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Veterans Connect Radio Episode 011

Veterans Connect Radio

A spotlight episode of Atlanta Business Radio and powered by Business RadioX. Co-Hosted by Ryan “Redhawk” McPherson and Brandon Skolnick with Gathering Of Angels. Featuring veteran entrepreneurs, support organizations, outreach groups and more in the Atlanta area continuing to serve our families, our communities and our country. 



Kyle Norton, Brandon Skolnick and John Belman



Kyle Norton / Materiall

Kyle Norton is Co-Founder and CEO of Materiall in Atlanta, GA. Materiall is a new visual discovery and recommendation engine, making it easier to find products where looks are a first consideration.  

Prior to founding Materiall, Kyle was a Junior Partner at McKinsey and Company (a global management consulting Firm). As a core leader in McKinsey’s North American operations practice, Kyle lead transformation efforts for multiple Fortune 500 clients, generating in excess of $1B in financial impact for those organizations. Kyle also previously served as a Captain in the United States Army, serving 24 total months in Baghdad, Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Kyle holds a MBA in Management and Finance from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and a BS in Management and Systems Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY.

LinkedIn      Twitter



John Belman / Vistage International
Group Chair

John has broad leadership experience across a range of industries, companies (public, private, family-owned), and functional roles. Most recently he served as a CEO of a mid-market logistics company following 7 years at Target Corporation as a leader in transportation and finance. Prior to Target, John held senior business development and marketing roles in the media and technology industries.

John received his BA from Washington University in St. Louis, was a graduate fellow in history at Columbia University, and holds an MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

A veteran of the 75th Ranger Regiment, John participated in the 1993 “Black Hawk Down” mission in Mogadishu, Somalia.

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Renee Walsh with Wiithyu and Thomas Harpointner with AIS Media



Renee Walsh / Wiithyu
Founder and CEO

Renee is a native of Washington, DC, and earned her degree in Public Communications and Marketing at American University. In the past 10 years since college, Reene has held several management and lead positions in marketing for companies such as AirWatch where she was responsible for both digital and traditional marketing, branding, and revenue management initiatives.

With an idea in hand for an online service, Renee made the leap from the corporate world to full-time entrepreneur.

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Thomas Harpointner / AIS Media

Thomas Harpointner is founder & CEO of AIS Media, Inc., an Atlanta-based, award-winning digital marketing firm. Thomas is a recognized subject matter expert on digital marketing strategy development and execution.

Thomas has served as a keynote speaker at trade organizations, conferences, and corporate events. He has appeared on Fox Business, Bloomberg Television, CNN Radio, CNBC, The Advertising Show, The Today Show and many other TV and radio programs. He’s been featured in publications such as Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Forbes, CFO, AJC, Fortune, and Wired.

At AIS Media, Thomas consults executives at leading companies on digital strategy. He’s led hundreds of digital marketing initiatives for clients ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 corporations such as AT&T, Synovus Financial, Emory Healthcare, Wake Forest Innovations, Pfizer, and Maui Jim Sunglasses. Under his leadership, AIS Media has been recognized with dozens of prestigious industry awards.

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Atlanta’s Most Trusted Advisors Features Colin E. Blalock

Atlanta’s Most Trusted Advisors interviews industry experts from in and around the Metro Atlanta Area. Our goal is to provide valuable information that all business owners and managers can use in their day-to-day work to help them succeed.


Colin E. Blalock / JONES AND KOLB, CPA

A shareholder with Jones and Kolb since 1986, Colin's practice concentration is in tax controversy, nonprofit organizations, entrepreneurial businesses and individuals. His prior experience includes working with the Examination Division of the IRS in Atlanta. Colin is a member of the AICPA, the Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants, the Georgia Society of Association Executives, the Financial Planning Association and the

Atlanta Alumni of Revenue Agents. Colin is a Past President of the Georgia Society of CPAs and the Past Chair of the Gulf Coast Tax Exempt/Governmental Entities IRS Advisory Council. He currently serves as a Trustee (Past President) of the Georgia Federal Tax Conference. Colin is a prolific speaker on tax topics and facilitates several roundtable discussion groups. He is very active in his community serving on the Board of Directors of the Fowler YMCA and Chair of the Finance Committee at his church.





Bonnie Buol Ruszczyk (Co-Host)/ bbr Marketing

Bonnie Buol Ruszczyk has been a member of the creative and marketing services community for over 20 years and does not appear to be leaving it anytime soon. As president of bbr marketing, she has relished the challenges of entrepreneurship as she worked to grow and nurture a new business. Since the firm’s inception in 2009, Bonnie has led the young company to become widely recognized and respected within the professional services marketing niche, with award-winning client websites and an outstanding history of business success having worked with clients in 23 states and 2 Canadian provinces.


