Josh Keller grew up in Louisville Kentucky and Southern Indiana farming, raising horses, and working with his father in the restaurant business. He attended the University of Louisville Speed School of Engineering for three years before transferring to Indiana University School of Business where he received his bachelor’s degree in marketing.
In 1998 he began working with Cellular Sales, now Verizon Wireless’ largest national independent retailer. In 2002 he and his wife Kelley moved to Savannah where he furthered his career with the company and became a Regional Director.
Josh has served on the boards ofThe Savannah Music Festival, Savannah Downtown Neighborhood Association, The Savannah Children’s Choir, The Historical Savannah Foundation, St. Andrew’s School, and has served as Board Chair for a manufacturing startup in Savannah. Currently Josh serves on the boards of Synovus Banks Advisory Committee and The Telfair Museum where he is on the Executive Committee and is current Chair Elect of the Board of Trustees.
Josh also has a passion for Historic Preservation having restored 2 houses in downtown Savannah and is currently restoring and renovating The Conrad Aiken House on Oglethorpe Avenue.
Susan Willetts is a retired partner of Goldman, Sachs, & Co., where she spent her career in the investment banking division. She and her husband, Alan Pritz, became part-time residents of the Savannah area in 2010. Prior to joining Goldman, Sachs, & Co., Ms. Willetts was treasurer of Microdot Inc. She has a Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College and received her Master of Business Administration from Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University. Ms. Willetts currently serves on the Board of Directors of Memorial Health, where she is vice chair; The Chicago Botanic Garden, where she is the former chair and a member of the executive committee; and the board of the Ford Plantation, where she is treasurer. She has previously served on the board of The Field Museum in Chicago; Cellular Dynamics International, a biotech company; and Yonkers Department Stores.
Rebecca Ogden moved to Savannah from Greenwich, Connecticut, as Co-Founder and President PortFresh Logistics, a full-service cold storage warehouse facility offering comprehensive logistics support for Georgia Ports Authority Port of Savannah’s fresh produce import initiatives. PortFresh Logistics was sold to AmeriCold Logistics, LLC in 2019. Rebecca is President of Westfield Capital Corporation, a diversified holding company and private equity firm. After graduating from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, she spent 35 years in financial services and marketing executive positions, including Merrill Lynch International’s UK Institutional Investment Advisory Services, London, where she was honored for outstanding contributions globally; MasterCard International Member Advisory and Marketing Services, Purchase, NY; and AT & T Retail Consumer Affiliate Marketing, Basking Ridge, NJ. Rebecca was also responsible for the global creation of MasterCard International’s first corporate social responsibility program, “The Future of Youth,” and first non-profit corporate sponsorship: the Microcredit Summit, which achieved its 15-year goal of providing microfinance for over 100 million of the world’s poorest families. Rebecca’s international and US non-profit experience includes being a Founding Board Member of the Junior League of London, Chairman of the New Docent Program at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, Senior Trustee of Stanwich Congregational Church, and Founding Board Member of the Center for Hope and Renewal, Greenwich, CT. Rebecca and her husband, Denny, live at The Ford Field and River Club. They have five children and five grandchildren and are thoroughly enjoying the vibrancy of Savannah.
John J. “Jay” Neely, III, Esq. currently serves as Vice President, Law & Public Affairs for Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation. His law responsibilities include management of the Legal Department, its lawyers, and other personnel, and his Public Affairs responsibilities include management of State and Local Government Affairs and Community Relations. Before joining Gulfstream in 1999, Neely was an attorney in the Atlanta office of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker, LLP. He served as Law Clerk to the Honorable Dudley H. Bowen, Jr., U.S. District Court, Southern District of Georgia, Augusta. Neely received his J.D. in 1992 from the University of Georgia School of Law and a Bachelor of Science in 1989 from Vanderbilt University. He has been married to Courtney Parks Neely since 1993, and they have two children—Laura and John. He and his family attend the Community Bible Church. Neely serves as Chairman of the Georgia Department of Economic Development Board of Directors and on the boards of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce. He also serves on the Savannah Area Chamber Board’s Executive Committee. He has served on the Leadership Georgia Board of Trustees, as the Leadership Georgia Chairman of Selections, and as President of the Leadership Savannah Board of Directors.
Kendall Maginnis McCurry is a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in French. After living and working in Atlanta for several years, she moved to Savannah in 2001 to attend the Savannah College of Art and Design. Upon receiving a Master of Arts in Art History, Kendall worked for SCAD in their Exhibitions and Admissions departments, as well as at the SCAD Museum of Art. Kendall is married to Savannahian Jamie McCurry and has recently closed her Savannah Carlisle Collection agency to focus on raising their three children. Kendall supports multiple statewide and community organizations, including Leadership Georgia (2005 graduate), the Junior League of Savannah (past member), Savannah Christian Preparatory School, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She chaired the Telfair Art Fair in 2014 and is a past advisory board member of Memorial Hospital’s Next Generation. She is an active member of Seeds and Weeds Garden Club and St. Thomas Episcopal Church.
Tom Reilly worked at Putnam Investments from 1982-2004 and was also the Head of European Business, London UK, 2000-2004. His extensive background includes Head and Chief Investment Officer of Value Equities, Boston MA 1986-2000, Portfolio Manager, George Putnam Fund, Boston MA 1984-1993, and CIGNA Insurance, Hartford CT 1981-1982. He was a Senior Equity Analyst at Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, Springfield MA 1976-1981, a Portfolio Manager and Analyst at Allstate Insurance, Northbrook IL 1973-1976, a Venture Capital Analyst at First Chicago Corporation, Chicago IL 1968-1973 and an Investment Officer, Venture Capital Group. He graduated from the University of Chicago with an MBA in 1971 and attended Knox College where he obtained a BA in Economics in 1968. Additional activities and accomplishments include: Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) 1977, US Army Reserves- 12th Special Forces Group 1968-1974, Trustee-Savannah Music Festival 2008-Present, Board of Directors- America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia 2011-Present and Knox College Board of Trustees 1997-2009.
