Nine Labs, Polygon, Casey Gilson, Nelson Mullins, and SoundRiver Advisors
This week we heard from experts in corporate law (workers compensation and mergers & acquisitions), web design and customer experience, and corporate executive compensation and financial planning. I hosted folks from Nine Labs, Polygon, Casey Gilson, Nelson Mullins, and SoundRiver Advisors.
J. Cornelius is the President of Nine Labs, a web design and customer experience company based in Atlanta. He also started Polygon, an event space designed and dedicated to support Atlanta’s growing technology industry. Nine Labs is a user experience consultancy that helps businesses improve the look and feel of their digital technologies, making sure that a customer’s experience is useful, intuitive, and branding is maintained across the variety of digital media, mobile devices, and other user interfaces. The company will provide message content or work with their client’s internal team to optimize the way the client presents their brand to the public. Nine Labs is able to help businesses that are putting effort into making sure their customers can have a consistent experience across all digital/mobile platforms. They often encounter situations where a user’s experience on a mobile device is very different in terms of look and feel of a company’s branding, along with less-than-optimal navigation or functionality. Nine Labs’ experts are able to bring a consistent, positive experience to a company’s web visitors, regardless of technology used to access it. Polygon is an event space located in popular Atlantic Station in Midtown Atlanta that was created to provide technology companies and associations with a place to have productive networking, planning, and educational events. The space is located, laid out, and equipped with the Atlanta technology industry in mind.
Rayford Taylor is an attorney with the firm, Casey Gilson PC, admitted to practice law in Florida and Georgia. The majority of his practice is providing advice and representation to employers, insurance companies, insurance funds, and third party administrators in the defense of workers’ compensation claims, whether at trial or on appeal. Rayford also represents such entities in disputes with both Florida and Georgia state governments and regulators involving the operation of their companies and businesses. He has handled workers’ compensation cases all over Georgia and North Florida since 1990. The law firm of Casey Gilson is a firm that practices in the areas of labor law, personal injury defense, business litigation, trademark matters, patent disputes, bankruptcy cases and general litigation throughout all parts of Georgia. Rayford talked about some key areas where businesses make mistakes that can create increased exposure to workers compensation costs. He shared recommendations that employers could use to improve relations with injured employees as well as reducing risk for fraudulent behaviors.
Michael Hollingsworth is an award-winning attorney with Nelson, Mullins, Riley, and Scarborough LLP, located in Atlanta. He is a managing partner of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough’s Atlanta office, and is co-head of the Firm’s Mergers & Acquisitions Group. Mr. Hollingsworth focuses on middle-market corporate transactions, including mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, and joint ventures. He also serves on the Firm’s Executive Committee, the governing body of seven partners who oversee firm standing committees, strategic initiatives, and firm operations. Michael represents private equity and hedge funds relative to their formation, operations and investments. He has a broad range of industry experience including food and beverage, consumer-branded products, healthcare, construction and aggregates, technology and telecommunications, media, manufacturing and distribution, and business services. Michael is also a transactional lawyer in the Firm’s multidisciplinary National Healthcare Practice Group.
Nelson Mullins provides advice and counsel in litigation, corporate, securities, finance, intellectual property, employment, government relations, regulatory, and other needs of clients ranging from private individuals to large businesses, including many publicly held companies. Nelson Mullins offers services in over 40 practice areas and as such they are able to provide expertise to a wide range of legal and business problems while offering value-added service to clients. Many Nelson Mullins clients—including growth companies, expanding local businesses, and major international companies—retain the Firm to provide all of their legal services. Other clients are national companies requiring assistance with specific regional or local legal matters. The Firm also has experience representing international companies interested in locating facilities in the Southeast. Start-up assistance for entrepreneurial endeavors, multi-action litigation defense, and representation of underwriters and investment bankers are only a few of the services that are provided by Nelson Mullins attorneys. Michael talked about how rewarding it is to become a trusted adviser for his clients as well as helping them to successfully navigate the sale of a successful business to the betterment of their financial situations.
Bo Wilkins, of SoundRiver Advisors stopped by to talk about the way their firm helps privately-owned businesses plan for generational transitions of ownership as well as preparation for sale or merger should those options be the chosen path for their clients. SoundRiver Advisors is an independent wealth management and life insurance advisory firm providing strategies to help privately held business owners invest, protect, and perpetuate their wealth. We talked about how challenging it can be for companies to retain high-performing, key executives (as well as how expensive it can be to replace them). SoundRiver Advisors is able to help the business owner develop a compensation plan that affords their key executives with a compelling pay and bonus structure along with effective investment/benefit vehicles that will optimize the tax picture of that compensation package, making it much more likely those important executives will remain in place. The firm provides certified financial and insurance experts and is a Registered Investment Advisor. SoundRiver is structured to offer their clients unbiased and untethered solutions. They avoid selling captive investment or insurance solutions. You don’t have to talk with their folks very long before you realize they are in the business of finding the best solution for each of their clients.
- President, Atlanta Web Design Group
- Former VP Operations, CoffeeCup Software, Inc.
- Mentor, ATDC
- Creative Circus Advisory Board Member
Rayford Taylor, Attorney of Casey Gilson PC
- Former VP, Stiles, Taylor, and Grace
- Former General Counsel and Legislative Counsel, Florida Bar
- Juris Doctor, Florida State University College of Law
- Fellow, National Workers Compensation Lawyers
Michael Hollingsworth, Managing Partner, of Nelson, Mullins, Riley, & Scarborough
- Juris Doctor, Samford Cumberland School of Law
- Master of Laws, Taxation, University of Alabama School of Law
- Member, Executive Committee, Managing Partner-Atlanta, Co-chair Mergers & Acquisitions
- Recipient: BTI Client Service All-Stars (2012), Chambers & Partners (M&A), International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers, SuperLawyers (Georgia)
Bo Wilkins, Partner, SoundRiver Advisors
- Former Executive Managing Director, Wealth Management, Reliance Trust Company
- Former Partner, Nease, Lagana, Eden, & Culley
- BA, History & German, Hampden-Sydney College
- CLU – Chartered Life Underwriter; ChFC – Chartered Financial Consultant; CAP – Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy