MEET OUR BOARD OF TRUSTEES
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Ben is the Senior VP of Human Resources for Turner where he is responsible for leadership of Turner’s overall HR strategy and centralized HR functions including compensation, recruiting, people development, diversity&inclusion, global mobility, technology, operations, benefits, culture & engagement, and corporate responsibility. Prior to this current position, he served as the Senior Vice President of Talent Management and HR Strategy for Turner and its portfolio of content brands including CNN, TBS, TNT, TCM, TruTV, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, and Turner Sports. In that capacity, he was responsible for the development and execution of enterprise-wide HR strategy. He also led the Turner People Development team which was responsible for global executive, organizational, and employee development, strategic workforce planning and performance management, as well as the Turner Talent Acquisition team, which provides full-cycle recruiting support for the company.
Previously, he was the Human Resources Director for Turner Sports and Turner Content Distribution where he worked as a business partner focused on strategic client consultation. Prior to that, as Director of Workplace Initiatives, he was responsible for supporting CNN Worldwide in the areas of employee engagement, diversity, development, and communications.
Ben joined Turner in 2004 as an administrative coordinator in CNN’s Washington, DC Bureau, and relocated to Atlanta in 2008 to manage business administration across CNN’s domestic regions.
Prior to his work for Turner, Ben served as a finance director for a US Congressional campaign in North Carolina. From 1999-2002, he taught English literature at Charlotte Country Day School, and was awarded the school’s distinguished instructor award in 2002.
Ben earned a BA in English literature from Dartmouth College that included study at the University of Glasgow in Scotland and Université de Lyon in France. He traveled extensively throughout Europe before beginning his career. In addition to his responsibilities at Turner, Ben currently serves on the board of trustees of Atlanta’s High Museum of Art, the Ron Clark Academy, Theatrical Outfit, the Woodruff Arts Center Education Council, and the Emma Bowen Foundation
Senior Vice President, Human Resources, WarnerMedia
Vice Chair & Finance Chair
Jason Madsen is the founder and CEO of Ascend Medical, an Atlanta-based primary care company that serves individuals, families and organizations through 24/7 virtual care as well as in-home diagnostics and care. Mr. Madsen is a member of the Board of Managers, co-founder and former chief administrative officer of Four Winds Health LLC, a private equity backed practice management company that developed the WellStreet Urgent Care and Piedmont Urgent Care by WellStreet platforms in the southeast United States.
Mr. Madsen graduated from the University of Colorado with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science. He also earned a Master’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance from Columbia University.
Mr. Madsen and his wife, Becki, have six children.
Founder & CEO, Ascend Medical
Former Board Chairman
Louis Alterman is President, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and a member of the Board of Directors at Stratix. Alterman brings over 20 years of executive experience in managed services with global technology companies.
Most recently, Louis served as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for Rackspace, a global leader in managed applications, data, clouds and security. Prior to Rackspace, he was with EarthLink, a nationwide provider of cloud-connected network services to over 750,000 businesses and consumers, in operational, financial and customer-facing roles, most recently serving as CFO.
Before EarthLink, Louis worked in a variety of roles at BellSouth (now AT&T), focused primarily on the company’s cellular/mobility growth in Latin America.
Louis serves on the Board of Careerbuilder, a data and technology company at the forefront of innovation to evolve the human capital management space, with solutions that help employers find, hire and manage great people.
Louis earned a BBA in Finance from the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia, where he was a Presidential Scholar, and an MBA from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University.
President, Chief Executive Officer, Stratix
Former Board Chair
Jeff Anderson, Audio Enhancement President and CEO, has been with the company since 1993. Mr. Anderson is a noted advocate of the advancement of education and the changing of classroom learning environments. His mission to demonstrate the fundamental necessity of audio enhanced classrooms is evident in his dedication to creating and designing innovative technology. He is the co-creator and patent-holder of the world’s first infrared wireless audio enhancement system. This system perfectly fits into today’s modern classroom by being fully integrated with any additional multimedia sources. Through Mr. Anderson’s leadership, Audio Enhancement has grown into the worldwide leader in classroom amplification. Mr. Anderson received his bachelor’s degree in Economics, Business and Spanish from Brigham Young University. Mr. Anderson has been married to his wife, Rachelle, for 30 years. He is the father of six children and has one grandchild.
President and CEO, Audio Enhancement
Pat Arrington has over 30 years of experience in the construction industry and has been with JE Dunn Construction (formerly R.J. Griffin & Co.) since 1997. He serves as Vice President and Group Manager for the Atlanta division, overseeing the higher education market as well as the Dunn Project Solutions (DPS) group. Pat was instrumental in helping to construct the second portion of the Ron Clark Academy’s campus and is a LEED Accredited Professional. Prior to joining JE Dunn, he worked for Blount Construction from 1985-1997.
A 1985 graduate of Auburn University with a Bachelor of Science in Building Science, Pat currently serves as an alumni advisory board member for Auburn’s McWhorter School of Building Science. Additionally, he served as a board member for the YMCA of Metropolitan Atlanta from 2007-2009. Pat resides in Marietta with his wife, Liz. He has two children, Mary Hannah and Drew, who have attended Auburn University and Georgia Southern University, respectively.
Vice President and Group Manager, JE Dunn (Atlanta Division)
Kareim R. Cade is a native Detroiter and a 1994 graduate of Clark Atlanta University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, focusing on Insurance and Risk Management. In 1995, he obtained his Life and Health Insurance license from the State of Michigan and began his independent insurance career with New York Life Insurance Company.
In 1996, Kareim was later recruited by Colonial Life and Accident Insurance Company in 1996 where he served in several sales and sales management positions. During his tenure with Colonial, he won several national sales awards and qualified for the company’s prestigious President’s Club and Leaders Conference.
In 2006, Mr. Cade launched Great Lakes Benefit Group, LLC (GLBG) in response to the growing demand of a “one stop shop” approach for small to mid-size employer groups. Located in Southfield, MI, GLBG has a relationship with many national insurers and also offers a complete back office to other independent brokers. 2008 presented new challenges as Kareim was asked to serve as theNational Sales Director for Great American Financial Resources’ (GAFRI) where the primary responsibility was to build a national relationship between GAFRI and Aflac. During this time, Mr. Cade also partnered with 4 educators to create Transitions Consultants, LLC, which supported and managed charter schools in the Metropolitan Detroit area.