Vincent West was born and raised in Atlanta, where he would go on to graduate from the University of Georgia’s Terry Business School. Vincent’s business pursuits have included: a retail glassware company; a Southeastern billboard company; real estate development, including Utana Bluffs, a boutique mountain community in the North Georgia mountains; and he is the founder of Floor and Décor, a nationwide chain of over 80 hard-surface flooring superstores with 5,000 employees. Floor and Décor went public in the spring of 2017 on the NYSC. Its symbol is FND. Vincent currently serves as Founder and Vice Chairman of Floor and Décor. Vincent previously served as the Chairman of Reflections Ministries of Atlanta, is a past member of the Session of Trinity Presbyterian Church, a past member of the board of Georgia Museum of Art, Lamar Dodd School of Art of the University of Georgia, a past member of the George West Mental Health Organization, and served with several other nonprofit organizations over the years. Vincent currently serves as Chair of the Lamar Dodd School of Art and on the board of The Savannah Music Festival. Vincent was previously the President of West Building Materials, served on the board of Rhoades Furniture Company, and was a past member of the Young Presidents Organization. West is also a member of the Piedmont Driving Club and The Savannah Yacht Club. Vincent is married to Lisa West, and they have three children, Ansley, married to Rafe Rivers; Cubby, married to Dakin Spain; and a son, Vincent. Vincent’s hobbies include tennis, fishing, hunting, hiking, skiing, gardening, cooking, and traveling and spending time with his children and grandchildren.
Swann Seiler is Manager of External Affairs for Georgia Power’s Southeast Region in Savannah, Georgia. Swann is a 1978 graduate of the Henry W. Grady School of Journalism and serves on its Grady Board of Trust. She also served as the first woman President of the University of Georgia National Alumni Association from 2005 – 2007, and she is an Emeritus Member of the UGA Athletic Association Board of Directors and of the University of Georgia Foundation. Additionally, she serves on the UGA Library Board of Visitors.
Swann was presented with the Southern Company University of Georgia Distinguished Alumni award in 2001 – the year the award was established. She graduated from Leadership Savannah and Leadership Georgia in 1984 and 1991, respectively. Active in numerous community and civic activities, Swann serves on the State Board of the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Georgia and the Chatham County Public School’s Foundation. Swann also serves on the Board of the 200 Club of the Coastal Empire and is a member of the Savannah Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Rotary Club of Savannah.
For eight years Swann was a member of the Historic District’s Board of Review for the City of Savannah. And she is a past President of the Board of Senior Citizens, Inc., and a former board member of Bethesda Academy. She chaired the United Way of the Coastal Empire’s Campaign in 1998 and is the past Chairman of the Savannah Sports Council. Swann is a past member of the Board of Curators for the Georgia Historical Society, and a past President of the University of Georgia Club of Savannah. Swann served consecutive terms on the Georgia Women of Achievement Board and the Georgia Humanities Council.
Swann is past President of the Junior League of Savannah, former President of the Girl Scout Council of Savannah, and was Chairman of the Chatham/Effingham Regional System Library Board. In April 2009, she was honored with a Women of Distinction award by the Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia.
Swann lives in the historic district of Savannah, where she is an active member of the Lutheran Church of the Ascension. Her family has raised and cared for the University of Georgia’s famed white English Bulldog mascots for over 65 years.
Kerry Breitbart is the CEO/Founder of North American Power Group Ltd. and formerly the President and CEO of United Companies, Inc. Breitbart co-founded North American Power in 2009, emerging from retirement to be part of energy’s next frontier: retail electricity and natural gas. Breitbart has nearly 30 years of experience in commodity and energy trading, including building emerging businesses into robust, international operations. Prior to North American Power, he spent 20 years at the United Companies, starting as an employee brokering crude oil and working his way up to President and CEO.
Mr. Breitbart achieved incredible success with North American Power, growing revenues from $25 million in 2010 to $165 million in 2012, innovating a groundbreaking customer referral model that delivers cash rewards for sharing the company’s sustainable energy products; and pioneering a social responsibility model, Mission to Millions, that donates more than $50,000 per month to charities, with giving set to increase in line with the company’s growth. This ongoing philanthropic initiative allows customers to direct North American Power funds to deserving charities each month when they pay their bill. The company also launched American Wind, a Green-e® Energy certified 100% renewable energy option that offers residential and business customers across the country the power to help green the grid. Education: Carnegie Mellon University and ALP Certificate: Harvard Business School
John E. Cay IV serves as CEO of Palmer & Cay, the 150-year-old insurance brokerage firm that he successfully re-launched in 2010. Cay’s professional experience includes serving as a London broker, specializing in risk management strategies for the Private Equity industry, establishing and managing de novo operations in New York City, and serving as president of one of the largest privately-held insurance brokerage firms in the nation.
Dolly Chisholm practices in the areas of estate planning and probate, including probate conservatorship and guardianship proceedings, real estate law, focusing on residential closings, corporate law, including the formation of limited liability companies, partnerships, corporations, and creditors rights, focusing on bankruptcy representation. Chisholm was named one of the Best Lawyers in America in 2021, 2022, and 2023. She is a member of the Savannah Bar Association and the State Bar of Georgia. She is a member of the Estate Planning Council, a director of the Georgia Legal Services Foundation, a past president of the Savannah Community Foundation, a secretary of the Beehive Foundation and the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum, and a trustee for the Georgia Historical Society. Chisholm is also a past member of the Executive Committee of the Savannah Bar Association and past director of the Coastal Bankruptcy Law Institute.
Chisholm is involved in numerous community and legal organizations and received the Chief Justice Robert Benham Award for community service in 2001, the Sarah Nichols Pinckney Volunteer Award from the Georgia Historical Society in 2007, the John B. Miller award from the Savannah Bar Association in recognition for community service in 2009 and the H. Sol Clark Pro Bono Award from the State Bar of Georgia in 2015. In 2008, she was named one of Georgia’s “Legal Elite.” Chisholm received her B.A. degree from Sophie Newcomb College in 1981 and her J.D. degree from Tulane University in 1987.
Leda Chong was named senior vice president of Government Programs and Sales in May 2016. In this role, she is responsible for worldwide government and special mission sales and marketing, international relations and business development, government contracts, as well as trade and regulatory compliance. Chong previously served as Gulfstream’s senior vice president, Strategic Planning, and led the identification and pursuit of strategic business opportunities for Gulfstream, with particular emphasis on international markets. She also served as Gulfstream’s senior vice president, Asia Pacific. Chong came to Gulfstream from parent company General Dynamics. Prior to joining General Dynamics in 2007, Chong was a career military officer serving in various leadership roles in the United States Navy. She serves on the board of the National Aeronautic Association (NAA); is an active member of the General Aviation and Manufacturing Association’s International Committee and co-chairs the US China Aviation Cooperation Program’s General and Business Aviation Committee.
