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Curated Collection Of The Best Interviews From Our Midtown Studio

Chad Adam and Benjamin Walle with Hop in Top, Amber Saunders with FailCon Atlanta and Robyn Cobb with St. Baldricks



Chad Adam and Benjamin Walle/Hop in Top TwitterFacebook

Amber Saunders/FailCon Atlanta TwitterFacebook

Amber C. Saunders, Esq. is the owner of the Saunders Law Group, a boutique law firm based in Atlanta, that focuses on protecting the things people create and services they provide. Amber is the lead producer of FailCon Atlanta, a unique entrepreneur conference, that urges entrepreneurs, investors, developers, and dreamers to examine their own mistakes in business, learn from them, and build amazing businesses.

Robyn Cobb/St. Baldricks Shave at Meehans TwitterFacebook

John Stephenson with College Football Hall of Fame and Rob Kischuk with PerfectPost


John Stephenson/College Football Hall of Fame TwitterFacebook

Born and raised in Atlanta, John Stephenson was named president and chief executive officer of Atlanta Hall Management, Inc. in February 2013, after serving for more than a year in the role on an interim basis. As President & CEO of Atlanta Hall Management, he is responsible for guiding the broader efforts to construct and develop the College Football Hall of Fame.

Prior to joining the Hall, he was corporate attorney at the law firm of Troutman Sanders. He joined the firm in 2000 and was named a partner in 2007. Having served as counsel to a number of clients in the hospitality, sports and entertainment industry, Stephenson was retained by project organizers in 2009 to assist with efforts to move the Hall to Atlanta.

Stephenson holds undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Georgia and lives in Atlanta with his wife, Megan, and kids, May and Jack.

Rob Kischuk/PerfectPost LinkedinTwitterFacebook

Rob Kischuk is CEO & Founder of PerfectPost. Rob is a 14 year veteran of Atlanta startups, focused in the gaming and marketing space. PerfectPost is a graduate of Georgia Tech’s Flashpoint Startup Accelerator, and is backed by Mark Cuban. The company provides a Social Commerce Optimization Platform for E-Commerce Marketers to generate ongoing revenue from their social media presences.



Mike LaSage and John Williams with Bone Lick BBQ, Marshall Seese with Mowgli and Tim Borchers with The Atlanta Streetcar


Mike LaSage and John Williams/Bone Lick BBQ Facebook

Bone Lick BBQ started as a pop-up restaurant concept by Executive Chef Mike LaSage at P’cheen, on Monday Nights, in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood. For one night a week, P’cheen transformed into a BBQ restaurant that quickly gained popularity in and out of the city. People driving from all over the greater Atlanta burbs to get a sampling of that delicious, smoky goodness. Atlanta Magazine named it #4 in the state and #1 in the city limits.

Recently, Bone Lick BBQ have been fielding requests to bring their deliciousness to them. Special event catering and appearances at regional festivals has drastically helped to expand their business.

Bone Lick BBQ is one of the featured restaurants at the upcoming Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival happening March 1st at Atlantic Station.

Marshall Seese/Mowgli LinkedinTwitterFacebook

Marshall Seese, Jr. is the founder of Mowgli, an entertainment technology company that connects people through social creation. An experienced entrepreneur with a background in music, technology, and law, Marshall earned his law degree from the University of Michigan. After starting with the preeminent technology law firm Morris, Manning & Martin, Marshall founded and launched BCLS Legal, a successful boutique practice. In 2008, Marshall sold his stake in BCLS to become General Counsel of the global technology consulting firm North Highland. Three years later Marshall left and founded Mowgli. Marshall is also a seasoned musician with a recording agreement through Backspace Records. As a pioneer in creative business, Marshall lives by the mantra “Create. Connect.”

Tim Borchers/The Atlanta Streetcar TwitterFacebook

Timothy Borchers has 35 years of streetcar and tramway (light rail) experience on two continents, inclusive of 12 years of transit system management in private and government environments. This experience includes operations, system and vehicle design, construction, renewal and rehabilitation and new system start up.

