Listen Now!

Business Talk 24-7

Curated Collection Of The Best Interviews From Our Midtown Studio

Spotlight on The Benson Company


The Benson Company is a combination of artistry, integrity, and adventure. From conception, right on through the treatment phase, script, production, post-production, and marketing we are there to meet your needs. In our drive for excellence we are proud of our many awards, but the exhilaration that comes from seeing our clients’ dreams realized is the most fulfilling.

Michael Lauer/Writer & Associate Producer Facebook

Shawn Clark/Partner & Creative Director

Shawn is the first and only employee Scott hired upon starting The Benson Company in 1996 and since then has proven to be an invaluable asset to the company producing spots for Turner Networks, Warner Home Video, and other cable networks. Fast-forward seventeen plus years; Shawn is a partner and Creative Director, overseeing day-to-day operations, client management, and all projects that come out of the company. Shawn is the “big-picture guy” and has a knack for keeping a project on target and exceeding the client’s expectations.


Jack Perry with Source Point Coaching and Jim Eckstein with The Ignition Project


Jack Perry/Source Point Coaching FacebookLinkedinTwitter

Jack Perry, Jr. is a personal coach, public speaker and syndicated writer covering leadership, life legacy and management topics. Jack teaches the lessons he’s learned from more than 30 years of critical, split-second decision making as a military commander, rescue helicopter pilot, police officer, and private sector executive, and how to enjoy miraculous outcomes while building your own personal life legacy.

Jack is currently president of Source Point Coaching, a leadership workshop and management consultancy located in greater Atlanta.

Jim Eckstein/The Ignition Project LinkedinTwitter

Jim Eckstein is Founder and Evangelist with The Ignition Project that joins promising entrepreneurs (ESE’s) and accomplished angel investors (E2A’s) for the long-term – for the lifetime of their businesses; through early stage, growth and exit – to ignite extraordinary startup success.

Jim is also Principal with The Angel Advisors which provides long term advisory services to CEO’s, Boards, Founder’s and Investors in privately held businesses. The Angel Advisors focus on long term capitalization, strategic planning and exit strategy.

Jim received his BBA from the University of Cincinnati in 1985 with a double major in Information Systems and Finance.

Jim sits on the boards of L2C, Inc, Bardi Heating and Air Conditioning, and Nxgen Power. He is actively involved in fund raising activities for Catholic Schools.

Jim is married and lives in Atlanta Georgia with his wife Tammy and their four sons.

Special Edition: Taste of Atlanta


Taste of Atlanta is back for its 12th year and is cooking up a bigger and tastier event than ever before! The legendary three-day food festival will return to Midtown at Tech Square Friday, October 25 through Sunday, October 27, 2013. Taste of Atlanta, the city’s premier food+wine+beer+cocktail event, attracts food lovers from Atlanta, the Southeast and beyond to showcase the area’s finest restaurants for a weekend of big fun and great fare. Guests of all ages will enjoy an extensive selection of culinary creations, engaging chef demos, specialty food and beverage tents and family-friendly activities. The event satisfies thousands of palates every year, highlighting Atlanta as the Food Capitol of the South.

Dale DeSena/Taste of Atlanta FacebookTwitter

A seasoned foodie and festival expert with experience in marketing, advertising and production for some of the city’s most renowned events (think Music Midtown, the Dogwood Festival, the Atlanta Arts Festival, the Atlanta Opera and the Atlanta Jazz Festival), Dale DeSena wanted to create something Atlanta hadn’t seen – or tasted – before. For 12 years, Dale has been doing just that with Taste of Atlanta.

Patric Bell-Good/The Barrelhouse FacebookTwitter

Chef Patric Bell-Good grew up cooking, winning accolades as early as age 12 in the form of a blue ribbon in the 4-H Bake-Off for a Banana Nut Bread so light and fluffy, the judges threatened to disqualify him because they thought he had cheated and used yeast.

Since then, he has worked all levels of foodservice, from fast food to delis to fine dining. He graduated with Highest Honors from The Art Institute Of Atlanta’s School Of Culinary Arts in 2002, and secured his first chef position five months later.

He has spent the last ten years building his reputation as one of the top chefs in Atlanta while contributing to the success of such restaurants as West Egg Café and Cruzado. In late 2012, he joined Magnum Bar & Restaurant Group to helm the kitchens at both The Barrelhouse in Midtown and Graveyard Tavern in East Atlanta.