Meredith Repella Dulany grew up in Savannah, Georgia, and graduated from Savannah Country Day School in 1992. She attended Southern Methodist University with a ballet scholarship and graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in Dance Education. Immediately following, Meredith studied ballet and modern dance and performed in New York City.
In her professional career, Meredith coordinated and managed events for National Public Broadcasting headquartered in Manhattan and later served as Director of Events for Savannah College of Art and Design at its many campuses. She married Reed Dulany III in 2007. After the birth of the couple’s two children, Meredith became a full-time contributor to her community. She is a past volunteer at Savannah Classical Academy, a Chatham County Public Charter School. She served as a member of the Advisory Board for the Next Generation for the Children’s Hospital at Memorial University Medical Center and the Savannah Downtown Neighborhood Association where she led for six years as Events Chair followed by Secretary.
Meredith currently serves as a Trustee for Savannah Country Day School. She is an active member of the Women’s Board of Bethesda, where she worked on the Executive Committee as Secretary following her leadership as Chair of the Academic Achievement Committee, which she helped establish. She is in her second term as a Trustee of Telfair Museums, where she helped re-establish and lead the Events Committee and currently works with the Collections Committee. In 2019, Meredith chaired the museum’s 200th Anniversary Telfair Ball, raising a record-breaking $1.3 million.
Ronald (Ron) J. Gantt was born in New York City. He graduated from Forest Hills High School in 1968 and from Howard University in Washington, DC, with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology in 1972.
Upon graduation, Ron went to work for McDonald’s Corporation as a manager trainee and rose through the ranks of restaurant management with a promotion in 1978 to a staff position as personnel supervisor. Eager to get back in restaurant operations, he was promoted to area supervisor, leading restaurant teams in Maryland and Washington, DC. His success led to another promotion as a field consultant to McDonald’s Franchisees on the eastern shore of Maryland and Delaware. After two years on the job, Ron again was promoted to his first department head position as operations manager for McDonald’s Corporate owned stores in the Baltimore area. Three years later, Ron received a promotion to the first field service manager for the newly formed Baltimore Regional Office. Intrigued with the franchising side of the business, Ron was promoted to field licensing manager for the Washington DC, Baltimore, and Norfolk Regions. The primary function of this position is the selection, training, and placement of new franchisees, as well as managing the franchising processes for the Corporation. His focus was on attracting minority candidates to the business. This experience was the most impactful in making the decision to become an entrepreneur as a McDonald’s franchisee.
After twenty successful years with Corporate McDonald’s, in 1992, Ron decided to become a McDonald’s franchisee of two restaurants in Washington, DC. With the assistance of his wife, Bernice, and two sons, together, they have dedicated themselves to operating their restaurants and developing their staff. Today, they have grown to an organization of ten restaurants and over six hundred employees. Their business focused on customer and employee satisfaction, community involvement, and education. These efforts have resulted in numerous awards, including the highly coveted Ronald McDonald Award in 2018.
Also, Ron has been Chair of the Board Trustees for his Church, a member of the 100 Black Men of Savannah, a member of the National Black McDonald’s Operator Association, and Immediate Past President of Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia Black Operators Association, and a member Congressmen Anthony Brown’s Business Advisory Council in Maryland. After 28 years in business, Ron and Bernice sold their restaurants in June of 2020 and successfully retired.
Charles (Charlie) A. Hinnant is the Chairman & Owner of Optima Chemical LLC, a custom manufacturing concern in Douglas, GA. Mr. Hinnant was also the founder of Charkit Chemical Corporation, located in South Norwalk, CT. Mr. Hinnant was also the owner of Arran Chemical, Athlone, Ireland, for 20 years, which he sold in 2015 to Almac Group, a global pharmaceutical contract and manufacturing operation. Prior to founding Charkit in 1982, Mr. Hinnant was employed by Fairmount Chemical in New Jersey as Vice President of Marketing. Before Fairmount, he was employed by Olin Corporation, formerly located in Stamford, Connecticut. Mr. Hinnant currently serves or has served on the Visitors Board of the Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD), Board of Directors of the Maritime Aquarium (Norwalk, CT), Davidson College Board of Visitors, and United Way of Fairfield County, CT, plus Allocation Committees.
Mr. Hinnant has a B.S. in Chemistry from Davidson College, an MBA from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, and has completed Post Graduate work at Tulane University. Mr. Hinnant’s primary residence is in Palm Beach, FL, but he spends time in Connecticut, South Carolina, and Nantucket as he enjoys many sporting activities, especially boating with his extended family, including six grandchildren ranging in age from 19 to 4.
Lori Judge, a Midwest native, grew up in Princeton, Illinois, and holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Iowa. Lori is the Founder and CEO of Judge Realty and a co-owner/founder of the Yaupon Teahouse, Temples Farm, and the Judge Art Collection. Judge Realty is a full-service boutique real estate firm active since 2005. The firm specializes in residential and commercial sales, leasing, and property management. “Acting with integrity, exceeding client expectations, acting as a collaborative team, challenging traditional modus operandi, and enriching our community” is the core of Judge Realty’s values.
Lori is committed to a focus headlined with the local and global environment, culture, and the economy. Following this philosophy, solar panels are installed on the Judge Realty office building make it the only real estate company to run on solar power. Additionally, she curates the Judge Art Collection and makes the collection accessible to the public within the Judge Realty offices. Lori’s commitment to supporting local art and culture results in hosting and coordinating an annual public art display, as well as a number of community collaborations. Utilizing the Judge Realty office building facade as a blank canvas, local artists share their creative talents. These art displays are integral to Lori’s goal to define and redefine ways that creativity, commerce, and art can be incorporated into the lives of the local community by making art accessible in nontraditional and more traditional ways.
