BANKING & FINANCE
With over 30 years of experience in the wealth management industry, Alton is responsible for managing Wilmington Trust’s Atlanta and Southeastern region, including all administrative and business development functions for personal trust, investment management, and private banking. In this role, he oversees the development and coordination of wealth management services for prominent individuals, families, family offices, and endowments and foundations.
Education: Augusta University
Hobbies: Time with my wife Jenny and our two fur babies, hunting, off-roading, hiking
Toughest challenge: Fighting cancer and winning
Bucket list: Asia and Africa
Kevin Blair joined Synovus in August 2016 as executive vice president and chief financial officer. He was appointed senior executive vice president and chief operating officer in December 2018 and was named president in December 2019. Blair was elected to the board of directors in December 2020 and became president and CEO on April 22, 2021. His financial services career began at Signet Bank in Richmond, Virginia, in 1995 and has included leadership in such areas as corporate strategy, line management, strategic finance, and credit risk management.
Education: James Madison University, George Washington University (MBA)
Notable achievements: Becoming CEO of Synovus Bank, the largest bank headquartered in Georgia. Father of four amazing children, ages 6 to 22. Led $7.2 million United Way annual fundraising campaign in 2020, a record for the Chattahoochee Valley region.
Why I chose this work: Banking is a noble profession. I feel we have the opportunity each day to help our clients achieve their financial goals and objectives
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 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. He was the chair of the Metro Atlanta Chamber in 2022. 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
Cynthia N. Day
President and CEO
Citizens Bancshares Corporation and Citizens Trust Bank
Cynthia Day provides the vision and strategic direction for Citizens Trust Bank. During her tenure, the bank continues to reach many milestones including achieving record-level earnings since the inception of the institution. Navigating unprecedented times and a rapidly changing and competitive market landscape, Citizens Trust Bank remains healthy and financially strong. These achievements continue to receive recognition as Citizens Trust Bank has been consistently named one of the top African American–owned commercial banks in the country. On numerous occasions before it went private in 2017, the company was cited by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as one of Georgia’s top 100 publicly traded companies.
Education: University of Alabama
Notable achievements: Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans Award (2020), Atlanta Business League CEO of the Year (2014)
Branch Banking Regional Executive
Mike Donnelly is branch banking regional executive for Wells Fargo 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, 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 United Way of Greater Atlanta. He is the past chair of Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education and is a past chair of Leadership Atlanta.
Education: Radford University
Kathy S. Farrell
Head, Commercial Real Estate
Truist Financial Corporation
Kathy 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.
As managing director, Chanel H. Frazier is the head of the BlackRock Atlanta Innovation Hub and the global head of Business Strategy for the Portfolio Management Group. As head of the Atlanta Innovation Hub, Frazier is responsible for establishing the firm’s local presence and growing its newest strategic business, driving innovative solutions for BlackRock and its clients. In her role as global head of Business Strategy for the Portfolio Management Group, she designs strategic solutions and leads global teams in the execution of programs to identify and capture market opportunities for one of the firm’s largest investment teams, representing $4.9 trillion in assets under management and $10.5 billion in gross revenue in fiscal year 2021. Frazier’s philanthropic commitments enabled Frazier to deliver keynote addresses at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. She spoke during the 54th Session of the Commission for Social Development and during the 60th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women.
Education: Dartmouth College, University of Virginia School of Law (JD), New York University School of Law (LLM)
Hometown: Brooklyn, New York
Ryan Glover, chairman and cofounder of the digital banking platform Greenwood, has more than 20 years of experience delivering products focused on the African American community. Glover, a seasoned entertainment industry vet, started Bounce TV in 2011. Bounce was the first African American nationwide broadcast network. The Richmond, California, native also founded Noontime Records, a label responsible for more than a dozen Billboard No. 1 hits. He co-founded Greenwood in 2020 intending to help solve the generational wealth gap problem for the Black and Latinx communities. The digital banking platform’s name pays homage to the Tulsa, Oklahoma, district of Greenwood, which was known as “Black Wall Street” in the 1920s.
Education: Howard University
First job: Gas station attendant
Best advice received: With God all things are possible.
Hidden talent: Amazing chef
Hobbies: Coaching youth sports
Favorite travel destination: Africa
What I’d tell my 18-year-old self: Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Keep working.
Berwyn James “BJ” Green
Executive Vice President
As executive vice president and Georgia commercial banking executive at Cadence Bank, BJ Green oversees the strategic development, growth, quality, and profitability of commercial activities in Georgia. With over 25 years of experience in investment banking, corporate, and commercial banking (Banc of America Securities, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Wachovia), the Greensboro, North Carolina, native provides oversight and direction to the commercial banking team, which is focused on meeting the banking and financing needs of clients in a variety of industries. Green is an alumnus of Leadership Georgia’s class of 2012, and is either an active or past board member of the Buckhead Coalition, Rotary Club of Atlanta, Trees Atlanta, Woodruff Arts Center, Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Metro Atlanta Chamber, Kenan-Flagler Business School Alumni Council, and St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP Georgia – Poverty Alleviation).
Education: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Emory University (MBA)
First job: Mowing yards in my neighborhood for $10
Lesson learned: Every time you get promoted it gets harder, not easier.
Favorite place to visit: Lake Rabun
John N. Gregg
Chairman and CEO, Truist Securities
Truist Financial Corp.
John Gregg is the chairman and CEO for Truist Securities, the Corporate and Investment Banking division of Truist Financial Corporation. Gregg leads 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 boards of Grady Memorial Hospital Corporation, Junior Achievement of Georgia, FutureSolve, 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
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
President and CEO
Fifth Third Bank Georgia
Randy Koporc serves as president and CEO of Fifth Third Bank in Georgia, responsible for the growth and strategic alignment of the bank’s commercial, wealth and asset management, and consumer businesses. Under his leadership, the bank has accelerated its growth in the region and worked with many local organizations to strengthen communities in the Atlanta area and beyond. Koporc has been with Fifth Third Bank since 2010; before joining the company he worked for more than two decades for Wells Fargo. He serves on the boards of the Metro Atlanta Chamber, the Westside Future Fund Development committee, Rotary Club of Atlanta, the Buckhead Coalition, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and other local groups.
