Board of Directors

Will Conoly

Vice President
United Bank

Will is a Vice President at United Bank’s Newnan Division and has over 10 years of community banking experience. He earned his MBA from Georgia College and State University and his BBA from the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business.

Will serves the Newnan-Coweta community as a board member and audit committee chairman for the Flint River Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He has also served as a member of the United Way advisory board and Chairman of the Finance Committee of Newnan First United Methodist Church. He resides in Newnan with his wife, Meredith, and their son and daughter, Griffin and Myra. The family attends the First Methodist Church of Newnan.

Michael O’Brien

Assistant Store Manager
Lowes of Newnan

Michael is the Assistant Store Manager and Sales Manager of Lowe's Home Improvement of Newnan. He attended Kennesaw State University with an emphasis in Business. Michael and his wife, Heather, reside in Newnan with their two children, and they attend First United Methodist Church.

Michelle Boyd

Secretary and Grant Committee Chair
Vice President, Business Development
Randolph Williamson

Michelle is a native of Fayetteville, Georgia, but currently resides in Newnan with her husband, Steve. She has over 15 years of experience in Commercial Real Estate and Insurance. She currently works as the Vice President in Business Development for Randolph Williamson. Her focus is on commercial real estate and construction. Michelle graduated from Berry College in Rome, Georgia with a Bachelor's in Marketing. She is the Past President of the Rotary Club of Fayetteville, a member of "CREW" (Commercial Real Estate Women) and a member of the Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors.

Cynthia Bennett

Community Service Team Chair
Director of Programs
Newnan Coweta Chamber

Cynthia Bennett retired in 2015 from the Coweta County School System, where she most recently taught Social Studies at East Coweta High School. Prior to joining the local school system in 1990, she worked in the private sector for the Ida Cason Callaway Foundation and Columbus Medical Center. Cynthia serves as Chairman of the Coweta County Democratic Party and is also a member of the League of Women Voters. Her community involvement includes serving as Vice-President and Board Member with Meals on Wheels of Coweta, Inc., a member of the Newnan-Coweta Chamber, and in 2015, she accepted the role of coordinator for the Coweta Community Foundation's Community Service Team. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Education and Human Development from George Washington University and a Bachelor of Science degree from Florida State University.

John Herbert Cranford, Jr.

Education Committee Chair
District Attorney
Coweta County

John Herbert "Herb" is a native of Coweta County. He is a 2004 graduate of Newnan High School, a 2008 graduate of The University of Georgia with a major in Religion, and a 2012 graduate of Mercer Law School. Upon graduation from Mercer, Herb was hired by the Coweta County District Attorney’s office as an Assistant District Attorney, and he has prosecuted several high-profile cases. Most recently, Herb was appointed as District Attorney for Coweta. Heard, Troup, Carroll and Meriweather Counties

Lori Duncan

Fundraising Chair
Blue Fern Merchant

Lori is the owner of Blue Fern Merchant in Newnan and also the Co-Founder of Real Talk on the Square. Lori has been the featured as the prop and interiors stylist for corporations, photographers, individuals as well as a fashion stylist and make-up artist. She graduated from Clayton State University with a Degree in Marketing Management and has been actively involved in various charitable causes in the community such as Coweta Dancing Stars, Keris Kares and Soles for Cole. Lori and her husband Jay reside in Newnan with their children.

La Vann Landrum

Nominating Committee Chair
Director of Development
Christian City

LaVann has lived in historic Newnan since 2000 with her husband Chuck and 4 children. She serves as Development Director with Christian City, and has worked previously with Piedmont Healthcare Foundation, The Georgia Center for Children, and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

Laura Benz

Board Member
Laura Benz LLC

Even in childhood Laura was a self-motivated, driven, passionate individual who wanted to make a difference in her community. She graduated from Harrison High School in Kennesaw GA before attending Furman University and receiving a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in four years. She then received an academic scholarship to attend Case Western Reserve University School of Law where she received her J.D. in 2003 before returning home to Georgia.

Laura represents local governments, public utilities, developers, and private individuals on state and federal environmental planning, permitting, regulatory compliance and natural resource management. Her business practice is based on integrity, honesty and a strong worth ethic, which she believes has been key to her success and building of long-term trusting relationships. Her knowledge of the Clean Water Act, National Environmental Policy Act, National Historic Preservation Act and Endangered Species Act have resulted in a client confidence of her abilities to obtain the desired client objectives which are exemplified by obtaining five of the last five new reservoir permits issued in the State of Georgia in the last ten years.

Laura performs pro bono legal services in her community for minor criminal and civil matters and also is involved in the Georgia Legal Military Assistance Program.

