Ryan Wilson is the co-founder and CEO of The Gathering Spot, a private membership network that serves as a hub for collaboration, connections and experiences; the Chief Community Officer of Greenwood, a digital banking services platform for Black and minority individuals and businesses; and a principal at A3C, a music, tech and film conference and festival.
At the age of 24, with a mission to create a world where opportunity is the byproduct of community and collaboration, Ryan and his business partner raised capital to open their first Gathering Spot location in Atlanta. The club has since established itself nationally as a home for creatives, business professionals, and entrepreneurs, and regularly hosts notable and culturally impactful events. Responsible for the company’s overall management and strategic vision, Ryan has led the club’s physical expansion with location openings in Washington D.C. and Los Angeles, and launching of membership communities in New York City, Detroit, Charlotte, Houston, and Chicago; as well as the digital expansion of the company’s platform TGS Connect.
In 2022, The Gathering Spot was acquired by Greenwood, Inc, creating the largest fintech and community platform for Blacks and minorities with a combined community of over 1 million people. The companies share a mission of closing the wealth gap for minorities through community building, entrepreneurship, group economics and wealth building. This partnership represents a historic move as one of the few black-on-black M&A transactions at scale.
Ryan has been honored as the Small Business Person of the Year by the Atlanta Business Chronicle, was selected as one of the 2020 Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 40 under Forty honorees, was named one of Goldman Sach’s Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs in 2021, and was selected for the inaugural class of Shea Moisture’s Social Justice Coalition. The Mayor of Atlanta honored Ryan and his business partner with the prestigious Phoenix Award, the city’s highest honor. Atlanta Magazine named him one of “Atlanta’s 500 most powerful leaders” and he has also been named one of the country’s most influential African-Americans in The Root 100 and the Ebony Power 100.
Ryan has been featured in notable national publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Forbes, Inc, The New York Times, Revolt, Black Enterprise, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Huffington Post, and USA Today. He is a trusted speaker and regularly moderates conversations with thought leaders and notable individuals ranging from political figures like President Joe Biden and Leader Stacey Abrams, to business pioneers like Thasunda Duckett and Ben Chestnut, as well as leaders in the entertainment industry including Will Packer, Gunna, Kelly Rowland, and Gabrielle Union. His work has led to several keynote presentations for various companies including Goldman Sachs, Delta, Google, Meta, Ford Motor Company, and Nike.
A native to Atlanta, Ryan is currently an active participant in several Atlanta civic and community organizations. He proudly serves on the boards of Usher’s New Look, The Woodruff Arts Center, The Atlanta Business League, The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, Peace Preparatory Academy and The Atlanta Metro Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of the Atlanta Chapter of the 100 Black Men, Atlanta Rotary Club and has previously served as Co-Chair for Black Men Count Initiative of Fair Count. Ryan graduated from Georgetown University and Georgetown University Law Center. He currently resides happily in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife and two children.
Ms. Andrella Kenner is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of CI² Aviation Inc., an award-winning Aerospace, Engineering, and Information Technology provider with 144+ employees delivering a full range of aviation, technology, management, and administrative support services to a global audience of public and private agencies. Founded in 1993 and headquartered in Atlanta, GA, with multiple offices throughout the U.S., CI² Aviation is the nation’s only minority-owned, woman-owned business engaged in the provisioning of Air Traffic Control Tower services to the Federal Government.
Shawn M. Graham is the Interim Chief Executive Officer for the National Black MBA Association, Inc. She brings a wealth of knowledge and leadership in her 30 years of experience leading global and national corporations’ financial direction in various industries.
Shawn’s experiences include global brokerage firms, performing due diligence on acquisitions for publicly traded broadcasting companies, training Business Managers, and setting up accounting software integrations. In her previous role as the Chief Financial Officer for the Fulton-DeKalb Hospital Authority (Authority), which is the owner of Grady Health System, she was responsible for the oversight and compliance of Grady’s Pension Plan, endowment funds, investment strategies, uncompensated care reporting, bond issuance of the $250M Center for Advanced Surgical Services, and the financial statements of the Authority.
Born and raised in New York City, Shawn graduated from Lehman College with her bachelor’s degree in Accounting; her Certification in Public Accounting from the Georgia State Board of Accountancy, and her Business & Executive Coaching Certification from FocalPoint in San Diego, California. She is a Fellow of the Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants and a member of the Association of International Certified Accountants. In 2021, Shawn was selected to the Atlanta Business League’s 100 Women of Influence.
Shawn’s community commitments include currently serving as Board Secretary for the Atlanta Business League, Board Treasurer for the Legislative Black Caucus of Georgia Foundation, Inc., and member of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc., Metropolitan Atlanta Chapter. In 2020, Shawn was appointed to serve a two-year term with the City of Atlanta Small Business Advisory Council.
Shawn’s previous commitments include serving as a former Advisory Board member for Georgia Piedmont Technical College School of Business and Treasurer for Focus on Caring, created by Gray Television, which provided support for company employees in distress via employee-funded charitable contributions.
Shawn loves to travel and spend time with her twin grandchildren she is raising, Aiden and Alaina.
Michael has over eight years of public accounting experience and currently serves as a senior manager for both public and private multi-million dollar engagement teams primarily within the automotive and healthcare industries.