KSU Entrepreneurship Center Presents The Shrimp Tank

 Where can a young entrepreneur figure out how to turn their dreams into reality? Just take a step into the Shrimp Tank. The Shrimp Tank brings you interviews with some of the most successful business owners in the United States to learn the do’s and don’ts of starting and running a successful business. Then, the fun really starts when we bring in high school and college students to pitch their business ideas to the Shrimp Tank. We don’t fund any business, but we do teach kids how to turn their business ideas into a successful business.




Greg Abel / Tailfin

Greg’s career began in advertising at McCann-Erickson and Fitzgerald+Co in Atlanta. He then jumped on the digital wave early, by joining digital marketing mega-consultancy US Web/CKS (later marchFIRST) where he helped to develop digital strategy and online user experiences for a range of consumer brands. In 2002, Greg co-founded Tailfin, which has grown into a diverse marketing and creative services agency. Greg leads the Strategy Practice and the Client Service group.



Chris and Jessica Simms with High Five Filter Company





Jessica Simms / High Five Filter Company 

1998 DePaul University Grad- Journalism degree
Background in pharma/medical device sales as well as sales training for managed care health plan (BCBS of AL) started High Five Filter Co with Chris Jan 1.  We sell air filters to commercial business (HVAC companies, property managers, Paint Booth operations).  5% of our profits go towards veteran out reach programs.



Chris Simms /
High Five Filter Company

US Army Green Beret and Ranger that is a combat tested and proven leader. Experienced in multicultural and high-risk environments, risk mitigation, IED/C-IED operations and forensic exploitation, crisis management and training/business development.  Strong acumen track in logistics and operations. A trainer of trainers, a builder of networks, focused on the art of managing people and processes. Entrepreneur and Philanthropist.
US Army Sergeant First Class/E-7
Acitve Duty 1999-2002
National Guard 2002-Present
Iraq Jan 2015 – August 2015:
•Senior Engineer on Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA) 2124.  Advised Coalition and Peshmerga leadership up to the General office level on best practices to mitigate ISIS/ISIL tactics, techniques and procedures.
•Conducted over 30 named, combat operations. 
•Provided strategic planning and execution for all sensitive site and forensic exploitation to US and Peshmerga senior leadership.  
•Joint Training Support for 100+ Peshmerga Officers in IED/C-IED operations. 
•Implemented successful policies and procedures to improve logistical operations, safety and consistency on the battlefield.  
Afghanistan October 2012 – March 2013:
•Advised the ANASFQC Commander on how to develop and deploy training tactics for Afghan Special Operation Soldiers.
•Conducted combat operations against Taliban and Al-Quada forces.
•Planned, organized, and executed security details for US and Afghan military leaders.
•Led a cross-functional team of US and Afghan Personnel that used the SEEK II and other exploitation avenues to maintain camp security and validate future Afghan Special Forces and Commando candidates. 
Colombia, South America May 2007 –  September 2008:
•Team member of Operation Willing Spirit/Jaque to free American hostages from FARC control.  
•Provided personal security for Colombian Vice President Francisco Santos Calderón and his family.
•Worked at the US Embassy for 2 months as a liaison between military, government and civilian officials. 
•Worked with and Trained Colombian National Police and Lancero (Colombian Rangers) soldiers in security, mobility, Counter mobility and demolition operations.
Iraq Invasion March – June 2003:
•Southwest Asia Operation Iraqi Freedom. 
•Personal security detail to Defense Intelligence Agency officials.
•Conducted sensitive site exploitation (SSE) in search of chemical munitions and weapons of mass destruction.
Other Military Schools and Awards:
•Exploitation Analysis Organic managers course
•Combat Infantry Badge (CIB)
•Special Forces Qualification Course (18C)
•Special Forces Advanced Urban Combat Instructor
•Survival Escape Resistance Evade (S.E.R.E. ) Level C Instructor
•Gryphon Group Mobile Force Protection
•Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) 
Co-Owner/Operator CrossFit East Cobb, LLC May 2009-Present:  
Affiliate opportunity to support personal beliefs in physical fitness and take advantage of a niche market trend early in its lifecycle.
•Standardized and managed staff, program, and membership development.
•Coach members, troubleshoot and put a plan together to motivate member success. 
•Build local network of supporting businesses, including Reebok.
•Financials, marketing, and construction.  
•Consistent 25% annual business growth.
United States Training Center, (Formally Blackwater Worldwide June 2009-March 2010): 
Responsible for selection, assessment, integration and training of Afghanistan National Policeman (ANP). 
•Leadership development and advanced field training with Small Units.  Training focused on Small Unit Tactics, Marksmanship, Medical, Search and Seizure, and Vehicle Check Points.  
•Advised and assisted the Afghanistan Border Police Commanders on mission essential tasks including operational tactics, techniques, and procedures regarding the safest and most efficient way to successfully employ men in the battlefield.   
•Conducted site surveys of, and personal security to proposed sights in order to expand the operational capability of the Afghan National Police in depth.
Lead Instructor, Tate Incorporated December 2006-September 2008: 
•Worked in a blended team of both military and civilian team members teaching, implementing and instructing survival and evasion tactics.
•Designed and implemented the Survival Escape Resistance and Evasion (S.E.R.E.) level C course at Fort Rucker, Alabama. 
•Taught Evasion tactics, firearms marksmanship, crisis action planning and basic/advanced survival skills to US Army Green Berets, Rangers and Aviators.
Founder/Director, Fitness Fueling Awareness (FFA) June 2013 – Present 
•FFA is a fundraising organization to encourage athlete participation in local community causes. 
•To date FFA has donated more than $50,000 to Cystic Fibrosis (Emory Research Center), Lift Up for Autism, and the Special.


