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A day-to-day glance at the area's business community -- what's new, what's happening and what's being heard on the streets. Got info? E-mail

Jim Minnick, CEO of East Cobb-based eVestment, on Keynote Panel April 25

Jim Minnick, CEO and co-founder of eVestment

Jim Minnick

East Cobber Jim Minnick, CEO and co-founder of eVestment, the Marietta-based provider of institutional investor data and analytics, will appear on the keynote panel at the Atlanta Business Chronicle Pacesetter Awards Friday, April 25. The event will be held from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in downtown Atlanta.

The event panelists are all CEOs of companies that have previously appeared on the Atlanta Business Chronicle Pacesetters list of the fastest growing private companies in the metro Atlanta area.

Minnick will be joined on the panel by Cassandra Conners, CEO of Bella Bag; Brett Fortune, CEO of Fortune-Johnson; and David Northington, CEO of Cloud Sherpas. Each CEO will offer insights on growing their companies, goal setting, building innovative corporate cultures and other facets of leading fast-growing companies.

In addition to learning from the keynote panel speakers, attendees will have an opportunity to network with other event attendees, including members of Atlanta’s entrepreneur, finance and venture capital communities. This is the 19th annual Atlanta Business Chronicle Pacesetter event.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit

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East Cobb man inducted into British Order by Prince Charles

Robert Schukai works for Thomson Reuters Corp

Robert Schukai, File Photo

An East Cobb high-tech innovator was deemed a member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace on Friday.

Robert Schukai works for Thomson Reuters Corp., a multinational media conglomerate based in New York City, as the head of advanced product innovation.

Schukai flew to the United Kingdom with his wife, Linda Rowley, his son, Jackson, 15, and his daughter, Hallie, 13, who attended the ceremony.

“We are so proud of him,” Rowley said. “This is an incredible award. It is not handed out to just anybody.”

The family did not meet Queen Elizabeth, who was in Italy at the time, but Rowley said Prince William “was ever so kind.”

Rowley said there were many guards stationed throughout the palace and inside the huge ballroom sat the thrones and “absolutely incredible” art.

“It was amazing, absolutely amazing,” Rowley said.

From 1997 to 2005, Schukai and Rowley both worked for Motorola in London and lived in a small village outside of the city.

When Schukai accepted a job with Turner Broadcasting in Atlanta, the family moved to east Cobb off Lower Roswell Road.

The British Consulate General in Atlanta, which represents the United Kingdom for the Southeastern United States, recommended Schukai for the award for his promotion of science, technology, engineering and mathematics education.

An entrepreneurial spirit across the pond

Three years ago, Schukai started working with Apps for Good, which teaches kids to design and develop products to make a difference in the world.

Rowley said her husband works with companies all over the world, “but his passion is helping kids.” Especially children who live in lower-income areas and are at risk for dropping out of school.

Apps for Good hones entrepreneurial skills by having students create mobile applications — and essentially start-up companies — through team work exercises and solo projects.

The kids think of a problem to solve, develop a business strategy and marketing plan, create a prototype using a software tool and build the coding to offer the product on an Android platform.

Then there is a competition where the students can pitch their plans to bring the products to market.

“The ideas are just incredible what you get,” Schukai said. “They continue to surprise me year after year.”

As a mentor, Schukai often uses Skype to conduct sessions with students about user experience, design and public speaking.

Schukai also finds himself traveling across every corner of the United Kingdom because the academic program “has exploded” from urban areas in East London to rural areas in the very north of Scotland.

“Not a particularly easy place to get to,” Schukai said.

There are more than 20,000 students in the United Kingdom taking part in the program and more than half of the participants are girls.

The ages range from primary schools with students who are 9 and 10 years old to students who are completing their last year in school before entering a university.

Program coming to Georgia?

The goal of Apps for Good is to transform the way technology is taught in public schools across the world.

There is an effort to offer this program to American students, first focusing on the Silicon Valley in California.

“There is definitely an interest to bring this to the states,” Schukai said.

Schukai thinks schools in the United States should include a computer science course as part of the mandated curriculum for high school graduation.

Rowley said a program should be started in Georgia, which is a hub for technology companies.

“This is the way the world is changing,” Rowley said.

(Reprinted from the Marietta Daily Journal. Written by Rachel Gray, April 08, 2014. Read more: The Marietta Daily Journal – Cobb man inducted into British Order by Prince Charles)

Mary Jeffries Joins eVestment as Corporate Sales Specialist


Mary Jeffries has joined Marietta-based eVestment, a leading provider of institutional investment data and analytics, as a corporate sales specialist.  In this position she will be responsible for building sales of eVestment’s Analytics solution by identifying, qualifying and closing sales with prospective hedge fund clients.

