All nominees are carefully judged by an outstanding panel of experienced and accomplished business people. This year’s judges include:


Justin G. Tanner is a Legislative Analyst in the Office of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, where he helps maintain working relationships with state, federal and local government entities.

Prior to his move to Intergovernmental Affairs, he was a Senior Communications Specialist in the Mayor’s Office of Communications, where he handled executive correspondence on behalf of Mayor Reed, accompanied him to speaking engagements and worked directly on nuanced policy issues. Before joining Mayor Reed’s administration, Mr. Tanner served as the Director of New Media for the mayor’s 2009 citywide campaign and 2010 Inaugural Planning Committee. He is the author of the City of Atlanta’s social media policy.

Politically, Mr. Tanner is a National Finance Committee member with the DNC, serving as a National Co-Chair for Obama for America’s Gen44 program. Over the past few years, he has served as the Finance Chair for the Young Democrats of Atlanta, a Board Member for Outstanding Atlanta, Inc., an Advisory Board member for Covenant Community, Inc., an Advisory Board member for The Scholarship Academy, Inc., a mentor in the ATL Reads, Inc. program and on the Board of Governors for the Red Clay Democrats.

Justin is also an emerging young leader – In May 2011, he was featured as one of Atlanta’s “Next Up: 25 Rising Young Stars,” in Atlanta Tribune: The Magazine. He was also chosen as a member of LEAD Atlanta’s 2012 Class. In Sept of 2011, he was selected as one of 10 outstanding Atlantans by Outstanding Atlanta, Inc. He is a 2011 NLC Fellow, a 2010 Truman Project Partner and 2010 United Way V.I.P. graduate. Finally, he is the recipient of the Atlanta Urban League Young Professionals’ 2011 “Dream Catchers Political Advocate” award.

Mr. Tanner holds a J.D. from Vanderbilt Law School and a BBA in Marketing from Howard University, where he graduated magna cum laude. While matriculating at Howard, he became a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Alpha Chapter. He is a member of Cascade United Methodist Church.


Keyota Golden is a results driven IT professional services sales executive and business leader possessing more than 25 years of proven leadership, management and mentoring skills and extensive experience building, developing and managing relationships at the executive level. She has successfully established and led the growth of multiple sales offices and is active in a number of community organizations in Atlanta. She is the Director – Business Solutions for VisionIT in Atlanta, serves on the Board of the TAG Diversity Society and as a Mentor for Pathbuilders. A Georgia Native who grew up in Metro Atlanta and attended Clayton State. Married with four children and currently resides in Henry County.


Clyde Anderson, also known as “Chief Thinker” and “Financial Lifestyle Coach,” is a seasoned CNN Contributing Finance Expert that has been lending his advice and valuable expertise for more than 6 years on the network. With over 12 years invested in the personal finance sector, Clyde has positioned himself as an expert, showing people how to experience quality of life, connecting financial success to core personal, entrepreneurial and professional areas of life.   Clyde along with his company Financial Life Connection have recently launched The W.E.A.L.T.H. (Wisdom to Establish Assets & Leverage The Harvest) Movement initiative to empower individuals to take control of their personal finances and fill financial gaps by embracing entrepreneurship.

Clyde is a nationally acclaimed speaker, commentator, consultant, author, blogger and trainer covering topics from the state of the housing market to blueprints for financial success. Clyde’s ability to relate to “Middle America” has established consumer loyalty, respect from industry heavy weights and a stream of noted accolades.

You can find Clyde Anderson weekends on CNN Weekend Newsroom breaking down topics, empowering viewers.


Rita Izaguirre, J.D., SPHR is passionate about leveraging cultural competency to enable organizations achieve better business results. She is a change agent with a long and distinguished career who has held a variety of roles with private and public sector organizations.

Currently Rita is a Principal at Ideias, LLC where she is conducting research on the impact of inclusive leadership on business results. The goal of her work at Ideias, LLC is to demonstrate how cultural competence increases leadership effectiveness and corporate success.

Previously, Rita was the Senior Vice President of Talent Acquisition, Diversity & Compliance for SunTrust Banks, Rita was responsible for driving corporate strategy for talent acquisition, diversity and employment compliance. She aligned diversity efforts to the business strategy which resulted in measurable impact on employee engagement scores and financial performance.

She practiced law in the US and Latin America.  In 1998, she moved to the Human Resources field, focusing on making inclusion an action lever for talent acquisition and talent management.

Rita holds a Bachelor of Science from Barry University, a Law degree from Nova Southeastern University and a Certificate in Organization Development from Georgetown University. She is admitted to the Florida Bar and holds the SPHR designation.