Laura lives in Sharpsburg, GA with her husband, Arthur, their four children and two dogs. She enjoys spending time with her family, playing sports, and cooking. She aspires to read for pleasure but recognizes the likelihood of that happening is moot until after baseball/soccer season. Laura is an active member of her faith community at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Peachtree City, GA.

Linda Dixon

Board Member
Georgia Power

Linda resides in Newnan with her husband, Henry L. Dixon Sr. They have two children, LaToya Swint and Henry L. Dixon Jr. They have four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. She attended Clayton State College and Tri City Business School. She was employed by Georgia Power Company for 31 years in the Newnan business office. She retired in 2009.

Linda is an Associate Minister at Emmanuel Life and Worship Center and serves as office manager and executive assistant to her Pastor. She attends Immanuel Bible College and recently received her B.A. degree in Bible. She will pursue her Master's Degree in the fall.

She also serves on The Continental Societies, Inc. board as Chaplain.

Amy Godfrey

Board Member
Chief Assistant Solicitor
Coweta County

Amy is the Chief Assistant Solicitor for Coweta County. Prior to serving here in Coweta, she was an Associate Attorney for the Law Office of Daniel King in Dublin, GA. Amy has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Charleston Southern University and graduated from the University of Georgia School of Law. She serves as the President of the Newnan-Coweta Bar Association and has served on the board since 2013. She also serves on the planning committee and volunteers for the Regional Mock Trial Competition in Newnan since 2007 and served as a board member for the Coweta County Domestic Violence Task Force. Amy and her husband attend Crossroads Church with their children.

Richie Jackson

Board Member
IT Manager
Bonnell Aluminum

Richie is an IT Manager at Bonnell Aluminum of Newnan. He has been with Bonnell for over 20 years and is an active member in our community. He is the Past President of the Newnan Civitan Club, a 2003 Graduate of Leadership Coweta and a board member of Ashley Woods HOA. He is a graduate of West Georgia Technical College. He and his wife, Lisa reside in Sharpsburg and attend church at Community Christian Church.

Dean Jackson

Board Member
Public Information Officer
Coweta County Schools

A native of Newnan, Georgia, Jackson is a graduate of Newnan High School, and earned his B.A. in English Literature and Journalism from Georgia State University. He is the Public Information Officer for the Coweta County School System, serving as the public spokesman and press liaison for the district, among other duties. He has held that position since 2001.

Prior to serving with the school system, he was the business editor for the Newnan Times-Herald, covering local business, the county school system, and local and state government. He hosted “In the Newsroom” and other programming on News Channel 9 - the Times-Herald’s local television station – for several years in the 1990’s.

Jackson served as the chairman of the Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce in 2013, and ended his second term on the Chamber Board in December, 2015. He works with and has chaired the Chamber’s Public Policy and Legislative Action committees, served as the Chairman for Leadership Coweta, and has often served as a spokesman and political moderator for the Chamber, among other duties in the organization.

Jackson is a founding member of the Friends of the Chattahoochee Bend State Park, serving as the initial organizer of the chapter after working for several years to promote the development of the state park. He served as the chairman of the group’s formation committee 2008-2009, the Friend’s chapter’s first president 2009-2010, and vice-president 2010-2013. He still serves on the chapter’s Board of Directors. Jackson is also a member of the Newnan Rotary Club, and a former member of the Coweta County Advisory Committee for the United Way of Greater Atlanta.

Past community roles include also service on the Coweta County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Board 2003-13, including Chairman of the CVB 2005-2012. He also served on the West Central Technical College Board of Directors (2008-2010); Chairman of the Leadership Coweta Executive Committee (2004-2005); co-founder and co-chair of the Newnan-Coweta Youth Leadership program (2002-2005), the City of Newnan 175th Anniversary Committee (2003); Boy Scouts of America, Flint River District, Coweta Council member (2004-05), City of Newnan Veteran’s Memorial Park Committee (2007-2009), and member of the Coweta County Justice Center Citizen Overview Committee (2005-2006).

Dean, is married to Melissa Jackson, and the couple has four children – Brinson, Reeves, Anna Frances and Virginia. He is the son of Malcolm and Estelle Jackson, and has one brother, David. He and his family are members of Central Baptist Church in Newnan.

Vicki Kaiser

Board Member
Director of of Oncology Support Services and Community Affairs
Piedmont - Newnan

A native of Florida, Vicki came to Georgia and quickly became a part of the healthcare industry. Vicki currently serves as the Executive Director of Oncology, Support Services and Community Affairs for Piedmont Newnan Hospital. She has 15 years of experience in healthcare marketing and business development. She is very active in the community as she serves on the boards of Stepping Stones and the Chattahoochee Bend State Park Board. She was the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce and was active in the Newnan-Coweta Chamber's Leadership Coweta and was a former board member for the Keith Brooking Foundation. In her spare time, Vicki loves to compete in marathons and recently she completed the RAAM - Race Across America with the only all women's team. She resides in Moreland, Ga. with her husband, Paul, and has four boys and one grandchild.

