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Life-Changers Breakfast

WE THRIVE: When we strengthen our communities with local solutions that expand opportunities, we thrive. When an organization has the resources, and vital programs that deliver real results, we thrive. When courageous clients, compassionate volunteers and faithful partners work to support and empower individuals towards reaching their full potential, we thrive.

Join Action Ministries’ Life-Changers Breakfast to celebrate the remarkable people and organizations that have become agents of positive change in Georgia, helping our communities to THRIVE.

This year, we are hosting a panel of influential women, who have built a career in Atlanta, broken glass ceilings, and made a difference in their community.  Attendees will hear thoughtful discussions around:

  • Cultivating an environment that attracts and grows diverse and high-performing leaders
  • Meeting business objectives by making local community involvement central to engagement with workplace, marketplace and society
  • Influencing local community impact while achieving success in your personal and/or professional lives

Registration is now open ($65). It includes a continental breakfast, networking with a purpose, and inspiring conversations.

Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
Atlanta, GA

Join us October 12 from 8 – 10 am at the Cobb Performing Arts Centre to celebrate our Life-Changers!

Ticket sales end September 25th.

If you encounter any problems in purchasing your tickets please email


Register Now


Latanza Adjei, VP of Sales and Marketing at Georgia Power

Lisa Laube, Executive Vice President and CMO of Floor and Decor

DeRetta Cole Rhodes PhD, Executive Vice President and CHRO of the YMCA Metro Atlanta

Karen Robinson-Cope, Executive Vice President of NanoLumens, and serial tech entrepreneur

Wendy Stewart, Atlanta Market President and Co-Head of SE Global Commercial Banking, Bank of America

Carol Yancey, Executive Vice President and CFO of Genuine Parts Co.

Cheryl Preheim is the weekday evening anchor at 11Alive in Atlanta. She joined the WXIA family after working at TEGNA’s sister station in Denver, KUSA 9NEWS, where she anchored the morning news.

She’s been part of the NBC family for 19 years.

Cheryl has been honored with the prestigious National Edward R. Murrow award three times.

She has be awarded 11 Emmys, including the 2017 Southeast Emmy for Best Anchor. She has won Emmys for in-depth news coverage, breaking news reporting, feature reporting, writing, and for a half-hour documentary about her trip to Haiti. Cheryl wrote and produced the special, “From Haiti to Home.”

She says in-depth interviews with Nobel Peace Prize recipient Malala Yousafzai, Former President Jimmy Carter, and virtuoso violinist Izhak Perlman are among her most memorable.

The Olympics have been a favorite assignment for Cheryl. She covered them four times traveling to London, England; Sochi, Russia, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Pyeong Change South Korea. She says she’s loved the opportunity to get share the stories of many team USA athletes. She’s closely followed the journeys of Olympians like 3 time Olympian Elana Meyers Taylor from Douglasville, 5-time gold-medal swimmer Missy Franklin and gold-medal skier Mikaela Shiffrin.

Outside of work, Cheryl loves to spend time with her husband and their four young children. Her youngest is two years old. She spends a lot of time volunteering with community organizations. Her family recently traveled to Peru on a service trip to work with women and children who have escaped abuse.

Cheryl and her family are very involved with organizations helping children with medical challenges. Her son, Joshua, had an unexpected open heart surgery in 2015. Her youngest child was born at Children’s a few weeks after the surgery to be treated in the NICU. Cheryl started the “Brave Conquers Fear” profiles in courage based on the motto her son created before his surgery. She and her husband say they are grateful their children are doing well now. It gives their family a new appreciation for each day. Cheryl’s family recently shared their story publicly for the first time.

If you have someone who has shown courage through a personal challenge or as they have committed to helping others, please let Cheryl know. She’d love to share their Brave Conquers Fear story. Email her story ideas!

Latanza Adjei is vice president of sales & marketing for Georgia Power. In this role, she leads the implementation of the company’s top line revenue growth strategy.

She is responsible for new product development, product distribution, e-commerce, sales management and energy efficiency. Adjei’s efforts deliver top quartile customer satisfaction while creating revenue-growing relationships. Adjei is known for crafting and executing business strategies, which both accelerate results and positively impact the organization’s culture.

Adjei began her career with Georgia Power as a co-op student in 1994 and joined the company full time in 1998. Throughout her career, she has served in positions of increasing responsibility in pricing, marketing, sales and customer service, including key account manager, Business Call Center supervisor, lighting services sales manager and assistant to the executive
vice president of Customer Service and Operations.

