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The East Cobb Business Association seeks to transform East Cobb

by developing business leaders through Networking and Education with an emphasis on Community.

  • Network with Business and Community Leaders
  • Business Education and Development
  • Community Involvement
Home2016 Speakers and Sponsors
 

NOVEMBER SPEAKER

 
Robyn Walensky
Senior News Anchor
The Blaze Radio Network.
Robyn is also a Crime Commentator on The Nancy Grace Show on HLN here in Atlanta. 
Robyn also anchor 
s the news at WSB Radio.She has covered breaking news for more than 25 years...including the crash of TWA Flight 800, the Death of JFK junior, the Jonbennet Ramsey Case, the Death of Anna Nicole in Nassau Bahamas, the disappearance of Natalee Holloway in Aruba, and OJ Simpson's Trial in Las Vegas.Robyn is the author of 2 books:"Covering Catastrophe" - Broadcast Journalists Report 9-11-01...Robyn was in New York City 15 years ago & reported for Associated Press Radio. She was also in the World Trade Center Bombing 8 years earlier.Robyn also wrote the book:  "Beautiful Life"- The CSI Behind the Casey Anthony Trial. She had seat 1 in the courtroom in Orlando Florida.Robyn has a double Bachelors Degree in Journalism & Political Science from TheGeorge Washington University & a Masters Degree in Journalism from New York University. She will be selling & signing books at our event.
  

SPONSORS

 
This Month's Sponsors
 
  
 
Allison Milligan, CPA
Vann Whipple Milligan, P.C.
770-355-5723
Allison@vwmcpa.com
 
With 20 years experience in public accounting, Allison Milligan formed Vann Whipple Milligan, P.C. with her two long-time partners, Carl Vann and Mike Whipple.  She provides accounting and tax services to the small to medium sized business and individual.  Her experience includes tax and accounting in many different industries including the areas of real estate and construction, wholesale and retail trade, technology, professional services, and hospitality.  She enjoys being a trusted business advisor to her clients.  Allison also has extensive experience in estate and trust tax work and manages many benefit plan and not for profit audits and tax return preparation. 
 

Allison graduated from Georgia State University and is a member of the American Institute of CPA’s, Georgia Society of CPAs, Cobb Chamber of Commerce, ECBA, and The Rotary Club of East Cobb.  She is an Atlanta native growing up in Dunwoody and married to another native, Tony, from here in East Cobb.  They live in Indian Hills with their 2 very busy daughters.  They are active members of St Peter St Paul Episcopal Church, Lake Lanier Sailing Club and Indian Hills Country Club.  Allison leads her daughters’ Girl Scout troops and enjoys the girls’ lacrosse games and swim meets and going camping often.

  
Allison can be reached at either email address:
Allison@vwmcpa.com  and/or  AMilligan.cpa@gmail.com 
 



Kay Hall
Houston Hall Publishing | President

678-522-8213
2474 Arthur's Court
Marietta, GA 30062
Kay Hall  earned  her Master of Music degree summa cum laude from
Georgia State University and enjoyed teaching music to children for many years.
Upon her retirement, she  wanted to continue being creative and formed Houston Hall Publishing, LLC.
She has presented books for young and old in the patriotic and inspirational genre. .
Kay received a first place medal from the Freedom's Foundation at Valley Forge for her original song
"The American Way."  
She strives to continue to have the voice of  an American Patriot.  Kay is a member of the Atlanta Writers Association.  She also likes to act a bit.  You may have caught her in local commercials for Home Depot, Steinmart, or the Georgia Lottery.  We will watch for her next spring in her first leading television role in the  reenactment drama, "Murder comes to Town" on the Investigative/Discovery channel. 
 
 

 SEPTEMBER SPEAKER


Mike Plant
President of Development
Atlanta Braves
Mike Plant was named President of Development in March, 2016. Prior to that appointment, as the Braves' Executive Vice President of Business Operations,  his responsibilities included overseeing all stadium operations, security, finance, personnel and special events, as well as the operations of the minor league clubs. As part of the Braves executive leadership team, Plant was instrumental in the Braves' efforts to secure SunTrust Park and its mixed-use development, and continues to manage the planning and execution of the construction projects, which are scheduled to open in Cobb County in 2017.

