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Curated Collection Of The Best Interviews From Our Sandy Springs Studio

Mary Elizabeth Sadd with Pinnacle Search Partners, Larry Nemeth and Kevin Kinzler with Unishippers Global Logistics, Kevin Johnson with Johnson Media and Steven Pohl with Novelis

Mary Elizabeth Sadd/Pinnacle Search Partners

Pinnacle Search Partners is a Global Executive Recruiting firm based in Alpharetta, GA. Since forming in 2010, Pinnacle Search Partners has grown into a leading niche Executive recruiting firm in the U.S. and abroad. The company focuses on partnering with market leaders who are motivated to hire only top talent and who are dedicated to continuous improvement.

The Pinnacle team is comprised of award-winning leaders, possessing years of top level industry experience. Professional, results-driven, and dedicated, Pinnacle takes pride in thoroughly understanding it’s clients needs in order to deliver high quality results. Unique in its ability to focus on it’s client’s culture, goals, and market drivers, PInnacle has established an excellent industry reputation.

Pinnacle was recently certified as a “Women’s Business Enterprise” (WBE) by National Women Business Owners Corporation (NWBOC). To be certified, a company must have an active primary female owner and executive that controls both the daily and long-term effects of the organization.

Larry Nemeth and Kevin Kinzler/Unishippers Global Logistics

Local business owners and franchisees Larry Nemeth and Kevin Kinzler started their Unishippers business three years ago to complement their existing transportation business that launched in 2000. With over 20 years of experience in the transportation logistics industry, the two decided to invest in a Unishippers franchise for two reasons: 1) Unishippers is one of two resellers for UPS, which is the world’s largest package delivery company and global leader in transportation and logistics, and 2) Unishippers has gone to great lengths to establish partnerships with 40 plus freight suppliers, establishing itself as the largest reseller of shipping services in the nation with the ability to offer the best deals and discounted rates for small to mid-sized businesses.

Kevin Johnson/Johnson Media, Inc. 

Kevin D. Johnson is president of Johnson Media Inc. As a serial entrepreneur, he has over 13 years of experience leading his multimillion-dollar marketing and communications company that serves many of the most notable Fortune 100 businesses. As an innovative leader, he has appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America, CBS, Oprah Radio, and in Forbes, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Moreover, he has appeared on CNN frequently. He also the best-selling author of The Entrepreneur Mind: 100 Essential Beliefs, Characteristics, and Habits of Elite Entrepreneurs. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife and son.

Steven Pohl/Novelis, Inc. 

Steven Pohl, VP, Financial Planning and Analysis, Novelis, Inc., named inaugural member of the La Roche College Distinguished Alumni Circle, 2013.

Steven is an international executive with a successful track record of contributing to business performance through strategic direction with a hands-on approach, delivering excellent financial performance and business development results. He has a multi-cultural and cross-functional career spanning a progression of operational and corporate roles including general management, strategy development, mergers & acquisitions, and organizational restructuring. Steven has strong communication and negotiation skills, is a recognized leader in coaching and personnel development and a trusted business partner with a high level of integrity, commitment, and team spirit.




Carol McKown with RAISE Global Services and Ruksana Hussain with RuksanaWrites

Carol McKown/RAISE Global Services 

Carol McKown is the Founder and Chief Solutions Officer at RAISE Global Services and RAISE Global Partners. Carol is a visionary whose goal is to change the world by inspiring business leaders to make positive change in their community an equal priority to profitability. She sees the need to bring groups of people together from business, government, non-profits, and citizens to strategically develop solutions to big world problems. Carol partners with companies to create strategies that add social innovation to the DNA of their business model to elevate their brands, increase profitability, and ensure social impact. Carol creates a unified effort to solve community and global problems. She believes that this act of strategic synergy (SOLUTIONISM) is the catalyst for change we need in our world.

Carol believes purpose will change your life and give you great joy. Even though Carol has a head for business, she also has a heart for humanity. She is also the founder of Fallen Sparrow Foundation, which has provided services to Cambodian orphans for three years and is now expanding into the Dominican Republic. Carol has been the founder and CEO of several organizations, including Action Sports International, ASI Photos and Action International Marketing, where she formed successful, creative partnership and distribution programs with the Walt Disney Company, the Eastman Kodak Company, the Heisman Foundation and the College Football Hall of Fame as well as over 1000 International Event organizations.

