Vice Chairman – AMB Sports & Entertainment
Stephen Cannon serves as vice chairman, AMB Sports and Entertainment (AMBSE), a forprofit holding group under the Arthur M. Blank Family of Businesses. In this capacity, Cannon, working closely with owner and Chairman, Arthur M. Blank, has responsibility for the overall business strategy, oversight of AMBSE, and key strategic growth initiatives.
Named among Atlanta Business Chronicles 2019 Most Admired CEO’s, Cannon began his career with AMBSE as chief executive officer assuming the day-to-day leadership of Mercedes-Benz Stadium (MBS), Atlanta Falcons Football Club, United Soccer Properties and PGA TOUR Superstore. Prior to joining AMBSE in 2016, Cannon served as president and chief executive officer of Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) and was responsible for leading operations that generated record sales with annual revenues exceeding $20 billion.
In his current position, Cannon continues oversight of Atlanta United of Major League Soccer. Atlanta United joined Major League Soccer in 2017 and won the 2018 MLS Cup in just its second season, the earliest an expansion team has won the title since 1998. The club has set multiple league records including season tickets sales, single-season average, and total home attendance. Cannon was named to the MLS Board of Governors in 2017.
Cannon has led the evolution of Mercedes-Benz Stadium (MBS) since its doors opened in August 2017. Home to the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United, MBS has hosted a recordsetting number of large sports and entertainment events including Super Bowl LIII in 2019, the College Football Playoff Championship game in 2018 and will host NCAA Men’s Final Four in March 2020. MBS has most recently been selected for the 2025 College Football National Championship, the only stadium to host twice, and the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
Under Cannon’s leadership, MBS was the first professional sports stadium in North America to achieve LEED Platinum Certification by the United States Green Building Council and MBS Food & Beverage Experience was honored as Sports Breakthrough of the Year 2018 by Sports Business Journal for its record-breaking, affordable fan-friendly pricing. In 2023, MBS became the first stadium worldwide to receive TRUE Platinum Certification for Zero Waste.
Cannon was the 2020 Atlanta Falcons’ Salute to Service Award nominee and, among the top-three nominees across the 32 NFL teams, has led efforts to make the Atlanta Falcons’ military outreach efforts the benchmark in the NFL. In 2018, Cannon and Falcons Head Coach Dan Quinn spearheaded the first NFL team directed USO Tour, visiting soldiers at various bases throughout Iraq and Kuwait. A tireless supporter of America’s military and military families, Cannon, alongside his fellow West Point classmates, founded the Johnny Mac Soldiers fund in 2014. The organization honors military service and sacrifice by providing scholarships to veterans and military family members, particularly children of our nation’s fallen and disabled. What began as a small effort to help one fallen classmate’s family has grown into an organization that has raised more than $17 million. Cannon also serves on the national board of directors for TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) and, most recently, as Board Chair for Avalon Action Alliance.
Cannon graduated with honors from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1986 and was Airborne Ranger qualified and served as First Lieutenant in West Germany during the fall of the Iron Curtain. During his time in the Army, he also served five years as an artillery officer. A two-time lettered wrestler at West Point, The National Wrestling Hall of Fame named Cannon the 2019 Outstanding American, an honor given to leaders who have used the disciplines of wrestling to launch distinguished careers in other walks of life.
Cannon and his wife, Ann, reside in Atlanta and are the parents of nine children.
Dr. Mark R. Esper
Former Secretary of Defense
Dr. Mark T. Esper was born on April 26, 1964, in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. He is a 1986 graduate of the United States Military Academy and received his commission in the Infantry. Upon completion of Ranger and Pathfinder training, he served in the 101st Airborne Division and participated in the 1990-91 Gulf War with the “Screaming Eagles.” He later commanded a Rifle Company in the 3-325 Airborne Battalion Combat Team in Vicenza, Italy. He retired from the U.S. Army in 2007 after spending 10 years on active duty and 11 years in the National Guard and Army Reserve.
After leaving active duty, he served as Chief of Staff at The Heritage Foundation think tank, followed by service as legislative director and senior policy advisor to former Senator Chuck Hagel. He was a senior professional staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations and Senate Government Affairs committees, policy director for the House Armed Services Committee, and national security advisor for former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. During the President George W. Bush administration, he served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Negotiations Policy at the Pentagon.
From 2006-2007, Dr. Esper was the Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of Defense and International Affairs at Aerospace Industries Association. He was the national policy director to Senator Fred Thompson for his 2008 presidential campaign and was a Senate-appointed commissioner on the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. Dr. Esper later served concurrently as the Executive Vice President for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center and as Vice President for Europe and Eurasian Affairs from 2008-2010. Before being nominated as the Secretary of the Army in 2017, Dr. Esper was the Vice President for Government Relations at the Raytheon Company.
Dr. Esper is a recipient of the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service. Among his many military awards and decorations are the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, the Kuwait Liberation Medal, Kuwait Liberation Medal-Saudi Arabia, and the Combat Infantryman Badge.
Dr. Esper holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, and a doctorate in Public Policy from George Washington University. Dr. Esper and his wife, Leah, have been married for 30 years and have 3 adult children. The Honorable Mark T. Esper was sworn in as the 27th Secretary of Defense on July 23, 2019, and served in that capacity until Nov. 9, 2020. He previously served as Acting Secretary of Defense from June 24, 2019, to July 15, 2019. Dr. Esper served as the Secretary of the Army from Nov. 20, 2017, to June 24, 2019, and from July 15, 2019, to July 23, 2019.
