Who's Who @ Thrive...

Building community is not just some catch phrase we use because it sounds good.  We really are intentional about building a community at our spaces.  Thrive is not just a place to work, it's a place where people come to work together.  

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Ramon Gonzalez

THRIVE | Coworking - Founder & fellow member

My personal world consist of a wonderful wife of 10 years and 3 children that are the drumbeat of my heart.  Professionally, I have spent most of my time either investing in, developing or managing real estate.  I am now focused on making Thrive the best place in the world to work.

Elizabeth Duruz

Diplomat specialty infusion group

support pharmacist

Professionally: Currently working in a supporting role writing policies and procedures, providing companywide training on pharmacy software, publish internal training manual, create/publish internal company newsletter, and create/lead the patient adherence program.

Personally: Living in Cumming with my husband Carl, 2 children 14 and 4, and 3 dogs. Love hiking, scrapbooking, and wine, but am currently studying to become a board certified specialty pharmacist, so there is very little free time for my hobbies. 

Rob Crews

CMO + Consultant

Rob Crews is a data-driven CMO with deep experience in the restaurant industry.  With a keen interest in marketing technology, Rob has a unique understanding of the marketing technology that restaurant companies need to go to market today.  As such, he currently connects technology firms with restaurant companies.  Most recently he was the Chief Marketing Officer of Ovation Brands, the parent company of Old Country Buffet, Hometown Buffet, and Ryan's Steakhouses where he helped the owners monetize within one year.  Previously, Rob was the CMO of Cajun Operating Company, dba Church's Chicken. Prior to that, Rob was the VP of International Marketing at the Wendy's Arby's Group. In this role, Rob oversaw the marketing for 450 restaurants in approximately 25 countries around the world. Previously, Rob was the Principal of C Results Marketing, a restaurant consulting firm he started in 2003.

He worked directly with restaurant management companies to do price analysis on menu items to maximize profitability. Mr. Crews also was an affiliate of the North Highland Group, a consulting firm based in Atlanta. In that role, Mr. Crews worked with clients to develop marketing solutions to drive their business. Previously, he was the Brand Director, Open Play and Tournaments for American Golf Corporation, the nation's largest golf course management company and has also served as the Vice President of Marketing for Grill Concepts, Inc., parent company of the Commissary to the Stars, the famed Grill on the Alley in Beverly Hills, California and the chain of Daily Grill restaurants. As the Vice President of Marketing at Rare Hospitality Inc. in Atlanta, Georgia, he directed all marketing efforts for the company's three brands LongHorn Steakhouse, Bugaboo Creek Steakhouse, and The Capital Grille. Rob holds an IDM Award in Mobile Marketing from the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing in the United Kingdom and a BS/with Honors in Economics and an MBA in Marketing from the University of Iowa.


Taurance Washington

Bol deals - ceo

Finding the perfect gift is always at Bol-Deals

Taurance Washington holds a Bachelors Degree from DeVry University and is currently the CEO and Website Designer for an awesome online shopping company. He spends most of his time in the network cloud and love to eat vegetables. Taurance has a young son who is following in his father’s footsteps. Taurance is married to a wonderful wife who is also the CEO and Financial Planner for their company. Taurance has been in the technology arena since Cobol, so just call him the dinosaur of technology.



Given that Halloween is around the corner, I am including a favorite picture of myself.  Before coming to Atlanta, I lived in NYC, Chicago and  Philadelphia.  While in Atlanta, I co-founded a startup that provides custom processes control and laser inspection for manufacturing.  Initially we conducted scientific research for the federal government, winning a small business innovation research grant involving climate change and health analytics.  My background includes Lexis Nexis, Cap Gemini and IBM.  I am on the lookout for new ventures, especially those that involve information and analytics tools for market insight and competitor intelligence.  

Ben Habeck

Dime - founder

My life basically revolves around my amazing wife (Audrey) and my two amazing kids (Asher and Laney). Beyond that, I love people, business, entrepreneurship, technology, golf, massive beards, and freshly roasted coffee. I'll admit, I love reality TV and Sunday afternoon Golf on TV... and I hate watching Football and Basketball!

