Vice President, Domestic Network Distribution, HBO
Sloan Kennedy is the Vice President, Domestic Network Distribution, for Home Box Office, responsible for overseeing the distribution for HBO and Cinemax programming with two of the company's largest domestic distributors. With over 20 years' experience in the cable industry, Kennedy has worked in both the basic and premium subscription sectors.
Kennedy is a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS), the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM), Women in Cable & Telecommunications (WICT) and was named a WICT Betsy Magness Leadership Institute Fellow in 2007. She also served as a trustee on the board of the Atlanta Ballet for six years from 2004 - 2012.
Kennedy holds a BA degree from Hollins College in Roanoke, VA and has studied internationally at the Southern Methodist University in Spain.
Executive Director of Community Affairs & Philanthropy, Thirty-One Gifts
Wendy Bradshaw joined Thirty-One Gifts in March 2011. As the Executive Director of Community Affairs & Philanthropy, Wendy was responsible for the creation and now management of Thirty-One Gives. Wendy is responsible for the development of the Gives Round Up! program, with net proceeds of $2 M in its first 2 years, and the development of the Thirty-One Gives U R U product Collection. Under Wendy’s leadership, the Thirty-One Gives Care Council, an advisory board of Consultants, was formed.
Bradshaw is a board member for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio & Girl Talk, Inc., an Ambassador Council Member for Nationwide Children’s Hospital & Research Institute and an Advisory Committee member of Celebrate One in Columbus, OH. Wendy, a Kent, Ohio native, now resides in Westerville with her daughter and son.
Vice President, Content Operations and Origination, Turner
Caroline Brown joined Turner Broadcasting in 2017 where she serves as Vice President of Content Operations and Origination; managing the playout and distribution of Turner’s linear and digital content. Prior to Turner, Brown spent 12 years at Comcast in various roles; ultimately serving as VP, Content Management. While at Comcast she spearheaded the development of initiatives that led to the proliferation and sustainability of digital media including first launches of HD VOD, EST and dynamic ad insertion. She has been a long-time advocate of industry initiatives and received the Chapter Innovator Award from CTAM in 2003. She served as the Chairman of CTAM’s Quality Committee from 2005-2007 and received a national CTAM Rainmaker Award as part of her efforts in securing industry standardization around metadata. Her 20+ year career in telecommunications also includes roles at Showtime, iNDemand, and Vubiquity.
Ms. Brown holds a B.A. from Auburn University and an MBA from Georgia State University. She lives in Atlanta with her husband Kirk and son Quinlan. When she isn’t delving into content, she can be found sharing her amateur photography skills for many organizations.
Eric Butts is a finance consulting director at PwC specializing in helping clients drive transformational change through people, process, and performance. He currently focuses on serving clients in the Consumer Markets and Technology space.
He holds an MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management in Finance, Strategy, and Decision Sciences. Additionally, he received his BA in Accounting/Mathematics from Claremont McKenna College and is a licensed CPA in Illinois, California, and Georgia.
Eric also runs his own website, ericpbutts.com, which he's dubbed as THE career site for accountants and consultants, providing actionable tips to apply immediately in their day-to-day lives. It's the site he wishes was available to him when he was starting his career.
Rebecca Cenni-Leventhal is CEO of Atrium, a leading workforce solutions firm, which was founded in 1995 with her revolutionary Applicant-Centric™ recruitment model. Today, she continues to focus on strengthening the human value in work culture with her all-inclusive talent solutions that complement partnerships across fifty states. Often referred to as Atrium’s Chief Empowerment Officer, Cenni-Leventhal not only nurtures talent within her organization, but also shares her passion for mentorship with Girl Talk Inc. and New York Business Journal. Dedicated to a legacy of good, Rebecca ensures that her founding principles– listening, valuing and respecting– remain the heartbeat of her organization. Consistently honored by the Women’s President’s Organization as one of the 50 Fastest Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies in North America, Atrium is recognized as a champion of supplier diversity, topping the lists of 2019 North America Staffing 100, Inc. 5000 and DiversityBusiness.com as a leader of Women, Diversity and Privately Held organizations. Rebecca’s devotion to people and Humanistic Resources is demonstrated by Atrium’s most recent recognition from Crain’s New York Business as one of 2019’s Best Places to Work.