In addition to his business interests, Mr. Cade is a graduate of Leadership Oakland XV and has held several leadership positions in community organizations: Metro Detroit Association of Health Underwriters, vice president; National Association of Black School Educators, member; Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE), board member; National Technical Honor Society, honorary member & founding member; Playworks Michigan, board member; GEMS (Grandkids Educated and Motivated to Succeed), board member. Kareim is most proud of his pride and joy, his teenage daughter, Selena Simone Cade!
President and CEO, Great Lakes Benefit Group
As Chief Marketing Officer for Wingstop Restaurants, Inc., Maurice oversees all global marketing strategy and execution for the award-winning chain, which boasts more than 1,100 outlets around the world and over $1 billion in system revenue.
In his prior role with InterContinental Hotels Group, Maurice was the global leader of a $12 billion portfolio of four brands, with an estate of more than 3,500 hotels around the world. He is responsible for global brand definition, strategy, and innovation across the entire hotel guest experience. Additionally, Maurice is an architect of global marketing communications platforms delivered globally across various demand generating channels. His primary focus is delivering the long-term portfolio commercial performance, equity leadership, and an innovation agenda that fuels growing guest satisfaction, franchise owner confidence, and increased global investment.
Previously at IHG, Maurice served as Vice President, Holiday Inn Americas, we he was responsible for the delivery of Holiday Inn brand strategy, guest experience, and all marketing communications to support an estate of nearly 800 hotels located in the Western Hemisphere. In his first 18 months at IHG, Maurice re-invigorated this iconic brand, bringing transformative change to the Holiday Inn brand’s food and beverage and design strategies, and launching the first brand-centric marketing campaign in five years. As a part of this effort, Maurice created and became Executive Producer of “Growing America” a six-episode television series airing on HLN, showcasing how Holiday Inn has helped fuel entrepreneurship across the US with a non-profit partner, MBAs Across America.
Maurice joined IHG from The Coca-Cola Company where he spent nine years as a brand leader of the Coca-Cola, Sprite, and Coke Zero brands, as well as a General Manager of the company’s Venturing and Emerging Brands business unit (Honest Tea, illy coffee, ZICO coconut water and Core Power protein drink). Maurice led the Coke Zero brand to become the fastest growing, most successful sparkling beverage in the U.S., delivering nearly $2 billion in sales. With an aggressive expansion vision, he helped to secure the brands first sustained distribution at McDonald’s, and national scale at 7-11, Subway, as well as Hardee’s & Carl’s Jr. Maurice was also a co-author of the growth strategy that turned around the multi-billion dollar Sprite brands business. As a result of this effort, Maurice helped to reposition the brand, launching the first Sprite shopper strategy in a decade, new product innovation, and commercial terms with bottling partners. He also developed breakthrough-marketing platforms, including the Sprite Step-Off, a 25-city, national step show competition awarding $2 million in college scholarships that was chronicled as an eight-episode TV series on MTV2. This resulted in Maurice being recognized with prestigious global marketing awards from AdWeek, the Internationalist, Mediavest Global, and WOMMA.
Senior Vice President, Brand & Corporate Marketing, Target Corporation
Mr. Matt Crisp co-founded eVestment Alliance in June 2000 and has been its Principal and Chief Operating Officer since then. Previously, Mr. Crisp served as a Research Analyst of Watson Wyatt in Atlanta. Mr. Crisp served with clients in the areas of investment manager research, investment manager evaluation and the coordination of manager search activity. His manager research focus included investment strategies in U.S. equities, mutual fund/DC vendors and alternative investments such as private equity and real estate. Mr. Crisp was also extensively involved in the selection and implementation of the firm’s global risk model and the rollout of the risk analytic system to many of Watson Wyatt’s global offices. Mr. Crisp is a member of the Association of Investment Management Sales Executives (AIMSE), Association for Investment Management & Research (AIMR), Richmond Society of Financial Analysts and has completed Levels I & II towards the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. Mr. Crisp holds a BS in Finance and an MBA in Corporate Finance from East Carolina University in 1996.
Principal and COO, eVestment Alliance
Ben Hasan joined the Global People team as SVP & Chief Culture, Diversity and Inclusion Officer in 2015. In this global role, Ben and his team are responsible for the continued development of the healthy evolution of the company’s culture, the development of behaviors that embrace diversity and inclusion at all levels of the company, and the promotion of the company’s external reputation as a great place to work.
Ben joined Walmart in 2008 and previously served as senior vice president for strategic services in Walmart Technology. In this role, he and his team were responsible for ISD Strategy, Communication, Innovation, ISD Vendor Management, Project Management Office, Business Analysis, GTS – India & Mexico and Quality Assurance. Prior to his current role at Walmart, Ben worked 11 years at Dell Inc. He progressed through several leadership positions before serving as vice president of Corporate and Product Group I/T. In this position, he directed teams in Texas, Shanghai, Taipei, and Singapore. He also served as general manager of Dell’s I/T development centers in Brazil and India.
Before joining Dell, he gained broad experience in I/T, Human Resources, Rates and Regulatory Affairs, and Customer Service during his 14-year career with ENSERCH Corporation, an oil and gas company based in Dallas, Texas. In 2006, Ben received the Temple University Fox School I/T Award for Distinguished Alumni. Ben holds an M.B.A. from Amber University in Dallas, Texas, and a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in computer science from Temple University in Philadelphia. Ben sits on the Ozark STEM board, Walmart Foundation Board, Walmart 401K & Retirement Plan Committee, Board of Advisors Catalyst, The Fox School’s Institute for Business and I/T Advisory Board.