Near the end of 2007, I realized that I had some unique professional experience with Churches, Musicians and Companies and I was looking for a way to maximize my ability to Love, Serve and Empower people. This is when I launched Dime. Dime is a professional services company with customers in over 30 states.  We provide Accounting, Tax, Insurance, IT, Real Estate and Creative services to Churches & non-Profits, Musicians and small businesses.  http://www.dime.is 

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Lee Davenport

Learn with lee - FOUNDER

Lee Davenport is an experienced real estate broker and business doctoral candidate, who weekly trains real estate agents and brokerages on how to use today's technology to work smarter in real estate.  Join Lee's RE Tech Insider's Club at no fee by visiting http://www.LearnWithLee.REALTOR to keep up with the latest tech tools to help your sales business thrive.  Also, follow Lee on FacebookInstagramYouTube, and Google+.  And if you are looking to transform your real estate sales game plan, be sure to get Lee's interactive workbook, Plan to Win! available on Amazon.com  http://amzn.com/1508652325.  However, if you desire more personalized insight, Lee trains in person, by phone, and by video (live and recorded).   To request Lee to be a speaker or guest blogger, please contact her at info@AgentsAroundAtlanta.com. 

Stefanie Sheehan

mastermind your launch - founder 

Stefanie Sheehan has spent the majority of her career working with pharmaceutical and healthcare entrepreneurs with pharmaceutical and healthcare entrepreneurs in 7, 8 and 9 figure businesses to develop and execute powerful marketing strategies.  During 2014, as she launched a consulting company with her husband, Stefanie found her passion for helping the everyday entrepreneur move forward with confidence.  Today, Stefanie is the Founder and CEO of Mastermind Your Launch which provides resources, coaching and community for business owners that are either launching or relaunching their business. Stefanie is also the host of the Mastermind Your Launch Podcast available in iTunes, where she broadcasts the launch journey of today’s successful entrepreneurs. 

Daniel Burnett


Daniel travels, learns, serves and builds for fun.  He spends his time working on Thrive and various projects for the church and business, as well as time with his soon-to-be-wife and small dog.


Don Friedman

Joint Venture Events Group - Founder & CEO

Don has spent the last 13 years creating and producing “first-of-its-kind”, buyside investor-focused finance conferences, webinars and roadshows as well as running a conference company.  

Don is a lifelong "Wildcat" having received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Arizona.  Don is also an avid runner, with three marathons to his credit and has skydived once.

Daniel Walters MA, LAPC

Daniel walters counseling - founder

Professionally: Typically I work with teens and tweens 12-19 and young adults 20-30 who are experiencing some form of depression, anxiety, social anxiety, school related trouble or grief. I like to help remove barriers for growth and also work together with my client to overcome their fears. I like to be real and down to earth.

I specialize in working with young males and think that there is an urgent need for male counselors to work with young men. I am currently working under the direction of Tara Towler, LPC, NCC.

I work exclusively with teens and young adults and tailor my practice to create safe environments. I feel as though social isolation is a key component in depression, especially among teens because of the struggle to find their identity. 

Daniel currently works under the direction of Tara Towler, MA, LPC. For more information on Tara Towler click here. (http://www.towler-counseling.com/)

Personally: I am married to my amazing wife, Katie and enjoy taking care of our 2 kids. I love NBA basketball, the Atlanta Hawks, cooking barbecue and drinking too much coffee.

Mariah Helm

Accord Systems - Senior Implementation manager

I really don’t know that to say about me.  I’m super friendly, I’m a Whovian, if you don’t know what that means, you are exterminated! straightens bowtie. I love my job, I am a self-proclaimed data geek. I’m artsy and proud to be a former kickball player & division winner of the WAKA Kickball league and 2nd place winner of the 2006 Backyard Redneck Olympics, but the best title I have ever been given, besides Mrs. Helm, is mother. I am a new mom of an amazing, happy boy named Oakley aka Bear, who changed me forever. I’m also a stepmother to two amazing kiddos, Hannah and Max. I feel blessed in so many ways, from having a great job, that doesn’t feel like work, to my beautiful family.  

Eric John 

ecj tax + financial services - founder

In a city full of skyscrapers Eric John began his career as a CPA in NYC.  After several years of helping clients increase their overall net worth both from a financial and non-financial perspective, he embarked on a new mission in the Peach state where he and his teammates continue to build financial and non-financial wealth for their clients through tax strategy, tax planning and the creation of a cement process vs a straw foundation.  Our team power comes from our CHIC – ness, which for us stands for: C – Character
H – Honesty
I – Integrity
C – Customer Service

On a personal note, Eric has two wonderful children and a beautiful queen that has been by his side for many years.