Vice President, Technology Strategy and Digital Operations, Tropical Smoothie Cafe
Siddharth Desai is currently Vice President of Technology Strategy and Digital Operations at Tropical Smoothie Cafe where he leads all technology strategy, technology day-to-day operations, and cafe support for nearly 900 cafes (and growing!) nationwide.
Prior to joining Tropical Smoothie, he was a Senior Vice President at SunTrust Bank within SunTrust’s Corporate Efficiency Office and Technology group. Prior to SunTrust, he worked at UBS and Accenture in New York City.
Siddharth grew up in Atlanta and graduated from the Lovett School before earning his B.A. in Economics from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He currently resides in Atlanta with his wife, Jasmina, and their three children.
Tropical Smoothie Café
SVP, Managing Director, Sunshine Sachs
Daphne Hoytt Dickerson is a Senior Vice President and Managing Director of the Atlanta Office for Sunshine Sachs, a privately held marketing communications agency. Her professional career in integrated communications has spanned nearly 20 years, largely in New York City at global firms such as Edelman, Porter Novelli and MSL. During her twelve-year tenure at MSL, Daphne rose in the ranks to assume various leadership roles including U.S. Consumer Practice Lead where she oversaw and developed large-scale consumer campaigns for CPG companies such as P&G and Abbott Nutrition. She also was appointed as the first U.S. Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer while concurrently serving as the MSL Atlanta Office Lead. Daphne is a graduate of Spelman College and Columbia University School of Public Health. She is a member of The Girl Friends, Inc. Atlanta Chapter, Jack and Jill of America, Inc. Atlanta Chapter, The Links, Inc. Dogwood City Chapter and recently joined the board of Girl Talk.
Global Client Lead, Google
Hetal Gordon is currently Director, Global Client Lead at Google based in Atlanta, leading the Global Partnerships with The Coca-Cola Company and McDonald’s. She has been with Google for over ten years and has worked across many industries including Retail, Travel, and now Consumer Packaged Goods. Prior to joining Google in 2006, she was at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She started her career on the advertising agency side working in New York and London.
Hetal earned her BSBA from Washington University in St. Louis. When she’s not busy being at Google, she is spending time with her husband, Fergus, and their three children Jaya, Henry, and Manu.
Senior Director of Finance, Comcast
Terrica Gupton is a Senior Director of Finance at Comcast responsible for Commissions Analytics. In her role, she partners with sales and HR business leaders in a consultative capacity to oversee the design, modeling, governance, and administration aspects of all sales commission plans for employees selling both residential and commercial products. She manages a local team at the Central Division office located at Sun Trust Park in Atlanta, as well as a virtual team seated in Sterling Heights, Michigan. She’s a graduate of Louisiana State University (Geaux Tigers!!), a member of both NAMIC and WICT, as well as several employee resource groups at Comcast. Terrica lives south of the city with her husband (William), daughter (Nyla), and dog (Dash).
Managing Director, Alvarez and Marsal
Cyndi Joiner is a Managing Director with Alvarez and Marsal and leads the East Region Corporate Performance Improvement Practice. Ms. Joiner is also a global advisor to the firm’s Supply Chain Solution. She previously served as the national Supply Chain leader for 4 years.
With 20+ years of experience as both an operator and consultant, her primary focus is on supply chain optimization and broader growth initiatives for healthy and troubled corporations. As a trusted advisor, she has led and implemented operational improvements that have allowed her clients to grow EBITDA and support sustainability for future success. During her career, she has reduced supplier spend in excess of $1B.
Ms. Joiner also leads the firm’s Financial Services’ Third Party Risk Management Practice. Cyndi advises global commercial and investment banks on large scale process design and risk mitigation strategies including the implementation of highly regulated processes.
