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Curated Collection Of The Best Interviews From Our Sandy Springs Studio

Desiree Interviews Sonya Madison, Legal Analyst and Ebone Smiley with Stella & Dot about Social Media


Sonya Madison

Sonya R. Madison is a legal analyst for various news outlets.  In addition to appearing on  Headline News, Fox News, and CBS TV and Radio, she is a licensed attorney in Georgia with over five years in private practice assisting clients with employment related issues.  Her blog, analyzes the legal issues in entertainment, news, government, and sports. Find Sonya at

Ebone Smiley

Born a military brat , Eboné Smiley has lived in California, Belgium, Germany and Virginia.  Today she calls Atlanta, GA home but looks forward to filling her passport with stamps!

A bookworm by nature, Eboné’s love of clothing, fashion and shopping were nurtured by her mother, an accomplished seamstress and more than 5 years working in retail sales. Eboné holds a degree in fashion merchandising and public relations from the University of Georgia’s College of Family & Consumer Sciences.

As a student, Eboné  worked hard to stretch her budget and always loved finding pieces to expand her wardrobe for less. After college, she continued to perfect her method and has helped friends and family to do the same. It wasn’t until 2008 when a business colleague’s wife asked Eboné to help her plan outfits for an upcoming trip, that she thought to turn her skill into a business. Those two hours spent styling from her wardrobe were so much fun–It didn’t feel like work!

In January 2011, Eboné launched her business with Stella & Dot, a boutique line of jewelry, handbags and accessories for women. She enjoys working one-on-one with personal styling clients and at in-home pop-up shops and looks forward to helping other women and a few good men with her styling, wardrobing and shopping services!  Find Ebone at

13th Annual Afternoon In The Country At Serenbe


Tamie Cook/Les Dames d’Escoffier International Atlanta Chapter FacebookTwitter

Tamie Cook came to a culinary career later in life. After working as an Occupational Therapist for almost 10 years she had the opportunity to live in Paris for three years and discovered food and wine, the way it is meant to be enjoyed. Upon returning to the US she resumed her career as a therapist all the while dreaming of the day when she could turn her new passion into a career. Opportunity struck when a merger led to a lay off and she seized the moment to chart a new path. While attending New England Culinary Institute Tamie performed internships with Bacchanalia and the cooking school LaVarenne in Burgundy, France. While in France, Tamie also worked as a stagiere in a Michelin 1-Star restaurant near Auxerre. She concluded her time in France working the vendange in the village of Pommard, picking grapes and making wine the old-fashioned way.

Tamie worked as Alton Brown’s Culinary Director for 11 years and in January 2013 struck out on her own as a freelance chef, food stylist, teacher, writer, wine consultant, recipe developer and caterer. Tamie became a member of the Atlanta Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier in 2006 and has served as the Chair for the Scholarship Committee since 2011. Tamie was a recipient of an LDEI Scholarship while attending culinary school and made it her goal to not only become a member of the organization but also contribute to this committee.

Her latest adventure is teaching “Mindful Eating”. A course which aims to provide conversation space, resources and community support for changing the ways we think about, acquire, prepare and eat our food. Most of all Tamie has a passion for sharing good food and hospitality with those she loves.

Monique Allen

Susan Pavlin/Global Growers Network

Virginia Willis


Desiree Interviews Sean McGinnis, Head of Marketing for Sears PartsDirect

Sean McGinnis

Sean is the head of Marketing for Sears PartsDirect and has been working in digital marketing since early 1999. He has over a decade of experience in search engine optimization, content marketing, pay per click, social media and a variety of other digital disciplines.

He frequently writes, speaks, and teaches classes on a variety of digital marketing disciplines including SEO, content marketing, and social media and he recently joined the faculty of Elmhurst College as an adjunct professor, where he will be teaching a social media class to MBA students. You can find him at‎ and

Special Edition: Atlanta Tech Village


Karen Houghton/Atlanta Tech Village 

The Atlanta Tech Village, established in 2012, is a community of innovation powered by a 103,000 square foot building located in Buckhead. The ATV is designed to service technology and technology-related companies that have a unique set of needs in their quest to change the world. Physical space should provide much more than just a desk and a place to hang your hat — it should bring the community together, promote serendipitous interactions, and be a powerful tool for recruiting the best talent.

