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Curated Collection Of The Best Interviews From Our Midtown Studio





Elavon Merchant Services

Elavon

Megan Heinze talks about Elavon’s services for small businesses.

Today I sat down with Megan Heinze of Elavon merchant services, one of the world’s largest provider of merchant payment processing services.  The company was founded in Atlanta in 1991 as NOVA Information Systems, with a focus of providing services supporting small- to mid-sized companies.  The company combined forces with USBank, who brought a compliment of large client companies from around the globe.  Elavon continues to innovate payment processing services, providing a range of technologies, access to key business data, and customer loyalty options that help companies operate and grow more efficiently.

Megan talked about Elavon’s platform called, “Talech”, which gives the small- and mid-sized company owner the ability to use a variety of devices, including tablets and smart devices, to take orders, process payment, manage inventory, assess sales histories for their products/services, and more—all at their fingertips.  This platform gives the small- to mid-sized business owner the ability to more efficiently “wear the many hats” that small company executives often have to wear to operate their business.  Additionally, Elavon provides the business owner with the ability to offer “cardless” customer loyalty programs that are highly customizable.  Customers are able to be recognized by either their credit card or phone number, eliminating the need for a punch card or cumbersome rewards card they have to carry to be able to accrue/redeem the rewards they qualify for.

For companies in the hospitality and food/beverage spaces Elavon has partnered with Micros, the maker of point-of-sale platforms to enhance the level of security from end to end.  This collaboration will help reduce risk for both the merchant and their customers.

Special Guest:

Megan Heizne, Senior VP/General Manager, US Bank Payment Solutions & Partner Channels of Elavon  Linkedin

Elavon

  • >20 years of high-level leadership rolls in banking/finance
  • MBA, Duke University
  • Board Member, Head of Audit Committee, Littleford Day, Inc

Vixen Vodka and JR Revelry Bourbon

Vixen Vodka

CW & Schwegman talk spirits with Rick Tapia and LeeAnn Maxwell

Vixen Vodka and JR Revelry Bourbon

Vixen Vodka was conceived by LeeAnn Maxwell and Carrie King after a girls’ trip to St. Simons Island in Georgia. It was an idea that came to fruition after a few slightly dirty martinis and several sun-soaked hours lying by the pool. An idea that took root and took hold of friends who wanted to make a difference in their lives; it was their why not moment. After all, women like to hang out, chill out and drink vodka just like the boys. But research and focus groups showed that no vodka brand currently on the market tapped into targeting women. In fact, it was a boys’ club waiting for a revolution. So they decided to raise their glasses to toast an idea that eventually became Vixen Vodka. This award winning company is poised for national expansion and is the perfect marriage of a sexy flirty brand and the smoothest gluten-free vodka you’ll ever taste.  Schwegman and CW can attest to how great it tastes!

I had a chance introduction with Rick Tapia of La Bodega Interacional and founder of JR Revelry Bourbon during his appearance on our sister show “Let’s Talk Small Business“, sponsored by the Georgia Minority Supplier Developmental Council (GMSDC) just before we were going to be talking with LeeAnn of Vixen Vodka on Midtown Business.  On “Let’s Talk Small Business” he was celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month while talking about his involvement with the GMSDC and the launch of his new product.  Given the chance to sit down with two innovative entrepreneurs who were launching their own brand of spirits we were glad he was able to stick around and talk more about how JR Revelry came to be.  La Bodega Internacional is a wholly minority-owned producer of specialty craft premium spirits.  Rick spent 17 years in the alcohol beverage industry, gaining experience in the gamut of business roles from accounting to brand marketing and more.  He knew he wanted to have his own line of spirits and ultimately decided to plant his flag and leverage his working knowledge of the business to develop his own small batch bourbon.  He partnered with a well-respected distillery (SPEAKeasy Spirits) in Tennessee to produce JR Revelry, a combination of what he describes as “Some expected and some unexpected” flavor profiles in this excellent bourbon.  JR Revelry will begin to hit the shelves later in 2014 and expanding in early 2015.  Schwegman and CW are pleased to have been able to sample one of the bottles from his first 20 case batch!

