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Curated Collection Of The Best Interviews From Our Midtown Studio

Vital Life Health Center Atlanta

Life University

Dr. Guy Riekeman

Vital Life Health Center Atlanta

On this week’s show, TopRight Partners COO and Managing Partner, Bill Fasig, joined me to host Dr. Guy Riekeman, President of Life University.  He stopped in to talk about the Vital Life Health Center Atlanta project Life University is collaborating with to bring their vitalistic wellness expertise and technology to the Midtown community.





Matt Germain and Alyse Smith talk chiropractic care.


On this week’s episode we featured 2 Life University alumni from the world’s largest school for doctors of chiropractic.  Dr. Matt Germain and Alyce Smith from Back to Balance Wellness Centers joined us in the studio to talk about integrity and chiropractic care.

Matt explained how the holistic nature of chiropractic care appealed to him and drew him into become a DC.  In speaking with him it’s clear he takes what he does as a provider of health care very seriously.  And he understands his role is a facet of what is often a multi-specialty approach to regain or maintain wellness.

We talked about how it is important to him to take time to really get to know the full health picture of a patient and what their individual goals are for evaluating progress.  Matt expressed how he understands that in some instances, another type of care provider might be the best alternative for them or in others, be adjunctive to his treatment.

Alyse and Matt shared their views that regular chiropractic care, delivered by a clinically-driven DC, can help optimize one’s health through routine follow-up and occasional treatment to maintain maximal health and function of the body.  One way this is achieved is by addressing proper alignment of the skeletal structure, particularly the spine and others that lie along neural pathways, as misalignment can cause impingement of nerves, affecting muscle or organ function.

Both my wife and I have been patients of Dr. Germain, having experienced both chiropractic care and their professional massage therapy services as well.  I can say Matt certainly lives what he described in our interview, having taken much time to interview me about what I was experiencing and taking care to explain what his recommendations were for care.

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

Matt Germain, DC, of Back to Balance Wellness Centers  facebook_logo_small3  linkedin_small1  google-plus-logo-red-265px  twitter_logo_small  


Alyse Smith, DC, of Back to Balance Wellness Centers 


Transition Planning


Archie Jones CFO of NOWaccount


NOWaccount Chairman, John Hayes

Transition Planning

I sat down with NOWaccount CFO, Archie Jones and his colleague, NOWaccount Chairman, John Hayes.  They stopped by to share some thoughts on how business owners need to start planning for how they intend to transition their business when it comes time, whether that’s selling it to a buyer or passing it to family members.

John and Archie talked about some of the common missteps business owners make that can complicate or delay sale of a business, or even cause the sale to fail.  We talked about how important it is to choose capital sources carefully, taking a few minutes to discuss factoring, business loans, and NOWaccount’s innovative merchant services option that gives the business access to their accounts receivable cash and preventing the need to acquire debt.

We discussed how important it is for business owners to insure they are on the same page with all partners with regard to what the plan is for the “end game”—sell or transition the business to family.  Archie and John shared the pros and cons of various business structures such as LLC’s versus C Corp, for example.  Three topics of conversation that owners need to have:  How will the company be operated?  Will all members/partners have roles or equal votes in decisions?  How much revenue will be taken for salaries for partners?  What is the “horizon” for deciding if/when to sell if that’s the goal?

John and Archie shared a number of critical points that make a business very attractive for a seller (or unattractive).  Archie talked about how important it is for business owners to educate themselves on the potential market for buyers of their business when they go to sell.

Special Guests:

Archie Jones,  VP of Finance/CFO of NOWaccount  facebook_logo_small3  twitter_logo_small  youtube logo  linkedin_small1


  • MBA General Management, Harvard Business School
  • Previous Principal and Charter Member, Parthenon Capital
  • Member, Board of Directors, AIT Worldwide Logistics
  • Founder, Tubman Ventures

John Hayes, Chairman of NOWaccount  linkedin_small1


  • JD, Law, Emory University School of Law
  • Previous CEO/Chairman, FTRANS Corp.
  • Founder and Former CEO, OneCoast Network
  • Founded Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) at Georgia Tech


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


MARTA and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises


MARTA and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises

This week, Lara Hodgson, CEO and Founder of NOWaccount came by and brought experts from Atlanta’s mass transit authority and a WBE who’s worked with them to talk about MARTA and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises.  Ferdinand Risco is the Executive Director for Marta’s Diversity and Equal Opportunity platform.  This arm of MARTA focuses on engaging Atlanta’s disadvantaged business enterprises to provide them with opportunities to vie for contracts and sub-contracts to work with federally-funded projects around the community.

Ferdinand shared that their goal for DBE participation is 30% of contracts awarded to this demographic of Atlanta’s business community.  He talked about the fact that there are business opportunities on a broad spectrum of needs from basic office supplies to construction, planning, and other services.  We talked about the online resources MARTA makes available to allow local business owners to easily review current and upcoming projects they could potentially participate in.

We also talked about the fact that business owners need to go through the effort to establish credit and corporate structuring to position themselves to be able to meet certification requirements for DBE status.  Through partnerships with GMSDC and SBA, MARTA helps business owners have access to these often-free education and mentoring resources, as well as access to necessary resources such as working capital.

Lara shared information about NOWaccount’s recent partnering with MARTA to make their innovative capital solution available to the B2B community.  This solution gives business owners access to their AR capital within 5 days or less for 2.5% of the total AR sold.  In this way, NOWaccount gives B2B’s quick access to the capital they’ve already earned so they can add new staff, take larger orders, or purchase in bulk on discounts they wouldn’t be able to get otherwise.

Lara also introduced us to Heather Alhadeff, President of Center Forward, a transportation and land use planning firm based in Atlanta.  Heather is so committed to the value of mass transit, she hasn’t owned a car in years.  In addition to avoiding headaches associated with driving with Atlanta traffic, she also has gained first-hand experience of what users of our mass transit system experience.  This affords her with insight to be able to recommend options that would improve on the experience and/or allows her to effectively engage community residents when discussing developments (growth or retraction) of mass transit, road systems, or urban land development.

We talked about why transportation is such a key element of urban or city planning, discussing examples of how mass transit availability can have unexpected impacts on such facets of our lives as healthcare delivery and other important functions.

Special Guests:

Ferdinand Risco, Executive Director of Diversity and Equal Opportunity, MARTA  twitter_logo_small  Pinterest-logo  instagram-logo-transparent-png-i11 (16x16)  feed logo  facebook_logo_small3  linkedin_small1   flickr  youtube logo


  • MBA, University of New Haven
  • Recipient, 2014 GMSDC The Ambassador Award
  • Former Bradley Platoon Leader, US Army
  • Previous Inclusion and Diversity Manager, MTA Metro-North Railroad

Heather Alhadeff, President, Center Forward    facebook_logo_small3  linkedin_small1  twitter_logo_small  google-plus-logo-red-265px

Center Forward

  • BS Planning & Economic Development, Georgia State University
  • MBA, City Planning, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Published Author
  • Part-time instructor, Georgia Institute of Technology

Lara O’Connor-Hodgson, CEO of Nowaccount Network Corporation  Twitter  LinkedIn  Facebook

Nowaccount Network Corporation

  • MBA Harvard Business School
  • Former Adjunct Professor of Finance, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Board of Directors, Georgia Regional Transportation Authority
  • Owner, Insomnia Group
  • Chairman of the Board, Atlanta Heights Charter School
  • Second Language–Japanese





Some backing music provided by: