Meet the Speakers

2017 Summit Keynote Speakers

Debra Shankle

Vice President, Coca-Cola North America

Debra’s responsibilities include the management and leadership of the Coca-Cola North America Supply Chain.  Shankle has held positions of increasing responsibility at Coca-Cola including most recently as the Vice President, Conversion Sparkling West; Vice President, Central Region Manufacturing; Vice President, Southeast and East Region; Vice President, Manufacturing and Senior Vice President, Technical Office.

Prior to Coca-Cola, Shankle was employed with Sara Lee for 15 years and held a number of Supply Chain leadership roles including Chief Supply Chain Officer, Beverages; VP, Foodservice Supply Chain; VP, Supply Chain Strategy; and Group VP Operations. Shankle also worked for Frito-Lay, Inc. where she held positions of increasing responsibility in Operations, Logistics, Fleet Purchasing and Operations Planning functions. 

Rob Dugas

Vice President, Chief Procurement Officer of Chick-fil-A, Inc.

Rob serves Chick-fil-A by overseeing the business functions which are responsible for providing trusted supply for over 2000 restaurants in the United States and Canada. That responsibility includes ensuring product integrity, competitive cost, and a reliable distribution network to maintain continuous supply for the highest volume quick service restaurant concept in the country.

Rob is also responsible for company’s social responsibility strategy and serves on the executive strategy team which establishes the company’s strategic priorities to ensure that the brand is healthy, relevant and a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.


Morning Sessions - 10:30 - Noon

Manufacturing A Better Bottom Line

Trends to Track in Your Supply Chain

International Manufacturing

Afternoon Sessions 2:30 - 4:00

7 Secrets To More Successful Selling

Technology For Manufacturing Today

Developing Georgia's Winning Workforce

Manufacturing A Better Bottom Line                                                     (back to top of page)

How to Power Profitability at Every Level of Your Business – An interactive conversation

This panel will be comprised of Georgia business leaders who understand the challenges of leading a successful organization. They will offer tips and ideas and will take questions from the audience. Focused on CEOs, CFOs, Controllers, and HR executives, this panel will address how to power profitability at every level of your business.

Who should attend: CEOs, CFOs, Controllers, HR executives

Topics covered:

-Insights and Tools to Make Financing Work for Your Business
-Minimizing Your Taxes – With or Without Tax Reform
-Finding Opportunity in Your Healthcare Spend
-Wage and Hour Regulations

Mike Iverson will serve as the panel moderator.    

Mike Iverson
Partner, Snellings Walters Insurance

Mike Iverson is a principal with Snellings Walters in Atlanta Georgia. He is passionate and engaged in all that he does, believing that success is built on one’s willingness to interrogate ideas and find innovative solutions. His willingness to initiate conversation on the issues that matter has helped Snellings Walters build a high trust environment focussed on leadership development. He is driven to help people find their purpose and unleash their passion. Mike Iverson is a principal with Snellings Walters in Atlanta, Georgia. He is passionate and engaged in all that he does, believing that success is built on one’s willingness to interrogate ideas and find innovative solutions. His willingness to initiate conversation on the issues that matter has helped Snellings Walters build a high trust environment focused on leadership development. He is driven to help people find their purpose and unleash their passion.

Mike attended the University of North Dakota, has been married to his wife Michelle since 1997 and is a proud parent of his two sons (Peter and Ian) and his two daughters (Skylar and Samantha). He is a Deacon at his church and also serves on the Finance Committee.

Mike attended the University of North Dakota, has been married to his wife Michelle since 1997 and is a proud parent of his two sons (Peter and Ian) and his two daughters (Skylar and Samantha). He is a Deacon at his church as also serves on the Finance Committee.

Minimizing Your Taxes – With or Without Tax Reform

Even with the details (or reality) of tax reform still unknown, there are many ways manufacturers can reduce their tax liability. Debbie Torrance will offer advice on ways your business can start planning now for 2018.

Debbie R. Torrance, CPA/PFS
Partner, Smith & Howard

Debbie Torrance is Smith & Howard’s Tax Services practice leader, providing tax services, merger and acquisition consulting, international taxation counsel and transactional analysis to middle-market businesses and individuals. Debbie leads the Manufacturing/Distribution team and is a member of the Technology team. She graduated from Winthrop College with a BS in Finance and from Clemson University with a Master's in Accounting Tax. She is Certified Personal Financial Specialist, a member of the AICPA, where she is a Member of the Tax Division, the GSCPA, where she is a past member of the Board of Directors, the Atlanta Tax Forum and the Atlanta Estate Planning Council.