Education: University of Florida, University of Central Florida (MBA)
Hometown: Orlando, Florida
First job: Runway flight crew member for Delta Air Lines in Orlando
Hobbies: Coaching my kids in baseball, golf, traveling
Favorite Atlanta place to visit: Chattahoochee River
President, Preferred Banking
Bank of America
Aron Levine is the president of Preferred Banking as well as a member of the company’s executive management team. Responsible for the growth of the Preferred business—one of Bank of America’s eight lines of business, which provides banking, investing, and lending solutions to U.S. mass affluent customers—Levine also leads through the Consumer Investments Group, which provides access to the investment insights of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and the banking convenience of Bank of America. He serves on the Global Board of Advisors for Operation HOPE and is also a board member for both the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta and Horizons Atlanta.
Education: University of Rochester
Hometown: New York, New York
Inspiring person: Omar Bradley, one of the primary architects of the Normandy invasion, who later became general of the U.S. Army
Charities: Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta, Horizons Atlanta, Operation HOPE
William H. Linginfelter
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
Alfred L. McRae Jr.
Bank of America Atlanta
Alfred “Al” L. McRae Jr. serves as Bank of America leader in the local market, responsible for delivering growth for shareholders, clients, and communities. His leadership includes driving business integration by connecting Bank of America’s capabilities across its eight lines of business to people and companies, and deploying Bank of America’s resources to build strong communities. A native of Dublin, Georgia, McRae came to Atlanta to attend Georgia State University. He stresses Bank of America’s commitment to serving the community and is especially concerned with racial equity. In 2021, Bank of America committed $1.25 billion toward advancing racial equity and economic opportunity nationwide over a five-year period. Locally, the bank has supported organizations such as Georgia Justice Project and the Grove Park Foundation.
Education: Georgia State University
Best advice received: Proactively seek out those situations and positions that make you most uncomfortable; that’s where the opportunity for growth and development will reside.
What I’d tell a recent graduate: Your reputation is the most valuable and enduring quality you will ever have.
Regional President, Georgia
Eddie Meyers serves as executive vice president and Georgia president for PNC Bank, and is PNC’s first regional president of African American and Latino descent. Named to his current position in 2011, 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 who was awarded the Combat Action Ribbon for his service in the Gulf War, Meyers was also a running back for the Atlanta Falcons in the 1980s. He currently serves as an executive board member for the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and was a former chairman for Central Atlanta Progress and board member and officer of the Rotary Club of Atlanta.
Education: U.S. Naval Academy, National University (MBA)
Notable achievements: 1982 College Player of the Year, running back for the Atlanta Falcons, awarded the Combat Action Ribbon for Service in Gulf War
President and CEO
Georgia’s Own Credit Union
Dave Preter is president and CEO of Georgia’s Own Credit Union, a $4.8 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 membership grow by 24 percent and assets nearly double. 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 movies: The Marvel movies
Favorite Atlanta place to visit: The Varsity
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.
Favorite travel destinations: Alaska, Bali, Costa Rica
As executive vice president and Georgia regional president for Truist Financial Corporation, Saez serves as the senior leader in the Georgia Market, responsible for direction and integrating client management business development efforts with privately-
held companies operating in business banking, commercial, middle market, and commercial real estate, as well as nonprofit and governmental entities. Through her service on Truist’s diversity, equity, and inclusion council and in company-wide business resource groups, Saez seeks to promote a more purpose-, mission-, and values-centered working environment at Truist. A 22-year veteran of the financial services industry, Saez joined Truist (formerly SunTrust) in 2000.
Education: University of Florida, Georgia State University (MBA)
Few people know: As a child, I earned a black belt in karate.
Inspiring person: My grandfather who immigrated from Cuba and graduated from the University of Florida
Why I chose this work: I was always the banker playing Monopoly as a child.
Partner and Managing Director
A partner and managing director for Cresset Capital in the Atlanta region, Jack Sawyer is a fiduciary attorney, specializing in trust and estate management, charitable planning, private foundation administration, and family office services. Sawyer is on the boards of several private foundations and nonprofits, including Andee’s Army, the nsoro Foundation, the Atlanta Jewish Foundation, Open Hand, the Georgia Museum of Art, and the High Museum of Art. He received the American Jewish Committee’s National Human Relations Award in 2011 and has been honored by the Atlanta History Center Swan House Ball, the National Black Arts Festival, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the United Negro College Fund Mayors’ Masked Ball, Tiffany’s Blue Angels, and more.
Education: University of Georgia, Mercer University School of Law (JD)
Best advice received: Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, “If you want to be a true professional, you will do something outside yourself; something to make life a little better for people less fortunate than you.”
Wendy Stewart is president of global commercial banking for Bank of America and a member of the company’s executive management team. In this role, Stewart oversees one of the firm’s eight lines of business, which delivers integrated financial solutions to public and private companies with annual revenues of $50 million to over $2 billion across middle market banking; real estate; healthcare, education and nonprofits; and dealer financial services. From 2000 to 2007, she served as chief operating officer at the YWCA of Greater Atlanta, where she was responsible for streamlining the functions of the organization, solidifying its financial position, and orchestrating ongoing growth. Stewart serves on the board of directors and executive committee for the Metro Atlanta Chamber, the board of directors for Grove Park Foundation, Leadership Atlanta; the board of trustees for Woodruff Arts Center; as a director of the Buckhead Coalition; and is a member of the Atlanta Committee for Progress.
Education: Presbyterian College (BS, BA)
Hometown: Raleigh, North Carolina
Justin A. Sullivan
Senior Vice President and Market Leader
PNC Private Bank
Justin A. Sullivan helps ensure that clients benefit from a full complement of investment, trust, financial planning, and private banking services to help them achieve their financial goals. He has regularly been featured on local television, national radio, and multiple written publications sharing advice on investments and financial planning and has been recognized and awarded by PNC for six consecutive years as a top-performing investment professional. In 2018, he was recognized by InvestmentNews magazine as one of the top 40 financial professionals under 40 years of age across the country. He currently serves on the board of the Midtown Alliance.
