Penny Morriss/Watson Penland
Penny Morriss, Co-Founder of Watson Penland, is the Owner of Concierge Services of Atlanta, a company she founded in 1997 that provides specialized services to Class A office buildings, private clubs, luxury condominiums, and private individuals. Penny began working for Prentiss Properties in 1988 as Atlanta’s first corporate concierge for One Atlantic Center in Midtown. From 1994 to 1997, Morriss worked for the Washington, DC-based Intercontinental Concierge Corporation as the General Manager of their Atlanta office. Penny spearheaded the founding of Watson Penland when she saw the need for an Atlanta company to cater to the city’s thriving cosmopolitan lifestyle and burgeoning film and television industry.
Ellen Roberson/Watson Penland
Ellen Watson Roberson, Â Co-Founder ofÂ Watson Penland, founded Pace Travel of Atlanta in 1985 and over the span of twenty-five years has led a global travel agency catering to both corporate and leisure travelers as well as Atlanta’s entertainment industry including Lionsgate and Tyler Perry Studios. Pace Travel was consistently recognized for over a decade as one of Atlanta’s top twenty travel agencies and top female-owned firms. Ellen is a member of the International Airline Travel Agent Network. Ellen collaborated with Penny Morriss to form Watson Penland in an effort to merge their vast expertise in the travel and service industries. She now divides her time between the Atlanta and Los Angeles Watson Penland offices.
Gary Kneller/CareMinders Home Care
A few years ago Gary, in his mid-50s today, received some shocking news — he had stage three Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.Â The diagnosis initially was overwhelming — he had a hard time handling the uncertainty of cancer.Â But, as Gary has done in his life many, many times personally and professionally, he saw opportunity where many would see doom.Â Gary witnessed firsthand how the level of care in a lot of facilities didn’t meet the needs of patients. It was a motivating factor for him to launch CareMinders Home Care.Â In fact, he designed CareMinders to deliver care at home at a quality level that goes beyond what he ever received at a healthcare facility — by a landslide. He’s actually said that CareMinders honors those like him that have survived the rigors of cancer treatment.
Now Gary is taking his mission beyond the Atlanta market – into all U.S. markets. He’s already led CareMinders into franchising, opening in 15 states.Â Gary’s personal experience has resulted in a home care concept that offers more medical and non-medical services than any other franchise out there — his personal experience is a big reason why.Â A serial entrepreneur in every sense, Gary had previously owned a television station, a financial planning business and has other endeavors under his belt as well. But, the launch of CareMinders just a few years ago served as a practice in patience, persistence and perseverance.Â His successful triumph over cancer has given Gary a new lease on life — personally he’s now getting married and he is pouring all the energy he can into CareMinders.
Andy Macke/Comcast Cable Communications
As Vice President of Government and Community Affairs for Comcastâ€™s Big South Region, Andy Macke develops strategic relationships with government officials and community leaders to support Comcastâ€™s business goals and strengthen the community. He is directly responsible for Comcastâ€™s regulatory compliance, operations support and community investment in the 32 counties around the city of Atlanta. Andy is also responsible for overseeing Comcastâ€™s community investment strategy including Comcast Cares Day and United Way, among others.
Andy currently serves on the executive committee of the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce as Immediate Past Chairman. He also serves as a board member of the Cable Television Association of Georgia (CTAG) and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta. In the past, Andy has been recognized by the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce with the â€œChet Wells Awardâ€ for his outstanding leadership, and he was honored as the â€œBoard Member of the Yearâ€ by the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce for his work with the Education Committee.
Andy began his career in cable with AT&T Broadband and has worked for the Georgia Municipal Association as a Franchise Coordinator advising cities and counties on franchise related matters. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Georgia and a Master of Science degree in Telecommunications Policy from Georgia Tech.
Bill, Founder and CEO of CollectorDash, has a twenty-plus year track record of value creation. HeÂ has built two businesses from a very early stage through maturity. Bill was most recently President of Air2Web, Inc., a leading mobile marketing software-as-service business. With top enterprise and network operators as customers, Air2Web delivered over a billion text messages to consumers each year.
Prior to Air2Web, Bill was Director of Product Management for all of Nokiaâ€™s enterprise software. Bill was one of the top two executives leading Intellisyncâ€™s sale to Nokia. At Intellisync, he was the VP of Products running a varied portfolio of mobile software products sold to enterprise, carrier and consumer segments.
Prior to Synchrologic/Intellisync/Nokia, Bill ran global product management and user interface design for Lotus/IBMâ€™s suite of desktop applications. He was a pioneer in Windows applications at Samna.
Steve Bachman, Vice President of Strategy at CollectorDash, is a proven executive with more than 30 years of experience building and growing startup and fast growth software and tech companies while creating shareholder value. His experience spans software, cloud based solutions, financial technology, e-commerce, mobile solutions, and information security.
Bachman was Founder & CEO of Automated Design Systems (sold to McAfee), President of Marshal Software Americas (sold to NetIQ), Founder & Director of Glue Communications (sold to Xcelerate), and Advisor & VP of Sales to c360 (sold to CDC Software). Steve is currently a Founder & Director of UK-based Image Analyzer and Director of AuditMyBooks.
Bachman is also the past President and Director of the Southeast Software Association, Founder and past Director of the Technology Association of Georgia, and currently a Founder and Director of both the Wireless Technology Forum and the Executive Sales & Marketing Association.