2020 Atlanta 500: Business

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Atlanta 500: Raphael W. Bostic

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Raphael W. Bostic
President and CEO
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Raphael W. Bostic is president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, and a current voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee, the monetary policymaking body of the Federal Reserve System. In 2017 he was recognized as a Planning Pioneer by the American Planning Association’s Los Angeles section, and he received an Urban Leadership Award from the Penn Institute for Urban Research in 2011. Bostic is a native of Delran, New Jersey.

Education: Harvard University, Stanford University (PhD)
Hobbies: Birdwatching, sports
Charities: Affordable housing, Audubon Society, Nature Conservancy, Human Rights Campaign
Bucket list: Visiting the state capitol in Honolulu to complete goal of visiting the state capitol buildings in all 50 states

Atlanta 500: Cynthia N. Day

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Cynthia N. Day
President and CEO
Citizens Bancshares Corporation and Citizens Trust Bank

Since 2012, Cynthia N. Day has been the CEO and president of Citizens Bancshares Corp. and Citizens Trust Bank. She joined Citizens Trust Bank as an executive vice president in 2003 following its acquisition of Citizens Federal Savings Bank of Birmingham, where she’d served as executive vice president and chief operating officer, and in other capacities, since 1993. Prior to becoming a banker, the certified public accountant worked for KPMG, where she managed audit engagements for companies across industries including banking, insurance, manufacturing, and education.

Education: University of Alabama
Notable achievement: Atlanta Business League CEO of the Year (2014)

Atlanta 500: Mike Donnelly

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Mike Donnelly
Region President of North Metro Atlanta
Wells Fargo

Mike Donnelly is region bank president of Wells Fargo consumer banking operations in northern Atlanta, one of the company’s top three markets in total consumer households served. An active civic leader, he’s held leadership positions with the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership, the Buckhead Coalition, the Woodruff Arts Center, and the University of Georgia Board of Visitors. Donnelly chaired the 2016-2017 campaign for the United Way of Greater Atlanta. He’s immediate past chair of Leadership Atlanta and will chair the Georgia Partnership in Excellence in Education in 2019.

Education: Radford University

Atlanta 500 Kathy FarrellKathy Farrell
Head, Commercial Real Estate
Truist Financial Corporation

Kathy S. Farrell has more than 25 years of experience in real estate finance and banking, including origination, underwriting, capital markets, workout strategies, and risk management. Currently the head of commercial real estate at Truist, Kathy held the same title with SunTrust prior to the closing of the SunTrust-BB&T merger that formed Truist in December 2019. Farrell has also served at SunTrust as chief risk officer for commercial real estate, head of the REIT banking group, and REIT senior credit officer. Previously she was executive vice president and credit executive of commercial real estate for PNC Bank.

Education: College of the Holy Cross
Hometown: Bridgeport, Connecticut
First job: Stuffing and rolling jelly doughnuts at Devore’s Bakery in my hometown
What I’d tell a recent graduate: Be patient and work hard at your current job. Careers are a marathon and not a sprint.
Hobbies: I am an avid tennis player and play on a mixed doubles team and ladies doubles team.
Favorite travel destination: Ireland. My husband is from there and we love to go back and visit his family as often as we can.

Atlanta 500 John N. GreggJohn N. Gregg
Head, Corporate and Investment Banking
Truist Financial Corporation

John Gregg is the head of corporate and investment banking for Truist Financial Corporation, leading a team of investment and corporate bankers and product specialists delivering strategic advisory, capital-raising, and financial risk-management solutions to large corporate and middle-market clients. Prior to the closing of the SunTrust-BB&T merger to form Truist in December 2019, Gregg served as chairman and CEO of SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, and he has more than 30 years of experience in financial services. He currently serves on the board of Grady Health Foundation—where he helped establish the cycling event VeloCity—and was previously on the board of Trees Atlanta.

Education: North Carolina State University, Duke University Fuqua School of Business (MBA)
Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina

Atlanta 500: Hank Halter

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Hank Halter
Delta Community Credit Union

Hank Halter is an accounting and finance professional with nearly 30 years of experience overseeing finance and accounting operations at Fortune 100 companies. Since 2013, he’s served as CEO of Delta Community Credit Union, one of Atlanta’s largest financial institutions and Georgia’s largest credit union. Halter, a CPA, came to the credit union from Delta Air Lines, where he held a variety of roles including chief financial officer. Previously he worked at American Airlines and Ernst & Young.

Education: Villanova University, Duke University (MBA)
Hometown: Savannah, Georgia
Toughest challenge: Helping lead Delta Air Lines through financial reorganization in the years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks
Favorite TV show: House of Cards
Bucket list: Convincing every consumer to find a credit union to join
Who’d play me in a biopic: Matt Damon

Atlanta 500 Jenna KellyJenna Kelly
Regional President, Northern Georgia
Truist Financial Corporation

Jenna Kelly is the Truist regional president for North Georgia, responsible for leading client management and business development efforts in the state. Prior to the 2019 SunTrust-BB&T merger, Kelly served as president of the Georgia division of SunTrust Bank. Previously, she was SunTrust’s Charlotte Region president. Kelly began her career in 1993 with Trust Company of Georgia. She serves on the board of Camp Twin Lakes and the leadership council of Learn4Life, and is a member of the Rotary Club of Atlanta.

Education: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia
Notable achievement: Leadership Atlanta class of 2019
Why I chose this work: Banking offered the opportunity to feed my curiosity for how things work and to develop relationships in order to help companies grow.
Best advice received: Ask questions.

Atlanta 500: William H. Linginfelter

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William H. Linginfelter
Regions Bank

Bill Linginfelter oversees commercial revenue growth, business model execution, and strategic planning in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina for Regions, a Birmingham-based bank that operates throughout the South, Midwest, and Texas. Throughout his 40-year career, Linginfelter has held various management positions in the financial services industry. Prior to joining Regions in 2008, the Saint Simons Island native served as Georgia CEO for Wachovia, and before that was director of SouthTrust Bank’s Enterprise Banking Division. He serves on many boards, is chair of the Georgia Allies, and is a past chair of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, and the Georgia Research Alliance.

Education: University of Georgia
First job: Paperboy on Saint Simons Island
Inspiring person: Ronald Reagan
Favorite travel destination: The beach
Bucket list: Italy

Atlanta 500: Eddie Meyers

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Eddie Meyers
Regional President, Georgia
PNC Bank

Eddie Meyers is regional president of Georgia for PNC Bank. Named to his current position in 2012, Meyers previously served as executive vice president of PNC Business Credit and as senior vice president and national investment manager of Harris Williams, PNC’s investment banking unit. In 2008, he helped facilitate the successful integration of National City Bank after its acquisition by PNC. A former Marine Corps captain and Gulf War veteran, Meyers played football for the Atlanta Falcons in the 1980s.

Education: U.S. Naval Academy, National University (MBA)
Notable achievements: National Black & Latino Council Power Player of the Year (2015), Rotary Foundation of Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow (2015), Savoy Top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America (2014)
Why I chose this work: Liked figures

Atlanta 500: David Preter

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David Preter
President and CEO
Georgia’s Own Credit Union

Dave Preter is president and CEO of Georgia’s Own Credit Union, a $2.4 billion financial services institution. Before assuming his current role in 2011, Preter facilitated growth in the credit union industry by bolstering and executing the strategic plans of several organizations in the Midwest and Southeast. Under his leadership, Georgia’s Own has seen assets grow by 34 percent and membership by 20 percent. Georgia’s Own Foundation, which Preter created, amplifies the organization’s commitment to the community by empowering local youth.

Education: University of Missouri
Few people know: Delivering papers at age 13, I learned that if you work harder and longer than others, you get more opportunities and better pay. That worked for my next three student jobs: caddie, fast food cook, and exterminator. It worked in my professional career too.
Favorite movie: The Marvel movies
Favorite Atlanta place to visit: The Varsity
Bucket list: Graduate three kids from college, then find a beach and stay there

Atlanta 500 Jai Rogers

Jai Rogers
Vice President, Business and Community Development
Delta Community Credit Union

Jai Rogers joined Delta Community Credit Union in 2012 as vice president of business and community development, overseeing a team responsible for identifying and developing business strategies with leading corporations throughout metro Atlanta and at multiple out-of-state branch locations. Rogers leads the execution of a comprehensive community-engagement strategy to strengthen civic, high school, and corporate collaborations. Prior to joining Delta Community, Rogers launched and directed the corporate development department at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

Education: California State University, Long Beach
Inspiring person: My mother always encouraged me to pursue my love of travel by telling me that I “can always come home” if my plans did not work out.
Few people know: My twin sister and I have the same first name.
Bucket list: New Zealand and Africa (Rwanda, South Africa, and Kenya)

Atlanta 500: Jack Sawyer

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Jack Sawyer
President, Southeast Region
Wilmington Trust

Jack Sawyer is president of the Southeast Region for Wilmington Trust, responsible for overseeing all wealth advisory services in Georgia. He leads a team of professionals who provide planning, trust, investment management, family office, and private banking services. Sawyer is a fiduciary attorney who began his career as internal legal counsel at SunTrust. He later became a founding principal of the Arden Group, which was Atlanta’s first private fiduciary firm and was acquired by Mellon in 2003.

