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Curated Collection Of The Best Interviews From Our Midtown Studio

Harrison Ray and Aaron Avers

 Aaron Avers

Harrison Ray of Pace Academy

Aaron Avers

Harrison Ray and Aaron Avers

On this episode I featured Pace Academy senior and Integrity for Life Award nominee, Harrison Ray, and Aaron Avers, Executive Chef of The Establishment’s new Midtown location in Colony Square, along with VP Professional Relations, Dr. Gilles LaMarche, of Life University.

Harrison Ray is a graduating senior at Pace Academy. At Pace, he has participated in the theater program, both appearing on stage in fall musicals and backstage as a member of tech crews. He has also played French horn in the concert and pep bands. Harrison earned varsity letters in cross country and swimming and was a member of the AA State Championship swim team in 2016. At Pace, Harrison was a peer leader, the president of the PASS club, a member of the National Honor Society and was a delegate to Georgia Boys State.

Since 2012, Harrison has been actively involved in Teen Corp, a program sponsored by the Emory Medical School’s physician’s assistant program and led by Jodie Guest that provides free health care to migrant workers in south Georgia. For more information on how to participate in the Teen Corp program contact Jodie Guest at  In the fall, he will attend Georgia Tech on a four-year Naval ROTC scholarship. Harrison intends to major in nuclear engineering and hopes to be commissioned in the Navy after graduation.

Aaron Avers has been passionate about cooking since before he was 10 years old.  He has spent his professional life since graduating high school to pursue a career in culinary arts.  Aaron worked at a number of well-known establishments over the years before ultimately deciding to formalize his place as a professional chef and attended culinary school to get his degree.

For a number of years, The Establishment was well-known as a great meet-up spot in Buckhead to hang with friends and share high-quality cocktails.  This year, the owner, Brandon Lewis, decided it was time to elevate the business’s focus on its food offering as well.  The restaurant relocated to Colony Square and Aaron was given the opportunity to serve as Executive Chef, crafting and designing the full menu with selections from a variety of global influences.  Aaron also described their premier burger called “The Chub” and showed us some mouth-watering pics of it as well. We can’t wait to try it!

Special Guests:

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

Life University

Harrison Ray, Graduating Senior, Pace Academy  facebook_logo_small3  linkedin_small1  instagram-logo-transparent-png-i11 (16x16)  twitter_logo_small  vimeo logo  Pinterest-logo  

Aaron Avers

Aaron Avers, Executive Chef, The Establishment  instagram-logo-transparent-png-i11 (16x16)  facebook_logo_small3  linkedin_small1

Aaron Avers


EPiC Measures

Isha Edwards talks branding and marketing.

EPiC Measures

Isha Edwards of EPiC Measures talks branding and marketing

EPiC Measures

On this week’s episode I featured Isha Edwards, Founder of EPiC Measures, having met her recently at the Small Business Expo in Atlanta in December.  Isha Edwards is a brand-marketing consultant and the owner of EPiC Measures, LLC. Eleven years of marketing and communications experience, coupled with more than two decades of business management acumen, enables Isha to make a C.A.S.E.* for individuals and organizations that major on being distinctly different. Aligning marketing tactics with marketing strategy enables Isha to measure twice and cut once.

Isha has a global perspective on economic development. In her consulting role, she works to maintain the
integrity, productivity and profitability of individuals and organizations. Her client base spans 12 industries and her reach includes the U.S., Europe, South Africa and the Caribbean.

When not managing client assignments, Isha volunteers with Youth Entrepreneurs of Georgia and Georgia DECA. Learn more about Isha here:

*CASE = Credibility. Awareness. Sales. Engagement. ©

Special Guest:

Isha Edwards, EPiC Measures  linkedin_small1  google-plus-logo-red-265px  twitter_logo_small

EPiC Measures

  • Branding & Integrated Marketing and Marketing Strategy Certifications, University of Southern California Marshall School of Business
  • BS, Business Management, University of Illinois–Chicago
  • Teacher’s Certificate, Business, Clark Atlanta University
  • Business Plan Advisor, Youth Entrepreneurs of Georgia
  • Marketing Advisory Committee Member, DECA Inc.

