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DeKalb Business Today – October 30, 2015


On this edition of DeKalb Business Today, host Matt Holmes previews the first-ever RAISE (Retention and Advanced Investment for the Southeast at Emory) Forum at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School. Forum founder Barry Etra discusses his vision for the investors’ showcase and how it could change the face of commerce across the southeast United States. Presentation coach Steve Brett delves into the mistakes some of these entrepreneurs will need to avoid as they make their multi-million dollar pitches. The RAISE Forum is an invitation-only event taking place on Friday November 6 at Emory University.


Barry Etra/Founder of the RAISE Forum


Barry Etra brings bushels of business experience, having worked in Sales and Marketing, Operations, and General Management. He came to Atlanta as the COO of a plastics manufacturing plant and now he runs the Etra Advisory Group, helping companies and institutions find funding if they can’t get funded traditionally or have been turned down by traditional sources. He serves as an active intermediary in transactions to move deals through and gets them done, often when others have failed. He works on business acquisition, expansion, and refinance; specialty loans; early-stage companies, and nonprofit debt funding. He has a BA and an MBA from Columbia University; his MBA is in marketing and finance. RAISE is his baby and it grows when you grow.


Steve Brett/Founder & Teacher at Presentation Tune-Ups


Steve Brett is a pioneer in digital marketing and website development and has 30-years of experience in marketing, advertising and sales. With Presentation TuneUps, LLC, he is putting all that experience to work for people who have to communicate directly with others, whether it’s an investor pitch, a sales pitch, a training or a TED talk. He built a 4As ad agency in New York City that worked with Fortune 500s as well as local retailers; companies like the New York Stock Exchange, pharmaceutical giant Merck, and an early cellphone company that merged into Verizon. He also helped create the first enterprise web sites for Citizen Watch and Sport Authority. No one’s made more pitches than this guy.

DeKalb Business Today – October 23, 2015


This edition of DeKalb Business Today focuses in on the world of social media marketing. W2S Marketing CEO Tamay Shannon discusses which platforms businesses should be using to get their message out to consumers, mistakes companies are making on social media and how they can use social media to actually make them money.

Tamay Shannon/CEO of W2S Marketing

DBTMy story starts out at the height of unemployment. I got out of school and literally applied to hundreds of agency jobs. I had an excel file that I used to keep track of them all and it was daunting. But alas, to no avail. I wasn’t getting very far. I had been doing some work on the side helping people with their marketing and sharing what I knew.

Mother: Why don’t you start a business?

Me: Eh?

You see, I thought having a business meant I had been in corporate for 20 years or at least had a PhD.  I really believed that I didn’t have enough to start my business.

Not enough contacts.

Not enough knowledge.

Not enough money.

Well, as you may know:

Mother knows what?









You see, what I didn’t understand then – and what I do understand now, is that everyone has something to provide. And you don’t need some outside entity to validate your knowledge and experience! So, I started my business.

And that’s where I got my second lesson.

I had a coach. One who said I might want to look into niching. Logically, I said NO. I was focusing on “marketing for small business” in general. Anything that remotely dealt with marketing – I did it. And I was being pulled in a million different directions. So I decided to take a chance and tell people that my focus was social media.

Well, it was hard. There was the constant feeling that I was leaving people out and leaving money on the table. That’s not true. Narrowing my focus has opened up a lot for me.  I’d love to say that the business took off and we’re making a million a month. That’s not the case. What has happened:

By focusing on one aspect of marketing it is easier for me to educate myself on my industry.

I know the trends, ebbs, and flows of social media and use that knowledge for my clients.

I’ve developed great partnerships with others who compliment my expertise.

I know what my clients’ needs are and how to solve them.

And this is where we are now. 5 years in business and a social media agency that listens to your needs, spoken and unspoken, to deliver the results that will rock your business. Let’s get together and talk.

DeKalb Business Today “Lunch Hour” – October 16, 2015



The latest edition of DeKalb Business Today focuses in on the economic development happening in and around the city of Chamblee. Broc Fischer discusses his efforts to grow membership at the Chamblee Chamber of Commerce, while Van Pappas and Adam Causey talk about spurring development in the city. And Jim Ellis VP of Operations Mark Frost joins the panel, representing one of Chamblee’s best-known industries – automotive sales.