Ms. Joiner advises clients across industries, including Financial Services, Transportation, Retail, Manufacturing and State and Federal Governments. Over the past two years, she has led a $100M+ cost take out and procurement transformation initiative for a top tier US bank, an end to end Operation Efficiency Assessment for the United States Postal Service as required by Congress, a business transformation for the largest non – emergency transportation company in the US, and the outsourcing of a state transit authorities warehouse, distribution and fulfillment operation.
Prior to joining Alvarez & Marsal, Ms. Joiner was a Chief Procurement Officer and held executive positions with GMAC and Wells Fargo where she developed and executed strategies to centralize all business processes and activities for sourcing, supplier risk management, corporate real estate, facilities management, asset management and disaster recovery.
Ms. Joiner earned her bachelor’s degree in Communications from Lee University and a master’s degree in Business Administration from Pfeiffer University. She also completed the Program on Negotiations at Harvard. With a commitment to collaborative diverse teams and connectivity at the corporate and community level, she currently sits on the Board of Directors for Girl Talk, Inc., a national nonprofit which empowers middle and high school aged women to be confident leaders via peer-to-peer mentoring.
Alvarez & Marsal
Melissa Runge is the Vice President of Analytical Solutions at Spend Management Experts bringing transparency and understanding to clients’ supply chain spend across primary logistics disciplines including transportation, fulfillment and distribution.
Previously, Melissa held positions at such Fortune 500 companies as UPS, Georgia Pacific, Kimberly Clark and AGCO which has given her a unique 360 degree understanding of client contract management and transportation needs. Melissa is often asked to speak at the largest Supply Chain events across the country. She is a frequent contributor to publications such as Inbound Logistics and Supply & Demand Chain Executive, as well as being CSCMP mentor and Track Chair. In 2017, Runge was honored as a top 100 “Pro to Know,” in the Provider category, by Supply & Demand Chain Executive.
Runge holds a BA from University of Kentucky and an MBA from Oglethorpe University.
Spend Management Experts
CEO, Harland Clarke
Jana Schmidt is the CEO of Harland Clarke, a leading provider of omni-channel, customer engagement solutions to more than 6,000 financial institutions, retail and software clients. She leads Harland Clarke in delivering payment and marketing services that drive engagement in every relevant way across channels to increase acquisition, improve activation, deepen relationships and retain them for the long term.
With more than 30 years of leadership experience in sales, marketing, operations and client advocacy, Jana most recently served as the president of Harland Clarke. She was responsible for the strategy and advancement of the company, while delivering strong outcomes in deposit and loan acquisition and retention, as well as customer onboarding and activation through digital and analog channels. Prior to this role, Jana served as CEO of Ecova (now known as ENGIE Insight) where she created a clear vision and strategy to lead the global energy and sustainability management company. Her leadership at the technology-enabled services firm delivered strong financial and operational results, and drove value from analytics-based solutions to large commercial and industrial companies with over 700,000 global locations.
Jana has extensive senior leadership experience at Harland Clarke. Before her time at Ecova, she owned the P&L for the company’s Marketing Services division and also served as Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, leading the national sales and marketing teams.
Jana is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization of Atlanta and is a board advisor to Junior Achievement of Georgia. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Colorado State University.
Vice President with LocumTenens.com
Jeannie Smith is a graduate from the University of Georgia- Terry College of Business with a B.A. Degree in Business Management. She currently serves as Associate Vice President with LocumTenens.com, a Jackson Healthcare Company, located in Alpharetta, GA, with whom she’s been since 2006. She began as a physician recruiter in the radiology division before transitioning to sales within the government division, where she managed contacts for entities such as Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense and Indian Health Services throughout the United States. In 2011 she supported the launch of the permanent placement division and in 2013 was promoted to a manager in the psychiatry division, one of the longest-running specialties at LocumTenens.com, and where she still manages to this day in her position as Associate Vice President.