Michael has served several clients throughout his career, providing assurance services related to the following: public and private equity and debt offerings, SEC reporting matters, and the implementation and ongoing evaluation of internal controls under Section 404 of the Sarbanes – Oxley Act. Additionally, Michael has gained extensive knowledge in the areas of business combinations, calculations for allowance for doubtful accounts estimates, evaluation of investments and related disclosures, and accounting for self-insurance reserves.
Michael holds a B . S . in Business Administration and a Masters of Business Administration, Accounting, both from the Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University. He is a Certified Public Accountant and is a member of the Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants and the National Association of Black Accountants.
Within Ernst & Young and the local community, Michael serves in a variety of roles, including serving as Southeast Area Representative to America’s EY Black Professional Network (BPN) Steering Committee after previously serving as the Atlanta Office BPN Co-Chair for three years. Michael has previously served as assistant site coordinator for VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program), which is a volunteer program that prepares income taxes for low-income individuals. Michael also is an EY Mentor who assists in a mentoring program designed to help enable minority and disadvantaged high school students to gain access to college and succeed in higher education.
Michael enjoys spending time with his family and participating in various sports leagues.
Heather A. Fatzinger is President and CEO of Full Circle Communications, Inc. Full Circle Communications, Inc. Ms. Fatzinger has worked in the Communications field for over 20 years, with career experience in such areas as political campaign management, grassroots organizing, environmental justice, small business and motivational workshops and community engagement. Mrs. Fatzinger also serves as a trainer for the Anthony Robbins Organization and is a certified keynote speaker and executive life coach.
Heather has a BA in Psychology from Spelman College (’95), and an MS in Human Services Administration/Non-Profit Management from Spertus College in Chicago, IL (’98). A patron of the arts, Heather also has six years of classical vocal training. She toured with an international touring company for two years and was a member of the Spelman College Glee Club.
Ms. Fatzinger is very active in her community and has a passion for service. She donates her time to such programs as the Atlanta Business League (board member), Women in Transportation (D&I Co-chair), National Forum for Black Public Administrators (NFBPA – Corporate Advisory Committee), the Maynard Jackson Youth Foundation, Metro Atlanta Kiwanis Club (Past President), the League of Women Voters (Past Board Member), Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., People TV (Past Board Member), West Atlanta Watershed Alliance, and many other service, environmental, and professional organizations.
Gretchen W. Fuller established her financial consulting business after spending more than ten years providing analysis, budgeting, internal auditing, operational and process management services to Fortune 500 companies. That depth of experience allows Warner Fuller Consulting, LLC to perform world class chief financial officer (CFO) work for its clients.
In addition to her corporate background, Ms. Fuller also has fifteen years of experience working with small business and non-profit organizations. Her dedication to detail and exemplary customer service skills has allowed her to grow Warner Fuller Consulting from a one-person home based business into a company that employs 8 people. The growth in her client base has most recently caused the need for more office space and a move to a new location.
Volunteer work also plays an important role in Ms. Fuller’s life. She regularly mentors other women and those who have newly formed companies. She also donates her time to talk about entrepreneurship by speaking on panels hosted by schools, civic organizations and financial groups such as the Women’s Entrepreneurial Opportunity Project (WEOP) and Truist Bank. Gretchen has been an Atlanta Business League member since 2006. She is currently fulfilling her second term as an Atlanta Business League Board of Directors member. She serves as an assistant treasurer on the finance committee and is a past co-chair of the education committee.
Warner Fuller Consulting is certified with the Georgia Minority Supplier Diversity Council (GMSDC); the Women’s Business Economic National Council (WBE), the City of Atlanta and as a Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB.)
Gretchen Fuller is a proud graduate of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University where she earned her undergraduate degree in accounting. Ms. Fuller is a QuickBooks ProAdvisor and a member of the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers. She believes in continuously learning to stay updated in her field and has graduated from the General Electric Financial Management Program, WEDA’s Microenterprise Initiative for Small Business, the SBDC Grow Smart Program and the Premier Development Program for Women Owned Businesses.
In 2021 Gretchen celebrated 25 years of marriage and adds the joy of raising a daughter and son to her list of accomplishments.
Ms. Fuller is passionate about seeing minority and women-owned small businesses succeed and is sincerely honored by receiving the 2021 League Leadership award from the Atlanta Business League.
Albert G. Edwards is the Founder and Managing Director of Corporate Environmental Risk Management, LLC (CERM), a regional engineering, environmental, and program management firm. As Managing Director,
Mr. Edwards’ responsibilities include chairing CERM’s Management Committee and providing day-to-day leadership and strategic direction to the firm’s business management, project delivery, and client management functions. Mr. Edwards’ has more than 25 years of experience in the environmental and engineering industry assisting organizations in managing environmental, engineering, infrastructure, and capital projects throughout the U.S.
As former Georgia Market President, Mr. Jones was the ranking executive publicly to customers and communities for an institution with more than $12 billion in retail deposits, 155 Branches, 7,000 associates in the Atlanta area, responsible for promoting the brand and integrating and delivering the company’s resources to communities and customers. Mr. Jones actively called on Fortune 500 companies in the Atlanta market to drive revenues.
As former Global Finance Services Group Executive, Mr. Jones led the transformation of Bank of America’s CFO organization while managing daily operations through a team of more than 1,200 professionals in ten primary locations in the USA, UK, Europe and Asia. The transformation includes design and development of the largest holistic finance operating platform in the Financial Services Industry, creation and growth of a Finance Knowledge Center in India and integration of acquired Companies’ finance Platforms. In addition, he is responsible for managing over $16 billion in Managed Corporate Sourcing through his Supply Chain Management organization. This frequently involves personal interaction and negotiations with CEO’s and COO’s of Fortune 100 Companies . His Enterprise Services Group manages vendor relationships and sources goods and services such as travel, dining, business events and supplies for more than 300,000 associates in over 35 countries.
