2020 Board Members
Susan Grant, Board Chair • Frank Bell • Peter S. Berg • Barbara Bing Pliner • Millard Choate • Bert Clark • Richard W. Courts IV • Patrice Greer • Doug Hooker • Julia Houston • Wonya Lucas • Jeffrey Muir • Bryan Rand • John C. Reid • Dave Stockert • Ramon Tomé • Gregory Vaughn • Jerry Wilkinson • Studie Young • Benjamin T. White – Legal Counsel
Susan Grant relishes her current community activist work as nonprofit board leader, anti-racist practitioner and mentor coach. Grant graduated from the corporate world after 30 years at CNN where she led the company’s digital and affiliate businesses. During her tenure, CNN Digital became the internet’s leading news destination globally across myriad online and mobile platforms. Her portfolio of businesses included CNN Digital, CNNMoney.com, CNN Newsource Sales, CNN ImageSource, the CNN Library, CNN Student News and CNN Business Operations. Under Grant’s leadership, CNN’s affiliate businesses built exceptional, sustainable collaborations with their broadcast, radio and licensing partners. She served as CNN’s representative on the Board of Internet Broadcasting Systems from 2005 through its sale to Nexstar in 2014.
For her leadership in off-air management, the Radio and Television News Directors Foundation honored her with its First Amendment Service Award in 2008. In 2013, Grant received Womenetics’ POW! Award, celebrating her for stirring the status quo with excellence in leadership and she received New Trier High School’s 2013 Alumni Achievement Award, joining her high school’s “Hall of Honor”.
Grant serves as immediate past Board Chair of Heifer International, a nonprofit, humanitarian organization dedicated to ending hunger and poverty; as Vice Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of Morehouse School of Medicine; and as immediate past Chair of Agnes Scott College’s Board of Visitors. She volunteers with Leadership Atlanta on programs concentrating on race equity and serves as a supervisor at the Zaban Paradies Center for homeless couples. Grant is a graduate of Vassar College and happily resides in Atlanta with her partner, Mr. Nory LeBrun.
In 1993, Frank Bell founded Intellinet with the idea that promises kept are the most powerful competitive advantage possible. For 20 years, Intellinet has provided consulting and software development technology services to many of the most familiar names in business, as well as earned recognition for helping executives succeed by providing measurable, bottom-line results. Bell builds strategic relationships as an influential civic leader and cultivates a values-based corporate culture by helping others achieve their goals through teamwork and accountability.
Bell began his career as a financial analyst with real estate developer Carter, but soon discovered his real passion was in the emerging field of technology. He launched Intellinet from his Peachtree Road apartment with a vision for helping businesses use technology to improve operations. Ever since, Intellinet has continued to help clients create business value through innovative technology solutions. Intellinet distinguishes itself by fulfilling promises to clients through world-class technical expertise, a focus on client service and an unwavering commitment to company core values.
Bell is involved in many civic and industry organizations, including founding the Georgia CIO Leadership Association (GCLA), presenter of the annual Georgia CIO of the Year Awards. He has served on Microsoft Partner Advisory Councils, the Board of Advisors to the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Buckhead Coalition, Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and the High Tech Prayer Breakfast Host Committee. He has served as a trustee of Wesleyan School, a founding director of the Private Bank of Buckhead and on the Stetson University Business School board, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing. He resides in Roswell, Georgia, with his wife Amy and their five children.
Choate Construction Company
William Millard Choate is the Chairman of Choate Construction Company, one of the largest commercial building contractors in the southeastern U.S. With over four decades of contracting experience, Choate oversees operations of the firm including marketing, preconstruction and construction operations. He founded Choate Construction in 1989 after first serving as a project manager with a Kentucky contractor and then moving forward to serve for 12 years as the officer of an Atlanta general contractor. Choate is also the CEO of Packard Capital, a real estate and alternative investment group. A native of Nashville, Tennessee, he is a graduate of Father Ryan High School and Vanderbilt University, where he received a B.A. in economics and business. Active in several organizations, Choate serves as a Director on the Board of Ameris Bank, serves on various Chambers of Commerce and is a member of Atlanta Rotary. He was chosen an Entrepreneur of the Year, sponsored by Ernst & Young, Inc. Magazine and Merrill Lynch and the Volunteer of the Year by Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. He serves on the boards of various philanthropic organizations such as Bright Futures and Street Grace. Choate is a longtime supporter of the Community Foundation, he established the Choate Family Fund in 2002 and the ROI Supporting Organization in 2016. He and his wife, Susan, have two adult children.
