Women We Admire is pleased to announce The Top Women Leaders of Georgia for 2024. Georgia is the largest state east of the Mississippi, and its thriving economy lives up to the hype. With 159 counties and a population of over 11 million, The Peach State is home to a multitude of thriving industries – including education, technology, agriculture, life sciences, and manufacturing – and the ambitious women who lead them.

It’s impossible to recognize women leaders of Georgia without including Coca-Cola, headquartered in Atlanta, the capital city of the Southeast – this year’s honorees include Laura Wagnon, Vice President and Global Customer and Commercial Lead for The Coca-Cola Company. She’s been proudly serving this American staple for over three decades.

Leading in the technology sector, we also recognize honoree Devynne Floyd, the Regional Vice President of Sales for Toast, a cloud-based restaurant management software company. After studying culinary arts and hotel management, Floyd decided to blend her passions to become a leader in the restaurant technology space. 

Finally, combining the top Georgia education and agriculture industries, we extend our congratulations to Cassie Ann Kiggen, the Chief Communications Officer for the University of Georgia College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences.

Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The Top Women Leaders of Georgia for 2024.

Laura Wagnon
VP of Global Customer & Commercial Lead, The Coca-Cola Company

Laura Wagnon is the Vice President and Global Customer and Commercial Lead of The Coca-Cola Company. She first joined the company in 1991 as assistant brand manager. The Coca-Cola Company is a total beverage company with products sold in more than 200 countries and territories. 

Wagnon is a strong leader who develops plans and executes them to deliver results. Her extensive experience has helped her develop expertise in consumer marketing, sales, and customers. In her role, she generates alliances both internally and externally, often influencing without authority. She is extremely adaptable and flexible in her approaches and has no issue adjusting to changes in priorities. Wagnon balances multiple priorities very effectively without compromising results, and she is recognized as a strong people manager who exhibits company values every day.

Wagnon earned an MBA in business administration and management from the Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management and an undergraduate degree in food science from North Carolina State University.

Bridget Xue
Chief Operating Officer, Deloitte

Bridget Xue is the Chief Operating Officer of Deloitte's Life Sciences & Health Care Services and manages the operations of a $3 billion portfolio in annual revenue. She interacts with a large group of stakeholders, both internal and external, and is an integral part of the industry leadership team in formulating strategic growth priorities and allocating resources toward execution. 

Xue oversees the practice's financial and business operations, leads the annual planning and monthly forecast processes, and manages the industry's investment portfolio. She is also a highly sought-after team leader and mentor who has a track record of building diverse, inclusive, and high-performing teams in solving complex operational and strategic problems.

Xue joined Deloitte Consulting over 15 years ago and had previously served as chief operating officer of the financial service industry and chief of staff for the banking sector. She has deep expertise in management consulting, particularly in large-scale program/project management, business strategy development and execution, finance transformation, performance management, talent strategy, and operational excellence. Xue received her MBA from UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Michelle Banks
Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer, Kohl's

Michelle Banks is the Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer for Kohl’s. With more than 1,100 stores in 49 states and the online convenience of Kohls.com and the Kohl's App, Kohl's is committed to progress in its diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy, and the company's environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) stewardship.

At Kohl’s, Banks is responsible for leading the enterprise-wide diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts, including training and development, strategic initiatives across the business, and leadership of both the company’s DEI Task Force and its DEI Council. Banks joined Kohl’s in 2010 and has held several progressive leadership roles within the store’s organization, most recently having served as senior vice president, and territory manager overseeing nearly 200 stores in the Southeast region. 

Before joining Kohl's, Banks served in store leadership roles with DSW Shoes, Gap, Marshall Fields, and Donna Karan. Banks has more than 25 years of experience in the retail industry.

Tanie Eio
VP of Human Resources Business Partner, Global Finance & GBS, UPS

Tanie Eio is the Vice President of Human Resources and Business Partner for Global Finance and GBS at UPS. One of the world’s largest companies, UPS has approximately 500,000 employees and is committed to reducing its impact on the environment and supporting communities around the world.

A certified Master Professional by Singapore’s Institute of Human Resources Professionals (IHRP), Eio earned the title of Asia’s 'Best HR Leader' at the May 2022 HR Tech Festival hosted by HRM Asia. She was also honored as the 'HR Leader of the Year' at the October 2022 HR Excellence Award ceremony organized by Human Resources Online. These prestigious awards recognize her exceptional contributions as a leader in HR, specifically commending her role in spearheading APAC’s culture change and effectively implementing human capital strategies. Her dedication to talent management and leadership development has solidified her position as a distinguished figure in the field.

Eio has an Associate’s degree in Personnel Management from the Singapore Institute of Management and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Social Work from the National University of Singapore. 

Sue Kolloru Barger
Chief Strategy Officer, Pearson PLC

Sue Kolloru Barger is the Chief Strategy Officer at Pearson PLC, the world's leading education and learning company. Kolloru is responsible for the core strategic and cross-enterprise growth support areas globally. She leads the Corporate Strategy function, the Corporate Development & Corporate Finance group, the Venture Investment Fund, Pearson Innovation & Incubation Labs, and the Central Enterprise Data office.

Before joining Pearson, Kolloru was the VP of international at Delta Air Lines, focused on its international airline equity investment partnerships to identify and deliver synergies by leveraging the scale of all entities. Kolloru initially joined Delta as the VP of corporate strategy, where she focused on driving long-term corporate strategy and cross-enterprise strategic programs. Before Delta Air Lines, Kolloru was a partner and managing director at The Boston Consulting Group, a leading global management strategy consulting firm.

Kolloru has been a member of various nonprofit boards and councils focused on diversity, youth, and STEM. She holds an MBA from The Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, and an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering with a minor in business from the University of Ottawa, Canada.

Gurminder Sandhu
Partner & Principal, PwC

Gurminder Sandhu is a Partner and Principal at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), specializing in orchestrating large-scale technology-driven business transformations across diverse industry sectors. PwC's purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. PwC operates as a network of firms in 152 countries with over 328,000 people and is among the leading professional services firms in the world.

With over 20 years of experience, Sandhu has earned distinction as a seasoned business transformation specialist and technology executive. Her track record illustrates a history of successful endeavors in optimizing business and IT performance, fostering innovation, implementing ERP/Procurement solutions, and driving revenue and profit enhancements for prestigious corporations and clients, including those in aerospace and defense, private equity, Fortune 500, and retail and consumer sectors.

Beyond her professional achievements, Sandhu is recognized as a thought leader with a multifaceted business background and a profound grasp of the convergence between business, processes, operations, analytics, and technology. She is deeply committed to empowering women, nurturing young talent, and enriching her community. In Atlanta, she spearheads a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing women's careers. Sandhu holds a Bachelor’s degree in Science (BSc) from Kurukshetra University in India and presently resides in Atlanta with her husband and two children.

Cassie Ann Kiggen
Chief Communications Officer, University of Georgia College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences

Cassie Ann Kiggen serves as the Chief Communications Officer for the University of Georgia's College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) and the University of Georgia’s Cooperative Extension. As a member of the CAES executive leadership team, Kiggen is responsible for developing strategic communication plans for CAES, as well as leading and overseeing the public relations and marketing strategies for CAES to promote and strengthen Georgia’s leading industry: agriculture. She manages an award-winning team of creative communications professionals who are responsible for translating brand strategy into creative storytelling opportunities to create optimized experiences for CAES global and diverse audiences.

Previously in Washington DC, Kiggenn was a director of communications at the National Venture Capital Association. She also previously served as an officer of communications at the United Nations Foundation. Before that, she was the senior manager of strategy and communications for the US Chamber of Commerce. She led multimedia campaigns for Fortune 100 and 500 companies, specializing in international affairs and trade, healthcare, immigration, and innovation. Cassie also managed the US Chamber’s digital platform and content covering small businesses, startups, and entrepreneurship. Kiggen began her career in marketing and communications at EMPEA (Emerging Markets Private Equity Association).

Kiggen graduated from the University of Georgia Honors College with an undergraduate degree in both international affairs and Spanish. As an undergraduate student, she studied international relations and politics at the University of Oxford. She also studied at the Real Academia de Historia y Arte de San Quirce in Segovia, Spain. She completed a Master’s degree in International Communications, with specializations in strategic communications and intercultural leadership, at the School of International Service at American University in Washington DC.

Amy Wright
Global Chief Operating Officer, Avanade

Amy Wright is the Global Chief Operating Officer for Avanade, a leading technology consultancy that provides innovative digital and cloud services, business solutions, and design-led experiences on the Microsoft ecosystem to clients around the world from its offices in 26 countries. As COO, Wright is responsible for the company’s operating performance and global business operations worldwide.

