40 Under 40 2014
Tuesday, April April 29, 29, 2014 2014 Tuesday, SOUTHWEST GEORGIAâ€™S The goal of 40 Under 40 is to recognize 40 people under the age of 40 who are committed to shaping our region and making it a better place for everyone. Advertising Advertising Supplement Supplement to to The The Albany Albany Herald Herald 2 THE ALBANY HERALD • 40 UNDER 40 • Tuesday, April 29, 2014 • www.albanyherald.com Sarah Lynne Adams Imagine That! Solutions, Inc. Sarah Lynne Adams was born and raised in Mitchell County and is privileged to still reside on her family’s farm. She has the opportunity to live and work in Camilla because of the high speed internet access that the city of Camilla provides. It is gratifying to live in the same town as her family and watch her seven nieces and nephews grow up. Adams graduated from Westwood Schools in 1998 and went to Brenau University in Gainesville, GA where she acquired her first BFA in Commercial Art. She graduated Magna Cum Laude. Next, she went to Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, GA where she was able to obtain her second BFA in Graphic Design, graduating with Magna Cum Laude distinction, and later her MFA in Graphic Design, the terminal degree. Once graduating from SCAD she was able to work her dream job at the Walt Disney World Parks and Resorts as a Graphic Designer in the Travel Industry Marketing department. Once leaving Walt Disney World, she moved back home where she started her own graphic design studio, Imagine That! Solutions, Inc. In addition to owning her own business, which caters to some Fortune 500 companies as well as local businesses, she is also an online professor for Savannah College of Art and Design concentrating in Graphic Design. She is also an Admission Representative for SCAD. In addition, she is also an art director for eight magazine publications. In 2013 she was honored with the Distinguished eLearning Educator award from the Instructional Technology Council, as well as the Excellence in Distance Learning Teaching award from the USDLA committee. Adams is a former member of the Board of Directors on the Camilla Chamber of Commerce, Treasurer of Southwest Georgia Area Health Education Center as well as 2010 graduating class of Leadership Mitchell. Schemika Ash-Foster Albany Police Department Detective Schemika Ashe-Foster, a thirteen year veteran with the Albany Police Department, is assigned to one of the highest profile units, Robbery/Homicide. Detective Foster received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Albany State University in December 2012 and is currently pursuing her Master of Science with a concentration in Law Enforcement. Detective Foster serves as one of the department’s general instructors; she is a Certified Crime Intelligence Analyst and serves as a liaison between APD and Georgia Bureau of Investigation. She is a Hostage Negotiator for the Albany-Dougherty S.W.A.T., a member of the International Crisis Intervention Team, consultant for Monroe High School Career Technical and Agricultural Education (CTAE) program advisory committee, and participates with Albany Police Department’s Mentorship Program. One of the highlights of Detective Foster’s law enforcement career was receiving the William “Bill” Kicklighter Southwest Georgia Sheriffs and Police Chiefs “Officer of the Year Award” in December 2013. Detective Foster was determined to obtain her degree and fulfill a promise she made to herself, her mother, and now deceased aunt. Detective Foster is a member of National Technical Honor Society, the National Society of Leadership, Sigma Alpha Pi, and the Golden Key International Honour Society. Detective Foster says her experience as a non-traditional student at Albany State University was a positive one through communication and interacting with traditional students preparing them for the real world ahead. Schemika Ashe-Foster is a graduate of the Dougherty County School System and is married to her high school sweetheart, Mr. Josh Foster, Jr. She is the proud mother of their son and two daughters, Bryan, Nyla, and Jordan. She is the loving daughter of Judge (Daisy) Ashe, III and Patricia Ashe Brown. Schemika enjoys traveling, singing in the church choir, and hanging out with family and friends during her spare time. Detective Ashe-Foster reminds herself daily, “Being a good leader isn’t an event; you have to be a student of the game and commit to the LIFELONG learning,” and she reads this quote by Thomas Edison “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is ALWAYS to try JUST ONE MORE TIME!” THE ALBANY HERALD • 40 UNDER 40 • Tuesday, April 29, 2014 • www.albanyherald.com 3 Kristel Baranko Albany Technical College Since her graduation from the University of Georgia in 2003, Kristal Baranko’s career path has moved through different industries/sectors, which includes financial sales, non-profit marketing, small business management, retail buying and merchandising, and now into higher education. The common theme in the professions that she has been blessed to have is that each allowed her to utilize her business and marketing talents, skills, and passion to help others- clients, volunteers, colleagues, and students. She has always enjoyed helping others and being a part of a larger mission. Throughout her four years here at Albany Technical College, she has received the NISOD Award of Excellence, Advisor of the Year for Georgia Collegiate DECA and has completed her Master of Business Administration degree from Georgia Southwestern State University. She has the honor of serving on the Achieving the Dream Core Team and has just completed a two year term as the Executive Director for Georgia Collegiate DECA. Baranko’s involvement with these and other initiatives on campus has assisted her in developing a deeper understanding of the students' needs and the community's needs (beyond her classroom). When not working, she is an active wife, mother and church member. Her husband, Bert, is a Lee County native, and they have been married for eleven years. Their seven-year-old son, Bob, has been an entertaining addition to their family and keeps them on their toes! They attend St. Patrick's Episcopal Church where Baranko enjoys serving on the Altar Guild and as an elected vestry member. In her spare time, she volunteers her time and/or talents to the Albany area communities. She is an active member of The Junior League of Albany, Ga. Inc. She has served four years as an active member. In those four years, she has served in the positions of Co- chair and Chairperson of Community Projects and Research and as the Chairperson for Internal Communications. She is excited to serve as a member of the board of directors in the post of Recording Secretary for 2014-2015. She is also a member of the Small Business Resource Committee through the Albany Chamber of Commerce, where they are focusing their efforts on helping small businesses by promoting a "Think Local" campaign. 4 THE ALBANY HERALD • 40 UNDER 40 • Tuesday, April 29, 2014 • www.albanyherald.com Stephanie Bowens United States Marine Corps Sergeant Bowens, 28, is a New York native. She enlisted in the Marine Corps in January 2010 and attended recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina. Upon completion, she attended Marine Combat Training (MCT), at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Upon completion of MCT, she reported to Fort Jackson, South Carolina where she earned the MOS of Postal Clerk. Private First Class Bowens then reported to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan where she served as a Postal Clerk. In October of 2010, PFC Bowens was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal. While in Japan, Bowens was meritoriously promoted to the rank of Corporal in March of 2012. She was also selected as the NCO of the Quarter during FY 2012. In July 2012, Bowens received orders to Marine Corps Logistics Base, Albany, Georgia where she currently serves as the NCOIC of the Official Mail Room. She was again selected as the NCO of the Quarter in FY13 and meritoriously promoted again to her current rank of Sergeant in May of 2013. She serves as the President, Single Marine Program, and serves her community by volunteering in numerous community events and programs like Strive to Thrive, Read Across America, Mission Change, Lily Pad, Special Olympics and with the Youth/Teen afterschool program on base. Sergeant Bowens was selected as a member of the All Marine Volleyball Team in April 2013. Sgt. Bowens was selected as the Noncommissioned Officer of the Year, fiscal year 2013. She has a BA in English from Nazareth College in Rochester, New York and is currently pursuing an MBA at the University of Phoenix, graduating July 2014. Bowens recently re-enlisted in the Marine Corps and will serve her next term as a Marine Recruiter after completing Recruiters’ School this summer. Sabrina Caldwell LOGCOM Contracts at MCLB Ms. Sabrina N. Caldwell is an inspirational and motivational speaker with over 14 years of communication, leadership, and personal development experience catered to both youth and adults. Since her arrival to Southwest Georgia in 2008, she has engaged youth and adults in strengthening their communication and leadership skills and growing from where they are planted. She is a Supervisory Procurement Analyst with LOGCOM, Contracts Department, Policy Office, where she is committed to the adherence of policy mandates and initiatives. Her progressive promotions she aggressively pursued were due to her willingness to move and grow within and outside her agency. From an Administrative Assistant in 2004 to a Contract Officer in 2006 to a Procurement Analyst in 2008 and now a Supervisor since 2010, Ms. Caldwell knows no bounds. She attributes her success on her willingness to be well rounded. She believes that you must harness your talents, hone in on your skill sets, and share them to teach and equip others. As a single parent of 5 children, a Navy Veteran whom served during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2000-2004, a graduate from Norfolk State University with a BS in Interdisciplinary Studies with honors, a Masters in Public Administration from Northern Arizona University with distinction, and a current Doctoral student at Walden University where she is seeking a PhD in Public Policy Administration with an emphasis in Public Management and Leadership, she commits herself to the cause of growing our communities through communication. She serves as a mentor, provides communication workshops through the Toastmasters Youth Program, was a guest speaker for Westover High, and