Special Guests

LeeAnn Maxwell, CEO/Co-Founder of Vixen Vodka  Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn  Pinterest

Vixen Vodka

  • 28 years experience in finance sector
  • former Director, Client Services of AccousTech Music Productions
  • Crossfit fan
  • 50% Firecracker
  • 50% Do-It-Yourself Woman

Jesus Ricardo (Rick) Tapia, Founder of La Bodega International, LLC and Creator of J.R. Revelry  Facebook  Twitter 16x16

JR Revelry

  • 17 years of experience in alcohol beverage industry
  • Successful entrepreneur
  • Actively involved in the community, supporting Hispanic and Latin American Chambers of Commerce
  • BA, Boston University
  • Speaks Fluent Spanish

 

BlueLeap Customer Experience, Kiwanis Club of Atlanta, Dimensional Solutions Managed IT, Jellyfish

CX

Raleigh Burgess talks about how BlueLeap helps companies improve Customer Experience.

BlueLeap and Customer Experience (CX), Kiwanis Club of Atlanta and community service, Dimensional Solutions and Managed IT Services

BlueLeap integrates cloud-based telephony (voice and text) into your business process, automating communication tasks thereby saving your agents time, reducing customer wait and building brand loyalty. They provide an Oracle Validated Integration that uses the entire Twilio Platform inside the Oracle Cloud Service and brings deep enterprise functionality to large clients.   BlueLeap’s CX technologies are integrated into a few industry templates already.   Their Customer Experience solutions ares currently being used in over 50+ countries, across 1000+ agents.  One example of the exciting capabilities that BlueLeap gives their clients lies within their texting component.  It gives the client user the ability to send texts to their customers abroad in English and it’s then translated and displayed to the recipient in their native language.  This has proven to significantly increase customer engagement as shown by dramatic rise in text-backs from the recipients.  Oracle RightNow users can seamlessly integrate BlueLeap’s Oracle Validated services into their existing platforms and take full advantage of the Oracle cloud’s potential.

The Kiwanis Club of Atlanta has been serving the Atlanta community since 1915. The club’s motto is “Learn, Serve, Connect.” Members “Learn” about our community, our state, our nation and our world through the excellent and diverse speakers at weekly luncheon meetings.  Kiwanis Club of Atlanta “Serves” our community through members’ commitment to a variety of community charitable organizations. They “Connect” with each other through the myriad of social and business networking events held each month. The Kiwanis Club of Atlanta is more than a civic club, it is a place where friendships are formed and last a lifetime!

Dimensional Solutions Managed IT provides small- to mid-sized Atlanta businesses a full selection of IT expertise to manage parts or all of their IT needs.  With their ala carte menu of services, companies can tailor the level of engagement with Dimensional Solutions’ team of experts.  This enables companies to achieve the highest level of network reliability, security, and compliance while saving significant dollars spent on their IT needs.  For companies who are involved with a content provider using the “Bring Your Own Device” model for providing their services, Dimensional Solutions is able to insure that these “foreign” devices integrate into the client company’s network without disruption or risk.  And when the content project is complete their team will work to disconnect the devices completely and remove all proprietary information from the devices that will be leaving the business with the content consultants.  Dimensional Solutions provides a free consultation to determine the needs of the client company and identify areas of risk and/or ways they can improve their IT while saving cost.

Jellyfish is a global digital marketing agency, with offices in the US, UK and South Africa. The company’s award-winning combination of technology and talent deliver paid search, display/RTB, SEO, social media, analytics, optimization, creative, video and development solutions.   Jellyfish has worked across a wide range of industries, including property, pharmaceutical, financial and gaming.  Their impressive list of clients include Walden University, Fidelity, Carfax, Pfizer, Zipcar, Caesars and ADP.  Jellyfish has an international team, with industry recognized qualifications, combines a deep understanding of user interaction online combined with advanced technologies. The company’s team proud to create successful, performance-based campaigns.  Jellyfish we understands how the convergence of marketing channels, platforms and devices can be used effectively to create an overall winning strategy, and therefore the perfect digital journey for their clients.

