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Board of Trustees
ATFC Board of Trustees PDF Print E-mail

                        We are honored to have on our Board of Trustees a diversified group of outstanding people both in the US and Turkey who support the objectives of the American Turkish Friendship Council.

 Officers

Chairman - The Honorable Mona Tekin Diamond, Turkish Honorary Consul General for Georgia, Atlanta

President - Dogan ErogluPhD, Associate Director for Communication Science, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta

Vice President - Dr. Omer Kucuk, M.D. – Professor of Medicine, Chief of Genitourinary, Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, Atlanta

 Vice President - Ugur Terzioglu President High Advisory Council, Turkish American Business Association/AMCHAM, Former President, TABA/AMCHAM, Istanbul

Treasurer - Akgun Seckiner  - Co-Owner and Managing Director, SaniKey USA Inc, Atlanta

hamrick

 Secretary - Yıldız Hamrick - Interpreter/Translator

Members

 
 

Dr. Volkan Adsay, MD - Professor and Vice-Chair, Director of Anatomic Pathology, Emory University,Atlanta
 

Yusef Akyuz, Country Director, Turkey at IgnitionOne, Istanbul Turkey
 

Sinan Altun, Chairman, MEKASSA Inc, Istanbul
 

 Fevzi Aydın - Owner & President, Aydın & Co. Jewelers, Atlanta
 

 Nancy Bache - Talent Acquisition Operations Manager, NCR, Atlanta
 

 Neda Barqawi - Xtarta, President, Atlanta
 

 Ruth Nicola Berg - Former Congressional Staff Assistant, Atlanta, Georgia
 

 Fatos N. Bozer - Active volunteer with orphans and children with special needs, Atlanta, Georgia
 

 Ahmet C. Bozer - Executive Vice President and President of Coca-Cola International, Atlanta, Georgia
 

Leyla Conrad, PhD. - Director of Outreach, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia

 

Tijen Cirig - Director, Airport Solutions, SITA, Atlanta, Georgia

 

Dr. Tamer ÇavuşgilPhD - Fuller E. Callaway Professorial Chair and Executive Director, CIBER, at the J.Mack Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University, Atlanta

 

Çiğdem Delano - Chief Information Officer, Orion HealthCorp, Atlanta

 

Leslie Diamond - Project Manager, Goodman Decorating Company, Atlanta, Georgia

 

Pinar Eczacibasi - Former President, GYIAD (The Young Executives and Businessmen's Association) and Senior Advisor, Schroder & Co. Banque SA, Istanbul

 

Dr.Sühendan Ekmekçioğlu - Associate Professor, Department of Melanoma Medical Oncology - Research, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas

 

Prof. Dr. Tunç EremPhD - Professor of economics, Former rector of Marmara University, Istanbul

 

Melih Fereli - Arts and Culture Advisor to the Vehbi Koc Foundation, Istanbul

 

Senih Geray – General Manager at St Regis Hotel, Atlanta

 

Stefanie Gurel – Early Childhood Educator, Izmir

 

Mine Hashas, PhD -  Assistant Professor, School of Architecture, Southern Polytechnic University, Atlanta

 

Feryal Hendricks - Vice President, Experient Group, Atlanta

 

Carl HolladayPhD - Charles Howard Candler Professor, Emory University, Atlanta

 

Elif InanRetired Senior Human Resources Professional, Istanbul

 

Dr. John Jacobs, MD - Professor of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan

 

Dr. Cagatay Kemerli, MD - Neurosurgeon, Istanbul

 

Muhtar Kent - Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, The Coca-Cola Company, Atlanta

 

Omer Koc - Member of the Board of Directors, Koc Holding, Istanbul

 

Tunc Kip - Global Business Development Manager, Temel Gaskets, Atlanta

 

Yasmina Lokmanoglu - Elected Commissioner, Mersin Akdeniz Municipality, Mersin

 

Dr. Joy Maxey , MD - President, Atlanta Children’s Clinical Center, Atlanta, Georgia

 

Anıl Ozkaynak - Supply Chain Lead, The Coca-Cola Company, Atlanta, Georgia

 

Holli Semetko, PhD - Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Media and International Affairs, Professor of Political Science, Emory University & Former Vice Provost & Director, The Halle Institute, Emory University, Atlanta

 

Pamela Dorn Sezgin - PhD - College of Arts and Letters / Dept. of History, Anthropology and Philosophy, University of North Georgia, Atlanta

 

 Dawn Shields - CFO, GeoResults, Atlanta
 

 Atınç Sönmezer, - CEO of Meda Import & Export LLC, Atlanta, Georgia
     
 

William James Talley Jr. - Senior Project Manager, Real Estate Development and Acquisitions department, Atlanta Housing Authority, Atlanta, Georgia

 

Zafer Ucar- Area Manager, Anadolu Sigorta, Istanbul, Turkey

 

Dilek Uzgören, President of Elips USA, Atlanta

 

 Lisa Winton - Owner, Winton Machine, Atlanta
 

Arzu Wiest - Senior Manager, CCR Procure-to-Pay Operations The Coca-Cola Company, Atlanta
 

Jon Welch – English Teacher, Istanbul

 

Gizem Koksal Yahi - Vehbi Koç Foundation, Public Relations Manager, Istanbul
 

Ozben Iyigun-Yet - Human Resources Management Executive, Atlanta
 

Tolbert Yilmaz - President, Eurotard Dance Fashions, Atlanta

   
 

 OFFICERS

  • Chairman - The Honorable Mona Diamond, Turkish Honorary Consul General for Georgia, Atlanta

    • Mona Tekin Diamond became the Turkish Honorary Consul General for the State of Georgia in 2005. In the same year, she founded and became the Chairman for the American Turkish Friendship Council, a not-for-profit organization for the promotion of close relations between the United States and Turkey.

    • Mona Diamond is the founder of the Turkish Lecture Series at Emory University, an endowed lecture series. Being deeply committed to education, she is working with Emory University as a member of the International Advisory Council with the aim of bringing Turkish Students to Emory University. She also sits on the President's Advisory Board at Oglethorpe University. Mona Diamond has obtained a grant from the Turkish government in order to have the Turkish language taught at Georgia State University.

    • In 2003-04, Mrs. Diamond was Vice President of the Turkish American Cultural Association of Georgia, where she took on the duties of Membership and Educational Chairman. In 2003, she received The Turkish Women`s League of America award for her successful efforts and help to the Turkish American Cultural Association of Georgia.

    • Mona Diamond has been a member of the Assembly of Turkish American Associations for many years. She is also a member of the Ataturk Society in Washington, D.C. In 2002, she received the "Women of Distinction" award from Daughters of Ataturk acknowledging her contributions to the Turkish community.

    • Mrs. Diamond sits on the National Board as well as the Atlanta Board of the American Jewish Committee. In 2000, she received the Women of Achievement Award representing the American Jewish Committee.

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  • President - Dogan Eroglu, PhD, Associate Director, Communication Science, Office of the Associate Director for Communication, Atlanta

    • Dr. Dogan Eroglu is the Associate Director for Communication Science Office of the Associate Director for Communication Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prior to joining the CDC, Dr. Eroglu was a member of the marketing faculty at Georgia State University, College of Business Administration (1989-1997). He also taught at the Michigan State University and Iowa State University.

    • Dr. Eroglu received his PhD in Business Administration from Michigan State University (1991), specializing in marketing. Before joining academia, Dogan Eroglu held marketing and sales positions in Turkey and Germany. Dr. Eroglu also holds an MA in Curriculum and Instruction, from Michigan State University (1983) and a Masters in Business Management from Middle East Technical University (1974) in Turkey. Dr. Eroglu completed his secondary education in Talas and Tarsus American Schools (1969) in Turkey.

