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Davida Morgan Washington

Davida Morgan Washington

President

Nonprofit veteran Davida Morgan Washington has been named President of the organization effective June 1, 2020. She succeeds Interim President Elyse Klova (Chief Operating Officer for Blaze Leadership) who also led Ferst Readers’ executive search.

 

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Board of Directors

Errika Moore

Errika Moore

Board Chair

Errika is the inaugural Executive Director for the national STEM Funders Network. Previously she was the Senior Program Officer at the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta leading the team focused on creating equity in education and workforce development. Prior to this she served as the Executive Director of TAG-Ed (Technology Association of Georgia Education Collaborative) focused on K-12 STEM Advocacy throughout the state of Georgia, Vice President of Member Services and External Affairs for IT Senior Management Forum (ITSMF) - the only national organization focused on increasing the representation of black professionals at senior levels in technology, the Vice President of Operations for the Gifted Education Foundation, Southwire, BMC Software and IBM.

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Christopher Barge

Vice Chair

Christopher obtained his B.S. in Agriculture degree 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 US-Product Manager for FMC Corporation responsible for crop protection delivery technologies for both synthetic and biological active ingredients. He analyzes market opportunities and develops go to market strategies, while growing market share.

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Susannah Cameron Balish

Treasurer

Susannah Balish is Senior Director of Supply Chain Operations at COX Communications.

An award-winning leader recognized for pioneering forward-thinking projects, Susannah has over two decades of measured success scaling bottom-line results in Fortune 500 telecommunication companies. She is a trusted advocate, mentor, and coach known for the professional development of diverse teams. Most recently, she co-architected MentorUp! a reverse-mentoring program at COX and is actively engaged in a design opportunity to enrich the employee experience.

Susannah is an active volunteer in the Atlanta community and has held board positions in several organizations including Ferst Readers, Voices for Georgia’s Children, Atlanta Children’s Shelter, and Trees Atlanta. Susannah is a past president of The Junior League of Atlanta, a member of the Leadership Atlanta class of 2013, and recipient of the Mentor Award from Women in Cable and Telecommunications SE. She received her MBA from George Mason University, BA from Miami University and studied at the Dolibois European Center.  Susannah resides in Atlanta with her husband Chris and four children.

Michelle A. Valteau

Michelle A. Valteau

Secretary

THOMSON REUTERS, Regional Client Manager

EDUCATION: Wellesley College (BA Political Science), Duke Law School (JD)

Michelle started her career as a commercial real estate finance attorney at two Am Law 200 law firms in Atlanta before transitioning to higher education administration in 2009. She spent eight years providing leadership and career guidance at Emory University School of Law. In 2018, Michelle returned to the private sector as a Regional Client Manager with Thomson Reuters. Her current role sees her providing strategic guidance and support of technological resources to global law firms across the Southeast.

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.

Dr. Chris Bearden

Dr. Chris Bearden

GRIFFIN-SPALDING COUNTY SCHOOLS, Pre-K and Title III Programs Coordinator

EDUCATION: Rust College (BS Education), Troy State University (MA Educational Leadership & Supervision), Argosy University (Ed.D. Instructional Leadership)

Dr. Bearden has 29 years of experience in public education and is currently a member of the Title III Staff in the Federal Programs Department at Griffin-Spalding County Schools, where she also serves as the Pre-K Program Coordinator. She is an active member of several organizations, including the GA Association of Education, the GA Preschool Association, the National Educational Association (NEA), and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Jany A. Brown

Jany A. Brown
UBS, Certified Financial PlannerTM, Vice President

EDUCATION: Georgia Institute of Technology (BS Management)

In joining the Board of Ferst Readers, Jany will bring over 20 years of service to the literacy community, including volunteer tutoring for low-literate adults, serving as President of the Board of Literacy Volunteers of Atlanta, and chairing the Literacy Alliance of Metro Atlanta. Most recently, she helped lead the efforts to create the Literacy For All Fund alongside the Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta. Jany has been a strong advocate for state-wide policy for a more literate Georgia and is honored to be part of the work of Ferst Readers to bring books to children across the country.

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. 

Read more: Vicki Cansler

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.

Read more: Lisa Chester

Brittany Collins

Brittany Collins

GEEARS, Director of PAACT: Promise All Atlanta Children Thrive

EDUCATION: Spelman College (BA Psychology), Georgia State University College of Education (MA Early Childhood Education)

Brittany Collins serves as the Founding Director of PAACT, an alliance of public and private partners collaborating to improve outcomes for Atlanta's youngest children, led by the Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students (GEEARS). She's responsible for building backbone functions, including leading an advisory board, developing cross-sector partnerships, raising private and public funds, and measuring and communicating impact to a broad group of stakeholders.

Cynthia Price Czabala

Cynthia Price Czabala

INTERCONTINENTAL HOTELS GROUP, Vice President

EDUCATION: Indiana University (BS Computer & Information Systems)

Cynthia Price Czabala brings a strong background in IT Strategy, Data Warehousing, Data Architecture, and application development combined with project management and leadership skills. Her community involvement and affiliations include Fulton County Juvenile Courts, DFCS Review Panel, Dream Big Grant Judge, TechBridge, Teradata Partners Conference Steering Committee, President 2016 Junior League of Atlanta, and Nearly New Shop Board Member.

Staff

    • President/CEO
      Davida Morgan Washington 

       Davida

          • Senior Director of Finance
            David Cauble

             David Cauble

          • Development and Communications Manager
            Benita Brisco 

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          • Program Manager
            Michelle Maddox 

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          • Operations Coordinator
             Leslie Vestal 

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          • Enrollment Coordinator/Office Manager
            Tonia Scheff

            Tonia S

          • Partner Engagement Representative
            Debbie Ross 

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          • Regional Program Coordinator (SW Georgia)
            Edwina Turner 

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          • Program and Impact Coordinator/RPC (SE Georgia)
            Melissa Silva 

            Melissa S

          • Community Engagement Coordinator(Dallas, TX)
            Cheryl Scramuzza 

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          • Administrative Assistant Publications
            Olivia Ramfos 

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          • Database Management
            Glenda Cofer 

             Glenda

          • Community Engagement Coordinator (Atlanta, GA)/Grants Coordinator
            Jervonia Melton 

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