Nathan Deal – Georgia Governor
Since taking office in 2011, Governor Nathan Deal has led Georgia to become the No. 1 state in the nation for business for four years in a row – a first in Georgia history – and helped create nearly 600,000 private sector jobs. Georgia’s job growth has outpaced the national average while its population has jumped from 10th to 8th nationally. Georgia also leads the nation in criminal justice reform. When Deal took office, Georgia was in the midst of a criminal justice crisis, with high incarceration costs and recidivism rates. To address these issues, Deal implemented a series of bipartisan reforms that have already paid dividends by saving taxpayers $264 million and reducing the need for 5,000 prison beds.
Sir Richard Branson – Founder, Virgin Group
Sir Richard Branson is a business magnate, investor and philanthropist. He is the founder of the Virgin Group, which controls more than 400 companies. One of those UK-based companies, Virgin Trains, employs individuals with criminal records. In October 2011, with a host of other high-profile chief executives, Branson called on more UK companies to employ people with criminal convictions. Virgin Trains West Coast’s employment programme for ex-offenders has trained and placed 25 candidates in full-time jobs with the company. “It’s about giving people the dignity of work,” Branson explains.
Van Jones – President and Co-Founder, The Dream Corps
Van Jones’ current initiatives, #cut50, #YesWeCode, and Green For All, create innovative solutions to “close the prison doors, open the doors of opportunity, into a new green economy.” A Yale-educated attorney, Van has written two New York Times Bestsellers: The Green Collar Economy and Rebuild the Dream, and has just released a new book: Beyond The Messy Truth – How We Came Apart, How We Come Together. Van is a correspondent for CNN and regular guest on political talk shows. In 2009, Van worked as the green jobs advisor to the Obama White House. There, he helped run the inter-agency process that oversaw $80 billion in green energy recovery spending.
Genevieve Martin – Executive Director, Dave’s Killer Bread Foundation
Four years ago Genevieve was tasked with determining what Dave’s Killer Bread should focus on to better support its workforce, where one in three DKB partners has a criminal background. Initial research and networking efforts quickly made clear that employment as a whole was a massive challenge to returning citizens. Thus was the Dave’s Killer Bread Foundation born. Genevieve is responsible for leading the foundation in driving the creation and growth of national efforts to expand employment opportunities for people with criminal backgrounds. She approaches this work with an emphasis on social innovation, collaboration and creative problem solving, working directly with businesses across the US, and with those who support them, in breaking down barriers to employment.
Curley Dossman – President, Georgia-Pacific Foundation & Vice President, Community Affairs, Georgia-Pacific
Curley M. Dossman Jr. is president of the Georgia-Pacific Foundation and vice president of Community Affairs at Georgia-Pacific. He oversees all the company’s community-based programs nationwide and the foundation’s philanthropic giving. In his dual roles, he works closely with Chief Executive Officer Jim Hannan, other company executives, and civic leaders in Atlanta and across the country. Curley received a bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College in 1973 and a law degree from Washington University School of Law in 1976.
Elizabeth Berreth – Stock Specialist, Dave’s Killer Bread
I went to jail and then I’d get out and I’d start messing around and get in trouble again. I started acting out pretty young, sixth grade or so. It just kind of escalated from there. I didn’t want help. Addiction took over my soul. Everything I thought mattered, didn’t — not my family, not my kid, not my career, nothing. When I was re-entering the workplace, it was place after place. Either they accepted felons, but they weren’t hiring anymore because they were fully staffed, or my background would come up. I had gone to college. I had experience. I had knowledge. It’s that piece of paper that made it so hard. I remember not having the money to do the laundry; I was so mad. When Dave’s Killer Bread called and offered me the job, I remember I hit my knees and I started crying. I went in being the only female in the Ovens Department. It’s hot and the manual labor of pushing the racks, and running the depanner and throwing the bread…it’s crazy. But I loved it. A job is like the foundation, I think that’s what it boils down to. Dave’s creates a foundation that I can build all this other stuff on top of.
Daniel Bull – Founder, Zero Six Eight
Daniel Bull is the founder of Zero Six Eight (068), a for-profit business incubator based in Pittsburgh, PA and Northern Va (083). The incubator(s) exist to promote the full potential of ex-offenders as they pursue goals of employment, entrepreneurship, and independence. Daniel founded Zero Six Eight in 2013 after completing a 21-month prison sentence. Since then, the company has supported 17 startups and created over 160 jobs across a number of different industries. Daniel believes that an honest and open confrontation with the past has been the driving factor in leading Zero Six Eight. Of all his accomplishments since re-entry, he considers reconciliation with his family and re-marriage to his wife, Nicole, to be the most miraculous examples of restoration – a snapshot of what is possible for those committed to change.