The Episode is Sponsored in Part By:

Business Writers Conference 2016

July 27-29 • Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa

Young Harris, GA




WIT Atlanta Features David Bingenheimer with Mohawk Industries





David Bingenheimer / Mohawk Industries

Highly motivated self-directed leader , results driven in business operations and information technology, with extensive industry background spanning operations, manufacturing, sales, field service, and financial services. Enterprise system (SAP, Oracle, Siebel, Hybris, SiteCore, Sterling WMS, SAP CEC, SAP Cloud 4 Sales, SAP Cloud for Service) implementation and support experience in a global environment, hands on experience with application development, application support, enterprise application integration, and infrastructure analysis on multiple software platforms and technologies. Focused on delivering business value, developing high performing teams, and continuous improvement.

Extensive experience in aligning strategic business objectives with technology enablement and transformational change. Ability to create strategic plans and execute at all levels. In depth understanding of Six Sigma, CMMi, and various business operating systems to deliver customer quality and operational initiatives. Can successfully work within a global matrix organizational structure.



Sandy Welfare /

Sandy Welfare is the Executive Director of Women In Technology (WIT). Prior to that, she was the Executive Director of Cool Girls Inc, an award-winning early intervention after-school program dedicated to the empowerment of girls (2009-2015).

Sandy’s career began in 1989 in Greenwich, Connecticut where she joined Rand Insurance as the Controller. Six years later, she accepted a position with Lucent Technologies, an international telecommunications leader, holding a number of positions including serving as Accounting and Treasury Manager in Singapore (1999-2000) and then as Senior Manager in Australia and New Zealand (2000-2002). Sandy returned to Atlanta in 2002 as Senior Manager of Global Financial Services.

In 2003, Sandy accepted a position as Director of Operations for Xchanging, a business processing outsourcing company. In 2006, her career took her to London, England as Managing Director for professional services, where she managed global business processing services for bank financial transactions, insurance and retail.

Sandy received her undergraduate degree from St. John’s University in New York, and a Master of Business Administration from Sacred Heart University in Connecticut. She serves on the board of several non-profits, including Kiwanis Club of Atlanta. Sandy resides in Marietta, Georgia with her husband, Cliff and son, Soloman.

Twitter     Twitter(Sandy)      LinkedIn




Dr. Andrea Bowens-Jones with IDG Vision Consulting and Training and Maria Resuta and Jackie Waice with Urban Tree Cider

Your Most Trusted and Respected Source For #ProBusiness Talk in Atlanta. With Hosts Stone Payton and Lee Kantor
Tune in LIVE Monday and Wednesday 10am and always on at



Dr. Andrea Bowens-Jones / IDG Vision Consulting & Training 

Dr. Bowens-Jones is a high-performance leader and skilled developer of top talent. She spent over 15 years at Procter & Gamble in R&D leadership roles and has held various leadership positions in volunteer organizations. She has served on national and local boards, including the Polymer Division of the American Chemical Society as a Graduate Student Liaison.

Dr. Bowens-Jones has her PhD in Polymer Chemistry and cares deeply about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education and inspiring the next generation of technical leaders. In 2004 she developed the Resident Scholar Program (RSP) while at Procter & Gamble Company. RSP is a unique job-shadowing program for minority youth interested in careers in STEM. It is now a premier program for talent pipeline development at Procter & Gamble for which she received a number of awards. The program expanded to Duracell Company in 2012. She continues to expand the effort through the RSP Corporate Affiliate Program.