Other ways that Lori engages in the local culture and environment are through her memberships in various local organizations, including Telfair Museums, SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah Tree Foundation, Georgia Conservancy, Flannery O’ Connor House, Downtown Neighborhood Association, and the Downtown Businesses Association. Lori serves on the Queensborough Bank Advisory Board. Lori moved to Savannah in 1999 and resides in Savannah’s Historic District with her husband, Lou Thomann, and son, Albert Thomann, who attends Benedictine Military School. Lori’s original guiding principles of focusing on the local and global environment, culture, and economy continue to be an inspiration and catalyst in formulating all her future plans.
Catherine Viscardi Johnston is a New York City native and the former Executive Vice President of Conde Nast Publications. During her 25-year career in magazine publishing, she held a variety of executive positions, including Associate Publisher of Architectural Digest and New York Magazine. She also served as Publisher of Mademoiselle and Mirabella magazines. As Executive VP at Conde Nast, she was responsible for advertising sales, marketing, and consumer research for the company’s 22 magazines, including Vogue, Vanity Fair, and The New Yorker. In 2000, Crain’s New York Business named Viscardi Johnston one of the 100 Most Influential Women in Business. Mrs. Johnston also has experience with numerous entrepreneurial and philanthropic ventures. She and her husband Doug founded Midway Communications, which launched various local newspapers and magazines, including Connecticut Cottages & Gardens. She is a general partner of The Cue Ball Group, a Boston VC with a diverse portfolio of innovative companies; a founding director of art + interiors, a web-based collective of contemporary artists serving the design trade; and a former director of The Westport Art Center in Westport, CT. As a founding trustee of the Harlem Village Academies, she helped launch a network of one of the highest performing charter schools in New York City. Ms. Johnston also has served on the board of trustees of ReadWorks, an education technology nonprofit venture supporting classroom literacy and ConnCAN, an advocate for higher achievement in public schools in Connecticut. Catherine and Doug have recently moved their permanent residence from Connecticut to Palmetto Bluff in South Carolina and have two sons.
Richard C. Kessler is an entrepreneur in the field of hotel development and operations. Kessler has been Chairman and CEO of The Kessler Enterprise, Inc. since 1984. He is also Former Chairman, President and CEO, Days Inn of America, Inc. and Former Chairman of Lutheran Brotherhood.
In 1984, Kessler founded The Kessler Enterprise which consists of several wholly owned subsidiaries consisting of development and operational companies. Some of these projects include The Kessler Collection of themed hotels and resorts, the 500-acre Silverwood Plantation residential community, the 1,000-acre Georgia North International Industrial Park, and commercial land developments, including Plant Riverside District.
Kessler was born in Savannah, Georgia and is a descendant of the Salzburgers, a group of Lutherans from Bavaria who came to America in 1732 seeking religious freedom. Kessler holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in industrial engineering and operations research from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is married to Martha Jane Wilson of Durham, N.C. The couple has two grown children, Mark and Laura, and three grandchildren.
At the age of 23, Kessler became the right hand to real estate developer Cecil B. Day and help found Days Inn of America in August 1970. From 1972 to 1975, Kessler founded and led five real estate development and operational companies. In May 1975, at age 29, Kessler became President and CEO of Days Inns, and one year later, Chairman. The chain was sold in 1984 and Kessler began his own independent ventures.
The Kessler Collection owns, operates and creates hotels, each with its own unique theme. All of the hotels are part of the Marriott Autograph Collection Hotels marketing program, central reservation system and national sales, public relations offices, and technical services
Kessler is the Founder and Chairman of the New Ebenezer Retreat and Conference Center in New Ebenezer, Georgia. Founded in 1736, the township of New Ebenezer was settled by a group of Lutheran Salzburgers seeking a new beginning and a place of religious freedom. Much of the town was destroyed by the British during the Revolutionary War and later by Union soldiers in the Civil War. In 1972 Kessler spearheaded efforts to rebuild the essence of the town. New Ebenezer, has been reconstructed to resemble the original 1700s township. The new Ebenezer Retreat and Conference Center has space for group meetings of up to 400 people. Kessler retired from the Board after serving 30 years as Chairman.
In the early 1990s, Kessler led the committee effort which designed and created the “Tech Plaza” in the heart of Georgia Tech’s campus. He then commissioned the Kessler Campanile, a $450,000 carillon created by Atlanta artist Richard Hill. The 80 foot, stainless-steel high-tech tower is positioned in a 100-inch diameter fountain and an assortment of 100 different songs chime on the quarter-hour.
Kessler chairs the Committee for the Richard C. Kessler Reformation Collection, an assembly of over 3,600 pieces of rare works, all dating pre-1570 in Pitts Theology Library, on the campus of Atlanta’s Emory University. It is one of the largest theological libraries in the United States with nearly 130,000 items in the rare book and archive collection alone. It holds the largest collection in the U.S. of 1,000 pieces of original writings of Martin Luther.
Pamela H. Lewanda retired from IBM after a 25-year career as Vice President of Communications. While at IBM, she was responsible for media and consultant relations, executive communications, and communications to the company’s employees, salesforce, business partners, and largest customers. She headed communications for IBM’s sponsorship of the Olympic Games and handled crisis communications during the Atlanta-based games’ bomb explosion. Her IBM career included a five-year, Asia Pacific-wide assignment based in Tokyo, Japan heading communications, marketing, and corporate responsibility programs.
Before her career at IBM, Pamela was a reporter for several newspapers and city editor for both The Miami News and The Fort Lauderdale News. Before moving to Savannah four and a half years ago, she was a Trustee at the Bruce Museum of Greenwich, CT, where she served on the Executive Committee, chaired the Development and Governance Committees, and served on the Marketing, Membership, and Exhibitions Committees. She received Bruce’s 2010 Volunteer of the Year award for creating and co-chairing a unique fund-raising event. She served on the Avon Theatre Film Center board, where she helped create its first Oscar Awards night fund-raising event and chaired its Nominating and Corporate Outreach committees. She was on the Board of the Stamford (CT) Center for the Arts, where she co chaired its gala and served on its Marketing Committee.
She received the Fairfield County (CT) 2011 ‘Light A Fire Award’ for “Most Involved in the Arts” for her leadership across multiple cultural organizations. She is past Board Chair of the YWCA of Greenwich (CT). She chaired a broad community-based search committee in a nationwide hunt for a CEO.