Education: University of Pittsburgh
Favorite book: Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
Favorite travel destination: Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany
Favorite Atlanta place to visit: Center for Civil and Human Rights
Douglas L. Williams
Atlanta Banking Group
Head of Corporate Banking
Douglas L. Williams is president of Atlanta Banking Group and head of Corporate Banking for SouthState Bank. In 2022 SouthState Corporation acquired Atlantic Capital Bank and merged it with SouthState Bank. Prior to the acquisition, Williams was 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
INVESTMENT ADVISORS & FUNDS
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 multiunit business models in the restaurant, specialty retail, consumer and business services, and health, wellness, and beauty sectors. Affiliates of Roark have acquired 98 franchise/multi-location brands which generate approximately $61 billion in system revenues from 66,000 locations in 50 states and 89 countries. 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
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, Rotary International
Principal and CEO
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 top independent advisor and Hall of Fame advisor and Forbes Best-In-State Wealth Advisors for high net worth for Atlanta
As the regional director, Deborah Cicatelli provides strategic direction and management to branch managers, financial advisors, and branch associates across Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Virginia. She began her career with Raymond James in December 2018 as the divisional sales manager of the Southern division. She was promoted to her current role one year later and serves as an active member of the executive council at Raymond James. Cicatelli joined the financial services industry in 1995 through Morgan Stanley’s financial advisor training program. After building a successful solo practice in Southwest Florida, she transitioned to a management role. Since then, she has held a variety of leadership positions as district sales manager, branch manager, regional sales manager, and national strategic partnership director.
Hometown: Mount Vernon, New York
Education: St. Thomas Aquinas College, New York
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 non-agency mortgage products that funded as much as $6.5 billion annually in non-agency 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.
President and CEO
Martin Flanagan has been president and CEO of Invesco since 2005. He’s also a director, as well as 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. 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 and 2020 Chairman of the Metro Atlanta Chamber.
Education: Southern Methodist University
Founder and Managing Partner
Aziz Hashim is the managing partner of NRD Capital, a private equity firm he founded in 2014 that invests in companies that offer compelling unit-level economics, as well as in technologies that improve the profitability of operators. Its portfolio includes iconic brands such as Ruby Tuesday and Frisch’s Big Boy, and fast-growing concepts like Fuzzy’s Taco Shop and the Captain’s Boil. Widely recognized as a leading expert in franchising, the Atlanta native is also the founder of Franklin Junction, a digital platform launched in April 2020 to help restaurants weather the COVID-19 crisis by monetizing excess kitchen and storage capacity.
Education: University of California, Irvine
Notable achievements: UCI Samueli School of Engineering Hall of Fame (2020), Nation’s Restaurant News Power List (2018), Restaurant Business Magazine Power 20 (2018)
First job: Burger King
Best advice received: Think beyond your current situation and project to where you wish to be.
Voya Investment Management
Christine Hurtsellers is CEO of Voya Investment Management, the asset management business of Voya Financial, which helps Americans plan, invest, and protect their savings. In this leadership role, Hurtsellers drives the strategic direction and operational performance of Voya Investment Management, which managed over $253 billion in assets as of June 2021 for both affiliated and external institutions as well as individual investors. The firm, which has a more than 40-year history, is a top-25 manager of U.S. institutional and defined contribution assets across equities, fixed income, and multi-asset strategies and solutions. Hurtsellers also serves on Voya Financial’s executive committee.
Education: Indiana University
Hometown: Fort Wayne, Indiana
Why I chose this work: I participated in Junior Achievement, and I was the CFO of our JA company. I fell in love with finance as a result.
Cofounder and Executive Director
Village Micro Fund
Donte Miller is president of the nonprofit Village Micro Fund, which he founded in 2014 with Nathan Jones and Robin McKinnie. The organization offers support and classes to entrepreneurs in underserved communities and uses crowdfunding to invest in small businesses. VMF also created a Worker’s Equity Fund that uses equity investments to turn small businesses into worker-owned cooperatives by selling shares back to employees. Previously, Miller has had work experience at Goldman Sachs, Google, and the Atlanta Micro Fund, and he’s been featured on WABE and in the Bitter Southerner. In 2022, Miller was included on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list.
Education: Morehouse College
First job: My first unofficial job was sweeping up hair at a local barbershop in the mall. My first real job was as an intern at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco right in the midst of Occupy Wall Street—so, a fun time.
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 has been featured on CNN, CNBC, Fox Business, Fox & Friends, and CBS News.
Education: Kennesaw State University, University of Georgia (MS)
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
Navigation Capital Partners
David Panton is managing partner of Navigation Capital Partners’ SPAC Operations Group, which is focused on building a diversified portfolio of investments in special-purpose acquisitions companies using three strategies: providing sponsor capital, leading investments in SPAC initial public offerings, and investing in and pricing private investments in public entities for SPACs. Panton is also a cofounder of Navigation Capital Partners and the chair of Panton Equity Partners, a private family office he founded in 2012. A former member of Jamaica’s Senate, Panton is also an adjunct professor of finance at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.
Education: Princeton University, Oxford University (PhD), Harvard Law School (JD)
Hometown: Mandeville, Jamaica
Favorite Atlanta place to visit: Chef Rob’s Caribbean Cafe & Upscale Lounge
John Wright II
CEO and Managing Partner
John Wright II is CEO and managing partner of Northwestern Mutual Goodwin, Wright, which consistently ranks as a leading national financial planning firm focused on mitigating risk and growing generational wealth. The firm’s commitment to service has catapulted it to the number one slot among life insurance providers and number eight among financial planning and advisory firms in Atlanta. Today, Northwestern Mutual Goodwin, Wright has over $50 billion of life insurance in force and, under Wright’s leadership, assets under management have grown to more than $7 billion. Most notably, he is committed to a culture of respect and has earned meaningful awards including Most Admired CEO, Best Places to Work, Atlanta’s Healthiest Employers, and national and local diversity and inclusion corporate champion awards. Working closely with key company leaders, he is successfully changing the “face” of the financial planning industry through his commitment to attracting diverse professionals to the career.
Arthur M. Blank
Owner and Chairman
Blank Family of Businesses
Best known as 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, Paradise Valley 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 company also owned by AMB Group, and is home to the Falcons and Atlanta United. Six years following the opening of Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta’s Westside, Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation recently announced $2.4 million in new grants to increase the economic mobility of legacy residents of Atlanta’s Westside as a part of its Westside Neighborhood Prosperity Fund. Including these latest grants, the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation’s total current Westside financial commitment over the past decade exceeds $57 million.
Education: Babson College
Cofounder and CEO
Paul Brown is cofounder and CEO of Inspire Brands, a multi-brand restaurant company whose portfolio includes more than 11,100 Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Sonic Drive-In, Jimmy John’s, and Rusty Taco locations worldwide. Inspire is supported by more than 325,000 company team members and franchise employees.