Wright is passionate about supporting women and diversity in technology. She is an active participant in Avanade mentoring programs and works with groups across the company to promote the growth and development of the next generation of leaders. She previously served Avanade as the COO of North America and was promoted to a global role in 2021. Before that, she was the managing director of Accenture, where she managed the operations for the services for the large, national health insurer.

Although you will no longer find her in a laboratory, she holds a bachelor's degree in biochemistry and a PhD in Molecular Biology, an unusual career path that has unexpectedly served her well over her 20-year career in technology. 

Ania Caruso
Casualty Practice Leader & Managing Director, Gallagher

Ania Caruso has over 20 years of broker and carrier experience, working with Fortune 1000 clients on their insurance placement, program structure, strategy, and predictive analytics while focusing on their cost optimization and reducing their total casualty cost of risk. In her current role as Casualty Practice Leader and Managing Director at Gallagher, Caruso and her team help clients analyze and underwrite their casualty loss exposures, and identify and prioritize cost reduction opportunities to optimize their casualty insurance and risk management program. She is responsible for developing complex casualty practices in the Southeast region while also coordinating and developing resources around solutions for complex casualty risk issues, such as loss-sensitive or cash flow programs, captives, predictive data analytics, alternative risk financing, and reinsurance. As a leader, Caruso works to train, mentor, and develop colleagues nationally and regionally.

Caruso brings a depth of experience in helping clients achieve strong financial results while protecting their balance sheet via risk assessment, risk mitigation, alternative risk, and risk transfer efforts. She has spent her career partnering with organizations to achieve risk optimization by using innovation, predictive analytics, critical thinking, and strategic execution while leaning on her deep complex casualty risk finance programs and loss cost reduction expertise. She is passionate about providing white-glove service to her internal and external stakeholders while executing swiftly and successfully business strategies and growth objectives.

Caruso is active in the local community as she serves on the board of directors for the JDRF Atlanta Chapter and United Way of Forsyth & Dawson Country Investment Committee Member. She speaks and moderates at various industry events on the topics of casualty, emerging risks, risk management, and leadership. In 2021, she was named one of the Hot 100 by Insurance Business America. Caruso was an advisory board member for the Advisen Casualty Conference in 2022. She volunteers her time as a national mentor for emerging leaders via Pathbuilders, as well as the Atlanta RIMS Mentorship Program. She served for three years as Atlanta City chair for the Dive In Diversity & Inclusion in Insurance Industry Festival. She sits on the Atlanta RIMS Diversity, Equality, & Inclusion Committee and IICF Inclusion Forum Committee.

Vivian Greentree
SVP, Head of Global Corporate Citizenship & President, Fiserv Care Foundation, Fiserv

Vivian Greentree is a Senior Vice President and Head of Global Corporate Citizenship and President of the Fiserv Cares Foundation at Fiserv, where she has created award-winning employee-centric programming while driving culture development through diversity and inclusion, employee engagement, and community investment strategies. Greentree joined Fiserv through the Fiserv acquisition of First Data in 2019, where she created the Global Office of Corporate Citizenship. Before launching this initiative, she joined First Data as the Head of Military and Veteran Affairs in February 2014. In that role, she created First Data Salutes, a company-wide military engagement strategy to provide the military community with access to career opportunities and best-in-class education resources, while offering premier business solutions to veteran-owned businesses. 

In recognition of Fiserv’s success under Greentree’s leadership, Fiserv has been designated a Civic 50 by Points of Light and has been included in the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index, Disability: IN’s Disability Equality Index, the Human Rights Campaign Human Equality Index, and has ranked in top five on Military Times’ Best for Vets: Employers for the last five years, ranking number one on the List in 2023. Before joining First Data, Greentree co-founded Blue Star Families, the nation’s largest military family organization, where she created and oversaw BSF’s groundbreaking and now annual Military Family Lifestyle Survey, which examines a broad spectrum of issues affecting modern-day military families, including a military community civic health index. Greentree is a Navy veteran and military spouse with leadership experience across the public, nonprofit, and private sectors in CSR, ESG, and DEI advising. In 2019 she was accepted into the prestigious Presidential Leadership Scholar program, designated a City of Alexandria “40 Under 40,” and was recognized by the Washington Business Journal as a “Veteran Who Means Business.” In 2020, she was awarded Corporate Citizen of the Year by the Atlanta Business Chronicle, and in 2021 she was designated a Power50 CSR and DEI leader by the National Diversity Council. Most recently, Greentree was inducted into the 2023 Leadership Atlanta class. 

Greentree serves on the board of directors for Dog Tag Bakery, a veteran entrepreneurship incubator, is on the board of advisors for Girl Scouts of America’s Greater Atlanta Council, the Alumni Association Advisory Board for the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Georgia, and recently joined the national Board of Directors for Student Veterans of America. She is also a board member of the Metro Atlanta Chamber, a member of the Atlanta Rotary, and on the board of advisors for the Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship (RICE), the pre-eminent Center of Excellence for Black Entrepreneurship in the country. She is a proud military spouse, married to a recently retired Naval Aviator, and together they have two boys.

Devynne Floyd
Regional Vice President of Sales, Toast

Devynne Floyd is a Regional Vice President of Sales for Toast, Inc., a cloud-based restaurant management software company with the mission of empowering the restaurant industry to delight guests, do what they love, and thrive.

A leader in the restaurant technology space, Floyd is a people leader, coach, and sales executive, currently leading a team of six districts across the Southeast. She is skilled in leadership, sales and marketing, account management, and restaurant management and takes pride in being results-driven, possessing exceedingly great time management skills, and always having an eagerness and motivation to learn. She is leading her team to exceed company goals, quotas, and initiatives.

Floyd graduated college with both a culinary arts degree, as well as a hotel management degree both of which have supported her success in hospitality tech. Before joining Toast, She served as a market manager for Expedia, overseeing markets all over the East Coast. Floyd joined Toast in 2018 and has served in several roles as an individual contributor, as well as a people leader.

Lenore Cusick
Managing Director & Chief Strategy and Implementation Officer, CIBC Private Wealth US

Lenore Cusick is the Managing Director, and Chief Strategy and Implementation Officer of CIBC Private Wealth US, a leading North American financial institution with 14 million personal banking, business, public sector, and institutional clients. 

With 15 years of industry experience, Cusick is responsible for identifying and executing growth opportunities for CIBC Private Wealth, as well as managing the day-to-day initiatives of the business. She also oversees employee and client engagement initiatives, helping foster and strengthen relationships between senior management and top clients. Cusick joined the firm in 2007 and most recently served as the director of strategic priorities, working alongside senior leadership and partnering with the US strategy team to drive the execution of their strategic priorities and ensure they are delivering on their growth goals. ​

Cusick earned a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design, with a certificate in marketing from the Georgia Institute of Technology.​ She is a member of the CHRIS 180 Board of Directors and Marketing Committee. She previously served as a member of the CHRIS 180 development committee and was a founding member of the CHRIS 180 Emerging Leaders Network. She has previously been involved with the Shepherd Center Junior Committee and the Metro Atlanta Chamber Young Professionals.

Tiffany Parr
President & CEO, Navana Health Agency

Tiffany Parr is the President and CEO of Navana Health Agency (NHA), a performance improvement and population health management consulting firm designed to support the needs of federal agencies, state and local public health departments, educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, and employers. Parr has almost two decades of experience in medical epidemiology, quality improvement, population health, teaching, and responding to grants, cooperative agreements, and RFPs for federal and state agencies, and health management organizations such as The Georgia Department of Public Health, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, SciMetrika, CareSource, Kent State University, and The University of Georgia.

Parr is a nationally recognized epidemiologist and executive in population health who focuses on improving health outcomes through geospatial intelligence and mixed-methods research, which has improved women’s health, and maternal and child health outcomes for at-risk populations. Previously, Parr was the associate vice president of quality improvement at CareSource, a managed care organization, and section chief of the Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology Unit at the Georgia Department of Public Health. In her spare time, Parr serves as an adjunct professor at Kent State University, teaching epidemiology and health promotion.

Parr earned an undergraduate degree in biology and chemistry from Xavier University of Louisiana, a Master’s in Public Health and Tropical Medicine from Tulane University, and a Doctor of Public Health in Epidemiology from The University of Georgia.

Sylvia Cintron
Vice President of Marketing, Forward Air

Sylvia Cintron is the Vice President of Marketing of Forward Air. Originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico, Cintron is a seasoned marketer experienced in growth, ROI, and innovation in fast-paced corporate and agency environments. With over 25 years of experience, she has navigated the sales and marketing space for B2B, B2C, and nonprofit organizations. Cintron has developed a career applying her marketing skills by commanding teams of many shapes and sizes while leading a myriad of equally diverse marketing strategies. She's always looking for ways to grow and mentor the teams she works with to help people advance their careers and expand their horizons.

