Team Ivy Networking Business 2012 Board/ Management Team
Ernest Kaufmann, President
Ernest Kaufman is a Business Associate within SunTrust Bank’s Diversified Commercial Banking, Business Consulting & Operations group. As a business associate, Ernest spends half his time developing and leading strategic revenue enhancing and expense reducing projects/initiatives, and half his time supporting executive management in multiple capacities. Ernest’s background is in Banking and Consulting. Before becoming a business associate, Ernest worked at SunTrust as a Commercial Relationship Manager, Commercial Banking Credit Analyst, Commercial Banking Project Manager, and as a Business Analyst. Prior to joining SunTrust, Ernest worked as an independent consultant for environmental permitting, waste, and recycling companies.
Ernest received his MBA in Finance and Management from Columbia Business School and his BS in International Marketing and German from the University of Alabama. Ernest lives in Decatur with his wife and young son. He enjoys spending time with friends, enjoying fine dining, traveling, exploring the outdoors, and following college football.
Contact Ernest at Ernest@teamivybusiness.com.
Soyini Coke, Vice President, Speakers
Soyini Coke leads the Annona Enterprises team of consultants and works directly with executives to write actionable, investor-ready documents and develop financial projections to map the growth of their businesses. She and her team have facilitated the launch and growth of many businesses, conducting research necessary to determine each venture’s true potential for success.
Prior to founding Annona Enterprises, Soyini served as an interim executive for start-up companies—structuring financing transactions, establishing a pipeline of potential investors, conducting presentations to raise capital, creating business plan and investor documents, creating the companies’ organizational structures, and designing business processes for management of company operations and revenue generation. She served as Business Manager for Atlanta-based FIERCE Magazine, an edgy, multi-cultural publication for women. Soyini is also the founder of Twenty Houses, Inc., a real estate investing company that wholesales property to other investors and controls a portfolio of residential real estate.
She served as a business analyst at McKinsey after graduating cum laude from Harvard University in 1998 with a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Mathematics and Economics.
Contact Soyini at Soyini@teamivybusiness.com.
Rick Woroniecki, Vice President, Communication
Rick Woroniecki is the Group Coordinator for Commercial Real Estate at KW Commercial/Keller-Williams Sandy Springs Market Center, a highly successful real estate brokerage in the Keller Williams organization with over $50 million in monthly gross sales. Rick also acts as an import/sourcing agent from China where he travels regularly. Rick works with British Commonwealth nations and a broad international community from Europe, the Middle East, India/Pakistan and Pacific Rim nations. Rick blends these two seemingly independent careers, assisting international investors seeking opportunity in the united States.
Rick spent the previous 30 years of his career in environmental, construction and development engineering and real estate transfer and development.
Rick holds a B.S in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University. Rick is active with several philanthropic boards and outreach organizations. He is a member of the Cornell Real Estate Council, the Cornell University Alumni Board in Atlanta, and founded the IvyRiders (an Ivy-League motorcycle club). Rick, an avid real estate investor and car collector, has family investments in the Caribbean and regularly appears in several vintage Rolls-Royce.
Contact Rick at Rick@teamivybusiness.com.
Lauren Sickles, Vice President, Membership
Lauren N. Sickles is a Vice President and Senior Product Manager for International Merchant Acquiring with Bank of America. Following graduate school, Lauren was an Associate in Syndicated Finance at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, where she helped raised debt capital for Financial Services and Financial Technology companies. Immediately prior to joining Bank of America, Lauren was Director of Global Business Intelligence at Elavon Inc., a subsidiary of U.S. Bank.
Outside of work Lauren is an avid fan of the Dallas Cowboys fan the Stanford Cardinal football team. Lauren is currently the co-President of the Stanford Alumni Club of Georgia, past President of the Stanford Black Alumni Association – Atlanta Chapter and past Board Member of the Stanford National Black Alumni Association. Lauren also serves on other alumni committees for Stanford University and has received two Merit Awards for her volunteerism.
Lauren is originally from New York City and graduated from Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. She earned an undergraduate degree in economics at Stanford University and obtained her MBA from Columbia Business School as a Board of Overseers Merit Fellow.