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, Woodruff Arts Center, Buckhead Coalition, Commerce Club, Atlanta Police Foundation
Executive Vice President and Chief People and Operations Officer
Jill Campbell is the executive vice president and chief people and operations officer for Cox Enterprises, a private, family-owned communications, media, and automotive-services company with $20 billion in annual revenues and 50,000 employees worldwide. Campbell leads the real estate, aviation, people solutions, facilities, security, and corporate affairs departments. She previously served as
executive vice president and chief operations officer of Cox Communications, overseeing the company’s day-to-day operations and ensuring companywide alignment with competitive strategies to enhance marketplace execution and grow Cox’s nearly 7 million residential and commercial customers. Campbell joined Cox in 1982 as director of communications in Oklahoma City.
Education: University of Nevada, Las Vegas; Oklahoma City University (MBA)
First job: Working at my parents’ park concession stands selling popcorn and cotton candy at age 12
Charities: Girl Talk, Atlanta History Center
Bucket list: Antarctica
Andrew T. Cathy
Andrew T. Cathy became the third CEO in the history of Chick-fil-A Inc. in 2021, following in the footsteps of his father, current chairman Dan T. Cathy, and his late grandfather, founder S. Truett Cathy. With extensive experience working in Chick-fil-A restaurants and serving in multiple support center roles, Cathy is committed to ensuring the future of Chick-fil-A as a healthy, purpose-driven, global organization devoted to making a lasting, positive impact on the people and communities it serves. He is a member of Leadership Atlanta’s class of 2020.
Education: University of Georgia
Most inspiring person: My high school track coach. He made a significant impact on many lives including mine.
Favorite book: The Snowball: Warren Buffet and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder
Dan T. Cathy
Dan T. Cathy is chairman of Chick-fil-A Inc., one of the nation’s largest family-owned businesses. He was previously the company’s chief executive officer, serving as CEO from 2013 until November 1, 2021, when his son Andrew T. Cathy became the third CEO in Chick-fil-A history. The son of Chick-fil-A Founder S. Truett Cathy, Dan continues to build on his late father’s legacy as chairman, helping guide the business and supporting Chick-fil-A’s executive leaders.
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.
René M. Diaz
President and CEO
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. 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
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 currently serves as chairman of the board for the American Forest & Paper Association and is also a member of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce board of directors and the board of councilors for The Carter Center.
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
S. Taylor Glover
President and CEO
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
Named as CEO of Church’s Texas Chicken in 2022, Joe Guith brings over 30 years of experience in food service, consumer products, and retail. Church’s Texas Chicken is one of the world’s largest quick-service chicken restaurant chains with over 1,500 locations in 26 countries and global markets with systemwide sales of more than $1 billion. Guith was formerly restaurant category president for Focus Brands responsible for overseeing a portfolio of over 1,500 restaurants across the Moe’s Southwest Grill, McAlister’s Deli, and Schlotzsky’s brands. Previously, he held brand president positions at McAlister’s Deli and Cinnabon. Additionally, Guith serves on the national board for Goodwill Industries International Inc.
Education: University of Michigan (MBA)
Hometown: Troy, Michigan
Few people know: I’m a former child actor.
Favorite travel destination: New York City, the most culturally diverse city in the world
Favorite Atlanta place to visit: Ponce City Market
Executive Vice President
As executive vice president of Koch Industries and CEO of Koch Enterprises, Hannan is responsible for oversight of Georgia-Pacific, Infor, Molex, Koch Engineered Solutions, and Koch Investments Group, as well as Koch’s logistics, communications, and public-sector groups. 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
Notable achievements: American Jewish Committee National Human Relations Award (2016), Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry PIMA Executive of the Year Award (2015), Atlanta Business Chronicle Most Admired CEOs (2014)
President and CEO
Doug Hertz has been 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 has demonstrated his commitment to community, serving on many boards including the boards of Atlantic Capital Bank, Camp Twin Lakes, Georgia Power, Georgia Ports Authority, Holly Lane Foundation, and the Marcus Foundation. In 2022, Morehouse College elected Hertz to its board of trustees. He has also served as chairman of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and is 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.
As president of RaceTrac, Natalie Morhous is a third-generation leader in an 89-year-old family-owned business. Founded in 1934 by Morhous’s grandfather Carl Borch Sr., RaceTrac is one of the largest family-owned and operated convenience-and-fuel retail businesses in the South. 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)
Notable Achievement: Convenience Store Decisions 40 Under 40 (2015)
First job: Camp counselor at Westminster Summer Camps in Atlanta
Farooq B. Mughal
Chairman and Managing Partner
Mughal Strategies Global Partners
Representative, District 105
Georgia House of Representatives
As chairman and managing partner of Mughal Strategies Global Partners, Farooq Mughal focuses his practice on government relations, business advisory, and public engagement. Since founding the firm in 2008, Mughal has built it into a government relations powerhouse that has come to be regarded as one of the state’s best. Mughal has worked with clients in nearly every sector of the economy, developing and executing business and government strategies on a diverse range of issues including international trade, agriculture, aviation, and technology. In 2022, Mughal, who is a member of Leadership Gwinnett’s class of 2021, was elected to represent District 105 in the Georgia House of Representatives. He is the first Muslim man to be elected to the state House.
Education: Mercer University
President and CEO
Gregg Paradies is president and CEO of Paradies Lagardère, a leading airport travel retailer and restaurateur in North America with more than 850 stores and 170 restaurants and bars in more than 100 airports. With expertise in international, national, and local brands, Paradies Lagardère works with airport, brand, and supplier partners to create memorable and positive experiences for travelers. Gregg Paradies is responsible for the company’s overall business and ensuring that it continues its strong tradition of providing exceptional customer service, superior design, and award-winning store and restaurant operations and management.
Education: University of Texas at Austin
Best advice received: You cannot do wrong by doing right.
Hobbies: Outdoor sports
Donata Russell Ross
Donata Russell Ross is the CEO of Concessions International, a national food and beverage concessionaire that currently operates and manages facilities in eight major airports across the country. Russell Ross has been an integral part of Concessions International’s management team for more than 35 years and previously served as president. She’s also president of the Herman J. Russell Foundation—a family foundation named for Russell Ross’s father, the legendary Atlanta builder—which supports community initiatives and programs focusing on entrepreneurship, youth development, and mentoring. Russell Ross has served on the boards of many organizations including the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta.