provided life/skill building workshops for single parent women and domestic abuse survivors, a cause she holds dear as she is a domestic abuse survivor of 13 years. THE ALBANY HERALD • 40 UNDER 40 • Tuesday, April 29, 2014 • www.albanyherald.com 5 Dr. Keisha R. Callins Dr. Ivy Chupp Candice D. Clark Dr. Keisha Reneé Callins is a women’s health and public health professional and the only female Obstetrician and Gynecologist with Albany Area Primary Health Care (AAPHC). Her practice focuses exclusively on women’s health and health behavior, and she is beloved by her patients and peers for the passion she demonstrates in caring for her patients. Born in Montego Bay, Jamaica, Dr. Callins earned a B.A in Biology at the University of Virginia in 1998, an MPH from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in 2000, and a MD from Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) in 2007, as a National Health Core Scholar awarded to a select number of exceptional students by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Prior to medical school, Dr. Callins worked as a clinical researcher with the Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center at UAB where she where she published research papers related to national clinical trials investigating sexually transmitted diseases. Dr. Callins completed her graduate medical training at the MSM OB/GYN Residency Program at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, where she serviced as Chief Resident, responsible for training and supervising junior residents in providing care to patients. Dr. Callins has earned numerous awards for resident teaching and research, presented at local and national conferences and is an expert in teenage pregnancy prevention, obesity prevention, and physician workforce issues. Dr. Callins serves on several appointed committees both with Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital and AAPHC., and is a member of the Rotary Club of Dougherty County , Albany Downtown Sertoma, and the Junior League of Albany. In her free time, she enjoys reading, crocheting, cooking, gardening, traveling, and raising chickens. She is happily married to Joel Callins, Esq., and they are the proud parents of Joel (age 9) and Abigail (age 5). Dr Ivy Chupp is a native of Albany and a graduate of Deerfield-Windsor. She attended Darton College where she earned an Associate’s Degree in PreVeterinary Medicine, and Georgia Southwestern State University where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology in 2004. Dr. Chupp continued her education at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine and she was awarded her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2008. She is especially interested in Neurology and Animal Behavior. Dr. Chupp is a veterinarian at Bush Animal Clinic where she has been employed since her graduation. Dr. Chupp is very dedicated to veterinary medicine and compassionate to her patients. She has always wanted to be a veterinarian and her love of animals has led her to a career that is very rewarding to herself and our community. Dr. Chupp is an active member of Gillionville Baptist Church where she attends with her husband Jay and her two children, Colson and Hudson. Dr. Chupp is a member of Women In Network and is also involved with MOPS, Mothers of Preschoolers. She is also a past member of the Dougherty County Kiwanis Club. Candice Clark was born and raised in Warner Robbins, GA. She attended Georgia College and State University prior to joining the Marine Corps on November 7, 2011. Upon completion of Boot Camp, Marine Combat Training, and Supply Administration School Candice was assigned to Marine Corps Systems Command aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany in January 2013. In the past year, Candice has become very involved in the community, never turning down an opportunity to give back to her home state. Candice is currently a member of the Mentors-InAction program. She volunteers weekly at International Studies Elementary Charter School. Candice spends time with a 4th grade class assisting the teacher with projects, providing inclass tutoring, and mentoring the students. Candice has participated in the Read Across America two years in a row by reading to several classes and encouraging the student’s to love reading and read more. After school, Candice can be found volunteering with Girls, Inc. She mentors and tutors several girls in the Girl, Inc Albany Chapter. She strives each week to provide a good role model for the Dougherty County School System students. Her on-base volunteer activities include mentoring and training with local Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) cadets during their weekend field trips to the base. Candice assists the cadets with drill, physical training, Martial Arts, and combat fitness. During their training events she also mentors cadets on their goals and aspirations for college, career paths, and their future in the Armed Forces. In addition to volunteer events in the great Albany area, Candice volunteers with the Marine Corps Recruiting Office in Warner Robbins during the first weekend of each month. She provides motivational speaking and physical fitness training to prospective Marine Corps Recruits in the local area. AAPHC Mirian Worthy Clinic Bush Animal Clinic United States Marine Corps 6 THE ALBANY HERALD • 40 UNDER 40 • Tuesday, April 29, 2014 • www.albanyherald.com Tomekia Cooper Dr. Kajuana P. Farrey Rashad Flournoy Tomekia Cooper is the oldest of five children and a native of Fort Gaines, GA. She attended Albany State University where she obtained a bachelor���s and master’s degree in Middle Grades Education; she is currently working on a specialist degree at Georgia Southern University. She is also the chairperson for Learning Support and General Core at Albany Technical College (ATC), chairperson for the ATC Homecoming Committee, and a member of the Georgia Council of Teachers of English (GCTE) among other things. For the past two years she has been instrumental in the planning of homecoming activities at Albany Technical College and as the first head coach of the ATC Titan Cheer squad, she helped to lay the foundation and establish the framework for the program at ATC. Community Involvement Ms. Cooper is a member of Friendship Missionary Baptist church in Bluffton, GA and she attends Newbirth Fellowship church in Albany, GA. In her spare time, Ms. Cooper volunteers to tutor students that struggle with reading and writing. She has also participated in and helped to organize Relay for Life events in the community. Relay for Life is an organization that is near and dear to her heart because her mother is a breast cancer survivor. Each year, Ms. Cooper also makes sure that her classes participate in and support the Big Read program here in Albany, GA. What sets this nominee apart is her passion for people and dedication to education. As a teacher, she enjoys helping struggling students to improve their reading and writing skills. She is an advocate of education and passionately encourages her students to never give up and to continue to dream. Unique Circumstances/Overwhelming Obstacles Ms. Cooper was raised in a single parent household, and she is the oldest of five siblings. Being the oldest of five, she often had to care for her siblings while her mother worked. She made sure that her siblings were fed, completed their homework, and were in bed on time each night. After making sure that her siblings were taken care of, she would then complete her own homework. She overcame obstacles such as poverty and being a latchkey child and went on to excel academically in both high school and college. She was the first person in her family to graduate from college. She has always believed that education is a key that unlocks many doors; therefore, she purposed early on that she would go to college and obtain a degree in a field which would allow her to give back to her family and community. Personal Anecdotes Ms. Cooper states that she knew early on that she wanted to become a teacher. She recalls that as a child she would often play “school” with her cousins and siblings. While playing school with them, she always wanted to be the teacher. She has always enjoyed reading and learning, and early on she decided that she wanted to share that passion with others. Now she is using that gift to help educate the citizens of Southwest Georgia. Dr. Kajuana P. Farrey DMD, is a graduate of the Medical College of Georgia, (Georgia Regents University School of Dentistry). She is a product of the Dougherty County School System, having graduate Valedictorian of her class. Dr. Kajuana P. Farrey is the first AfricanAmerican female dentist to assist in the cofounding of a dental community health center, West Albany Dental and Medical Center, in Albany, GA. Due to her prior co-founding experiences, Dr. Farrey has been the only dentist nationally to qualify for a dental office which she owns and operates, Farrey Family Dentistry LLC as an approved NHSC (National Health Service Corps) site along with serving as a scholar for the NHSC Program. Dr. Farrey, a native of Albany, GA is also the first graduate of the Medical College of Georgia’s Impressions Program established in 1999. This program exposes youth to the field of dentistry and is presently supported by Albany State University’s Department of Natural Sciences, which began with the initiatives of Dr. Ellis Sykes, Dr. Joanne McCrarey, and Dr. Ora LockleyJones. Dr. Farrey attended this program in the eighth grade as a participant of HCOP, and had no idea she would graduate as a dentist ten years later from Georgia Regents University School of Dentistry in 2009. Dr. Kajuana P. Farrey is a member of Mt. Zion Baptist Church and has received spiritual guidance from the teachings of Rev. Dr. Daniel Simmons for more than 25 years. She also provides inspirational speeches and support for several community organizations: Mt. Zion Daughters of Zion, Moultrie Boys and Girls Club of America, Terrell County High School, Colquitt County School System, and many more. Dr. Farrey received recognition in 2014 as a member of the Presidents Circle at Albany State University, recognition as Albany State University’s 50 under 50, and an honoree for America’s Top Dentist. Dr. Farrey is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Moultrie Rotary Club, Georgia Dental Society, American Dental Association, Southwest Georgia Dental Society, and National Dental Association. Rashad Flournoy is originally from Albany, Georgia, and he attended high school at Monroe Comprehensive