Jeffries brings to eVestment a wide variety of skills and experience in sales. Immediately prior to joining eVestment, she served as an account relationship manager with Arrow Electronics in Alpharetta. Prior to that, Jeffries was an account manager with Hewlett-Packard in Arkansas.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in speech communications from the University of Georgia.

eVestment plans to hire 80 to 100 people during 2014 to help support and propel the company’s growth.  The company is looking to fill positions primarily in sales, client service, product strategy and software development. Technically savvy and creative candidates with a passion for demonstrating excellence in an innovative, team-based environment are encouraged to apply for openings on the company’s website.

eVestment has become well known for its workplace culture and successful growth strategies.  The company has placed on several “Best Places to Work Lists.” Benefits and employee-centric practices at the company include unlimited paid time off (PTO); events like an annual business meeting and holiday party where all employees gather in Atlanta, raft-racing outings and fitness challenges; and promoting from within and creating new opportunities to keep employees engaged.  For more information on eVestment’s workplace culture, please click here.

For more information about careers at eVestment, please visit

(Reprinted from


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Seize Your Moment! KSU offers bonus Career Training Expo on April 10

Timi Ewbank, right, helps attendee

Timi Ewbank, right, helps attendee

KSU’s College of Continuing and Professional Education is opening its doors for a bonus Spring Career Training Expo on April 10. The college is known for these biannual events usually hosted in January and July of each year.

The Spring Career Training Expo is a new offering and gives the public an extended look at 10 professional certificate programs. Sessions and times are as follows:

6:00 p.m.
• Medical Billing and Coding Specialist
• Medical Office Assistant
• Project Management

6:15 p.m.
• Basic Office Technology

6:30 p.m.
• Phlebotomy Technician
• Web Design

6:45 p.m.
• Administrative Professional

7:00 p.m.
• Medical Assisting

7:15 p.m.
• Culinary Apprenticeship
• Social Media Marketing

The event will allow visitors the opportunity to empower themselves! Professional certificates present opportunities for adult learners to advance in their current careers, re-enter the workforce, or transition to a new occupation.

Attendees will be able to meet instructors and recent program graduates, use registration discounts, and learn about payment plans and other forms of financial aid. Registration, which is free and open to the public, can be completed by phone (770-423-6765), online ( or in person (KSU Center, 3333 Busbee Drive, Kennesaw, GA 30144).

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There’s still time to register for the ECBA Quarterly Community Breakfast


The East Cobb Business Association Quarterly Community Breakfast will be held on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 7:30am at J.Christophers, 1205 Johnson Ferry Road in East Cobb.

Registration is $10 for members and non-members. The featured speaker will be Scott Sweeney, Cobb County Board of Education, Post 6.

To register, visit,

The East Cobb Business Association seeks to transform East Cobb by developing business leaders through Networking and Education with an emphasis on Community.


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East Cobb mom opens Ivy Lane, finds fashion niche in a family business

Ivy Lane Julie Turner

Ivy Lane owner Julie Turner stands with her daughters Becca
and Julianna, and Lee Anne Glover, General Manager

When East Cobber Julie Turner began searching for a business venture, she never thought she’d find herself the proprietor of a successful clothing and gift boutique. Turner, a former software sales manager with an industrial engineering degree from Georgia Tech, originally set out to open a not-for-profit benefitting local animals. But as luck and blessings would have it, life led Turner to the former Hallmark store in the Highland Plaza Publix Shopping Center at Sandy Plains Road.

While shopping a post-Christmas sale at Hallmark in 2012, Turner couldn’t help but notice the 50% off signs throughout the store. What started as a casual remark to the staff of, “I love this store, I hope they’re not going out of business,” became the realization of her vision a few months later for the boutique lover turned owner, Turner.

With the encouragement of her husband Doug and son Jack and the stylish support of her teenage daughters Julianna and Becca, Turner opened The Ivy Lane boutique and gift shop in April 2013 in the former Hallmark location. And females throughout East Cobb released a collective cheer.

Turner has brought a fresh new attitude to boutique shopping in East Cobb. The inventory at Ivy Lane may be ever-changing but shoppers can always find fun, feminine clothing and unique gifts at  a variety of price points. Ivy Lane has remained a family affair, Turner often takes her clothing-conscious daughters along on buying trips and her niece has helped select many of the gift items.
Ivy Lane offers head to toe looks with clothing in sizes XS-XL, jewelry, shoes and gifts. Featured brands include Mud Pie, Level 99, Dolce Vita, Karlie, GLAM, Fable and Vera Bradley. Turner is
expanding her shoe inventory and will begin offering Havaianas this Spring, as well as styles from Madden Girl, Fergalicious and Carlos Santana.

Ivy Lane offers styles appropriate for any age and size. “I want people to leave feeling good about themselves,” said Turner.