Ruksana Hussain/RuksanaWrites 

Ruksana Hussain is an independent communications professional working with several local and national print and online media outlets through her business RuksanaWrites. She offers copy and content management services, specializing in proofreading and copy editing, as well as writing and reporting as per client requirements. Ruksana has a background in corporate communications and 12+ years’ experience working with the written word. Born in India, raised in the Middle East and now living in the United States with her husband, she believes communications across cultures is vital. Ruksana covers topics ranging from business and travel to food and social media, covering community events and interviewing celebrities. She is the chapter President of Ed2010 Atlanta, and was a finalist for a 2012 Atlanta Press Club Award of Excellence in the Print non-daily category.



John Warren with Lima One Capital, Larry Myricks with Atlanta Corporate Challenge, Walter Mann with ZONOsanitech and Wendy Alpine with Alpine Communications

John Warren/Lima One Capital 

John Warren is founder and President of Lima One Capital, a hard money lending company for residential real estate investors and homebuilders. He has raised over $25M for Lima One Capital and has grown the company into Atlanta’s largest private lender. John is an expert at real estate finance and works with hundreds of U.S. and foreign investors. As a former, decorated infantry officer in the Marine Corps, John also speaks regularly on counter-insurgency and leadership. John attended Washington and Lee University for his undergraduate degree and New York University’s Stern School of Business for post-graduate.

Larry Myricks/Atlanta Corporate Challenge 

Larry Myricks, 4-Time Olympian, 1988 Olympic Bronze Medalist, is the Director of the Atlanta Corporate Challenge and the Corporate Challenge Network.

The Atlanta Corporate Challenge – is 5 weeks and 23 tournaments (sports & games) that make up the largest and most effective teambuilding, company pride and morale boosting event for businesses in the metro Atlanta area. It is “Where Work Comes to Play”.

Walter Mann/ZONOsanitech 

ZONOsanitech founder Walter Mann is an entrepreneur who kills germs. Walter utilized his training as a mechanical engineer and experience manufacturing medical devices for Kimberly Clark to build the ZONO at the urging of his wife when they realized that there was no good option for sanitizing their four children’s athletic gear. After a friend’s son contracted an antibiotic-resistant staph infection from sports equipment, he built the first ZONO and began sanitizing athletic gear from his children and their friends. He soon learned that the preschool classroom was ground zero in the fight to protect children by eliminating bacteria and viruses without chemicals.

Wendy Alpine/Alpine Communications 

Wendy Alpine, president of Alpine Communications Inc., has run her own PR firm for the past 13 years. Alpine Communications helps large and small business create brand awareness, establish thought leadership and generate demand for a company’s products and services. Her firm has worked with companies and organizations in the healthcare, technology, manufacturing and non-profit industries.



Gary Brooks with Cortera, Lori Dubuc with Infinite Strategies Group, Sue Johnson SPHR, Candace Klein with SoMoLend, Jonathan Wilson with Taylor English and Maurice Lopes with EarlyShares

Gary Brooks/Cortera 

Gary Brooks is the Chief Marketing Officer for Cortera. A B2B marketing addict, born leader, innovator and change agent with an entrepreneurial spirit and a proven track record of delivering measurable business value and enabling positive change.

Gary is a revenue focused marketing executive with a passion for marketing accountability and a reputation for delivering breakthrough performance, revenue scalability and building highly successful businesses.

Gary was bitten by the start-up bug when joined a group of internet visionaries that started AltaVista (acquired by Compaq) which became the number one Internet search engine in 1996. Since then, he has fueled his passion for marketing innovation and revenue acceleration by serving in executive leadership roles at Ariba, Fortress Technologies, TRADEX (acquired by Ariba), KnowledgeStorm (acquired by TechTarget), Servigistics (acquired by Marlin Equity Partners) and Bomgar Corporation. At TRADEX, he developed and executed the strategic market positioning that led to the company’s acquisition by Ariba for $5.6 billion in Ariba stock. At Servigistics, he repositioned the company and re-engineered the company’s sales and marketing process which accelerated revenue growth and led to the sale of the company in 2009. At Bomgar, he completely transformed the company’s marketing strategy and processes to enable the company to achieve double-digit, year over year revenue growth in 2010 and emerge as a recognized enterprise remote support market leader.

