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November 20, 2018 - ECBA Business Luncheon

Robyn Walensky
WSB News Anchor,
Reporter and Author

Robyn has been covering crime, terrorism, politics, and breaking news in both radio and television for more than 20 years. She is co-author of the book "Covering Catastrophe"- Broadcast Journalists Report 9-11-01. She reported extensively on September 11th, & the World Trade Center Bombing back in 1993.  More recently Robyn covered the Casey Anthony Trial in Orlando Florida for WDBO Radio & co-hosted a daily program called “Casey on Trial.” She was a frequent guest, offering insight on CNN's Nancy Grace Show. The trial inspired her to write her second non-fiction book "Beautiful Life?" - The CSI Behind the Casey Anthony Trial & My Observations from Courtroom Seat #1. A portion of the proceeds is being donated to The Children's Safety Village in Orange County Florida for the purchase of Fingerprinting & DNA collection kits for children.

November 6, 2018 - Lunch & Learn:  M.B.A. Your Business for 2019 

ECBA's Marketing, Branding & Advertising Panel

Jen Starks
Leaning Local & SendOutCards

Trenton Carson
TC Productions

Hania Whitfield
High Performance Retail 

Mickey Mellen
Green Mellen Media Agency

October 30, 2018 - Community Breakfast: Cobb County Tax Assessment 

Stephen D. White
Director/Chief Appraiser

Our Mission:
To produce an annual tax digest that conforms to the requirements of Georgia Law and Rules and Regulations of the Georgia Department of Revenue. 

The Board of Tax Assessors, an independent body appointed by the Board of Commissioners, is responsible for placing a fair and equalized value on all taxable property.

The Board of Commissioners sets the millage rate.

The billing and collection of taxes is the responsibility of the Tax Commissioner.

Jan. 1 of each year is the assessment date in Georgia. Accordingly, all property must be valued for ad valorem taxes based on its condition and use as of Jan. 1.

The Board of Tax Assessors is responsible for handling the following applications:

Property Tax Exemption;

Inventory Freeport Exemption;

Conservation Use

October 23, 2018 - ECBA Business Luncheon

Board of Commissioners
Cobb County Manager

Rob Hosack
Learn About Our Cobb County Manager 

September 18, 2018 - ECBA Business Luncheon

Milton Overton
KSU Director of Athletics

Milton Overton took over the reins as KSU Director of Athletics on December 13 2017.  Milton is a veteran of college athletics administration with over 25 years of experience. He brings extensive skills and experience to KSU's growing athletics program and provides the leadership needed to continue Kennesaw State's competitive spirit for athletics and take the Owls to greater heights in collegiate sports.

A four-year starter as an offensive lineman at the University of Oklahoma, Overton earned a bachelor's degree in sociology in 1995. He went on to earn two master's degrees from OU in 1998, one in higher education and administration and the other in human relations. Overton worked in academic services and as the CHAMPS/LifeSkills Coordinator for OU before joining the athletics department at Texas Christian University in 1999. Overton was director of academic support at TCU, where he also served as an adjunct professor.  Overton is a 2009 graduate of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's (NCAA) Pathway Program that provides senior-level athletics administrators with a rigorous curriculum and mentorship for preparation on becoming a director of athletics. As a 2007-2008 NCAA Fellow, Overton participated in a yearlong, intensive learning opportunity for 12 selected senior leaders representing NCAA Divisions I, II, and III.

"Kennesaw State University is uniquely positioned to reach extraordinary heights and I am proud to have an opportunity to play a role in the University's success through the Department of Athletics," Overton said. "President Olens' vision for KSU and his passion for academics and athletic excellence clearly align with my own personal mission to inspire difference-making leaders in our nation and across the globe. I believe a comprehensive world-class education, combined with a great college athletic experience, helps mold champions in life and on the field. I look forward to serving Owl Nation as we build champions together."

August 21, 2018 - ECBA Business Luncheon

Brad Meriwether
Director of Marketing
Atlanta Braves

Eric Varney
Director of Premium Partnership Sales
Atlanta Braves
Brad Meriwether is the Director Marketing for the Atlanta Braves, responsible for the Braves’ overall marketing and communication strategies across key channels including online, broadcast and experiential.  Prior to the Braves, Brad spent twelve years in various marketing roles with two Atlanta marketing agencies and a technology startup.  A native of Marietta and graduate of Kennesaw State University, Brad and his wife Nicole live in Midtown Atlanta and are the proud parents of three children – Drew, Haddie and Luke.

Eric Varney is the Director of Premium Partnership Sales for the Atlanta Braves, responsible for the Braves overall new revenue for all Premium Club and Suite seating at SunTrust Park.  Prior to the Braves, Eric spent three years with Houston Astros and seven years with the Texas Rangers in outside sales and premium roles.  A native of Philadelphia, Eric and his wife Lauren live in Woodstock, GA with their two children – Jackson and Ava.

August 7, 2018 - ECBA Lunch & Learn

Leilani Plendl & Adam Kazinec
Prudential Advisors

Identity Theft
Protection Strategies

Learn how to protect your indentity and employ important strategies to safeguard your information from theft.