Mr. Jones was Global Quality and Productivity Executive, reporting directly to the CEO, where for three years he led the Company’s highly effective quality and six – sigma process engineering initiatives. Under his leadership this program produced over $3 billion dollars in productivity value and more than 40,000 six – sigma certifications and was touted in the Company’s Annual Report and a number of national publications . Mr . Jones, a Six – Sigma Black Belt, consulted and met with a number of CEO’s and Senior Executives of European Banks and China Construction Bank on improving Customer Quality and Process productivity.
As Mid – South Region President, Mr. Jones directly managed Consumer, Commercial, Premier and Small Business Banking sales and operations for Georgia and Tennessee. Under his leadership, the region was recognized as the most improved in the Company’s “President’s Cup” balanced scorecard process, moving from 6th to 2nd in one year. The region had more than 200 Banking Centers, $15 billion in deposits and $10 billion in loans. In this role he also managed Innovation and Development Companywide and was the topic of a Harvard Business School Case Study and an HBR Article.
Prior to that, Mr. Jones was President of the Dealer Financial Services Group, one of the largest bank providers of financing for the automotive, RV and marine industries. This group received and decisioned thousands of loan applications per month from Dealers across the US. Hugh McColl, CEO of NationsBank, recognized the sales performance and financial turnaround of this group under Mr. Jones’ leadership with a “Crystal Letter” from his leadership team. This is the only time an award of this type was given.
Previously, Mr. Jones held senior executive roles in the Finance organization, as Senior Finance Executive for Technology & Operations and the General Bank . He was Executive Vice President and Group Manager of Finance and Administration for the Georgia bank, and served in a number of roles related to financial planning and asset liability information and analysis .
Mr. Jones was a Policy Committee Member for three years . This is the most senior management committee in the company. Mr. Jones was a member of the Management Operating Committee from its inception in 1999 to present . Initially, this committee included the CEO, his direct reports and 15 Key Line and Staff Officers. It now includes the top 1% of the Banks Leaders. Mr . Jones was also a member of a number of key Bank of America Risk and Operating Management Committees. Mr. Jones was awarded Bank of America’s most premier award – The Crystal Grenade in 1992.
Mr. Jones holds a BBA Degree in Accounting from the University of Notre Dame. In 1997, he received the National Association of Black Accountants Career Achievement Award. He was previously named as a Black Alumni Exemplar for the University of Notre Dame and received the prestigious Frazier T. Thompson Career Achievement Award. He also taught Balance Sheet Capital Management at the Colorado Graduate School of Management in the summers of 1982 and 1983. Mr. Jones is a certified six sigma black belt.
Mr. Jones chairs The Board of Trustees of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn. , is Chairman and President of the 100 Black Men of Atlanta, is Audit Committee Chair and Director for the United Negro College Fund Board, and serves on the Executive Committee of the Metro Atlanta YMCA and the Commerce Club. He is also a member of Boards of The Buckhead Coalition, Woodruff Arts Center and the Georgia Research Alliance.
Elaine Armstrong serves as the vice president of marketing for Goodwill of North Georgia. She is responsible for leading a team of highly skilled professionals in the creation and execution of marketing and communications programs and strategies. She also advises and supports Goodwill’s business operations teams on a broad range of marketing issues while focusing on carrying out the organization’s mission, strategic plan, and business goals.
Elaine joined the Goodwill team in 2006 as public relations manager and was promoted to director of public relations two and half years later. While in those roles, she not only directed the media relations, internal communications and corporate communications functions, but she also helped expand the marketing department and served as the agency’s primary spokesperson.
After spending nearly eight years in her role as director of PR, Elaine was promoted to vice president of marketing, where she currently brings her deep institutional knowledge and creative strategies to the executive team. As a part of her role, Elaine also hosts the organization’s podcast, The Good Works Show, which airs on YouTube and all your favorite podcast platforms.
Prior to coming to Goodwill, Elaine worked as a television news reporter for WALB-TV, the NBC affiliate in South Georgia. She is a graduate of the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication where she earned her bachelor’s degree in broadcast news. Recently, she was named by the Atlanta Business League as one of the 100 Most Influential African American Women in Atlanta and a 2019 Woman of Influence by the March of Dimes. She was named to PRSA Georgia’s Inaugural Forty Under 40 class and awarded Nonprofit Pro’s Marketer of the Year in 2020. She is also a proud graduate of the Leadership Atlanta Class of 2020.
As an extension of her work, Elaine serves on the boards of directors for a number of Atlanta area nonprofits including the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce (Board Chair), the Atlanta Business League, Agape Youth and Family Center, Angel Eyes Fitness and Nutrition (Board Chair), Project Light, and S.T.O.P (Board Chair). She is also an active member of the national and Georgia chapters of the Public Relations Society of America, and enjoys mentoring college students about marketing and communicaitons and working in the nonprofit sector.
Personally, Elaine is fanatical about fitness. She holds a number of fitness and nutrition certifications from the National Assocation of Sports Medicine and the Athletics and Fitness Association of America, and instructor certifications from Piloxing®. She also has a killer right hook.