Education: University of Pennsylvania
Notable achievement: One of a handful of African American women leading a food and beverage company
Tyler Scriven is cofounder and CEO of Saltbox, an end-to-end logistics enablement network for small businesses. Some of Saltbox’s core offerings include a growing network of modern co-warehousing facilities and a broad range of small to medium-sized business friendly logistics services. Saltbox opened its first co-warehousing facility in December 2019 and now has 15 facilities across the country. Prior to founding Saltbox, Scriven served as the founding managing director of Techstars Atlanta, a global early-stage venture capital investment fund and chief of staff at Palantir Technologies, a big data analytics software provider. Scriven is a member of the board of directors of the Serenbe Land Corporation.
Education: University of Virginia
Hometown: Jacksonville, Florida
Few people know: I’m an amateur interior designer
Favorite travel destination: Jamaica
Alexander C. Taylor
President and CEO
Alex Taylor is chairman and CEO of Cox Enterprises, a broadband, media, and automotive-services company with nearly $20 billion in annual revenues and nearly 50,000 employees worldwide. He has empowered company leaders to invest in Cox’s businesses to better serve customers, while championing new investments and mergers and acquisitions in companies focused on connectivity, mobility, and sustainability. Taylor is the great-grandson of former Ohio governor James M. Cox, who founded the company in 1898. The Georgia First Amendment Foundation, a nonpartisan and nonprofit organization, honored the Cox family with the 2022 Charles L. Weltner Freedom of Information Award, recognizing their more than eight decades of dedication to high-quality local journalism and open government in Georgia.
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.
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 GE, most recently as president and CEO of its $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)
Ted Decker is chair, president, and CEO of the Home Depot, the world’s largest home improvement retailer with more than 2,300 stores and 500,000 associates. He is also a member of the company’s board of directors. From 2020 to 2022, Decker served as president and chief operating officer and was responsible for global store operations, global supply chain, outside sales and service, and real estate, as well as merchandising, marketing, and online strategy. While he was in this role, the company enhanced capabilities to blend the online and in-store worlds. Decker joined the Home Depot in 2000 as director of business valuation and has held several strategic positions across the company. Previously, Decker worked in business development, strategic planning, and finance at Kimberly-Clark Corp. and Scott Paper Co. and held various corporate finance, lending, and credit positions at PNC Bank. He has extensive international experience, having lived and worked in England and Australia. He currently sits on the Atlanta Committee for Progress board.
Education: The College of William and Mary, Carnegie Mellon University (MBA)
Chairman & CEO
Genuine Parts CompanyPaul Donahue currently serves as chairman and CEO of Genuine Parts Company (NYSE: GPC), a Fortune 200 global distributor of automotive and industrial parts. GPC serves its global customers from an extensive network of more than 10,000 locations in 17 countries and generates annual revenues of approximately $20 billion. Donahue was named chairman in April 2019 after being elected CEO in May 2016. He is a 20-year veteran of GPC and has held several key management positions, including executive leadership roles at S. P. Richards Company, Genuine Parts Company’s business products group, and the U.S. automotive parts group. His board memberships include Truist Bank’s board of directors, the Shepherd Center Foundation board of trustees, the Carlyle Fraser Heart Center advisory committee, and the Metro Atlanta Chamber, where he will become chair this year.
Education: University of Northern Iowa
Nonprofits: United Way and City of Refuge
President and CEO
Papa John’s International
Rob Lynch became president and CEO of Papa John’s International in August 2019. Prior to that, the Pittsburgh native had been brand president and chief marketing officer of Arby’s Restaurant Group Inc. before being named that company’s president in August 2017. He has also worked in marketing for Taco Bell, the Kraft Heinz Co., and Procter & Gamble. He was named Marketer of the Year by AdAge in 2015 and Outstanding Marketer of the Year in 2017 by PRWeek. In 2020 he was named Executive of the Year by Restaurant Dive and Most Transformational Brand by QSR Magazine. In 2021, Forbes named his company a Top Employer in the Pizza Industry.
Education: University of Rochester (BA, MBA)
First job: Making pizzas
Something few knew about you: I played college football
Hobbies: Golf, reading, coffee drinking
Favorite TV show: Ted Lasso
Bucket list: Visiting Australia
Nonprofits: Boys and Girls Club, the First Tee, St. Jude’s Childrens Hospital
In January 2023 Jennifer Mann became the first woman to serve as president of the Coca-Cola Company’s North America operating unit. In her new role, Mann will also serve as corporate senior vice president. Mann formerly served as president of Global Ventures, responsible for globally scaling acquisitions and brands, including Costa Coffee and Coca-Cola’s investment in Monster Beverage Corp. Mann has held a variety of leadership and operational roles, having joined Coca-Cola in 1997 as a manager in the National Customer Support division of North America.
Education: Georgia State University
First job: Chick-fil-A
Favorite travel destination: The Bahamas
Favorite Atlanta place to visit: Fox Theatre
The Home Depot
Craig Menear is chairman of the Home Depot, the world’s largest home improvement retailer with more than 2,200 stores and 400,000 associates. As the former CEO, under Menear’s leadership, the company focused on providing a seamless, interconnected shopping experience that blends the physical and digital worlds—leveraging the convenience of its stores, digital experiences, innovative product offerings, and reliable delivery options for professional and DIY customers. Menear was named CEO and president in November 2014 and chairman in February 2015. In his more than 20 years with the company, he has held roles spanning merchandising, supply chain, store operations, sourcing, marketing, and online. Prior to joining the Home Depot, he worked in a variety of roles in mass, home center, and specialty retailing.
Education: Michigan State University
Inspiring people: The Home Depot’s founders: Bernie Marcus, Arthur Blank, and Ken Langone
Dimitris Psillakis is head of marketing and sales North America and CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA, headquartered in Atlanta. Psillakis has overall responsibility for Mercedes-Benz Passenger Cars and Mercedes-Benz Vans in the United States and leads over 1,600 employees throughout the U.S. Previously, Psillakis was president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Canada, and before that served as president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Korea. Under his leadership, the South Korean market grew to become the fifth largest market in the world for Mercedes-Benz cars.
Education: University of Kent at Canterbury, University of London (MBA)
Hometown: Athens, Greece
Favorite movie: Finding Nemo
Toughest challenge: Coming to terms with the fact that I’m not German after working at a German company for over 30 years.
