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Our Board of Directors consists of several men and women who work in key industries that are essential in our fight to end homelessness in our community. Our organization is eternally grateful for our generous Board members who endow HOPE Atlanta with knowledge and support.
Dr. Raymond Allen’s Biography
Dr. Raymond Allen is a board-certified Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist. He has been with Atlanta Perinatal Consultants since 1993. He is currently the managing partner of the group. Born in New York City, he completed his undergraduate studies with honors at Amherst College.
He obtained both his medical degree and his Obstetrics and Gynecology training at Stanford University Medical Center. His fellowship training in Maternal-Fetal Medicine was at Cedars Sinai/Harbor-UCLA. Dr. Allen is published extensively and lectures frequently on several high-risk pregnancy topics. His primary clinical interests include prenatal diagnosis, management of medical diseases in pregnancy, and fetal therapy. He is a member of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine and the Atlanta Obstetric and Gynecological Society. Dr. Allen and his wife, Lucy have lived in Atlanta since 1992. They are both enthusiastic advocates of the visual arts, and a large portion of their community activity involves supporting the local art institutions. Dr. Allen served on the Museum of Design Atlanta Board from 2004 until 2009 and was Chairman from 2006-2008. He is a member of the 2007 class of Leadership Atlanta. Dr. Allen joined the board of Directors for Hope Atlanta in 2013 after learning about the organization’s multi-faceted approach in addressing homelessness in the metropolitan Atlanta region.
Rocky Atkins’ Biography
Rocky was most recently Commissioner of Customer Service for the City of Atlanta, a Cabinet-level role in the administration of Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. He previously held a similar Cabinet-level position in Mayor Kasim Reed’s administration. Prior to his move into City government, Rocky spent 25 years leading large organizations across Europe, India and North America in roles spanning technology operations, outsourcing and customer care, primarily in the telecoms industry.
Rocky is an Atlanta native and a graduate of Georgia State University, but he also holds British citizenship and spent 17 years based in the UK. He and his wife returned to Atlanta in 2016 and he was appointed to HOPE’s board later that year. Rocky also serves on the Advisory Board for the Robinson College of Business at Georgia State.
Kathleen Brownlee’s Biography
Affiliated with Purpose Built Communities since its inception in 2009, Kathleen Brownlee has extensive experience in affordable real estate financing, development, and asset management. For two years prior to joining Purpose Built Communities, she led the C.F. Foundation’s real estate initiatives in Atlanta.
Kathleen focused primarily on planning and developing mixed-use, mixed-income developments in and around the East Lake community. Before joining the C.F. Foundation, Kathleen was the first President of Mercy Housing Southeast, a subsidiary of Mercy Housing, Inc., a national not-for-profit affordable housing developer, and lender to affordable housing initiatives. She led a team of developers, and in less than five years, successfully secured the financing for over $40 million in affordable housing for low-income families and seniors. Before her appointment as President of Mercy Housing Southeast, Kathleen was the Director of Portfolio Risk Management and underwrote housing developments and managed portfolios for the entire Mercy Housing system. In an ongoing effort to provide assistance to low-income families, Kathleen chairs the Tapestry Development Group Board and serves on HOPE Atlanta’s Board of Directors, and serves on the Mercy Loan Fund Review Committee. Kathleen Graduated from Agnes Scott College with Honors.
James Caldwell’s Biography
Jim Caldwell is now retired from Deloitte & Touche, where he was a Regional Director of Operations at time of retirement. He held many other positions at the company over 25 years service.
Jim brings expertise to his position on the Board of Directors at HOPE Atlanta in the areas of Finance, Accounting, Management, and Human Resources. He currently serves on the Finance and Audit Committee.
He has also contributed a lot of time in various positions for the United Way in the following arenas: chaired Community Investments Committee and Fulton County Advisory Committee; Served on Metro Board of Directors; Community Engagement Committee; Strategic Planning and Implementation Committee; Human Resources Advisory Committee.
Kirk W. Elifson’s Biography
Kirk W. Elifson is a Research Professor at the Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University. He is the investigator on several multi-year National Institute of Health research projects, supervises a number of masters and Ph.D. level graduate students and teaches graduate seminars. Kirk also has an active mentoring program to work with high-risk Emory undergraduates.
