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Curated Collection Of The Best Interviews From Across The Network

DeKalb Business Today “Lunch Hour” – November 20, 2015


On the latest edition of DeKalb Business Today, we look inside the worlds of corporate coaching, health insurance and tech help for seniors. Jeff Lovejoy tells us how ActionCOACH is helping businesses small and large to find new paths to success. Eric W. Smith talks about how the Affordable Care Act has changed and grown his business. Jane Ratliff explains how her 85 year old mother inspired a non-profit that’s now helping seniors all over Metro Atlanta.

Jeff Lovejoy/ActionCOACH



Jeff joined ActionCOACH out of a desire to help owners grow their businesses in pursuit of their dreams and to provide a positive contribution to their community. His goal is to take the seemingly complicated responsibility of running a successful business and make it simple and fun. He helps owners de-mystify sales, marketing, planning, profit growth, leadership, business systems, time management, team building and financial management responsibilities. In working with Jeff, business owners are able to increase the success of their business which increases profits while gaining more “free time”. Examples of the benefits Jeff has provided local business owners include:

 Doubled annual revenue for two customers within first year of working with them

 Dramatically improved efficiency of a nonprofit’s Executive. Dir.

 Guided business owners of several companies create structure in their business

 Guided owners of a 20 year old business in strategies that results in a more empowered workforce

 Helped business partners gain strategic focus to double revenue and profits in three years

 Worked with owner of engineering business to design his sales process

Prior to joining ActionCOACH Jeff had built a successful 26 year career in sales, sales management, sales support leadership, marketing and project management. As a Senior Vice President at Bank of America and Wachovia he led initiatives that achieved dramatic results.

 Increased sales teams’ annual results by over 27%, on average, through training and simplifying the sales process

 Played key role in driving division’s sales teams towards consultative selling

 Developed a team that improved the quality of over 900 proposals

 Led initiative to raise the quality of marketing communications

 Received a national award for best practices in sales effectiveness in financial services.

Eric W. Smith/Managing Director, The EWS Financial Group



Having been involved in an eclectic array of business transactions across the country, Eric W. Smith brings 25 years of experience in the insurance and financial marketplace.

As the Managing Director of The EWS Financial Group, Eric W. Smith has had exposure to the most intense of marketing, sales and financial environments in some of the most competitive markets in the United States.  Having consulted on several large projects, to include It’s Cool To Be Smart – Saving Our Daughters, Natural Solutions International – A Self Help Healthcare Club, the Atlanta premier of the movie PANTHER, and the fostering of international trade relations with Haiti and other Caribbean nations, Mr. Smith gained the integrity and respect from many of the firms flourishing in the Atlanta business community.

Mr. Smith brings with him the credentials of having worked with groups including, The Atlanta Empowerment Zone Corporation, Workplace Learning Solutions LLC, Staffing Innovations, Inc., The National Black Women’s Health Project, MHR International, Inc.  The Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games (ACOG), The National Conference of Black Mayors, Software Technology Associates, Inc., and several other independent consulting operations.

The New Beginnings Network is an exciting blend of varied financial solutions for almost every personal or corporate interest. As affiliate consultant for the network, Smith offers access to many of the opportunities that serve to meet the needs of clients that are in search of protecting assets, building wealth, philanthropic giving, social change, travel/leisure and creating additional income streams and profit centers.

In 2008, Smith developed “Your Life, Your Legacy, Your Masterpiece” for our country’s Seniors. This entertaining, yet educational program is best described by the Office of Senior Affairs for Dekalb County, Georgia’s Human Development Department as providing a thought provoking “road map for any Senior that wants to have the final say on how they want to be remembered.”

Additionally, his very popular “Hey Dad! Will Your Dreams For Your ‘Little Girl’ Come True If You Die?” provides insurance solutions so that every ‘Daddy’s Girl” can live the life their father dreamed.

In closing, Mr. Smith’s exposure to such a diverse marketplace has afforded him the opportunity to sit on various panels discussing financial strategies, consult with new and established artists about marketing and contract negotiation and write for various publications about the virtues of natural medicine and alternative investments. This wide reaching background serves as a catalyst for innovative thinking and his ability to truly recognize and be a part of “the next big thing.”