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
President and CEO
Ravi Saligram is president and CEO of Newell Brands, a leading global consumer goods company with a strong portfolio of well-known brands, including Rubbermaid, Paper Mate, Sharpie, Coleman, Mr. Coffee, Rubbermaid Commercial Products, Graco, Calphalon, Contigo, and Yankee Candle. Saligram is a three-time public CEO. Prior to joining Newell, he was CEO of Ritchie Brothers, where he transformed the brick-and-mortar auctioneer into the world’s largest multichannel equipment disposition company and doubled the company’s market cap. Saligram was also CEO of OfficeMax, leading the company’s historic 2013 merger with Office Depot. Since joining Newell in October 2019, Saligram has driven the company’s turnaround journey with an emphasis on restoring top-line growth, improving operating margins, turbocharging cash flow, making omnichannel a competitive advantage, and revitalizing Newell’s culture. Saligram was named to the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Most Admired CEOs list for 2021 and sits on the board of the Woodruff Arts Center.
Education: Bangalore University, University of Michigan (MBA)
Chairman and CEO
New York Stock Exchange
Jeff Sprecher is founder, chairman, and CEO of Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE) and chairman of the New York Stock Exchange. Formed in 2000, ICE is a Fortune 500 company that designs, builds, and operates digital networks to connect people to opportunity. Through ICE’s exchanges, including the NYSE, and clearing houses, they help people invest, raise capital, and manage risk. ICE’s comprehensive fixed income data services and execution capabilities provide information, analytics, and platforms to help customers capitalize on opportunities and operate more efficiently. Sprecher has served as CEO since 2000 and chairman since 2002 and continues to transform, streamline, and automate industries. In 2005, ICE completed its initial public offering on the NYSE and today has a market capitalization of over $75 billion.
Education: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Pepperdine University (MBA)
Board memberships: Buckhead Coalition, Commerce Club, Metro Atlanta Chamber executive committee
Carol Tomé was named CEO of UPS in 2020, becoming the 12th chief executive in the company’s century-plus history as well as the first woman to hold the top job. Previously, Tomé was executive vice president and chief financial officer of the Home Depot, which she joined in 1995 as vice president and treasurer. A native of Jackson, Wyoming, Tomé began her career as a commercial lender with United Bank of Denver (now Wells Fargo) and then spent several years as director of banking for the Johns Manville corporation. She serves on the boards of Grady Hospital, Atlanta Botanical Garden, and other local organizations.
Education: University of Wyoming, University of Denver (MBA)
Notable achievements: At the Home Depot, Tomé helped increase sales almost eightfold to more than $110 billion, and delivered a 450 percent increase in shareholder value.
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 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 also in Houston, Dallas, and Washington, D.C.
Education: University of Colorado Boulder
Executive Chairman and Designer
Sid Mashburn serves as executive chairman 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. Ann and Sid shops are also in Houston, Dallas, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and most recently, New York City.
Education: University of Mississippi
Romil Bahl serves as president and CEO of KORE, bringing nearly 30 years of experience delivering high growth among SaaS and IoT companies. His passion for bringing strategy and innovation together has fueled a long list of leadership accomplishments in the technology sector. Prior to KORE, Bahl served as president and CEO of Lochbridge, a leading technology consulting and solutions provider in the IoT and digital enablement space. Before that, as executive vice president and general manager of Global Industries for CSC, Bahl led the industry go-to-market dimension across the $9 billion commercial business unit, creating global growth strategies and expanding CSC’s global footprint into offerings such as cloud, cybersecurity, and big data.
Education: Directorate of Marine Engineering & Technology, The University of Texas at Austin (MBA)
Kabir Barday is the founder and CEO of OneTrust, a privacy, security, and third-party risk technology platform utilized by 12,000 customers around the globe. Headquartered in Atlanta and London, OneTrust employs 2,500 people across nine global offices. Barday, who founded the company in 2016, oversees all aspects of OneTrust’s product development, operations, and sales internationally. Since its founding, the company has been awarded over 200 patents and acquired nine companies. In 2022, OneTrust was recently recognized in Forbes’s Cloud 100 list. Barday 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
Since its founding in 2006, Mark Buffington has built what is now Panoramic Ventures (previously BIP Capital) into the region’s most active venture capital firm and one of the most recognized brands in venture capital outside of Silicon Valley. He currently serves as Panoramic’s managing partner. He has led investment rounds in more than 80 companies in numerous industries: healthcare, digital media, ed tech, enterprise SaaS, fintech, and advanced computing. Notable investments include Vendormate, Ingenious Med, QA Symphony/Tricentis, PlayOn! Sports, Huddle Tickets, Tropical Smoothie Café, Cypress.io, ConnexPay, REACH Health, Trella Health, Shareholder InSite, and Aspirion Health Resources.
Education: Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business, Tulane University (MBA)
First job: International business analyst for Total System Services
Jewel Burks Solomon
Head of Startups, U.S.
Jewel Burks Solomon is the head of Google for Startups in the U.S., which she joined in 2019. In this role, Burks Solomon works to level the playing field for underrepresented startup founders and communities by connecting them with the best of Google’s products, people, and platforms. She also serves as managing partner at Collab Capital, a $50 million venture capital fund she launched to close the funding gap for Black entrepreneurs. Her work and mission are about creating more access to the technology innovation ecosystem. Prior to these roles, Burks Solomon was the founder and CEO of Partpic, a startup that was acquired by Amazon in 2016, which streamlined the purchase of maintenance and repair parts using computer vision technology. After the acquisition of Partpic, Solomon became a product leader at Amazon’s Visual Search and AR team. She led the integration of Partpic’s technology and launched it as Amazon PartFinder in 2018 to the over 150 million users of Amazon’s Mobile Shopping App.
President and CEO
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
Toughest challenge: Managing through the Covid-19 pandemic
Inspiring person: Bill Dixon, A former boss
Bucket list: Learning to pole-vault
Who’d play me in a biopic: Bruce Willis
As president and CEO of Women In Technology (WIT), Collins is responsible for the execution of WIT’s strategy which empowers girls and women to excel in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) from the classroom to the boardroom by providing female students in middle school, high school, and college with education, exposure, and experience. Collins joined WIT in 2019 from First Data Corporation, where she served as chief technology control officer, global lead for disaster recovery application development, and head of global cyber security and controls PMO (Project Management Office). Collins developed WIT’s Single Mothers Education Program, which enables single mothers to enroll in the Fundamentals of Cybersecurity and Information Security Continuing Education Program at Emory University. During the 12-week course, free transportation and childcare is provided. After completion of the course, participants are placed in high-tech jobs at companies including Equifax, Cox Automotive, Global Payments, Cisco, and Rollins Inc.
