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Curated Collection Of The Best Interviews From Our Sandy Springs Studio

Digital Marketing Series Episode 8

Jennifer OPry


Jennifer O’Pry / Streamline Consulting and Communications

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.



Yossi Ben-Haim
Resturant & Coffee Shop Consultant and Expert



Rory White / Knox Bridge Dental Care
Office Manager



Marci Dever / MarciSwim

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.



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

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 /
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

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.



Chris Copenhaver / Cushman & Wakefield

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.



Biz Radio U Featuring Rick Smith with Hometown Pizza and Grill

Hometown Pizza and Grill

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
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

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


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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Culinary Atlanta Series Featuring Jay Bandy with Goliath Consulting Group and Eric Leland with DTT

Eric Leland and Jay Bandy


Jay Bandy / Goliath Consulting Group

As President of Goliath Consulting Group, Jay Bandy has built a broad foundation of expertise in the restaurant industry.

Jay’s record of achievement ranges from McDonald’s USA to RTM to BLIMPIE and now to full service restaurants. He has opened more than 300 restaurants; developed supply chain systems, strategic plans and restaurant operating systems; and trained area developers, franchisees and staff in all facets of the restaurant business. At each of his prior stops, Jay has been recognized for his contributions with several internal awards.

Through Goliath, Jay is now offering a full array of consulting and management services to the industry.

Jay’s broad-based background gives him the know-how to bridge the critical areas of strategic planning, operations, marketing, supply chain, and restaurant development. Restaurants are a complicated puzzle with many moving parts. Jay knows how to put the puzzle together and make it work.

At Goliath, Jay works with restaurant management to assess current conditions – both financial and brand-related. After developing an action plan, Jay directs all members of the Goliath team to deliver results that exceed client expectations. As an expert in understanding how the components of restaurant operating systems tie together, he will make sure that the team maximizes sales opportunities and profit and unit growth based on each client’s vision.

Over the years he’s developed expertise in communications, marketing and developing and rolling out new products. Jay has overseen operations at hundreds of restaurants, written training manuals and coordinated operations. Jay has done a lot of everything in each of his industry positions. He’s also a results-oriented people person, which gives him the skill to bring teams together to achieve their goals.

Before taking the step into consulting, Jay was the McDonald’s Atlanta region deployment manager and a member of the region leadership team. He was responsible for implementing new products and procedures in 755 restaurants throughout the Southeast. He was project manager for McDonald’s specialty coffee and drive-thru initiative — a $70 million project involving 650 restaurants.

Through Goliath, Jay continues to work with regional chains and franchisees but also has successfully consulted with multiple full-service restaurants in the Atlanta area.

Jay has a B.S. in Political Science from the University of Louisville and earned CFM certification from the International Food Service Executives Association. He’s also a graduate of McDonald’s Hamburger University.

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Eric Leland / DTT
Regional Sales – DTT Surveillance

Eric Leland is the Regional Account Executive for DTT Surveillance. He has over 10 years of restaurant experience in sales, marketing and promotion. He lives in Cumming GA with his wife, his two boys and his dog.

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Sean Reardon with Zenith and Moxie and Brad Shaw with Crazy Good Turns

Brad Shaw and Sean Reardon


Sean Reardon / Zenith & Moxie

A nine-year Zenith veteran, Sean has moved across multiple facets of the business in his nearly two decades of experience. From account planning, media and strategy to data, insights and technology, Sean is able to connect the dots across disciplines in a way that brings flexibility to our agency and our clients. While he considers himself a “big thinker,” Sean is a firm believer that big ideas are only as good as the ability to execute upon them. He takes tremendous pride in not only generating ideas, but in translating ideas into actionable outcomes that impact the bottom line.

In his freshman year as CEO for Moxie, he has attained a level of unprecedented growth in its 16-year history, adding American Cancer Society, Delta, TaxSlayer, Atlanta Braves and TGI Fridays to the client roster. With even less time since taking the helm at Zenith, he has rendered immediate effect with the retention of 21st Century Fox as a client and injected a tangible spirit into the halls of the company that drives innovation, collaboration and outside-the-box thinking.

Prior to taking over the helms at Zenith, ROAR and Moxie, Sean spent time at Publicis & Hal Riney, Goodby Silverstein & Partners and AKQA.

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Brad Shaw / Crazy Good Turns
Co-Creator and Host

Brad Shaw is host and co-creator of Crazy Good Turns, a nonprofit podcast that tells stories about people who do amazing things for others. Shaw retired from The Home Depot in April, 2015, after more than 10 years as the company’s vice president and chief communications officer, reporting directly to three CEOs during his tenure there. Prior to joining Home Depot in 2004, Shaw served as chief communications officer at Gateway, Inc.

Shaw is actively involved in philanthropic efforts and has served on various non-profit boards including The Points of Light Foundation, Ken’s Krew, Kaboom and the Metro Atlanta Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Brad and the former CEO of The Home Depot, Frank Blake, created Crazy Good Turns together when they realized that through the power of storytelling, they could help ignite change and inspire people to give back.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va. in 1988.

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