Listed here because we love them and they helped us grow!
Zelda Tenenbaum (2010-2011)
President, Tenenbaum Consulting
Zelda Tenenbaum is a noted process change manager, facilitator, seminar leader and trainer who has 30 years experience working with business and industry, government and civic organizations around the US and in Asia.
She has authored several training manuals including” Facilitation Training”, “Coaching for Improved Performance”, “Successfully Applying the Myers- Briggs Type Indicator in the Educational Setting”. She is author of a chapter, “Developing Strong Leadership” in the workbook, Leading by Stepping Back: A Guide for City Officials on Building Neighborhood Capacity. She contributed a chapter in the book, The Green Building Bottom Line, by Martin Melaver and Phyllis Mueller.
Her areas of expertise include Productive Communications, Team Building, Executive Coaching, Leadership Development, Managing Transition, Applied Strategic Thinking and Understanding Differences in the Workplace.
Zelda is President of Tenenbaum Consulting,Inc., a training and consulting firm based in Savannah, Georgia. Her mission is to make a difference by facilitating personal and organizational growth.
Christian Sottile (2011-2012)
Principal, Sottile & Sottile
Christian Sottile is principal of a Savannah-based urban design firm working extensively in Nationally Registered Historic Districts. Currently, His work also includes regional planning and master planning for new towns, emphasizing historic research, urban analysis and community-wide engagement.
Christian Sottile began his design career unconventionally by entering the architectural profession as an apprentice before receiving formal education. He later graduated as Valedictorian from the Savannah College of Art and Design, and received a fellowship to continue urban research in Italy. Mr. Sottile earned his Masters Degree in Urban Design and Architecture from Syracuse University and was voted among the Top 100 Academics in the Nation by USA Today.
After his graduate work, Sottile turned his attention toward expanding the role of the architect in issues of community planning, preservation and growth. Currently, along with his practice, Sottile holds a faculty position as Professor of Urban Design and Architecture in the Masters program at the Savannah College of Art and Design.
Mr. Sottile has received over twenty-five awards for his work, including an international Charter Award from the Congress for the New Urbanism, awards from the American Planning Association, the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, and a National Honor Award for Urban Design from the American Institute of Architects.
Sylvester Formey (2012)
Syl is the son of Savannah’s first African-American school superintendent, and an active member of Congregation B’Nai Brith Jacob. His Jewish faith helps him see the philosophical, and often humorous, side of his intense schedule. “Gam zo l’tovah” (meaning “This, too, is for good”) is one of his favorite responses to challenge. And he seems to love challenge. Besides being a nationally known CEO, Formey is the enthusiastic chairman and public face of Savannah’s Harbor Pilotage Commission, skilled boat captains who guide huge ships into and out of the port. He’s also an active part of the Savannah Airport Commission. In his free time, he captains his own yacht.
David Frost (2011-2013)
Vice Provost, Georgia Tech
J. David Frost is a Professor of Civil Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology and holds administrative appointments as a Vice Provost of Georgia Tech and the Founding Director of the Savannah Campus. He holds a B.A. in Mathematics and a B.A.I. in Civil Engineering (Honors) from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland as well as M.S. and PhD degrees in Civil Engineering from Purdue University. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in Indiana and Canada. He has worked in industry in Europe and North America on a variety of natural resource related projects including building artificial sand islands for oil exploration in the Arctic. His research focuses on the development of integrated digital data collection technologies for solving subsurface and infrastructure problems. He has been awarded two patents for a multi-sensor subsurface penetrometer system. Frost is co-owner and Chief Research Officer of an Atlanta based software company that develops data collection and management software tools for civil engineering applications.
Since moving to Savannah, Frost has been involved in various local organizations including the Coastal Business, Education & Technology Association, the Creative Coast Advisory Council, the Savannah Economic Development Authority Advisory Council, the Rotary Club of Savannah and the 200 Club of the Low Country. He also served on the Mayor’s Task Force that led to the establishment of the Greater Savannah International Alliance. He is also a member and Chairman of the Board of SAGIS, the Savannah Area Geographic Information System.
Susan Isaacs (2011-2013)
Managing Partner, Paragon Design Group
Susan Isaacs is an entrepreneur, design-nerd and managing principal of award-winning Paragon Design Group, a (multi) disciplined design firm that combines web strategy, design and development with animation, branding and print design. Having earned her M.Arch from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), Susan co-founded the firm in 2001 with fellow graduates and has adapted her critical thinking skills to focus on business innovation through upside-down thinking and designing for the greater good.
Under her leadership Paragon has cultivated a reputation for creative problem-solving and earned numerous awards including 19 Tellys, 2 Webby Honorees and 70 Addys. Clients include CNN International, The Weather Channel, Gulfstream Aerospace,The Hatchery LLC, SCAD and a number of non-profits including All Walks of Life, Inc (AWOL) and Clear Air Visibility Unlimited (CAVU).