    • Dr. Eroglu is active in the Turkish-American community in Atlanta and is past president of the Turkish American Cultural Association of Georgia (TACA-GA). 

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  • Vice - President - Dr. Omer Kucuk, M.D.– Professor of Medicine, Chief Genitourinary, Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, Atlanta
    • Dr. Omer Kucuk is Professor of Hematology-Oncology and Urology, and Director of the Genitourinary Medical Oncology Program at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University.
    • He was educated at Hacettepe University Medical School in Ankara, where he graduated from in 1975. He held an internship residency and later Oncology Fellowship at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, Illinois between 1975 and 1979. Between 1979 and 1981 he held a Hematology-Oncology Fellowship at Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago.
    • Dr. Kucuk has published well over 150 peer-reviewed articles. He is an internationally recognized expert in the areas of:
    • Cancer prevention – involved in multiple prevention trials including selenium in lung cancer prevention; lycopene, folic acid, zinc and soy in cancer prevention; zileuton in pre-malignancy in lung cancer
    • Nutrition and cancer – including pioneering studies with lycopene and soy isoflavones
    • Nutrition and cancer therapy – including sensitization of prostrate cancer to docetaxel and radiation
    • Prostrate cancer prevention and treatment. 
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  • Vice President, Turkey -Ugur Terzioglu - President High Advisory Council, Turkish American Business Association/AMCHAM, Istanbul


    • Ugur Terzioglu was educated at Robert College US University in Istanbul (1954). He received a BA from Pacific Institute California (1956). Mr. Terzioglu ran a family business (1956-1960). He was General Manager of an agricultural factory (1963-1970). In 1971 he moved to Rome where he formed the Film Center Group. In 1986 he moved back to Istanbul as General Coordinator of Astaldi S.p.A Italian Construction Company, a post he remains in to date. Also, he currently runs a movie distribution company. He was awarded the diamond of merit by MPAA USA and the Chevalier of France and he was the founder of TABA and is a current member of DEIK.

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  • Treasurer -  Akgun Seckiner - Co-Owner and Managing Director, SaniKey USA Inc., Atlanta

    • Akgun Seckiner is Co-Owner of the SaniKey Group of companies and Managing Director of SaniKey USA Inc, an international building materials manufacturing, marketing and sales firm where he is responsible for the company's overall policies and global business development efforts.

    • Prior to forming his own company, Mr. Seckiner worked as a Financial Analyst at Mannesmann Rohrenwerke AG in Saarbrucken, Germany. In 1995, he joined Eczacibasi VitrA as the Export Manager for European and Middle Eastern Region and worked on developing European, Russian, and Middle Eastern Markets. Mr. Seckiner worked as the Sales and Marketing Director of VirtA Plumbing products Business Unit in USA until he formed his own company in 2008.

    • Mr. Seckiner holds an MS degree in International Business from Georgia State University’s Robinson School of Business, and an undergraduate degree in Management Engineering from Istanbul Technical University.

    • Mr. Seckiner is currently serving on The Georgia State University's Alumni Association and Istanbul Aviation Club. He is also a member of the Greater North Fulton and National Kitchen and Bath Association .

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  • Secretary - Yıldız Hamrick- Interpreter/Translator
    • Yıldız Hamrick finished Ankara College in 1970. Upon graduation she was hired by Tumpane Company as an interpreter/translator for The United States Logistics Group (TUSLOG). She held that position until March of 1974, at which time a job transfer for her husband required them to move to the United States.
    • During the 1980's while living in Italy and Turkey and raising a family, she did volunteer interpreting between the American and Turkish Admirals' wives. She was a volunteer/ assistant to her children's "Department of Defense School Teachers" (DODDS) until 1995 when her youngest daughter graduated from high school. In addition to her various volunteer work, in 2005, she assisted the Honorable Mona Diamond in founding the American Turkish Friendship Council (ATFC). Presently she is the volunteer editor/ translator for the "Breast Cancer Center-Mersin" (BCC-M). Yıldız is the current assistant coordinator of American Cancer Society's "Road to Recovery" (RTR) program. This group volunteers to drive patients to their treatments in Gwinnett County, the county which hosts the biggest fund-raiser chapter for breast cancer research in the world. She is also a volunteer driver and has been driving patients to their treatments since 2007. In 2003, she retired from her Area Manager position for the Southeastern Military Sales of Estee Lauder Cosmetics.
    • Currently Ms. Hamrick does interpreting/translating for different Greater Atlanta Companies.

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MEMBERS

  •  Dr. Volkan Adsay, MD - Professor and Vice-Chair, Director of Anatomic Pathology, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia

    • Dr. Volkan Adsay is Professor and Vice Chair of Pathology, and Director of Anatomic Pathology at Emory University School of Medicine. He was born in Ankara, Turkey and was educated at TED Ankara College. After graduating from Hacettepe University School of Medicine, and having done 2-years of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery Residency in this Institution, Dr. Adsay moved to the United States and completed a Pathology Residency in New York and went on to complete a two-year fellowship in Oncologic Pathology at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He then joined the Faculty at Wayne State University and Karmanos Cancer Center. In 2007, he became the Vice Chair and Director of Anatomic Pathology at Emory University. 

    • Dr. Adsay is an internationally-recognized pathologist in the field of gastrointestinal and pancreatobiliary cancers. He has published over 180 peer-reviewed articles, authored several chapters in the most prestigious textbooks of Gastrointestinal Tract Surgery and Oncology. He was co-author in multiple chapters in the World Health Organization’s "classification of tumors" series. Among his contributions, he was instrumental in the characterization of various tumor types of the pancreas and biliary tract, and was also the member of an international group that put forth the definition and criteria early cancerous lesions of these organs. He serves as committee member in several national and international academic medical societies. He has given over 90 lectures at national and international platforms. He sits in the editorial board of 7 medical journals. He is also the recipient of multiple teaching awards from medical students and residents.

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  •  Yusef Akyuz - Country Director, Turkey at IgnitionOne, Istanbul Turkey 

    • Yusef gradudated from İzmir American Collegiate Institute and completed his Bacholer of Science at Koç University Sociology department. He came to Atlanta in 2003 to earn his MBA at Georgia State University J. Mack Robinson College of Business wıth IT and Management concentration through a full scholarship from Georgia Rotary Student Program. He is currently the Country Director, Turkey of IgnitionOne where he is in charge of starting and expanding the company’s newest global office. Yusef is a proud father of one baby girl with a second one on the way and served in the Turkish National Volleyball Team in 1997-99 Macabiah Games.

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  •  Sinan Altun - Chairman, MEKASSA Inc, Istanbul

    • Mr. Sinan Altun was born in 1972 in Ankara. He is a graduate of TED Ankara College (1990) and Bogazici University Economics Department, Istanbul 1995. In 1995, Altun joined Marsa Kraft Jacobs Suchard as a Marketing Specialist. In 1997, he joined The Coca-Cola Company as a Brand Manager for Caucasus and Central Asian Republics Region and worked in Turkey, Belgium, Caucasus, Central Asian Republics, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

    • Mr. Altun worked as the Commercial, Customer and Field Marketing Director of Glaceau and Fuze International Business Unit at The Coca-Cola Company until he formed his own company in 2009. 

    • In 2005, Mr. Altun was selected as one of the Top 5 marketing talents out of 600 candidates across the globe to attend The Coca-Cola Company's Global Benchstrength Program based in Atlanta headquarters and became the Global Marketing Manager in the company's Non-Carbonated and New Beverages Department. 

    • Mr. Altun is married to Serfinaz and has a daughter, Alara.

