Atlanta CEO

CEOs, investors, and industry leaders dedicated to nurturing Atlanta’s promising and prominent CEOs.

ACEO is supported by a Board of Directors comprised of executives, investors, and industry leaders. For general questions, please contact

Board of Directors

Roger Barnette

CEO, MessageGears

David Calhoun

Board Observer
Partner, Morris, Manning & Martin LLP

Kelly Gay

VP, Vertical and IOT Services, Sierra Wireless

Harish Mamtani

Co-founder & CEO, SEED Education Corporation

Palaniswamy "Raj" Rajan

Founder & Chairman
Founder, Chairman & CEO, Virima Technologies

Asif Ramji

President and CEO, Paymetric

Ashish N. Thakur

Executive Director, Atlanta CEO Council

Armistead Whitney

CEO, Apptega

Jeremy Wing

President, Payscape Advisors

Board of Advisors

Nelson Chu

Managing Director, Kinetic Ventures

Nelson joined Kinetic Ventures in 1998. His investment activities focus on information and infrastructure technologies, enterprise and Internet software, and other emerging software and hardware technologies. He has led a broad range of Kinetic investments including LogicBlox-Predictix (acquired by Infor), Tower Cloud (acquired by Communications Sales & Leasing; NASDAQ: CSAL), BroadWare (acquired by Cisco; NASDAQ: CSCO), VerticalOne (acquired by SONE; NASDAQ: SONE), FoodBuy (acquired by Compass Group; LSE: CPG.L), Cardlytics, and Instant Financial. Prior to joining Kinetic Ventures, Nelson was a management consultant with McKinsey & Company and a Development Manager with Oracle. He received his BS in Electrical Engineering (summa cum laude) from Virginia Tech, his MS in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School.

Frank Dalton

Partner, Fulcrum Equity Partners

Mr. Dalton is a founder of Fulcrum Equity Partners, a growth equity fund with over $140 million under management, based in Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to joining Fulcrum, Frank was a General Partner with Cordova Ventures and the managing director of Cordova Intellimedia Ventures, L.P., a $41 million early-stage/seed fund launched in 2000. He is currently a board member of ContactatOnce,, Preparis, Path-Tec, and Bruder Healthcare. Frank has over 16 years of experience in private investing; being involved directly and indirectly in over 100 investments, including several successful exits, such as, Accipiter, Secure Tax, Call Center Technology, Magnet Communications, Intertech, Inc., Digital Envoy, Constructware and Compliance 360.

In connection with his portfolio duties, Mr. Dalton is the former CEO of Market Velocity, Inc., a service provider of promotion driven trade-in programs for the disposition of used IT assets and consumer electronics. He is also the former Chairman and CEO of Axonn, LLC, a provider of satellite tracking products and services based in Covington, LA. Additionally, he has held management positions as a chief financial officer of Caetec Systems, a venture-backed computer-aided design software company and as director of operations of Microsouth, a national computer distributor of graphics products.

His background also includes investment banking to emerging technology companies specializing in mergers and acquisitions, advisory services and capital raising. Mr. Dalton started his career with Ernst & Ernst in Atlanta in 1978 and has a B.S. in Accounting from the University of South Carolina. He was also an audit partner with BDO’s Atlanta office in charge of its Emerging Business Group, specializing and working with growth companies, both public and private, with heavy emphasis in the technology sector.

Mr. Dalton is a past board member and current member of the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) and the past President of the Southeastern Software Association (SSA), former board member of the Technology Executives Roundtable (TER), board member of the Southern Capital Forum, member of the Atlanta Technology Angels, member of the Tampa Bay Technology Forum, member of the Association of Corporate Growth-Tampa Chapter, board member of the Florida Venture Forum and board member of OnBoard, formerly the Board of Directors Network. He is also on the advisory board for the Faber Entrepreneurship Center at the University of South Carolina.