He moved from Australia to the United States in 2002 to manage the Tampa Florida streetcar system and in 2008 began consulting to streetcar transit providers. In April of 2013 he was employed by the City of Atlanta as Deputy Commissioner of Public Works – Streetcar Executive Director to lead the Atlanta Streetcar project through construction and into operations.


Rob Merrick with Cypress Street Pint and Plate, Lance Smith with Pure Melon and Chad Shearer with Caren West PR


Rob Merrick/Cypress Street Pint and Plate FacebookTwitter

Located in the heart of Midtown Atlanta, Cypress Street Pint and Plate is a throwback to when the drinks were always cold, the food was always hot, and the bar-staff knew your name. With fourteen beers on tap, countless bottled selections, and a fully stocked selection of wine and spirits, Cypress has become a favorite neighborhood haunt and one of the city’s premier beer bars. Every Tuesday, Cypress Street’s resident Beer Geek, Rob Merrick, hosts Beer Geek Tuesday – a casual exploration of all things beer including food and beer pairings to rare casks and tap takeovers to specialty events. Cypress Street Pint and Plate is located on the corner of 6th street and Cypress Street at 817 West Peachtree, Suite E-125, Atlanta, Georgia. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. until 2:30 a.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2:30 a.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. until midnight. For more information, call 404-815-9243.

Lance Smith/Pure Melon FacebookTwitter

Lance Smith is the owner of a production company Pure Melon. Offering a wide spectrum of services, from brand management to full-scale production to event solutions – for the last 5 years Lance & Co. have prided themselves with providing top-quality solutions for next level companies and brands. Projects include work with Delta Air Lines, Coca-Cola, Gilt Group and beyond.

Chad Shearer/Caren West PR FacebookTwitter

Caren West PR is a lifestyle and entertainment public relations and graphic design firm, whose clients range from some of Midtown Atlanta’s hottest and highest regarded restaurants to national music festivals and global fashion brands.


Collin Cash with The Peachtree Trolley Co. and Pavel Stuchlik and Ann-Marie with Orangetheory Fitness


Collin Cash/The Peachtree Trolley Co. 

A native of Atlanta, Collin Cash received her degree in English with a minor in Mass Communications from the University of West Georgia while working part time at local newspapers. She began a career in tourism sales and marketing at the Rome Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) before going on to become the first Executive Director of both the Carrollton Area CVB and the Douglasville CVB. While in Carrollton she also headed up the Main Street Program, a national downtown revitalization effort. As a CVB Director, Cash was a Board member of the Atlanta Metro Travel Association and received the President’s award twice for her service before being elected as President herself. She also rose to the positi9on of Vice President of the Georgia Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus.

From the Convention and Visitors Bureau world, she made a brief stop at Six Flags Over Georgia as the Tour and Travel Account Representative before landing at the Peachtree Trolley Company in early 2010. Although her title is Business Development Manager and she is in charge of all trolley charters, Cash does everything from sales and marketing to filling in as a tour guide.

Pavel Stuchlik and Ann-Marie/Orangetheory Fitness TwitterFacebook

Orangetheory® Fitness is a one-of-a-kind, group personal training workout broken into intervals of cardiovascular and strength training. Backed by the science of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), Orangetheory’s heart-rate-monitored training is designed to maintain a target zone that stimulates metabolism and increases energy. Led by skilled personal trainers, participants use a variety of equipment including treadmills, rowing machines, SBT Suspension Training and free weights, burning up to 500-1,000 calories in a 60-minute session. The result is the Orange Effect –more energy, visible toning and extra calorie burn for up to 36 hours post-workout.


Hélène Courault Touré with Alliance Française d’Atlanta

MBRHélène Courault Touré/Alliance Française d’Atlanta LinkedinFacebookTwitter

Alliance Française d’Atlanta is a part of a worldwide network, created in 1912. It is an independent member-supported non-profit organization. Hélène is in charge of school management, cultural events, fundraising & accounting. She manages a French language school of 850 students per year as well a cultural organization of 1,000 members.  Hélène manages a team of 5 full time and 18 teachers.