July 31, 2018 - Community Breakfast Speaker

JoAnn Birrell

Cobb Commissioner District 3

Cobb County Board of Commissioners

JoAnn Birrell serves on the Cobb County Board of Commissioners representing District 3.  Her experence and qualifications include a B.A. Degree in Political Science, paralegal certification and 26 years of experience in the solid waste and recycling industry. She has management level experience in sales, customer service, marketing, community relations and governmental affairs.

JULY 17, 2018 - Business Luncheon Speaker

Jen Carfagno

Meteorologist and Host of @AMHQ for The Weather Channel

Jen Carfagno is co-host of AMHQ weekdays from 5-9 a.m. ET on The Weather Channel. 

Jen earned her bachelor's degree in meteorology from Pennsylvania State University in 1998 - a year after an internship with The Weather Channel. Later that year, she joined The Weather Channel as a full-time forecaster. Jen first participated in the on-camera meteorologist apprentice program at The Weather Channel, earning time in front of the camera every weekend. In addition to her on-air assignments, Jen gained valuable weather knowledge and experience from several key positions in the meteorology departments.


For more than 30 years, The Weather Channel television network has inspired viewers to explore, investigate and appreciate the experience of weather in all its forms. One of the most widely distributed cable networks, The Weather Channel is the leader in severe weather coverage, providing the most comprehensive coverage of any media outlet, and with trusted meteorologists who analyze, forecast and report the weather - its expertise is unrivaled.


June 19, 2018 - Business Luncheon: Non-Profit Panel


Dawn Reed
Natalie Rutledge
Tom Gonter
Mary Kay Boler

Care Coaching, Support Group Facilitation, Consulting, Assisted Living Placement and Educational Training for Elders, their Families and Professionals.

Our goal is to provide the tools to take on the challenges that come with caring for an aging loved one and allow you to feel strengthened by your ability to overcome these adversities.
Let us help you & your family enjoy
"A Life of Healthy Aging"

Dedicated to supporting, rewarding and enhancing the schools, staff and students of Cobb County School District. Promoting innovative classroom instruction through grants to our teachers and schools.

Providing an opportunity for the community to actively contribute to local public education.

"Serving Our Neighbors in Need"
MUST brings people together to minister to others with compassion and love. Their mission is to transform lives and our communities in response to Christ's call.

Helping to provide Food, Housing, Employment, Clothing, Toys, and Much More for Neighbors in Need.

Connecting Students to STEM Careers: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math

Strengthening Georgia’s Future Workforce by providing students with access, exposure and awareness to STEM opportunities through innovative and relevant hands-on learning experiences.  Providing internships, professional development, immersion experiences and connections to industry professionals.

June 5, 2018 - Lunch & Learn:  Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Panel

Allison Milligan, CPA
John Renshaw, Jr.
Allison Milligan has over 20 years of experience in public accounting, she formed Vann Whipple Milligan, P.C. with her two long-time partners, Carl Vann and Mike Whipple. Allison provides accounting and tax services to the small to medium sized business and individual. Her experience includes tax and accounting in many different industries including the areas of real estate and construction, wholesale and retail trade, technology, professional services, and hospitality. She enjoys being a trusted business advisor to her clients. Allison also has extensive experience in estate and trust tax work and manages many benefit plan and not for profit audits and tax return preparation.

Allison graduated from Georgia State University and is a member of the American Institute of CPA’s, Georgia Society of CPAs, Cobb Chamber of Commerce, The Rotary Club of East Cobb and a proud member of the ECBA Board. 

John Renshaw Jr. has been consulting with small business, individuals, and Trusts for over 30 years.  

For 18 of those years, John was employed by larger local CPA firms, and earned the level of the Tax Manager.  A Tax Manager reviews or completes other individual’s work, which included returns of multi-tiered business entities and within every state in the US.  Additionally, John was the Corporate Tax Director of a $100 million dollar start-up entity.

For the past 9 years, John has developed his own professional consulting practice assisting small businesses, individuals, and trusts with their financial, tax, and accounting needs, including mentoring QuickBooks training and installations.

John has been a proud member of ECBA’s Board since 2010.

May 22, 2018 - Community Breakfast: Cobb Code Enforcement

Cathey Pickett
Division Manager

Cobb County Code Enforcement

Cobb County CodeEnforcement is responsible for enforcing common residential & business code violations in the Cobb County Ordinance, reported through complaints and inquiries. Code Enforcement also assists the Planning and Zoning Divisions with zoning issues, as well as the Development and Inspections Division with enforcement.

May 15, 2018 - Business Luncheon: Health & Wellness Speakers

Dr. Shawn Coyne
Wellstar Psychology
Lynn Hall
WellStar Diabetes Educator

Dr. Shawn Coyne is a licensed psychologist. She received her medical degree from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine in Columbia, South Carolina. She completed her Clinical Psychology residency at Oregon Youth Authority - Hillcrest Facility in Salem, Oregon. Dr. Coyne currently practices psychology at Wellstar. 
Lynn Hall is a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist and a Certified Diabetes Educator. Lynn received her bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech and her graduate degree from Vanderbilt University. Lynn is employed by WellStar Diabetes Services where she works with diabetes patients and their families, as well as patients at risk for diabetes.