Estate Strategies Group, LLC
Bert Clark is an estate and business planning advisor with Estate Strategies Group, LLC. He advises families, businesses and individuals in all manner of estate, philanthropic, business and financial matters. He provides integrated planning solutions for high net worth clients and closely held businesses, and specializes in the comprehensive financial, wealth management and estate planning for executives and business owners. In particular, he enjoys helping clients focus on the philanthropic impact of their wealth and in implementing solutions for the preservation of wealth.
He also assists business owners and managers in the implementation of their corporate benefit plans with his partners at Northwestern Benefit Corporation of Georgia. He started his wealth advisory practice after practicing law for 12 years in the areas of tax and corporate law.
Throughout his professional career, Clark has given back to his community through service to various cultural, educational, and professional organizations. He is currently the president of the Atlanta Estate Planning Council, and serves on the boards of The Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta, The High Museum of Art and Berry College. He also serves as an advisor to the University of Georgia Honors Program, and previously served on the boards of the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation and The Atlanta Opera. He has played an integral role in the planned giving and capital campaigns for these and other organizations. He has also served on the planned giving advisory committees of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta and for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and was a founding member of the Philanthropic Advisor Leadership Institute in Atlanta.
A native of Rome, Georgia, Clark is a graduate of Berry College with a Bachelors in Art and holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Georgia.
Clark and his wife, Cathy, have three children. They established the Cathy and Bert Clark Fund with the Community Foundation in 2002.
Patrice Brown Greer
Patrice Brown Greer had a successful career in commercial real estate, managing properties for companies such as GE Capital and LaSalle Partners (now Jones Lang LaSalle). Her background also includes positions in strategy and corporate finance including serving as director of strategic planning for Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. where she analyzed entertainment business concepts and created business plans for potential ventures in the areas of online gaming, new cable networks and sports. She has also worked in the retail sector including launching a home-based business, Wishlist, Inc. as a retailer of The Worth Collection, a multi-million dollar direct sales and marketing company of custom-designed, ready-to-wear women’s clothing. In 2011, she started an airport concessions company, Creative Concourse Concepts, LLC (C3) which blends her business acumen with her love for retail and travel. She is currently a partner in Paradies Atlanta, II, LLC with retail stores at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
In addition to the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, she has served on the boards of the Alliance Theater (Advisory Board), Atlanta Ballet, Fulton County Arts Council, Southeast Energy Alliance, Trinity School and Zoo Atlanta. She and her husband, Ernest, have co-chaired a number of record-breaking fundraisers for organizations including Grady Hospital, Atlanta Ballet and Families First. She was a long-standing member of the Junior League of Atlanta where she chaired its 2002 Tour of Kitchens fundraiser and served on its board as parliamentarian. Greer served as the 2009-2011 President of the Atlanta Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., the largest chapter in the national organization. She also served as the Southeast Region’s representative to the 2010-2012 National Strategic Planning Committee. She is Treasurer of the Dogwood City Chapter of the Links, Incorporated, whose service to the Atlanta community was recognized with the 2014 Civic Award by Atlanta Partners for Education for its STEM, reading and fitness programming at M. A. Jones Elementary School. She is a 2003 graduate of Leadership Atlanta and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
An Atlanta native, Greer completed her liberal arts degree in economics and philosophy at Wellesley College and received her master’s degree in business (with finance and marketing concentrations) from The Kellogg School at Northwestern University.
Atlanta Regional Commission
Doug Hooker leads the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC), the agency which coordinates local government policy and planning for metro Atlanta, to enhance the region’s economic competitiveness. ARC brings best practices and fosters innovation in challenges to community development, transportation and mobility, water and natural resources, arts and culture, aging and independence resources, workforce development, homeland security, and community-oriented research and analytics.
In his career, he has worked for public sector and private sector organizations, among them: the City of Atlanta’s Department of Public Works (serving as the Commissioner who led the agency through the 1996 Olympic Games); the State Road & Tollway Authority, SRTA (Executive Director); Director of Finance and Administration with Bio-Lab, Inc., and Vice President for Business Development and Marketing with Atkins Engineering (formerly PBS&J). He began his career with Georgia Power, having worked as a design engineer, project manager, section supervisor and as a technology policy analyst. Through the different facets of his career he has been able to work on important regional and local projects in the areas of energy, education, transportation, transit and water.