Education: University of Georgia, Mercer University School of Law (JD)
Hobbies: Skiing, golf
Favorite travel destination: Anywhere in Europe
Favorite Atlanta place to visit: Center for Civil and Human Rights
Who’d play me in a biopic: Ryan Gosling

Atlanta 500: Kessel Stelling

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Kessel Stelling
Chairman and CEO

Kessel Stelling was named president and CEO of the financial services company Synovus in 2010, becoming chairman of the board in 2012. Under Stelling’s leadership, Synovus consolidated 30 bank charters into one, returned to sustained profitability, exited TARP, increased capital returns to its shareholder base, and has been named one of American Banker’s most reputable banks. Stelling is a native of Augusta.

Education: University of Georgia, Louisiana State University Graduate School of Banking
First job: Bank form printing-press cleaner, Georgia Railroad Bank in Augusta
Toughest challenge: Leading Synovus through the financial crisis
Hobbies: Being a grandfather to four grandchildren!

Wendy Stewart
Atlanta Market President
Bank of America

As Atlanta market president, Wendy Stewart is responsible for advancing Bank of America’s strategy across metro Atlanta by delivering the company’s resources and expertise to customers and clients. She also works to ensure that Bank of America’s environmental, social, and governance strategies—including philanthropy and community development efforts—have a positive impact on metro Atlanta. A native of Raleigh, North Carolina, Stewart is also cohead of Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Global Commercial Banking practice for the Southeast region.

Education: Presbyterian College
Hidden talent: I was voted “funniest” in my high school senior class.
Favorite travel destination: I love to travel, so my favorite destination is usually the last place I’ve visited! We spent time in Norway this summer. It was beautiful. I also love the beach. I love the Caribbean, but Amelia Island is our go-to year after year.
Charities: Grove Park Foundation

Atlanta 500 Samuel TortoriciSamuel Tortorici
Director and CEO
Cadence Bank, NA
Cadence Bancorporation

As CEO of Cadence Bank and president of Cadence Bancorporation since 2011, Sam Tortorici has led Cadence through four acquisitions, an initial public offering, and the raising of debt capital to support the bank’s growth. Today Cadence ranks as the 75th-largest bank in the country. Tortorici began his career at Regions Bank and its predecessor AmSouth Bank. Prior to joining Cadence, he led Regions’ Commercial & Industrial business, comprising over 500 banking professionals across 16 states, with annual revenue exceeding $1 billion. Cadence’s acquisition of Atlanta-based State Bank Financial Corporation in January 2019 was transformational for the company. As part of this merger, Tortorici relocated to Atlanta, as did the headquarters of Cadence Bank.

Education: University of Alabama
Hometown: Birmingham, Alabama
First job: Dental assistant at age 15 in my father’s practice
Favorite movie: Forrest Gump
Board memberships: Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Buckhead Coalition, United Way of Central Alabama immediate past board chair

Atlanta 500: Douglas L. Williams

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Douglas L. Williams
President and CEO
Atlantic Capital Bancshares

Douglas L. Williams is president, CEO, and a director of Atlantic Capital Bank and its holding company, Atlantic Capital Bancshares. He has nearly 40 years of experience in banking, finance, and capital markets, and extensive experience in executive management roles at publicly held banking institutions. Previously the Atlanta native was managing director and head of Wachovia’s International Corporate Finance Group, with responsibility for Wachovia’s investment banking and corporate finance activities in Europe, Asia, and Latin America.

Education: Auburn University
First job: Corporate-banking trainee at Wachovia
Hobbies: Running, reading, spending time with family
Favorite books: The Last Lion, William Manchester’s three-volume biography of Winston Churchill
Charities: Good Samaritan Health Center


Atlanta 500: Neal AronsonNeal Aronson
Founder and Managing Partner
Roark Capital Group

Neal Aronson is founder and managing partner of Roark Capital Group, an Atlanta-based private equity firm that focuses on consumer and business service companies, with a specialization in franchised and multi-unit business models in the restaurant, retail, consumer, and business services sectors. Affiliates of Roark have made investments in 65 franchise/multi-unit brands that have generated approximately $32 billion in system revenues from 32,000 locations in 50 U.S. states and 81 countries. Roark’s current portfolio includes Anytime Fitness, Batteries Plus Bulbs, Drybar, Focus Brands, and Primrose Schools. Prior to founding Roark, Aronson was cofounder and chief financial officer of U.S. Franchise Systems. Previously he was a principal of Odyssey Partners, a principal and general partner at Acadia Partners (now Oak Hill Partners), and subsequently a managing director of a successor company, Rosecliff. He began his career in the corporate finance department at Drexel Burnham Lambert.

Education: Lehigh University

Atlanta 500: Robert Balentine

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Robert Balentine

Robert Balentine is chairman of Balentine, bringing more than 35 years of experience advising clients on matters related to their wealth and legacy. The Atlanta native has built, bought, and sold businesses and counseled many entrepreneurial clients on business and wealth management. In 2013, Balentine was the inaugural recipient of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce’s Business Person of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award, and both Barron’s and Forbes have named him one of the country’s top wealth advisers.

Education: Washington and Lee University
Toughest challenge: Convincing 16 colleagues to leave secure jobs in the depths of the financial crisis to start over and build the kind of firm we would hire to manage our own money
Favorite book: East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Charities: Southern Highlands Reserve, Garden Conservancy, Covenant House of Georgia

Atlanta 500 Andy BergAndy Berg
Homrich Berg

Andy Berg is the CEO of the wealth management firm Homrich Berg, which he cofounded with David Homrich in 1989 with the belief that high-net-worth individuals need access to conflict-free financial planning and investment advice. A member of the Financial Planning Association, the North Atlanta Tax Council, the Georgia Planned Giving Council, the Atlanta Estate Planning Council, and the board of the Atlanta Police Foundation, Berg is also a contributor to financial media and has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and elsewhere.

Education: Purdue University
Hometown: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Notable achievement: Barron’s 2019 Top Independent Advisors
Hobbies: Golf
Favorite Atlanta place to visit: Favorite special-occasion Atlanta restaurant is Chops Lobster Bar

Atlanta 500 Ronald E. CanakarisRonald E. Canakaris
Managing Principal, Strategist, and Chairman Emeritus
Montag & Caldwell

Ronald E. Canakaris, chartered financial analyst and chartered investment counselor, joined Montag & Caldwell in 1972 as a portfolio manager and research analyst. He previously held the roles of director of research (1973-2009), president (1984-2009), CEO (1997-2005), chief investment officer (1984-2017), and co-chief investment officer (2017-2018). He is a member of the Rotary Club of Atlanta and chairman of the Annunciation Cathedral Endowment Foundation of the Greek Orthodox Church. Canakaris is a limited partner of the Atlanta Falcons. His professional affiliations include the CFA Institute and the CFA Society Atlanta.

Education: University of Florida

Atlanta 500: Michael Fierman

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Michael Fierman
Managing Partner and Co-CEO
Angel Oak Companies

Michael Fierman is managing partner and co-CEO of Angel Oak Companies, a firm focused on credit opportunities within asset management, capital markets, and mortgage lending. The Atlanta native provides strategic direction and leadership to Angel Oak’s various businesses, with a focus on mortgage lending and asset management. Previously Fierman was a cofounder of SouthStar Funding, a national wholesale mortgage lender specializing in nonagency mortgage products that funded as much as $6.5 billion annually in nonagency mortgages.

Education: University of Georgia
Inspiring person: My mother
Hidden talent: I am an instrument-rated pilot.
What I’d tell my 18-year-old self: Don’t chase money. Find your passion and surround yourself with the smartest people you can find. Good things will happen.

Atlanta 500 Martin Flanagan

Martin Flanagan
President and CEO

Martin Flanagan has been president, CEO, and a director of Invesco since 2005. He’s also a trustee and vice chair of the Invesco Funds. Flanagan joined Invesco from Franklin Resources, where he was president and co-CEO from 2004 to 2005. He’d previously held numerous leadership positions at Franklin, including chief operating officer and senior vice president, from 1993 to 2003. Flanagan serves on the board of governors and as a member of the executive committee of the Investment Company Institute, and is a member of the executive board of the Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business.

Education: Southern Methodist University

Atlanta 500: James W. Hamilton Jr.

