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Stephen B. Combs

Stephen Combs Stephen B. Combs is Of Counsel in the Morrs, Manning & Martin’s corporate technology group. Combs’ practice focuses on technology matters, including licensing, distribution, outsourcing, strategic alliances, complex IT implementations, offshore transactions, electronic commerce, intellectual property protection, telecommunications, export compliance and Internet law. Combs provides services to clients in corporate, healthcare, university and government sectors.

While in law school, Combs worked at the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Trade Commission. Prior to joining the firm, Combs was one of the first employees at Monorail Computer Corporation, where he was a member of the corporate finance team. Combs has also worked at a Fortune 20 corporation as corporate counsel for technology matters.

Leatrice Ellzy

Leatrice Ellzy Leatrice Ellzy is the Manager of Artistic Programming and Festival Production for the National Black Arts Festival (NBAF) in Atlanta, GA and is directly responsible for the production of the 10-day Festival and year round artistic and educational programs. Founded in 1987, the Atlanta-based organization presents artists of African descent and explores their impact on world cultures though education, humanities activities, and dialogues. NBAF is unique as it is the only organization that provides a platform for artists from the African Diaspora to express themselves across artistic disciplines- music, dance, theater, film, literary arts, and visual arts.

Ms. Ellzy first joined the NBAF staff in 2002 as the Special Projects Consultant. She produced key programming elements, curated music and cultural stages and worked with the marketing team to develop strategies for reaching expanded audiences during the 10-day summer festival. She has a great ability to think past “the wall” and beyond “the stage.” Her professional experiences over the past 17 years have included non-profit management, fund development, TV and radio production, public relations, marketing and event production. She has held key positions with organizations such as Girl Scouts, YWCA, Public Broadcasting and the Woodruff Arts Center.

A member of the next generation of arts administration professionals, Ms. Ellzy anticipates the paradigm shift. She diligently works to build bridges of connectivity by developing innovative solutions that seamlessly blend cultural art, popular culture, technology, and global awareness.

Josh R. Hallett

Josh Hallett Josh Hallett is an internationally recognized thought leader in the convergence of social media and corporate public relations and marketing.

Josh is currently a New Media Strategist at Voce Communications providing social media consulting and development work with brands like Yahoo, Sony Computer Entertainment America, and a number of B2B/B2C firms. For more than ten years, Josh has been working with emerging internet communication technologies and works closely with public relations practitioners and corporate communicators to integrate these tools into an organization’s public and media relations strategies.

Josh is a highly sought-after public speaker on social media and has presented at numerous workshops, seminars and conferences in a wide variety of market segments. Josh is a Fellow/Board Member of the Society of New Communications Research as well as a member of the Florida Public Relations Association.

Based in Winter Haven, Florida, Josh serves clients throughout the United States.

James Harris

James Harris James Harris is the CEO of Atlanta-based Elemental Interactive.

James has more than 14 years of experience in the interactive industry. In 1994, he co-founded Elemental Interactive, where he served as chief executive until its merger with GCI Group in Spring 2001 and became GCI Interactive. James recently acquired the company from GCI Group and became CEO once again of Elemental Interactive. During his almost ten year tenure at the helm of Elemental Interactive, our client list has grown to include IBM, AT&T, The Coca-Cola Company, Avaya, AFLAC, Georgia-Pacific, General Motors, Canadian National Railway, The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Cingular Wireless, Macromedia, The New York Times, Ameritrade, and more.

His vision for Elemental Interactive is to help companies tell purposeful, powerful, audience-altering stories via interactive means. Ultimately to help companies improve the quality and impact of their communications with stakeholders. Utilizing the talents of a diverse group of communications strategists, Internet developers and designers, James likens the company's culture to that of a Ben & Jerry’s of interactive communications—a team-oriented environment where employees pride themselves on their ability to work together, are comfortable to express themselves and eager to give back to the community.

His industry background includes programming, marketing and project management, new business development and account management of interactive kiosks and CD-ROM products for Floyd Design (now Scient/SBI and Company) and A.D.A.M. software. It was while working on CD-ROMs that he became interested in the potential of the Internet.

James graduated from Tennessee Tech where he earned a bachelor's degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Information Systems.