Broc Fischer/President of the Chamblee Chamber of Commerce


President of Fischer Funeral Care and Cremation, Broc has two daughters, Mary Katherine and Emelia Fischer, and a grandson, Ari Michael Fischer. His hobbies include gardening, playing guitar, recreational sports and reading non-fiction. Broc holds an Associates Degree of Funeral Service from Gupton Jones College of Funeral Service and has been a licensed Funeral Director serving the Atlanta and North Georgia area for the past 26 years. He founded Fischer Funeral Care in Chamblee in 2007.  Service to others has always been a foundational principle of Broc’s personal and professional life. Broc volunteers and serves the community through his work with the Rotary Club of North Atlanta, The Atlanta Chapter of the National Aging in Place Council, The Blue Hair Technology Group, The Buckhead Heritage Society and Heritage Sandy Springs. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Senior Connections and is an active member of the Dunwoody, Sandy Springs and John’s Creek Chambers of Commerce.

Fischer Funeral Care was founded in 2007 with the mission of serving people in their time of greatest need. Fischer Funeral Care offers uncompromised service and attention to detail while also focusing on providing a high value to the families they serve. They offer full services and cremations as well as international arrangements for the deceased and their loved ones. Fischer Funeral Care is proud to be a Memorial Society of Georgia provider as well as a provider of “Green” burials. They are proud to call Chamblee home and will endeavor to be a vital, stable, part of the great community for years to come.


Mark Frost/VP of Operations for Jim Ellis GM Brands


Mark Frost’s responsibilities include Jim Ellis Chevrolet and Jim Ellis Buick GMC in Chamblee, as well as Jim Ellis Buick GMC Mall of Georgia in Buford. Mr. Frost is also the President of the Georgia Buick GMC Dealers’ Advertising Association, Board Member for the Georgia Chevrolet Dealers’ Advertising Association, Vice-Chairman of the NADA GC-06 Chevrolet 20 Group Dealer Association, and a Member of the Chevrolet Southeastern Regional Dealer Advisory Board. Additionally, Mr. Frost is on a number of national General Motors Dealer Advisory Councils.

Mr. Frost has been with Jim Ellis for eleven years and lives in Brookhaven, Georgia.


Adam Causey/Economic Development Manager for the City of Chamblee


Adam Causey is a planning and economic development official with 10 years of public and private experience. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia and a Master’s degree from Georgia State University. A resident of Decatur, he helps businesses and citizens connect with local government.


Van Pappas/Vice Chair of the Chamblee Downtown Development Authority




DeKalb Business Today – October 16, 2015


On this edition of DeKalb Business Today, host Matt Holmes welcomes a diverse panel of leaders helping to shape the business scene in and around DeKalb County. Keline Bornelus reveals how her agency is helping families save on bundled insurance, while also reaching out to businesses for their insurance needs. Nancy Ladson Rowan will discuss her journey from small town girl to big city lawyer. Decatur Boxing owner Xavier Biggs shares how the sweet science is helping local men and women get into shape. And we’ll find out how Tammie Bailey-Fults is organizing local businesses to boost female entrepreneurs.


Keline Bornelus/Principal Agent & Owner of Bornelus Insurance Agency



The companies comprising the Farmers Insurance Group of Companies make up one of the country’s largest insurers of vehicles, homes and small businesses and provide a wide range of other insurance and financial services products.

Farmers is proud to serve more than 10 million households with more than 20 million individual policies across all 50 states through the efforts of over 50,000 exclusive and independent agents and nearly 24,000 employees.

The Farmers Exchanges are three reciprocal insurers (Farmers Insurance Exchange, Fire Insurance Exchange and Truck Insurance Exchange) owned by their policyholders, and together with their subsidiaries and affiliates comprise the Farmers Insurance Group of Companies. Farmers Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries, in their capacity as attorneys-in-fact, provide administrative and management services to the Farmers Exchanges.


Nancy Ladson Rowan/Law Office of Nancy Ladson Rowan, LLC



Nancy Ladson Rowan was born and raised in Sampit, S.C, a small, rural community near Georgetown, SC.  Nancy graduated from Clemson University in 1999 with a B.A. in History and proceeded to obtain her Juris Doctorate degree from Wake Forest University School of Law. Nancy served as a prosecutor in both the Solicitor’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office in Fulton County.  While at the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office, she was assigned to the Special Victims Unit that prosecuted complex cases like child molestation, sodomy, and rape. In 2010, Nancy went into private practice, practicing Family Law and Criminal Defense. Her firm is dedicated to helping everyday families navigate the legal system and to providing the best possible legal representation for the purpose of aiding every day families during times of crisis.