Mountain View Group and My Professional CFO

Midtown Business Radio

Alan Conner and Thom Gonyeau talk integrity

Mountain View Group and My Professional CFO

This week we continued our bi-weekly series with Life University’s Dr. Gilles LaMarche, focusing on business leaders who exemplify integrity, in a lead-up to Life University’s LIFEtalks World Congress, May 12-13, discussing integrity for life with a number of well-known speakers on the subject.  We were joined in the studio by Thom Gonyeau and Alan Conner, of Mountain View Group and My Professional CFO, respectively.

I met Alan a few weeks ago in the hall of our office building.  After learning about how he helps physicians, I knew we needed to have him stop by to talk about it.  In addition to providing basic accounting/payroll functions, Alan also helps physicians develop effective, legal tax strategies, including self funded insurance plans to reduce their tax burden and risk at the same time.

Alan shared the story of a family member, an ER physician in Florida.  He explained the fact that his family member, as do many physicians, work as 1099 contractors for the respective practice they serve.  In this relationship, the doctor receives a gross paycheck with no tax withheld.

In this situation it is vital for the provider to plan for their tax obligation and pay it in a timely fashion (at least quarterly) or they face between 5-10% penalties, which can quickly add up to significant amounts, based on the numbers they’re working with.

Alan explained several options available to physicians that work as 1099 contractors, including self funded insurance plans, pension plans, SEP IRA’s, and others, that will help them preserve their hard-earned revenue for later while protecting them from risk such as loss of medical license should that occur.

It’s clear after speaking with him that it is advisable for our colleagues in the community to partner with experts such as Alan to develop a solid plan for managing their tax obligations as well as helping to secure their financial future.

I met Thom Gonyeau ~five years ago.  Equal parts right-brain and left-brain, he’s an operational guru.  He works with clients to solve their business needs.  Thom is an avid photographer, tennis player, runner, and writer. H had his first brush with fame at age 8, when his poem “Things That Are Beautiful” was published in Highlights magazine.

We talked about the media production work he and his team execute to help their clients, which includes the likes of GE, Coca Cola, and numerous other well-known enterprises, tell the story of their brand both internally and externally.  Thom draws on his love of writing and his curiosity to get to know his clients very well and then be able to craft engaging, award-winning media productions across a variety of platforms to share it with the target audience.

Special Guests:

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

Life University

  • Doctor of Chiropractic, Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College
  • Author, The ART of Responsibility, Insight Publishing 2012
  • Certified Six Advisors Coach, Six Advisors Coaching Academy
  • Previous Vice President, Parker College of Chiropractic

Alan Conner, CEO, My Professional CFO  twitter_logo_small-e1403698475314  facebook_logo_small3

My Professional CFO

  • MBA, Finance, Nova Southeastern University
  • Previous Investment Banker, Orosey & Pepe Capital Markets
  • Former Investment Manager, Arduus Asset Management

Thom Gonyeau, CEO, Mountain View Group  twitter_logo_small  facebook_logo_small3  linkedin_small1

Mountain View Group

  • MA, Communications, The College of Saint Rose
  • Chair, Board of Trustees, Creative Education Foundation


Q & A Events

Q & A Events

Suzanne Baugh, CEO of Q & A Events

Q & A Events

A few weeks ago I hosted my friend, Liz Covin, founder of Vivid Salon.  As we talked after the show she told me I needed to meet Colleen Wogan and Suzanne Baugh, of Q & A Events.  On this week’s episode I had the chance to sit down with Q & Q Events’ CEO, Suzanne Baugh.

Suzanne shared how at 14 years old, she went to an Amy Grant concert and, looking around the venue at the set, the crowd, and the excitement that erupted with the launch of the show, that she knew event planning was what she wanted to do.  At the age of 17, she decided to throw her own concert so she booked one of Amy Grant’s back-up singers, secured a sponsor, sold tickets, and put on her first event (and even made a profit).

We talked about the fact that the Q & A Events team views itself as a member of their client’s team, seeking to learn as much as possible about what the goal of the event is, the culture of the client, allowing them to more effectively reflect those details in the execution of the event.

In addition to her work with Q & A Events, Suzanne has also served as president of the Atlanta Gay Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (AGLCC).  We talked about how the organization seeks to serve the LGBT community by providing mentoring, educational offerings, a platform through which to network, and an opportunity to be certified as an LGBT-owned business enterprise.  This certification can open doors to serve as a supplier for numerous government and private enterprises.

