Travis Townsend is a founding partner of Townsend & Lockett, LLC, in Atlanta, Georgia. He leads business law, corporate and securities transactional practices, and a managing consultant with Trinity Consulting Company, and adjunct professor at Emory School of Law.
A lifetime servant leader, Travis currently serves as VP of Operations for the NBMBAA Atlanta Chapter, member of the 100 Black Men of South Metro Atlanta where he volunteers on the Education Committee, and co-founder of MAFDET, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to eliminate disparities in education and employment opportunities in underserved communities. Travis also serves on the Board of Directors of the Serenbe Institute of the Arts, Culture & Environment on its executive committee as secretary. Travis has volunteered in numerous leadership positions with the National Urban League Young Professionals, including the National Programs Chair.
Committed to making a difference in the lives of others, he is a speaker at community events and conferences. Travis is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. In 2017, he was a candidate for Mayor of the City of South Fulton, Georgia.
Sonya Stallings-Ward is an experienced Senior Sales Executive with a proven track record of $900M+ IT solutions. She promotes Digital Transformation for Business Modernization and Cloud Initiatives. Before joining SAP, Sonya worked for multiple Fortune 100 companies, including Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, and Teradata, driving better business outcomes for large enterprise clients.
Active in the community, Sonya is the President of the National Black MBA Association, Atlanta Chapter (NBMBAA Atlanta), where she raised more than $1.8M for chapter programs. In this role, she works with top corporate leaders across North America. She has been recognized by Who’s Who and other organizations in the Atlanta community. Sonya is also a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Kennesaw State University Advisory Board of Directors, Technical Association of Georgia Advisory, Women in Technology, and a host of additional community affiliations.
A native of Columbus, Ohio, Sonya began her matriculation at Ohio State University, transferring after two years to Central State University to attain a Bachelor’s in Computer Science and Mathematics and MBA from Portland State University.
Jennifer ChristianVICE PRESIDENT OF ADMINISTRATION
Jennifer Christian is a Quality System Manager at Karna LLC, currently working at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Center (CDC), where she creates systems and tools for laboratories. She has over 18 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. She utilizes her expertise in project management, change management, and process improvement to deliver support and solutions that enable organizations to become more effective and efficient. Jennifer Christian is a Biology major from Savannah State University and holds an Executive MBA from Mercer University.
Jennifer is an advocate for women and girls. She is a member of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Mecca Chapter, where she has served as Co-chair for the Annual Scholarship Fundraising Committee, Co-chair for Public Policy Committee, and member of the Grants and Funds Development Committee. She was awarded Member of the Year and Committee of the Year as Co-chair for Public Policy. She is also a founding member of Golf Women Means Business.
Jennifer is the mother of two sons. She is an animal lover who enjoys traveling, sports, and who desires to inspire others by living a legacy of servant leadership.
Michelle Marshall is the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for PUMA Group North America, the first DE&I leader with the company. In this role Michelle oversees all diversity initiatives, programming, partnerships, diverse talent acquisition recruitment, and community advocacy for PUMA North America and Cobra PUMA Golf. Michelle is also work in partnership with counterparts globally to build diversity strategy in European and Latin American offices.
Prior to joining PUMA Group, Michelle was the Senior Director of Women’s Leadership Initiatives for The United Way of Greater Atlanta. In this role, she was responsible for developing strategy, programming, board development, volunteer management, and advocating for and providing resources towards United Way’s initiative of improving Child Well-Being in Metro Atlanta.
Michelle spent 11 years at Nationwide Insurance where she held a variety of roles in claims, underwriting, sales, and operations. In her last role as the regional lead for Corporate Citizenship and Diversity Outreach, she increased brand awareness in local markets through building and cultivating relationships with diverse and community organizations, government officials, overseeing sponsorships, volunteerism projects, and media placement. She executed 300+ marketing activations at major sporting events, diversity conferences, business expos, and other events across 5 states in the Southeast Region. During her time at Nationwide Insurance, Michelle was one of the first Diversity Council Chairs and launched Nationwide’s first Women’s Symposium which featured senior executive speakers and mentoring circles.