Managing Partner – Korn Ferry
Kate Shattuck is a Managing Partner at Korn Ferry, the world’s premier talent and organizational consulting firm. She leads Korn Ferry's Pennsylvania Region and serves as the Global Co-Leader of the Impact Investing, ESG & Sustainability practice. She is a core member of Korn Ferry’s Global Financial Markets with expertise in building and developing effective leadership teams at the C-suite, board and senior executive levels. Her experience includes Consumer Banking, Asset Management and Family Offices. She works closely with the firm's Chief Financial Officers, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Board Practices.
Ms. Shattuck’s leadership experience spans the financial services, nonprofit, and defense sectors. Prior to entering the talent management profession, Ms. Shattuck worked as an executive in the financial services industry. She led a nationally recognized nonprofit organization as the foundation’s Chief Operations Officer and corporate Senior Vice President. Ms. Shattuck led the executive management of this Corporate Social Responsibility division working to meet the unmet financial needs of active duty, veterans and their families. She oversaw micro-lending programs, public-private partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs, financial education, direct grant giving and fund raising. Previously, Ms. Shattuck served in business development roles at Morgan Creek Capital Management, LLC and in Private Wealth Management at Morgan Stanley, two global financial services organizations. Ms. Shattuck is a U.S. Army veteran, with platoon leader, aide-de-camp and company command service in Kuwait, Bosnia and South Korea.
Ms. Shattuck serves as a Director for Citizen & Northern Bank (NASDAQ: CZNC). She serves on the Women’s Advisory Council and Nominating Committee for the Girl Scouts of the National Capital Region and the Boy Scouts of America as a Pack Leader. She served West Point as a volunteer for over fifteen years, culminating in service as a Director for the West Point Association of Graduates, with leadership roles including serving as Chair, Ethics Committee and Vice-Chair, Finance Committee.
She holds a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard Business School and a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from The United States Military Academy at West Point. Ms. Shattuck’s husband, Tony, is a Navy veteran with extensive service in the Marine Corps Special Operations (MARSOC Marine Raiders). Long residents of the Washington, DC region, she and her family joyfully moved “back home” in the pandemic. They reside in Bradford County, Pennsylvania.
Executive Vice President, Global Payments
Howard Sysler serves as Executive Vice President of Global Sales within the Multinational Commerce group at Global Payments. In his role, he is responsible for all global account management and new enterprise sales catering to the largest businesses in the world, as well as deepening relationships with key strategic partners. Prior to joining Global Payments, Howard was Managing Director at Bank of America, where he led high yield, distressed and loan sales for the leveraged finance fixed income business.
Howard holds an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business and a B.S. degree from SUNY Albany
Captain Florent “Flo” Groberg
Azure Mission Engineering Expansion Team
Florent “Flo” Groberg leads the Azure Global Mission Expansion Team at Microsoft. He previously led multidisciplinary teams at Boeing, LinkedIn, and the Department of Defense, where he served as a special advisor for strategic defense projects and provided expertise to defense policymakers and military planners.
In his current leadership role at Microsoft, Groberg works with governments worldwide to identify critical missions and systems that should operate on the Azure Cloud. He leverages his robust experiences in streamlining management systems and operating rhythms to not only maximize efficiency and productivity but inspire a healthy workplace culture of innovation and experimentation
Prior to joining Microsoft, Groberg was a deputy vice president at Boeing, where he led business operations for all of Boeing’s commercial airplanes and services sales in the region. In that capacity, he facilitated internal partnerships to maximize the use of digital and analytic tools to reinforce positive behaviors and inspire cultural change across the organization.
Groberg also has extensive experience as a spokesperson for both corporations and social impact organizations. Prior to his leadership role at Boeing, he was the official spokesperson for LinkedIn and was responsible for the promotion of the development and promotion of the organization’s veterans’ program. The tailored job search tool for transitioning veterans has helped over 4 million veterans on their journey in the civilian workforce.
Whether it is briefing board members, government officials, or members of the public, Groberg’s dedication to excellence and public service was forged during his military service. In 2008, he enlisted in the U.S. Army. After completing officer training and both U.S. Army Airborne and U.S. Army Ranger Schools, he rose to the rank of captain. Groberg is a recipient of the Medal of Honor, the United States’ highest military honor, for his extraordinary gallantry, intrepidity and heroism while serving in combat operations in Afghanistan in 2012.
Groberg currently serves as a commissioner to the American Battle Monuments Commission and holds a master’s degree in management from the University of Maryland University College in College Park, MD.
Thomas V. Taylor
Chief Executive Officer, Floor & Decor
Thomas V. Taylor has served as our Chief Executive Officer and a member of our Board since December 2012. Prior to joining us, Mr. Taylor began his career at age 16 in 1983 at a Miami Home Depot store. He worked his way up through various manager, district manager, vice president, president, and senior vice president roles to eventually serve as the Executive Vice President of Operations with responsibility for all 2,200 Home Depot stores and then the Executive Vice President of Merchandising and Marketing, again for all stores. After leaving Home Depot in 2006, for the next six years, Mr. Taylor was a Managing Director at Sun Capital Partners. During his tenure, he was a board member for over twenty portfolio companies in the United States and Europe.
Mr. Taylor currently serves on the board of directors of National Vision Holdings Inc., an optical retailer, and Cooper’s Hawk, a differentiated wine club and restaurant concept. Mr. Taylor’s significant experience as a board member and his expertise in the home improvement retail industry led to the conclusion that he should serve as a member of our Board.