Insights and Tools to Make Financial Services Work for Your Manufacturing Business

- Jason Carr, Georgia Commercial Banking Market Leader with PNC Bank, will address ways to leverage financial services to address key manufacturing challenges including how to plan for and finance capital equipment acquisitions to minimize cash flow and profitability impacts, optimize payment mix to reduce operating cost and risk, automate aspects of the financial supply chain to minimize manual processes and borrowing needs, and extend the payables cycle in the face of increasing demands for faster payments.

Jason Carr
Senior Vice President, Georgia Commercial Banking Market Leader at PNC

Jason Carr is the Market Leader for PNC’s Georgia Commercial Banking unit, which delivers impactful advice and customized solutions to optimize the financial performance of lower middle market companies located in the state of Georgia. Jason has more than 20 years of corporate banking experience, including roles in the fields of consulting, product management and development, business development, and relationship management, and spanning multiple geographic locations and market segments. He is a Certified Treasury Professional and a member of the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP). Jason is a graduate of the University of Central Florida, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree with an emphasis in Management, and a Master of Business Administration degree with an emphasis in Finance and E-commerce.

Jonathan Martin - Wage and Hour Regulations
Partner - Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP

Jonathan's goal is simple: To help your company make more money - or save money - by providing practical, easy-to-understand business advice for your labor and employment law issues.

Jonathan works with companies throughout the United States to develop comprehensive labor relations strategies designed to minimize exposure to litigation (and win if a lawsuit occurs) and ensure that your workforce out performs your competitors.

Jonathan is a labor and employment lawyer with the national law firm, Constangy, Brooks & Smith. He is a graduate of the Terry School of Business, University of Georgia, (B.B.A.- Banking & Finance, cum laude), and a graduate of the Walter F. George School of Law, Mercer University, (J.D., magna cum laude). In addition to his private law practice, he is currently serving his country as a JAG officer in the Georgia Air National Guard.

Finding Opportunity in Your Healthcare Spend

Chris’ discussion will challenge the assumption that healthcare costs are out of our control. By incorporating actively managed benefit programs, companies can discover where opportunity hides within employer healthcare insurance spend. The era of waiting on your renewal is a thing of the past. Chris will provide a compelling case for companies to become more proactive with their employees’ health, dig deeper into their insurance program, and consider macro level ideas to drive bottom line results.

Chris DiCarlo - Benefits For Manufacturing
Benefits Consultant, Snellings Walters Insurance

A native of Georgia, Chris graduated from Georgia College & State University with a triple major in Accounting, Marketing, and Management. He began his career in public accounting as a risk management auditor. Recognizing his desire for growth, he found Snellings Walters core values to align with where he wanted to take his career. Chris enjoys the complexities of the healthcare market and believes in asking the right questions to identify issues so together solutions can be found. He specializes in alternative funding arrangements to bring transparency and control to healthcare expenditures for companies of 50+ employees.

Chris is the chairman of the Atlanta Peachtree Society for Cystic Fibrosis. Chris and his wife, Betsy, live in Roswell, GA. He and Betsy love spending time with family, paddle boarding on the Chattahoochee, attending date night shows at the Fox Theater, and working out in their home Crossfit gym.

Trends to Track in Your Supply Chain                                             (back to top of page)

This panel will be comprised of Georgia business leaders who understand the challenges of maintaining a successful supply chain.

Who should attend: Purchasing / Engineering/ Operations / Logistics

Topics covered:

- Procurement:
- Logistics: Chris Barnes, President, APICS Atlanta
- Manufacturing:

This session is sponsored by TalentStream

Scott Luton will moderate this session.

Scott Luton - Logistics Trends in Georgia 

Supply Chain Thought Leader, Past President of APICS Atlanta.

Scott Luton serves as Managing Partner for TalentStream and is a member of the ownership group. He brings more than 15 years of general management and business development experience to TalentStream. After graduating from the University of South Carolina in 2000, he began his career as a database analyst in the United States Air Force. Luton later joined EmployBridge – a national specialty staffing provider based in Atlanta – where he was named to the President’s Club in 2007 and 2008. He has held leadership roles including Vice President of Business Development for Definity Partners and Director of Sales for Clairon Metals Corporation. More recently, Luton founded Riverwood Associates in 2013, a leading process improvement consulting and training firm in the Southeast. He formerly served as President of APICS Atlanta and currently is a member of APICS Southeast District Staff. A certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and an APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional, Luton also maintains active membership in the Association for Manufacturing Excellence, the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance, the Transportation Club of Atlanta and SHRM Greenville.

