GSMA Mobility Live! to host world-class industry leaders for Atlanta conference program

The GSMA and the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) announced the next round of speakers for ‘GSMA Mobility Live! – North America’ conference being held in Atlanta, Nov. 1-2, 2016. Merging the previously separate ‘Mobile 360 – North America’ and ‘Mobility LIVE!’ events, the new event collaboration will bring together leading mobile industry innovators with more event features.

The combined event will offer a dynamic platform to explore the key trends impacting the mobile industry as well as highlight innovation and new developments impacting areas such as digital commerce, FinTech, security, connected living, and more. With the theme of “Transforming the Connected Lifestyle,” the two-day conference will bring rich content to a vast array of key leaders and mobile influencers.

Confirmed speakers for ‘GSMA Mobility Live! – North America’ to date include:

  • Steve Cannon, CEO, AMB Group
  • Jared Miller, CTO, AMB Sports and Entertainment
  • Daphne Gottschalk, Head of Innovation Program, Amdocs
  • Andy Peart, CMO and CSO, Artificial Solutions
  • Cameron Coursey, VP, Product Development, AT&T
  • Glenn Lurie, President and CEO, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Operations, AT&T
  • Mike Zeto, Executive Director, AT&T Smart Cities, AT&T
  • Kevin Wade, Director, Solutions Marketing, Blue Planet, Ciena
  • Arvind Satyam, MD, Global Business Development, Smart+Connected Communities, Cisco
  • Chris Dennis, Global Product Strategy, Freestyle, The Coca-Cola Company
  • Steve Robb, SVP, Security Marketing and Product Strategy, ControlScan
  • Mike Burgiss, VP Strategy, Mobility, Cox Automotive
  • John Dwyer, President, Cricket Wireless
  • Sabina Saksena, Founder and CEO, CytiLife
  • Radhika Subramanian, CEO, Emcien Corporation
  • Jane Schachtel, Global Head of Technology and Telco Strategy, Facebook
  • Jessica Rosenworcel, Commissioner, FCC
  • Andy Davies, Senior Director, IoT Solutions, Flex
  • Dr. Natasha Tamaskar, VP and Head of Cloud and Mobile Strategy and Ecosystem, GENBAND
  • Yoav Schreiber, COO and Business Development, GlassBox
  • Bruce Snell, Cybersecurity and Privacy Director, Intel Security
  • Bill Keen, VP, Mobile Solutions, Digital Guest Experience and Applied Discovery, Intercontinental Hotels Group
  • Don A. Bailey, Founder, Lab Mouse Security
  • Dori Gurwitz, VP New Business, LISNR
  • Hala Moddelmog, President and CEO, Metro Atlanta Chamber
  • Nirav Desai, Principal Healthcare Strategist, Mobiquity
  • Joel Evans, Co-Founder, VP Cloud and Mobile Transformation, Mobiquity
  • Rajiv Dholakia, VP Products and Business Development, Nok Nok Labs
  • Kwame Johnson, Executive Director, PowerMyLearning
  • Mary Clark, CMO, Syniverse
  • Eitan Cohen, CEO and Co-Founder, TechSee Augmented Vision
  • Hannu Verkasalo, CEO and Founder, Verto Analytics
  • Noah Wasmer, SVP, Mobile Products, VMware
  • June Sugiyama, Director, Vodafone Foundation Americas
  • Todd McGuire, Chief Strategy Officer, Worldpay

The GSMA has hosted an annual North America event in Atlanta as part of its Mobile 360 Series since 2014, bringing together leading executives from across the mobile industry, including operators, vendors and internet companies.

The 2015 Mobility Live! conference, managed by the Metro Atlanta Chamber, included more than 1,000 attendees and featured a keynote session from Apple’s Senior Vice President for Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue in a fireside chat with AT&T Mobility President and CEO Glenn Lurie.

Visit the GSMA Mobility Live!  website for more information, including how to attend, exhibit or sponsor the conference. Follow the latest updates on Twitter, using the #MobilityLive hashtag or following @MobilityLive and @GSMA.


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Five metro Atlanta companies compete for $35,000 in grants

Patrick Adcock

Patrick Adcock

By Patrick Adcock

The 2016 Atlanta Metro Export Challenge announced their top five finalists Aug. 20 as part of the JPMorgan Chase-powered Atlanta Metro Export Plan (MEP) grant program designed to help small and medium-sized businesses begin or expand their exporting programs. Continue reading

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ChooseATL After 5 Showcases Metro Atlanta to Interns

Alexis Everett, James Hicks, Lukas Pilgrim, Alexander Shim, Patrick Adcock, Sarah Shoup. Photo courtesy of Akshay Gopalakrishnan

Alexis Everett, James Hicks, Lukas Pilgrim, Alexander Shim, Patrick Adcock, Sarah Shoup. Photo courtesy of Akshay Gopalakrishnan