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  • Fevzi Aydın – Owner & President, Aydın & Co. Jewelers, Atlanta

    • Fevzi Aydın was born in Gümüshane, Turkey in 1965. Mr. Aydın is the President of Aydın & Co. Jewelers, a company that has been in the industry for 25 years. Fevzi Aydın started his business in Atlanta in the year of 1988, which has catered to some of the well-known stars in the entertainment industry as well as different athletes from different sports industries. 

    • Mr. Aydın has been involved with the Turkish American Cultural Association of Georgia and has been supporting the American Turkish Friendship Council and several other non-profit organizations to support the education and healthcare of underprivileged children and children with disabilities, such as North Metro Miracle League. Fevzi Aydın is married and has two sons.

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  • Nancy Bache - Talent Acquisition Operations Manager, NCR, Atlanta, Georgia

    • Nancy Bache recently joined NCR Corporation as Global Talent Acquisition Operations Manager to provide leadership and operational management in support of HR strategy, Talent Management and Shared Services. Previously with Bank of America (BAC) for 10 years in several positions including her most recent role within BAC’s Global Corporate Services division where she was responsible for project and change management initiatives as a Business Support Manager. She previously supported integration and acquisition activity on the global HR transition team. Ms. Bache also served in roles as program manager within Learning and Leadership Development and Senior Talent Acquisition consultant within the Commercial and Investment bank division. Prior to BAC she spent seven years at The Coca-Cola Company as a Global Talent Acquisition and Learning Consultant. With significant experience in recruiting, program management, change management and process improvement her career has led her to her current leadership role at NCR.

    • Nancy Bache has a master’s in business administration in Executive Strategic Management from Georgia State University and a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Mercer University.

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  • Neda Barqawi- President, XTarta

    • Neda Barqawi is President of XTarta, a global market research company that generates insight and develops tools to help clients drive competitive brand, product, and customer experience strategies.  Prior to this, Neda Barqawi held the role of the Director of Operations for Optimi Corporation’s Technology Group. 

    • Neda has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology and an Executive MBA from Georgia State University. She is currently pursuing an Executive Doctorate in Business from the J. Mack Robinson School of Business at Georgia State University.

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  • Ruth Nicola Berg - Former Congressional Staff Assistant, Atlanta, Georgia

    • Ruth Berg recently retired after 20 years of exemplary public service as a Congressional Staff Assistant in the Atlanta District Office of The Honorable, Congressman John Lewis, U.S. House of Representatives, Fifth Congressional District of Georgia. Ms. Berg coordinated the Fifth Congressional District U.S. Service Academies Forum by working closely with the Service Academy Selection Board to complete processing of nominations and appointments to West Point, Air Force Academy and the Naval Academy. She also acted as architect and chairperson of The Annual Multicultural Festival, hosted by Congressman John Lewis, featuring the "beloved community", an extravaganza of music, entertainment, cultural information, performing arts and diverse ethnic foods, expressing the diversity of The Fifth Congressional District of Georgia and the surrounding areas. Prior, Ms. Berg worked as the Senior Administrative Assistant at the Georgia Department of Labor. 

    • Ms. Berg’s interests include acting, performing in theatre, films and commercials

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  • Fatos N. Bozer - Active volunteer with orphans and children with special needs, Atlanta, Georgia

    • Born in January 14, 1964 in Ankara Turkey, Fatos attended Ankara College for her elementary, secondary and high school education. Upon graduation from Ankara College, she studied Archeology in University of Ankara's Faculty of Language, History and Geography. She graduated from University of Ankara with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1986.

    • Fatos married Ahmet Bozer in 1986 and gave birth to Kerem in 1988 and Esra in 1990, both born in Atlanta, Georgia

    • In 1992, Ahmet's job required the family to move to Istanbul Turkey.

    • While focusing on raising her two children, Fatos was able to volunteer in two charity organizations. During her work with the Association of Friends of Children, she worked closely with orphans, keeping her connection with them up until the present time.

    • She also volunteered with the Academy of Dreams, an NGO focused on helping people with special needs to become fully active members of society.

    • Fatos currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband Ahmet.

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  • Ahmet C. Bozer - Executive Vice President and President of Coca-Cola International, Atlanta, Georgia

    • Ahmet C. Bozer is Executive Vice President and President of Coca-Cola International, which consists of the Company’s Europe, Pacific and Eurasia & Africa operations.

    • In 1990, Ahmet began his career with The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta, moving to Turkey in 1992. During his twenty years in Turkey, Ahmet assumed leadership roles with increased responsibilities and was named President of the Eurasia Group in 2007.  In 2013, Ahmet returned to Atlanta to assume his current role.

    • He holds a Master of Science in Business Information Systems from Georgia State University in the U.S. and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey.

    • In 2013, Ahmet was named Chairman of the Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU), Chairman of the US-Turkish Business Council, and was appointed to the Robinson College Board of Advisors at Georgia State University.

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  • Leyla Conrad, PhD - Director of Outreach, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia

    • Leyla Conrad is the Director of Outreach in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She has been developing and leading programs for ECE female and minority students, as well as high school students and teachers that supports the ECE’s undergraduate recruitment and retention efforts. She is also the Education and Diversity Director of the NSF funded Materials Research Science and Engineering Center at Georgia Tech. The Center’s objective is to research fabrication and characterization approaches for the implementation of epitaxial graphene as an electronic material and educate a diverse group of students at all levels in this field.  Before her current appointment, she served as the Education Director of the NSF supported research centers: Packaging Research Center (1998-2006) and Center on Materials Devices for IT Research (2006-2008).  In both positions, she created and implemented a highly integrated and comprehensive educational program at all levels to meet the educational needs of pre-college, undergraduate, graduate students, and industry engineers.  Dr. Conrad received her Ph.D. degree in Physics from the University of Missouri – Columbia in 1990.

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  • Tijen Cirig - Director, Airport Solutions, SITA, Atlanta, Georgia 

    • Tijen Cirig is a technology executive at an international company that serves the air transport industry around the world.

    • After finishing her Electrical & Electronics Engineering degree in Turkey, Tijen completed her postgraduate degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Advanced Computer & Business Systems in UK. She worked as an IT and Management Consultant in England, Scotland, and US for big and small consulting firms including Cap Gemini and British Telecom.

    • Tijen is passionate about women's economic empowerment, girls’ education, social justice, and global cultural awareness for conflict management.

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  • Dr. Tamer Çavuşgil - Fuller E. Callaway Professorial Chair and Executive Director, CIBER, at the J.Mack Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia

    • Dr. Çavuşgil specializes in the internationalization of the firm, global strategy, emerging markets, and buyer-seller relationships in cross-border business. Most recently, he has developed a framework for analyzing country risk as a way of creating risk-resilient enterprises. Dr. Çavuşgil’s professional career spans teaching, research and administrative responsibilities in international business at Michigan State University, Bradley University, University of Wisconsin, and the Middle East Technical University (Turkey). In addition, he served as Senior Fulbright Scholar to Australia and taught at Monash University. Recently, he was appointed a visiting Professor at Manchester Business School, and as Gianni and Joan Montezemolo Visiting Chair at the University of Cambridge, the United Kingdom.

    • Dr. Çavuşgil has authored more than a dozen books and over 200 refereed journal articles. His work is among the most cited contributions in international business. His books include International Business: The New Realities, 3rd Ed., co-authored with G. Knight and J. Riesenberger; and Doing Business in Emerging Markets, 2nd Ed., co-authored with P. N. Ghauri, and A. A. Akcal, London: Sage

      Publications, 2013. Dr. Çavuşgil holds MBA and Ph.D. degrees in business from the University of Wisconsin.

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  • Cigdem Delano – Chief Information Officer, Orion HealthCorp, Atlanta

    • Cigdem Delano is an information technology executive with more than 26 years in the IT industry.  She is Former the Chief Information Officer of Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM). MSM recruits and trains minority and other students as physicians, biomedical scientists and public health professionals committed to improving the health and well-being of communities.