First Job: Dressing room clerk at Ross Dress For Less store
Hometown: Carlsbad, California
David Cummings is an Atlanta-based tech entrepreneur who has founded 10 companies collectively valued at nearly $1 billion, including Pardot, SalesLoft, and Terminus. He’s also the founder of the Atlanta Tech Village—the U.S.’s fourth-largest tech hub—and the largest investor in Calendly, the world’s most popular scheduling app. After selling Pardot, he was named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and one of the 100 Most Influential Atlantans by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Cummings is a partner in Atlanta Ventures, which invests in subscription companies in the Southeast.
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
Allyson Eman has more than 30 years of experience in marketing, communications, sales leadership, and business development. In 2007, she became executive director for the newly created Venture Atlanta annual conference, and was promoted to CEO in January 2020. Eman has worked with key business leaders across the country and founding organizations—the Metro Atlanta Chamber, the Atlanta CEO Council, and the Technology Association of Georgia—to build Venture Atlanta, which is now the largest venture capital conference in the Southeast, with over 1,200 attendees including venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and senior business executives. 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
Who’d play me in a biopic: Julia Roberts. People say I look like her—I wish!
President and Chief Financial Officer
Atlanta native Justin Ferrero has led financial operations at digital health company Sharecare since its founding in 2010. He’s responsible for technology, finance, corporate development, and strategic partnerships. In 2021, he co-led the execution of the company’s public offering, resulting in its Nasdaq debut with a valuation of nearly $4 billion. For the past 21 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 raised an estimated $2 billion and has bought, integrated, and built approximately 30 businesses.
Education: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
First job: Dishwasher at OK Cafe
Hobbies: Spending time with my kids, Finn and Banks
Nonprofit: Casa de Amoro, an amazing charity that supports those affected by child abuse and neglect
President and CEO
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.
Founder and Chairman
Hive Financial Systems
JP James is the founder and chairman of the financial technology company Hive Financial Systems, which provides end-to-end financial automation software including marketing, underwriting, loan management, and analytics architecture to a closely held portfolio of lenders. Under James’s leadership, Hive grew almost 8,000 percent in revenue between 2017 and 2020. The coauthor of two patents and a visiting lecturer at Georgia State University and Georgia Tech, he is also chair of Libreum International, a multinational conglomerate with multiple global offices and hundreds of employees serving in advisory capacities for capital markets, IT and software development, accounting and bookkeeping services, and operational consulting.
Education: Georgia Tech
First job: Computer teacher at 12 years old at Peters Township Public Library
Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Paul Judge is a technology entrepreneur and investor. He has co-founded three companies that were acquired and has invested in dozens. He is managing partner of Panoramic Ventures. Judge is also cofounder of Greenwood and Pindrop. Previously, he cofounded Purewire, which was acquired by Barracuda Networks in 2008. Prior to this, he was the chief technology officer at CipherTrust, which was acquired by Secure Computing in 2006. Additionally, Judge is a member of the 2016 class of Henry Crown Fellows and the Aspen Global Leadership Network at the Aspen Institute.
Education: Morehouse College, Georgia Tech (MS, PhD)
Cofounder and Real Estate Leader
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. Software firm Intuit acquired Mailchimp for $12 billion in 2021. The Albuquerque, New Mexico, native was previously a DJ and sponsored skateboarder.
Education: Self-taught LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) developer
Lynne Laube recently joined Valor Ventures as operating partner. Valor is a growing venture capital firm supporting B2B SaaS businesses. She will focus on advising business founders, serving on portfolio company boards, leading Valor’s venture partner network, and attracting new talent. Laube was the cofounder and director of Cardlytics, an advertising platform in banks’ digital channels. After taking the company public in 2018, Laube led Cardlytics through numerous accomplishments, including partnering with some of the largest banks in the country, increasing the platform’s reach to over 150 million monthly active users, and bolstering the leadership team and board of directors. Before cofounding Cardlytics in 2008 with Scott Grimes, Laube held many positions with Capital One.
Education: University of Cincinnati, University of Virginia Darden School of Business
Notable achievements: Laube recently earned honors from Business Insider as one of the key executives driving the country’s most promising start-ups and from Inc. as a top-10 venture-backed female founder.
Cofounder and CEO
Stephen Pair is the CEO of BitPay, the world’s leading provider of bitcoin payment technology. In 2011, Pair cofounded BitPay with Tony Gallippi because he saw bitcoin’s potential to transform payments for businesses and consumers. As CEO, he directs the day-to-day operations as well as the long-term vision of BitPay, from research and engineering to product development and information technology. Pair has 20 years of experience building software systems in the financial and telecommunications industries. Before founding BitPay, he held various roles including entrepreneur, architect, manager, team lead, and developer. He holds two patents in the field of streaming analytics.
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
Justin E. Samuels is a technologist and influencer of all things software engineering and underrepresented groups in technology. Having started one of the fastest growing multicultural conferences in the country, Render-Atlanta (RenderATL), Samuels amplifies the presence of technology in the southern United States while emphasizing culture and inclusion. Launched in 2021, RenderATL is described as a software engineering experience featuring good vibes, great music, and expert speakers on tech, leadership, inclusion, and accessibility. Samuels is also a full-time senior engineer and tech lead at Intuit Mailchimp, where he helps empower small and medium-sized enterprises on their marketing platform.
Education: Mississippi State University
Notable achievement: Created an economic impact of $2.1 million to the local Atlanta economy during the second year of RenderATL; 98 percent of which included local and Black service providers
Few people know: I’m a first-generation immigrant by way of my father who is from Montego Bay, Jamaica.
Favorite book: Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson
Sanjay Sehgal is the founder and CEO of MSys Technologies—which designs, develops, and manages modern distributed systems and complex integrations. An entrepreneur, start-up adviser, and motivational speaker with more than two decades of tech experience, Sehgal also founded Pramana and cofounded FarCare and Scentric, and successfully acquired tech companies including Clogeny and DigiFutura. In 2022, Sehgal was recognized as a top CEO in Georgia Titan 100. Additionally, Sehgal is a member of Forbes Business Council.
Education: University of Delhi
Hometown: New Delhi, India
Hidden talent: I love singing and dancing.
Favorite book: Designing Destiny: Heartfulness Practices to Find Your Purpose and Fulfill Your Potential by Kamlesh D. Patel
Favorite travel desination: Kanha Shanti Vanam in Hyderabad, India
Favorite Atlanta place to visit: Avalon
Nashlie Sephus is the tech evangelist for Amazon Artificial Intelligence (AI) focusing on fairness and identifying biases at Amazon Web Services AI. She formerly led the Amazon Visual Search team as an applied scientist in Atlanta, which launched visual search for replacement parts on the Amazon shopping app in June 2018. This technology was a result of former Atlanta startup Partpic, for which she was the chief technology officer, being acquired by Amazon. Prior to working at Partpic, she worked for Exponent, an engineering and scientific consulting firm, in New York City. Her core research areas were digital signal processing, machine learning, and computer engineering.
