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WALTER D. CLARK, DPM
Dr. Clark is a native of Birmingham, Alabama. He has had a very successful and diversified career in the business, medical, and political fields. Walter attended both Auburn University and Illinois College of Podiatric Medicine. Upon graduation from Auburn, Walter worked for Exxon. He then decided to pursue a career in medicine. After completing his residency, Dr. Clark joined his father’s podiatry practice where we practiced for 37 years. Dr. Clark was certified by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery and recognized as a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. In 1995-1996, Dr. Clark was the first Podiatrist to run for the United States Senate. He was the past President of Shades Valley Rotary Club in Birmingham. Dr. Clark is the Chairman of the Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation and serves as chair of the Vision Cashiers Leadership Forum’s Health and Wellness Task Force. Now retired, Dr. Clark and his wife live in Birmingham, AL and Sapphire, NC. He has three children and eight grandchildren.
BARBARA CORCORAN, MD
Dr. Corcoran is a Family Practitioner and the Founder and Chief Medical Officer of Centro Medico Familiar / Family Medical Center, a primary care clinic for the uninsured and under-insured in Baldwin County, Alabama. Dr. Corcoran attended the University of Kansas Medical School and is an elected member of Alpha Omega Alpha Academic Honor Society. She completed her residency at the University of South Alabama, during which she was awarded Resident Teacher of the Year. Her medical career began in an FQHC Migrant Clinic in Foley, Alabama, which included going out to the fields to provide care to the workers and their children. Prior to her career as a Physician, she was a Research Scientist whose team brought the first licensed Lyme’s disease vaccine to market worldwide, which resulted in patents and peer-reviewed articles. She was inducted into the Performance Guild for Research and Development. The Corcoran’s spend their time between Highlands and the gulf coast of Alabama. When Barbara and her husband Tom are not gathered around a dinner table spending time with family and friends, you will find them enjoying golf, hiking, gardening, croquet, reading and traveling.
BARRETT K. HAWKS
Mr. Hawks is a lawyer. His focus for most of his career was on mergers and acquisitions, financing, securities and energy matters. Following a 45-year career primarily at Sutherland, Asbill and Brennan (now Eversheds-Sutherland), Barrett engaged in mediation, arbitration and neutral analysis services. He was a leader in his firm, in the Georgia State Bar and the American Bar Association, in Trinity Presbyterian Church of Atlanta and in Presbyterian denominational matters, as well as in Atlanta community affairs. Barrett is a nationally recognized expert in the resolution of complex commercial and energy matters, with substantial experience in resolving multi-party conflicts. He has taken on many pro bono causes over his career and continues to do so at this time. Barrett’s experience also includes service on corporate and non-profit boards. He has worked closely with CEOs, inside counsel and boards of directors to design business-based solutions to help avoid or mitigate conflicts. Barrett received a B.B.A. from Emory University School of Business, an LL.B. from Emory University School of Law and an LL.M. from Harvard Law School.
Paul is from the Tidewater region in southeastern Virginia. After graduating from the University of Virginia, he moved to Atlanta, Georgia where he pursued a career in finance, providing investment advisory services and family office functions for investment banking clients. Developing and executing family philanthropy strategies was a key focus. Paul left the marketplace in 2010 to begin a “second-half career” concentrating on mission work with orphans in Haiti. Paul co-founded The Fond Blanc Foundation through which he continues this work. He and his wife, Fontaine, have been seasonal residents of Highlands, NC since 2010.
CHRISTOPHER J. BYRD
Mr. Byrd is a leading executive in sales and marketing for major oil companies and consumer products food manufacturers. He is most notably known for identifying the opportunity to brand and monetize Arnold Palmer Tea for Arnold Palmer and successfully bringing that brand to market. It is known as Arnold Palmer Half & Half and is the fastest-growing ready to drink iced tea brand-selling more than one million cans a day. Chris is still active in the corporate world, managing Innovative Flavors, the company he founded to bring the Arnold Palmer Tea to market. He graduated from Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management with a Masters of Management as well as Kent State University with a BS in Journalism. He and his wife Julie spend the summer season in Highlands, North Carolina and winters in Orlando, Florida. He is the father of two children residing in Florida, with four grandchildren in Orlando. Chris is an avid golfer and a long-standing member of the First Baptist Church of Orlando.
