Board of Directors

Alice Kinman, Ph. D., Board President
Lecturer, Department of Economics, Terry College of Business, UGA

Alice Kinman first came to Athens in 1989 to attend graduate school. After finishing her Ph.D., she took a job at the University of West Georgia. She returned to Athens with her family in 2000 and has served in several capacities at UGA, most recently, as a Senior Lecturer and Writing Instructor in the Terry College of Business Economics Department. Alice also served two terms on the Athens-Clarke County Commission. Currently, she is on the Planning Commission, the Land Bank Authority, the TSPLOST Citizen Oversight Committee, and the Georgia Initiative for Community Housing stakeholders team.

Robert Finch, Board Vice President

Robert received his B.S. degree in Criminal Justice and an MBA from Albany State University and his law degree from the Florida Coastal School of Law, where he was a Governor’s Scholar. Robert has dedicated his career to serving others, and he has a broad range of experience in state and federal government affairs. He has served as VP of Human Resources, and Chief Diversity Officer for Piedmont Athens Regional and as the Coordinator of Diversity and Corporate Outreach for Charlotte School of Law. Robert believes that education is the key to change and improvement, and higher education is a passion of his.

Matt Beacham, Board Treasurer
CPA, Frazier & Deeter

Matt is an Athens-based CPA with Frazier & Deeter, a full-service accounting firm in Atlanta, GA. Matt and his wife, Adrianne, are both graduates of UGA’s undergraduate and masters in accounting programs. Matt enjoys playing golf, attending UGA events, and spending time with his family (including his dog, Elli). He is also a member of the Georgia Society of CPAs and serves on an advisory council for young CPAs. Matt and Adrianne also attend First United Methodist Church.

Shirley L. Reyes, Board Secretary
Assistant to the Associate Provost for Institutional Diversity at UGA

Shirley works in the Office of Institutional Diversity at UGA and is currently pursuing her Masters in Public Administration from Georgia College and State University. She enjoys working with children and families to empower them with the knowledge and resources to strive for and achieve their goals.  Shirley sits on the boards of FC-CIS, UGA’s Family and Consumer Science Alumni Board and Global Education Foundation. She is a native Athenian, a mother of four and a breast cancer survivor.

Lucy Atkinson
Attorney, Cook & Tolley

Born and raised in Atlanta, Lucy graduated with a degree in English from Washington & Lee University in 2002 and earned her J.D. from The University of Georgia School of Law in 2007.  After practicing law in Atlanta, Lucy and her husband moved back to Athens in 2012. She ran a local fitness studio in Athens for several years before returning to the practice of law as a litigation staff attorney at Cook & Tolley, LLP in October 2015.  Lucy has two children: Charlie (6) and Louise (2).

Elizabeth DeMarco
Community Leader

Elizabeth (Liz) DeMarco is a native Athenian.  Her degrees and work were in the sciences including a B.S. in Zoology, Magna Cum Laude, from the University of Georgia and an M.S. in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Elizabeth cares deeply about the Athens community and has dedicated many volunteer hours, often taking leadership roles, to livability issues, her daughters’ schools, historic preservation, and the arts and music.

Nancy Denson
Mayor, Athens-Clarke County

Nancy is in her second term at the Mayor of Athens Clarke County. She was the first female to serve in elected office in Athens, and she served as Clarke County Tax Commissioner from 1985 – 2014. Nancy is involved with the Athens Emergency Food Bank, which she helped establish, and serves as chair of the finance committee. She is also on the Board of the Northeast Georgia Food Bank, serving on the Finance and Personnel committees, and Capital Fund Cabinet.

Peggy Galis
Community Leader

Peggy is a resident of Athens and is married to Denny Galis, an attorney. Her father, Robert Heard, was a longtime judge in Elberton and their family is a direct descendant of Stephen Heard, Revolutionary Governor of Georgia. Peggy has been actively involved in community organizations and has served as a Georgia Press Advisory Council Member as well as on the Athens Clarke Heritage Foundation, Southern Historical Association and Georgia Museum of Art and Southern Foodways Alliance. She is an alumnus of the University of Georgia.

