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Curated Collection Of The Best Interviews From Our Sandy Springs Studio

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.

Hosts of The Shrimp Tank Chris Hanks and Ted Jenkin.




Zach Zelner / Penny Delivers

In 2012, Zach dropped out of his freshman year at Florida State University and launched a cookie delivery startup out of his apartment with $124 in capital. In the years following, Zach independently bootstrapped company growth to 3 retail locations across Florida and over 100 employees making 30,000+ deliveries/month. 
His background in delivery was the inspiration to launch Penny, a 1¢ restaurant delivery startup and full-service delivery outsourcing system. Since June 2015, Penny has exploded into a team of 185 drivers and $8MM in revenue. When Penny expanded to Atlanta in 2016, Zach and his team relocated from Florida and set up HQ in Midtown where they currently operate.


Digital Marketing Series Episode 01

Dr. Jeff Semel / Atlanta Medical Institute

Optimum health is no longer as simple as being born with a good set of genes. It’s a proactive choice each person has to make. Living in a toxic environment requires an aggressive program, and a visionary captain at the helm. Dr. Jeff Semel, one of Atlanta’s leading physicians and pioneer of wellness, is realizing his holistic vision for health by offering advanced anti-aging medicine at Atlanta Medical Institute. Dr. Semel is a graduate of Life College and a post-graduate of The National College of Chiropractic specializing in Physiological Therapeutics, along with a license to practice in both Georgia and New York. He is specialized in holistic medicine as well as an expert in anti-aging medicine.  Throughout his career, Dr. Semel has worked extensively within the community to raise awareness of prevention and natural alternatives to wellness designed to retard the aging process. Dr. Semel is a board-certified member of the American Chiropractic Association for the past 16 years as well as a preferred physician for Fulton County. He is a well-known national speaker in the field of anti-aging medicine. Dr. Semel is one of the first doctors in Georgia to complete a fellowship and diplomate in anti-aging. He is also currently pursuing a master’s in functional medicine/anti-aging. He is considered one of the leading authorities on bioidentical hormone balancing, anti-aging medicine, and wellness in Georgia.




Thomas Harpointner (Co Host) / 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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Classic Cars Special Episode

Gateway Classic Cars pic3

World’s Largest Classic Car Company Expands into Atlanta Market with Addition of Its 14th Showroom


Gateway Classic Cars is a global marketing company experiencing massive growth

with expected revenues of $60 million in the year of 2016. This growth will strengthen its

position as the world largest classic car sales network.

Along with rapid growth in sales and venues, Gateway Classic Cars offers a variety of

special features to its returning guests. These features include access to its 100+

classic car showroom at zero cost, community focused events throughout the car show

season, as well as interactive tools in order to engage with local automotive enthusiast

and businesses.

Gateway Classic Cars, a 17-year- old company, has specialized in selling classic and

exotic vehicles for private sellers, collectors, and estates, since 1999.

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Spotlight Episode on Virtual Accounting

Charles McGimsey / Windham Brannon

Mr. McGimsey leads the litigation services team for Windham Brannon, P.C., a certified public accounting and consulting firm. His extensive accounting experience includes damage measurement, litigation support services, income taxation, fraud and forensic investigations, business planning, business valuations, and engagements under Sarbanes Oxley. From 1996 through 2010, Mr. McGimsey served as Windham Brannon’s Managing Partner. Prior to joining our firm, he was a tax partner at Jones and McGimsey, CPAs in Atlanta.

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Rebecca Smith / Windham Brannon

Rebecca Smith has over 28 years of accounting experience. She brings significant managerial knowledge to her engagements; she runs them efficiently and effectively, so that they stay within budget and on time.

Prior to joining Windham Brannon in 2006, Rebecca served as the finance manager for the Cathedral of Christ the King for 7 years. In that role she was responsible for preparing internal financial statements for monthly finance council meetings and overseeing the yearly budget process. She also gained valuable experience in the areas of internal accounting, employee benefit plans, financial statement audits, reviews and compliations through her former positions with Friedman, Alpren & Green LLC, KPMG Peat Marwick, and BDO Seidman. She has worked with both public and private clients in banking, real estate, manufacturing, and nonprofit entities.

Rebecca earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. She is also an active member of the Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Rebecca holds a CPA license in Georgia, New York, and Texas.