As for her leadership style, Cintron leads with a singular energy heard and felt throughout the halls of Forward. She inspires teammates to generate their best work by elevating her teams with heartfelt passion and dedication. Cintron is uniquely committed to helping younger, next-generation employees connect to the industry and their role in advancing it. This passion has resulted in the significant expansion of her department, which has nearly doubled since 2021, with mostly millennial and Generation Z employees. She stands firmly by "The Four M's," her breakdown of the definition of successful relationships: manage, mentor, motivate, and measure/monitor.

Cintron excels in developing and delivering results-driven strategic frameworks aligning the brand with segmentation, competitive analysis/market intelligence, prospecting, lead generation, and product and market development. She sees herself as a facilitator who encourages teamwork and developing partnerships. She is well-known for collaborating with cross-functional teams, clients, and executives to provide leadership and direction for marketing functions/execution.

Alyson Wooten
Managing Director, Berkeley Research Group

Alyson Wooten is a Managing Director at Berkeley Research Group, a global consulting firm that helps leading organizations advance in three key areas: disputes and investigations, corporate finance, and performance improvement and advisory. Wooten leads BRG’s pharmacy operations and advisory consulting practice. She joined BRG after a career in medical services with a multibillion-dollar global pharmaceutical company and practicing for over a decade as a pharmaceutical and life sciences patent litigator with a top-tier international law firm.

Wooten has provided expert testimony and support in several litigation matters involving, among other things, pharmacy practice and standards of care, pharmaceutical regulation, opioid prescribing and dispensing practices, pharmaceutical pre-clinical and clinical development, and pharmacy technology matters. Known as a trusted advisor, she also focuses on assisting pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device manufacturers, pharmacies, and pharmacy benefit managers facing compliance issues, investigations, and regulatory matters. 

Wooten graduated from Campbell University with a Doctor of Pharmacy and MBA and from Temple University with a JD. She also has served as an adjunct professor for Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, School of Pharmacy, and is a 2020 graduate of Leadership Buckhead.

Shannon Heath-Longino
Senior Vice President, Truist

Shannon Heath-Longino is the Senior Vice President of Truist. The Truist Financial Corporation is a purpose-driven financial services company committed to inspiring and building better lives and communities. As a leading US commercial bank, Truist has a leading market share in many of the high-growth markets across the country. 

Heath-Longino started with the company when it was still SunTrust. Her first role was in 2015 as VP, where she managed the condition and performance of real estate developers' and investors’ investments to ensure ongoing profitability and complete conformity with credit terms, bank documentation, and system requirements. She rose through the ranks, eventually being appointed to her current position in 2021. 

Earlier in her career, Heath-Longino was a senior vice president of business development and senior asset manager at LEDIC Management Group. From there, she went on to Dorchester Corporation. From 2013 to 2015, she served as a consultant and industry executive. 

June Kim
Managing Director, UHY Consulting

June Kim is a Managing Director with UHY Consulting and leads the firm’s BlackLine Practice. Her delivery team has designed and implemented BlackLine, one of the top accounting automation platforms, for hundreds of Fortune 1000 companies. She focuses on identifying cost efficiencies, maximizing productivity, and implementing sustainable process improvements while maximizing use and adoption. 

Kim’s goal is to ensure clients are leveraging technology and finance automation solutions that strengthen and transform their companies. She has a Master’s in Science of Accounting from Eastern Michigan University. Kim is a Certified Public Accountant with both the Georgia State Board of Accountancy and the Michigan State Board of Accountancy. She is a certified BlackLine Implementation Professional and is frequently called upon to speak at BlackLine conferences and events, including a presentation on one of the largest BlackLine projects integrating different instances of BlackLine for two recently merged, global telecom giants. 

Kim has hands-on attest and taxation experience for complex entity structures serving a variety of industries, as well as preparation, review, and tax projections for C corps, S corps, and consolidated corporate tax returns, including foreign reporting requirements.

Candice Scale
VP & Key Account Manager for the Federal Program, CHA Consulting

Candice Scale serves as Vice President and Key Account Manager for the Federal Program at CHA Consulting, Inc. For more than 70 years, CHA has provided innovative engineering, design, consulting, and construction management services, delivering sustainable, integrated solutions to the world’s most challenging infrastructure projects. 

In her role at CHA, Scale is responsible for leading collaboration with cross-functional teams to increase the company’s market share with federal agencies and design-build partners. She has more than 15 years of experience serving federal and defense clients in the architecture, engineering, and construction industries.

Before joining CHA, Scale was an account director at Freese and Nichols. She earned an undergraduate degree in geography from Georgia Southern University. She is an active member of the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) and currently serves as the immediate past president and chair of the Leader Development Program at SAME Atlanta Post and director of recognitions and nominations at SAME Panama City Post.

Shantay Bolton
EVP for Administration & Finance and Chief Business Officer, Georgia Institute of Technology

Shantay Bolton stands as a distinguished senior administrator with an illustrious 20-year career in executive leadership roles, showcasing her expertise across a spectrum of responsibilities. Currently serving as the Executive Vice President for Administration and Finance and Chief Business Officer at Georgia Institute of Technology. Bolton’s role is to serve as a member of the Institute’s executive leadership team and lead in developing administrative and operational strategies across the enterprise in support of Georgia Tech’s strategic plan.

In her previous role as the executive vice chancellor for administration and chief administrative officer at Washington University, Bolton was at the helm of strategic decision-making and operational oversight. Her role involved providing strategic counsel to top university officials, steering the development of a university-wide cybersecurity strategy, and overseeing a monumental over $150 million project to upgrade core administrative systems. Managing 12 departments and more than 1,600 employees, Bolton has consistently demonstrated her prowess in fiscal stewardship and building fruitful partnerships.

Recognized as a community leader by the New Orleans Gambit and St. Louis Titan 100, Bolton has played key roles in various board positions, exemplifying her commitment to community service. Armed with a PhD in Psychology, with a concentration in organizational psychology and an MBA in Business Administration, Bolton has not only honed her academic expertise but has also acquired certifications in risk management, executive coaching, and diversity executive training. Some of her notable civic engagements include her participation as an educational missionary with Healing Haiti, her leadership role as an International Director with Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Organizational Leadership, and her involvement in the Homegrown St. Louis Regional Steering Committee.

Shira Miller
Chief Communications Officer, National DCP

Shira Miller, CPCC, a two-time TEDx speaker, author, and Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, works as the Chief Communications Officer at National DCP (NDCP), the $3 billion supply chain management company serving Dunkin’ franchisees. Her book, Free and Clear: Get Unstuck and Live the Life You Want, features a step-by-step process for getting unstuck and staying that way for good. She recently served as the guest expert speaker at Canyon Ranch Tucson, Arizona, one of the world’s premier destination spas. Her presentations help people get unstuck and activate their full potential, become more resilient, and increase their professional and personal fulfillment.

Prior to joining NDCP, Miller served as president of award-winning boutique PR firm Shira Miller Communications; director of corporate communications for billion-dollar retail company American Retail Group; director of marketing communications for Morrison Management Specialists, which is now a billion-dollar division of Compass; PR manager for The Shepherd Center; community relations manager for Days Inns of America; and weekend bureau coordinator for the NBC News Southeastern Bureau.

A frequent contributor to Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global platform, her story and opinions have been recognized in Shape, Health, First for Women, Authority Magazine, Quick & Simple, the Atlanta Journal–Constitution, and Emory Magazine. The Emory University graduate has been recognized with over 40 industry awards, including Public Relations Society of America's National Bronze Anvil Award for Consumer Media Relations and being named an honoree in Ragan’s Top Women in Communications Awards, Class of 2021, in the Trailblazer category.

Cherelle Cortez
VP of Trade Partner Supplier Diversity, Layton Construction

Cherelle Cortez is Layton Construction’s Vice President of Trade Partner Supplier Diversity. She has 19 years of experience in the construction industry and 12 years of experience focusing on diversity and inclusion in the marketplace, workplace, and workforce.

During her tenure at Layton, Cortez has made great progress toward the company’s diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging initiatives. She is responsible for the foundation of multiple employee resource groups and has grown Layton’s trade partner network substantially. Cortez also founded Layton’s Trade Partner Equity Program, a training series designed to advance a competitive edge among minority, woman, veteran-owned, and other small/disadvantaged businesses.

Cortez’s community involvement is just as extensive. She has trained over 400 business owners in educational sessions and served as a mentor on the board of directors for the National Minority Contractors Association and the Nashville Business Incubation Center for Minority Contractors. She continues to be recognized both internally and externally as a leader in the supplier diversity space, having received numerous awards and accolades in the community, including Atlanta’s Most Influential 100 Black Women, Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council's George Lottier Rising Star Award, and the Georgia Mentor Protege Connection's Magnificent Mentor Award.