SPONSORS

Rosan Hall
Sales Associate
Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage
 
 
 
John C. Daniel
Founding Member
Wealth Preservation Group, LLC
 

John is well established as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional. In 2010, John launched his own firm, the Wealth Preservation Group, through which he offers integrated financial planning, insurance and investments in collaboration with a carefully assembled team of specialists and subject matter experts.

Having personally lived through the consequences of a lack of future planning, John is determined to spare his clients from that pain. He is passionate about the role he feels he must take in directing their lives to a better, more secure outcome. "Without proper guidance, most people will take the path of least resistance; it's simply human nature," John explains. "What may make sense for the long term may not always be doable in the present, however. My challenge is to help clients pursue the path that is most doable and meaningful instead of just taking the path of least resistance," he adds.

 
 

AUGUST SPEAKERS


Vaugn Williams
Kennesaw State University Director of Athletics
Georgia Business Success Center


Since his arrival in May of 2011, Vaughn Williams has initiated a transformation of the Kennesaw State University (KSU) Department of Athletics rarely seen in intercollegiate athletics.

Mr.Williams has worked tirelessly to introduce new standards for the department, strengthen relations with the KSU community, establish a greater presence in the communities of Kennesaw and Acworth and Cobb, Paulding and Cherokee Counties, assemble an administrative team to carry out his vision, and chart a course that will lead Kennesaw State to the forefront of Division I intercollegiate athletics.

Behind the leadership of Mr. Williams, Kennesaw State also has been successful in cultivating relationships with the business community as the Department of Athletics has signed sponsorship agreements with Fifth Third Bank, WellStar Health System, Superior Plumbing and Henssler Financial that have brought in more than $10 million in revenue to support student-athletes and athletics facilities.
Agnus Berenato
Head Coach 
KSU Women's Basketball
The winningest coach at the University of Pittsburgh and the second-winningest at Georgia Tech, Agnus Berenato has been named the new head women's basketball coach at Kennesaw State University.


Theresa Wenzel
Team President
WNBA's Atlanta Dream

Wenzel, a 21-year sports-industry veteran, spent the previous 10 years as a top athletic administrator at Georgia Tech, joining the Yellow Jackets in 2005 before being elevated to the position of Senior Women’s Administrator in 2006.  She was honored as the 2011 Administrator of the Year by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA).

 

SPONSOR

 
Jim Harris, RFC
Private Wealth Manager
Money Concepts
Jim Harris, RFC® is a Private Wealth Manager here in East Cobb and has served as the Georgia Regional Director for Money Concepts Wealth Management & Financial Planning since 2004.
Jim’s independent practice has grown into one of the elite wealth management firms in Georgia by focusing on holistic financial planning & delivering comprehensive wealth management services.
He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance from Florida Southern College in 1984. Jim is a member of the International Association of Registered Financial Consultants with his RFC® Professional Designation.
He is also a Qualified Instructor of the Financial Planning Curriculum necessary for Financial Advisors to earn their RFC® Designation.
Jim now has over 30 years of successful experience in Financial Services assisting individuals, families & business owners achieve their own vision of financial success.
As a Private Wealth Manager, Jim helps his clients minimize their risk and increase their returns in terms of saving, investing and managing their money. 
In addition to providing sound financial planning solutions, Jim specializes in managing customized investment portfolios because no two clients have the same financial challenges, needs or goals.

Jonathan Page
Attorney
In Prime Legal
 
Jonathan Page serves as the Chief Legal Officer of InPrime Legal (formerly known as In House).  InPrime is the leading and best provider of outsourced legal team services exclusively for small-to-midsized businesses.  Our mission is to keep valued businesses in business by helping them build resilience to liability and get in prime legal condition.  By removing the hourly rate model altogether, we can proactively eliminate or reduce legal threats to the company instead of waiting and responding to little problems that have now become big problems.  Our legal team becomes an extension of the company and an integral part of the business operations.  The owner is assigned a Chief Legal Officer, employment counsel, IP and contract counsel and competition and corporate counsel, all focused on eliminating or reducing threats in five core exposure areas.   As a result, our member businesses avoid significant and documented liability and reduce their exposure to legal threats.   Visit us online at www.inprimelegal.com for more information.
 
 

July Speaker

 
Ann Rodriguez
Vice President-Business Operations
Atlanta United FC
 
Ann Rodriguez is responsible for overseeing the day-to- day business operations of the franchise, including sales, marketing, ticket operations, fan experience and sponsorship. She will also work closely with AMB Sports & Entertainment leaders in managing the cross functional groups providing shared services and expertise in communications, public relations and community relations for the Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United FC and the new Atlanta stadium.
 