In Savannah, she is on the Telfair Museum’s Collections’ Committee, served on the Museum’s gala committee (2018), is programming chair for the Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO), and served on the Savannah Philharmonic’s Marketing and Public Relations Committee.
Leslie B. Littlejohn has served on the Board of New Canaan Country School, the YMCA, and The Taft School, where she co-chaired its development committee and was a founding board member and Chair of Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Norwalk, Conn. Leslie is currently a board member of Horizons National Board since 2008 and co-chair of their development committee, she also serves on the board of Bethesda Academy and Horizons Savannah. She previously worked as a fashion editor at Glamour and Harper’s Bazaar magazines.
Mr. Marlin is a Partner at Ellis, Painter, Ratteree & Abrams (EPRA) and was recently appointed to Governor Kemp’s Judicial Nominating Commission. Mr. Marlin represents clients in a variety of industries, including banking and finance, large corporations, small businesses, and municipalities. Mr. Marlin is a native of Savannah and enjoys giving back to his community by participating in various nonprofit and quasi-governmental boards throughout Savannah. He served in the 165th Air Wing of the Georgia Air National Guard throughout his years in college and law school, deploying overseas to Afghanistan in 2002 for Operation Enduring Freedom in 2002 and within the United States for Hurricane Katrina relief in 2005.
Mr. Marlin is a past president of the Savannah Bar Association Young Lawyers Division and a Board member of the Savannah Economic Development Authority, the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce, and Bethesda Academy. He is also a Savannah Quarterback Club and Executive Association member and a Leadership Savannah and Leadership Georgia graduate. Mr. Marlin attended Armstrong Atlantic State University (B.A., Political Science, 2004), and Mercer University (J.D., 2007). He is married to Savannahian Katie Crider Marlin, and they are raising twins (a son and a daughter).
Roger Moss Jr. is originally from Chattanooga, TN. He holds a B.A. degree in interpersonal communications from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. He has over 20 years of experience in advertising, ranging from working with radio stations to marketing the whitewater venues for the 1996 Olympics. He is a co-founder of the Savannah Children’s Choir. His commitment to education led him to work with parents, educators, and stakeholders on the founding Board of Savannah Classical Academy. When he is not founding and running nonprofits, Roger is a sought-after singer. He has performed with the Savannah Symphony, Hilton Head Symphony, Beaufort Symphony, and Memphis Opera. He serves on the Chatham County Board of Health, Habersham YMCA, Savannah Repertory Theatre, and Savannah Philharmonic boards of directors.
C.B. Richardson currently serves as a Managing Director and the Global Chief Compliance Officer of Banking, Capital Markets, and Advisory, Research, Control Group, and Personal Trading and Outside Activities for Citigroup.Prior to joining Citi, C.B. was a Managing Director in the Legal and Compliance Department of The Blackstone Group, where he served as General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of Blackstone Advisory Partners, as well as Chief Compliance Officer of two other Blackstone-affiliated broker-dealers. Additionally, he was responsible for most of Blackstone’s firm-wide compliance functions. Before joining Blackstone, C.B. was Head of Investment Banking and Syndicate Compliance, Control Group, and Conflicts Management for the Americas at Barclays Capital. While at Barclays, he also served as Head of Compliance for Brazil, Canada, and Mexico and U.S. Institutional Broker-Dealer Branch Office Compliance Manager.
Prior to joining Barclays, C.B. was Senior Vice President/Global Capital Markets and Investment Banking Senior Compliance Manager at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where he was a key architect of Bank of America’s Investment Banking and Capital Markets Compliance program. Before joining Bank of America, C.B. served as Assistant General Counsel, Securities and Corporate Governance of SPX Corporation. Prior to that, he was a Corporate Associate at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson. C.B. began his career as a Captain in the U.S. Army as an attorney in the Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps and received several military honors.
C.B. received his J.D. from New York University School of Law and his B.A. from Duke University. He currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Duke University Chapel National Advisory Board.
Alan Sheriff has worked in investment banking for over 40 years in a variety of senior positions. He currently serves as Vice Chairman of PNC Bank-Corporate and Institutional Banking. Alan was the founder and former co-CEO of Solebury Capital from 2005-2020. Solebury Capital is the premier equity capital markets advisory firm in the country, advising many of the largest private equity firms on monetizing their portfolio companies. Alan began his career by spending nine years at Salomon Brothers Inc. and from January 1992 until February 2005 at Credit Suisse First Boston, where he served as Co-Head of Equity Capital Markets for the Americas. Alan also chaired the firm’s Equity Valuation Committee and sat on the Investment Banking Committee.
Since co-founding Solebury Capital in 2005, Alan has worked on hundreds of IPOs, follow-ons, block trades, and general capital markets advice. He was also co-founder of the Tailwind SPAC series that issued three SPACs for over $1 billion. Two of the SPACs made successful acquisitions of Terran Orbital and Nuburu. Alan is currently a partner in the Farm Hospitality Group, which owns four restaurants in Bluffton, South Carolina, and Savannah, including FARM and Common Thread.
Alan graduated with a BA in Political Science, Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Rochester in 1981 and with a Master’s in Public Policy from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs in 1983. He is a member of The Council on Foreign Relations and the NationSwell Council. In January 2011 Alan served as a delegate for the U.S. State Department’s Global Entrepreneurship Program in Egypt, in an effort to promote and spur entrepreneurship around the world. In the past Alan has sat on numerous boards, including the Travis Manion Foundation (TMF), one of the country’s leading veteran services organizations, where he currently chairs TMF’s $40 million endowment campaign. Alan also sits on the Boards of several start-ups. He manages the Sheriff Group, a family run venture portfolio, and is a director of the Sheriff Family Foundation, a 501(c)3 which focuses predominantly on veterans and educational issues.
Alan lives in Bucks County, PA and Bluffton with his wife Karen. They have four sons, two of whom are United States Marines.
Kimberly Smith is a native of Owensboro, KY. She attended Western Kentucky University and earned a degree in Fashion Merchandising and Business Management. Kim began her career opening and managing retail stores on Hilton Head Island, SC. She then moved to Atlanta and was one of the first employees to work in the startup company Petroleum Source and Systems, which became a prominent leader in the fuel management industry in the Southeast.