Jane Ratliff/Executive Director, Bluehair Technology Group


DBTBluehair Technology Group (BHT) educates and guides seniors in the use of technology and social media, increasing their ability to stay connected to their family, friends, and the world. Through small hands on workshops, we work to build confidence and remove the confusion and frustration that seniors face surrounding technology.

BHT was founded in 2012 by Jane Ratliff after teaching her mother, then 85, how to use an iPad over the course of 3 months. Mrs. Ratliff realized the need for senior adults to have personal training about technology and the tools available to help them connect with their families and friends. BHT began teaching workshops to seniors living in the Metro-Atlanta, including Gwinnett County, with only volunteer instructors and 30 seniors. Since 2012, BHT brought on 5 paid instructors, had 300 volunteers from teenagers to retirees, hosted a 1,000 workshops at 28 different venues, and reached almost 2,000 seniors.

DeKalb Business Today – November 20, 2015


On this episode of DeKalb Business Today, host Matt Holmes talks with three entrepreneurs who – from construction to medicine – make their living off consulting and advising others. Don Boyken talks about the projects his company is managing across the Western Hemisphere. Wendy Watkins describes her process for helping business owners maximize their profits and their happiness. Dr. Melissa Black reveals how her new practice could revolutionize the future of medicine in Decatur and across the United States.


Donald R. Boyken/Chief Executive Officer, DRB Consulting LLC


DBTDonald R. Boyken has been active in the construction industry since 1970. His experience includes development and management of Hotel, Casinos and Resort projects in the United States, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the United Kingdom. Based in Atlanta Mr. Boyken provides consulting services both nationally and internationally. Mr. Boyken’s experience also includes major healthcare programs, university and college facilities, office and commercial buildings, transportation systems and infrastructure projects.

Prior to starting his current company, Mr. Boyken was Chairman and CEO of Boyken International for over 30 years, building the practice to the 34th largest program management firm in the United States before selling the firm in 2009. The firm’s hospitality industry focus enabled Mr. Boyken to be part of development teams for some of the world’s largest and highest profile Resort projects completed over the last two decades.

Mr. Boyken has been instrumental in working with clients who have critical project problems, not only finding solutions, but also helping owners with the implementation of these solutions. His consulting work as a CEO Coach, Business Development Consultant, and Turn-around Specialist uniquely qualifies him, to advise clients with business issues or projects with foreseeable problematic issues, and to resolve the conflicts before they become a hindrance to the company.

Mr. Boyken has also provided expert witness testimony regarding project costs, defective construction, project means and methods, and costs for foreclosed or bankrupt properties in cases involving airports, apartments, office buildings and sports arenas. He is also recognized for his work as an Arbitrator and Mediator for construction disputes.

Prior to starting Boyken International, Mr. Boyken was part of the project management team for Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport leading the Project Administration team including the schedule and estimating services. Mr. Boyken was also with Blount Brothers Corporation, an international construction company, as an estimator and scheduler.

He has been recognized with the distinction of Fellow by the Royal Institution of Charter Surveyors and the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering.

Mr. Boyken is a firm believer in returning to the community his expertise and time. He is currently on the Advisory Board for the School of Construction at Virginia Tech. and the Chamber Board for the City of Dunwoody. His past Board experience includes the Advisory Board for the City of Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Trustees for a private school in North Georgia, several national professional associations, and local civic associations.

He was also a Planning Commissioner for the City of Sandy Springs, Georgia.

Mr. Boyken can be contacted at 678-296-3492 or


Wendy Watkins/Business Coach, Wendy Watkins LLC


DBTWendy Watkins, CPCC, PCC  is a business coach who works with ambitious entrepreneurs who are called to do and be more with their business, but are not quite clear on how to achieve this lofty goal. Wendy teaches a Mind-Body-Business approach to building a juicy, successful and sustainable company. This inclusive strategy focuses on a strong optimistic mindset, the all-important business planning process and fabulous self-care techniques. Wendy’s clients enjoy all the benefits of success including joy, fulfillment and more bank deposits.

Wendy was one of the first million dollar sales women for Aveda (that is a lot of shampoo) and the author of The Joy Factor Recipe Book – A Common Sense Approach to a Delicious Life. Wendy has coached hundreds of people to create successful, succulent lives and flourishing businesses aligned with their purpose and passions.