Senior Vice President and Chief Culture, Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Walmart
With close to 20 years of experience in commercial real estate, Chad Koenig joined Cushman & Wakefield’s Atlanta’s Tenant Advisory Group in 2014. Chad’s creativity in formulating occupancy strategies and his in-depth market knowledge help him add significant value to his clients’ bottom line. Prior to joining C&W in 2014, Mr. Koenig was a Managing Director with NAI Brannen Goddard in Atlanta, where he had worked since 1999. A member of the firm’s NAI Office Council and NAI Gold Club from 2003-2013, he was consistently one of the top performing office brokers with the firm.
He is a licensed real estate agent in Georgia; a member of the Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors; a member of the Georgia Association of Realtors; the director of the Cumberland Office Park Association and a member of the National Association of Realtors.
Chad’s passion around education led him to initially serve on the board for the DeKalb Boys and Girls Club and currently, serve as a founding member of the Smyrna Education Foundation in addition to the Metro Atlanta Chamber Education Committee.
Chad and his wife, Kati, both graduated from The Pennsylvania State University and have three children; Madison, Abigail and Tyler and live in Smyrna, Georgia.
Senior Director, Cushman & Wakefield
Debbie Koenig has served as Executive Director of NAIOP Georgia, a commercial real estate association, for over seventeen years. With 500+ members, Debbie is charged with leading a volunteer board, operations and programming of one of the largest chapters, out of 54, in the United States and Canada.
Debbie received the National Merit Award for Chapter Executive of the Year, sat on the Board of Directors as Chapter Executive Liaison and served on the Membership and Diversity committee for NAIOP National. She is an advisor for REAP (“Real Estate Associate Program”), which aids in connecting talented minority professionals with commercial real estate companies and helped organize the charter Global Diversity Summit in Atlanta.
Debbie is committed to ensuring that young people are given every opportunity to succeed. With this in mind, she also helped create and implement the charter NEXUS summer program in Georgia through NAIOP, which exposes high school students to commercial real estate and assists in future college major and career choices.
She played an integral role in increasing NAIOP Georgia’s young professional segment through her contribution in developing the NAIOP Future Leaders program, and is committed to NAIOP GA’s mission of improving the lives and education of students in Atlanta through their efforts with the Ron Clark Academy.
Debbie has lived in Atlanta for over thirty years with her husband Chet, and they have two daughters, Elyse and Tess. Originally from North Carolina, she is a proud Pirate and Tar Heel having attended undergrad and grad school at both ECU and UNC-Chapel Hill. Debbie was Social Action Chair in Atlanta for Temple Emanu-El and is a charter member of Mothers and Daughters Against Cancer (MADAC).
Executive Director, NAIOP Georgia Chapter
Wendy McSweeney is the executive vice president and chief diversity, equity, and inclusion officer for Truist Financial Corporation, one of the nation’s largest financial services companies. In this role, she oversees the strategic direction, development and execution of the company’s inclusion and diversity policies and programs to enhance corporate culture, advance the business, enrich communities and contribute to Truist’s overall performance.
Through her thought leadership, counsel and focus on inspiring and building better lives and communities, Wendy helps foster a more purpose-, mission- and values-based working environment at Truist. She leads the Inclusion & Diversity Office; oversees eight company-wide business resource groups; serves on the Operating Council; develops community partnerships; and represents the company’s commitment to inclusion and diversity with internal and external stakeholders. Wendy received her B.S. in Accounting at Virginia Union University and an M.B.A. at the University of Phoenix.
Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Officer, Truist
Former Board Chairman
Jeff Mixson is founding partner of Mixson Properties, a commercial real estate firm focused on office development and acquisition. Jeff has over 23 years of experience in the commercial real estate industry after starting his professional life as a civil engineer. His commercial real estate career started at Highwoods Properties where he spent five years and oversaw the leasing and marketing of their office portfolio. Then, Jeff worked at Holder Properties for 16 years where he was an officer of the company. He led the company’s growth in South Carolina and was responsible for the development, leasing and sale of over 2 million square feet of speculative office and corporate headquarters.
Jeff earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering at Georgia Tech, a B.S. in Math at the University of the South, and an M.B.A. at Emory University. He is the past Chairman of the Young Council of Realtors at the Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors. He is the former president of NAIOP and a current Advisory Council member. Jeff has been recognized by the Georgia NAIOP Chapter’s Million Dollar Club twice as a top five producer and once as their top producer. A longtime volunteer with the Ron Clark Academy, Jeff was the former Board Chair and returns to the board after spending two years on the Advisory Council.
Founding Partner, Mixson Properties
Former Board Chairman
Kaye Morgan is an accomplished community relations and diversity and inclusion professional with over ten years of experience building positive and sustainable relationships in diverse communities around the globe. Her profession, passion and purpose are rooted in supporting organizations whose mission is to improve the quality of life of others.
Kaye currently serves as Senior Manager of Diversity & Inclusion for Cox Automotive Inc. In that role she encourages the recognition and understanding of individual difference, and advocates for fair and equitable opportunities, while promoting a sense of belonging among team members. She is also the Founder of The Changemakers Commission, a consultancy which provides strategic solutions to non-profit organizations, helping to fulfill their missions and make a greater impact in the communities they serve.
Kaye earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. She completed a certification in Corporate Community Involvement Management at Boston College and is a former fellow of their Leadership Academy for Corporate Citizenship Professionals.
Her personal philosophy on life is based on a quote from Marian Wright-Edelman “Service is the rent we pay for being. It is the very purpose of life, and not something you do in your spare time.”
Senior Manager, Diversity & Inclusion, Cox Automotive
Since January 2018, Shayne has served as Facebook’s Associate General Counsel for IP Litigation. Shayne O’Reilly focuses his practice in intellectual property law, with a primary focus on patent litigation, client counseling, strategic patent prosecution, technology transactions, due diligence investigations, and contentious inter and ex parte post grant and reissue work. Prior to arriving at Facebook, he spent nearly 7 years as an Intellectual Property Attorney for Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP.
He practices in a wide range of technologies, including computer hardware and software systems, mobile devices, telecommunications, multimedia messaging systems, internet related technologies, network security, e-commerce, and medical devices. His practice includes advising clients on Internet, privacy, and cybersecurity law including privacy policies, website terms and conditions, and legal audits of relevant practices and procedures.
