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Curated Collection Of The Best Interviews From Our Gwinnett Studio





Josh McAfee and Holly Bail with Velossent and Keith Eason and Charles Frazier with Advocate Financial Group

Josh McAfee and Holly Bail/Velossent

Velossent helps companies find the best talent fast, or as they like to say “hiring at the speed of business”. On the flip side, they help the brightest minds who are looking to make a difference and connect them to rewarding gigs.

Since their first placement in 2001, Velossent has grown organically through loyal clients, contractors, and referrals. Velossent specializes in the placement of rock star recruiters, technologists, and engineers throughout North and Latin America. Solutions include contract, contract to hire, permanent placement, statement of work (SOW), and retained search.

Specialties include Placement Concentration, Analytics, Architecture and Development, Business Intelligence, Business/Systems Analysis, C & Executive Technologists, Civil Engineers, Contract Recruiters(projects/growth/expansions), Database Administration, Data Warehousing/Data Modeling/Data Architecture, Electrical Engineers, ERP/CRM, Infrastructure/Networking/Security, Process Engineers, Project Engineers, Project Management, Quality Assurance, Software Engineers and Technology Sales (inside/outside).

Keith Eason and Charles Frazier/Advocate Financial Group

Advocate Financial Group, LLC was formed through the combination of Affordable Health & Life Plans, Inc and Frazier Cain, LLC. They are an independent firm that offers financial and insurance services. Their mission is to become a long-term financial and risk management (insurance) resource for their clients. Since 1986 they have helped thousands of clients to plan and meet their financial and life goals.

Keith Eason began his insurance/financial services career in 2001. The primary focus in the beginning was on life insurance. Then, services were expanded to include financial and investment advice. Currently, he focuses on risk management/protection components in individuals and small business owner’s financial plans. This includes auto, home, health, life, Medicare, and disability insurance planning.

Matt Michaud and Gregg Savage with JMS Law Group and Robyn Brody with Weston Solutions

Matt Michaud and Gregg Savage/JMS Law Group

JMS Law Group  focuses on obtaining comprehensive and fair solutions for homeowners who are underwater in their mortgage. They provide a complete audit of the mortgage to expose all the lender’s violations in the origination, funding, securitization and servicing of the loan, then use these violations to generate leverage in the negotiations.  If negotiations fail, they are prepared and equipped to litigate their client’s claims against the lender to a final resolution, including appeal, if necessary and warranted. Attorney Matt Michaud is an accomplished attorney with over 14 years of practice in all aspects of real estate law.

Robyn Brody/Weston Solutions

Robyn Brody is Senior Project Manager with Weston Solutions, Inc. Weston Solutions delivers integrated environmental, sustainability, property redevelopment, energy, and construction solutions. Dedicated to making a difference in the world, the company’s 1,800 people reach out from 60 offices around the globe to build strong stakeholder relationships and produce solutions that work. WESTON has been responding to their clients’ toughest problems for more than 50 years.  They have been in Gwinnett County since 1990 and metro Atlanta since 1972.

Brian Claise with Critical Response Systems and Cloe Amara with Treetop Quest

Brian Claise/Critical Response Systems

Brian Claise is Vice President with Critical Response Systems, a manufacturer of mobile communications systems for mission-critical applications. Their flagship product, the SPARKGAP system, provides response paging, text messaging, and fixed and mobile data for up to 50,000 users.

Brian has 12 years of experience in the telecommunications and software industry.   He serves on the Critical Messaging Association Two Way Paging subcommittee and Protocol Working Group.  Brian earned a BSCS from the Georgia Institute of Technology and currently holds two patents.

Cloe Amara/Treetop Quest

Cloe Amara is a Park Manager with Treetop Quest, an outdoor recreational attraction located in Buford at the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center, only minutes away from the Mall of Georgia. The Treetop Obstacle Course features 70 obstacles, 20 zip-lines and 6 different levels.

