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Entrepreneurship Speaker Series

Announcing the School of Business and Professional Studies Entrepreneurship Speaker Series

This monthly Speaker Series aims to bring in highly successful business leaders from a variety of industries to share their experiences of starting and running their own business as well as discuss other thought-provoking topics.

Next Series Coming in Spring of 2022!

Speakers (Fall 2021)

Candace Walker

Candace Walker | Director, Entrepreneur

September 1, 2021, from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm.

Candace is the Director of the Atlanta Police Department Crime Lab. With more than a decade of forensic experience, she is the first Black woman to hold the agency’s title and, presumably, the nation. Walker, a forensic scientist, specializes as a Firearm and Toolmark Examiner. She has a B.S. in Biology, minoring in Forensic Chemistry, and an M.S. in Criminal Justice Administration from Loyola University New Orleans.
Walker is also the owner and creator of The Vibrary, Wine and Bookbar! The Vibrary is in the heart of Stone Mountain Village and was opened August of 2021. The Vibrary features book signings, book clubs, and wine experiences. Candace has wanted to expand into entrepreneurship for some time and sees it as an important part of the legacy that she wants to leave behind in addition to community service. As such, a portion of the proceeds from The Vibrary will be donated to the Ann Key Memorial Foundation, a non-profit organization created in memory of Candace’s mother that provides college scholarships to local high school seniors. Visit the Vibrarys website,

Becky Gabany

Becky Gabany | Director of Community Health

September 15, 2021, from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm.

Becky Gabany is the System Director of Community Health for Memorial Health System in Springfield, IL. Memorial Health System is a comprehensive system of health care which includes five hospitals and a range of outpatient services and specialty clinics. In this capacity, Becky is responsible for community benefit programs at Memorial Medical Center and provides support in those areas for the affiliates of Memorial Health System. She is also interim leading Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion work for the health system – a new function started in response to the murder of George Floyd and the stark health disparities highlighted with the COVID-19 pandemic. Becky serves on many community committees, boards, and impact groups such as the United Way Health Vision Council and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Illinois Board of Directors. She believes that entrepreneurship comes in many forms and encourages others to look within their circles of control to effect change.

Cade Joiner

Cade Joiner | Entrepreneur, Board Member

October 6, 2021, from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm.

As a proud Georgia native, the highlight of Cade Joiner’s career has been founding, growing, and advising more than a dozen different businesses in his home state. One year after earning a BBA in Marketing from the University of Georgia in 2001, Cade Joiner founded Shred-X Secure Document Destruction, which is now the largest independent shredding company in the southeast. He is also a strategic partner at Brookwell Capital, raising private capital for businesses across the country, and sits on the boards of several start-ups around the state.
In 2020, Cade was named as a member of the Board of Regents, overseeing the University System of Georgia. He serves as a board member for the UGA Entrepreneurship Program, the USG Foundation, and the Georgia Workforce Development Board. The University of Georgia named Cade as one of the 40 most distinguished UGA graduates under the age of 40.

Speakers (Spring 2021)

Jason Weaver

Jason Weaver | Actor, Singer

February 17, 2021

Casandra Austin-McDonald

Casandra Austin-McDonald | CEO, Speaker, Author

March 17, 2021

J. Carter

J. Carter | Writer, Entrepreneur, Creator

April 14, 2021

Speakers (Fall 2020)

Carl Ulysses

Carl Ulysses | Master Tailor, Entrepreneur

September 16, 2020

Pat Manna

Pat Manna | Entrepreneur

October 14, 2020

Pat Manna

Brandon Hurst | Brooklyn, NY, Chick-fil-A Owner

November 18, 2020


The moderator for this series will be Shanika Wright Turner.