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Special Edition: Rotary International Convention

Rotary is a volunteer membership organization that brings together a global network of professionals and community leaders dedicated to improving lives and bringing positive, lasting change to communities around the world. We channel our international resources into promoting peace, alleviating poverty, providing clean water and sanitation, supporting education, and growing local economies. The global eradication of polio has been Rotary’s top priority since 1985 – and since then, polio has plummeted by more than 99.9 percent, from about 350,000 cases a year to just 37 confirmed in 2016.

 

Rotary’s international convention is an annual event held in a different city around the world, and brings members together to share projects, advice and friendship.  This year, Rotary will hold its 108th convention in Atlanta at the Georgia World Congress Center from June 10-14 – and is expecting 40,000 Rotary club members from over 175 countries to attend. The Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau estimates the Rotary convention will bring $52.3 million into the local economy. Because of our global scope and cultural diversity, our annual conventions are often described as a “mini-United Nations” – providing our members with a platform to share their cultures and traditions. Rotary members will engage in a full agenda of workshops and hear from world class speakers.

 

Bill Gates will be the keynote speaker. Through the “End Polio Now: Make History Today” campaign established in 2013, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is matching two-to- one every dollar Rotary commits to polio eradication – up to US$35 million a year until 2018. Including the matching funds from the Gates Foundation, Rotary has donated $1.6 billion to polio eradication. More than 100 Rotary humanitarian projects will be on display at the Georgia World Congress Center that address polio, malaria, HIV/AIDS, poverty, hunger, illiteracy, the global water shortage and other challenges facing the world today.

 

Atlanta’s first Rotary convention took place 100 years ago, when The Rotary Foundation was established with its first contribution of $26.50 from the Rotary club of Kansas City, Missouri. The Rotary Foundation’s assets have grown to approximately $1 billion, and more than $3 billion has been spent on projects and scholarships that are transforming millions of lives around the world. Atlanta’s second Rotary convention was held in 1970. The Rotary Club of Atlanta was the first club in the state of Georgia, chartered by a founding group of 37 in August 1913. Today, the state of Georgia has 10,732 Rotary members with the city of Atlanta boasting over 800 members – including more than 500 belonging to the Rotary Club of Atlanta – making it one of the largest Rotary districts in the United States. Rotary clubs in Atlanta help homeless teens in partnership with Covenant House Georgia. Rotary clubs in Georgia have contributed more than $8.5 million to polio eradication – including $3.4 million donated by clubs in Atlanta. In addition to contributing funds, Georgian Rotary members have traveled at their own expense to immunize children against polio in India and countries in Africa.

 

Bill Nordmark is a recognizable name in the Atlanta community.  In addition to being a past board member to the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Nordmark recently created the Atlanta Friendship Initiative to help with race relations.  As a member of the Rotary Club of Atlanta with 27 years of perfect attendance, Bill served as the club president from 2009-2010.  He was the chairman of the polio fundraising campaign, and he will be highly involved with the 2017 Rotary International Convention as it comes to Atlanta in June.

 

 

Biz Radio U Featuring Shawn M. Lewis with Power to Conquer

Shawn Lewis

KSUEntrepreneurship


Biz Radio U


Hosted by Adam Wozniak and Darren Parkinson

 

Shawn M. Lewis / Power to Conquer
Author, Financial Adviser and Motivational Speaker

Shawn M. Lewis is a native of Dayton, Ohio, who grew up in the gang infested streets of South East San Diego and Spring Valley, California in 1989-2010. Having to survive through the day to day violent gang activity that was going on in the neighborhood where Shawn lived, he eventually grew tired of seeing the shootings and aggressive environment fueled by violent activity. Shawn knew he had to leave the streets and the gang activity that was consuming him. He wanted more out of life for himself and his family, so he enrolled into San Diego City College following the advice of a friend.

Once Shawn enrolled in college, he became friends with a professor who taught financial planning. Professor Lem Lemons took an interest in Shawn and introduced him to opportunities in business ownership and investing in real estate. This opened up a whole new world of possibilities for Shawn to explore. After studying at San Diego City College for two years, he got a job as a loan officer for a mortgage company in Mira Mesa, California. While working as a loan officer for four years, Shawn became one of the top producers in the mortgage company.