Special Guests:

Raleigh Burgess of BlueLeap  Facebook  Twitter 16x16  Linkedin  google-plus-logo-red-265px

BlueLeap

  •  TAG Diversity in Leadership Award Finalist 2012
  • 10 years experience consulting on ERP and other custom projects
  • Former CIO GE Capital
  • Advisory Board Member to Biotech Startup >10 years
  • 3x successful entrepreneur in software sector

Laura McCarty of Kiwanis Club of Atlanta  Linkedin  Facebook  Twitter 16x16

Kiwanis Club of Atlanta

  • Vice President, Georgia Humanities Council
  • Adjunct English Professor, Georgia Piedmont Technical College
  • Masters in Comparative Literature, University of Georgia

Mike Remy VP, Enterprise Solutions of Dimensional Solutions Managed IT Services  Facebook  Linkedin  Twitter 16x16

Dimensional Solutions Managed IT

  • Over 20 years of experience in enterprise/IT solutions
  • Self-funded, launched and ran his first IT company for 12 years before selling the business
  • Accomplished pilot and photographer

Eric Jones VP, Client Strategy with Jellyfish  Twitter 16x16  Facebook  Linkedin  youtube logo  google-plus-logo-red-265px

Jellyfish

  • CEO, Avenue J Development LLC
  • Previous Board of Directors member, Toolbank Baltimore
  • >10 years in leadership roles in digital strategy/marketing companies

 

 

NowAccount Network Corporation

Nowaccounts Network Corproation

Kim Humphreys and Lara Hodgson of NowAccount Network Corporation

Nowaccount Network Corporation Eliminates DSO Aging for Small to Medium-sized B2B Companies

Today on Midtown Business Radio we were joined by Lara Hodgson and Kim Humphreys of Nowaccount Network Corporation.  In the business world, companies can encounter significant risk related to prolonged aging of their Accounts Receivable.  It’s not uncommon for some businesses to have a Day Sales Outstanding of nearly 60 days.  With so much capital unavailable to cover costs such as payroll, necessary production materials, and capital equipment, many companies are forced to avoid taking on larger contracts/client orders or even close their doors due to capital short-fall.  Until now, B2B companies were forced to try to secure capital through onerous loans (if they could obtain one), factoring agreements (which require disclosure to all clients), and other less-than-optimal sources of funds.  Service companies that provide a service versus selling goods/products can have a particularly difficult time gaining access to loans or other options due to a lack of inventory/capital equipment that could be used as collateral.

Nowaccount serves the B2B space and provides access to AR pending capital within 2-5 days for a 2.5% fee.  In essence the service is akin to being able to accept a credit card for invoices.  Their clients can select which of their customers’ accounts they wish to include in their program rather than requiring them to enroll ALL AR.  Additionally, Nowaccount Network Corporation doesn’t force a long-term contract on their clients, giving them even greater flexibility.  Nowaccount does not require disclosure to their clients’ customers of their relationship so engaging in Nowaccount’s services is completely invisible to the B2B’s customers.  With access to their capital in such a timely fashion, many of the company’s clients have been able to leverage their quick access to pending AR capital into securing large contracts that would have been previously-inaccessible.  Some Nowaccount customers have been able to use their newly-acquired AR Cash in hand to gain bulk buying discounts on supplies/production materials and even improved company valuation prior to selling their company.  If your company is a B2B company that doesn’t have access to capital sources the Big Boys have there is no good reason to not be taking advantage of Nowaccount Network Corporation’s elegant solution to aging DSO!

Special guest:

Lara O’Connor-Hodgson, CEO of Nowaccount Network Corporation  Twitter  LinkedIn  Facebook

Nowaccount Network Corporation

Lara O’Connor-Hodgson of Nowaccount Network Corporation

  • MBA Harvard Business School
  • Former Adjunct Professor of Finance, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Board of Directors, Georgia Regional Transportation Authority
  • Owner, Insomnia Group
  • Chairman of the Board, Atlanta Heights Charter School
  • Second Language–Japanese