Katherine Jacobs
Managing Director, Accenture

Katherine Jacobs is the Managing Director of Accenture, where she has proudly served for over three decades. Accenture is a leading global professional services company that helps the world’s leading businesses, governments, and other organizations build their digital core, optimize their operations, accelerate revenue growth, and enhance citizen services, creating tangible value at speed and scale. They are a talent and innovation-led company with 733,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries.

Over the years, she has enjoyed her experience consulting with banks and payments companies and leading Accenture’s relationships with some of the nation's key financial services companies. Her areas of focus include helping clients drive value through large-scale transformation and innovation agendas, organizational restructuring and business change, cost-reduction programs, mergers and acquisitions, and digital and technology initiatives.

Jacobs earned an MBA with a focus on banking and finance from the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business. She has a Bachelor of Science from Duke University.

Ani Paulson
Vice President, Marcus & Millichap

Ani Paulson is the Vice President of Marcus & Millichap, She and her team focus on the analysis and disposition of office/industrial and retail properties with an emphasis on exclusive seller representation. The AP Group of Marcus & Millichap provides their clients access to the largest pool of qualified investors nationally and internationally, creating maximum exposure for their properties and a competitive bidding environment. The team is committed to the highest level of client service, direct involvement in every transaction, and superior underwriting.

Paulson, founder of The AP Group, leads a successful and top-producing team located in Atlanta, Charleston, Nashville, and Charlotte. As an investor herself, Paulson aligns with the client’s goals, which enables her to help investors achieve their goals and grow their investment returns. Paulson focuses on building advisory relationships by helping her clients achieve their real estate objectives and by keeping them informed of transactions and trends locally and nationally that will affect their property decisions.

Before joining Marcus & Millichap, Paulson has been an investor since 2013 acquiring franchisees and increasing the net revenues. She obtained her BS from the College of Charleston majoring in International Business with a minor in Global Logistics and Transportation.

Kyla Thompson
Regional Sales Manager, VinTraxx Automotive

Kyla Thompson is an accomplished sales, marketing, and advertising leader, with over 19 years of expertise in the automotive industry. She is the Regional Sales Manager for VinTraxx Automotive. The VinTraxx Automotive Platform provides solutions from acquisition through disposition, by enhancing the current appraisal process and incorporating VinTok, the premier video marketing strategy. She was previously the regional VP of sales with Stream Companies, a fully integrated advertising agency of thought leaders, innovators, and creators. In this role, Thompson had the opportunity to use her unique skills and experience to work collaboratively with multiple departments, assisting clientele nationwide.

Thompson is passionate about providing clients with the best recommendations for success and finding the most efficient ways to stretch their marketing dollars for maximum return on investment. She enjoys embracing company health and wellness initiatives and loves utilizing her positive energy to motivate and encourage others. Thompson believes in following the golden rule and that honoring the core values of honesty, transparency, inclusion, optimism, and pursuing excellence are the keys to building trust and maintaining valuable relationships.

Beginning as an editor and graphic designer with Atlanta Cars Magazine in 2004, her career quickly evolved to sales, consulting, and marketing through multiple facets of the automotive industry. She has been honored with several awards while working with top industry leaders, such as AutoTrader Publishing, AutoTrader.com, vAuto, and CarNow before joining Stream Companies. However, her greatest accomplishment is raising her children in Flowery Branch, Georgia.

Patricia Fritz
Vice President, US Corporate Affairs, UCB

Patricia Fritz is Head of US Corporate Affairs at UCB, leading public policy, government affairs, advocacy, communications, and public affairs, as well as UCB’s office and strategic priorities in Washington DC. Fritz leads efforts to create value for patients and their families through strategic engagement and positively influencing the healthcare environment and policy landscape. In her role, Fritz finds opportunities to better understand the unique needs of people living with and impacted by severe disease, so UCB can focus on helping them live their best lives. She champions innovative approaches to spotlight and improve access to care for people living with severe diseases. Fritz also leads UCB’s sustainability efforts in the US, amplifying UCB’s commitment to the health of the planet, health and well-being of employees, innovation, sustainable access, diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as ethical business practices. Fritz championed and was a driving force behind the establishment of UCB’s Women in Leadership initiative.

Before leading US Corporate Affairs, Fritz made an impact through additional leadership roles, including regulatory affairs, operational excellence, government affairs, health policy, and UCBCares. Fritz led the regulatory efforts for UCB’s first product filing in the US – Keppra (levetiracetam) – and oversaw the FDA approval process for many of UCB’s other products. Before joining UCB, Fritz held positions with the government and industry in regulatory affairs, clinical development, and research.

She was recognized by PharmaVOICE magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential and Inspirational Leaders in the Life Sciences Industry in 2019. And in 2020, was awarded the Industry Growth Award by Georgia Bio, for extraordinary contributions to the growth of the life science industry in Georgia. Outside of UCB, Fritz serves on the board of directors of the Center for Global Health Innovation, the Innovation and Value Initiative (IVI), and the National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC) and is also a member of The Carter Center Board of Councilors. Fritz holds a Master’s degree in Health Care Policy and Administration from Mercer University and an undergraduate degree in management and technology from the University of Maryland. She is also a graduate of Summers County School of Nursing.

Kelley Daviss
EVP of Human Resources/Communications & Public Relations, Lendmark Financial Services

Kelley Daviss proudly serves as Executive Vice President of Human Resources, Communications, and Public Relations at Lendmark Financial Services, a consumer lending organization operating over 500 branches in 22 states across the US. She has over 30 years of broad-based global HR management experience, including leadership positions within several Fortune 500 companies, such as The Coca-Cola Company, SunTrust (now Truist), and Kodak. Her industry experience includes CPG, utilities, financial /professional services, healthcare, and retail/hospitality. At Lendmark, Daviss oversees all aspects of HR, as well as corporate communications, public relations, and corporate security. 

Daviss has led large geographically dispersed teams responsible for HR strategy, workforce planning, succession planning, recruitment, OD, and change management. Her notable accomplishments include successfully managing several mergers, developing a strategy for a $5 billion business unit at Kodak with the CEO and COO, leading several major change efforts, hiring 7,000 employees at the Atlanta Olympic Games, and developing management capability programs that were adopted company-wide. She has supported employees in 39 countries and worked internationally. Daviss is most proud of building a world-class team of HR, communications, and security professionals at Lendmark. Her team has grown with the rapid expansion of Lendmark to support business objectives. 

She earned her BA degree with a double major in Business and Behavioral Science from Tift College of Mercer University while serving as Class President. She has completed the HR executive education series at both Cornell and Columbia University. Daviss has earned numerous awards and recognition during her career, including being named to the 2015, '16, and '17 President's Club at Lendmark Financial and the Kodak Silver Award for Excellence. She was the recipient of the coveted President’s Award at Lendmark in 2018 and she was also chosen by Kodak executives to carry the torch for the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City representing Kodak. Daviss often participates as an SME in HR panel discussions and as a conference speaker. She is certified in several HR programs, including Lominger, Targeted Selection, 360 Degree Feedback, Civil Treatment, and Rater Accuracy. She has also held her SPHR designation since 1998 and her SHRM-SCP since January 2015. As a native Atlantan, she makes her home just outside of the Atlanta area.

Anita Ward
Chief Growth Officer, Care Solace

Anita Ward is the Chief Growth Officer for Care Solace, the nation's premier provider of mental health coordination through Care Companions. She is an applied anthropologist devoted to building inclusive business and community ecosystems and a global executive aligning strategy in support of growth, sustainability, and change. Often described as an organizational sherpa, she has served as chief transformation officer and trusted advisor to courageous and admired companies in many industries.

Ward is the recipient of the Rosa Parks Courage Award and was recognized in the Top 100 Fintech for Sustainable Development Goals Influencers in 2019. She is a founding member of the Conscious Capitalism Senior Leader Network, has been featured in Real Change Leaders, Teams at the Top; Forbes ASAP; Fast Company, CIO Magazine, ComputerWorld, and has been a guest on many podcasts, where she shares her story and journey. 

She hosts the Working on Wellbeing and People on Purpose podcast and is most passionate about working with business and government leaders to close systemic gaps in access to resources across all social determinants of health.

Blythe Keeler Robinson
President & CEO, Sheltering Arms Early Education and Family Centers

Blythe Keeler Robinson is the President and CEO of Sheltering Arms Early Education and Family Centers in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 1888, Sheltering Arms is one of Georgia’s largest and most respected nonprofit organizations serving nearly 2,300 children daily, ages six weeks to five years old, and their families in 13 early care and education centers across metro Atlanta. Sheltering Arms is a National Head Start Center of Excellence, as well as a member of the Educare Learning Network, the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Family Economic Success – Early Childhood Initiative Action Learning Network, and Ascend at the Aspen Institute. 