ChooseATL, a regional campaign focused on attracting and retaining millennials to metro Atlanta, in partnership with Intern Navigator, a platform for employers to share internship, Co-op, and entry-level job postings with 35 colleges and universities across the metro region, recently launched ChooseATL After 5 to provide Atlanta-based interns insight on the region’s culture and unmatched quality of life. Continue reading

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Georgia Research Alliance Showcases Georgia Ingenuity

By Amanda Schroeder, Director, Public Relations, Georgia Research Alliance

Amanda Schroeder, Director, Public Relations, Georgia Research Alliance

Amanda Schroeder, Director, Public Relations, Georgia Research Alliance

If someone asked you to name something that’s been invented in Georgia – besides Coca-Cola – what would you say?

The Georgia Research Alliance is giving the city and state’s leadership 25 answers to that question. As part of its silver anniversary year, GRA has been rolling out “25 Breakthroughs in Georgia,” a series of short write-ups about the most notable inventions and discoveries that have emerged from the state’s universities. Continue reading

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Trends and Technology Driving Innovation in the Health IT Industry

By John Bardis, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of MedAssets

John Bardis, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of MedAssets

John Bardis, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of MedAssets

The Health IT Leadership Summit opens on Nov. 3, marking the sixth year of this signature event spotlighting the health IT industry in Georgia.

Created in 2010 by the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the Metro Atlanta Chamber and the Technology Association of Georgia’s Health Society, the Health IT Leadership Summit brings together leaders from across the healthcare continuum to discuss how the industry can drive innovation to enable better healthcare delivery at lower costs to more people. Continue reading

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The Growing Impact of Cybersecurity: Lessons Learned from Israel

By Pamela Dubin, founder, CyberUP

Pamela Dubin, founder, CyberUP

Pamela Dubin, founder, CyberUP

Last spring, I joined Alan Boehme, CIO, CTO of The Coca-Cola Co., as well as Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and 33 business leaders for a crash course on the cybersecurity ecosystem in Israel.  Organized by Conexx: America Israel Business Connector, the state of Georgia and Metro Atlanta Chamber, we had incredible access to the world’s leading cybersecurity experts.  Conexx is a non-profit organization creating opportunities for Israeli businesses in the U.S. and for American businesses in Israel. With a powerful member-driven network, Conexx provides businesses with access to ground breaking technologies, companies and partners in the Southeast, Israel and beyond. Continue reading

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Another Year of Celebrating Business and Entrepreneurship

By Mary Moore, Founder and CEO, The Cook’s Warehouse

Mary Moore, Founder and CEO, The Cook’s Warehouse

Mary Moore, Founder and CEO, The Cook’s Warehouse

For 29 years, the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) has celebrated business and entrepreneurship in our region at the annual Business Person of the Year Awards Luncheon. Partnering again this year with the Atlanta Business Chronicle, the June event brought together more than 450 attendees and highlighted the entrepreneurial spirit of 15 metro Atlanta businesses. Atlanta’s key industry clusters were well represented at this year’s awards luncheon, ranging from mobile and biomedical devices to manufacturing and supply chain.

The Business Person of the Year (BPOTY) award recognizes a winner in each of three categories: early-stage entrepreneur (one to three years in business); emerging entrepreneur (three to seven years in business) and experienced entrepreneur (seven or more years in business).

The winners by category are:

  • Early-Stage Entrepreneur (1-3 years) – Anna Ruth Williams, CEO and Founder, AR|PR LLC
  • Emerging Entrepreneur (3-7 years) – Rahim Charania, CEO, American Fueling Systems
  • Experienced Entrepreneur (7+ years ) – Tom DiGregorio, President & Owner, AquaGuard Foundation Solutions

This year Arnie Silverman, president, Silverman Construction Program Management (Silverman CPM), was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award for all of his hard work and dedication. Silverman CPM was founded 20 years ago to assist nonprofit organizations in metro Atlanta. Silverman CPM has been an invisible partner in numerous developments throughout the region, contributing useful information to enable construction projects in metro Atlanta. One of their most recent projects includes the development of Ponce City Market, which consists of a two-million square foot adaptive reuse of the historic Sears Roebuck & Co. building positioned on the Atlanta Beltline.

The Startups to Watch category showcases a unique group of entrepreneurs that were developed by students at our local universities. Although these companies are in their early stages of business, their unique and innovative ideas already have a positive effect on metro Atlanta’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. This year we recognized four “Startups to Watch”:

  • Advent Innovations, LLC – Regan Durkin, CEO; University of Georgia
  • Micron Biomedical – Mark Prausnitz, Co-Founder; Georgia Tech
  • Sparketh – Dwayne Walker, CEO; Kennesaw State University
  • U4gotUrBaby– Pulkit Bhatnagar, Co-Founder; Georgia State University

Congratulations to all the winners!

