Bob Toupin, Jen White & Dana Barrett

Bob Toupin, Jen White & Dana Barrett

In the guest chair:

This morning on The Dana Barrett Show, the studio was filled with laughter and lots of sarcasm as Dana hosted a few very successful and hilarious friends. Jen White, Director of Partnerships for ATP was in the studio to give the inside scoop on what’s new with the company. Jen, who is a regular contributor to The Dana Barrett Show, has over 20 years in sales and leadership experience. ATP is where IT professionals come together to connect and learn. The non-profit organization, now in its 15th year, hosts monthly events that dive deep into industry trends and business drivers that are changing the world of connectedness. Its annual awards gala, CIO roundtable, and golf tournament are recognized as premier industry events in Atlanta.

Bob Toupin, Chief Information Officer at BlueLinx gave his input on paternity leave as well as an inside look to how his company is teaming up with ATP. Bob has held numerous IT leadership roles managing corporate, operational, and financial systems. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, BlueLinx Corporation, is a leading distributor of building products in North America. Employing over 1,700 people, BlueLinx offers greater than 10,000 products from over 750 suppliers to service approximately 11,500 customers nationwide, including dealers, industrial manufacturers, manufactured housing producers and home improvement retailers.

Elizabeth Schneider, Monique Mills & Dana Barrett

Elizabeth Schneider, Monique Mills & Dana Barrett

Elizabeth Schneider, Founder of Wine for Normal People was on the show to talk about how she got started and of! After graduating from Wesleyan University (CT) and starting her career in Boston, she quickly realized that her heart was more in her hobby than in my high-tech job.Trips to the wine shop often yielded awesomely poor (but hilarious) results, so she and her sister took a course at the Boston Center for Adult Education to learn how to taste and appreciate wine. And that kicked it all off. Wine For Normal People translates wine into normal terms that you can relate to through an award-winning podcast, popular, internationally followed blog, and in acclaimed public speaking events and industry consulting…and in the book, coming soon!!

Monique Mills, CEO of ThePartyMatch, dished on party planning and why she loves it. Monique received her undergraduate electrical engineering degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology and her MBA, with a concentration in Management of Technology, from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Monique is a busy wife and mother of two who faces the challenges of personal and professional event planning while also balancing life’s many obligations. This experience provided the genesis for her company, ThePartyMatch -– an online platform that enhances convenience and provides increased options to those seeking a unique venue and/or experience for their corporate or social occasion.

In the headlines:

  • Atlanta moved up an impressive 23 spots on The Milken Institute’s annual Best-Performing Cities index for 2015.  This year we’re at No. 27 on the list, which measures economic performance, up from No. 50 in 2014.  The Milken Institute’s annual Best-Performing Cities index, compiled since 1999, analyzes growth in employment, wages and technology output. Metrics such as cost-of-living and quality-of-life conditions, often subjective, are not included.
  • From real lists to ridiculous ones – In an survey of 80,000 users, Atlanta ranked itself No. 2 for sexiest singles.  Meaning we have more delusional singles here thinking they are sexy – than in most other cities.  Yay team.
  • Video technology firm Clearleap has been acquired by IBM Corp.  Duluth, Ga.-based Clearleap develops software that allows content creators and cable companies to stream media to set-top boxes and Internet-connected televisions.  (Clearleap will be integrated into the IBM Cloud platform to enable enterprises to manage, monetize and grow user video experiences and deliver them securely over the Web and mobile devices. Clearleap has contracts with HBO, A+E Networks, the NFL, BBC America, Sony Movie Channel, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon Communications, among others.)
  • The Georgia Film Academy, whose mission is train more Georgians to be ready to work in the film and TV biz says they are ‘close to finalizing’ a partnership with Pinewood Atlanta Studios where they plan to build a permanent training facility.  In the mean time, registration opened for the Georgia Film Academy Monday for classes that will be held at several University System of Georgia schools.  Executive director Jeff Stepakoff says there are many more announcements yet to come.
  • Atlanta Magazine and The Shops Buckhead Atlanta have united to host a Holiday Shop & Stroll on Thursday, December 10th, 2015. They say, “the evening will be filled with shopping, food, cocktails, and entertainment”.  It’s open to the public but they do ask for an RSVP.

National Stories:

  • Tesla is still not making a profit – but they are hiring like crazy.  As of Monday their website had over 1600 open jobs posted.  Wanna sell more cars?  Apparently you gotta have staff to do it.  The company has over 14,000 employees now, which is tiny compared to other car makers – and just in case you were wondering…Rapid hiring is typical for fast-growing companies. Tesla, which began delivering the first of its Model X SUV’s in late September, says it will deliver at least 50,000 vehicles this year, including 17,000 to 19,000 vehicles in the fourth quarter.
  • And the Wall Street Journal had a couple of great articles yesterday answering two age old questions:

1 – Should you buy the “protection plan” for your new gadget?

2 – Should you throw out your packaged food on the “Best Used By Date”.

Women on Wednesday Stories

  • In honor of Computer Science Education Week, Google and Pixar have come together to get girls to spend an hour learning how to code while having fun and being creative.  Google’s homepage links to the collaborative Made with Code site, which features a coding activity allowing users to build movie scenes with characters from Pixar’s film “Inside Out.” Girls can also use the drag-and-drop exercise to become an instant programmer, creating their own clothing and outfits.  The site is also a partnership with Hour of Code, an international initiative aiming to get students interested in coding. One-hour tutorials available in more than 40 languages show young students how simple coding can be.
  • The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is making sure its internal human resources practices are in line with what it advocates externally.  Beginning next year, new moms and dads who have a baby or adopt can take as much as 52 weeks of paid parental leave.

Other stuff:

For other events and appearances, check out Dana’s event calendar:

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