Prior to his professorship at Emory University, Kirk chaired the Sociology Department at Georgia State University for 10 years. The research populations he has worked include many vulnerable groups such as the homeless, substance abusers, male and female sex workers, clients of sex workers, and criminal justice involved populations. Much of his research has covered the disproportionate impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic on African-American women and men in Atlanta. Kirk has authored numerous scientific publications including three editions of a popular statistics textbook. Elifson received his Ph.D. in sociology from Vanderbilt University and completed post-doctoral work at the University of Michigan. He served as an Army captain in Vietnam and has worked as an expert witness in many federal cases including the 16th Street bombing in Birmingham, the Eric Rudolph Olympic bombing, and the Medgar Evers murder trial. Before joining HOPE Atlanta he was president of the Olmsted Linear Park Alliance, a board member of the Hambidge Center for Arts and Sciences, and the Georgia Native Plant Society. Kirk was drawn to Hope Atlanta because it is a non-profit that provides long-term solutions to homelessness and due to his special interest in veterans’ issues.
Rodrick C. Glass’ Biography
Rodrick C. Glass is the Executive Vice President of Business Development for Allure Global Solutions, Inc. based in Atlanta, GA. Allure Global is an enterprise digital signage & Point-of Sale software, and analytics company leading the digital communications market.
Allure is leading the Atlanta market by engaging and influencing consumers as they make retail purchase decisions in a variety of markets including theaters, stadiums and arenas, amusement parks, restaurants and convenience stores. Rodrick has played an integral role in the strategic direction and growth of Allure Global since its inception in early 2000. Rodrick has over a decade of experience in sales and client management roles with IBM as well as held operations and management responsibilities at Delco Electronics / General Motors. Rodrick sits on the Board of Advisors for the School of Technology Leadership & Innovation at Purdue University where he and his family have also established an endowment providing scholarships to student leaders. Rodrick is a member of First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta where he participates as a Stephen Ministry Leader, providing high-quality, confidential, Christ-centered care to people who are hurting. Rodrick received a Bachelors and Masters of Science in Industrial Technology from Purdue University and an Executive MBA from DePaul University. .
Alex Idichandy’s Biography
Alex Idichandy’s Biography
Alex Idichandy is an executive vice president and head of the Consumer Retail Corporate Banking Group. He is responsible for providing capital and other banking services to companies in the consumer products, food, and beverage, and retail and apparel industries.
Before joining Wells Fargo, he worked at Wachovia Securities in Atlanta for eight years. He served as a relationship manager in the Midwest and also as a risk manager covering a variety of industries across the United States. Alex began his career at JP Morgan Chase in New York City in the Corporate Banking Group.
David Kreidler’s Biography
David has extensive experience in the City has spent the last 20 years in Atlanta. Attending Georgia State University to attain a degree in Business Management put him at the center of the hub of an ever expanding city and his experience has developed with Atlanta’s rapid growth.
In 2007, David, with Scott Strumlauf and Michael Krohngold, succeeded in accomplishing the task of closing Tongue & Groove in its Buckhead location and securing a new site at Lindbergh City Center. David was an active player in the design of an establishment of The Joint, another concept that grew out of Tongue & Groove in 2012. David uses his business savvy to help direct his philanthropic endeavors in many Atlanta organizations.
ANTHONY B. MAGEE’S JR.’S BIOGRAPHY
Anthony B. Magee Jr. is an experienced Senior SharePoint Consultant who specializes in collaborative Cloud technologies. He is responsible for managing two core products focusing on the Professional Services and Real Estate Industries. He provides product vision and strategy to ensure company executives understand the value and importance of business process and automation within the corporate setting.
Before joining one of the local prestigious consulting firms, Abel Solutions LLC, he was commissioned in the United States Army as a Signal Corp Officer. He is a graduate of Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University and is now pursuing his Masters in Business Administration at the University of Georgia – Terry College of Business.