Hooker is involved in several aspects of the community and his profession, including board service on the Council for Quality Growth, the Georgia Tech (President’s) Advisory Board, the Ivan Allen College (of Georgia Tech) Advisory Board, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra board, and the board of the Atlanta Music Project. He serves on the advisory board for Atlanta Tech, Agnes Scott College, and CHRIS 180. He is currently on the Executive Directors’ Council of the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) and he is an active member of the Major Metros Seminar group. Recently, he has joined the national advisory board for SPARCC (the Strong Prosperous, And Resilient Communities Challenge).
Hooker previously served on the boards of Leadership Atlanta, the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, the Civic League, the Emory University Board of Visitors, the Georgia Tech Alumni Association Trustees, the Georgia Tech School of Civil & Environmental Engineering Advisory Board, Atlanta Area Technical College Institute for Males, the Regional Business Coalition board, Georgians for Passenger Rail, the Atlanta Opera, the Georgia Conservancy, Park Pride and the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership and the Regional Leadership Forum.
He is an alumnus of several leadership programs: Leadership Atlanta, Leadership Georgia, the Regional Leadership Institute, Leadership PBS&J, and the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership.
He has received numerous awards and recognitions including the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Ivan Allen College School of Public Policy, 100 Most Influential Georgians (Georgia Trend Magazine), 100 Most Influential Atlantans (Atlanta Business Chronicle), 10 Most Influential Atlantans (Atlanta Tribune), Lauren H Solomon Trailblazer Award (COMTO), The Whitney Young Leadership Award (Atlanta Council of Boy Scouts of America), Who’s Who in Black Atlanta, the Empowering Leader award and the Excellence in City Government award from the Atlanta City Council, and several others.
Hooker holds a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree and a Master of Science (in Technology & Science Policy) degree from Georgia Tech, as well as a M.B.A. from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School. He is married to Patrise Perkins-Hooker, a Georgia Tech and Emory alumna who is the County Attorney for Fulton County, and the first African American to serve as President of the State Bar of Georgia. In his spare time, Doug composes music, plays in a community band, loves to travel with his wife, spend time with his grandchildren, and read.
Jeffrey S. Muir
Fulcrum Equity Partners, Inc.
Jeffrey Muir is a founder and president of Fulcrum Equity Partners, a growth equity fund with $300 million under management. In 2000, Muir co-founded Fulcrum Ventures and is also a co-founder and former managing partner of Chatham Capital, a mezzanine finance firm launched in 2001. He has more than 30 years of investment, operational, and professional experience and has led over 125 major transactions, including mergers, acquisitions, financings, private equity investments and offerings, both public and private. Prior to forming Fulcrum, Muir was COO for OnTarget, a leading provider of consulting and training to large sales organizations worldwide, including BellSouth, Cisco, Deutsche Telecom, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Nortel and Siemens. There, he spearheaded the successful exit strategy for the owners, resulting in a merger with Siebel Systems in December 1999. Prior to OnTarget, Muir held senior executive positions with rapidly growing companies, including EVP with a publicly-traded health care company, T2 Medical, VP of a computer software firm, Information Systems of America, and co-founder/principal of a physician management firm that merged with PhyMatrix as part of its initial public offering. He began his career as an attorney with the Atlanta law firm of Alston & Bird. Muir is currently a board member for Red Bag Solutions, Bright Light Systems, Enduracare Acute Care Services, Five Points Healthcare and Addiction Campuses. He was an organizer and former director of North Atlanta National Bank.
Muir is on the board of the Southern Capital Forum and a member of the Southeast Investor Group, Association for Corporate Growth, and Society of International Business Fellows. In addition to his service on the Community Foundation board, he is on the boards of Skyland Trail and Leadership Ministries. He holds a B.A. and J.D. from the University of Georgia, both with honors. Prior to law school, he served as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Air Force, including a tour in the Middle East.
Barbara Bing Pliner
Barbara Bing Pliner is a results-driven sales and marketing professional who spent 25-plus years leading luxury media and publishing businesses. Her portfolio of media sales included positions of increasing responsibility representing prestigious global brands Conde Nast, Meredith and Time, Inc. As founder and president of The Media Company, Bing’s team managed marketing and sales throughout the southeast exclusively for Elle Décor, Esquire, Gourmet, GQ, House & Garden, New York Magazine, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair ,Wired, and more..
