2015 Council on Innovation Members

Kevin Brown, President & CEO Piedmont Healthcare

Kevin Brown joined Piedmont Healthcare as the president and chief executive officer in May of 2013. Brown previously served as the chief executive officer for Swedish Health Services, a five hospital healthcare system based in Seattle, Washington. Prior to serving as CEO of Swedish, Brown served as chief strategic officer, and also had operational responsibility for the ambulatory care division and Swedish/Ballard and Swedish/Issaquah hospitals. Among his Atlanta community involvements, Brown serves as a Director of the Buckhead Coalition and as a Director of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. Brown earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration marketing from the University of Wisconsin‐Eau Claire and a master’s degree in healthcare administration from Arizona State University. He and his wife, Elizabeth, have three children, Matthew (16), Katie (14), and William (11).


Russell Dalba, President & CEO Quick-Med, Inc dba, ExamOne

Russell Dalba III is President and CEO of Quick-Med, Inc. dba ExamOne, a Quest Diagnostics Company. ExamOne has served the life insurance industry as the leader in risk assessment testing for life insurance companies for over 30 years. Quick-Med, Inc. is one of the largest licensor of ExamOne in North America serving the entire state of Georgia. Prior to joining Quick-Med, Inc, Russell had over 16 years experience with Southern Company in Atlanta Georgia. During that time he acquired an extensive background in Product Marketing, Power Generation, Telecommunications, Financial Analysis and Gas Marketing. Russell holds a Bachelors of Science in Management Information Systems from Auburn University. A native Atlantan and long-time resident of Sandy Springs, Russell and his wife, Ky, are proud parents of two boys, Mount Vernon students Andrew (grade 5) and Hugh (grade 2).

Andrea Darweesh, Chief Human Resource Officer The Weather Company

Andrea Darweesh serves as executive vice president and chief human resources officer for The Weather Company, parent company of The Weather Channel and weather.com, Weather Underground, and WSI and Weather Central. Andrea leads the company's human resources organization and is responsible for driving TWC's human capital strategy across the enterprise. Andrea joined Weather in November 2012 from Nordstrom, where she was vice president of talent management. Prior to that, she was vice president of global talent management for Equifax, where she led all aspects of talent management and cultural change. Previously, Andrea served as a consultant to large corporations including Coca-Cola, Dell, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield. A Texas native, Andrea earned a bachelor's degree in sociology and political science from Texas Tech and a master's degree in business administration from Emory University.

Kappy deButts, Executive Director Zeist Foundation

Kappy was appointed executive director of the Zeist Foundation, which supports non-profit organizations that focuses on youth and families in education, arts and culture, and health and human services, in 2005. Prior to joining Zeist, the Atlanta native conducted venture capital and private equity investing deals for Kellett Investment Corporation, and she owned and operated Alton Consulting, providing philanthropic consulting for families. While at the University of Georgia, Kappy played on the women’s tennis team and was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta. She also serves on Terry College’s Emeritus Alumni Board.

Jeff Garrison, Partner S.J. Collins Enterprises

Jeff Garrison is a partner at S.J. Collins Enterprises, a retail development firm based in Atlanta, Georgia. Jeff and his team have developed more than 50 shopping centers and mixed-use projects, totaling more than 4 million square feet throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic.

Before helping found S.J. Collins in 2007, Jeff worked on the trading floors of Chicago and London as an Index Option trader. After 10 years, the lure of his southern roots brought him back to Atlanta, where he began investing in real estate. Jeff joined the development division of North American Properties, which he ultimately managed for 4 years. Jeff graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Real Estate and Speculative Finance from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers. Jeff and his wife, Jennie, live in Sandy Springs with their three children, Cassidy, Davis and Beau who all attend Mount Vernon.

Hetal Gordon, Global Client Lead Google

Hetal Gordon is currently Global Client Lead at Google based in Atlanta. She has been with Google for nine years and worked across many industries including retail, travel, and now consumer packaged goods. Prior to joining Google in 2006, she was at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She started her career on the advertising agency side working in New York and London. Hetal earned her BSBA from Washington University in St. Louis. When she’s not busy being at Google, she spends time with her husband, Fergus, and their three children Jaya (8), Henry (6), and Manu (2).