Special Guest:

Suzanne Baugh, CEO, Q & A Events  facebook_logo_small3  twitter_logo_small  linkedin_small1

Q & A Events

  • BBA, Music, Belmont University
  • Tuck Executive Education, Dartmouth College The Tuck School of Business
  • Previous VP Administration & Events, TBA Entertainment

Yacht Rock Revue and Ignited Entertainment Group

Emerging Artist Network

Peter Stroud & Dave Sutton talk Emerging Artist Network

Emerging Artist Network

Nick Niespodziani and Sonny Del Grosso talk about the business of music.

Yacht Rock Revue and Ignited Entertainment Group

I sat down with co-founders of Emerging Artist Network, Dave Sutton and Peter Stroud to learn about the cool technology platform they created to pair bands with brands that are looking to integrate music into their marketing efforts.

They brought along Nick Niespodziani, lead singer and co-founder of the popular Atlanta-based, Yacht Rock Revue, and Sonny Del Grosso, founder of Ignited Entertainment Group, and former manager for the Zac Brown Band in their early days.  Nick and Sonny shared their stories and how their respective businesses evolved to where they are now.

check back soon for more information!

Special Guests:

Dave Sutton, CEO/Co-Founder of Emerging Artist Network   twitter_logo_small  facebook_logo_small3  linkedin_small1


  • MBA, Marketing, George Washington University
  • Published Author
  • President/CEO, TopRight Partners

Peter Stroud, Co-Founder/ Artist Relations of Emerging Artist Network  twitter_logo_small  facebook_logo_small3  linkedin_small1


  • Guitarist, Musical Director for Sheryl Crow
  • Co-Founder/Partner, 65amps
  • Founder of the band, Big Hat

Nick Niespodziani of Yacht Rock Revue  linkedin_small1  twitter_logo_small  facebook_logo_small3  youtube logo  soundcloud logo

Yacht Rock Review


  • BA, English, Indiana University Bloomington
  • Previous Director of Business Development, Camp Jam
  • Former President, Jamling

Sonny Del Grosso of Ignited Entertainment Group  linkedin_small1  twitter_logo_small  facebook_logo_small3

Ingnited Talent


  • BA, Communication, Florida State University
  • Former Manager, Zac Brown Band
  • Previous Senior Marketing Manager, Turner Broadcasting System/Turner South

IRC Wealth 1

IRC Wealth and 3 Female Entrepreneurs

This week marked the first of a monthly series we’re running with the folks from IRC Wealth.  Vice President of Business Development, Joe Schum, co-hosted the show with me.  He introduced us to three highly-successful female entrepreneurs from the Atlanta area who, while accomplished in their own rights, are also clients of IRC Wealth.

Jodi Hersh founded Orange Star Design, a firm specializing in graphic and web design and social media content creation.  For over 20 years, Jodi has worked with small businesses, Fortune 500 companies, indie artists, and even rock stars, helping them craft and improve their brands.  Jodi has been providing her services to the IRC Wealth team for a number of years.

Sarah Huie Coleman, an Atlanta native, founded Huie Design, Inc. in 1996 after completing design and implementation of the “Look Of The Games” for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Centennial Games for Copeland Hirthler / Iconologic.

Huie Design has been working with municipalities, architects, developers, and owners on public spaces to create entire signage and wayfinding systems that function effectively, entice interaction, and inspire joy. Feeling lost or confused when navigating is frustrating and stressful. Their work achieves project goals, puts patrons and visitors at ease, and makes a lasting impression.  In fact, their quality of work and attention to customer service and detail has allowed the firm to grow, heavily through referral and repeat business.

Founded in 1999, Giant Studios offered filmmakers capabilities that simply cant be done anywhere else, from Gollum in Lord of the Rings to Avatar. With a home office in Atlanta, state-of-the art studio facilities in Los Angeles, and To Go capabilities around the world, Giant was the recognized leader in motion capture and virtual environments for even the most demanding film requirements.

Candice Algers joined us to talk about the genesis of Giant Studios and how they leveraged innovative technology to become a sought-after partner in some of the film and gaming industries’ most highly-acclaimed productions.