April 17, 2018 - Business Luncheon Speaker


Roger Tutterow

Director Econometric Center
at Kennesaw State University

Tutterow’s analysis of the economic, business and political environments have been featured in a variety of media, including the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, USA Today, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, CNN, CNBC, NBC and others. In addition to his work in academia, Tutterow has served as a consultant on financial economics and statistical modeling for corporate clients for many Fortune 500 companies in the U.S. and Canada. He has been selected multiple times by Georgia Trend magazine as a “notable Georgian.

Dr. Tutterow will address the 2018 economic outlook for business in the area.  Get a first-hand account of the anticipated performance of the 2018 economy for business.


March 20, 2018 - Business Luncheon Speaker

Sharon Mason

CEO and President
Cobb Chamber of Commerce

Sharon Mason was named President & CEO of the Cobb Chamber in January 2018. Mason has 15 years of chamber experience, including the past decade at the Cobb Chamber. She has held varying leadership positions of increasing importance. During Mason’s career, she has increased engagement among Chamber members and recently led the organization’s 5-year strategic planning process while increasing membership. As part of the leadership team, Mason helped to raise more than $3 million for Cobb’s Competitive EDGE, the first comprehensive community and economic development strategy for job creation in Cobb County. Since its inception in 2012, the EDGE program has led to more than 22,000 new jobs and $2.5 billion in new private investments in Cobb County.


February 20, 2018 - Business Luncheon Speaker

Scott Sweeney

Cobb County School Board Representative

After working in private business as a senior manager, business developer and business owner, Scott Sweeney began his first term as the Post 6 representative in 2011 and his second term in 2015. He has served as the Board’s Chair, Vice-Chair, Budget Liaison, Strategic Planning Committee Member, Facilities and Technology Committee Liaison, and as the Board/Community Representative for the presentation of the Ed-SPLOST IV Capital Improvement Initiative. He served as the President of the Georgia Education Coalition comprised of various school district representatives across Georgia which represent nearly 40% of Georgia's total K-12 public education enrollment. Mr. Sweeney served as a 6th Congressional District appointee to the National School Board Association Federal Relations Network, as a Georgia School Board Association Strategic Planning Committee member, and as a Georgia School Board Association member of the Government Operations Council.

February 6, 2018 - Lunch & Learn: Small Business Marketing


Mike Cherico

Leaning Local


At Leaning Local, we understand the needs and challenges that small businesses face in this “ hyper competitive I need it now economy. “ We are dedicated to helping the independent local business grow market share, retain customers and lower operating costs by offering benefits and values that are comparable to those of larger national chains. Our goal is to be an immediate value added resource to the local business in the communities we serve.Leaning Local is a truly unique company that provides money saving services to both the consumers and local independent businesses in our community.

How do we do this?  We do this by partnering with a select number of vendors that have agreed to offer exclusive bulk pricing to all LL members on certain key services thereby driving down costs, enhancing profitability and allowing for savings to consumers. By leveraging the purchasing power of our members , discounts can be offered to consumers thus driving more customer traffic.

January 30, 2018 - Community Breakfast: Cobb Police Department

Cobb County Police Precinct 4

Captain Everett Cebula

Lieutenant Brian Kitchens

Major Brain Batterton


Learn how our Cobb County Police Department and our local East Cobb Precinct 4 are preventing crime and protecting our homes and businesses. Hear about the trends and statistics, what they've been doing to stop crime and where their current focus is now.

January 16, 2018 - Business Luncheon Speaker

Mike Boyce, Chairman

Cobb Board of Commissioners

During his nearly 30 years in the Marine Corps he commanded a Marine Air Group with more than 800 Marines, was deputy commander of a Marine Base with mayor-like responsibilities for more than 10,000 military and civilian personnel, supervised a Pentagon team handling a budget of more than $22 billion, and directed a business of 400+ employees and revenues exceeding $50 million. After retiring from the military, he worked for the 2 large international companies of Booz Allen and Grant Thornton on budget projects in Macedonia and Iraq.

His broad understanding of issues in Cobb is a result of his membership on the SPLOST Oversight Committee, as a member and/or officer in the American Legion, Marine Corps League and other veterans groups, active involvement with his church community at Mt Bethel UMC including Director of Men’s Ministry, and grassroots work with the Cobb Republican Party. 

Mike has Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Notre Dame, a Master of Arts degree from Pepperdine University, and is a distinguished graduate of the Naval War College. His wife Judy is a retired Delta Flight Attendant. They have 3 children and 4 grandchildren.

I believe that the Chairman is charged with the credo that he will lead a government that is fiscally responsible, lives within its means, and works with the business community to create an economic environment which encourages entrepreneurship and promotes responsible growth.  Above all, the chairman (and any elected official) should be a person who is known by the promises he keeps.