Tatiana Jimenez

The Genius spot - FOUNDER


I’m the founder of The Genius Spot, an online hub where we help modern entrepreneurs succeed in business & life and achieve personal excellence, meaningful connections & growth through inspiration, training & fun!  My background is in business, finance & international development and I also have a love for all things related to spiritual awareness. That's why I got my Master’s & completed my Doctorate in Spiritual Science and Counseling and have been serving for over 20 years as a minister.


Because I see business & Spirit as AWESOME forces for good, I decided to marry both passions into a PRACTICAL yet uplifting way to serve. I moved from L.A. to be able to be with family while working out my passion business and I'm so excited to now be part of this THRIVING community here in Alpharetta! I love dancing, (originally from Colombia so it’s in the genes) the beach, green smoothies, art & connecting with genuinely kind people who are making a difference!

Clarissa J. Sparks

she sparks coaching + consulting - founder

Clarissa is the founder of She Sparks Coaching + Brand Consulting - a botique brand agency & community where women and small businesses are empowered to discover their passion and purpose through a greater understanding of their personal brand.

Clarissa has worked with purpose driven women throughout the country, using the She Sparks Method: Spark Your Brand™.
Spark Your Brand™ is about discovering your strengths, defining your passions, designing a clear action plan, and delivering a brand with spark - your unique gifts that can be used to literally change the world.

In addition to her popular workshops and retreats - her brand experiences are designed to give you everything you need to take action towards your desired goals and define your vision for your future, business and life.  The concepts and strategies she teaches are practical, yet challenging, they empower you to think, plan, and create the life you deserve.

With 10+ years of experience in branding, marketing, and social outreach campaigns, Clarissa is highly regarded for her ability to select the words, images and packaging that give brands spark.


Carol Fowler


After a 20 year career in technology sales, I transitioned into recruiting technology sales people and leadership - it is a perfect new role and I love it!  I joined a small firm that has 20 years of experience, fittingly named "Sales Talent Group".  There are 6 of us and we have a grand time, including fun outings with our significant others.  I'm the one with the white arrow over her head!

My husband and I just celebrated 30 years of marriage with a wonderful trip to Italy and enjoy our 3 adult daughters who are 22, 25 and 27 and just recently all landed back in the great state of Georgia.

After working from home for over 10 years, I'm excited to leave the puppy at home and get some focused time and THRIVE!


Mark Goodman

70x7                                          Founder

My mission is based around the freedom found in forgiveness to break free from the bonds of bitterness and personal pain. My personal story has taken me from an abusive home life, to being homeless on the streets of LA, to being CTO of a publicly-traded telecom, and traveling around the world including being a personal guest in the palace in the UAE. Yes, I’ve dined with kings and dined out of dumpsters. Through this journey I benefited in the freedom of forgiveness, and now I leverage that knowledge and experience to help others.                      This past year I founded 70x7, a faith-based nonprofit based around providing a destination point for people hanging on to pain, shame and blame from a past hurt to help them on their path to forgiveness. Projects that I’m working on at Thrive in order to help others in need include a full-featured movie, documentary, book and small group curriculum plus multiple speaking engagements.  More about all of this can be found at 70x7.org.




Albalis Smith

architect at vargas-smith studio

Albalis is an architect, painter and muralist from Panama. She received her undergraduate and graduate degrees in architecture in Universidad Autonoma de Centroamerica in San Jose, Costa Rica. In addition, she received a bachelor degree in Fine Arts at Auburn University Montgomery. She has more than 15 years of experience in architecture, having worked both in Montgomery, AL and the Atlanta area. She has done theatrical set design as volunteer work for community theatre groups.

Back in July 2016, Albalis went solo as an entrepreneur architect, founding the Vargas-Smith Studio. The reason? To spend more time with her daughter. Currently, she is enjoying the ride with her new associate Nadya, principal at Design Pavilion Studio, anotheradventurous entrepreneurial architect. Albalis lives in Johns Creek, GA in company of her daughter, husband, and 2 birds.

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Doug Maschoff

Unemployed - CEO

The details of my life are quite inconsequential... very well, where do I begin? My father was a relentlessly self-improving boulangerie owner from Belgium with low grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery. My mother was a fifteen year old French prostitute named Chloe with webbed feet. My father would womanize, he would drink. He would make outrageous claims like he invented the question mark. Sometimes he would accuse chestnuts of being lazy. The sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament. My childhood was typical. Summers in Rangoon, luge lessons. In the spring we'd make meat helmets. When I was insolent I was placed in a burlap bag and beaten with reeds- pretty standard really.

