and private fleet industries, both domestic and international. Mr. Adkins earned his Bachelor of Industrial Management from The Georgia Institute of Technology and a Masters in Risk Management and Insurance from Georgia State University.

Mr. Adkins holds the professional designations Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and Associate in Risk Management (ARM). Stephen is active in the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers and Vistage International.


Debbie Rodkin with Bedford Cost Segregation, Lloyd Lofton with American Eagle Financial Services, and Charles White

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Debbie Rodkin/Bedford Cost Segregation LinkedinTwitter

Lloyd Lofton/American Eagle Financial Services LinkedinTwitter

Charles White FacebookLinkedin

Charles White, MSFS, MSM, ChFC, CLU, REBC, RHU, CSA, CPA His professional interest is working with a (PEO) Professional Employer Organization & Life and Health Insurance Sales. Charles enjoys working with small business to provide benefits and HR services.


Spotlight on ACG Atlanta


Founded in 1954, the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) is the premier global association for professionals involved in corporate growth, corporate development, and mergers and acquisitions. Today ACG stands at more than 12,000 members from corporations, private equity, finance, and professional service firms representing Fortune 500, Fortune1000, FTSE 100, and mid-market companies in 53 chapters in North America and Europe. Leaders in corporations, private equity, finance, and professional service firms focused on building value in their organizations belong to ACG. They recognize the multiple benefits of networking within an influential community of executives growing public and private companies worldwide. ACG Atlanta is the third largest group in the international ACG organization, with nearly 500 members.

Chris Roselli/Mohawk Industries, Inc. Linkedin

Chris Roselli is Deputy General Counsel with Mohawk Industries, Inc. He is a Board Member with ACG and is the 2014 Atlanta ACG Capital Connection Chair.

Robert Owen/Tucker, Midis & Owen, LLC

Robert Owen is a Partner with Tucker, Midis & Owen, LLC. He is also a Board Member with ACG and is the 2014 Atlanta Capital Connection Sponsorship Committee Chair.

Upcoming Event: January 29, 2014 at Cobb Galleria Centre

The Atlanta ACG Capital Connection is the premier networking event in the Southeast for participants in all facets of corporate growth and deal making. The event presents the opportunity for intermediaries, corporate development officers, accountants, lawyers, senior lenders and other deal makers to meet and greet with top private equity and mezzanine capital providers.

The prior 10 conferences have been sold out events, and we expect another sell out in 2014. Exhibitors include approximately 90 Private Equity Groups, 50 Investment Banks and 25 Mezzanine Capital Funds. Attendance has grown from 411 in 2003, to over 1,000 in 2013. The follow-up response to the event has been overwhelmingly positive, with 99% of survey respondents indicating above average satisfaction with the event.


Elan Amram with CrowdFundBeat and David Lilenfeld with SterlingFunder

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Elan Amram/CrowdFundBeat TwitterFacebook

David Lilenfeld/SterlingFunder TwitterFacebook

David is an entrepreneur and intellectual property attorney who has practiced law since 1997. He has successfully launched and grown three businesses since graduating from law school in 1996. As a lawyer, investor and entrepreneur, David recognizes the seismic effect crowdfunding will have on businesses and individual investors across the country and eventually the world. When The JOBS Act – which makes equity-based crowdfunding legal in the United States – became law, David began planning a way to help match passionate, smart entrepreneurs with intelligent, growth-minded investors in a union that has been unduly burdensome to make before crowdfunding.


Elizabeth Ploshay with Bitcoin and Bryan Freeman with Habersham Funding

Results MatterElizabeth Ploshay/Bitcoin FacebookTwitter

Having previously served as the Scheduler and Policy Assistant for a US Member of Congress, Elizabeth is thrilled to work alongside the Bitcoin Magazine team. With a background in public policy, grassroots activism, and a keen desire to promote decentralization and individual liberties, she is fascinated with Bitcoin and the multiple opportunities for this peer to peer currency and movement to flourish. Elizabeth serves on the Bitcoin Foundation Board of Directors and is the Chair of the Bitcoin Foundation Education Committee. Elizabeth holds a BA in Political Science from Wheaton College (IL).

