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Leadership, Biotech & Driving Innovation for the Southeast!

Stacy Shuker

Should Atlanta establish itself as the driver of innovation and connection for the Southeast? In this edition of Global Leader Radio!™, Dr. Stacy Shuker joined Alvin C. Miles to discuss the burgeoning life sciences industry and the leadership needed to expand the focus of biotech  from local to regional.

Here are seven takeaways from our discussion:

  1. When it’s broken, leaders fix it!
  2. Never let them see you get angry.
  3. Get comfortable with the fact that sometimes you won’t be right!
  4. Mentoring doesn’t always have to be formal to be effective.
  5. Listen more and talk less!
  6. Alone time is important.
  7. Achieving success doesn’t have to be “cut-throat.”

Listen in as Stacy explains how the industry has progressed and what’s needed to help realize its potential. Add her insights, tips and resources to your leadership toolkit. Leadership IS a conversation!

Dr. Stacy Williams Shuker/ President, Down South Innovation

Dr. Shuker has been a part of Atlanta’s innovation community since 2006. She started as a scientific advisor in an intellectual property law firm and as a volunteer in Georgia’s innovation non-profit organizations.

In 2008 she moved to the Georgia Department of Economic Development as the Director of the Center of Innovation for Life Sciences. It was there that she pioneered the use of social media in economic development after her marketing budget was cut by $85,000 during the Great Recession. It was from this social media base that she created a virtual community of life science innovators from across the Southeast that she still uses today. provides regular updates on news and events from across the Southeast to its 1000 registered members.

As Director of Partnership Development for Georgia Bio, she initiated an industry outreach program, which resulted in several multi-billion dollar companies visiting Georgia’s research universities. Her partnership development firm, Down South Innovation, now connects clients with academic and corporate decision makers of the life science community in the Southeast.

She has chaired and served on several committees of Georgia Bio, Southeast BIO, Southeast Medical Device Association, the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, and the MIT Enterprise Forum of Atlanta. She is also a strong supporter of – an Atlanta based organization that pairs emerging companies with qualified investors. Dr. Shuker devotes her professional volunteer efforts to making the Southeastern region a thriving ecosystem for innovation and commercialization.

Dr. Shuker completed her undergraduate chemistry degree at the University of Georgia and went on to get her Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry at Carnegie Mellon.


Contact Stacy: (770) 725-7777,


Which Book Has Most Impacted Your Leadership Ability?


Shuker book


Is Your “Global Glass” Half-Empty or Half-Full?

Epova Photo

In this edition of Global Leader Radio!™, Alvin C. Miles facilitates a discussion about the correlation between a positive perspective and success in one’s life. Yelena Epova joined as our in-studio guest to discuss her unique story, her global perspective and the importance of taking an interest in people!

Here are seven takeaways from our discussion:

  1. Enjoy what you do!
  2. Being happy overall is more important than any other factor.
  3. The best way to be successful is to help develop others.
  4. Focus on being flexible.
  5. Clients don’t grow on trees – you have to develop them!
  6. To be a leader is a gift!
  7. Take time to recharge.

Listen in as Yelena walks us through her personal and professional story. Add her insights, tips and resources to your leadership toolkit. Leadership IS a conversation!

Yelena Epova/ Partner, Habif, Arogeti & Wynne, LLP

Yelena is a partner in charge of HA&W’s Tax Group and the International Services Practice. She specializes in advising domestic and international companies on international tax issues and tax planning strategies regarding inbound and outbound operations. She also assists clients with domestic tax issues by providing tax planning and compliance services.

Yelena is an active member in many professional organizations, including the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants where she served on the task force that reviewed Proposed Treasury Regulations on Transfer Pricing; the Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants where she participated in the Leadership Development Program; and Baker Tilly International where she chaired the North American International Tax Committee for six consecutive years. Additionally, Ms. Epova is a founding board member of GlobalEXECWomen, vice chair of the Georgia Council for International Visitors’ Board and Chair of the 2013 Consular Ball. She is also Treasurer of the Georgia District Export Council. She is a graduate of the 2011 Leadership Atlanta program and received the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s 2011 Global Impact Award for Service Providers on behalf of HA&W.

