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SPEAKERS – National MBE Manufacturers Summit 2018.


John Evans

Vice President, Global Procurement 
Ingersoll Rand

John Evans joined Ingersoll Rand in 2000 and was appointed vice president, Global Procurement in 2015. Ingersoll Rand’s family of brands includes Club Car®, Ingersoll Rand®, Thermo King® and Trane®.

John oversees a global purchase spend in excess of $9 billion and a supplier development team managing direct and indirect material suppliers. Previously John was president of Power Tools, president of Residential Security Solutions and vice president of operations for Climate Control Technologies sector.

Before joining Ingersoll Rand, John held positions at Leoni Wiring Systems, Marley Cooling Tower, Electro-Wire Products and Cummins Engine Company.

He has a bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Kansas and an MBA from St. Bonaventure University.

Jim Warfield

Global Procurement Manager
Caterpillar, Inc.

Jim Warfield serves as a Global Procurement Manager for Caterpillar Inc.’s Innovation and Technology Development Division in Mossville, IL. He has responsibility for hydraulics, powertrain, and suspension while leading a global team of over 100 experts focused on strategic component delivery and world-class category strategy development.

Before his role as a Global Procurement Manager, Jim was the Global Purchasing Product Manager with worldwide responsibility for medium wheeled products.

Jim joined Caterpillar in 1994 as a Grinding Specialist in Pontiac, IL. He quickly gained experiences and increasing responsibility in operations and purchasing. He has led multiple global teams including Aurora, IL US; Wuxi, China; Joliet, IL US; Kiel, Germany; and Shrewsbury, UK.

Jim is a graduate of Illinois State University and holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing. In his free time, Jim enjoys playing golf and coaching youth football. He resides in Peoria, IL with his wife Mindy, sons Spencer and Jameson, and dogs, Rex and Riley.

Kerry Defler

Tax Partner, Manufacturing and Distribution Group

With over 19 years of experience, Kerry is the lead tax partner in the Manufacturing & Distribution group of Aprio. He creates value for the corporations, partnerships and individuals he serves by understanding clients’ business operations and devising strategies to achieve long-term success. This includes not only saving tax dollars, but also helping clients through an exit or business transition. He has consulted on a significant number of M&A transactions during his career and represents clients that are both family-owned and private equity-backed.

In addition to extensive tax compliance and planning experience, Kerry has substantial experience in the areas of multi-state taxation and advising both in-bound and out-bound international companies. This includes consulting on nexus issues, sales and use tax matters, and property taxes. Kerry works closely with Aprio’s sophisticated international group to take advantage of IC-DISC export benefits and address complex transfer pricing matters for his international clients.

Kerry ensures Aprio clients pay the least amount of tax possible by taking advantage of all credits and incentives that are available. This includes research and development credits as well as credits for creating jobs, investing in equipment, importing/exporting goods and retraining employees in technological advances.

Kerry received his Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from Bellarmine College in Louisville, Kentucky, and his Masters of Business Administration from Georgia State University. His professional and civic involvement includes the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Blake Kennedy

SVP, Southeast Sales Manager
Bibby Financial Services

Blake Kennedy joined Bibby Financial Services in 2008 as Vice President of Sales and Marketing and was appointed Senior Vice President, Business Development in October of 2015. Blake is responsible for managing the factoring and ABL business development team on the East Coast. He has completed over 100 transactions while at Bibby Financial Services, Inc., most involving some form of asset- based lending/receivables finance. Blake has dedicated over 10 years to working with business owners and assisting them in their growth plan.

In 2006, Blake began working for a technology firm providing C&I monitoring platforms utilized by banks, and was responsible for establishing bank relationships within the Synovus geographic footprint. Blake began his career at UPS Worldwide Headquarters and spent 10 years in a variety of sales, marketing, and human resources roles.

Blake is a board member of The Commercial Finance Association – Atlanta and a member of the Association for Corporate Growth and Turnaround Management Association.

He attends Peachtree Road United Methodist Church and is a volunteer coach at the Northside Youth Organization.  Blake enjoys spending time with his wife and two kids, playing mediocre golf & reading.


Richard Montgomery

Managing Partner 
Enhanced Capital

Richard Montgomery is Managing Partner of Enhanced Capital’s Tax Credit Finance Team. In this capacity, he co-heads the firm’s federal and state New Markets Tax Credit business lines and manages the firm’s tax credit services. Previously, Mr. Montgomery was an attorney in the corporate and securities section of Jones, Walker in New Orleans, LA. He holds a B.A. from the University of Georgia and a J.D. from Louisiana State University of Law where he graduated Order of the Coif (highest Honors) and was a member of the Law Review.

Sandra Moore

Chief Impact Officer
Advantage Capital 

With over three decades of experience in urban planning, economic development and community revitalization efforts, Sandra M. Moore joined the Advantage Capital team as chief impact officer to guide the design of their investments and investment strategies to maximize community impact, to assist their investment team in growing and sharing their community impact results and to also study their results to ensure they are producing as they hope and project. Prior to joining them in this capacity, for nearly 15 years, she was as an invaluable member of Advantage Capital’s New Markets Tax Credit Advisory Board, serving as a key advisor in their efforts to bring businesses, technologies and jobs to communities that have historically lacked access to investment capital.