    • Prior to joining  the MSM in September 2008, she established, BIT-Synergies, LLC, a business and information technology consulting company that advises executives on how to effectively align technology with business needs. Before starting her own business, Ms. Delano served as the Deputy Executive Director of the Georgia Technology Authority (GTA), an organization created by the Georgia General Assembly in 2000 to govern and oversee the effective and efficient use of IT in state government. Prior to GTA, Ms. Delano spent 17 years with IBM, where her responsibilities ranged from telecommunications and data center operations to quality, project and account management. In her last position, she was responsible for managing large-scale projects with international scope. 

    • She was a recipient of the 2006 CIO Ones to Watch award from CIO magazine and CIO Executive Council, a national honor given to only 20 people.   The Women in Technology selected Ms. Delano as a finalist for its 2006 Women of the Year in Technology Award.  She also was selected by the Project Management Institute’s PM Network magazine as one of 25 Influential Women in Project Management.

    • Ms. Delano enjoys taking part in the Atlanta community. She served on The Center for Family Resources Board for three years. She recently joined the Hands on Atlanta and the American Turkish Friendship Council Boards. Other past board responsibilities includes Cobb County Industry Advisory Board, TAG’s Business and Technology Advisory Board, and GlobalEXEC Women.

    •  Ms. Delano holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Information and Computer Science from Georgia Institute of Technology.

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  • Leslie Diamond - Project Manager, Goodman Decorating Company, Atlanta, Georgia

    • Leslie Diamond is a native Atlantan. Graduated from Pace Academy and received her BA in Public Relations from UGA School of Journalism. She subsequently worked for the Quebec Government, Pringle Dixon Pringle Advertising, J.Walter Thompson Advertising, H.Gilly Smith and Associates, and for the past 25 years at her family business Goodman Decorating Company.

    • Leslie currently lives in Buckhead with her 2 children.

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  • Pinar Eczacibasi - President, GYIAD and Senior Advisor, Schroder & Co. Banque SA, Istanbul

    • Ms. Pinar Eczacibasi graduated from the University of New Hampshire College of Engineering and Physical Science. She completed her Master's degree at Bosphorous University on fiance. Her Master's degree thesis was on the "In depth analysis of the behavior of family-owned enterprises in the development of the Turkish Capital Markets through public offerings."

    • Ms. Eczacibasi started her career at the family-owned Eczacibasi Group of Companies and later at Manufacturers Hanover Trust Company, Istanbul and has worked in Tekstil Bank as a Manager between 1988-1992 and assistant General Manager at ING Bank N.V., Barings Istanbul. Since 1998 she has been working as an independent financial consultant on wealth and asset management. She has been the representative of Schroders Group in Turkey since 2004. She is presently the President and the Chairman of the Board of "Young Professionals & Entrepreneurs" Association" Istanbul. She is also a member of the Turkish Corporate Governance Association and a Founding member of "The Istanbul Heritage Fund" aiming to preserve important historical monuments in Turkey.

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  • Dr. Sühendan Ekmekçioğlu - Associate Professor, Department of Melanoma Medical Oncology - Research, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas

    • Dr. Suhendan Ekmekcioglu, PhD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Melanoma Medical Oncology, Division of Cancer Medicine at The University of Texas (UT), MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas. Dr. Ekmekcioglu earned her PhD degree in Cancer Biology and Immunology at University of Istanbul, Institute of Oncology, Istanbul, Turkey. After she completed her PhD studies in 1994, she received a fellowship award from the Turkish Melanoma Foundation to study overseas for her postdoctoral training and joined to MD Anderson Cancer Center. She appointed to a faculty position at MD Anderson Cancer Center in 2003, and to her current position as Associate Professor in the Department of Melanoma Medical Oncology in January 2011.

    • She is an also Associate Member of the UT Graduate Scholl of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) at Houston, Texas and is passionate about her role in the education and training of students at various levels, including GSBS tutorials, college students, and international students for summer tutorial. She also plays an active role in organizing the educational training of new clinical or research fellows.

    • Dr. Ekmekcioglu is active in women issues in academic environment and involved in Women Faculty Program activities in the institution. She also serves as a departmental senator in the faculty senate and several of senate’s committees.

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  • Prof. Dr. Tunç Erem - Former rector of Marmara University, Istanbul, Turkey

    • Dr. Tunç Erem is a professor of international marketing and international trade and strategic management. Dr. Erem was born in İstanbul in 1938. After finishing Robert College High School in İstanbul, he graduated from the College of Business Administration of Roosevelt University, Chicago, Illinois, U.S. with a BS degree. He received his doctorate from the Istanbul Academy of Economic and Commercial Sciences. Dr. Erem was awarded the title of associate professor in 1971, and in 1977 a full professorship at the Istanbul Academy of Economic and Commercial Sciences.

    • Dr. Erem's research interests include international marketing, strategic management and international trade. He has represented Turkey at various international conferences pertinent to these research interests, and is the author of numerous articles published in international or national journals or conference proceedings. Dr. Erem has also written three books on marketing management. From 1977 to 1978, Dr. Erem was dean of the College of Business Administration of the Istanbul Academy of Economic and Commercial Sciences. Between 1999-2002, Erem served as the dean of the Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences of Marmara University. He was elected rector by the teaching faculty of the university in June 2002 and remained in office until July 2006.

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  • Melih Fereli - Arts and Culture Advisor to the Vehbi Koc Foundation, Istanbul

    • Mr. Melih Fereli was born in Istanbul in 1948 into an immigrant family from Macedonia. After completing his secondary education, he attended Robert College, Istanbul (BSc. 1970) and Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA (MSc. 1971), where he studied "fluid mechanics".

    • Upon completion of his military service as an officer of the Turkish Navy, Mr. Fereli was recruited by Lucas Industries PLC as a "management trainee", where he served at senior levels, primarily in strategic and market-oriented planning, until 1988. For a brief period thereafter, he worked for the family company and later as a free-lance management consultant.

    • Mr. Fereli has been a long-standing singing member (tenor) of the world-renowned Philharmonia Chorus, London. He served as General Director of the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts from March 1993 to February 2001, having led a strong team organizing numerous international festivals, biennials, private cultural events, panel discussions and workshops, over a period of eight years, as well as having supervised the partial construction of a multi-million USD cultural centre.

    • Mr. Fereli is a member of UNESCO's Mediterranean Council for Culture and a trustee of Turkish Educational Volunteers Foundation and Cultural Awareness Foundation, as well as serving on the boards of Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra, Mersin Festival, ITU-MIAM Centre for Advanced Studies in Music, Platform, and "Şimdi-Now" Festival, a series promoting Turkish art and culture in Europe, the first of which was held in Berlin in 2004.

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  • Senih Geray – General Manager at St Regis Hotel, Atlanta, Georgia

    • Senih Geray, is a seasoned hotelier who brings with him excellent experience at both the St. Regis Brand and luxury resorts. A native of Istanbul Turkey, Mr. Geray most recently served as General Manager of The St. Regis Aspen Resort & Residences, where he successfully led that hotel for the past five and a half years. Previously Mr. Geray served as General Manager for the Sheraton Voyager Antalya Hotel, Resort & Spa in Turkey from 2002 to 2006, and was at The St. Regis New York from 1994 to 2002 in various capacities ending as the Director of Finance. He started his career in the hospitality industry at the Sheraton Grande Torrey Pines in La Jolla, California in 1989. Mr. Geray earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the United States International University in London and continued his education in San Diego, California with studies in Hotel and Restaurant Management. He also attended the Summer Professional Development Program at Cornell University in 1996.