Xavier Biggs/Owner of Decatur Boxing



Xavier Biggs, the fourth of five siblings, was raised in West Philadelphia, where he received a traditional public education. After a few jobs in the private sector, Xavier decided to pursue a latent sports interest and traverse Philadelphia’s rich, cultural, and challenging field of boxing. His amateur career was brief and he turned professional in the late 70’s. However, in the mid-1980s, Xavier traded a frustrating professional boxing career without a promoter for a once in a lifetime opportunity to assist his youngest brother, three-time world amateur boxing champion Tyrell, in his quest to be the first to receive the Olympic gold medal in boxing in the newly established superheavyweight division. That dream manifested at the 23rd Olympiad, 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, California.

With the revered gold medal in hand, Tyrell advanced to the world of professional boxing, and Xavier stayed on in an advisory capacity as part of his professional team. In his travels to different training camps with Tyrell, there were many opportunities for Xavier to strengthen his boxing prowess, sparring with champions Pernell Whitaker, Meldrick Taylor, Mark Breland, Rocky Lockridge, and Johnny Bumphus, to name a few. He was also one of Kevin Howard’s chief sparring partners as Kevin prepared to fight Sugar Ray Leonard for Leonard’s first comeback fight.

Tyrell’s professional career peaked three years later with his 1987 bout with Mike Tyson for the heavyweight championship title. Xavier, enriched by his newly amassed knowledge of the field moved his family (wife and son) to Atlanta in 1988 where he started a business devoted to training amateur boxers. His first two amateurs were undefeated 2-time golden glove champions, and he worked with Zavia Pounds and Cesar Esquivel, both 4-time golden glove champions.

Following these successes, Xavier would soon take on his first professional fighter, Raul Fernandez, who enjoyed a short reign as undefeated. In 1998, Xavier partnered with local businessman Mike Morrison and opened BIGGS MORRISON BOXING, one of the biggest boxing gyms in the country. It quickly became training headquarters for some little to best known celebrities. It was there that he trained Paul Delgado, who soon turned pro. In addition, he trained Sam ‘Bam Bam’ Garr to world contender status, and took on Atlanta’s first premier female boxer ‘Isra Girgrah’. Xavier was instrumental in transforming her career, as she went on to win 5 world titles.

Other notables who frequented BIGGS MORRISON BOXING include Vernon Forrest, Robert Allen, Denzel Washington, P-Diddy, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Mase, and Sinbad. Later Xavier opened three (3) more gyms in the Atlanta area and operated one in Greensboro, N.C. The popularity of his training programs continued to attract more top amateurs and pros such as 1996 Olympic bronze medal champ Ziaire Raheem. Xavier did early pad work with Raheem as he prepared for his spectacular win over Eric Morales that segued into a brief undefeated reign for Raheem. Biggs also trained 2-time female champion and Guinness world record holder, Terri ‘the Boss’ Moss, transforming her losing record to a record of successive wins. Other female boxers turned champions under Xavier’s auspices include Laura Serrano, Mellissa Shaw, and Suzy Taylor.

Also to Xavier’s impressive training and co-training credits are Falcon cheerleader Nina Ahlin, world ranked contender Steve Dotse, and Mexican sensation and 5-time champion Jorge Lacierva. Rounding off this list is his work with undefeated Heavyweight Cedric Boswell and ’92 Olympic bronze medalist Chris Johnson. In more recent years, Xavier has worked with the undefeated Felix Fernandez, 9-time golden glove champion, 3-time national champion Kitten Carlos Monroe, and upcoming undefeated professional prospect Jerry Odom.

The mark of a successful business is its affected clientele. Xavier’s diverse training outreach encompasses the entertainment and sports arenas where he’s had the privilege of working with football sensations Vernon Davis and Derrick Morgan, as well as basketball luminaries Surge Ibaka and Shannon Brown. Xavier’s work with music industry giants began with his training sessions with world famous DJ Nabs for charity fights, R L, and soul singer Monica.

One of Xavier’s most prized fitness training efforts was his work with superstar recording artist, dancer, and now actor, ‘Usher’, in his role as Sugar Ray Leonard in the upcoming film ‘Hands of Stone’, a biographical action film on the life of boxer Roberto “No Mas” Duran, written and directed by Jonathan Jakubowicz. Xavier continues as Usher’s private trainer keeping him in peak condition for concert performances. He just recently trained Usher and his dancers for their World Tour, and Usher’s team on the popular NBC reality television singing competition, ‘The Voice’.