In addition to his portfolio related board roles, Mr. Dalton is a director of Xpanxion, LLC; an Atlanta based outsourced application development and QA services company with significant operations in India. Mr. Dalton is also a former board member of publicly traded Tekgraf, Inc. (TKGF) from November 1997 to April 2004, and was an active member of both the compensation and audit committees. Also, he is currently a professor’s teaching assistant for Entrepreneurial Finance and Venture Capital in the MBA Program at Kennesaw State University.

Richard Fraim

Partner, Knoll Ventures

Richard Fraim serves as President & COO for Ellis Capital, a venture capital and merchant banking firm focused on early-stage investments in the media, internet technology, healthcare, and financial technology industries. Fraim joined Ellis Communications in 2011, and is responsible for all aspects of the investment process, including: deal sourcing, deal structuring, due diligence, investment monitoring, and operational support of portfolio companies.

At Ellis Capital, Fraim has made investments in more than twenty-five companies spanning a wide range of industries and stages. These investments have included exits such as Vitrue (acquired by Oracle in 2012), MOVL (acquired by Samsung Electronics in 2013), Timeline Labs (acquired by SeaChange International in 2015), and Crisp Mobile (acquired by Quotient Technology in 2017).

Fraim currently serves on the Board of Directors for NOWaccount Network Corporation, Inc, Softwear Automation Inc, and Mobile Search Security LLC. He also serves as board observer to Brightwell Payments, NexDefense, Sequr, Smartvue Corporation, Synthio, Vivex Biologics, and VoAPPs. He also serves as a mentor to the Techstars Atlanta program.

Prior to joining Ellis Capital, Fraim worked at Private Advisors LLC, a $3.5 billion asset management firm located Richmond, VA that specializes in alternative investment strategies. At Private Advisors, Fraim was responsible for portfolio and risk analysis on a $2.5 billion portfolio of hedge fund investments, and also served on the firm’s hedge fund risk committee. Fraim was also involved in the management, monitoring, and due diligence of investments.

Fraim holds a MS Commerce degree with a concentration in finance from the McIntire School of Commerce, where he was a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society, and a BA in Economics from the University of Virginia.

Adam Ghetti

CEO, Ionic Security

Rimas Kapeskas

Board Member, Forte Ventures

Rimas Kapeskas manages the UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund (SEF), the private equity strategic investment and corporate venture capital arm of UPS (NYSE: UPS). The fund is globally focused on developing critical partnerships and delivering knowledge returns from its investments in technology and emerging market spaces that can accelerate sustainable improvements in global supply chains, ecommerce, distribution, logistics and other related sectors. Established in 1997, the SEF is an important business development tool that enables exploration of emerging markets and technologies that enhance the evolving business models at UPS. Rimas oversees all operations of the fund, including sourcing and evaluating investment opportunities, facilitating the ongoing relationship between UPS and the venture capital community and portfolio companies, and management of the fund staff. Since taking over the SEF, Rimas has successfully expanded the fund’s focus from U.S.-only to a global reach and also incorporated a process for direct strategic engagement with startup companies. Prior to taking over responsibility for venture activities, Rimas spent many years leading UPS R&D efforts and has also been involved in diverse roles in marketing, sales, planning and integration of international acquisitions and related IT. He holds a bachelor’s of science degree from the University of Connecticut and a master’s degree in business administration from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University; has attended executive education workshops at University of Stanford Law School – Directors College and at the Venture Capital Institute where he is currently on the faculty. Rimas is a member of the National Venture Capital Association and participates in numerous startup programs and competitions as a coach, mentor and/ or judge including MassChallenge, Venture Atlanta and the Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC).

Blake Patton

Managing Partner, Tech Square Ventures

Blake is the founder and Managing Partner of Tech Square Ventures. He represents Tech Square Ventures on the boards of (Chairman), Pointivo (Chairman), PreTel Health, Sequr, and UserIQ and is a board observer of Haste and Salesfusion. Blake also serves as Tech Square Venture’s fund manager for Engage, an innovative accelerator and venture fund in partnership with 10 leading corporations and Georgia Tech.