Bryan Freeman/Habersham Funding, LLC FacebookLinkedin

M. Bryan Freeman, President of Habersham Funding, LLC, is recognized internationally for his tireless efforts in developing the secondary market for life insurance. He has been a licensed life agent for 35 years and has been engaged in the life settlement industry since 1989 when the option came into the mainstream.

He has twice been honored by the Life Settlement Review as one of the 10 most influential people in the settlement industry internationally. He served an unprecedented four terms as President of the board of the Life Insurance Settlement Association.

Bryan and his staff have been actively involved in the development of responsible regulation and legislation of the secondary market for life insurance since its inception. His activism helped federal employees and veterans gain the right to transact settlements and cleared the way for tax-free treatment for some settlements. Bryan has testified before a financial services committee of the U.S. Congress on industry-related issues, state legislative committees and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and the National Conference of Insurance Regulators on numerous occasions. He frequently speaks about and writes on life settlements and related topics.

In 2006 Bryan was recognized with resolutions from both houses of the Georgia Legislature for his settlement industry leadership. He has been involved in the purchase and sale of life insurance policies with a total face value exceeding $2 billion.

Bryan is a founding director of Private Bancshares, Inc. and the Private Bank of Buckhead, a bank holding company and bank in Atlanta.


Inner City Capital Connections

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The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC), Bank of America, and FORTUNE are proud to announce that they have selected 44 Atlanta-area companies for their annual Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC) program. This year the program received a record-setting 2,700 qualified company nominations from across the country and selected 415 companies for participation. Especially critical in today’s economic climate, ICCC identifies inner city businesses in need of growth capital, educates them on building capacity and accessing capital, and connects them with capital providers in order to grow their businesses and create jobs.

Four of the 44 Atlanta companies appear as guests on today’s show.

Kevin Mobley/The Ian Thomas Group LLC Linkedin

Kevin Mobley is a Six Sigma Black Belt with over twenty years of experience creating software systems for Fortune 1000 companies in the entertainment, financial services, government, retail and travel sectors. Kevin Mobley is the Chief Executive Officer of The Ian Thomas Group, LLC (ITG). ITG provides strategic and tactical software performance engineering and deployment services to organizations deploying complex software systems — solving the types of complex performance problems that have recently plagued

The services of The Ian Thomas Group are being leveraged by Bank of America, Capital One and AT&T during the replacement and management of their enterprise software.

Engineering teams led by Mr. Mobley have managed the performance engineering of complex multi‐tier systems of more than 100 customer implementations. Mr. Mobley’s teams have rewritten the core components of software architectures with increases in performance of several by more than 1300%.

Mr. Mobley has a Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering from George Mason University and Masters of Science in Systems Engineering from Georgia Tech.

Deidre F. Brown Collins/Acsential FacebookLinkedin

Deidre F. Brown Collins is the Founding Managing Member and CEO of Brown & Pipkins, LLC and its divisions – Acsential, Acsential Technologies, Acsential Services and Acsential Construction. She brings almost 20 years of experience in the management and technical industries. Deidre manages numerous government and commercial clients providing building services, strategy management and information technology.

Deidre holds a BS and MS in Computer Science from Clark Atlanta University. She has successfully completed the Georgia Mentor/Protégé Program where she was mentored by Hardin Construction Company.

She was selected as a 2010 Make Mine Million $ Business awardee sponsored by American Express. A participant in the Women’s Flying High Initiative, she is the recipient of the 2006 Phoenix Trail Blazer Award.

A board member of Metro Atlanta Respite & Developmental Services (MARDS), Inc., Deidre is alumna of United Way Volunteer Improvement Leadership Program (VIP) and Marvin C. Goldstein Project Understanding with the Atlanta American Jewish Committee. Deidre is a member of Women’s Initiative Next Generation (WINGs), Women Impacting Pubic Policy (WIPP) and a life member of the National Council of Negro Women.

Dr. Russell Brown/Avenia Behavioral Management, Inc.

