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

Krishna Arangode

CEO & Founder, Kaizen Analytix

Extensive operational experience in general management, product planning, technology solution delivery and customer relationship management. Very good knowledge and experience in executing a strategic vision – led cross-functional teams in supply chain, marketing, manufacturing and production planning groups. Experience delivering technology solutions and transforming behind advanced planning and operational business processes to increase revenues, reduce costs and improve margins. MBA in Finance, Global Business and Law from New York University with experience in Medical Devices, Consumer Goods, Retail, Automotive, Media and Travel industries. Excellent people management and team management skills with experience working in an international setting. Exceptional communication and presentation skills with ability to work across all levels of an organization.

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.

Mike Dowdle

Founder Circadian Group. LLC

Kelly Gay

Head of IoT Verticals Business Unit, Sierra Wireless

Achievement-oriented board director and CEO with a record of driving consistent results in both billion dollar businesses and high-growth, entrepreneurial companies. Have lead venture-backed, private-equity-backed, and public companies to successful acquisitions by top public companies.

Demonstrated success in sales and profit growth, operational excellence, financial discipline, organizational competence, capital-raising, and market strategy. Clear focus on creating high-performance organizations that envision and create successful outcomes.

Proven success in recruiting, developing, motivating, and retaining highly talented people. Intuitive ability to create an optimistic culture focused on achievement. Strong competence in analyzing markets, understanding critical business requirements, and enhancing competitiveness through improved offerings. Core strength in creating entrepreneurial strategies that have proven to fortify, drive, and grow sales and market share.

Adam Ghetti

CEO, Ionic Security

Monty Hamilton

CEO, Rural Sourcing, Inc

Eric Hartz

President and Co-Founder, Nexus Fuels, LLC

Eric W. Hartz is President, Director and Co-Founder of Nexus Fuels, LLC a leading plastics-to-energy firm specializing in converting landfill-diverted plastics to market ready end-product feedstocks for plastics/fuels for use globally.  100% circular.  Nexus is commercialized, running economically and operationally.  Concurrently, Nexus has a positive environmental impact, removing plastics from landfills, oceans, and elsewhere.

Eric was co-Founder, former President & CEO and Board Manager of RentBureau, LLC. the first U.S. rental credit bureau dedicated solely to the multifamily industry. Acquired by credit bureau Experian, part of the “big three”.

Eric was founding member, President, Board Director Security First Network Bank, the World’s First Internet Bank©, applying expertise to off-shoot S1 Corporation and bank unit acquired by Royal Bank of Canada.  He served as CEO and Director of ZapMedia – an entertainment and convergence company creating the first CD/DVD, web connected, and digital entertainment center. Earlier, Eric was with McKinsey & Co. in Atlanta, Washington, DC, London, and Paris, advising on strategy, innovation, operations, marketing, technology, product development, and organizational performance across energy, pharma, telecom, financial, and healthcare industries.

Eric is a board director at a logistics payments company (currently stealth) and serves as board Director at Lending Science a marketing data/AI company and was a founding organizer and former Director of the board for Midtown Bank & Trust now CenterState Bank.

Eric volunteers with various charitable groups and was Past-President and Board Trustee of Temple Sinai.  Eric holds an MBA from Wharton Business School with distinction, and degrees in economics and chemistry with honors from the University of Pennsylvania.  Eric, his wife and children reside in Atlanta, GA.

Mallu Huralikoppi

Founder & CEO, PrintForm

Entrepreneurial and driven Chief Executive with 20 years of leading industry expertise in founding numerous companies in domestic and international marketplaces. Facilitator and builder of successful world-class businesses ranging from Manufacturing to IT Services to Business School to 3D Printing to Angel Investments to Dental Aligners, with a specialty in both start-up and scaled growth stages. Proven fundraising and networking skills, building fruitful partnerships with hundreds of clients and delivering multimillion-dollar bottom-line growth.

Mallu holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from SDM College of Engineering, Karnataka, India and has also attended the Professional Education Short Programs – Additive Manufacturing at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), U.S.A.

