Our Leadership

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Brenda Fitzgerald, MD

Executive Board Chair Person

Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D., was the 17th Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 

Dr. Fitzgerald served as the commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) and state health officer from 2011 to 2017.  

Dr. Fitzgerald, a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist, has practiced medicine for three decades. As Georgia DPH Commissioner, Dr. Fitzgerald oversaw various state public health programs and directed the state’s 18 public health districts and 159 county health departments. Prior to that, Dr. Fitzgerald held numerous leadership positions. 

She served on the board and as president of the Georgia OB-GYN Society and she worked as a health care policy advisor with House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Senator Paul Coverdell. She has served as a Senior Fellow and Chairman of the Board for the Georgia Public Policy Foundation.      

 

Dr. Fitzgerald holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology from Georgia State University and a Doctor of Medicine degree from Emory University School of Medicine. She completed post-graduate training at the Emory-Grady Hospitals in Atlanta and held an assistant clinical professorship at Emory Medical Center. As a Major in the U.S. Air Force, Dr. Fitzgerald served at the Wurtsmith Air Force Strategic Air Command (SAC) Base in Michigan and at the Andrews Air Force Base in Washington, D.C. 

The Executive Board

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Rebecca Blanton

Executive Board Member

Rebecca Blanton, School Climate Transformation manager, at the Georgia Department of Education, has over 30 years of public-school education experience at the school and district and state levels. She also was the director of Project AWARE, a five year SAMHSA grant, focused on blending education and mental health services for students. 

Prior to working at the Department of Education Rebecca was the Principal of an inclusion school in a metro school district.  Rebecca has a Masters’ Degree and certification in Educational Leadership.  She is a member of and holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and is a member of the Association for Positive Behavior Support. 

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Bonnie Hardage

Executive Board Member

Bonnie Hardage is the Executive Director of the Jesse Parker Williams Foundation. She joined the Foundation in 2016 after serving 17 years in healthcare marketing and development at Saint Joseph’s Health System, Shepherd Center, and Mercy Care Foundation. 

The mission of Jesse Parker Williams Foundation is to support highly effective organizations that emphasize preventive, comprehensive health opportunities and enhance access to health services for women and children.

The Foundation supports individual and population health programming with priority given to programs addressing social determinants of health in community- and hospital-based services. Foundation support addresses physical, oral and/or mental health services with priority given to integrated care models.

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Kathryn Martin, PhD

Executive Board Member

Kathryn Martin, PhD is Associate Dean of Regional Campuses at Augusta University. Her academic appointments include the Department of Family Medicine at the Medical College of Georgia. She is the 2012 Recipient of the Distinguished Faculty Award for Institutional Service from the Georgia Health Sciences University Faculty Senate of the Medical College of Georgia; the 2012 Recipient Women of Distinction Award from Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia; and the 2008 Founder’s Choice Award from Top Ten Working Women of Savannah.

She holds a MPH of Public Health, General from Armstrong Atlantic State University, a PhD of Health Services Administration from Warren National University; a MPA of Public Administration from Augusta State University; and a BA of Sociology from Augusta State University. She has served as Committee Chair on the Chatham County Board of Health; a member of the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) Accreditation for Schools of Public Health; as Officer, President/Elect/Past of MedBank Foundation and as Officer, President/Elect/Past of the Georgia Public Health Association.

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Michael O'Neal

Executive Board Member

Michael O’Neal is a leader in creating nurturing, community-empowering and capacity-building spaces. A founder of Parent University, he serves as the Executive Director of Community United Services Inc., the entity that manages the Parent University program. Currently, he is facilitating Parent University and its component pieces in several other cities throughout the U.S. He also hosts the TV show “Parent University TV”.

He previously managed a pilot project called the Strong Families Program to give parental training to the parents of youth considered at risk by the schools or courts. He has co-facilitated Parental Engagement seminars at locations in Georgia and South Carolina in collaboration with the Georgia Department of Education, which was featured on Georgia Public Broadcasting.

He serves on the Advisory Board of the Savannah Early Childhood Foundation and has served on many Boards or councils in the Savannah area, including the Healthy Savannah Board of Directors. He is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and 100 Black Men of Savannah, President of the Rotary Club of Savannah West, and Secretary of the East Savannah United Board.

 

O’Neal has been the recipient of numerous awards over his storied career, most recently receiving the Georgia Senate Resolution 639 commendation for 20 plus years of achievement with Parent University.

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Lynn Pattillo

Executive Board Member

Lynn Pattillo is the President of the Pittulloch Foundation, Chair of Stone Mountain Industrial Park, Inc. and part of the Pattillo Industrial Real Estate team. The Pittulloch Foundation focuses on the prevention of root causes with a statewide focus. Areas of support include working with Early Learning Property Management on the strategic location of Head Start centers in Fulton County, partnering with the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy to train 155,000 people on how to prevent child sexual abuse and working with Georgia State University’s Reading Recovery Department in the College of Education to teach teachers how to teach reading.

She has served on the boards of The Atlanta International School, The Foundation Center, Early Learning Property Management, Wesley Woods, Duke Divinity School, Emory Board of Visitors, Citizens Trust Bank and has participated in Leadership Georgia, Leadership DeKalb and Leadership Atlanta. Lynn graduated from Duke University with a degree in Economics and received a MBA from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.

