Jason R. Thogmartin
Jason joined First Data in November 2015 as Head of Audit for the firm’s global lines of business and shared services functions. Prior to joining First Data, Jason held a number of roles with GE, GE Capital, and NBC Universal. Within GE Capital, he was most recently Managing Director and Head of Audit for Corporate and previously Managing Director and Head of Audit for Retail and Commercial Banking in the Americas. Prior to joining GE Capital, Jason held a series of progressive roles in Corporate Audit for GE Company and previously worked for NBC Universal in the finance function.
Jason holds his B.B.A. (Hon.) in Accounting and M.P.Acc. both from the University of West Georgia as well as a M.B.A from the University of Florida. Jason is currently completing his D.B.A. also at the University of Florida where his research is focused on the topics of internal audit quality as well as corporate costs of auditor rotation. In addition Jason supports the Institute of Internal Auditors Research Foundation as a member of the Committee of Research and Education Advisors and currently serving as the Vice President of the University of West Georgia Alumni Association.
Jason is based in the firm’s Atlanta office and currently resides in Dunwoody, GA
August 31, 2016
C. Russell Caudell, CTB
An accomplished business strategist, Russ is steadfastly committed to the growth of his 3PL company. Russ searches for the best talent to employ and then actively seeks ways to provide professional and developmental opportunities to his employees. Furthermore, Russ’ success can also be attributed to being firmly committed to new technology and ways to acquire/create efficient and progressive systems and processes to maintain a business edge in this industry.
Russ graduated from West Georgia College with his BBA (Management) in 1980
March 31, 2016
John I. Paulk III
Programs Leader for Safehold Special Risk, Inc.
Over the last 10 years Mr. Paulk has successfully directed Safehold in the product launches of multiple programs. He has helped lead Safehold Special Risk to become one of the largest MGU’s in the United States with $440MM of Premium under management. Through leveraging technology, identifying underwriting expertise and effectively managing multiple distribution channels, Safehold is poised for continued growth into the future. Previous to Mr. Paulk’s current role, he held positions within Safehold Special Risk including National Sales Manager, Regional Account Manager (SE), New Business Development and Marketing Manager.
Prior to joining Safehold, Mr. Paulk worked with Georgia Power Company in Resource Planning and Procurement. In this role, he facilitated contract negotiations for long-term power purchase agreements, managed the generation forecast for Georgia Power, served on the Southern Company Planning Council and fostered relationships with the Georgia Public Service Commission. Mr. Paulk received his Masters in Business Administration from Mercer University, Stetson School of Business and his Bachelors of Business Administration in Marketing from The State University of West Georgia, Richards College of Business. Mr. Paulk holds Insurance Agents Property & Casualty and Excess & Surplus licenses in all states.
Mr. Paulk is an active member in Target Markets Program Administrators Association and The National Association of Surplus Lines Offices (NAPSLO). Mr. Paulk resides in Newnan, Georgia with his wife Susan Jones Paulk, his 2 sons Jones and Mack, and his daughter Millie. He attends Newnan First Methodist Church and is actively involved in the community via the Coweta Community Foundation and Delta Waterfowl. Mr. Paulk can usually be found, when not at work, enjoying the outdoors, fishing, skiing, shooting trap, or cooking BBQ with friends.
January 25, 2016
He trained at the Xerox School and took various sales jobs in the Atlanta, Georgia area. He moved to Texas and was selling for Buck Engineering Education Co. In his second and third year he sold more than anyone in the country.
In 1978, he branched out on his own and incorporated Technical Laboratory Systems, Inc. with his wife Dede. Technical Laboratory Systems, Inc. began by distributing Educational Training Systems in electronics, hydraulics and pneumatics in the states of Texas and Oklahoma. In 1998, Mr. and Mrs. Brown incorporated X-CAL Corporation operating in Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, Utah, Montana and Idaho distributing Educational Learning Systems. In 2009, Mr. and Mrs. Brown incorporated TECSolutions, Inc. which is a woman owned business.
