Leadership Georgia Announces 2017 Class & Programs

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

Leadership Georgia stands apart as one of the nation's oldest and most successful leadership-training programs for young business, civic and community leaders with the desire and potential to work together for a better Georgia. Its primary purpose is to identify, train, and inspire a network of emerging young leaders, whose ages typically range from 25 to 45 years old.  Affiliated with the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, the organization has fielded numerous highly influential state and national leaders.  Among the ranks of Leadership Georgia alumni there are leaders in business, not-for-profit organizations, and elected officials including U.S. Senators, U.S. Congressmen, State Legislators, and a Georgia Secretary of State. 

Leadership Georgia visits five Georgia communities in an effort to learn more about important issues affecting the state. Diversity in gender, religion, race, occupation, and geographical location is a key factor in the selection of class members. Spousal participation is another key component separating Leadership Georgia from similar state programs across the country. In 2017, Leadership Georgia will visit Brasstown Valley, Jesup, Jekyll Island, Perry, and Brasleton.

The Leadership Georgia Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the 2017 Class of Leadership Georgia.  Thanks in great part to the efforts of our alumni and local Chambers, an extraordinary number of qualified nominees were submitted for consideration this year.  Furthermore, the depth and breadth of individual applications were equally impressive. The process to select a high caliber class of sixty-three leaders representative of our growing state becomes more challenging every year. 

2017 Leadership Georgia Class

  • Matthew Robert Almand (Fayetteville) Chick-fil-A, Inc.
  • Eric Atkinson (Athens) University of Georgia
  • Kevin Lee Aycock (Atlanta) Kevin Aycock Homes
  • Julia Taff Ayers (Kennesaw) Office of the Governor
  • Cameron Pratt Bean (Columbus) Columbus Symphony Orchestra
  • Lester Brent Bell (Rome) Darlington School
  • William Preston Bentley (Thomaston) Georgia Cattlemen's Association
  • Whitney Kay Berelc (Hartwell) Hartwell Dental Associates
  • Zell Shaw Blackmon, III (Warner Robins) National Bank Products
  • Michael Joseph Blakely (Tucker) Pope, McGlamry, Kilpatrick, Morrison & Norwood, P.C.
  • Eshonda T. Blue (Americus) Innovative Senior Solutions
  • Kimberly Renee Bourroughs (Newnan) DeKalb County District Attorney's Office
  • April Brooks Bragg (Warner Robins) Robins Regional Chamber
  • Jason Luther Branch (Bishop) Oconee County Schools
  • Terry Nicole Adams Bryant (Preston) Adams Family Pharmacy
  • Casey Luke Burkhalter (Claxton) Evans County Board of Commissioners
  • Joshua Zeb Burnette (Carrollton) Southwire Company, LLC
  • Scott Thomas Chastain (Thomasville) Everfan
  • Pedro Piercie Cherry (Atlanta) Georgia Power
  • Bobby Lee Christine (Evans) Columbia Co. Magistrate Court; Christine & Evans, LLC
  • John Maxwell Cogburn (Decatur) AGL Resources
  • Krystal LaToya Conner (Lawrenceville) ENVIRO AgScience, Inc.
  • Kayla Evette Cooper (Augusta) Augusta, Georgia Law Department
  • Jay Curtis Crosby (Willacoochee) Crosby Equipment Company
  • Albert Hawes Dallas (Augusta) Georgia Cancer Center at Augusta University
  • Mary Reynolds Hemmer Demmler (Toccoa) St. Matthias Episcopal Church
  • Hillary Wiggins Edgar (Covington) Alexander Royston, LLP
  • Ashley Teusink Edmonds (Brookhaven) Smartsy LLC
  • Sonja Rena Fillingame (Dallas) City of Union City
  • James Elmore Floyd (Gainesville) Turner Wood & Smith
  • Christina LaBell Folsom (Valdosta) Langdale Vallotton, LLP
  • Santina Marcello Fryer (Baxley) Appling Health Systems
  • Kevin Andre Gooch (Decatur) Alston & Bird LLP
  • Britt Cagle Grant (Atlanta) The Georgia Attorney General's Office
  • Jamison Reese Griffin (Lookout Mountain) Dade County Schools
  • William Field Gudenrath (Macon) Morgan Stanley
  • Rebecca Hensley Hood (Calhoun) Comcast Spotlight
  • Robert Scott Howard (Savannah) Merrill Lynch
  • Dominique R. Johnson (Lizella) Kingdom Life/Mercer University
  • Erik Stephen Johnson (Atlanta) Robert W. Woodruff Foundation
  • SaDohl Goldsmith Jones (McDonough) Argosy University, Atlanta
  • Jon-Peter Fanon Kelly (Atlanta) Delta Air Lines, Inc.
  • Fatimot O. Ladipo (Atlanta) Kennesaw State University
  • Dax Eric Lopez (Decatur) DeKalb County
  • LaRae Dixon Moore (Columbus) Page, Scrantom, Sprouse, Tucker & Ford, P.C.
  • Nicole Larhea Motsek (Woodstock) EOD Warrior Foundation
  • Aaron Wylie Mumford (Brunswick) Glynn County
  • Jennifer Lynn Oetgen (Savannah) Hussey Gay Bell
  • Michael Lee Park (Atlanta) Group IBI Consulting
  • Faith Murkerson Pinnell (Americus) Clinic Drug Store
  • Matthew David Reed (Albany) Georgia CEO
  • Yolanda Leshon Rivers (Waycross) Waycross Family Pharmacy
  • Alonzo Tyrone Sexton (Watkinsville) Athens Orthopedic Clinic
  • David Marcelous Sneed (Pooler) Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation
  • Jeffrey Donald Spence (Suwanee) AIH Americas LLC
  • Suzanne Samford Tatum (Evans) Augusta University
  • Steadman King Taylor (Moultrie) Broadleaf Trucking
  • Charles Benjamin Thompson (Atlanta) ASW Distillery, LLC
  • John Christopher Tuten (Douglas) Raymond James at Douglas National Bank
  • Kristina Hattaway Vaughn (Forsyth) Georgia Forward
  • Staci Brooke Vinton (Gainesville) The Academy Child Development Center
  • Gina Hobbs Webb (Bronwood) Georgia Department of Community Affairs
  • Laura Hope Whitaker (Athens) Extra Special People 

More information on Leadership Georgia is avaiable at leadershipgeorgia.com.