Education: Mississippi State University, Georgia Tech (MS, PhD)
Hometown: Jackson, Mississippi
First job: Playing the piano for my church
Favorite Atlanta place to visit: Piedmont Park
Jeffrey S. Sloan
Jeff Sloan joined Global Payments as president in 2010 and became CEO in 2013. Under his leadership, Global Payments became a Fortune 500 company for the first time in 2021. 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: The 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 CEOs
Board memberships: Fleetcor Technologies, Inc., Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania Undergraduate Executive Board, Atlanta Committee for Progress, previous president and chair of the board of the Electronic Transactions Association
Succar is Intuit Mailchimp’s chief executive officer and senior vice president of the QuickBooks Money Platform. A strategic leader with a proven track record in driving growth, Succar came to Intuit to build and grow the QuickBooks Capital business, leading the successful launch in November 2017. Today, Succar leads a comprehensive portfolio of money movement businesses at Intuit, including QuickBooks Payments and Mailchimp. In 2021, Intuit acquired Mailchimp, and in 2022, Succar was named CEO after Mailchimp cofounder Ben Chestnut decided to step back from his role. Prior to joining Intuit, Succar oversaw product commercialization and go-to-market strategy for YouTube’s multibillion-dollar advertising business in North America. Succar began her career as an investment banker with Merrill Lynch advising technology companies.
Education: Harvard University (MBA, MPA)
Notable Achievement: In 2011, a few friends and I cofounded Jusoor. It means bridges in Arabic. The mission is to invest in Syrian youth for a brighter tomorrow. We have provided the gift of education to over 10,000 young Syrians since we established the organization and deployed over $15 million toward the effort.
Tabb is responsible for developing all of Google’s corporate real estate strategies in the Americas, and for executing real estate transactions in a manner that maximizes the technology leader’s ability to create value while optimizing the company’s real estate portfolio. Before Google, Tabb founded Red Rock Global, making it one of the most creative and successful full-service commercial real estate firms in the United States. Previously, Tabb served as director of real estate asset services for the Coca-Cola Company, where he was responsible for the company’s real estate activities worldwide. Prior to entering commercial real estate, Tabb proudly served the country in the United States Navy as a lieutenant commander in public affairs, and as a surface warfare officer. He deployed to the Mediterranean twice, supporting Operation Desert Storm and serving as an assault boat group commander.
Education: United States Naval Academy, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (MBA)
Hometown: Oxon Hill, Maryland
Few people know: I am a Lake Charles-trained gumbo maker and lover
President and Chief Marketing Officer
Dawn Whaley has been at 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. In 2021, she helped take the company public at a valuation of nearly $4 billion. 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. Selected as an Atlanta Business Chronicle Women of Influence honoree in 2022, Whaley 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
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
Founder and CEO
Joey Womack is the founder and CEO of Goodie Nation, a nonprofit that accelerates relationships for social entrepreneurs and diverse founders, and the founder and CEO of Amplify 4 Good, a mission-driven agency that helps large companies, nonprofits, and government agencies create social impact. With a goal to positively affect 1 billion people by 2039, Womack has worked with clients including Google, Coca-Cola, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and Ford Motor Co. He is also the cofounder of the Atlanta Black Tech initiative, serving as colead for the start-ups and K-12 divisions.
Education: Florida A&M University (MBA)
First job: Sears call center customer support
Few people know: Both of my parents are from historic neighborhoods in Alabama. My father is from Africatown in Mobile, where the last slaves settled, and my mother is from [Montgomery’s] Centennial Hill, where Martin Luther King Jr. lived while he was at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church.
Favorite travel destination: Seychelles
Jason W. Young
MindBlown Labs Innovation Partners
Jason W. Young is the cofounder and CEO of MindBlown Labs, an Atlanta-based financial wellness innovation lab whose mission is to empower Americans to make better financial decisions and achieve enduring financial wellness as a result. The company partners with financial institutions to develop digital solutions that connect with users on an emotional level, driving positive saving and investing behaviors. A member of the board of trustees of the National Endowment for Financial Education, Young was appointed by Barack Obama in 2014 to serve on the newly created President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans.
Education: Harvard College
Hometown: Inglewood, California
Why I chose this work: My family struggled with money. During my sophomore year in college, those struggles came to a head when, the day after Christmas, my family was evicted. That experience impressed upon me the need to make better financial decisions and help others do the same.
First job: I was nine. I assisted a local plumber.
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 digital health company, Sharecare. In 2021, the company went public, debuting on Nasdaq with a valuation of nearly $4 billion.
J. Veronica Biggins
Biggins is currently the managing partner of 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.
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, an enterprise mobility management provider. He also founded Manhattan Associates, the world’s leading supply chain execution software company.
Dabbiere has helped guide numerous technology startups and was chief operating officer at enterprise mobility management provider AirWatch, where he 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.
Lonnie G. Johnson
Johnson earned his master’s degree in nuclear engineering from Tuskegee University and went on to work for the U.S. Air Force and the NASA space program. Experimenting with high-powered water guns, he invented the bestselling Super Soaker.
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.
As president of Imlay Investments and then managing partner of Mosley Ventures, Mosley has invested in 120 start-ups since 1990—making him one of Atlanta’s most active angel investors. He helped nurture the city’s technology industry.
Rackley is an accomplished technology entrepreneur. He’s founded multiple successful companies, including nFront, Firethorn, Experience, and Clutch Technologies. He has been inducted into the Bank Technology News Innovators Hall of Fame, the Technology Hall of Fame of Georgia, and the Technology Association of Georgia’s FinTech Hall of Fame.
In 2020, Rivera became president of Coca-Cola North America, which includes the United States and Canada, and led a successful restructuring. He stepped down at the end of last year but remains with the company as a senior advisor through March. Rivera has held a number of leadership positions within the Coca-Cola Co.; before taking the helm in North America he was president of the company’s Latin America group, overseeing the operations of four business units across nearly 40 countries. Rivera joined Coca-Cola in 1997 as a district manager for Guatemala and El Salvador in the Central American and Caribbean division; prior to that he had worked for two independent Coca-Cola bottlers in El Salvador and Honduras, his native country.