Mr. O’Reilly is a registered patent attorney before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.Mr. O’Reilly has represented Fortune 500 companies in patent infringement lawsuits. He has provided value-added assistance in many aspects of patent litigation, including written discovery practice, motion practice and invalidity and non-infringement investigations.
Mr. O’Reilly was recognized in 2016 as a Georgia “Rising Star” in the area of Intellectual Property Litigation by Super Lawyers magazine. In 2015, he was honored by the National Bar Association with its 40 Under 40 Nation’s Best Advocate Award. Mr. O’Reilly was also named by The National Black Lawyers as one its “Top 40 Under 40.”
Associate General Counsel of IP Litigation, Facebook
Head of People, Culture, Communications, and Leadership
Mikel joined Allen, Mooney & Barnes (AMB) in 2019 and leads the company’s investment banking group as Managing Director. At AMB, Mikel is responsible for client strategy, sourcing deals and managing transaction execution. Prior to joining AMB, Mikel served as Chief Financial Officer and Head of Corporate Development for Ciox Health – a leading provider of healthcare information management services. Mikel started his career as an Investment Banking Analyst at The Robinson-Humphrey Company and has held various senior roles at multiple boutique investment banks, including Vice President for Shattuck Hammond and Managing Director of Genesis Capital. Over the course of his career, Mikel has directly participated in an aggregate transaction value in excess of $4 billion across a wide spectrum of industries.
Mikel received his Bachelor of Arts from Washington and Lee University and his Masters of Business Administration from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.
Managing Director, Allen, Mooney & Barnes
Mr. Pryor joined The Moonbeam Capital Investments group of companies (“MCI”) in 2011 and he serves as the chief operating officer. Mr. Pryor is directly responsible for leasing, governing property management, overseeing community and governmental affairs and guiding the strategic planning process for MCI’s commercial real estate portfolio. Shawl is a seasoned, knowledgeable and trusted commercial real estate professional who consistently delivers real time results. He is uniquely qualified to supervise the day-to-day operations and assist the chief executive officer in creating operational strategies and guiding redevelopment plans for the Moonbeam group’s approximately 10 million + square foot nationwide portfolio of leased and managed properties.
Prior to joining Moonbeam in 2011, Shawl served as the senior vice president of Infinity Property Fund. He also served as the vice president of asset/property management in the Atlanta office of Colliers International, Glimcher Realty and Heitman Retail Properties.
With over 26 years of experience, Shawl has extensive knowledge of the commercial real estate industry.He specializes in creating adaptive reuse and repurposing of underperforming commercial real estate assets.
Shawl is actively involved in ICSC and other trade organizations on both national and local levels, private and public. In addition to serving as the governance chair for the Ron Clark Academy’s board of trustees, he is an active board member for a number of other national and local non-profit organizations.
Shawl served for 7 years as an engineer with the United States Marine Corps in both active and reserve duty capacities Shawl is a native of Chicago, Illinois and currently resides in Marietta, Georgia with his wife and children.
Chief Operating Officer, Moonbeam Capital Investments
Tiffani joined Jackson Spalding in 2006 after working for a global public relations firm where she specialized in media relations for consumer and healthcare accounts. During her time, she has led large consumer accounts, such as Orkin Residential, and strategic, behavior-changing campaigns aimed at financial literacy and public health.
Today Tiffani leads the Ballistic Case Co. account, overseeing publicity and event coordination for the mobile accessories brand. She also drives media and community relations activations for the Chick-fil-A Foundation and provides leadership to Delta Air Lines’ community affairs group. Most recently, she has been involved in promotional efforts for the Delta Flight Museum.
Tiffani was a Presidential Scholar and member of the Leadership Institute of Hampton University where she graduated, with honors, from the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications. She gained early experience through her college internships at Turner Broadcasting and ESPN. She went on to earn a Gerbig Scholarship to Ohio University’s E. W. Scripps School of Journalism and she obtained her Masters.
Inside the firm, Tiffani serves as a mentor and is part of the JS Wellness Team. In the community, she volunteers as a board member and chair of the Marketing/PR Committee for Odyssey, an educational non-profit that serves young students with unmet potential, and as board member and treasurer for the Black Public Relations Society (BPRS) of Atlanta. She’s also on the Central Atlanta Progress PR/Marketing Council.
A native of College Park, Ga., Tiffani likes to spend her time with her young daughter, Natili, exploring metro Atlanta’s parks or reading bedtime stories together. She also enjoys coordinating monthly dinners with friends to check out the best of Atlanta’s culinary scene.
PR & Marketing Communications Professional, Jackson Spalding
Tonya Webster is the Vice President of Consumer Experience of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts where she leads enterprise level business transformation initiatives and programs to drive substantive changes in healthcare for consumers, employers, and plan providers. Previously, Tonya was the Vice President of Customer Experience & Operations Strategy for Comcast South. In her role, Tonya was responsible for the end-to-end customer and employee experience for 6,000 employees who support Comcast South’s 3 million customers across 8 states.
Tonya has over 20 years of operations experience and has led customer experience transformation efforts for Fortune 500 companies such as USAA, General Electric, ExxonMobil and Wal-Mart in both the B2B and B2C space. Prior to her role with Comcast, Tonya was the Senior Vice President of Customer Experience for Citi where she led the global implementation of the Net Promoter System, spearheaded technology improvements, and led other corporate initiatives to drive improved processes for Citi’s 27 million global customers. Tonya also worked for Cogeco, a Canadian telecommunications and media company, where she was the Head of Global Customer Care leading the industries best engineers and developers in creating next generation technology solutions for use by customers around the world.
Tonya has a passion for learning and for sharing her experience with others. She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Texas and an MBA in Finance with honors from Our Lady of the Lake University. She is an active participant on thought leadership speaker forums as an industry expert. Tonya holds several certifications including Project Management Professional (PMP), Scrum Master (CSM), Six Sigma (CSSGB), and Change Management Practitioner (CCMP).