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Trade Show 360 series featuring Foundry 45


Todd Ervin / Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business
Director of Marketing and Communications

Todd Ervin serves as Director of Marketing and Communications for the Georgia Tech, Scheller College of Business.  Prior to that he served as Sr. Vice President Cultur8.  He brings over 20 years of leadership and marketing experience to the higher education world.  His extensive knowledge in strategy, market research, brand and multicultural marketing are all called upon in the development and implementation of a 360 degree marketing and communications program for Scheller College.

Prior to joining Cultur8, Ervin served as Director of Marketing at Turner Broadcasting System, INC., where he oversaw marketing for all of Turner’s NBA properties (NBA on TNT, NBA TV, NBA League Pass, and

He also spent over five years as Sr. Director of Brand Strategy and Market Insights for International Speedway Corporation, a motorsports and entertainment company based in Daytona Beach, FL.  Honored by African Americans OnWheels as among the 70 Most Influential Men in 2007, Ervin oversaw ISC brand marketing, marketing research, and emerging markets.

His civilian career started at Sprint Nextel Corporation where he served as Sr. Manager of Market Research and Sponsorship Diversity Initiatives.  His main responsibilities included building and implementing the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series research plan and ROI model, and developing a diversity program to support all Sprint Nextel sponsorship properties.

From 1995 through 2000, Ervin was an AH-64A (Apache) Attack Helicopter Pilot in the U.S. Army.  During his tenure, he served as a Platoon leader, Company Executive Officer, and Assistant Regiment Operations Officer.  Ervin concluded his military service in February 2000 as a Captain, having completed tours in Ft. Rucker, AL, Fort Bragg, NC, and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

During his spare time, Ervin also serves as a member of the National Advisory Committee for the American Stroke Association.  Ervin holds a Masters of Business Administration from Webster University and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from East Carolina University.






Dave Beck / Foundry 45

Dave Beck is co-founder and Managing Partner at Foundry 45, a Virtual Reality company that helps brands connect with their customers through immersive sales and marketing experiences.

Before starting Foundry 45, Dave served as the Chief Operating Officer at EquipCodes, a mobile SaaS and Augmented Reality company that developed experiences for organizations ranging from Fortune 500 businesses to the new Center for Civil and Human Rights Museum in downtown Atlanta.

Dave serves on the board of the MAK Historic District, and is very active in the Georgia Tech community as a mentor for MBA students and a teacher for Entrepreneurship classes.

Dave earned his bachelors degree in Marketing from Wake Forest University and his MBA from Georgia Tech.



Mike Orndorff / Foundry 45
Managing Partner

Entrepreneur with experience bringing complex software and hardware products to market.
Foundry 45 helps brands connect with their customers through the use of Virtual Reality (VR), immersive storytelling technologies.  We specialize in developing for Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear VR and focus on creating experiences that can be used for corporate trade shows, event marketing, and recruiting.



SaaS Spotlight Episode Featuring User IQ and QASymphony


Aaron Aycock / User IQ
CEO & Founder

Nominated for the 2013 Georgia CIO of the Year, Aaron Aycock has an unmatched passion for building the worlds best SaaS products. With more than 15 years of experience leading technical teams that have built and launched highly sophisticated software applications, Aaron is a true leader in his field. Aaron received his MBA from Duke University.

Currently, Aaron is CEO and Founder of UserIQ, a Customer Growth Platform that works with B2B SaaS companies to help them retain and expand revenue while mitigating churn and increasing referrals. In March 2016, UserIQ was designated as a Top 10 Most Innovative Technology Startup by the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG).

Prior to founding UserIQ, Aycock was the CIO of TRX, a public company that was sold to Concur. At TRX, Aaron experienced first-hand the difficulty many SaaS companies have in effectively engaging with their users. That was when he first realized that there was a major opportunity to help SaaS companies interact more effectively with their customers. He knew that there needed to be a solution to pick up where other marketing automation tools left off during the customer journey. Thats why UserIQ was developed: to help SaaS companies grow profitable revenue by engaging with the right user at the right time with the right message – and all without any custom coding.

