Advisory Board Georgia

Virginia Neal Almand has served on The Trust for Public Land’s Georgia Advisory Board for over 20 years and participated on key committees such as Engagement and Board Development. She chaired the office’s first annual fundraiser, “Hot Dogs for Hard Times” and co-chaired the second Celebration of Land, “Pony Up for TPL.” She was a leader of TPL-Georgia’s BeltLine Bus Tours and has supported the Board Alumni Council activities.

Hunter Amos is a Director with the multifamily investment sales team at Newmark Knight Frank.

Patricia Thrower Barmeyer, past Chair of the Georgia Advisory Board, is a partner in King & Spalding's Atlanta office and the head of the firm's environmental practice.

Dr. Mark Simpson Berry, P.E., is vice president of Environmental & Natural Resources for Georgia Power.
Named to the position in August 2015, he is responsible for maximizing the value from Georgia Power-owned natural resources, acquiring real estate to support company operations and managing the company's environmental compliance and stewardship programs to meet or surpass all environmental laws and regulations.

Cory joined Ashton Woods Homes, the 2nd largest private homebuilding company in the U.S., in 2009 and serves as the Chief Financial Officer. Before this, she was the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Starwood Land Ventures, a subsidiary of Starwood Capital Group. Prior to that, she had more than 20 years of senior executive experience with two of the nation’s largest public homebuilders: Lennar Corporation (NYSE: LEN) and Beazer Homes (NYSE: BZH). From 2018 to 2020 she served on the Board of Directors and Audit Committee of BMC Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: BMCH), and in 2021 she joined the Board of Directors and Audit Committee of Builders FirstSource, Inc. (Nasdaq: BLDR), the leading provider of diversified building products and services in the U.S. residential construction market. Mrs. Boydston is also the Co-Founder of Women's Housing Leadership Group.  Cory received a B.S. in Accounting from Florida State University and holds an active CPA license in the state of Georgia.

Bick Cardwell, a former chair of the Georgia Advisory Board, is President of Colliers International, focusing primarily on institutional sales and mortgage banking.

Jason Carter is a Partner with Bondurant, Mixon and Elmore, representing clients in high stakes trial and appellate business litigation including breach of contract, class actions, business torts and other complex commercial cases.


Alex is currently Director of Product Management for EPAM systems, a leading global product development, digital platform engineering, and top digital and product design agency.

Jackie Gingrich Cushman is a syndicated columnist, author, professional speaker, corporate strategist, corporate financial advisor and board member. Her third book, “Our Broken America: Why both sides need to stop ranting and start listening” was published in 2019. Her first book was “5 Principles for a Successful Life.” Her second book, “The Essential American: 15 Documents and Speeches Every American Should Own,” covers the key points of our nation’s history. 

Jocelyn has been with WSB-TV for more than 40 years. She has been Director of Editorials & Public Affairs at Channel 2 since 1983. From 1973-83, Jocelyn was an anchor/reporter/producer and assignment editor for WSB-TV's Channel 2 Action News. In fact, she was the first African-American anchor of a Channel 2 newscast as well as the first African American news anchor in the Atlanta market.

Ralph is a principal with EBS Property Investments, LLC, a real estate investment firm. During his career, he has also engineered the formation of over fifty partnerships to acquire, manage and sell real estate assets.

Natalie Giurato is the director of corporate communications for Cox Enterprises, a $20 billion private, family-owned company based in Atlanta, Ga. She currently leads executive communications and public affairs, where she helps executive leaders communicate their vision for the company while also promoting business developments and supporting Cox’s reputation among its employees, businesses and communities.

Chris Graham is a senior vice president and leads the Compliance & Ethics Capability for Georgia-Pacific. Prior to working at GP, Chris was the general counsel for INVISTA and an in-house lawyer for Koch Industries in Wichita, Kansas. Before working for the Koch family of companies, Chris was a partner with Hunton & Williams in Richmond, Virginia. He came to Hunton & Williams after serving as a Captain in the United States Army as a Judge Advocate at Fort Benning, Georgia.

John Hardman is the CEO of WildArk, an effort to protect as much of the world’s biodiversity as possible, while inspiring people to reconnect with nature through various digital and physical experiential learning offerings.  John also serves as the Managing Director of Internative Investment Group, a business advisory and investment firm located in Atlanta, Georgia. 

Paula Hennessy grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and graduated from Sweet Briar College in Sweet Briar, Virginia.

Jim Irwin is the President of New City, LLC and directs the company’s real estate development and consulting operations, as well as new business pursuits. Over the course of his career, Jim has been responsible for over $1 billion of new investment around the United States.  New City’s current work includes major mixed-use projects along the Atlanta BeltLine’s Eastside Trail and in Nashville, Tennessee.