Xavier is now operating the soulful and authentic DECATUR BOXING CLUB, founded by Arturo Rodriguez. He started out as head trainer and eventually took over as owner when Arturo’s career interests led him to explore other professional ventures. Xavier also serves as director of boxing for the fast growing boxing and kickboxing franchise ‘9 Round’, the brainchild of one of Xavier’s former trainees who was inspired by his unique brand and training techniques.

No question Xavier Biggs is making his mark in the world of fitness and training. His Abs of Stone workout for Usher, which comprises a rigorous combination of the Sugar Ray Rope Slap, shadowboxing, medicine ball work, bicycle crunch, reverse crunch, and bag work appears in the November 2013 25th Anniversary Special Issue of Men’s Health Magazine, which also features Usher on the cover. At a time when people are becoming more and more health conscious and staying physically fit, Xavier may have found his niche.


Tammie Bailey-Fults/CEO & President of the National Association of Women Owned Small Businesses




The National Association of Women Owned Small Businesses, Inc. (NAWOSB) is a national membership based organization focused on educating and positioning women owned companies to become suppliers and vendors to corporations, educational institutes and government agencies. Tammie Bailey-Fults has created chapters throughout Metro Atlanta, the state of Georgia and surrounding states. Members consist of diverse small businesses from traditional companies to nontraditional and the association is open to any small business from start-up to existing establishments.

The organization is best known for its monthly HOW TO DO BUSINESS WITH series and its semi-annual signature event, PINK PROCUREMENT EXPO & LUNCHEON.

DeKalb Business Today – October 15, 2015

On a special Thursday edition of DeKalb Business Today, host Matt Holmes does a quarterly catch-up with DeKalb Chamber of Commerce president Katerina Taylor. In the interview, Taylor weighs in on the latest corruption allegations in the county, the future of embattled Interim CEO Lee May and what it will take to finalize an agreement between the county and Atlanta United FC to bring the headquarters of Major League Soccer’s 21st franchise to the proposed site off Memorial Drive.


Katerina Taylor/President of the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce




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.

DeKalb Business Today “Lunch Hour” – October 9, 2015


The latest edition of DeKalb Business Today looks at everything from the booming business of college football to job placement for refugees to movie making in DeKalb County. We also sit down with one of the leaders from Decide DeKalb to discuss exciting new business opportunities on their way to the county.


Araba Dowell/VP of Marketing & Communications for Decide DeKalb Development Authority


As Vice President of Marketing and Communications for the Decide DeKalb Development Authority, Araba is responsible for the organization’s strategic marketing and communication plan as well as branding, messaging and media relations. She also oversees the organization’s WE DeKalb Program, a workforce enhancement housing initiative, as well as the Film, Music and Digital Entertainment department.

Dowell is a 20-year marketing and communications veteran with experience in corporate, public sector, nonprofit and agency arenas. Previously, she served as Group Manager for General Motors’ Southeast Region Communications team, where she had overall responsibility for GM’s product and brand management, media relations and diversity outreach spanning 10 states.

Dowell received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and International Studies from Emory University. She is a board member and Chair of the Marketing committee for Safe Kids Georgia. She also serves on the Marketing committee for the Atlanta Press Club.


Vince Thompson/Founder, Chairman & CEO of MELT, LLC


Founded by CEO Vince Thompson in 2000, MELT, LLC, is an Atlanta-based, fully integrated sports and entertainment marketing agency. MELT services include advertising, original content development, digital, social media, event and experiential marketing, retail and consumer promotions, brand strategy and sports property evaluation and activation.

Vince Thompson has devoted his entire professional life to the craft of brand building, sports marketing and story-telling. Since founding MELT in 2000, Thompson has built his firm into one of the country’s leading sports and entertainment marketing firms. MELT’s services include the production of live and large-scale events; sponsorship; talent and endorsement marketing strategy and sales; television and digital content production and brand strategy for America’s top brands and corporations.

Thompson and MELT have represented The Coca-Cola Company for 14 years including their sponsorship of ESPN College GameDay and the activation of 13 straight Final Fours. MELT actually created the entertainment strategy for the NCAA Final Four in 2003, now called “March Madness”, which annually attracts more than 200,000 basketball fans during Final Four weekend.