In 2014, Giant Studios, Inc. sold the rights to its performance capture technology for entertainment applications to Lightstorm Entertainment. The Giant R&D team will continue developing the software under the Lightstorm umbrella.  Lightstorm will continue developing and leveraging the technology during the production of the next three Avatar sequels.

Giant was able to demonstrate the robustness of the technology over the past fifteen years on numerous films including, but not limited to: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, The Polar Express, The Lion the Witch and The Wardrobe, Iron Man, Real Steel, Avatar, The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret Unicorn, and Jack the Giant Slayer. Video Game credits include many highly acclaimed titles such as Halo 4, Call of Duty 3, Devil May Cry, Fable II, and Jade Empire.

Special Guests:

Joe Schum, VP of Business Development, IRC Wealth  linkedin_small1  twitter_logo_small  facebook_logo_small3  youtube logo  feed logo

IRC Wealth

  • BS, Economics/Commerce, Niagara University
  • Founder, The Niagara Group
  • Board of Advisors, Safe Haven Museum and Education Center
  • Board Member, Visions Anew Institute

Jodi Hersh, Founder, Orange Star Design  twitter_logo_small  linkedin_small1  feed logo  Pinterest-logo  instagram-logo-transparent-png-i11 (16x16)

Orange Star Design

  • BFA, Graphic Design & Photography, University of Michigan
  • Previous Graphic Designer, Tom Graboski & Associates
  • Former Art Director, Dynamic Press

Sarah Huie Coleman, Founder, Huie Design

Huie Design

  • BA, Graphic Design/Packaging, Art Center College of Design
  • BA, Psychology, Sweet Briar College
  • Previous Managing Director of Environmental Design, Iconologic
  • Former Senior Graphics Designer/Manager, RTKL

Candice Algers, CEO, Giant Studios  facebook_logo_small3  linkedin_small1

Giant Studios

  • ABJ, Journalism/Minor in Marketing, University of Georgia
  • Previous Executive Vice President, Crawford Communications



Pitch The Crowd

Pitch The Crowd

Pitch The Crowd

I met JR McNair a few months ago when I was just getting started here with the Midtown studio.  He is an Atlanta native and hometown sports star that now resides in South Fulton County.

While in College J.R. started a business development company that since its inception has helped over 3,000 small business owners. J.R. is an avid learner and prides himself on mastering a new business skill every 12 months. J.R. has helped incorporate almost 1,000 entities and as such is an expert in the field of corporate formations. J.R. McNair started his first business at the age of 10 years old and has  personally started, branded, invested or sold over 30 businesses since that time.

He came by to talk about his newest effort—Pitch The Crowd, a show he recently launched on cable TV here in Atlanta.  The show, which currently will air a new episode quarterly, is similar to the popular Shark Tank.  With Pitch The Crowd, the goal is to pitch your business or not-for-profit to the crowd funding space.

He brought along several guests who had appeared on the show’s first episode.  Emmenette Mason oversees a non-profit organization focused on giving Atlanta young people and adults education on entrepreneurship through a series of weekly workshops in the summer in addition to other educational offerings.  IXOYE Global Entrepreneurship Network, or IXGEN for short, has already seen success, with numerous young people who have gone through the program coming back to talk about how they have successfully launched their own small businesses based on what they learned from IXGEN.

IXOYE Global Entrepreneurship Network (IXGEN), is a Georgia nonprofit organization created to provide business support services to assist in creating, strengthening and expanding grassroots micro and small enterprises, and guiding them toward national and international levels of entrepreneurship.  IXGEN’s mission is to facilitate access to resources, provide information, technical assistance, training, counseling and other support services, to micro and small entrepreneurs to enable them to promote, strengthen and grow their businesses. IXGEN is committed to ‘promoting a global perspective for micro entrepreneurs in the USA and in Africa.

IXGEN passionately advocates (non-politically), the need for entrepreneurial education as an integral part of the middle and high school curricula throughout the USA and Africa. In this regard, IXGEN has initiated a youth empowerment program (iYEP), for youth in middle and high schools, as well as for young adults.  The Youth Empowerment Program (iYEP), is an annual Entrepreneurship, Leadership, & Life Skills Training that provides opportunities for the young people to develop the competencies they need to become successful individuals, and potential business owners.