Carlos Herrera, Chief Economist Coca-Cola

Carlos Herrera is Chief Economist for Coca-Cola North America Foodservice and On-Premise division. The main thrust of his work is to increase the visibility of ‘what’s to come’ through a deeper understanding of the foodservice industry from an economic perspective. His forecasts are a key input to the development of strategic and operational plans. Carlos regularly shares his insights on the impact of the economy on consumers and the restaurant industry with the executive leadership, boards of directors, and franchisees of leading foodservice companies around the world. He has spent the last 21 years at Coca-Cola North America serving in various capacities in Operations, Finance, Marketing, and Strategic Planning. Prior to that, Carlos worked for eight years at Federal Express and holds a Master’s Degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Georgia Tech. He is a member of the National Business Economists Issues Council and the Harvard Industry Economists Discussion Group.

Mallard Holliday, Vice President of Public Affairs Cox Communications

Mallard Holliday is Vice President of Public Affairs for Cox Communications, the nation’s largest privately-held telecommunications company. He is responsible for external communications including media and public relations, government and product messaging and community relations. Prior to joining Cox, he led the communications departments at Cinnabon and at Southwire Company. Mallard holds certificates in Corporate Community Relations from Boston College and in Strategic Marketing from Emory University. He earned his BA in Mass Communications from the University of West Georgia and his Masters in Communications Management from Syracuse University. Mallard and his wife, Pam, live in Dunwoody with their two children who attend Mount Vernon, Alex (grade 8) and Jane (grade 6).

Todd House, President Fleetcor

Todd House is President - North America Fuel Cards at Fleetcor Technologies, the leading global provider of specialty business payment services. He has over 20 years of experience in the payments and financial services industries. He started his career at Capital One where he led the company's first entry into subprime credit cards, launched a greenfield business in Canada, and negotiated and ran a joint venture for the company in South Africa. He moved to Atlanta to work for Carmax, leading the marketing, credit, and pricing strategy for their auto finance division. He later served as both CFO and EVP Sales for a private equity-backed company called Axiant LLC, established to reinvent the legal collections industry. He joined Fleetcor in 2009 as part of the executive team that led the company through a successful IPO in 2010. Todd graduated from Wake Forest University with degrees in History and Economics. He lives in Sandy Springs with his wife Debbie, an active mom at Mount Vernon, and his two children, Kanna (7th grade) and William (6th grade).

Carl Insel, Area Executive First Citizens Bank

Carl W. Insel currently serves as the Atlanta Area Executive for First CitizensBank (FCB, $30 Billion in assets, based out of Raleigh, NC). Founded in 1898, First Citizens Bank is the largest family controlled bank in the country. It is also one of the nation’s strongest and most stable financial institutions, providing a broad range of banking services at more than 550 locations in 18 states and the District of Columbia. Mr. Insel is responsible for leading branch, business, and commercial banking teams to meet sales goals, mitigate risks and provide outstanding client service. He has been with FCB since 2010. Previously he served as Chief Operating Officer of Atlantic Coast Bank in Jacksonville, FL from 2004 to 2010. Mr. Insel has worked in the banking industry for over 30 years.

Mr. Insel received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from St. John's University in Minnesota, and completed the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Madison, Wisconsin. He is married with two children, a daughter who is a senior in high school in Alpharetta and a son who is in his senior year at Vanderbilt University.

Hank Klibanoff, Professor of Journalism & Director of Civil Rights Cold Cases Project Emory University

Hank Klibanoff, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 2007 for a book about the news coverage of the civil rights struggle in the South, is the James M. Cox Jr. Professor of Journalism at Emory University. A native of Alabama, and now an Atlanta resident, Klibanoff joined Emory at the close of a 36-year career in newspapers in Mississippi and at The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where he had served as managing editor for news. Klibanoff serves as director of the Georgia Civil Rights Cold Cases Project at Emory University (coldcases.emory.edu), which examines Georgia history through unsolved or unpunished racially motivated murders that occurred in the state during the modern civil rights era. Klibanoff and his co-author, Gene Roberts, won the Pulitzer Prize in history for their book, The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle and the Awakening of a Nation, published by Knopf (2006), Vintage (2007) and Brilliance Audio (2007). The Race Beat explores news coverage of civil rights from the 1930s through the late 1960s, particularly the impact of the black press, the Northern press, the Southern liberal and segregationist press, television and photojournalism.

Wayne Li, Oliver Professor of Practice of Design & Engineering Georgia Institute of Technology

Wayne Li is the Oliver Professor of Practice of Design and Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Industrial Design, and School of Mechanical Engineering. He is currently Director of the Innovation and Design Collaborative. Li has led innovation and market expansion for Pottery Barn seasonal home products. He has also taught courses at Stanford University’s design program in visual communication and digital media techniques. Previously, Li led interface development in Volkswagen of America’s Electronics Research Laboratory.

