Dean’s Advisory Board
Advisory Board Members
Brynn Grant is chief operating officer at the Savannah Economic Development Authority (SEDA) and vice president of World Trade Center Savannah. She has been with the Authority for more than 13 years and was the staff lead for establishing the World Trade Center. Ms. Grant is a 1991 graduate of The University of Georgia with a degree in journalism. She first served SEDA as director of marketing and public relations from 1996 to 1999 and then rejoined the organization in the same role in 2004. Under her direction, many of SEDA’s marketing programs and materials have been recognized nationally and internationally. In 1998, Ms. Grant was privileged to be a member of the SEDA team named one of the Top Ten Development Groups in North America by Conway Data/Site Selection magazine. In 2007, she was named one of the Top Ten Working Women by AWWIN. In 2009, she was named Community Advocate of the Year by the Small Business Chamber of Savannah and, in March 2013, she was named a Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia.
Cedric Henry, Chair
Cedric D. Henry (BA, 1984) is chief operations officer of Millennium Corporation, which was founded with his business partner, Kevin Jennings, to offer world class, integrated business solutions for all levels of government and commercial enterprises in 2004. Millennium has received many awards and was recently recognized as a 2013 “Top Business” by Diversity Business.com. It was recognized in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 by INC 500 as one of the fastest growing privately-held companies in the U.S. Washington Technology Fast 50 and Fantastic 50 Virginia Business have also recognized the company for its rapid growth for 2010 and 2011. In 2013, Fantastic 50 Virginia Business recognized Millennium as the fastest growing company in Virginia. Prior to co-founding Millennium Corporation, Cedric served 20 years of exemplary service in the U.S. Navy, where he developed his skills in naval operations and Department of Defense Acquisition programs.
Donald D. Howard
Don Howard (GEN BUS, 1973) began his banking career in 1965. Mr. Howard is a graduate of the Georgia Banking School and the School of Banking of the South. He was president, CEO, and COO of several banks in the Roswell and North Georgia areas. In 2003, Mr. Howard was named Synovus Regional CEO for Atlanta and North Georgia. In 2010, he was named chair and CEO of Bank of North Georgia. Currently, he serves as chair of the Bank of North Georgia and Synovus regional CEO for the Bank of North Georgia and Synovus Bank of Florida. In 2010, Governor Perdue appointed him to serve on the Georgia Student Finance Commission board of commissioners. Recently, he has served the North Fulton Community Improvement District, North Fulton Hospital, Roswell Rotary Club, North Metro YMCA, and North Metro Miracle League. Among his civic awards are Outstanding Rotarian of the Year, James H. Blanchard Leadership Award, Parker College of Business Alumnus of the Year, and Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce Zach Henderson Citizen of the Year.
Lee P. Huggins
Lee Huggins (MIS, 1986) has served as the senior vice president for Total Software Solutions, a global leading provider of operational and business support systems (OSS/BSS) in wireless communications. Previously, he held a number of key leadership positions at VeriSign from 2001 to 2008 including vice president engineering, vice president products, and, ultimately, senior vice president and general manager. Mr. Huggins played a key role in VeriSign’s expansion to becoming a global leading provider of Internet services, content, communications and commerce. While he served in leadership roles at HO Systems, a pioneer in the wireless industry developing the first UNIX-based OSS/BSS systems for wireless operators, HO Systems was acquired by VeriSign. Mr. Huggins holds several patents in the wireless industry and is also the founder of SAVHTECH. He and his wife, Liz, a Georgia Southern alumna, share a passion for the University’s continued success and two children.
Jack Jennings has more than 40 years of experience in insurance and risk management. He holds BBA and MBA degrees in insurance and risk management from St. John’s University. Mr. Jennings has formed and managed two boutique insurance brokerage and risk services firms, the latter of which merged into what is now Willis Towers Watson in 2000. Mr. Jennings serves as vice-chair of the board of trustees of Caring Partners of Morris & Sussex, which partners with children, families, and communities to help children to overcome significant social, emotional, and behavioral challenges. He also serves on the Executive Advisory Council of St. John’s University School of Risk Management, Insurance, & Actuarial Science and is an adjunct professor at the school. Jack’s primary residence is in the New York area and he also enjoys a second home in Cherokee County, Georgia.