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James W. Hamilton Jr.
Senior Vice President and South Atlantic Regional Director
Raymond James Financial

Jim Hamilton, senior vice president and South Atlantic regional director for Raymond James Financial, brings more than 42 years of industry and client-services experience to his current role. Hamilton began his career in the financial services industry with Shearson Hayden Stone, later becoming a branch manager at Robinson Humphrey and a regional director with Morgan Keegan, which he joined in 1999. Hamilton formed his current team with his son, Jimmy, in 2014.

Education: Mississippi State University
Favorite book: A Man in Full by Tom Wolfe
Bucket list: New Zealand
Who’d play me in a biopic: Tom Hardy

Atlanta 500: Ted Jenkin

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Ted Jenkin
oXYGen Financial

Ted Jenkin is the founder and CEO of oXYGen Financial, a financial services company with more than $1.2 billion in assets under management. In 2017 and 2018, Investopedia ranked him among the top 10 financial advisers in the country. Jenkin is a featured personal-finance expert for HLN and a guest writer for the Wall Street Journal and CNBC. He has six advanced designations from the College for Financial Planning, and lives in Milton with his wife, Genna, and their three children.

Education: Boston College
Hometown: Princeton, New Jersey
Why I chose this work: My mother was a fifth-grade schoolteacher. My father passed away when I was 18 and left my mother in financial shambles. I wanted to dedicate my life to a place where I could use my mother’s skills of being a teacher, but also be able to educate the masses about how to do better with their financial future.
First job: Dog walker
Who’d play me in a biopic: Tom Cruise

Atlanta 500 David NicholasDavid Nicholas
President and Founder
Nicholas Wealth Management

David Nicholas is the president and founder of Nicholas Wealth Management, a private wealth management firm that helps clients—from families to corporations—navigate the world of financial markets and economics. A sought-after commentator on financial and economic matters, Nicholas also hosts a weekly radio show and has been featured on CNN, CNBC, Fox Business, Fox & Friends, and CBS News.

Education: Kennesaw State University, University of Georgia (MS)
Hometown: Kennesaw, Georgia
Notable achievement: Member of the Buckhead Coalition’s Diplomatic Leadership Corps, a onetime honor given in recognition of the coalition’s 25th anniversary
First job: My lawn company I started at 15 years old
Favorite travel destination: Rosemary Beach, Florida

Atlanta 500: Eric Schimpf

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Eric Schimpf
Division Executive, Southeast
Merrill Lynch

As division executive of Merrill Lynch’s Southeast Division, Eric Schimpf oversees more than 4,400 employees, over $2.7 billion in revenue, and $414 billion in assets. Based in Atlanta, Schimpf’s division encompasses 18 markets in the Southeast, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Schimpf serves as executive sponsor of the Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Black/African American Leadership Council and the Bank of America Black Professionals Group. He began his career at Merrill Lynch as a financial adviser in 1994.

Education: U.S. Military Academy
Hometown: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Hidden talent: I love ’80s heavy metal music, and I still play guitar every day.
Favorite travel destinations: Hong Kong, Sydney
Bucket list: Skydiving with my son Cory


Atlanta 500: Arthur Blank

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Arthur M. Blank
Owner and Chairman
Blank Family of Businesses
AMB Group

Perhaps best known as the cofounder of the Home Depot, Arthur Blank is now widely recognized for his diverse businesses: The Arthur M. Blank Family of Businesses portfolio includes the Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United, PGA Tour Superstore, the Blank Family Foundation, Mountain Sky Guest Ranch, West Creek Ranch, and AMB Group, the parent company of Blank’s for-profit businesses. Blank and the Falcons, in partnership with the City of Atlanta and the State of Georgia, are the private funders of Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The stadium is operated by Atlanta Falcons Stadium Co., a newly created company also owned by AMB Group, and is home to the Falcons and Atlanta United.

Education: Babson College
Notable achievements: SportsBusiness Journal Sports Executive of the Year (2018), Forbes World’s 100 Greatest Living Business Minds (2017), SportsBusiness Journal 50 Most Influential People in Sports Business (2016)

Atlanta 500: Paul Brown

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Paul Brown
Cofounder and CEO
Inspire Brands

Paul Brown is cofounder and CEO of Inspire Brands, a multibrand restaurant company whose portfolio includes more than 11,000 Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Sonic Drive-In, Jimmy John’s, and Rusty Taco locations worldwide. In 2019, Inspire’s system sales exceeded $14.6 billion, making it the fourth-largest restaurant company in the U.S.

Education: Georgia Tech, Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management (MBA), Northwestern University McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science (MA)
Notable achievements: International Foodservice Manufacturers Association Silver Plate Award (2018 ), Restaurant Business Restaurant Leader of the Year (2017), Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award Southeast (2016)
Charities: Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Georgia Tech Foundation, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee, Woodruff Arts Center, Buckhead Coalition, Commerce Club, and the Atlanta Police Foundation

Atlanta 500: Dan T. Cathy

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Dan T. Cathy
Chairman and CEO

Dan T. Cathy is chairman and CEO of Chick-fil-A, one of the nation’s largest family-owned businesses, and a member of the company’s board of directors and executive committee. Having taken over the business from his father, founder S. Truett Cathy, in 2013, Cathy represents the next generation of leadership for the Atlanta-based restaurant chain. Cathy’s career began at age nine when he sang songs for customers and performed radio commercials for the chain’s original Dwarf House restaurant in Hapeville.

Education: Georgia Southern University
Toughest challenge: Sixteen years ago, I was significantly burned in an accident at my home. Through this I learned that our most difficult times in life can teach us profound things, that you’re never too busy for what’s important, and that it’s important to lead and live with gratitude.
Hidden talent: I’m an avid trumpet player.
Favorite Atlanta place to visit: The Varsity
Charities: Westside Future Fund, City of Refuge, Eagle Ranch, Woodruff Arts Center, Atlanta Music Project

Atlanta 500: Joe Christina

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Joe Christina
Church’s Chicken

Joe Christina, who leads the global teams for Church’s Chicken and Texas Chicken, has spent his entire career in the restaurant industry—starting as an assistant restaurant manager and eventually becoming a franchisee with Burger King. As his career progressed, Christina served as Church’s executive vice president of U.S. operations, providing strategic planning and execution for 1,200 restaurants, $950 million in sales, and $35 million in EBITDA. He became CEO of the company in 2016.

Education: Quinnipiac University
First job: Delivering Pepsi with my father
Hidden talent: Trivia, especially movies
Charities: No Kid Hungry, Saint Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Bucket list: Trip to Italy with my wife
Who’d play me in a biopic: Tom Hanks

Atlanta 500: Dallas Clement

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Dallas Clement
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Cox Enterprises

As executive vice president and chief financial officer of Cox Enterprises—a leading communications and automotive services company—Dallas Clement is responsible for strategy and corporate development, treasury, financial reporting and control, tax, audit, and financial planning and analysis functions. He previously served as executive vice president and chief financial officer for Cox Automotive, the largest automotive marketplace and a leading provider of software solutions to auto dealers in the U.S. Clement is a native of Sarasota, Florida.

Education: Harvard College, Stanford University (MA)
Notable achievements: Leadership Atlanta class of 2006, National Cable Television Association Vanguard Award for Young Leadership (2004), U.S. Patent 8,477,914 (automated communication escalation)
Hidden talent: Squash player
Hobbies: Digital photography

Atlanta 500: Kat Cole

Photograph by Steph Grant

Kat Cole
Chief Operating Officer and President, North America
FOCUS Brands

As chief operating officer and North America president, Kat Cole leads FOCUS Brands’ seven domestic franchise brands and oversees the company’s licensing division. Cole joined FOCUS in 2010 as president of Cinnabon, and in 2015 was named president of FOCUS Brands Global Channels group. Previously she was a vice president at Hooters of America. Cole invests in and advises founders of early-stage start-ups and was named a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum in 2015.

Education: Georgia State University Robinson College of Business (MBA)
Best advice received: From my mom: “Don’t forget where you came from, but don’t you dare ever let it solely define you.”
Hidden talent: Painting—I painted abstract landscapes for years.
Bucket list: Sailing around the world with my family
Who’d play me in a biopic: Sandra Bullock

René M. Diaz
President and CEO
Diaz Foods

René Diaz is president and CEO of Atlanta-based Diaz Foods, a specialty-foods distributor to restaurants and grocers in 28 states, with 400 employees and sales of $200 million. Diaz Foods was founded in 1980 and is a privately owned company. René Diaz has served on the boards of Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities, United Way of Greater Atlanta, Leadership Atlanta, and Emory Center for Ethics, among others. Born in Cuba, he came to the U.S. at age six.

