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Curated Collection Of The Best Interviews From Our Sandy Springs Studio

Dekalb Chamber of Commerce President Leonardo McClarty, Strategy Magazine’s Mavian Arocha-Rowe and Attorney Dennis Zakas

Leonardo McClarty/Dekalb Chamber of Commerce

Leonardo McClarty is the President/CEO of the Dekalb Chamber of Commerce . A career Economic and Business Development professional, McClarty is astute at dealing with various community, small business, and political challenges. His experiences include business recruitment, community redevelopment, planning, public policy analysis, and small business development. Responsible for the day to day operations of the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce, McClarty interacts daily with civic leaders, education professionals, business leaders, and elected officials to make sure that DeKalb County is the premier place to do business in Metro Atlanta.  Since his arrival in September 2004, this Atlanta native has more than doubled the DeKalb Chamber’s membership, increased its annual operating budget, and increased its status in the Atlanta business community.

Prior to taking the helm of the DeKalb Chamber, McClarty served as Economic Development Director for the City of Roswell and was a Senior Project Manager in DeKalb County’s Office of Economic Development. McClarty has also  worked for the Georgia Department of Community Affairs and Georgia Institute for Community Business Development.

McClarty holds a Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from Clemson University and a Bachelor  of Arts degree in political science from Furman University. He is certified by the National Development Council as an Economic Development Finance Professional and has a certificate in non-profit management from the U.S. Chamber Institute for Organizational Management program. McClarty is the past Chairman of the United Way in DeKalb Campaign and sits on the Grady Health System Board of Visitors. He is also sits on the boards of the DeKalb Workforce Investment Board (WIB), DeKalb Convention & Visitors Bureau, Communities in Schools of Atlanta, CDC Federal Credit Union, and participates in various ad hoc committees and councils. He is a 2009 graduate of Leadership Atlanta and a 2008 graduate of Leadership DeKalb. In 2008, he was named one of Georgia Trend Magazine’s Top 40 under 40.

Mavian Arocha-Rowe/Strategy Magazine

Mavian Arocha-Rowe is the Editor-in-Chief at Strategy Magazine. She is also the Senior Editor at The Institute for HealthCare Consumerism, Senior Editor for Field Media, LLC, and a Freelance Writer/Editor and Spanish Educator.

Mavian promoted Strategy Magazine’s launch of an additional magazine that will be entirely in Spanish. It will be out this May and the cover will feature  CNN en Espanol’s fashion expert.

Dennis Zakas/Zakas & Leonard, Group Office Buys

Dennis Zakas is a partner with the law firm of Zakas & Leonard.  He focuses his law practice on mergers and acquisitions, securities offerings, corporate governance, joint ventures and complex commercial transactions. While most of his clients are in the technology and medical device industries, he has significant experience in telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, manufacturing, distribution, transportation, logistics and real estate.  During his career, Zakas has played a major role in transactions exceeding $100 billion. His unique perspective results from representing a wide range of clients – from Fortune 50 to early stage – in a wide variety of industries, in a broad range of transactions. On many occasions Zakas has been listed in Best Lawyers in America, as well as a Mergers & Acquisitions Super Lawyer.

Zakas is also the Chair and CEO of Group Office Buys, LLC, an online provider of over 40,000 office supply, janitorial/sanitary and breakroom products and  is the primary inventor named in two patent applications covering a number of Internet business processes.

Dennis Zakas is a member of the Board of Directors of the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG).  In 2005  he was named TAG Volunteer of the Year for his role in founding and chairing the Georgia Technology Summit. He also founded TAG’s Top 40/10 Innovative Companies Award and continues to chair the Top 40/10 Committee. Additionally, Zakas writes the Technology Leadership blog for the Saporta Report, as well as is the Georgia Co-chair of the Society of International Business Fellows (SIBF).

David Duley Says I Can Fix America and You Can Too!

David Duley/I Can Media, LLC

David Duley, the founder and CEO of I Can Media, LLC, is originally from Flint, Michigan but he has called Atlanta his home since arriving to attend school at Emory University’s Goizueta School of Business. He has since started and been apart of multiple entrepreneurial adventures. Some of those include The Handyman Network, Inc., Triad Ventures, LLC, and PEARL Protected.                                                                                                                                         

David’s latest project is I Can Media, LLC.  On December 31, 2011 the self published book titled “I Can Fix America : 52 common sense ways YOU can make the United States great again” arrived online and in bookstores across America.  David hopes his book I Can Fix America in conjunction with his website of the same name will help empower Americans with simple tool and ideas that can help restore America for generations to come. Since the release of the book, David has appeared on numerous national talk radio and TV shows.

David was appointed by City Council to serve on the Board of Ethics for the City of East Point, GA in 2009 and recently rolled off the Board of Directors for Jerusalem House in Atlanta Georgia which houses over 50% of permanent housing for the homeless living with HIV/AIDS in the Atlanta metropolitan area.  He is also a member of the board of directors for High Road Craft Ice Cream, one of the nation’s leading innovators in the ultra premium ice-cream market.

David is also co-owner of a successful restaurant in midtown Atlanta called The Nook, on Piedmont Park.  The Nook’s patio was ranked #2 by Creative Loafing magazine Atlanta.  In addition to a nice patio, The Nook has brought to market many innovative dishes that have reached acclaim such at Totchos™ (tater tot nachos) and the Shrimp and Grit Stuffed Burger, winner of the 2010 Atlanta battle of the burgers.

Real Estate Connections ATL Special with Peter Pasternack, David McEachern, Matt Dickason, and Kelly Kirchner

Our Real Estate Connections ATL special today was co-hosted by Peter Pasternack. Peter is in charge of the largest real estate networking event in town that is held every month. The  Real Estate Connections event for this month will be on Thursday, May 3, and it will be held at Aja, a modern Asian kitchen, located in the Alliance Center on Lenox Road. The event will be held from 6-9pm and has a 20 dollar admission fee. Real Estate ATL’s Mission is to facilitate a positive atmosphere where real estate professionals and real estate related industries can join forces to network and share ideas and strategies.

The three guests we have on today are a few of the sponsors for this may’s event.

Peter Pasternack/Foundation Designs

Peter Pasternack, from Foundation Designs, is one of our hosts and is also one of the stars of Flip This House, on one of television’s most recognized real estate investment and home renovation. His company designs, builds, and renovates residential and commercial property.

David McEachern/Keller Williams Realty Chattahoochee North

David McEachern is a realtor with Keller Williams Realty Chattahoochee North. He is in the top 15 ranking of agents in his office and sits on the Agency Leadership Council which helps direct policy for their market center. This month his group was featured at Real Estate Connections.

Matt Dickason/Dickason Law Group

Matthew A. Dickason is Dickason Law  Group‘s founder and Managing Attorney.  In 2003, he received his J.D. from The Walter F. George Law School at Mercer University in Macon, GA.  A member of the Georgia Bar, he created Matthew A. Dickason, P.C in 2007 to focus on residential, commercial and small business loan closings. As Chief Financial Officer of the U.S. Screen Company, a family manufacturing company based in Sullivan, Ohio, Matt draws on his experience to advise small to medium sized companies in all facets of business and corporate law.

Kelly Kirchner/USA Mortgage

Kelly is a Branch Manager along with Kim Ordono at USA Mortgage. Kim and Kelly have worked together for the past 6+ years and have grown to love working as a team. Whether it is a refinance to help save money monthly or saving on costs for a first time home buyer, Kim and Kelly always strive to give their customers the best deal the market can offer.


Atlanta Tech Innovators Jared Malan and TJ Muehleman with We&Co and Nebo’s Kevin Howarth

Today we featured a couple of firms who are true Atlanta tech innovators…

Jared Malan/We&Co

Jared is one part idealist, one part techy and, since he did a MBA at Notre Dame, one part business monkey. His passion is using technology to make society more empathetic. He had previous roles as a business strategist and front-end developer. Jared led the development of We&Co – a location-based app for people who provide and enjoy great service – from its inception to today.

We&Co is a place to connect with the people who provide you outstanding service on a daily basis, but aren’t easily bucketed. The woman who cuts your hair just how you like it. The mechanic who fixes your car and doesn’t overcharge you. Or, the barista who makes that perfect cup of coffee, every time.

TJ Muehleman/We&Co

TJ joins We&Co with a depth of tech experience. Previously, he led Product and Technology at ThePort Network, a leading social media platform that serves more than 200 communities worldwide.