Thompson and MELT have represented and work with many of the greatest brands in the world including Kia, State Farm, Hostess Twinkies, Intercontinental Hotel Group, Budweiser, Jeff Foxworthy’s Grit Chips, Avon, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and many others.

Thompson has produced hundreds of live event experiences and television content at top levels including The Super Bowl; Chick-fil-A Bowl; SEC Championship; College World Series; Hangout Music Festival. He streamed the first live concert ever on Facebook in 2010 and his productions have been seen on CBS, TBS, TNT, TrueTV, ESPN, VH1, CMT, Palladia and many others.

Thompson and MELT also work with many great celebrities including Lebron James and DC Comics turning Lebron into super hero “King James”; Fergie and the release of her Avon fragrance; American Idol star Ryan Seacrest; Demarcus Ware of the Denver Broncos; Eddie Lacy of the Green Bay Packers and tennis legend Jimmy Connors. Thompson also works very closely with famous sports agent Pat Dye Jr.

Thompson and MELT have captured numerous industry and national awards including Biz Bash, Top 5 Event Productions, Cynopsis Brand Activation of the Year, The American Business Awards; AD Week Buzz; Marketer of the Year; Event Marketers Ex Award and the Agency It List. Thompson is a featured speaker at many industry conferences including Variety Magazine; IEG Sponsorship Report, the LA Office Entertainment Forum and is a regular on The Paul Finebaum ESPN/ SEC Network Radio Show. Thompson also mentors many young sports marketing professionals through the MELT intern program. He is also a board member of the Buckhead Club and on the Advisory Board of Samford University School of Sports Business.

MELT has won industry awards including finalist for 2014 Cynopsis Social Good Award; 2014 Cynopsis Sports Brand Marketing Award; 2013 Top 50 Biz Bash Event Producers; 2013 Sports Business Journal Game Changer, Event Marketer EX Award and Adweek Buzz Marketer of The Year. In 2015, Thompson was nominated as Father of The Year by The American Diabetes Association.

Thompson, born in Chatom, Ala., is a 1984 graduate of Auburn University with a B.A. in Communications where he was a student assistant in the Auburn Sports Information Department, a sports editor for the Auburn Plainsman, and a member of the Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity. In his spare time, Thompson enjoys spending time with his two sons, Carter and Stefhan, traveling, and music and college football.


Chris Chancey/CEO & Founder of Amplio Recruiting


Chris Chancey is the founder of Amplio Recruiting, a for-profit job placement company solving labor shortage issues in DeKalb County by helping local businesses connect with the refugee workforce. Chris is a graduate of the University of Georgia and lives in Decatur with his wife, Sarah, and 16-month-old son. You can follow along with Chris on Twitter at @chrischancey.


Alicia Haley Daniels/DGA 2nd Assistant Director


Alicia Hailey Daniels, a native of Bloomfield, Connecticut, graduated from Clark Atlanta University in 2006 with the distinction of Magna Cum Laude. One month after graduation she was accepted into the illustrious Director’s Guild of America Training Program for Assistant Directors in Los Angeles, California.

Alicia’s career began on television shows such as ER & Criminal Minds. This year alone, Alicia has worked on the dramas, The Haves and Have Nots, If Loving You Is Wrong, & the feature film Creed (Additional Photography). Throughout Alicia’s fast paced career, she has gained varied experience working with several studios such as Warner Bros, Universal, TPS, Sony, TBS, BET, ABC Family, CBS, ABC, OWN, Lionsgate, & NBC. Her vast experience has shaped her into a well knowledgeable Assistant Director for TV, Film, & Commercials.

Additionally, Alicia is an active member of the Directors Guild of America and she had the privilege of serving on the Mentor Committee, African American Steering Committee, 2nd AD Committee, & Women’s Steering Committee. She has a passion and dedication to training the upcoming film industry elite.

Knowledge is power and it’s her mission to share her achievements & failures along the way in hopes of helping others pursue their dreams.

Alicia’s pride and joy is her husband of three years & their one-year-old daughter. She truly believes in life we should live, love, & laugh as often as possible.

Find more information on Alicia’s upcoming workshop here.

DeKalb Business Today – October 9, 2015


On this edition of DeKalb Business Today, host Matt Holmes explores the growing industry of dog rehabilitation. Jennifer Andreae joins the show to talk about how her business, The Paw Stand, is helping dogs to bounce back from injuries related to athletics and aging. She also shares her tips on finding the best food for your four-legged friend.


