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Curated Collection Of The Best Interviews From Our Sandy Springs Studio

Josh Bernstein with Josh Bernstein Media


Josh Bernstein / Josh Bernstein Media
Owner and Principal Consultant


Josh BernsteinJosh Bernstein is one of Atlanta’s leading independent digital media consultants and a seasoned expert when it comes to paid search marketing and Google AdWords. He has a successful history working with businesses, startups & agencies who want to get their website ranked on Google’s sponsored (aka paid) listings at a very reasonable cost for agency-quality level of work.

His paid search umbrella includes account management, copywriting, keyword expansion, ad extensions & more. Josh also handles Facebook advertising, Twitter ads, LinkedIn ads plus Google display, Google remarketing, print media & media & marketing strategy/consulting.

With over 15 years in advertising and over 10 years in digital media, Josh is the right choice for all your paid search marketing needs. With his extensive experience in working on PPC accounts of all sizes and in every way imaginable (ad copy, ad copy rotation, keyword optimization, match type optimization, account reorganization, budget management of nearly $50 million, client reporting and more).

He has been certified by Google four-times as an AdWords Qualified Professional and last year attained the title of a Google Advertising Specialist.

Past clients including JCPenney, Meda Pharmaceuticals, Hooters, Mitsubishi & others can attest to the quality of Josh’s work, professionalism and integrity.



Rick Garlick with JD Power


Rick Garlick / JD Power
Global Practice Lead for Travel and Hospitality


Rick GarlickRick Garlick is the Global Travel and Hospitality Practice Lead at J.D. Power. He is responsible for providing industry thought leadership to the company’s clients in the hotel, destination, rental car, airline, and cruise line industries, as well as for creating new products and revenue opportunities to grow the practice.

Dr. Garlick joined J.D. Power in 2013 after nearly 20 years of consumer and employee research experience with two of the most prestigious research companies in North America: The Gallup Organization and Maritz Research.  He has been a trusted advisor to many senior leaders of premier organizations, as well as a nationally recognized thought leader in the area of hospitality and employee engagement research. He has a diverse research and consulting background that includes extensive experience with travel and hospitality research; employee engagement measurement and training; talent selection; brand research; customer satisfaction and loyalty programs; image and awareness studies; and national opinion polling.

Earlier in his career, Dr. Garlick worked in financial services, utilities, manufacturing, entertainment, media, retail, association, and not-for-profit research. Prior to entering the private sector, he taught courses in research methods, marketing, and persuasive communication at Michigan State University and DePaul University in Chicago.

A frequent conference speaker, Dr. Garlick has published numerous articles in industry and academic journals. He has also appeared on such national media outlets as MSNBC, CNBC, CNNfn, Bloomberg Television, and National Public Radio, as well as being quoted in a number of national publications.

Currently, Dr. Garlick serves as chair of the Research Committee for the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association (HSMAI) Foundation Board. Previously, he served in a similar function for Meeting Professionals International (MPI).

Dr. Garlick received a Ph.D. in communication studies from Michigan State University.

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Patrick Lynch with The Frontier Group and Karen Nowicki with Deep Impact

Patrick Lynch and Karen Nowicki


Patrick Lynch / The Frontier Group

Pat leads The Frontier Group on strategy, client service, innovation, and business development. He is responsible for driving growth and strategic partnerships. He also is directly involved in many of the outplacement, talent development, assessment tool implementation and executive coaching programs. Before his leadership role at The Frontier Group, Pat had a 25-year consumer products marketing career with such companies as Georgia Pacific, Kao Brands, Kraft, HON and Neenah Paper.

In addition to his responsibilities at The Frontier Group, he is also on the board of Special Pops – a tennis-based non-profit for the mentally challenged. Pat is also active in several faith-based career ministries in the Atlanta area along with several youth based mentoring programs through the Atlanta SHRM chapter. Pat has an MBA in Marketing from Michigan State and BA in Secondary Education from The University of Michigan.

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Karen Nowicki / Deep Impact Leadership
Energy and Mindset Coach

Karen Nowicki is the founder of Deep Impact Leadership and known as the trusted advisor for high profile clients who are serious about moving from success to significance.

Working with doctors, CEO’s, non-profit founders, politicians and researchers, Nowicki helps leaders embody success principals, social responsibility, stellar communication and thought leadership so they can have a profound impact on their organizations, patients and constituents.



Vicki Escarra with Opportunity International


Vicki Escarra / Opportunity International

Vicki EscarraMs. Escarra has an accredited background in microfinance-driven philanthropy, and has played a longstanding role as a dynamic operator in Chicago business. Under her leadership at Opportunity International, she achieved recent successes in forging strategic international partnerships such as the Cisco grant allocation and participation at the GEC 2017 panel. Through Opportunity International, she also stewarded Chicago to become a bastion for supporting entrepreneurship through Digital Financial Service endeavors, such as mobile banking, and targeted training in emerging markets worldwide.