When he’s not in the kitchen, he can be found watching “Star Trek” with his husband, Darin, and their two dogs.

Wendy Allen/The Cook’s Warehouse FacebookTwitter

Wendy Allen is the Cooking School Director for The Cook’s Warehouse. Wendy brings to The Cook’s Warehouse a passion for food and entertaining. She discovered her love of cooking while still working for an engineering company as a business manager. She initially came to The Cook’s Warehouse as a volunteer assistant, where she soon realized her true desire was to pursue a career in the culinary world. She manages all aspects of the cooking school, including assistant recruiting and scheduling all cooking events. Wendy is a certified BBQ Judge with the Memphis Barbeque Network (MBN) and is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).

Iain Bluett/Ticket Alternative FacebookTwitter

As Ticket Alternative President and co-founder, Iain has been a leader in the ticketing space for more than 10 years. After moving to the U.S. from England, Iain found his way into venues and ticketing by promoting shows, playing in bands and artist management. An early adopter of the web and technology, Iain built websites for bands, promoted them online and created the Atlanta Music Guide in 2000. The high-traffic site would later serve as the perfect promotional platform to list gigs for Ticket Alternative’s own venue clients. At the helm, Iain oversees the company’s growth plan that includes a custom ticket printing division, and one of the largest Tyvek and plastic event wristband suppliers in the industry. Ticket Alternative has made the INC 5000 list of fastest growing private companies every year since 2009 (a fivetime honoree). Iain often speaks at conferences such as the Winter Music Conference, INTIX, SEVT, PACnet and SFEA on topics ranging from ticketing and mobile technology to social media and customer service.

Lisa Senters-McDermott with Jet Senters Aviation, Cheryl Jenkins with WIFTA, Damon Kirkpatrick with Friends Of Georgia State Parks, Kristina Felton & Matt Olson with Atlanta Youth Tennis & Education Foundation, and Dale DeSena with Taste of Atlanta


Lisa Senters-McDermott/Jet Senters Aviation FacebookLinkedin

Lisa Senters-McDermott is CEO and Founder of Jet Senters Aviation. She is a private aviation consultant and known “go to resource” for all things regarding private aviation.

Cheryl Jenkins/WIFTA FacebookTwitter

As a seasoned production accountant, Cheryl believes in the importance of providing exceptional accounting services to the film and television industry. There is a strong need for quality accounting services in the industry and her passion is to fulfill this need. An efficient accounting department brings tremendous value to a production, and Cheryl is committed to sharing her expertise and placing qualified production accountants with production companies. She has more than 15 years of experience working with major studios such as NBC/Universal, New Line Television, VH-1, MTV, BET and Fox Television, in top markets like Los Angeles, Atlanta, Houston and New York. Her experience includes working as a key production accountant and production coordinator for hit television shows and as a line producer for feature films.

Damon Kirkpatrick/Friends of Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites facebook_logo_smallLinkedInTwitter

Damon Kirkpatrick is the Director of Operations and Development with the Friends of Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites. After serving as a volunteer for four years with the Friends chapter at Red Top Mountain State Park, Damon joined the organization in 2007. Following a ten-year career in the technology industry with AT&T, Hewlett-Packard and Agilent Technologies, Damon uses his experience to solve Friends’ technology challenges. Since accepting the position as Director in 2011, Damon has overseen Friends operations from chapter development and fundraising through to marketing and social media. He currently lives in Rome, Georgia with his wife and two children who all enjoy hiking and camping and who continue to volunteer at Red Top Mountain State Park.

Kristina Felton and Matt Olson/Atlanta Youth Tennis & Education Foundation FacebookTwitter

The Atlanta Youth Tennis & Education Foundation (AYTEF) is the 501c3 organization under USTA Atlanta. AYTEF provides after school and summertime programs that focus on three key elements of tennis instruction, a health and wellness program and Academic Creative Engagement (ACE) curriculum. Formed in 2003, in the past three years alone, AYTEF has reached more than 3, 500 youth ranging in ages five to 18 at 25 sites around metro Atlanta.

Matt Olson has been with the United States Tennis Association for 17 years, serving as the Executive Director for USTA Atlanta and the Atlanta Youth Tennis & Education Foundation for the past 10. Matt helped form AYTEF in 2003 and serves on several volunteer committees for the organization at the National, Sectional and State levels.