Danny Johnston, Past Chair
Danny Johnston (ECON, 1975) is a member of Sigma Chi fraternity, Mr. Johnston currently serves on the Parker College of Business Dean’s Advisory Board and is a past chairman of the Board. Previously, he served on the College of IT Advisory Board. Mr. Johnston is the original founder and CEO of Safe Systems, Inc. The company was started om 1993 and is currently one of the largest IT-managed service providers working with banks and credit unions in the U.S. Previously, Mr. Johnston has served on the Georgia Bankers Association board (2002-2004) and the board of Atlanta Country Club. He has also held faculty positions at the Southern Banking Operations School, Florida Bankers Association, and Georgia Bankers Association, where he taught technology management and compliance courses to bankers in the southeastern U.S. A resident of Marietta, Georgia, Mr. Johnston is married to his wife, Beth, has three children and five grandchildren.
Thomas W. Jones, Vice Chair
Tommy Jones (ACCT, 1973) is a Certified Public Accountant, a Certified Valuation Analyst, Personal Financial Specialist, Certified Financial Planner and is accredited in business valuation by the American Institute of CPAs. Mr. Jones has more than 30 years of experience specializing in individual and corporate income tax, estate, gift and trust taxation, and estate planning. He also specializes in valuation of the closely held business. Mr. Jones serves on the Parker College of Business Dean’s Advisory Board and is a trustee of the Georgia Southern University Foundation. He also serves on the Georgia Southern University School of Accountancy Advisory Council. A member of the Augusta Estate Planning Council, Mr. Jones speaks at seminars for the Georgia Society of CPAs on topics such as estate and income tax planning and valuation of the closely held business. Mr. Jones is president of Jones, Jones, Davis & Associates, CPA, PC, in Augusta.
Sue Cox Kath-Burchett
Sue Cox Kath-Burchett (BUS, 76) began her business career in Atlanta in 1976. More than 32 years of her career were spent with Automatic Data Processing (ADP), an international company that she saw grow to over 60,000 employees, supporting more than 650,000 clients. Initially, she worked directly with small-to-medium-sized clients, implementing new business solutions for ADP. At ADP, Ms. Kath-Burchett held positions of increasing responsibility, culminating in her role as southeast regional vice president of client relationship management. Her team was responsible for building and maintaining strong business relationships with Fortune 200 client organizations. She was recognized for outstanding performance and qualified to attend multiple ADP President’s Clubs – the highest recognition event within ADP. In her career, she also engaged in a variety of outside activities including Junior Achievement, Leadership North Fulton, ACS Relay for Life, and the Foster Care Support Foundation among others. Since retiring in 2014, Ms. Kath-Burchett has worked as an independent business consultant. She serves on several boards and is involved with the Atlanta area Southern Women Alumni.
Sean Knox is co-owner and president of Knox Pest Control and Lawn Solutions. He graduated with a BBA from Georgia Southern University and a MA from Regent University. He has served or currently sits on the boards of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, GA Chamber of Commerce, Columbus Convention and Trade Center Authority, Port Columbus Museum (past president), The Rotary Club of Columbus, and The GS Alumni Association (past president). He is a graduate of Leadership Columbus, Leadership GPCA, and Leadership Georgia. Sean was named Columbus and the Valley’s 5 under 40, and was the recipient of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce J.R. Allen Young Leader Award. Sean and his wife Crawford have 3 children, Addie (12), Sim (10) and Pate (5).
Douglas H. Lambert
Doug Lambert (MKTG, 1971) is president of Southeastern Hospitality Services, Inc., a hospitality management company approved to manage hotels by Marriott International, Hilton Hotels Corporation, Starwood Hotels, and InterContinental Hotels Group. He is a certified hotel administrator with more than 45 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Mr. Lambert has served as president of the Statesboro Convention and Visitors Bureau and Ogeechee Technical College Foundation and chair of the Georgia Hospitality and Travel Association, Statesboro-Bulloch Chamber of Commerce, and the Coastal Workforce Services Board and currently serves on the board of the Development Authority of Bulloch County. Mr. Lambert is the 1994 recipient of the American Hotel and Lodging Association’s Lawson Odde award for contributions to the lodging industry, the 1986 Georgia Hotelier of the Year, and 1997 Georgia Southern University Parker College of Business Alumnus of the Year.
Billy McLeod (BSIT, 1983; MBA, 1990) is vice president, North American Sales, Central Division for Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation. Gulfstream, a subsidiary of General Dynamics Corporation, designs, manufactures, markets, services, and supports the world’s most technically advanced business jets. Mr. McLeod began his career as a college co-op student while enrolled at Georgia Southern University. During his tenure, Mr. McLeod has held positions of increasing responsibility, including senior industrial engineer, project engineer, marketing programs manager, sales director, Mid-Atlantic Region, and vice president of Mid-Cabin Aircraft Sales. He was also responsible for business development and strategic planning. Under Mr. McLeod’s leadership, his sales teams have been recognized as top performers, consistently exceeding sales targets, and he has earned awards as Gulfstream’s top worldwide and North American sales director.
