Atlanta 500: Business

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Atlanta 500 Business opener

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BANKING & FINANCE

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: L. Allison Dukes

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L. Allison Dukes
Chief Financial Officer
SunTrust Banks

Allison Dukes is chief financial officer of SunTrust Banks, overseeing all finance functions including corporate development, corporate tax, corporate finance, corporate real estate, strategic planning, investor relations, and treasury. Previously Dukes served as head of commercial and business banking, responsible for the line of business across all geographic divisions, and prior to that as president and CEO of SunTrust’s Atlanta Division. Dukes began her career with the company in 1997.

Education: Vanderbilt University, Emory University Goizueta Business School (MBA)
Inspiring person: Dan Cathy, CEO of Chick-fil-A
Favorite TV show: Mad Men
Favorite travel destination: Deer Valley, Utah
Bucket list: Taking my family to the ranch in Wyoming where I worked my first job


Atlanta 500: Hank Halter

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Hank Halter
CEO
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: William H. Linginfelter

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William H. Linginfelter
President
Regions Bank

Bill Linginfelter oversees commercial banking in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina for Regions Financial Corp., a Birmingham-based bank holding company with $125 billion in assets, operating more than 1,600 branches in 15 states. 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.

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 $2.3 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
Charities: LEAD Atlanta, Atlanta Mission, Action Ministries


Atlanta 500: Jai Rogers

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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: William H. Rogers Jr.

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William H. Rogers Jr.
Chairman and CEO
SunTrust Banks

William H. “Bill” Rogers Jr. is chairman and CEO of SunTrust Banks, one of the nation’s largest financial services companies, serving 4.9 million households and business clients. Rogers began his career with the company in 1980 when he joined the commercial banking division. The North Carolina native held increasingly senior positions in corporate and commercial banking, corporate finance, retail banking, private wealth management, and mortgage prior to being named president in 2008 and chief operating officer in 2010. Rogers was appointed president and CEO in 2011 and became chairman and CEO in 2012. He serves on the Federal Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve.

Education: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Georgia State University (MBA)
Board memberships: Achieve Atlanta, Emory University, Atlanta Committee for Progress, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Operation HOPE


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
Synovus

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 for four consecutive years. 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: 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


INVESTMENTS/PRIVATE EQUITY

Atlanta 500: Robert Balentine

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Robert Balentine
Chairman
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
Bucket list: I’m headed to South Africa with my wife and friends in February.


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 Lanagan

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Martin Flanagan
President and CEO
Invesco

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
CEO
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: 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: Joseph Thompson

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Joseph Thompson
Head of Private Wealth Management SunTrust Banks, CEO
SunTrust Investment Services

As head of Private Wealth Management for SunTrust Banks, Joe Thompson sets the overall tone and strategy for domestic and international wealth management, as well as SunTrust’s Sports & Entertainment, Medical, and Legal Specialty Groups and its GenSpring Family Offices. A 20-year company veteran, Thompson has worked to evolve the Private Wealth business, recruiting more women and millennial advisers, encouraging collaboration, and focusing the team on helping clients achieve greater financial confidence by leveraging the full breadth of SunTrust’s capabilities.

Education: Williams College, Harvard Business School (MBA)
First job: Teller at C&S Bank
Favorite Atlanta places to visit: I like to support our SunTrust clients around Atlanta. Most Saturdays you’ll find me enjoying lunch at Taqueria del Sol. Bistro Niko, Gypsy Kitchen, and King + Duke are also some of my favorite destinations.


PRIVATE COMPANIES

Atlanta 500: Neal Aronson

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Neal 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: Arthur Blank

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Arthur M. Blank
Owner and Chairman of Blank Family of Businesses
Founder of 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 and one of the largest operators of restaurants in the U.S. Inspire’s complete portfolio encompasses more than 4,700 restaurants and 150,000 employees in 16 countries. Previously Brown was CEO of Arby’s, leading the company as it grew global system sales by 20 percent and built and remodeled over 1,000 restaurants in what Restaurant Business characterized as “one of the most dramatic restaurant turnarounds in decades.”

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: Zoo Atlanta, Woodruff Arts Center


Atlanta 500: Dan T. Cathy

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Dan T. Cathy
Chairman and CEO
Chick-fil-A

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
CEO
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, media, 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. Cox 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
Favorite Atlanta place to visit: Atlanta BeltLine


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 startups 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: Dietmar Exler

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Dietmar Exler
President and CEO
Mercedes-Benz USA

Dietmar Exler became president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA in 2016, responsible for Mercedes-Benz passenger cars and the Smart brand for the U.S. and NAFTA regions. He oversees more than 1,500 employees and 373 dealers in the U.S., plus 1,240 employees in Canada and Mexico. Exler’s career spans nearly two decades of international business experience in various leadership roles. He began at McKinsey & Co. in 1997 in Germany and later moved to its Midwest office in Detroit. The Austria native subsequently joined (then) DaimlerChrysler Financial as senior manager of program development, and was promoted to vice president of marketing the same year. In 2010, he became vice president for Mercedes-Benz Financial Services USA.

Education: Johannes Kepler University Linz (JD), University of Chicago Law School (LLM)


Atlanta 500: Christian Fischer

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Christian Fischer
President and CEO
Georgia-Pacific

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
Favorite Atlanta places to visit: Fox Theatre and Mercedes-Benz Stadium to watch Atlanta United


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
Bucket list: Visit every Major League Baseball park


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.


Jim Kennedy
Chairman
Cox Enterprises

Jim Kennedy is chairman and former CEO of Cox Enterprises, a privately held communications, media, 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 $20 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: Billy Milam

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Billy Milam
President
RaceTrac Petroleum

Billy Milam became chief operating officer of RaceTrac Petroleum in 2012, assuming the role of president in 2015. Milam joined the company in 1997 as a real estate analyst, focusing on expanding the company’s presence in the Florida and Georgia markets; he also assisted in the development of new RaceTrac and RaceWay locations in all the company’s primary markets. Milam is a board member of Clemson University/IPTAY and the National Association of Convenience Stores, and a trustee at Wesleyan School.

Education: Clemson University, University of South Carolina (MBA)
Inspiring person: Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney
Hidden talent: I have always enjoyed art—the study as well as the practice. I won a statewide art award my senior year in high school. My love of art and creativity led me to my college major: architecture.
Charities: Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, Camp Twin Lakes


Atlanta 500: Gregg Paradies

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Gregg Paradies
President and CEO
Paradies Lagardère

Gregg Paradies is president and CEO of Paradies Lagardère, the leading airport retailer and restaurateur in North America, with more than 850 stores and restaurants in 90 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: Jeffrey L. Portman Sr.

Photograph by Ashley Waldron Hope

Jeffrey L. Portman Sr.
Adviser
International Market Centers

Formerly chairman and CEO of AMC, Jeffrey L. Portman Sr. is now adviser to International Market Centers, following the 2018 sale of AMC and AmericasMart to IMC. As the producer of 18 category-leading trade fairs in several U.S. cities, and the organizer and partner in trade show entities and operations around the world, AMC operated a major global wholesale trading exchange, with AmericasMart as its key brand. Portman began his career there in the mid-1960s, working on the loading dock of what was then Atlanta Merchandise Mart. He became president and chief operating officer in 2001 and chairman and CEO in 2018, prior to the sale.

Education: Georgia State University, Harvard University (MBA)
Notable achievements: Portman was named Atlanta Citizen of the Year by the Atlanta Police Foundation and serves on the executive committee of the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau. He formerly served on the board of the Lovett School, his alma mater.


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.


PUBLIC COMPANIES

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
CEO
Equifax

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: Shan Cooper

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Shan Cooper
Chief Transformation Officer
WestRock Co.

Shan Cooper is chief transformation officer at WestRock Co., a position she’s held since 2016. Previously Cooper was vice president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics and general manager of its Marietta facility, which designs, produces, modifies, and maintains military aircraft for the United States and other countries. She served as Lockheed Martin Aeronautics’ vice president of business ethics, and also held other leadership roles at Lockheed Martin and Lucent Technologies.

Education: Emory University Goizueta Business School (MBA), Rutgers University
Notable achievements: YWCA of Greater Atlanta Academy of Women Achievers (2016), Georgia Trend Most Respected Business Leader (2015), U.S. Black Engineer & Information Technology Pioneer Award (2013)


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 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. She serves on the executive committee of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, and is a member of the board of directors of Kellogg.


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 president 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

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Jeffrey Sprecher
Chairman and CEO of Intercontinental Exchange
Chairman of New York Stock Exchange

Jeff Sprecher is founder, chairman, and CEO of Intercontinental Exchange and chairman of the New York Stock Exchange. Formed in 2000, Intercontinental Exchange is a Fortune 500 and Fortune Future 50 company. Sprecher has served as CEO since 2000 and chairman since 2002, overseeing ICE’s evolution from operating an energy market to a network of exchanges, including the NYSE, that customers rely on to invest, trade, and manage risk across global financial and commodity markets. In 2005, ICE completed its initial public offering on the NYSE and today has a market capitalization of more than $40 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: Carol B. Tome

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Carol B. Tomé
Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President
The Home Depot

Carol B. Tomé has served as the Home Depot’s chief financial officer since 2001 and its executive vice president of corporate services since 2007. She provides leadership in the areas of real estate, financial services, and strategic business development. Tomé’s corporate finance duties include financial reporting and operations, financial planning and analysis, internal audit, investor relations, treasury, and tax. She’s worked at the Home Depot since 1995. In 2003, Tomé joined the UPS board of directors, currently serving as chair of the audit committee.