Donna M. Ennis, C.P.F provides leadership across all EI2 units to develop collaborative funding opportunities and provide support and services to assure the integration of diversity and inclusion into EI2’s programs and operations. A certified professional facilitator, Ennis serves as director and operator representative for the Georgia Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center and the SE MBDA Business Growth Hub. In this role, she provides strategic direction, marketing, outreach, and operations for the Center and the Business Growth Hub and business assistance to Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs). Under Ennis’ leadership, the Centers have assisted companies in generating over $6.4 billion in contracts, financing, and sales and creating or retaining more than 6,000 jobs.
Known for her thought leadership and passion for developing MBEs and small businesses, Ennis has been at the forefront of helping MBEs learn and understand the role that technology plays in scaling businesses and has launched her Technology Enabled, Technology Owned platform. She established the NEXTTECH initiative for MBEs to bring technology solutions to federal agencies and corporations and launched the Healthcare Expert Alliance Round Table (HEART) for MBEs from all industries to connect with leaders in healthcare for opportunities, knowledge about trends, and relationship building. Ennis played a key role in MBDA’s five-city InVision Tour initiative for technology transfer, serving as a speaker and partner in the development of the program. She has mentored hundreds of business owners and frequently presents to audiences on minority business issues, business challenges, and entrepreneurial ecosystems.
Ennis received her Master of Public Administration from Georgia State University and a B.S. in communications from Boston University. She is the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 2021 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Outstanding Voice awardee and one of Georgia Tech’s 2021 Faces of Inclusive Excellence. Ennis is also a graduate of the Leading Women@Tech program, an awardee of the Georgia Tech Women Out Front program and has been named a tenured Atlanta’s Top 100 Black Women of Influence by the Atlanta Business League. She is on the Board of Directors of the Healthcare Supplier Diversity Alliance (HSDA) and the Atlanta Business League, and the Board of Advisors of Enhanced Capital. She is a mentor for Emory University’s Start: ME business accelerator and Georgia Tech’s MentorTech program.
Tiffany Callaway Ferrell serves as vice president of operations for Atlanta Gas Light and Chattanooga Gas Companies where she is responsible for day-to-day operations, including safety, compliance, operational excellence and financial performance, for more than 700,000 customers. Atlanta Gas Light and Chattanooga Gas are subsidiaries of Southern Company Gas which serves more than 4.5 million utility customers in seven states.
Most recently she was the General Manager of Shared Services, Georgia Power Company where she was responsible for leading several statewide organizations under the shared services umbrella, including Cable Locating, Geographical Solutions and Services, Land Engineering, Metering Services, and the Repair Shop.
Previous roles held by Ferrell in the energy industry at Southern Company Gas and Atlanta Gas Light, include director of regional operations; Metro Atlanta, regional manager, Central Georgia and automated meter reading; asset protection manager; operations manager of liquid natural gas facilities; and senior Federal Energy Regulatory Commission advisor.
Ferrell also served as fleet operations manager for Southern Company Gas, which led to her gubernatorial appointment to the Commission for a New Georgia Fleet Task Force.
Prior to joining Southern Company Gas, Ferrell held roles in logistics and engineering with General Mills Inc.
Ferrell was a member of the 2005 inaugural L.E.A.D Atlanta class and Leadership Macon 2010 and Leadership DeKalb 2013. She currently serves on the Atlanta Business League Board of Directors, Chair and is an officer on The National Coalition of 100 Black Women Incorporated, Metropolitan Atlanta Board of Directors.
She is an active member of the community and was honored in the 2012 issue of “Who’s Who in Black Atlanta for Corporate Brass.” She was honored as one of the 100 Most Influential African- American Women in Atlanta in 2017 by the Atlanta Business League and received the prestigious League Leadership Award in 2016.
Ferrell received her chemical engineering degree from Vanderbilt University and was awarded the Gertrude Vanderbilt Scholarship. She earned a Master of Business Administration at Robinson School of Business, Georgia State University, where she was selected as a Nita Robinson Scholar and served as an adjunct professor.
Tiffany and her family live in Atlanta. She spends her free time with her family and is actively engaged in her community through her church and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated.
Todd A. Gray is Director of Supplier Diversity for Kaiser Permanente NFS. In this role, Gray is responsible for system wide Supplier Diversity for National Facility Services. The Nations largest vertically integrated healthcare delivery system. His responsibility include: Facility Development, Maintenance, Sustainability, and Social Economic Impact. Prior to, Gray served as Director, Supplier Diversity at Grady Health System, where Gray’s responsibilities included the development, implementation, and facilitation of Grady’s corporate supplier diversity program. Grady Health System is the 5th largest public academic health system in the United States.
Prior to joining Grady Health System, Gray served as the Head of Supplier Diversity for CVS Caremark at their corporate headquarters in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. In this role, Gray led CVS Caremark’s supplier diversity program, and was an instrumental workforce diversity partner. Previously, Gray also served as Assistant Vice President of Wachovia, and Wells Fargo Corporate Diversity with responsibility for the implementation of processes, procedures, and tools that supported enterprise-wide Diversity initiatives with Wells Fargo. He actively promoted and encouraged the success, and inclusion, of minority and women-owned business enterprises as they sought supplier partnership opportunities within the institution. Gray was a certified HR workforce diversity practitioner for the company. Gray joined Wachovia in 2005 as Lease /Portfolio Administrator of Corporate Real Estate.