In 1996, Kim moved to Savannah and married Mark V. Smith, who is a native of Savannah and is active in the Savannah community as well as a hotel and water utility entrepreneur. Kim and Mark are in the hospitality industry and own hotels in the Historic District of Savannah.
Kim is very engaged in the community and has enjoyed volunteering for The Lutheran Church of the Ascension, Parent and Child Organization, American Diabetes Association, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah Tennis League, Savannah Children’s Museum, and Telfair Museums. Presently she spends her time being an active mother and volunteering at Savannah Country Day School, Benedictine Military School, and the Women’s Board of Bethesda.
Kim is very passionate about family, interior design, art, and animals. She resides with her husband Mark and their 17-year-old twins Delle and Gowan on Whitemarsh Island.
Courtland Smith Stevens is a native of Talbot County, MD, and attended the Canterbury School in New Milford, CT. She earned her Fine Arts and Gallery Management degree at Wesleyan University in Ohio. Courtland moved to Savannah in2005, where she opened her retail store, Courtland & Company, now in its 17th year of business. Courtland & Co. is now a prominent leader in the linen and interiors world with articles and write-ups in Southern Living, House Beautiful, Vogue, and Architectural Digest.
Courtland purchased a historic building on Whitaker Street for her business and has been very successful, like her aunt and cousins who own The Monogram Shop in East Hampton, NY. In 2019, she changed aspects of the business, including changing the name from Number Four Eleven to Courtland & Co. She now sells lamps, fine art by the likes of Hunt Slonem, and rehabbed vintage wares that complement brands Matouk, Busatti, Sferra, and more. Courtland is very engaged in the community and has enjoyed volunteering for St. John’s Church, the Historic Savannah Foundation, Savannah Children’s Museum, Telfair Museums, and Savannah Country Day School. Courtland and her husband, Dana Stevens, a native of Savannah, reside in Ardsley Park along with their three children, Poppy, Cricket, and Coates.
Marti Bellingrath Sullivan spent her childhood in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, as part of an extended family of early Coca-Cola bottlers. Following courses at Pratt Institute and Parsons School of Design, she became an Art Director at McCann Erickson. In addition, she served on the Board of the Madeira School in McLean, VA, began a lecture series for the school’s N.Y. alumnae and was cofounder of the Atkins Fellowship in the Paintings Conservation Department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Marti raised her two children in Charleston with her first husband, having relocated nine months prior to Hurricane Hugo in 1989. She embraced the 2-year restoration of their 1800s house on Montagu Street and became a relevant contributor to the community. She was deeply committed to the Spoleto Festival, served on the Board, and chaired numerous events over the years. In 2000, she became a founding member of the Charleston Horticultural Society and worked in multiple creative capacities with dedicated volunteers. In addition, there were frequent occasions to support endeavors of Historic Charleston and the School for the Building Arts, and many included tours and events in the home.
In 2012, Marti and her husband, Austin Sullivan, became permanent residents of Savannah. For the past six years, Marti has served on the Board of the Irish Georgian Society, which supports the preservation of Ireland’s built heritage. Marti and Austin also support Telfair Museums as members of the Director’s Circle. Marti and Austin also support the Deep Center, United Way of the Coastal Empire, the Voice Experience Foundation, and the Savannah Music Festival. Her lifelong passions have been music, architecture, and Fine and Decorative Arts, with her frequent travels heavily focused on these areas.
Stephen D. Taylor is the owner and chairman of the Taylor Automotive Group. Taylor started his career as an automotive dealer in 1979 when he opened Taylor Buick in downtown Toledo. In 1988, he launched Taylor Cadillac. By remaining focused on providing his valued customers with the best experience and value in the industry, he has grown the Taylor Automotive Family to eight dealerships: Taylor Cadillac, Taylor Kia of Toledo, Taylor Hyundai of Perrysburg, Taylor Kia of Findlay, Taylor Kia of Lima, Taylor Hyundai of Toledo, and Genesis of Perrysburg. The Taylor Automotive Family currently employs more than 350 people.
Savannah State University President Kimberly Ballard-Washington was appointed by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia on May 13, 2021, after serving as the university’s interim president since July 1, 2019. Ballard-Washington has practiced law in the state of Georgia for 20 years and most recently served the University System of Georgia (USG) as associate vice chancellor for Legal Affairs and as the assistant secretary to the Board of Regents (BOR). She honed her skills as an advocate for fairness and justice, serving as the BOR’s primary legal advisor on student, faculty, and employment issues. This role also gave her the opportunity to work directly with and provide advice and counsel to the USG university presidents and their leadership teams. She was also tasked with leading USG’s efforts in (the Education Amendments of 1972’s) Title IX administration.
Matthew West is the President of West Construction Company and founded the company in 2014. Originally from Moultrie, West and his wife, Courtney, moved to Savannah in 2007, where he worked with a local general contractor for eight years in various roles before establishing West Construction. He has worked on numerous successful projects throughout Georgia and South Carolina, including the award-winning Bouhan Falligant building, and for clients such as the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, Gulfstream Aerospace Corp, Colonial Oil, Hargray Communications, and Optim Orthopedics among many others.
Dale Critz was born in Little Rock, AR but spent his entire life in the Savannah area. He is the retired President and Chairman of Critz Inc, a family automobile business that his father founded in 1939 and is now owned by his son, Dale Critz Jr. Dale was honored by Time Magazine as the Quality Automobile Dealer of the Year in 1988. Presently, Dale is managing partner of Critz Properties, a family-owned investment company. Dale serves on the Endowment Committee of the Telfair Academy, chairs the investment committee for the Savannah Community Foundation, serves on the Georgia Historical Society Endowment Committee, has been a member of the United Way’s Tocqueville Society for 25 years, and is past president of the Historic Savannah Foundation. In 2004 he was inducted into the Junior Achievement Hall of Fame as one of Savannah’s top business leaders. In addition to being active in preservation, Dale is also involved in the environment and promoting healthy eating and living. Dale served on the board of the Forsyth Farmers Market to help them establish a business and fundraising plan, which has grown the market exponentially. Dale, Lila, their children, and grandchildren are committed to making Savannah and the Lowcountry a better place to live, dedicating their time and resources through their family foundation.