Robinson is an innovative and passionate leader with nearly 25 years of nonprofit management experience. She is an equity advocate and a nationally recognized leader in early education and two-generation approaches to educational success and economic security. She has increased the organization’s national impact and visibility through partnerships, panel discussions, presentations, and consultancy projects. Before joining Sheltering Arms, she served as the SVP and chief programs officer of the Early Learning Coalition of Miami‐Dade/Monroe, Florida. 

Robinson holds an undergraduate degree in government and politics, with a certificate in African American Studies from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a JD from The Georgetown University Law Center. She volunteers with local organizations focused on children and mentors girls and women. Robinson serves on the International Women’s Forum - Georgia Chapter board, the National Black Child Development Institute board, the Regional Educational Laboratory Southeast Governing board, the Atlanta Speech School advisory board, and the Promising All Atlanta Children Thrive founding advisory board. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.

Jane Vaden Thacher
President & Dealer Operator, Vaden Automotive Group

Jane Vaden Thacher is the President and Dealer Operator for Vaden Automotive, which includes four General Motors dealerships, four Nissan dealerships, an INFINITI dealership, Vaden Powertrain, and a medium-duty truck center. Their dealerships excel in all aspects of the business ranging from vehicle sales and service to customer satisfaction. They are home to one of the largest wholesale parts operations in the Southeast region. They employ over 600 people in Southeast Georgia, and Coastal South Carolina and have expanded into several non-dealership-related enterprises.

Being a female, multi-brand dealer, Thacher has a unique position within the industry and frequently shares her thoughts and opinions on issues relevant to automotive through articles on LinkedIn. General Motors, for example, has the largest number of female dealers of any automotive company, but there are less than 250 women of the nearly 5,000 dealers.

Before returning to Savannah, Thacher managed the food marketing division of Ketchum Public Relations in Atlanta. She served on the board of directors for the Savannah Bank from 2000 to 2013, and the credit review committee for eight of those years. She served two terms on the Savannah Country Day School board of trustees and was the chair of the marketing committee. Thacher was also a member of the Hospice Savannah board of directors and the Isle of Hope United Methodist Preschool board. In addition, she served on the United Way Women’s Legacy Council’s executive board.

Renee Rives
Vice President of Sales, Automation Personnel Services

Renee Rives is the Vice President of Sales of Automation Personnel Services, which specializes in connecting highly qualified individuals with employers in a wide range of industries nationwide. They provide personal service to their customers, selecting qualified, reliable candidates who meet your unique specifications.

Rives has over 20 years of experience in the staffing industry and has been recognized by her peers as an industry expert. She joined the Automation team in February of 1994, just four months after it opened. She has been an integral part of the growth of the Atlanta market by being creative and committed to her customers’ needs. 

Rives has held positions as a payroll and staffing coordinator, account representative, and selling branch manager. In September of 2006, she was promoted to regional manager over the Georgia locations. She currently oversees five locations in Georgia, as well as Chattanooga, Tennessee. Strategic planning and tactical implementation are some of the strengths that have allowed her to excel in the staffing industry.

Ansley Howze
Executive Director, American Heart Association

As Executive Director for the American Heart Association in the CSRA and Southern Coast, Ansley Howze leads Georgia and South Carolina community impact initiatives, volunteer involvement, marketing, and fundraising for the American Heart Association’s fight against the number one and number five killers, heart disease and stroke. 

Howze drives policy, system, and environmental change by creating and leveraging community projects around key focuses, including blood pressure management, nutrition security, and tobacco/vaping prevention based on the key health needs in our community. 

Howze volunteers with the Junior League of Savannah, currently serving as president-elect. She serves as a college district director and strategic recruitment specialist for Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity, Inc., and recently completed her term as a founding president of the Coastal Empire Alumnae Chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta. She also serves as an area advisor to several collegiate campuses for the National Panhellenic Conference.

Kristalyn Mumaw
Vice President of Marketing, Insight Sourcing Group - part of Accenture

Kristalyn Mumaw is a Vice President at Insight Sourcing Group and leads the firm's marketing function, including marketing strategy, brand management, demand generation, and oversight of intangible assets. Mumaw has over 26 years of multidiscipline experience in marketing, business process management, and new market development. 

Early in her career, she focused on venture capital funding for high-growth tech companies, securing over $300 million of collective funding for early- and mid-stage organizations. This fast-paced market development experience solidified her business acumen for structuring revenue-focused market and brand development programs. In recent years, Mumaw has turned her focus to multi-brand, multinational management, M&A brand integration, and the implementation of leading marketing technologies to personalize customer engagement.

Before joining Insights Sourcing Group, Mumaw served as a trusted new markets strategy leader for Dell Technologies, Dell EMC, VMWare, Lenovo, SAP, Tableau, Citrix, Cisco, IHG, Wells Fargo Advisors, eBay, Staples, The North Face, RSA Security, National Grid, Hitachi, ABB, WestRock, Mitsubishi, LG Solar, Saint-Gobain, and more.

Nikkia Adolphe
Vice President of Communications, Outcast

An enthusiastic and creative storyteller, Nikkia Adolphe has spent over a decade strategizing and driving brand storytelling for various companies across retail, e-commerce, enterprise tech, consumer, and finance. She has experience leading teams specializing in media relations, thought leadership, and strategy, working with a range of high-growth and legacy brands, including Amazon, Ryder, the Harlem Globetrotters, and Facebook.

A believer in cultivating an inclusive, forward-thinking culture, Adolphe has led DEI efforts throughout her career tenure to foster a sense of belonging and empowerment for all in the workplace – especially for communication professionals in often overlooked groups. She is a board member of the Atlanta Chapter of the National Black Public Relations Society and has contributed her thoughts to industry-led publications such as PR News and O’Dwyer’s. Also named PRSA GA's 2020 Forty Under 40, Adolphe continually shares her insights and depth of experience through speaking across industry events. Most recently, she was a featured speaker at the National Diversity Council’s Georgia Leadership Conference, as well as PRSA's 2020 ICON International Conference.

An Atlanta native and avid yogi, Adolphe obtained her undergraduate degree at Georgia State University, where she studied journalism with a concentration in public relations.

Amanda Taylor
Vice President of Infrastructure, FinQuery

Amanda Taylor, a technical leader with a robust background in engineering leadership, brings a pragmatic approach to technology and business across a spectrum of industries, including fintech, online and cable media, oil and gas, consulting, B2C web and mobile apps, and healthcare tech. As the Vice President of Infrastructure at LeaseQuery since November 2022, Taylor has been instrumental in setting and executing the strategic vision for scalable growth. This includes leading initiatives in federated identity management, infrastructure-as-code, cloud cost optimization, AI adoption and integration, compliance, and data centralization.

In past roles, Taylor has demonstrated exceptional technical leadership, guiding international development teams and spearheading the implementation of cloud solutions for seamless ingestion, storage, and distribution at scale. These systems, under her purview, efficiently handled 500K requests/sec and delivered over 30 million alerts per day, responding in less than 300 ms. Her proven expertise in guiding global engineering teams, navigating mergers and acquisitions, ensuring compliance and security, executing significant tech projects, and developing strategies for measurable business success positions her as a valuable leader in the technology and engineering space. 

She earned an MBA from Georgia State University and a BS in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Outside the world of tech, Taylor finds joy in family adventures with her husband and two kids.

Pam Lopez
Managing Partner, Customer Focused Strategies

Pam Lopez is Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Customer Focused Strategies (CFS), a women-owned management consulting firm headquartered in Alpharetta, Georgia. Lopez is an award-winning consultant sought for her powerhouse cross-functional leadership, relentless customer focus, and unique ability to lead diverse teams to deliver breakthrough performance on behalf of her clients. She is a strategic force known for her holistic business vision, analytical horsepower, and entrepreneurial style and has successfully co-led CFS for 23 years.

In 1999, as a young mother, Lopez left corporate leadership to build a different kind of consulting experience, one determined to drive growth by making the voice of the customer the foundation of every client engagement. CFS has distinguished itself in sales, marketing, product management, customer service, and training resulting in long-standing partnerships with clients in the technology, telecommunications, energy, and healthcare sectors. 

Previously, Lopez held customer service and marketing leadership roles at GTE Mobilnet, Contel Cellular, and Xerox, managing teams of over 2,500. She earned an undergraduate degree in business administration from William & Mary and executive management credentials from Smith College.

Julie Ann Crommett
Founder & CEO, Collective Moxie

Julie Ann Crommett has been working in the DEI space for over 13 years leading disruptive, systemic change across media and tech. As Founder and CEO of Collective Moxie, Crommett works with organizations large and small on revolutionizing their DEI strategies through inclusive storytelling practices, accountability, and internal/external community partnership.