Prior to her current role, Adjei served as director of Georgia Power’s Customer Care Center, where she was
responsible for delivering a customer experience through the call center and its digital channels. During her leadership, the center handled about 11 million customer telephone calls annually with a team of nearly 500 agents, and customer transactions on georgiapower.com grew to 1 million monthly.

A native of Atlanta, Adjei earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She graduated from Leadership Rockdale and Leadership DeKalb, served on the board of the Rockdale Chamber of Commerce and the foundation board of Georgia Piedmont Technical College, and was a loaned executive for United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta. Adjei serves as a board member for the American Cancer Society and has been selected to the
Leadership Atlanta class of 2019.

Lisa G. Laube has served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Merchandising Officer of Floor & Decor since 2012. She is responsible for Merchandising, Marketing, Inventory and E-Commerce.

From 2005 to 2011, Ms. Laube was President of Party City where she was responsible for Merchandising, Marketing and E-Commerce and prior to that she was the company’s Chief Merchandising Officer. From 2002 to 2004, she was the Vice President of Merchandising for White Barn Candle Company, a division of Bath and Body Works.

Prior to that, Ms. Laube worked from 1996 to 2002 at Linens ‘n Things beginning as a Buyer and progressing to General Merchandising Manager. From 1988 to 1996, she was a Buyer at Macy’s in the Textiles division. Ms. Laube began her career at Rich’s department store in the Executive Training Program. She graduated from the Terry School of Business, University of Georgia in 1985 with a B.B.A. in Marketing.

Ms. Laube currently serves as a Director on the Board of Action Ministries, a non-profit organization based in Atlanta, GA, and as a Director on the Board of Boot Barn, a publicly held company based in Irvine, CA.

DeRetta Cole Rhodes, Ph.D., is the chief human resources officer of YMCA of Metro Atlanta. Prior to joining the Y, she was First Data as the VP, Human Resources, where she provided consultation on human capital and organizational development strategies for over 5,000 First Data colleagues within Financial Services and Consumer and Network Solutions.

Previously, DeRetta was vice president of human resources for Turner Broadcasting Systems, Inc., supporting Global Technology Operations. Before joining Turner, DeRetta held leadership roles with Ernst & Young, ADP, HomeGrocer.com, and YUM Brand.

In addition to human resources responsibilities like compensation and benefits, compliance, training, and employment policies, DeRetta brings an expansive, strategic talent management philosophy to the Y. She supports strategic board-level initiatives and be a thought leader and contributor to the leadership team. She is also a member of the Y-USA CHRO Executive Committee that is responsible for guiding and delivering the annual meeting and partnering with kindred groups and appointing special task forces to strategic projects and facilitate networking among members.

DeRetta received her undergraduate degree from University of Georgia, her Master’s in Business Administration from Clark Atlanta University and her PhD in Adult Education from University of Georgia. She is a certified facilitator for the Benchmark 360 assessment by the Center for Creative Leadership and is a qualified facilitator for the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and HOGAN Assessment.

Currently she is a board of director member of SHRM Atlanta, member of Human Resource People & Strategy (HRPS), Human Resource Leadership Forum (HRLF), Hawks Atlanta Diversity and Inclusion member, and past president of the Alumni Board of Family and Consumer Sciences at UGA.

DeRetta’s published work are as follows:

  • Cole, D. (2010). Courage under Fire: How Black Women have learned to survive in Corporate America (Doctoral Dissertation). University of Georgia, Athens, GA.
  • Cole, D. (October 2012). The Storm is Still Brewing; Leadership Challenges for Women Leaders and their Corporations: A Call for Change in Leadership. Presented at the conference of International Leadership Association (ILA), Denver, CO.
  • Cole. D, Munley, A, Santana, L. (October 2013). Realities, Challenges and Leadership Resilience for the Female
    Executive: Practices Revealed from across the Globe. Presented at the conference of International
    Leadership Association (ILA), Montreal, Canada.

DeRetta has also been a speaker and served as a panelist at several events such as; Argyle (Atlanta, Dallas), Marcus Evans, HR Strategy & Innovation Summit, Connect HR Leadership and TedXUGA (March 22, 2018); to name a few.

DeRetta lives in Alpharetta with her husband Leon and has three sons, Cole, 20, Austin, 18 and Jordan, 16.