High School. He is a graduate of Albany State University with the following degrees: B.S. in Criminal Justice, an M.S. in Criminal Justice and a Master of Public Administration. He is currently pursuing a doctoral degree. He is unmarried and without children, but he hopes to get married and have children in the future. In 2014, he was selected to the Water, Gas, & Light Commission and the Police Citizen’s Review Board for the City of Albany, Georgia. He is a member of King Solomon Lodge #14 Masonic Lodge in Albany. He is an exercise and workout enthusiast. He loves spending holidays with his family. Flournoy has worked the following positions: Albany Police Officer, Dougherty County School System Police Officer, Federal Correctional Officer, and Moultrie, Georgia Police Officer. He hopes to either become a high-ranking law enforcement executive, appointed or elected, or continue his journey as an educator. He has considered entering the political arena but is unsure if politics is for a guy like himself. He’s always wanted to be the leader that most people will follow because he believes that if a leader has true vision, not a selfish vision, then others will be more eager to follow. Flournoy is currently an instructor of Criminal Justice at Albany Technical College where he teaches traditional and online courses. He is responsible for educating over 100 students per semester who are eager to learn more about the ever-changing criminal justice system. He enjoys what he does on a daily basis because he is preparing students for possible careers in law enforcement as well as students who are simply craving knowledge of the legal system. He is still a certified police officer, and he does anticipate working part-time so that his skills will not diminish. Albany Technical College Farrey Family Dentistry, LLC Albany Technical College THE ALBANY HERALD • 40 UNDER 40 • Tuesday, April 29, 2014 • www.albanyherald.com 7 Tracy A. Goode Darton State College If you ask him, Tracy will tell you that the two best things about him is his wife of nearly 16 years, Teresa, a labor and delivery nurse at Pheobe; and his daughter Abby, the quick-witted eighth-grader who tolerates her daddy’s attempts at humor. A life-long Albanian, graduate of Sherwood Christian Academy, Darton State College and Georgia Southwestern, Tracy returned to his alma mater in 2012 to work in Darton’s Advancement and Public Relations division. In this division he oversees fundraising, alumni relations, public relations and marketing. DSC’s staff was recently recognized with four national awards for their TV commercial campaign and their magazine, Capstones; both of which are total in-house productions. “I work with a team of dedicated professionals who know how to produce with excellence, I’m just honored to be a part of this team, one of which is a fellow 40 under 40 honoree,” said Goode. Having been on the stage since the age of six, Tracy has acted in 11 productions at Theatre Albany, has acting credits in six movies, including Paramount Pictures Footloose (2011), Sherwood Pictures Facing the Giants and Flywheel. Most recently he worked on two Christian films both set for release next year, and ABC’s “Resurrection,” which is currently airing on Sunday nights. Although his acting “gigs” are very rare, he enjoys all aspects of media production and marketing; from producing and directing to creating commercials and videos for local organizations. When asked about what his weekends look like, Goode said “I¹m really bad at golf, and I don¹t see marathon running in my future, so in my free time, why not do something I’m passionate about, like being creative". Tracy is active in the community, sings in his church choir and truly believes in Albany, Georgia. I am grateful for everything God has given me. I¹m thrilled to have this opportunity and consider it an honor to serve the community in which I have called home for 37 years. proudly congratulates for being selected We truly value your hard work and dedication! 8 THE ALBANY HERALD • 40 UNDER 40 • Tuesday, April 29, 2014 • www.albanyherald.com Milton Hall, Jr. Kelley Manufacturing Company Milton (MJay) Hall, Jr. is a native of Tifton, Georgia born August 19, 1987. He attended the public schools of Tift County, graduating from Tift County High School in 2005. After attending ABAC for two years, he transferred to Georgia State University in Atlanta to complete his studies. Hall graduated from Georgia State in May 2011 with a B.A. in Sociology. Hall exhibited an entrepreneurial spirit at an early age, establishing a clothing line while in high school under the Hedqortrs label. After a visit to Italy in 2010, Hall refocused his line and incorporated Italian fashion concepts with his affinity for horses and the outdoors, and produced a line of dress shirts and western style bow ties that became the signature design for the label. It was also during his visit to Italy that Hall became fascinated with the idea of producing wines and he, along with several colleagues from college, developed several wines under the label “Pris”. The wines are being used in a variety of ways including infusion into chocolates and gelato. In 2012, Hall returned to Tifton to assume the position of Plant Environment Coordinator for Kelley Manufacturing Company. KMC is a leading farm equipment manufacturing company in the Southeast. In his role, Hall is responsible for making sure that the company is in compliance with all state and federal regulations with respect to plant safety. He is also in charge of developing proactive approaches to environmental and safety concerns as identified through OSHA regulations. It is perhaps Hall’s commitment to the youth in the Tifton community that really sets him apart. As a youth member of Mims Kids, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to providing youth with opportunities to excel, MJay supervised a summer arts camp for elementary school students. In an effort to address the dropout rate in high school, Hall has, for the past two years, instituted a “Stay in School” campaign targeting students in middle and high school grades. Hall’s latest venture that is designed to benefit the community is the establishment of a social media event development network called Southern Culture LLC. It is Hall’s vision that by focusing on the commonality of the culture of the South, people can be mobilized to assist one another and their community in joint efforts for the common good. In collaboration with Mims Kids, Inc. Southern Culture, under Hall’s leadership, has organized an Easter Egg Hunt for special needs elementary school children in the Tift County School System. MJay has returned to his community and immersed himself in its growth and development. His energy and passion for improving his community and the lives of Tifton’s youth has been the driving force behind his involvement. Hall is the son of Judge and Mrs. Larry (Joyce) Mims of Tifton Georgia. THE ALBANY HERALD • 40 UNDER 40 • Tuesday, April 29, 2014 • www.albanyherald.com 9 Stephen Harrell Draffin & Tucker, LLP Stephen is a supervisor in Draffin & Tucker's Audit and Accounting service group in Albany, Ga., where he has extensive experience providing audit and reimbursement services to healthcare clients. Stephen also plays an important role in the firm’s education efforts by regularly presenting at industry association conferences. He has also had multiple articles published in industry publications. Stephen is a Certified Public Accountant licensed to practice in the state of Georgia. Stephen is actively involved in multiple professional organizations including the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the Georgia Chapter of Healthcare Financial Management Association. Stephen is also actively involved in multiple civic organizations. He has been serving as the chairman of the Albany Chapter of Ducks Unlimited since 2011. In 2012 he led the chapter to its most successful fundraising year and was recognized as the Chairman of the Year for South Georgia by Ducks Unlimited. He is also an active member of the Artesian City Sertoma Club, and has served as a board member since joining in 2007. He also served as the treasurer for the organization from 2009 to 2010. He has served on the organization’s fundraising committee for the past two years, leading the organization in raising approximately $100,000 for local charities. Stephen is a graduate of the 2012 Leadership Lee program and has also been selected to participate in the 2014-2015 Leadership Albany program. Stephen can also be seen performing with his band, Stephen Harrell and the Dusty Boots Band in the area on a regular basis, as featured in the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission’s video. Stephen graduated from Lee County High School in 2003. In 2007, he graduated from Georgia Southern University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting with a minor in Marketing (Cum Laude) and a Masters of Accountancy. Upon graduation, Stephen moved back to his hometown where he and his wife Shea currently reside with their son, James. Julie Irvin DOCO Credit Union Julie Irvin is currently employed as the AVP of Compliance for DOCO Credit Union. Her primary job is to ensure that DOCO is compliant with credit union industry rules and regulations. Her duties include keeping up to date on the changes with the rules and regulations and then communicating and implementing those changes to our team. It is challenging at times to keep pace with all the regulatory changes, but it is always interesting and keeps her on her toes. Irvin started her career in the workforce as an associate attorney working in the areas of insurance defense and workers compensation. Her legal background helped mold and teach her many lessons about analyzing issues and communicating with people who come from all walks of life. Julie’s parents have played such a huge role in leading her to where she is today. They have always given her the support and encouragement to do anything she sets her mind to do. They instilled in her siblings and herself the importance of setting goals and working hard to achieve those goals. She is very grateful for their guidance in her life. She graduated from Mercer University with a Bachelor of Arts degree. Afterwards, she attended Mercer University School of Law and obtained my J.D. in 2000. She is very active in her church, Bethlehem Free Will Baptist Church, in Shellman, Georgia. She also helps coach children in basketball and soccer through Sherwood Recreation. She is a member of the 2014 Leadership Albany class. Her husband, Chris Irvin, and she have been married for almost 13 years. They have three amazing children, Bailey, 10, and 7 year old twins, Holden and Maggie. In her spare time, she enjoys running and spending time with family and friends. 