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ATLANTA, GEORGIA NWIAA CHAIRPERSON

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Noreen Whitehead is the founder of Georgia Agriteens Network, a Center for Civic Innovation (CCI) Food Fellow, the CEO of Let Us Create Studios LLC as well as an educator.

Ms Whitehead has also training as a UGA Master Gardener for Clayton County. 

Her work includes conducting Agriculture Community Outreach Workshops to bring valuable information on Environmental Conservation and Agribusiness for underserved farmers, growers, and veterans.

Ms. Whitehead is passionate about empowering today's youth and making sure they understand the opportunities that are available to them in the Agriculture industry. Partnering with Science professor she hosts annual Ag, Science, and Technology Fairs annually at Mundy's Mill High School. 

She has initiated growing in the Greenhouse with the Agriteens and some have traveled to Washington DC to see how lawmakers play their part in this enormous industry.

Noreen is thankful to be a part of NWIAA and the work it represents that will make an impact for future generations.

Noreen Whitehead

Contact Email: nwiaa.atlchapter@gmail.com   (678) 431-4782

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Susan Simmons

Susan Simmons-Stevenson is the founder and CEO of The Lifecycle Network, a premier Human Resources firm in Atlanta, Georgia.  A native of Alcolu, South Carolina, Susan received her Bachelor of Business Administration from Intercontinental University, and both an MBA and Master of Human Resource Management from The Keller Graduate School of Management.  In 2022, Susan received an Honorary Doctorate in Humanitarianism from the Global International Alliance University.

 

Susan Simmons Stevenson is an HR expert with an innate gift for connecting people. As founder and CEO of The Lifecycle Network, she passionately brings a human touch to the art of recruiting and staffing. She has more than 20 years of experience matching deserving employees to top employers in industries such as healthcare, logistics, finance, and technology.

 

Affectionately known as The Queen of Networking, Susan is revered for her leadership, integrity, and dynamic contributions to HR and Recruiting in the private and public sectors. She continues to connect and engage with Atlanta’s most accomplished leaders and rising stars as an active member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).  In 2021, Susan was one a graduate of the Mayor’s Office of International Affairs inaugural for the City of Atlanta’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative.

 

Before launching Lifecycle Network, Susan held several corporate HR leadership roles in multiple industries, including finance and technology. Today, she contributes her wisdom and insight as a guest presenter at Georgia State University. She loves mentoring young HR professionals and teaching career development and networking techniques to SHRM's GSU chapter members.  In 2019, Susan launched Americans Thrive, a Workforce Development & Training Agency dedicated to closing the employment skills gap by increasing the access of training, developing careers, and connecting individuals to employers. An organization that offers comprehensive, integrated services equipping Americans with the tools and resources to thrive at every stage of their life.

 

Susan is committed to serving her community.   She serves faithfully in the following organizations:  The Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs (RICE) as a Stakeholder and Founding 100 Member.  She serves as the Atlanta President of The International Association of Women, a global women’s networking origination.  She is active member on the leadership team of The Kettering Executive Network, and presently as well as on the Board of Trustees for Heaven Sent Hearts Foundation a non-profit organization serving a great cause in the healthcare community.  As a part of her pay-forward initiative, she mentor students with Year-Up, and The City of Refuge a faith-based organization that helps individuals and families transitions out of crisis.  Susan’s a past  member of Leadership team of Destiny’s Daughters of Promise an organization aimed at preparing teen girls to live a life of bold success and thrive in their purpose to lead with confidence and excel in the global workforce.

Contact Email: sstevenson@thelifecyclenetwork.com   (678) 787-9626

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Ada'Zane Williams

    My path to Neuroscience, textbook/curriculum writing, restaurant ownership, and podcasting started in special education classes. Learning was very difficult for me. I was the little girl that had to leave class to go to remedial learning, because I couldn’t keep up. I could read, but my comprehension level was very low. The score I received on my SAT was for getting my name right (they actually told me this), which meant I had to forfeit scholarships in track because I did not qualify academically. The culmination of being a struggling learner and growing up poor did a number on my self-esteem. Of course I flunked out of college my first year. I just wasn’t ready.

    How did this all change? When I was 22 years old, I became pregnant with my first child. I remember the fear that gripped me, because I knew I wasn’t prepared to take on that responsibility. I felt like I wasn’t smart enough. How could I take care of her? What could I provide for her? Then, when I was four months pregnant, I stopped feeling sorry for myself. I placed my hand on my belly, and, with tears in my eyes, I made a promise to my daughter: “I may not be able to give all the things I never had, but you will know all the things I didn’t know!” I knew if I was to teach her, I would have to teach myself first. That’s when I began my journey to relentless learning. When my daughter was born, I began teaching her. She knew her alphabet before she was 1 years old and read and wrote at a 1st grade level by the time she was 3 years old. I went on to having 3 more children which I homeschooled for several years before they entered traditional brick and mortar schools. I returned to college at the age of 36 and challenged myself to take on the hardest program I could find--Neuroscience. I excelled in my studies and participated in many research projects in my field.

    As my confidence flourished, I continued to push the boundaries of my brain. My first project was the creation of Smart Pathways, the first intermediary service for the immigration industry. My next venture was the opening of  a sexy dessert restaurant and lounge in Powder Springs called Play Bistro & Desserts. Our menu items are farm-to-table fresh, always fresh, never frozen. We offer hookahs, giant adult games, with cozy lounge-feel patio great for hanging with friends and lots of fun, social game nights such as trap bingo, couples trivia, besties challenge night, spoken word, and much more! My latest venture has been the launch of my new podcast, Beyond the Beauty. This podcast discusses the hidden treasures embedded in challenges that many entrepreneurs face every day. With the input from entrepreneurs in various industries, we dive into their triumphs, setbacks, and stories along the way.

    While success never  came easy and I experienced many adversities throughout this journey, I take pride in the fact that I backed down. From a failed SAT score and learning disabilities to a bona fide business owner. I thank God and myself for never giving up!

Contact Email: vbakkar@gmail.com   (470) 659-1927

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Laura Cooper

Contact Email: loracleinc@gmail.com  (708) 491-3193

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