Sanquinetta Dover/Dover Solutions FacebookTwitter

Sanquinetta Dover provides over 30 years of professional staffing, training, and project management experience. Over the last 17 years she has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of DoverStaffing, DoverSolutions, and Dover Training Institute.  As the visionary and leader, Sanquinetta practices innovative techniques to deliver leading workforce solutions to the human capital management industry.   Sanquinetta holds an economics degree from Spelman College and has extensive experience in staffing and training with diverse audiences.

Sanquinetta’s professional achievements have been noted nationally, regionally, and locally. She was recognized as one of the Nation’s Top Business Leaders by, as well as honored with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Regional Director’s Award.  She was featured in The Business Journals from Beginners to Bigshots 2012 segment and was recently quoted in the Atlanta Business Chronicle discussing the skills gap and how the right training can provide a solution to unemployment.  Sanquinetta was also named as one of Enterprising Women Magazine’s 2013 Enterprising Women of the Year and the Atlanta Business League’s 100 Women of Influence.

DoverSolutions is a full service, multi-platform consultant agency born from a desire to satisfy the diverse needs of their clients. Complete with project management and executive training capabilities, they are committed to providing workforce innovation to remain ahead of inevitable changes within this global economy. DoverSolutions’ versatility and flexibility enables them to offer proactive solutions that support their clients to sustain a competitive edge while successfully responding to any and all business needs.




14th Annual Women of the Year in Technology Award Winners

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Sandy Hofmann/Legacy Award Winner LinkedinTwitter

Sandy Hofmann is a “gadfly” – acting as a constructively provocative stimulus to build the Atlanta technology community and serving as advocate for women achieving in STEM. She applies experiences as a C-suite executive through her service on numerous boards. She has been recognized for her leadership as Georgia CIO of the Year and was first recipient of the GCLA’s Lifetime Achievement Award. GSU selected her as 2011 Distinguished Alumni. In 2013 Sandy was the recipient of Women in Technology’s Legacy Award. She is the co-editor of CLIMB: Leading Women in Technology Share Their Journeys to Success.

Kitty Chaney-Reed/Enterprise Award Winner

Kitty Chaney Reed is the Global Leader of Quote to Cash for NCR Corporation. NCR is a 5.7 billion dollar global consumer technology company with 26,000 employees. Ms. Chaney Reed leads the Order Management, Billing, Dispute Management, Collections and Cash Application functions that supports NCR operations in over 120 countries around the world. Her team consists of over 400 retained and outsourced resources. Accenture serves as the Business Outsourcing Partner to NCR.

Additionally, Kitty is the business leader of a multi-year, multimillion dollar enterprise continuous improvement initiative for NCR. This enterprise initiative involves technical and process improvements that are targeted to reduce cost and improve ef ciency. This effort is to enable the company to achieve its 2015 aspirational pro t and revenue targets.

Previously Ms. Chaney Reed worked for Radiant Systems, Inc. for 18 years. Radiant was acquired by NCR in August of 2011. While she was with Radiant she was the Vice President of Shared Services. Her responsibilities included all quote to cash functions, payroll and accounts payable. Ms. Chaney Reed has over 20 years of executive level experience in technology, including nance, human resources, consulting, technical support and relationship management. She is af liated with the National Society of Human Resources, National Help Desk Institute, the Boys and Girls Club of America and various other church and civic organizations. Her passion is building high performing teams and helping others develop into successful leaders.

Kristine Nagel/Mid-Market Award Winner FacebookLinkedin

Kristine Nagel is Associate Vice-President of Educational Technology Development and Evaluation at Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC), where she has a leading role in planning and coordinating activities related to the design, development and implementation of new academic and instructional tools at the newest four-year institution in the University System of Georgia (USG). She works with faculty and staff to improve the learning environment through the appropriate use of new technologies. Kristine coordinates the college’s technology-evaluation activities with the other evaluation and assessment agencies in the college and the USG. She also manages the development resources of the Office of Educational Technology and provides guidance and design assistance in the development and deployment of technologies throughout the college. In addition to her administrative role, Kristine teaches Introduction to Programming (Java), and her current research explores how decentralized communication and other innovations affect the student experience in higher education. She also leads campus outreach initiatives to bring underrepresented populations into computing and to graduate, through focused mentoring programs and secondary school outreach activities.

