Eight to Five Speaker Series

Spring 2017 Speaker Series

May 19: Seven Pillars – Integrity

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In its second “WorkMatters Workshop” for 2017, local dentist, Bryan Robinson, and local, Marietta-based attorney, Owen Farist, taught about the integral topic of Integrity and how bridging the gap between faith and work is intertwined with the concept of Integrity.

In today’s world, many business have the buzzword “Integrity” written into some mission statement or set of principles that they market to the world. But what does Integrity mean? Is it a Christian concept or something that crosses beyond the Christian business-person’s into all business? How does Integrity shape and influence our workplace, our work effort, and our long-term success?

Listen to the content now from this Marietta Workshop which provided a forum for people to engage with other business leaders and talk about how they Close the Gap Between Faith and Work. Hebrews 3 says, “..exhort one another every day, as long as it is called today..”

Spring 2015 Speaker Series

April 24: WorkMatters Workshop

In its third “WorkMatters Workshop” on April 24, former businessman turned pastor and seminary professor, Dr. Bill Fullilove of Reformed Theological Seminary facilitated an interactive discussion to help local business leaders think through closing the gap between their faith and their work as they contemplate decisions that determine direction.

Does God have a perfect will for each Christian? Can you be absolutely certain of God’s specific will for your life and your business? Most Christians have been taught how to find God’s will, yet many are still unsure whether they’ve found it. God does guide His people, but the question is, “How does He guide?” Do you feel like you are the only one who does not have 100 percent clarity for every decision? There is a new possibility—perhaps our understanding of the nature of God’s will was biblically deficient. Maybe there is a better way to understand how God guides.

Bill earned a Ph.D. in Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literatures at The Catholic University of America, where his research focuses on the Dead Sea Scrolls, with both New Testament and Old Testament implications. He completed his M.Div. at RTS Orlando and served for six years in McLean, VA as an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America. His ministry focused on young adults, faith and work, pastoral care, and church planting strategies. Bill previously had a business career working for Oliver Wyman & Co. as a management consultant. He is certified as a Field Associate for SIMA (System for Identifying Motivating Abilities), a Belbin Team Roles Consultant, and a Highlands Ability Battery Affiliate. Bill and his wife Jill have two children.

The intent of the WorkMatters Workshop was to provide a forum for people to engage with other business leaders and talk about how they Close the Gap Between Faith and Work. Hebrews 3 says, “..exhort one another every day, as long as it is called today..” The discussions were led by an experienced business coach who has successfully integrated his faith and his work.

March 27: Dr. Mark Roland

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Marietta WorkMatters’ 2014-2015 Speaker Series was pleased to welcome local leadership development and career transition psychologist Dr. Mark Roland on March 27 to talk about how he closes the gap between his faith and his work.

A native of South Carolina, Mark Roland attended undergraduate school at Carson Newman College in Jefferson City, Tennessee, receiving a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Religion. He earned a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Tennessee, and completed his residency in the Clinical Psychology Consortium at the Medical College of Georgia and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Augusta, Georgia. Following his residency, Dr. Mark Roland served as the Regional Director for the NEPEC National Trauma Study at the Veterans’ Affairs Medical Center in Augusta where he also served as a psychologist on the PTSD Treatment Unit. In 1995 he was invited to move to Marietta to join a well established private practice.

His expertise emphasizes the concepts of Post Traumatic Growth, which is a construct of Positive Psychology promoting positive life change and growth following one’s struggle with a highly challenging, stressful, and even traumatic event. Post traumatic growth refers to how adversity can often serve as the passageway to a new and more meaningful life in which people re-evaluate their priorities, deepen their relationships, and find new understandings of their purpose in life. Post-traumatic growth is not simply about coping; it refers to changes that cut to the very core of our way of being in the world.

Due to his expertise with trauma and resiliency, he has also served as a consultant and director with the Georgia Department of Corrections, taught at the doctoral level at Argosy University, and served as a consultant at Shepherd Center’s SHARE Military Initiative program treating members of the armed forces who have sustained both PTSD and TBI injuries. He currently provides forensic services for legal entities such as King and Spalding, LLC, is the first non-attorney on the Advisory Board for the Emory Law Volunteer Clinic for Veterans, and has a private practice at Psychological Consultants of Marietta, PC, which he shares with his wife and best friend, Dr. Ann Davis Roland. His and Ann have two wonderful young boys, William and Andrew, who fulfill and educate them on a daily basis.

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Fall 2014 Speaker Series

November 14 Workshop – Work: Is it a job or a calling?

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In its first-ever “WorkMatters Workshop” on April 25, local business leader, Brandon Hutchins of Gaskins Surveying facilitated an interactive discussion about the purpose of work and what God says about our work. In this second WorkMatters Workshop, Brandon Hutchins facilitated a discussion about work and “calling” with Dr Bryan Robinson and Robin Burruss. Work: Is it a job or a calling?

To make a real difference we have to go back to the word vocation. Vocation means “a calling.” A return in a new way to the idea of work as a contribution to the good of all and not merely as a means to one’s own advancement.” (Bellah) When the extent and depth of Jesus’ passion for you fully dawns on your heart, it will generate passion for the work he has called you uniquely to do in the world.

