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ArtsBridge Foundation

Cobb County Chamber of Commerce

Amy Selby, Natalie Barrow

ArtsBridge Foundation

ArtsBridge Foundation, the arts education non-profit outreach of Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre,
has served over 300,000 students from 54 Georgia counties as well as Alabama, Florida, South Carolina
and Tennessee. With a mission to educate, inspire and motivate Georgia’s youth through the arts,
ArtsBridge is committed to providing high quality performing arts experiences for students of all ages.
ArtsBridge programs include Field Trips to Cobb Energy Centre for performances by leading national and
international artists, the Georgia High School Musical Theatre Awards – The Shuler Awards, which celebrate excellence in high school musical theatre programs, master classes and the ArtsBridge FamilyPerformances Series.

This week, Amy Selby of Cobb County Chamber of Commerce and I hosted Natalie Barrow, Director of Arts Education & Community Outreach, for the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre’s ArtsBridge Foundation.  She shared great information about the ways she and her team are working to foster the arts for our community, particularly for our young people.

She explained the value of arts education in overall academic performance, with students who participate in developing artistic expression, skills, and thinking demonstrating higher achievement than peers who do not.  We talked about how the variety of innovative services they offer require significant financial resources to be able to sustain them.

The ArtsBridge is actively seeking partners in the philanthropic community, be it with enterprises or individuals/families, to be able to maintain, and indeed grow the reach and extent of services they can provide.

Special Guests:

Natalie Barrow, Director of Arts Education & Community Outreach, ArtsBridge Foundation  linkedin_small1  facebook_logo_small3  twitter_logo_small  instagram-logo-transparent-png-i11 (16x16)

Cobb County Chamber of Commerce

Amy Selby, VP Marketing & Communications, Cobb County Chamber of Commerce  linkedin_small1  facebook_logo_small3  twitter_logo_small  youtube logo  WP logo

Cobb County Chamber of Commerce


Cobb Co Chamber Hosts Six Flags and Cobb Travel and Tourism

Cobb County Chamber of Commerce

Gene Petriello and Megan Stambaugh

Cobb Co Chamber Hosts Six Flags and Cobb Travel and Tourism

This week Amy and I hosted Megan Stambaugh, Partner Services Director, Cobb Travel and Tourism, and Gene Petriello, Properties Communications Manager for Six Flags Atlanta to learn about economic impacts of attractions such as Six Flags and others, as well as what efforts are under way to foster continued growth.

Some will describe Six Flags Over Georgia as Thrill capital of the South. 290-acre thrill-park with some of the fastest, tallest and wildest rides in the country. Features more than 40 rides, shows and attractions and 12 world-class roller coasters.  New for 2016, North America’s First Virtual Reality Roller Coaster- The New Revolution, Bugs Bunny Boomtown and DC SUPER Friends.

Two new interactive kid’s zones themed after everyone’s favorite Looney Tunes cartoon characters and DC SUPER heroes featuring 12 new rides and attractions that the entire family can enjoy together.  Free with park admission, Six Flags Over Georgia features Hurricane Harbor, a 7-acre waterpark with the world’s first hybrid zero-gravity waterslide, Tsunami Surge. Six Flags Over Georgia features its seasonal Fright Fest Halloween event and recently added Holiday in the Park winter celebration featuring more than one million LED lights. Visit for more information.

Cobb County remains a regionally and nationally known travel destination providing a rewarding and memorable experience to all visitors. Cobb County will continue to be recognized as a preferred destination among planners of conventions, trade shows, and special events, as well as leisure travelers.