    • Mr. Geray is a Turkish-American. He has relocated to Atlanta with his wife Patricia and his two sons, Cem (11) and Eren (9), as well their two dogs and cat. Mr. Geray loves spending time with his family, whether it is playing football or soccer at the park, building Legos at home, enjoying a relaxing night watching movies and playing video games, or running with his dogs. Among his hobbies are skiing, swimming, biking, tennis and playing piano. He is a long time Rotarian and likes to be involved in community projects. Mr. Geray also takes great pleasure in sampling new cuisines from far and near and enjoys cooking in his spare time. Traveling and discovering new places has always been a passion and he is looking forward to exploring the Southeast.

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  • Stefanie Gürel – Early Childhood Educator, Izmir, Turkey

    • Stefanie Gürel grew up in Japan, Morocco and Atlanta before graduating magna cum laude from Georgia State University, with a degree in Early Childhood Development. She moved to Turkey in 1991 as a teacher with the Department of Defense in Izmir; where, 22 years later, she still lives with her Turkish husband and two children. Her passions include running a 'teaching farm' where children from local schools, including special needs, come to learn about animals and traditional Turkish agricultural practices. She is also a constant support to her husband who runs a multinational food business.

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  • Mine Hashas, PhD - Assistant professor, Architecture Program of Southern Polytechnic State University, Atlanta

    • She is teaching and coordinating the First Year Design Foundation Studios as well as Urban Design and Planning Courses. She is Southeast Regional Director for the Design Comminication Association.

    • She received her PhD in Community and Environmental Design at North Carolina State University. She holds a bachelor's degree in Architecture from Yildiz Technical University, Turkey and a master's degree in architecture from Istanbul Technical University.

    • Before her PhD education in the U.S. she had practical and academic experience in the UK, The Netherlands, Germany and Turkey. In addition to working with architectural design firms and construction companies, she coordinated housing projects for quake victims in Turkey in collaboration with Turkish, American and Japanese Non Governmental Organizations.

    •  In addition to serving on the advisory board of The American Turkish Friendship Council, Mine chairs the cultural activities committee of the ATFC.

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  • Yıldız Hamrick- Interpreter/Translator

    • Yıldız Hamrick finished Ankara College in 1970. Upon graduation she was hired by Tumpane Company as an interpreter/translator for The United States Logistics Group (TUSLOG). She held that position until March of 1974, at which time a job transfer for her husband required them to move to the United States.

    • During the 1980's while living in Italy and Turkey and raising a family, she did volunteer interpreting between the American and Turkish Admirals' wives. She was a volunteer/ assistant to her children's "Department of Defense School Teachers" (DODDS) until 1995 when her youngest daughter graduated from high school. In addition to her various volunteer work, in 2005, she assisted the Honorable Mona Diamond in founding the American Turkish Friendship Council (ATFC). Presently she is the volunteer editor/ translator for the "Breast Cancer Center-Mersin" (BCC-M). Yıldız is the current assistant coordinator of American Cancer Society's "Road to Recovery" (RTR) program. This group volunteers to drive patients to their treatments in Gwinnett County, the county which hosts the biggest fund-raiser chapter for breast cancer research in the world. She is also a volunteer driver and has been driving patients to their treatments since 2007. In 2003, she retired from her Area Manager position for the Southeastern Military Sales of Estee Lauder Cosmetics.

    • Currently Ms. Hamrick does interpreting/translating for different Greater Atlanta Companies.

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  • Feryal Hendricks – Vice President, Experient Group, Atlanta

    • Currently, Feryal Hendricks works as the VP of Experient Groups

    • Mrs. Hendricks worked as the Principal Consultant with Hendricks & Associates, a management consulting services organization dedicated to improving business performance through strategy alignment, process management and execution of growth initiatives.  

    • Feryal Hendricks worked as the Assistant Director with The Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) at Georgia State University. Mrs. Hendricks has over 20 years of experience encompassing strategic planning & alignment, business process reengineering, information systems development, customer relationship management, and large-scale initiatives management. In addition to her own consulting practice, she has worked for Price Waterhouse, IBM, North Highland, and Florida Power & Light. 

    • Feryal Hendricks has also served on the management teams of TalentQuest, a talent and performance management solutions business, as Chief Strategist, and Cadmus Interactive, an early stage interactive media development company, as their Director of New Business Development. Her breadth of experience spans a variety of companies in multiple industries such as, Technology, Telecommunications, Travel, Hospitality, Healthcare and Financial Services.

    • Feryal Hendricks has an Industrial Engineering degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She is dedicated to the pursuit of helping organizations continually improve their performance through the design, development and execution of innovative solutions and strategic initiatives.

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  • Carl Holladay, PhD - Charles Howard Candler Professor, Emory University, Atlanta

    • Dr. Carl Holiday was born on October 18, 1943 in Tennessee.

    • After completing his B.A. and M. Div Degrees in Abilene Christian University, Texas, he had his Th. M. Degree in Princeton Theological Seminary, New Jersey and his Ph.D., in University of Cambridge, England.

    • His academic career continued as Asst. Prof of New Testament in Yale Divinity School. CT (1975-78); Assoc. Prof. of New Testament, 1978-80; Assoc. Prof. of New Testament, Candler School of Theology, Emory University (1980-90); Professor of New Testament (1990-2002) Charles Howard Candler Professor of New Testament (2002-).

    • He is the executive Director of The Christian Scholarship Foundation, 1983-; Fulbright Association, North Georgia Chapter, 1995- (Board of Directors, 1998-; Interim President, 1998-99; President, 2000-01). 

    • He is married to Donna Hardeman and she has three children: John Krister (10/12/68); Ben Hardeman (10/21/70); Andrew Patrick (11/24/76)

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  • Elif Inan - Retired Senior Human Resources Professional, Istanbul, Turkey

    • Elif Inan moved to Stanford University in California from Istanbul, Turkey in 1973 with her husband Umran Inan who was pursuing a PhD degree. The couple lived on the Stanford campus from 1973 to 2009 where they raised two children. From 1975 to 1999, Mrs. Inan worked at Stanford University administration holding several Management and Director level positions. Elif Inan worked as the Director of Employee Benefits at Ross Stores, Inc. with a budgetary responsibility of $32M serving an employee population of about 30,000 between 2000 and 2005. In 2009, Umran Inan accepted a new position as President of Koc University in Istanbul. Mrs. Inan resigned from then her current position as the Director of Human Resources and Client Services at MacCorkle Insurance Service to join her husband in Istanbul. Mrs. Inan worked at MacCorkle Insurance Service from 2005 to 2009.

    • Elif Inan holds an Associate of Arts degree in System Applications for Business Administration. She also holds SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources) and CEBS (Certified Employee Benefits Specialist) designations. Mrs. Inan enjoys being in Istanbul after 36 years of living abroad. However, she travels to California 4 to 5 times a year to visit her son and her two adorable granddaughters Ayla and Nisa. She is a breast cancer survivor and has been cancer free for two years.

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  • Dr. John Jacobs, MD -Professor of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan

    • Dr Jacobs is a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Medicine.  He is currently professor in the departments of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Radiation Oncology and Oncology at Wayne State University in Detroit Michigan.  Dr. Jacobs has extensive experience in the combined modality management of the cancer patient. He is past chairman of both the surgery committee and head and neck surgical committee of the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group. He has served as trial chairman for many clinical trials involving both therapy and rehabilitation of the cancer patient and has been a funded investigator of the National Institute of Health.   

    • As a frequent invited lecturer, he has traveled extensively in Europe South America and the Middle East .

