Board of Directors
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Below is a list of the current GWBC® board members.
SonocoMarc Ensign leads a team of sourcing professionals covering all spend as part of Sonoco’s Supplier Diversity Initiative. Over the past ten years, Sonoco has spend over $1B with diverse suppliers. Marc is a seasoned professional in all areas of sourcing and materials management. He has served on numerous boards and has received occasional recognition. Marc serves on the Board of Directors for the Greater Women’s Business Council, and is a member of the National Minority Supplier Development Council.
2nd Vice Chair
InnolectKittie W. Watson, Ph.D., President and founder of Innolect Inc., leads a global executive development and strategic change consulting firm. A communication and cultural transformation expert, she accelerates how leaders define, think, and reinvent themselves to lead more strategically. With a passion for “Growing Leaders,” Kittie designs strategies that build strong, vibrant leadership pipelines. Building “Great Places to Work,” Kittie works with CEOs and executive teams in high-stakes settings to address mission-critical business needs.
Former Chair of the Department of Communication at Tulane University, Kittie has written over 15 books and dozens of articles. Clients include: Pfizer, Entergy, SonyBMG, Bayer, Liz Claiborne, Qualcomm, Sysco, Zoetis and the American Red Cross.
MySupplies; Freeman Forms & Supply, Inc.
Nancy Freeman Balkcom has been president of mysupplies, a Freeman Forms and Supplies Company since 1986. mysupplies was established in 1970 as an independent business forms istributorship. Since becoming President, Nancy has developed mysuppplies into a multi-million dollar, full-line office products, furniture and print-on-demand distributor. Nancy professional involvement includes leadership roles with the Greater Women’s Business Council where she currently serves on the Board of Directors, GWBC Board Development, GWBC Mentor Protégé, GWBC HR Committee, Chairperson for the Georgia Voice Forum and WBENC National Forum. Nancy also serves on the Advisory Board for the Edge Connection (an SBA Women’s Business Center).
Bank of America
Marcia Austero is a Senior Vice President and currently the Hospitality Executive for Bank of America. She is responsible for leading a team of 13 vendor managers responsible for executing the sourcing and vendor management goals and strategies for Enterprise Hospitality which includes the following commodities; conferencing, food service, fitness centers and event venues which provide client engagement, business development and community outreach. Enterprise Hospitality sits within Bank of America’s Finance organization and is directly aligned to Enterprise Services (ES). The organization provides the end-to-end management of vendor engagement through contract management to ensure the delivery of goods and services to thousands of employees.
Dwan H. Armstrong
The Clorox CompanyDwan H. Armstrong leads the Supplier Diversity Initiative for the Clorox Company. She is responsible for the strategic sourcing of more than $130 Million with (M/W/DVBE) as well as (L/G/B/T) Business Enterprises.
Federal Reserve Bank of AtlantaMary McGuire Kepler is senior vice president and chief risk and compliance officer at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. In this role, she leads the Bank’s compliance and enterprise risk identification and management efforts. She also directs the Atlanta Fed’s Retail Payments Risk Forum. Her responsibilities with the Forum include collaborating with financial institutions and other industry participants, regulators, and law enforcement to identify, understand, and mitigate risks in retail payments.
Ms. Kepler joined the Atlanta Fed’s supervision and regulation department in 1992 after spending nearly eight years at the Kansas City Fed. In 1998, she was promoted to assistant vice president in the information technology department and in 2002 was named vice president. Ms. Kepler later joined the Retail Payments Office (RPO), where she managed the Federal Reserve System’s retail payments services to the U.S. Treasury Department and oversaw the RPO’s initiatives on intellectual property rights. In 2005, she became the senior officer over human resources. There, she chaired the Bank’s human resources committee and was an adviser to the management committee. In 2007, Ms. Kepler took on new responsibilities in the financial management and planning department, where she oversaw the accounting, budgeting, procurement, strategic planning, and enterprise risk management functions.
A native of Missouri, Ms. Kepler received a bachelor of business administration degree with a concentration in finance from the University of Central Missouri. She has also completed the executive development program at Northwestern University.
Sesley Brown is the North America Supplier Inclusion & Sustainability Lead and Liaison to the US Contractor Exchange (Cx) for Accenture.
She is responsible for promoting Accenture’s mentoring program in the US, the Diverse Supplier Development Program (DSDP) as well as building relationships with small and medium diverse suppliers to maximize growth opportunities with Accenture’s internal and external clients.
Sesley currently holds a board seat with the Greater Women’s Business Council (GWBC). She is also the 2014 Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council (GMSDC) Spirit of Alliance “Buyer of the Year” award recipient. She has a multitude of experience in the areas of Supply Chain Management, Strategic Sourcing, Acquisitions Management and Sourcing and Category Management.
Sesley is a native Georgian and holds an MPA from Clark Atlanta University and a BS degree from Savannah State University.