10 THE ALBANY HERALD • 40 UNDER 40 • Tuesday, April 29, 2014 • www.albanyherald.com Lee N. Johnston III City of Albany Lee N. Johnston III was born and raised in south west Georgia. When he graduated Lee County High School in 1995, he went to Darton College and earned his Associates degree. While at Darton he was involved in Student Government and many other activities. After that he attended University of Phoenix and earned his Bachelors while working. He went on to earn his Masters of Business Administration from American Military University in 2011. While at American Military University, he was inducted into the Golden Key Honor Society. Johnston started to work for the City of Albany in February 2001 in the information technology department. While dealing with technology it is really important to keep up on technology needs, which require training. He has earned certifications from Comptia “A + and Network +” Microsoft certified Systems Administrator”. Currently, he is a Computer Network Systems Specialist and enjoys his job and helping the employees with hardware and software issues. His family, which includes his parents and two sisters, live here locally, and they have been an important figure in his life. Everyone wants the best for each other and they help each other out when they can. He attends St.Teresa’s church located in Albany, Georgia. He attends service every Sunday and is a member of the Knights of Columbus, which includes greeting the church members, collections, ushering as well as helping with other duties in the church as needed. He participates in functions with the organizations like the fish fry’s during lent and bbq plate sales during the year. Besides the Knights of Columbus, he serves on the planning commission board in Lee County. He is a member of the Albany Dougherty Search and Rescue team and Lee County Cert Team. Being involved in the community and church is a very important to him. He plans on continuing doing volunteer work as long as he can. Congratulations 40 Under 40 Award Recipients! CONGRATULATIONS JOHN! We are so proud of you! from all of us at Kirbo & Kirbo Law Firm 229-883-5134 | 2405 Westgate Drive | Albany, GA 31707 “Milton Hall, Jr.” We Love You! Mom, Dad, Granma, Aunt Christine, San, Reuben, Yogi, Taelor, Bailey, Machelle, Nickki and Durham THE ALBANY HERALD • 40 UNDER 40 • Tuesday, April 29, 2014 • www.albanyherald.com 11 John Hall Kirbo Kirbo & Kirbo, P.C. An Albany native, John graduated from Deerfield-Windsor School before attending Mercer University, where he studied Accounting and graduated with a B.B.A. Following graduation, he went on to earn his J.D. becoming the sixth lawyer in his family to graduate from Mercer University’s Walter F. George School of Law. During law school, he clerked for the Macon firm, Lindley, Powell & Rumph, and also for Kirbo & Kirbo, P.C. After graduating from law school and passing the bar exam, he moved back to Albany to practice with his aunt, Helen V. Kirbo, his father, Glenn A. Kirbo, and later with his brother, Campbell W. Kirbo, at the family law firm, Kirbo & Kirbo, P.C. During his first two years as a practicing lawyer, he earned his Master of Laws in Taxation from the University of Alabama. John gives back to the community where he was raised and now enjoys as a working adult. He is a member of Porterfield Memorial United Methodist Church in Albany, the Artesian City Sertoma Club, and the Rotary Club of Dougherty County. He has helped host Wild Affair, benefitting the Flint RiverQuarium, and the Albany Museum of Art’s 50th Anniversary Celebration. He has also served the community through several pro bono cases, including the filing of the non-profit applications for the Friends of the Dougherty County Public Library, and the Captain Nicholas Schade Whitlock Foundation. In 2008, John married his wife, Cristin Kimbrell Kirbo of Roswell, after meeting at Mercer University. John is the son of Peggy and Glenn Kirbo, and the brother of Glenn and Campbell. In his free time John is an avid supporter of Mercer University Athletics and enjoys spending time with his family and friends and taking advantage of all the outdoor opportunities in southwest Georgia, especially fishing on the Flint River. 12 THE ALBANY HERALD • 40 UNDER 40 • Tuesday, April 29, 2014 • www.albanyherald.com Mandy Lanier Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital Since beginning her career in 2013, child life specialist Mandy Lanier has achieved her life’s goal of starting a Child Life program at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital. An Albany native and Sherwood Christian Academy graduate, Mandy has successfully integrated the program into the Women’s and Children’s service line by providing specialized care for the hospital’s youngest patients. In her role at Phoebe, Mandy works with departments like Pediatrics, NICU, Clinics, Labor and Delivery, and the Emergency Center. She is also involved at the Children’s Hospital of Georgia pediatric specialty clinic, where she works with neurologists, hematologist/ oncologists and others to provide much needed care for patients who can’t travel to meet with a specialist. Aside from her role at the hospital, Mandy has been a part of many community activities. She has been a counselor at Camp Good Grief and Camp Journey, for children and teens who are mourning the loss of loved ones. She started up sibling support group for children who have lost a brother or sister. Mandy is a member of the Heart Prints Bereavement committee at Phoebe and helped plan the Evening of Memories for parents who have lost a baby. She has spoken to community and school groups including Deerfield, Twin Oaks, Westover and the Darton Association of Nursing Students and has participated in local job fairs. Mandy has worked with CMN Radiothon and has volunteered as a Salvation Army bell ringer. She is active at Providence Church, where she helps support birthdays for foster children. She is an ardent supporter of Stand Up To Cancer and To Write Love on Her Arms. She has also been a part of several mission trips to work with children in New Orleans, Peru and Bahamas. Mandy is the daughter of David and Cathy Lanier and loves spending time with friends, family, and her dog, Chanel. 2014 Selection Committee Thank You for Your Service! The Board of Directors and staff of the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce congraulate Courtney Spencer on being selected as one of Albany’s 40 under 40 young professionals. Courtney is the liaison for Emerge the young profession sector of the chamber. If you are interested in joining Emerge Albany contact her at 317.7170 THE ALBANY HERALD • 40 UNDER 40 • Tuesday, April 29, 2014 • www.albanyherald.com 13 Billy Mann Stewbos By his own account, Stewbos President Billy Mann is living the American dream. “It’s what you put into something,” he says. Mann, 34, waited tables at Harvest Moon as he studied restaurant and hospitality management at Albany Technical College, was quickly promoted to a leadership position, and now presides over one of Albany’s most successful businesses. Stewbos owns Harvest Moon; The Catch Seafood Room & Oyster Bar; Henry Campbell’s Steakhouse; Merry Acres Inn, Event Center and Restaurant; and the Manor House Pub. As the unsung hero of Stewbos’ rise to profitability and community prominence, Mann is an energetic, insightful leader who carefully studies the company’s daily processes and continually analyzes market trends and competitors’ actions. Mann’s remarkable lead-by-example approach to his job also sets him apart; the result is a relationship-driven, productive team of more than 120 staff members – all of whom he hired. Born in Columbus, Mann moved to Albany with his family as a toddler; he and his wife, Jenn, have two children, Gracie and Bo. In addition to being a devoted husband and father, Mann coaches Dixie League Baseball, delivers Meals on Wheels, and is an active First Presbyterian Church member. He also has served on the Flint River Habitat for Humanity board of directors and organized home builds; and in March, he inspired his family, friends and employees by running the Albany Half-Marathon. “I’m grateful to be a part of a company that has shown so much growth and still has the potential and determination to keep growing,” Mann said. “I value the opportunity to have a positive impact on not only our customers’ day through their experience at one of our brands, but also on the people I employ. Investing in them and therefore helping build the future of the Albany community is rewarding to me.” One of Southwest Georgia’s 40 UNDER FORTY Distinguished Award Recipients 2500 WEST GORDON AVENUE • ALBANY, GA 31707 • www.albanyair.com GA. Reg. CN210617 14 THE ALBANY HERALD • 40 UNDER 40 • Tuesday, April 29, 2014 • www.albanyherald.com Marci Garner Marshall Albany Technical College Marci Garner Marshall is an Albany native born to Rod and Nellie Garner. She is a 2006 graduate of Albany High School. In 2006, Marci began her collegiate journey at Valdosta State University (VSU). “I don’t want to live in the kind of world where we don’t look out for each other. Not just the people that are close to us, but anybody who needs a helping hand. I can’t change the way anybody else thinks, or what they chose to do, but I can do my bit.”