Victor Antonio with Sellinger Group, Matt Andrew with Uncle Maddios Pizza Joint, Jodie Charlop with Exceleration Partners and Jim Hackler – The Urbane Environmentalist


Victor Antonio/Sellinger Group FacebookLinkedinTwitter

Keynote speaker on sales motivation, Victor Antonio has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, an MBA and built a 20 year career as a top sales executive and then CEO of a high-tech company.

His success in sales and management also helped him establish channels internationally. He has conducted business in: Europe, Asia, Latin America, UAE, Australia, South Africa and The Middle East.

Victor has shared the big stage with some of the top business speakers in the nation including: Rudy Giuliani, Zig Ziglar, Dr. Robert Schuller, Paul Ortellini (CEO of Intel), John May (CEO of FedEx Kinkos) and many other top business speakers.

Specialties: keynote speaker on sales & motivation, sales training, sales trainer, sales motivation, sales presentation, public speaker, strategic selling, keynote speaker, business motivation, motivational speaker.

Matt Andrew/Uncle Maddio’s

Celebrating its 5th year, Uncle Maddio’s Pizza Joint is the original create-your-own fast casual pizza restaurant. Operating 18 restaurants in six states, Uncle Maddio’s is the fastest growing fast casual pizza brand in the US, with an additional 35 franchise restaurants in development for 2014, and 165 units committed through its franchisee network. Uncle Maddio’s pizzas are completely customizable, made-to-order, and served up in just six minutes for under $7. Uncle Maddio’s offers four pizza sizes, three types of crusts, including gluten-free, six sauces, and 48 fresh toppings, many vegan, organic, and hormone-free. The freshest and largest menu in the category, Uncle Maddio’s also serves toasted paninis and gourmet salads — all prepared with locally sourced ingredients and salad dressings that are made daily. Based in Atlanta, Uncle Maddio’s management team is the most experienced in the fast casual pizza category. Uncle Maddio’s has targeted Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Colorado, Tennessee, and Virginia.

Jodie Charlop/Exceleration Partners Linkedin

Jodie Charlop, NCC, CMC is Founding Partner of Exceleration Partners. Jodie Charlop understands how to help leaders transform from technically brilliant producers to powerful leaders. Her background as a former communication executive combined with advanced study of human behavior brings her clients a unique intersection of business, communication, and human understanding. She advises emerging leaders and executives on how to take a holistic view of their professional path, and ensure they are not only relevant to their organization and industry, but also, building a career and life that matters.

While Jodie works with professionals across industries and the Fortune 500, she is particularly attuned to helping professionals – especially women – hone in on sabotaging behaviors and limiting beliefs. She challenges women to get out of the production trap of work, seize control of their lives and build a healthy relationship with power and influence. She teams with her coaching and consulting partners on developing coaching, learning and leadership development programs that build awareness, conscious choice and tenacity. Jodie speaks and teaches regularly on topics of emotional intelligence, executive effectiveness, career strategy, leadership development, and power and influence.

Jim Hackler/The Urbane Environmentalist PinterestLinkedinTwitter

As a multi-platform journalist and new media content manager, Jim Hackler is a leader in turning complex, technical information into compelling content. He founded the Urbane Environmentalist LLC., a new approach to communicating the benefits of green living and home construction in an accessible and understandable way. As the former head of two of the country’s leading green building initiatives (U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED for Homes and the Southeast’s EarthCraft House program), Jim brings a unique industry insider’s perspective on what it means to be green. His professional background also includes broadcast and print journalism where he worked in local television news and CNN, edited GoodCents, and contributed to Green Builder, Delta Sky, LoftLife, and Natural Home. Jim is also a national recognized speaker and trainer sharing his expertise at workshops, start-up accelerators and national conferences (including TEDx Peachtree).

He’s been adjunct faculty at Georgia State University and served as a mentor for the Habitat International Entrepreneur Program, Georgia Tech’s Institute for Leadership and Entrepreneurship, and HUB Atlanta. Jim holds a Master of Arts in Journalism from the University of Georgia and a Bachelor of Science in Telecommunications from the University of Florida.