After years running a small, boutique Event Marketing and Branding Company, specializing in building a company’s image through events, Kristina Felton joined USTA Atlanta as the Director of Fundraising in 2012. She is a past President of the American Marketing Association and active in the Atlanta community, her children’s PTA and her church.

Dale DeSena/Taste of Atlanta FacebookTwitter

Taste of Atlanta is back for its 12th year and is cooking up a bigger and tastier event than ever before! The legendary three-day food festival will return to Midtown at Tech Square Friday, October 25 through Sunday, October 27, 2013. Taste of Atlanta, the city’s premier food+wine+beer+cocktail event, attracts food lovers from Atlanta, the Southeast and beyond to showcase the area’s finest restaurants for a weekend of big fun and great fare. Guests of all ages will enjoy an extensive selection of culinary creations, engaging chef demos, specialty food and beverage tents and family-friendly activities. The event satisfies thousands of palates every year, highlighting Atlanta as the Food Capitol of the South.

Caren West and Chad Shearer with Caren West PR, Laura Flusche with Museum of Design Atlanta, Chris Sanders with OND, and Rebecca Harrell with Randstad


Caren West and Chad Shearer/Caren West PR FacebookLinkedinTwitter

It all came together over breakfast at the Flying Biscuit in Candler Park when Caren West and Chad Shearer officially decided to join forces and launch a full service public relations and graphic design firm. It made perfect sense.

The two had already worked together on numerous projects over the years, had an arsenal of experience under their belts, and were committed to not only staying ahead of trends, but also setting them. Cheesy as it may sound, they both also share the same philosophy: Do what you love, work hard and success will follow. Sadly, (but not for CWPR’s clients), both Chad and Caren are addicted to getting results, making miracles happen and 5-Hour Energy drink.

Eight years and several awards later, CWPR is one of the Southeast’s leading boutique firms specializing in lifestyle, entertainment and events. Clients have included: GUCCI, Camp Bisco Music & Arts Festival, STK Atlanta, Jeffrey Fashion Cares, WSB-TV for Monica Pearson’s retirement and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

You can follow Caren on twitter at @CarenWest and Chad at @chadavid

Laura Flusche/Museum of Design Atlanta FacebookLinkedinTwitter

Laura Flusche, Ph.D. is currently the Executive Director of the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA); from 2010 to 2013, she was MODA’s Associate Director.

Prior to joining MODA, Laura lived for fifteen years in Rome, Italy, where she served as Assistant Academic Dean on the University of Dallas Rome Campus, taught art history and archaeology to university undergraduates, and worked on the Palatine East Excavations, supervising excavations and contributing to the publication of archaeological findings.

In 2001, Laura co-founded the Institute of Design + Culture in Rome (iDC), a not-for-profit organization that offered on-site seminars about art, archaeology, history, and culture to Rome’s visitors. As president of the iDC, Laura conceived and implemented educational programs, hired and supervised faculty, and assisted with client relations and with the creation and maintenance of the organizational image.

Laura has studied Arts Administration at the Savannah College of Art and Design. She holds a Ph.D. in Ancient Roman and Etruscan Art and Archaeology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Master’s degree in Italian Renaissance Art also from the University of Illinois.

Chris Sanders/OND, LLC LinkedIn

Chris Sanders is Vice President of OND – an Atlanta based consultancy that helps organizations create and manage mission-perfect teams by leveraging intellectual diversity. OND developed an innovative science called Method Teaming to help organizations identify the natural talents of their people and then align these talents to the specific team based roles. The results are higher performing teams that sell better, are more productive and engaged, collaborate better, and innovate more effectively – all of which translates into better top and bottom line business performance. Prior to joining OND, Chris held executive roles with Accenture and Ernst & Young.

Rebecca Harrell/Randstad Randstad Facebook Randstad LinkedinRandstad Twitter

Rebecca Harrell is Regional Vice President of Randstad Staffing, Office and Administration division. She is responsible for the sales strategy, operations and market growth for Office and Administration in the Atlanta market. She brings over 20 years of sales, recruitment and operational leadership and has had a proven track record of delivering strong financial results while developing and implementing strategies and programs that enhance, evolve and strengthen a high performance culture.