Gary has also served in consulting and advisory roles with MarketPro, KnowledgeStorm (acquired by Techtarget), Performance PR, Abovo Group, DWL (acquired by IBM), TORAD Engineering and Emcien.

Gary earned his undergraduate degree from Northeastern University and a M.S. from Leslie University. In 2006, the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) named Gary the Technology Marketing Executive of the Year.

Specialties:B2B marketing, sales pipeline development and nurturing, revenue scalability, sales process development and managment, strategic market positioning and message development, marketing accountability and sale enablement.

Lori Dubuc/Infinite Strategies Group 

As the Managing Partner of Infinite Strategies Group, LLC, Lori Dubuc heads the company’s strategy and business development operations and personally provides leadership training, workshops, and executive development for individuals and organizations. Lori’s unique understanding of business allows her to offer practical and creative strategies to optimize human potential. Her 20 years of experience with both Fortune 500 and start-up companies includes leadership positions in human resources across a variety of industries. Lori also serves as a coach and mentor, incorporating art and science into her approach.

Lori’s areas of expertise include organizational design, coaching, training and development for executives and mid- level leaders; strategic human capital optimization; identification and development of high performers; cross- functional project management; and talent restructuring. Lori facilitates workshops, groups, and leads multi- functional leadership teams. Her expertise in large companies spans organizational transformation, strategic human capital positioning, and restructuring talent for retention and deliverables. She has also led the evaluation of mentoring program effectiveness for high potential employees within Fortune 500 companies.

Lori graduated with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and management from the University of Missouri. She also has a master’s degree in human resources and management from Webster University.

Sue Johnson, SPHR 

Sue Johnson is a senior Human Resources leader currently working as an independent consultant. She has extensive strategic human resources experience focusing in the areas of Change Management, Talent Management, Team Effectiveness, Succession Planning, Executive Coaching and Employee Engagement. She has experience in successfully leading corporate changes, building/rebuilding and leading teams, project management, coaching for performance, and linking business and human capital strategies.

Sue supplements her education from Indiana University and 25+ years practical business experiences with the following: designation as a Senior Professional In Human Resources (SPHR); certified practitioner of: the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI); PDI (Personnel Decisions International)–360 Profiler;  Resilience Alliance–Personal Resilience Profile; DDI (Development Dimensions International)–360 Profiler;  DiSC Communications Style Facilitator; executive Coaching specialized training

An Atlanta resident for over 10 years, Sue has one son who is a senior in college.

Candace Klein/SoMoLend

Candace Klein is the founder and CEO of two successful startup companies: Bad Girl Ventures and SoMoLend. Bad Girl Ventures is a non-profit organization that focuses on educating and investing in woman-owned startup companies. SoMoLend is new technology platform that connects business borrowers seeking loans with lenders looking to make a return on investment. Candace has six years of lobbying experience, with the Northern Kentucky Chamber and United Way and four years of legal experience. Candace continues to practice as an attorney with Ulmer & Berne LLP with a focus on corporate matters, business advocacy and government relations for startup companies and small business clients. Candace led the Communities Practice at Property Advisors, with the title of “Maven” and the job description, “run and think.” She is actively committed to her neighborhood, Over the Rhine, where she lives and has based both of her businesses.

Candace is a 2008 graduate of Salmon P. Chase College of Law where she earned her J.D. She also received her bachelor degrees from Northern Kentucky University. Candace is the co-chair of CFIRA. She works diligently with other CFIRA members to be the voice of the crowdfunding industry. CFIRA works closely with the SEC and FINRA to establish industry standards and best practices.

Maurice Lopes/EarlyShares

Maurice Lopes is a co-founder of EarlyShares. He previously served as CEO and founder of Hotbrick Network Solutions, an international network security appliance manufacturer with offices across the globe. In addition, he has held a variety of management positions at Motorola, MCI-Worldcom, GICC and Bellsouth. Today, Maurice is considered an expert on capital formation and crowdfunding legislation, he has dedicated the last year to educating America on the JOBS Act. And how it will change all businesses in America. Maurice is a frequent guest at universities such as: Georgetown University, MIT, Columbia University, Ai School of Entrepreneurship, Nova, and Harvard Business School. He is on the governing board of the Crowdfunding Professional Association (CfPA).