Amy Baxter with MMJ Labs and Aly Moler with Frozen Pints


Amy Baxter, MD/MMJ Labs FacebookTwitter

Amy Baxter is the CEO of MMJ Labs LLC. Amy  is an Inventor, engineer, educator and enthusiast in chief to eliminate needless pain. Running the company, lecturing, and working to spread the Buzz are her primary duties, but she also has been known to break down the ever-accumulating boxes.

Aly Moler/Frozen Pints FacebookTwitter

Aly Moler is the co-founder of Frozen Pints craft beer ice cream. Launching just over a year ago, Frozen Pints is the first product to market of its kind and can be found in more than 130 retail spots and restaurants in metro Atlanta, Macon, Peachtree City, Sewanee, Woodstock and Athens, Georgia, and is now available at the Georgia Dome. Using the finest craft beers and freshest local ingredients, Frozen Pints manufactures five distinct flavors out of Atlanta, Georgia: Peach Lambic, Honey IPA, Brown Ale Chip, Malted Milk Chocolate Stout, and Vanilla Bock and offers specialty and seasonal flavors throughout the year. Frozen Pints also unveiled branded ice cream carts and single serve portions that come with a spoon that are available for events and venues to order.

Brian Easter with Nebo Agency, Betsy Pickren with Exceleration Partners, Jen Renshaw with KSU Coles College of Business and Sean Cook with ShopVisible


Brian Easter/Nebo Agency FacebookLinkedinTwitter

Brian is a co-founder and CEO of Nebo, a human-centered digital marketing firm founded in 2004. Under his leadership, Nebo has enjoyed nine straight years of growth, has never laid a single employee off and has won over 100 digital awards in 2012/2013.

Brian is known for being a fierce advocate for the end user, a vocal and avid supporter of animal welfare, and writing and speaking about weighty and controversial subjects. He is an Appalachian State University alumnus and has 15 years of experience in the digital marketing industry. In the beginning stages of his career (or about a millennium in internet time), he even helped organizations optimize for archaic and dinosaur-like platforms such as Alta Vista and Lycos.

An energetic and passionate speaker, Brian has presented at SES, SEMPO, AMA, the INC 5000 Speaker Series and many other industry events. He has also been published in publications such as Ad Age, iMedia, Mobile Marketer and Social Media Today.

Betsy Pickren/Exceleration Partners Linkedin

Betsy Pickren is Co-Founder and Executive Coach of Exceleration Partners, a boutique leadership development and executive coaching organization.

Jen Renshaw/KSU Coles College of Business FacebookLinkedin

Jen has over 20 years of experience in operations, program design, curriculum and training plan development, product development, marketing and launch. She has worked in a variety of industries including education, health & human services, advertising, and consumer products in the U.S. and abroad and has worked in both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. In addition to her work in Executive Education at Coles College, Jen is a freelance business development and marketing consultant for entrepreneurs and start-ups and is actively involved with several promising new ventures. Jen has spent a good part of her career working in higher education. Prior to coming to the Kennesaw State University, Jen served for 8 years as the Associate Director at the Lang Center for Entrepreneurship at Columbia Business School in New York City. Jen holds an MBA with concentrations in Entrepreneurship and Marketing from Kennesaw State University and a BFA in Theater Performance from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. A Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native, Jen now lives in Roswell, Georgia with husband and two children.

Sean Cook/ShopVisible LinkedInTwitter

Sean’s career spans 30 years of innovation, leadership, and providing extraordinary value to businesses, employees, and his local community. In early 2006, Sean co-founded ShopVisible, an award winning SaaS commerce platform. In his role as CEO of ShopVisible, Sean provides the strategic leadership and vision that has propelled the growth and success of both ShopVisible and ShopVisible’s clients. Prior to ShopVisible, Sean held several leadership positions in companies such as Earthlink, BellSouth and iXL.

As the author of Evolving Commerce and as a recognized industry thought leader, Sean has been published in publications such as Forbes, 1to1 Magazine, Internet Retailer and He is also a frequent presenter at events such as IRCE, and Online Digital Summit. He takes pride in the recognition that the ShopVisible commerce platform has received through awards such as the SIIA CODiE award for Best Electronic Commerce Solution and takes even greater pride in the recognition of ShopVisible as an organization through awards such as Atlanta’s Best Places to Work. Sean’s entrepreneurial spirit was recently recognized with a top 10 placement as one of Atlanta’s Top Entrepreneurs.