In the heat of the Great Recession after selling The Media Company, Bing joined a start-up called Garden & Gun, where she brought a strong understanding of the media marketplace to a magazine with a big idea. She led the magazine to milestone levels over her four years as VP/Publisher.
Now retired, Bing is an active community volunteer, helping nonprofits understand the value of brands and their indelible link to successful sales and business development strategies. In addition to Bing’s board position with the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, she also serves on the Advisory Board of the Atlanta Ballet, and is an active member of the High Museum, Alliance Theater, Young Collectors Club of Atlanta, Atlanta Celebrates Photography and the Georgia Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts.
Bryan Rand is a Senior Director at Tritium Partners, a private equity firm focused on growth buyouts in the lower middle market with more than $900mm in assets under management. At Tritium he is responsible for sourcing and executing acquisitions as well as managing relationships with deal referral sources.
Prior to joining Tritium, Bryan was a Partner at Belstone Capital, a merchant bank serving founder-and-family led businesses, where he led transaction execution for more than 2 dozen M&A and financing transactions. Previously, Bryan worked as an investment professional at Brightwood Capital and DLJ Merchant Banking Partners, Credit Suisse’s control private equity investing affiliate, as well as an investment banker in the Corporate Finance Group at Credit Suisse.
In addition to his professional endeavors Bryan serves on both the Executive Board and Investment Committee of the Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta.
Bryan received his MBA from Harvard Business School. He also graduated magna cum laude from Morehouse College with a B.A. in German Studies and a B.A. in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance.
John C. Reid
David P. Stockert
Sweetwater Opportunity Fund, LP
Dave Stockert is a private real estate investor. He is the former chief executive officer of Post Properties, where in 2016 he orchestrated the company’s merger with Memphis-based MidAmerica Apartment Communities, creating the largest multifamily Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) in the U.S. by number of apartment units. He continues to serve on the board of directors of MAA. Before joining Post in January 2001, he served as a senior executive officer for two other public REITs and currently serves as lead director on the board of Duke Realty. In addition, Stockert’s career includes investment banking and public accounting. In addition to serving on the board of the Community Foundation, Stockert sits on the boards of Grady Memorial Hospital (Chair, Compensation Committee), Westside Future Fund (Chair, Real Estate Committee), Horizons Atlanta, The Robert W. Woodruff Foundation, the Lettie Pate Evans Foundation and the Commerce Club Atlanta. He also chairs the Here For Good Capital Campaign for the Metro Atlanta YMCA. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Colorado and an MBA in finance from Columbia University.
Georgia Department of Natural Resources (Retired)
Ramon Tomé is a retired environmental technologist from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Protection Division. For the past 20 years he was involved with the capturing and cataloging of toxic compounds that are the precursors to the formation of ground ozone in Atlanta and its surrounding counties. Tomé holds a Bachelor of Science in Geology from the University of Wyoming. He also attended the University of Denver for a degree in environmental policy, primarily dealing with water issues. In addition to serving on the board of the Community Foundation, Tomé is member of the board of directors for the Museum of Contemporary Art-Georgia, the Latin American Association and Georgia Arts at Georgia Tech. Tomé is married to Carol Tomé, the chief financial officer of The Home Depot. He is a native of Honduras and speaks fluent Spanish.
Dr. Gregory J. Vaughn
Dr. Gregory Vaughn joined the Global Life Sciences practice of Spencer Stuart, a preeminent executive search and leadership consulting firm, in 2017 after serving Bauerfeind USA as Chief Executive Officer for three years. Prior to Bauerfeind, Vaughn held a variety of management positions in sales, marketing and business development with Medtronic, Inc. He has also held management roles at NDCHealth Corp., where he led the company’s flagship pharmacy services business unit and at McKinsey & Company, where he managed strategy, operations and organizational engagements for clients. Vaughn was a board certified ophthalmologist and established his own practice in ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery before joining McKinsey & Company.
In addition to the Community Foundation, Vaughn serves on the Board of Trustees for Emory University, the Woodruff Health Sciences Center, The Carter Center and is a member of the Rotary Club of Atlanta. Vaughn earned his M.D. from Harvard Medical School, after graduating summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in history from Emory University. He has undertaken various civic leadership roles including serving as president of the Emory University Alumni Association Board, president of the Emory Senior Society and as a member of the Vestry of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.