Tandreia Bellamy - Logistics Trends in Georgia
Vice President/Industrial Engineering, UPS Supply Chain Solutions

Innovation, imagination and patience are vital components in developing an energetic and effective engineering department. Those are also vital characteristics for raising kids, thankfully I have been relatively successful (so far) at doing both.

In 2016, I assumed the role of Vice-President Industrial Engineering, UPS Global Logistics and Distribution. In this position, I direct all industrial engineering activities related to the company’s key product offerings: Distribution, Service Parts Logistics and Mail Innovations.

Previously, I held the role of Vice President of Engineering for the West Region, responsible for the Industrial Engineering (IE), Operations Excellence (OE) and Technology Support Groups (TSG) for the western half of the United States. My team is responsible for all aspect of planning, asset utilization, service quality, support and implementation of technology, and process improvements. My other job is the care and nurturing of two wonderful children, Ruby (17) and Anthony (15).

Karin Bursa - Logistics Trends in Georgia
Executive Vice President, Logility

Karin L. Bursa, executive vice president of marketing at Logility, oversees the company's market positioning, strategy development and marketing programs. Ms. Bursa is known for her strategic vision and market knowledge and is experienced in the development, support and marketing of software solutions to improve and automate enterprise-wide operations including supply chain management, manufacturing, financial, field service and maintenance management. She began her career as a consultant for Accenture (formerly Andersen Consulting) where she focused on the manufacturing and telecommunications industries. Ms. Bursa has been at the forefront of innovative supply chain management, sales & operations planning (S&OP), demand-driven manufacturing, and B2B collaboration initiatives such as the Voluntary Interindustry Commerce Standard (VICS) Collaborative Planning, Forecasting and Replenishment (CPFR) committee and Flow Manufacturing.

Albert Sorto, - ELD: the impact on driver, carrier and shipper
Vice President, NMTA

Dynamic and innovative sales executive, with progressive experience in new business development, sales, marketing, customer service and operations management. Over twenty years of proven success in developing new business through key accounts and establishing solid partnerships to increase channel revenue.

NMTA is committed to assisting all minorities with establishing and growing successful businesses in the trucking and transportation industry by providing resources, consulting, education, member benefits and training. In addition, NMTA fosters employment and professional development opportunities through various partnerships and affiliations with many of the leading organizations in the transportation industry.

Brad Bossence - Logistics Trends in Georgia
Vice President of Customer Solutions - LeanCor

Brad has nearly 20 years of third party logistics experience with a specific focus in lean supply chain design and execution. Brad has held various leadership roles in supply chain operations across the globe including various factory and facility launches supporting automotive, retail, food and beverage and consumer packaged goods industries. Prior to joining LeanCor, Brad spent 12 years working under the Mitsui umbrella supporting Toyota's North American and European logistics infrastructure.

As Vice President of Consumer Solutions at LeanCor, Brad's responsibilities have included the vision, leadership and execution of various extensive supply chain improvement initiatives. Brad is the leader of LeanCor Consulting, a hands-on consulting organization that specializes in End-to-End Supply Chain Advancement services. Brad is a Senior Instructor at the Georgia Tech Supply Chain and Logistics Institute, leading lean leaders through cultural transformation in the US and also in Latin America in support of the Panama Canal expansion. Brad is also President of the Atlanta WERCouncil (Warehouse Education and Resource Council).

Brad holds a Bachelor of Commerce and an MBA with a focus in International Business and Organizational Behavior from the University of Windsor in Canada. He is a certified Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and holds various lean and six sigma accreditations.

International Manufacturing:                                                                               (back to top of page)
Building Domestic Growth and a Competitive Edge Through Exports

This panel will be comprised of Georgia business leaders who understand the challenges of international trade.

Who should attend: Purchasing / Export/ Logistics

Topics covered:

- Increase sales by leveraging the demand for U.S. products overseas.
- Understand the key dynamics that will guide a successful export program.
- Learn from success stories you can build from.

Join our panel discussion regarding the opportunities available for all size manufacturing companies ready to take their organization to the next level.

This session is sponsored by EWISE Communications

Joanne Sanders President will moderate this session.

