Ramatowski To Lead GABB in 2018

ATLANTA— Michael Ramatowski, president of Georgia Business Associates, Inc., will be the 2018 president of GABB,  the state’s only professional association of business brokers.

Other 2018 officers are Vice President Loren Schmerler, president and founder of Bottom Line Management, Inc.; Treasurer Richard Burgess, president of Priority Business Acquisitions, Inc.; and Secretary Dean Burnette, founder of Best Business Brokers as secretary. Board members include; Jeffery Merry, founder and owner of the Business House, inc.; Paul Cushman, founder and managing partner of Cushman & Associates, LLC; Jon Roman, business intermediary, franchise consultant and developer at Transworld Business Advisors; and Greg DeFoor, founder and President of DeFoor Business Services of Kennesaw. Mr. DeFoor was the GABB President for 2015 and 2016, will remain on the board as the GABB’s past President. Kim Eells, Vice President, Business Development Officer of Brand Bank, will serve as the GABB Affiliate representative on the board.

GABB members represent owners of Georgia businesses and help them establish the sales price of their business, create marketing plans and strategies for the sale of their business, identify and qualify potential buyers, and work to protect the confidentiality of the entire process.

Michael Ramatowski, GABB 2017 & 2018 President

Michael Ramatowski, CBI, president of Georgia Business Associates, Inc., works with business owners, sellers and candidates for merger by acquisition from manufacturing, distribution, and service businesses. He has owned and managed businesses that included a real estate master franchise, a property management networking company, and a service business. As COO of a banking conglomerate he managed brokerage operations, title companies, home and service warranty programs, and a relocation company. Mr. Ramatowski has served on the board of directors of 12 different organizations with diverse specialties including real estate brokerage, mortgage companies, title insurance, banking, health care, fitness center operations, and office supply operations, providing marketing and organizational growth expertise. He served as an Electronic Specialist in the U.S. Navy Submarine Service. He attended Cleveland State University and Baldwin Wallace College. He has earned the Certified Business Intermediary professional designation by the International Business Brokers Association.

Loren Schmerler, 2018 GABB Vice President

Loren Marc Schmerler, CPC, APC is President and Founder of the 30-year-old Atlanta-based business brokerage/business-consulting firm of Bottom Line Management, Inc. In addition to serving as a Business Broker/Business Intermediary, Mr. Schmerler has been a public speaker, writer and college judge for entrepreneurial business plans. He has experience in more than 200 industries/types of businesses. He is a member of the North Fulton Rotary Chapter and presents SCORE workshops that deal with “Maximizing Sweat Equity and Preparing a Business For Sale.” He was graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BSBA Finance from the Boston University School of Management, and he has an MBA in Management from Georgia State University.  He and his wife reside in Alpharetta. He is a proponent of doing random acts of kindness and has personally experienced three life-altering events. He and his wife reside in Alpharetta. He is a proponent of doing random acts of kindness and has personally experienced three life-altering events.

Richard Burgess, 2018 GABB Treasurer

Richard Burgess is owner and founder of Priority Business Acquisitions, Inc. (PBA) which uses a Christ-centered, straightforward, successful approach to its Mergers and Acquisitions services. Mr. Burgess is also the treasurer of the GABB. He has more than 22 years of successful M & A and real estate experience, is a licensed real estate broker in the state of Georgia, and can handle the sale, acquisition and financing of privately held companies and real estate. Mr. Burgess understands that choosing the right intermediary to help you accomplish your goals can be a difficult and anxious experience.  His goal is to make the process as smooth and rewarding as possible through clear communication and attention to clients’ objectives.  He is a resident of Lawrenceville, GA, attends Christ The Lord Lutheran church, and also owns Priority Real Estate Services, LLC to handle exclusive real estate deals.

Dean Burnette, 2018 GABB Secretary

Dean Burnette is the founder of Best Business Brokers in Savannah.  More than two decades of business ownership and management experience in the textile, food, golf and petroleum industries have given Dean a wide range of experience and business knowledge. These experiences contribute to his abilities to help identify and qualify appropriate buyers, put together sales prospectuses, negotiate terms of a sale, all while maintaining confidentiality so that only prospective purchasers know your business is transitioning. Dean is excited about the many opportunities that the current economic conditions and recent economic events have created in the Coastal Savannah Georgia area. He is married, the father of two children and has three grandchildren, and is a member of Asbury United Methodist Church and the Derenne Business Owners Association.