HEATHER OLSON’S BIOGRAPHY
Heather Olson, vice president at Walker & Dunlop, is responsible for multifamily originations and specializes in affordable housing nationwide. She is based out of Atlanta, Georgia and has assisted with the origination, underwriting, and funding of over $800 million in multifamily financing. Ms. Olson’s focus is in affordable housing developments utilizing tax exempt bonds and low-income housing tax credits, as well as market rate transactions.
Ms. Olson joined Walker & Dunlop in 2012 through the acquisition of CWCapital LLC. Prior to CWCapital, Ms. Olson worked for TriMont Real Estate Advisors.
Ms. Olson holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from Kennesaw State University and earned her Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation in 2014. She has been a member of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Atlanta since 2013. Ms. Olson was honored as a Young Leader by Affordable Housing Finance in 2018.
Michael Schoppenhorst’s Biography
Michael Schoppenhorst is the President of SEMCO Productions, a family owned and Atlanta based company since 1959 best known for producing the Atlanta Home Shows. His responsibilities include overseeing both the trade and consumer divisions of the company, the day-to-day operations and managing relationships with the convention centers in which they produce their events.
Michael began his trade show career at age 18 when he joined SEMCO Productions focusing on the Atlanta Home Shows and the Atlanta Boat Show. After rising from an entry level position to Director of Operations for the company, Michael relocated to Miami to oversee the production of seven successful Florida Home Shows. When his son Andrew was born in 2000, Michael dedicated the next six years to non-profit work, including three as the Resource Development Director at HOPE Atlanta. Michael attended Georgia State University and studied Trade Show Management in the School of Hospitality. Michael’s true passion is serving others through a variety of non-profits focusing on the well-being and enrichment of children’s lives. He has served on the board of the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation (GFBF) and remains a resource for the development of their programs, fundraising efforts and publicity highlighting the amazing work they do in the community. He has served on the board of Variety of Georgia – Children’s Charity for 10 years which meets the special needs of children throughout the year including providing mobility bikes, back to school programs, small targeted grants, the donation of life-saving medical equipment and more.
Alexis Davis Smith’s Biography
Alexis runs the show. She founded PRecise in 2000, after spending seven years with one of the world’s top 10 PR firms. She was an integral part of its consumer brand marketing team and founding member of the firm’s ethnic marketing practice – the first ever created by an international agency. She left the agency to practice the profession she loved, on her terms. She wanted to work with clients she believed in, offering big agency services without big agency bureaucracy.
Alexis signed Coca-Cola as her first client. Since then, she has lead nearly 100 projects for the brand. She has also provided PR counsel for some of the country’s top brands and organizations, including Toyota, MassMutual, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Spelman College and the Atlanta Falcons, among others.
Alexis lives and breathes strategy. Over the years, she has delivered exceptional strategic communications programs that helped PRecise clients reach their bottom line.
With more than 20 years total in the industry, Alexis is a leader in Atlanta’s public relations community, and a national voice for multicultural marketing. She has been featured in several popular industry trades, from PR Week to O’Dwyers.
Alexis is a native of Philadelphia, PA, a proud Eagles fan and graduate of Florida A&M University.
Kelli Southern’s Biography
Kelli H. Southern is the Senior Director of Customer Operations Support at Autotrader Inc. Whose mission is to be the ultimate online solution for buying and selling new, used, and certified vehicles. Kelli sets the strategy and delivers training to over 250 employees in the Customer Operations Department.
She also manages the fulfillment of dealer orders in Inventory and Digital Media Design departments. Kelli’s career started in the advertising industry over 18 years ago with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution where she began selling advertisements From the AJC Kelli moved to Autotrader where she developed leadership and personal programs and managed many initiatives, including the very first inside sales team. Kelli is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a B.A. in marketing. She’s very passionate about coaching and developing others, and has recently served as a mentor for the path builders Percepta program, the Cox Mentor program, and a Girl Talk program for young women in high school. Kelli is an active board member of HOPE Atlanta. She also volunteers with PAWS Atlanta, the Special Olympics, and the Ronal McDonald House.
John Spillman’s Biography
John H. Spillman is a Partner in the Corporate Practice of Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP.