Tonya is an active community volunteer serving on the Board of Directors for the Cobb County Chamber, American Diabetes Association, Chattahoochee Technical College, and Vice Chair for the Cumberland Community Improvement District. She also enjoys traveling and spending time with her family.
Vice President, Consumer Experience, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
MICHAEL K. WELLS
Mike Wells is the Director of Leasing for Highwoods Properties in Atlanta. In this capacity, Mike has generated over $700 million in leasing revenue and is responsible for over 25 Atlanta office buildings totaling over 6 million square feet. Prior to joining Highwoods in 2003, Mike served as the Vice President of Real Estate for United Systems Integrators. Mike has over 28 years of commercial real estate experience and is consistently recognized as a leader in the commercial real estate industry.
Mike has served on the NAIOP Georgia Board of Directors since 2014. He was designated President of the NAIOP Georgia chapter in 2017 and now serves on the Advisory Council. Mike was awarded the NAIOP National Merit Award for Outstanding Leadership, the highest honor for presidents throughout US and Canada. He also serves on the board of the Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors.
In 2017, as a founding member, Mike was an integral part of the charter program Nexus, a summer program in Atlanta which provides minority teens with on-campus academic education and real-world career development experiences in commercial real estate.
Mike is a Georgia native and currently resides in Sandy Springs with his wife Holly, and their children Cici and Hamilton. He earned his B.S. in Real Estate from the University of Georgia.
MICHAEL K. WELLS
Director of Leasing, Highwood Properties
Vincent Young is the Managing Director, Consumer – Americas at Seagate Technology. Prior to his current position, he served as the President of The Persuasion Institute of Atlanta. Previously, he spent three years with Promethean where he served as Chief Marketing Officer and Vice President of Global Marketing. Prior to joining Promethean, Vincent served as Vice President of Worldwide Marketing at Case-Mate, the global leader in the design and production of fashion-forward cases for mobile devices including smartphones and tablets.
Before Case-Mate, Vincent was the Senior Director for Kodak’s Americas Region Marketing team and was responsible for all commercial and consumer product lines. Consumer products ranged from digital cameras to retail picture kiosks and consumer inkjet printers. Commercial products included Kodak’s offset and flexographic printing plates, inkjet and electro-photographic presses, workflow software, document capture and management solutions, and a wide range of technical services.
Widely recognized as a very creative and energetic marketing leader, Young has over 20 years of distinguished accomplishments leading branding and marketing efforts for innovative companies such as FedEx, Coca-Cola, Internatonal Paper, and Lexmark International. Mr. Young earned his Masters of Business Administration from Southern Methodist University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Emory University. He is married with three sons and currently serves as an adult leader and active supporter of the Boy Scouts of America.
Managing Director, Consumer, Americas at Seagate Technology
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TJ Abrams is the Chief Marketing Officer for Exos. In his role, he is tasked with marketing the fitness company – long known for its work with elite athletes and corporate clients- as it navigates both the Covid-19 era of exercise while also expanding beyond its current customers to a broader consumer market in 2021.
Previously, he served as the Head of Global Brand and Commercial Performance Director for Holiday Inn, InterContinental Hotels Group. He has over 15 years of experience in marketing and brand management in both US and global roles. He joined IHG in 2015 from The Coca-Cola Company where he was the Global Senior Brand Manager on the Coca-Cola TM. During his 7-year tenure at Coca-Cola, he worked in strategic roles of increasing responsibility on some of the biggest and fastest growing brands in the world including Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Zero, Sprite and the Global Adults portfolio (including Seagrams, Schweppes and Canada Dry).
In 2013, TJ was named to the inaugural Forbes 30 Under 30 list for Marketing and Advertising. In September 2018, he concluded a five-year term as a leader of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation’s Alumni Advisory Board.
TJ holds an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and a BA in Journalism and Mass Communications from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Chief Marketing Officer,
Mr. Baun is First Vice President – Wealth Management, Senior Portfolio Manager, and Wealth Advisor at UBS Financial Services, Inc., where he has been since the beginning of 2003. Prior to his career in the financial services industry, Mr. Baun was a tax professional in public accounting. He has Big Four public accounting experience as a Senior Tax Consultant for both Arthur Andersen LLP and Deloitte & Touche LLP in Atlanta where he specialized in corporate and partnership taxation.
Mr. Baun is a Certified Financial Planner™, Certified Investment Management Analyst, and Chartered Financial Analyst®. Mr. Baun is also a Certified Public Accountant (non-practicing) in the state of Georgia and holds the AICPA Personal Financial Specialist designation. Mr. Baun was recognized in Atlanta Magazine in 2009 and 2010 as a Five Star Wealth Manager in overall client satisfaction. In 2012, his team was named to the National Association of Board Certified Advisory Practices (NABCAP) Premier Advisor list in Georgia and Texas. In 2013, his team was again named to the NABCAP Premier Advisor list in Georgia and Texas.
He is a current member of the Financial Planning Association, the Investment Management Consultants Association, the CFA Institute, the CFA Society of Atlanta, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants (GSCPA). Mr. Baun is Past Chair of the Estate and Financial Planning Section of the GSCPA and currently serves on the GSCPAs Leadership Council. He is Past Chair of the Buckhead Club’s Membership Committee and also serves on the club’s Young Executive Society.
In addition to his professional and academic achievements, Mr. Baun is highly involved in civic and community activities. Mr. Baun works with the GSCPA’s Financial Literacy Task Force to promote financial literacy to middle school students across Georgia. He serves on the Nominating Committee for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Georgia Man & Woman of the Year fundraising campaign.
Mr. Baun received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration – Accounting as well as his Master of Accountancy – Taxation from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and is Treasurer of the University of Tennessee – Knoxville Alumni Association’s Atlanta Chapter.
First Vice President, Wealth Management, UBS Financial Services Inc.
A Georgia native, Steve attended Roswell High School and West Georgia College, then opened his first business in 1984 at the age of 23, Beecham’s Fine Clothing. He entered the mortgage industry in 1992 and started Home Town Mortgage in 1997.