Personal styling services are offered by appointment with customers receiving 10% off purchases made during their appointment.

Turner describes herself as a “huge gift giver,” and said that including a variety of gifting items was important in the creation of Ivy Lane. She said she loves to shop for the perfect gift for others and enjoys helping East Cobbers find gifts for every occasion.

Ivy Lane’s extensive gift department includes items from Lily Pulitzer, Kate Spade, Lolita, Mud Pie, It’s a Wrap, Magnolia Lane, Glory Haus, Demdaco and many more. Turner also carries several independent lines and has a large collegiate section. Ivy Lane offers gifts for any occasion including home décor, hostess, wedding, baby, graduation and those “just because” moments.

Ivy Lane will celebrate their one year anniversary in April culminating in a “Grand Happy Birthday Celebration” on April 26. The celebration will include fashion shows throughout the day and promotions, contests and sales throughout the store during the week prior. Turner and her staff will also host an Autism awareness in-store event on April 17.

Visit Ivy Lane at 3605 Sandy Plains Road, Suite 185, in the Publix Shopping Center. You can also shop Ivy Lane online at For more information call (770) 578-0506
or find them on Facebook at

(Paid advertisement. Reprinted from the April 2014 issue of EAST COBBER. Click HERE to read the April issue.


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Grand Opening of Zounds Hearing


Attend the grand opening of Zounds Hearing on Wednesday, April 16, from 10am-2pm. An official ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at 11:30am. Light refreshments will be served. RSVP to this event by calling Patti at 770-693-4509 by April 11.

Zounds is located at 440 Ernest Barrett Parkway in Kennesaw.

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Register by Friday for the 2014 Cobb Young Professionals annual charity golf tournament

Golf Ball

Join the future leaders of Cobb County for an afternoon on the golf course! Cobb Young Professionals will host its annual charity golf tournament on Friday, April 4, at Canongate Bentwater Golf Club. The charity tournament will begin with registration and a warm-up at noon, with a 1 pm reception and a shotgun start at 2 pm. Individual players without a foursome team will be given an opportunity to be paired after registration. Proceeds from the tournament will go to the winner’s preferred charity.

The cost is $45 per golfer and $180 per foursome, which includes a round of golf, one reception drink ticket and a $5 donation to the charity of the winning team’s choice.  Additionally, participants are encouraged to bring cash for mulligans, extra drinks, raffle tickets and other opportunities to donate to the winning charity. Deadline for registration is Friday, March 28 at noon.

Businesses can take advantage of the unique marketing opportunity through a hole sponsorship. Sponsorship participation provides an opportunity to show support to Cobb Young Professionals and the Cobb Chamber, as well as help the organization give more to the winning charity. The tournaments major sponsors include Bank of North Georgia as putting sponsor; Shenton Law as cart sponsor; and the PGA Tour Super Store as prize sponsor. For a full list of 2014 sponsors and event information, visit

For more information about Cobb Young Professionals, contact Hannah Gordon at 770-859-2359 or, or to become a hole sponsor at the tournament, contact Jason Sleeman at


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Kari Brown Love Joins The Atlanta Women’s Foundation; Named Vice President of Development and Communications


Kari Brown Love, V.P. of Development and Communications, The Atlanta Women’s Foundation

The Atlanta Women’s Foundation (AWF) announces that Kari Brown Love will serve as its Vice President of Development and Communications.

Kari comes to AWF from Make-A-Wish Foundation of Georgia and Alabama. She was recruited to join Make-A-Wish Foundation of Georgia and Alabama in 2003 as Director of Development, and was later promoted to Vice President of Corporate Development & Special Events.  In that role, she was responsible for developing 74% of the funding for the Foundation’s $4.6-million dollar annual budget.

“Kari brings with her a wealth of experience, having led a 23-year career in the nonprofit and broadcast industries that will help take the Foundation to the next level,” said Kelly Dolan, AWF’s Executive Director, “We are excited to have her energy and creativity as part of the team.”

She began her career at WYAY & WYAI – FM as Promotions/Public Relations Director.  Later Kari moved to WFOX – FM as Promotions and Marketing Director.  Among her responsibilities during her nine-year tenure with the station was the implementation of an annual Concert and Festival event which drew crowds annually of 40,000-plus listeners to the Georgia Dome, and produced revenues in excess of one million dollars.

Kari will be responsible for elevating both AWF fundraising and increasing awareness about the organization and its mission of eliminating generational poverty for the women and girls of Atlanta.

An Atlanta native, Kari is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a major in Communications and a minor in French.  In connection with her French studies, she completed an immersion sequence at the Universite De Borgogne in Dijon, France.  She was affiliated with Kappa Alpha Theta, national social sorority.


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