Their mission is to support and inspire entrepreneurs to achieve success through a community that promotes faster connections between talent, ideas and capital. Together, they will fuel Atlanta’s rise to a top five tech startup center in the U.S.

Diane Bloodworth/Competitive Sports Analysis 

In 2010, Diane Bloodworth founded Competitive Sports Analysis (CSA), a cutting-edge sports analytics company, and subsequently launched leading fantasy sports tool, scoutPROTM. Diane is a serial entrepreneur and previous founder of an IT process improvement consulting firm that was acquired in 2003. She has more than 25 years of experience in the technology industry with experience at Fortune 500 companies, government and small businesses. Through CSA she is able to combine her love of sports and expert knowledge of technology to make the sports industry more competitive and efficient into the future.

Daniel Roberts/Friendly Human Twitter

Phil Hill/Flashissue

Mark Feinberg/Uruut FacebookTwitter


Desiree Interviews Matt Hames, Chris Staples and John Brothers Talk About The Future of Banking and Finance

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John Brothers, Finoptima Solutions

John Brothers is the Founder of Finoptima Solutions located in Dayton, Ohio.  He is a graduate of Wright State University and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Throughout his career John has had many far-ranging experiences. Beginning his career as an internal auditor for several Fortune 500 Companies, he later served in operations and financial management in several start-up businesses including a land development company which built Country Club of the South in Alpharetta, and a golf course construction company owned by the legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus. Because of these experiences he then served in the consulting practice of a Big 5 National Accounting firm helping startups and emerging businesses with their growth.  After 10 years of operating as a self-employed consultant where he again assisted businesses ranging in size from startups to over $1 Billion in sales he formed Finoptima Solutions to create his brand and expand his presence of helping Companies achieve the optimal financial solutions for their unique business needs beyond Ohio. He has been a finalist for the 2010 Dayton Business Journal CFO of the Year Award. Find John at

Matt Hames, Acru

Matt is CEO of Acru Wealth, LLC, a comprehensive wealth strategy firm headquartered in Woodstock, Georgia. Matt graduated with a Bachelors of Business Administration degree, major in Management, with a specialization in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management, from Kennesaw State University.  Matt holds the professional designation of Certified Trust & Financial Advisor (CTFA), indicating excellence in the areas of fiduciary responsibilities, trust activities, personal finance, insurance, estate planning, tax planning, and investment management.

In May of 2011, Matt led CNT Financial, the bank trust company he opened in 2001, through a redesign of its business model that changed the brand to Acru and meaningfully enhanced the delivery of the brand experience to the public. Opening a retail location that delivers personalized wisdom through a relevant experience while clarifying today and preparing clients for tomorrow, Acru is redefining how financial services are delivered through community based institutions.  Since opening, Acru has been featured in Fast Company Magazine, The Financial Brand and other local, regional and national publications recognizing the breakthrough innovation represented in the Acru brand and delivery model.  In early 2012 the Acru retail location won the Best of the Best Retail Design Award from the International Interior Design Association, their highest honor for retail space design. Find Matt at

Chris Staples, Wealth 360

Chris Staples is more than just your typical investment guy. He’s been in this circus of an industry for more than 20 years and can quickly tell you if the advice you’re getting is good or garbage.

As the Principal owner of a local Financial Planning and Investment Management firm and a Certified Financial Planner, Chris likes to pull back the curtain on the Wizard in the Land of Oz so people can see what’s really going on.

He hasn’t seen everything but he’s seen enough to know that people deserve financial advice that cuts through the muddy jargon and self-serving opinions running rampant in the financial services industry.

Chris feels most anyone with the right advice and enough guts can build a nice chunk of wealth. All it takes is a little know how and a big dose of the right behaviors. Find Chris at Find Chris’ free report “10 Things you can do Today to Get Your Financial House in Order” HERE.


