Betsy Wagenhauser

President

Betsy Wagenhauser has been a part of Ferst Readers for more than four years. She served on the Board of Directors beginning in 2011, then moved into the role of President in January 2013. However, her relationship with Ferst Readers began years earlier - in 2000 when she enrolled her one year old son in the Ferst Readers program.

 

Read more: Betsy Wagenhauser

Board of Directors

Lauri Strauss

Lauri Strauss is president of Strauss Media and Communications LLC. Previously, she served as president of the Atlanta Press Club for more than ten years managing the day-to-day operations, events and fundraising for the professional journalism organization. She also served the club’s mission to support Atlanta’s journalism community and a free press. Lauri’s background is in broadcast journalism. She started her career working for the local NBC affiliate in Tucson, Arizona, before moving to Atlanta to work for CNN. Lauri also worked in media relations for The Coca-Cola Company and was an area manager for the American Cancer Society. Lauri is a graduate of Leadership Atlanta’s class of 2015. She is a board member for Ferst Readers and an active volunteer with the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta and the Junior League of Atlanta. She sits on the advisory council for the Agape Youth and Family Center and serves in advisory roles for other nonprofit organizations.

William Verner

Bill Verner serves as Sr. Vice President for External Affairs for Georgia Electric Membership Corporation (Georgia EMC). Verner began his electric cooperative career with Carroll EMC in 1980 in various part-time capacities while pursuing an undergraduate degree at the University of West Georgia, and joined Georgia EMC in 1984 as Coordinator of Member and Youth Activities. As head of Georgia EMC External Affairs, he coordinates the representation of EMCs’ interests before government including the Georgia General Assembly, the Georgia Public Service Commission, the United States Congress, and state and federal agencies. In addition to government relations, Verner is also responsible for communications, public relations, member services, media relations and the publication of the EMCs’ popular monthly consumer publication, GEORGIA Magazine.

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R. Corley Watson III

Corley is a Managing Director of United Capital and leads the North Atlanta office. He is a native of Jackson, Georgia. Prior to joining United Capital, Corley was affiliated with PPA Advisors, where he served on the Strategic Planning and Investment committees. He graduated from the University of Georgia with an undergraduate degree in Agriculture and Applied Economics and, upon graduation, entered Morgan Stanley’s investment-training program in the securities industry. Corley and his wife, Elizabeth, live in the North Buckhead area of Atlanta. They have three sons, Corley, Will, and Sam, and are active members of Second Ponce De Leon Baptist Church. Corley is a Registered Investment Advisor and, in his spare time, he enjoys training for and participating in triathlons, golf, and chasing his three sons.

Rayna Wooden

Rayna Wooden is Vice President of Operations for the Partnership against Domestic Violence and an active member of the Junior League of Atlanta.

Staff

  • President
    Betsy Wagenhauser 

  • Accounting and Development Coordinator
    Amy Zygler 

  • Director of Operations
    Glenda Cofer 

  • Program Coordinator
     

  • Regional Program Coordinator
    Debbie Ross 

  • Regional Program Coordinator/Technology
    Michelle Maddox 

  • Grant Coordinator
    Kelly Freyer 

  • Administrative Assistant - Registration and Database/Translations
    Claudia Jasso 

  • Administrative Assistant Publications/Social Media
    Olivia Ramfos 

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