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Curated Collection Of The Best Interviews From Our Sandy Springs Studio

Andrew Dietz with Creative Growth Group


Andrew Dietz / Creative Growth Group Linkedin

I’m a marketing, client development and business services growth expert with over 25 years experience. I launched Creative Growth Group (CGG) in 2003 to support the revenue growth and client relationship efforts of progressive-thinking, action-oriented professional services firms locally, nationally and globally. We help firms stake their unique claims-to- fame, attract their clients-of-choice, activate the business development skills of their expert professionals and we also take a hands-on role in running business development and revenue generating campaigns. We also founded the nationally recognized Client Advisor Awards program.

CGG developed our unique “The Opening Playbook” approach over ten years driving growth for a range of elite firms from law, accounting, management and operations consulting to business advisory services, public relations, marketing, human resources, IT services, architecture, engineering, commercial banking, investment banking, commercial insurance and real estate service firms. While our clients include some of the world’s best known professional services brands, we are just as often engaged by “challenger” brand firms that are highly motivated to unseat the front-runner. The Opening Playbook: The Professionals Guide To Building Business Relationships That Grow Revenue is the new book I’ve written based on CGG’s proven methodology which will be published by McGraw-Hill in May 2014. Order it:

In my spare time, I’m involved with programs that spark and celebrate creativity and innovation. I’ve served on the Board of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, VOX Teen Communications, IMAGE Film & Video, and the Atlanta College of Art. I’m a contributor to The Art Section blog and I’m the author of the book, The Last Folk Hero which is about outsider artists and the inside world of high art. I love to bring what I learn about innovation and creativity to my work with professional services firms.

Special Edition: “Speaking Insights” with the National Speakers Association Georgia


NSA Georgia is the leading source in Georgia for community, education and entrepreneurial business knowledge needed to be successful in the speaking profession. Our members include professional speakers, aspiring speakers, authors, consultants, salespeople, trainers and vendors for the speaking industry. We meet in the Atlanta area the third Saturday morning each month. You can learn more at

“Speaking Insights” is a quarterly program of the Georgia chapter of the National Speakers Association. Each show will feature professional speakers who share their insights on how to succeed in the speaking business.

Our Co-Hosts:

NSA Georgia president (2013-14) Desmond “Dez” Thornton is an idea enthusiast with a natural ability to transform complex ideas into simple, sequential steps. His passion for words and commitment to service led him to discover his labor of love, professional speaking. He spreads this love by dedicating himself to the advancement of professional and beginner speakers who strive to articulate their vision with the clarity and enthusiasm necessary to inspire action. Dez can be reached at

In an attention-deficient, entertain-me-now, wait-while-I-post-that-on-my-Facebook kind of world, the typical business presentation doesn’t measure up. NSA Georgia president (2014-15) Kelly Vandever works with organizations and individuals whose presentations need to get results. An award-winning speaker herself, Kelly helps clients improve their presentations using old school and hi-tech techniques, all while annihilating bullet points and making this world a better place for business audiences everywhere. You can reach Kelly at, at 770-597- 1108, tweet @KellyVandever, or


Our Guests:

Jennifer B. Kahnweiler, Ph.D., is a professional speaker and author who helps introverts lead with quiet confidence. Her bestselling books, The Introverted Leader: Building on Your Quiet Strength and Quiet Influence: The Introvert’s Guide to Making a Difference have sold over 60,000 copies and been translated into eleven languages.

Jennifer has spoken at hundreds of organizations including GE, AT&T, NASA, Freddie Mac, Boeing, Turner Broadcasting, the CDC and the U.S. Embassy in Vietnam. She is a fourteen-year faculty member of the American Management Association and was the “Madrina” (Godmother) speaker at the Universidad Americana’s

Commencement in Paraguay. Jennifer has also been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg Business Week and the Wall Street Journal and was featured in a cover story of Time Magazine.

A member of the Georgia chapter of the National Speakers Association, she is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), granted to only 8% of NSA members. She heads up the Global Task Force of the Berrett-Koehler Author’s Co-op.