The Cobb Travel & Tourism website talks about the organization’s vision for what it hopes to achieve on behalf of the Cobb County economy this way,

Cobb Travel & Tourism focus:

• To be the main source of quality leads for hotel that will enable consistently higher occupancy rates than regional competitors

• To be the primary destination marketing organization for Cobb County

• To remain instrumental in creating strategic partnerships and alliances among industry stakeholders

• To remain a leader among convention & visitors bureaus with similar budget classifications

• To remain committed to partnership growth through providing valuable benefits and excellent customer service

• To be financially stable and efficient in delivering services

AGLCC’s Emma Foulks Talks Out In The Kitchen


Carlton Brown, Angel Touwsma, Elizabeth Odem


Emma Foulkes, Vadam Clementi, Carlton Brown

AGLCC’s Emma Foulks Talks Out In The Kitchen

On this week’s episode, AGLCC’s Emma Foulks Talks Out In The Kitchen with Occasional Occasions’ Chef Carlton Brown and Chef Vedam Clementi, author of “Vedam’s Gluten Free & Fabulous! Recipes From A Southern Gay Househusband.”  Both chefs are contributing their culinary treats for the upcoming Out In The Kitchen event December 7 at the W Midtown.  Also joining us were Elizabeth Odom and Angel Touwsma from the W’s sales and marketing team to talk about why the W enjoys hosting this and other AGLCC events.

Chef Vedam Clementi is a gluten free personal chef and the author of “Vedam’s Gluten Free & Fabulous! Recipes From A Southern Gay Househusband.” After suffering for over two decades with misdiagnosed health issues, Vedam was diagnosed with Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity, and had to learn to cook a new way – completely gluten free. The cookbook not only offers Southern dishes but also includes gluten free basics, how to create your own flour blend, how to set up a gluten free kitchen and home, breakfasts, soups, side and main dishes, desserts and some of his and his husband’s favorite dishes and cuisines.

Chef Vedam is a personal chef providing delicious gluten free meals customized to your tastes and needs and conveniently prepared in your home. Whether you want to plan a special dinner, or to have frozen, easy-to- reheat prepared meals for those days you are too busy to cook, he will work with you to develop a delectable gluten free menu. Vedam also offers customized gluten free hors d’oeuvres, desserts, and complete meals for parties and corporate events.

Understanding the challenges of gluten free living, Vedam offers in-home cooking classes and guidance on setting up a gluten free kitchen and home. He is also busy creating new recipes for his next gluten free cookbook which will focus on more vegetarian and health-conscious recipes.

Offering boutique-style catering services for your private, corporate, or non-profit affair, Occasional Occasions by
Carlton will make your Occasional Occasion truly memorable. Founded in 1994 by Carlton A. Brown, Occasional Occasions by Carlton has been serving clients, corporate and private, throughout the Atlanta Metropolitan area. What we offer you is not only great food, but elegant presentations and impeccable service. Visualize all of this and you will foresee how Occasional Occasions by Carlton will create your event, personalized to your needs and operating comfortably within your budget.

W’s 14th Street address places you in the heart of Atlanta’s most dynamic neighborhood, Midtown, with
over 22 miles of urban redevelopment at your fingertips, picturesque Piedmont Park in our backyard, and
world-class shopping, dining and nightlife surrounding. you’ll appreciate having the city at your fingertips.

Ignite your stay in one of W’s 466 unique, spacious guestrooms and suites with unmatched floor to ceiling
Atlanta skyline and park views.  Upon arrival, guests walk into a dramatic open air Living Room, amplifying the energy that W Hotels are known for with sounds from impromptu and often intimate performances featuring what’s new/next from the Atlanta music scene. Delight in classic and modern twists on New South favorites at TRACE, our Midtown Atlanta restaurant.

The W scene continues to unfold as the guests arrive to the signature glass lift and connect instantly with SPG keyless room access.  Weekend adventurers escape here to indulge in Bliss spa and FIT, W Atlanta Midtown’s 24/7 gym. For those seeking outdoors, grab a bike and hit the Beltline or take a walk on the natural side exploring Piedmont Park. And when the sun sets, free your inner night owl at some of Atlanta’s chicest clubs.