Previously, she was VP of multicultural audience engagement at The Walt Disney Studios, spearheading efforts to diversify talent in front of and behind the camera, connect creative projects more closely to the communities they touch, and build a more inclusive culture within the Studios. Her team contributed to many projects, including Encanto, Soul, Coco, Black Panther, Raya and the Last Dragon, and West Side Story, as well as launching the critically acclaimed Disney Launchpad: Shorts Incubator, an industry-leading program guaranteeing up to six directors from underrepresented backgrounds the opportunity to produce a short film for Disney+. Crommett was also instrumental in Disney's library review process leading to a revised content advisory and proactive resources for families to discuss negative stereotypes in media. She launched and co-chaired the company's first-ever Creative Inclusion Council dedicated to increasing inclusion and accountability in Disney's creative endeavors. Before Disney, she was Google’s entertainment industry educator in chief leading their efforts to shift and diversify on-screen perceptions of computer science through storytelling (a position she created), as well as having led Google’s DEI efforts in Latin America. She started her DEI career at NBCUniversal managing behind-the-camera diversity programs, including Writers on the Verge and the Directing Fellowship.

Crommett was on the advisory council for the re-launch of Barbie, is a member of the Producers Guild of America, and serves on the boards for the Hispanic Federation, National Association of Latino Independent Producers, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, the Woodruff Arts Center (ATL), and Women in Animation. She also served as an adjunct assistant professor for Columbia University’s MFA film program and co-created a new course with her producing partner on inclusive storytelling. A proud Puerto Rican and Cuban American, Crommett was raised in Atlanta, Georgia, and earned her undergraduate degree in English at Harvard University. A true trivia nerd, she also competed on Jeopardy.

Susan Schayes
Chief Transformation Officer, ChenMed

Susan Schayes is the Chief Transformation Officer (CTO) for ChenMed, a national leader in primary care recognized as a Fortune magazine “Change the World Company”. Schayes joined the innovative company now operating nearly 100 medical centers in 15 states, nine years ago. She is an expert in the clinical and business execution of ChenMed’s proven/highly personalized approach to primary care. 

As CTO, Schayes is accountable for preparing new center leadership teams to transform care with VIP service that delivers best-in-class health outcomes. Plus, Schayes oversees the creation of a winning road map for growing each ChenMed center opening in a new market. 

Schayes formerly was a faculty member for 16 years at Emory University School of Medicine, where she was the Division Chief of Family Medicine, as well as the Residency Program Director for the Emory Family Medicine Residency Program. Before joining Emory, Schayes worked for the University of Toronto and was in private practice. As the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians educator of the year in 2012, Schayes has been a champion of educating and training medical students, residents, physicians, and other allied healthcare learners for more than two decades in two countries. She received an MD from the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, and an MPH in Management from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. She did her Family Medicine Residency at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. She is board-certified in family medicine in Canada and the United States and actively practices medicine.

Samantha Hutchinson
Assistant VP of Business & Finance, Fort Valley State University

Samantha Hutchinson is the Assistant Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer for Fort Valley State University. Fort Valley State University, ranked the number one public historically black college and university (HBCU) for six consecutive years, is located in the heart of Georgia and has the second-largest acreage of any Georgia university. Fort Valley State is also designated as a historically black 1890 land-grant institution.

Hutchinson has over 19 years of experience in business and accounting that spans across public, not-for-profit, and private sectors. She began her career in the healthcare industry at a Level I Trauma Center, where she was named one of the hospital's Key 100; a group of 100 top-performing employees. From there she served in various accounting and technical roles at organizations such as JCB, Inc., one of the world's top three manufacturers of construction equipment. Hutchinson has managed accounting, financial reporting, business compliance, SEC compliance, and auditing as part of her roles at past organizations. She has experience in preparing and presenting both accounting and operational related analysis to external stakeholders, budgeting, and grant fiscal management. 

Hutchinson holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting with a minor in Economics from Fort Valley State University and an MBA with a Finance concentration from Walden University. She is also a graduate of the three-year College Business Management Institute (CBMI) program sponsored by the Southern Association of College and University Business Officers (SACUBO). Hutchinson also holds a certification in Cybersecurity and is an active member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated. 

Anita Murphy
Vice President of Development, Jerusalem House

Anita Murphy is a visionary, implementer, and believer in the impact of philanthropy and connection. Her professional and personal life has been steeped in efforts that demonstrate her talents and values of faith, efficiency, growth, and relationships. Murphy is the Vice President of Development at Jerusalem House, Atlanta’s oldest and largest provider of permanent supportive housing for homeless and low-income individuals and families affected by HIV/AIDS. In addition, she is the Founder and CEO of Crown Innovative Business Solutions, a remote staffing agency that provides specialized, expert-level virtual staff to small businesses and nonprofits nationwide.

Murphy has obtained an undergraduate degree in human services and an MPA from Kennesaw State University. Out of her passion for being an advocate for children, she also obtained a certificate in child advocacy studies and was certified as a court-appointed special advocate, which includes advocating for children and families with the Division of Family and Children Services. She also earned an associate degree in biblical studies through the Family of Christ Theological Seminary.

Murphy has always taken pride in serving and making an impact in her community through nonprofit involvement and philanthropic endeavors. She received credentialing as a Certified Nonprofit Professional and uses her time, knowledge, and treasures to help in moving forward the mission of the organizations where she serves. She is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She has served as the immediate past chair of Ambassadors of Cobb County CASA’s board, as well as the sponsorship chair for the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Greater Atlanta Chapter, and she has also served as the sponsorship chair for Atlanta’s National Philanthropy Day.

Carolyn Oppenheimer
Executive Vice President, Halpern Enterprises

Carolyn Oppenheimer is the Executive Vice President of Halpern Enterprises, a privately held commercial real estate firm specializing in retail leasing, management, acquisitions, and development. Headquartered in Atlanta, Halpern owns and operates more than 50 properties, totaling more than 3.7 million square feet, in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. 

Oppenheimer oversees office operations, maintenance, construction, capital expenditures, and marketing for the company, where she has worked for the past 40 years. She has served on the boards of the Jewish Family and Career Services, the Jewish Educational Loan Fund, The Weber School, The Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, The Trust for Public Land, and The Epstein School, where she served as president of the board of trustees.

She holds an undergraduate degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers. Oppenheimer loves the outdoors and is an avid hiker and walker. She cares deeply about the environment and is an active member of the organizations that help to strengthen the thriving Atlanta Jewish Community. Her greatest love is for her family and her grandchildren, who are her greatest source of pride and joy.

Catherine A Downey
CEO & Creative Director, CATMEDIA

CATMEDIA Founder and CEO Catherine Downey began her career in media as a promotions manager for Team America. She then progressed to director of marketing and broadcast promotions for a Memphis-based television station. Through these early experiences, and later executive-level positions, Downey honed her skills in media buying, budget development, and staff and project management, as well as creative processes such as writing, directing, and producing. Ingrained in her business acumen along the way was the value of building and maintaining solid customer relationships.

In 1987, her best strengths culminated in the creation of her firm, known today as CATMEDIA. CATMEDIA, which supports clients’ needs in the fields of marketing and advertising, media and analytics, research and strategy, branding and creative, and training and development, is a national leader that works with highly regulated clients, breaks down complex issues, and effectively communicates to a wide array of audiences. Downey’s unique abilities have enabled her to match a company’s or organization’s message with precise creative services and provide the most effective communication strategies possible. Innovative to her core, she is named on three patent-pending applications for communication and training technologies, and CATMEDIA continuously offers cutting-edge production services, interactive media, and learning opportunities to exceed all her clients’ needs.

Downey’s exceptional background, experience, and continued commitment have all been recognized through numerous awards, including as SBA’s Georgia Small Business Person of the Year, as Forbes Magazine’s Women Business Leader honoree, and as one of Atlanta magazine’s 500 most powerful leaders for each of the past five years.

Deborah Gokie
VP of Consumer Health and Ease of Use, Arthritis Foundation

Deborah Gokie is the Vice President of Consumer Health and Ease of Use of Arthritis Foundation. The Arthritis Foundation is fighting for all people who live with arthritis. Their mission is to turn the obstacles arthritis causes into opportunities by championing life-changing solutions and medical advancements.

Gokie started at the Arthritis Foundation in 2015 as the senior director of corporate relations, where she developed and maintained relationships with corporations, agencies, and trade associations to create cause campaigns, corporate sponsorship, and collaborative projects to raise revenue for the Foundation. She was promoted to VP of corporate partnerships in 2022. In this role, she focused on the strategic development of both new and existing corporate relationships. She was promoted to her current position in 2023. 

Before joining the Arthritis Foundation, Gokiee was a director of national corporate development at JDRF International. Before that, she was a museum store manager and buyer at Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery. Earlier in her career, she worked with The Wichita Clinic as a director of customer relations. Gokie graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with an undergraduate degree in business, management, marketing, and related support services.