Special Edition: Atlanta Telecommunications Professionals


Today’s show, guest hosted by Sander Biehn, spotlights the upcoming Atlanta Telecommunications Professionals (ATP) Awards Gala, the  premier event where the who’s who of  communications technology professionals rub elbows and  honor outstanding achievements for the year. This year’s Gala will be held on November 14, 2013, at the Cobb Galleria Centre.

Sander Biehn/Thought Horizon

Sander Biehn owns and runs Thought Horizon, a B2B social selling consultancy based on principles he learned while working for AT&T for the past 17 years. Sander’s proven approach helps B2B sales and marketing teams work together to create content and engagement with target markets and customers. Sander holds a provisional patent in Social Media and is finishing a book on workplace innovation entitled, “The 30 Year Paycheck”. He has spoken at conferences and on the radio about innovation. Sander loves amateur geology and astronomy. He went to Duke University where he holds a degree in Philosophy and Classical Studies. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and two children.

Karen Finger/iVision

Karen Finger is a senior- level executive in the communications and information technology industry. Currently Karen is Director of Cloud Services for iVision, where she leads the Cloud Services line of business. Prior to her role at iVision, Karen held leadership positions in sales management, service delivery, productization, network design, and software development working with the largest enterprise and service provider clients of companies such as Nortel, Sprint, and CenturyLink/Savvis. Karen is an active leader and “connector” in the Atlanta business community serving as President of ATP, a non-profit communications technology industry association. She has been actively involved with ATP since 2008, and has held various leadership roles on the board including Vice President and Director. Karen has also chaired and led the advancement for the prestigious ATP Awards Gala in 2009-2013, which recognizes and promotes communications technology leadership, innovation, and excellence coming out of Georgia. Karen grew up in Memphis, TN where she graduated from Lausanne (all girls) High School and then went on to the University of Florida where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science and business administration. She has two children, a son, currently at UGA, and a daughter at Walton High School.

Dow Smith/Carousel Industries

Dow Smith leads sales for Carousel Industries in the Southeast. Carousel is a managed solutions provider for datacenter and voice technologies. Prior to his role at Carousel, Dow worked in leadership roles at Siemens, Fujitsu and PWC. He also previously served as the president of an internet marketing firm. Dow went to Penn State and lives in Atlanta.


Special Edition: Shark Attack Pitch Week


Larry White/The Ritz Group

Larry White is president and CEO of the Atlanta-based Ritz Group networking organization which hosts live “Shark Attack” events.

Candace Mitchell and Jess Watson/Techturized, Inc. FacebookLinkedinTwitter

Candace Mitchell is a computer scientist from Atlanta, GA. She is on a mission to share her gifts with the world through science and technology. Her interest in cosmetology began in her early teens, then transformed into a passion for computing. She graduated from Georgia Tech with a B.S. in Computer Science. After a year in Corporate America, she decided to follow her dreams of becoming an entrepreneur and started the company Techturized, Inc. with 3 phenomenal co-founders. Her vision is to revolutionize the world in a tremendous way by empowering women through the lens of hair & beauty.

Jess Watson is a computer scientist from New York City. Coming from humble beginnings as a first generation Jamaican, her family instilled the importance of hard work, dedication, and that anything is possible. She attended Georgia Tech where she started her entrepreneurial journey and graduated with a B.S. in Computer Science.

Vince Coyner/BrandScanned

Vince Coyner is a serial entrepreneur and has been working with startups for over a decade in areas a varied as finance education, prepaid gasoline, golf products and local marketing. Today he is here discussing BrandScanned, a tool that makes it easy for consumers to participate in marketer’s loyalty programs and various contests.