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Fabricia Prado, LCSW

Executive Board Member

 

Fabricia Prado is a trilingual licensed clinical social worker with seasoned experience and strong commitment to serving the needs of diverse populations. She is owner of Prado Counseling and Consulting in Marietta, Ga. She is a Certified Child and Adolescent Trauma Professional (CATP) and a master trainer and speaker on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).

She has served in leadership roles at CEPTA, Inc. in their telecounseling program and works with the National Latino Behavioral Health Association (NLBHA) under their cultural and linguistic approach to expand training resources and webinars to include Brazilian Portuguese and Spanish. Fabricia has presented webinars and written articles about ACEs and Trauma-Informed Care as part of the Prevention Technology Transfer Centers efforts to prevent trauma and its consequences

 

Fabricia earned her master of social work from Kennesaw State University and master of psychology and bachelor’s in psychology from Pontifical University Catholic of Goiás, Brazil.

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Daniel Salinas, MD

Executive Board Member

Daniel Salinas, MD, is the Chief Community Clinical Integration Officer for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. He establishes and nurtures relationships with community pediatricians, inspiring them to work collaboratively with Children’s to accomplish mutual goals. In addition, Dr. Salinas has worked closely with community providers to develop The Children’s Care Network (TCCN), one of the first pediatric clinically integrated networks in the country, which he oversees. He has also worked to advance behavioral health and primary care strategies at Children’s.

Dr. Salinas provides visionary leadership for our clinical delivery systems and draws on his skills as a relationship-builder and facilitator to forge strong relationships with physicians in Atlanta and across the state. The network ultimately seeks to facilitate higher quality of care and help community providers demonstrate the value of pediatric care.

Dr. Salinas has a proven track record as a well-known pediatrician and physician leader committed to the care of Georgia’s children. Before coming to Children’s, he served as Regional Vice President and National Medical Director for WellPoint Inc. Prior to that, he was Vice President and Medical Director for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia and served in a number of leadership roles at Kaiser Permanente Georgia, where he also practiced as a pediatrician.

A native of Houston, Texas, Dr. Salinas earned his medical degree at the University of Texas Medical School after earning his bachelor’s degree from Texas Lutheran College. He currently serves on the Children's Hughes Spalding Hospital Board of Trustees and is a Board Member of TCCN, Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities and Pediatric Healthcare Improvement Coalition of Georgia.

Dr. Salinas and his wife, Cindy, live in Roswell and have two adult sons.

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Michele Smith, M.S., PhD

Executive Board Member

Michele Smith, PhD is the Director of Collaborative Care in the Wellstar Atlanta Medical Center Family Medicine Residency program. She also serves as adjunct faculty in the Master of Family Therapy Program at Mercer University. Dr.

Smith received her Ph.D. in Child and Family Development from the University of Georgia and M.S. from South Dakota State University. She is a Clinical Fellow of AAMFT and an Approved Supervisor. Her therapy and research focus is in the areas of integrated behavioral health and families. She has been involved with GAMFT at the local and state level for several years.

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Emily Anne Vall, PhD

Executive Director

Resilient Georgia

Emily Anne Vall has dedicated her career to improving children’s health. In 2019, Vall became Executive Director of Resilient Georgia where she has led the creation of a statewide coalition of trauma-informed organizations by convening diverse private and public partners to create a birth through 26 year old integrated behavioral health system. The statewide coalition includes over 700 stakeholders working to prevent adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and support healing through integrated behavioral health resources and services.

 

 

She is a proven leader of collaborative, multi-agency initiatives impacting Georgia’s children having served as the Child Health and Wellness director at the Georgia Department of Public Health where she oversaw Georgia Shape, the Governor’s childhood obesity initiative. She spearheaded robust employee wellness efforts at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, including leading the employee wellness team for the pediatric health care system. She began her career as a Title 1 middle school public school educator.

 

Vall earned her PhD in Physical Education and Health Pedagogy with a cognate in Diversity Studies from the University of South Carolina. She completed her undergraduate teaching degree at Florida Southern College before attending the University of South Florida focusing on physical education and special needs populations.

Resilient Georgia Staff

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Neha Khanna

Director, Strategy and Operations

Resilient Georgia

Neha Mehta Khanna is passionate about advancing public health innovation in children’s healthcare within local and global communities. As Director of Strategy and Operations for Resilient Georgia, she advances the organization’s mission to lead a state-wide coalition to develop a closely aligned and trauma-informed public and private network working toward a united vision to create a birth through 26 year old integrated behavioral health system. She leads special projects in support of organizational goals, directs system planning and guides operational functions for the nonprofit.

Khanna's expertise builds on over a decade of management consulting experience across corporate and social sectors in the U.S. and abroad. She began her consulting career with Deloitte Consulting, where she worked to improve patient outcomes across diverse healthcare delivery organizations, and later as an internal consultant for Deloitte’s corporate strategy team. Prior to joining Resilient Georgia, she worked as project director for the CEO at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

 

She graduated with highest honors from The University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor of arts in economics honors and government. She holds a dual MBA and master’s in public health from the University of California at Berkeley, Haas School of Business and School of Public Health, with a focus on health policy and management.

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Audrey Idaikkadar

Regional Program Manager

Resilient Georgia

Audrey Idaikkadar has worked with communities to strategically improve health and wellness for more than a decade. She believes coalition building and elevating the voices of those most impacted by disparities can help create thriving communities for all. As the Regional Program Manager for Resilient Georgia, she supports grantees in their coalitional work to prevent and heal childhood adversity, advance trauma-informed awareness and care, and promote resilience with children and their families in their communities.  