Lila Critz grew up on a farm in Tallahassee, FL where she discovered her passion for conservation and preservation. After graduating from Duke, she moved to Savannah becoming involved in the community as a member of the Junior League, of which she eventually became president. Her passion for the arts led her to the Telfair. When she requested to become a member from then-president Andy Labrot, he agreed to send her an invitation. She then encouraged him to make membership accessible to all, and the process was changed where anyone could become a member. Beginning in 1977, Lila served two terms as president during a time of change and excitement. Under her leadership, the Telfair received a $1 million grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, initiated a preservation process of the paintings after having the collection rated, and the museum received its first accreditation. The inaugural Telfair Ball was also initiated that year by Director Alexander Gaudieri. Lila is grateful for all Savannah has to offer and enjoys being at the center of such a vibrant, growing community with her husband Dale.
Robert Faircloth has lived in Savannah for the past 23 years. He is a retired international business executive. His career was primarily in manufacturing, starting in the oil and chemical paper industries in Canada. He is a 1956 graduate of the University of Manitoba (Canada) with a B.S. in Geology. In 1974 he joined BTR plc, a London-based manufacturing firm with operations throughout the world. He spent several years in Europe, based in or near London, and managed a diverse range of companies on six continents. His specialization was acquisitions and company turnarounds. He retired from BTR in 1995 as Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director, settling in New Hampshire and Savannah. On retirement, he held several board positions, including at BTR, and joined National Grid plc as a Director in 1995. National Grid operates the electric and gas utility grids in England and Wales, and today is also one of the United State’s largest utilities, centered in the Northeast. Since retirement, Mr. Faircloth has also done consulting work in Southern Africa and Europe. He has been actively involved as a trustee of the New London, NH, hospital, and played a key role in this hospital’s modernization and expansion in 2006-2009 as both a fundraiser and major donor. Mr. Faircloth joined the board of the Savannah Music Festival in 2007 and served as chairman for three years. In 2020, Dale Critz, Jr., Chairman of the Board of Trustees requested that Bob serve as Acting-Director of Telfair Museums until a new director could be selected.
Bob served with distinction lending his tremendous leadership skills to deal with the difficulties brought by the worldwide pandemic. He and his late wife Jean were active in supporting many community philanthropies in both New Hampshire and Savannah. Bob and Jean have four children, eight grandchildren, and interests include travel, golf, art, and music.
A native of Richmond, VA and an alumna of Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, VA, Alice and her husband, Robert S. Jepson, Jr. moved to Savannah in 1990. She has served on the Boards of Savannah Country Day School, Savannah Health Mission, Hospice Savannah, Savannah Book Festival, Bethesda Home for Boys (Chair 2000-2002) and Telfair Museums (Chair 2013-2015). She is one of the founders of the Charter Circle at Memorial University Medical Center. Alice is the recipient of an Honorary Degree of Humane Letters from her alma mater and an Honorary Degree of Humane Letters from the Savannah College of Art and Design. She has received the Savannah Technical College Community Star Award, Savannah Children’s Choir “One Small Voice” Award and recognition from SCAD as one of the “Savannah Women of Vision.” She currently serves on the Foundation Board of the Savannah Classical Academy.
Robert S. Jepson, Jr., is Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Jepson Inc., a private investment company located in Savannah, Georgia. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Richmond. Jepson was formerly Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Kuhlman Corporation (NYSE) from 1993 until its sale to Borg-Warner Automotive Inc. in 1999. Prior to that, Jepson founded and was Chairman and CEO of the Jepson Corporation from 1983 until its sale in 1989. During his tenure as CEO, Jepson built the corporation into a Fortune 500, NYSE-traded company. He currently serves as Chairman on SCAD’s Savannah Board of Visitors and is on the board of the Georgia Historical Society.
Ann Miller was born in Lowville, New York and attended the University of Rochester. She moved to Savannah with her husband Bill in 1967. Since then she has been an active community volunteer and has worked with organizations such as the Junior League of Savannah and the Historic Savannah Foundation. She was a member of the board for Memorial Health and is a former Chair of the Telfair board. Ann was also the Chair of the Telfair Ball Committee for two years.
Dr. William T. (Ted) Moore is retired from the University of South Carolina as Distinguished Professor Emeritus. He earned a Ph.D. in finance and statistics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1982, joined the faculty at Indiana University in that year, and moved to the University of South Carolina in 1986. He held the Berlinbergendowed chair at USC and in 2004 he began serving in various posts in university administration. These positions included Associate Provost, Vice-Provost, Vice-President for Planning, Executive Vice-President and Provost, and Vice-President for Finance and Chief Financial Officer at USC, overseeing an annual budget of $1.1 billion. Ted is an expert in capital investment analysis and has published 75 scholarly articles, a book and a monograph on financial topics. Working with Dr. S. Chen in the 1980s and 1990s he helped develop modern methods for accounting for uncertainty in assessing capital project values. Working with other colleagues in the 1990s until present, he has focused on corporate financing policy involving option-embedded securities, and evaluation of capital investment projects to account for growth and timing options. Much of this work is contained in his book, Real Options & Option-Embedded Securities, published by John Wiley & Sons in 2001. During his academic career, Moore received numerous awards for research and teaching, including the highest awards offered for teaching excellence and research accomplishments from the University of South Carolina. Prior to entering the academic world, he served on active duty in the U.S. Army in various positions as an infantry officer which included combat experience in Vietnam in 1968-69. Moore’s wife is Linda T. Moore, an attorney who served as director of legal affairs at the USC School of Medicine. They have recently moved to Savannah where both are active in civic and philanthropic activities.
Frida Sinkler is a native Savannahian and attended Savannah Country Day School; however, she graduated from Oldfields School in Glencoe, Maryland. She then attended Mount Vernon College. After moving to Charleston, Frida joined the Gibbes Art Gallery board and was President of their Women’s Council. Aside from her lengthy contributions and involvement with the Telfair, Frida is involved with other Savannah organizations. She is the past President of the Trustees Garden Club, a board member at the Wormsloe Plantation, a press advisory board member for the University of Georgia, and a past President (and currently involved) with the Wildlife Education Center at Georgia Southern.