IXGEN has developed strategic collaborations/partnerships with individual entrepreneurs, philanthropists, development practitioners, governmental and non-governmental agencies, and faith-based organizations that are engaged in economic and community development.

Deontae Trundle came by to talk about Indie Film Loop.  The Indie Film Loop is a three-day Film Conference and Creative Showcase that starts on Friday, August 7th, 2015 and ends on Sunday, August 9th. It is projected to be the Southeast regionʼs premiere marketplace for Independent talents within the film & media industries. Attendees will have the opportunity to discover new creative talents within the industry by seeing the showcased participants engaged in intense film related competitions and more. Participants will also be able to gain valuable knowledge from industry leading professionals through thought provoking panel discussions and keynotes, interactive workshops and collaborative opportunities making The Indie Film Loop a vibrant avenue for career development. Emerging professionals of today will be able to earn the right to become the industry elites of tomorrow!

Mark Cano was a Pitch The Crowd participant who is looking for crowd funding to support his efforts to launch a state-of-the-art cosmetology school in the Atlanta area.  Having been exposed to the industry of cosmetology education with his wife while living in Florida.  Mark’s wife, who has many years of experience in cosmetology was invited to help build a new school in their community and they became intrigued by the possibilities.

Mark has leveraged his background in investment banking, his wife’s experience, and their work as owners of the MedSpa in Johns Creek to develop a passion to build a cosmetology school the he hopes will be the go-to option for the region.

Special Guests:

JR McNair, Business Service Pros, Pitch The Crowd  facebook_logo_small3  twitter_logo_small  google-plus-logo-red-265px

Pitch The Crowd


  • Founder, Business Service Pros
  • Launched his first business, age 10


Emmenette Mason, IXOYE Global Entrepreneurship Network  facebook_logo_small3


  • MBA, Entrepreneurship Development, University of Akron
  • Founder, Youth Empowerment Program
  • Member, National Association of Professional Women
  • Counselor, SCORE (Business counseling of SBA, Georgia Chapter)

Deontae Trundle, Managing Partner, Indie Film Loop  facebook_logo_small3  twitter_logo_small  linkedin_small1



  • AA, Applied Business with focus in Graphic Design, Coyehoga Community College
  • Produced “Mr. Amazing”, 2009 Atlanta Film project Competition in Atlanta, Winning 5 “Best Of” Awards
  • Previous Creative Director, Upris Corp
  • Creative Director/Founder, Creative Synergy Design, LLC


Sean’s Harvest Market and You Talk I Write

Sean's Harvest Market

Sean’s Harvest Market and You Talk I Write

Today we had the opportunity to sit down with experts from Sean’s Harvest Market and You Talk I Write.  Sean Germain and his wife, Amber Chaney (also a working actor), opened their first location for Sean’s Harvest Market in January 2014.  The thing that makes that an interesting fact is that the eatery/market is an open air setting with a dining bar where patrons can watch their food being prepared.  The day they opened it was 7 degrees!

Sean talked about the fact that they have recently opened a second location on Peachtree based on the success of their Amsterdam Walk site where they got their start.  He and Amber shared how they focus on providing a fresh, frequently–changing menu based on availability of locally-sourced ingredients.  They also sell home-grown vegetables such as tomatoes and berries grown on their NC farm.  With 3 children in the home and a successful acting career on Amber’s part the couple talked about how they juggle busy schedules to follow their passions for food service and entertainment.

Amber has worked as an actor on a number of films such as Hunger Games, Attack of the Morningside Monster, and Cupid’s Requiem.  We had fun joking around sampling some of her accents, laughing about how she’s been able to call on her early life in Acworth, GA, a small community Northwest of Atlanta.

You Talk I Write

Candi Cross joined us and talked about her work as a ghostwriter for a variety of authors and businesses with a story to tell.  She described the process of interviewing her clients, learning what they are trying to convey, and getting a sense of the person or business in order to best represent what they’re trying to get across.  She’s worked with well-known authors as well as executives and corporations.  We talked about the variety of publications she has contributed to, drawing on her 20+ years of writing experience to produce high quality content.  She’s been providing such a high quality of writing she has been able to stay busy for the past 5 years through word-of-mouth referrals from her happy clients.