Profit Enhancement Group


Stacey Sagues

Profit Enhancement Group

Profit Enhancement Group, LLC is a consulting firm that specializes in increasing business profits, and
truly understanding the needs of an organization as a partner. The company places focus and expertise on Sales/Marketing, Finance and People Strategy for businesses.  The firm also has a division that focuses on Self-Funded Medical plans and how to divert cost away from the plan, particularly through insuring that all employees who should be receiving care support and benefits through CMS/Disability are having claims administered by the appropriate entity rather than the company’s plan.

In instances where it is discovered that the company’s benefits plan has provided coverage for employees whose care should have been provided for by CMS, Stace’s team can recover up to 12 months of previously-paid claims from CMS and return it to the business.  Additionally, having these employees appropriately managed by CMS also helps reduce out of pocket expense for these employees (or former active employees who are covered in retirement).

Originally, Profit Enhancement Group’s target market was small businesses, however over the past two years it was discovered the company’s solution is scalable to fit all business sizes. Its about understanding the needs of a business.

Special Guest:

Stacey Sagues, Co-Founder, Profit Enhancement Group

Cobb County Chamber of Commerce Public Safety Awards

Public Safety

Amy Selby, Lance LoRusso, David Lee

Cobb County Chamber of Commerce Public Safety Awards

Amy Selby, VP Marketing and Communications for Cobb County Chamber of Commerce joined me to talk about the upcoming Public Safety Awards and Awareness Week.  She brought along Smyrna Police Department Chief, David Lee, and attorney/former police officer, Lance LoRusso of LoRusso Law Firm to get their perspectives, along with tips for business owners to enhance public safety in their commercial zones.

More info soon!


2016 Health Connect South Event

Health Connect South

Dan Cerutti

2016 Health Connect South Event

I had the opportunity to sit down with several presenters and attendees at the 2016 Health Connect South event.  On this week’s show I share three segments with

IBM Watson Health,

VP of Population Health and Cognitive Decision Support, Dan Cerutti


Dan Shook, National Park Service–Kittyhawk


Jim Schwoebel, founder of NeuroLex Diagnostics.

More info soon!

AGLCC Community Awards Dinner

community awards

Bruce Logue, Doug Roberts, Cindy Brown, Sharon McMahon, Tony Kearny, Dan Dunlop

AGLCC Community Awards Dinner

On this week’s episode, Bruce Logue and guest co-host, Dan Dunlop, of Dunlop Productions, hosted Cindy Brown and Sharon McMahon, Doug Roberts, and Tony Kearny, and shared information about the upcoming AGLCC Community Awards Dinner September 23.

Doug Roberts is a Certified Financial Planner with Ameriprise.  He helps his clients achieve their dreams for today,
tomorrow, and well into the future — using Ameriprise’s exclusive Confident Retirement ® approach.  It starts with a
personalized conversation about covering essentials, ensuring lifestyle, preparing for the unexpected and leaving a legacy. By breaking your financial goals down into doable steps, Ameriprise financial planners can help take the uncertainty out of planning for your financial future.

A dynamic duo of wedding photographers in love, Cindy and Sharon, are ready to tell your love story. They’re
photographers by craft, but story-tellers at heart. And are dedicated to documenting marriage equality one
ceremony at a time. Well-known for C. Brown Photography, the ladies saw an opportunity to serve the needs of same-sex couples seeking photography for their weddings.

They’ve been civilly unionized in Vermont, married in Connecticut and vow-renewed here in Atlanta and would
love to share what they know about same-sex weddings with you.

Tony Kearny is Director of Corporate Partnerships with Planned Parenthood Southeast.  The organization believes in the fundamental right of each individual, throughout our service area, to manage his or her fertility, regardless of the individual’s income, marital status, race, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, religion, disability, or residence.

Planned Parenthood believes that respect and value for diversity in all aspects of the organization are essential to their well-being. They also believe that reproductive self-determination must be voluntary and preserve the individual’s right to privacy.  Additionally, Planned Parenthood further believes that such self-determination will contribute to an enhancement of the quality of life and strong family relationships.