Michelle is currently the NBMBAA Atlanta Chapter Vice President of Communications overseeing the Marketing, Public Relations, and Technology committees. Michelle was previously the Director of Marketing and Director of Special Events. Under her leadership, the annual Holiday Soiree saw an 89% increase in revenue, making it the most profitable since inception. Michelle is also a member of the Retail Industry Leaders Association Diversity and Inclusion Leaders Council. She formerly served as a board member of United Way of Greater Atlanta, The American Cancer Society, a member of the UNCF Mayor’s Ball Planning committee, and a member of the Georgia Diversity Council.
Michelle has a Bachelor of Business Administration/Marketing from Middle Tennessee State University and received her MBA from Bethel University. She is from Tennessee, but currently resides in Boston, MA.
Eric Harrison is an executive with 20 years of sales leadership experience. He most recently was a Vice President of Sales for the South Region at PepsiCo, a $65 billion consumer package goods company. Eric led a sales organization responsible for managing national foodservice customers within PepsiCo’s portfolio. Earlier in his career, Eric created the Center of Excellence for PepsiCo’s Foodservice Investment Strategy. He led the Foodservice Division’s investment planning with more than 135 national customers and $650 million in annual revenue, and multiple projects shaped the foodservice organization.
Eric was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is a graduate of Florida A&M University, where he obtained a BS in Economics and an MBA. In 2012, he completed the Leadership Development Program at Northwestern University Kellogg School of Business and was a former president of NBMBAA, Atlanta Chapter. Additionally, he is a member of the Leadership Atlanta Class of 2016 and a member of the 100 Black Men of America Atlanta Chapter. Eric is a proud father of two children Kennedy and Eric Justin.
Chandra Gaines has served on the Foodservice South Region National Sales Team for PepsiCo for five years. In this role, she is responsible for supporting national accounts in the North and South regions. Her primary responsibilities are to cultivate strong relationships with customers, activate national marketplace initiatives, and maximize revenue and growth. Chandra has 16 years of experience in the automotive industry, where she spent the majority of her career at Ford Motor Co. She has held various roles in finance, procurement, manufacturing, supply chain, and operations. Previously, Chandra was also a senior manager at Walmart Headquarters, where she was responsible for project management on the Innovation and Strategy Team. She is a flexible leader with an outstanding track record in producing cost savings, revenue growth, and driving efficiency results. Chandra earned her MBA (Strategy and International Business) from J. Mack Robinson College of Business – GSU in Atlanta, Georgia, and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (Accounting) from Marygrove College in Detroit, Michigan. Chandra is a native of Detroit currently residing in Atlanta with her family while pursuing acting and enjoys hiking, skiing, scuba diving, and traveling.
Melanie Cook-McCantDIRECTOR OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Melanie Cook-McCant is the Chief Executive Officer of Veritas Management Group, Inc. (VMG). VMG is a professional services firm offering a full suite of public health, IT, staff augmentation, and management consulting services. Ms. Cook-McCant is VMG’s visionary and is responsible for providing strategic and operational leadership while driving business development and company growth. Her industry knowledge comes from roles as a Sr. Consultant for a Wall Street investment bank, Sr. Advisor to the US Secretary of Commerce and the Under Secretary for Technology, Attorney at the Securities and Exchange Commission, Sr. Consultant supporting the CDC (managing 30 contracts) and Manager of Business Development at DB Consulting Group.
Melanie Cook-McCant is ITIL® Foundation Certified. She is a graduate of Spelman College and Harvard Law School. She is the Director of Legal Affairs for the NBMBAA, Atlanta Chapter, Former Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Fulton County Land Bank Authority. She is a member of Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health Community Advisory Board. She is a former member of the Board of Directors for Community Health Charities of Georgia, Georgia College and State University, and Spelman College Board of Trustees.