Since 2001, Home Town Mortgage has been listed by Georgia Assoc of Mortgage Brokers (GAMB) as one of the top five producing mortgage companies in the state, and Steve has personally qualified as one of the top five producing loan officers during the same years. On a national level, Steve was listed as one of the top 50 loan officers in the country by Broker Magazine in 2001.
A past President and Nominating Committee Chair of GAMB, Steve served as President in 2003 and in various other positions on the Board. He was the founder and two-term chair of the GAMB Top Guns Committee. He is also the Past Chairman of the Roswell Ducks Unlimited Chapter, a Board Member of the Alpharetta Rotary Club, and Co-Chair of the Rotary International Committee, whose members travel to other countries to assist the needy.
Steve is married to Mary Beecham, his college sweetheart and cheerleading partner. A devoted family man, Steve can often be found motorcycling, hunting and coaching sports with his wife and three great children: Connor, Elyse, and Colin.
President, Home Town Mortgage
ANN WILSON CRAMER
Ann Wilson Cramer is a Senior Consultant with Coxe Curry & Associates. She provides strategic consultation to nonprofit clients to strengthen their capacity in the critical areas of board development, volunteer engagement, corporate relations and fundraising.
Prior to joining Coxe Curry, Ann served as Director for IBM Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs for the Americas. In that position she was a member of the senior management staff overseeing the company’s approach to corporate citizenship, strategic philanthropy and overall social responsibility.
Ann serves on numerous local nonprofit boards, including the Alliance Theatre Company, Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta, Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education, Georgia Public Education Foundation, Governor’s Office of Workforce Development, Public Broadcasting Atlanta, Woodruff Arts Center, Council on Foundations, and currently chairs the board of Atlanta Partners for Education and served as chair of the Search Committee for the Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent. Nationally, Ann has chaired the Council on Foundations Public Policy and Corporate Committees, the Conference Board’s Business Education Council, the Executive Committee of both the U.S. Chamber’s Business Civic Leadership Center and the Institute for a Competitive Workforce and the United Way of America’s National Corporate Leaders Council. In 2012, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce presented her with its first Business Civic Leadership Achievement Award.
Recently, Ann received the prestigious Dan Sweat Award from Central Atlanta Progress, Public Broadcasting Atlanta’s Sullivan Award and was honored with the United Way of Greater Atlanta Women’s Leadership Award. In 2014, Ann received the “Big Voice for Children” Award from Voices for Georgia’s Children. She has participated in Leadership Atlanta, Leadership Georgia, Regional Leadership Institute, is a member of Outstanding Atlanta and is past president of the Junior League of Atlanta.
Ann is a graduate of Salem College with a degree in mathematics. In 1991, she received Salem College’s Alumnae Leadership Award in recognition of her commitment and service to community service. Ann and her husband, Jeff, are long-time residents of Inman Park and are active members of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. They are the proud parents of two adult children.
ANN W. CRAMER
Senior Consultant, Coxe Curry & Associates
Bonnie Dean serves as senior vice president and director of construction and has been employed with Selig Enterprises since 1994. She has over 28 years of experience in the commercial real estate industry, specializing in mixed-use, retail, office and industrial development.
During her tenure with Selig, Bonnie has been instrumental in managing construction projects on over 2,500,000 square feet of new development with the development cost of approximately $100,000,000. These developments include Brookwood Place, The Terraces at Windward, Crystal Beach Plaza, Buckhead Triangle, Dunwoody Place, Mansell Point, City Crossing, 231 West Ponce De Leon, Presidential Commons, Sherwood Plaza, Corporate Lakes I & II and many property renovations. She is currently overseeing the development of 12th and Midtown, a premier mixed-use development in midtown Atlanta and a 300-acre mixed-use development in LaGrange, Georgia.
Bonnie holds a Georgia Real Estate Salesperson license, is a member of International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and has her degree in Business from Lake Land/University of Illinois.
Senior Vice President and Director of Construction, Selig Enterprises
Mark Elliott is CEO of Boxlight Mimio where he is responsible for the strategic direction and performance of Boxlight Corporation as well as leading the executive team. He brings with him 28 years experience in sales, marketing, and operations for both technical and software organizations. From 2005 to 2011, Mark was President of Promethean, Inc. He has previously served as Senior Director of Apple Computer’s Education Division where he managed all solutions outside of the hardware platform, including Apple Care, Apple Software, Strategic Initiatives, Alliances, Channels, and Servers. In addition to his time with Lawson Software, E3 Corporation, PowerCerv Technologies, and Tandem Computers, he spent over 14 years with Burroughs/Unisys in roles including Account Manager, Regional Product Manager, Executive Assistant to the Unisys President, Brand District Manager, and Regional Director of Marketing. A graduate of Georgia Tech with a Master’s of Science in Industrial Management, he also holds a B.B.A in Economics from the University of North Georgia and is certified in CPIM & APICS (American Production and Inventory Control).
CEO, Boxlight Mimiot
With more than 15 years of experience representing several of the top brands and influencers in the world, Chris Fuller is no stranger to marrying new and emerging techniques to solid, time-tested PR craft. Fuller’s career launched on Capitol Hill as Press Secretary to the U.S. Representative Mac Thornberry of Texas. He was responsible for revolutionizing the Congressman’s message for a new digital-savvy constituency.
Fuller is now Head of Communications for Inspire Brands. Previously, he spent 4 years as Vice President of Brand and Corporate Communications for Arby’s Restaurant Group where he reignited culture among Arby’s team members and re-engaged brand passion among guests. Additionally, he spent more than eight years leading the International PR and Corporate Social Responsibility efforts for Yum! Brands and Pizza Hut, Inc.
Fuller was named the 2010 “PR Professional of the Year” by PR News Magazine for his efforts to reset value perceptions of the Pizza Hut brand among its core consumer. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications and Advertising from West Texas A&M and a Masters Degree in Marketing Management from the University of Dallas.
Ironically, Fuller is married to a math and science whiz, Amanda, a former school administrator. They have two sons, William and Whitaker.