Adam Houtman/Vault Stem Cell FacebookDave LinkedinTwitter

Adam Houtman has over 10 years of experience owning and operating businesses in medical leads, sales, and multi-channel marketing fields. He grew his previous startups from $0 to $10 Million in revenues while managing 30 call centers in three countries. He purchased a diabetic mail order supply company and grew that business by 7,000% starting from servicing 40 patients to over 3,000. Today, Adam is the founder and CEO of Vault, which represents a revolutionary way to collect and store you or your family’s own adult stem cells. Originally from London, England, Adam is an Oxford graduate, husband and father of two boys.

Steve Bachman/CollectorDASH

Steve is Vice President and COO of CollectorDASH. CollectorDASH provides a community-based ecommerce platform that disrupts the status quo of Ebay and a myriad of fragmented solutions by enabling the community of collectors to buy, sell, manage, value and share their collectibles easier and more affordably. By engaging the collector and forming a lifetime relationship centered on their hobby, CollectorDASH is uniquely able to partner with sellers and manufacturers to deliver more revenue and more loyal customer relationships.

Steve has thirty years’ experience in sales, marketing, operations, and corporate management in the technology industry with startup and fast growth technology products and service companies. Experience includes a successful track record with self-funded and venture capital funded businesses, with multiple successes in creating shareholder value through profitable company growth and sale of businesses to McAfee, NetIQ, Computer Associates, and others.

Corey Moore/Pro Networker

Kimberly Smith/Omega Learning





S. Anthony Iannarino, Barbara Giamanco and Sander Biehn Talk Social Sales


S. Anthony Iannarino

Anthony Iannarino is an author, an international speaker, and entrepreneur.

Anthony is the Managing Director of B2B Sales Coach & Consultancy, and the President and Chief Sales Officer of Solutions Staffing. He also teaches Professional Selling, Persuasive Marketing, and Social Media Marketing at Capital University’s School of Management and Leadership.

Anthony is internationally recognized as a thought leader in sales, with his award winning The Sales Blog being read by 45,000 people each month.

Anthony was named one the 50 most influential people in sales by Top Sales World, as well as being named on of the 25 most influential people in sales by Open View Partners.

In addition to writing daily at The Sales Blog, Anthony is also a contributing editor at SUCCESS Magazine and ThinkSales Magazine. He also writes a bi-weekly column for You can find him on Twitter @iannarino.

Barbara Giamanco

President and Social Selling Advisor at Social Centered Selling.

Barb heads up Social Centered Selling. She’s the co-author of The New Handshake: Sales Meets Social Media – the first book published on social selling. She is the author of the Harvard Business Review article Tweet Me, Friend Me, Make Me Buy published in the July 2012. Her first of its kind research report: Social Media and Sales Quota  proves the measurable return-on-investment when using social media to sell.

Barb has been evangelizing social selling since 2006 and is known internationally as a Social Selling Thought Leader. She is a sought after Sales and Social Media Advisor, Speaker and Coach.

Barb is a contributing writer and blogger for Top Sales World, Social Selling University, Harvard Business Review and the Sales Thought Leader Blog. She is recognized by InsideView as one of the Top 25 Influential Leaders in Sales, a Top 25 Sales Influencer on Twitter, one of Top Sales World’s 2013 Top 50 Sales and Marketing Influencers and her LinkedIn profile ranks in the Top 1% of profiles viewed.

Barb has a proven, 30-year track record in generating sales and capped a corporate career at Microsoft, where she led sales teams. Throughout her sales career, Barb has sold $1B in products and services.

Her site lives at and you can find her on Twitter @barbaragiamanco.


Sander Biehn

Sander is a  salesman and social media evangelist for AT&T.

He has worked in a variety of sales and sales management roles both in the US and abroad over the past 15 years. These days he lives in Atlanta and on any given day can be found coaching teams on how to accelerate sales using social media, writing blogs on corporate innovation or just interacting with his network learning about new trends and ideas. Sander holds a patent in social media and is a charter member of the steering committed at AT&T evaluating social media initiatives for B2B sales. Sander is married and has two kids. He enjoys field geology and astronomy and has recently written a feature length screenplay based on the life of the poet Percy Shelley.

Find Sander’s blog at

Find him on Twitter @sanderbiehn