Carrie Wheeler
Executive President, Liquid Web

Carrie Wheeler serves as the President of Liquid Web's hosting and applications business. Wheeler is passionate about building products, services, and comprehensive solutions for entrepreneurs, designers, developers, and digital agencies who are building their businesses on the web. She was formerly an executive VP and COO for Liquid Web, accepting a promotion in 2023. In this role, Wheeler is responsible for defining and driving the growth of Liquid Web's strategic product lines, including traditional and sophisticated hosting, cloud services, managed WordPress, managed WooCommerce, managed Magento, and several other managed applications. 

Before stepping into this role, Wheeler had responsibility for all revenue and customer-facing functions, including sales, marketing, service delivery and implementation, customer care, and technical support. Before joining Liquid Web, Wheeler held several IT leadership positions at Cbeyond, AT&T, BellSouth, MCI Communications, and Accenture. In previous roles, she held leadership positions across a variety of organizational functions, including IT strategy, merger and acquisition planning and execution, customer operations, systems development, quality assurance, program management and capital management, and process definition and development. 

Wheeler holds an MBA from Southern Methodist University and an undergraduate degree in marketing and finance from Trinity University.

Kelly Katherine Heilpern
Chief Strategy Officer, Ammunition

Kelly Heilpern is the Chief Strategy Officer of Ammunition, a full-service advertising agency located in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 2017, Ammunition has quickly grown to become a nimble powerhouse of talent, ranking among Atlanta’s top and fastest-growing privately held businesses in 2021 and again in 2022 by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. In 2023, Ammunition ranked among Atlanta's top 25 largest advertising and marketing firms.

Heilpern leads Ammunition’s strategy team, focused on delivering digital transformation through the development of mission-critical insights, leading-edge digital programs, and execution of CRM, media, social, and digital strategies for agency clients. Her job is to ensure that clients are constantly at the forefront of marketing innovation, working to deploy the best of what technology has to offer brands.

Heilpern’s background includes being in agency account leadership positions, as well as a brand-side marketing leader before she joined the dark side, which is the advertising business. Her expertise with client relationships, strategic thinking, and the critical digital infrastructure brands need to compete, make her an invaluable asset to both internal and external teams. Heilpern holds an undergraduate degree in communications from Clemson University.

Kyle Rivera
Head of Sales, Crossfire Hurricane

Kyle Rivera is the Head of Sales for Crossfire Hurricane, a premium blended rum released earlier this year and owned by The Rolling Stones. A proven, creative leader, Rivera is driven by a passion for inclusion and community. She is an experienced sales executive with a demonstrated history of superior results in the wine and spirits industry. She is skilled in food and beverage, leadership, negotiation, sales, marketing, and management. 

Rivera started her professional career in finance but quickly found her way back to her family’s roots in the food and beverage industry, starting her own “booze-infused” catering company in 2009. This led her to a demonstrated history of superior results in the wine and spirits industry on both the supplier and distributor side. After working for Breakthru Beverage and then Brown Forman, Rivera joined Branca USA in 2020 and worked her way up to the VP of sales for the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic, her last role before joining Crossfire Hurricane.

She has a Bachelor of Arts in Interpersonal Communication from the University of Central Florida. She has also completed WSET's Level 2 Wine and Spirits Course.

Tonya Lanthier
Chief Executive Officer, Divorce123

Tonya Lanthier is the Chief Executive Officer of Divorce123, a platform that simplifies the divorce process by building a roadmap and connecting clients with professionals and resources. Lanthier has over 20 years of experience in the dental field as a hygienist and a business owner.

She is also the founder and former president of DentalPost. A registered dental hygienist, Lanthier built DentalPost from a passion for improving lives and helping dental professionals build teams that excel through metric-based career matching tools, including personality tests and values, skills, and work culture assessments.

Among her involvement in dental organizations nationwide, Lanthier is a member of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, Entrepreneurs’ Organization, a supporter of AACD’s Give Back a Smile program, and a volunteer at several charitable organizations, including Georgia Mission of Mercy and Ben Mansell Clinic. She is also a board member of the Oral Cancer Cause and Dental Entrepreneur Women.

Tameka Williamson
Keynote Speaker, Celestial Enterprises, LLC

Tameka Williamson is a true visionary, a motivational speaker, a coach, and an accomplished senior executive leader with a passion for operational excellence and empowering others. With her extensive career in process improvement, manufacturing, and business services, Williamson has built a reputation as a trailblazer in her field. Currently serving as the VP of operational excellence for the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council (MMSDC), Williamson leads a team of dedicated professionals who facilitate over $36 billion in economic output and support more than 1200 minority-owned businesses and 300 corporate members. Her initiatives are designed to foster economic growth and parity for minority business enterprises and their communities.

As an Adjunct Professor at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU), Williamson shares her wealth of knowledge and expertise with aspiring young minds. For over a decade, she has trained more than 2,500 students and helped them secure over $75 million in scholarships, earning her the title of The College Prep Boss. She is a bestselling author, having penned several books on topics, such as getting a full ride to college and avoiding student loan debt. She is a contributor to two influential faith-based and educational collaborations and has been featured in many respected publications, including Forbes, Black Enterprise, and Huffington Post. She’s been featured on major TV networks such as ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC, where she shares her expertise with a global audience.

A graduate of Southern University with a degree in mechanical engineering and an MBA from Webster University, Williamson is a STEM advocate who is committed to reaching people and helping them realize their true potential. Once a member of the Forbes Coaches Council and part of the John Maxwell Team, she has trained over 1,000 international leaders in leadership, efficiency, and project management. She coaches foster care youth through Orange Duffel Bag, sits on nonprofit boards, and educates families on how to avoid student loan debt in her own business, which she founded 16 years ago.

Slma Shelbayah
Chief Communications & Marketing Officer, Diversified Search Group

Slma Shelbayah is a former award-winning CNN journalist, adjunct professor, and marketing and communications executive. In 2015, she won the CNN Diversity Ovation Award for her commitment to inclusion in news coverage. Her background includes more than 15 years of experience as an executive, journalist, communication, and public relations expert in the media, management, DEI, human resources, and search industries. Her news career includes breaking news coverage with CNN International, spanning the regions of the Middle East, Asia, and Africa and varying across national and international topics, including stories covering Arab and Muslim Diasporas. Shelbayah is the recipient of the CNN Worldwide Diversity Ovation Award. She is also a two-year recognized leader in the Women We Admire Top 50 Women Leaders in GA for 2023 and 2024.

Shelbayah serves as the Chief Communications and Marketing Officer at Diversified Search Group, overseeing the internal and external communications strategy, marketing, public relations, and branding of all practices and companies acquired by the firm. Shelbayah came to Diversified Search Group by way of their latest acquisition, Yardstick Management, where she was the CCO and CMO contributing significantly to the sale, acquisition, merging and integration of the business. Within six months, she was promoted to lead the entire firm.

Previously, she was the Corporate Director of Public Relations for Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), developing and executing effective public relations initiatives to elevate the university’s corporate identity both regionally and nationally by securing media coverage of SCAD students, signature events and the university president while fostering external relationships with partners and media across the globe. Before this role, Shelbayah spent most of her career in journalism across a variety of departments at CNN as a Producer, Assignment Editor, and Digital Writer.

Additionally, as the CEO of Shelbayah Consulting, LLC, a communication consultancy firm that was started in August 2015, Shelbayah assists clients in branding and communication strategy development, DEI communication, crisis communication, public and media relations, content development, storytelling, digital marketing, writing, and public speaking training. She holds an undergraduate degree in journalism with a minor in sociology and a Master's in Linguistics, with a focus on cross-cultural linguistics of Spanish and Arabic, both degrees from Georgia State University. She has also obtained a certificate from Oxford University, UK, during which students were selected from 30 countries across the world to pursue a seminar on Global Media Policy: Technology and New Themes in Media Regulations. She is a graduate of the prestigious leadership program, LEAD Atlanta, class of 2018, and the national New Leaders Council Atlanta Class of 2023.

Candice St. Pierre
Vice President of Sales & Nutrition, Nirvana Water Sciences

Candice St. Pierre is an accomplished sales leader with a passion for leadership identity development and advancing women’s careers. St. Pierre completed her PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology in August of 2021. Her research focused on women’s leadership identity development and the use of executive coaches to overcome bias and challenges to help women advance in their careers. St. Pierre excels as a leader, developing team cohesiveness in a time of dramatic changes.

St. Pierre started her career with a grocery retailer, BI-LO, which was based in Greenville, South Carolina. While at BI-LO, she discovered a passion for natural health, using products, foods, or ingredients to improve well-being. She currently serves as the Vice President of Sales for Nutrition for Nirvana Water Science Corp., a startup based in Forestport, New York. She is tasked with the expansion of Nirvana Water Science’s HMB (B-hydroxy B-methylbutyrate) infused functional recovery beverages and supplements into the nutrition aisle with traditional retailers. She has also worked with several other great brands, including Atkins, Skinnygirl, Performix, AbCuts, Twinlab, Reserveage, Alvita Tea, and Metabolife.