As President and Chief Executive Officer of IDG Vision, LLC and Certified John Maxwell Coach, Speaker, and Trainer, Dr. Bowens-Jones passionately uses her gifts, talents, and experiences together with John’s proven leadership methods to inspire, develop, and grow people to become the highest expression of themselves. You can follow Dr. Bowens-Jones’ teachings on her video blog, “Coffee Break w/ Dr. Andrea” or the local newspaper, eMetroTimes, servicing East Metro Atlanta.

Dr. Bowens-Jones and her husband, Chester, have 3 daughters. They reside in Conyers, GA.




Maria Resuta and Jackie Waice / Urban Tree Cider
Owner and Manager

Urban Tree Cidery is a true labor of love crafted by the Resuta Family. Tim and Maria were both certified as Master Cider Makers at the Cider and Perry Academy in Gloucestershire, England before founding Urban Tree out of Tim’s spirited passion for all things cider.

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Stone Payton and Dr. Andrea Bowen-Jones

Stone Payton and Dr. Andrea Bowens-Jones




Lee Kantor, Maria Resuta and Jackie Waice

Lee Kantor, Maria Resuta and Jackie Waice






KSU Entrepreneurship Center Presents The Shrimp Tank


 Where can a young entrepreneur figure out how to turn their dreams into reality? Just take a step into the Shrimp Tank. The Shrimp Tank brings you interviews with some of the most successful business owners in the United States to learn the do’s and don’ts of starting and running a successful business. Then, the fun really starts when we bring in high school and college students to pitch their business ideas to the Shrimp Tank. We don’t fund any business, but we do teach kids how to turn their business ideas into a successful business.




Shaquille Wiggins 

Shaquille is a network marketing professional and pioneer of movements that set thousands of people all over the nation on a path of financial freedom. Born in Raleigh, North Carolina, Shaquille is the fifth of seven children. The benefit of having older siblings was the ability to watch them make mistakes and learn from them. Knowing that going to school and working a job didn’t necessary equal success through observation Shaquille knew something more was needed. Still considering Shaquille got a job at Chipotle and was attending Georgia Gwinnett College full time. Looking for opportunity Shaquille found network marketing. The idea of being a business owner and not working for money excited him until the focus switched from personal financial freedom to the task of liberating those around him.


#2 distributor in the south east region for Wake Up Now, Inc

Founding member and owner of Novae

Executive producer of movies (Couples Therapy, TBA)





Veterans Connect Radio Episode 010

Veterans Connect Radio

A spotlight episode of Atlanta Business Radio and powered by Business RadioX. Co-Hosted by Ryan “Redhawk” McPherson and Brandon Skolnick with Gathering Of Angels. Featuring veteran entrepreneurs, support organizations, outreach groups and more in the Atlanta area continuing to serve our families, our communities and our country. 






Scott Bock / Instant Imprints 

Scott Bock is the Area Franchisee for Instant Imprints of Georgia and North Florida. In this role, he identifies qualified individuals who wish to become independent business owners in the Instant Imprints system.  He then provides ongoing business coaching and consulting to help them reach and exceed their business goals. Scott also owns and operates his own center, Instant Imprints of Smyrna, GA

After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Iowa State University, Scott served as a United States Navy Submarine Officer from 1988-1995. He subsequently earned an Master of Business Administration from Duke University.



Alan Urech / Stoney River Capital LLC
Managing Partner




Andy Wickman is one of the founding members of Warrior Outdoors. He has owned and operated several business’, including a transmission shop, a full motorcycle shop and a dating service. Andy has always had a service heart. He has worked with Habitat for Humanity, the Lions Club and is very accomplished in the Masonic fraternity.


Andrew Hurst– 12 year army veteran, served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, father, husband, and avid outdoorsman when at all possible. He got into helping other veterans with the VFW and found that Warrior Outdoors would allow him the ability to help even more by taking the State Director position.





Adrian Davis with MYidealDOCTOR Telehealth and Amal Bhatnagar with First Aid For All




Adrian Davis / MYidealDOCTOR Telehealth

MYidealDOCTOR™ is a venture-backed mHealth company reinventing the way healthcare is delivered. By blending technology and the best physicians in the healthcare world, we believe that we offer a better way to consult and diagnose the issues that many of us face daily. Telehealth will become one of the first access points to healthcare in the future and we are ready to be there when our patients need us.

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Amal Bhatnagar / First Aid For All

Founder and President

Amal Bhatnagar, a senior at Northview High School, leads a journey to fight against medical poverty worldwide by leading his nonprofit organization called First Aid For All.