Bob Kinney is retired from Norfolk Southern, where he worked for 341/2 years as a Budget Analyst for Capitol Programs. A University of Delaware graduate, Bob earned his degree in Engineering Administration.

Alison Lathrop is Managing Director – Corporate Environment and Regulatory Compliance for Delta Air Lines.  Alison rejoined Delta in 2019, taking on responsibility for policies and systems governing Delta’s Environmental, Dangerous Goods and DOT Compliance programs, including accessibility for customers with disabilities.  Alison was previously in Delta’s Law Department from 2000 to 2008, serving as the company’s environmental attorney.  

Trey Loughran is Chief Executive Officer of Purchasing Power, LLC. He joined the company in early October 2019, having held multiple senior executive roles spanning financial services and technology, digital marketing and data analytics across both business-to-business and business-to-consumer platforms.

Suzanne Masters has been active in nonprofit work for twenty years, working to build thriving communities in the areas where she lives.  Suzanne believes that in order to be truly healthy, individuals and families need nature, recreation, fresh food, housing and access to well-rounded healthcare.  Based on her personal experiences of the powerful impact of nature in her early life, Suzanne believes in the necessity of a relationship with mental health and nature especially among populations that are underserved.

Jim Morgens, past chair of the Georgia Advisory Council, has been president of Morgens Property & Investment Company since 1978.

Gary is a graduate of University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business with a degree in Risk Management.  He has had a State Farm Insurance agency for 32 years.

Mr. Neely, past Chair of the Georgia Advisory Council, retired in 2005 as a Senior Client Partner in Korn/Ferry International’s Atlanta office and Global Leader of the firm’s Communications and Convergence sector.

Carlos Pagoaga is Group Director, Partnerships for The Coca-Cola Company where he is responsible for managing the Company’s community engagement efforts including strategic partnerships, grant making and matching gifts.  He has 29 years of national and international experience in external facing roles including Community Relations, Public Relations and Grant Management with The Coca-Cola Company and The Coca-Cola Foundation.

Amy Phuong is Vice President of Government Relations for the Atlanta Hawks and State Farm Arena.  This position is an expansion of the Atlanta Hawks’ External Affairs efforts to unite the broader Atlanta community through the play of basketball while deepening the organization’s relationships with local and state leaders.  Prior to, Phuong spent nearly a decade in public service; most recently serving as Parks and Recreation Commissioner and the first Chief Service Officer for the City of Atlanta.  Phuong has also been a long-time leader and supporter of numerous civic and philanthropic organizations dedicated to improving Atlanta.  She has deep relationships with Atlanta’s arts, culture, civic and academic communities.

As a Partner, Executive Vice President with The Shopping Center Group, Michele focuses on creating and maintaining meaningful client relationships in commercial real estate while working meticulously to meet client needs. Consequently, she is consistently one of the top-performing brokers in her firm and has earned an esteemed reputation in Atlanta’s commercial real estate industry.

Christopher Glenn Sawyer is a partner with Alston & Bird, specializing in corporate governance, real estate and conservation law.

Jeff Seavey is a wealth advisor and managing director with GenSpring | SunTrust Private Wealth. Jeff has over 30 years of broad commercial, corporate, and personal financial services experience. As a Wealth Advisor, Jeff advises a select number of high net worth families on investment policy and asset allocation, tax, financial planning and estate strategies, private banking, asset protection, and business succession planning.

Sally is a retired healthcare business analyst working for Arthur Andersen, Emory Healthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia as Network Director. Over the decade she specialized in healthcare system mergers and start ups. 

Markham Smith is a founding principal of Smith Dalia Architects. For thirty-five years Markham's work in the field of design and development has focused on building more sustainable, mixed-use urban communities, both new and existing.

Rian Smith is Vice President and Chief Legal Officer at The Integral Group, a vertically-integrated real estate development firm.  Rian overseas all real estate related legal documents, and provides legal and transaction support to all of Integral’s real estate development divisions.

Emily is the General Counsel for RangeWater Real Estate. In this role, she is responsible for all legal matters across the company. Emily is a member of RangeWater’s Investment Committee and sits on the Board of Directors of the RangeWater Impact Foundation.

Alex Watts utilizes 15 years of Private Banking experience to provide financial guidance and tailored advice to high-net-worth clients. He is honored to be a part of Merrill’s Private Wealth Management division, an elite group of less than 450 advisors within Merrill’s broader wealth management business of over 14,000 financial advisors.

Charles (Chad) Wright was born and raised in Atlanta and earned a degree in Biology from the University of Richmond and a Masters in Environmental Management from Duke University. Upon graduating, he worked as a staff scientist for Law Engineering and Environmental Services and as a partner in a variety of development projects.