Rita is an Executive in Residence at Kennesaw University in Atlanta, GA. She was an Adjunct Professor at American University in Washington, DC, where she taught Managing Workforce Diversity in the graduate OD/ HR program. She has been published on the Intercultural Management Quarterly.

Rita is a member of the board of Year Up, a national organization that provides urban youth educational tools to achieve their potential.  Rita is married and lives with her husband, Amado, in Atlanta, GA.


Georgia native Bobby Wallace is a speaker and author and is the founder and CEO of Going Green Organics.  Bobby Wallace is a 4th generation, serial entrepreneur.  Having been a student of business and personal development since his teens, he has started and run several successful businesses.

Along the way, Bobby discovered the reason for his success, something he has found eludes many people.  Inspired and encouraged to share these success principles with as many others as he can, he decided to write a book, “The Life Equations”.  “The Life Equation” is a guide for anyone seeking to attain the success and fulfillment they desire.

Bobby believes that creating action and living out your purpose can be a reality if you choose to do so, and is devoting the rest of his life to living out his purpose and sharing these principles with others.


Ebony Hillsman considers herself a Servant Leader dedicated to change and growth. She is always in pursuit of change, empowerment and personal growth.  Professionally, she is an Independent Communications Consultant and has worked for companies such as CNN and CFO Leasing Inc. Ebony Hillsman is a professional volunteer. As a leader in non-profit management, she currently serves as the Co-Director of the New Leaders Council in Atlanta, the Social Media Manager for Sporty Girls Inc, and The Publicity Chair for The American Cancer Society Relay For Life. Utilizing her passion for journalism, she has developed internal communication strategies, facilitated the launch and implementation of social media platforms and just recently organized the New Leaders Council retreat.
Ebony Hillsman holds a Bachelors  of Science in Television Broadcast from Florida A & M University and a Masters of Business Art with a Concentration in Business Communication and a minor in Project Management.

James M. Bailey serves as Chief Executive Officer for the Southeast Region of Operation HOPE (HOPE), a global non-profit, public benefit organization; America’s leading provider of economic tools, services, and financial dignity for the underserved.  HOPE operates in 273 U.S. cities, 7 provinces in South Africa, and has a presence around the globe in 52 countries.  Founded in 1992, HOPE has served over 2,000,000 individuals and has directed 1.1 Billion dollars to support and uplift low income communities.  Over the past 5 years under James’ leadership in the Southeast, HOPE has helped nearly 50, 000 children, adults, and families, learn the language of money, start businesses, save their homes, and increase their financial dignity.

With more than 15 years experience with Fortune 500 companies, entrepreneurial ventures and nonprofit agencies, James began his journey with HOPE in May of 2007.  Prior to that by age 27, James served as President and CEO of Landmark Global Corporation, a Georgia Based Real Estate and Private Equity firm managing over 7 Million dollars in holdings. James’ experience also includes sales management posts with Bank of America, Hershey Foods Corporation and Speakeasy Inc, an executive coaching and development firm managing a client book of Fortune 200 companies and Senior Level Executives.

As the Market Executive, James is responsible for all programming, services, and development for HOPE offices throughout the Region.  He manages HOPE’s national partnership with the Church of God and Christ, and is National Director of the Banking on Our Future, College Empowerment Program; an extension of HOPE’s outstanding financial dignity work with grades 4 through 12.  The program was developed to empower college students to become stakeholders in their own lives, on their campuses, and in the community.  Through a partnership with the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, the program will be offered at all 105 of its member institutions, as well as colleges and universities across the U.S.

James, an Atlanta native, is a graduate of the University of Georgia and member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.  He is active in various civic organizations and has committed his life to serving others, volunteering as a mentor for the Priority Male Initiative, Youth Entrepreneurs Atlanta, the Atlanta Public Schools R.E.A.L Men Read Program, and most notably serving as Scoutmaster for Troop 100 at the Benjamin S Carson B.E.S.T Academy, the largest inner city Boy Scout Troop in the country.

Recognized by the White House as a “Champion of Change” for following in the footsteps of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, James has received numerous awards and recognition for his dedication, including the Whitney M. Young National Community Service Award from the Boy Scouts of America, the Martin Luther King Jr, Drum Major for Service Award, New Leaders Council – National Leadership Award, and in 2011 James was selected as one of the 10 Most Outstanding Young People of Atlanta and was later honored with a Presidential Volunteer Service Award from the Obama Administration.