Education: Georgia State University
Notable achievements: Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 50 Most Influential Latinos in Georgia (2018), Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta Legacy Award (2003), Leadership Atlanta class of 1994
Favorite travel destination: Paris
Hobbies: Art collecting

Atlanta 500: Christian Fischer

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Christian Fischer
President and CEO

Born and educated in Germany, Christian Fischer became president and CEO of Georgia-Pacific in 2017. He previously served as executive vice president of the packaging and cellulose segment, responsible for GP’s containerboard and kraft paper, corrugated packaging, bleached board, and cellulose businesses. He began his career with the company in 1989 as a market pulp sales manager in Europe. Fischer is on the board of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and past chair of its Global Commerce Council.

Education: University of Hamburg, University of Düsseldorf
Hidden talent: I once wanted to become a writer.
Hobbies: Listening to music, reading, watching movies, traveling, food
Favorite book: A Month in the Country by J.L. Carr

Atlanta 500: S. Taylor Glover

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S. Taylor Glover
President and CEO
Turner Enterprises

Taylor Glover is president and CEO of Turner Enterprises, a private company that manages Ted Turner’s business affairs. Glover has oversight of Turner Enterprises’ landholdings, financial investments, and business interests, and works closely with Turner’s philanthropic and charitable organizations, serving as an adviser to the boards of the UN Foundation, Nuclear Threat Initiative, and Turner Foundation. Previously Glover, a native of Newnan, was a senior vice president at Merrill Lynch, where he retired after nearly 30 years.

Education: University of Georgia
Hobbies: Hunting, fishing, golf
Charities: Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, Woodruff Arts Center, Nature Conservancy of Georgia

Atlanta 500: Jim Hannan

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Jim Hannan
Executive Vice President and CEO
Koch Enterprises

As executive vice president and CEO of Koch Enterprises, Jim Hannan is responsible for oversight of Georgia-Pacific, Guardian, INVISTA, Molex, and Koch Industries’ acquired interest in Infor. Previously, as CEO and president of Georgia-Pacific, he oversaw one of the world’s leading manufacturers and marketers of tissue, packaging, pulp, paper, cellulose, nonwovens, building products, and related chemicals. Hannan began his career with Koch Industries in 1998 as chief financial officer in the mineral services unit.

Education: California State University, East Bay
Hidden talent: Threw shot put and discus in college
Favorite movie: Tombstone
Charities: Susan G. Komen, Atlanta Police Foundation, Atlanta Committee for Progress, Woodruff Arts Center, Georgia Research Alliance

Atlanta 500: Doug Hertz

Photograph courtesy of United Distributors, Inc.

Doug Hertz
President and CEO
United Distributors

Doug Hertz has been president and CEO of United Distributors since 1984; under his leadership, the beverage distribution business has grown to be listed as one of the top 25 private companies in Atlanta. Hertz sits on the boards of the Marcus Foundation, Atlantic Capital Bank, Georgia Research Alliance, and the Westminster Schools, and serves on the board and executive committee of Tulane University. He’s also chairman of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and a minority owner of the Atlanta Falcons. A native Atlantan, Hertz began his career with KPMG in New Orleans, working in the accounting and consulting services area.

Education: Tulane University (MBA)
Notable achievements: Hertz is chairman of Camp Twin Lakes, a facility he founded in 1989 for chronically ill and disadvantaged children. He also helped engineer the merger of Scottish Rite and Egleston pediatric hospitals to establish Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, now one of the largest pediatric healthcare systems in the country.

Atlanta 500 Jim KennedyJim Kennedy
Cox Enterprises

Jim Kennedy is chairman and former CEO of Cox Enterprises, a privately held communications and automotive services company founded by his grandfather, James M. Cox, in 1898. Kennedy joined in 1972 as a production assistant in Cox’s newspaper division, and has held various positions including reporter, copy editor, business manager, and executive vice president/general manager. He was named chairman and CEO in 1988. During Kennedy’s tenure, Cox has increased annual revenues from $1.88 billion to more than $21 billion.

Education: University of Denver
Hometown: Honolulu, Hawaii
Notable achievements: A former competitive cyclist, Kennedy is a past Masters National, Pan American, and World champion in the 3,000-meter pursuit. He served as captain of a four-man team that won the Race Across America in 1992, setting a world record.
Hobbies: Avid outdoorsman
Charities: Education, healthcare, sustainability

Atlanta 500 Natalie MorhousNatalie Morhous
RaceTrac Petroleum

As president of RaceTrac Petroleum, Natalie Morhous is a third-generation leader in an 85-year-old family-owned business. Founded in 1934 by Morhous’s grandfather Carl Borch Sr., RaceTrac Petroleum owns and operates more than 780 retail fuel and convenience stores in 12 states under the RaceTrac and RaceWay brands. Morhous joined the company in 2012, serving in a variety of roles including vice president of energy dispatch before becoming president in 2019. Previously she worked as a strategy and management consultant in Washington, D.C.

Education: Connecticut College, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (MBA)
Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia
Notable Achievement: Convenience Store Decisions 40 Under 40 (2015)
First job: Camp counselor at Westminster Summer Camps in Atlanta
Few people know: I once went bungee jumping and skydiving in the same day.
Hobbies: Listening to podcasts—either business or true crime, depending on my mood
Favorite travel destination: Sydney, Australia

Atlanta 500: Gregg Paradies

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Gregg Paradies
President and CEO
Paradies Lagardère

Gregg Paradies is president and CEO of Paradies Lagardère, a leading airport retailer and restaurateur in North America, with 850 retail stores and 170 restaurants and bars in more than 100 airports. Before taking the helm in 2004, he’d held a number of roles in the company, including chief operating officer. Responsible for Paradies Lagardère’s overall business and for maintaining its tradition of quality and exceptional customer service, the Atlanta native is a member of the American Association of Airport Executives and Airports Council International.

Education: University of Texas at Austin
Best advice received: You cannot do wrong by doing right.
Hobbies: Outdoor sports
Favorite book: Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap . . . and Others Don’t by Jim Collins
Favorite travel destination: Colorado

Atlanta 500: Alexander C. Taylor

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Alexander C. Taylor
President and CEO
Cox Enterprises

Alex Taylor is president and CEO of Cox Enterprises, a communications, media, and automotive services company with more than $20 billion in annual revenues and approximately 60,000 employees worldwide. He is responsible for the company’s three major subsidiaries—Cox Communications, Cox Automotive, and Cox Media Group—as well as the Cox Family Office and corporate functions including financial operations, human resources, and administration. Taylor is the great-grandson of former Ohio governor James M. Cox, who founded the company in 1898.

Education: Vanderbilt University
First job: Reporter for the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel in Colorado
Hidden talent: Author of The Longest Cast: The Fly-Fishing Journey of a Lifetime. All royalties from the book were donated to the International Game Fish Association for the preservation of endangered fishing sanctuaries.
Hobbies: Fly-fishing
Favorite movie: The Godfather

Atlanta 500: Klaus Zellmer

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Klaus Zellmer
President and CEO
Porsche Cars North American

As president and CEO of Porsche Cars North America, Klaus Zellmer oversees the import and distribution of Porsche cars in the United States through the retail operations of approximately 188 U.S. dealers and four ports of entry. Sales support, marketing, parts distribution, and other functions including sales and service training also fall within Zellmer’s responsibility. He further leads operations for the new $100 million Porsche Experience Center and North American headquarters, which opened in Atlanta in 2015; the 27.7-acre complex includes corporate offices for all U.S.-based Porsche entities, a 1.6-mile driver development track, a technical training center, and a restaurant. Zellmer joined Porsche in 1997.

Education: Studied business administration in Germany, Great Britain, and the U.S.


Atlanta 500: David Abney

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David Abney
Chairman and CEO
United Parcel Service

David Abney began his career in college as a part-time package loader; the Mississippi native was appointed CEO of UPS in 2014 and chairman in 2016. In his previous role as chief operating officer, Abney oversaw logistics, sustainability, engineering, and all facets of the UPS transportation network, which serves more than 220 countries and territories; it includes a ground fleet of almost 119,000 vehicles and an air fleet of more than 500 aircraft. UPS operates major air hubs in Kentucky, Germany, and China.

Education: Delta State University
Notable achievements: Chair of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce (2019), Atlanta Business Chronicle Most Admired CEO Lifetime Achievement Award (2018). Abney and his wife, Sherry, sponsor Delta State University’s annual International Business Symposium.

Atlanta 500: Mark Begor

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Mark Begor

Mark Begor was named CEO of Equifax and a member of its board of directors in April 2018. He served previously as a managing director in the Industrial and Business Services group at Warburg Pincus, a $40 billion private equity firm with more than 120 portfolio companies. Begor spent 35 years at General Electric, most recently as president and CEO of GE’s $8 billion Energy Management business, and prior to that as president and CEO of GE Capital Real Estate. He also served as president and CEO of GE Capital Retail Finance (Synchrony Financial). Begor was a senior vice president and member of GE’s Corporate Executive Council for 10 years, and a GE officer for 19 years. He also served as the chief financial officer at NBCUniversal Media and as GE’s Investor Relations leader, overseeing many acquisitions and dispositions.

