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Curated Collection Of The Best Interviews From Our Midtown Studio





AGLCC

AGLCC

Dan Dunlop, Vickie Irwin, Dillard Jones

AGLCC

It’s the 3rd Tuesday of the month, which means I’ve got Emma Foulkes and Bruce Logue of Atlanta Gay/Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (AGLCC) in the studio.  We featured Dillard Jones, of The Concierge Guy, Dan Dunlop of Dunlop Productions, and Vickie Irwin, Diversity Manager for Georgia Power.  We talked about their respective businesses, value of being a member of the AGLCC, and why it makes sense to get your small business certified as a LGBT Business Enterprise.

Check back soon for more information!

Special Guests:

Emma Foulkes, Managing Partner, Commonwealth Business & Retirement Services  facebook_logo_small3  twitter_logo_small

AGLCC

  • BA, Information Systems, University of Phoenix–San Diego
  • Executive Program in Financial Planning, University of Georgia
  • Atlanta Business Chronicle/NAIFA – Top Female Financial Advisor in Atlanta, 2013 & 2014
  • Advocacy Chair, Financial Planning Association of Georgia

Bruce Logue, Managing Partner, The Corbel Group at Keller Williams  linkedin_small1

AGLCC

  • Previous Fulfillment Account Manager, Palm Coast Data
  • Former Methods/Procedures Training Manager, AT&T/CitiBank Universal Card Services
  • Previous Graphic Designer, Westinghouse Electric Company
  • Active volunteer, Atlanta Pet Rescue and Adoption

Dillard Jones, Founder, The Concierge Guy 

AGLCC

Vickie Irwin, Diversity Manager, Georgia Power Company 

AGLCC

Dan Dunlop, Founder, Dunlop Productions 

AGLCC

Cobb County Chamber of Commerce

cobb county

Cobb County Chamber of Commerce

I am pleased to launch a monthly episode featuring the Cobb County Chamber of Commerce and businesses serving the Cobb County business ecosystem.  Cobb CC’s Event Manager, Ashley Warner, joined me in the studio and brought with her several cool entrepreneurs, several of them members of the chamber.

Jeff Curtis, of OfficeZilla, came by to talk about how their office supply company combines a personal, relationship-driven focus through their service representatives, with a helpful ecommerce platform through which they conduct their business.

OfficeZilla was founded in 2012 with the belief that the Office Supplies industry was ready for a fun,
flexible and customer-obsessed way of doing business.  In fact, OfficeZilla was founded by some of the
original founders of Cold Stone Creamery, Moe’s Southwest Grill and Inc 500 company Flip Flop Shops!

He explained that the “big box” stores only account for ~30% of the office supply market, something I found surprising.  Given the remaining potential client base out there, the OfficeZilla folks engage their customers and help them optimize their office supply  procurement process to be as efficient and lean as can be to maximize the client’s business.

Georgia Crafted was started by Erin Zwigart and her husband after a growing desire to have a business of their own.  After having spent ~13 years working for a marketing firm, she was ready for something new.  Erin shared how she and her husband had had numerous conversations about the fact they wanted to start a business but could not decide how they wanted to go about it.

She explained that after a particularly long evening of discussion (and a beverage or two) ~three years ago, they decided they would start a company that focused on selling products from Georgia-based companies.  Some digging revealed there were no significant competitors in that niche and so Georgia Crafted was born.

Their ecommerce site provides custom gift baskets and items, all manufactured in Georgia.  Erin introduced us to one of her suppliers, Austin and Hunter Johnson, who founded Sinclair’s Sauce, makers of a variety of condiment sauces from homemade recipes Austin developed.

Austin, a recent University of Georgia graduate, began getting into cooking to impress the ladies. (much like my own inspiration that led to me being a foodie)  Austin shared how he began experimenting with creating sauces to serve with food he was preparing.  As he shared them with people around the dorm, he was getting more and more requests for more.

He ultimately found a cold packing company and began to have it produced in bulk.  Austin recruited his younger brother, a junior at Chamblee Charter High School, Hunter, to become Brand Ambassador.  While the young men are able to sell a good amount of their product via channels such as Georgia Crafted, they are focusing their efforts on forming relationships with condiment makers and the food industry to provide their sauces as licensed products there.

Cobb County

Austin and Hunter Johnson

Beth Summers heads business development for Roam–Galleria, an innovative work space that places emphasis on the look and feel of their shared office facilities and conference rooms.  The founders, having done much of their telecommuting at previous jobs in coffee shops, decided they wanted to create a comfortable, visually-inviting space that offered a feel along those lines.

The company has four Atlanta area locations and offers a range of options for the small business or executives who work remotely but want to have access to an office space, meeting room, or conference space.  They provide reception and access to all amenities one would expect in a well-appointed office.