Jeff Merry, 2018 GABB Board member

Jeff Merry, past president of the GABB, has been the GABB’s top producer numerous times, and has been a part of the Million Dollar Club since its inception in 1999. Mr. Merry, owner and founder of THE BUSINESS HOUSE of Gainesville, is a member of the International Business Brokers Association and the Business Brokers of Florida. For more than two decades, his firm has specialized in serving the manufacturing, distribution, technology, service, veterinary and medical industries. As a business intermediary, Certified Exit Planner, and consultant, Mr. Merry has been involved in mergers and acquisitions that have ranged in acquisition price from $60,000 to more than $15 million. He is an adjunct instructor for the MBA program at North Georgia College. Mr. Merry holds a bachelor’s degree from Mercer University in Macon, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Illinois Edwardsville, and a Juris Doctorate from Atlanta Law School. Mr. Merry, a resident of Dahlonega, is a licensed real estate agent in Georgia, Florida and North Carolina; a senior business analyst, and a member of the Exit Planning Institute. He has three children and five grandchildren, and enjoys traveling, reading, and riding his motorcycle.

Paul Cushman, 2018 GABB Board member

Paul Cushman is the founder and managing partner of Cushman & Associates, LLC. He is also the CEO of CM Payroll & Business Services, founded in 2001; the founder and managing partner of Lawnscapes of Georgia, LLC, a landscaping firm; the managing partner of PRS of Georgia, a commercial property restoration services provider; the broker for John Hunsinger Inc., a Commercial Real Estate firm, and is the General Manager of CM Properties, a property management firm. He is a disabled veteran of the U.S. Air Force.  He holds a BSEE and Master of Science in Engineering Management from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, where he also played collegiate basketball and soccer.  A member of the GABB Board of Directors, Mr. Cushman, is also a member of the Commercial Board of Realtors, and he is a Certified Business Intermediary and a member of the IBBA.  He is also a choir member at First Redeemer Church in Cumming, Ga.

Jon Roman, GABB 2018 Board member

Jon Roman is a business intermediary, franchise consultant and developer at Transworld Business Advisors and a member of the GABB board. After 18 years of various business ownerships, including startups, established or franchised ventures and a full-time career as a commercial banker, he founded the local Transworld Business Advisors office in Atlanta. His experience includes mergers and acquisition of privately owned companies with revenues of up to $30 million. His team includes buyer and seller agents, franchise consultants and business evaluation specialists. Mr. Roman is a Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM), a member of the Association of Corporate Growth (ACG), of the International Business Brokers Association (IBBA), and the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Transworld Business Advisors has more than 400 brokers and more than 150 offices worldwide.

Greg DeFoor, former GABB president and 2018 GABB Board member

Greg DeFoor is a business broker, a CPA and a Certified Fraud Examiner. He became a business broker in 2002 after working in public accounting followed by private industry experience as an accounting and financial executive in the healthcare and retail automotive industries. While in private industry, he was involved in a number of business transactions and decided to use that knowledge and experience to start his own firm. He has a unique blend of audit, tax, accounting, corporate finance, business advisory and transaction experience to use for the benefit of his clients. He has an active Georgia real estate broker’s license. His firm specializes in the sale of small and middle-market privately owned businesses in a number of industrial classifications. Mr. DeFoor has an accounting degree from Auburn University and lives in Powder Springs.

Kim Eells, GABB Affiliate Board member

Kim Eells began her career in SBA lending in 1997. She has worked for several banks in her career including a National PLP Lender, a Southeastern regional bank and three community banks. Ms. Eells moved to BrandBank in December 2014. She is on the Executive Board of the Georgia Lenders Quality Circle where she has served as Vice Chair, Chair for two years and is now the Preceding Chair.  She is passionate about helping small business owners in their pursuit of starting, acquiring or expanding their businesses. She lives in Conyers with her husband of 12 years, Chris Eells, and together they have four children and five grandchildren.

The GABB is composed of professionals who work with owners of Georgia businesses. Many of today’s business buyers are individuals who have decided not to re-enter corporate America, but are ready to control their own destiny by purchasing and operating a Georgia business. The GABB’s monthly meeting is at the South Terraces Conference Center at 115 Perimeter Center Place, Atlanta. For more information about the GABB, contact GABB President Mike Ramatowski at 770-634-0428 or rambizgroup@bellsouth.net call Diane Loupe at 404-374-3990 or email director@gabb.org.