Today the three family owned Corporations sell +/- 10-14 million dollars per year combined revenue employing 19 people. They sell 3D printers, robots, CNC machines and industrial training systems. Please visit their website www.tech-labs.com to learn more about their products.
September 24, 2015
Human Resources Manager, Morgan Oil Company
Michelle Morgan has been the Human Resources Manager for Morgan Oil Company, a family business with locations across West Georgia, for the past 20 years. In her role, Michelle conducts employee educational programs, maintains the employee health benefit plan, and reviews and updates the policies and procedures manual.
Michelle is a graduate of the University of West Georgia with both a Bachelor and Masters Degree in Business Administration.
While at UWG, Michelle fell in love with Carroll County and chose to stay. Shortly after graduation, she became an entrepreneur by opening A Likely Story Book Center, Inc.
Through the years, Michelle has remained involved in supporting UWG. She and her husband, Jimmy, endow a Morgan Oil Company Scholarship that to date has assisted over 15 of their employees in getting a degree. Michelle also served as a UWG Foundation Trustee from 2006 to 2013. She is past-President of the Peneleope Melson Library Society and has chaired Live Art for the Townsend Center. Jimmy and Michelle have been Co-Chairs of ADAY for UWG. Committed to giving back, Michelle has spent years serving our community.
Michelle serves as the Chairman of the Board of Communities in School of Carrollton City and Carroll County School Systems which works to increase high school graduation rates. Michelle has been an active leader in the Carrollton GreenBelt for which she helped secure a grant of over $11,000 from BP Fueling Communities.
Michelle has also been active in the Carroll County Cultural Arts Alliance, Keep Carroll Beautiful, Friends of the Library, Get Healthy Live Well West Georgia, the Carrollton City School System, and the Community Foundation of West Georgia.
This year, Michelle was elected to serve on the Carroll County Board of Commissioners, representing the citizens of District 4.
Michelle is married to Carrollton native, Jimmy Morgan. They have three children, Patrick, Michael and Elizabeth along with a standard poodle, Caesar. The Morgans are active members of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church.
February 4, 2015
Co-Owner of Robinson Salvage
Robbie Robinson is Co-Owner of Robinson Salvage, the most “unique” and “adventurous “retail shopping experience in the Southeast. He has 26 years of experience and passion for tracking and pursuing all major hurricanes (Katrina, Andrew, Hugo, Sandy),wading into flooded buildings after record rainfalls, shifting through damaged cargo after railroad derailments all to hunt and buy bargains for his savvy, curious customers.
After receiving his Bachelor’s degree from West Georgia in 1982 and his Master’s of Education in 1984 from Valdosta, he spent one year teaching and coaching baseball before his desire of owning his own small business led him to the founding of Robinson Salvage. Since its humble beginning in 1988, he has been in charge of buying, store operations, and finances of the Company.
When he can’t be found in his office or on the phone with a potential client, he can be spotted spending time with his 3 children, His oldest son, Robbie, is currently in business with his father.
October 1, 2014
Vice President, Sales, Financial Products and Corporate Planning Office for Nissan
Motor Acceptance Corporation
Mike McConnell is vice president, Sales, Financial Products and Corporate Planning Office (CPO) for Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation (NMAC). In this position McConnell designs and executes all financial products for retail, lease, and commercial products for all Nissan and Inifinity dealers nationally.
McConnell has over 27 years experience working at OEMs with executive positions in sales and finance as well as sales and marketing.
McConnell was previously regional vice president of Nissan's Mid-Atlantic Region where he oversaw activities for 147 Nissan dealers relating to sales, marketing, distribution, parts and service, market representation, customer satisfaction, service contracts, and training. He was also director of sales where he managed a 60-member national field force including seven regional managers.
More past Nissan experience includes regional financial services manager for Nissan's Mid-Atlantic Region where he managed the performance for financial service managers regarding contract penetration, floor plan acquisition and dealer relations for 147 Nissan dealers and 21 Infiniti dealers. And he was senior financial services manager for Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation in the southeast region where he focused on contract acquisition, training, floor plan acquisitions and dealer relations.
