Leadership

Laura Allen – Executive Director

Laura joined the Red Cross team in February 2014. She came from the energy industry where she gained extensive experience in business development and operations. She has an undergraduate degree in humanities as well as a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Georgia. For over ten years, she has been involved in various community and volunteer management activities, including international work. Laura is passionate about the mission of the Red Cross and committed to efforts to alleviate suffering and provide immediate aid relief to those in need.

Mike Riemann, Disaster Program Manager

Laura Johnston, Volunteer Specialist

Iris Siano, Executive Coordinator

Iris joined the Northeast Georgia Chapter of the American Red Cross in 2012 as an Administrative Coordinator & disaster volunteer. Prior to joining the Red Cross, she worked 20+ years in the credit union industry, holding positions in customer service, lending, and branch management. Iris loved helping members with their financial needs and supporting her peers in their roles. In addition to supporting the local staff & volunteers Iris loves participating in community events disaster educations programming promoting disaster prevention and preparedness.

Board of Directors

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Elaine Cook/Piedmont Athens Regional Health System

Elaine Cook serves as Vice President, Public and Governmental Affairs and Chief Marketing Officer for Piedmont Athens Regional Health System. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Elaine has served as Vice President of Marketing and PR for both Turner Broadcasting and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. When she isn’t spending time with her husband and two children, Elaine is heavily involved with organizations impacting the Athens community, such as the Northeast Georgia Red Cross, and has received numerous awards and recognition for her service.


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F.T. Douglas/Landmark Properties

F.T. Douglas, an Athens native, serves as Preconstruction Manager at Landmark Properties. During his time with the North Georgia Red Cross, Keith has enjoyed connecting with fellow board members and volunteers as well as participating in various activities. In addition to his community involvement, F.T. enjoys playing music, hiking/camping, cooking and traveling with his wife.


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Stephanie Gamble/Zaxby’s Franchising LLC

Stephanie has served the Zaxby’s brand since 1996 and currently leads the Menu Innovation department; a team responsible for product development, continuous improvement of menu services, nutrition, and ingredients. This team provides technical expertise and scientific methodology to innovate and improve the quality of menu products while supporting unit level margins. With twenty years of food industry experience, Stephanie has performed wide-ranging roles within the Zaxby’s organization; from cashier/cook, store manager, corporate trainer, operations development to her current area of Menu Innovation. Prior to joining Zaxby’s, Stephanie earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Georgia in her native Athens, GA.


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Andrea Griffith-Girtz/Zaxby’s Franchising LLC

Andrea Griffith-Girtz serves as Corporate Communications Manager for Zaxby’s Franchising LLC. A graduate of Georgia College & State University, she spent more than a decade as a radio, television, and print journalist in several states. After leaving television news in 2006, Andrea produced and hosted a syndicated lifestyle series that aired on CBS, CW, and Charter cable affiliates in Georgia and South Carolina. In 2011, she became the Athens Banner-Herald’s first Vice President of Audience and Director of Athens Magazine. Along with her work with the Northeast Georgia Red Cross, Andrea has given her time to the Jeannette Rankin Foundation, Project Safe, United Way of Northeast Georgia, Wee Read, the ABH Empty Stocking Fund, and the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce. Andrea lives in Athens with her husband, Kelly, and their son, Noah.


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Keith Guest/RSS Insurance

Keith Guest is an Athens native and a first-time board member for the American Red Cross of Northeast Georgia. He works from Athens as a broker for RSS Insurance, a long-standing Chattanooga-based insurance firm. When he isn’t working, there’s a good chance you’ll find him on the course playing or practicing his lifelong passion for golf. Keith, his wife Laura Beth, and two sons, Hayward and Owen, live in Normaltown.


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Stephanie Hunt/Atlanta Retirement Partners

Stephanie Hunt joined the board of the Northeast Georgia Red Cross in 2016. Professionally, she is a Retirement Plan Consultant with Atlanta Retirement Partners. For over 17 years Stephanie has concentrated her career in the investment and retirement plan industries with an extensive background in investment analysis, plan design, operations, compliance, marketing, and participant education.

Stephanie has a B.B.A. in Finance from Georgia Southern University and, along with her husband and two children, has called Athens home for than a decade. She enjoys giving her time to organizations such as the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Extra Special People, and Prevent Child Abuse Athens.


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Chase Lawrence/CollegeTown Properties

Chase graduated from the University of Georgia in 2005 and founded CollegeTown Properties with the ambition to be an industry leader in the student housing field. He works closely with the management and operations team to oversee day-to-day operations and heads up new project development including site acquisition, due diligence, pre-leasing and stabilization. Chase is a licensed Real Estate Broker overseeing all investor sales within the company. In addition to serving on the Northeast Georgia Red Cross board, Chase is involved with the Stewardship Team of Athens Church, The UGA Alumni Association, and the Young Advisory Board of The National Bank of Georgia. He lives in Athens with his wife Courtney and their three children, Breckyn, McKinley and Harrison.


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Jean Mullis/Jackson EMC

Jean Mullis has lived in the Athens area for 35 years and currently, serves as the Neese District Manager for Jackson EMC. She has a bachelor of business administration from the University of Georgia in management information systems. She also holds a master of business administration from Piedmont College and is a graduate of the LEAD Athens and Leadership Jackson programs. Jean and her husband, Mitch, live in Colbert with two of their four children.


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Daniel Thompson, MPH/North Georgia Heart Foundation

Daniel Thompson, MPH, Executive Director, comes to the North Georgia Heart Foundation with a personal investment in preventing heart disease. A Georgia native, Daniel completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in public health at Emory University and the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, respectively. Prior to joining the NGHF, Daniel spent six years as a lobbyist for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta focusing on such issues as hospital financing, pulse oximetry screening for critical congenital heart defects, child passenger safety, and statewide trauma center funding. During his tenure at Children’s, Daniel also directed the efforts of the Pediatric Healthcare Improvement Coalition of Georgia (PHIC). Daniel is a member of the Emory Alumni Board, and spent five years on the Alumni Board of the Rollins School of Public Health Alumni Board, one year as president. Daniel attended Lakeview Academy in Hall Country and currently lives in Gainesville with his dog, Naomi.


Scott Watson

Scott Watson

Scott Watson, a native of Utah, travelled and worked across the U.S. and abroad before settling down in Georgia in 2011. He earned his Bachelors degree from Oglethorpe University in 2003, with a focus in Business Administration and Behavioral Sciences. Scott is a Director at PCL Construction in Alpharetta, Georgia, focusing on planning and executing large-scale construction projects in the energy sector across the U.S. He has served on various local community Boards. Scott enjoys travelling, sports, and spending time with his wife Katy and their two young children.


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  • Jessica Whitley