Head of Communications, Inspire Brands
Former Board Chairman
Mindy Jones has lived in Alpharetta for the last 30 years and is a single mom of daughter, Sarah, 25. She has built an international multi-million dollar home-based business with Reliv International, a marketer of patented nutritional products. Recently, Mindy was featured in Success From Home magazine and Bryan Thayer’s book The One Minute Networker. Mindy was named one of Atlanta’s “Self Made Women” and North Fulton’s “Phenomenal Women” in 2009.Mindy has a passion for charity work and has been the chairperson for the past seven years for Evening of Hope and Windward for a Cure, fundraisers benefiting the American Cancer Society which raised over $80,000 for the cause last year. Mindy is an active member of Roswell Rotary and is the chairperson for the Aids Awareness Committee. In her spare time, she plays tennis, travels and loves spending time with family and friends.
Platinum Ambassador, Reliv International
Former Board Chairman
A RockTenn employee of more than 20 years, Michael E. Kiepura is the Retired President of consumer packaging and recycling for RockTenn.
Mike has served as Chair of the 100% Recycled Paperboard Alliance and as Director of the Georgia Association of Manufacturers. Mike has an MBA from Northwestern (1982) and an A.B. in engineering and applied physics (1979) from Harvard.
Mike and his wife, Kathy, have been married for more than 34 years. They live in Dunwoody and have two grown children.
Excellent job overall good sir — really appreciate you! Let me know when the updates have been made.
Retired President, Packaging Solutions, WestRock
Former Board Chairman
Alonzo L. Llorens currently works with Patel Burkhalter Law Group. Previously, he was a partner in Gordon & Rees’s Atlanta office and a member of the Business Transactions practice group. While there, Alonozo focused on transactions including public offerings, private offerings, mergers and acquisitions, formation of funds, strategic alliances, film financing and general corporate matters.
He has represented companies, venture capital firms, private equity firms and investment banking firms in public and private offerings, SEC compliance, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance matters and other complex transactions. Alonzo also represents film and television production companies in relation to financing and general corporate matters. Additionally, he has extensive experience in the Caribbean where he has provided counsel with respect to the development of capital markets.
Before entering private practice, Alonzo spent nearly eight years in Washington, D.C., with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) in the Division of Corporation Finance. While at the SEC, he handled a large number of transactions including initial public offerings, secondary offerings, proxy contests, mergers and acquisitions, and pre-packaged bankruptcies. Additionally, he served on the SEC’s Executive Compensation Task Force and the Small Business Task Force.
Alonzo was selected to work as an attorney in the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Honors Program which is offered to only four individuals each year who have exhibited academic excellence and leadership qualities. During his two year tenure in the program, he worked in the Division of Banking and Finance, the U.S. Customs Service and the Internal Revenue Services Division of International Tax.
Attorney Patel Burkhalter Law Group
Former Board Chairman
Stephen MacDonald is a biotechnology business strategy consultant, and he has devoted much of his career to developing patent strategy and performing diligence for biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Stephen obtained a PhD in neuroscience for research in stem cell biology from the University of Manitoba, a post-doctoral fellowship at Emory University, and an MBA from Georgia State University’s Robinson College of Business. He is the founder and past-chair of GeorgiaBIO’s Emerging Leaders Network — the young professionals division of the Georgia’s life sciences industry organization, and was awarded GeorgiaBIO’s Emerging Leader of the Year award in 2008. Stephen also regularly guest lectures at Emory University on patent law in biotechnology and since 2009 has been a judge for the Sanofi-Aventis BIOGene-ius international high school science fair competition.
Director of Intellectual Property Strategy, Freenome
Michael Marks is a certified public accountant who has been in practice since 1986. In 1993, he established his own firm in Marietta, GA. He is a member of the AICPA and GSCPA professional business organizations.
Involved with the Ron Clark Academy since its inception, Michael has a B.S. degree in accounting from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In his spare time, he enjoys playing golf and racquetball as well as hiking with his faithful companion, Sheba. Michael and his wife, Beth who is a senior lecturer at Kennesaw State University, have been married for over 30 years and have two grown children.
CPA, Marks & Associates
Tom Maxey is President of the Retirement Services Group with Great American Financial Resources, where he has worked in various capacities for more than 20 years. He started as a producer and Managing Partner with his own firm, Consolidated Financial in Southfield, Michigan.
Starting out as a financial services representative and growing into the business was a great way for Tom to be creative, take risks and create something of value for him and others.
Tom graduated with honors from Central Michigan University, where he majored in French and Political Science and minored in Spanish. Tom met his wife Alecia in college and they have been together for more than 30 years.
President, Consolidated Financial Corporationt
Ms. Scarlet Pressley-Brown is the Director of Diversity at Dentons US LLP, the largest law firm in the world. In this capacity, Pressley-Brown is responsible for advancing the firm’s commitment to diversity and inclusion and establishing Dentons as a diversity leader among law firms. For the past three years, Ms. Brown served as the Interim Chair for SCLC/Women, Inc., an organization founded by civil rights activist Dr. Evelyn Gibson Lowery, wife of Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery. Previously, Pressley-Brown served as the VP of Marketing and Strategic Partnerships for the Center for Civil & Human Rights, playing an integral role in the grand opening of the new Atlanta landmark. Prior to that, Pressley-Brown served 13 years as Director of Community Affairs for Delta Air Lines & Vice President of the Delta Air Lines Foundation. Ms. Pressley-Brown is also CEO of Sincerely Scarlet, LLC, providing unique public speaking savvy and live video narration. Prior to Delta, Ms. Pressley-Brown spent six years with the East Lake Community Foundation as director of Community Affairs successfully restoring and revitalizing the historic East Lake Golf Course community. The restoration included the establishment and opening of Drew Charter School, Atlanta’s first Charter School.
Ms. Pressley-Brown has received numerous awards: the “Outstanding Georgia Citizen” Award presented by the Secretary of State, the Atlanta Business League named Mrs. Pressley-Brown one of “Atlanta’s Top Black Women of Influence” in 2006 and 2007, and the “High Heels in High Places Award presented by the Trumpet Awards Foundation . In February 2006, the Atlanta Tribune featured Scarlet and husband, Wendell, as one of Atlanta’s “Power Couples” and the Atlanta Urban League Guild recognized them with the “Transportation Achievement” Award.