Prior to founding Tech Square Ventures, Blake was General Manager of the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) at Georgia Tech – named by Forbes as one of the “Top 12 Incubators Changing the World”. Prior to leading ATDC, he served as President & COO of Interactive Advisory Software and EVP of iXL, an internet services company that he joined through the acquisition of Swan Media and was part of the executive team that grew the company from startup to over $400 million in annualized revenue and an IPO. Blake also founded Siteman – one of the first cloud offerings in the online content management space. He started his career as an Associate at SEI Corporation.

Blake is an active leader in the technology community, serving on the boards of Georgia Advanced Technology Ventures (GATV) and the Southern Capital Forum. He is a member of the Advisory Boards of ATDC, Georgia Tech’s Cowan-Turner Center for Servant Leadership, and Georgia Tech’s Center for the Development and Application of Internet of Things (CDAIT). Blake is a former Chairman of Venture Atlanta, a Georgia Tech Alumni Association Trustee, a Georgia Research Alliance Industry Fellow, a member of the selection committee for the NC State Chancellor’s Innovation Fund, and an instructor at Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business where he teaches Entrepreneurial Finance.

Blake earned a Bachelor of Industrial and Systems Engineering degree from Georgia Tech, where he was captain of the swim team. He was inducted into the Georgia Tech College of Engineering’s Council of Outstanding Young Engineering Alumni and previously served on the Georgia Tech Advisory Board.

Michael Reene

Senior Corporate Strategist

Michael W. Reene is a Senior Corporate Strategist focused on Business Growth, Market Value Growth and Innovation Development.  Focused on technology companies employing Big Data, SaaS, while protecting Data Privacy, he has served in a variety of “board-level” Senior Leadership and Corporate Development roles of which resulted in strategic, well-orchestrated exits valued at over $6B.  He has a mix of world-class Technology brands with a healthy dose of corporate, entrepreneurial and high-change environments.

Reene serves on private technology boards at Rural Sourcing and First Sports International  His most recent executive role was Senior Vice President within the public company PRGX where Reene supported the turnaround initiative within a 40-year-old technology firm.  Previously, he served in Senior Advisory roles to CEO/Board levels for SunGard, First Sports International, and Avocent, positioning the company for acquisition by Emerson for $1.2B.  Reene served as Chief Strategy Officer at ChoicePoint from 2001 until its sale for $4.3B to Lexis-Nexis in 2008.

While helping to build exits valued at over $6B, Reene’s primary roles have been around repositioning for faster value creation and growth via:  Better, more succinct strategy; Migration to adjacent value through new offerings and M&A; and Clear, understandable responses to market opportunities.   For example, Reene was responsible for leading Accenture to dominate the Wireless Telecom market, driving IBM to be a global media player, and focusing ChoicePoint on “transactional” data.   Reene has direct, meaningful experience at helping Tech Companies see, define and capture growth and value creation.

Reene has served as CEO/Chairman/Board at private companies including Third Millennium Communications, Enterpulse, and ExpoExchange.  His leadership skills are notable in both professional and civic roles within such organizations as the Technology Association of Georgia (Founder and Chairman), Vice-Chairman of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, a Trustee at Georgia State University, visiting lecturer at Emory University, board roles at Boy Scouts, and the Georgia Center for Advanced Telecommunications Technologies.  He is a member of the Leadership Atlanta class of 1997 and of the Atlanta Downtown Rotary.

Trained as a Computer Scientist and Certified Public Accountant, Reene began his career with Arthur Andersen, progressing to a Managing Partner role at Accenture. Reene was then recruited to become Global VP of the Telecom Segment at IBM.  Later, Reene served as Chief Strategy Officer at ChoicePoint.

Reene has published white papers, articles and contributed valuable content to books, such as The Five Patterns of Extraordinary Careers.  Reene holds an MBA degree from the University of Chicago and a BS in Computer Science Engineering from the University of Illinois and a CPA certification.

Mike Dowdle

Founder Circadian Group. LLC


Atlanta CEO Council membership is by invitation only.


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