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  • Dr. Çağatay Kemerli, MD, Neurosurgeon, Istanbul, Turkey

    • Dr. Çağatay was born in Akhisar, an Aegean city and attended Izmir Bornova Anatolian High School. He was educated in Cerrahpasa Medical School of Istanbul University, where he graduated from in 1987. Due to he interest in neurosurgery, he started training on neurosurgery at Bakirkoy State Hospital for Psychiatric and Neurological Diseases. Dr. Çağatay started working as a neurosurgical specialist in the same hospital. In 2003, he studied Spinal Endomicrodiscectomy with Prof. Lou in Zurich, Spital Zollikerberg. Mr. Çağatay is specialized in spinal surgery. He had been to several national and international congresses on neurosurgery as a participant and lecturer. In 2006, he served on the organizational committee of the international congress “Bakirkoy Days”, which was held in Swiss Hotel, Istanbul. He has several articles that were published in scientific journals. Dr. Çağatay retired in January, 2013. 

    • At present, Dr. Çağatay accepts patients in his medical office and continues to operate them in private hospitals. He is a board member of the Organ, Tissue and Cell Transplant Society in Turkey. Dr. Çağatay has been a member of Turkish Medical Association, Turkish Neurosurgical Society, and the European Association for Neurosurgical Societies (EANS). Dr Çağatay is married and has two children.

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  • Muhtar Kent - Chairman and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company, Atlanta

    • Mr. Muhtar Kent is the Chairman and Chief Executive officer of The Coca-Cola Company. Mr. Kent joined The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta in 1978 and has held a variety of marketing and operations roles throughout his career.

    • In 1985, he was appointed general manager of Coca-Cola Turkey and Central Asia. From 1989 to 1995, he served as president of the Company's East Central Europe Division and senior vice president of Coca-Cola International, with responsibility for 23 countries. Between 1995 and 1998, Mr. Kent served as managing director of Coca-Cola Amatil-Europe, covering bottling operations in 12 countries. From 1999 until he rejoined The Coca-Cola Company in May 2005, he served as president and CEO of the Efes Beverage Group, the largest local shareholder of Turkish bottler Coca-Cola Icecek. Headquartered in Istanbul and listed on the London and Istanbul Stock Exchanges. During that time, Mr. Kent also served as a board member of Coca-Cola Icecek.

    • Mr. Kent was named President and Chief Operating Officer of The Coca-Cola Company's North Asia, Eurasia and Middle East Group from 2005 until early 2006,where he was responsible for the operations across a broad and diverse geographic region that included China, Japan and Russia. Mr. Kent served as President of Coca-Cola International through most of 2006,responsible for operations outside of North America, until his appointment as President and Chief Operating Officer of The Coca-Cola Company, overseeing all operations of the business, including Bottling Investments. He succeeded Neville Isdell as Chief Executive Officer of the Company on July1, 2008,and as Chairman of the Board of Directors on April 23, 2009.

    • Mr. Kent holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Hull University, England and a Master of Science degree in Administrative Sciences from London City University.

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  • Omer Koc - President, Energy Group, Koc Holding, Istanbul

    • Mr. Omer Mehmet Koc was born in Ankara in 1962. He attended American Robert College in Istanbul. Mr. Koc attended Georgetown University in the first two years of his college education, followed by his enrollment at Columbia University in New York to obtain a BA degree in Ancient Greek. After his graduation, in order to gain practical experience, he worked as a Sales Officer for Kofisa Trading Company in Geneva, Switzerland. Mr. Koc returned to Columbia University in 1987 to obtain his MBA degree. After receiving his MBA, he remained in New York to work as a USA Sales Officer for Ramerica Int. Inc. for two years. This was followed by a manager position at Gazal A.S.

    • In 1992, Mr. Koc entered the family business, Koc Holding, which is one of the largest conglomeration of companies in Turkey. He has held various positions at Koc Holding including Finance Coordinator, Assistant to the President of the Energy Group, President of the Energy Group, and recently a Board Membership.

    • He is an art collector and a promoter of fine arts. Mr. Koc's activity in philanthropy is wide ranging from fine arts to education, and is among the most prominent in Turkey.

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  • Tunc Kip - Global Business Development Manager, Temel Gaskets, Atlanta, Georgia

    • Tunc Kip, born in Izmir, Turkey, began his academic career at the American Collegiate Institute of Izmir. In 2001, he then moved to the United States for his undergraduate studies at the University of Kansas where he earned a degree in Computer Engineering. Mr. Kip obtained an International MBA through a joint program between the University of Kansas and CIMBA, Italy, in 2006. This graduate program is where he began Six Sigma training in which he later became a professional Six Sigma practitioner and instructor. Mr. Kip has been the Global Business Development Manager for Temel Gaskets since 2006 and has been facilitating the growth of Temel’s business between multinational clients and Turkey. Currently, based out of Atlanta, GA, Mr. Kip leads Temel Gaskets business development efforts competing amongst global leaders of the auto industry. Mr. Kip has been living in the US for 12 years. He works with clients across 4 continents and returns frequently to Turkey.

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  • Joy Maxey – Mersin Akdeniz Municipality, Representative, Mersin
    • Dr. Joy Maxey is President of Atlanta Children's Clinical Center, P.C.  A native Atlantan, Dr. Maxey graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Science degree, cum laude, with General Honors and with Honors in Microbiology and the Medical College of Georgia with a Doctor of Medicine degree.  Dr. Maxey completed her internship and residency training in Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine at the Emory University Affiliated Hospitals.  She is a member of the American Medical Association, the Medical Association of Georgia, the DeKalb Medical Society, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Georgia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Greater Atlanta Pediatric Society. Dr. Maxey is a Past President of the Medical Association of Georgia and the Founder and Past President of Safe Kids of Georgia.  She is a former Chairman of the Children and Youth Coordinating Council and former member of the Office of the Child Advocate Advisory Committee.  Dr. Maxey has served and continues to serve in many capacities with a variety of volunteer, community service and professional organizations.   

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  • Yasmina Lokmanoglu – Mersin Akdeniz Municipality, Representative, Mersin
    • Yasmina Lokmanoglu is a distinguished elected social worker of the Mersin Akdeniz Municipality since 2004. Under her tenure, she developed and led the EU-sponsored and supervised 2005 Bamek Iskur Project for the integration of the Roma population in Mersin, led the Historical Renovation of Old Mersin Houses Project, and was President of the Environment Commission.

    • Mrs. Lokmanoglu graduated from ICS in 1989 with a BFA in Interior Design.

    • Besides her impressive work as a public servant, she has in the past served as Foreign Representative for the Mersin Chamber of Commerce, Board Member of the Turkish Swimming and Diving Federation, Director of the Mersin Swimming Club, President of PTA of SEV Elementary School, and Lobbyist for Mersin Mediterranean Games Preperation Committee.
    • Besides Turkish, Mrs. Lokmanoglu is fluent in English and French.

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  •  Anil Ozkaynak - Supply Chain Lead, The Coca-Cola Company, Atlanta, Georgia

    • Anıl Özkaynak is an Information Technology Professional with 18 years of experience in business transformation, supply chain and ERP implementation projects at Fortune Global 500 companies.

    • Prior to joining Coca-Cola’s revolutionary Freestyle Dispensers Project as a consultant and solution lead for supply chain solutions in 2010, he has worked as a consultant in various roles for Henkel, Pirelli, Nortel Networks, DuPont and Novartis in global projects in the US and in Canada, UK, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Spain, Singapore, Malaysia and Turkey. 

    • Mr Özkaynak holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering and a Master of Science degree in Engineering Management from the Technical University of Istanbul.

    • Mr Özkaynak is an avid photographer and enjoys travelling. He lives in Dunwoody, GA with his wife Zeynep and their two boys Eren and Noyan.