Stephanie is an experienced executive with strong strategic business, communications and management skills and credentials from corporate, public service and entrepreneurial roles. Her collaborative leadership style and life interests led her to the helm of the Cashiers Area Chamber of Commerce in 2012. Her professionalism, resourcefulness and dedication have revitalized the organization and established a foundation for future success. Her career includes managing international relations, CEO communications, board relations, and special projects for the AAA National Office, the world’s largest leisure travel organization. She served as a senior U.S. congressional aide and also directed private sector communications to a 10,000 person workforce for a major health insurance provider. She earned an MBA from the University of Central Florida and a BA in Economics from American University. She is a graduate of both municipal and state leadership programs, has held PRSA national accreditation and participated in numerous executive development programs, including working with a global women’s career initiative and launching the inaugural class of Leadership Cashiers.
DR. RICHARD ELLIN
Dr. Richard Ellin is a native of New York but has called Atlanta home since 1973. After completing medical school and a residency in Internal Medicine at Emory University, he was the second internist hired by The Southeast Permanente Medical Group (TSPMG), the medical group affiliated with Kaiser Permanente, when it first opened its doors in Atlanta in 1985. In addition to a full-time clinical practice, Dr. Ellin served the medical group in a variety of other capacities: Lead Physician at 2 different offices, Chief of Medicine, Secretary of the Board of Directors, Chair of the Board of Directors, and Chair of the Medical Director Review Committee. Dr. Ellin continues to see patients on a part-time basis for TSPMG between November and April and has been the Physician Lead for Primary Care Recruitment since 2008. Dr. Ellin retired from full time practice in 2016, at which time he and his wife started to split their time between Atlanta and Highlands. In July 2016 Dr. Ellin started working as a part time clinician for Mission Medical Associates, seeing patients in the Highlands and Cashiers offices 1-2 days per week between May and October. He continues that work now that Mission has been purchased by HCA. Dr. Ellin has been married to Janice for 39 years, and to his Westie “Tucker” for 3.5 years. In his free time, he enjoys golf, bicycling, croquet, bridge and reading.
Harriet Karro is a retired hospitality industry executive and full-time community volunteer. Named Nashville Tennessee’s 2018 Board Member of the Year by the Center for Nonprofit Management, she has served on numerous committees and boards including Nashville’s Gilda’s Club / Cancer Support Community (Board Chair), YMCA Joe C. Davis Outdoor Center (Board Chair), Alive Hospice (Board Chair), Saint Thomas Health Mission Committee, Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital Ethics Committee, Vision Cashiers (Director), Wade Hampton Donor Advised Fund, and Cashiers Community Fund. She led the establishment of the Perenity flower ministry in Nashville, TN, and co-founded The Gift Initiative of Alive Hospice – a community education collaborative with partners from Vanderbilt University, Saint Thomas Health, and others who recognize the need for education about the benefits of advanced planning for serious illness and end-of-life care. Harriet and Brad divide their time between Nashville and Cashiers where they enjoy hiking, golf, reading and cooking, with family and friends.
Mr. Moore has been the owner and operator of the Kilwins Chocolates & Ice Cream franchise in Highlands, NC for the past 12 years. In February 2019, Jerry sold the Kilwins franchise to devote full time attention to Main Street Payments, a member-owned credit card processor that he co-founded in October 2017. Prior to his retailing experience, Jerry worked for the United States Court system for over ten years in the Pre-sentence Investigation and Pre-trial units. Jerry has a BS in Criminal Justice and a Master of Public Administration from Florida Atlantic University. Jerry currently is the president of the Highlands Rotary Club. Jerry resides in Highlands with his wife Kay and their four children.
DR. PATRICIA MORSE
Dr. Morse received her MSW and PhD from Tulane University in New Orleans. She joined the faculty of Western Carolina University in 2007 and currently serves as Professor and Head of the Department of Social Work. Dr. Morse is an administrator, a clinician, an educator, and a researcher. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and actively practicing therapist, she works on an integrated healthcare team in rural community practice. Her research has been funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). She has conducted studies of health disparities, child trauma, male prostitution, injection drug use, issues facing HIV infected men and women and the children of HIV infected women, and has published widely in the fields of HIV, HCV, medication adherence, high-risk health behavior, trauma, injection drug use and other substance use. She has served as a national consultant to the Veterans Administration, the Office of National Drug Control Policy and to numerous public health, mental health and substance abuse programs. Dr. Morse was appointed to the North Carolina Social Work Certification and Licensure Board in 2011 served for 6 years and as Chair of the Board for three. She is a member of the inaugural class of Leadership Cashiers and has also served on many community service boards including the Boys and Girls Club of the Plateau and the Community Care Clinic of Highlands Cashiers.
