A group of distinguished entrepreneurs will speak at the “Business-Forward Breakfast” on Tuesday, April 2. The breakfast, in its third year, is an event for Georgia entrepreneurs which benefits the Edge Connection, a non-profit campus community partnership with Kennesaw State University and Coles College of Business. The Edge Connection serves business owners in 31 counties throughout Metro Atlanta.

The keynote speaker this year will be Michael J. Coles, founder of the Great American Cookie Company. Past keynote speakers include Sara Blakely of Spanx and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. The breakfast will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.

In addition to Coles, the breakfast features a panel of dynamic and successful local entrepreneurs including:

• Mary Parker, CEO of All (n) 1 Security, has broken barriers in the male-dominated security industry and created one of the fastest-growing security businesses in Georgia and nationally.
• Abe Wong, co-founder of Advanced Strategies Inc., owns a nationally-known IT management company that supports the growth of businesses with state-of-the-art IT solutions and innovation.
• Lily Zapata Winsaft, CEO/founder of Aldebaran Associates International, has been described as a “rising star” in the Latino community, and her company is internationally known for its best practices in recruiting, training, coaching, and mentoring executives for corporate America.

“This year’s breakfast is extra special as it is also a celebration of our 15 years of service to Georgia entrepreneurs,” says Patricia Harris, executive director/CEO, The Edge Connection. “We know that entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of the economy’s future growth and our best source for new jobs. This Business-Forward Breakfast will explore how small businesses can increase their opportunities and operating capital, explore access to new markets, and identify growth options.”

The panel also will discuss how the Small Business Act of 2010 and its new provisions for 2013 will help entrepreneurs grow and access resources.

For more information contact The Edge Connection at 770-499-3228, by email at, or visit the organization at

(Photo Mary Parker, who will appear at the conference)

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