Regina Maddox, Executive Director Next Generation Manufacturing

Bio coming soon.

Jeff Mills, Vice President of Finance Enterprise Holdings

Jeff Mills is the Vice President of Finance of Enterprise Holdings in Atlanta. Enterprise Holdings is the parent company to Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental, and Alamo Rent-A-Car. As Vice President of Finance, Jeff oversees the fiduciary responsibilities of the airport operations as well as the 138+ home city locations, Truck Rental, Car Sales, Leasing, and the Regional Office Headquarters. In addition, Jeff oversees Legislative Affairs for Georgia. Jeff graduated from Baylor University in 1986 and moved to St Louis, Missouri where he began his career with Ernst & Young. His primary clients were Southwestern Bell Mobil Systems and Enterprise Rent-A-Car. After four years at E&Y, he moved to California as the Controller for the Sacramento Group with Enterprise Rent-A-Car. In 1993, he applied for and received one of the first international expansion business management positions in Toronto, Ontario, where he learned what it was like to build something from the ground up. The experience later earned him The Toronto Group Business Management Department’s President’s Award in 1996. Later that year, he became the Corporate Business Manager of Canada. Eight years later, he moved back to the field as Vice President of Finance in Atlanta. Active philanthropically, Jeff is a member of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and he is a Tocqueville Society member of the United Way. Jeff recently joined the Board of Directors of US Too International, Prostate Cancer Education and Support, following the footsteps of his father, a 15 year survivor. He lives in Sandy Springs, with his wife, Nicole, and their three children, Lauren – 20, Riley – 18, and Joshua 13.

Emily Soelberg, Executive Director-Strategy AT&T

As the Executive Director of Mobile and Business Solutions Strategy, Emily identifies new opportunities to maintain and grow revenue. With a focus on the Internet of Things (IoT), Emily has worked across a variety of AT&T business units including Mobility, IoT Solutions, Digital Life and U-verse. In her prior roles over her 13 year career at AT&T, Emily has launched and managed a variety of mobile products including AT&T’s personal cloud photo and address book services, branded applications like AT&T Navigator and AT&T Family Map and a mobile game and app store that preceded the iPhone. She developed the initial business case to justify a mobile broadband network deployment starting with 3G (now evolved to 4G LTE), securing billions of dollars in network investment that has enabled a variety of innovations including mobile streaming video. She has received over a dozen patents with several more pending. Prior to joining AT&T, Emily worked for several startups in Silicon Valley, most recently at Good Technology which built wireless email products and was subsequently acquired by Motorola. Emily graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University and received her M.B.A. from Vanderbilt University. She also completed an executive education course at Stanford’s d.school (Design Institute) in Design Thinking. She lives in Sandy Springs with her husband, Stein, and their two children Susanna (grade 7) and Erik (grade 4) who both attend Mount Vernon.

Stuart Sherrill, President SteelFab, Inc

Stuart was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina and is a 1992 graduate of Charlotte Country Day School and a 1996 graduate of The University of Georgia. From 1996 through 2003, Stuart held various positions in Production, Sales, Estimating and Project Management with SteelFab, Inc. in both Charlotte, NC and Norcross, GA. In 2004, Stuart was named the Regional President of SteelFab, Inc. (Alabama & Georgia Divisions) and holds this same position today. Founded in 1995, SteelFab is an industry leader in the fabrication of structural steel and miscellaneous metals for construction projects in the commercial, chemical, education, industrial, healthcare, sports, hospitality, institutional, military, retail and energy markets among others. Stuart is a long time member of Saint Anne’s Episcopal Church where he serves as an usher, served on the Vestry (2009-2011) and has chaired several of its committees. Since 2013 he has served on the Board of Directors of St. Anne’s Terrace Assisted Living Community in Atlanta, Georgia and its Executive Committee and is currently serving a two year term as the President of its Executive Committee. Stuart is also a member of YPO (Young Presidents’ Organization) and the 691 Society which supports the East Lake Foundation and PGA Tour Championship in affiliation with East Lake Golf Club. Stuart and his wife, Cameron, reside in Brookhaven with their two children, Luke (who attends Mount Vernon) and Celia.