Prior to joining Resilient Georgia, she served as program manager for the Office of Minority Health State Partnership Initiative to Address Health Disparities at the Georgia Department of Public Health. In this role, she convened statewide and local partners to increase healthy eating, physical activity and rich language interactions in early childhood education settings in Clarkston, Dalton and Valdosta. She previously worked in an office in the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene dedicated to advancing health equity that brought targeted resources to North and Central Brooklyn neighborhoods. She managed their school-based work, helping educators implement policy, systems, and environmental changes and support a culture of wellness. She also connected partners to increase and leverage resources.


Idaikkadar earned her Bachelor of Arts in American Studies with highest honors from the University of California at Berkeley and her Master of Public Health from Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health. She is also a trained oral historian and recently completed her master’s degree in history at Georgia State University.

Regional Partners

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ROUND 1

Lizann Roberts

Resilient Coastal Georgia

Supporting: Bryan, Chatham, Effingham

Lizann Roberts has focused her professional career on developing and implementing initiatives designed to improve health outcomes. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in health education with leadership certifications from Georgetown University’s Center for Transformational Leadership and The Center for Creative Leadership. As a public health professional with over 30 years of experience, she is a seasoned facilitator, workshop leader and coalition geek. Prior to serving nonprofits, Roberts was a faculty member of two academic institutions; created employee development and health management programs for large, multi-site organizations; and designed comprehensive health improvement programs for two large health care systems. Most recently Roberts focused her career on developing public-private endeavors to improve overall community well-being. She worked with former Mayor Otis Johnson to launch Healthy Savannah and currently serves as the executive director of the Coastal Georgia Indicators Coalition in Savannah. Roberts currently serves on the board for Inspire Savannah (TEDx), is a WomenHeart Champion, and served on the boards of Healthy Savannah, Junior League of Savannah, Pioneering Healthy Communities Team, St. Thomas Episcopal Church, SANE Task Force, The Children’s Development Board of St. Joseph’s Candler Health System, and The Women’s Health Board of Memorial Health.

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ROUND 1

Vira Salzburn

Resilient Coastal Georgia

Supporting: Bryan, Chatham, Effingham

Vira Salzburn is program director for safety and resilience programs at Chatham County Safety Net Planning Council. As a Ukrainian-American and a world traveler, Salzburn recognizes the importance of overcoming cultural barriers and connecting with others for making a meaningful difference on personal, organizational and community levels. She earned a Master of Science in Management, Organizational Behavior and Leadership from Troy University and a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree in Humanities from Auburn University at Montgomery. She is a Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® with Project Management Institute (PMI) and completed the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Learning System program through Georgia Southern University. Salzburn is a Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) Teacher, Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) Master Trainer, SafeTALK Trainer, Certified Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness (TSM) and Trauma-Sensitive Yoga (TSY) Instructor. She completed teacher training in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) and Community Resiliency Model (CRM)®. She is a certified group fitness trainer and group yoga instructor with Athletics and Fitness Association of America and is also trained in the Search Inside Yourself program of Google Leadership Institute and Trauma Informed Coaching.

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ROUND 1

Maureen McFadden

Resilient Coastal Georgia

Supporting: Bryan, Chatham, Effingham

Maureen McFadden is a licensed clinical social worker and founder of McFadden Therapy and Consulting where she is creating a trauma informed and trauma responsive community and providing therapy to teenagers and adults. Over the course of her 26-year career in social work, McFadden spent 18 years working in child protective services in Washington, DC and Savannah, Ga. McFadden has overseen multiple mental health programs for uninsured and underinsured adults and children. 
 
Previously, she worked as an adjunct professor for The Catholic University of America and also served as county director in Chatham County for the Department of Family and Children Services. McFadden was drawn to working with children and families after volunteering as a basketball coach for girls in elementary school and junior high.

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ROUND 1

Molly Lieberman

Resilient Coastal Georgia

Supporting: Bryan, Chatham, Effingham

Molly Lieberman is the founder and executive director of Loop It Up Savannah, a community arts and enrichment non-profit which provides art, STEAM, yoga and mindfulness, gardening, cooking, and other enrichment workshops and experiences to children and families throughout Chatham County  in coastal Georgia. Loop It Up programs give young people opportunities to explore and express who they are, both as individuals and members of a community as well as fostering strong relationships, and building sustainable and interconnected communities where everyday needs are met with creativity and confidence. Lieberman earned a bachelor's degree from Savannah College of Art and Design.

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ROUND 1

Dr. Kimberly Loomer

Resilient Communities of East Georgia

Supporting: Burke, Columbia, Glascock, Hancock, Jefferson, Jenkins, Lincoln, McDuffie, Wilkes, Richmond, Screven, Taliaferro, Warren, Washington

Dr. Kimberly Vess Loomer serves as the associate dean for Learner Well-Being and a professor of psychiatry and health behavior at the Medical College of Georgia, Augusta University. She is passionate about students, community resilience, and diversity and inclusion as evidenced by her creation and implementation of courses in cultural competence and health disparities at two institutions. Dr. Loomer currently serves as the Principal Investigator of an $800k grant for Resilient Communities East Georgia and Resilient Teens. 
 
Dr. Loomer has produced an abundance of scholarly activity, resulting in the publication of five textbooks, numerous book chapters, and over a dozen peer-reviewed publications. She co-authored a textbook about cultural competence after noticing a shortage of information on the subject. Additionally, she has given over 50 invited, refereed presentations and procured grant funding. She serves on boards at the local, state, and national level including the Resilient Georgia advisory board, Good Neighbor Ministries board in the Harrisburg neighborhood of Augusta, the University of Georgia Camp Kesem chapter, the Pink Pumpkin Party, Junior League, National Academic Advising Association, Association for Counselor Educators and Supervisors, National Alliance on Mental Illness, and the Ronald McDonald House.

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ROUND 1

Julie Miller

Resilient Communities of East Georgia

Supporting: Burke, Columbia, Glascock, Hancock, Jefferson, Jenkins, Lincoln, McDuffie, Wilkes, Richmond, Screven, Taliaferro, Warren, Washington

Julie K. Miller joined the Georgia Family Connection Partnership staff in January 2019 as a regional manager for 14 counties in the Augusta area. In that capacity, she provides technical assistance to the Family Connection collaboratives in those counties around board governance, strategic planning, data and evaluation, partner engagement, program implementation and training. Prior to that, she served as the Family Connection Coordinator for Columbia County for 15 years, where she leveraged more than $10 million for programs and services. She has a master’s degree in public administration, a bachelor’s degree in journalism, and an associate degree in fine arts. She spent 18 years as a reporter and editor for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Julie is a certified trainer for Connections Matter, Stewards of Children, Bridges Out of Poverty and an equity facilitator for GAFCP and has served on several non-profit boards.

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ROUND 1

Dr. Andrea Meyer

Resilient Middle Georgia

Supporting: Baldwin, Bibb, Crawford, Hancock, Houston, Jasper, Jones, Monroe, Peach, Pulaski, Putnam, Twiggs, Washington, Wilkinson

Dr. Andrea Meyer is an associate professor in the Master of Family Therapy Program at Mercer University’s School of Medicine, located on both the Macon and Atlanta campuses. She has a dual role as an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, as well as an associate professor of pediatrics. Dr. Meyer received her doctoral degree from Florida State University, a Master of Science from Purdue University, and bachelor’s degrees in arts and science from the University of Georgia. Dr. Meyer is a clinical fellow of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), a licensed marriage and family therapist and an AAMFT Approved Supervisor. She has worked therapeutically with children, couples and families since 2001 where she specializes in working therapeutically with families experiencing grief and loss, trauma, and adversity. She is trained in Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) and Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs). She is also certified as a Connections Matter trainer through the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy and Prevent Child Abuse Georgia. Dr. Meyer is also the past president for the Georgia Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and former board member for Resilient Georgia. Dr. Meyer is currently co-lead of Resilient Middle Georgia, a trauma-informed, community-building initiative that seeks to empower the cities and counties in Middle Georgia to face challenges with empathy and bravery and in turn to enact long-term change and build resilience. Her research investigates the intersection between child, parent, and community risk and protective factors as they impact family functioning, child behavior and health. Dr. Meyer’s current clinical focus is the integration of mental health services in primary care settings, to provide accessible and quality behavioral health services to underserved and rural populations. She is also interested in maternal child health interventions in order to address maternal mental health issues and improve parent child relationships. Dr. Meyer specializes in working therapeutically with families experiencing grief and loss, trauma and adversity.

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ROUND 1

Jill Vanderhoek

Resilient Middle Georgia

Supporting: Baldwin, Bibb, Crawford, Hancock, Houston, Jasper, Jones, Monroe, Peach, Pulaski, Putnam, Twiggs, Washington, Wilkinson

Jill Vanderhoek is director of the Community Partnership, the Family Connections collaborative for Macon-Bibb County which is the convening and collaborative organization of Macon. Community Partnership aims to bring partners together to work on important issues collaboratively to improve outcomes for families, children and communities. Vanderhoek also co-leads the Resilient Middle Georgia project, a multicounty initiative to help build a resilient and trauma informed community in various sectors across Middle Georgia. The focus of this work is to provide training and education on understanding the impact of trauma, adversity and adverse childhood experiences on individuals and communities and work towards systemic changes.

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ROUND 1

Sarah McKinney

Resilient Northeast Georgia

Supporting: Barrow, Clarke, Elbert, Greene, Jackson, Jasper, Madison, Morgan, Newton, Oconee, Oglethorpe, Walton

Sarah McKinney serves as president and CEO of the Athens Area Community Foundation. Previously, she held positions at the University of Georgia, Georgia 4-H Foundation and the Athens Community Council on Aging. Sarah holds a Bachelor’s of Social Work from the University of Georgia, a Certificate of Gerontology from Kennesaw State University, a Certificate of Leadership from the University of Dayton, and Certificates of Basic and Advanced Nonprofit Financial Management from Duquesne University’s Nonprofit Leadership Institute. A proud member of the Rotary Club of Athens, 2017-2018 LEAD Athens class, and Leadership Georgia of 2019, McKinney loves an opportunity to grow her brain. In her personal time, she enjoys serving through Rotary, Athens Church, and FFA.  