Education: Syracuse University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (MBA)

Atlanta 500 Vance D. BellVance D. Bell
Chairman and CEO
Shaw Industries

Vance Bell is chairman and CEO of Dalton-based Shaw Industries, a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway that offers carpet, resilient hardwood, tile and stone, and laminate flooring products, synthetic turf, and other specialty items for residential and commercial markets worldwide. Bell began his career with Shaw in 1975. Prior to becoming CEO in 2006, he held leadership positions in sales and marketing, international businesses, and operations. Bell has been involved in industry, civic, and community leadership roles, including with the Carpet and Rug Institute, Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business, and the Community Foundation of Northwest Georgia.

Education: Georgia Tech
Hometown: Macon, Georgia
Notable achievements: Led Shaw, the world’s largest carpet manufacturer, to also become the largest manufacturer of engineered hardwood flooring in the U.S., as well as the largest resilient flooring manufacturer and distributor
First job: Mowing lawns in the neighborhood at 14

Atlanta 500: James L. Dinkins

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James L. Dinkins
Senior Vice President, President Coca-Cola North America
The Coca-Cola Co.

James L. “Jim” Dinkins is senior vice president of the Coca-Cola Co. and president of Coca-Cola North America. Previously he served as president of the Minute Maid Business Unit and chief retail sales officer for CCNA. Dinkins joined Coca-Cola in 1988 and has worked in senior sales, marketing, operations, strategic planning, sports marketing, franchise leadership, and general management. Previously he held various sales positions with Procter & Gamble. Dinkins serves on the board of the Retail Industry Leaders Association.

Education: University of Georgia, Emory University Goizueta Business School (MBA)
Hidden talent: Played trombone in the band
Favorite Atlanta place to visit: World of Coca-Cola
Charities: Covenant House
Bucket list: Attend Wimbledon and the Open Championship in one long trip
Who’d play me in a biopic: Tom Hanks

Atlanta 500: Mary A. Laschinger

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Mary A. Laschinger
Chairman and CEO
Veritiv Corp.

Mary Laschinger is chairman and CEO of Veritiv Corp., a leading North American distribution solutions company. She served previously as senior vice president of International Paper Company and as president of the xpedx distribution business from 2010 to 2014, and as senior vice president of International Paper from 2007 to 2014. Laschinger was also president of the Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Russia business at International Paper, and vice president and general manager of International Paper’s Wood Products and Pulp businesses. Before joining International Paper in 1992, Laschinger held various positions in sales, marketing, and supply chain at James River and Kimberly-Clark.

Education: University of Wisconsin, University of Connecticut (MBA)
Board memberships: Laschinger is a member of the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, where she chairs the Audit and Operational Risk Committee, and is a member of the board of directors of Kellogg, where she chairs the Compensation and Talent Management Committee and serves on the Executive and Nominating and Governance Committees.

Atlanta 500: Craig Menear

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Craig Menear
Chairman, President, and CEO
The Home Depot

Craig Menear has served as president and CEO of the Home Depot since 2014 and chairman since 2015. In more than 20 years with the company prior to becoming CEO, his work included merchandising, supply chain, store operations, and marketing. Menear previously served in a variety of roles in mass, home center, and specialty retailing, and operated an independent retail business. A native of Flint, Michigan, he serves on the boards of the Retail Industry Leaders Association and the Atlanta Committee for Progress.

Education: Michigan State University
Inspiring people: The Home Depot’s founders: Bernie Marcus, Arthur Blank, and Ken Langone
Charities: Team Depot, Junior Achievement, Salvation Army

Atlanta 500: James Quincey

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James Quincey
President and CEO
The Coca-Cola Co.

James Quincey is chairman and CEO of the Coca-Cola Co. Before becoming CEO in 2017, he led the company’s worldwide operating units as president and chief operating officer. Previously Quincey was president of Coca-Cola’s Europe Group, comprising 38 countries including the EU, the European Free Trade Association countries, and the Balkans. The United Kingdom native also played a leading role in the merger that formed Coca-Cola European Partners, now the world’s largest independent Coca-Cola bottler based on net revenues.

Education: University of Liverpool
Hobbies: I love skiing. My family and I have been going to Colorado for over 25 years.
Favorite movie: The Matrix
Favorite Atlanta place to visit: Atlanta BeltLine

Atlanta 500 Jeffrey Sprecher

Jeffrey Sprecher
Chairman and CEO
Intercontinental Exchange
New York Stock Exchange

Jeff Sprecher is founder, chair, and CEO of Intercontinental Exchange and chair of the New York Stock Exchange. Formed in 2000, Intercontinental Exchange is a Fortune 500 company. Sprecher has served as CEO since 2000 and chair since 2002 and continues to transform global markets through information, technology, and transparency. Through the NYSE, they help companies around the globe raise more capital and drive more growth than any other exchange. In 2005, ICE completed its initial public offering on the NYSE and today has a market capitalization of approximately $50 billion.

Education: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Pepperdine University (MBA)
Board memberships: Buckhead Coalition, Commerce Club, Atlanta Committee for Progress, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce immediate past chair

Atlanta 500: Steve Voorhees

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Steve Voorhees
WestRock Co.

Steve Voorhees is CEO of WestRock Co., a leading provider of differentiated paper and packaging solutions. Previously he worked for the paper and packaging company RockTenn in a variety of executive leadership roles, including chief administrative officer, executive vice president and chief financial officer, president and chief operating officer, and ultimately CEO. Before joining RockTenn, Voorhees was in operations and executive roles at Sonat, a diversified energy company based in Birmingham.

Education: Northwestern University, University of Virginia Darden School of Business (MBA)
First jobs: Newspaper route, dishwasher, ice cream truck driver
Few people know: I married the perfect wife.
Favorite book or movie: The Road Less Travelled (book), All that Jazz (movie)
Favorite Atlanta place to visit: Buckhead Church followed by South City Kitchen
Bucket list: Visit the Holy Land


Atlanta 500: Sara Blakely

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Sara Blakely

Spanx founder Sara Blakely was getting ready for a party in 1998 when she realized she didn’t have the right undergarment to wear with white pants. Cutting the feet off her control top pantyhose with scissors, Blakely began a process that would lead to the Spanx brand, which has grown to offer bras, underwear, leggings, and more. Spanx has earned mention everywhere from CNN to Saturday Night Live, and in 2012, Blakely was named by Forbes as the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire, as well as one of the Time 100. Headquartered in Atlanta, Spanx is now found in more than 50 countries.

Education: Florida State University
Hometown: Clearwater, Florida
Charities: Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation

Atlanta 500: Kevin Knaus

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Kevin Knaus
Kevin Knaus Consulting

Kevin Knaus is an accomplished fashion-industry professional with expertise in trend forecasting, retail management, event planning, marketing, education, and international public speaking. He’s achieved success in developing and capitalizing on emerging trends in fabrics, apparel, home, luxury, and entertainment. A skilled negotiator, Knaus is adept at developing cost-effective resources and solutions for all areas of business. He is experienced in multicultural environments, with more than 25 years of business related to international travel.

Education: Central Michigan University, Georgia State University
Hometown: Lansing, Michigan
Favorite TV show: I Love Lucy. I own the complete series.
Favorite travel destinations: Paris and Mackinac Island
Favorite Atlanta places to visit: High Museum of Art, SCAD FASH

Atlanta 500: Ann Mashburn

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Ann Mashburn
Chief Creative Officer

Ann Mashburn, chief creative officer of Mashburn LLC, began her career in New York in 1984 as an assistant to Vogue fashion editor and stylist Polly Mellen. She subsequently served as an editor and stylist for Glamour, then as a stylist for J.Crew—where she met her husband, Sid. The couple moved to Atlanta in 2007 and opened the Sid Mashburn men’s shop. Ann Mashburn served as chief financial officer and chief operating officer during the first three years, and in 2010 she opened the Ann Mashburn shop as a women’s counterpoint. Ann and Sid shops are now in Houston, Dallas, and Washington, D.C., with a men’s-only shop in Los Angeles. In 2018 the Mashburns expanded the footprint of their flagship Atlanta store with the opening of an adjacent coffee shop and experiential lifestyle concept shop.