Watch the videos of all the BPOTY finalist:

Business Person of the Year 2015: How we got the winners

Business Person of the Year 2015: Early Stage Entrepreneurs, presented by Radiant3

Business Person of the Year 2015: Emerging Entrepreneurs, presented by Radiant3

Business Person of the Year 2015: Experienced Entrepreneurs, presented by Radiant3

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From Peach to Powerhouse: Georgia’s Health IT Scene

By Turner Taliaferro Smith, III, Psy.D., Vice President, Business Development, TeleHealth Solutions

Turner Taliaferro Smith, III, Psy.D., Vice President, Business Development, TeleHealth Solutions

Turner Taliaferro Smith, III, Psy.D., Vice President, Business Development, TeleHealth Solutions

The secret is out. Georgia has become a hotbed for health IT (HIT) companies, both veteran and startup. Georgia holds down the nation’s top spot with more than 225 HIT companies, nine of which have cumulative revenues of close to $5 billion. There are several reasons why.

Metro Atlanta ranks in the top five U.S. markets for total bandwidth and fiber access and two of the country’s largest fiber routes – north/south and east/west – cross in metro Atlanta. The region’s powerful technology grid will sustain health IT business expansion for decades to come.

Rapid job growth is another important factor. The growth in Georgia health IT is something for job seekers to get excited about. Georgia’s technology sector continues to be one of the most powerful job creators in the state with more than 4,000 net new jobs in 2014. Since 2010, Georgia has also added more than 25,000 new technology positions—over 272,000 IT jobs in five short years.

Health IT

“The health IT industry in Georgia is healthy and thriving as a result of the region’s robust infrastructure and the ongoing collaboration between our HIT corporations, academic institutions and healthcare providers,” says David Hartnett, vice president, economic development, Metro Atlanta Chamber. “Georgia also delivers a skilled workforce and pro-business environment that ensures a solid foundation to help small and mid-sized HIT companies continue to scale.”

A perfect example of a Georgia HIT company that continues to scale is McKesson. “Georgia has a unique combination of assets that are quite attractive for technology companies. In addition to a thriving service economy, the state has a strong educational system and an international travel hub in Atlanta, making for a great place to live and work. The growing number of technology companies has created a community that promotes innovation and best practices, which is highly valuable to McKesson as we continue to advance our business,” says Robert Hendricks, Chief Technology Officer, McKesson.

Fueling this progress and excitement is the annual Health IT Leadership Summit. The Health IT Leadership Summit was founded in 2010 by three organizations to support the growth of the health IT industry: the Georgia Dept. of Economic Development, Metro Atlanta Chamber and the Technology Association of Georgia’s Health Society. In its sixth year and hosted in Atlanta, the Summit brings together health IT leaders, job seekers and students for easy, one-day access to educational sessions, exhibits and networking. Click here for more details and early bird registration.

For more details about Georgia’s growing HIT scene, watch this video.

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A Chat with Two Business Person of the Year Winners

What happens when two entrepreneurs from different industries switch jobs for a day? Two of the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s Business Person of the Year winners, Ryan Turner, CEO and Co-Founder of Unsukay, and Jim Hall, CEO of Triatek, spent a day in each other’s shoes. The duo shares what they took away from the experience and the newfound appreciation they have for each other’s industries.

Do you have what it takes to become one a Business Person of the Year? Apply here today!


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Volunteers Play a Big Role in Helping Students Succeed in Project for a Day

By Melanie Platt and Caitlin Sims

Recently more than 300 Atlanta business and community leaders visited various Atlanta Public Schools (APS) to participate in Project For A Day (PFAD), held on Nov. 6. Project For A Day is an annual event in which volunteers from the business, civic and nonprofit communities volunteer their time on a designated project, and make a tangible impact in the lives of students.

Professionals from multiple organizations spent the morning participating in hands-on, student-focused activities at APS schools. Afterward, the volunteers were among an audience of approximately 600, including APS principals, at the celebratory luncheon at the Omni Hotel to honor student and volunteer efforts.

Project For A Day is sponsored by the Atlanta Partners for Education (APFE), a 33-year-old joint venture between the Metro Atlanta Chamber and Atlanta Public Schools.

AGL Resources was one of the Atlanta-area businesses that participated in Project For A Day by volunteering at Parkside Elementary School. But AGL’s volunteerism goes beyond one day; AGL employees have been volunteering at Parkside for more than a decade.

Parkside Principal Caitlin Sims and AGL Resources Foundation President Melanie Platt share their perspectives on how this partnership benefits the students and volunteers.

Tell us about the school-business partnership between AGL Resources and Parkside Elementary.

Melanie Platt Executive Vice President, Chief People Officer and President, AGL Resources Foundation

Melanie Platt
Executive Vice President, Chief People Officer and
President, AGL Resources Foundation

At AGL Resources, we believe the path to social mobility and enhanced opportunities includes education and career readiness. Simply put, education is a gateway to everything good in life, so it is very important to us that we support students in their educational aspirations.

The AGL Resources and Parkside Elementary partnership is now in its 11th year, and over the course of that time, we’ve seen it strengthen, thanks in large part to the leadership at the school and the enthusiasm of our employees.  It is really a win-win relationship – we’re offering a rewarding volunteer experience to our employees while contributing to the growth and development of the students.

 Why do you think it’s important for your employees to volunteer in the schools?

One of our corporate shared values is Generosity of Spirit – we give back to the communities where we live and serve.  Our employees truly take this value to heart, donating tens of thousands of hours each year to communities across our footprint. Volunteer activities are as diverse as our workforce, and the volunteer experiences at Parkside are some of our most popular.  Whether creating enthusiasm for reading or promoting careers in energy during College and Career Week, our employee volunteers are a positive presence at Parkside and enhance the traditional classroom learning experience. By promoting a love of learning and showing the possibilities that come from a good education, I wholeheartedly believe we’re building a brighter future for individuals, families and communities.

What types of activities have you completed with the students at Parkside?

Over the course of the school year, our employee volunteers have several opportunities to get involved at Parkside. Whether they choose to join the annual PFAD events sponsored by the Atlanta Partners for Education, serve as judges for the Academic Science Fair, or lead Junior Achievement in a Day sessions, our volunteers are helping to prepare Parkside students for success in life. And of course, by participating in College and Career Week, we want to encourage students to consider higher education as a next step – maybe even a career in energy!

But our involvement extends beyond the classroom. During the holidays, we are honored to welcome Parkside students to our corporate headquarters where they treat our employees to rounds of spirited songs of the season, and we, in turn, treat them to goodwill and refreshments. And our employees demonstrate our Company’s value of Generosity of Spirit by supporting students and families in need through our annual Parkside Angel Tree.

AGL Volunteers at Project For A Day:



Caitlin Sims Principal, Parkside Elementary School

Caitlin Sims
Principal, Parkside Elementary School

Q: Tell us about the partnership.

I am very proud of and grateful for the 11-year partnership between Parkside Elementary School and AGL Resources. The AGL team has done an extraordinary job of being a committed corporate partner to our school. The company brings in multiple volunteers throughout the year to talk to our students. We just hosted College and Career Week, which is a major initiative within the Atlanta Public Schools, to educate our students about different options for college and career pathways. AGL brought representatives from different departments – from meter readers and finance to HR and corporate executives – to talk about their careers.

 Q: What are some activities the AGL volunteers participate in at the school?

Reading is a big activity and very key for our students. During the Project For A Day event, the AGL volunteers came and read books to different classes.

During the recent College and Career Week, the AGL volunteers passed out drawstring knapsacks to all the kids so they could create their “bag of dreams” by drawing their visions for their career dreams on one side and college dreams on the other.

During the holidays, we take our choral students to the AGL offices and sing holiday carols. This is a nice treat for the employees and a great learning experience for the students, as they get to see a major company from the inside, visit different floors, and see the executive offices. It’s a great opportunity for exposure to the corporate world.

Each year before school starts, I meet with the core volunteer team in the summer and we map out our goals for the year and what we want to get out of the partnership. The team at AGL is very fluid and flexible; they ask what our needs are and how they can help. We develop an action plan together.

Over the years, the AGL volunteers have also contributed tin other ways, serving as judges for our science fair, providing mentoring and tutoring services and providing incentive prizes for students who reached attendance goals. They have been very involved throughout the 11-year partnership.

Q: What are the benefits you see in the students from this partnership and the involvement of AGL volunteers?

It makes such a big difference for the students to see and hear real people talking about their jobs and offer a very direct connection to the “real world.” The AGL volunteers always emphasize the importance of education in each of their visits, and show the students how they connect to a bigger community.

We talk about creating global citizens and graduates who are ready for the challenges of the 21st century – it’s thrilling for the students to have guest readers and guest speakers who can share some of their wisdom and insight. The College and Career Readiness piece is so critical, and it’s fantastic to have a partner that directly supports this is initiative.

The most important thing about the partnership is AGL’s genuine interest in keeping the partnership focused on the needs of the school and the students. That makes it rewarding on both sides. They really care about what will help the students succeed. I am grateful that AGL Resources gives its employees the time to volunteer at Parkside. The students always light up when they see the volunteers at school, reading to them in their classes or talking about their careers. Their involvement has been invaluable.

APFE has been serving the students of APS since 1981 by providing opportunities for the Atlanta business community to become involved in public education to gain a deeper understanding of how they can make a positive difference in students’ lives. The partnership also allows schools to hear from businesses about the job skills needed in the future workforce. For more information, visit

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