Special Guests:

Ashley Warner, Events Manager, Cobb County Chamber of Commerce  facebook_logo_small3  twitter_logo_small  linkedin_small1  youtube logo  WP logo

cobb county

Jeff Curtis, Principal, OfficeZilla  Facebook  Pinterest  twitter_logo_small  linkedin_small1

cobb county

Erin Zwigart, Founder, Georgia Crafted  twitter_logo_small  Pinterest-logo  linkedin_small1  facebook_logo_small3  instagram-logo-transparent-png-i11 (16x16)

cobb county

Austin Johnson, Founder, Sinclair’s Sauce

cobb county

Hunter Johnson, Brand Ambassador, Sinclair’s Sauce

cobb county

Beth Summers, Director of Corporate Sales,  Roam–Galleria  twitter_logo_small  linkedin_small1  facebook_logo_small3  instagram-logo-transparent-png-i11 (16x16)  youtube logo

cobb county

Businesses With Integrity

integrity

Bo Wilkins and Steve Hunter

Businesses With Integrity

I continued our series with Life University’s Dr. Gilles LaMarche, focusing on business leaders with integrity.  The series is a lead-in to Life University’s Life Talks World Congress event coming up May 12-13.  The 2 day event will be featuring numerous subject matter experts on relationships, personal and professional, and various aspects of our lives where we can improve how we experience others and how they experience us.  Last year’s event was very popular with its attendees, with many proclaiming it to have made significant impact on their lives for having gone.

Gilles introduced us to Chuck Papandrea, of Life Leadership (unrelated to Life University).  His firm works with businesses seeking to increase morale, productivity, and customer satisfaction through improved communication and leadership.  He has seen his small- to mid-sized business clients experience major turn-arounds in morale and employee retention, coupled with growing revenues as employees begin to truly personalize their work and the company.

integrity

Chuck Papandrea and Dr. Gilles LaMarche

Bo Wilkins of SoundRiver advisors works with business owners and entrepreneurs to help them plan and execute transition of their business through successful sales or migration to heirs/family.  He talked about how challenging it can be for a busy owner to effectively manage the business and coordinate what is a multi-person team who needs to be evaluating and in some cases modifying elements of the business’s financial plan and execution.

Bo explained how important it is to begin planning for a transition 3-5+ years ahead of an anticipated move to sell or transfer the company, as it can take that long to have all elements lined out that affect sale value and pay-outs, viability of the business after the owner moves aside, etc.

He introduced us to Steve Hunter, of Greene, Holcomb, and Fisher.  With offices in Minneapolis, Phoenix, Seattle and Atlanta, is an investment banking firm that specializes in mergers and acquisitions, private placements and financial advisory services for the middle market.

At Greene Holcomb Fisher, experience from nationally prominent investment banks and leading law firms is blended with senior-level attention and entrepreneurial ingenuity to deliver creative services to high quality companies.  The firm’s investment bankers specialize in the Consumer, Food & Agribusiness, Healthcare, Industrial Products & Services, Business & Education Services, Technology and Energy & Infrastructure sectors.  Greene Holcomb Fisher provides global reach through Clairfield International.  For more information, please visit www.ghf.net and www.clairfield.com.

J Cornelius of Nine Labs stopped by to talk about how his company helps companies insure they are effectively projecting their brand across digital platforms such as website and social media, and mobile devices.  The company also provides consulting services that seek to clearly identify the client’s true customer base such that messaging will be appropriate to meet the needs of that customer, who is often not who the business initially thought they were.

With a complement of experts in branding, digital media, and web design, J’s team at Nine Labs help companies to know the time and revenue invested in their website and branding is actually achieving the desired goal and allowing it to create the ROI that should come with such efforts.

Sabetay Palatchi, of Just Military Loans shared information about their service, providing active duty and military veterans with access to needed capital through small loans and other options.  He talked about some of the challenges military personnel face getting access to loans such as frequently moving and/or being deployed, which occasionally results in negative credit events.  Just Military Loans is able to work with military personnel with a personalized approach that helps them re-establish their good credit and take care of personal business in need of funds.

Special Guests:

Dr. Gilles LaMarche, DC, VP of Professional Relations at Life University  youtube logo linkedin_small1  twitter_logo_small-e1403698475314  facebook_logo_small3  smugmug LOGO

Life University

Chuck Papandrea, Member, Life Leadership  youtube logo  twitter_logo_small  Pinterest-logo  linkedin_small1  instagram-logo-transparent-png-i11 (16x16)  google-plus-logo-red-265px  facebook_logo_small3  

integrity

Bo Wilkins, Partner, SoundRiver Advisors  Linkedin    

SoundRiver Advisors

Steve Hunter, Managing Director, Greene, Holcomb, Fisher  linkedin_small1  twitter_logo_small

integrity

J Cornelius / Nine Labs Linkedin Twitter

integrity

Sabetay Palatchi, Partner, Just Military Loans  linkedin_small1  

integrity