Education: University of Colorado Boulder

Atlanta 500: Sid Mashburn

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Sid Mashburn
CEO and Designer

Sid Mashburn serves as CEO and designer of Mashburn LLC. He began his career in New York as the first men’s designer at J.Crew, and was subsequently recruited to Polo Ralph Lauren. Mashburn went on to serve as vice president of design at Tommy Hilfiger and senior vice president of design at Lands’ End. In 2007 Mashburn and his wife, Ann, moved to Atlanta, where they opened the men’s shop Sid Mashburn. In 2010 they expanded the business with Ann Mashburn, a women’s line and shop, followed by the launch of e-commerce sites in 2011 to serve the brand’s expanding customer base outside of Atlanta. In 2018 the Mashburns expanded the footprint of their flagship Atlanta store with the opening of an adjacent coffee shop and experiential lifestyle concept shop.

Education: University of Mississippi

Mary Moore
Founder and CEO
Cook’s Warehouse

Mary Moore combined her passions for cooking and business into the Cook’s Warehouse, a gourmet store and cooking school with two locations, online retail, and a mail-order catalog. Since Moore opened the first Cook’s Warehouse in 1995, the business has expanded to include a cooking school with more than 700 classes taught annually by renowned chefs in three kitchens. Previously she managed the kitchens at Atlanta restaurants Partners Morningside Cafe and Indigo Coastal Grill, and served as director of research and development for Harry’s Farmers Market.

Education: Georgia State University
Notable achievements: Moore is a member and past president of Les Dames d’Escoffier International and past board chair of Atlanta Community Food Bank. She’s also a member of the board of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and the Carter Center Board of Councilors.


Atlanta 500: Leigh AsherLeigh Asher
Chief Marketing Officer

Leigh Asher leads global brand and communications for Fiserv, a Fortune 500 fintech and payments company that serves financial institutions and businesses in more than 100 countries. As the most senior marketing executive, Asher reports directly to CEO Jeffery W. Yabuki and oversees a global team. She’s responsible for enterprise brand management, corporate communications, market research, marketing services, digital marketing, and corporate sponsorships, and her role has taken on expanded scope following the completion of Fiserv’s combination with First Data in July 2019. The Atlanta native joined Fiserv in 2007.

Education: Georgia State University
First job: The concession stand at Loews Tara Theater
Notable achievement: Instrumental in the company’s decision to become the naming-rights sponsor of Fiserv Forum, a state-of-the-art sports and entertainment venue in downtown Milwaukee
Bucket list: I’d love to see the northern lights.

Atlanta 500 Kabir BardayKabir Barday
Founder, President, and CEO

Kabir Barday is president and CEO of OneTrust, a privacy, security, and third-party risk technology platform used by more than 4,000 companies across 100 countries. With headquarters in Atlanta and London, OneTrust employs nearly 1,000 people across nine global offices. Barday, who founded the company in 2016, oversees all aspects of OneTrust’s product development, operations, and sales internationally. In 2019 OneTrust was one of Forbes’s World’s Most Innovative Companies. Kabir sits on the advisory boards for the Future of Privacy Forum, the Center for Information Policy Leadership, the International Association of Privacy Professionals, the Cloud Security Alliance, and Shared Assessments.

Education: Georgia Tech
Notable achievements: EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award Southeast (2019), Atlanta Business Chronicle Most Admired CEO (2019)
Best advice received: Nelson Mandela said, “There is no passion to be found in playing small, in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”
Favorite book: How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Atlanta 500: Mark Buffington

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Mark Buffington
Cofounder and CEO
BIP Capital

Mark Buffington is cofounder and CEO of BIP Capital, recently named the top venture capital firm in Georgia for the fourth year in a row. He’s cofounded three successful companies over the course of his career. Since founding BIP Capital in 2006, Buffington has led investment rounds in more than 45 companies in a number of market verticals. His roster of venture investments includes Atlanta success stories like Vendormate, Ingenious Med, QASymphony, Excel Health, PlayOn! Sports, and ConnexPay.

Education: Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business, Tulane University (MBA)
First job: International business analyst for Total System Services
Best advice received: If you want to be the best at your craft, you have to push harder and be better than everyone else.
Hidden talent: I speak fluent Spanish and love econometrics.
Hobbies: Fly-fishing

Atlanta 500: Eddie Capel

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Eddie Capel
President and CEO
Manhattan Associates

Eddie Capel serves as president and CEO of Manhattan Associates and is a member of its board of directors. Prior to assuming his current role in 2013, Capel helped lead the company as president and chief operating officer, and previously served as COO and executive vice president. Before joining Manhattan Associates in 2000, he held various positions at Real Time Solutions, leading teams that supported the supply chain strategies of companies such as Walmart, Amazon, and J.C. Penney.

First job: Pumping gas
Hidden talent: After a 37-year hiatus, I made a boxing “comeback” at the age of 56 to fight for Camp Hope at the Brawl for a Cause charity event.
Bucket list: Learning to pole-vault
Who’d play me in a biopic: Bruce Willis

Atlanta 500: Ben Chestnut

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Ben Chestnut
Cofounder and CEO

Ben Chestnut is cofounder and CEO of Mailchimp, an all-in-one marketing platform for growing businesses. Based in Atlanta since 2001, Mailchimp is privately held, with more than 1,000 employees and millions of global users. In 2017 Mailchimp was named Company of the Year by Inc. and recognized as one of the World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company. A native of Hephzibah, Chestnut was named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2016.

Education: Georgia Tech
First job: Grocery bagger at Fort Gordon military commissary
Hobbies: Mountain biking
What I’d tell my 18-year-old self: When you get there, don’t forget to have some fun.
Charities: Moving in the Spirit, Atlanta Music Project, ArtsNow, Ballethnic Dance Company

Atlanta 500: David Cummings

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David Cummings
Atlanta Ventures

A lover of startups and entrepreneurship, David Cummings is the cofounder of Atlanta Tech Village, Pardot, Rigor, SalesLoft, Terminus, and several more companies. After selling the marketing automation firm Pardot in 2012, Cummings was named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and ranked on Atlanta Business Chronicle’s list of the 100 Most Influential Atlantans. He is a member of YPO Southern 7 and the Rotary Club of Atlanta, and sits on the board of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.

Education: Duke University
Hometown: Tallahassee, Florida
First job: Mowing yards
Lesson learned: The importance of corporate culture and building a great team
Hidden talent: Wakeboarding and wakesurfing

Atlanta 500: Alan Dabbiere

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Alan Dabbiere

Entrepreneur Alan Dabbiere is cochairman of OneTrust, a privacy management software platform used by more than 1,500 global organizations. Dabbiere has more than 20 years of experience in building successful software companies, holding more than 25 patents or patent applications on supply chain, logistics, and enterprise mobility software. He’s a founder and past chairman of AirWatch, the largest enterprise mobility management provider in the world. Dabbiere also founded Manhattan Associates, the world’s leading supply chain execution software company.

Education: Indiana University (MBA)
Why I chose this work: I was a chemistry major and planned to go to medical school, but my father died my senior year and I reevaluated my life. I decided to get an MBA with an emphasis in finance. Between the two, I had taken computer science courses, and when I graduated the systems-consulting market was white-hot. This drove me to a career in software.
First job: Kurt Salmon Associates
What I’d tell my 18-year-old self: Being tenacious is the most important quality for success.

Atlanta 500: David Dabbiere

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David Dabbiere
Board Member and Legal Adviser

David Dabbiere is a board member and legal adviser of OneTrust. Previously he was president and chief operating officer of Aware Software and, prior to that, chief operating officer at enterprise mobility management provider AirWatch, where Dabbiere was responsible for all legal and operational matters and played a key role in the company’s 2014 sale to VMware. Dabbiere was previously senior vice president and chief legal officer for Manhattan Associates, where he assisted the company’s successful initial public offering.

Education: Indiana University, Indiana University McKinney School of Law (JD)
First job: Patent lawyer for Procter & Gamble
Favorite movie: My Cousin Vinny. I love the scene where Vinny tips the prison guard who brings him to his nephew’s cell, and the guard pockets it.
Charities: Shepherd Center

Atlanta 500: Bernie Dixon

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Bernie Dixon
Chairman and CEO

Bernie Dixon is the founder and CEO of Launchpad2X and former chairman and CEO of Atlanta Technology Angels. She served previously as vice president of HP Services Americas, as Enterprise chief information officer for Raytheon, and as CIO for two divisions of United Technologies: Carrier and Hamilton Standard. Dixon also led the information technology practice at Booz Allen Hamilton. She began her career as a leading member of the first class of female officers within the Department of Defense.

Education: Pennsylvania State University, University of Michigan Ross School of Business, University of Virginia Darden School of Business
Few people know: I am a real foodie. Maybe I’ll do my own cookbook on my favorite snacks.
What I’d tell my 18-year-old self: Life is for living and learning. Enjoy every moment of it.
Favorite Atlanta place to visit: Dog park at Piedmont Park
Who’d play me in a biopic: Emilia Clarke, who portrays Daenerys Targaryen on Game of Thrones

Atlanta 500: Allyson Eman

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Allyson Eman
Executive Director
Venture Atlanta

Allyson Eman has more than 25 years of experience in marketing, communications, sales leadership, and business development. In 2007 she became executive director of the newly created Venture Atlanta, working with key leaders from the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Atlanta CEO Council, and Technology Association of Georgia to build the annual event into the premier venture capital conference in the South. Previously Eman was senior vice president of marketing and communications for SouthStar Funding, an Atlanta-based wholesale mortgage lender.

Education: University of Florida
Favorite movie: Legally Blonde
Favorite Atlanta place to visit: Ponce City Market
Bucket list: Italy for my 25th anniversary
Who’d play me in a biopic: Julia Roberts. People say I look like her—I wish!

Atlanta 500 Justin Ferrero

Justin Ferrero

Atlanta native Justin Ferrero has served as president of Sharecare, a digital company that helps people manage their health in one place, since its founding in 2010. He’s responsible for technology, finance, corporate development, and strategic partnerships. For the past 18 years, Ferrero has worked closely with serial entrepreneur Jeff Arnold, Sharecare’s chairman and CEO, overseeing all matters related to finance and corporate development for Arnold’s businesses. During that time, Ferrero has raised more than half a billion dollars and has bought, integrated, and built approximately 25 businesses.

Education: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
First job: Dishwasher at OK Cafe
Hobbies: Spending time with my kids, Finn and Banks
Charities: The Schenck School, which is doing unbelievable work and truly changing the course of lives for children who suffer from dyslexia

Atlanta 500: Rob Frohwein

Photograph by Lizabeth Frohwein

Rob Frohwein
Cofounder and Kabbagehead

In 2008, Rob Frohwein cofounded Kabbage in Atlanta to leverage the power of real-time data automation to facilitate funding for small businesses. Kabbage provides billions of dollars to more than 200,000 customers and recently launched Kabbage Payments, expanding into a cash-flow management platform. It also licenses its technology to global banks, and has been recognized for its technology and innovation with awards from CNBC, Inc., Forbes, and Fast Company. In 2017 Kabbage was named one of Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work.

Education: Dickinson College, Villanova University Widger School of Law (JD)
Inspiring person: My wife. She is simply the most focused and earnest person I know.
Lesson learned: Persistence is so vitally important. Too many people give up too soon, and I think that’s because they don’t realize just how hard entrepreneurship is.
Hobbies: Spending time with my family. I make sure that I’m home for dinner at a reasonable time every night. Before my kids went to college, I attended every one of their events when I was not traveling. It’s cliche but nothing is more important than family, and my kids and wife know that they’re absolutely, positively number one in my life and heart.

Atlanta 500: Marc Gorlin

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Marc Gorlin
Founder and CEO

A successful Atlanta entrepreneur for almost 20 years, Marc Gorlin founded Roadie in 2014 as the first on-the-way service that connects items for delivery with drivers headed in the right direction. Previously Gorlin cofounded and was chairman of Kabbage, which provides working capital to small and medium-sized businesses. To date, Kabbage has raised more than $500 million in funding and provided over $5 billion in capital to small businesses. Gorlin also cofounded the content personalization service VerticalOne.

Education: University of Georgia
Hidden talent: I was a teenage magician. I learned about the willing suspension of disbelief, and that’s helped me a lot as an entrepreneur.
What I’d tell my 18-year-old self: When you’re getting the job, don’t think you’re just getting the job—you’re getting the keys to the whole damn building. It’s not enough to connect with your boss or your immediate team. You need to make connections with people on the other side of the office.
Favorite travel destination: Perdido Key, Florida

Atlanta 500: Scott Grimes

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Scott Grimes
Cofounder and CEO

Scott Grimes is cofounder and CEO of Cardlytics, a fraud-free native advertising platform that powers cash-back rewards programs for banks, based in Atlanta with offices in London, New York, San Francisco, and India. An experienced entrepreneur and strategist, Grimes was formerly senior vice president and general manager at Capital One, where his team developed groundbreaking payments products. He’s worked on both sides of the emerging technology world—as a principal at Canaan Partners and as an executive at e-sourcing company, FreeMarkets. Grimes also spent eight years as a principal at McKinsey & Co.

Education: Union College, Stanford University Graduate School of Business (MBA)
Notable achievements: At Cardlytics, Grimes and cofounder Lynne Laube have secured more than $200 million in capital from leading investors and scaled the company to serve the world’s largest financial institutions and brand marketers. In February 2018, the pair took Card­lytics public on the Nasdaq in the first tech IPO of the year. In January 2019, Scott was appointed vice chair of FinTech Atlanta, a coalition of companies working to establish Atlanta as the global epicenter of financial technology.

Michael Hayford
President and CEO
NCR Corp.

Mike Hayford is president and CEO of NCR Corp. Previously he served as chief financial officer and corporate executive vice president of the financial technology company FIS. Prior to that, as president and chief operating officer of Metavante Technologies, Hayford led the completion of Metavante’s merger with FIS to create the world’s largest financial technology company. He was instrumental in building Metavante into a global leader of financial technology with over $6 billion of annual revenue.

Education: University of Wisconsin, Northwestern University Kellogg School of Business (MBA)
Notable achievements: Hayford is a director of Endurance International Group Holdings and has served on the board of West Bend Mutual Insurance, for which he chairs the Audit Committee. Hayford is a certified public accountant.

Atlanta 500: Mary S. Hester

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Mary S. Hester
LAN Systems

Mary Hester is the CEO of LAN Systems, which provides IT solutions in metro Atlanta. A computer systems expert and electrical engineer, Hester works with companies to get the highest efficiency from people and IT resources. At LAN Systems she’s developed a unique managed-services model that provides personalized, high-quality services throughout the contract period. Hester has also designed numerous training courses and workshops on a variety of topics, and serves on several committees that address security concerns for public utilities.

Education: University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Georgia Terry College of Business (MBA)
Why I chose this work: Technology enables people. It levels the playing field and offers opportunities never before seen.
First job: Selling my own handmade jewelry at five!
Favorite Atlanta place to visit: Fox Theatre
Charities: Child development, STEM initiatives, assistance for victims of sex trafficking
Favorite movie: Dances with Wolves

Atlanta 500: Paul Judge

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Paul Judge
TechSquare Labs

Technology entrepreneur and investor Paul Judge is cofounder and partner of TechSquare Labs, an Atlanta-based company-building studio and venture fund, and cofounder and executive chairman of the information security company Pindrop, whose technology protects some of the largest enterprises in the world. Pindrop has received total funding of over $100 million from venture firms including Andreessen Horowitz, CapitalG, and IVP. Judge has cofounded three companies that have been acquired and has invested in more than 60.

Education: Morehouse College, Georgia Tech (PhD)
Why I chose this work: I chose to build software companies because software and technology are changing every aspect of life. We get to change the world by building something from nothing. This also creates a new generation of wealth creation and opportunities for building diverse teams.
Favorite travel destination: Ghana
Charities: Kate’s Club

Atlanta 500: R. Steven Justice

Photograph courtesy of Georgia Department of Economic Development

R. Steven Justice
Executive Director, Georgia Centers of Innovation
Georgia Department of Economic Development

Steve Justice is executive director of the Georgia Centers of Innovation, a division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. Justice counts more than 30 years of diverse experience in the aerospace and innovation industries, including with the Georgia Center of Innovation for Aerospace, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Delta Air Lines. He also founded two Georgia-based aerospace companies. In 2006, Justice received the prestigious Red Dot Design Award from the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen in Essen, Germany.

Education: Georgia Tech
Lesson learned: Treat your team like family.
Hidden talent: Narrating high school halftime shows
Hobbies: Swimming, model building
Favorite movie: The Right Stuff
Who’d play me in a biopic: Someone better-looking!

Atlanta 500: Dan Kurzius

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Dan Kurzius
Cofounder and Chief Customer Officer

Dan Kurzius cofounded Mailchimp with Ben Chestnut in 2001, as a developer who also served as the company’s first support agent. Kurzius built Mailchimp’s support department and continues to advocate for its users through research efforts in partnership with the data science, product, and marketing teams. He also oversees Mailchimp’s workspace and real estate needs, making sure the office is a place where employees feel welcome and inspired. The Albuquerque, New Mexico, native was previously a DJ and sponsored skateboarder.

Education: Self-taught LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) developer
Toughest challenge: Losing my father to heart disease when I was 12. Overnight I went from riding bikes with friends to helping my mother raise two younger brothers.
Hobbies: Spinning vinyl records and skateboarding at various skate parks around town. I’m an old half-pipe skater. It’s been fun learning how to carve bowls.
Favorite Atlanta place to visit: Wylie Street in Cabbagetown. I enjoy walking that area and taking in all the murals and street art.