Sean earned his M.B.A. from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School and a Bachelor of Arts from Emory University.


Gordon Rogers with Edevate, Kevin Green with Midtown Alliance, Karen Kelly with The Childrens Museum of Atlanta and Cherie Fuzzell with Parkmobile USA


Gordon Rogers/Edevate LinkedinTwitter

Gordon is a 25 year veteran of start-ups in the field of digital education and learning management, having founded an e-learning software company (Meliora Systems) in 1988. He took the start-up from the bootstrapped stage to an IPO in 1998, through a merger with Paul Allen’s company, Asymetrix Learning, now part of SumTotal Systems, a leading LMS provider. He has spent the last decade working with early stage ventures in the ed-tech sector, including both K-12 and higher-ed markets, as well as start-ups developing innovative offerings in the digital publishing, virtual worlds/MMO games for kids, and mobile learning areas.

He is co-founder and President of Edevate, which creates and operates innovative platforms that facilitate the origination, curation, promotion and credentialing of highly effective outcome-based online education and training programs.

He also mentors at Georgia Tech’s ATDC and Flashpoint programs as well as Managing Director of Vernon Bridge Ventures, an early stage capital/advisory firm. He serves on the advisory boards of Excelegrade, Evirx, and Rapid LD. He is also Past President of Atlanta Technology Angels. He sits on the selection committees for Venture Atlanta and TAG Top 40. He also serves as a guest lecturer and business plan competition judge at Georgia State, Georgia Tech, Emory and University of Georgia business schools.

He has extensive experience as a non-profit board member (YMCA of Greater Atlanta, Interfaith Outreach Home, Teacher Support Network, The Lionheart School).



Gordon has a BA in Economics, and an MSc in Engineering Economics from the University of New Brunswick, and an MBA in International Finance from the University of British Columbia.

Kevin Green/Midtown Alliance FacebookLinkedinTwitter

Kevin Green joined Midtown Alliance in July 2011. Kevin has been a resident of the City of Atlanta for 25 years and has been working for much of that time to advance livability and economic opportunity in the Atlanta region.

Kevin was previously Executive Director of The Clean Air Campaign, a Georgia non-profit working in partnership with transportation management associations and more than 2,000 public and private employers, schools and universities to implement programs to improve air quality and reduce traffic. Prior to that, Kevin was Vice President of Environmental Affairs with the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, where he worked to implement initiatives to improve water resource stewardship, air quality, transportation and land use and development. During his tenure with the Chamber, Kevin managed public-private initiatives that resulted in the creation of the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District – now managing water resources for a region of more than 5 million, and the Livable Communities Coalition – where more than 50 organizations work collaboratively to advance smart growth in metro Atlanta. Kevin also practiced law in Atlanta for 10 years, most recently as a partner with Andre, Blaustein & Green, LLP. His litigation experience includes state and federal trial and appellate courts across the Southeast.

Karen Kelly/The Children’s Museum of Atlanta FacebookLinkedInTwitter

Karen Kelly discusses The Children’s Museum of Atlanta and its feature exhibit, Moneyville. Chelsea Peterson from PNC Financial Services Group and Robert Parker from Ford Motor Company discuss their role as official presenters for the exhibit, and explain why they support The Children’s Museum of Atlanta’s mission to spark imagination and inspire discovery and learning for all children through the power of play.

Karen has been at The Children’s Museum for six years. She launched the Connected Learning, Connected Communities Outreach Programming and organized a major exhibition, Under the Big Top: You’re the Ringmaster! Serving as the team leader for all exhibition, educational and artistic programming at The Museum, Karen works with advisory committees to enhance and strategize the museum’s programming with an emphasis on literacy.