Education: University of Wyoming, University of Denver (MBA)
Hometown: Jackson, Wyoming
Notable achievements: Wall Street Journal Top 5 Best Chief Financial Officers (2012), Forbes World’s 100 Most Powerful Women (2008)
Inspiring people: The Home Depot’s founders: Bernie Marcus, Arthur Blank, and Ken Langone
Charities: Team Depot, Junior Achievement, Salvation Army


Atlanta 500: Steve Voorhees

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Steve Voorhees
CEO
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)
Notable achievements: Voorhees is a member of the board of directors of SunTrust Banks.
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: Kathy N. Waller

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Kathy N. Waller
Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and President, Enabling Services
The Coca-Cola Co.

Kathy N. Waller is executive vice president, chief financial officer, and president of enabling services for the Coca-Cola Co. She’s responsible for leading the company’s global finance organization and representing the company to investors, lenders, and rating agencies; she also has responsibility for the company’s aviation department and its global business transformation, global technical, and integrated-services teams. The Atlanta native joined Coca-Cola in 1987, having previously worked for Deloitte. She serves on boards for Delta Air Lines and Spelman College. Waller has announced her retirement as CFO, which will be effective in March.

Education: University of Rochester (MBA)
First job: My first job was at the Georgia Revenue Department, where my dad worked for 40 years. At 16, I was hired for the summer to work in the tag and title department.
Hidden talent: As a teenager, I sang in the school chorus and church choir. I also sang in the University of Rochester Gospel Choir.
Hobbies: I love puzzles. As I travel, I take pictures and, using an app, turn them into puzzles.
Bucket list: Visit all 50 states


RETAIL

Atlanta 500: Sara Blakely

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Sara Blakely
Founder
Spanx

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: Jack N. Halpern

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Jack N. Halpern
Chairman
Halpern Enterprises

Jack Halpern is chairman of Halpern Enterprises, where he has been employed since 1978. The family-owned business leases, manages, and develops shopping centers as long-term investments. An Atlanta native and a graduate of the Westminster Schools, Halpern has served as chairman of the board of the Epstein School and as cochair of the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, and is active in numerous other nonprofits. Halpern and his wife, Lynne, have three children and three grandchildren.

Education: Harvard University, University of Georgia School of Law (JD)
Why I chose this work: After practicing law for three years, I received an offer from my father, Bernard Halpern, to become in-house counsel at Halpern Enterprises, our family’s commercial real estate company. Unfortunately, my father died two years later, and I had to assume greater responsibility. Real estate proved to be a great way for me to apply both my legal training and analytical skills, and with the help of talented colleagues, our family has been able to build upon the solid foundation that my father created.


Atlanta 500: Kevin Knaus

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Kevin Knaus
Educator, Creative Strategist, and Retail Consultant
SCAD Atlanta

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
Mashburn

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
Mashburn

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


Ryan McKelvey
President
Ballard Designs

Having worked with Improvements Catalog and L.L.Bean—where he led the redesign of the iconic Bean Boot—Ryan McKelvey has a long history with operating national retail brands. A native of Macon, he now heads Atlanta-based Ballard Designs.

Education: University of Georgia
Notable achievements: My children. Leading an exceptional team.
First job: Laborer for a peach-packing company
Best advice received: From Coach Mike Garvin, my high school football coach and calculus teacher: “You worry about your little red wagon, let them worry about theirs.”
Toughest challenge: Our son’s hospitalization and bone marrow transplant when he was an infant. Our daughter, who was three at the time, was his donor.
Favorite travel destination: Florence, Italy
Favorite Atlanta place to visit: Piedmont Park
Charities: Our church, charities and organizations that support people with special needs, children’s hospitals


Atlanta 500: Mary Moore

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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 three 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 immediate 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: Ray Uttenhove

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Ray Uttenhove
Executive Vice President
SRS Real Estate Partners

Following a 20-year career in retail with CBRE, Ray Uttenhove joined SRS Real Estate Partners in 2005; as executive vice president, she leads the Atlanta office and serves on the company’s board of directors. A native of Columbia, South Carolina, Uttenhove is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and serves on the boards of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Georgia State University Foundation. She’s past chair of the Atlanta Women’s Foundation and former president of CREW Atlanta.

Education: Mary Baldwin College, Georgia State University (MA, EdM)
First job: First-grade teacher
Inspiring person: Rosa Parks, for overcoming fear and standing up for what is right in the face of terrible odds
Favorite travel destination: Paris
Who’d play me in a biopic: Meryl Streep


TECHNOLOGY

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. 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 25 companies in a number of market verticals. He’s also pioneered a new business model in the wealth management space that led to the creation of BIP Wealth, one of the fastest-growing wealth management firms in the country.