One of their courses is adapted to children 4 to 6 years old, and starting at 7 years old, children are taught how to manage their gear and lead themselves through courses from level 1 (easy) to level 5 (very challenging) at their own pace. This self-guided activity provides excellent avenues for self-confidence, psycho-motor skills, anxiety management and environmental awareness. Treetop Quest is open every weekend from March through Thanksgiving, plus every day during the Summer, and they host groups (schools, Scouts, Businesses, Churches, Birthday Parties, etc…) throughout the year.

Roger Manis with Big Dog Productions, David Lawler – Attorney, John Lehmberg with Make It Loud and Donna Robertson with Office Suites PLUS

Roger Manis/Big Dog Productions, Inc.

Roger Manis is the Owner and President of Big Dog Productions, Inc., a video production company specializing in TV programming, corporate videos, and branded content marketing for websites and social media. They create quality content to help you grow a client’s brand and business, and engage its customers.

Roger  is a former Executive Producer of Sports, Reporter and Anchor at WXIA-TV in Atlanta. A four-time Emmy Award winner, he was co-host of Falcons Face to Face TV show. He has covered four Super Bowls, five World Series and three Olympic Games. In 2010, Roger was the News Director for the Olympic News Channel in Vancouver.

David Lawler/Law Offices of David M. Lawler, Inc.

The Law Offices of David M. Lawler, Inc., is a general practice law firm which handles a wide range of practice areas, including Adoptions, Auto Accidents, Business Formations & Transactions, Civil Litigation, Criminal Defense, Divorce & Family Law, Landlord/Tenant Disputes, Real Estate and Wills/Estate Planning.

David  is a graduate of Washburn University Law School in Topeka, Kansas.  Working at other firms from 1999  to 2003, he opened his sole practice in July of that year.  He has a general practice with a focus on residential real estate closings, family law and estate planning.  He is married and has two children.  In additional to being an attorney, David is an avid musician.

John Lehmberg/Make It Loud, Inc.

John Lehmberg is the Owner and President of Make It Loud Creative Web Design.  John served as a full-time youth pastor for almost 20 years, and in 2004 started Make It Loud to begin to work with small business owners, helping them to market their businesses.  Make It Loud has created more than a website weekly since that time, and also optimizes websites for excellent Google rankings.  Make It Loud has a wonderful team of people who are available to assist in e-marketing endeavors.

Donna Robertson/Office Suites PLUS

Donna Robertson is a Suite Manager with Office Suites PLUS, which focuses on the best workspace solutions for their clients and encouraging an energizing environment within their communities. Since its beginning in 1998, Office Suites PLUS has been providing workspaces to companies of all sizes. With over 30 locations in nine states, Office Suites PLUS is one of the leading providers of full-serviced office space and virtual offices. Headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky, Office Suites PLUS was named to the 2011 and 2012 Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies in America. Their success has been built on the basis of their people making the difference and they continue to place emphasis on customer service.

Stacy Doornbos with Accent Creative Group, Steven Julian – Financial Advisor and Chris Hendley with Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau

Stacy Doornbos/Accent Creative Group

Accent Creative Group, formerly Accent South Media, has been serving the Gwinnett area with marketing, graphic design and custom publishing services since 2004.  With the new name and branding, Accent Creative Group has expanded its services, now offering trade show graphics and di-sublimination enabling printing on fabric.

Accent Creative Group has received multiple international awards for its graphic design.  They recently just took first place in an international graphic design competition for some of its branding work.  Accent Creative Group spans a wide variety of clients:  hospitality/resort (Lake Lanier Islands Resort – client since 2007), non-profits (Salvation Army, Annandale Village, Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful), technology companies, universities (Georgia Gwinnett College campus signage) and municipalities (Peachtree Corners, Johns Creek, Lawrenceville Trade and Tourism, Snellville), to name a few.

Upcoming events include the City of Peachtree Corners ribbon cutting to show their new city seal and logo as well as showcase their new City Hall building, and the April 2013 PGA Tour at TPC Sugarloaf for which Accent Creative Group designed the logo.