McConnell has a bachelor of business administration degree in marketing from West Georgia College in Carrollton, GA.
President, Systems Conversion Ltd
In 1992, he put his full effort into his company, Systems Conversion Ltd., turning it into a software deployment company specializing in Pansophic (PRMS) software, an ERP package owned by Computer Associates Inc. Helping manufacturing and distribution companies with their software needs, SCL became a nationally recognized pioneer in project management for software implementations, remote education, and remote work force.
Over the last 20 years SCL has worked with over 250 manufacturing and distribution companies including: Godiva Chocolates, Woods Manufacturing (Ranger Boats), Robert Bosch, Husqvarna, Toyota, GA Correctional Industries, Nucor Fasteners & Nucor Steel, Baxter, and Maytag (Jade Ranges & Dixie Narco). The company also was named to the INC 500 by INC Magazine as one of the fastest growing privately held companies in the US and never had a failed software project.
Jeff’s hobbies are extreme fishing, reading, and gourmet cooking. He lives in Cartersville, GA with his wife Jessica. He is currently working on his first book, “Characters I Have Met, Including Myself.”
September 20, 2012
Allen Nance is a son, brother, husband, dad, entrepreneur, boxer, golfer, author, mentor and technology fanatic. From his rented house in 2000 he founded a company that a decade later would become WhatCounts. Through a series of innovative growth strategies that included seven acquisitions the company has grown into one of the largest email marketing firms in the world delivering billions of targeted messages on four continents in over 35 languages.
Georgia Trend magazine selected Allen in 2004 for its “40 under 40” feature, which recognizes rising young business leaders from across the state. In 2005, Allen authored Inside the Minds: Technology Enabled Marketing – a Prerequisite for Survival, published by Aspatore Books. In 2009, Allen was featured in the Atlanta Business Chronicle as a “Rising Business Leader under 40”.
He received his B.S. degree from the University of West Georgia and his M.S. degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Allen is also active in the community. In 2007, he founded the Southern Foundation, which raises money and provides scholarships to teens who are the first in their family to attend college.
March 6, 2012
John C. Horton
John C. Horton is founder and Principal of Collier Brown & Co., a specialized consulting firm which provides advisory services to business owners and their management teams. He works on issues of strategic importance to the owner to help them make sense, make progress, and make a difference.
In addition to Collier Brown & Co., John was the founder of what is now The Leadership Forum at Georgia Tech, which offers advanced executive education services to senior managers.
Since the 1980’s, he has helped executives define, develop, and implement their leadership agendas. His efforts have resulted in increased performance, productivity, and profitability, as well as having improved the organization as a place to work. He also has guided individual clients through the process of personal development and improvement.
As counsel to executive management and an executive developer, John's experience has included a wide variety of projects and assignments in a diverse range of organizations. He has been called a “trusted advisor,” “wise counselor,” “teacher” and “friend” by his clients for over a quarter century.
During sixteen years with IBM, John served in both line and staff positions. Increased revenue and improved effectiveness of operations were hallmarks of his management career.
Horton received his bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the University of West Georgia in 1971.
April 7, 2011
George Brooks serves as president of UPS’s Central Region. He is responsible for UPS service in all operations throughout Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin and the Florida panhandle. The Central Region, which includes 6 district business units, includes approximately 90,000 UPS employees and produced $11.2 billion in revenue in 2009. UPS has over 408,000 employees worldwide and delivered 3.8 billion packages and documents in 2009, producing $45.3 billion in revenue.
Brooks began his UPS career as a part-time package handler in Carrollton, Georgia in 1983. In 1984, he was promoted to package car driver. Following his experience as a package car driver, Brooks has held many assignments in all facets of UPS operations.
In 1999, Brooks was promoted to vice president of operations for the Central Florida District, and was later named to the same position in Denver, Colorado in 2001. He was named vice president for UPS’s Southeast Region in 2004, and in 2007 became president of UPS’s North Central Region.