But seriously, I'm starting a software company.  It doesn't have a name yet. It's kind of like a stealth fighter jet. That can't fly. I'll probably be famous. Or homeless. See you around!

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Shaun Lux


I am currently the Business Analyst Manager for Paylocity, a cloud-based payroll and human capital management firm. I am an experienced technology professional that specializes in integrating Paylocity services with vendors through custom software development. My goal is to strengthen our ties with new and existing vendors while providing increased value to our clients.

I moved to Atlanta about 5 years ago from New York in search of warmer weather and have since fully embraced the southern lifestyle. I live in Alpharetta with my wife, Jennifer and son, Shaun Jeffrey.

Allison Boyd 

metro music makers - founder

Allison also was a one-time snake handler (a long story involving removing a baby snake from her house that turned out to be a copperhead!) and a one-time opera singer, (I Pagliacci) in 1991). She and her husband David have an adorable young son, Elliott, who began music classes at the age of six months. Elliott loves strumming the family’s guitars and playing the piano keys.  Want to know more?  Take a look at my bio on our website (bio).

Josh Rush 

echelon design - vp of sales + marketing

Josh Rush is a partner and vice president of Chicago-based Echelon Design, Inc. --- an award-winning team of exhibit designers, producers, and engineers. He leads a team of creative and passionate people helping companies build better brands for nearly 30 years, by telling their stories. He’s part visionary, part creative director, and 100% client-focused. 

Josh is also executive producer of 12 for 12 an original docuseries that explores cool brands in Chicago and what makes them unique, successful and compelling. The show is a fun, 12-minute look inside the extrinsic and intrinsic qualities that make successful brands and better consumer products. He's planning to begin production of Season 2 in Atlanta in early 2017. 

Cinderella Billington

cinderella's tutoring  - FOUNDER

I started college in 1994 at New Mexico State University with a full academic scholarship. But soon life intervened and I decided to focus on raising and supporting my wonderful daughter Lydia. She has now given my a beautiful granddaughter Aurora, who is the smartest and cutest two year old girl on earth. I am willing to admit that I might be just a little bit prejudiced. During the interim years I had a successful career as a real estate legal secretary which I enjoyed immensely while never giving up on my dream to finish college. In 2010 the stars aligned and I was given the opportunity to continue my undergraduate studies at Agnes Scott College, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 2013 with a Bachelors of Science in Biology with a minor in Chemistry and being selected for membership in Phi Beta Kappa, a prestigious national honor society. 

Throughout my college years I thoroughly enjoyed tutoring classmates in wide variety of math and science courses. I worked as an official tutor for the college math department and biology department, but also constantly arranged study groups and tutored individual students on my own. I have been tutoring high school students for the past year and have never enjoyed work as much as I do now.

"Passion. Personality. Results." is my tagline. Learning about how things work in the world around us is so much fun, but that is so easy to forget in the tedium of reading textbooks and doing homework. Incorporating animated videos, relating concepts to familiar examples from everyday life, and using funny word associations are just some of the tactics I employ to make study more playful and enjoyable as well as memorable. Breaking down the problem solving and critical thinking process is another major focus of my teaching style. Taking the information taught in the classroom and using it to relate different things together, extract the most important ideas, or apply it to solve any number of thinking problems is one of the major challenges students face. Working through these type of problems while also clearly identifying the steps of the reasoning process builds each student's ability to approach problem solving with confidence. Drawing on both years of tutoring experience and success in my own studies I focus on identifying the strategies that work for each individual student so that they can not only blossom to their full potential, but also experience some of the joy of pursuing learning for the sake of curiosity and awe.

I would love to help your high school or middle school student

Kimberly Scales

flood student community missions - FOUNDER and executive director

Kimberly is an Atlanta native who loves the city she grew up in. She received a BA from Berry College in Rome, GA and her Masters of Education from West Georgia. After working many years in youth service and youth leadership with schools, non-profit organizations, and local governments, Kimberly is now the Executive Director for flood, which she founded in 2007. Watching students serve is Kimberly’s passion as she as witnessed time and time again the amazing things that take place in the heart of a student when they give back to those less fortunate. Kimberly attends Passion City church where she is a door-holder for Project Supply and loves to hike with her dog, work in the yard, and spend time in local antique stores. Kimberly resides in Alpharetta with her husband of 21 years and her two children, Alex, 18 and Amelia, 16.