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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.

 

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Board of Directors

Stacy Brees

Board Chair

Stacy Brees is a consultant with Candid Partners, a management consulting and technology services firm based in Atlanta, Georgia. She has spent most of her 20-year career in consulting, working with clients in industries that include commercial real estate, electric utilities, oil & gas, and food & beverages. The Coca-Cola Company has been her sole client for the last five years. Stacy is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Junior League of Atlanta member, and she is a current member of the Nominating Committee. She is a member of the Covey Guild of the Covenant House Georgia and has also held a number of volunteer roles at The Children's School, including two years as co-chair of the annual fundraising auction and two years as co-chair of the Parents' Association. Stacy holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Georgia Tech, and she lives in Atlanta with her husband and nine-year-old son.

Errika Moore

Vice Chair

Errika is an executive with sales, marketing, fundraising and executive management experience. Recently she has leveraged her pedigree and experience to add value as an Independent Consultant for Georgia Tech’s School of Public Policy, the Gifted Education Foundation (GIFTED), which supports students from low-income communities and IT Senior Management Forum (ITSMF), the only national organization dedicated exclusively to cultivating professional talent among African-American IT executives. Errika’s career began at IBM as an Account Executive in the oil and gas industry. She then transitioned to BMC Software’s Professional Services organization as a Marketing Manager working with analysts from Gartner and Forrester, developing marketing campaigns and making executive presentations to C-Suite clients. Prior to leaving BMC, she was promoted to the Americas Marketing Programs Director executing customer forums for over 1,100 customers and providing internal program development support for more than 3,000 employees within 11 geographies. In 2005 she created her own business to provide strategy and marketing support to small businesses and non-profit organizations. And in 2010 the VP of HR at Southwire Company invited her to join Southwire as a Strategist. There she developed strategies with business unit presidents and senior executives to identify and acquire strategic talent, to create internal development programs that enabled sustainable professional development and succession planning, to enhance new hire and professional hire retention and to develop an Engineering Internship program that established an elite collegiate talent pipeline.

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Warren Steele

Treasurer

Warren B. Steele, II was born May 1, 1962 in Fort Carson, Colorado. He graduated from Harvard University with a B.A. degree in psychology and social relations in January, 1984 after completing high school in Summerville, South Carolina.

After graduation, he joined Aflac in March, 1984 as a management trainee and served in several positions with Aflac until his retirement in October, 2004 as Senior Vice President, US Marketing. He still resides in Columbus, GA.

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Lauri Strauss

Secretary

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.

Christopher Barge

Executive Committee

Christopher obtained his B.S. in Agriculture degree in 1990 from the University of Georgia. He began his career in Horticulture working in the Southeast, then the Pacific Northwest. He entered the Sales, Marketing, and Financial world when moving to Montana in 2010 and began working in the Agriculture industry.

Currently, Christopher is the Sales and Marketing Manager and Financial Services Manager for CHS, Big Sky. He is responsible for 16 locations, 15 employees, and 200+ million in annual sales in agronomy, grain, feed, and energy divisions. He creates sales and marketing strategies, input loans, provides sales training, and nurtures vendor relationships, while growing market share and profitability.

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Dr. Paul Alberto

Dr. Paul Alberto is a Regents’ Professor whose area of scholarship is education of students with moderate to severe intellectual disabilities. He was appointed Interim Dean of the College of Education July 1, 2012, and permanent Dean March 13, 2014. Prior to that he served as Chair of the University Senate Executive Committee for eight years. As a member of the faculty he founded the Multiple and Severe Disabilities program and directed the teacher training and research components of the program through the Bureau for Students with Severe Disabilities until 2012. His research received continuous federal and state funding for 30 years. This work brought to Georgia the first funded programs in community-based education, inclusive education, education of students with profound disabilities, and literacy for students with moderate to severe disabilities. He served on the national board of The Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps. Dr. Alberto has authored over 75 journal articles and five books including Applied Behavior Analysis for Teachers, which has been printed in four languages and is in its 9th edition.

Susannah Cameron Balish

Susannah Balish oversees new product integration within the supply chain organization at Cox Communications. With more than 15 years in the telecommunications industry, Susannah has extensive experience developing and implementing strategic initiatives that drive profitability and customer satisfaction. She is an active volunteer in the Atlanta community and is currently serving on the boards of Ferst Readers, Voices for Georgia’s Children, and Women in Cable Telecom, Southeast. Susannah is a past president of The Junior League of Atlanta, a member of the Leadership Atlanta class of 2013, and a past board member of the Atlanta Speech School, the Atlanta Children’s Shelter, Trees Atlanta, and the Anti-Prejudice Consortium. Susannah received her MBA from George Mason University and BA from Miami University. She resides in Buckhead, Atlanta with her husband Chris and four children, Cameron, Ian, Will and Kate.

James Scott Campbell

Scott Campbell is a native of Birmingham, Alabama and relocated with his family to Atlanta in 1973, at the age of ten. He grew up in the Decatur area and graduated from Southwest Dekalb High School. In 1987,Scott earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Telecommunication Management from The University of Georgia.

Scott began his career in Logistics with American President Lines, an international shipping company. After a few years in the corporate world, he felt the entrepreneurial tug and started the first of several businesses. He began with retail restaurants and later started a manufacturing company in Bristol, Virginia and a logistics company in Augusta, Georgia.

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Vicki Cansler

Vicki Cansler joined Piedmont in February, 2013, as the Chief Human Resources Officer. She leads system-wide Human Resources, including Learning and Development, Total Rewards, Employee Relations, Talent Acquisition and HR Service Delivery. 

Vicki has extensive HR leadership experience in healthcare, both on the payer and provider sides, as well as healthcare HR consulting. She served as SVP of Human Resources for HealthMarkets, a private equity-owned individual health insurance company based in Texas, and Chief People Officer for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee. Vicki also held senior global Human Resources and consulting positions with Booz, Allen and Hamilton in Virginia and Deloitte & Touche LLP based in Dallas. 

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Lisa Chester

Lisa Chester is Executive Director of Warrick Dunn Charities, Inc. and a Strategic Planning and Senior Marketing Insight Expert. Lisa currently directs and manages the work and structure of national program initiatives that address the needs of underrepresented populations within at-risk communities in the areas of economic empowerment, affordable homeownership, wellness and children’s bereavement.

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Dr. Stan DeJarnett

Dr. Stan DeJarnett currently serves as the Executive Director for The Georgia Vision Project: A Vision for Public Education, a collaborative project developed to transform Georgia’s public schools by maximizing potential in two primary areas: 1) student achievement and 2) trust and support for public education in every community. This venture, begun in 2009, has the support of 80% of Georgia’s local school systems, Georgia’s colleges and universities, the business community and the leading educator organizations in Georgia. The Vision Project’s research-based recommendations are being implemented with success in school systems all over Georgia. Other states have begun their own Vision Projects using the Georgia model.

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Staff

  • President
    Betsy Wagenhauser 

  • Director of Accounting/Development
    Amy Zygler 

  • Enrollment Coordinator/Office Manager
     Leslie Vestal 

  • Program Coordinator
    Susan Vaughn 

  • Regional Program Coordinator
    Debbie Ross 

  • Regional Program Coordinator
    Michelle Maddox 

  • Grant Coordinator
    Kelly Freyer 

  • Project Coordinator
    Emily Pettigrew 

  • Administrative Assistant Publications/Social Media
    Olivia Ramfos 

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