He eventually moved into real estate investing. Through networking, he was allowed to work on projects from San Diego, California to Atlanta, Georgia. Shawn worked on everything from multi-million dollar real estate deals to single family homes. Shawn was blessed to have been taught valuable wealth generating principals. Shawn has worked with banking and lending institutions for seven years, helping clients secure business and home loans. Through Shawn’s experience working in the mortgage industry, doing commercial and residential loans, he has had the opportunity to learn from multi-millionaire business men and motivational speakers. These relationships inspired him in writing the book, “The Right Approach to Financial Survival in America.” Shawn wants to empower people with the right tools to give them confidence in managing their finances successfully in a challenging economy.

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Digital Marketing Series Episode 8

Jennifer OPry

 

Jennifer O’Pry / Streamline Consulting and Communications
Owner

Jen O’Pry is the owner of an Atlanta based social media marketing firm, Streamline Consulting and Communications. Her clients range from small local businesses to internationally based companies. She attended the University of Georgia, Kennesaw State and earned her Masters degree from Brenau University. Most recently, she was invited by Emory University staff to create and present an online social media module to their doctorate level medical students. She has also given a keynote speech to pediatric residents at Boston Medical Center and Boston Children’s Hospital regarding social media’s role in nonprofit organizations and hyperlocal approaches.

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Dr. Wayne Silverman / Emory Center for Ethics
Director of Development

Wayne Silverman serves as the Director of Development for the Emory Center for Ethics (CFE). He believes that building and cultivating relationships is the key to success in business and life. He has built a network of relationships that continually interconnects people, organizations and businesses.

Wayne pursues support from individuals, organizations and corporations to help the CFE achieve its mission and vision in the most creative and effective way possible. He provides support for programs in bioethics, neuroethics, ethics and the arts, corporate ethics, food and eating ethics, and more.

Originally from Chicago, he has lived and worked on two continents and in six states. He has served as an Earth and environmental Science teacher in high school and college, was a college administrator, nonprofit executive in Jewish communal organizations, and an international herbal medicine education organization. His most recent nonprofit position was as Executive Director of Hillels of Georgia which provide Jewish student engagement for 6,000 Jewish students across six campuses. During his time at Hillel, he grew annual support for the organization and worked with volunteers and staff to create the Marcus Hillel Center at Emory University, a model for new Hillel capital development.

Prior to Hillel, Wayne was the Chief Administrative Officer for the American Botanical Council in Austin, Texas. ABC is the leading international organization providing science-based research on the medicinal use of herbs.

He has always been an organic gardener, home chef and fermenter. His love of food led him and some college friends to create a specialty all-natural food company called Foodman, LLC. The company produces four flavors of a unique, award-winning matzo granola called Matzolah®, the Trail Mix of the Exodus. Matzolah has a national following and distribution.

Wayne received his Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Science from Michigan State University, and a Master of Arts Degree in Science Education and Geology and PhD in Higher Education Administration both from the University of Texas at Austin.

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Yossi Ben-Haim
Resturant & Coffee Shop Consultant and Expert

LinkedIn

 

Rory White / Knox Bridge Dental Care
Office Manager

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Marci Dever / MarciSwim
Owner

Marci Dever has successfully been teaching children ages 18 months and older how to swim in 7 days since 2005. Using the 7 Day Swim method, Marci teaches kids a critical life skill that opens a world of fun in and around the water. So whether your goal is for your child to be safe at the neighborhood pool, to develop greater coordination and strength, or you see swim team in their future, Marci is there for you.

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Supply Chain Now Radio – Episode 1

Supply Chain Now Radio
Supply Chain Now Radio brought to you by APICS Atlanta

 

Scott Luton / TalentStream
Managing Partner

Scott Luton serves as Managing Partner for TalentStream and is a member of the ownership group. He brings more than 15 years of general management and business development experience to TalentStream. After graduating from the University of South Carolina in 2000, he began his career as a database analyst in the United States Air Force. Luton later joined EmployBridge – a national specialty staffing provider based in Atlanta – where he was named to the President’s Club in 2007 and 2008. He has held leadership roles including Vice President of Business Development for Definity Partners and Director of Sales for Clairon Metals Corporation. More recently, Luton founded Riverwood Associates in 2013, a leading process improvement consulting and training firm in the Southeast. He formerly served as President of APICS Atlanta and currently is a member of APICS Southeast District Staff. A certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and an APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional, Luton also maintains active membership in the Association for Manufacturing Excellence, the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance, the Transportation Club of Atlanta and SHRM Greenville.