Bilal Chatman – Ambassador, The Return Project
Born in Los Angeles, Bilal Chatman moved to San Jose as a child with his single mother (a nurse) and three brothers. He went to high school and junior college there before beginning work in the logistics field. In the 1980’s when the economy crashed, Bilal lost his job and, when the crack epidemic hit, he got swept up in drug addiction and dealing. He ultimately received a 150 years-to-life sentence under California’s “Three Strikes” law for selling $200 worth of drugs to an undercover police officer. In 2012, Californians overwhelmingly voted to amend “Three Strikes” and Bilal became eligible for release. He is currently the Logistics Supervisor for a major organization and oversees two campuses and 21 employees. He has since married and was voted 2015 Employee of the Year at his second job with a major American sports team. As a member of THE RETURN PROJECT, he was featured on “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” and has been a panelist at a Capitol Hill Screening with Representative Elijah Cummings of Baltimore, and he continues to travel the country speaking about the effects of mass incarceration on communities and individuals across America.
William Dutton – Branch Manager, Russell Landscape
William Dutton was born on August 30, 1965 and began working for Russell Landscape on July 5th, 2011 in common labor. He quickly worked his way up to Branch Manager, and now oversees the largest branch at Russell. William struggled with both alcohol and drug addiction starting at the young age of 12, and was a dealer and user of methamphetamine for 28 years. He was in and out of trouble with the law for most of his life, and concedes that all of the issues he’s faced in life were either alcohol or drug involved. William has been alcohol and drug free for 8 1/2 years, and his time at Russell Landscape is the longest he’s been consistently employed by any company.
Dr. Danielle Sweat Whylly – Community Outreach Specialist, U.S. Attorney’s Office
Dr. Danielle Sweat Whylly is the Community Outreach Specialist for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia. In this capacity, she develops and fosters relationships between the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the community by creating partnerships, prevention and reentry initiatives, and opportunities for staff to engage with residents throughout the District.
Corbett Gordon – Labor & Employment Attorney
Corbett maintains an office at the Tonkon Torp law firm where she limits her practice to pro bono client representation. Corbett joined the Labor & Employment group at Tonkon in 2013 after 11 years as a founder and senior counsel in the Portland office of Fisher & Phillips. Prior to that, she was a senior partner in her own firm for seven years. Corbett has over three decades of experience representing public and private sector employers in a range of matters including their interactions with labor unions in Oregon and Washington. An experienced labor negotiator, Corbett represents clients in collective bargaining, contract enforcement and labor arbitrations.
Adam Harris – Vice President, LaPorte Insurance
While attending the University of Oregon, Adam had a summer internship at Safeco Insurance that opened up a world of opportunity for him to grow in the insurance industry as one of the top professionals in his field. With experience as a commercial underwriter, claims adjuster, field sales/marketing representative, and board director of the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of Oregon, Adam brings the highest level of professionalism and expertise to his clients and the entire LaPorte organization.
Bon Idziak – Chief Compliance and Government Relations Officer, Accurate Background Inc.
Bon Idziak, Chief Compliance and Government Relations Officer for Accurate Background, Inc., is a 20 year background screening industry professional and subject matter expert. As a recognized expert in policy, procedure and compliance, Bon is frequently asked to share his expertise with background screening industry stakeholders. He works closely with major national employers and associations to develop employment screening solutions that are compliant and socially responsible. Bon is also a member of the Board of Directors for the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS).
Lewis Maltby – President, National Workrights Institute
Lewis Maltby is president of the National Workrights Institute, a research and advocacy organization dedicated to advancing human rights in the workplace. He is a principal author of Best Practice Standards; The Proper Use of Criminal Records in Hiring, which has the support of the United States Department of Justice and EEOC. Prior to founding the Institute, Maltby was executive vice president of Drexelbrook Controls Inc., the leading international supplier of industrial safety technology.
Cristina Watson – Brand Manager, Dave’s Killer Bread
With a decade of experience in the marketing and advertising industry, Cristina Watson is currently the Brand Manager of Dave’s Killer Bread, America’s best-selling organic bread brand. She oversees all brand communication touchpoints and strategy, and has played a key role on the marketing team at Dave’s Killer Bread for 6 years. She has been a part of the massive growth that the brand has seen, as it expanded from regional distribution, to wide-spread national distribution available in almost all major retail chains. Passionate about the company’s second chance employment philosophy, she is also a board member of Dave’s Killer Bread Foundation.