Ms. Escarra is pleased to reflect on her lengthy career in Chicago, and to provide insight into the motivation behind her exit from Opportunity International, her next steps, and the trajectory of this organization.

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Sam Agarwal with AppZoro Technologies, Lisa Ann Landry with Paradigm Shifts Training and Development and Lauren Hunt with Rep Your Act

Paradigm Shifts Training and Development


Sam Agarwal / AppZoro Technologies, Inc.
Founder and CEO

Sam Agarwal is an Innovative Applications Developer. Sam is the founder and CEO of AppZoro Technologies, Inc. – an experienced team of full-stack mobile app developers and web designers. He holds a BS in Computer Science and is working on his Master’s at Georgia Tech. Sam is an Advisor of Mobile App Technology for the Atlanta Tech Village, one of the U.S. leading co-working space entities located in Atlanta, Georgia.

From concept to market-ready digital product, AppZoro is your single-source for everything from complex programming and database development to payment integrations and front-end design. With AppZoro’s in-house team of Agile Coders and Inventive Designers, you’ll get consistent high-quality work at a startup-friendly price.

Sam is also an experienced businessman. In addition to the work he does with AppZoro, he is Vice President of Sara Hospitality – an international, family-owned furniture manufacturer based in India, serving the US hospitality industry. He has been materially involved since he was 18 and is responsible for procurement, marketing, sales, customer service and finance for the business. In this role, he has learned the key elements of “grind” to build a successful startup.

Through Atlanta Tech Village, and as a private consultant, Sam helps business owners develop sound digital strategies that leverage both current and emerging technologies to increase revenues, streamline productivity, attract investors, and nurture customer relationships.

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Lisa Ann Landry / Paradigm Shifts Training and Development

Lisa Ann Landry is a social media strategist and the President of Paradigm Shifts Training and Development, a company that has three primary lines of business – content development and delivery, vision board workshops and retreats, and social media/e-mail marketing strategy. Lisa Ann is no stranger to the challenges of small business ownership, having spent 21 years as an entrepreneur after a 14-year career in corporate America.

Lisa Ann is a certified coach who has combined her technical aptitude, developed from her years working at IBM, with her leadership and training skills to address the demands that small business owners have with understanding and crafting social media and e-mail marketing strategy. Today Lisa Ann works with service based entrepreneurs to advance their use of social media to market their products and services. Her high-impact content marketing strategies help entrepreneurs boost their online image and visibility, protect their reputation, and improve business results.

Lisa Ann is the best-selling author of Content Marketing: How to Get Started: The Little Pink Spoons Method, a book born out of working with clients who wanted a guide to step them through creating a content marketing strategy. She is an international trainer, a Constant Contact Authorized Local Expert and consultant. She is a frequent guest on radio talk shows on the subject of social media marketing strategy.

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Lauren Hunt / Rep Your Act Acting Competition
Founder / Creator

Lauren is the CEO of HOTT (Hunt’s Over the Top) Theatre for Children, created to share the gift of theatre with children. Her credentials include a bachelor’s degree in Theatre from Auburn University, a Masters of Elementary Education, and a personal resume of acting in many stage plays and short films.



Karen Ross with Sharp Decisions


Karen Ross / Sharp Decisions
President and CEO

Karen RossKaren Ross founded Sharp Decisions in 1990 under the premise that “anything is possible with teamwork and integrity.” As a visionary entrepreneur, she has honed her skills through years of success, starting and growing solutions oriented strategic and technology consulting firms, both domestically and abroad. With five offices located domestically and a European headquarters in London, Karen’s leadership of Sharp Decisions reflects her track record of integrity and delivery. Karen’s can do attitude gave her the impetus to start the V.E.T.S.™ Program, which is the first of its kind in the nation.

Karen is a graduate of Union College. She and Sharp Decisions have been recognized with myriad awards, including awards from Crain’s New York Business and Inc. Magazine.

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Mike Morris with Broadgreen Solutions, Steve Latham with Banyan Hills Technologies and Gary Patterson with Fiscal Doctor

Gary Patterson Mike Morris Steve Latham


Mike Morris / Broadgreen Solutions
CEO  and Co-Founder

Mike co-founded Broadgreen Solutions in 2015. His consulting career has allowed him to work with CIOs on strategic technology programs, help executives refine their strategies and drive successful execution of large-scale change initiatives. Mike had a 15-year chapter of his career at North Highland. While at North Highland, he served as the Atlanta Office Leader and as a Group Vice President with responsibilities for multiple business units. He also has served as an account executive for Fortune-100 and mid-market clients.