Steve Kilpatrick with Kilpatrick Advisors, Jeremy Bowen with Unishippers, and Janet Young with AWSCPA


Steve Kilpatrick/Kilpatrick Advisors

Steve has been a member of the financial services industry since 1993, is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) practitioner and holds the securities industry Series 7 and 63 industry exam certifications, and is securities licensed through Investacorp Inc., a registered Broker/Dealer – member FINRA & SIPC. Prior to joining the financial services industry he worked as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with Catarineau & Givens PA of Miami and with Thomson Brock Cherry & Co. of Tallahassee, FL. A graduate of Stetson University, he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration – Accounting. Steve’s industry experience includes previous positions as Vice President of Investments with Prudential Securities (Atlanta) and First Vice President of the Private Client Group of Robert W. Baird & Co. (Atlanta).

In an effort to provide greater service to each client, Steve has also earned the Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) designation. The Personal Financial Specialist designation, established in 1987 by the AICPA, recognizes considerable professional experience in financial planning. The PFS program is administered by the PFP Division of the AICPA, which was formed in 1986 to assist in the growing practice of personal financial planning.

 Jeremy Bowen/Unishippers

Local business owner and franchisee Jeremy Bowen with Unishippers Middle Georgia opened his Unishippers business this past June as his second small business since college. Having worked for the Unishippers Macon franchise several years ago in sales, Bowen pursued the opportunity to open his own franchise in his hometown of Griffin for two reasons: 1) Unishippers is one of two resellers for UPS, which is the world’s largest package delivery company and global leader in transportation and logistics, and 2) Unishippers has gone to great lengths to establish partnerships with 40 plus freight suppliers, establishing itself as the largest reseller of shipping services in the nation with the ability to offer the best deals and discounted rates for small to mid-sized businesses.

Janet Young/AWSCPA-Georgia

Janet Young is the National VP of Membership for the American Women’s Society of CPA’s (AWSCPA) and the most recent past president of the Georgia Chapter of the AWSCPA. Her mission for the year was to “Nurture and Grow.” The AWSCPA Georgia chapter is a network of women devoted to tax and accounting. They are in the business of developing future Women CPA Leaders in Atlanta. They offer excellent and affordable Continuing Professional Education, selecting only the best speakers that address today’s issues in a relaxed environment.


Shirley Borghi with the Hispanic Health Coalition of Georgia

MBRShirley Borghi/Hispanic Health Coalition of Georgia FacebookLinkedInTwitter

Shirley Borghi is Managing Partner with The Gunner Group LLC, and is the Interim Executive Director of the Hispanic  Health Coalition of Georgia (HHCGA).

The HHCGA is a 501 © (3) non-profit organization created to advance health policies that will improve access to services for Hispanic children and adults throughout the state. It was founded in 1990 and currently is Georgia’s only statewide organization that focuses on Latino/Hispanic health. 

The Hispanic Healthcare Coalition of Georgia’s mission is to promote health equity for all Hispanics by empowering, educating and advocating for healthy communities throughout Georgia.

Together with its members (both health-related and non-health centered organizations and professionals), HHCGA identifies needs and service gaps leading to health disparities for Georgia Hispanics and offers direct community services as well as supportive activities to help its members improve the health wellbeing of Georgia Latinos. 



Dan Popovic with cMEcompete

Dan Popovic/cMEcompete Twitter

MBR081313v2Dan Popovic has 15 years’ experience in Product Innovation at companies like BellSouth, Equifax and Choicepoint, where he built multi-million dollar technology platforms and also previously served as President of the Southeastern Software Association. He is a Leader in support of the Robert Wood Johnson Prevent Obesity Campaign and was recently spotlighted for the work he is doing in the Atlanta Community as the director of the Atlanta BeltLine Running Series, which was created to support programs vital to the success of the Atlanta BeltLine. Dan has served in various advisory and support roles with Non-Profits such as Hands on Atlanta, Rainbows for Children, Senior Citizens, Horizon Theatre. He is an avid endurance athlete having participated in hundreds of running, cycling and triathlons, which led to his most recent inspiration, cMEcompete. Dan is the founder of cMEcompete, which is a social media platform for endurance events where participants discover like-minded communities, track their accomplishments and get rewarded for being active. He is hopeful to use emerging technologies to create healthy communities.