Davida Morgan Washington

Davida Morgan Washington


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

Chris Dunn

Chris Dunn
Associate Vice President, Internal Audit at Humana
Education: B.A. and M.S. from the University of Florida
Chris leads multiple Internal Audit teams at Humana focused on financial reporting, IT, compliance, and operational reviews. Prior to Humana, Chris worked at General Electric, McKesson, and KPMG. Chris is originally from Florida, graduating from the University of Florida with a B.A. in Business Administration and a M.S. in Information Systems.

Summer Duperon

Summer Duperon serves as Vice President of Collective Impact at GirlTREK, one of the largest public health movements for Black women. In her role, she partners with executive leadership and regional stakeholders across government, nonprofit, business, and community organizations to implement a collective impact model that will increase the life expectancy of Black women by 10 years in 10 years.

Summer is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., a 2014 graduate of the Bryan Bell Metropolitan Leadership Forum, a 2022 Housing Narrative Lab Fellow, and a 2023 graduate of the United Way of Greater Atlanta’s Volunteer Improvement Program (VIP). Throughout her community experiences, she’s served in board capacities with The Junior League of Atlanta, Atlanta Symphony Associates, New Orleans Opera, Mercy Endeavors Senior Center, and Ivy & Roses Community Fund. She received both her MA degree in Business Education and BBA degree in Marketing from the University of Georgia. Originally from New Orleans, Summer currently resides in Atlanta.

Denise M. Finley, Ed.S.

Denise M. Finley, Ed.S. — Curriculum/Learning Support Specialist K-12

Denise Finley currently serves as K-12 Curriculum Coordinator/Learning Support Specialist for Lamar County Schools. Mrs. Finley holds a dual Specialist degree (Educational Leadership/Reading-Family Literacy) from Georgia College and State University. She has 32 years of experience as an educator working in a variety of public settings with diverse student populations from birth through high school. Mrs. Finley has served in a number of roles as classroom teacher, instructional coach, professional learning consultant and educational curriculum consultant.

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Erika Hill

Erika Hill


EDUCATION: Georgia Tech (BS Electrical Engineering), Emory University (MBA Finance)

Erika is a champion for early childhood literacy through her work with the Goddard School. She is the first Goddard School franchise owner awarded a license to operate three schools in the Atlanta market and selected to serve on the nationwide, inaugural Goddard Systems Advisory Council. She has served her community as PTA president, Area School Council Business Representative, Young Men's Service League member and Jack and Jill of America, Inc., executive board member. Erika is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Dr. Susan McWhirter

Dr. Susan McWhirter

RIVERTOWN PEDIATRICS, Pediatrics Specialist

EDUCATION: University of Maryland (BS Zoology), Emory University School of Medicine (MD)

Dr. Susan McWhirter has been involved in educating families on the importance of literacy since her days as a Pediatric Resident at Emory University. She is already involved in several projects in her community promoting access to books for children starting at birth. Dr. McWhirter has been previous Chief of the Medical Staff at what is now Piedmont Columbus Regional Hospital and currently serves on its Board. She is also a Board Member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Georgia Chapter.

Bea Perdue

Bea Perdue

Bea Perdue brings more than fifteen years of combined higher education and non-profit strategic fundraising and leadership experience. As St. Vincent de Paul Georgia's chief fundraising officer she is charged with leading a development team focused on expanding financial and public support for the SVdP mission.

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Margaret M. Quinlin

Margaret M. Quinlin is President and Publisher of Peachtree Publishing Company, an award-winning independent publishing house founded in 1977 and based in Atlanta, Georgia. Peachtree publishes books for young readers from board books through young adult fiction and nonfiction. 

Margaret’s own passion for language and books derives from her father’s great love of books and her Irish mother’s strong love of stories and verse. Growing up in a household filled with children and music and stories and books reinforces for her the great value of bringing books to young children in their homes.

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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.

Wes Turner

Wes graduated from the University of Georgia with an undergraduate degree in Family Financial Planning. Upon graduation, he lead a team of data analyst for a credit card processor, Total Systems Services (TSYS). Today, he is a Registered Investment Advisor and partner of Lumature Wealth Partners in Alpharetta, GA. He currently serves as Board President for the Atlanta Alumni Chapter of Sigma Chi Fraternity. Wes and his wife, Alex, along with their dog, Kirby Belle, live in Americus, GA. In his spare time he coaches youth football for the Northside Youth Organization (NYO) of North Atlanta, enjoys playing golf, spending time outdoors, and attending UGA football games.

Elisabeth Wang

Elisabeth Wang is a communications leader with more than 20 years of corporate experience. Her career started, though, as a secondary English teacher, and Elisabeth credits this early passion for teaching as the origin of what is now the most rewarding part of her job - people leadership..

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    • President/CEO
      Davida Morgan Washington 


    • Operations and Registration Coordinator
       Simone Escho 

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    • Operations Coordinator and Executive Assistant
       Lina Ho 

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    • Volunteer Engagement Manager
      Michelle Maddox 

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    • Volunteer Coordinator (SW Georgia)
      Edwina Turner 

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    • Administrative Assistant Publications
      Olivia Ramfos 

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    • Database Management
      Glenda Cofer 

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

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Thank you for visiting Ferst Readers!

Ensuring that children develop early literacy skills is one of the most important things we can do - as parents, as teachers - and as a society.

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