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 in February.
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
Mailchimp

Ben Chestnut is cofounder and CEO of Mailchimp, the leading marketing platform for small businesses. Based in Atlanta since 2001, Mailchimp is privately held, with nearly 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
CEO
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
Cochairman
OneTrust

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
OneTrust

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
Launchpad2X

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

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Justin Ferrero
President
Sharecare

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 15 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 close to half a billion dollars and has bought, integrated, and built nearly 20 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
Kabbage

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 150,000 customers. 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

Photograph by Jason Seagle

Marc Gorlin
Founder and CEO
Roadie

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
Cardlytics

Scott Grimes is cofounder and CEO of Cardlytics, a purchase intelligence platform based in Atlanta, with offices in London, New York, and San Francisco. 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 leading financial institutions and retailers. In February, the pair took Card­lytics public on the Nasdaq in the first tech IPO of 2018.


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
CEO
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
Cofounder
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
Mailchimp

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
Cardlytics

Lynne Laube is cofounder and chief operating officer of Cardlytics, a purchase intelligence platform based in Atlanta, with offices in London, New York, and San Francisco. Before cofounding Cardlytics in 2008, 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. Prior to that, Laube—a native of Nashua, New Hampshire—was an analyst at Bank One.

Education: University of Cincinnati, University of Virginia Darden School of Business
Notable achievements: In 2016, Laube was named one of the top 10 venture-backed female founders by Inc. and Entrepreneur 360. 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 leading financial institutions and retailers. In February, the pair took Cardlytics public on the Nasdaq in the first tech IPO of 2018.


Barry C. McCarthy
Executive Vice President and Head of Network and Security Solutions
First Data

Barry McCarthy is executive vice president and head of network and security solutions at First Data. The $1.5 billion NSS segment is one of First Data’s three publicly reported segments, and the firm’s most profitable. It includes eight discrete businesses that collectively process more than $3 trillion in annual volume and support over 1 billion cardholders. McCarthy previously was responsible for the turnaround of the firm’s financial services segment, led the firm’s collaboration with Apple on Apple Pay, and created the bestselling First Data-branded line of point-of-sale terminals.

Education: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management (MBA)
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Hidden talent: Because of my first job out of college as a Procter & Gamble sales representative, I know more about deodorant, skin care, cosmetics, and hair care than any man should know.
Favorite travel destination: Beaver Creek/Vail, Colorado
What I’d tell my 18-year-old self: Go for it! You can adjust as you go, but don’t hesitate.


Atlanta 500: Jim Minnick

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Jim Minnick
CEO
eVestment

Atlanta native Jim Minnick is the CEO of eVestment, leading the organization’s long-term strategic direction and key business initiatives. He launched the company in 2000 with his wife, Karen, and two close friends, Heath Wilson and Matt Crisp, and has overseen its growth from a startup to a global force in the industry that’s been recognized numerous times as a top workplace. Prior to eVestment’s founding, Minnick held positions at Watson Wyatt, First Data, and Bank of America.

Education: Vanderbilt University, Emory University Goizueta Business School (MBA)
Lesson learned: Be resilient—pressing forward no matter the circumstances is the best way to get yourself through tough times.
Hidden talent: I find that people are inexplicably surprised by my cornhole skills. We have a companywide cornhole tournament each year, and I have been part of the undefeated winning team for both of the first two years.
Bucket list: My family and I are heading to Africa later this year to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Assuming that goes as we hope, our next climb would be Everest Base Camp or perhaps Mount Rainier.


Allen Moseley
Managing General Partner
Noro-Moseley Partners

Allen Moseley joined Noro-Moseley Partners in 1998 and leads the firm’s healthcare practice, focused primarily on healthcare information technology and healthcare services. Over his 20-year career at NMP, Moseley has invested in several sectors of the healthcare market, including payer- and provider-facing technologies and tech-enabled service platforms, as well as healthcare service companies. He currently represents NMP on the boards of Elligo Health Research, NovuHealth, Pure Life Renal, and Streamline Health. Prior to joining NMP, Moseley was in the corporate finance group at the Robinson-Humphrey Co., an investment banking firm now owned by SunTrust Banks.

Education: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Harvard Business School (MBA)
Board memberships: Georgia Research Alliance, Technology Association of Georgia


Atlanta 500: Thomas E. Noonan

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Thomas E. Noonan
Founding Partner of TechOperators
Chairman of 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: Tripp Rackley

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Tripp Rackley
CEO
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: Dawn Whaley

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Dawn Whaley
President
Sharecare

Dawn Whaley has served as president of the digital health company Sharecare since 2009. 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.

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
CEO
ParkMobile

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


LEGENDS

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 of Diversified Search in Avnet’s Atlanta office. 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 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.

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