He has over 22 years of management consulting experience, having previously worked for Andersen Consulting (Accenture) and CMSI / Computer Associates. Mike is currently on the board of directors for Hands of Love USA and the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG). As an active leader in the Atlanta community, Mike was a member of Leadership Atlanta’s Class of 2012 and High Tech Ministry’s Ambassador Leadership program. Mike previously served as President of the Notre Dame Alumni Club of Atlanta and on the advisory board for Career Spa.

Mike graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a B.A. in Economics and Political Science. Mike and his wife Kendra live in Peachtree Corners, GA with their three children. In his free time Mike enjoys cooking, travel and trail running.

Broadgreen Solutions was formed as a Benefit Corporation in part due to Mike’s belief that our work and our life purpose can fit together, and that business can be a force for good.

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Steve Latham / Banyan Hills Technologies
Founder and CEO

Steve Latham is CEO of Banyan Hills Technologies. Steve is a proven leader and trusted advisor for bringing IoT solutions to market. Latham founded the company in 2013 to impact the world through technology and a deep commitment to social responsibility. He has over 15-years of experience leveraging cloud-based technologies to optimize and accelerate the needs of business. Banyan has a team of technology, marketing and design experts focusing on IoT. They’ve built a cloud-based IoT platform called CanopyTM to support the needs of operators of large networks of devices like kiosks and vending machines.

Steve is highly regarded by his peers for his deep industry knowledge in Retail, Entertainment, Healthcare, and Financial Services. Latham has successfully led architecture, implementation and delivery for one of the largest self-service, retail exchange kiosk systems in the world. Earlier, Latham served as CTO for the Entertainment division of NCR, where he helped orchestrate a successful divestiture of the business to Redbox for $125 million. Prior to NCR, he held various technology leadership positions at Harland Clarke and led the consolidation of their e-commerce platform to a unified product offering for its customers. Latham serves on the board of directors for various businesses and academic institutions providing technical leadership.

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Gary Patterson / Fiscal Doctor, Inc.

Gary W. Patterson has more than 30 years of senior management experience with high growth technology, wireless, manufacturing and service companies. He has worked with more than 200 companies — from start-ups to Inc 500 to Fortune 500 — providing high level strategic guidance and expertise. Gary’s financial acumen and extensive business knowledge have brought about significant outcomes for his clients, helping them to successfully navigate that often murky pathway to growth and profitability.

Gary’s extraordinary track record includes building two start-ups (each achieving $10 million in revenue within their first year), diagnosing company oversights to save $150K to $3 million annually; guiding a young company through a liquidity search resulting in $25 million in financing, and; helping a company broaden its client base 525%, increasing revenue from $16 million to $100 million.

He has also negotiated more than 25 M&A transactions with a market value exceeding $390 million and helped several companies reach tenfold compounded annual growth in revenue. His international experience includes serving as the European coordinator for the global enterprise-wide application of an innovative software pilot program for a Fortune 500 company.

Gary holds an MBA in Finance and Operations from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, a BA in Accounting from the University of Mississippi, and is a CPA.

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Larry Steffann and Tom Snyder with RIoT and Randy Grinberg with Pet Supplies Plus



Larry Steffan / RIoT

Larry’s career spans 35 years deeply entrenched in technology. Mr. Steffann held several roles with a number of startups, from advisor, angel investor and as executive/founder. He served in senior executive roles at two publicly traded companies, CEO of NSO/AMEX and COO BOCI/Nasdaq.

As a serial entrepreneur, Mr. Steffann’s recent roles have included GM of the Wireless Research Center of North Carolina and VP of Product Development for Consert, a Smart Energy start up in Raleigh, North Carolina. Consert raised more than $40 million in funding prior to being sold to Toshiba. Larry Co-Founded Joystick Labs, the initial tenant of the American Underground at the American Tobacco Campus, in Durham, NC.

As GM of WRC, Mr. Steffann also Founded NC RIOT and RIoT Labs. RIoT, has grown its membership to nearly 4,000, representing hundreds of companies, and is now doing events and programs nationally.

He now applies this combination of executive leadership and hands on mentor ship to economic development – the primary mission of The Wireless Research Center of North Carolina and RIoT. The Wireless Center and RIoT are poised to support the growth of Smart Cities, 5G and IoT.

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Tom Snyder / RIoT
Executive Director

Tom is Executive Director of NC RIoT, a non-profit supporting Internet of Things and disruptive technology industry growth. He is co-instructor in Product Innovation Lab, a Forbes award winning multi-disciplinary course in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at NC State.