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ROUND 1

Meredith Lysaught

Resilient Northeast Georgia

Supporting: Barrow, Clarke, Elbert, Greene, Jackson, Jasper, Madison, Morgan, Newton, Oconee, Oglethorpe, Walton

Meredith Lysaught is the project manager on contract with the Athens Area Community Foundation to coordinate the Resilient Northeast Georgia fund. Lysaught joined the Resilient Northeast Georgia project as the community foundation’s intern. Since graduating, she has transitioned into the role of full-time project manager on the grant. She also has prior experience as an evaluation assistant contracted on the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities’ State Opioid Response grant, working on both the media campaign and the Sources of Strength program. A graduate of the University of Georgia’s College of Public Health, Lysaught holds a Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion, with an emphasis on prevention and community-based public health. 

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ROUND 2

LaDonna Collins

Building a Region of Resilience NWGA

Supporting: Bartow, Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade, Fannin, Floyd, Gilmer, Gordon, Haralson, Murray, Paulding, Pickens, Polk, Walker, Whitfield

LaDonna Collins, serves as executive director of the Rome Floyd County Commission on Children and Youth, a local nonprofit with 33 years of experience in being one of the most trusted organizations in the community that provides community resources in the likes of funding, information dissemination, creative thinking and community collaboration. Collins oversees the operations of an organization who seeks to see the Rome & Floyd County Community THRIVE. Over the past three years, she has led the Commission into new strides through organization rebranding and strategic modeling. She is now, with the help of the RFCCCY Board of Directors, spearheading major calculated shifts for transforming community collaboration from a functional focus to an enabler of innovation for the community. Previously, Collins served as the local director of a GED Program for 16 to 24-year-olds at Georgia Northwestern Technical College, a middle and high school teacher, a public health educator and emergency preparedness training coordinator and an afterschool director. She is founder and co-owner of Pinnacle Developmental Services, which provides her the opportunity to mentor and provide life coaching to youth from all walks of life. She holds a degree in health science from Columbus State University and is a certified health education specialist.

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ROUND 2

Sidney Houck

Resilient Chattahoochee Valley

Supporting: Chattahoochee, Clay, Harris, Macon, Marion, Muscogee, Quitman, Schley, Stewart, Talbot, Taylor, Webster

Sidney Houck serves as project coordinator of Resilient Chattahoochee Valley and Manager of Community Schools United with United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley. As a military spouse, Houck has had the opportunity to serve many communities across the nation, including in Alaska, Colorado and Maryland. Houck’s passion to help create communities where children and families thrive has grown with each new opportunity to immerse herself in a unique region. After settling in Georgia, she graduated from Troy University with her Master of Social Work, actively serves as a court appointed special advocate, and is a spirited children’s book enthusiast.

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ROUND 2

Shaunae Motley

Resilient Southwest Georgia (Albany)

Supporting: Baker, Calhoun, Clay, Crisp, Dougherty, Early, Lee, Mitchell, Quitman, Randolph, Sumter, Terrell, Worth

As president and chief executive officer of United Way of Southwest Georgia, Shaunae Motley leads the effort to strengthen communities and make a difference in the lives of neighbors across 13 counties in the southwest Georgia region. She is a nationally recognized leader who brings a wealth of experience in visioning, strategic planning, community engagement, and capacity building with a variety of organizations and communities. Prior to joining United Way, Motley served as director of programs of Quest For Change where she developed leadership that transformed the organization from two employees serving 150 students, to a staff of 12 employees serving over 1,300 youth and families annually. Before that, Motley served as COOfor Future Foundation where she helped grow the once grassroots organization from a fledgling entity to a multi-million dollar, nationally recognized nonprofit. She has nearly 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. A recent graduate of GeorgiaForward's 2018 Young Gamechangers class in Albany/Dougherty County, Motley studied public relations at Georgia Southern University and also holds a graduate certificate in business excellence from Columbia Business School. She was recognized as a 2019 American Express NGen Fellow, Rural Leader Magazine's Top Four "40 Under 40" in 2016, and has earned several other awards and recognition for her leadership in the nonprofit industry.

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ROUND 2

Philip Gentry

Resilient Southwest Georgia (Albany)

Supporting: Baker, Calhoun, Clay, Crisp, Dougherty, Early, Lee, Mitchell, Quitman, Randolph, Sumter, Terrell, Worth

Philip Gentry joined the United Way of Southwest Georgia in October 2021. He supports several special initiatives that contribute to United Way’s mission, vision, and annual goals and objectives. Prior to serving United Way, Gentry served as special programs manager with the Illinois Association of Community Action Agencies. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Alabama A&M University. He received a Master of Public Administration from the University of Illinois – Springfield, as well as a graduate certificate in community planning. He is currently working toward a Master in Health Administration through Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

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ROUND 2

Elijah Miranda

Resilient Southwest Georgia (Thomasville)

Supporting: Colquitt, Decatur, Early, Grady, Miller, Mitchell, Seminole, Thomas

Elijah Miranda joined the Vashti Center in January 2017. He was previously the HIV/AIDS program director for the Southwest Public Health District. Prior to that, Miranda served as senior health educator at the Mount Sinai-Adolescent Health Center in New York. While there, he earned his Master of Public Health from Hunter College. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion & Behavior from the University of Georgia. Miranda is also a master’s certified health education specialist.

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ROUND 2

Alexandra English

Resilient Southwest Georgia (Thomasville)

Supporting: Colquitt, Decatur, Early, Grady, Miller, Mitchell, Seminole, Thomas

Alex English joined the Vashti Center/Resilient Southwest Georgia team in August 2020. She graduated from Florida State University in 2015 with a bachelor's degree in hospitality and event Management. English worked in the hospitality industry for the next five years, however her interest in mental health awareness, child advocacy, and nonprofits, sparked a career change to Vashti. Since joining the team, English has served as the community training manager and trained as a facilitator for three professional development opportunities that Vashti offers to youth serving organizations and foster parents throughout Southwest Georgia. English also manages all internal staff training and development, social media, and annual fundraising events. 