Kristine earned her Ph. D. in computer science from Georgia Institute of Technology in 2006, her master’s in computer science from the Florida Institute of Technology, her master’s in secondary school supervision and curriculum from the University of Miami, Florida, and her bachelor’s in mathematics from Georgia State University. She has taught in higher ed, as well as K-12 and worked in software development for our space program, housing management, and teaching innovation.


Spotlight on Harvard Business School Club of Atlanta

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Ed Shartar/Diversified Search

Ed Shartar is Managing Director in the Atlanta office of Diversified Search. Diversified is the 10th largest retained executive search firm and the largest woman owned executive search firm in North America with 8 offices across the US. Ed is a member of the firm’s Education/Non-Profit, Consumer/Retail/Hospitality and Private Equity practices. He has served in leadership roles with Fortune 100 companies in the US, Canada, and UK, worked with private equity owned companies, and serves in a number of nonprofit leadership roles.

Before joining Diversified Search, Ed was President and CEO of Experient, Inc., one of the largest companies in the event management and services industry. He led a team of over 600 employees in 10 offices across the US serving the hospitality industry. Prior to Experient, Ed spent thirteen years at The Coca-Cola Company where he was CEO of the Company’s Canadian operations, Coca-Cola Ltd. Ed’s other roles at The Coca-Cola Company include Managing Director of Field Sales and Marketing, Director of Business Development, and International Treasury Officer. Ed joined The Coca-Cola Company from Citicorp, where he was a vice president and Senior Banker in their Structured Finance and World Corporate Group divisions.

Ed has been honored several times as one of “The 25 Most Influential People in the Meetings Industry” and “The 100 Most Influential People in the Tradeshow Business.” While in Canada, he chaired the Canadian Soft Drink Association and was on the Executive Committee of Food and Consumer Product Manufacturers of Canada.

Ed is a native of Atlanta and has lived across the U.S. and in the U.K. and Canada. He and his wife Teresa were the parents of a special needs child. They have four sons.

Ed is also a Board member and VP Social Enterprise Initiative with the Harvard Business School Club of Atlanta.

Kathy Colbenson/CHRIS Kids FacebookTwitter

After a number of years as a practicing clinician, in 1987 Kathy Colbenson became the CEO of CHRIS Kids and found her calling. CHRIS Kids offers a values-driven Family of Services that provides trauma-informed, strength-based services through a counseling center, a training institute, eight group homes, a supportive housing apartment complex for single and parenting youth of ages 17 – 24, adoption services, and a host of in-home services designed to help children, youth, adults and families unlock their potential for self sufficiency and good citizenship.

J.D. McCrary/International Rescue Committee Facebook

Executive Director of the International Rescue Committee in Atlanta, J.D. McCrary was formerly the Director of Resettlement Services at Lutheran Service of Georgia (LSG). J.D. began his work with refugee services as their Associate Director in 2008. Prior to joining LSG, J.D. was Global Field Program Manager for Jumpstart International, overseeing a global non-profit program that provides employment and reconstruction services to war-torn Iraq and Palestine. J.D.’s overseas experience includes a volunteer stint with the US Peace Corps in Morocco. He has over 12 years of management experience spanning both the corporate and the non-profit sectors, all with an international focus. J.D. holds a Masters in International Development from Tulane University, with a focus on human rights, public policy and emphasis on Africa and the Middle East. He also has a Certificate in Non-Profit Management from Georgia State University and is a certified teacher with a B.A. in Education from Georgia Southern University.

Trace Haythorne/Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc.

Sharon Lynne Baldwin with Healthcare Businesswomens Association, Chris Schroder with Schroder Public Relations and Gabriela Gonzalez-Lamberson with the Latin American Chamber of Commerce


Sharon Lynne Baldwin/Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association FacebookLinkedin

The Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association is the leading not-for-profit global organization committed to helping women in healthcare, across all areas of functional expertise, achieve their leadership goals at every stage of their career. Its mission is to further the advancement and impact of women in healthcare wordwide.

The first HBA chapter was launched in Atlanta. Today, the HBA serves its expanding membership in a variety of roles and diverse areas while remaining true to its roots to further the advancement and impact of women in healthcare worldwide.