H. Phillip Moore, Jr.
Phil Moore (ACCT, 1982) joined Porter Keadle Moore in 1987 and has devoted his entire career to public accounting. Currently, Mr. Moore serves on the board of PKF North America, an association of accounting firms. Mr. Moore is a member of the AICPA and the Georgia Society of CPAs, past chair of the Dunwoody Baptist Church Finance Committee and baseball coach at Peachtree Middle School. Mr. Moore is active at his alma mater having served as a member of the Alumni Association board and as a member of the Parker College of Business Dean’s Advisory Board, executive committee member and chair of the Georgia Southern University Athletic Foundation, Inc., and as chair of the Accounting Advisory Council. Previously, Mr. Moore served on the steering committee of the Campaign for National Distinction, celebrating the University’s centennial, is an honorary member of Beta Alpha Psi, and was the 1999 Outstanding Accounting Alumnus, the 2002 Parker College of Business Alumnus of the Year, and the 2003 Honoree of Beta Gamma Sigma.
M. Wayne Murphy, Jr. (MNGT, 2004) is a loan officer and branch manager with Queensborough National Bank and Trust. Wayne has roots in both Savannah and Statesboro having lived in both during his childhood and adult life. Wayne married Kathryn Goodman of Bluffton, SC, where they currently reside. Upon graduating from Georgia Southern in 2004, Wayne turned professional through the PGA of America. In 2011, he left golf to start a new career in banking. He is proud to be one of the founding members of the Parker College of Business Young Alumni Board, formed in 2014. In 2017, Wayne completed the Georgia Banking School from the Georgia Bankers Association and The University of Georgia. He was named as a 40 under 40 by Georgia Southern University in 2018. In 2020, Wayne became the chair of the Greater Savannah Alumni Network. Wayne is still very active in the Savannah community serving on boards with Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Coastal Empire and Historic Savannah Foundation.
David Pitman (MKTG, 1979) is an award-winning, global head of sales and marketing for financial services and insurance IT solutions. As SVP of the iWORKS division of SunGard, he was a ten time 100% Club winner. Prior to SunGard, Mr. Pitman was part owner and vice president of sales and marketing for FiTECH Systems (formerly Norrell Corporation). He started his sales career with Unisys Corporation. Mr. Pitman helped a private equity firm turn around a start-up as senior vice president of sales and marketing at Aplifi, Inc. It was later sold to iPipeline. Since 1982, he has been an annual donor to The Eagle Fund, served on the Committee of 500 to build Allen E. Paulson stadium and served as a member of the board of Georgia Southern’s Athletic. In 2006, Mr. Pitman joined the Parker College of Business and Center for Sales Excellence Advisory Councils. He currently is a member of the Marvin S. Pittman Society at Georgia Southern.
Sharon Jester Ponder is vice president of finance for Bennett International Group, a Georgia-based logistics and transportation company headquartered in McDonough. She oversees all accounting aspects of the 25-entity company. When she is not working on the expansion of Bennett, she is heavily involved in two areas that she is very passionate about, business expansion and education. These passions have led her to become heavily involved with the local chamber of commerce. Once serving as its executive board chair and currently as chair of its Strategic Development & Communication committee, she has pushed to ensure the members not only get networking opportunities but also added value services. She also works closely with the local chapter of Communities in Schools, as well as sits on the Superintendent’s Advisory Council and the Henry County Library Board.
Michael R. Sanders
Mike Sanders (MKTG, 1981) is a native of Augusta. Upon graduation, he moved to Atlanta and married his college sweetheart, Danna Lane. Mr. Sanders began his career in financial services with Dean Witter Reynolds, now Morgan Stanley. He spent 25 years with Morgan and, eventually, become senior vice president, investments. In 2009, Mr. Sanders and his team moved their practice to UBS Financial Services. Mr. Sanders has served as both a board member and president of the Retail Securities Brokers of Georgia and a board member of the Georgia Securities Association (GSA), where he helped mentor high school teachers and students as they participated in the Stock Market Game. Mr. Sanders enjoys being involved with the University as a member of the Board of Trustees, Dean’s Advisory Board, Athletic Steering Committee, Athletic Foundation Board, and Parker College of Business Dean Search Committee. Mr. and Mrs. Sanders enjoy spending time with family and friends, relaxing at the lake, and Georgia Southern Football.