Yelena has written for numerous publications. She is a regular contributing writer to Global Atlanta on international tax issues. She is also a frequent speaker at many international and domestic seminars including those pertaining to businesses entering the U.S. market.

Prior to moving to Atlanta, Ms. Epova received her Masters degree in Engineering from the Technological College of Leningrad. Upon her arrival in the United States, she continued her education in Accountancy at Georgia State University. Ms. Epova has received the Golden Key Award for the highest score on the CPA exam in Georgia and the Elijah Watt Sells Award for being in the top 100 scores on the CPA exam in the nation. She was recently selected by Atlanta-based GlobalEXECWomen as one of three finalists for the International Women of Influence Awards™ in the category of Service Providing Businesses. Ms. Epova was also selected by the Atlanta Business Chronicle as one of the city’s “up and comers” for 2006. Each year, the paper selects and presents awards to 40 business professionals under the age of 40 who have made significant contributions to their communities and are leaders in their companies. Ms. Epova was most recently recognized by Atlanta Magazine as one of the fifty-five most influential foreign-born Atlantans.


Contact Yelena: (404) 898-7431,


Leadership Tips for Micro & Small Business Success!

Laura Veronica photo

In this edition of Global Leader Radio!™, we discuss the skills & leadership acumen necessary for success as a micro or small business owner. Laura Ann Hart and Veronica Maldonado joined Alvin C. Miles as in-studio guests to discuss the resources available for business owners, the importance of education to success, and the personal  fulfillment of serving others!

Here are seven takeaways from our discussion:

  1. What small businesses need is a helping hand!
  2. When everyone takes care of their own backyard, the outcome is a great community.
  3. Surround yourself with people that aid in your development.
  4. Always seek more!
  5. We are designed to be of service to others.
  6. To be a leader is a gift!
  7. Don’t be afraid to do the right thing, even when it’s not popular.

Listen in as Laura Ann and Veronica describe how they’ve gotten to a successful point in their careers. Add their insights, tips and resources to your leadership toolkit. Leadership IS a conversation!


Laura Ann Hart/ President,  Quickie Coupons, LLC

Laura Ann Hart is a true “Georgia Girl!” Having been born and raised in the South, Laura has taken “southern hospitality and customer service” to a whole new level in her young and vibrant sales & marketing company Quickie Coupons!  “First Class is Free” has been her philosophy and building blocks that she hangs her pearls on every day! Over the past 8 years Laura has sold over 40 million dollars in goods and services and continues her “Pursuit of Excellence” Vision in everything that she does.

Laura Ann created a company in a downturn market that is helping businesses survive and thrive with the simple introduction of coupons into their marketing plan. Since the beginning of Quickie Coupons Laura Ann has increased overall sales by 55% in year two and another 35% in years three and four. Quickie Coupons has consistently maintained a 94% customer retention level – all without long term contracts. In February of 2011, Quickie Coupons became an official Franchisor, with a federally registered trademark and the ability to sell franchises throughout the country.  Laura is currently in the process of opening up Quickie Coupons Roswell in September of this year.  Quickie Coupons was a finalist for business of the year in 2010 and 2011.

Before starting Quickie Coupons, Laura spent five years as a Top Producer with RE/MAX Unlimited where she learned the true value of helping and serving others. Under the mentoring of Pam and Gerry Rogers, Laura was able to make the transition from stay at home mom to an award winning Top Producing Agent. During her real estate career Laura helped hundreds of clients buy and sell property.  Laura received the “Rookie of the Year” Award in 2005, earned the #1 Top Producing Individual Agent in 2006 & 2008, #3 Top Producing Individual Agent in 2007 and was also honored with the RE/MAX 100% Club Award four years in a row.  Laura also had the privilege of writing a monthly real estate column in the local paper sharing her experiences and best “tips & tricks” on how to navigate the real estate world.

In 2012, Laura was the President of the Kennesaw Business Association (the largest non-chamber business association in the state of Georgia), a board member for the Acworth Business Association and a character education teacher at Kennesaw Mountain High School.  In 2013 Laura graduated from the esteemed Leadership Cobb Program.  Currently Laura serves as a director/ past president for the Kennesaw Business Association and participates in several committees dedicated to improving our local community and helping businesses grow.