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Chris Barnes / APICS Atlanta
President

Mr. Barnes is a supply chain thought leader for HighJump, a supply chain network solutions firm, and founder of Lean Atlanta Consortium (LeanATL). Barnes has served in many roles on the Board (VP Education, Past President, VP Marketing) and is a Past President of Atlanta WERCouncil.

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Elba Pareja-Gallagher / ShowMe50.org
Founder and CEO

Elba Pareja-Gallagher is a bilingual finance and strategy professional and leader with more than 15 years of broad experiences including Finance & Accounting, Investor Relations and Marketing. She has lived as an expat in Singapore and Hong Kong and is an APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional. Elba holds a Master of Science degree in Supply Chain Management.

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Charu Thomas / Oculogx
Co-Founder

Charu is a second-year Industrial Engineering student at Georgia Institute of Technology. In June 2016, her research in Automated Urban Logistics under Dr. Larry Sweet was presented at the 8th International Scientific Symposium on Logistics. Her internship at Martin-Brower, along with her research in algorithm writing, confirmed her interests in logistics which culminated in the formation of Oculogx.

LinkedIn

 

Chris Copenhaver / Cushman & Wakefield
Director

Christopher Copenhaver specializes in the leasing and marketing of industrial, office warehouse and flex properties in Cushman & Wakefield’s industrial agency group. He brings more than 14 years of commercial real estate experience, including brokerage, third-party leasing, corporate acquisitions/dispositions, investment sales, asset and property management. During this time, he has developed strong working relationships with brokers, investors, corporations and economic development agencies on a local, regional and national level.

In the past 14 years, Mr. Copenhaver generated and has been involved in closing transactions valued over $250 million, representing approximately 15 million square feet. In 2007, Mr. Copenhaver established the Atlanta office of Sealy & Company, LLC, a Shreveport- & Dallas-based real estate investment firm. During his tenure as regional director at Sealy, he was responsible for the daily operations and decision making for the Atlanta portfolio, directing the asset and property management. Mr. Copenhaver hired and managed 11 people, including senior-level property managers, in-house leasing staff, property engineers and third-party real estate listing agents. The portfolio he directed was approximately 3 million square feet, valued at over $300 million.

Having previously worked at C&W, Mr. Copenhaver returned to the firm in 2009 to lead the Industrial Agency Group, which focuses exclusively on representing private landlords and institutions. His unique experience in asset and property management provides him the ability to better communicate with his clients on how to maximize their asset’s value through cost reduction and income analysis. His institution-level underwriting, accounting/financial reporting, and capital/lease-approval skills allow him to be effective in making his clients’ jobs easier through understanding their position.

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Culinary Atlanta Series Featuring Greg Lipman with Piastra

Greg Lipman

 

Greg Lipman / Piastra
Chef and Owner

Originally from Boston, Chef Greg learned about food at a young age when he first learned the phrase, “Food is love”. His first culinary steps were what captured his passion when Grandmother Rose showed him how to make chocolate chip cookies, and he states that he is still perfecting the recipe. After training at New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vermont, he worked in different restaurants in the Boston area.

Around age thirty, he trained with a classically trained French chef on a small yacht while sailing over a third of the way around the world. Shortly after the trip, Chef Greg moved to Atlanta and began working at Maxim Prime at the Glenn Hotel in downtown Atlanta. He then worked as the Chef at Alon’s Bakery and Market. After Alon’s, Chef Greg was Executive Chef at Dal Cuore in Johns Creek when he married his wife, Maggie. Just before opening Piastra, their first daughter was born and shortly after the opening, their second daughter came along.

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Biz Radio U Featuring Rick Smith with Hometown Pizza and Grill

Hometown Pizza and Grill

KSUEntrepreneurship
Biz Radio U
Hosted by Adam Wozniak and Darren Parkinson

 

Rick Smith / Hometown Pizza and Grill
CEO and Founder

Hometown Pizza and Grill is located in Rockmart, GA. and is a family owned and operated business. They offer a variety of foods from pizza, burgers, and their famous all you can eat wings. Rick Smith founded Hometown Pizza and Grill in 1990, and at one point, had five locations.  Rick’s entrepreneurial expertise has led him to be successful and to continually improve his business for the past 26 years.