July Sponsor

 
David Mann
Owner
Aegis Alarm & Integration
david@aegisalarm.com
 
David Mann owns and runs Aegis Alarm & Integration, a full-service security systems business. He’s a long-time member of the East Cobb Business Association. He and his wife, Loris, have lived in East Cobb for nearly 20 years. They moved to the Atlanta area in 1994 after David’s 8½ years in the Navy as a Supply Corps officer.David worked at a small, independent alarm company in Kennesaw for several years before starting his own company in 2005. Aegis Alarm & Integration specializes in alarm systems and automation for homes and small businesses, including installation and monitoring services.

June Speaker

drew tonsmeire
Drew Tonsmeire
Area Director
The University of Georgia SBDC at Kennesaw State University

 

 

Drew Tonsmeire serves as the Area Director with the Kennesaw State University Small Business Development Center (KSU SBDC).

In 2014, the KSU SBDC was recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as the Southeastern United States winner of the SBDC Excellence and Innovation Award.

With more than eighteen years’ experience within the Georgia SBDC Network, his consulting expertise in strategic marketing, financial packaging, and overall business management has impacted thousands of business owners.

His background includes service as President and CEO of a local Chamber of Commerce, as well as, experience in retail, manufacturing, and service environments.

Drew is also a certified instructor for Google, eBay University, and GrowSmart.

Mr. Tonsmeire was one of the recipients for the Project of the Year Award for 2011 for his team contributions in the Google training and consulting initiative.

Drew was also recognized as the 2004 Consultant of the Year by the Georgia SBDC Network. He serves on the national America’s SBDC annual conference, which brings 1500 SBDC professionals from across the U.S. for advanced training.

 

SPONSORS

Susan Wesley
Realtor
Keller Williams Realty Consultants
678-907-9288
susanwesleyinc@gmail.com
 
Susan is a native of Atlanta and a 21 year veteran in residential real estate. She helps buyers see houses as homes and sellers see their homes as houses in helping her clients move thru the emotions of buying and selling homes.  Her expert negotiating skills make her an asset in getting sales to the closing table. Susan is the recipient of the prestigious Phoenix Award from the Atlanta Board of Realtors. Her first year in residential sales, she was voted Rookie of the Year. Now 21 years later, she is still helping her clients achieve their goals and dreams of home ownership. 
 
Susan lives in East Cobb with her husband, Colin Brady, of 3 years. She has 2 children and a granddaughter who live close by. She is a member of Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church and a life member of the Atlanta Board of Realtors Million Dollar Club. . Her passions include being an advocate for adoption, participating in Zumba ,weight training ,travel and container gardening. 
 

May Speakers

 
Taking Care of Business
 
Scott Armstrong
Edward Jones Investments
Financial Advisor
 
 Allison Milligan
Vann Whipple Milligan, P.C.
CPA/Partner
 
Fran Friedrich
SunTrust Bank
Commercial Banking Relationship Manager
 
 Our Panel will speak on their respective ares of expertise and how it applies to small business. (Retirement Savings Plans, Accounting/Tax Planning, and Financing/Loans)
after the floor will be open for questions.
 

SPONSORS

 
Butch Carter
Honest-1 Auto Care
Owner
Your Auto Repair Specialists in Marietta, GA

Honest-1 is the nation's only Eco-Friendly Auto Care chain. We offer a full range of automotive service and repairs. Along with providing the best service, Honest-1 wants to ensure our customers are thoroughly educated on the systems and services necessary to keep their vehicles in the best running condition possible.
1391 East Cobb Dr
Marietta, GA 30068
(770) 809-6253

Greg Elder
MUST Ministries
Development Officer
 
A powerful, volunteer-driven organization, MUST addresses the basic needs of individuals, families and children with facilities in the Cobb and Cherokee counties and programs in numerous other counties. MUST brings people of many faiths together to respond to God's challenge to minister to others with compassion and love, without judgment of the beliefs, background or circumstances of those who serve or are being served.

MISSION
Serving our neighbors in need… transforming lives and communities in response to Christ's call.

VISION
To become Georgia's most respected Servant Leader.
Restoring lives one person and one community at a time.
 