Jennifer Andreae, MS, PT, DPT, CCRT/Co-Owner of The Paw Stand


Jennifer Andreae holds a Master’s of Science in physical therapy, a doctorate of physical therapy and a certification as a canine rehabilitation therapist. She is co-owner of The Paw Stand, Inc. – a unique “pet-centric” boutique with retail and services.

Jennifer has been a physical therapist for 29 years. She has worked at the Shepherd Center treating spinal cord injuries and acute brain trauma patients, as well as working with amputees, sports injuries and in outpatient orthopedics.

DeKalb Business Today – October 8, 2015


On a special Thursday edition of DeKalb Business Today, host Matt Holmes takes a look at the issues facing Metro Atlanta’s aging population. Marty Bell will discuss how the National Aging in Place Council is offering a wide variety of resources to assist seniors nationwide. Doug Lueder joins the show to offer a local perspective on how his company, Prosper Home Care, is helping folks of all ages and ethnic backgrounds to live comfortably in their own homes. Bob Carr rounds out the panel, discussing how CommonCourtesy provides transportation options for seniors who have trouble getting around town.

Marty Bell/Executive Director of the National Aging in Place Council


Marty Bell serves as Executive Director of the National Aging in Place Council. This is Bell’s professional Act III after careers in books and journalism and the Broadway theater. He is the author of two novels, four non-fiction books, and his journalism has appeared in such publications as Playboy and New York Magazine. He wrote and produced the award-winning documentary film, The Boys of Summer, and produced fifteen Broadway shows that won twenty-seven Tony Awards including Ragtime, Fosse, and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

The National Aging in Place Council will hold its annual meeting December 2 and 3 at Georgia Tech.


Doug Lueder/Prosper Home Care


A home care veteran for nearly ten years, Doug Lueder is the owner of one of the largest independent home care agencies in the Atlanta area. A passionate supporter of the rights of individuals to live at home and age in place, he is the Atlanta Chapter Advocacy Chair of National Aging In Place Council (NAIPC).

Mr. Lueder started his career in hospitality before transferring his skills to medical sales and marketing with companies including Whittle Communications and the Medical News Network, as well as MedCast and WebMD. In 1987, Mr. Lueder’s younger brother suffered a spinal cord injury that left him a quadriplegic. His need for highly-qualified, reliable, and consistent home care provided him with an acute awareness of the challenges faced by elderly and disabled people on a daily basis. He became an Atlanta licensed home care provider in 2006, and today Prosper Home Care serves more than 250 clients, within five different ethnic communities, throughout the Atlanta area.


Bob Carr/Co-Founder of CommonCourtesy, Inc.


Bob spent his very early years in Nashville, Tenn. as well as Jackson, Mississippi. He has, however, lived in Atlanta since 1959 and calls himself a nearly native Atlantan. He attended the University of Georgia, was a member and officer of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, and graduated with a BS Degree in Psychology. After college, Bob served as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He now has 2 sons, Scott & Travis, 2 step children, William and Anne-Carson , and 7 grandchildren. And most importantly met and married the love of his life Anne Brady Carr in 1996. Bob’s 96 year old mother lives in Nashville, TN!

Bob’s business career began in the insurance field and he started his own property & casualty agency at age 25. After 10 successful years, a leading insurance carrier purchased Bob’s first enterprise. Soon after in 1982, Bob founded Executive Adventure with the mission of encouraging better communication and teamwork in business and corporate settings. Over time, Executive Adventure, with its professional facilitation and business consultants, worked with over 1,000 companies and organizations serving over 100,000 participants internationally and throughout the U.S.  The client list includes many Fortune 100 organizations as well as government, education, religious, civic and other not-for-profit organizations. Executive Adventure was acquired in 2009.

In 2007, Bob founded, along with his wife Anne, a non-profit organization, CommonCourtesy, Inc. The Common Courtesy project has a mission to provide safe and dependable “alternative automobile personal transportation” to support anyone who cannot or should not operate a vehicle. The project has now become extensively available by partnering with local ride-sharing companies such as Uber and also provides ADA transportation through local commercial operators. The goal of Common Courtesy is to be Viable, Desirable and Sustainable. Common Courtesy’s motto is “in partnership with YOU for transportation”.