 

Biz Radio U Featuring Gary Austin with OneCare

Biz Radio U
KSUEntrepreneurship
Biz Radio U
Hosted by Adam Wozniak and Darren Parkinson

 

Gary Austin / OneCare
CEO and Co-Founder

Gary Austin is an experienced and visionary entrepreneur with 20 years of experience starting businesses, developing technology, building sales channels and raising capital.  He has deep experience in the electronic payment systems industry, and has been involved in the development of unique banking and healthcare solutions, products and transaction systems.

Gary is the inventor of the patent on merchant paid cash rewards tied to credit and debit cards and is the founder and CEO of HERO, Inc., a holding company managing intellectual property in the payment-card-based, cash rewards business. At HERO, developed client relationships with some of the country’s leading financial institutions such as Citibank, Chase Merchant Services, and Discover.  HERO’s Board of Directors included the chairman of MasterCard.  Under Gary’s direction, HERO introduced merchant-paid cash rewards, opt-out auto enroll marketing initiatives and Omnibus-Trust-Lockbox bank accounts. Because of these initiatives, the bank, the cardholder and the merchant were finally aligned. Today almost every card-issuing bank offers merchant-paid, cash reward cards. The patent was sold to a leading credit card rewards transaction processor for $10,000,000.00 in stock plus 15% of patent proceeds.

From HERO, Gary went on to become a co-founder of Clearwave Corporation where he invented a kiosk system that enabled patients to check themselves in and out when visiting their doctors. With the swipe of a card and entry of a 4-digit pin number, the patients were checked in and insurance eligibility was verified. The Clearwave kiosk improved patient flow and cash flow for medical practices, reduced claim rejections and decreased the amount of paperwork patients needed to complete. Today millions of patient self-check-in/check-out transactions are taking place each year through Clearwave Kiosks.

In both HERO and Clearwave, Gary raised more than $15 Million in early-stage, private and venture capital investments.

After Clearwave, Gary formed Austin Capital & Consulting, Inc.   Clients of Austin Capital & Consulting included innovative companies within the healthcare, technology, biometric ID and pharmaceutical industries.

In 2008, Gary became a founder of Symbionce, LLC.  Symbionce is a technology and revenue cycle management company performing medical billing and collections for hospitals and clinics. At Symbionce, Gary designed a healthcare payment technology and transaction processing solution, which replaced the legacy healthcare claims payment system. This novel process creates a healthcare payment solution that works similarly to credit cards. A patent is currently pending on this process.

In 2005, Gary was chosen to receive the CEO Diversity Award by the Georgia Minority Business Leaders Association.  And in 2007, Gary was selected to be a Keynote speaker and was recognized as one of the innovators of the year by the Georgia Chapter of The Healthcare Information Managers Systems Society (HIMSS), the largest healthcare technology organization in the US.

Gary is very active in his church and he enjoys music, hunting, fishing and cooking for his friends and family. Gary and his wife Reva, live in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Cory Hewett and Evan Jarecki with Gimme Vending, Rodney Koop with The New Flat Rate and Brandon Vallorani with Vallorani Estates

Brandon Vallorani Cory Hewett Evan Jareski and Rodney Koop

 

Cory Hewett / Gimme Vending
CEO and Co-Founder

While he isn’t your typical techie startup founder, Cory Hewett always had a vision, drive, and an ability to think outside the box.  His 10+ years of vending experience began back in high school after his parents told him if he wanted to drive, he’d have to buy his first car.  Not only did Cory grow his route to 26 machines, but he eventually hired a close friend to service the machines.

When the iPhone released, Cory was first in line (and is still Apple’s biggest fan).  This leap forward in technology sparked an idea in his mind: always be connected to my vending machines.

Cory ran with this idea and convinced his smart friend Evan to help him develop the technology.  They learned from hundreds of vending operators exactly what they were looking for before crafting Gimme into the award-winning technology it is today.

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Evan Jarecki / Gimme Vending
CTO and Co-Founder
Evan Jarecki was an electrical engineering intern working at Gulfstream Aerospace in Savannah, GA when he first met Cory, a like-minded entrepreneurial dreamer.  While working together, Evan learned all about Cory’s vending business and they tossed around ideas to start a business together one day. That day came right before graduating from Georgia Tech, when Cory pitched Evan the idea to connect every vending machine in America.  Evan agreed.

