Founding member Gary Ashley and President, Dan Helms, provide the direction, strategic planning and day to day operation of the business to ensure a successful, growing and sustainable operation.
Gary is a founding member of Conveyors & Drives and currently serves as the CEO and Board Chairman. In these roles, Gary is responsible for the overall financial integrity of the organization. This includes the financial management of the company, as well as the implementation of special projects.
Gary is a native Atlantan and graduate of Georgia Tech’s class of 1959. Gary started his career with Boston Gear Works in sales and engineering, followed by spending several years with Fulton Supply Company of Atlanta as a Sales Engineer. He then went on with two other partners to start Conveyors & Drives in 1969.
Gary is a loyal Georgia Tech fan who also enjoys photography, collecting and operating model trains and spending time with his five grandchildren. Gary lives in Dunwoody, Georgia with his wife Judy and their three dogs Annie, Sofie and Max.
Born and raised in Atlanta, Dan graduated from the University of Georgia in 1986 with a BBA degree in Finance. Following graduation, he was employed by Automatic Data Processing serving in sales and sales management. Dan joined Conveyors & Drives in July of 1993 as an Inside Sales Associate and has since worked in C&D’s Warehouse Operation, Systems Sales and Dealer Sales.
In his current role, Dan is responsible for the overall direction, strategic planning and day to day operation of the business. He works closely with C&D’s customers, partners and employee associates to help ensure a successful, growing and sustainable business organization.
On a personal note, Dan has been married to his wife Cathy for 28 years. They have three children: Jamieson, Jessica and Ashley and two dogs Amelia and Gracie. In his spare time, he enjoys playing tennis and grilling out with family and friends. Dan is also an avid Atlanta Falcons and college football fan.
Our Administration team works together to ensure that all accounting functions are performed to standards, credit authorizations are intact and various phone and clerical duties.
Janie Dollar joined Conveyors & Drives in 2000 as the Accounting Manager. In this role Janie is responsible for overseeing all accounting functions in the company.
Prior to joining Conveyors & Drives, Janie worked in accounting for a private medical practice group in the Atlanta area.
Janie graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a BBA in Marketing and Management. In her spare time, Janie is involved in several non-profit and community service organizations. She lives in Kennesaw, Georgia with her husband Lester and has two children.
Peggy joined Conveyors & Drives in 1994 as a Credit Manager. In this role Peggy is responsible for all credit authorization and accounts receivable for the company. Peggy’s areas of responsibility include credit checks on new accounts, past due invoices and the monitoring of customer invoices.
Prior to joining Conveyors & Drives, Peggy was involved in inside sales and purchasing with Zellerbach.
Peggy enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with her family. She currently resides in Powder Springs, Georgia with her husband Rhett, their cat Andy and two dogs Brutus and Cody.
Jennifer joined the Conveyors & Drives team in April of 2017 as the Front Desk Coordinator/Administrative Assistant. Her responsibilities include answering calls promptly and courteously and helping others with various jobs and duties as needed. She gained administrative experience when she worked for four years at Sullins & Johnston Law Firm.
Jennifer loves all things sports, especially playing tennis and watching UGA and Falcons Football. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Adam, and her three-year-old son. A perfect day for Jennifer consists of quality family time while grilling out and going on adventures outdoors.
Inside Sales, Customer Service and Warehouse Operations
Our Inside Sales and Warehouse Group, led by Lisa Meek, works together to provide phone coverage and prompt delivery of parts and equipment. Additionally, this team is responsible for timely solving customer service needs, as well as moving goods in and out of the warehouse in an efficient manner.
Lisa Meek joined Conveyors & Drives in 2007 as an Inside Sales Correspondent. She then moved into her current position as an Inside Sales Supervisor. In this role she is responsible for supporting the inside sales team and provides customer support and service to our customers. This includes providing quotations, order entry, conveyor system research and the expedition of orders. Additionally, Lisa oversees the maintenance of the C&D warehouse.
Prior to joining Conveyors & Drives Lisa spent 25 years at Jervis B. Webb Company as the Manager of Distributor Sales where she was responsible for inside sales and distributor support.
Lisa enjoys gardening, travel and animals. She resides in Douglasville, Georgia with her husband and has one grown son.
James started working for C&D in August 2017 as an Inside Sales Representative. His main responsibilities include customer service, quotations, sales order entry and assisting in growth initiatives.
James was born in Canada but grew up in a northern England city named Kendal. After moving to the States for college, James graduated from Kennesaw State University in December ’16 earning his BBA in Marketing. James has seven months of sales experience as an event marketing specialist for Techtronic Industries – TTI. During his time there, he worked with brands such as Milwaukee, Ryobi, & Rigid.
James is a soccer guru who loves all things soccer. He plays on an adult pickup league and also coaches the Kennesaw State Women’s club sports team. He is a huge Atlanta United fan and season ticket holder as well. When he is not watching, coaching or playing soccer, he spends a lot of time playing FIFA (a soccer video game).
C&D welcomed Taneka onto the team in April 2017 as an Inside Sales Associate. In this role, Taneka is responsible for ensuring C & D valued customers are taken care of with the best customer service, to meet their business needs. She does this by selling inbound phone inquiries and processing emailed orders and submissions.
Taneka was born in New Jersey before moving to Atlanta with her family during early childhood. Living in Atlanta allowed Taneka to gain a multitude of work experience specifically B2B sales, leadership, and inbound and outbound sales.
When she’s not working, Taneka stays very busy being a strong parental influence to her four children. When she gets time to herself, Taneka enjoys reading, crafting, entrepreneurship, and shopping. She specifically enjoys mystery, ancient history, and horror novels.
C&D welcomed Virginia (Gin) onto the team in January 2018 as a sales coordinator. In this role, she works closely with all inside sales reps, outside sales account managers and other members of the C&D team to ensure orders are properly entered. She also reaches out to all customers with sales order acknowledgments and confirmations.
Previously to joining C&D, Gin worked at the service desk at BMW and she owned a small cleaning business for ten years. Gin got her Associates Degree from Brevard Community College (Eastern Florida State College) and she spent two years at Auburn University Montgomery.
Gin has been blessed with two sons living in Tuscaloosa and Birmingham whom she loves very much. When she is not working, Gin loves to go hiking with her dogs and husband near their home in Marietta.
Ali Gowen joined Conveyors & Drives in July of 2018 as the company’s first Customer Service Associate. In this role, Ali is responsible for taking care of customer’s needs in a timely and efficient manner.
Previously to working for Conveyors & Drives, Ali gained customer service experience for over 20 years for companies such as a lighting manufacturer, a German furniture fitting manufacturer, and most recently within the freight forwarding industry.
Ali moved to Atlanta many years ago to attend the Nanny Institute of Beverly Hills. In her free time, she enjoys hiking with her husband, David, and spending time with her three kids and two cats. She also has a great appreciation for traveling (anywhere) and shopping.
Rusty joined Conveyors & Drives full time as a Warehouse Associate in 2016. Before that, Rusty worked part time in some fashion with Conveyors & Drives for twenty years. Rusty’s main responsibilities include shipping, receiving, maintenance, fabrication, stocking and inventory.
Rusty graduated from Wills High School in 1976. Prior to full time employment with Conveyors & Drives, Rusty was self-employed for twelve years in the landscaping business.
In his spare time, Rusty enjoys fishing, listening to music, watching movies and taking care of his mother. Rusty’s favorite movies include science fiction, westerns and anything with John Wayne.
The marketing department, led by Zach Rydel, is responsible for improving customer and public relations, increasing brand awareness and ensuring customer satisfaction. Olivia Harper, the marketing specialist, promotes continual customer contact with order follow-up calls, monthly marketing campaigns, and efficient opportunity management. Olivia also helps with website and marketing content creation.
Zach joined Conveyors & Drives in 2015 as an Inside Sales Associate. He has since been promoted to e-commerce coordinator where he will execute a strategy to allow customers to buy products from our website.
Zach graduated from the University of Georgia in 2014 with a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Management. Prior to joining Conveyors & Drives, Zach worked for the Georgia Small Business Development Center. At the SBDC, he consulted with start-up companies in the areas of proper finance, marketing, and management practices.
In his spare time, Zach enjoys watching and going to sporting events, especially the NBA and NFL. His favorite teams are the Atlanta Falcons and Oklahoma City Thunder. Zach is also a passionate Georgia Bulldog fan who loves returning to Athens for game days. He enjoys going to concerts for all genres of music, especially his favorite band Widespread Panic. Other hobbies include fishing, bird hunting, working out and attempting to cook.
Olivia started working for Conveyors and Drives as a Marketing Intern in January 2017 after meeting sales associates Zach Rydel and Jamieson Helms at the Kennesaw State University Career Fair. Olivia completed a five-month internship before she graduated in May 2017 with a Bachelors of Science in Communication, Concentration in Public Relations, and a Minor in Marketing. On June 19, 2017, Olivia started her full-time position as a Marketing Specialist.
Prior to joining Conveyors and Drives, Olivia worked as a part-time gymnastics coach for nearly eight years. She gained professional experience working for Blue Square Construction as an accountant’s assistant for nine months. Olivia also completed a social media marketing internship with the Atlanta International Auto Show in March 2016.
In her spare time, Olivia enjoys bowling with her league mates and spending time outdoors. She loves hiking, kayaking, and camping. She also looks forward to seeing live music of all genres, especially her favorite band The String Cheese Incident.
Our Outside Sales Group, led by Eric Ragan, develops new accounts and manages existing accounts. They work closely with the customers and our engineers to develop and implement the right material handling solutions.
Eric Ragan joined Conveyors & Drives in 2009 as a Sales Associate. In this role, Eric is responsible for developing new accounts on a direct basis by finding and qualifying leads. He is also responsible for managing existing accounts for repeat business. Additionally, Eric manages the sales process from conception to completion providing solutions along the way.
Prior to joining Conveyors & Drives, Eric worked at Best Conveyors for three years in Marketing and seven years as a National Account Manager for the Southeast.
Eric graduated from Arkansas State University with a degree in Radio/TV production and a minor in English. He also received his MBA from Keller Graduate School with an emphasis in Information Systems.
Eric enjoys photography, videography, sailing snipes and spending his time outdoors with his family. He is married to Courtney and has two young children.
John Clark joined Conveyors & Drives in 2005 as a Sales Engineer. In this role, he is responsible for servicing existing customers in both a sales and engineering capacity. He also qualifies new customers and handles the facilitation of the sale from point of sale to commissioning. Additionally, John ensures customer satisfaction and service after start-up. John works with the C&D engineering and inside sales teams for each project, ensuring the maximum profitability for C&D.
Prior to joining Conveyors & Drives, John worked at Rapistan Inc. where he was a mechanical project engineer. He also worked for J.B. Webb in purchasing and production and Construction Steel Inc. in manufacturing, assembly and testing of portable screening conveyors for aggregates.
John graduated from Southern Polytechnic State University with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering Technology and is a graduate of Hytrol Conveyor’s Advanced Sales School.
John enjoys mountain biking, equestrian, hunting, civil war history and raising his two daughters.
Jamieson joined Conveyors & Drives in 2014 as an Inside Sales Associate before moving to an Account Management role in 2015. Jamieson’s main responsibilities include developing new accounts on a direct basis by finding and qualifying leads. He is also responsible for managing existing accounts for repeat dealer sales.
Prior to joining Conveyors & Drives, Jamieson graduated from Georgia Southern University with a Bachelor’s of Administration of Arts in History and a Minor in Psychology.
In his spare time, Jamieson enjoys watching sports, especially the Atlanta Falcons and Georgia Southern Eagles. Additionally, he enjoys traveling and studying various historical events.
Brooks joined Conveyors & Drives in 2015 as an Inside Sales Associate before moving to an Account Management role in 2016. Brooks’s main responsibilities include developing new accounts on a direct basis by finding and qualifying leads. He is also responsible for servicing existing customer accounts and developing new business.
Prior to joining Conveyors & Drives, Brooks worked at Aerotek for over four years as a recruiter and business development manager. His responsibilities included building business relationships, growing the market and managing a team of recruiters to fulfill customer’s needs.
As an Alabama graduate, Brooks loves rooting for the Crimson Tide. He also enjoys watching the NBA, especially his favorite team, the Los Angeles Lakers. Brooks likes anything that relates to music. In his spare time, you will find him attending live music events for his favorite band Phish, as well as writing/making his own music.
Mike joined Conveyors & Drives in 2016 as an Account Manager. Mike’s main responsibilities include developing new accounts on a direct basis by finding and qualifying leads. He is also responsible for serving existing customer accounts and developing new business.
Mike has been in industrial automation sales since graduating from Georgia Tech. Prior to joining Conveyors & Drives, he worked as an inside salesman for Simco Technologies, a Sales Engineer for Aromat (Panasonic Automation), Product Manager for Siemens, Product Manager/Sales for ITW Muller and Regional Sales Manager for Taylor Winfield. In these positions, Mike worked to solve customer applications using power transmission, photo-electrics, laser micrometers, PLC, VFD and robotic welding and assembly.