Mrs. Quick is a retired retail executive who spent 31 years rising from a management trainee to the Board Room and in that time oversaw both internal and external communications of 4 department store mergers in five states, all marketing, research, advertising, sales promotion, sales planning, fashion and product direction, merchandise presentation, public affairs, public relations, and special events in five states. Following her retirement from that company, she founded and managed a boutique marketing consulting firm until she was hired by a client to fill in for him as CEO of his business while he took medical leave of absence. Mrs. Quick has received many awards for community service and has served on numerous boards. (Gulf Coast March of Dimes, Chairman; Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital; Communities in Schools; United Way of Greater Houston.) She serves on the Cashiers Community fund and is a past member of the Summit Board of Trustees and the Summit Foundation Board where she raised more than $7.5 million to fund the expansion of the school and pay off all its old debt. She is married to Mark Quick and they have one daughter, a son-in-law and two grandchildren. They are members of the Church of the Good Shepherd where Mrs. Quick serves on the Outreach Committee. They divide their time between Cashiers and Houston.
DR. APRIL TALLANT
Dr. Tallant is a Western Carolina University (WCU) alumna (and North Carolina native) with a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Health Sciences from WCU. Dr. Tallant became a registered dietitian in 1999 through WCU’s dietetic internship program and completed her PhD in Community Health Education at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in 2008. Dr. Tallant combines her passion for access to healthy foods and service to the region through research and community engagement. She is a member of the Board of Directors for Community Table in Sylva, NC, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide nutritious meals to our neighbors in need in a welcoming environment. She enjoys designing a learning environment where her students can engage in experiential learning, gain food and nutrition literacy skills, and actively participate in common intellectual experiences. Dr. Tallant currently lives in Graham County with her husband, Mack, and son, Jackson.
Paul is the founder and Chairman of AIC Ventures, a real estate firm that organizes investment funds to acquire single tenant net leased real estate properties throughout the US. Born in Buffalo, New York, Paul owned and operated one of the largest real estate firms in western New York. Paul is the founder and director of L3 organization and served as the volunteer Chairman of the Board in 2009-10. Paul was an International Director of WPO for 7 years and served as the Chairman of the Board in 2004. He is founder and trustee of the L3 Leadership Legacy Life Foundation. He studied economics at Canisius College and Niagara University. He is a licensed real estate broker in Texas, former director of the Highlands-Cashiers Hospital and one of the founders of Vision Cashiers. Paul and his wife, Linda Benge, live in Austin, Texas, have 5 children and 9 grandchildren between them and are seasonal residents in Cashiers, NC.
GHISLAINE AUSTIN BELCAK
Mrs. Austin is an investment professional of long-standing, having spent her career managing the assets of wealthy families and philanthropic organizations. Early in her career, Mrs. Austin was a portfolio manager at U. S. Trust of New York on Wall Street, at Scudder Stevens & Clark, and at Summit Bank where she was a research analyst and co-manager of the Common Stock Fund. Later, she held a variety of senior management positions including Senior Director of Investments in the Private Bank at Wachovia where she had responsibility for the investment professionals in the southern half of the bank’s footprint. Subsequently, Mrs. Austin was Senior Director of Investments at Wells Fargo Private Bank for the Southeast Region. Prior to retiring, Mrs. Austin was Regional President for Northern Trust where she oversaw the wealth management business for the Southeastern region. Mrs. Austin has extensive experience with non-profit investment and board management including having been a national spokesperson for the Philanthropic division at Wachovia where she spoke at national conferences for families and private foundations. Mrs. Austin holds a B.A. from Wellesley College and is a seasonal resident in Cashiers.
Mr. Corcoran joined Fort Dodge Animal Health, a division of Wyeth, Inc., as its President in 1985. Mr. Corcoran served on the Management, the Operations, the Legal, and the Human Resources and Benefits committees of Wyeth until his retirement in March 2008. From 2010 until 2016, Mr. Corcoran was a director of Putney, Inc., a pet pharmaceutical company. Mr. Corcoran also served as the Chairman of the Animal Health Institute, an industry organization advocating for animal health issues, including efficient and effective FDA, USDA and EPA regulatory and approval processes. Mr. Corcoran serves on the Board of Trustees of the University of South Alabama.