Bob is actively involved in the church and community and has membership including leadership positions in many local civic and business associations including the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, American Society of Training and Development, Cobb Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Cobb, and Meeting Professionals International.  He is also a certified instructor in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument from his career with Executive Adventure.

The unique combination of entrepreneurship, forty plus years of business experience, consulting expertise and community leadership gives Bob the powerful tools to share his insightful experience with YOU.

Bob can be contacted at:

CommonCourtesy, Inc.®

678-809-2421 or

DeKalb Business Today “Power Lunch” – October 2, 2015

On the latest edition of our monthly “Power Lunch”, host Matt Holmes sits down with a panel of leaders from in and around the DeKalb food scene. Mary Moore discusses her path from chef to small business owner to CEO of the area’s premier locally-owned kitchen supply company. Rory Webb shares the inspiration behind Cafe JAYA, a non-profit coffeehouse that’s dedicated to helping the community in Stone Mountain. A.J. Cannon stops by from DaVinci’s of Decatur to talk about the importance of fresh, handmade, preservative-free ingredients in making gourmet pizza. Chef Eric Roberts steps out of his kitchen at The Iberian Pig to help preview Decatur Restaurant Week.


Mary Moore/Founder & CEO of The Cook’s Warehouse


As founder and CEO of The Cook’s Warehouse, Mary Moore has combined her love of cooking and business. The Cook’s Warehouse is Atlanta’s premier gourmet store and cooking school with three convenient locations: Midtown, Decatur and East Cobb. These are complemented by an on-line store at and a mail order catalog.

Moore opened the first Cook’s Warehouse location in Midtown on Amsterdam Avenue in 1995, and under her leadership, the business has expanded to include a cooking school with more than 800 classes taught annually by renowned chefs in three kitchens. In 2005, Moore, in partnership with Doug Bryant, owner of Sherlock’s Wine Merchant, and Craig Maske, general manager of Sherlock’s Wine Merchant, opened the second retail location in downtown Decatur.

In the spring of 2006, Moore re-launched to include a full retail section. Web offerings include top brands of cookware, cutlery, kitchen electrics and gadgets as well as new, unique and local products.

In the fall of 2009, Moore moved her flagship store to Ansley Mall in a space formerly occupied by Piccadilly Cafeteria. This 6,500-square-foot space is 30% larger than her original Amsterdam Avenue location and features a state-of-the-art teaching kitchen and more than 15,000 items for the aspiring cook to professional chef.

In September 2011, Moore opened the third retail location in Merchant’s Walk in East Cobb. Since opening her first store, Moore has grown her business to over 80 associates in four retail locations plus support staff and a separate warehouse location.

Prior to opening The Cook’s Warehouse, Moore managed the kitchens and cooked at the award-winning Atlanta restaurants Partners Morningside Café and Indigo Coastal Grill. She then served as the director of research and development for Harry’s Farmers Market, which at the time was Atlanta’s largest and most prestigious gourmet and fresh food supplier.

Moore frequently shares her culinary experience through the media. She has made television appearances on the Atlanta affiliates for NBC, Fox (Good Day Atlanta), Home Shopping Network, FamilyNet, CBS, PBS and Turner South. Moore is a hand model for commercials, was a set stylist for GPTV Julia Child and Burt Wolf production and “Nathalie Dupree Entertains,” a PBS series. She has filmed cooking demonstrations for “Southern Living Presents” and a commercial for Duke’s mayonnaise. Moore has been a radio guest on “Business Radio X”, “Chef and the Fat Man,” and “Behind the Line” on WGSR Atlanta. In addition to leading The Cook’s Warehouse, Moore is a guest teacher of cooking classes. She is also respected nationally as a culinary resource and is frequently asked to speak at industry conferences.

Moore has received numerous awards and has been recognized as a successful businesswoman and leader in the culinary industry. She is an active member of many organizations including the Past President of Les Dames d’Escoffier International, a member of the Carter Center Board of Councilors, Chair of the Atlanta Community Food Bank Board, a member of the Metro Atlanta Chamber Board of Directors, and a member of the Woodward Academy Governing Board.

Rory Webb/Proprietor of Cafe JAYA


Rory Webb is the proprietor of Stone Mountain’s non-profit community coffeehouse and drinkery, Cafe JAYA. Created in 2015, Cafe JAYA serves the finest coffee from Selva Negra Estates in Nicargua, craft beers and fine wines.