Mike currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife Maria and dog Tipper. In his spare time, Mike enjoys fishing from his kayaks, tying flies, cooking, gardening and reading.
Tim joined the C&D team in June 2018 as a Dealer Account Manager. In this role, Tim’s main responsibilities include supporting, developing, and growing sales through key C&D dealer account partners.
Tim graduated from Southern Illinois University with a B.S. Degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology. The majority of his career was spent in technical sales roles where he would consult customers regarding seals and sealing systems to improve the reliability of their heavy machinery. A few of Tim’s previous employers include John Crane, Flowserve Corporation, and Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies.
Tim was born and raised in Chicago and moved to Atlanta in 2013. He currently resides in Newnan with his wife, Monica, and cat, Leo. In Tim’s free time, he enjoys traveling, scuba diving, kayaking, working in the yard and grilling. He also cherishes the time he gets to spend with his three grown step-children. Tim is a big football fan as well, both college and NFL. He roots for the Georgia Bulldogs and the Atlanta Falcons.
Engineering, Implementation and Project Management
Our Systems Engineering Group, led by Craig Schuchardt, designs and executes world-class engineered projects. This team is involved with new customer development from design concept through project commissioning.
Craig Schuchardt has more than 24 years of material handling equipment experience with 21 of them being with Conveyors & Drives. Craig is responsible for the direction and operations of the engineering department and systems sales. In this role, Craig manages new customer development from the initial sale to the final bid, as well as oversees the installation of the systems.
Craig’s customer and distributor base includes the food and beverage, distribution and manufacturing industries.
Prior to joining Conveyors & Drives in 1995, Craig worked for Hytrol Conveyor Company as a Design Engineer.
Craig graduated from Auburn University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering. He resides with his wife Rita, two young sons and their dog Aubie.
Bill joined Conveyors & Drives in 1999 as Project Manager in the Engineering Department and now serves as the Implementation Team Manager. He and his team are responsible for customer satisfaction and the successful implementation of C&D’s project sales. Team project management tasks include preparation of approval and installation drawings, ordering of equipment, securing of contractors for mechanical installation, controls systems and field wiring, on-site project management, as well as testing and commissioning of the finished system.
Bill’s career includes more than 33 years of experience in the Material Handling Industry. Prior to joining Conveyors & Drives, Bill went to work for ViaTech Systems Inc. in 1983 as the Manager of Engineering. In this position, he was responsible for the Systems Engineering Group. He also studied Architecture and went on to work with Astechnologies in the position of Engineering/Sales Manager and with Rapistan Conveyor Company as a project engineer/project manager.
Outside of work, Bill enjoys fishing, golf, yard work, travel and spending time with family.
Chris joined Conveyors & Drives in 2012 as an Outside Sales Associate. Since then, he has moved into a Project Coordinator position. In this role, Chris supports the C&D implementation process and is responsible for bringing a designed handling system to a functioning handling system. He is also the central point of contact for our customer and handles all tasks associated with the successful execution of projects generated through our Applications Engineering Group.
Prior to joining the C&D team, Chris was a sales associate in the medical field where he sold capital medical equipment to hospitals, surgery centers, primary care and specialty offices. Most recently, Chris was a Senior Project Manager for a general contractor, which specialized in the construction of hotels. In this role, he managed, supervised and coordinated all phases of multi-million dollar projects on a daily basis with subcontractors, vendors, architects and engineers.
Chris graduated from Kennesaw State University with a degree in Business Marketing. In his spare time, Chris enjoys coaching football, baseball and softball for the junior programs that his (boy/girl) teenage twins are a part of. Chris also enjoys sporting events, music, anywhere tropical and spending time with friends and family.
Richard Jeffrey joined Conveyors & Drives in 2006 as Senior Project Manager. In this role, Richard develops system concepts, estimates and quotes projects and system design. He also manages the implementation of projects, provides phone support and works with clients to develop material handling solutions, SmartCart programming and computer support.
Prior to joining the C&D team, Richard worked at Jervis B. Webb Company for 35 years.
In his spare time, Richard enjoys barrel racing and woodworking.
Tracy Laverdiere joined the Conveyors & Drives, Inc. team on July 24, 2017, as an Inside Sales Representative. His main responsibilities include customer service, quotations, sales order entry and assisting in growth initiatives.