Radford Harrell (2011-2014)
Radford Harrell is a serial entrepreneur, geek / marketer and generalist. His diverse background includes the US Navy, Commercial Diver, Caribbean Dive Boat Captain, medical device designer and biologic implant marketer. His latest venture, TalentSoup, provides the “Faces of Advertising” through an online marketplace, where models, actors and real people (with no experience), are booked by Fortune 500 companies for use in their ads. The company was a finalist in the TAG/GRA Business Launch Competition in 2009. This venture is the first of several technologies being developed that will dramatically speed the creation of advertising imagery. Rad relocated to Savannah from Atlanta in November, 2009, after an introduction to the city by the old CC, with his wife, then 2 year old son Gressett, and 2 dogs.
Dana Braun (2011-2014)
Partner, Callaway, Braun, Riddle & Hughes, P.C.
Dana Braun is an attorney and is a partner in the Savannah law firm of Callaway, Braun, Riddle & Hughes, P.C. where he has practiced law since 1980. His practice covers a wide range of areas in both litigation and non-litigation matters. Prior to private practice he served as law clerk for the Honorable B. Avant Edenfield, Judge, United States District Court for the Southern district of Georgia.
In addition to being involved and serving on boards of numerous community, charitable and civic organizations, Dana served as Alderman At Large for the City of Savannah for close to six years. As Alderman he led the effort to create the Savannah Film Commission, which has been successful in the recruitment of film and other media projects to Savannah. Dana served on the Georgia Film, Video and Music Advisory Commission from 2004 through 2008 and was chairman of its Legislative Committee which drafted the Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act which was signed into law in May, 2008. This Act provides a state tax credit for production expenditures up to 30 percent and is available to both traditional motion picture projects such as feature films, television series, commercials and music videos and to innovative new industries such as game development and animation. The Act has resulted in major film and television productions in Georgia and the startup of gaming entities.
Dana is married to Meg Doolan Braun and they have two sons.
Franz Gilbert (2014-2015)
Senior Manager, Human Capital Planning and Projects, Gulfstream Aerospace
Franz Gilbert has been an “Intrapreneur” since before the term was created. He spent 12 years in the retail industry as a senior leader for Circuit City, where he led a number of retail innovations, restructurings, partnerships and successes. During his career at major electronics retailer, he was in charge of eCommerce Operations, Trading Circuit (an eBay venture), and retail innovations, to name a few. He was also the chief operating officer of Attention Builders, a Richmond, Va., startup dedicated to emerging technologies. While there, he used technology from NASA to develop a neuro feedback device for children who have ADHD. He also built and sold an eCommerce Fraud detection modeling system, even before the first client was on board.
In his second career, he has run worldwide operations for a variety of Fortune 500 clients, and has become convinced that the key to business success is by making the employees’ success the number one priority. As a result, he has made Human Resources his home and his passion. He has his Global Professional of Human Resource certification, sat on the ISO committee developing HR standards and is a national speaker and prolific blogger.
It is in this new career in Human Resources that he was able to move to Savannah. But it is only since 2010 that his feet were able to actually stand still in Savannah, as he has taken a role at Gulfstream Aerospace where his is focused on their Global Talent Recruiting strategy and Workforce Planning. As such, he invests his time in the local community and sincerely appreciates the opportunity to represent Gulfstream Aerospace on the Board.
Kevin Lawver (2012-2015)
Senior Web Developer, Lynxsy
Kevin Lawver is a nerd, geek and troublemaker. He spent 13 years at AOL building big web products, working on web standards and trying to get the company to embrace the web. He has a patent, helped write a book on standards-based development and won several awards for building products that no longer exist. He moved to Savannah with his wife and two sons in 2008 to try to change the music industry with technology. That didn’t work, so now he is back to building the web with Lynxsy. Kevin runs Refresh Savannah, helped start Geekend, TEDx Creative Coast, RailsBridge Savannah and Kodestars. He’s always looking for ways to cause trouble and get people to do cool new things with technology.
Yvonne Jouffrault (2014-2015)
Treasurer, Founder – Tour Buddy Apps
Yvonne is an institutional investment professional turned tech entrepreneur who loves city culture. She has traveled extensively and spent time living in Boston, New York, Paris and Atlanta before settling in Savannah and channeling her love for travel into founding a mobile app publishing platform for visitor destinations. Tour Buddy Apps allows cities and cultural destinations to create geo-location, interactive Guide apps for IOS and Android through a user friendly web interface. Clients span the globe and include national parks, cities, museums, and more.
Before embracing mobile app development, she spent 8 years in institutional real estate investment and private equity doing acquisitions for all property types. She still dabbles in investments and offers real estate investment advisory services to long standing clients. She has a BS in Business and Finance from Wake Forest University.