- Charles de Lint. Through various collegiate experiences such as a resident assistant, orientation leader, and the Director of the Campus Activities Board, Marci realized she wanted to live a life of service to others. In 2010, Marci graduated cum laude from VSU with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Education. Through her desire to serve others, she began teaching within the Technical College System of Georgia while in graduate school. Marci decided she preferred to work in education but outside of the classroom so she pursed a Master’s degree in Higher Education Leadership with an emphasis in Student Affairs. She graduated in 2012 from Valdosta State University. After graduating in 2012, Marci continued to serve as a Business Education Instructor. In May 2013, Marci made the commitment to student success and retention at Albany Technical College as an Achievement Coach. In April 2014, she continued her commitment to student success and retention by accepting a position within the College of Nursing at Valdosta State University. College was a time of professional and academic growth for Marci. Not only did Marci experience personal and professional growth but she met her future life partner. In November 2013, Marci united in holy matrimony with her college sweetheart, Johnnie L. Marshall, Jr. of Whigham, GA. Marci has one sister, Kelsey Garner. Rebecca McKinley Draffin & Tucker, LLP Rebecca McKinley, originally from Atmore, Alabama, is a proud graduate of Troy University. In 2003, she graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and in 2004, obtained her Masters of Business Administration degree, also in the field of accounting. Upon graduation, Rebecca and her husband, Jeremy McKinley moved to the Albany area after being recruited by Draffin & Tucker, where she has worked for the last 10 years. Rebecca is an audit manager with the firm where she focuses on the healthcare industry. In addition to assisting clients, Rebecca also plays an important role in the firm’s education efforts. She is the Chairman of the firm’s Audit and Accounting Committee. As part of this committee, Rebecca is actively involved in presenting necessary updates and training to the firm. She has also assisted with presenting this information outside of the firm through articles published in leading industry publications. Rebecca is committed to her professional career and remains actively involved in multiple professional organizations, including American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the Georgia Chapter of Healthcare Financial Management Association. Rebecca also enjoys serving our community through civic organization participation. She has been a member of The Junior League of Albany, GA, Inc., since 2011. Through her membership with the organization she has volunteered time and resources benefitting various organizations in our community including the Lily Pad, Children’s Miracle Network and the Foster Care System. She is also chair of the Junior League’s Grants for Innovative Teachers project which provides grants and recognition for innovative teachers in our community. In addition to juggling a career, which often takes her away from home, and community service, Rebecca is also a mother of two beautiful children, Parker (6) and Allison (2). THE ALBANY HERALD • 40 UNDER 40 • Tuesday, April 29, 2014 • www.albanyherald.com 15 Amanda Merritt Dental Partners of SWGA Dr. Amanda Merritt is a native of south Georgia, born and raised in the Valdosta area. Since she was just a teen in braces, Dr. Merritt knew she wanted to devote her life to helping others discover the confidence she found through a healthy smile. Dr. Merritt graduated third in her class from Berrien High School and went on to attend Valdosta State University where she graduated Cum Laude. In 2005, she earned her Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the Medical College of Georgia School of Dentistry. She then completed a General Practice residency, a prestigious program where she refined her expertise though training in implant dentistry and sedation dentistry. Following dental school, Dr. Merritt briefly practiced in both Fitzgerald and Valdosta before joining the family of professionals at Dental Partners of Southwest Georgia in 2009. Her philosophy as a dentist is to serve her patients with honesty and compassion. She is especially concerned with calming the fears of those patients who experience anxiety during their office visits. Dr. Merritt is active in many professional organizations including the American Dental Association, the Georgia Dental Association and the Academy of General Dentistry. She served as the President of the Southwestern District of the Georgia Dental Association from 2011-2012. She currently serves the Lee County Chamber of Commerce as a board member. Dr. Merritt enjoys giving back to her community through volunteer work with Give Kids A Smile and a number of other free dental clinics. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with family and friends and savoring the rich heritage and culture of southwest Georgia. Dr. Merritt's greatest accomplishment is her family. She is married to Jay Merritt of Fitzgerald. Together, they have one son, Dalton, and are expecting a daughter this summer. Roger M. Mishoe Marine Corps Logistics Command Mr. Roger Mishoe is the last born of 12 to Mr. James Mishoe (Deceased) and Lafaye Mishoe of Bucksport, SC. He is a 1999 graduate of Southern University with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and was immediately commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Marine Corps. After a tour of duty in Okinawa, Japan as a Marine Artillery Officer in 2002, Mr. Mishoe was selected to attend the United States Naval Postgraduate School where in 2004 he graduated with a M.S. in Military Operations Research. Mr. Mishoe was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in 2006 and accepted a position as a defense contractor providing operations research and logistics support to DOD, Federal, and State Agencies to include support operations to service members in Afghanistan. Over six years with his company (2006-2012), Mr. Mishoe received numerous awards and rose to a position of Senior Director where he led, mentored, trained, and celebrated his staff of more than 50 in various logistics, operations research, and Information Technology disciplines. In November 2012, Mr. Mishoe was selected to his current position as Director, Studies & Analysis Division at Marine Corps Logistics Command, Logistics Capabilities Center. For the past 10 years, Roger has called Albany his home and is extremely blessed to be counted a member of Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Albany for the past 9 years. He’s a member of the Gamma Omicron Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc here in Albany. He has a passion for volunteering and helping those in need and leading through service in various capacities of his life. He is married with two sons, Anthony (age 15) and Jaden (age 11) who are the absolute joys of his life. 16 THE ALBANY HERALD • 40 UNDER 40 • Tuesday, April 29, 2014 • www.albanyherald.com Clint Newsome Albany Air Conditioning Born at Phoebe Putney Hospital in 1979, Clint Newsome grew up in the ball fields of the local YMCA, spent afternoons at Chehaw Park, and had birthday parties at Putt-Putt. Clint graduated with honors from Sherwood Christian Academy in 1998 and went on to the Georgia Institute of Technology where he graduated in 2002 with a Degree in Business Management. Clint is actively involved with the Albany Area Georgia Tech Alumni Group as well as his Fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta. When Clint returned to Albany in 2008 to work with his dad, Ed Newsome, Jr., at Albany Air Conditioning and Heating, he became the third generation Newsome in the family business that his grandfather, Edward Newsome Sr., began in 1949. Clint currently holds Air Conditioning Licenses in both Georgia and Alabama. An active member of the Artesian City Sertoma Club, Clint has coordinated and directed multiple fundraisers and events. His most recent endeavor was the 2013 Artesian City Sertoma Club Truck Raffle Benefit, which raised money to benefit humanitarian organizations such as the Lily Pad and Habitat for Humanity. Clint was also awarded the Sertoman of the Year by the Artesian City Sertoma Club in 2013. Clint was a proud member of the Leadership Albany class of 2013. Clint also serves on the Board of Directors for the Albany YMCA, a place all four Newsome’s call a second home as they participate in its various activities and events. This spring, Clint is coaching his son’s Y soccer team. Clint is also serving on the Board of Director’s for the Lily Pad here in Albany. Clint and his wife Jodi are the proud parents of two boys, Ethan, a first grade student at Deerfield-Windsor School and 3 year old Brycen who attends Lee County Pre-K. Brian Perkins Darton State College Over the last 8 years, you’ve more than likely heard Brian Perkins’ voice at one point or another. He moved to Albany in 2006 after taking the job of Sports Director at WFXL-Fox 31. He served at WFXL for just over three years, while also serving as a fill-in public address announcer for the South Georgia Peanuts and South Georgia Wildcats. During this time, Brian was also lucky enough to partner with the Albany Advocacy Resource Center and was named the Media Member of the Year in 2007. After spending a year in Virginia as a high school mass media instructor, Brian returned to the Good Life City in 2010 to start the Broadcast Journalism program at Darton State College. During his tenure at Darton, Brian produced campus videos and commercials, and he started the college’s social media sites, which he still manages. Over the last year, you may have seen some of the work produced by Darton students. Broadcast Journalism majors worked with WFXL during last fall’s football season by producing “sights and sounds” packages from various high school football games. The students also helped Albany Police Department produce a public service announcement about school zones and worked with MCLB just this month by helping conduct mock press conferences during the severe weather drill on base. Brian is married to another 40 Under 40 award winner, Elizabeth Gassel Perkins. They have four rescue animals-two cats (Vivi and Strappey McGhee) and two dogs (Deja and Ollie). They yell “Roll Tide” in the fall, “Go Orange” in the spring, and agree to disagree during hockey season. Brian, originally from Newport News, Virginia, is a graduate of Syracuse University with a bachelors degree in Television-Radio-Film, and a graduate of the University of Memphis, with a masters degree in Journalism. THE ALBANY HERALD • 40 UNDER 40 • Tuesday, April 29, 2014 • www.albanyherald.com 17 Audrey A. Pike Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital Originally from Sudbury, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston, Audrey Pike’s family moved to Englewood, Florida, when she was a young teen. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English at the University of Florida and then her doctorate in law from Florida State University College of Law. While working in Orlando, she and husband John, from Waycross, decided they wanted to raise their children in a smaller community. In 2011, Audrey saw the in-house counsel position at Phoebe as a prime opportunity to work with a complex and cutting-edge health system, close to John’s parents, in a community they have found welcoming. Less than two years after joining Phoebe, Audrey was promoted to the position of Vice President/Chief Compliance Officer. As Chief Compliance officer, Audrey is responsible for healthcare regulatory compliance and compliance education in a regional network of hospitals as well as the health system’s auxiliary services, clinics, home health and hospice services. In addition to her system-wide compliance position, Audrey is IRB administrator for Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital. Now with two children, Avery, 6 and Ella, 4, the Pike family spends a lot of time at sporting and dance events and practices. In addition to participating in school activities at Deerfield Windsor, Audrey is a member of the Georgia Bar and the Florida Bar, the Health Care Compliance Association, American Health Lawyers, and the American Bar and Dougherty County Bar associations. She is certified in Healthcare Compliance (CHC), by the Compliance Certification Board of the Health Care Compliance Association. She was selected to present a program at the Health Care Compliance Association’s national meeting in San Diego, California, in April 2014. She also sits on the Institutional Review Board at Albany State University, the body responsible for reviewing and approving human subjects research at the University. Marci Prisant The Law Firm of Westmoreland, Patterson, Mosely & Hinson Born and raised in Albany, Marci Prisant comes from a long line of Albany volunteers. Her parents, David and Kathy Prisant, instilled in her at a young age the importance of volunteerism and community involvement. Marci has given tirelessly to the Junior League of Albany, GA, Inc. since becoming an active member in 2009, because she sees the positive impact the League has made in Albany, over the years. Since moving back to Albany in 2007, Marci has volunteered for many organizations and events including, the American Cancer Society, Cat Walk for a Cause, the Nancy Lopez Golf Tournament for Hospice, Children’s Miracle Network, Walk a Mile and Farm to Fork for Lily Pad, cleaning out closets at Liberty House, or assisting with ideas for the Cancer Coalition’s Night for Hope, Marci has helped raise thousands of dollars that go directly back into making Albany the best it can be. Winding up her third year as a member of the Board of Directors for the Junior League of Albany, Marci has served as Statewide Political Action Chair, Corresponding Secretary, Membership Council Chair and will serve as President-Elect for the 2014-2015 League year. Volunteering for the Snicker’s Marathon while a part of the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Staff and the annual Jingle Bell Jog, Marci takes pride in showing her beloved city to visitors and encouraging new members for the Chamber of Commerce through participation in the Chamber Membership Marathon. Currently working on the committee for the Albany Symphony’s 50th Anniversary Spring Fundraiser, Marci is a member of the Albany Museum of Art and has volunteered for Let’s Make a Bid. With a love for politics, Albany and the State of Georgia, Marci has volunteered in local elections for Victoria Darrisaw, Mark Taylor, Ken Hodges and numerous others and considers politickin’ one of her favorite hobbies! As stated by the individuals that nominated Marci, “….there are a couple of things that sets Marci apart when she gives of her time for the betterment of Albany… SHE NEVER SAYS NO to anyone that needs help and her enthusiasm for a project is unsurpassed. This young lady works behind the scenes in so many projects and will come on board at the last minute to help make an event a success, WITHOUT public recognition! Her resources in this community are many and Marci NEVER hesitates to reach out and connect with the right person that will benefit Albany, in the long run.” Marci is employed with the law office of Westmoreland, Patterson, Moseley and Hinson as a legal assistant, a graduate of Deerfield Windsor School and a member of Temple B’nai Israel. Outside of volunteering, Marci enjoys golf, music and bettering her culinary skills. 18 THE ALBANY HERALD • 40 UNDER 40 • Tuesday, April 29, 2014 • www.albanyherald.com Daaiyah Salaam SWGA Project for Community Development Daa’iyah Salaam is a passionate speaker, community activist, an educator, poet, cultural planner and entrepreneur. She uses her love of history, culture and entrepreneurship to facilitate the rebuilding of communities A native of Albany, Daaiyah graduated from Westover Comprehensive High School in 1997 and from Georgia Southern University in 2001 with a BA in English and minor in Africana Studies. In conjunction with her B.A. in English, Daa’iyah also has a B.A. in History from Albany State University and has a master’s in Public Administration with a concentration in Community and Economic Development. During her tenure as a grad student, Daa’iyah received the honor of becoming a “Talented Tenth” Public Scholar. Immediately following graduate school, Daaiyah interned with the National Parks at the New River Gorge National River, where she worked in Cultural Resources. There she managed the park’s collections as well as conducted oral histories. She has also served as the Oral History Coordinator for the Expansion of the Albany Civil Rights Institute where she worked with students in the History, Political Science, and Public Administration Department at Albany State University. She has been an academic consultant to the College of Business at Albany State University and now currently serves on the department’s advisory board. She also serves at the board chair for Vineyarrrd Healing Inc. and for the governing board of her son’s school, International Studies Charter Elementary School. Presently, Daa’iyah is the Deputy Director for the Southwest Georgia Project, Inc. where she helps to support the fifty plus year old organization’s programs that are geared towards serving underserved communities. She is also the very proud mother of a ten year old son; loves working with both for profits and nonprofits; and believes that to the only way to sustain a community’s vitality is to invest in its people. THE ALBANY HERALD • 40 UNDER 40 • Tuesday, April 29, 2014 • www.albanyherald.com 19 Erica Savage DOD/USMC Upon return to her home city of Albany, Erica Savage has continued to display her heartfelt love for people through her affiliation with numerous community service organizations. She has been involved with Strive to Thrive as a weekly youth facilitator; a counsel leader for then Haven of Hope, a safe house in Albany for women and children affected by domestic violence and sexual abuse; Chosen To Conquer, a non-profit organization where she provided counsel support to women impacted by multiple sclerosis, cancer and heart disease. She continues to impact her community through manual labor during Habitat for Humanity’s Annual Women’s Build, and her true passion, speaking. Her extended community service also involves being a guest speaker for Monroe High School’s CTAE (Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education) Leadership Retreat and FBLA awards banquet, Terrell County Middle Grade’s Career Day, The MLK Youth Dream Summit and as a Lunchtime Mentor at MCLB’s Youth Expo. Erica has been employed at the Marine Corps Logistics Command (MARCORLOGCOM), Marine Corps Logistics Base, Albany, GA for over three and a half years, where she currently serves as a Financial Manager in the Programs and Resources Department. She is a Graduate of Aspiring Leadership Program, Washington, DC 2013 and had the distinction of being selected by her peers and faculty as the ALP Class Speaker for the graduation ceremony. Erica’s personality allows her to display her leadership qualities in her daily interactions with co-workers. She has an ability to provoke thought and connect with people at various levels of the organizational chain. Erica is a veteran of the United States Air Force and mother of teenage son, Jordan. Erica is a known connoisseur of food with a zeal for adventure; she can be seen enjoying scenic rides on her motorcycle. Juana L. Snell United States Marine Corps Juana L. Snell was born in Dominican Republic and raised in Providence, Rhode Island. At the age of 18 she enlisted into the United States Marine Corps and in just 8 short years achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant. While enlisted, Staff Sergeant Snell has served three combat tours in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. She has also deployed to Okinawa, Japan and recently served four years in the prestigious duty of Marine Helicopter Squadron One also known as the Presidential squadron, which serves the President directly. While parenting and working, Staff Sergeant Snell completed her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and is now applying to Georgetown University to continue her education. One of the most significant contributions that she has made thus far is the creation and implementation of the Mentors In Action (M.I.A.) mentorship program. This program is partnered with several schools throughout the community and allows Marines and Albany State University Global Ambassador students to mentor within the Dougherty County School System. Under Staff Sergeant Snell’s leadership M.I.A. has mentored over 500 students, delivered Thanksgiving Baskets and even put together a canned good drive. Juana L. Snell has demonstrated her devotion to volunteerism with entities such as: Habitat for Humanity, The American Legion, The City of Albany Recreation and Parks Department, The National Education Association, and Girls Inc. Since then, Girls Inc. of Albany has invited Juana L. Snell to serve as a member of the Board of Trustees and has taken the position as the Strategic Plan Committee Chair. She is also a University of Maryland University College graduate and alumni (as of 2013), a Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute Alumni, a member of the Race Relations Community Committee, and the CEO and Founder of Vision For Winners, LLC. 20 THE ALBANY HERALD • 40 UNDER 40 • Tuesday, April 29, 2014 • www.albanyherald.com Courtney Spencer Albany Area Chamber of Commerce Courtney Spencer, a Columbus, GA native, is the daughter of Lee and Carol Spencer. Earning a host of scholarships, Courtney journeyed to Albany State University to pursue a B.A. in Music. During her collegiate career she served in several roles including V.P. of Institutional Advancement for the Student Government Association. Ms. Spencer joined the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce team in July 2011 as the Strive2Thrive Circles Coach where she helped improve the retention rate by 40%. In December 2011 she assumed the role of Sales Manager