Michiel Soeting (MBA, 1984) is a Dutch national and the former global head of Energy and Natural Resources of KPMG. Based in the United Kingdom, he led close to 20,000 professionals based all over the world, delivering audit, tax and advisory services to organizations in the Oil & Gas, Power & Utilities, Mining, Energy Services and Renewables industries. During his 32-year career at KPMG, he has led global teams providing audit and advisory services to some of KPMG’s largest clients, including BHP Group, Equinor, LafargeHolcim, Philips Electronics and RD Shell.
From 2012 until 2014 he was a member of the Resource Efficiency Platform of the European Commission, building policy for efficient use of resources in the European Union. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountant in England and Wales, qualified as certified public accountant in both the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
Kris M. Trainor
Kris Trainor (ACCT, 1995) is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Fraud Examiner and is a partner with Mauldin & Jenkins, LLC in the Atlanta office. Mr. Trainor has devoted his entire career to public accounting, specializing in the financial institution industry. His experience ranges from audit, tax and consulting for financial institutions to specialized FHA/VA/GNMA approved lender compliance, loan servicing compliance and internal audit and risk management. Mr. Trainor serves on the Georgia Southern University Parker College of Business Dean’s Advisory Board and the School of Accountancy Advisory Council. Mr. Trainor is a member of Beta Alpha Psi and Beta Gamma Sigma. He and his wife, Beverly, reside in Fayetteville, Georgia and have two children, Katalin and Jackson.
Don Wiggins (MGNT, 1972; MBA, 1973) earned his DBA from Louisiana Tech University in 1976. Currently, he is president of Business Valuation, Inc., a Jacksonville firm specializing in business valuations, and Heritage Capital Group, a firm specializing in mergers and acquisitions of middle market companies. He has been with both companies since 1989. Dr. Wiggins is also professor emeritus of accounting and finance at the University of North Florida, having retired in 2000. He has wide-ranging academic and consulting experience in business valuation, corporate finance, accounting, mergers and acquisitions, and computer-based financial modeling. A member of the American Society of Appraisers, Financial Executives Institute, Association for Corporate Growth, AICPA, and Florida Institute of CPAs, Wiggins has published in Valuation, Business Valuation Review, Financial Analysts Journal, and Management Accounting. He holds the professional designations of ASA, CPA/ABV, CVA, and CEPA and is a licensed real estate broker and registered securities principal.
Patrick G. Blanchard (MKT, 1966), vice chair board of directors, First Bank of Georgia, Augusta, has been frequently recognized for his career accomplishments in business, including being elected to 20 terms on the board of directors of the Community Bankers Association of Georgia; named 1994 CEO of the Year by The Augusta Business Journal; Georgia’s Top 25 Performance CEO’s by The Atlanta Business Chronicle; and recognized as one of the most influential citizens in the Augusta area by Augusta State University. A member of the Georgia Southern Parker College of Business Hall of Fame and honorary member of the U. S. Signal Corps Regiment, Mr. Blanchard has served on the southeastern board of directors, national nominating committee, Bank Administration Institute; national community bank advisory council, Deluxe Check Corporation; and as an advocate for the CBA in the legislature and the Congress.
Harry S. Carter (BSM, 1966) received his Ph.D. in management science and information systems from The University of Georgia. Formerly vice president for academic affairs and president at Georgia Southern, Carter was provost and dean of college at The Citadel, Charleston, SC, where he is currently professor of business administration. The Carter Lecture Series, created under the W. E. Carter Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair in Business Administration, honors Professor Emeritus Carter. In 1998, Carter was named Georgia Southern Alumnus of the Year.
Margot Morris Dawkins (ECON, 1976) is currently president of the Atlanta Advertising Novelty Company (AANC). After graduating from Georgia Southern, Ms. Dawkins began working at AANC and was promoted to president in 1990. In 1997, she purchased the company. Over the years, she has had the opportunity to work with companies such as Hilton Hotels, Coca-Cola, Orkin Pest Control, and the March of Dimes. In 2010, she received the Promotional Products Association International’s Pyramid Award for her work with Georgia Power’s Earth Day campaign design. Ms. Dawkins served as the Georgia Southern alumni president in the early 1980s and is currently involved with the Atlanta Alumni group. She was on the original Parker College of Business Advisory Board, and, for the past 20 years, has been a trustee for the University.