When you realize what he has done to rescue you, your pride and envy begin to disappear because you don’t need to get your self-worth from being richer, cooler, more powerful, or more comfortable. “You will never make a good impression on other people until you stop thinking about what sort of impression you are making. Give up yourself, and you will find your real self.” (C.S. Lewis)

The intent of the WorkMatters Workshop is to provide a forum for people to engage with other business leaders and talk about how they Close the Gap Between Faith and Work. Hebrews 3 says, “..exhort one another every day, as long as it is called today..” The discussions were led by an experienced business coach who has successfully integrated his faith and his work.

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October 10: Gary Bottoms

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Local business leaders came together on October 10th to hear business man and civic leader Gary Bottoms. Georgia Tech graduate Gary Bottoms is President of The Bottoms Group, LLC. The firm is specialized in the insurance related aspects of estate planning and employee benefits. He is also a Principal of TBX Benefit Partners, a subsidiary of The Bottoms Group focused exclusively on the unique employee benefit needs of employers with more than 5,000 employees. In addition, Mr. Bottoms holds the Chartered Life Underwriter designation and the Chartered Financial Consultant designation from the American College.

Gary is a past president of the Atlanta Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. From this organization, he received the Harry I. Davis Award which is given to one member annually who represents the highest ideals and principles of the financial services profession. Gary is one of only 39 other Atlanta professionals who have achieved this distinction over the years.

He is also a member of the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting, serving as a key liaison with two members of the United States Senate. Gary Bottoms is past board member of the Atlanta Estate Planning Council and past president of the North Georgia Estate Planning Council.

The author of Getting It Right, a book about estate planning, life and relationships, Gary has served as the Chairman of Cobb Community Foundation, The Cobb Schools Foundation, the WellStar Health System Foundation, The Center for Family Resources and President of the Rotary Club of Marietta. Additionally, Gary is a member of the 2014 Board of Directors for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce. He is a former member of the Board of Trustees for the Cobb County Government Employees Pension Plan and a former member of the Board of Trustees of the Georgia Tech Alumni Association and a recipient of the Volunteer of the Year Award.

Gary and his wife, Melissa, are graduates of Leadership Georgia. They have been married for 38 years and have three adult children and one grandson. They attend Buckhead Church in Atlanta.

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September 12: Larry Nelson

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Marietta WorkMatters’ 2014-2015 Speaker Series kicked off with professional golfer Larry Nelson on September 12. Cobb County golf hero Larry Nelson was born in Fort Payne, Alabama and grew up in Acworth, Georgia, northwest of Atlanta. He didn’t play the game as a child – atypical for a successful professional golfer – in high school he focused on basketball and baseball. Nelson took up golf at the age of 21 after he returned from serving in the infantry in Vietnam (Nelson was a 20-year-old newlywed when he was drafted into the U.S. Army). Nelson was first introduced to golf by Ken Hummel, a soldier and friend in his infantry unit, and Nelson carefully studied Ben Hogan’s book The Five Fundamentals of Golf while learning how to play the game.

In the beginning, however, Nelson was not so sure about competitive golf. He turned professional in 1970 and broke 70 for the first time in November of that year. It was more than a year before he did it again. Content in his role as an assistant at Pine Tree Country Club in Kennesaw, Georgia, Nelson only aspired to move up to a head pro position someday.

But he was encouraged by some members at the club to give the mini-tours a try, and with their financial backing, the Nelsons quit their jobs and moved to Florida. In his first professional tournament, Nelson shot even par and made $63.

Over the next year or so, Nelson won two tournaments, and in 1973—after the clueless Nelsons found out what the Tour Qualifying School was—the future national champion decided to give Q-School a try. The undaunted Nelson played the longest tournament of his life and qualified for the 1974 Tour.

Nelson went on to win 10 times on the PGA Tour, of which three, a high proportion, were major championships. He earned his first major title at the 1981 PGA Championship which he won by four strokes. In 1983 he was victorious at the U.S. Open at Oakmont, coming from seven behind at the half-way point to defeat Tom Watson by a single shot. Nelson scored a U.S. Open record 65-67 over the last 36 holes at the difficult Oakmont course, which broke a 51 year Open record established by Gene Sarazen. Nelson’s 10 under par 132 record score has yet to be equaled. In 1987 he finished tied with Lanny Wadkins after the regulation 72 holes of PGA Championship, and won the title with a par at the first playoff hole.

Nelson played on the U.S. Ryder Cup team in 1979, 1981, and 1987. His record of 9–3–1 is one of the best since the event became USA v Europe in 1979; it had been a perfect 9–0–0 after the first two. He also won four tournaments on the Japan Golf Tour.

Although Nelson is widely known for his golfing prowess, even better yet, he is also recognized on the “tour” and elsewhere for his steadfast commitment to Jesus Christ. In 1980, a year after he had double-bogeyed the 71st hole to cost himself $64,000 at the World Series of Golf, Nelson stated, “The peace that passes understanding is worth more than anything the world has to offer.”

Nelson and his wife, Gayle, live in Marietta, Ga. Their sons each live in the Atlanta area, where Josh is performing ministry work with Links Players International, and Drew is employed in web design and by a golf outing company.

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