Contact Lauren at Lauren@teamivybusiness.com.
Chris Schneider, VP, Communications
Chris Schneider is Counsel at Bryan Cave, concentrating in real estate law and commercial lending. Prior to joining Bryan Cave in 2000, Chris spent nine years working at Troutman Sanders, with that time split between a real estate practice and an asset-based lending practice.
Ms. Schneider’s community involvement includes service as a member of the Board of Community Friendship, Inc., volunteering with Truancy Intervention Project, mentoring through Families First, and service on the Advisory Board of the Alliance Theatre, where she serves on the Corporate Development Committee and the Education Committee.
Chris attended Brown University, where she graduated with honors in Comparative Literature. She returned to Atlanta following graduation from Brown in 1986, and attended Emory Law School with an academic scholarship.
Contact Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tiffany Wright, Secretary
Tiffany C. Wright is COO of Passage Home, Inc., a community development company. She was previously president of Toca Family Business Services, a short-term and project-based interim C-level management services provider and strategic and financial advisory firm. She is the author of Solving the Financial Equation: Financing Solutions for Small Businesses. Ms. Wright has helped companies obtain over $31 million in financing and a similar sum in contracts and purchase orders. She has served as the interim CFO and CEO of several small businesses and has led business restructurings. Ms. Wright has over 18 years of finance, strategy, management, and operational experience in a variety of industries including manufacturing, energy, finance, high tech, and real estate.
Ms. Wright worked abroad in Asia. She has held several corporate positions at Siebel Systems, Enron, and Honda. Ms. Wright obtained her MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurial Management from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and her B.S. from The Ohio State University. She is a member of the National Association of Female Executives, a volunteer mentor, and a regular speaker at small business finance events. She is an avid reader (~4-6 books/month) and international traveler (33 countries and counting.) She is also an athlete, having practiced muay thai for a few years. She placed 7th overall in the 100m in her age group at the Master’s World Track & Field Championships in Riccioni, Italy in 2007.
Contact Tiffany at email@example.com.
Khatera Ballard, Treasurer
Khatera Ballard is an alumna of Colgate University and Harvard Graduate School of Education. She was raised in New York City, but currently splits her time between Tulsa, OK and Atlanta, GA. Her experience as an event planner and her subsequent role as an Assistant Director at Colgate University’s Center for Leadership and Student Involvement have provided her with both the leadership and administrative skills needed to manage the everyday activities for her Atlanta based company Honeysuckle Gelato.
As co-owner/partner at Honeysuckle, Khatera is responsible for seeking out new wholesale opportunities for the company and managing existing wholesale accounts. She also plays an active role in seeking out private and corporate catering opportunities and managing the logistics and execution of such events. In addition to tending to the daily administrative needs of the business, she also manages the social media campaign and takes a lead in the company’s marketing efforts. She enjoys cooking, traveling and cheering on the University of Tulsa Men’s basketball team where her husband currently serves as the Assistant Coach.
Contact Khatera at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stacey Goldstein, Co-Treasurer
Stacey Goldstein is currently working with Honeysuckle Gelato, an Atlanta-based gelato manufacturer. Stacey is designing a marketing plan and leading other initiatives to support the launch of Honeysuckle Gelato’s products in the retail market. Prior to moving to the Atlanta area in the summer of 2011, Stacey interned with HappyBaby, an organic baby food company. In this role, she led the development of a new food product, HappyMunchies, from concept to launch. Stacey graduated from Columbia Business School, earning an MBA, with a marketing concentration in May 2011.
Contact Stacey at email@example.com.
Hal Parkerson, General Counsel
Hal Parkerson is an attorney with his own private practice focused on business, financial, and estate matters. Hal previously served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel at ORIX Financial Services, Inc.
Hal graduated from Emory University with a BBA in Accounting and has his law degree from Columbia University School of Law.
Contact Hal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steven Hansen, Subcommittee Chair, Business Information
Steven Hansen is a business analyst at SunTrust Bank. He previously worked as a business analyst at AT&T.
Steven is a graduate of Cornell University.