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Kyle Cochran / QA Symphony
VP of Operations

Kyle Cochran is the Vice President of Product Management and Success at QASymphony. Kyle has over 17 years of software product management and strategy experience in mobile, cloud, software-as-a-service (SaaS) and traditional client-server software development environments. Over the last 6 years, Kyle has been using the latest in agile and software delivery to optimize software delivery.

Previous to QASymphony, Kyle joined Firethorn in 2005 as the 3rd full-time employee. He worked with top wireless partners to launch the first domestic Mobile Banking applications for key Financial Institutions. After the company was acquired by Qualcomm in 2007, Kyle continued to lead product strategy for Firethorn in the Mobile Payment and Commerce domain.

Prior to joining Firethorn, Cochran managed the technical vision and roadmap for Employease, now a Division of ADP. He began his career with Andersen Consulting specializing in Human Resources, Benefits and Payroll systems consulting for clients including major financial institutions and state governments.

Mr. Cochran holds a Bachelor Degree in Industrial Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.




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.

Hosts of The Shrimp Tank Chris Hanks and Ted Jenkin.


Ted Jenkin, Dr. Jeff Drobney, Mayor Derek Easterling and Chris Hanks



Derek Easterling HeadshotDerek Eaterling / Mayor of Kennesaw

The Mayor is the city’s Chief Executive Officer and is responsible for the efficient and orderly administration of city affairs. He presides over all meetings of the City Council but votes only in the case of a tie and has veto power. The Mayor also executes contracts, deeds, and other official documents as authorized by the City Council.

Derek Easterling is originally from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1980 and served as a submariner, where he rapidly advanced his career. In 1990, he was selected for the Naval Officer Indoctrination Course. He attained the rank of Lieutenant and completed his service through an early retirement option in 1996. His decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, and the Navy Achievement Medal.

In 2003, Derek completed law enforcement officer training and joined the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office as a Deputy Sheriff where he served until 2010. He relocated to Tampa in 2010 to care for an aging parent where he accepted a position as a Hillsborough County School District Field Inspector. In 2012, he returned to Georgia and was employed as the Security Supervisor for Kennestone WellStar Hospital until April of 2015.

Derek is in his first term as Mayor of Kennesaw; he began his service in January 2016 with a term ending in December 2019.

Civic and community involvement is very important to Derek. He is active in school system support activities and is currently Co-President of the Awtrey Middle School PTSA and First Vice President of the Tom Mathis Council. He has coached baseball for the Kennesaw Baseball Association and spends time helping families with special needs children.

Derek and his wife Dawn have been married for 10 years. They are active members of Kennesaw United Methodist Church and reside in Kennesaw’s Legacy Parks subdivision.




Dr. Jeff Drobney / City of Kennesaw
City Manager

The City Manager serves as chief operating officer of the city and is appointed by the Mayor & Council on the basis of qualifications and experience. Responsible for directing the day to day operations of city government, the City Manager serves as the chief policy advisor to the Mayor & Council.




Atlanta’s Most Trusted Advisors Features Keely Herrick and Stephanie Everett

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.



Keely Herrick and Stephanie Everett




Keely Herrick / KHerrick LLC


Keely Herrick focuses her practice on intellectual property law, including domestic and global trademark prosecution, clearance, opposition and cancellation actions, enforcement, and licensing as well as domain name disputes and copyright matters. Prior to founding KHerrick LLC, she worked at a large firm in New York and a boutique firm in Atlanta. She has continued her passion for pro bono work in Atlanta as an active participant at Georgia Lawyers for the Arts. She regularly provides seminars at museums, schools, and other venues on intellectual property matters. She is also a freelance entertainment writer, contributing regularly to Creative Loafing Atlanta and other websites, and she is a board member of the Actor’s Express theater company.




Stephanie Everett / Stephanie Everett consulting 


I don’t know when my love affair with budgets first began. It was a love that grew quickly and deeply. Soon, it wasn’t enough to just do my own budget. I was proclaiming the joys of budgeting to my family, friends, work colleagues…anyone who would listen.

I didn’t stop there. Soon, I was immersed in studying leadership, time management, and business development skills. At the beach, my friends read the latest gossip magazine, while I learned how to motivate employees or organize my work day.