Michael Nix

Board Member
Executive Director, Local Government, 911 Authority
State of Georgia

Nix is the Executive Director of the Local Government 9-1-1 Authority at the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency. He previously served as the Local Government Liaison and Deputy Director of Executive Appointments in the Office of Governor Nathan Deal. He is a member of the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials, the National Association of State 9-1-1 Administrators, and the NG9-1-1 Institute. In addition to the Community Foundation, Nix also sits on the Youth Activities Commission for the City of Newnan.. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy from Georgia State University. Nix is a member of Macedonia Baptist Church and resides in Newnan.

Ken Pinkerton

Board Member
Quality Safety and Environmental Manager

Ken works Grenzebach Corporation in Newnan where he has served as the Quality, Safety and Environmental Manager since June of 2014. Prior to working with Grenzebach, Ken was the Environmental Safety and Health Specialist with Avery Dennison in Peachtree City. Ken is the current Chair for the Coweta County Safety Council and serves as the Chairperson of the Georgia Association of Manufacturers Safety and Quality committee and a member of the Coweta County Employer's Committee. Ken graduated with a degree in Business Management from Western International University in Phoenix, Arizona and holds advanced certifications in Industrial Technology for Occupational Health and Safety Professionals from Georgia Tech. He, his wife Kim and children reside in Newnan.

Walter Thompson

Board Member
FDIC Executive

Walt grew up in the Atlanta area, graduated from Henry Grady High and received his BS from Auburn. He also did post graduate work at Kellogg Management School at Northwestern University. He worked for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation for 32 years and was one of the first two people selected for the FDIC Executive Development program. Walt later served as Regional Director in Minneapolis and Deputy Regional Director in San Francisco. Walt took early retirement from the FDIC in 1996 and returned to his native Georgia where for three years he served as Executive Director of Gwinnett County Habitat for Humanity. Under his leadership, he laid the foundation for one of the most successful Habitat affiliates in the Atlanta area. They raised nearly $1 million over three years including a grant for a 14 lot subdivision. For ten years Walt also worked part time with two CPA firms assisting during tax season and performing nonprofit audit work. Since moving to Newnan in 2004, Walt has been very active and served as President of the Rotary Club of Newnan, served on the Coweta Advisory Board of United Way and was also on the Newnan Coweta Boys and Girls Club for over six years. Walt has headed the Missions Committee for First United Methodist Church for two years, President of the Henry Kitchens Sunday School Class and a member of the Newnan Coweta Chamber. Walt and his wife Marjorie reside in Newnan, they have two children and two grandchildren.

Joseph Wyant

Board Member
Juvenile Court Judge
Coweta County

Joe was born in Atlanta, where most of his extended family lives. He is a graduate of the University of Rochester and the Georgia State University College of Law. He has worked for the Savannah Economic Development Authority, the International Arbitration Court, was a prosecuting attorney, a Magistrate Judge for 11 years, and was appointed to the Juvenile Court in January of 2013. He has also been involved with the Coweta County Adult Drug Court for the past five years. Joe lives in downtown Newnan with his wife, Jean, and has two children.

Orren Jones

Executive Director

Orren is a native of Coweta County. She graduated from Newnan High School before earning a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art and a Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of West Georgia. She completed her internship at Willowbrooke at Tanner counseling in the Children and Adolescents Partial Hospitalization Program. She ended her time at UWG by participating in a study abroad program counseling families in need and educating social service workers in a severely impoverished area outside of Quito, Ecuador. She is a Board Certified Counselor through NBCC and a member of the American Counseling Association.

Orren previously worked at Southern Crescent Sexual Assault and Child Advocacy Center where she advocated for victims of sexual assault and child abuse in Coweta. During her time there, she worked to educate the community on effects of trauma and cultivated the new (to the area) non-profit’s relationships with law enforcement, DFCS, the District Attorney’s Office, and other Coweta agencies involved with the victims. She served on the Child Abuse Protocol Committee and facilitated the monthly meetings to advocate and coordinate services for the children of Coweta.

Orren currently lives in Newnan where she is an artist in her spare time and works in mixed media with acrylics, charcoal, and pastels. She enjoys traveling to new places, especially when it indulges her fascination with art history. In her most cherished role, “O” (to her nieces and nephew) is especially busy in preforming the duties of spoiling them and sending them home to wreak havoc among the parental units.