Kevin Howarth/Nebo

Kevin Howarth is the Director of Content Strategy at Nebo. He is an experienced traditional and social networker, utilizing networks to build communities and execute business objectives. From 2003 to 2008, he was both Editor and Managing Editor of TechLINKS – a magazine that covered the Georgia technology industry. Not only did Kevin report on all news related to technology in Georgia, but he also developed relationships with over 250 CIOs in a series of high-profile interviews and sought-after exclusive networking events hosted by TechLINKS.

After TechLINKS, Kevin joined Sophicity in order to help the company expand its prospect base, grow revenue, land numerous clients, and position itself as a thought leader in municipal IT through various national publications and conferences.

Nebo is a human-centered interactive agency. They believe that great work comes from understanding the needs, wants and perceptions of your audience. This human-centered approach informs everything they do. With expertise in interactive marketing strategy, web design, user experience, search engine optimization, pay per click management, conversion rate optimization and content management systems, Nebo has helped its clients achieve their digital goals.



Learning How to Use Social Media to Build Your Own Brand with Adam Karwoski and ASTD’s Sarah Gilbert

In this ASTD Social Media Special Edition we heard from two experts on using Social Media to build your own brand and achieve your career goals.

Adam Karwoski/Social Brand U

Adam Karwoski is the CEO of Social Brand U.  After 17 years in senior leadership positions with AT&T Mobility and Nokia USA, Adam formed Social Brand U, a social media consultancy that partners with technology companies, with a B2B sales model, to extend their product and brand strategies via social media.

Their mission is to work with their clients to leverage social media to build value for the customer, a brand for the business and growth for the company.  At Social Brand U, they show their clients how to use social networks to develop relationships with clients that produce long term, sustainable growth and profitability while creating evangelistic customers.


Sarah Gilbert/Greater Atlanta Chapter of ASTD

Sarah Gilbert is the Vice President of Communications for the Greater Atlanta Chapter of ASTD. She is a workplace learning professional in instructional design, facilitation, and implementation. She specializes in e-learning development and social media communications. For the past two years, she has organized and deployed the communications strategy for the ASTD Greater Atlanta Chapter’s CPLP Study Group. In 2011, she used this strategy to support an asynchronous multi-chapter CPLP Study Network. Sarah is also contributing to a chapter-wide communications plan to improve the connection to members using various forms of social media: Facebook: Greater Atlanta Chapter of ASTD | twitter: @astdatlanta | Linkedin: ASTD Greater Atlanta

Sarah was published in ASTD’s The Book of Road-Tested Activities by Elaine Biech, and is now working with Darin Harley as a contributor to an upcoming book on social media best practices. She has over 12 years of experience in training and development, project management, and call center consulting. She has a BSBM, MBA, and is studying for the CPLP.


Netweaving Pay It Forward Week Special with Bob Littell, Larry Greene and Pino Venetico

We are proud to shine the Business RadioX  spotlight on Bob Littell and his associates who are putting together the 3rd Annual Netweaving Pay It Forward Week in Atlanta which runs from April 23-27.

Bob and a significant number of business executives, business owners, professionals and community leaders who have already experienced the power of a concept known as “NetWeaving”, have joined forces to celebrate the 3rd Annual “NetWeaving – Pay It Forward Week”, and especially Thursday, April 26 which is now being celebrated around the world as “Pay It Forward Day”.

Also working with Bob on this important event are Larry Greene with Greene Classic Limousines who is also the incoming President of Georgia Meeting Professionals International and Pino Venetico with the Independent Restaurant & Bar Association of Georgia.

The key action step of NetWeaving involves ’hosting’ meetings to introduce two people whom the NetWeaver believes would benefit knowing each other with their needs and interests in mind.  Then instead of looking to have the favor returned, the NetWeaver host asks each to simply  ‘pay it forward’ and agree to  host a meeting introducing two others.

Imagine the POWER of the new business and personal connections made that week and beyond. . .the ENERGY created in the restaurants, bar, business clubs, and hotels where many of these NetWeaving Hosting meetings will be held. . . as well as the COLLABORATIVE SPIRIT inspired by these sessions which will result in new business connects, relationships, and referrals.

Sponsor monies raised will go to the Pay It Forward Foundation – an organization committed to spreading the ‘pay it forward’ message of inspiring ‘random acts of kindness’ and especially acts whose impact will have an ever-expanding ‘ripple effect’.