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2012 Annual Report

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Salmon Cascades




Our Board of Directors is a dedicated group of individuals who generously give their time, wisdom, and expertise to the growth and development of MCT.

The Board serves an important function in a non-profit organization. Their primary responsibility is to articulate and manage the mission, purpose, and goals of the organization. In addition, they ensure the organization adheres to legal standards and ethical norms.

Board of Directors

Advisory Committee

Bradley Currey, Jr.

Edward Daugherty

Mark Dickerson

Doug David

Linda Lee Gordon

Tom Kowalski

Dan Pool

Sue Poynter

Georgann Schmalz

Roger Schultz

Joe Skalski

Board Member Bios

Becky Champion
Becky brings a wealth of conservation experience and expertise to MCT. She is currently employed by the Watershed Protection Branch with the Environmental Protection Division of Georgia DNR. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Chattahoochee Valley Land Trust, Georgia Conservancy, Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District, Garden Club of Georgia and Georgia & Alabama Land Trust.

Becky received her Ph.D. from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1993. She spent most of her career teaching for various universities and colleges in Georgia - Columbus State, Kennesaw State, Mercer College of Pharmacy, and Brenau. In addition to her teaching responsibilities with Columbus State, Becky was Executive Director of Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center.

Becky enjoys gardening, playing with her dogs, working on her old house, and playing what she describes as a less than mediocre round of golf.

One of Becky's favorite quotes comes from Margaret Mead, “[n]ever a doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”

Haynes Johnson
A native of Bronxville, New York, Haynes received his B.S. in Biology at Rollins College. He retired from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2006 after 20 years of service and has worked for the Florida Department of Natural Resources and the Army Corps of Engineers.

Haynes participates in a number of local organizations dedicated to the environment including Board Member of the Mountain Stewards, member of the Big Canoe Trails Committee and the Georgia Canoeing Association. He also participates in the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 970 and Dawson County CERT program.

An outdoor enthusiast, Haynes enjoys canoeing, kayaking, hiking and land conservation. He lives with his wife, Gina in Big Canoe in Jasper, Georgia.

James H. Kaminer, Jr. - Vice Chair
Mr. Kaminer is a partner in the Real Estate Group of Seyfarth Shaw LLP and has practiced commercial real estate law for more than 30 years. His practice includes most areas of commercial real estate with an emphasis on real estate finance, office leasing, and real estate transaction structuring. He has a longstanding interest in conservation and in sustainable development. He has been a member of and advisor to the Georgia chapter of The Nature Conservancy where he also serves on the Board of Directors and Conservation Committee.

Kaminer received his law degree from Emory University School of Law and MBA from Georgia State University. He and his wife Barry Stout Kaminer reside in Atlanta and have four children, Wright, Heath, Cooper and Andrew.

E. Cody Laird Jr.
After his honorable discharge from the U.S. Air Force, Cody graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. He is a retired executive from the Life Insurance Company of Georgia, purchased by ING in 1990. While he may be retired, Laird has not stood still. He is actively involved in sustainable forestry in southwest Georgia restoring the native longleaf pine, a founding member of the Mountain Conservation Trust and involved in a number of organizations in the Atlanta area.

Laird serves on the Board of the Georgia Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, the Path Foundation and the Longleaf Alliance. He has previously served on the board of the Georgia Conservancy and Chair of the Board for the Westminster School and Atlanta Speech School.

He enjoys hiking, skiing, climbing, canoeing, fly fishing and piloting airplanes. He lives with his wife Linda in Atlanta, Georgia.

“From an early age, I loved the mountains and streams of North Georgia spending many summers at Tate Mountain with my Aunt and Uncle exploring all the surrounding hills and streams. I saw firsthand the devastation of clear cutting on the headwater streams of Georgia and felt the need to preserve the remaining beauty of the mountains.”

Mary Norton
With college degrees/studies at the College for Financial Planning (Denver, Colorado), the Executive Program of Smaller Companies, Graduate School of Business (Stanford, California), a M.S. in Nursing, Clinical Specialty in Shock/Trauma (University of Maryland, Baltimore) and a B.S. in Nursing, from the University of Arkansas, Little Rock.

Mary is an innovative, results oriented management level professional with over forty years of experience in healthcare and education with a special interest in enhancing productivity in a diverse workforce. Background includes extensive practical experience in creating partnership opportunities between the college, employers, and key stakeholder groups.

Mary, her husband, Bob and their family have placed their Etowah River farm land,
Valley View, near Cartersville, under conservation easement with the MCT.

Whit Perrin Wright – Interim Chair
A native of Georgia, Whit attended Emory University and graduated with a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Georgia State University. She currently owns Whit Perrin Wright Consulting, LLC, a human resources management consulting firm. Prior to forming her company, she worked as Assistant Commissioner for the Georgia Department of Labor and Director of Personnel and Human Resources for the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority.

Along with her duties as Secretary of the MCT board, Whit is a board member of the Altamaha Riverkeeper. She previously served on the board for the Atlanta Track Club.

In her spare time, she enjoys sailing, running, kayaking, horseback riding, triathlons, hiking, bicycling, birding, fishing, archaeology, stocks, options and investing, and music appreciation.

“As a lifelong Georgia resident, I grew up exploring the North Georgia mountains and continue to spend much time on trails, rivers and lakes across North Georgia.   Preserving our heritage and the natural beauty of this area is very dear to me. We are blessed with natural habitat and diverse wildlife that enriches our lives.  We cannot take it for granted.”

Barbara Wylly
Barbara has always been widely involved as a volunteer and has served as president and board member of several Atlanta community and arts organizations. For fourteen years, she was chairman of the board at the Center for Puppetry Arts and serves now on the executive committee. She currently is a board member of the Atlanta Opera Guild and the Georgian Chamber Players.

Born and raised in suburban Philadelphia, Barbara married William B. Wylly from Tennille, Georgia in 1947. They lived first in Tampa, briefly in Houston, and moved to their Atlanta Buckhead home in 1952. She is a member at the Cathedral of St. Philip and her three children attended the Lovett School.

In 1990, the family purchased a weekend home in Big Canoe on Oglethorpe Mountain, now the home of her daughter Gina and son-in-law, Haynes. Barbara resides in Atlanta, Georgia.

“I’m happy to be on the board of the Mountain Conservation Trust. Its work has been of great interest to me for many years. I believe the Trust will help with planning wise development and continue working to protect and preserve all that is special and beautiful in our mountains. The Trust has a mission to educate our young people so they will want to be a part of this.”