Ms. Pressley-Brown received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from Oglethorpe University in Atlanta and her MBA from University of Phoenix. She is on the board of directors for the Atlanta Business League, the Georgia Center for Children, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and the Atlanta Medical Association. She is a member of the National Black MBA Association, the Clark Atlanta Guild, the American Institute for Managing Diversity, and the National Coalition of 100 Black Women.
Scarlet and Wendell have five children and two sons-in-law: Wendell, Jr., April Partridge (Kenya), Amber French (Jason), Kiesha and Dexter.
Community Development Officer, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
Recently retired, Mr. David Rhodes joined the King’s Ridge Christian School community as headmaster in June 2006. His leadership provided immediate impact to KRCS with focus on placement of our first graduating class, student growth, master plan development, and fundraising.
Previously, David held the position of headmaster at Darlington School in Rome, Georgia for thirteen years. Over his twenty-eight year tenure with Darlington, he served in many capacities including Principal of Upper School, Dean of Students, Science Department Chair, and coach for many championship teams in basketball, golf, football and baseball. In addition to those administrative roles, he taught biology classes for twenty-eight years. He held leadership positions as Chairman of Darlington’s Jefferson Scholarship (UVA) and Morehead Scholarship (UNC) Committees as well as part of the SACS Accreditation Committee for the Baylor School in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Mr. Rhodes attended Wake Forest University and earned a B.S., Science Education, and graduated Cum Laude. He also earned a Master’s of Education, Administration and Supervision from the University of West Georgia.
Mr. Rhodes has earned numerous awards over his distinguished career in education. These include the James Douglas Brown Faculty Award, (1983, 1995, 2006); R. M. Yankee Excellence in Teaching Award (1989); Parents Association Award, (1990); STAR Teacher, (1992); Region Basketball Coach of the Year, (1991); Region Gold Coach of the Year, (1983 – 87, 1991 – 94) and State Golf Coach of the Year, (1987, 1993, 1994).
David and his wife, Dee Dee, have two daughters, both graduates of Wake Forest. Rebecca is now a teacher at Pace Academy in Atlanta. Sarah graduated from Emory Medical School’s Physician Assistant Program and is practicing medicine in Atlanta.
Headmaster Emeritus, King’s Ridge Christian School
John Robbins is Managing Director for Granite Properties, serving as City leader for the company’s Atlanta operations. Since joining the firm in 2010, John has grown Granite’s presence in Atlanta by acquiring 650,000 square feet of office buildings valued at more than $75 million. Prior to his current position, John served as Managing Principal for Sage Realty Partners, with a focus on acquiring real estate investment and development opportunities across broad product classes. Prior to that, he was Senior Vice President for Shailendra Group, with overall responsibility for their development efforts. He also had an eleven-year career at Hines where he led complex development projects ranging from a large mixed-use land development in North Fulton, Georgia, to 1180 Peachtree, a 670,000 RSF office tower in Midtown Atlanta. He also led the acquisition and asset management of One Atlantic Center, a 1.1 million square foot office tower in Midtown Atlanta. John began his business career with Wachovia Bank in the real estate finance group.
John earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration in 1989 and a Masters in Business Administration in 1996 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
John has served on the NAIOP Georgia board of directors since 2008, including as President in 2012. John also is a board member of the Council for Quality Growth and the Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors. He serves on the Advisory Council for the Center for Real Estate Studies at the University of North Carolina and is the national President for the Kenan-Flagler Business School’s Real Estate Alumni Club. For the past five years, he and his wife, Jae, have volunteered for Feed the Homeless Project, Inc. here in Atlanta. Jae and John have two boys, Thomas and Boone.
Managing Director, Granite Properties
Hillary Schmidt is corporate counsel at MailChimp, a marketing platform for small businesses headquartered in Atlanta, where her work focuses on commercial transactions. Prior to joining the MailChimp team, Hillary was an associate at King & Spalding LLP, where she first began her involvement with RCA. Hillary earned a B.S. in Animal Biology at Louisiana Tech University and a J.D. from the University of Georgia School of Law. Hillary and her husband, Michael, reside in Atlanta and are members of Northside United Methodist Church.
Corporate Counsel, MailChimp
Sheryl Sellaway is Vice President for Cookerly Public Relations. Prior to, she served as Executive Director of Public Relations for Verizon Wireless, responsible for overseeing public relations including, media relations, employee communications, community affairs and promoting the company’s products and services for 11 states in the South. She is an award-winning professional communicator with over 25 years of expertise.
Sheryl holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and Journalism from Georgia State University and an MBA in Marketing from Amber University in Dallas, TX.
She is active in the community, serving on several boards, including Bethany Christian Services of Atlanta and Leadership Atlanta. She mentors young women in the areas of healthy relationships, purity and career development. Sheryl is also director of her Sunday School Class at First Baptist Church Atlanta.
Vice President, Cookerly
LAURA TURNER SEYDEL
Laura Turner Seydel is a Trustee of the Turner Foundation, a private family environmental grantmaking foundation created in 1990. In her capacity as Trustee, Laura is involved in all aspects of the Foundation’s operations, from reviewing funding requests and establishing policy to identifying funding priorities and overseeing special initiatives. Laura is also a Trustee of the Jane Smith Turner Foundation, a private family grantmaking foundation, whose funding priorities include the arts, children’s health and education and the environment. A Georgia native, born in Macon, Laura holds a Bachelor of Arts from Ogelthorpe University. In 2001, Laura became Chairman of the Board for the Captain Planet Foundation. The mission of the Captain Planet Foundation is to fund and support hands-on environmental projects for children and youth. It encourages innovative programs that empower children and youth around the world to work individually and collectively to solve environmental problems in their neighborhoods and communities. Laura resides in Atlanta with her husband, Rutherford and their three children, John R, Vasser, and Laura Elizabeth.
LAURA TURNER SEYDEL
National Environmental Advocate and Eco-Living Expert