Ken Sirlin began his professional career working as a CPA in Cleveland and has lived in various cities throughout the world, including Madrid; Barcelona; Brussels; Muncie, Indiana; San Francisco; and Toronto. In 1999, after working for Levi Strauss & Co. for almost two decades, Sirlin retired and moved to Savannah, where he serves on several nonprofit boards. Ken is a graduate of the Wharton School of Finance of the University of Pennsylvania, 1964; and earned an MBA in 1968.
Cathy Solomons attended Savannah Country Day School and the University of Georgia where she majored in art education. From 1978 to 1982, she was the Director of Cultural Affairs for the City of Savannah. Since that time, she has been a homemaker and community volunteer, focusing her efforts on education and the arts. Cathy has been involved with various organizations such as Savannah Junior League (past President – current sustaining member), Savannah Country Day School (past Co-Chairman, long range plan), Jewish Food Festival (past Co-Chair), Chatham County Jury Commissioner, and the Savannah Arts Commission (past board member, past Chairman). She has also been involved with the Savannah Symphony women’s guild (past board member), Washington University in St. Louis (past member, Executive Committee, Parents’ Council), Parent and Child Development Services (past board member) and the Savannah Science Museum (past board member). In 1985, she was the recipient of the Savannah Jaycees Young Person of the Year Award.
Helen Steward is a graduate of Savannah Country Day School and St. Mary’s College in Raleigh, North Carolina. She was a previous member of the Junior League of Savannah (Area Council 1973 – 1975), and the Cultural Arts Commission of Savannah (1987 – 1994). Helen has served as a board member for Savannah Speech and Hearing Center (Vice-Chairman), Steward Palliative Care Endowment (2006-2009), Savannah Music Festival (2007-2010), and the Endowment Board of the Bethesda Union Society of Savannah. She was also actively involved with Hospice Savannah and served as a board member, President, and chairman of the board. Currently, Helen is involved with First Families of South Carolina and the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the state of Georgia. She is a member of Independent Presbyterian Church and an associate member of the First Presbyterian Church in Highlands, North Carolina.
Courtney West is the Finance Manager for West Construction Company. Courtney has a background in accounting and banking and has concentrated on finance in the construction industry for almost 15 years. A Savannah native, Courtney is a graduate of Savannah Country Day School and the University of Alabama, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and a Minor in Marketing.
An active member of the community, Courtney has been involved with a variety of organizations over the years, including Union Mission, the Seeds and Weeds Garden Club, Hancock Day School, the Children’s Hospital at Memorial Health, Leadership Georgia (class of 2019), and Wesley Monumental United Methodist Church. She was the inaugural chair of the Savannah Wildlife Rescue Center’s annual fundraiser, A Wild Night Out, and has continued to support this event as a committee member for the past three years. She also served on the Annual Telfair Ball auction committee in 2020 and 2023.
Courtney and her husband, Matt, have two sons, Avery and Henry. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, health and wellness, and being on the water.
President of Everard Auctions and Appraisals, an online auction venue, established in 2003. Amanda brings more than 25 years of experience in the antique, fine art and collectibles field. She is an appraiser on the popular PBS series Antiques Roadshow. Prior to starting Everard Auctions she was Vice President of the English Furniture Department at Sotheby’s in New York.
Everard Auctions has built their reputation on integrity, personalized service and their extensive market expertise. The majority of our business comes from client referrals.
Mrs. Everard has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History and Studio Art from Trinity College in Hartford, CT. She is a member of Attingham, a society that studies the British Country House, a Colonial Dame and sits on the board of the Andrew Low House as well as the Owens-Thomas House in Savannah. She is also a member of the Savannah Estate Planning Council. She conducts a number of charity auctions each year which have included the Savannah Music Festival, Senior Citizens Inc. and Telfair Museums.
Mrs. Everard is a candidate member in the American Society of Appraisers and has completed all of the required Principles of Valuation courses. She is also current on her Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) certification.
Linda McWhorter grew up in New England, graduating from Skidmore College with a degree in Art History, then completing her graduate work in English. Upon moving to Savannah in 1972 with her husband Tom, she devoted herself to raising their three children and volunteering for Savannah’s varied cultural organizations. Her work for Telfair Museums included Chair of the 2000 Art Fair, Catalogue and Exhibition Coordinator for the Frederick Carl Frieseke retrospective in 2000-2002, President of Telfair Academy Guild 2004-2006, Friends of the Owens-Thomas House, then the Gari Melchers Collectors’ Society from 2013-2017 while also organizing the museums’ trips abroad.
Calvin Woodum is originally from Wrightsville, GA. He is a former Telfair Museums employee. From 2001 to 2006 and from 2009 to 2012, he worked as a docent at The Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters. Calvin also trained as a Telfair Academy Docent. Calvin a former fashion major at SCAD recently shifted his focus to painting. He is an up-and-coming well-known local abstract artist. He generally uses acrylic on canvas, exploring the “layer upon layer” technique. Calvin has a shared gallery in City Market, Gallery 11 and is an active member of Savannah’s thriving art community. He recently won first prize in the Low Country Artist Contest. His art is featured on the cover of Julia Coates’ book, Invisible Diversity Teaching Every Student.
Benjamin T. Simons is Executive Director & CEO of Telfair Museums. He served previously as Director of the Academy Art Museum in Maryland, and as the Robyn & John Davis Chief Curator at the Nantucket Historical Association. He holds an MA in the History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art, University College, London, England. He received an AB in Philosophy from Harvard College, an MA and MPhil in English Literature from Yale University. He is a graduate of the Getty Museum Leadership Institute, and currently in Leadership Savannah. He holds an MBA Essentials certification from the London School of Economics.
Simons has written several catalogues including, Island Treasures: Gifts of the Friends of the Nantucket Historical Association, 1986–2011, and The Nantucket Art Colony, 1920–45; and co-authored the books, Maritime Maverick: The Maritime Collection of William I. Koch, and A Yachtsman’s Eye: The Glen S. Foster Collection of Marine Paintings. He was the Editor of exhibition and collections publications and the award-winning quarterly Historic Nantucket.
Ben and his wife, Alison Cooley, have a son, Finley. Alison is a practicing artist who exhibits her work in galleries in Los Angeles, New York City, and Richmond. Ben, Alison, and Finley are drawn to communities with thriving arts and non-profit cultures that enhance and enrich the lives of all residents and visitors.