Special Guests:

Cindy Brown and Sharon MacMahon, Co-Founders, Same Sex Wedding Photograpers


Doug Roberts, Certified Financial Planner, Ameriprise


Tony Kearny, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Planned Parenthood Southeast


Dr. Dionne Poulton and Jermaine Pettis of Brand Bank

brand bank

Jermaine Pettis and Dr. Dionne Poulton

Dr. Dionne Poulton and Jermaine Pettis of Brand Bank

This week I hosted Dr. Dionne Poulton of Poulton Consulting Group, and Jermaine Pettis, Commercial Relationship Manager for Brand Bank.

Poulton Consulting Group, LLC (PCG) is an HR and Leadership Consulting business specializing in diversity and inclusion, equity, bias, intercultural communication, adult learning, adult behavior, and conflict mediation. Since its inception in 2004, PCG has worked with a wide range of diverse clients in the US and Canada, including in the San Francisco tech and digital marketing industry, K-12 schools, higher education, and many corporate and service industries.

Dr. Poulton’s offer onsite and off site company retreats and team-building activities, brown bag discussions, “talks,” specialized trainings, professional development workshops, and keynote addresses, all based on Dr. Poulton’s PhD research and experience. Poulton Consulting Group, LLC (PCG) is also a government-approved business for local, State and Federal level contracts.

Jermain Pettis is a commercial banking relationship professional that leverages extensive financial product and services knowledge, diverse banking experience, and result driven financial advisement for small to medium size businesses in the metro Atlanta area.

Brand Bank, a local area bank founded over 100 years ago, shares this about their history on their website,

The Brand Banking Company (BrandBank) was chartered in 1905, after county officials told E.M. Brand that he could no longer loan money on the courthouse steps. He did not move far. He built his bank on the courthouse square. At over a century of service, we are proud to say we are the oldest locally owned bank in Gwinnett, combining old-fashioned personal service with the benefits of modern technology. With employees who live in or are native to the area, we boast a very stable staff. Our employees are encouraged to participate in community service and activities.

We appreciate your business and look forward to handling all your financial needs.

Vision:  To be the best brand in banking.

Mission:  Exceed customer expectations.

Values:  Integrity | Innovation | Teamwork

Special Guests:

Dr. Dionne Poulton, PhD, HR and Leadership Consultant, Poulton Consulting Group


Jermaine Pettis, Commercial Relationship Manager, Brand Bank


Cobb County Chamber of Commerce, IAG Forensics and Valuation, Georgia Trade School

 trade school

Amy Selby, Pat Salem, Sean Quinton

Cobb County Chamber of Commerce, IAG Forensics & Valuation, Georgia Trade School

This week we continued our monthly series with Cobb County Chamber of Commerce.  Cobb CoC’s Vice President of Marketing & Communications, Amy Selby, sat in with me as we hosted Pat Salem, CPA, CFE, Forensic Accountant, with IAG Forensics & Valuation, and Sean Quinton, Vice President, with Georgia Trade School.  Both of these businesses are among the Top 25 Businesses for 2016 for the Cobb County Chamber of Commerce.

Pat Salem joined IAG Forensics in July 2010 as a forensic accountant. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE).  Pat previously worked in information technology as a software developer for Lockheed Martin for a number of years before she learned about forensic accounting.  Intrigued, she set off on a new career, going back to school for an accounting degree.  She has a Master of Professional Accountancy (MPA) from Georgia State University, and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Vermont.


Direct dial: 770.635.1698

The technical chair of the Skills USA Georgia Welding and Fabrication Competition since 2012, Sean Quinton is the Vice President of Georgia Trade School. Mr. Quinton’s career in welding education began in 2008 as the Director of Operations for the Center of Industry and Technology. In this role, Sean was responsible for increasing gross revenues by 152%, increasing net profits by 520% and student enrollment by 215%. A Certified Welding Inspector, Sean oversaw welding operations at CIT to insure quality assurance and to document all tests are conducted in accordance with industry standards. A member of the American Welding Society since 2009, Mr. Quinton has completed contract inspection and welding work for Rockdale Pipeline, McKinney Drilling, Work Installation Design Services and HEMI Systems. Prior to being named the Executive Chair of Skills USA Georgia, Sean served as a judge in the welding and fabrication sections from 2008 to 2012. In 2015 Mr. Quinton was named a National Judge at the Skills USA Welding and Fabrication Championship in Louisville, Kentucky.