Lee Grahl
President, Grahl Construction Group

Lee founded Grahl Construction in 2012. Early on, his passion for the construction industry led him to Georgia Southern University, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management. After completing his degree, Lee moved to Athens, where he accepted a job with a large commercial contractor. He served as a project manager for several years before establishing his own firm. During this time, he successfully managed the preconstruction and construction phases of projects in excess of $65 million. Grahl Construction’s success can be attributed to Lee’s project leadership experience and dedication to customer satisfaction.

Marie Green
FC-CIS Neighborhood Leader

Marie serves as a Neighborhood Leader working one-on-one with families in Athens-Clarke County. She knows the importance of building relationships and providing resources that promote early childhood education.

Jerry Johnson
Senior Police Officer, Athens-Clarke County Police Department

Jerry began his Law Enforcement Career in 2007 with the Athens-Clarke County Police Department. He is assigned to the Community Outreach Division which encompasses the Youth Services Unit, Crime Prevention Unit, Crisis Intervention Unit (Mental Health), and Volunteers. Jerry received his B.S. Degree in Business Administration from Columbus State University. 

Sidney Michael Johnson
Juvenile Program Mgr, Department of Juvenile Justice

Sidney grew up as a military brat and attended UGA receiving a Bachelor of Arts and Science in Criminology. After college, he joined the United States Army as a Second Lieutenant serving with some of the Army’s most esteemed units including the 2nd Armored Division in Germany; 18th Airborne Corps and 82nd Airborne Division in Fort Bragg, NC. After his tour ended, he began his work in Juvenile Justice. Sidney joined FC-CIS in service of families in Athens-Clarke County and is proud of the hard work of the organization.

Paul Kurtz
Associate Dean & Professor Emeritus, UGA School of Law

Paul Kurtz, a native of New York, earned his BA and JD degrees from Vanderbilt University and his LL.M. from Harvard University.  After starting his career in legal education with brief appointments at Boston University Law School and Boston College Law School, he joined the UGA Law Faculty in 1975.  He ultimately became a J. Alton Hosch Professor and served 22 years as the Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs. He has received the Milner Ball Social Justice Award and the UGA President’s Medal.

Bob McArthur, Ph. D.
Vice President for Academic Affairs & Dean of Faculty (retired), Colby College

Bob has lived in Athens since 2010 and previously served as vice president and president of FC-CIS. He was a faculty member and academic administrator at Colby College for most of his career.  Having grown up in the Philadelphia area, he holds degrees from Villanova University (BA) and Temple University (Ph.D.), in philosophy. Bob is married to Martha Lawrence, DDS, and has two daughters.

Demond Means, Ed. D.
Clarke County School District Superintendent

Dr. Means began as superintendent of the Clarke County School District July 10, 2017. Previously, he was the superintendent of the Mequon-Thiensville School District in Mequon, Wisconsin. He holds three degrees including a bachelor’s in secondary education, a master’s in educational administration and a doctorate in educational leadership. He and his wife, Kimberly, are the proud parents of elementary school-aged daughter Hannah.

Vernon Payne
General Contractor, Member of Clarke County Board of Education

Vernon has a passion for education and has served on the Clarke County Board of Education since 1979. He has championed expanding early childhood learning opportunities in Athens, led local work to expect all children to be successful in school regardless of background, and is one of Georgia’s leading advocates of public education. He is also founder and owner of Payne Construction, a successful contracting company.

Oliver Pryor
Managing Partner, TOP Capital LLC

Oliver attended the University of Georgia and earned a BBA in Real Estate before going on to receive a law degree and an MBA. He has an investment company called TOP Capital, LLC that invests in real estate, oil, and gas. Oliver is on the board of the UGA Tee Off Club, which is the fundraising arm of the UGA Golf Team. He lives in Five Points in Athens with his wife, Katie, and their two children.



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