Jeff Haynie

Jeff Haynie Jeff is the co-founder and CEO of Appcelerator, an open-source software company that develops products and solutions to help enterprises rapidly develop rich Internet applications (RIAs) and SOA-based (service oriented architecture-based) Web services.

Previously, he was the co-founder and CTO of Vocalocity, a software provider in the communications arena. Prior to that, he was CTO of eHatchery, a digital incubator and off-shoot of Bill GrossIdealab.

Jeff has been active on several projects related to improving the technology in the Southeast U.S. including SoCon07, BigThinkr, Hack Atlanta, Barcamp Atlanta & Atlanta Web Entrepreneurs.

Chris Heuer

Chris Heuer Chris has been working in digital strategy for over 13 years. Most recently, Chris formed the Social Media Club to bring together people interested in exploring important issues of ethics, practices and standards. He is currently working on a book called “Listen. Join. Start. The Social Media Playbook” which serves as the framework for how he helps companies engage in market conversations. Previously Chris started an Interactive Agency in 1994, built a local content network, served as Chief of eBusiness for the US Mint, designed an advanced Content Management System for a Fortune 1000 company and taught interactive marketing at Miami Ad School.

Sherry Heyl

Sherry Heyl Sherry Heyl is the CEO and Idealist for What a Concept, the first social media agency in the Southeast. Her responsibilities include business development and collaborating with clients to develop online communities of raving fans by integrating streaming video, blogs, podcasts, RSS, and virtual worlds into communication plans for B2B, B2C, Non-profit and Higher Education organizations. Sherry has been recognized as a thought leader in social and collaborative technologies and trends through invitations to speak for many varied associations, conferences, and private events.

She was a key organizer of SoCon07, the first social media un-conference in Metro Atlanta. Sherry sits on the board of the Atlanta Electronic Commerce Forum as the Programs Director and the National Advisory Board for KSU Communication Department. Sherry was a 2007 nominee for the Women in Technology Woman of the Year Award. Sherry is a graduate of Florida State University with undergraduate degrees in Marketing and Creative Writing.

Raghu Kakarala

Raghu Kakarala As Spunlogic’s Vice President of Strategy, Raghu Kakarala focuses on educating clients on the best use of new marketing techniques and technologies. Kakarala’s entrepreneurial background has helped to drive the growth of Spunlogic over the years and is well aligned with the agency’s forward thinking, can-do culture.

Having worked in the business world for over ten years, Kakarala has founded companies in such diverse areas as international credit reporting, e-business consulting, and homeland security. During this time he also worked at Sybase Systems Inc., as a regional architect and senior consultant for large market firms based in the Southeast. His expertise helped launch consumer finance firms and revamp trading floor and mortgage origination operations for major North Carolina banks, among other successful Sybase solutions.

Kakarala received his Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Kent State University in Ohio. After moving to Miami Beach and leaving the icy cold of the Midwest behind him, he received his Masters Degree from the University of Miami, School of Business, graduating at the top his class with concentrations in Interactive Marketing and Information Systems.

Kakarala frequently speaks at industry events on the topic of new and emerging technologies and was recently named one of the city’s “40 Under 40” by the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Laura McGrath

Laura McGrath Laura McGrath is an assistant professor of English at Kennesaw State University, where she teaches a variety of rhetoric and composition and professional writing courses. Her research, which is closely connected to her teaching and her professional service activities, centers on computers, writing, and online learning.

Timothy Moenk

Timothy Moenk Timothy worked with the Acceleration Studies Foundation (ASF) where he facilitated the expansion of the Future Salon Network: an educational outreach program in which forward thinking individuals meet to discuss trends and innovations in science, technology, business, and society. He also provided support for the ASF’s Metaverse Roadmap project. This project began with the invitational Metaverse Roadmap Summit in which a diverse group of fifty-five industry leaders, technologists, analysts, policy makers, and academics convened to begin creation of a futuring and industry roadmap document that explores the convergences between IT, virtual worlds/video games, and geospatial technologies leading towards the emergence of the “Metaverse,” or 3D web. Within this space, Timothy has been highly active in exploring virtual worlds and simulations such as Second Life and Google Earth as a platforms for communication and collaboration in education, business, and non-profit work.