Karen has served as the chair and founder of the Georgia Museum Educators and the chair for the Southeastern Education Committee. She has also served on the national board of the Education Committee for the American Association of Museums and the programming committee for the Southeastern Museums Conference. In 2000, she was awarded Georgia Museum Professional of the Year. She was also a part-time instructor in the graduate history program at Georgia State University from 2001-2011.

She currently serves on several community advisory groups as well as the Atlanta Partners for Education Board. She is also an active volunteer, both through her church, through her children’s schools and through her neighborhood association. She is married to an attorney and has two children, Claire (aged 14) and Adam (aged 12).

Chelsea Peterson/PNC Financial Services Group Twitter

Chelsea oversees grants and sponsorships for PNC in Georgia. She is also the local charitable financial manager. Her team leads the brand alignment during the conversion of RBC and Flagstar to PNC in this market, and she was also the lead on PNC “Grow Up Great” launch in Greater Atlanta; A $1.2MM early education initiative. Chelsea was a key member in transitioning the National City conversion to PNC in Detroit in 2010.

She has a degree from Western Michigan University in Finance and Commercial Law, and she currently resides in West Midtown with her husband, Kent Peterson (and triplet boys on the way!).

Robert Parker/Ford Motor Company

Robert Parker is currently the general manager, southeast market area Ford Motor Company. Named to this position in December 2011, Parker oversees the sales and marketing teams responsible for selling and servicing the Ford and Lincoln brands in the Southeast Market Area.

Prior to joining Ford, Parker earned a bachelor degree from the Northern Arizona University. He started his career with Ford in 1989 and held a variety of positions in the Ford Customer Service Division before joining the Product Marketing group in Germany as the Mondeo Product Marketing Manager in 1998. After launching the Mondeo in 2000, Parker moved to the U.S. where he spent three years in Advanced Product Strategy followed by a year as the large car product marketing manager. In 2006 Parker assumed the role of car marketing manager responsible for collaborating with the Ford North American team to market Ford cars and crossovers. During his tenure, Parker worked on the launch teams of products like the Ford Fusion, Mustang Shelby GT, Shelby GT500 and Shelby GT500KR. In 2008 Parker was named the director of product communications where he was responsible for launching new products and technology for the Ford and Lincoln brands to the media. In 2010 he became group marketing manager leading the consumer and product marketing teams on the Fiesta, Focus, Fusion and Escape product lines.

Parker is a life-long car enthusiast who enjoys buying and selling classic Ford products from the 60’s and 70’s. He has owned and restored several Mustangs and Broncos and devotes his spare time to tracking down new projects. Robert is a member of the board of World Missionary Press and Northern Arizona University’s Franke School of Business. Robert and his wife Terri have three children and live in Milton, Georgia.

Cherie Fuzzell/Parkmobile USA FacebookTwitter

Parkmobile is the leading global provider of seamlessly integrated end-to-end solutions for mobile payments, parking guidance using business analytics and parking. Its offerings include mobile payments for on and off-street parking, digital parking permits, real-time enforcement and a seamless transit experience. Their services are used in 500 cities around the world by millions of registered users. Parkmobile USA was founded in Atlanta, Georgia and its call center, engineering team and corporate headquarters are located in the U.S. Parkmobile’s investors include BCD Holdings and Fontinalis Partners. With annual global revenues of $22.8 billion, BCD Holdings is an international market leader in the corporate and online travel, and off-airport and mobile parking industry. Fontinalis Partners invests in and partners with innovative technology companies that modernize and improve transportation. Fontinalis is led by Bill Ford, a lifelong environmentalist and the executive chairman of Ford Motor Company.

Cherie Fuzzell has over 17 years of executive experience in the payments and healthcare industries as well as 7 years of mergers & acquisitions experience with the international law firm Jones Day. Cherie was most recently President and CEO of FirstView and has held senior positions with USBancorp, NOVA Information Systems, Inc. (now Elavon) and Magellan Health Services. Cherie earned a bachelor’s degree in Commerce and Business Administration from the University of Alabama and a juris doctorate from the Vanderbilt University School of Law where she served as Associate Editor of the Vanderbilt Law Review. She is a member of the Bar Associations of the States of Texas, Ohio and Georgia.