William “Bill” Haley
William Haley is responsible developing and managing Aflac’s supplier diversity program. This initiative also supports mentoring suppliers with other affinity organizations in developing business structures and management processes that help enhance their potential to be successful suppliers to major corporations like Aflac. In addition to the GWBC board affiliation, he currently serves on the board of the Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council (GMSDC). He is Aflac’s corporate representative with the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GHCC), the National Veteran-owned Business Association (NaVoBA), and the Latin American Chamber of Commerce (LACC). He has contributed as a corporate advisor to the Premier Development Program conducted by the University of Georgia’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC).
Nancy Williams, CEO/Owner
ASAP Solutions Group
Nancy Williams is a Technology Industry Executive with years of progressive experience in business development and large-scale account management with organizations such as IBM, Unisys and Comforce. With a passion for entrepreneurship, Nancy leveraged her previous IT experience to partner with Roz Alford in 1995 as a Principal with ASAP Solutions Group, LLC. Under Nancy’s leadership, ASAP experienced significant growth, expansion and diversification. She was very instrumental in launching branch offices in New Jersey/New York, Chicago, Dallas and Hyderabad, India and enabling ASAP to provide comprehensive Talent Management Solutions across 46 states and beyond.
In addition to her leadership at ASAP, Nancy reaches out to the community through various avenues of professional and non-profit organizations. She is a Board Member with the C5 Youth Foundation of Georgia as well as an Executive Committee Officer for the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention (GCAPP). Nancy played a pivotal role in the establishment of a jobs program for youth supporting Partnership Against Domestic Violence (PADV). She actively participates in the promotion and growth of women-owned businesses. She is a founding member of Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP), and champions the cause of several organizations including: Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), Technology Associations of Georgia (TAG) and the Greater Women’s Business Council (GWBC). Nancy graduated from Georgia State University with a BBA in Computer Systems.
Cynthia T. Barnett is a director in the AT&T Supply Chain Organization managing a group responsible for procurement of corporate real estate products and services including in areas of design & construction, property management, environmental health & safety, and energy. Cynthia has over 30 years experience in various aspects of Supply Chain Management and has Six Sigma Orange Belt Certification. She is a member of the AT&T Community Network Professional Development Committee and Board of Directors for the Greater Women’s Business Council.
BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC
Beginning her BMW career in 1996, Ms. Connell’s primary role has been within the purchasing department responsible for the procurement of body shop equipment. Throughout her tenure as a buyer, Connell has been responsible for purchasing fuel systems, axle assemblies and, most recently, interior components.
In 2011, Ms. Connell added responsibility for the plant’s supplier diversity platform. In that time, Ms. Connell helped launch the company’s successful Tier 1 Supplier Diversity Matchmaker Conference. In this new role, Connell has helped BMW achieve their objectives to increase their year-to-date minority spend with both Tier 1 & 2 suppliers, increase outside awareness of BMW’s commitment to supplier diversity and increase the company’s community service outreach.
The Coca-Cola Company
Tracey Mackey serves as global head of Marketing and Indirect Procurement with The Coca-Cola Company. Tracey is a seasoned veteran with over twenty-five years of experience as a procurement professional. She has spent twenty-two years with The Coca-Cola Company, including procurement roles in equipment, ingredients, logistics, packaging, agricultural commodities, IT, indirect, and marketing. In her current role, she leads a global team of 100+ associates based in over thirty countries around the world, and has led the team to deliver hundreds of millions of dollars in procurement value to reinvest to fuel growth in the business. She also spent five years with a procurement outsourcing and consulting organization to provide strategic solutions to other Fortune 500 Companies. Tracey has previously served on the Board of Directors of the Atlanta Better Business Bureau (2008-2013) including on the Finance, Marketing, and Strategic Planning committees. She has been an active volunteer with the Girl Scouts of America, Mary Hall Freedom House, and Cristo Rey (Atlanta) Jesuit High School. Tracey holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Virginia and an MBA from Goizueta Business School of Emory University. She and her husband, Bryant, have four children.
Exhibits South Corporation
Marlene Kelly is the President and CEO of Exhibits South Corporation. Exhibits South is 100% woman owned and operated company certified by the Women’s Business Enterprises National Council and was established in 1983 as a full service design, development firm specializing in creative marketing and sales environments, primarily trade show exhibits, interiors and museums.
Deborah Mackins has 22 years of Supply Chain Management and Supplier Diversity experience. She joined Georgia Power Company’s Supplier Diversity and Development team in 2011. In this role, Deborah manages the Transmission Business Unit’s Supplier Diversity and Development initiatives.
Deborah leads Georgia Power Company’s Transmission Supplier Diversity and Development Strategy Team. She is also a liaison to the Greater Women’s Business Council (GWBC), Georgia Black Constructors Association (GBCA), Georgia Hispanic Construction Association (GHCA) and several business groups supporting Veteran-Owned Businesses. Deborah was the recipient of GWBC’s “Corporate Advocate of the Year” award in 2015.