Special Guests:

Sean Germain, Co-Founder of Sean’s Harvest Market  twitter_logo_small  facebook_logo_small3

Sean's Harvest Market

Amber Chaney, Actor, Co-Founder of Sean’s Harvest Market  linkedin_small1


Candi Cross, Ghostwriter, You Talk I Write  linkedin_small1  twitter_logo_small



SoundRiver Advisors and Emerging Artist Network



SoundRiver Advisors and Emerging Artist Network

This week we sat down with experts from SoundRiver Advisors and Emerging Artist Network.  Bo Wilkins, one of the experts from SoundRiver Advisors who focuses on insurance strategies and solutions came back on and introduced us to Dave Sutton of Emerging Artist Network.  Dave brought along his partner, well-known guitarist, Peter Stroud.  SoundRiver Advisors is an Atlanta firm whose team is made up of investment finance, insurance, and tax experts.  They work with privately-held companies to help them plan compensation packages for key executives as well as position themselves for generational transition.

Bo introduced me to Dave Sutton, who along with Peter Stroud and Dan Lipson, had started a technology company called Emerging Artist Network.  With his extensive background as a marketing expert with TopRight Partners charged with helping companies expand their brands’ awareness, he saw an opportunity to fill a void in the entertainment industry.  Dave has leveraged this experience with brand development and marketing with a passion for music to help develop a technology platform that utilizes a collection of data points about emerging bands as well as brands.  The data enables Emerging Artist Network to use gamification and analytics to match brands seeking to grow to emerging artists whose data profile and band dynamic matches the picture for that particular brand.  Peter Stroud has been a touring musician with a long list of artists such as Sheryl Crow, Sara McLaughlin, Don Henley, Peter Droge, and numerous others.  He co-founded the boutique amplifier company, “65amps“, whose amps are used by a host of accomplished artists as well.

Dave and Peter talked about how challenging the music business is now for artists to make money on their music, outside of touring.  In today’s digital age that has changed the way fans purchase music, royalties have declined significantly.  That means emerging artists must look for sources of revenue to support their creative efforts and recording costs through such channels as strategic relationships with brands willing to sponsor their work.  Peter talked about how securing sponsorship has often had a negative stigma in the music industry among artists, being viewed as “Selling out”.  Emerging Artist Network seeks to get to know a band, their style/genre, and their listeners and using innovative algorithms, they’re able to match artists with brands who are looking to include musical acts in their brand awareness campaigns.  As Peter and Dave described, they seek to let the bands they work with be who they are rather than seeking to change them to fit a sponsor.  I look forward to having them back on the show to feature a delighted brand they were able to link up with a band.

Special Guests

Bo Wilkins, Partner, SoundRiver Advisors  Linkedin    

SoundRiver Advisors

  • Former Executive Managing Director, Wealth Management, Reliance Trust Company
  • Former Partner, Nease, Lagana, Eden, & Culley
  • BA, History & German, Hampden-Sydney College
  • CLU – Chartered Life Underwriter; ChFC – Chartered Financial Consultant; CAP – Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy


Dave Sutton, CEO/Co-Founder of Emerging Artist Network   twitter_logo_small  facebook_logo_small3  linkedin_small1


  • MBA, Marketing, George Washington University
  • Published Author
  • President/CEO, TopRight Partners

Peter Stroud, Co-Founder/ Artist Relations of Emerging Artist Network  twitter_logo_small  facebook_logo_small3  linkedin_small1


  • Guitarist, Musical Director for Sheryl Crow
  • Co-Founder/Partner, 65amps
  • Founder of the band, Big Hat

Intellectual Property, Film, Music and Sound Production, and Theater

John Seay

Intellectual Property, Film, Music and Sound Production, and Theater

Today’s show focused on the entertainment industry.  I sat down with experts in Intellectual property, film, music and sound production, and theater.  John Seay, from The Seay Firm LLC is an attorney who focuses his practice on the entertainment space.  He talked about how in reality he’s a small business attorney whose major client base comes from the entertainment sector.  He serves many small business owners in matters of intellectual property and issues such as trademarks, copyrights, and more.  John is a practiced musician who’s been known to perform in the Atlanta area.  And, he’s been honored to fulfill his role as legal counsel for the Wilson Pickett estate–making him particularly proud being a fellow Alabama native.  John shared some excellent advice for artists who are producing work in print and media with regard to protecting the intellectual property they produce–including things they can do without the help of an attorney that will give them additional recourse in the case of infringement by another party.