Visit to pick up her free e book, 7 Activities for Increased Success and Fulfillment


Melissa Black, M.D./Empower Family Medicine

DBTA graduate of SUNY Buffalo College of Medicine and Atlanta Medical Center Family Practice Residency, Dr. Melissa Black worked for nine years for Emory Healthcare in the Division of Geriatric Medicine. She recently left her academic
position to found Decatur’s first ideal medical clinic, Empower Family Medicine.

DeKalb Business Today “Lunch Hour” – November 13, 2015




On the latest edition of DeKalb Business Today, we explore the “sticky” side of marketing with Syrup Marketing‘s Tai Anderson. Also, Bianca Crawford joins the show to with a preview of the mouthwatering options coming to Uncle Boo’s Catfish Corner.


Tai Anderson/Growth Director at Syrup Marketing



After a 20 year career developing lifelong fans for a multi-Grammy award-winning entertainment brand, Tai brings an insatiable passion in helping businesses create champions to Syrup.  Whether meeting with a tech startup or an established business, Tai offers fresh insights to better serve your customers at every phase of their relationship with your company. When not growing businesses, Tai can be found on the sidelines or in the stands cheering on one of his 6 children in their sporting events and activities.


Bianca Crawford/Uncle Boo’s Catfish Corner



Coming in early 2016, Uncle Boo’s Catfish Corner will be the newest spot on the Atlanta culinary scene. Uncle Boo’s will be located on Walker Street in downtown Atlanta, just blocks from the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

DeKalb Business Today – November 13, 2015



On this edition of DeKalb Business Today, host Matt Holmes sits down with two of the business leaders in the Tucker-Northlake part of DeKalb. Ann Rosenthal looks at progress being made in the CID, as well as a busy legislative session ahead for her consulting business. Brad Spratte discusses the secrets to the success of his Chick-fil-A restaurants and looks at how a simple chicken sandwich has sparked an empire.


Ann Rosenthal/President of the Tucker-Northlake Community Improvement District, President of ARC, Inc.



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.


Brad Spratte/President & CEO of DB Spratte Enterprises, LLC



Brad Spratte, President and CEO of DB Spratte Enterprises, LLC., currently operates two Chick-fil-A restaurants in the Tucker Northlake area. Prior to Chick-fil-A, Brad served as COO of a pan asian restaurant chain, and President of Restaurant Development Group, Inc. Prior to getting into the food service industry, Brad served as President of a logistics company for 14 Brad served as President of the Produce Dealers Association as well as its Chairman of the Board. He also served on the Board of Trustees for the Northlake Community Alliance, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Sports Dekalb and the Northlake Business Association. In September of 2014, Brad was appointed to the Tucker-Northlake CID Board of Directors by the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners.

Brad is the owner of the Chick-fil-A’s located in the Northlake Festival and Tucker Station shopping centers in Tucker, Ga. He has been with Chick-fil-A for eight years and has operated locations in the Snellville, Tucker and Northlake area.

Brad grew up and currently lives in the Northlake area, graduating from Lakeside High School in 1983. He graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Finance where he met his wife of twenty six years, Deone. Brad and Deone have two children, Lauren(24) who lives in Atlanta, and David(21) who attends the University of North Carolina.

DeKalb Business Today – RAISE Forum


On Friday November 6, DeKalb Business Radio set up shop at the first ever RAISE (Retention and Advanced Investment for the Southeast at Emory) Forum for investors at Emory University’s Goizueta School of Business. Host Jason Becknell interviewed innovators and thought leaders from around the southeast as they came to DeKalb County to find the millions they need to grow their brands.


DeKalb Business Today “Lunch Hour” – October 30, 2015


On the latest edition of DeKalb Business Today, host Matt Holmes profiles a panel of guests who are helping local businesses in their own specific ways. Lynda Martin shares the successes she’s seen in her years as a business coach. Bridget Lewis gives her tips for small businesses owners to enhance their cybersecurity. DeKalb Fire Capt. Eric Jackson and Pete Hajjar of Reliable Restoration talk about how a little planning can help businesses avoid costly accidents.


Lynda Martin/Professional EOS Implementer with Goodwin Growth Works, Inc.


Like you, professional business coach Lynda Martin combines a passion for business with the drive to find new ways to do things better!