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  • Holli Semetko, PhD - Vice Provost and Director of The Halle Institute, Emory University, Atlanta

    • Dr. Holli A. Semetko is Vice Provost for International Affairs and Director of The Halle Institute for Global Learning, and professor of political science at Emory University. Prior to moving to Emory in Fall 2003, Dr. Semetko spent eight years at the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, as Professor and Chair of Audience and Public Opinion Research in the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences. She also served as Chair of the Department of Communication Science, and Chair of the Board of the Amsterdam School for Communications Research.

    • After earning her Ph.D. at The London School of Economics & Political Science in 1987, and prior to moving to Amsterdam in 1995, Dr. Semetko held teaching and research positions at Syracuse University, the University of Michigan, and Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

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  • Pamela Dorn Sezgin, PhD. College of Arts and Letters / Dept. of History, Anthropology and Philosophy, University of North Georgia, Atlanta, Georgia

    • Dr. Pamela J. Dorn Sezgin is a professor of Anthropology and History at the University of North Georgia. Dr. Sezgin is an alumna of Georgia State University where she completed her bachelors, and later returned to do post-doctoral studies in World History. Dr. Sezgin completed her Ph.D. at Indiana University – Bloomington, and was a Fulbright Scholar in Turkey as well as a Fellow of the Jerusalem Institute for Anthropological Studies. Dr. Sezgin studied Classical Turkish music at the State Conservatory of Music in Istanbul and wrote her dissertation in ethnomusicology on the music and culture of the Turkish Jewish community. Today, Dr. Sezgin’s work has broadened to include historical studies of nationalism, identity, and the legal status of non-Muslims in the late Ottoman Empire. She is a contributor to the Brill Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, as well as an author of chapters in several books including The Jews in the Ottoman Empire (edited by Avigdor Levy, Darwin Press, 1994), Sephardic and Mizrahi Jewry: From the Golden Age of Spain to Modern Times (edited by Zion Zohar, New York University Press, 2005), and War and Diplomacy: the Balkan Wars 1912-1913 and their Sociopolitical Implications (edited by M. Hakan Yavuz and Isa Blumi, University of Utah Press, 2013). 

    •  Some of Dr. Sezgin’s recent researches are: a comparative analysis of Greek, Jewish, and Armenian nationalisms at the time of World War I in the Ottoman Empire, presented in Sarajevo, Bosnia, (May, 2012); analyses of the Greek and Turkish population exchanges (1912-1923) and their music, presented at the Mediterranean Studies Association in Pula, Croatia (June, 2012); ”Los Frankos: Italian Jews as Agents of Change in the Late Ottoman Empire,” presented at the American Association of Italian Studies in Charleston, S.C. (May, 2012). Her latest work, “The Enduring Legacy of Imam Shamil: Islam, Pan-ethnicity, and Transnationalism in Constructing Political Memory,” will be presented in June (2013) in Tbilisi, Georgia. 
    • Dr. Sezgin is married to Dr. Mesut Sezgin, Ph.D., P.E., an environmental engineer, and former professor at the Istanbul Technical University, who recently retired from the City of Atlanta.
  • Dawn Shields - Co-Owner and CFO, GeoResults 

    • Dawn Shields is Co-Owner and CFO of GeoResults, a national telecom database marketing and consulting firm where she is responsible for the company’s overall financial policies.

    • Dawn has twenty years experience in business management, GIS mapping, wire center analysis, market research, network engineering, human resources, budget administration, and resource management.  Previous to the founding of GeoResults in 2001, Dawn worked as a Senior Engineer at AT&T and as a financial and costing analyst for Nortel Networks – GeoMarketing in the Professional Services division.  Additionally, Dawn taught for four years in the education sector as a teaching assistant at Findley Oaks Elementary School.

    • Dawn holds an MBA degree in the Executive Program from Georgia State University’s Robinson School of Business, and an undergraduate degree in Economics from Agnes Scott College, where she was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate, class Valedictorian, Huguenot Scholar, and Wall Street Journal award winner.  As an undergraduate, she was a member, choreographer, and officer of Studio Dance Theatre.

    • Professional activities that Dawn is currently involved include serving on the GA State University’s EMBA alumni board where she chairs the community service committee and serves on the fundraising committee.  Dawn also is a member of the Board of Visitors for Mercer University, College of Continuing and Professional Studies and the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce.

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  • Atınç Sönmezer - CEO of Meda Import & Export LLC, Atlanta, Georgia

    • Atınç Sönmezer was born in 1978, in Eskisehir, Turkey. He graduated from Middle East Technical University  (2000) and Georgia State University with the Master of Business Administration degree in 2005.

    • In 2000 Mr. Sönmezer worked as a commercial banking portfolio specialist at T. Garanti Bankasi A.S. in Istanbul until he formed his own company Meda Import & Export LLC in 2003. His company does business in dance clothing industry; mostly designs, manufactures, imports and sells the costumes through online retail channels under MissBellyDance and Pera brands. He is the CEO of the company. Mr. Sönmezer also founded Otto Case, LLC in 2011. Otto Case sells high quality leather cases for smartphones and tablets. Mr. Sönmezer is responsible for US operations of the company.

    • Mr. Sönmezer is a huge fan of soccer and outdoor sports and enjoys participating in sport activities. He has been a METU Mountaineering and Skiing Club Member over ten years.  He also likes travelling, movies, and reading.

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  • William James Talley Jr. - Senior Project Manager, Real Estate Development and Acquisitions department, Atlanta Housing Authority, Atlanta, Georgia

    • Over the last seven years, Wm. James Talley, Jr. has been a senior project manager in the Real Estate Development and Acquisitions department at the Atlanta Housing Authority. As a senior project manager at the Housing Authority, James oversees the many predevelopment, development, construction and post construction aspects of two $100+million, mixed-finance, mixed-income, mixed-use HOPE VI Revitalization Project.  Also, as part of his professional development, James has obtained the LEED® Green Associate credential and has been a major driver as the Housing Authority moves towards development and implementation of a sustainability strategy.

    • James came to the Housing Authority after many years in the private sector as a principal with a small development firm and later served as the construction planning manager for a mid-size firm.  Further, while working almost nine years in the banking industry, James was able to develop strong credit skills and a sound underwriting base.

    • He is a cum laude graduate of Morehouse College with a degree in Political Science – concentration on International Relations w/ a minor in Marketing.  He has been married to his beautiful wife for almost nine years, and they have two lovely children.  

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  • Zafer Ucar - Area Manager, Anadolu Sigorta, Istanbul, Turkey.

    • Zafer Uçar was born on August 21, 1966 in İstanbul. After completing his B.A. Degree at Çukurova University, Adana, he joined Anadolu Sigorta in İstanbul in 1995. Mr. Uçar worked as an auditor and was appointed as the president of board of auditor in 2002. During this time period, he traveled all around the country and joined many seminars and education programs in Zurich, Munich, Madrid, London etc. In 2004, he was appointed as the head of motor insurance department in the company and was selected as a member of Casualty Insurance Committee of Insurance Association of Turkey. In 2009, he became the chairman for the Casualty Insurance Committee. Since 2010, he has been Area Manager responsible for directing business developments in İstanbul, İzmit, Sakarya and Düzce provinces. Mr. Uçar is married and has one son. 

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  • Dilek Uzgoren - President of Elips USA, Atlanta, Georgia.

    • Dilek Uzgören was born in Bandirma in 1965. Mrs. Uzgören has worked for various IT companies until she and her husband founded the Elips Electronics Co. in Istanbul, Turkey in 1989. Dilek Uzgören also founded the KumSaati Web Design Company in 1999 and launched the first educational children’s website in Turkey. Mrs. Uzgören is currently the President of Elips Electronics, USA which has been opened in Atlanta in 2009 to provide hardware, software and website services to their customers. 