Joanne Sanders - International Market Overview & Panel Moderator
President, EWISE Communications

Joanne Sanders is President of EWISE Communications – a target marketing and communications firm specialized in helping companies tap growing industries, launch new products, expand into new markets and grow locally and internationally. Joanne brings over 15 years of experience developing and leading strategic and tactical target marketing programs (domestic and international), managing lead generation and business development initiatives, and integrating traditional and new media outreach efforts. Joanne and her team have worked with a variety of industries including academic, banking, chemical, construction, dental, entertainment, environmental, fashion, information technology (IT), insurance, healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing, medical device, pharmaceutical, staffing, telecom and tourism.

Joanne won the 2017 Georgia Latina Excellence Award for Leadership in Business and Technology, is a board member of the World Trade Center Atlanta, and serves as International Manufacturing Liaison and Market Leader for the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance.

Mary Waters - Georgia’s Strength in Exports and Getting Started
Deputy Commissioner, International Trade

Georgia Department of Economic Development

Mary Waters oversees the state’s International Trade program which provides services that contribute to the expansion of Georgia’s exports, the creation and retention of jobs attributable to exports and the continued internationalization of Georgia’s economy. The state’s international trade program assists companies with exporting and matches Georgia suppliers with international buyers. From 2008 to 2013, Mrs. Waters served as Senior International Trade Manager with the Department’s Global Commerce division, managing medical and biotech exports statewide, and helping small and medium-sized healthcare companies and manufacturers successfully export to international markets.

Most recently, Mrs. Waters worked as an International Account Manager with Guided Therapeutics, Inc. a medical device manufacturer and exporter located in Norcross, Georgia. Mary was responsible for the company’s business development initiatives in Latin America and Africa.

Robert Fabbrini - – Export Success Story & Recommendations
General Manager - Program Sales - Red Brick Brewing

Robert Fabbrini serves as General Manger – Program Sales Lead for Red Brick Brewing Company. In this role he is charged with leveraging resources to profitably grow distribution at southeastern off-premise chain retailers with over 2,000 locations in 6 states. Additionally, grow distribution via national sales programs, large box retailers, and international markets. Robert’s ability to build trust and strong relationships has enabled him to build an international sales channel that grew from zero to 6 countries as well –representing 21% of the total company sales in the first 4 years.

Robert and his company were recognized by Georgia’s Governor Nathan Deal with a GLOBE Award for being Georgia’s first craft brewery to export. In addition, they were finalist in Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce’s 2017 “Global Impact Awards” for international sales growth and won the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce’s 2016 MEC grant, securing additional international marketing funds

7 Secrets To More Successful Selling                                                           (back to top of page)

This panel will be comprised of Georgia business leaders who understand the challenges of maintaining a successful sales and marketing program. Focused on Communications, Marketing and Public Relations, this panel will address how to build a successful sales team, marketing and branding guidelines, and LinkedIn tips.

Who should attend: Sales Representatives / Sales Managers / Marketing

Topics covered:

- Sales Strategies
- Team Accountability (that works for everyone)
- Marketing Game Plans
- Social Media Marketing For Manufacturing

This session is sponsored by FMI

Steve Hillis  - Sales Strategies for Georgia Manufacturing
Senior Consultant - FMI

Steve will share sales tips from the top.

Edward MacFarlane  - Marketing Strategies to Build Your Brand & Increase Sales
Owner - Operator at FastSigns Snellville

Top questions that will be answered during this educational session:

Do your signs and visual graphics represent the brand you are today, Is the design dated?
What about the new products and services you sell, has your message changed?
Are your signs and graphics in good physical shape? Are they faded?
Are your signs telling a consistent story about your business?

Gregg Burkhalter  - Using LinkedIn to Grow Your Brand & Business
President -

Gregg Burkhalter is a recognized authority on Personal Branding and LinkedIn. He has helped countless professionals in the U.S. and abroad define and grow their Personal Brand using LinkedIn. Gregg is known by many as “The LinkedIn Guy”. He provides Personal Branding Coaching and LinkedIn Training via one-on-one and group training sessions, corporate presentations and webinars. He is also a frequent speaker at civic and chamber events and area universities.

Top questions that will be answered during this educational session:

- What's new with LinkedIn (and what new features are on the way)?
- What are the 5 most important parts of your LinkedIn personal profile?
- What should I do daily on LinkedIn to build my brand and grow my business?