He has participated in the production of a number of virtual events including the American Cancer Society’s first virtual Relay For Life in which six thousand dollars was raised for cancer research and support programs (and over fourty thousand dollars raised this past year!) He is also involved with TechSoup, a non-profit that caters to the technology needs of other non-profits, who have been boldly taking a lead in utilizing Web 2.0, online social networks, and virtual world technologies to accomplish their mission. During the 2005-2006 academic year, he was involved with the New York Law School’s Democracy Island project within Second Life which sought to explore the possibilities of utilizing virtual worlds as online civic space.

In non-virtual space, Timothy is a member of the Young Democrats of Georgia as their New Media Coordinator. He is also the organizer for the Atlanta NetSquared Meetup, which is an educational program from TechSoup that explores how social media can be utilized by Nonprofits and activists to spur social change.

Chuck Robertson

Chuck Robertson Chuck Robertson has a Ph.D. from Georgia Tech in Experimental Psychology. While there, he specialized in Cognitive Aging (specifically memory in adults) and minored in Statistics. He has been a faculty member in the Psychology Dept at North Georgia College and State University and Director of the Cognition and Gerotechnology Lab for the last five years. He is constantly searching for collaborative communication tools that can be used to aid learning. In his courses he often uses blogs, wikis, social bookmarking, RSS, and shared documents to create assignments that move the material into the semantic memories of the groups and that are shared as learning resources for the rest of the class (and anyone that might stumble upon them).

Deanna Sutton

Deanna Sutton Deanna Sutton is the founder and creative/editorial director of Sutton Media. Sutton Media is the publisher of Clutch Magazine and Brown Fashionista. Since its relaunch last April, Clutch Magazine has become one of the leading online magazines for multicultural women ages 18-34. With a passion for all things social media, Deanna recognizes the power and opportunity that the new media platform presents. At Sutton Media, Deanna is responsible for business development, marketing initiatives, and editorial and creative direction.

Prior to launching Sutton Media, Deanna worked as an integrated marketing professional where she assisted in media relations, account management and other client activities. Some of her accounts included Sara Lee, Kroger, Starbucks, Wal-Mart, and Philips Consumer Electronics. Deanna graduated from Saginaw Valley State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Marketing.

Leonard Witt

Leonard Witt Leonard Witt is the Robert D. Fowler Distinguished Chair in Communication at Kennesaw State University. His academic interests include public and citizen journalism and how to get citizens’ voices heard. He is founding president of the Public Journalism Network, an online network of citizens, journalists and academics interested in public and citizen journalism. He is now developing what he calls Representative Journalism, an idea to build small journalism-centered communities. He is past chair of the Civic and Citizen Journalism Interest Group with the Association of Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC). His weblog deals with emerging media issues. He has organized major academic conferences for the AEJMC, including one at Kennesaw State University and others in Toronto and San Antonio. He was a co-sponsor of the SoCon07 conference at Kennesaw State in February 2007 and the Journalism that Matters D.C. Session in August 2007. In 2005 he received a $36,000 grant for the year-long project Journalism and the Public: Restoring the Trust. In 2006 he and two other Kennesaw professors received a $46,000 No Child Left Behind grant to teach Cobb County and City of Marietta teachers to use weblogs in Language Arts classes. They received a similar grant of $48,000 for 2007-08. His latest paper published at First Monday, the peer-reviewed online journal, is entitled: Constructing a Framework to Enable an Open Source Reinvention of Journalism. He has spent most of his professional career as an award-winning journalist. He was executive director of the Minnesota Public Radio Civic Journalism Initiative. At MPR he put on more than 20 major events where major policy issues were discussed and their results amplified on the radio, in print and on the Internet. His last major project there won the Silver Gavel Award, the American Bar Association’s top national award. He was editor of Minnesota Monthly magazine, the Minneapolis Star Tribune Sunday Magazine and the Allentown (Pa.) Morning Call’s a.m. Magazine. He conceived and edited The Complete Book of Feature Writing (Writer’s Digest Books, 1991) and has an M.A. in nonfiction writing from the University of New Hampshire.