Jennifer attended her first National Speakers Association convention in San Diego seven years ago and has been hooked on NSA ever since. Please visit her site for a free introvert quiz and downloads of her book and audio excerpts at She is active on Twitter at jennkahnweiler and she promises to follow you back.

Elliott Miller and Monroe Thrower III with Georgia Banking Company, Mark Donnolo with SalesGlobe, and Mark Castriota with Loews Atlanta Hotel


Elliott Miller /  Georgia Banking Company Linkedin 

Monroe Thrower III / Georgia Banking Company Linkedin

Monroe Thrower is a twelve year veteran of the mortgage and banking industry and is an expert in mortgage marketing, product development, origination, operations and secondary markets. He has spent his last 10 years at Georgia Banking Company leading the retail mortgage Division and most recently as Director of Client Relations for GBC Funding. He thrives helping small businesses find liquidity solutions through GBC’s niche funding services. He has a BS in Management from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Mark Donnolo / SalesGlobe Linkedin Twitter

Mark Donnolo is managing partner with SalesGlobe, a sales effectiveness consulting and services firm that works with leading companies in the areas of sales innovation, sales strategy, sales team coaching and training, and sales compensation. He is the author of “The Innovative Sale” and “What Your CEO Needs to Know About Sales Compensation” and founder of the SalesGlobe Forum, a thought leadership and research group that works with leading business schools.

Mark holds an MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a BFA from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. He serves on the Board of Trustees of The University of the Arts and the Ludwig Symphony Orchestra.

Mark Castriota / Loews Atlanta Hotel  Linkedin Twitter Facebook

Mark Castriota is the General Manager of the Loews Atlanta Hotel, a 414-room, AAA Four Diamond luxury hotel located in the vibrant Midtown district of Atlanta.

A veteran of the hospitality industry, Castriota joined the Loews Atlanta Hotel team in December 2013 following a 27-year career with Marriott Hotels & Resorts.

His extensive leadership experience includes serving as a general manager of the Renaissance Atlanta Midtown, the Atlanta Marriott Marquis and the Atlanta Marriott Century Center, and as director of operations at the JW Marriott Hotel Buckhead Atlanta. Prior to leading hotel operations, he led the food and beverage divisions of several hotels in Atlanta, Chicago and Charleston.

Castriota’s impressive operations and management track record has resulted in several hospitality industry accolades including 2012 General Manager of the Year from the Georgia Hotel & Lodging Assocation, 2009 Marriott General Manager of the Year, and 2009 Marriott Hotel of the Year.

In addition to his leadership at the hotel, he is actively involved in the community serving as an executive committee member of the Atlanta Hotel Council, a corporate fundraising board member of the Woodruff Arts Center, and committee member and co-chairperson of the Children’s Miracle Network Charity Golf Tournament.

A graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Castriota earned a Bachelor of Science degree in hospitality management.


Rebecca Harrell with Randstad US, Pegge Riley and Angela Wacht with Sage Center, Kelly Riedinger and Rusty Willis with Real Living Capital City


Rebecca Harrell / Randstad US

Rebecca Harrell is Regional Vice President of Randstad Staffing, Office and Administration division. She is responsible for the sales strategy, operations and market growth for Office and Administration in the Atlanta market. She brings over 20 years of sales, recruitment and operational leadership and has had a proven track record of delivering strong financial results while developing and implementing strategies and programs that enhance, evolve and strengthen a high performance culture.

Pegge Riley & Angela Wacht / Sage Center

Licensed Counselors & Directors

 Kelly Riedinger / Real Living Capital City


Rusty Willis / Real Living Capital City



Special Edition: Business Marketing Association (BMA) Atlanta


Business Marketing Association (BMA) Atlanta  Linkedin  Facebook

Mark Semmelmayer  is the 2014 President of BMA’s Atlanta Chapter and the Chief Idea Officer of Pen & Inc. Marketing Communications, a marketing consultancy he founded in 2013. Mark has over 40 years of broadcast, ad agency and corporate communications experience and retired from corporate life last year after 32 years with Kimberly-Clark.

Natalie McNulty is VP of BMA Atlanta — Young Professionals.