Tracy came from Wipotec Weighing Technology where he was working as an Inside Sales Representative. Tracy also gained sales experience at Bossar USA where he was a Project Manager and worked in inside sales. Previously to Bossar, Tracy worked as a Sr. Project Manager before he was promoted to regional sales manager.
Tracy graduated from Columbus State University with a B.B.A in Information Systems. During his time at CSU, Tracy was an active member of the Sigma Nu Fraternity Mu Xi Chapter. He is currently enrolled in an online program for Organizational Leadership and Global Business.
In Tracy’s spare time, he enjoys participating in alumni events that the chapter hosts from time to time. Tracy also loves to cook and find new restaurants to eat at. Tracy loves the sport of baseball and he shows it by coaching a boy’s youth travel baseball 13U team called the Punishers. Tracy enjoys traveling for the team and for personal getaways as well. Tracy is married with three kids which keeps him very busy at home!
Our Applications Engineering Department, led by Shawn Turner, is responsible for developing System Sales opportunities and proposing optimal solutions in support of C&D organizational sales channels through conception, estimation and implementation of the project to meet internal, as well as external customer expectations.
Shawn rejoined Conveyors & Drives in 2014. However, he has worked a total of 8 years with Conveyors & Drives and more than 20 years in the material handling industry.
Shawn graduated from Missouri State University with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering. Prior to joining Conveyors & Drives, Inc., Shawn worked for Langley Corporation as a Mechanical Engineer, Project Manager and System Salesperson to develop and implement all types of material handling opportunities. He also held the same positions at Intelligrated where he concentrated on the distribution and fulfillment side of business development. Some of his clients included Walmart, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Home Depot, Staples and Nike. Shawn also holds many years of contractual engineering work experience where he was contracted by a variety of companies to perform the necessary engineering services to achieve a given assignment.
Shawn has been married to his wife Yolanda for 20 years and has two lovely young daughters Zoe and Noa. His hobbies include fishing, reading, playing guitar, basketball and coaching his girls in sports.
Sarah joined Conveyors & Drives in 2015. Sarah’s main responsibilities include conception and estimation of system sales opportunities by designing optimal solutions for customer needs.
Prior to joining Conveyors & Drives, Sarah graduated from Georgia Tech in 2008 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Industrial Engineering with a Specialization in Manufacturing and Warehousing. After school, Sarah worked five years for Eaton Corporation as an OEM Sales Engineer. She also worked for Deposco as a Solutions Consultant for On-Demand Warehouse Management Systems.
Sarah currently lives in Midtown with her dog Peyton. As a Georgia Tech graduate, Sarah prides herself on being a devoted Yellow Jackets fan. She is also a Board Member at Response-A-Bull Rescue, a non-profit organization whose mission is to rescue, educate and promote responsible ownership of “Bully-Breeds”.
Aaron joined Conveyors & Drives full time in June of 2018 as an AutoCAD Specialist. In this role, Aaron’s responsibilities include supporting the company with CAD operations which include creating approval drawings to ensure clarity of the system between salesperson, engineering, project management and customer, while also creating installation drawings.
Aaron was born and raised in Savannah Georgia and graduated from Effingham County High School in 2011. Previously to joining Conveyors & Drives, Aaron spent six years at GA Transformer Corp. both in production and engineering where he created drawings/instructions for the proper manufacture of large power transformers.
In his free time, Aaron enjoys golfing or bowling and has even scored a 269 game and picked up a 7-10 split! Aaron is a big Atlanta Falcons fan and tries to attend the games every chance he gets. He is also a diehard LA Kings fan. When Aaron is not participating in or watching sports, he appreciates a glass of Scotch and cooking for his friends.
Our Maintenance Service Group, led by Dan Helms, is responsible for the management of our post-sale preventive maintenance and service initiatives, as well as all preventive maintenance and support on all new and existing material handling equipment.
Gary joined Conveyors & Drives on April 30, 2018, as a full-time Service Technician. He supports C&D customers by repairing and maintaining their material handling equipment. Prior to joining C&D, Gary served six years in the U.S. Navy as a manual machinist and machine shop production supervisor in Guam, then later in San Diego, California.
Born in Puerto Rico and raised in Chicago, Gary recently relocated to Atlanta before landing a job here at C&D. He now resides in Douglasville, GA with his wife and they are expecting twins to arrive soon. In his spare time, Gary enjoys playing video games and pool. He has a passion for sports and is a huge Bears and Cubs fan.