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DeKalb Business Today – July 2, 2015

On the inaugural episode of DeKalb Business Today, host Matt Holmes looks at the state of business affairs across DeKalb with three of the county’s top business minds.


Katerina Taylor/DeKalb Chamber of Commerce President & CEO


Katerina Taylor has been a part of the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce for almost three years. In September 2014 she became the Chamber’s first woman president and CEO in its 77-year history.  She’s a 15-year banking veteran and a strong advocate for community and business.  Her goal is to re-educate the DeKalb community on why the Chamber is so critical for growth and progress in DeKalb.

Ann Rosenthal/Tucker-Northlake CID President


Ann Rosenthal was named President of the  Tucker-Northlake Community Improvement District in August of 2013 after serving as a member of its formation committee, spearheading the governmental affairs process. Less than a year later, she successfully led the annexation of the Northlake area commercial district into the CID. Ann lives in Tucker with her husband and has called DeKalb County home for more than 20 years. In addition to Ann’s duties as President of the CID, she is also President of ARC, Inc., a governmental affairs consulting firm. She is a 2000 graduate of Leadership DeKalb and 2003 graduate of Leadership Georgia. Ann is an active member of the community and among the many organizations she works with, she serves on the board of People to People International and is a member of the Stone Mountain Rotary.

Vaughn Irons/APD Solutions CEO & Development Authority of DeKalb County Chairman


Vaughn D. Irons is the CEO of APD Solutions, a national community economic development firm providing Advisory, Program Management and Development Services. Under his leadership, APDS has been acknowledged with a Pacesetter Award by the Atlanta Business Chronicle in 2012 for Top Privately Held Company in Metro Atlanta, growing APDS by 1193% in his first 3 years. Irons has also been personally Awarded the 2014 CEO of the Year by the Georgia Business Council in conjunction with the Atlanta Business Journal.

Prior to APD Solutions, Mr. Irons served for nearly 12 years at Freddie Mac most recently as National Director of Housing & Community Investment. During that tenure he led a team tasked with assisting Freddie Mac’s customers in developing solutions to their community’s housing finance needs. Mr. Irons was also responsible for the oversight of activities and initiatives that involved minority lending, community development lending, homeownership counseling and Gulf Coast rebuilding activities post-Katrina. Previously Irons has held leadership positions at Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Atlanta, Fulton County Government, Onondaga County Government and Fleet Bank of New York.

Mr. Irons is very involved in community-based issues where he serves as Chairman of the Economic Development Authority of DeKalb County, Georgia. Irons is also on the Board of the National Association of Homebuilders, Leadership DeKalb, Women’s Resource Center Against Domestic Violence, the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce, the Rockstone Foundation, Neighborhood Housing Services of New Orleans and YMCA of South DeKalb.

Mr. Irons holds a Master’s of Business Administration from the University of Maryland, and undergraduate degree in Urban Policy from Syracuse University. Irons also has graduate-level certifications in Real Estate Development from University of Southern California and Housing/Community Development from the University of Maryland College Park. Irons also holds the designation of Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS), Qualified Home Inspector (AQHI) and Comprehensive Housing Counselor(CHC).