Gabriel Sterling, President SSH, Inc & Sandy Springs Councilman

Gabriel Sterling was elected to the Sandy Springs City Council in a Special Election in 2011. He won this election with over 75% of the vote over two opponents. He is one of Georgia’s leading political consultants and a successful small businessman and entrepreneur. He has called Fulton County his home for more than 35 years. He moved to Sandy Springs in 1984 and is a 1988 graduate of Riverwood High School and holds a BS in Political Science from the University of Georgia. Gabriel was at the forefront of creating the City of Sandy Springs, as a member of the Committee for Sandy Springs and served as co-chairman of the Sandy Springs Referendum Committee. He has served Sandy Springs as a stakeholder with the Atlanta Regional Commission’s North Fulton Comprehensive Transportation Plan efforts. Gabriel also served as vice chairman of the Sandy Springs Hospitality & Tourism Board. As a cyclist (less so now than when he was elected), he serves as the Vice Chairman of the local charity organization, The Sandy Springs Challenge, which raises money for Sandy Springs charities. He also led the successful effort to bring Livestrong‘s 24 Hours of Booty ride to Sandy Springs. In its first year in Sandy Springs the ride raised over $190,000 split 50/50 between Livestrong and the AFLAC Cancer Center at Children’s Healthcare in Sandy Springs. Professionally, Gabriel is currently President of SSH, Inc. a public relations and political consulting firm located in Sandy Springs. He is also beginning a new venture, building a new craft beer brand to bring to Georgia and the Southeast, Elbow Bend Brewing.

Jeannie Tarkenton, Founder & CEO Funding U

Jeannie has 20+ years of experience in marketing and fundraising, including heading marketing and resource development teams in book publishing, secondary education, and the nonprofit sector. She was a founding staff member and Co-Director of Admissions at the Atlanta Girls’ School. She holds a B.A. cum laude in English Literature from Princeton University. Currently she is the founder and CEO of FundingU, a startup that connects serious students who need money with people who want to invest in education. FundingU gives students credit for working hard to achieve academic and employment success.

Patty Tucker, Executive Vice President Edelman

Patty has helped guide the Corporate practice of Edelman, the largest PR firm in the world, for 13 years. The agency is known for industry-leading thought leadership and its uniquely integrated “communications marketing” services for many of the world’s largest and emerging enterprises, helping them evolve, promote and protect their brands and reputations. Patty helps steward practice leaders and clients in adopting and measuring best practices, crafting trust- and reputation-building programs informed by EdelmanTrust Barometer insights. She leads the global Business-to-Business Center of Excellence, Edelman’s network of b-to-b talent and information-sharing. Prior to Edelman, Patty was EVP of The Headline Group where she helped grow the firm tenfold. Her career began on the PR side of two ad agencies. Patty served two terms on Mount Vernon’s Board of Trustees and is now active on the Board of the Georgia Center for Nonprofits, Leadership Atlanta, and TEDx/Atlanta. Patty recently served as Co-chair of the Atlanta Chamber’s Global Commerce Council and was named one of the “Top 25 Women to Watch” by Atlanta Woman magazine in 2008. Her longest “client relationship” is with her husband, Guy, which has grown with strategic brand extensions … MVPS graduates Evan and Allie.

Charisse Williams, Principal Charisse M. Williams Consulting

In June, 2015, Charisse started her own nonprofit consulting practice, Charisse M. Williams Consulting. Prior to that, she worked at the Woodruff Arts Center, first as President of Young Audiences, then as Director of Education Advancement and Advocacy. Before coming to Atlanta, Charisse lived in Washington, DC, where she served as a Program Officer at the Public Welfare Foundation overseeing its criminal justice and youth portfolios. She moved to Atlanta in 2007 to become founding Director of Posse Atlanta, an organization whose mission is to identify public high school students with extraordinary academic and leadership potential who may be overlooked by traditional college selection processes and send them to college in supportive, multicultural teams—Posses—of 10 students. Charisse is passionate about youth and the arts and has taught and performed dance for much of her life. She serves on the Board of Directors of Moving in the Spirit and is the newly appointed VP. The mission of Moving in the Spirit is to educate, inspire and unite young people through the arts of dance, inspiring them to become compassionate leaders. She is also on the Board of Advisors of the Atlanta Speech School and serves on the Governor’s Arts Learning Taskforce. Charisse is a graduate of the 2011 class of Arts Leaders of Metro Atlanta and is a proud graduate of the 2014 class of Leadership Atlanta. Ms. Williams earned her Bachelor of Arts from Cornell University before attending Northwestern University School of Law, where she received her Juris Doctor degree.