Mary Ellen Sprague (2014-2015)
Alderman, District 4, Savannah City Council
Mary Ellen Sprague is a 30 year resident of Savannah. She graduated with a Bachelor’s of Business Administration from Emory University and a Master’s in Health Care Administration from Florida International University. Mary Ellen is a self employed public accountant. Mary Ellen served two terms on the Savannah-Chatham Board of Education from 1992 to 2000. She was also Chairman of the Live Oak Libraries Board of Directors, and was involved in the completion of the annex to the Bull Street library. Other civic work includes serving on the Board of United Way, the Junior League of Savannah, Mary Maclean Foundation, the Christ Church/Historic Savannah Tour of Homes and the Chatham County Grand Jury. Mary Ellen has been married to Larry Sprague for 30 years. They have 3 children, a dog and a cat. Alderwoman Sprague was first elected to Savannah City Council in 2008. She is currently serving her second term.
Murray Wilson (2011-2015)
President, TPS Consulting
Murray Wilson has consulted in the professional broadcast television industry for over 20 years. He was heavily involved in the industry’s transition from analog to digital and played an integral role in the development and deployment of some of the largest multi-channel digital broadcast facilities in the world, working in North America, Europe and Asia. He is President of tps Consulting (http://tpscorp.com) an experienced broadcast television consultancy that delivers operational analysis and workflow design to the professional broadcast industry. He has consulted at an engineering level in all aspects of television network technologies, including content production, content management, distribution and transmission. He established an excellent reputation in the start-up of the world’s largest broadcasting facilities, based on his extensive knowledge of workflow design, operational procedural development, and resource optimization. His clients include SONY, Galaxy Latin America, DIRECTV, DIRECTV Japan, MTV, MediaFLO, Viacom, and Hughes SPACEWAY.
Victor Ermoli (2011-2015)
Dean of Design, Savannah College of Art & Design
He holds degrees in design and environmental design from Venezuela, United States and Canada. He possesses 12 years of teaching and 20 years of professional experience. He has been featured in Business Report’s “40 under 40” and ID magazine’s “40 Best Designers Under 30.” He is the Dean of the School of Design at SCAD. He has supervised the creation of multiple educational programs, including a graduate program in Design for Sustainability, Design Management program and an Accessory Design program.
Cathy Hill (2014-2016)
Region Vice President, Coastal (Savannah) Georgia Power
Since joining Georgia Power in 1984, Cathy Hill has held management positions in fleet operations, district engineering, region power delivery, and region distribution operations. She served as assistant to the president & CEO prior to her current position. She was elected vice president of Coastal Region in 2008. In her current role, she is responsible for overseeing the company’s operations in the Coastal Region, which includes Savannah, Springfield, Statesboro, Swainsboro, Hinesville, Jesup, Brunswick, Kingsland, St. Mary’s, Darien, Glennville, Claxton and Metter communities. Born in Dublin, Georgia, Cathy received a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech and a Master of Business Administration degree from Georgia State University. She also completed the executive management program at Harvard University, Judge School of Business at Cambridge and is a graduate of the Regional Leadership Institute and Leadership Atlanta. She currently serves as the board chair Armstrong Atlantic State University Foundation and is past-chair elect for United Way of the Coastal Empire. In addition, she also serves as a board member for the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce, Savannah Economic Development Authority, Savannah Technical College, Georgia Tech – Savannah, Memorial Medical Health Foundation, Ossabaw Island Foundation, Step Up Savannah, and SunTrust.
Principal Broker, Judge Realty
After working for several years representing buyers and sellers in Savannah, Lori Judge opened Judge Realty in 2005. Through Judge Realty, Lori’s personal commitment to community involvement, lifestyle, and environmental integrity have become professional principles. As evidence, Lori is one of Savannah’s only certified EcoBrokers. Lori grew up in Princeton, Illinois and holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Iowa. She moved to Georgia in 1999 and presently resides in Savannah’s Historic District with her husband and son. Lori is devoted to her company, her family, and – when time allows – her tennis game. Lori is a member of various local and civic groups and organizations, including the Telfair Museum, the SCAD Museum, the Davenport House, Savannah Tree Foundation, Georgia Conservancy, EcoBrokers, Flannery O’Connor House, Historic Savannah Foundation, US Green Building Council, Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Downtown Neighborhood Association, and Downtown Business Association
Founder/CEO, Abshire Public Relations
Jennifer Abshire, the founder and CEO of Abshire Public Relations, recently celebrated the firm’s 12-year anniversary. In just over a decade, Abshire PR stands firmly as the region’s premier, go-to public relations and marketing resource, delivering results for clients throughout coastal Georgia and the South Carolina Lowcountry. In 2009, Abshire PR was nationally recognized for its leadership and innovative public relations services and was awarded the PR News Legal PR Award
Blake Ellis often gets tagged as a “serial entrepreneur”, having been involved in a number of web-based start-ups. Most of his efforts fail spectacularly, but the ones that survive seem to do very well. In addition to CommerceV3, the successes include Rails Machine, Smack Dab Studios, ResEngine, and Timberline Interactive. Blake has won numerous technology awards for CommerceV3 and Rails Machine, including the CBETA Innovation Award and graduation from the Advanced Technology Development Center at Georgia Tech