 

April Speaker

Otis Brumby III

Marietta Daily Journal, Publisher

 

Otis A. Brumby III oversees all operations for the Journal, Cherokee Tribune and Neighbor Newspapers.

Otis A. Brumby III joined the Journal in 2006 as general manager and became executive vice president in 2009, handling day-to-day operations for all newspapers.
He followed his father, Otis A. Brumby Jr., who was publisher for 45 years and established the Journal as one of the major voices in Georgia journalism and was widely heralded for establishing the weekly Neighbor Newspapers, a chain of 21 newspapers that cover nine metro Atlanta counties. Under his direction, the Cherokee Tribune went from a three-day-a-week publication to five days a week, and the company developed two popular magazines, Cobb Life and Cherokee Life, and a state-of-the-art online edition.

Otis A. Brumby Jr. followed his father as publisher, the late Otis A. Brumby Sr., who founded the Cobb County Times in 1916 and merged with the Marietta Daily Journal in 1951.

“Our father and grandfather firmly believed that a strong, independent local news source is critical for a community to thrive,” Otis A. Brumby III said. “We are honored and humbled to be part of the third generation to serve the readers and the advertisers, and we reaffirm their commitment to the First Amendment, real journalism, robust editorial debate and transparency in government at all levels.”

Brumby is a graduate of the University of Georgia and UGA School of Law. He also graduated from Marietta High School.

Brumby and his wife, Ashley, live in Marietta with their two daughters, Libby and Margaret.
 

SPONSORS

   
  
 
Littie Brown
SpeedPro Imaging - Marietta
President

Grab your customers' attention! Build brand recognition! Whether you are a retail business looking to increase your sales, or a marketing company helping your clients get noticed, SpeedPro Imaging of Marietta is your partner for quality and extreme-resolution printed media. We pride ourselves on providing our clients with individualized attention regardless of the scale of the organization--from the individual artist/photographer ready to be discovered to a national corporation re-branding its fleet of vehicles,

we can help.

We love providing large format solutions and assisting our clients in solving their unique challenges. More importantly, our clients love the peace of mind our quality, attention to detail, and quick turn-around times provide. If you need a quote, have a question, or just need some advice about a project, give us a call in Marietta, GA today! Our dedicated staff  is here ready to serve you.


Pam Oldaker
Atlanta Communities Real Estate - Realtor 

 

More than just an agent I am an Associate Broker with Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage,  we were named in Atlanta Business Business Chronicle in the top 10 Atlanta Real Estate Brokerage Firms  in the metro area. We  sold over 1 billion in sales in 2015! 
 

March Speaker

Bob Ott

Cobb County Commissioner

 

TOPIC:
Water Line Installation
 

Bob Ott works for Delta Air Lines as an international and domestic pilot. He is also the president and owner of DBO Software. Ott has served in the U.S. Air Force and as a seventh and eighth grade science teacher.

His public service activities include serving on the Cobb County Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals, Board of Trustees for Friends for East Cobb Park, as president for East Cobb Civic Association, Terrell Mill Homeowners Association, Transportation SPLOST Oversight Committee, Neighborhood Safety Commission, Vinings Corridor Study, Blueprint Cumberland and Powers Ferry Corridor Study.

Ott holds a bachelor's degree in biology from Bucknell University and a master's degree in systems management from the University of Southern California. He is married with two children and a member of Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church.

 

March SPONSOR

Trenton Carson
Owner/President
TC Productions, LLC
678-744-3908
 
TC Productions, LLC Video Production Company
A video production company that provides video marketing content to businesses. 

People are emotionally and visually inspired. How are you using that to market your business?
TC Productions, LLC is a client focused, results oriented video production company. With the goal of creating relationships rather than customers, our clients understand we are involved from start to finish and beyond. TC Productions plays a pivotal role by capturing and creating the clientele's vision with the utmost of professionalism. A unique aspect of TC Productions is that we are equipped with an educational background, technical experience, and ingenuity that enables us to create professional videos at an affordable rate.
 
 
 

February Speaker

 
 
Tim Lee
Commission Chairman
 
Building consensus through Partnerships, Teamwork, and
Collaborative Decision-making
 
I believe in a collaborative approach to finding solutions to the obstacles our county faces and one that emphasizes what I refer to as the “Cobb Way” of decision-making.
The “Cobb Way” of decision-making means working together to better our county by:
  • Finding ways to make important decisions that are based on consensus and partnership, with deliberate outreach to the citizens of Cobb County
  • Continuing open dialogue, cooperation and support of the cities of Cobb County
  • Conducting government business in a transparent manner and with a commitment to excellence
Under Lee’s leadership the Public Safety department has implemented a strategic plan that put more police officers on the street, strengthened recruitment and retention policies across public safety departments, doubled the number of annual police academies and implemented cutting edge technologies to help all first responders keep Cobb County safe. 