Prior to joining RIoT, Tom held an executive leadership role at the ASSIST Center, a National Science Foundation sponsored effort to create wearable electronics for healthcare monitoring. Previously, he spent two decades in product development and technology incubation in consumer electronics.

He’s passionate about creating and fostering collaborations across disciplines, markets and cultures. He enjoys the outdoors, woodworking, board games, big crowds, craft beer and ideas that are just crazy enough to work.

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Randy Grinberg / Scully Dog Enterprises, Inc.

Randy Grinberg owns and operates a Pet Supplies Plus franchise store in Smyrna, Georgia. Originally from Oregon, Randy has a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Oregon State University and an Accounting degree from Portland State University, and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant, who spent 25 years in corporate finance and accounting. While successful in his career, he tired of changing companies every 4 or 5 years. One of those company changes brought him to Atlanta in 2006.

In 2015 Randy decided he wanted to take control of his career and his future by becoming a small business owner. After researching a half-dozen different franchises, Randy purchased the Pet Supplies Plus franchise in the fall of 2015 and the store opened in December 2016.



Jeff LoCastro with Neener Analytics

Jeff LoCastro


Jeff LoCastro / Neener Analytics
CEO and Founder

Jeff LoCastro was a member of the initial executive team of the inventors of the online social network, and was extracting insights from social media long before it became fashionable. He pioneered the CPA model based on creating affinity networks through social media. His current fintech company, Neener Analytics, has quickly become the leader in social media analytics and was recently name by CIOReview as one of the Top 20 Data Analytics Companies of 2017 by fundamentally altering how social media is used in risk decisioning and marketing conversions.



Karl Pearl with Aventis Systems, Andy Davies with Flex and Troy Logan with Strike First Fitness

Andy Davies


Karl Pearl / Aventis Systems
Vice President

Karl Pearl is the Vice President of Aventis Systems, Inc. Karl is responsible for providing leadership and coordination to all business units. He is tasked with developing and implementing sales and business strategies, while actively monitoring and analyzing the activities’ impact against sales goals. Karl is also responsible for recommending emerging business technology trends to the President of the Company.

In addition to Aventis Systems, Karl’s extensive career in the sales industry included Sales and Customer Services Manager for MSC, Inc., Telesales Director for MediaOne, Branch Sales Manager for NewarkInOne, Global Director of Sales and Strategic Acquisition for MarketStar/Cisco Systems Inc., and Director of Commercial Client Services for MarketSource. Karl served 7 years in the United States Navy after which he attended Southern Polytechnic State University where he earned his B.S. in Electrical Engineering Technology.

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Andy Davies / Flex
Sr. Dir. IoT Solution Engineering & Product Marketing

Originally from Northampton England, Andy Davies began his career in supply chain management before moving to Atlanta GA in 2002 entering the enterprise software industry working for companies such as Mercia Software, Infor and SAP in both global sales and solution sales roles. Andy started his own professional services company in 2010 specializing in supply chain integration and enablement, supporting some of the largest tech companies such as Palo Alto Networks, FireEye and Flextronics.

In 2014 Andy joined the Flex Corporate IT group leading a materials and logistics team while also spearheading the creation of the first Flex software business unit – known as Flex Connect. This group is designing, developing, marketing, selling, implementing and supporting an end to end IoT Platform for companies to securely manage smart devices, applications and analytics strategies.

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RIoT Atlanta – Home Automation, Telematics, Healthcare and the IoT Opportunity


Troy Logan / Strike First Fitness

Troy Logan, founder and owner of Strike First Fitness, Inc., has been a martial arts and fitness professional for nearly 30 years. He is a life-long self-defense and fitness instructor with a passion for teaching others. He is a certified Health Educator dedicated to helping others reach their health and wellness potential. Troy is a Krav Maga Gold Certified Instructor through Krav Maga Alliance. Troy is also a Certified Master Instructor of Muay Thai Kickboxing and holds a 2nd degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do. In addition, he has a teacher’s proficiency in numerous other disciplines including Western Boxing, Tang Soo Do, Karate, and Jujitsu. Troy has developed and teaches a multi-leveled self -defense program that can be customized for individuals, groups, and corporate clients. This program utilizes techniques and movements taken from a variety of fighting disciplines to create the ultimate self-defense system. His self -defense training participants run the gamut from agents of Realty Companies (Keller Williams, Re/Max, Redfin), insurance companies (Peach State, State Farm), employees of international airlines (Delta Airlines), to college students (Georgia Tech, Clayton State), churches (World Changers Ministries, Power of Purpose Ministries), from major corporations to universities, and from professional and social groups to athletic clubs (Life Time Fitness).

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