As the Executive Vice President of NanoLumens, an award-winning privately-held corporation heralded by The Wall Street Journal for innovative digital LED displays and by Forbes as one of the most promising companies in America, Karen is spearheading the disruptive message of LED as an immersive experience that drives engagement and a major return on investment for companies around the world. She is a global brand ambassador, serial entrepreneur and a fundraising force to be reckoned with.

Having served as CEO for several high growth ventures over her career, Karen has currently raised over $100 million in the course of her career. Named as the first Woman of the Year by WIT in 2000, Karen has also been honored by Wireless Magazine as one of the Top 20 Women in Wireless, by Mercer University as an Outstanding Atlanta Entrepreneur and by the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce as a Small Business Person of the Year.

Prior to joining NanoLumens, Karen was the President, CEO and Board Member of Prime Point Media, a nationwide leader in alternative outdoor advertising. Having joined in 2001, Karen came on-board to develop a business model for the growing company and to raise private equity. In her seven years on-board, she grew the business exponentially by signing exclusive agreements with Bell South, Verizon, SBC and AT&T and managed profitability within three years and an acquisition within five years for 20X EBITDA.

In 1996, Karen was recruited to join the software-driven battery operating system company Enrev as President, CEO and Board Member. Also brought on-board to raise private equity and manage operations, Karen was responsible for the company from technology development to product commercialization. In her five year tenure, Karen raised over $41M and was recognized by Frost and Sullivan as a Top Technology.

Having begun her career in technology, Karen also served as the President, CEO and Board Member of Electric Power Technology, the patented fast-charging battery technology. Recruited to restructure and build the company, highlights included bringing the company to commercialization, first revenues and working with DARPA to set a world record for distance traveled by an electric vehicle in 24 hours.

When you can’t find Karen by her one-of-a-kind laugh in the office, you may find her giving back to her favorite organizations. From TiE Atlanta, where she was the first female president of the Atlanta chapter, to a co-founder of The Council of Board Advisors (COBA) or as a board member of Opportunity International (OI) where she travels the globe with her husband Rick and daughter Alex, concentrating on micro-lending to entrepreneurs in developing countries in pursuit of her passion of eradicating poverty.

As the Atlanta Market President, Wendy is responsible for advancing Bank of America’s strategy across Metro Atlanta by delivering the firm’s resources and expertise to customers and clients.

Wendy connects with local business leaders and community stakeholders to deliver the company to customers and clients.  Wendy is also responsible for ensuring Bank of America’s Environmental, Social, and Governance strategy, including philanthropy and community development efforts have a positive impact on metro Atlanta.

As co-head of Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Global Commercial Banking practice for the Southeast region, Wendy leads the firm’s efforts, working with mid cap and middle market companies. This includes public and private companies with annual revenues of $50 million to over $2 billion in a variety of industries. Wendy partners closely with teammates across the firm to provide the expertise and consultation necessary to deliver the best solution for the client.  Wendy holds Series 7, 63, and 24 securities licenses.

Wendy joined Bank of America’s predecessor, NationsBank in 1996.  She left Bank of America in 2000 to join the executive team of the YWCA of Greater Atlanta as Chief Operating Officer. Wendy was responsible for streamlining the functions of the organization, solidifying its financial position, and positioning the organization for growth. Wendy returned to Bank of America in 2007 where she has held various leadership roles since that time.

Wendy serves on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee for the Metro Atlanta Chamber, the Board of Directors for The Grove Park Foundation, the Board of Trustees for Woodruff Arts Center, a director of the Buckhead Coalition, and a member of Atlanta Committee for Progress.  Wendy is a graduate of Leadership Atlanta- Class of 2017 and Leadership Georgia- Class of 2010.

Carol Yancey is Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Genuine Parts Company, which is engaged in the distribution of automotive parts, industrial parts and business products.  The Company operates in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, the UK and Poland.

Carol joined the Company in 1991 and has held several other positions within the Company, including Director of Investor Relations, Director of Shareholder Relations, Assistant Corporate Secretary, Corporate Secretary, Vice President – Finance, Senior Vice President – Finance and Executive Vice President.

Carol has served on various not for profit Boards over the years including The Salvation Army, SunTrust Advisory Board, Emory Healthcare Advisory Board, and others.

Prior to joining Genuine Parts Company, Carol began her career at Ernst & Young and earned her certified public accountant license.  Ms. Yancey is a 1985 graduate of the University of Georgia with a B.A. in Accounting.