Steven Julian/Financial Advisor

Steven was born in Tucker, Georgia and is married to his wife Stacey from Snellville. They have three beautiful boys – each of them born in a different state (Virginia, Georgia and Montana). Steven has been a financial advisor for five years and was a youth pastor for ten years before that – leading to the realization that he has helped people with their KIDS and their MONEY.

Chris Hendley/Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau

Established in 1913, Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB) is a private, nonprofit organization created to favorably impact the Atlanta economy through conventions and tourism. ACVB is the liaison between meeting planners, tour operators and its 1,200-plus member organizations.

As Director of Membership for ACVB, Chris Hendley leads recruitment and retention programs for current and prospective ACVB members while managing the membership department.

Chris brings 11 years of sports experience in sales, marketing and management to the ACVB, including positions with Georgia Force of the Arena Football League, The Arena at Gwinnett Center and Philips Arena.

In his time at The Arena at Gwinnett Center, Chris served most recently as business and community development manager, responsible for implementing the sponsorship sales program. In addition, he functioned as arena manager, director of arena booking and marketing and media manager.

Chris was a founding member and the first President of Right to Hike, Inc., a non-profit organization started to celebrate the memory of Meredith Hope Emerson. He also serves on the Advisory Board for the Sports Marketing Department of Gwinnett Technical College as well as the Advisory Board for the Hercules Council at Dobbins Air Reserve Base.

Chris grew up in Knightdale, NC, and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He has been a proud Atlanta resident for 11 years and has been married to his wife, Leslie, for six years.

Laura Zacharias, Nancy Golden and Meredith Martin with Gwinnett Center, Chris Roberts with Converge Applications, Johnny Phelps with Harry Norman Realtors and Warren Thompson with Nexogy

Team from Gwinnett Center

Laura Zacharias, Director of Sales, Nancy Golden, Director of Premium Services and Meredith Martin, Marketing and Group Sales Coordinator, are with Gwinnett Center. Just minutes outside of Atlanta, Gwinnett Center’s 80-acre lakefront campus can accommodate a variety of events from concerts, performances, meetings, trade shows, conventions, banquets, and celebrations.  The multi-purpose campus includes an amazing 13,000-seat Arena, a 700-seat Performing Arts Center, 23 versatile meeting rooms, a 50,000 square foot Exhibit Hall, and a 21,600 square foot Grand Ballroom.  Gwinnett Center is beautifully landscaped and architecturally stunning with an award-winning outdoor private garden, soaring atriums and modern angles which provide a beautiful backdrop for any event.

Chris Roberts/Converge Applications

Chris Roberts is a Partner with Converge Applications, a company that provides a local business Digital Marketing Solutions.  Converge empowers the local business to use the latest marketing channels to reach their desired market.  This includes simplifying  and coordinating how to use Web, Facebook/Twitter and mobile technology to drive traffic.

Johnny Phelps/Harry Norman, REALTORS®

Johnny Phelps has been a Realtor/Broker with Harry Norman, REALTORS® for nine years after a 30-year career in broadcasting.  Johnny works with buyers and sellers, and families who are relocating.

Founded in 1930, Harry Norman, REALTORS® is Atlanta’s oldest and largest residential real estate firm with 11 sales offices, various franchise and satellite offices, and more than 1,000 real estate professionals.

Warren Thompson/Nexogy

Warren Thompson is a Channel Development Manager with Nexogy. Founded in 1999, Nexogy has helped thousands of businesses solve telephony and telecommunication challenges. Clients can rely on their innovative solutions, and outstanding support and customer service, to take business communications to the next level.

David Chamblee with RMT Planning, Heather Durham with Inspirare Interiors and Melissa Waterman with Waterman Resource Group

David Chamblee/RMT Planning LLC

David Chamblee, Vice President, is with RMT Planning LLC, a company that specializes in creating customized investment strategies for individuals.   Their extensive research on historical cycles and the economic circumstances that they find themselves in lead them to develop unique investment and planning strategy.  Their focus is to partner with their clients to enhance their personal economy through financial planning created for today’s unnatural market conditions.