at the Albany Convention & Visitors Bureau. During her tenure at the CVB, she received the 2012 Rookie of the Year award by the Florida Motorcoach Association and Motorcoach Association of South Carolina. Courtney transitioned back to the Albany Area Chamber in June 2013 as Member Relations Coordinator. She is also staff liaison for Emerge Albany, the Chamber’s young professionals program. Courtney is currently pursuing an M.S. in International Marketing Management from Boston University. Ms. Spencer is active at her church, Rhema Word Cathedral, a member of the musical group “Gabriel Allen & the Rock Him Crew”, and the Junior League of Albany, GA. She is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Courtney is the proud mother of Cadence Joy. “As a single mother, it can be difficult to fit everything into 24 hours,” she says, “but I consider it an honor to be a mother to my daughter and to be of service to my community.” Her pastor, Bishop Victor L. Powell and her mother are her greatest inspirations. Ms. Spencer is not only a gifted young professional and volunteer. “Matters of the Heart,” a stage play written and directed by Ms. Spencer, unveils yet another gift. Also a classical vocalist, Courtney sings in six languages and performs culturally diverse recitals. Congratulations To Three Outstanding Marines The Military Affairs Committee for the Chamber would like to support these Marines from MCLB Albany. We salute you on being selected for 40 under 40. SOUTHWEST GEORGIA’S THE ALBANY HERALD • 40 UNDER 40 • Tuesday, April 29, 2014 • www.albanyherald.com 21 Melissa Strother MB Strother Designs Melissa Strother is the small business owner of M.B. Strother Designs where she is an artist and graphic designer. M.B. Strother Designs specializes in event promotion, logo design, social stationery, invitations, and wedding items. She is a graduate of Deerfield-Windsor School and Auburn University where she majored in Human Development and Family Studies. Melissa frequently donates her time and talent to local organizations such as the Cancer Coalition, Albany Museum of Art, Flint Riverquarium, and Liberty House. Melissa is the organizer for Albany Little Libraries and Birdhouse Books, a unique program that brings little libraries to neighborhoods, businesses, and other areas of the community. The Little Libraries are free to the public and have a “take one now, leave one later” book policy. Melissa’s commitment to Albany runs deep as she is a 6th generation Albanian and has a strong personal interest in the future of Albany. In 2010, she ran for Albany City Commissioner and narrowly lost a controversial election. Not to be discouraged and determined to make a difference, she is currently running for District 4 Dougherty County School Board. Melissa is married to Jay Strother and they have 2 children, Jack, 4 and Olive, 18 months. She is the daughter of Vicki and Richard Barnhill and the granddaughter of Kay Hind. Melissa Bello Sumner Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital Melissa Bello Sumner is the Student Volunteer Coordinator for Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany, Georgia. She has been working the last year in partnering with the health occupation programs in Lee County and Dougherty County High School systems for strategic partnerships and experiences for students. She also works closely with Allied Health instructors and program coordinators at the local colleges and technical schools, facilitating the credentialing of these students as they enter the system. Professionally she has worked in different facets of human resources since 2006 including hiring, recruiting, and benefits. She graduated from the University of Florida, in Gainesville, with a Bachelor’s degree in Management and earned her Master’s in Human Resources from Nova Southeastern University. Originally from Miami, FL, Melissa has been an active member of the Albany community since moving here three years ago. Melissa is involved in many community organizations and activities. She was a Silent Auction Committee Member – Girls Inc. in 2013. She was a Latino Big Read Committee Member 2013-2014 (a grant funded program via Albany State University and community partners), and volunteered at the Girls Inc. Bag Lady Event Fashion Show in 2013. She is actively involved in the children’s program at First Presbyterian Church. Volunteering is central to Melissa’s life. She has volunteered at the Jingle Bell Jog, Phoebe Women’s Health Conference and CMN Radiothon. She is an Albany Technical College Advisory Board Member. Melissa helped facilitate a Pilot Program for Healthcare Occupation students from Lee County High School and co-led a Career Preparation Youth Leadership Summit Workshop on the topic of interviewing. She is married to J.D. Sumner and is the mother of Chica and Stella, doggie adoptees from the Albany Humane Society. She is the daughter of Art and Gina Bello and a proud big sister to Alexander Bello Jacquelyn Teemer Department of Community and Economic Development Jacquelyn Teemer is a fiercely creative and innovative conquistador. Her ingenuity shows in the numerous initiatives that she has set forth for the small business community. Jacquelyn is a native to Albany, GA and is a true believer of its growth and restoration. Jacquelyn attended Dougherty Comprehensive High School and graduated with a B.S. in Management from Albany State University. After graduation, she moved to Hampton, Virginia where she worked for a local non-profit serving impoverished communities. While in Virginia, Jacquelyn received her first Master’s Degree in Urban Studies from Old Dominion University. Jacquelyn’s life goal is to bring sustainable economic opportunities to divided communities through asset-based community and economic development. Jacquelyn’s commitment to home and family later returned her to Albany, Georgia to accomplish this goal. In 2009, she received her second Master’s Degree from Albany State University in Public Administration and began to focus her career on the public sector. Presently, Jacquelyn employed as a Program Manager for the City of Albany. Jacquelyn is a small business advocate and advisor. She has presented several workshops throughout the community on business plan development, marketing, branding, and youth development. She serves on several boards throughout the community including Vineyard Healing, Racial Healing, and the Parent Teacher Organization for the International Studies Elementary Charter School. But her gifts are not just limited to businesses; she is a spoken word poet and has been a guest at various venues throughout Georgia, Florida, Alabama and Virginia. She is formerly a part of the spoken word team, Groovespeak, of Albany, Georgia. She is the mother of three Power Ranger and Superman-loving children and the wife to an extremely lucky man. 22 THE ALBANY HERALD • 40 UNDER 40 • Tuesday, April 29, 2014 • www.albanyherald.com Trav Walden Rental Depot Trav Walden is the co-owner and manager of Rental Depot in Albany. Trav grew up right outside of Leesburg. After graduating high school from Deerfield-Windsor in 1995, he went on to the University of GA where he received his business degree in Finance. When he moved back to Albany, he met his wife Marty at their church. They will celebrate 10 years of marriage this May. They have two children, a boy and a girl. Trav started Rental Depot in 2002 with his father initially as a construction rental company. They have seen several changes through the years and now are solely a party and event rental company. One of åthe best parts of his job at Rental Depot is getting to meet and work with different people in the community on their special events. Whether it is a wedding or a fundraiser, he enjoys seeing the event progress from the initial planning to the finished event. He has also served on several committees and boards in the community including the Chamber of Commerce board. When not at work, Trav enjoys spending time with his family and the outdoors. He is an active member of First Methodist Church downtown. He was previously the chairman of the Board of Trustees at the church and now loves helping out with his kids Sunday School class. Zandrea Marie Waldon Krissy Ann Waller Marine Corps Logistics Command Marine Corps Logistics Command Miss Zandrea (Zan) M. Waldon was born May 14, 1984 in Atlanta, GA. An alumnus of the Unsinkable Albany State University (ASU), Miss Waldon earned a Dual Bachelor of Science (BS) Degree in Business Management and Marketing in December 2006; and completed her Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from ASU’s College of Business December 2008. Her passion to build sustainable communities has driven her dedication to understand, develop, and empower our future generations to become transformative citizens of both state and country. Miss Waldon’s community initiatives include serving as a volunteer staff member, where she developed and facilitated a sixmonth mentoring program that addressed the personal and social issues pertinent to teenage girls within the Southwest Georgia Region. Her compassion for the development of today’s youth stems from her own experiences, growing up in a single-parent household. Miss Waldon is not a stranger to the circumstances many impoverished families face today; she links her experiences and accomplishments to motivate youth to have ambition and visualize beyond their current situation. Miss Waldon also dedicated years of service to the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce Strive 2 Thrive Community Initiative. As a Life Skills coach she devised interactive character building exercises to supplement the lessons outlined in Choices and Character Counts curriculums, which enhanced the learning experiences of middle and high-school aged teens. As an employee of Department of Defense Marine Corps Logistics Command (MARCORLOGCOM) Albany, GA, Miss Waldon serves the war fighter daily by maximizing supply readiness. Notable accomplishments as a Logistics Specialist include reviving the Marine Corps Supply Discrepancy Reporting (SDR) Program where she recovered approximately $40 million dollars in suspended stock assets and increased Marine Corps readiness by 97%. Recognizing Miss Waldon’s leadership potential MARCORLOGCOM and Lejeune Leadership Institute Marine Corps University selected her to participate in the Graduate School’s nine month Executive Leadership Program. As a participant she attended personal and professional development seminars, and networked with business leaders within the Albany Area and across the federal