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ROUND 3

Angel Young

Aligning Community Systems for Resilience Initiative

Supporting: Clayton

Angel Young is an Atlanta native and currently serves as the project director for the Aligning Community Systems for Resilience Initiative (ACSRI) for GCAPP (Georgia Adolescent of Power and Potential), a statewide agency whose mission is to improve the overall health and well-being of young people in Georgia to ensure a more powerful future for us all. Throughout her career, Young has worked in various capacities serving youth and families within the nonprofit sector and state sector. Previously, she served as a project director for various teenage pregnancy prevention programs, a family therapist for Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice, and worked as a graduation coach for Communities in Schools of Atlanta. Young was also a recipient in 2017 for Rural Leaders 40 under 40 and was honored for her work with families and youth within the Southwest Georgia region. Young holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Georgia State University and earned a Master of Education with a specialization of educational management from Strayer University. 

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ROUND 3

Jevon Gibson

Aligning Community Systems for Resilience Initiative

Supporting: Clayton

Jevon Gibson is the senior advisor for Community Health Solutions (CHS). He is an experienced public health and social innovation strategist with over 20 years of professional experience designing, developing and implementing public health and social innovation efforts. Gibson’s passion for solving complex health and social issues has allowed him to lead national, statewide and local efforts to scale public health and social innovation efforts. His professional experience includes serving as director of the office of infectious diseases and director of screening and treatment with the Georgia Department of Public Health; director of coordinated youth services with the Clayton County Board of Health and; program manager for the CDC's National Center for Workplace Excellence in HIV prevention. He currently serves as CEO of the Fulton-DeKalb Hospital Authority.  Gibson earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Hampton University and a master’s degree in urban studies/public administration from Old Dominion University. 

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ROUND 3

Irene Barton

Cobb Collaborative

Supporting: Cobb

Irene Barton was named the executive director of the Cobb Collaborative in September 2018 after serving as the organization’s Resource Manager since July 2017. Using the collective impact model, the Collaborative convenes community stakeholders to improve outcomes for children and families in Cobb County and is the local presence for the Georgia Family Connection Partnership. As executive director, Barton has diversified the Collaborative’s funding streams, doubled its membership roster, and hired a full-time program manager and a communications director. Prior to joining the Collaborative, Barton worked in the financial services industry and held numerous volunteer leadership positions with Georgia PTA at the local, district and state level and served on several nonprofit boards. In 2022, she was named a Woman of Achievement by LiveSafe Resources. Barton was selected as a member of the 2021 Regional Leadership Institute Class and was an Education Policy Fellow for the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education in 2016-17. She is an alumna of the Cobb Chamber’s Honorary Commanders program. 

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ROUND 3

Kaleigh Raulerson

Cobb Collaborative

Supporting: Cobb

Kaleigh Raulerson has dedicated her nonprofit career to serving children and families in her community and has a passion to see individuals live healthy, happy, abundant lives. She is currently serving as the program director for Cobb Collaborative, whose mission is to educate, engage, and empower local people and organizations to improve outcomes for children and families in Cobb County. She focuses her efforts in the areas of early learning, literacy and mental health. In this role, she works to create thriving children and families through trainings, resources and collaboration with a wide variety of community partners. Prior to joining the Collaborative, Raulerson worked as a program director for a Learn-to-Earn Parenting Program serving children birth to five years old and their caregivers. She earned a Bachelor’s of Human Services with a concentration in Nonprofit Management from Kennesaw State University. As a student, she was part of the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance.

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ROUND 3

Michael Smith

Greater Valdosta United Way

Supporting: Atkinson, Berrien, Brooks, Clinch, Cook, Echols, Lanier, Lowndes

Michael Smith is president and CEO of Greater Valdosta United Way. Prior to serving the organization, he worked in his family business operating Smitty’s Package Stores in Valdosta and Lake Park. Working in retail provided him with many experiences to work and interact with people from all walks of life. At Greater Valdosta United Way, Smith leads the organization’s efforts to serve five counties, along with 19 agency partners, to improve people's lives by mobilizing the caring power of the community. A native of Valdosta, Smith earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from Valdosta State University.

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ROUND 3

Renée Byrd-Lewis

Resilient Gwinnett

Supporting: Gwinnett

Renée Byrd-Lewis serves as president and CEO of the Gwinnett Coalition, an organization dedicated to leading systems change to address Gwinnett County’s most complex social issues. Nearly three decades of private and public sector experience fuels a diverse portfolio of capabilities in community development, social responsibility, and communications. Her previous roles include vice president of advancement and strategic communications at Georgia Gwinnett College, director of community relations at Cisco Systems and Scientific Atlanta, and senior consultant for nonprofits seeking to increase organizational capacity. 
 
A Gwinnett County resident since 1995, Byrd-Lewis is an engaged leader with deep community knowledge. She is a past board chair of Leadership Gwinnett Foundation and serves as a board member of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce and Gwinnett Medical Center Foundation. She earned a master’s degree from Georgia State University and dual bachelor’s degrees in psychology and sociology from Emory University. She resides in Buford, Ga. with her husband and two sons.