Adwait Joshi

CEO, DataSeers

In my 15 years of experience as a technologist and entrepreneur, I have done a variety of things. I started my first business right out of high school and was profitable in the first year. Just out of a passion I started a 501c3 which has grown to be the largest resource for Indian Music on the entire Internet. Under my leadership this organization has reached out to 170 countries and growing double digits year over year.

I have worked with many businesses to establish their product portfolio starting from Ideation, Innovation, Strategy to Implementation. My passion is to use my IT skills in creating simple solutions to solve complex problems.

My business works with large corporations analyzing their data and helping them increase their profitability by providing the C-Level executives with actionable insight.

Specialties: Data Analytics, Product Strategy & Management, Technology & Business Consulting

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).

Roy MacLean

Senior Vice President, Sierra Wireless

I am experienced in global leadership, end-to-end customer experience, business ownership (complete P&L), product ownership, software design, support, test, product quality recoveries, and multi-site development. I focus on roles where there is opportunity for major change delivering products and services that significantly enhance the human experience.

Specialties: My specialties are customer experience, R&D, quality, and leadership.

Palaniswamy Rajan

CEO, SoftWear Automation, Inc

Palaniswamy “Raj” Rajan is currently the Chairman & CEO of Softwear Automation, Inc, an Atlanta, Ga. based company with the sole focus of developing innovative robots (sewbot®s) for the apparel manufacturing and sewn products industries by harnessing its experience and expertise in machine vision, robotics, and computing. The Sewbots® automate the transfer and sewing of fabric, eliminating the need for trained seamstresses. SoftWear technology allows for redesign of the apparel manufacturing supply chain and enables sewing to be performed locally resulting in a disruptive transformation of the industry.

He is also Managing Partner of CTW Venture Partners, an early stage venture capital fund which invests in and assists seed and early-stage entrepreneurs in all industries in Atlanta and the South Eastern United States who are engaged in disruptive innovations and technologies. CTW focuses solely on companies which are started by expert technical founders with strong domain expertise. CTW partners with technical entrepreneurs and companies in markets with large opportunities and no identifiable competitors. CTW typically supplies the first capital, often at the concept phase. CTW works as active partners with our entrepreneurs, helping with all aspects of strategy, market definition and execution

He is also the co-founder, Chairman and CEO of Virima Technologies, Inc, a leading Data Center & IT Operations software developer.

A leader in the business community is also involved in several professional and community related organization. Mr. Rajan was instrumental in establishing the Atlanta CEO Council, a non-profit networking group of more than 1000 CEOs, CxOs, and investors in the Southeast. Mr. Rajan serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Atlanta CEO council from 1999 to present.

Mr. Rajan was also honored as Georgia Trend’s “40 Under 40” Rising Stars in 2000.

Asif Ramji

Senior Vice President and GM, Worldpay

Michael Reene

Senior Corporate Strategist, Rural Sourcing

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.

Jeff Schmidt

CEO, Avertium

Armistead Whitney

CEO, Apptega

Passionate CEO, Board Director and entrepreneur with success growing software, security and Internet businesses from the ground up including raising over $50M in capital and participating in several exits and an IPO. Experience in developing creative go-to-market business strategies, launching new products, implementing predictable metrics-driven sales organizations, and developing company culture. Featured on CNN, FOX News, ABC News, and in The Wall Street Journal for expertise on technology and innovation to solve complex global security problems.

I have been lucky to work with highly talented people in fast-paced environments developing market-leading brands in industries ripe for change.

Jeremy Wing

Chairman, Payscape

Jon Ziglar

CEO, ParkMobile

Experienced executive with consistent track record of driving growth, strategic re-positioning and turning around technology and technology enabled service businesses. Specific experience includes: corporate strategy, innovation, operational scalability and business transformation to drive meaningful long term growth and profitability. Significant international and M&A experience. Track record of hiring and retaining top talent with a focus on “best athlete” mentality. Leads with a collegial, driven style. Experience in all sizes of companies from start-up to multi-national corporations.


Atlanta CEO Council membership is by invitation only.


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