2020 Board of Directors

 

Keith Cooley

Board Chair, Resource Development Committee, Plaza Community Center Committee

Keith grew up in Marietta, Georgia and has had a house at Lake Oconee in Putnam County for almost 20 years. He is a graduate of Georgia Tech and worked in the software industry with several Atlanta companies during his career. He is currently retired and keeps busy with volunteer activities at TPAC, Georgia Tech and on the POA Board at Cuscowilla, with a little golf mixed in for variety. He also is a member of the Reynolds Chorus and the Greensboro Chamber Choir.

Keith and his wife, Peggy, are longtime supporters of the Plaza Arts Center. They have two children, Lara and Bryan, and a daughter in law, Danielle who all live in New York City. They enjoy singing in the community choruses, playing golf, and travel.

Susan Usry

Vice Chair, Plaza Community Center Committee Chair

Susan spent the majority of her career as an administrator in the Putnam County Charter School System, serving as assistant principal of the Elementary School, Director of Special Education, and then principal of the Elementary School, the Primary School, and the Middle School before retiring. She is a graduate of the University of Alabama with a degree in Elementary Education and of Mercer University with a masters in Middle Grades Education. She went on to obtain a specialist and doctorate in Educational Leadership at the University of Georgia.

Susan and her husband, Tom, have one child, Addie Grace, who is currently in elementary school at Putnam County Elementary School. They attend Eatonton First United Methodist church and enjoy living in Putnam County with all it has to offer plus its close proximity to Atlanta.

Joe Hudson

Treasurer, Finance Committee Chair

Joe was born and raised in Putnam County and is one of the original Founders of The Plaza Arts Center project. He served as Executive Vice President of the Farmers & Merchants Bank where he was employed for 45 years. He is extremely involved in the day to day operations at The Plaza and helps to ensure fiscal responsibility.

Tara Rocker

Secretary, Resource Development Committee Chair

Tara Rocker is from Savannah, Georgia and now lives in Eatonton. As a graduate of the University of Georgia, Tara has spent her career in all facets of Marketing and Development. From book publishing to event planning, she has had an exciting career working with non-profits, corporations, and political campaigns.

As the mother of three young children, she and her husband, Walt Rocker III of Eatonton, are enjoying raising the fifth generation of their family to reside in the Eatonton Historic District. In her spare time, Tara enjoys volunteering, entertaining, and running.

Murray Air

Facilities Committee Chair, Policy Committee

Murray is a native of Florida and moved to Eatonton in 2017 after 20 years in Houston. He is a graduate of Georgia Tech and the Harvard Business School. His 30-year career with Amoco Corporation and British Petroleum in international finance, high technology businesses and global property management entailed assignments in Chicago, Calgary, London, Houston and the remote island of Papua New Guinea where he was CFO of one of the worlds largest copper mines. Since 2012, he has served as a Senior Advisor with the Taffrail Group in Atlanta.

He and his wife, Mary, have three grown daughters and 3 grandchildren. He is interested in historic preservation initiatives and leadership in non-profit organizations and community activities.

Bev Berado

Marketing Committee Chair, NEW 2020 Board Member!

Bev grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan and has had a home at Lake Oconee for almost 19 years. She is a graduate of Ferris State University and worked in the retail and real estate development industry. She is recently retired from the Director of Marketing position for Reynolds Lake Oconee.

Bev and her husband, Tom have been long time supporters of the Plaza Arts Center. When not playing golf, they enjoy traveling and cooking while entertaining friends.

Zachery (Z) Brice

Finance Committee, Operations Committee, NEW 2020 Board Member!

Z is a seasoned leader in the deployment and application of methods to effectively execute a company’s strategic objectives and has much experience in the application of optimization methods to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of organizations in meeting/exceeding their business objectives and client expectations.  He has global experience in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas within financial services, telecommunications, manufacturing, and aerospace industry.

Dudley Carter

Facilities Committee

Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, Dudley first completed a tour in the United States Marine Corps before attending the prestigious Culinary Arts Institute in Baton Rouge, LA. After graduating he pursued a successful career as a Chef for 25 years in different hotels and restaurants across the southeast. Upon retiring from his foodservice career, Dudley starting a home building and maintenance business. Constructing 42 homes in Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida.