Technology For Manufacturing Today                                                (back to top of page)

This panel will be comprised of Georgia business leaders who understand the challenges of maintaining a successful information technology program.

Who should attend: CIO / Automation / IT Team

Topics covered:

Focused on CIOs, IT, and Technology, this panel will address the latest developments in IT and Cyber security.

- Latest in Technology Tools
- Emerging Trends
- Cyber Security for Manfuacturers
- Disaster Recovery

This session is sponsored by GlobeRanger, a Fujitsu Company

Richard Warner will moderate this session

Dennis Badman - Maturing the Global IoT Ecosystem & Where to Begin
Global (IoT) Executive - President, - GlobeRanger, a Fujitsu Company

Dennis Badman is CEO & President of GlobeRanger – a software company specialising in improving key manufacturing and warehousing metrics by increasing operational visibility and process analysis. Over his 25 year career Dennis has been both customer and supplier of enterprise scale technology. He brings with him view points on IoT in Manufacturing which is shaped not only by his current role at GlobeRanger but also his work with the World Economic Forum in tackling the challenges associated with bringing about global IoT standards.

Richard Warner  - Cyber Security and Increasing the IT Team’s Visibility in Your Business
CEO, Aware Force

Richard will share how Aware Force provides an innovative service that engages employees in cyber security while raising an IT team's visibility across the organization. Aware Force is branded for your organization and incorporates timely and interesting videos, quizzes, podcasts, infographics and articles. It's cost-effective, easy to implement and generates impressive metrics.

Charlie Post  - Advances in Machine Controls
President, TSI Solutions

Charlie has been involved in providing factory automation solutions to Georgia manufacturers and machine builders since 1992. His company represents some of the finest suppliers of factory and process automation components in the business, including Festo, Banner, Turck, Bimba, Piab, Kollmorgen and Wago. These companies provide components that do the work and control it: machine muscles and brains. The technology behind machine control is evolving rapidly and Charlie will talk about the direction that the manufacturing industry is headed and what’s in store for factory owners, factory workers and society.

Developing Georgia's Winning Workforce                                           (back to top of page)

This panel will be comprised of Georgia business leaders who understand the challenges of maintaining a successful workforce.

Who should attend: CEO / Human Resources

Topics covered:

- What programs are available and what is working
- Generational Gaps
- Leadership Training Game Plans

This session is sponsored by JC Malone

This panel discussion will be moderated by Jamey Jackson

Jamey Jackson  - Workforce Development Tips
President, JC Malone

Mr. Jackson began his career with Kelly Automotive Services Group where he helped place candidates in professions including manufacturing, engineering, welding, and information systems for Toyota Motor Engineering North America and Toyota Motor Manufacturing. Since joining JC Malone Associates in 2010, he has helped provide staffing solutions around the globe by collaborating with talent acquisition partners on six different continents.

As a member of the Quick Start Advisory Committee and Board Member at THINC Academy, Mr. Jackson helps people in the community discover educational and career opportunities and guides them to resources that develop essential skills for business. His inspiration to invest in the education of youth in Georgia comes from his father, Randy Jackson, late CAO of KIA Motors Manufacturing of Georgia, who helped establish THINC Academy. Jamey plans to continue raising scholarship funds in his father’s name for THINC and West Georgia Technical College, and will utilize his leadership with the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance to promote the employment opportunities that are available in the manufacturing industry.

Shannon Garner  - Connecting With Community
Human Resources Manager, Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc.,

KMMG Workforce Development Success

Dr. Kathy Carlisle - Connecting With Students
CEO, THINC College and Career Academy

THINC College and Career Academy workforce development culture promotes:

- transformation of education for high school through robust partnerships with business and industry
- infusing soft-skills in curriculum, grades and student activities
- sustaining state of the arts equipment and academic achievement with community financial support
- promoting wrap around services such as LIFT (LaGrange Industry Fellowship for Teachers) and SLAM (Students Learning Advanced Manufacturing)

Jason Ransbottom  - Connecting With Employees
Senior Manager HR & Administration, Hyundai Powertech

Jason is responsible for the full function of HR including Human Resources, Safety / Environmental, General affairs and Team Relations for Hyundai Powertech. His main areas of focus as of late are in the areas of workforce development and strategic workforce planning.

Jason serves on the Troup County Chamber of Commerce as Vice Chairman of Workforce Development as well as Chairman of the Troup County Safety Council and THINC Career Academy STEM advisory committee.