Chris Schroder/Schroder Public Relations FacebookLinkedinTwitter

Schroder Public Relations’ Founder and President Chris Schroder opened his firm’s doors in 2002 coming from the “other side” of the media as a newspaper reporter, editor and publisher for more than 25 years.

Located in the heart of Midtown Atlanta, Schroder PR is a full service communications firm offering a wide range of capabilities designed to help clients achieve their corporate public relations and marketing objectives. We believe the best way to clearly communicate and break through the daily information clutter is through the preservation and telling of compelling stories that are delivered through traditional media and in websites, blogs, videos, eNewsletters and social media.

Today he has built a strong team of experts that include former reporters, veteran public relations executive legends, media relations connoisseurs and social media buffs. Our clients range from multi-million dollar companies to small startup firms. We have clients in a wide range of industries including commercial real estate, law, finance, health care and more.

Gabriela Gonzalez-Lamberson/Latin American Chamber of Commerce Facebook


Spotlight on Georgia Mentor Protege Connection

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As the first state-sponsored mentor-protégé program in the U.S., the Georgia Mentor Protégé Connection (MPC) currently administered under the Georgia Education Foundation in partnership with the State of Georgia and the Georgia Technology Innovation Institute gives emerging firms one year of exclusive mentorship with the nation’s leading corporations. MPC alum and CEO Sidd Ahmed of VDart, Inc. and his 2012-2013 corporate mentor, Karmetria Burton of Delta Air Lines, share their firsthand experiences with the prestigious capacity building program, as well as the value it brings to the Georgia small business community.

Veronica Maldonado/Georgia Mentor Protégé Connection (MPC)  FacebookLinkedinTwitter

Veronica Maldonado is the program director of the nation’s first mentor protégé program: the Georgia Mentor Protégé Connection (MPC). Through the MPC, Georgia small businesses are matched with the nation’s leading Fortune 500 corporations for one year of exclusive mentorship. The program is based on one premise: that while emerging firms build relationships, explore new technologies, and learn best practices to take their business to the next level, corporations help lead a path to sustainability, progress and economic growth for the Georgia business community.

Ms. Maldonado is uniquely qualified to lead the MPC program. She is a dynamic Latina community business leader, and on all counts is an expert in fostering strategic alliances, creating win-win negotiations and implementing effective marketing strategies to increase brand value throughout the pipeline. Further applying her expertise, Ms. Maldonado also works as the director of strategic alliance and partnerships for the Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council (GMSDC), where she barters relationships between GMSDC and other minority/small business development associations, chambers and organizations in Georgia.

Karmetria Dunham Burton/Delta Air Lines, Inc.

Touted as one of the Top 25 Women Impacting Diversity by DiversityPlus Magazine over the past two years, Karmetria Burton is igniting an inspirational fire among women AND men in the corporate world. The Houston, Texas native currently serves as General Manager of Strategic Programs with Delta Air Lines.

In her challenging professional role, Karmetria functions as an advocate for minority and women-owned businesses, ensuring they are afforded competitive opportunities to service the international airliner. Her ultimate goal is to develop a quality best-in-class supplier diversity program that continues Delta’s legacy as an industry leader.

Syed Ahmed/VDart, Inc. FacebookLinkedinTwitter

Syed (“Sidd”) Ahmed is the President & CEO of VDart, Inc., a leading information technology staffing firm headquartered in Atlanta, GA. In little more than five years, it has transformed from a brand new firm to a major player on the IT services landscape. Touting nearly 440 employees, with offices in Atlanta, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, UK and India, VDart provides IT staffing solutions to clients all over the globe.

Founded in 2007, VDart is laser focused on the core objective of finding the right IT professional with the perfect mix of skills and experiences to meet the client’s business objectives. As a result of that commitment and Sidd’s leadership, VDart has received numerous awards and honors recognizing its rapid growth and high achievement including being a Inc 500’s fastest growing privately held firms in U.S. for the past two years, earning ACG Fast 40’s 9th fastest growing company in Atlanta in 2013, and claiming rank on the Pacesetter Awards list for being the fastest growing privately held company in Atlanta for the past two years. Without question, VDart, is doing great things and is a shining example of how a certified MBE can leverage its resources to achieve exponential growth.