A.J. Cannon/DaVinci’s of Decatur


DaVinci’s Pizza has four convenient locations around Metro Atlanta, serving customers in Decatur, Midtown, Smyrna and Roswell.


Chef Eric Roberts/The Iberian Pig


Celebrating the burgeoning culinary scene in the Decatur and Avondale Estates neighborhoods, Decatur Restaurant Week will kick off from Sunday, October 4, through Thursday October 8, 2015. This exciting event provides an excellent chance for diners to experience the area’s most acclaimed restaurants at exceptional prices.

Booming with a cluster of sophisticated, yet accessible dining destinations, the Decatur neighborhood has earned its spot as one of the most vibrant and highly-rated collections of restaurants in the nation. Throughout Decatur Restaurant Week, a variety of participating restaurants will be offering gourmet prix fixe menus ranging from $15, $25 and/or $35.

The Iberian Pig – one of the establishments participating in Decatur Restaurant Week – is a modern Spanish restaurant combining the tastes of Spain, with a fresh, eclectic, American social atmosphere. The focus of their menu is on traditional cured meats and Spanish cheese, tapas, salads and cocas (flatbreads). While they spend a great deal of time honoring traditional Spanish flavor combinations they are also inspired by modern techniques and culinary creativity. In addition, they also place a strong emphasis on their beverage program – including a focused wine list comprised of selections from Spain, Chile and Argentina and a cocktail list that consists of faithful classics and their signature combinations.

They have been fortunate to curate a very talented staff at the Iberian Pig and the success of the restaurant is in large part due to their commitment and creativity.  It is very much a family at Iberian Pig, and they encourage their team to be innovative and to experiment. This means that customers can count on a unique experience every time – your favorite dishes and drinks will keep you coming back, and there will always be something new for you to try!

DeKalb Business Today – October 2, 2015


On this edition of DeKalb Business Today, host Matt Holmes looks at the path to home ownership. Lou Brown joins the show to talk about how Trust Properties is helping folks regardless of past credit issues to find a home in DeKalb County. On the mortgage side, Yulanda Munford details her work with Citizens Trust Bank. And Ryan Wilson will dish on the plans for Atlanta’s newest private club geared toward business professionals.


Lou Brown/Trustee of Trust Properties


Lou Brown is the Trustee of a local company that buys, sells, manages houses, apartments and land and finances properties for their clients. They are Certified Affordable Housing Providers® who help people, regardless of past credit issues, to get into a home. They offer a program called the ‘Path To Home Ownership®’. He has been in real estate since 1976 and has their local headquarters in Tucker, GA.

Lou has served the local community as Vice President, President and now Past President of the Georgia Real Estate Investors Association, and as the Chairman of the Small Owners Council of the Atlanta Apartment Association, and was the Founding President of the National Real Estate Investors Association. He in on the Main Street Tucker Alliance and was on the formation committee, steering committee and just completed a two year term on the Board of Directors of the Tucker-Northlake Community Improvement District.


Yulanda Munford/Mortgage Operations Manager for Citizens Trust Bank


Citizens Trust Bank is a leader in the financial services industry and one of the largest minority-owned financial institutions in the nation, offering a full range of quality business and consumer products and services including Small Business Association (SBA) financed loans, residential mortgage lending, and consumer and business online banking products with eleven financial centers in Metro Atlanta, Columbus, Georgia and in Birmingham and Eutaw, Alabama.

Celebrating over 90 years of success – Citizens Trust Bank continues to champion their commitment to offer customers viable banking solutions with first-class customer service to meet their growing business needs. Commitment transcends to the new generation of banking. Delivering on that promise, they continue to build on the legacy that has been established and position Citizens Trust Bank to become a household brand for an entire community.


Ryan Wilson/CEO & Co-Founder of The Gathering Spot


Ryan Wilson is CEO and Co-founder of The Gathering Spot. In this role he is responsible for the club’s overall management and strategic vision. A lawyer by training, Wilson founded the company with his co-founder, TK Petersen, after identifying the need for a space for professionals of all backgrounds to have a private membership experience that spoke to their business and social interests. Wilson is the son of two successful Atlanta entrepreneurs and credits them for his own passion for entrepreneurship. He holds an undergraduate and a law degree from Georgetown University. Outside of work, Ryan enjoys spending his time with family and friends. He is excited to be back in his hometown and is looking forward to The Gathering Spot’s grand opening.