As a Metro Atlanta native, Gray is an active participant in civic, and state level initiatives impacting diversity, and community. Gray has partnered over the last decade as a mentor through the State of Georgia’s Mentor/Protégé Program for small business development. He also supports youth minority entrepreneurship through his partnership with the Greater Atlanta Economic Alliance Construction Skills Development Institute and other organizations that provide current and future entrepreneurs with education, awareness and technical assistance. Gray also founded an Atlanta community youth development initiative for young men ages 12-17 called P.O.L.I.S.H.E.D. to help young men in the Atlanta Community develop life, social and community involvement skills through ongoing tutoring and mentorship.
Gray contributes leadership by serving as Vice-Chair of the Georgia Minority Supplier Development Councils Board of Directors, Business Opportunity committee chair on The Atlanta Business League Board, and Board Co-Chair of The Villages at Carver Family YMCA. Where Gray represents his location for the collective YMCA of Metro Atlanta’s annual “Why it Matters” fund raising campaign. Gray also serves on the City of Atlanta Ethics Board and previously held board positions with the South Region Minority Supplier Development Council, the South Florida Minority Supplier Development Council, and the Atlanta Berean Church. Gray was recognized in 2008 by the Atlanta Business Journal as one of Atlanta’s Top 50 Rising Stars. Received the 2015 and 2017 Advocate of the Year Award from the Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council, 2016 Advocate of the year from the Greater Women’s Business Council, and in both 2016 and 2017, led Grady Health System to become the 1st Health System in the state of Georgia to receive the Corporation, and Local Corporation of the Year awards from the Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council. Mr. Gray is a featured public speaker, cover feature in the 2017 Who’s Who in Black Atlanta, and nationally recognized for his achievements in Diversity & Inclusion, and direct contributions in assuring stronger communities across the nation. Gray has founded The Gray Impact, a platform which empowers, and tools community stakeholders to be at the front line in assuring social, and economic equity in communities across the State of Georgia.
Gray received a Bachelor’s of Science in Network and Communications Management from DeVry University, and a Master of Business Administration with concentration’s in both Finance and marketing from DeVry’s Keller Graduate School of Management.
Milton Jones is a founding member of Peachtree Providence Partners Holding Company, LLC (PPP), formed in 2014. The subsidiaries of the holding company specialize in advisory services, financial solutions, commercial insurance brokerage, and private equity investing. Peachtree Providence Partners is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia and has an office in Charlotte, North Carolina. The holding company has built a strong portfolio of start-up and mature companies that benefit from capital and operational management expertise.
Peachtree Providence Partners grows its current business lines organically, as well as, through strategic joint ventures and investments. Mr. Jones deploys a hands-on approach to create value for these portfolio companies and clients by rationalizing underperforming assets, generating cost savings, and maximizing liquidity. He leverages deep expertise with more than 25 years of industry experience to add value and growth.
As a founding member at Peachtree Providence Partners, Milton Jones collaborates with Board Chairs, CEO’s and Executive Management of client and portfolio companies in key sectors including, financial products, healthcare, technology, government, consumer products, higher education and professional services. He leverages an extensive network of proprietary sourcing relationships across various industries to develop and execute strategies addressing the specific needs of each client. Mr. Jones’ unique combination of corporate and entrepreneurial expertise provides critical insights that drive enhanced performance.
Milton Jones is the former Executive Chairman and a founding member of CertusBank, NA. In this role, he oversaw Board governance and provided input to the strategic direction, capital formation and investor interaction that helped grow the organization into a $1.9 billion Company organically and through acquisitions. Jones and the other three founders of CertusBank raised $500 million in capital commitments and were the first team to be awarded a national bank shelf charter after the passage of Dodd Frank, the most comprehensive financial reform since the Great Depression. Starting with the purchase of a bank in January 2011 until his departure in 2014, Mr. Jones and the other founders purchased nine companies and fully integrated them onto one platform successfully.
Jones is a 32-year veteran of Bank of America and its predecessor companies where he held a number of senior executive roles. As Georgia Market President, Mr. Jones was the ranking executive publicly to customers and communities for an institution with more than $12 Billion in retail deposits, 155 Branches, and 7,000 associates. As Global Finance Services Group Executive, Mr. Jones led the transformation of Bank of America’s CFO organization while managing daily operations through a team of more than 1,200 professionals in ten primary locations in the USA, UK, Europe and Asia. In addition, Mr. Jones led Bank of America’s Global Supply Chain Management which was responsible for more than $16 Billion in Managed Corporate Sourcing.
In his role as Global Quality and Productivity Executive, Mr. Jones directed Bank of America’s highly effective quality and six-sigma process engineering initiatives for three years. Under his leadership the program produced over $3 billion dollars in productivity value and more than 40,000 six-sigma certifications.
As Mid-South Region President, Mr. Jones commanded Consumer, Commercial, Premier and Small Business Banking sales and operations for Georgia and Tennessee. This region had more than $15 Billion in deposits and $10 Billion in loans. In this role he also managed Innovation and Development Company-wide and was the topic of a Harvard Business School Case Study and an HBR Article.
Prior to his experience as Mid-South Region President, Mr. Jones spearheaded the Technology Solutions Group, including all technology infrastructure for the company; became President of the Dealer Financial Services Group, one of the largest bank providers of financing for the automotive, RV and marine industries; and held a number of Business CFO and senior executive roles in the Finance organization from 1977 to 1997.