Legal Counsel, Alston & Bird
Ben White is chair of Alston & Bird’s Exempt Organizations Group. He is also a co-leader of the Wealth Planning Group. His practice emphasizes exempt organizations as well as estate and tax planning. As chair of the largest and most comprehensive exempt organizations practice in the region, White is widely known for his successful representation of exempt organizations with intractable tax problems. His clients include international, national, regional and local tax-exempt organizations located throughout the U.S. and in other countries. These organizations range from public charities and foundations, to schools, colleges and universities, to hospitals and other health care organizations, to scientific and medical research organizations, to business and professional associations and chambers of commerce, to social clubs and virtually every other kind of tax-exempt organization. With close to 30 years of experience in the area, White counsels extensively both with exempt organizations and with lawyers and accountants representing exempt organizations and he provides strategic advice on the array of tax, business, cultural and political issues that are distinct to exempt organizations. White also maintains an active wealth planning practice, representing some of the wealthiest individuals and families in the southeast and providing counseling to individual and institutional trustees, executors and personal representatives throughout the region.
White is a prodigious lecturer and a prolific writer on topics ranging from exempt organizations to wealth planning to charitable gift planning and other tax and fiduciary subjects. He has lectured throughout the country for thousands of hours both to lay people and to professional advisors. White is the co-author of a two-volume text, Georgia Estate Planning, Will Drafting and Estate Administration Forms Practice, which is updated annually and author of Foundation Desk Reference: A Compendium of Private Foundation Rules, which is updated periodically and used throughout the country. The author of numerous other articles and papers, White’s publications on taxes, wills, estate planning and exempt organizations are widely read both by laypersons and by professional tax advisors. White is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and a founding member of the faculty of the American Institute for Philanthropic Studies. He has served as chairman of the Fiduciary Law Section of the State Bar of Georgia and as president of the Harvard Law School Association of Georgia. White is a member of the Section of Real Property, Probate and Trust Law of the American Bar Association and also serves as a member of the Exempt Organizations Committee of the American Bar Association Tax Section. He is also a member of the Atlanta Tax Forum and a former member of the board of directors of the Atlanta Estate Planning Council. He is profiled in The Best Lawyers in America and in Chambers USA America’s Leading Business Lawyers. Long active in community affairs, White has served as Chairman of the Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund and serves on the Boards of a number of foundations and other charitable organizations. He is a past president of the Alliance Theatre Company and served as a trustee of the Woodruff Arts Center for many years. In 1989 he received the Fulton County Arts Council Salute to the Arts Award. White received his Juris Doctor, cum laude, from the Harvard Law School in 1973 and graduated with honors from the University of North Carolina in 1969. He graduated from The Taft School in Watertown, Connecticut in 1964.
The Wilkinson Companies
Jerry Wilkinson is founder and Chairman of The Wilkinson Companies, a privately-
held real estate investment, management and construction firm. Since 1984,
Wilkinson has directed the operations and growth of the Wilkinson Companies and
Wilkinson served as 2012 Chairman of the National Apartment Association (NAA).
He has previously served as President of the Georgia Apartment Association (GAA)
and the Atlanta Apartment Association (AAA). He is a member of the NAA and GAA
Hall of Fame. He received a B.S. in electrical engineering from Duke University, an
MBA in Finance from the Wharton School and has done post graduate work at
Harvard. He serves on several Boards including the Duke University School of
Engineering BOV, LaGrange College, Apartment Life Inc., and Grace Hill.
He and his wife, Beverly, have three daughters and eight grandchildren, and split
their time between Atlanta, Georgia and Amelia Island, Florida. He and Bev are
long-time supporters of the Community Foundation, they established the Wilkinson
Family Fund in 1999.
Harry Norman, Realtors
Studie Young has been a leader in Atlanta’s residential real estate market for 30
years and a consistent top producer with Harry Norman, Realtors. Over her 30-year
career, she has specialized in the Buckhead area with career sales volume
exceeding $500 million.
She has been an active member of the Wesleyan School PTA and past president of
the Morris Brandon PTA. She is an elder at First Presbyterian Church and was a
founding member of the Atlanta Board of Realtors Prayer Breakfast. Young
attended Hollins College in Virginia where she received a bachelor’s degree.
Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, she is the daughter of Crawford Johnson and
is a long time resident of Atlanta with her husband, Zach, who recently retired as
headmaster of Wesleyan School. They have three adult children and are longtime
supporters of the Community Foundation where they established the Young Family
Fund in 1997.