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ROUND 3

Teresa Raetz

Resilient Gwinnett

Supporting: Gwinnett

Teresa Raetz serves as COO of the Gwinnett Coalition. Her professional and academic interests include servant leadership, organizational culture, stress and coping, and wellness. Previously, she served as a higher education consultant and served in leadership capacities in the Oklahoma College Student Personnel Association, Georgia College Personnel Association, ACPA: College Educators International, and the Association of College and University Policy Administrators. 
 
She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Oklahoma State University, her Ph.D. in student affairs administration from the University of Georgia, and worked in higher education for 25 years. She moved to Lawrenceville in 2002, serving in roles as director of student affairs for extended campuses for the University of Georgia and director of policy analysis for Georgia Gwinnett College. Raetz’s volunteer activities include Rainbow Village, North Gwinnett Co-op, Adopt-a-Highway, Girl Scouts, and Scouts BSA. She served as a board member for Covenant Counseling and Family Resource Center.

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ROUND 3

Kamesha Walker

Resilient Gwinnett

Supporting: Gwinnett

Kamesha Walker serves as the community health program manager for the Gwinnett Coalition where she leads initiatives and programs that build capacity and improve community health in Gwinnett County. Walker earned a Bachelor’s of Biology from Spelman College and a Master of Public Health from Mercer University. She is an experienced clinic manager and public health professional with a strong background in patient care management, program management, grant writing, and community outreach. Walker is passionate about positively impacting hospital and health care program development.

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ROUND 3

Jennifer Hibbard

Resilient Gwinnett

Supporting: Gwinnett

Jennifer Hibbard lives and works in Gwinnett County as a licensed professional counselor and the CEO at View Point Health where she has served in a variety of capacities for nearly two decades, including intake clinician, center director, director of quality assurance, vice president of programs and COO. She has broad experience working with adults, children and adolescents with mental health and substance abuse issues. Hibbard serves on the board of directors for the Gwinnett Coalition and is a member and serves on the board of the Rotary Club of Gwinnett County as a past president. She is assistant governor for Rotary District 6910 and is a graduate of Leadership Gwinnett and the National Council for Behavioral Health Executive Leadership program. She currently serves as the management team chair for Leadership Gwinnett. 
 
She earned her Master of Professional Counseling from Southwest Texas State University and Bachelor’s of Psychology from the University of Texas in Austin. Her career began while volunteering as a counselor for the Williamson County Juvenile Academy, a residential alternative facility associated with the Texas Youth Correctional system. Hibbard is also a National Certified Counselor of the NBCC, and a member of the American Counselors Association. She lives in Snellville with her husband and two children, as well as three cats and two dogs.

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ROUND 3

Jessica Andrews-Wilson

Resilient Gwinnett

Supporting: Gwinnett

Jessica Andrews-Wilson is executive director of GUIDE, Inc, a  youth development and substance abuse prevention organization. She has volunteered and worked in various capacities with community mobilization, youth development and substance abuse prevention since beginning her work at the Georgia Teen Institute (GTI) in 1993 as a representative from Brookwood High School. She moved up through the organizations, and during her more than two decades at GUIDE, she has secured and maintained crucial partnerships including those with the Governor’s Office for Children and Families, various Family Connection collaboratives and a number of small prevention and youth development agencies She was also instrumental in the partnership that created the Georgia Afterschool and Youth Development Conference and directed the ASYD Conferences in 2013 and 2014. The partnerships she has fostered have led to more than 75 workshops, trainings and events being conducted by GUIDE annually.
 
Andrews-Wilson is an Internationally Certified Prevention Specialist through the Prevention Credentialing Consortium of Georgia, serves on the board of directors and regularly trains others in the Core Courses required by the organization. In 2012, she received the Ray Avant Excellence in Prevention Award from the Georgia Office of Prevention Services and Programs for her contributions to the field. Andrews-Wilson earned a Master of Science in organizational development and leadership from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

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ROUND 4

Carrie Oliver

Atlanta Regional Collaborative for Health Improvement

Supporting: Dekalb, Fulton

Carrie Oliver is a senior innovation manager for the Atlanta Regional Collaborative for Health Improvement (ARCHI). She manages projects addressing inequities and centering community voice in ARCHI's Invert the Burden strategy. Oliver has experience designing, implementing and evaluating public health programs in the nonprofit, private and government sectors in topic areas ranging from health care workforce to mental health. She has a passion for leveraging partnerships to create sustainable solutions that empower underrepresented communities and hold systems accountable to help communities thrive. 

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ROUND 4

Aviva Berman

Atlanta Regional Collaborative for Health Improvement

Supporting: Dekalb, Fulton

Aviva Berman is a senior innovation manager for Atlanta Regional Collaborative for Health Improvement (ARCHI). Her areas of expertise include population health, health care strategy and community engagement. She has significant experience in grant implementation and evaluation at both the city and state levels. Berman supports ARCHI as a health systems strategist as part of the organization’s Invert the Burden initiative by further developing a Community Resource Hub and bolstering the partner network to address social determinants of health in the Atlanta area. By promoting care coordination and upstream, cross-sector work, Berman is working to improve practices to support critical clinical to community linkages. She received her Bachelor’s of Arts in Anthropology from George Washington University and her Master of Public Health in Health Policy and Management from Columbia University.