Giving back and taking care of their community is a must for Laura and her family. The Hart’s have actively participated and contributed to several charity and service organizations ranging from “Shop with a Hero Programs”, Carrabba’s Culinary Cook-off, Must Ministries, Calvary Children’s Home, Hayes Elementary Food Pantry, Kilometer Kids, Northstar Church Volunteers, NJROTC, Boy scouts, One Call Foundation, Susan G Komen Breast Cancer, Northstar Couples Group Leaders, ARC (Atlanta Recovery Center / Homeless Shelter) and MDA. Teaching their children to “give back” has been a priority for both Laura and her husband Eric. Laura and Eric recently celebrated their 21st wedding anniversary. They have three children, Joshua, Alexandria and Jeffrey and live in Acworth, Ga.

Laura received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Shorter College in 1997 and her Associates of Arts Degree in Fashion Merchandising from Bauder College in 1990.  Laura holds and maintains a Georgia Real Estate Sales Person License and is certified in several areas of scuba diving.

Contact  Laura: (678) 918-6961,


Veronica Maldonado/ Program Director, Ga. Mentor Protégé Connection


Ms. Maldonado is a dynamic and versatile Latina community business leader whose voice, passion and purpose are focused on building up the human spirit, creating synergy amongst communities, and fighting for the “inalienable right” for all to progress and excel in any environment.

She is an expert in fostering strategic alliances, creating win-win negotiations and implementing effective marketing strategies that increase any brand value throughout the pipeline. She is ready to meet and exceed any challenge set before her, a quality most recently demonstrated as director of the Georgia Mentor Protégé Connection, which is a mentor protégé program—the first of its kind in the nation.

The product of hard work, determination and perseverance as well as an entrepreneurial family tree that spans generations in the U.S & Latin America, Ms. Maldonado is uniquely qualified to lead the MPC program and thereby to help provide a path to sustainability, progression, and economic growth for small business owners in Georgia.

Contact Veronica: (404) 589-4929,


Which Book Has Most Impacted Your Leadership Ability?


Laura Hart's book


VMaldonado's book

Marketing, Leadership & “Living the Dream!”

If marketing yourself and your business is the missing ingredient to “living the dream,” why doesn’t everybody do it? In this edition of Global Leader Radio!™, Alvin C. Miles interviews Louis Dillard as he describes how to identify & overcome the common marketing pitfalls in both our personal and professional lives.

Here are seven takeaways from our discussion:


  1. Marketing is important, personally & professionally!
  2. The internet should be considered a form of real estate.
  3. Invest in what works, throw out the rest.
  4. Track your leads!
  5. Fear is the entrepreneur’s worst enemy!
  6. A professional salesman helps others make a purchasing decision.
  7. I don’t need to change the world if I can help just one person!

Listen in as Louis describes the essential elements of an intentional marketing plan. Add his insights to your leadership toolkit to help take your influence from “Zero to Infinity!” Leadership IS a conversation!

Louis Dillard / President & CEO, Zero to Infinity

Zero to Infinity (ZTI) is an Internet Marketing firm that helps to promote businesses by using the internet. ZTI’s core focus is to develop & implements online marketing campaigns for businesses. Our goal is to create campaigns that are effective and deliver a positive ROI for our clients.

Broadly, clients call ZTI when they are interested in learning how their business can get more leads, convert more leads to customers, and get more business from existing customers by harnessing the power of the internet. Specifically, ZTI helps clients by:

• Positioning business websites higher in search engines such as Google, so that their customers can find them,
• Create & manage text message marketing for businesses to remind customers of appointments, send weekly promotions, etc.,
• Redesign business websites to engage visitors to convert from visitor to prospect & prospect to customer,
• Design & manage online advertising with agencies such as Google Adwords & Facebook,
• Create & manage business social media marketing with mainstays like Facebook & Twitter.

ZTI’s CEO, Louis Dillard, has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Upon graduating, he entered the field of sales, which he has been a part of ever since. He has over 12 years experience in sales and marketing.

Louis is active in the community and he participates in the “Principal for a Day” program with the Cobb County school system.  He is also an Ambassador for the Cobb County Chamber of Commerce.

Contact Louis: (678) 805-8169,


Which Book Has Most Impacted Your Leadership Ability?