In March of 2008, I put all those skills to the test when my law partner and I launched our law firm. I remember the initial fear and felt overwhelmed at times, but also excited for the opportunities and possibilities. Like most attorneys, we learned how to run the business the hard way–through trial and error. We eventually figured out what worked and grew the firm from 2 lawyers and an assistant to 20 people in less than 8 years.

Today, I’ve turned my passion for and experience in creating, running and growing a law business into a business benefiting lawyers who may feel stuck in their own practice. I know exactly what it feels like–the frustrations, anxieties, hopes, and possibilities–because I’ve been there. I help attorneys avoid the “hard way.” Instead, let’s chart a bold course for a life and career that turns the attorney’s vision into practice.

To do this, I created B-School For Lawyers. This 10-month program is designed to give attorneys the tools to create and implement a successful law business. Meeting in small groups one Friday a month, attorneys accepted to the program will learn how to create a law business that excels, grows and moves consistently toward your ultimate goals. In between class sessions, participants begin implementing these systems into their practice, assisted by one-on-one coaching sessions to address specific concerns.



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.





Veterans Connect Radio Episode 013

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. 


VCR Guys

Ryan Redhawk and Brandon Skolnick




IMG_1632Mike Brennen /  Disgruntled Vets

Mission Statement

We are a group of American loving patriots and Veterans who are Disgruntled with the status quo. We aim to create a high standard for our products through  motivation determination and a little bit of  whiskey.

 Who are we

After coming home from Afghanistan, a group of three friends decided to create a Facebook page to help vent our frustrations and problems with living a civilian life again. After a year of being home, we went from three friends venting, to a disgruntled community.

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Terri Denison with U.S. Small Business Administration, Kris Vaughn with GeorgiaForward and Josh Stephens with Georgia Department of Economic Development


Terri Denison / U.S. Small Business Administration
District Director

Terri Denison is the Georgia District Director of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). In this role since May 2002, she is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the SBA’s financial, counseling/training and business development programs for small businesses throughout Georgia. Terri began her SBA career in 1987 as a Presidential Management Fellow at the Agency’s Washington, D. C. District and Headquarter Offices. Other positions included working with the Agency’s Minority Enterprise Development and One Stop Capital Shop programs and Office of Field Operations. In 1994, she served as the SBA representative on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Empowerment Zone/Enterprise Community Interagency Task Force. In the fall of 2000, she was one of seven individuals nationwide selected for the SBA’s District Director’s Candidate Development Program. Assignments included serving as the Acting Deputy District Director in the Los Angeles District Office and the Acting District Director in Wisconsin. As Georgia District Director, Terri has been recognized by the Atlanta Business League, Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Georgia Microenterprise Network, Greater Atlanta Economic Alliance, Atlanta Business Chronicle and Who’s Who in Black Atlanta. Terri holds a B.A. Degree in American Government from Cornell University and an M.A. Degree in Urban Studies from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. She is also a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute in Charlottesville, Virginia. A native of Corpus Christi, Texas, Terri currently serves as the Vice President of the Cornell Alumni Association of Atlanta and a member of the Cornell University Council. Other personal interests include ballroom dancing and travel.

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Kris Vaughn / GeorgiaForward
Executive Director

Kris Hattaway Vaughn serves as the Executive Director of GeorgiaForward, a statewide nonprofit working to unite Georgia through strengthened young leadership focused on community and economic development. Kris is no stranger to GeorgiaForward and its leading program, Young Gamechangers. She was in the inaugural class of Young Gamechangers and served as Program Director for its second class. Prior to joining GeorgiaForward, she served Senior Executive Assistant of Strategic Planning at the Macon Water Authority, an award winning water and sewer utility in Macon, Georgia. For five and half years before that she was the Director of Place for NewTown Macon as a leading member of the development team transforming downtown Macon. Kris is an active volunteer with the Junior League of Macon and the Macon Rotary Club. Kris is a 2008 graduate of the University of Georgia’s Grady School of Journalism. She is a 2010 graduate of Leadership Macon as well as the Georgia Academy of Regional Economic and Leadership Development.

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Josh Stephens / Georgia Department of Economic Development 
Project Manager

Enterprising and service-minded professional with experience in economic development, public relations and policy, project management, relationship building and business development.

Specialties: Leadership, Sales, Marketing, Economic Development, Business Development, Project Management, Relationship Building, Public Relations, Public Policy, Government Relations