Most recently, Ms. Moore was the president of Urban Strategies in St. Louis, leading a team of professionals working in cities across the U.S. to help transform distressed urban core communities into vibrant, safe residential neighborhoods with new housing and good schools. She has also served as the CEO of the Missouri Family Investment Trust, a public-private partnership entity leading Missouri’s multi-system reform efforts. In that capacity, she was responsible for helping communities across the state develop, implement and evaluate strategies to improve economic development outcomes for vulnerable families.

Earlier in her career, Ms. Moore served in Governor Mel Carnahan’s cabinet as director of the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, overseeing and coordinating all efforts of the department. Under her leadership, the department ensured businesses were competing on a level playing field not only through enforcement of Missouri’s labor laws, but also by educating businesses and workers through community outreach. She has served as a judge for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, adjudicating over 500 administrative complaints of employment discrimination.

She is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, receiving her bachelor’s degree in urban studies in 1976 and her J.D. from the School of Law in 1979.

Dallas Smith

CEO, Founder
T. Dallas Smith and Company

As founder of T. Dallas Smith & Company, Dallas uses his 30+ years of commercial real estate experience to oversee all commercial brokerage activity at the firm. T. Dallas Smith & Company is the largest African American brokerage firm in the country focused exclusively on tenant and buyer representation. He is the mastermind behind projects exceeding $15 billion in value. Dallas began his commercial real estate career at Atlanta Air Center Reality working for Thomas W. Tift. In 1989, he became the first African American broker at Cushman & Wakefield of Georgia, serving local and national companies such as Jostens Learning Corporation, the Georgia Lottery Corporation and the Arthritis Foundation.

Dallas is very involved in the community both locally and nationally. Some of his community efforts include serving on the Georgia State University Trustee Foundation Board, the Metro Atlanta Chamber, CoreNet Global Diversity Council, and the IDRC Diversity Council. He is a founding member of the Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors and a frequent speaker and teacher at the Empire Board of Realtists where he developed CRE 101 by T. Dallas Smith, a popular session that offers insight into what he calls the “gospel of tenant representation” delivered from a real perspective as only he can deliver it.

Dallas attended Tennessee State University and earned his BBA from Georgia State University. He is a devoted husband, father and proud leader of the pride at T. Dallas Smith & Company.

Kevin Sledge

VP, Commercial Banking
Synovus Bank

Kevin Sledge is the VP of Commercial Banking with Synovus Bank and has over 20 years of experience in Corporate Finance and Financial Services. He is a Certified Financial Planner and has held positions with Fortune 500 companies such as Coca-Cola, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, and PNC Bank.
His ability to communicate complex topics and educate clients in a straightforward manner contributes to his excellent professional and personal relationships.
Kevin is a board member of the Cobb County Boys & Girls Club and teaches financial literacy classes for kids. His hobbies include coaching his son’s sports teams, family travel, and reading.

Kevin resides with his wife and three sons in Mableton, Ga., a suburb of Atlanta. He completed his B.S. in Accounting from Fairleigh Dickinson University (NJ) and his MBA in Finance from Iona College (NY).

Mark Wilson

President & CEO
Chime Solutions, Inc.

Entrepreneur, Mark A. Wilson heads Atlanta-based Chime Solutions, a leading provider of business process outsourcing services, primarily focused on customer care. With over 25 years of experience in the business information services industry, Wilson has held senior level sales and operations management positions with companies such as D&B, ABF Freight Systems and Whirlpool Corporation. His success as an entrepreneur was highlighted most recently by his leadership with eVerifile, a contractor screening company Wilson acquired in 2012. Wilson was responsible for driving double digit growth while making significant technology changes within the company. He established eVerifile CS, a subsidiary that was focused on BPO services, acquired it in May of 2016 and merged the operation with Chime Solutions.

Prior to acquiring eVerifile, Wilson founded RYLA Teleservices, Inc. a true start-up launched in his basement and named after his two children Ryan and Lauren. He established RYLA as a nationally-recognized customer support and contact center with more than 3,000 employees and revenues in excess of $100 million. Wilson sold the company in 2010.

Wilson’s vision and leadership has earned him prestigious honors, including Ernst& Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award ® for 2010, TiE Atlanta’s 2010 Entrepreneur of the Year and induction into the Hall of Fame for the Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University in 2014. He serves on the Georgia Kaiser Permanente Board of Directors, is Chairman of the Wilberforce University Board of Trustees, and serves on the Kennesaw State University Coles College Advisory Board. He is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization and serves on the Steward Board at Turner Chapel AME Church.

Wilson earned his degree in Business Administration and Management at Wilberforce University, is a 2016 recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from Wilberforce University and a life member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.