Brooks received his bachelor’s degree from the University of West Georgia in 1984 and received his Master’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Global Management from the University of Phoenix. He is also a graduate of the Columbia Senior Executive Program at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business and the Chief Executive Leadership Institute at the Yale School of Management.
Brooks actively supports Junior Achievement, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, United Way and the National Urban League. He serves on the Executive Advisory Council of the National Urban League’s Black Executive Exchange Program (BEEP) and is a Board member for the Chicago Urban League and the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago. He is also a member of the National Association of Guardsmen and a 30-year member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
Brooks was recognized in 2009 as a Beta Gamma Sigma Honoree in the Richards College of Business at the University of West Georgia.
September 30, 2010
Stuart Roesel is a Director of Marketing at EarthLink, Inc. He leads a team responsible for Customer Analytics, Market Research, Segmentation, Direct Marketing and Loyalty/Retention Programs. Stuart is an accomplished customer relations executive with experience in the Fortune 100 business environment as well as start-up and entrepreneurial organizations. Over the last few years, his team at EarthLink has developed some of the leading best practices in corporate marketing. Stuart was selected as a 2009 Customer Champion by 1 to 1 Media, profiled in a cover story in SASCom Magazine in 2007 and is a frequent speaker at industry conferences. Stuart lives in Mableton with his wife and two sons. He is a 1983 Richards College of Business graduate with a BBA in Marketing. Stuart is an avid runner. He ran track at UWG and completed his 33rd consecutive Peachtree Road Race this summer.
For over 14 years, EarthLink has provided award-winning Internet access and communication services to millions of customers. As a leading national Internet service provider, Atlanta-based EarthLink has earned a reputation for outstanding customer service and its suite of online products and services to facilitate a safe and secure Internet experience.
October 21, 2009
Egbert L. J. Perry
The Integral Group LLC
Perry is President and CEO of the Integral Group LLC. He is Chair of the Senior Management Committee that provides the strategic direction and leadership for the company. He has over 23 years of experience in real estate investment, development and management, construction, property and asset management, and general management. In addition to his significant successful entrepreneurial endeavors, he is well recognized for his exceptional leadership in structuring and implementing award-winning public/private partnerships that have transformed communities and served as models for “responsible” urban development.
The Integral Group LLC (“Integral”) is a privately held real estate development and investment management company. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Integral is active in ten cities across the United States, with greatest concentration of activity in Atlanta and the southeastern region. Integral is very active in a number of public-private partnerships with local governments and agencies that are seeking private sector approaches to utilizing public assets. Thus, the company's ability to mix different sources of financing is well reflected in its project experience. Integral’s extensive experience in implementing successful public-private partnerships, while actively developing conventionally financed projects has made it known as an innovative and premier developer in a number of urban markets across the country.
October 21, 2008
Phil Jacobs began his 34-year telecommunications career in BellSouth’s marketing and consumer services organization before being named Marketing Manager for Atlanta in 1979. In 1983, he was named Operations Manager of Strategic Planning in the newly-formed BellSouth Corporation. Moving back to sales in 1984, he was appointed Regional Sales Manager of BellSouth Advanced Systems, where he was responsible for the Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina operations until he was promoted to Vice President.
Phil was elected an officer of the corporation in 1993, assuming control of BellSouth Business Systems, the $4 billion multi-state large business services marketing unit. In 1996, Phil was named Chief Operating Officer of Optus Communications, a local competitive telephone company headquartered in Sydney, Australia. At Optus he was responsible for overseeing all operations of the $3 billion Australian company of which BellSouth owned 24.5%. Upon returning to Atlanta with the sale of Optus in 1998, Phil was named President of Georgia Operations, a position he held until 2005 when he was named as President of the newly formed BellSouth Community Technologies group, where he led the development and implementation of BellSouth's competitive sales and distribution strategy focused on multi-dwelling units, such as apartments and condominiums, and master planned communities.
Most recently, Phil served as President of Business Communications Services of AT&T-Southeast, Phil Jacobs directs the sales, marketing and ongoing customer care of regional business customers. These customers include sole proprietors, high growth enterprises, state and local governments, regional health care and K-12 and higher education institutions.
A native of Washington, D.C., Phil received his undergraduate degree from Denison University located in Granville, Ohio.
For his leadership in BellSouth and extensive community involvement, Georgia Trend magazine named Phil the Most Respected CEO in Georgia for 2005. Phil currently serves on Boards for the CDC Foundation as Board Chair, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, The United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia Aquarium, Georgia Department of Economic Development the Woodruff Arts Center Board of Trustees, SCAD Atlanta and the Georgia Historical Society. He previously served on the Boards of the High Museum of Art, Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership, Smart Start Georgia, the Governor's Task Force on Tourism, and as Honorary Chairman for the 1998-2001 Empty Stocking Fund Campaigns as well as the 1999-2001 UNCF Corporate Campaign Chair.
April 3, 2008
Robert J. Stone
System & Methods, Inc.
As a businessman with a passion to assist a local Georgia county welfare office in expediting the delivery of services through the use of technology, Mr. Stone founded SMI in 1971. Under Mr. Stone’s leadership, SMI continues to grow by providing innovative solutions for governmental agencies. Throughout the growth of SMI, Mr. Stone has maintained SMI’s focus of the company constant through personally working with and building a management team with an emphasis on providing valuable partnerships based on trust to governmental agencies.
Systems & Methods, Inc., Carrollton, GA - Founder and Chairman of the Board, 1970
Mr. Stone is founder and Chairman of the Board of Systems & Methods, Inc. He founded SMI during 1971 by providing time-share data processing services. Early on, he developed data processing services for local Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) agencies. SMI’s early roots began with his first contracts with Georgia DFCS providing Food Stamp Issuance lists and fully automating the previously manual process.
Over the years, Mr. Stone has been instrumental in expanding SMI’s product services specifically designed for the Health & Human Services area of governmental agencies. Through Mr. Stone’s leadership, SMI’s privatization efforts have delivered critical services such as:
- The delivery of over a billion dollars in food stamps to families in over 15 states. During the 1980’s and the 1990’s, SMI was the largest private issuance provider of food stamps in the nation.
- Information processing systems. Under Mr. Stone’s leadership, SMI has developed, implemented and currently supports information systems that track critical data for Health & Human Services agencies.
- Over the past several years under Mr. Stone’s leadership, SMI has developed and implemented a new innovative approach to child support payment processing. Currently, this system collects and processes over 8.6 million transactions annually.
Consultant, 1970 - 1977 (Various Businesses)
In addition to teaching and promoting programs within the Business School at West Georgia College in Carrollton, Georgia, Mr. Stone was very active with the school’s Continuing Education program and designed a number of supervisory management training programs for area businesses. Consulting soon led to specially designed courses for State of Georgia Human Services personnel.
State University of West Georgia - Professor in Business Management
Chairman of the Computer Center Committee
Director of the Business Internship Program, 1969 – 1977
After three years of coursework and field exams, Mr. Stone was ready for his first teaching assignment in his chosen area, Business Administration. Mr. Stone was interviewed and hired to teach management in the School of Business at West Georgia College. In addition, his background dictated that Mr. Stone also develop and teach courses in Production and Quantitative Methods, as well as chair the faculty committee that oversaw the fledgling computer center at the College. His years at WGC were filled with personal achievement and self-satisfaction for what was being accomplished.
Rich’s Inc. - Programmer Consultant, 1966 - 1968
While on the Georgia State University faculty, Rich’s contracted with Mr. Stone for consulting programming on its first Real-Time inventory control system. This system operated on an NCR mainframe.
Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia - Instructor of Quantitative Methods, 1966
Within months of beginning work for Southern Railway, Mr. Stone had the opportunity to join the faculty at Georgia State University (GSU) as an Instructor. GSU was establishing a new Department of Quantitative Methods. He was one of four original faculty hired. His BS/MS degrees from Georgia Tech qualified him to teach statistics, probability and calculus to business majors. The job also allowed his pursuit of a personal goal - a Ph.D.
Southern Railway, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia - Programmer Analyst, 1965 - 1966
In the mid-to-late sixties, Southern Railway was rapidly expanding its data-processing capability. Mr. Stone was hired into a team of five people whose responsibility was payroll accounting for the company.
Lockheed Aircraft - Georgia Division, Programmer Analyst, 1962 - 1965
Mr. Stone was hired as a college graduate, to be a programmer trainee for the Spare Parts Support Group of the Programming/Systems Division of Lockheed-Georgia’s Data Processing Department. Mr. Stone was in the first group of programmers trained by IBM staff outside its New York headquarters in the then new COBOL language. At Lockheed, IBM had just installed one of its first commercially successful mainframes, the IBM 7080. His first programs were coded in both COBOL and BCD machine language. He was a senior programmer within three years. His projects included generating spare part support data for the C-130 Hercules, C-141 Starlifter and C-5 Galaxy aircraft programs.
Education and Credentials
- Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA - ABD
- Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA - Master of Science
- Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA - Bachelor of Science
- State University of West Georgia, Executive in Residence (1998 – 1999)
- State University of West Georgia, Honorary Alumnus (1997), President’s Award (1997)
- Georgia County Welfare Association, Life Association Membership (1988)
- West Georgia Telecommunications Alliance, Founding Sponsor
- Carroll Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Board (2001 – 2002)
- Citizens Bank & Trust of West Georgia, Chairman of the Executive Board
- Rotary International – Member, Will Watt Fellow, Past President
August 30, 2007
Thorn began his career in 1979 with S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. In his 16 years with the company, Thorn's experience spanned finance, marketing, strategic planning, acquisitions and international business. Building on his diverse experience, Thorn also served with Campbell Soup Company and Beaulieu of America, a large carpet manufacturer. During his first year at Southwire, Thorn reorganized the company around its core businesses, culminating with an acquisition that put Southwire in the number one position of the North American building wire market. Thorn received a bachelor's degree in economics in 1978, and a master's of business administration degree in 1979, both from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He majored in Finance and Decision Science. He serves on several boards, including Just Care, Inc., a privately owned sub-acute care operation for prisoners in need of medical attention, and MB Associates, a physician billing management service.
September 27, 2006
Luis A. Planas
The Coca-Cola Company
He joined The Coca-Cola Company as a Junior Accountant in 1972. Throughout his career at The Coca-Cola Company, Luis has held various positions in strategic procurement and planning in many of the Company’s domestic and international operating units. In 1997, Luis joined Panamercian Beverages, Inc. in Mexico City, which at the time was the second largest bottler of Coca-Cola products in the world. He served as Director of Procurement for their Mexican operations. He was later named Corporate Director of Procurement, responsible for the procurement of all direct materials used in bottling operations throughout Latin America. In May 2003, Luis returned to The Coca-Cola Company in his current role.
Luis received his BBA in Accounting and Finance from West Georgia College in 1972 and his MBA from Georgia State University in 1977.
April 11, 2006
W. Gene Winters, CPA
Gene Winters' eighteen years of senior-level healthcare experience and financial expertise enable Regency to remain a recognized clinical & financial leader in the healthcare industry. At age 24, Gene served as the youngest hospital CFO in HCA’s history. By age 27, Gene was serving as CFO of Transitional Hospitals Corporation, a publicly-traded 23-hospital chain started under Gene’s leadership. After the chain was sold to Kindred Healthcare for $630MM, and selling a small subsequent 12-hospital chain to healthcare giant Mariner in 2000, Gene founded and invested in Regency. Other investors in Regency include such luminaries as Jack Welch, the former chairman of GE. In short, Regency has grown from a $13MM investment in 2001 to a company valued at $350MM in 2005. Current plans are to issue $125MM in high yield bonds in third quarter 2005 to continue growth over the next twelve months with an Initial Public Offering (IPO) scheduled for late 2006.
October 11, 2005
Chairman and CEO:
Bowden Manufacturing Company
LaMar Manufacturing Company
October 19 and 20, 2004