Doug Ammar – Executive Director, Georgia Justice Project
Doug Ammar has been associated with the Georgia Justice Project (GJP) since began in 1986. First as a volunteer, then as a staff lawyer in 1990, and currently serves as the Executive Director. He has served in that capacity since 1995. Doug earned a Bachelor of History degree from Davidson College in 1984 and earned his law degree from Washington and Lee University in 1989. Doug’s professional awards and affiliations include: Davidson’s College’s 2016 Game Changers, Emory University’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Award, the Milner S. Ball Working In the Public Interest Lifetime Achievement Award; and the Thomas Moore Society Law Award (Atlanta), among others.
Karen McGrath, PHR – Human Resources, Talent Acquisition Manager, Enterprise Rent-A-Car
Karen McGrath is currently a Human Resources Generalist Manager with Enterprise Rent-A-Car, the World’s largest rental car company at the World’s Busiest Airport, Hartsfield Jackson International Airport. She has been with Enterprise for 20 years in various Management roles and has earned her PHR (Professional in Human Resources) certification. She has been an active member of the Georgia Association of Colleges and Employers for 15 years and was a past President and Board member. She participates in a variety of professional development activities including panel discussions on employee/employer best practices and recruitment strategies.
Lorraine Sanchez Hayes, Esq.- Senior Attorney, Legal Department, UPS
With a career that has spanned from Troutman Sanders LLP, Home Depot, Sanchez Hayes & Associates LLC, and UPS, Lorraine Sanchez Hayes is an expert in the field of employment law. As the founding partner of Sanchez Hayes & Associates LLC, Lorraine provided legal advice and assistance regarding employment to Fortune 100 companies and assisted in employment based litigation in approximately 40 different states. As a senior attorney at UPS’s headquarters here in Atlanta, Lorraine provides advice and counsel to senior leaders and executive management in all areas of employment law.
Breezy Straton, MPA – Project Manager, Douglas County Economic Development Authority
Breezy Straton is a workforce specialist who focuses on developing middle-skill positions and underutilized populations. In her current role at the Douglas County Economic Development Authority, Breezy is tasked with managing the Workforce Development Initiatives and to serve as Douglas County’s State and Territory Single Point of Contact (SPOC) for workforce programs. She is also the Project Manager for Existing Industry and Talent Partnerships and serves on the Business Retention and Expansion Committee for the Georgia Economic Development Association.
Tarik Greene – Deputy Executive Director and Co-Founder, M.A.D.E. Transitional Services
Tarik Greene is the Deputy Executive Director and Co-Founder of M.A.D.E. Transitional Services where he oversees development of transitional services programs and strategic initiatives and partnerships. Tarik previously worked as the Offender Workforce Development Specialist and Disability Customer Service Representative at the One Stop Employment agency of Rockland County, NY, known as Tomorrow’s Workplace. Tarik’s extensive experience includes working with the agency’s job-seeker customer base, with clients who self-disclose disabilities, and with those individuals who are eligible for re-entry to the workforce.
Elizabeth Speck, Ph.D. – Founder, MindOpen Learning Strategies
Elizabeth Speck is the founder and principal of MindOpen Learning Strategies, a training, consulting, and coaching firm that helps people and organizations learn new ways to work in order to better serve social justice. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Development from Fielding Graduate University and an M.A. in Drama Therapy from New York University, and is a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist. She uses her unique background to create truly engaging, transformative adult learning experiences that lead to measurable business results.
Sue Ellen Allen – Founder and Executive Director, Reinventing Reentry
Sue Ellen Allen is an activist, author, speaker, former inmate, and founder of REINVENTING ReEntry, a nonprofit designed to educate and reshape our society’s perception of former inmates so they may successfully reintegrate and be given a fair chance for employment, housing, education and entrepreneurial opportunities. Her work focuses on the challenges, barriers and costs of reentry, and on working with businesses and academia to encourage a “Fair Chance” in hiring practices. In prison, under harsh conditions, she survived the “poison, slash, and burn” treatment for advanced breast cancer. Despite the conditions, she found her purpose there and now works with criminal justice leaders, non-profits, prison officials, legislators, and Arizona State University to educate the public about the forgotten population behind bars so that upon their re-entry to society, they will join our community as positive, contributing members. In 2016 she was honored to be a guest of First Lady Michelle Obama at the President’s final State of the Union address as a representative for criminal justice reform.
Jessica Jackson Sloan – National Director and Co-Founder, #Cut50
Jessica Jackson Sloan is a human rights attorney who began her career representing California death row inmates in their appeals. She now oversees DreamCorps #cut50 initiative to end mass incarceration. Jessica currently sits on The Committee for a Fair Judiciary, serves as an Advisory Board member of the American Constitution Society Bay Area Chapter, and represents Congressman Jared Huffman on the Democratic Central Committee of Marin. In November 2013, Jessica became the youngest ever elected official in Marin County when she was elected to the Mill Valley City Council. Jessica became the Mayor of Mill Valley in November 2016.