Mr. Jones is Vice Chair of the Meharry Medical College Board of Trustees, Treasurer and a Board member of the 100 Black Men of America, Budget and Finance Committee Chair and Director for the United Negro College Fund Board, and serves on the Advisory Boards of the Metro Atlanta YMCA, Boy Scouts and the Commerce Club. He is also a member of the Downtown Atlanta Rotary Club and is a member and past Chairman of The Atlanta Business League and 100 Black Men of Atlanta.
Mr. Jones graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a BBA in Accounting, and is an alumnus of Leadership Georgia and Leadership Atlanta.
Naima Judge is a Managing Director and Market Investment Executive with the Bank of America Private Bank. In her role, she leads a team of dedicated investment and trust professionals, who work closely with high net worth individuals and families to provide customized wealth and investment management solutions. She has worked in investments and wealth management for over 20 years, beginning her career as an INROADS Intern on a commercial paper trading desk.
Naima attended Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts on a Division I full basketball scholarship where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in International Business and Finance. She also has an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Corporate Accounting from the University of Rochester’s, Simon School of Business.
While living in her hometown of Rochester, NY, Naima co- founded a community service organization called Women In Service Excellence, or “W.I.S.E.” WISE focused on mentoring and educating inner-city young women on a host of topics such as etiquette, personal finance, and public speaking.
She was a past recipient of the U.S. Trust “President’s Award” which is an annual honor awarded to the top performing associates in the organization. In 2017, Naima was inducted into her High School’s Hall of Fame for her outstanding achievements in basketball during her high school tenure as well as her personal and professional accomplishments after high school.
Naima, in her capacity with The Bank of America Private Bank, has been a corporate partner with YearUp, a national not-for- profit organization focused on closing the opportunity divide for youth ages 18-24. She was featured in Bank of America’s 2019 diversity advertising campaign and often represents the firm as a host, speaker, or panelist for both internal and external events. Naima is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, and currently serves on the board for several non- profit organizations such as Meals on Wheels Atlanta, Raising Expectations Inc., and the Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council.
3455 PEACHTREE RD NE ATLANTA, GA 30326
Steve Labovitz focuses on government affairs at a local, state and federal level, with an emphasis on legislative action, economic development, public finance, privatization and government efficiency. He has extensive experience in formulating public-private partnerships for companies that have business issues with the government sector and governments that are interested in privatization or outsourcing governmental tasks.
In the area of economic development, Mr. Labovitz has been instrumental in working with governments and developers in creating tax incentives for large development projects including establishing tax allocation districts in order to create and implement public-private partnerships. Mr. Labovitz was counsel and architect for the tax allocation district and the public financing utilized for the Atlantic Station project, the largest Brownfield development project in the country.
Prior to joining Dentons, Mr. Labovitz served as Chief of Staff for the City of Atlanta from 1994 to 1997. Generally regarded as having brought business acumen and organization to Atlanta’s City Hall, Mr. Labovitz was instrumental in the redevelopment of the downtown business district. He is noted as the architect of the financial and business terms leading to the $141 million Philips Arena in downtown Atlanta, where an additional $72 million in public improvements were associated with the arena. Parlaying that experience, Mr. Labovitz served as one of the principal negotiators for the City of San Diego in its construction of a new baseball park as part of its downtown redevelopment efforts. He has since worked on several other major and minor league stadiums around the country, including his recent representation of the Atlanta Falcons in negotiations with governmental entities, including the City of Atlanta, the State of Georgia, and other stakeholders to secure a new state-of-the-art football stadium.
Mr. Labovitz was recently named one of Atlanta’s 500 most powerful leaders by Atlanta Magazine and one of Georgia’s most powerful and influential lawyers by Men Looking.
Ahead Magazine. He has been recognized as a “Georgia Super Lawyer” in the area of Government Law by Atlanta Magazine and has been named to Georgia Trend’s Legal Elite in Governmental Affairs numerous times.
Born and raised in Ettrick, Va., Hermon is an accomplished business executive with an impressive track record of getting results. A retired US Marine Corps, Gunnery Sergeant, Hermon spent most of his military career in the Recruiting and Retention Service. Hermon earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Averett University and went on to earn a master’s degree in Human Resources from Pennsylvania State University. Since entering the Financial Services Industry, Mason has been recognized as the Southern Region (GA, AL, TN) Agency Manager of the Year and is a two-time recipient of the GAMA International Management Diamond Level Award. Hermon is passionate about Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and has completed the Cornell University Diversity Program. Always giving back to his community, he’s involved with several organizations in the Metro Atlanta Area such as The Atlanta Track Club, Warrick Dunn Charities, The 100 Black Men of Atlanta and West Georgia College and Career Institute CCI. Mason is also a Life Member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Due to his community involvement, Mason received the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award for Volunteerism in 2017 from President Barack Obama.
The Chief Executive Officer for Meat Masters, Inc., Dionne Moore Peasant, has spent her professional life building success by breaking barriers. Most notably:
∙She is the first woman and African‐American in the state of Georgia to own a meat processing plant that is federally inspected by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) and,
∙She is the first black woman to earn the designation of Prime Contractor of Food Distribution to military bases in the Southeast.
Meat Masters, Inc. has earned the distinction of holding the highest inspection standards available from the USDA and the company is authorized to ship meat and food products all over the world.