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ROUND 4

Justin Calloway

Empowered Communities Initiative

Supporting: Camden, Glynn, Liberty, Long, McIntosh, Wayne

Justin Callaway is president and CEO of United Way of Coastal Georgia, serving seven coastal counties in Southeast Georgia. Before joining United Way, Callaway served as president and CEO of NewCity Brunswick, Inc., a nonprofit organization developed to direct investment in the residential resurgence and revitalization of downtown Brunswick, Ga. Callaway helped form NewCity after serving over a decade at SunTrust Private Wealth as a vice president and investment strategist. He has served on a number of boards and advisory committees in the Golden Isles where he also founded the Community Leadership Council, a program that equips community leaders with tools to better serve on nonprofit boards. Callaway holds a bachelor’s degree from Furman University. He and his wife own and operate Sandy Bottom Bagels, a local restaurant on St. Simons Island.

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ROUND 4

Janelle Harvey

Empowered Communities Initiative

Supporting: Camden, Glynn, Liberty, Long, McIntosh, Wayne

Coming Soon!

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ROUND 4

Allison Ashe

Resilient North Georgia

Supporting: Banks, Dawson, Franklin, Forsyth, Habersham, Hall, Hart, Lumpkin, Rabun, Stephens, Towns, Union, White

Allison Ashe came to Wellroot in 2020 as a proven nonprofit leader, communicator and fundraising professional to lead the organization in launching a bold, new strategic plan. Ashe has significant experience in youth and family programs, working with youth aging out of foster care, and independent living. She has expertise in the impact of trauma and generational poverty. Ashe formerly led strategic initiatives and built the largest volunteer program in the national Covenant House network. She enjoys working collaboratively with staff, state, corporate and individual donors, board members and volunteers. Ashe earned a master’s degree from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and has served in chaplaincy roles. She gravitated to nonprofit service as a manifestation of her commitment to Christ. She is a member of Mt. Pisgah United Methodist Church and a long-time volunteer with Warrick Dunn’s Home for the Holidays program, which aids single mothers in achieving their dream of home ownership. 

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ROUND 4

Christina Lennon

Resilient North Georgia

Supporting: Banks, Dawson, Franklin, Forsyth, Habersham, Hall, Hart, Lumpkin, Rabun, Stephens, Towns, Union, White

Christina Lennon is Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer at Wellroot Family Services. With over two decades of nonprofit management experience, she previously served as executive director of the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation, a nonprofit that provides vision and hearing services to Georgians in need before spending several years as a consultant with Coxe Curry and Associates. In 2019 she joined the Wellroot team to design and implement their continuum of Family Preservation Services. Lennon enjoys investing in the next generation of nonprofit leaders by teaching Policy Leadership at Georgia State University and created and teaches the fundraising certificate program at Emory University's continuing education. Her work has been recognized by many, including the Georgia Center for Nonprofits, who named her Georgia's Revolutionary Nonprofit leader. The Andrew Young School of Georgia State University awarded her the first Amanda Hyatt Fellowship and honored her as a distinguished alumnus.  In 2014 she was chosen as their keynote speaker for commencement ceremonies.  

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ROUND 4

Michelle Girtman

Waycross Area Resilient Georgia Partnership

Supporting: Bacon, Brantley, Charlton, Coffee, Pierce, Ware

Michelle Girtman has been executive director of Magnolia House Domestic Violence Shelter in Waycross, Ga. for 25 years and the executive director for The Haven Domestic Violence Shelter and Sexual Assault Center in Valdosta, Georgia for 14 years. Girtman currently serves as a committee member on Georgia’s Child Abuse Services Board and Panel, which partners with Georgia’s child welfare system ensure efforts are made to preserve, support and strengthen families. In 2010, Governor Sonny Perdue appointed Girtman to the board of directors of the Governor’s Office for Children and Families, where she served for six years. In 2010, she was also appointed to the Georgia Commission on Family Violence by Governor Perdue and reappointed to the Commission in 2012 by Governor Nathan Deal. In 2012, Mrs. Girtman worked with the Lowndes County Board of Commissioner to build a new domestic violence shelter in Valdosta, Ga. and in 2014 worked with the city of Remerton, Ga. to build a sexual assault center. In 2020, Magnolia House was only one of three programs in Georgia to receive a grant from The Criminal Justice Coordinating Council to create a family justice center for the Waycross Judicial Circuit. The center will partner with victim service agencies to provide an array of services to victims and their children needing services in domestic violence, sexual assault and victims of crime. Girtman attended Brunswick College and has a background in criminal justice which she uses to advocate for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.  

Our Valued Consultants and Interns

Thank you to all our current and former Consultants and Interns

Our Consultants:

Audrey Price

Bluebird Communications Consultants, LLC

BELAY Solutions

Chrishaunda Lee Perez

Christina Guilbeau with Hopebound​

Hays de Muga Consulting

Huriyyah Lewis 

Jed Rich

Prado Counseling and Consulting, LLC 

Raahina Malik

SiteSmith Studio

The Clarion Group

Our Interns:

Ari David Fodeman

Arnelle Konde

Cameron Bates

Chidinma Ohanele

Cindy Song

Cydney Hill

Donna M Talavari​

Ezri Bidinger

Gbemisola Famule

Gracie Kleinbardt

Jasmine Elias

Jessica Koreis

Jessica Reed

Kiran Thapa

Madison Bondy

Olivia Tang

Stephanie M. Basey

Tra Bui

Yasmine Atamna