government. Miss Waldon is currently attending Walden University to attain a Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) in Leadership. Post-graduation Dr. Waldon intends to continue on her path of impacting social change as a scholar practitioner aiding small businesses and organizations within the Southwest region in the areas of organizational development and change. As a graduate of Lee County High, Krissy Ann Waller chose to stay here in Southwest Georgia to develop a career and one day have her own family. She is proud to say that she is a Financial Management Analyst with Programs & Resources, Resource Management Division, Marine Corps Logistics Command in Albany, Georgia. She previously worked in the Budget Formulation & Execution Division where she began her career with the federal government. She is also a member of the Southwest Georgia Chapter of the American Society of Military Comptrollers & serve on the Executive Board. Waller graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from ASU (May 2012). She was a member of Delta Mu Delta Honor Society and also received the Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants Award for Highest Accounting GPA at Albany State University. She has a 5 year old son who is currently in Pre-K at the Child Development Center at the Marine Corps Logistics Base. She is very active in his school where she has volunteered in the classroom by reading books during Read Across America Week, marched in the CDC Month of the Military Child parade, assisted on many field trips and other classroom activities. She enjoys sitting with her son in his classroom environment and letting him remind her the wonderment it is to be a child. Those moments are completely priceless. She is a member of Southside Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia where she has attended since 2005. In the past, she has served on the Finance Committee and Bereavement Committees. she assists part-time with the Children’s Church and other activities. Nonprofits hold a special place in her heart. She is a current supporter of the American Red Cross. She has volunteered with many organizations in the past including Chehaw Wild Animal Park, United Way of Southwest Georgia, Georgia Arthritis Foundation, Albany State University and Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital. During her spare time, she enjoys baking cupcakes, cooking, reading, couponing, watching movies and doing anything with her family. We enjoy being outside, taking walks through the neighborhood, watching television and having Friday night movie and popcorn nights. In the future, she hopes to one day open a cupcake establishment in Albany, Georgia. THE ALBANY HERALD • 40 UNDER 40 • Tuesday, April 29, 2014 • www.albanyherald.com 23 Lewis D. Webb The DGR Group, Inc. Lewis Webb believes that every person is unique and every person’s situation is unique. Webb co-founded his firm in 2008, in the middle of severe economic downturn when many financial institutions where closing their doors. Lewis said, “I felt like people had financial questions and they needed us more than ever.” The DGR Group did not build its business around products but around relationships with their clients. Webb said, “I have been rewarded with many great relationships and friendships, as well as, having my business grown approximately 25%, year over year, since 2008. Lewis Webb offers securities through Resource Horizons Group, L.L.C. Member FINRA, SIPC, a broker/dealer headquartered in Marietta; he offers advisory services through Resource Horizons Investment Advisory. Webb contributes to the development of Business Students as Adjunct Faculty at the School of Business, Georgia Southwestern State University. He teaches micro and macro economics, and serves on the School of Business Advisory Board. Webb feels very strongly about the success of his community. He served as the President of the Americus Kiwanis club from 2010-2011. He also served as Chairman of the Board for the Americus Sumter County Chamber of Commerce for 2 years (2012 & 2013). During his time as Chairman of Chamber of Commerce he merged the Chamber with the Americus Sumter Payroll Development Authority in order to more efficiently and effectively promote business and industry in Sumter County. Lewis is married to the love of his life and they have 3 young sons. Danita B. Wiggins Albany Housing Authority Danita is a graduate of Albany High School, top 10 %, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, minor in Business Administration. She is a December 2014 candidate for her Master’s degree (MPSE) from Troy University. Danita is the Co-Chair of the Georgia Association of Housing and Redevelopment Authorities Youth Committee and a member of the Human Services Committee. She is a member of Leadership Albany 20142015. Danita is very active in her community – Albany American Dixie League Youth Baseball, Albany United Youth Football League, Sasha’s Sassies All God’s Children Collector’s Club, Racial Healing Advisory Board Member, SW Georgia Reentry Coalition Steering Committee Member, etc. and a regular volunteer for several community partners. Danita was a 2009-2010 recipient of the Sigma Gamma Rho, Inc. Community Services Award. She is a member of Oakridge Baptist Church. Danita is currently employed with the Albany Housing Authority (AHA) as the Assistant Director to the Executive Director for CHOICE/ Community Services Program Manager. Danita has 15 (+) years of experience in working with families with low to moderate incomes. She is responsible for Community Service Programs; this includes planning, implementing and working the programs. She serves as a liaison for residents of low income housing and identifies proper, necessary resources for the residents. Danita has been very instrumental in the success of the plan to transform and revitalize The Oaks at North Intown, Inc. and the area’s recent grant award from the Department of Justice, Byrne Criminal Justice Grant. The plan is to create a strong, mixed income community in Albany’s most distressed neighborhood and achieve its ultimate goals of serving as both a catalyst for community capacity building and community revitalization along with the promotion of the self-sufficiency of AHA families. Danita is married to Mr. Karl Wiggins, Jr.; they have two children Karl III and Jasmine. She is the daughter of Ms. Rutha Brown and Mr. Alvin (Mattie) Douglas. She was reared by her paternal grandparents, the late Mr. Drake Douglas and Mrs. Pearlie Mae Douglas. 24 THE ALBANY HERALD • 40 UNDER 40 • Tuesday, April 29, 2014 • www.albanyherald.com Danielle Meshaye Willis Marine Corps Logistics Command Danielle Meshaye Willis better known as “Dani” to most was born December 10th, 1984 in Milledgeville, Georgia. A 2003 High School Graduate of Baldwin County High School, Danielle’s value for education, dedication, responsibility and work ethic are considered an understatement through the course of her career. Being the first in her family to go off to college, Danielle attended Columbus State University in Columbus, GA where she received her Bachelors in Business Administration Dual Majoring in Computer Information Systems and Management. After completing her Bachelor’s Degree in 2007, Danielle was selected for the Graduate Assistantship with Columbus State University. This prestigious honor allowed Danielle to complete her Master’s Degree along with room and board at no expense to her. In 2008, Danielle graduated with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration with a Concentration in General Government. Upon her graduation with a 4.0 GPA Danielle was recognized and a member of various Honor Societies such as Phi Kappa Phi, Pi Alpha Alpha, and the National Collegiate Honors Society and also recognized as a Who’s Who among College Students. After graduation, Danielle went to work full time for Columbus State University’s Enrollment Services and Marketing Division as a Financial Aid Technology Specialist where she helped prospective and current students with Admissions, Registrars, and Financial Aid processes. It was then that Danielle realized the importance of helping others and being a resourceful mentor to anyone needing information that can promote growth in one’s life. In 2009 Danielle was hired as a GS 7/9/11 Intern for Marine Corps Logistics Command in Albany, Georgia. This 2 year internship consisted of rotations and on the job training dealing with Supply Chain Management and Logistical Operations. During this process Danielle exceeded her objectives and due to her work ethic and willingness to learn Danielle has established a great platform and rapport with the Marine population on Base as well as abroad and other third party advocates throughout the Department of Defense. In 2011 Danielle was recognized and awarded for her efforts as her team won Coordinated SecRep Management Section -Team of the Year. Her addition to the team has brought more cohesion to their work efforts. Of Danielle’s achievements her leadership potential was recognized and she was nominated and selected to participate in the Graduate School’s New Leader Program. Out of numerous nominee applications throughout various federal government agencies within the US, the Marine Corps University Lejeune Leadership Institute selected Ms. Willis to participate in a 6 month development program consisting on a 30 developmental assignment working with the City of Albany Recreation and Parks, shadow assignments with various leaders and constitutes in Albany, Management interviews with the City Manager of Albany and Base Commander. Danielle currently serves as a mentor to other New Leader Program participants. Her volunteer efforts include serving as the President of the Young Business Women Awareness Club (YBWAC), a non-profit organization of mature and professional women located within the Dougherty and Worth County community. Her work in this organization has provided scholarships to deserving students, encourage youth development, mentorship and volunteerism within the community. Danielle spreads her volunteerism efforts by participating in the Adopt a Highway program, Relay for Life, sponsor families during the Thanksgiving and Christmas time by providing food and other necessities to those families in need and inspiring people to register and get out and vote. Danielle plays as an active volunteer in reference to breast cancer for she has served as team captain of Relay for Life teams and participates in various breast cancer walks-- just recently she participated in the Albany Pink Walk held locally here in Albany, GA.