Meat Masters, Inc. is headquartered in Decatur, GA, and provides wholesale and retail food products to hotels, restaurants, government facilities, and the general public. It is a multi-million-dollar corporation that began in 1986.
During her 31 years of business ownership, Dionne Peasant’s 8A SBA-certified company has provided food distribution services to the Fulton County jail, Atlanta Public Schools, the Department of Corrections for the City of Atlanta, and the DeKalb County jail. Her organization and business skills allow her company to provide a staggering 10,000 meals a day to inmates and staff.
Eric Pinckney is a legacy principal for the Integral Group, an Atlanta-based real estate development and investment management firm. Eric has been with the firm for almost 30 years.
Eric came to Atlanta as a student studying Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology. It was in that capacity he found his calling as someone who is responsible for the development of sustainable communities. It started when Pinckney volunteered to help families at a nearby public housing project called Techwood Homes in 1980 and urged residents to reject offers from real estate developers. His personal experience in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston had showed him that community disruption often followed gentrification. He believed the best way to build sustainable African American communities was to maintain the sense of family and support that he had experienced growing up in a segregated Massachusetts community.
But after meeting Egbert Perry, Integral’s Chairman & CEO, Pinckney learned that real estate development could recreate the economic diversity that had existed before the age of racial integration. He then changed his educational focus to make his passion for building functioning communities into a profession. He earned a master’s in City Planning from Georgia’s Institute of Technology. Integral hired him as a scheduling consultant, and he was soon promoted to a Project Manager. Eric held that position with the company when the Olympics came to town in 1996. Integral played a significant part in implementing Atlanta housing legacy program for that historic event.
Pinckney returned to Boston for a short period before being called back to the Integral Group where he was given development responsibilities for major projects in Richmond, VA., Baltimore, MD., Washington, DC, Memphis, TN and Denver, CO. By 2002, he was the Vice President of Operations for Integral’s development division. He held that position for ten years. He was also beginning to see how his dream of creating sustainable neighborhoods could become a reality for families and businesses all over the country.
Eric credits mentorship by Egbert Perry, Renee Glover, former President & CEO of the Atlanta Housing Authority, and Dr. Norman Johnson, former special assistant to former President Patrick Crecine at Georgia Tech, for helping him and Integral create some of the most successful and transformative residential developments in the nation.
Today Pinckney is the principal in charge of the Microsoft community development efforts located on its 90-acre, Atlanta Beltline adjacent site near the Bankhead MARTA Station.
Lonnie Abdul Saboor is Director Small Business Development for Invest Atlanta. He has provided financial leadership to several commercial projects in the City of Atlanta since 1979, including the design and administration of a $2M revolving loan fund for Underground Atlanta’s Minority Tenant Program. He has arranged financing for more than 700 small businesses in the City, representing more than half a billion dollars in public and private funds that resulted in the creation of more than 7,000 jobs.
Mr. Saboor has successfully assisted the City of Atlanta with negotiations with an inner-city shopping center for $17 M in renovations. He established and served as President of the first Certified Development Corporation in the City of Atlanta.
Prior to assuming his current position, Mr. Saboor was a management consultant with the Georgia Department of Planning and Budget. He has also worked as Southern Regional Business Manager for the Nation of Islam which employed over 90 employees; Consultant and Program Coordinator for the City of Macon’s Minority Business Assistance Program; and District Representative over eight Stop & Go convenient stores in Metro Atlanta. He has worked as an Admissions Counselor for Ottawa University. Mr. Saboor is author of a book about common sense business tactics entitled “Getting Paid” Common Sense Business Tactics.
Mr. Saboor graduated from Ottawa University with a BA Degree in Business Administration and Economics; he also has a M.B.A. in Finance and Management from Atlanta University. He is listed in “Who’s Who” in the South and Southeast; is a recipient of the Personalities of the South Award and the Leadership Award from Entrepreneur Magazine. In addition, he has received numerous awards from the Small Business Administration and community groups. Mr. Saboor is a graduate of the 1990 “Leadership Atlanta” program.
Another important part of economic development is being involved in the community. He is currently co-founder and President of the New Africa Business Association of Atlanta (formerly the Islamic Business Association of Atlanta) and former Chairman of the Southwest Atlanta Youth Business Organization (SWAYBO). He is a Vietnam War veteran. Mr. Saboor was the Founder of the National Muslim Business Association, Treasurer of the Atlanta Business League and founder and board member of the Georgia Summit of African American Business Organizations, former president and current member of the City of Atlanta Toastmasters Club, member of Leadership Atlanta, served on the governing board of the Atlanta Masjid of Al-Islam for over five years, a member of the AUCC CommUniversity Small Business Development Advisory Board, Advisory Board member of Unity National Bank and is a member of the National Muslim Business Council’s Advisory Board. He is a consultant with the Bar Association Support to Improve Correctional Services (BASICS) an offender rehabilitation program sponsored by the State Bar of Georgia. He was inducted into the Atlanta Business League’s Men of Influence in 2011. He was selected by the Atlanta Business Journal as one of the Top 25 Extraordinary Atlantans in 2019. Appointed by the Board of Directors of Invest Atlanta to be on the City of Atlanta’s Small Business Advisory Council in 2020. In 2020 he developed one of the first COVID-19 small business loan programs in the country for the City of Atlanta before the Cares Act was passed by Congress.