(Bio not available at this time)
Todd Goins was born and raised in the mountains of western North Carolina in Transylvania County. After graduating from Furman University, Todd pursued a career in the human services profession, serving as an associate pastor, mental health provider, and houseparent at Baptist Children’s Home before serving as a social worker. Todd began his career in Social Services in 2005 with Clay County Department of Social Services (DSS) as a Child Protective Services social worker. Todd served as Child Welfare and Adult Services Supervisor at Clay County DSS from 2008 until March 2020, at which time he began serving in the role of Clay County DSS Director. Todd resides in Brasstown with his wife Beth. Todd and Beth have five children they are very proud of, ranging in ages from 22 years old to 11 years old.
RALPH M. GREENE, JR
Mr. Greene is a retired CPA. Most of his career was spent with The Medical University of SC in Charleston. Positions held within the university included Internal Auditor, College of Dental Medicine Finance Director and University Budget Director, overseeing an annual $650 million budget. In 2001 he moved to the affiliated 700 bed teaching hospital and held positions as Director of Financial Accounting and Reporting and as Director of Treasury Operations and Tax Management, before retiring to Cashiers in 2014. Living in Charleston for 43 years, he was also active in his Lutheran congregation, serving on the congregational council, with terms of President and V-P, and also five years as Treasurer. In retirement, he has served on the vestry of Church of the Good Shepherd and is a member of the finance and endowment committees. He also currently serves as church Treasurer. He recently served on the board of the Country Club of Sapphire Valley for three years, two of those as Treasurer and chair of the finance committee. He is active on the board of the Blue Ridge Free Dental Clinic. He is a five-year member of the Rotary Club of Cashiers Valley, having served as President and as Treasurer for four years. He holds an AB degree from Lenoir-Rhyne University, Hickory, NC and was a member of the Board of Visitors for twelve years, two as vice-chair and two as chair. He served in the US Army Reserve for twenty-five years.
Melanie Jones, a Cashiers resident since 2007, has more than 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector with a focus in grant writing, building capacity for organizations through sustainable funding, strategic planning, and outcome driven programs and services. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the Blue Ridge Free Dental Clinic in Cashiers. Prior to this position, Melanie served in executive and development positions throughout the Southeast: Boys & Girls Club of Transylvania County, Essilor Vision Foundation, Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, Park Pride of Atlanta, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (Georgia), Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, Northeast Florida AIDS Foundation. Melanie loves growing organizations to truly meet the myriad of needs of the people it serves.
PAUL R. NOWACKI
Since 1998 and until his retirement in 2017, Mr. Nowacki served as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center Foundation, and Integrated Oncology Solutions, L.L.C. located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center provides radiation therapy, diagnostic imaging services, and medical oncology management services throughout southeastern Louisiana. Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center Foundation, through its philanthropic efforts, raises both short- and long-term endowment funds to be used for the benefit of cancer patients and their families in the communities it serves. His responsibilities included revenue cycle management, accounting, tax and financial statement reporting, operational and capital budgeting, directing all investment and funds management activities, facilities and risk management. Prior to joining Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, Mr. Nowacki held senior and executive-level positions with banking institutions in the Baton Rouge area and was responsible for all accounting, tax and financial reporting, investment portfolio management, funds management, facilities, risk management, and security.
JIMMY RAY YOUELL
Jimmy Youell is a native of Oklahoma and graduated from the University of Oklahoma. After graduation he completed his military training and has an honorable discharge as a 1st Lieutenant from the US Army, Artillery Branch. Jimmy entered the Life Insurance industry and was in management with The Travelers and The Hartford Life Insurance companies for eight years. He then went out on his own and built a Life and Employee Benefits agency in Tulsa, OK. He also was securities licensed and worked with a group affiliated with an Independent Broker Dealer. He is past president of The Tulsa Association of Life Underwriters, and The Tulsa Association of Chartered Life Underwriters. Jimmy and his wife Sheryl are now residents of Highlands, NC and live at Highlands Falls Country Club. They have a son and daughter and ten grandchildren.