With a love for fabrication and motorsports, Mr. Quinton has immersed himself in the welding industry and gets to wake up every day looking forward to what he gets to do! Sean has attended FabTech the trade’s largest convention in each market (Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas) that it travels to. At GTS, Sean is responsible for the welding laboratory, welding instruction staff, curriculum and certification testing. Mr. Quinton has also worked on some high profile projects right here in the city of Kennesaw. The Metro areas first whiskey distillery, Lazy Guy commissioned Sean and GTS instructor James Spinner to build their tanks and barrel holders. The Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History, A Smithsonian Affiliate had this combination build stairs for their attractions. Mr. Quinton has also starred in a national commercial for Jackson Safety’s Balder Welding Hood which was filmed at Georgia Trade School. Jackson Safety has also hosted Sean in their booth at FabTech in both the Chicago and Atlanta Markets where he performed welds in front of 25,000 plus convention attendees.

Special Guests:

Amy Selby, VP Marketing & Communications, Cobb County Chamber of Commerce


Pat Salem, CPA, CFE, IAG Forensice & Valuation


Sean Quinton, VP CWI, Georgia Trade School


AGLCC Procurement Spotlight


Emma Foulkes and Sheila Merritt


Dan Dunlop, Sheila Merritt, Bruce Logue

AGLCC Procurement Spotlight

On July’s episode of Midtown Business Radio with Atlanta Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (AGLCC) co-hosts, Emma Foulkes, of Foulkes & Steele Wealth Management, and Bruce Logue, of Corbell Group–Keller Williams, hosted Sandy Mollett, of First Data, Dan Dunlop, of Dunlop Productions, and former AGLCC President, Sheila Merritt.

One of the highlights of the show focused on the recent Procurement Spotlight hosted by Cox Communications.  Dan Dunlop talked about participating in the Shark Tank competition featuring 3 area businesses vying for the top spot, selected by Cox Communications executives doing the judging.  The entrepreneurs had 5 minutes each to pitch their business solutions before the winner (Dan Dunlop) was selected.

The Procurement Spotlight allowed attendees to meet Cox Communications procurement executives and learn about supplier opportunities and hone their ability to share their businesses with prospective clients.

We were also joined by Sandy Mollett of First Data.  First Data is a global leader in commerce-enabling technology and solutions, serving approximately six million business locations and 4,000 financial institutions in 118 countries around the world. The company’s 24,000 owner-associates are dedicated to helping companies, from start-ups to the world’s largest corporations, conduct commerce every day by securing and processing more than 2,500 transactions per second and $1.9 trillion per year.  Around the world, First Data simplifies institutions and their customers.

Sandy shared how First data is hosting AGLCC University on August 2nd for networking with First Data’s SVP of Strategic Sourcing and members of his team. Stay for a dynamic presentation of small businesses pitching for a Small Business Extreme Makeover and learn how they’re preparing their businesses for the next wave of growth!

Emma and Bruce were also very pleased to re-introduce Sheila Merritt, a former President of AGLCC, who is coming back to the AGLCC leadership team as Corporate Partner Relationship Manager to foster relationships with enterprises in the community and promote engagement with LGBTBE entrepreneurs.

Special Guests:

Sheila Merritt, Corporate Partner Relationship Manager, AGLCC linkedin_small1  twitter_logo_small  facebook_logo_small3


Sandy Mollett, SVP, Strategy & Programs / Co-Chair, Atlanta Diversity & Cultural Council, First Data  linkedin_small1  twitter_logo_small  facebook_logo_small3  youtube logo


Dan Dunlop, Founder/President, Dunlop Productions  linkedin_small1