He serviced a machine daily at Georgia Tech for 6 months before spending another 6 months in the field alongside a vending service driver, to learn the nuts and bolts of the business.  Teaming his technology background together with Cory, Evan has helped turn Gimme into the award-winning technology it is today.
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Rodney Koop / The New Flat Rate
CEO and Founder

Rodney Koop – CEO and Founder of The New Flat Rate, is a motivational speaker, author, entrepreneur, and solutions based enthusiast. Over the last three decades, Koop has founded and sold HVAC, Electrical, and Plumbing service companies. Koop is a Master Electrician holding 10 unrestricted electrical licenses and has helped to write and qualify exam questions for state board testing. During his career, Koop has contributed numerous articles and industry assessments to multiple publications and recently authored his first book. Koop is dedicated to challenging all audiences to utilize their brains in creative ways for growing their companies.

Working from a place of strength is Koop’s motto, where he believes success and advancement can be achieved with the right tools in our expertise. When he’s not advancing his company forward, Koop can be found on the trails riding one of his four-wheelers or traveling around the world with his wife Karen.

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Brandon Vallorani / Vallorani Estates
Founder

Brandon Vallorani is a practiced entrepreneur and accomplished CEO. He founded a five-time Inc. 5000 media conglomerate, author of the new bestselling book, The Wolves and the Mandolin: Celebrating Life’s Privileges In A Harsh World (ForbesBooks, March 20, 2017), and now has shifted his focus to Vallorani Estates, a brand of hand-curated luxury goods. Vallorani began his career in the non-profit sector, quickly rising through the ranks to become director of media, and then executive vice president. He simultaneously earned his Master of Business Administration, a testimony to his hard-working attitude and drive that would propel him through the rest of his career. He went on to boost revenue at another non-profit from a few hundred thousand dollars to several million per year in a period of only three years.

Vallorani graduated from West Virginia University with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in graphic design. He also holds of Master of Business Administration from Thomas More College. He lives in Atlanta, Ga., with his wife, seven children and two dogs. In his free time, he enjoys playing in casinos around the country and world.

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Biz Radio U Featuring Sven Cowart with Traxion

Sven Cowart

KSUEntrepreneurship

Biz Radio U

Hosted by Adam Wozniak and Darren Parkinson

 

Sven Cowart / Traxion
Head of Design & Engineering

Sven Cowart is the co-founder of Traxion, a business accelerator that focuses on supporting start-up companies by harnessing the collective power of our community by bringing local governments, corporations, educational institutions and individuals together to provide a solid foundation for early-stage companies to establish themselves, gain traction and thrive.

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Women in Technology (WIT) Special Edition

Kathryn Finney Sandy Welfare

The work of Women in Technology has an incredible impact.
Since 1992, Women in Technology has had a mission dedicated to promoting the advancement of women in Georgia’s technology community. Through the WIT COMMUNITY, WIT Also educates and encourages girls and young women to pursue careers in STEM.

 

Christina Beyer /  WIT 
Director of Programs and Events

Joining WIT (Women in Technology) as Director of Programs and Events, Christina serves as a primary leader in the organization with oversight of programs, volunteer services and events. Christina is a personable, detail-oriented manager with experience demonstrating improvements in sales and marketing efforts, operations, customer service ratings and team productivity.

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Kathryn Finney / digitalundivided
Founder and Managing Director

Kathryn Finney is the founder and Managing Director of digitalundivided (DID), an organization that invests in the success of Black and Latina women tech founders by providing them with the network, coaching, and funding to build, scale, and exit their high growth companies. DID runs the BIG Innovation Center, home to the BIG accelerator program, a 16 week program for high potential startups led by Black and Latina Founders. She is also a General Partner in the Harriet Fund, the first pre-seed venture fund focused on investing the untapped potential of high potential Black and Latina women led startups.

One of the first social media “stars”, in 2014 Kathryn sold her site, The Budget Fashionista, to a midwest media company and later was the editor at large at BlogHer (sold to Sheknows), a platform representing 40MM+ women influencers.

An honors graduate of Yale University, and Rutgers University, Kathryn received the Champion of Change Award in 2013 from the White House for her work increasing inclusion in the tech industry and is an Eisenhower Fellow. She’s also listed in Marie Claire’s 10 Women to Watch in 2016, Entrepreneurs Magazine’s “Woman to Watch in 2016”, New York Business Journal’s Women of Influence Award, SXSW Black Innovator Award, The Grio 100, Ebony Power 100, Black Enterprise “40 under 40” list, and inducted into Spelman College’s “Game Changers Academy.”

On February 26, 2015 she was honored by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer with the “Kathryn Finney Appreciation Day.”

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