In her current role, Jeannie leads a team of recruiters who staff psychiatrists (MD/DOs) and psychologists in Community Mental Health Organizations, as well as large- and small-scale hospital systems located throughout the U.S. She is dedicated to training and development and spearheads projects within the organization that hone in on developing the teams so they can successfully expand their brand and market presence. She also has a passion for innovation. She has led several projects that focus on enhancing the customer experience while identifying creative solutions to increase workflow efficiencies. Additional responsibilities include managing workflow processes for her division’s national hospital systems and serving as a communication liaison for the production and operations teams.
In addition to her work, Jeannie has also been passionate about empowering women and children, as well as giving back to her community. Throughout her college years, she served in local community programs for children in the Athens area. She has participated as a volunteer through HandsOnAtlanta and had the opportunity through LocumTenens.com to take part in several community service projects such as Ronald McDonald House, City of Refuge, North Fulton Charities, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Foster Care Support Foundation. In 2014, Jeannie served alongside several talented physicians as part of Predisan, a medical mission in Honduras. Her organization recruits a surgical brigade to assist local patients needing medical care. Prior to that, she completed a mission trip with FCA to the Dominican Republic where she spent time with children in the local villages and orphanages.
Jeannie most recently graduated from the Atlanta Women’s Foundation Inspire program, which focuses on the fundamentals of fundraising for low income women and girls in the Atlanta area. She is proud to have recently been voted to join the board of Girl Talk, a philanthropic organization centered around peer-to-peer mentorship, leadership, growth and development for young girls!
Director of Dealer Sales, Cox Automotive
Roger Teate joined Cox Automotive in 2014 as the Director of Dealer Sales for the Southeast. Prior to joining Cox Automotive, Teate served as the Regional Director for NextGear Capital for ten years. Other
professional experience includes over a decade in consumer finance and banking, as well as leading auto retail dealerships for several years as the General Manager. Teate has been recognized for his aptitude
in: customer service and retention; team building; and sales process management.
Teate attended Troy University in Alabama, where he played collegiate baseball. He is also an U.S. Army veteran who served in Ft. Hood, Texas. Throughout his participation in college athletics and time served
in the military, Teate learned the true value of teamwork and gained valuable leadership skills.
Teate enjoys spending time with his wife Abby and daughter Ashley.
Director of Human Resources, EY
Nicole is currently a Director of Human Resources for EY, serving as the Talent Leader for the Tax and Core Business service lines. During her tenure with the firm, which began in 2009, Nicole has partnered with her clients to create sustainable programs and initiatives that support the growth and development of EY’s employees and leaders. She currently serves as an executive sponsor for the Professional Women’s Network in the Atlanta Office.
Nicole has almost 20 years of experience as an HR professional. Prior to joining EY, Nicole spent four years as an HR manager for T-Mobile, and more than six years as an HR Manager for Verizon. In these roles, she has lead teams with responsibilities across all major functions of HR, including performance management, compensation, diversity & inclusion, staffing, leadership development, and employee relations. Throughout her career, Nicole has been recognized as a successful leader and a passionate developer of talent. Nicole says that her most personally satisfying moments have come from seeing members of her teams get promoted into roles with greater responsibilities.
Nicole holds a B.A. from Spelman College and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin. She and her husband, Keith, have two daughters, Kendall and Kennedy. In her leisure time, Nicole enjoys cooking and traveling with her family.
Kalinda Woods, MD, FACOG is a practicing physician and Assistant Professor of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Emory University in Atlanta, GA.
Dr. Woods has specific interests in adolescent
gynecology and education of women and girls in matters of reproductive health and well-being. She is a graduate of Howard University, where she double majored in Biology and Chemistry earning a Bachelor of Science degree in 2000. She is a graduated from Meharry Medical College, earning the MD degree with Dean's Honors in 2004. Dr. Woods went on to complete her residency in Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the University of Maryland in Baltimore and was selected Administrative Chief Resident in 2008. Since completing her medical training, Dr. Woods has worked in various settings including community health as a National Health Service Corps Scholar, as well in private practice and has found her way back to academic medicine. She is a Fellow of the American Congress of Obstetricians Gynecologists and has published numerous essays on patient perception and physician/ patient relationships in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Huffington Post.