Lawrence Sharp Realtors, LLC, Decatur, GA
June 2000 – June 2010
May 1985 – June 2000
October 1983 – May 1985
October 1982 – October 1983
Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, AL Master of Public Administration, August 1982 Bachelor of Science in Political Science, August 1981 Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, May 1981
Activities: Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Xi Xi Chapter, Charter Member
Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager (CRB) Certified Residential Specialist (CRS)
Georgia Realtors Institute (GRI)
Dekalb Rotary Council, Vice-Chair (includes 10 chapters)
South DeKalb Chapter of Rotary Club, president (on 3 separate occasions) Emory Druid Hills Chapter of Rotary Club, president 2011- 2012
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Life Member
Jacksonville State University National Alumni Association, Lifetime Member 100 Black Men of America, Inc., Dekalb County Chapter
Leadership Dekalb, graduate May 1989
Georgia Association of Realtors Leadership Academy, graduate Will Watt Fellow, 1997
Paul Harris Fellow, 1996
Rotary Club of South Dekalb, William M. Mulkey “Show Rotary Cares” Award 2021-2022 Dekalb Realtors, Pinnacle Award, 2019
YMCA Academies of South Dekalb Outstanding Volunteer Recognition (as Board Chair), 2015 East Lake YMCA, Volunteer of the Year, 2011
Shoney’s Classic American Hero, 1997 Remax Hall of Fame Award, 1997
Dekalb Board of Realtors, Phoenix Award, 1996 Outstanding Atlanta Award, 1995
Rodney K. Strong is the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Griffin & Strong, PC., a law and public policy consulting firm based in Atlanta, Georgia. He is currently the project principal for public policy consulting engagements with several state and local governmental entities. A member of the State Bar of Georgia, he represents a range of public entity and corporate clients, specializing in public contract, community development and real estate law. He also serves as the outside general counsel for the Fulton County/City of Atlanta Land Bank Authority. He is currently the supplier diversity consultant for the State Farm Arena, home of the Atlanta Hawks, being renovated in Atlanta.
He is widely considered one of the foremost national experts in procurement disparity research and supplier diversity program development. His experience in these areas began in 1985, when then-Mayor Andrew Young appointed him Director of Contract Compliance for the City of Atlanta, a position he held until 1992.
He is a graduate of the University of Memphis, Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, where he was a Herbert Herff Presidential Law Scholar. He received his undergraduate degree in Political Science from Morehouse College.
Adrienne White’s passion is community development, which drives her professional and civic engagement. She is a VP, Commercial and Not-for-Profit Relationship Manager at SouthState Bank. Prior to joining SouthState, she was the VP of Strategy at Citizens Trust Bank, VP of Finance of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights and worked at a fortune 500 company and big 4 accounting firm. In 2016 she was recognized by Atlanta Business Chronicle as one of the 40 Under 40 and has taken on various leadership roles in the Atlanta community including the Atlanta Track Club Board, Hands on Atlanta, Grove Park Foundation, Atlanta Business League, Atlanta Public School Audit Committee, Atlanta BeltLine Partnership advisory board, Outstanding Atlanta, Black Girls Run!, National and State political campaigns, LEAD Atlanta, and New Leaders Council. Adrienne was a licensed certified public accountant in Georgia for 15 years and earned her Master of Accountancy and Bachelor of Science in Commerce; Concentration in Accounting, from The University of Virginia.
Robert Woolridge is currently the General Manager for Chateau Elan Winery & Resort. He also serves as the Principal for RLW Consulting, LLC. He is responsible for driving overall market share, sales & revenue, profitability, guest satisfaction and talent engagement.
Robert’s experience in the hospitality industry spans over 35 years. Robert has held positions as General Manager for the W Buckhead, General Manager for the Atlanta Evergreen Marriott Conference Resort, opening General Manager of the Atlanta Airport Gateway Marriott, Area General Manager for the Atlanta Marriott Perimeter Center, Area General Manager for the Atlanta Marriott Century Center, Area General Manager for the Atlanta Marriott Midtown Suites, Resident Manager of the 1,400 room Philadelphia Marriott, Director of Operations at the Philadelphia Airport Marriott, Director of Finance/Resident Manager at the Long Island Marriott, and Controller at the Park Ridge Marriott. He is also very active in local and national community organizations and a Life Member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.
Robert is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts/Amherst and holds a degree in Accounting & Finance.
He has been recognized several times for his high level of contribution, including Marriott Hotel of the Year, Most Improved Guest Satisfaction for Luxury Brands, Most Improved Golf Operations, Leadership Excellence, Trumpet Award, Outstanding Associate Satisfaction, Profit Flow Through Champion, Outstanding Food & Beverage Performance, Outstanding Performance Excellence, Most Improved Room Operations, and Best Overall Finance Department.
Tashwanda Pinchback Dixon is a trial lawyer who has successfully resolved a wide variety of labor and employment disputes as well as providing employment counseling and crisis management assistance. Tashwanda represents management in both union and nonunion settings in the litigation of federal and state employment and labor law claims, with a particular focus on workplace safety and health (OSHA). She is experienced in litigating high profile and high stakes OSHA matters and is often called upon by clients shortly after devastating accidents to advise them through the OSHA investigation and litigation processes.
Leona Barr-Davenport is President & CEO of the Atlanta Business League (ABL), Atlanta’s oldest minority business development and advocacy organization. As President, she works with the board of directors to provide increased access to business opportunities for minorities with specific emphasis on the development of businesses owned or operated by African Americans.
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