Jonathan Wilson/Taylor English

Jonathan B. Wilson is a member of Taylor English’s Corporate & Business practice group and his practice includes corporate securities, corporate finance and governance, mergers and acquisitions and intellectual property. He has represented both Fortune 100, middle-market and start-up companies in transactional matters for roughly 20 years. Jonathan was the general counsel or chief legal officer of Interland, Inc. (NASDAQ: INLD),, Inc. (NASDAQ: WWWW) and EasyLink Services International Corporation (NASDAQ: ESIC) where he advised senior management and the board of directors on SEC reporting, NASDAQ compliance, Sarbanes-Oxley matters, corporate governance, governmental affairs, contracts, litigation, intellectual property and mergers and acquisitions. Jonathan led’s legal department through its growth and merger with Website Pros, Inc. (NASDAQ: WSPI) in September 2007, at various times acting as the corporate secretary and the executive in charge of Corporate Development. He spent the first ten years of his career in private practice with large Atlanta firms, including Paul Hastings, LLP and King & Spalding. Jonathan has represented both large and small companies in outsourcing, patent licensing, software licensing, distribution and strategic alliance agreements. In 2009. he founded the Renewable Energy Committee of the ABA’s Public Utility Section and he continues to chair that Committee, writing and speaking frequently on renewable energy and clean technology development.



Karen Houghton with Atlanta Tech Village, Daniel Flores with Visual Art Werks, Adam Wexler with Insightpool, Imaad Rashied with BluMenlo, Alok Deshpande with Umenta and Kurt Uhlir with Sideqik

Karen Houghton/Atlanta Tech Village 

The Atlanta Tech Village, established in 2012, is a community of innovation powered by a 103,000 square foot building located in Buckhead. The ATV is designed to service technology and technology-related companies that have a unique set of needs in their quest to change the world. Physical space should provide much more than just a desk and a place to hang your hat — it should bring the community together, promote serendipitous interactions, and be a powerful tool for recruiting the best talent.

Their mission is to support and inspire entrepreneurs to achieve success through a community that promotes faster connections between talent, ideas and capital. Together, they will fuel Atlanta’s rise to a top five tech startup center in the U.S.

Daniel Flores/Visual Art Werks 

Visual Art Werks creates mobile games featuring original characters and stories designed and drawn by artists with the help of developers to bring to every platform.

VAW first game is called Art Life and features a cast of 7 characters designed by DTM- dacreativegenius. Players pick a character to begin the game and can switch up at any time. Art Life storyline takes a look into the starving artist life by having the character first live on the street and build up their standard a living by progressing thru the game and leveling up.

Gameplay is simple and entertaining, the chosen character has to battle thru the levels against debris thrown at them all the while trying to draw on art materials that fly by. Game graphics are 2D and are intricate enough to give the characters fluid movement.

VAW looking for more artists to help create original content and developers for Windows8, iOS, Android and BlackBerry.

Adam Wexler/Insightpool 

Adam Wexler is the Founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Insightpool, social marketing automation software. Insightpool was spawned from the creative social media marketing tactics Wexler employed on his prior startup, GoRankem, where they sought to reach a wide audience on a non-existent marketing budget (outside of being the first successful startup to successfully raise money via Kickstarter’s crowdfunding platform).

Over the years, Wexler has been invited to speak in front of thousands of students and event attendees about social media and entrepreneurship. At different times, Adam has also been the voice behind numerous brands on social media including Sprite, NCAA March Madness and the band Cracker.

Wexler graduated from The University of Georgia with a focus in Leadership studies.

Imaad Rashied/BluMenlo

Imaad Rashied is a graduate of UGA (Philosophy, Economics). Imaad was born in North Carolina and raised in Georgia. He is currently working for third startup. Imaad previously worked for import/export companies and a large consulting firm.

Alok Deshpande/Umenta 

Alok Deshpande is the President and CEO of Umenta, an application that makes it easy to share life stories. Prior to starting Umenta, Alok served in various leadership roles with Bain & Company, SmartPath Financial, Actis Capital and Kurt Salmon Associates. Alok holds a BBA with highest distinction from Emory University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Kurt Uhlir/Sideqik 

Kurt Uhlir is Founder and CEO at Sideqik. Kurt has led teams in social, location and mobile across six continents. He drove corporate development and strategic partnerships at Vitrue, the social relationship management, through the sale of the company to Oracle. Prior to Vitrue, Kurt was on the front lines at NAVTEQ — with an IPO and a subsequent $8.1 Billion sale to Nokia. In addition, he founded Southern Technology Leaders (So.Tech), several private ecomm companies and several for-profit and caused-based organizations. Kurt is also the lead inventor on more than 10 patents fundamental to all check-in services and mobile advertising, in addition to video game design and others.