Julian I. Deal
Julian Deal (BSEd, 1960), has been a long time leader in Statesboro and the Georgia accounting profession. He has served as past president and member of the Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants. Mr. Deal was appointed to the Georgia State Board of Accountancy in November 2011 by the Governor and recently was appointed chair of the board. He has received numerous University awards including induction into the Georgia Southern University Parker College of Business Hall of Fame, Athletics Hall of Fame, Outstanding Alumnus of the Year Award, Parker College of Business Annual Alumni Award, Beta Alpha Psi Alumnus of the Year, and Chapter Honoree of Beta Gamma Sigma. Mr. Deal also received the 2000 Meritorious Service Award from the Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants. He is a lifetime member of the Alumni Association and a charter member of Dean’s Advisory Board. Mr. Deal serves on the boards of directors of the Georgia Southern Athletic Foundation, School of Accounting Advisory Council, and Ogeechee Tech.
Olivia Suggs Flanagan
At a time when female college graduates became teachers or nurses, Olivia Suggs Flanagan (ACCT, 1969) began her career as an accountant at Arthur Andersen. In 1971, she earned her CPA certification, and, soon after, joined Cousins Properties as the first female corporate officer in the company’s history. Ms. Flanagan became a senior vice president for Bristol Development in 1977. Then, after 17 years with Bristol, she joined Flanagan and Waycaster Construction Company where she served as vice president, secretary, and treasurer until her 1999 retirement. In Spring 2004, Ms. Flanagan was inducted as the Chapter Honoree of Beta Gamma Sigma and, in 2008, was named the Parker College of Business’s Alumna of the Year. After serving on the Parker College of Business Advisory Board for 20 years, Ms. Flanagan established the Olivia Suggs Flanagan Faculty Fellowship for its School of Accountancy in 2012.
Carl Gooding, dean and professor emeritus, served as dean of, first, the School and, then, the Parker College of Business from 1986–2001. While serving as dean of the Parker College of Business at Georgia Southern University, Gooding put together an impressive roster of alumni and friends to build a strong, supportive advisory board; many of these board members also serve the university by sitting on the board for the University Foundation. Gooding received his Ph.D. from The University of Georgia. Gooding has served as president of four regional professional organizations and as a board member for three international organizations including AACSB International, the premier business school accrediting body. He currently serves on the boards of Georgia Southern University Foundation, the Willingway Foundation, and Statesboro Rotary Club. Now retired, he and his wife, Ruth, make their home in Statesboro.
Connell Stafford (BA, 1970) holds an MA from The American University. He serves as senior counsel to the federal and state practice areas, providing insight and strategic guidance at Troutman Sanders Strategies. In this role, Mr. Stafford provides leadership on legislative and procurement issues for businesses requiring assistance at local, state, and federal levels. He represents clients’ interests in a variety of industries, including telecommunications, engineering, construction, healthcare, the environment, and education. Prior to joining Troutman Sanders, he served for 25 years as a governmental affairs executive for The Coca-Cola Company. Before his work in the private sector, Mr. Stafford served as an executive assistant to Senator Sam Nunn from 1972 to 1979. The 2004 Georgia Southern alumnus of the year, he serves on the Parker College of Business Dean’s Advisory Board and the boards of The Smithgall Woods Foundation and the Georgia Technology Authority.
Lewis Stewart, assistant professor emeritus of finance, came to Georgia Southern in 1970 after earning a BS in business from Harding University and an MBA from Texas Tech and teaching at Lubbock Christian College, Texas Tech, and Mississippi State College for Women. Mr. Stewart taught finance, economics, accounting, and management courses from freshman through graduate level until his official retirement in 1999. He also directed the Farm Credit System finance school for Georgia, Florida, and the Carolinas for three years. Mr. Stewart became the first director of the Southeast Georgia Small Business Development Center, and began the first Business School publication specifically intended to reach out to alumni, “The Update.” Mr. Stewart has watched Georgia Southern grow and the Division of Business evolve, first, to a School and, then, to a College. Even after retirement, Mr. Stewart continued to serve business alumni, first, as alumni editor of the Eagle Executive and, later, as alumni director of the Parker College of Business.
Lee Tompkins is a native of the Catskill region of upstate New York. He attended Valley Forge Military Academy and then returned to New York where he received his BBA from Syracuse University. Since college, Mr. Tompkins has worked in various capacities in the paper/forest products industry, including ten years with Union Camp Corporation in Savannah (now International Paper); 20 years with Gilman Paper Company, St. Marys; and three years with Durango Paper Company. At Gilman and Durango, he was senior vice president for human resources. After Durango’s closing, Mr. Tompkins spent five years as a human resource consultant before retiring in 2012. Throughout his career, Mr. Tompkins’s focus on community involvement has led him to a number of volunteer opportunities and community leadership roles. He has been active on the Parker College of Business Dean’s Advisory Board since 1995, serving as chair for seven years.
Last updated: 4/6/2021