Malcom Glenn – Public Policy, Uber
Malcom Glenn manages strategic partnerships at Uber Technologies in Washington, DC, where he focuses on public policy and community engagement with national organizations. He spearheads Uber’s outreach around increasing opportunities for drivers facing barriers to work, making the platform more accessible for underserved communities, and the expansion of self-driving technology to improve cities and safety. Prior to joining Uber, Malcom was an executive communications manager at Google, where he developed strategic communications for Google’s chief financial officer and his leadership team.
Bonnie Mroczek – Chief Talent Officer, Butterball Farms
Bonnie J. Mroczek is Chief Talent Officer and a member of the Executive team at Butterball® Farms, Inc. Mroczek and is responsible for all human resource functions. Bonnie holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Central Michigan University. She is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources(SPHR) since 2007 and SHRM-SCP since 2015. In addition, Mroczek is a member of the Community Action Committee for the Gerald R. Ford Job Corps, an executive board member at The SOURCE and volunteers at several organizations including Relay for Life, In the Image, God’s Kitchen and the Ronald McDonald House. During her tenure, Butterball® Farms, Inc. has received numerous awards including the People First award from McDonalds and has been honored as a West Michigan’s Best and Brightest employer and a National Best and Brightest employer.
Matt Pesnell – Assistant General Counsel, Georgia Pacific
Matt Pesnell has served as Assistant General Counsel of Georgia-Pacific since 2009. He manages a team of attorneys responsible for all labor, employment and benefits matters for the company’s global operations. Previously, he served as Senior Counsel—Labor & Employment, supporting the company’s global consumer products business. Before joining Georgia-Pacific in 2000, Matt was an associate with Phelps Dunbar, LLP, specializing in employment litigation defense. While in private practice, Matt was named the Most Outstanding Young Lawyer in Mississippi. Matt received his law degree, with distinction, from Mississippi College School of law, where he was the Editor-in-Chief of the Mississippi College Law Review. He completed his undergraduate studies at Louisiana Tech University, graduating magna cum laude.
Rob Clamp – Director of Plant Operations, Dave’s Killer Bread
Rob Clamp is Director of Plant Operations, for Dave’s Killer Bread in Milwaukie, Oregon. Within this position, Rob leads a team of 250 employee partners, 1/3 of whom have a criminal background. Rob holds a bachelor’s degree from The United States Air Force Academy in Engineering Management and an MBA from Eastern Washington University. Rob has over 15 years of experience in Engineering, Operations, and Continuous Improvement management with the Air Force, Kaiser Aluminum, and Amazon.com. Rob came to Dave’s Killer Bread in 2013 and was a part of the massive expansion of the Dave’s Killer Bread brand from a regional top-selling product to the national powerhouse it is today in the fresh bread organic market. Rob has personally seen the power of second chance hiring and the positive impact it has had on daily operations and engineering projects.
Chris Watkins – Strategic Advisor, Russell Landscape
Chris Watkins serves as a strategic social and recruiting advisor to Russell Landscape, Georgia’s largest privately held commercial landscaping firm. With a background in counseling, sales, marketing, international business and social enterprise, he has experience in both the public and private sectors in a wide variety of industries. As a firm believer in second chances, Chris has worked with Russell Landscape and other businesses and organizations throughout the State of Georgia to look to those with criminal records as viable option for their talent and labor needs. Chris works closely with the Georgia Department of Corrections and local re-entry programs to aide in the placement of transitioning individuals back in to the workforce. Chris is also a principal in Verna Hills Transportation Company which provides transportation services to more than 100 transitioning citizens daily.
David Israel – Founder and CEO, BFY Food Group
David has developed multiple successful retail and service concepts that have ranged from upscale Facilities Maintenance Services to a patented truck-side advertising system. David was incarcerated for 46 months in Washington State prison after a 7-year legal battle that ended with an Alford Plea (no-contest). This is where he wrote the initial business plan for Pop Gourmet after seeing some fellow inmates make a popcorn concoction. Pop Gourmet is now distributed in 18 countries, has won multiple awards for innovation and has been one of the fastest growing food companies in the market. At its peak 23% of Pop Gourmet employees were ex-cons. In early 2017 David resigned as CEO of Pop Gourmet and founded BFY Food Group. Under the BFY umbrella, David has launched Culinary Co., a premium non-dairy, vegan food company, and David’s Best which produces and licensees products under the iconic Huy Fong Sriracha brand.