Mr. Spillman counsels clients on corporate and transactional matters, including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, emerging company issues and international transactions. Mr. Spillman has represented both strategic and financial buyers and sellers, as well as sellers of family-owned and entrepreneurial businesses. He has also assisted numerous foreign companies entering the U.S. market through acquisitions and joint ventures. He has extensive experience in franchise law matters, including the purchase and sale of franchisors and multi-unit franchisees.
Mr. Spillman has been listed in Best Lawyers in America® from 2013 to 2017 for Mergers & Acquisitions and Corporate Law and has an AV® Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell.
Mr. Spillman is a member of the Business and International Law Sections of the American Bar Association, as well as its Forum on Franchising. He is a member of the Board of HOPE Atlanta, an Atlanta non-profit. He is former board chair of Travelers Aid of Metropolitan Atlanta, Inc.
Mr. Spillman is a co-author of: M&A — Protecting the Purchaser and Global Venture Capital Transactions, both published by Kluwer Law International. He has spoken frequently at seminars and written articles on transactional topics. He attended law school at the University of North Carolina, where he served on the Law Review before graduating with honors. He received his undergraduate degree in International Studies from the University of North Carolina.
Rhonda Taylor’s Biography
Rhonda D. Taylor is an experienced senior human resources executive with more than 25 years of experience across multiple industries including financial services, telecommunications and nonprofit. Most recently, she served as Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer for Cox Communications.
Rhonda joined Cox Communications in 2008 as Vice President of People Services for Cox Communications in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Prior to joining Cox, Rhonda worked with Citigroup for 21 years. She held various HR roles at Citigroup, including serving as Senior Vice President of Human Resources in the company’s Dallas, Texas office.
Wendy Langlais-Tillery’s Biography
Wendy Langlais-Tillery, CPA leads CohnReznick’s Atlanta tax practice as Office Managing Partner. She has more than 20 years of public accounting experience, providing a diverse range of tax services for various clients including commercial and residential real estate developers, renewable energy companies, real estate syndicators, construction companies, and not-for-profit organizations.
As a tax partner, Wendy is responsible for the planning and supervision of tax engagements including multi-tiered partnerships and funds. Her primary focus is to manage client needs relative to tax planning and tax saving strategies. She is heavily involved in reviewing cost certifications and ten percent compliance reports for low-income housing credits and has extensive experience in tax research. With knowledge relative to numerous tax credits, Wendy provides clients with guidance on Section 42 Low-Income Housing Credits, Section 47 Rehabilitation Tax Credits, Section 48 Energy Credits, New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) and Historic Tax Credits. Specific to renewable energy, she helps clients with a broad array of tax issues related to their deals including Section 1603, federal compliance, state and local property tax compliance, federal and state tax research, federal private letter rulings, sales and use tax consulting, quarterly and annual tax planning and estimating, IRS or state revenue department audit assistance, tax advisory services for federal, state and local incentives such as tax credits, grants, rebates, loans, carbon attribute tax consulting and project document review for tax consequences. She is also involved in the structuring and modeling of transactions. Ultimately, her goal is to mitigate the tax impact for her clients, thereby reducing taxable income.
David Zanaty’s Biography
David Zanaty has spent twenty years building teams, properties and companies in entrepreneurial and institutional real estate settings. His activities have spanned development, private equity and technology, most recently focused on scaling Opendoor and defining the emerging iBuyer category.
Prior to Opendoor, David was an early participant in the institutional single-family rental space, helping to build Starwood Waypoint (now Invitation Homes) into an institutional-quality owner and operator of that new asset class. Before Waypoint, David was a Vice President of Development at AIG Global Real Estate, where he was responsible for the development of a variety of commercial assets, including Class A office buildings in Atlantic Station. Prior to that, David focused on principal and third-party property development, capital formation, and investment property transactions. He began his career as a financial analyst with CB Richard Ellis. David holds a B.A. in Economics and Philosophy from Emory University, a Master of City and Regional Planning from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. David is active in a number of organizations, including the Urban Land Institute, NAIOP and the Georgia State University Real Estate Honorary Board.