Heather Durham/Inspirare Interiors

Heather Durham is a Partner with Inspirare Interiors.  iiHOME by Inspirare Interiors is a full service renovation and decor firm, dedicated to ensuring their clients receive a customized project, on time and within budget.  Their Renovators are uniquely creative in merging décor concepts, color trends and residential construction knowledge.

Melissa Waterman/Waterman Resource Group, Inc.

Melissa Waterman is the Founder, CEO and Principal HR Consultant with Waterman Resource Group, Inc. Waterman Resource Group (WRG) provides timely, scalable solutions for day-to-day and strategic Human Resource challenges.  They passionately deliver best practice HR and results-oriented HCM methodology geared to mid-sized and smaller businesses, simultaneously training existing HR staff.  WRG’s services provide protection against labor, benefits, and recruiting risks and can lead to a boost in productivity for sustainable bottom line improvements.

WRG is a one-stop shop for temporary, part-time, or outsourced HR solutions, customizing programs for every stage of a client’s operation.   If there is no HR department, a member of a client’s team may be “handling” HR – but without the benefit of HR expertise.  WRG provides what is needed to expand or transform businesses with top-rated, best practice talent strategies.  For existing HR departments, WRG acts as “Corporate HR” – as experienced mentors, coaches, and guides to existing HR staff, or extra hands for a project.  They provide HR Outsourcing in Atlanta Metro, as well as nationally.

Vince DeSilva and Matt Bemister with the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, Brandy Swanson with Sandler Training by Simon and George Lewis with Taylor Construction

Vince DeSilva & Matt Bemister/Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce

Vince DeSilva is the Senior VP of Member Services with the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce. Vince oversees all sales and business development, membership services, and member retention efforts for the Gwinnett Chamber. He also participates as a strategic partner with the management team. The Gwinnett Chamber is one of the fastest growing Chambers in the nation and the 6th largest Chamber in the Southeast according to the World Chamber of Commerce Directory.

Matt Bemister is the Director of Membership Services for the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce.  Matt started with the Chamber in 2010 as a Regional Account Executive.

Brandy Swanson/Sandler Training by Simon, Inc.

Brandy Swanson is the Executive Vice President of Simon, Inc., an authorized licensee of  Sandler Training, a worldwide leader in sales performance and customer service training, consulting, and coaching. Brandy has over 18 years’ experience in business growth and development. She has proven skills in sales force and customer service management, as well as other business necessities such as budgeting, recruiting, profitability, accounting and human resources.

Brandy earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Georgia State University and is a proud graduate of Leadership Gwinnett. Brandy’s passion is growing people and businesses, as well as serving her community. She has been an active member of Rotary International for over 20 years and adamantly believes in their motto, Service above Self. She has served as president, treasurer, vocational chair, youth services chair and international chair.

Prior to Sandler Training, Brandy was the Chief Operations and Financial Officer at Lloyd Pro Group, Vice President of Operations at VIP Auto Care, and a Sales Manager for Administrative Managers, Inc. Her financial planning and advanced skills in contract negotiation significantly increased profitability and guided the sale and purchase of several businesses.

George Lewis/Taylor Construction

George Lewis is the President of Taylor Construction, one of Metro Atlanta’s largest and most well known home remodeling companies. Their skilled, specialized technicians are fully certified to perform quality installations. Not only do they install quality, energy-efficient building materials, they are also dedicated to improving the beauty and value of a home while saving money.

Taylor Construction offers a sizable variety of Energy Star™ rated vinyl windows and eShield™ energy barrier that will help trim homeowners’ monthly energy bills and can even qualify for energy tax credits.

Taylor Construction is a division of Southern Industries. Started in 1966 in Augusta, GA, Southern Industries is the largest private home remodeling consortium in the Southeast. Southern Industries is comprised of: Taylor Construction, Southern Siding & Window, Ultimate Gutter Guard, Enloe Residential and Southern Window & Siding.