Chairman Lee is widely recognized for the leadership role he played in bringing the Atlanta Braves to Cobb County in 2017. This historic move and precedent setting public-private partnership is a game changing development that will positively impact Cobb County for decades to come. 

Lee is an energetic champion of growing Cobb’s economy. Since he has been Chairman, more than 13,000 jobs have been created or retained and there has been more than $2 billion of private investment.

Conservative budgeting and sound fiscal management are tenets of Chairman Lee’s
 
 

FEBRUARY SPONSOR

 
Jim Harris RFC
Money Concepts Wealth Management
Wealth Manager
 
JHarris @moneyconcepts.com
770) 330-8043

Knowing exactly where you are and where you want to be is essential. Understanding what it will take and how to get there is a truly vital part of achieving your dreams. Utilize our comprehensive planning and wealth management services to develop a personalized road map for success. We will provide our professional experience and guidance every step of the way. Your journey to success begins with proper planning and is achieved by following a disciplined approach designed just for you We start with a comprehensive discovery meeting to understand your unique challenges and financial goals. Our in-depth discovery process enables us to assess your current financial situation and develop prudent strategies to accomplish your goals. Take comfort in knowing we provide easy to understand explanations of our analysis, logic and recommendations. We walk you through our step by step planning process as we address each of your financial challenges to determine your appropriate course of action. Start your journey on the straightest path to success and begin to maximize your financial freedom today. Let us empower you with a customized plan, built with the flexibility you want and need. Now is the time to propel your financial security to a higher level and make your vision of financial success, a reality. We welcome your questions and the opportunity to learn about your vision of financial success. Contact us today to schedule an initial discovery meeting. We are committed to a long and successful relationship.
 

January Speaker

Chris Ragsdale
CCSD Superintendent
 
Chris Ragsdale is superintendent for the Cobb County School District, the second largest public school system in Georgia and 24th largest in the United States, with an enrollment exceeding 111,000 students. Mr. Ragsdale previously served the District as Deputy Superintendent for Operations from 2011-2014 and Chief Technology Officer from 2006-2014, managing plant operations, safety, transportation, maintenance, and overseeing technology integration. He has also been responsible for planning and execution of capital projects approved by Cobb voters and funded by the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST).

Mr. Ragsdale has more than two decades of experience in school operations and information technology in the public and private sectors, including roles as Chief Information Officer for nearby Paulding County Schools and in network and database management for Bellsouth (AT&T) and IBM.

Born at Kennestone Hospital in Cobb County, he holds a bachelor’s degree in Information Systems and a master's degree in Educational Leadership from Kennesaw State University.
 

January Sponsor

Allison Milligan, CPA
Vann Whipple Milligan, P.C.
770-355-5723
Allison@vwmcpa.com

With 20 years experience in public accounting, Allison Milligan formed Vann Whipple Milligan, P.C. with her two long-time partners, Carl Vann and Mike Whipple. She provides accounting and tax services to the small to medium sized business and individual. Her experience includes tax and accounting in many different industries including the areas of real estate and construction, wholesale and retail trade, technology, professional services, and hospitality. She enjoys being a trusted business advisor to her clients. Allison also has extensive experience in estate and trust tax work and manages many benefit plan and not for profit audits and tax return preparation. 


Allison graduated from Georgia State University and is a member of the American Institute of CPA’s, Georgia Society of CPAs, Cobb Chamber of Commerce, ECBA, and The Rotary Club of East Cobb. She is an Atlanta native growing up in Dunwoody and married to another native, Tony, from here in East Cobb. They live in Indian Hills with their 2 very busy daughters. They are active members of St Peter St Paul Episcopal Church, Lake Lanier Sailing Club and Indian Hills Country Club. Allison leads her daughters’ Girl Scout troops and enjoys the girls’ lacrosse games and swim meets and going camping often.
 


Allison can be reached at either email address:
Allison@vwmcpa.com and/or AMilligan.cpa@gmail.com