With over 25 years broad experience, both in the corporate structure and real-life, in-the-trenches business experience, Lynda works with the best and brightest business owners and leadership teams to clarify their Vision, define a strategy and then streamline systems and processes to give your business Traction. Partnering with your team, she takes a holistic approach to integrate your daily activities into a cohesive, synergistic business plan.

As an experienced entrepreneurial leader, Lynda has refined her leadership and coaching skills over the years through working with over 80 leadership teams in businesses from solo-preneurs to 50+ employees, including Nike, SnapOn Tools and Continental Airlines. Her past successes include growing for-profit subsidiaries by 150% to $800,000 for a religious organization and doubling annual revenues to $150 million within Norrell Services (now Spherion) light industrial services, both in a period of only two years.

Lynda is one of only 50 Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) Implementers and she combines her diverse experience and passion with the complete proven EOS Model, Process and Toolbox to facilitate conversations, teach key principles and coach you to achieve serious business growth. Clients praise Lynda for her unique combination of communication and number skills, which help teams achieve the EOS Principles of Vision, Traction and Healthy for their business.


Bridget Lewis/President of Workplace Learning Solutions LLC


Bridget C Lewis is a workplace learning professional with more than 30 years of combined experience in education and training. She is passionate about developing the workforce of the future. Much of her early experience was gained working as a school teacher in the Caribbean. Today she is a seasoned professional development consultant and training provider. Since being in the US, she has contributed to organizations like Mercer University and InterContinental Hotels Group. In early 2010, she established Workplace Learning Solutions LLC, through which she works with local government agencies like DeKalb County, nonprofit agencies like DeKalb Workforce Development and DeKalb Medical Center, and other local small businesses. Ms. Lewis is passionate about the professional retooling of the long-term unemployed.

Workplace Learning Solutions LLC (WLS) is an Atlanta-based small business. We work with small and mid-sized businesses, government agencies, and nonprofits, providing performance consulting and professional development services. Our clients are organizations that need an outsourced resource to manage their people performance improvement strategies. We collaborate with our clients to identify and implement the best approaches for improving performance in the workplace. As WLS continues to grow, we believe in making a valuable contribution to our areas’ economic development by adding jobs and working with non-profits that support a holistic approach to the professional development of our long-term unemployed citizens. Our mission is to help create an engaged and productive workforce.


Peter J. Hajjar/Managing Partner of Reliable Restoration LLC


The team at Reliable Restoration are experts in disaster recovery. The company specializes in water, fire, flood and wind damage. Their services also include reconstruction, contents cleaning/storage and asbestos abatement. They serve clients in Georgia and throughout the Southeast.


Eric L. Jackson/Fire Captain and Public Information Officer for DeKalb County Fire Rescue Department


Eric L. Jackson is a Fire Suppression Captain who serves as Spokesperson with DeKalb County Fire Rescue Department in Tucker, Georgia. As Fire Captain and Spokesperson, he has had the awesome task and responsibility of supervising, training and overseeing the daily work activities of fire station personnel as well as managing the da-to-day departmental public affairs activities that include but are not limited to community relations, media affairs, crisis communications, public education, social media management and public speaking at fire service seminars, conventions and trade shows.

His professional career with the fire service spans over thirty years including time as a teenager involved with the Pasadena, California Fire Department Explorer Program. That program is designed to introduce young people to the firefighting profession.

Captain Jackson rose from the rank of Firefighter, then on to Fire Suppression Lieutenant and now Fire Suppression Captain where he spearheaded the creation of the DCFR Public Affairs Office followed by being named in 2000, as Firefighter of the Year by the West DeKalb Rotary Club. In October of 2008, Captain Jackson was named Public Information Officer of the Year for the State of Georgia by former State Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John Oxendine.

In addition to holding several certifications and licenses such as Fire Instructor and Public Fire Education Officer, Captain Jackson is a graduate of Leadership DeKalb Class of 2009. If that wasn’t enough, Captain Eric Jackson graduated from Mercer University the following year with his Bachelors of Applied Studies Degree in Organization Leadership.

Senior Salute: The Scary Parts of Aging

Senior Salute

Senior Salute Radio brings timely information to leading edge Boomers and Seniors about issues involving care-giving and aging.  Learn from both professionals and regular people going through the process with their families. Each week we will also Salute an incredible Senior.

Senior Salute Radio is presented by The Elder & Disability Law Firm of Victoria L. Collier.