Atlanta 500: Lynne Laube

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Lynne Laube
Cofounder and Chief Operating Officer

Lynne Laube is cofounder and chief operating officer of Cardlytics, a fraud-free native advertising platform that powers cash-back rewards programs for banks, based in Atlanta with offices in London, New York, San Francisco, and India. Before cofounding Cardlytics in 2008 with Scott Grimes, Laube held multiple executive positions with Capital One. She also designed and implemented decoupled debit, a product that created significant disruption in the banking industry, and helped scale the company to become one of the leading banks in the United States.

Education: University of Cincinnati, University of Virginia Darden School of Business
Notable achievements:

At Cardlytics, Laube and cofounder Scott Grimes have secured more than $200 million in capital from leading investors and scaled the company to serve the world’s largest financial institutions and brand marketers. In February 2018, the pair took Cardlytics public on the Nasdaq in the first tech IPO of the year. Lynne recently earned honors from Business Insider as one of the key executives driving the country’s most promising startups, and from Inc. as a top 10 venture-backed female founder.

Atlanta 500: Thomas E. Noonan

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Thomas E. Noonan
Founding Partner
TEN Holdings

Atlanta native Tom Noonan is a founding partner of TechOperators, an early-stage technology investment firm in Atlanta, and chairman of TEN Holdings, a diversified family office investment company. Most recently, Noonan was general manager of the Energy Management business of Cisco Systems following its 2013 acquisition of JouleX, where he was cofounder and CEO. A serial entrepreneur, Noonan also cofounded and serves on the board of Endgame, which provides national security missions with software solutions for endpoint protection.

Education: Georgia Tech, Harvard University
Inspiring person: Winston Churchill
Favorite travel destination: Ireland
Bucket list: Hike the Alps
Who’d play me in a biopic: Me

Atlanta 500 Stephen PairStephen Pair
Cofounder and CEO

Stephen Pair is the CEO of BitPay, a leading provider of bitcoin payment technology that processed more than $1 billion in payments in 2018. Pair directs the daily operations of the business as well as its long-term vision, from research and engineering to product development and information technology. With more than two decades of experience building software systems in the financial and telecommunications industries—and two patents in the field of streaming analytics—Pair held roles as an entrepreneur, architect, team leader, manager, and developer before cofounding BitPay in 2011 with Tony Gallippi.

Education: Georgia Tech
Hometown: Cumming, Georgia
First job: Fry cook at Captain D’s
Hidden talent: Wake-surfing
Favorite movies: Star Wars
Favorite Atlanta place to visit: Georgia Aquarium

Atlanta 500 Kathryn PetraliaKathryn Petralia
Cofounder and Kabbagehead

Kathryn Petralia is the president, chief operating officer, and cofounder of Kabbage, a financial services, data, and technology platform that helps small businesses manage cash flow. A seasoned leader in financial services with more than 20 years of experience across credit, payments, and lending, Petralia helps lead Kabbage to simplify the way small businesses access the capital and services they need.

Education: Furman University
Hometown: Greenville, South Carolina
Notable achievement: Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women of 2017
Why I chose this work: Because tech, at its core, serves others. It can be used to give people what they need faster and better than before.
Inspiring person: Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Favorite books: Outliers: The Story of Success and David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell
Favorite Atlanta place to visit: Museum of Natural History

Atlanta 500: Tripp Rackley

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Tripp Rackley
Kenzie Lane Innovation

Tripp Rackley, CEO of Kenzie Lane Innovation, is an accomplished entrepreneur with a background building and growing successful businesses. He’s founded multiple companies, including nFront, Firethorn, and Experience, as well as Clutch Technologies, a software platform that enables vehicle subscription for the automotive industry. Today, Clutch is powering subscription access for dealer groups in 26 states; it was acquired by Cox Automotive in 2018. A Roswell native, Rackley was inducted into the Technology Association of Georgia’s FinTech Hall of Fame in 2018.

Education: Georgia Tech
Hobbies: Golf, fly-fishing, hunting
Charities: Marine biology research, animal conservation

Atlanta 500 Jeffrey S. SloanJeffrey S. Sloan
Global Payments

Jeff Sloan joined Global Payments as president in 2010 and became CEO in 2013. Previously, he was a partner and the worldwide head of the Financial Technology Group for Goldman Sachs in New York. Sloan pioneered the development of the payments practice in investment banking.

Education: Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, New York University School of Law (JD)
Notable achievements: Institutional Investor America’s Best CEOs, Atlanta Business Chronicle Most Admired CEO
Board memberships: FleetCor Technologies, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Wharton School Undergraduate Executive Board, Atlanta Committee for Progress, previous president and chair of the board of the Electronic Transactions Association

Atlanta 500 Dawn Whaley

Dawn Whaley

Dawn Whaley has served as president of the digital health company Sharecare since its founding. She participates in the development of the overall corporate strategy and is directly responsible for marketing, strategic partnerships, and business development. Previously Whaley was executive vice president of marketing and strategic relationships for the website HowStuffWorks, where she helped manage operations and corporate development efforts, including business development and creation and execution of the marketing strategy. She currently serves on the boards of Forbes Travel Guide and the American Heart Association’s Metro Atlanta Division.

Education: University of Georgia
Toughest challenge: Raising my wonderful daughter, Spencer
Favorite Atlanta places to visit: Atlanta BeltLine, Stone Mountain
Charities: Metro Atlanta Division of the American Heart Association, whose board Whaley serves on

Atlanta 500: Larry Williams

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Larry Williams
President and CEO
Technology Association of Georgia

Larry Williams is president and CEO of the Technology Association of Georgia, bringing to the job more than 25 years of experience in global branding, international trade and finance, public and industrial policy, and administration and management. As former president and CEO of the Beacon Council, Miami-Dade County’s official economic development partnership, Williams led the creation and execution of a new development framework to help the area grow and secure investments in today’s innovation economy, resulting in $687 million in new investment, 119 company relocations or expansions, and more than 4,500 new jobs. From 2011 to 2014 Williams helped shape Atlanta’s tech sector as vice president of technology development at the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.

Education: North Carolina State University

Atlanta 500: Jon Ziglar

Photograph courtesy of Park Mobile

Jon Ziglar

Jon Ziglar is a seasoned executive with a track record of driving growth and innovation in software- and technology-enabled service businesses. Prior to being named ParkMobile CEO in 2015, he served as managing director, international, for Ceridian HCM, a global provider of human-capital management software and services. He also served as Ceridian’s chief strategy officer and chief product and innovation officer. Ziglar was previously senior vice president of strategic planning and enterprise development at the global payments technology company Elavon.

Education: Princeton University, Emory University School of Law (JD)
Hidden talent: I went to college intending to be an art major.
Hobbies: Skiing, hiking
Favorite movie: Office Space
Bucket list: Take my kids heli-skiing in Canada
Who’d play me in a biopic: Obviously Hugh Jackman


Jeff Arnold
At age 28, Arnold founded WebMD and grew it into a $1 billion revenue company. Next came the Convex Group, a media and internet investment organization that acquired HowStuffWorks, then sold it to Discovery Communications, where Arnold met Dr. Mehmet Oz, who collaborated with him to launch yet another health-focused website, Sharecare.

J. Veronica Biggins
Biggins is currently a managing director in the Atlanta office of Diversified Search. Previously, she served as director of presidential personnel and assistant to President Bill Clinton. She was also vice chair of the U.S. delegation to the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing.

Michael J. Coles
After a long career in the clothing business, Coles founded the Great American Cookie Co. with Arthur Karp in 1977. They grew an initial $8,000 investment into the largest cookie store franchise in the United States. The serial entrepreneur has chaired the Georgia Film Commission and served on the University System of Georgia Board of Regents, the Kennesaw State University Foundation Board, and the Walker School Board.

Pete Correll
As CEO of Georgia-Pacific, Alston D. “Pete” Correll helped the company grow from a forest-industry materials manufacturer to a consumer-products company, leading to its acquisition by Koch Industries in 2006. In addition, he joined the fight to change Georgia’s flag, played a key role in helping Grady Hospital escape financial ruin, and was an early backer of the BeltLine.

R. Charles Loudermilk Sr.
Loudermilk founded Aaron’s, a lease-to-own retailer, in 1955 with a $500 bank loan. He took the company public in 1982. In 2009, the Atlanta City Council changed the name of Buckhead Triangle Park to Charlie Loudermilk Park in honor of his contributions to the neighborhood. He helped build the Omni and once owned the Atlanta Hawks and the Flames.

Sig Mosley
As president of Imlay Investments and then managing partner of Mosley Ventures, Sig Mosley has invested in 120 startups since 1990—likely making him Atlanta’s most active angel investor. He helped nurture the city’s technology industry.