In addition to the PhD, St. Pierre holds an undergraduate degree in business administration from Valparaiso University and an international MBA from the University of South Carolina, Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien. She serves as a volunteer and board member for NextUp Atlanta, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing women in the workplace. She is also actively involved with CHIEF as a member. She is a champion for women’s leadership and encourages everyone to step into their strengths.

Ashley Touchton
Partner & Innovation Strategist, Orange Sparkle Ball

Ashley Touchton is a Partner and Innovation Strategist at Orange Sparkle Ball in Atlanta, Georgia. She is passionate about accelerating initiatives both public and private to drive change. Her background in industrial design provides a multi-faceted approach to solving problems. She rapidly pilots solutions for organizational fit and refinement.

Touchton is dedicated to moving quickly and efficiently to find the best solution within tight time frames, as well as building and maintaining momentum for new initiatives. As an innovation strategist, she focuses on the testing and evaluation of new solutions, designing and implementing organizational open innovation programs, and bridging the gap between the two.

Touchton studied industrial and product design at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she was involved in multiple activities and societies, including Connect with Tech, Alpha Xi Delta, and IDSA.

Taylor Ramsey
Executive Director, OneGoal Metro Atlanta

Taylor Ramsey serves as the Executive Director of OneGoal Metro Atlanta, where they serve 800 students across the metro area in partnership with Achieve Atlanta, Atlanta Public Schools, and South Fulton. Ramsey brings nearly two decades of leadership experience in educational equity. Before stepping into her role at OneGoal, Ramsey served in several executive positions, leading teams to set and hold a bold vision for student achievement and translating that to strategy, execution, and impact.

Ramsey served as VP of training and support at Teach For America, leading their national summer teacher training institute in Atlanta, overseeing a team of 100 staff members, working in close concert with APS to serve summer school students, and training over 1,500 teachers. Ramsey then continued to lead local efforts with Teach For America, overseeing the ongoing training and support of its teachers and working with school districts and students in every corner of Metro Atlanta. 

As a first-generation college student, Ramsey knows first-hand the power of a post-secondary opportunity and is honored to lead OneGoal as part of the broader postsecondary access efforts across the state. When she’s not working, TRamseyaylor is spending time with her husband and young son and is a proud Dunwoody and DeKalb County Public School parent.

Chasidy Privett
Chief Executive Officer, Laine Federal

Chasidy Privett is the CEO of Laine Federal and is responsible for the strategic direction, vision, and growth of Laine’s flagship brand. Laine Federal is a national specialized project placement firm that provides a high selection of qualified temporary and permanent employees to clients nationwide. It has nine support centers, including Alabama, Texas, Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Florida, Maine, and Georgia, where the company is headquartered.

Privett is a seasoned professional with over 20 years of advising clients in identifying, leveraging, and obtaining top talent. She leads a workforce of over 400 employees in developing and delivering transformational and innovative staffing solutions in security, education, food service, technology, and MedTech. As a believer in the power of technology to accelerate progress in the staffing industry, Privett is leading Laine Federal to harness intelligent automation for insight generation so that teams work as a united front, with expertise and purpose, to solve the world’s toughest staffing challenges. 

She holds an undergraduate degree in accounting and a Master’s degree in Organizational Management. She is also a certified business coach. Privett lives in Atlanta with her husband and five children.

Kiki Ramsey
Founder & Chief Executive Officer, The Positive Psychology Coaching and Diversity Institute

Kiki Ramsey is the Founder and CEO of The Positive Psychology Coaching and Diversity Institute (PPCaDI), a leadership development firm that specializes in diversity coaching and leadership development. As a positive psychologist and executive coach, Ramsey’s work focuses on the promotion of happiness and human flourishing. Along with her dynamic team of coaches and through her work at PPCaDI she is known for her innovative approach to coaching and DEI called Positively Diverse Leadership, which is an evidence-based approach rooted in positive psychology that fosters the intentional use of strengths to relate and communicate as an inclusive leader.

As an executive coach, Ramsey has worked with a diverse range of clients, including top-level executives and business owners. Her expertise in leadership development, happiness, and resilience has helped her clients achieve significant results in their organizations and personal lives. She has a talent for identifying and nurturing the unique strengths of her clients, enabling them to achieve their goals and unlock their full potential. Ramsey is an international keynote speaker and has delivered keynote addresses for corporations, conferences, and events around the world. Her energy is contagious and the moment she enters the room you will know why. She is also the author of Get Courageous Now: A Woman’s Guide to Finding Her Passions and Purpose in Life, a book offering women a step-by-step guide to radically break through the mindset of fear and find true meaning doing what they love.

Ramsey holds a Master’s in Social Work and Positive Psychology coaching and a PhD in Business Psychology. When she is not working, she loves working out (her Peloton name is KikiDoYouLoveMe), dancing, and spending time with her three children and her husband.

Kathy Fithen
Senior Director of Global Quality & Risk Management, KPMG International

Katherine Fithen has been a leader in information security and privacy for 30 years, where she has worked with businesses through digital transformation efforts to meet information security and privacy requirements. Fithen has been with KPMG since July 2020 as the Director of the Information Handling Program and the IIRT (Information Incident Response Team), and now as a Sr Director in KPMGI (KPMG International) Global Digital Risk.

Before joining KPMG, Fithen was at McKesson Corp. as the Director for Cybersecurity Governance. Before McKesson Corp., she was a Managing Principal Consultant with Secureworks after retiring as the Chief Privacy Officer and Director of Governance and Compliance at The Coca-Cola Company in July 2017. Before joining The Coca-Cola Company in 2002, Fithen was the Senior Manager of the CSIRT Program at PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, and before PwC, she was the Manager of the CERT. 

Fithen has earned a Bachelor of Arts in Retail Management, a Master of Arts in Personnel Management, and a Master of Science in Information Science. In August 2015, Fithen was listed as one of “Women in IT Security:  10 Power Players” by SC Magazine and testified before Congress in 2000 on the Melissa virus (02/29/00 Committee on the Judiciary - Fithen Statement (globalsecurity.org).

Adriana Ibarra Vazquez
Director of Legal for the Americas, NTT Cloud Communications US Inc.

Adriana Ibarra Vazquez is a top-performing and highly qualified legal consultant with over 20 years of diverse experience in providing legal services in-house for international high-tech companies and law firms. She is currently the Director of Legal for the Americas of NTT Ltd, Cloud Communications one of the largest and fastest-growing collaboration service providers in the world.

In her work, Ibarra Vazquez leads the Americas legal team, including Canada, the US, Mexico, Colombia, and Brazil, negotiating and formulating commercial agreements and maintaining compliance with global corporate policies and legal controls related to technology, cloud computing, SaaS, data privacy/protection, and others. Ibarra Vazquez is a strong team player. She is a highly accomplished and business-oriented problem-solver leader accustomed to working on several simultaneous projects in a cross-functional environment.   

Driven by a passion for law, Ibarra Vazquez is a lawyer licensed in Mexico and the state of Georgia with a Master’s degree in International Commerce Law. She was the first licensed foreign legal consultant to become an active member of the State Bar of Georgia. She is bilingual, fluent in English and Spanish, and trained in civil and common law systems. She has been a member of the Audit Commission of Latin American and Caribbean Internet Addresses Registry (LACNIC) on behalf of the Internet community for more than 15 years, as well as a member of the Ethics Committee and a substitute member of the Electoral Committee.

Danielle Wilburn
Director of Program Management, Meta

Danielle Wilburn is Director of Program Management at Meta, leading brand excellence. She sets an environment for fearless creativity by bridging cultural insights, strategic and operational rigor, and motivational momentum. Before Meta, Wilburn worked at advertising agencies and has a proven track record building brands that drive business growth: The Boeing Company, Unilever, and Whirlpool Corporation. 

Wilburn’s sphere of influence spans beyond marketing to impact a company’s culture. She is steadfast in her quest to close the access gap between those with power and those without. She sparks honest conversations and creates programming to foster meaningful change around recruitment, hiring, and retention of underrepresented communities. 

An alum of 4A’s MAIP, AAF, and ADCOLOR, she is passionate about mentorship and was honored to receive the Coalesce Chicago 2015 Champion of Growth award and the ADCOLOR 2019 Unsung Hero award. She’s a current member and mentor for 1) Fertile Ground: Empowering Future Women Leaders 2) University of Illinois College of Media and 3) National Black MBA Association.

Wilburn completed her BS and MBA at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia. When not working, you can find her on an island dancing to the beat.