    • As one of the founders of the Altiyol-Istanbul Lions Association, Mrs. Uzgören served at various Officer positions including the vice president and the president of the association until 2006. The association has developed numerous projects to support the education and basic needs of underprivileged children. Dilek Uzgören also volunteers as the IT director for the American Turkish Friendship Council and supports ATFC’s Newsletter and CATOM projects. Mrs. Uzgören is married and has one son.

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  • Jon Welch – Teacher, Atlanta

    • Mr. Welch was born in Newnan, Georgia in 1968. He graduated from Georgia State University in 1990 with a degree in Philosophy. Upon graduation, Mr. Welch embarked on a trip to Turkey which would last two years and has led to almost annual returns over the past twenty years. 

    • Mr. Welch  taught at both ODTU Gelistirme Vakfi Ozel Lisesi and Orta Dogu Teknik Universitesi in Ankara, Turkey. While in Ankara, Mr. Welch was also a private tutor to the diplomatic representatives of Kuwait. 

    • Mr. Welch enjoys annual trips to Turkey with his Turkish born wife and his six year old son.

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  • Arzu Wiest – Senior Manager, CCR Procure-to-Pay Operations The Coca-Cola Company, Atlanta

    • Arzu Wiest is the Senior Manager, Procure-to-Pay Operations at Coca-Cola Refreshments, Inc. where she leads the marketing P2P PMO for US and Canada. She is also responsible for the SAP Sourcing and Contract Lifecycle Management operations as well as integrating acquisitions.

    • Before joining the CCR Procurement group in 2012, when she took lead of the capital order execution and respective procurement operations, Arzu was a part of The Coca-Cola Company headquarters Finance function for nearly two decades.

    • Prior to joining The Coca-Cola Company in 1991, in Istanbul, Turkey, Arzu worked for Anderson Consulting and Dunn & Bradstreet where she held positions with increasing levels of responsibilities.

    • Arzu has a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems.  She is Six Sigma Black Belt trained and is a strong agent for change.

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  • Lisa Winton - CFO and Owner, Winton Machines

    • Lisa Winton is Chief Financial Officer and Owner of Winton Machine, a leading manufacturer of tube fabricating machines headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. She arranged for the company’s start-up financing, structured the company’s accounting systems and manages the payroll, benefits, human resources and marketing functions. Lisa works with the state of Georgia to increase the company’s exporting opportunities, and in September 2010, she was selected to represent Winton Machine and the local business community on a collaborative trip between the Turkish American Friendship Council and the United States in September. In addition, Lisa has completed the Kaufmann Institute's Fast Trac Program sponsored through the Georgia Small Business Development Center. 

    • She just completed her term as the 2010-11 President of the Junior League of Gwinnett and North Fulton Counties (JLGNF). Her past positions held with the Junior League include: President-Elect, Vice President of Community, Fund Development Chair, Corporate Sponsorship Chair, Fundraiser Chair, Leadership Training Chair and member of the State Public Affairs Committee. In her role as President, Lisa organizes board retreats and facilitates discussions regarding the organization's strategic plan, policies and procedures, community impact, finances, membership and much more. Demonstrating her leadership capacity, she facilitated the application of the JLGNF League to participate in an Action Learning Team, which will enable her League to have a direct impact on the direction of the 293 Leagues around the world. Lisa worked for the past two years with other Georgia League Presidents on joint inter-league projects, such as reading one million minutes to Georgia's children to coincide with the anniversary of the Georgia Pre-K program. In addition, she has identified new community projects, worked with a multitude of community partners, including creating a new community breakfast networking meeting, and advocated for seat belts laws for pick-up trucks and stiffer penalties for those who sexually exploit children. Lisa has attended numerous Junior League leadership conferences and trainings.

    • Lisa is currently a member of the Leadership Gwinnett 2011-12 Class.  She has also served as Environmental Chair, Advocacy Chair and Youth & Community Chair for the PTA’s of Rock Springs Elementary and Creekland Middle Schools where she organized several school beautification projects, a green summit and clothing drives for local foster children and assisted with drug awareness campaigns. She was the Fundraising Co-Chair for Collins Hill Education Foundation, overseeing several special events and attaining corporate sponsorship dollars and auction donations.

    • Originally from New York, Lisa graduated from the University of Florida. She lives in Lawrenceville, Georgia, with her husband, George and their two children, Amanda and Andrew. 

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  • Gizem Koksal Yahi - Public Affairs Manager, Vehbi Koc Foundation, Istanbul, Turkey

    • Gizem Koksal Yahi is an attorney who recently served as Vice President for Business Development and Legal Affairs for Secura Security Services in Istanbul, Turkey. Prior to that position she served as Manager of Telecommunications Services for ALCATEL SPACE in France.

    • Mrs. Yahi holds a masters degree in Business Law from The Sorbonne and a Masters in Economics Law from Louvain-la-Neuve in Belgium. She received her BS in Economics and Management from Louis Pasteur University in France. She currently resides in Istanbul with her husband and two daughters.

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  • Özben Iyigün-Yet - Human Resources  Management Executive, Atlanta, Georgia

    • Özben Iyigün-Yet is a Human Resources Management Executive with Özben Iyigün-Yet is a Human Resources Management Executive with extensive business partner experience supporting senior leaders and businesses in various strategic and operational roles and leading Talent Management, Compensation & Benefits, and Learning & Development in cross-functional client organizations. Mrs. Iyigün-Yet started her career as a human resources generalist at the Digital Equipment Corporation in 1995. She became the Human Resources Manager of Vestel Holding, Information Appliances Division in 1998. Prior to working as a self-employed consultant for business development and human resources projects since 2005, she worked at Turkcell Group, Global Bilgi as the HR& Quality Assurance Manager and at Nortel Networks, Netas as the HR Manager. She is currently persuading her Executive MBA degree at Goizueta Business School, Emory University and planning to graduate at May 2014. 

    • Mrs. Iyigün-Yet has experience in various phases of HR, ranging from initiation to execution. She designed, created and led entire HR structure and policies for start-up companies. She implemented corporate programs in well-established HR function in international settings. She also led change programs and restructuring activities in a company undergoing an extreme reorganization.

    • Özben Iyigün-Yet is a long time volunteer for the American Turkish Friendship Council and has worked extensively on ATFC’s MedShare Project as a Co-Chair of the project. Mrs.Iyigün-Yet is from Izmir and lived in Istanbul, Turkey, British Columbia, Canada and Berlin, Germany before moving to Atlanta, USA in 2008. She is married and has one son
  • Tolbert Yilmaz - President, Eurotard Dance Fashions, Atlanta

    • Mr. Tolbert Yilmaz is the President of Tolbert Manufacturing Inc. Mr. Yilmaz started in the dance business by opening a Dance Fashions Superstore in 1980 to accommodate the growing interest in dance apparel in the Atlanta Metropolitan area. In 1982, he founded Tolbert Yilmaz Manufacturing Inc. under the name Eurotard to manufacture dance shoes and apparel, which is now sold in over 40 different countries. He has been a member of the Forsyth County Camber of Commerce for several years.

    • Mr. Yilmaz joined the U.S. Congressional Club with an invitation from House Speaker Newt Gingrich in 1995. He has also served on the Board of Directors for the City of Roswell Economic Development Committee. Mr. Yilmaz also served as an Olympic Envoy for the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996. The Atlanta Chamber of Commerce was proud to welcome Mr. Yilmaz to their ranks in 1999. In 2001, Mr. Yilmaz was published in the Wall Street Journal section of the "2001 Businessmen of the Year" from Georgia. Mr. Yilmaz is also a member of the United Dance Merchants of America, as well as the Turkish American Cultural Association of Georgia.

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