John brought along guests Marcus Blackwell, of Make Music Count, and Philip Justman, of Saiah Arts International.  Make Music Count is an innovative curriculum for improving understanding of mathematics in young students using music instruction on a keyboard.  His approach has proven to be highly effective in children in the Georgia schools where his curriculum is being employed as an after-school offering.  Philip Justman joined us to talk about his work at Saiah Arts International, a theater production he has with his wife, Marium Khalid.  They provide a cutting edge, immersive theater experience.  They place great focus on story telling and character development in their productions, which may take their intimate audience through a half mile to a mile of walking through an outdoor set in the elements as they follow the cast moving through an expansive set in the elements.

Chris Ethridge, of Blue Dusk Promotions came by to talk about the recent release of their motion picture, “Attack of the Morningside Monster“, a thriller-horror film.  Chris shared a little about the plot of the story along with some of the well-known acting talent they were able to include in the making of the film, including: Nicholas Brendon, Tiffany Shepis, Robert Pralgo, Catherine Taber and Amber Chaney.  The movie, which is available in several video-on-demand outlets, is also going into distribution on DVD/Blueray and has shown popularity with audiences abroad as well.

Our producer, Krista Berutti introduced us to music and sound production specialist, Greg Shearer, of Street Level Sound.  StreetLevelSound adds Floor and Decor to the growing client list as well as the new credits in the TV shows “Revenge,” “Keeping Up With The Kardasians,” and “Storage Wars.” Another recent new agency client was BBDO of New York!  They also have worked for such clients as AT&T, BMW, Dell, Kellogg’s, Lysol, Conoco Oil, Quaker Steak and Lube, Unocal, Dannon, Kraft, Aetna Insurance, Hard Rock Hotels and Casinos, HIghmark BCBS, TrueValue, Disney, and others. Street Level Sound has worked with agencies including, Leo Burnett, GSD&M, 22 Squared, and Mullen. StreetLevel has also contributed to network shows like “Veronica Mars,” and “10 Things I Hate About You,” Showtime’s “Sleeper Cell,” and regularly to Harpo Productions. The company does great sound design and audio post too!  Greg discussed his work  in the sound and  music production space along with his long-time experience in the recording industry and how those combined experiences make Street Level Sound a popular choice for advertisers and movie/TV productions.

Special Guests:

John Seay, of The Seay Firm LLC  Twitter 16x16  Facebook  Linkedin  feed logo

The Seay Firm LLC

  • JD, University of Georgia School of Law
  • Former Tour Manager, Saddle Creek Records
  • Author of Multiple Published Articles on Entertainment Law and Other Legal Topics
  • Legal Counsel for the Wilson Pickett Estate

Marcus Blackwell, CEO of Make Music Count  Twitter 16x16  Facebook  Linkedin  youtube logo  flickr

Make Music Count

  • BS, Mathematics, Morehouse College
  • Former Modeling Analyst, GE Energy
  • Trained Pianist in Jazz/Classical and Self-taught in Gospel Music
  • Music Director, Elizabeth Baptist Church

Chris Ethridge, Co-founder of Blue Dusk Productions Linkedin  Facebook  Twitter

Attack of the Morningside Monster

  • Director, “Attack of the Morningside Monster” Motion Picture
  • Senior Software Engineer, Insight Catastrophe Group
  • BS Computer Science, James Madison University

Greg Shearer, of Street Level Sound  Facebook  Linkedin

Street Level Sound

  • DMA, Composition, Northwestern University
  • Bachelor of Music, Guitar Performance, Indiana University
  • Nominated for Emmy for work on Oprah Winfrey Specials
  • Multiple-winner of Addy and AIR awards


Philip Justman, Co-founder of Saiah Arts International  Facebook  Twitter 16x16  Linkedin

Saiah Arts International

  • 20 major awards within 3 years Including: Best Theatrical Show 2012, 2013 and 2014, the Inspiration Award from the City of Prague, and the prestigious Creativity and Arts Impact Award from Emory University.