2023 AwardS Honorary Chair

Fernando Hernandez

Global Leader, Supplier Diversity
The Coca-Cola Company


Melissa Burroughs, MD

Noninvasive Cardiologist
Wellstar Health System


F. Michael Toca, MD

Cardiac Electrophysiologist
Morehouse School of Medicine
Total Cardiology of Atlanta



Nationally Syndicated Radio &
Television Personality

evening entertainment

SHERWOOD and the loud pack

Dynamic and Exciting Atlanta-based Musical Sensation



Wellstar Health System

sheila robinson, md




ted love, md


the links, incorporated


U.S. Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award to

Richard Allen Williams, MD

ABC Founder


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Diamond Sponsors


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Gold Sponsors


Silver Sponsors

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Minority Quality forum
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Fernando Hernandez

Fernando Hernandez leads Coca-Cola’s $1 Billion Supplier Diversity program worldwide focusing on utilization, development and mentoring of diverse suppliers. Prior to joining Coca-Cola, Fernando served as Supplier Diversity & Sustainability Leader for Microsoft Corporation globally. In this capacity, he set Microsoft’s strategies to achieve supplier diversity & supply chain sustainability objectives. He is responsible for Microsoft’s $5

Billion annual Supplier Diversity program. Prior to joining Microsoft, Fernando served as Senior Vice President of Multicultural Marketing Strategy for Washington Mutual Bank (JPMC) where he established, developed, and implemented comprehensive multicultural marketing initiatives. He formerly served as Executive Director with AT&T. Fernando established and implemented AT&T’s $1 Billion annual Supplier Diversity program. He created AT&T’s multicultural B2B and B2C marketing (Hispanic, African American, and Asian markets). This resulted in the creation of a $3 Billion market segment. He has the distinction of being the first person to earn membership twice in the Billion Dollar Roundtable (AT&T & Microsoft).

Melissa Burroughs, MD

Melissa Burroughs is a noninvasive cardiologist at Wellstar Health System   With a clinical emphasis on heart failure and inherited cardiomyopathies, Melissa also has expertise in global health, health inequality and environmental health.  She currently serves on the board of directors of the Association of Black Cardiologists and the board of Duke University Cooperative Cardiovascular Society.  Melissa is an active member of the American Heart Association, serving on the Scientific Sessions Programming Committee.  She is an advocate for environmental justice for communities of color and is on the Board of Scientific Counselors for the Environmental Protection Agency.  Melissa has conducted clinical research in the United States, Puerto Rico, Peru and Brazil and has co-authored 23 scientific publications.  She is an associate editor at the American Heart Journal.

Melissa has a passion for mentorship.  She has mentored college students, medical students, medical residents and cardiology fellows in clinical research and clinical medicine.  She also is committed to promoting innovation in health care, and has served as a medical advisor to Lantheus, Aeon Global Health Clinical Laboratory and Simple Health Kit.

Melissa was born in St. Louis, MO and raised in Atlanta, GA.  She graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Anthropology and Human Biology from Emory University.  Melissa graduated cum laude from Harvard Medical School.  She trained in internal medicine at the University of California, San Francisco and completed cardiovascular medicine training at Duke University where she also received a Master of Science in Global Health.

F. Michael Toca, MD

F. Michael Toca, M.D. is a Cardiologist and Cardiac Electrophysiologist. He takes care of all aspects of heart disease and specializes in heart rhythm disorders. He is the executive managing physician at Total Cardiology of Atlanta. He strives to make sure as a practice we take a holistic approach to each patient and treat each patient as an individual. Total Cardiology of Atlanta was founded in February 2015 to promote cardiology care to patients to look at each patient as an individual and not an illness.  

Dr. Toca is originally from Pittsburgh, PA. He received his undergraduate degree from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga. Where he graduated with honors. He attended medical school at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio where he served as the student body president was selected to be in the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha Honors society.

He completed his Internal Medicine residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, an affiliate of Harvard Medical school where he was selected to be chief resident at the West Roxbury Veterans Administration Hospital. Dr. Toca completed fellowships in both Cardiovascular Medicine and Cardiac Electrophysiology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. He is a member of The American College of Cardiology, The Heart Rhythm Society and Association of Black Cardiologists.

His special interest includes, electrophysiology and understanding health disparities. He specializes in atrial fibrillation ablation, biventricular pacemakers, ventricular tachycardia ablation, pacemakers/defibrillators and other ablative procedures.

Sasha the diva

Sasha The Diva is one of the nation’s most talented and hardworking air personalities. Having recently completed a very successful 2 year plus stint on over 35 stations in mornings with Westwood One as co-lead of a morning show, Sasha is now going solo in syndication.

Previously, Sasha was on Kiss 104 in Atlanta for well over a decade with #1 ratings in both afternoons and middays. Additionally, Sasha was well known for being the most sought-after air talent in all of Cox for endorsements bringing in millions of dollars annually.

Known also as having a face, presence, and personality for TV/Movies, Sasha has had her own TV show “ Makeover Manor”, and has appeared in “The Gospel”, “ R&B Diva’s Atlanta “, “ Real Housewives of Atlanta “, “ Living With Faith”, “Iyanla Vanzant’s “ Fix My Life” , and most recently Lifetime’s “Lust” produced by Bishop TD Jakes. 

Sasha’s new endeavor is her partnership with Grey Television with a new TV Show called “My Real Life”.  The show will air Wednesday nights at 8pm starting March 29, 2023.


Sherwood Brown, a Tallahassee,FL native, set out to build a music brand that is all his own. Writing and producing his music under the moniker, Sherwood and the Loud Pack, he fuses the smoothness of R&B with the grittiness of Hip Hop to create a truly original sound that has taken Atlanta by storm. Sherwood and the Loud Pack’s first single, “The Moment,” was released in 2015 and followed up by the debut EP, “Before the Moment” in October 2016. Listen to music from Sherwood and the Loud Pack on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, TIDAL, Google Play, Rhapsody,Shazam, iHeartRadio, and Deezer.


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Phyllis Newhouse

Phyllis Newhouse is a serial entrepreneur and investor, retired military senior officer and mentor. She is CEO and Founder of ShoulderUp Technology Acquisition Corp, Founder and CEO of Xtreme Solutions, Inc. (XSI), CEO of Athena Technology Acquisition Corp. and Founder of ShoulderUp, a 501c3.

In 2021, she founded ShoulderUp Technology Acquisition Corp, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) led by industry veterans to carry out mergers, capital stock exchanges, asset acquisitions, stock purchases and reorganizations with one or more businesses in the technology and cybersecurity space. ShoulderUp Technology Acquisition Corp closed an upsized $300 million IPO in November 2021.

In 2020, she also co-founded Athena Technology Acquisition Corp. Athena closed a $250 million IPO in March 2021, making it the only SPAC listed on the NYSE with an African American female CEO. In July 2021, the company announced it was taking concentrated solar power company, Heliogen, public in a $2 billion merger.

Newhouse is also the Founder of ShoulderUp, a nonprofit she founded alongside Academy Award-winning actress Viola Davis. Dedicated to connecting and supporting women on their entrepreneurial journeys, ShoulderUp introduced ShoulderUp Ventures, the first women-founded and led influencer fund providing impact and exclusive access to a diverse portfolio of media, technology companies and sports entertainment. In 2019 alone its members and affiliates have invested over $10 million in companies like Lime, Rent the Runway and Airbnb

As a pioneer in cybersecurity and business, she is the first woman to win an Ernst & Young (EY) Entrepreneur Of The Year® award in the technology category. She was admitted into the 2013 class of EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women, and in 2019 was inducted into the Enterprising Women Hall of fame. Additionally, XSI received inclusion in the Inc. 5000 list in 2013 and 2014, and has been recognized as one of Women’s Presidents’ Organization’s (WPO) 50 Fastest Growing Women-Owned Companies in the U.S. consecutively for the past seven years.

Passionate about women-led businesses, Newhouse teaches aspiring entrepreneurs to recognize and capitalize on their leadership skills and empowers others to operate in greatness. She has been featured in Today, Entrepreneur, Inc., CNBC, Forbes, Yahoo Finance, Cheddar News, Bloomberg and more. She received her degree from John F. Kennedy University and currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information, please visit phyllisnewhouse.com.   

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