ABR Special Edition: ProWIN Atlanta

Catherine Anne Graham/CAG, Inc. 

Catherine Graham, a Professional Coach and Recruiting Specialist, recently left her corporate career to launch her companies; CAG Coaching and CAG Recruiting. Combining her talents and experience she is helping individuals and small, emerging companies connect and grow. A certified coach since 2008 she has been working with people of all ages to move forward in their lives by creating vision, purpose and passion. Using a model she designed to be C.O.M.P.L.E.T.E. (clarity, opportunity, motivation, purpose, liberation, empowerment, triumph and ease) Catherine has merged this with her recruiting mission to match the best and brightest employees with growing companies, maximizing Human Capital ROI.

Catherine has been in Atlanta since 1993 and has enjoyed a successful path as a Sales Professional and Entrepreneur. Beginning in Retail management for Sunglass Hut, Inc., she then partnered with two other entrepreneurs to launch the New Yorker Deli and Butcher Shop on Pharr Road in 2004. They were an approved vendor in the 2006 Olympics, which was an incredible experience in working with city government and massive crowds. “These early experiences helped me develop a strong work ethic, dedication to outstanding customer service and a need to really enjoy my work!” Since then, Catherine has a 15 year track record for success in the Retail, Wholesale Trade Show and Staffing industries.

Patty Farinola/The Awareness Studio

Patty Farinola with The Awareness Studio is a relationship expert who works with individuals and couples, helping people to create fulfilling lives through powerfully-connected relationships.

She has been professionally certified through the International Coach Federation and now holds a License in Sacred Theology. Patty has been trained in Pesso-Boyden System Psychomotor and the STAR process, two very powerful therapeutic modalities. Other relevant education includes personal development and leadership training through Landmark Education Corporation, Turknett Leadership Group, the Karin Kabalah Center, and the St. Thomas Christian Church. This rich and varied background provides a strong foundation for the work she does with clients, which includes personal counseling, life and business coaching, and spiritual direction.

Patty’s corporate history includes twenty-five years of diverse experience with industry leading Fortune 100 corporations and privately held firms. She has worked for such companies as Coca-Cola, Bank South (now part of Bank of America), and S1 Corporation, and her last position was Managing Director of Marketing for Georgia Natural Gas where she was the highest ranking female managing a multi-million dollar budget that encompassed advertising, event management, sales support and market research.

Anita Paul/The Write Image 

A communications specialist, Anita Paul is known as “The Author’s Midwife.” She coaches and mentors corporate professionals and successful entrepreneurs to become published authors. Through her Write Your Life program, she shares strategies for writing, publishing, and marketing a book … and then leveraging it to upsell your expertise.

A 20-year veteran of the marketing communications industry, Anita started The Write Image in 1997. A corporate communications company, The Write Image develops marketing and public relations programs for mid-size businesses and organizations. She uses her extensive planning, organizing, and strategic marketing skills to help clients develop effective communications strategies and public relations campaigns throughout the U.S.

After years of working with decision makers in various industries she realized one thing they had in common — they were “secret agents.” These super intelligent, well respected, knowledgeable leaders were experts in their fields, but nobody knew it. She wondered, what would help these experts get noticed? The answer: Every expert needs a book of her own. So she developed a program to help professionals upsell their expertise.

“Women (and men) in business need a calling card, a defining brand, a product to demonstrate their knowledge and their expertise,” says Anita. “A well-written book is one of the best tools to brand professionals as experts in their field so they can gain the visibility, recognition, and opportunities to take their careers and their businesses to a higher level and to earn more money.” Over the years, her passion for mentoring authors to overcome obstacles to their publishing success became her focus, and thus, Write Your Life was created.

Designed to reinforce a business platform for existing authors, and to establish and support a budding brand for aspiring authors, Write Your Life is a unique, comprehensive program for establishing your expertise and leveraging your book as part of your brand. “It’s bigger than the book,” says Anita. “You have an idea, a business objective, a career goal, a brand, or a grand vision. We work to create a book that will support that platform, brand you as an expert, and get you going in the right direction.” In 90 days or less, Write Your Life will change your life!