Dudley and his wife of 30 years live in the historic district of Eatonton in a home built in 1811.  They enjoy cooking, shooting, and swimming in the 1/2 Olympic pool in their backyard.

Emily Findley

Resource Development Committee, Performing Arts Education Programming Committee Chair

Emily is a native of Georgia and the fifth generation from Gwinnett County. As a graduate of Georgia Tech, she has worked in many unique fields from engineering, real estate, to owning and operating restaurants. She discovered her love of volunteering while living in Madison with her husband, Mike, and their two children. Emily volunteered with Madison’s 1996 Olympic Torch Committee, the Morgan County Cultural Center, Tour of Homes, as Class Administrator for Bible Study Fellowship, and many other organizations.

Emily and Mike now reside full time at Lake Oconee. She enjoys shooting sporting clays, spending time with their dogs, traveling, and supporting the Arts. Their son is recently married and graduated from Auburn University and their daughter is a student at SCAD.

Jude Martincic

Resource Development Committee, Entertainment Programming Committee

Jude is a native of the Chevy Chase area of Washington, DC; however, she spent a good part of her life in Annapolis, MD while working for the State of Maryland in Economic Development, running numerous financing programs along with sister-state programs in France, Japan, and China.

Upon moving to Georgia in 1997, with her husband of 39 years, Joe, she began volunteering at The Plaza Arts Center through its sub-organization, the Plaza Alliance for the Performing Arts (PAPA) and has served as Floor Captain for the Plaza’s Event Volunteers at most productions since 2012. She also managed to volunteer for the Oconee Performing Arts Society (OPAS), Putnam General Hospital (PGH), Putnam County Elementary School (PCES), the LOCC Youth Alliance Programs and she began the Reynolds Chorus in 2000. While a member of Lake Oconee Community Church, Jude held several leadership positions and chaired their Leadership Circle.

Carillon Orban

Marketing Committee, NEW 2020 Board Member!

Carillon Orban was born in Medina, Ohio but by the time she was in the 2nd grade, she spent half the year in Bradenton, Florida and half the year in Ohio as her father hated snow.

Carillon retired from IBM after 25 years spent in programming, project management, software acquisition, strategic planning, market research, custom products and special bids.  Her favorite job was as the liaison to IBM Hursley England.

Carillon and her husband, Robert Ritchason, moved to Georgia in 2001 from Durham, N.C.  They built an octagonal home on Lake Sinclair.

She is a member and past president of the Town & Country Garden Club and has served on the Main Street Eatonton board.  She currently is on the Main Street design committee and on the Old School History Museum Board and is a docent for the Museum. She is active at All Angels Episcopal Church where she serves on the Vestry.

She has one daughter and 2 grandsons.  Carillon enjoys traveling, gardening (planting flowers, not weeding), spending time with family, cooking and reading.

 

Mark A. Street

Finance Committee, Operations Committee, NEW 2020 Board Member!

In 2018, after several years as part-time residents, Mark and his wife, Terry, relocated from Atlanta to make Eatonton their permanent home. Mark has been the Executive Director for The Plaza Arts Center since February of 2019. He also serves on the Eatonton-Putnam Tourism Arts Heritage Partnership Board and Lake Country Arts Coalition.

Mark has an extensive professional background in sales, marketing and customer service corporate roles at Ford Motor Company and AAA.  He served in both national and regional leadership positions in Detroit, Boston and Atlanta.  He also founded Go Strong Performance Group, LLC which provides business consulting services.

In addition to his professional business career, Mark was a member of the Board of Directors at Zoo
Atlanta for nearly 20 years.  He resigned in 2017 as Vice-Chair having served on the Executive, Strategic Plan, Capital Campaign and Beastly Feast committees.  He was chairperson for the Master Plan and Business Operations committees.

Mark graduated from the University of West Florida in Pensacola with a Bachelor of Science degree in Management. Mark enjoys sports, especially college football.   He is an avid fitness enthusiast and holds a certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine. He and Terry enjoy boating on Lake Oconee, traveling and spending time with friends and family.  Mark and Terry are members of Lake Oconee Church in Greensboro.