Tyeisha Miller graduated from Tennessee State University and Meharry Medical College’s Allied Health Sciences Program in Nashville, Tennessee, with a BS in Medical Technology. She started her career as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist and is a member of the American Society for Clinical Pathology and the Clinical Laboratory Management Association. She later combined her passion for science and business to become a healthcare leader. She received an MBA from Loyola University Chicago’s Quinlan Graduate School of Business and studied global business strategies at the John Felice Rome Center, Loyola University’s campus in Rome, Italy.
Tyeisha is currently the manager of Laboratory Operations at WellStar Kennestone Regional Medical Center in Marietta, Georgia. She also held leadership positions at Emory Healthcare and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Tyeisha has been a member of the NBMBAA, Atlanta Chapter for seven years, and currently serves as Director of the Leaders of Tomorrow (LOT) Mentoring Program. She has also served as a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta and Just Us Girls, Inc.
Aisha Hardimon graduated from Georgia State University (GSU) with a B. A. in Journalism and a concentration in Public Relations and a minor in Music Industry Management. She also received an MBA with a marketing concentration from Holy Names University in Oakland, California.
While at GSU, Aisha acquired an internship in the Marketing and Promotions Department at V-103 and WAOK radio stations. After completing the one-year training successfully, she pursued her long-time interest and passion for music by becoming a college radio DJ on WRAS 88.5 (GSU) and an intern at J-Records, founded by music mogul Clive Davis.
After graduating from GSU, she landed her first PR role at a Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Agency in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After only a year, she has recruited for the Promotions and Public Relations Manager role at V103 and WAOK radio stations. She has also held roles with several radio broadcast companies, including Cumulus in Stockton, California, Entercom in San Francisco, California, and Radio One in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Aisha currently serves as the Promotions Director in the Marketing and Promotions Department at Entercom’s V-103 and WAOK radio stations in Atlanta.
Jametta Barden is a South Carolina native currently living in Atlanta, GA. She earned her Bachelor’s in Business Management at the University of South Carolina and subsequently completed her MBA at Troy University in Norfolk, VA.
Jametta is a Project Management Professional (PMP) at Workday who leads HR and Financial deployments, and she has led the business for several Fortune 500 companies as a Senior Engagement Manager. At Workday, Jametta currently leads the Global Belonging and Diversity Champion, the VIBE Leader (Value Inclusion, Belonging, and Equity). She successfully chartered the first Employee Belonging Council in 2015 and Atlanta Women (2019) for Work Day Atlanta. Jametta serves on the Board of Keitt Institute, spearheading programs that empower girls, college-aged and adult women. She is a member of Word of Faith Cathedral, where she serves as a Hostess and voiceover talent as part of the Media Team handling weekly church announcements. Jametta loves football and is a consummate volunteer for the Chick Fil A Peach Bowl, the Super Bowl, and College Football National Championship organizations, to name only a few.
As an active member of the NBMBAA Atlanta Chapter, Jametta has served on the Special Events Committee over the last ten years. She enjoys traveling with family and friends, reading as part of the Sister2Sister Book Club, and most proud of being a grandmother to Chancellor Jr (CJ), who affectionately calls her Jam-ma. Strike up a conversation with her about her grandson (CJ), football (especially the Carolina Gamecocks), or her upcoming trip of a lifetime to Jerusalem!
NatasshaR. Chambliss is a Sr. Business Analyst for Home Depot and a champion of the arts as the owner of Lines Gallery, Inc. She is a community stakeholder serving on several boards that strategically align with her values for helping others, supporting the arts community, and educating children. She also serves as Vice-Chair of the Atlanta Printmaker Studio Board of Directors.
Natassha earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Management with Honors and an MBA from Alverno College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She nurtured servant leadership early on to develop the “Successfully Suited” program enabling young women to learn the basics of job readiness while providing them professional wear (new and gently used). She consistently volunteers to give back to the community by donating her time and talent. The importance of family is paramount for her and her husband as proud parents who planted roots in Atlanta, Georgia. Natassha seeks to leave a legacy filled with philanthropy and a fantastic art collection.