The Muffin Mam
Jade LaFreniere is president and owner at The Muffin Mam, Inc. In this role, she leads the sales, public relations, product development, and continuous improvement education program. Her responsibilities at the Muffin Mam include collaborating with community economic and education leaders to grow skill development opportunities within the workforce. In 2016 she was recognized by Progressive Grocer with the Top Women in Grocery Award. She has been featured in Food & Drink Magazine International for her innovative work in product development and social responsibility. Jade has 15 years of experience in Sales and Sales Process Development. She enjoys finding the strengths in others.
PS Energy Group
Ms. Whisenhunt, President, CEO and founder of PS Energy Group, has nearly 30 years of experience in purchasing and marketing fuels for transportation and production. She has been instrumental in spearheading and executing most of PS Energy’s major milestones and is responsible for setting the company’s strategic direction and leading its growth. Ms. Whisenhunt served as the Region IV Chairperson of the Federal Regulatory Fairness Board (REGFAIR), established by Congress and the President under the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, to represent small businesses and comment on the enforcement activities of federal regulatory agencies. She was appointed by Georgia’s Lt. Governor to the House Senate Study Committee for House Bill 215, the Bill that deregulated natural gas in the State of Georgia; in addition to being appointed by Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue to the Board of Directors of the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority, the state of Georgia authority that works to improve the state’s mobility, air quality and land use practices. Under Ms. Whisenhunt’s leadership, PS Energy Group has become one of the top diversity and women-owned companies in the nation and has been the recipient of various awards and recognitions. Most recently, Ms. Whisenhunt was presented with the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) Supplier Diversity award at the 2014 EEI Supplier Diversity Conference, in recognition of PS Energy Group’s “exceptional contribution and commitment to the EEI Supplier Diversity Initiative.”
Sushumna Roy Jalajam
Sushumna Roy Jalajam began her career in Talent Acquisition Management with over 20 years in IT management and a background in education. With a passion for excellence, coupled with a desire to deliver innovative workforce solutions to clients, Roy co-founded Softpath System LLC, an award-winning firm IT and non-IT solutions provider to Fortune 1000 corporations across the nation. Softpath, now in existence for over 17 years, is a certified Women and Minority-Owned Business Enterprise headquartered in Norcross, Georgia.
Sushumna Roy Jalajam is responsible for the company’s day-to-day operations and sets the vision for the staffing and technology strategy, while leading a team of over 800 employees committed to unparalleled service and value. Her firm is the recipient of numerous awards including 2014 Investment Partner of the Year by Informatica for outstanding contributions to Informatica and MDM Technology and the acclaimed 2016 Georgia Women Business Council (GWBC) LACE Trailblazer Award, honoring Softpath for inspiring and empowering women-owned businesses. She recently received USPAACC Fast100 Award, 2017 Women’s Presidents Award, 2017 Enterprising Women Award, and 2017 Minority Business of Year Award by The Atlanta Tribune.
Sushumna is very active within the business community and civic organizations with a passion for enhancing the potential of small and diverse businesses. She actively mentors women business organizations and provides volunteer committee support to GWBC where she also serves as a Member of the Board. She is Chair of the GMSDC IT Industry Group and has served as Board Member to U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce – Southeast Chapter (USPAACC-SE) and as Trustee to multiple non-profits and community organizations. Sushumna holds a Master’s Degree in Literature with honors from Osmania University, India. She has earned a Master’s in Business Management from the prestigious IMS, India. She is married to Ravi Chander, co-founder of Softpath System and has three daughters.
Evelyn Ashley is the founder and Managing Partner of Trusted Counsel. Evelyn advises private company and family office clients on matters such as mergers and acquisitions, financing and investments, intellectual property protection, licensing, manufacturing, distribution, entity structure and related issues, corporate spinouts and international transactions. She has wide ranging legal and business experience and brings a results focused, pragmatic approach to the practice of law. She serves on the Board of the nsoro Foundation, which provides college scholarships for foster children who have aged out of the foster care system (www.thenf.org), as well as Women in Technology and the Greater Women’s Business Enterprise Council which oversees the process of certifying woman owned businesses in the Southeast.
XIOSS Founder, President & CEO Susie Galyardt launched her data storage solution provider business in 2008. Under her leadership, XIOSS has grown exponentially, landing at No. 1 on CRN’s Fast Growth, 100 list in 2012, as well as in the top 50 on CRN’s Next Generation list of solution providers. She was also named in the Power 100 of CRN’s annual Women of the Channel, awarded to the highest ranking women holding the most prominent channel-focused positions in vendor or solution provider organizations. Galyardt currently serves on the GWBC Voice Committee, Chairs Woman 2 Woman and serves as a Mentor in the Mentor Protégé program.