Sara Tomson-Hooper

Resource Development Committee, Marketing Committee, Grants

Sara Tomson-Hooper holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree and a Master of Social Work. She has twenty-five years of experience in human service administration, combined with consulting and academia. Ms. Tomson-Hooper is currently employed with Habitat for Humanity International as Associate Director of Strategy Planning and Support. Prior to joining Habitat for Humanity in 2013, Ms. Tomson-Hooper spent thirteen years in non-profit management and twelve years in executive consulting.

Ms. Tomson-Hooper’s consulting firm assisted non-profit organizations with advancing funding and programmatic strategies; cultivating resources; enhancing professional development; assuring quality standards, and evaluating program outcomes.

Ms. Tomson-Hooper currently serves on the Board of Regents and the Advancement Committee for Wartburg College, a private liberal arts college in Iowa. She is also a member of and serves on the Program Committee for Blue Ridge Institute, which is a non-profit educational organization and the oldest continuing institute of its kind in the country, organized more than 88 years ago. In Eatonton, Ms. Tomson-Hooper is on the Board of Directors of the Eatonton Main Street Program, The Plaza Arts Center, and The Artisans Village.

Ned Webb

Marketing Committee, NEW 2020 Board Member!

Ned and his wife moved to the Lake Oconee area in 2014 from Atlanta. His background is in teaching Microsoft computer software as well as sales skills and presentation skills. Ned’s expertise lies in effective facilitation and utilizing PowerPoint with audiovisual effects or offline embedded video. 

Gavin White

Performing Arts Education Committee, NEW 2020 Board Member!

Gavin Christopher White is a Georgia native, born and raised in Eatonton, Georgia. He attended the American Musical Dramatic Academy of Los Angeles CA, and has been professionally trained for television/film and theatre. He obtained his B.F.A in Acting and returned back to Eatonton in 2017. He is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. and has been mentoring children throughout the county since 2012. Gavin is currently a working actor, and teaches musical theatre at Putnam County Middle School. His mission is to bridge the gap in his community through the arts, ensuring that everyone has a platform for their talent to be showcased. Gavin has been putting on annual performing arts showcases in Eatonton since 2014. On his off time, he enjoys traveling, performing, and spending time with family. 

Avis Williams

Plaza Community Center Committee

For nearly 11 years Avis Williams worked at the Lake Oconee Community Church in Greensboro as the Pastor of Community Transformation. In this role, she worked to connect the community together in a number of ways.  She organized a community Bible Study, a Youth Alliance, between the Greensboro Housing Authority, the Greene County Schools, Putnam County Charter Schools, and LOCC for elementary students ages 6-12 years. The Youth Alliance provides cultural, historical, and educational enrichment for the students with a four-week summer program. She also organized the Entrepreneur’s Club for Putnam Middle School to teach students how to interact with local business owners and how to create ideas and write business plans. Avis was also instrumental in creating the Imagineers Club at the Putnam Middle School which partners middle school students with local writers, musicians, and artists.

Recently, Avis has taken the role of Community Liaison for the Putnam County Charter Charter School System.  She is now serving as the representative of the Putnam County Charter School System to the at large community. She is currently working on building an Alumni Network of students and assisting the Director of Experiential Learning with hands-on educational opportunities for all students.

In 2018 Avis received a Doctorate of Ministry: Theology from the Candler School of Theology of Emory University – Atlanta, GA, USA.

Melissa Williams

Entertainment Programming Committee, Plaza Community Center Committee, NEW 2020 Board Member!

Melissa Williams was born and raised to Floerie and the late Tommy Lee Lewis who are both from Eatonton, Georgia. She is the youngest of four siblings. Growing up, Melissa accepted Christ at a young age, and she still enjoys sharing the word of God with others. She knew she could conquer anything with the help of her Lord and Savior. Melissa graduated from Putnam County High School in 1989.

To view our 2019 Board of Directors, please click here.
To view our 2018 Board of Directors, please click here.