Meet our Board Members

Tom Barry

Mr. Thomas R. Barry served as chairman and chief executive officer of Mighty Distributing Systems of America, Inc. in Atlanta, Georgia from 1996 through 2009. He and his wife Claire split time between Amelia Island, Florida and Cashiers, North Carolina. They have three married children and seven grandchildren.


Barry is a 1967 graduate of Duke University with a bachelor or arts degree. He served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy from 1967-1970 and is a Vietnam veteran. He was president and chief executive officer of the Atlanta-based North Riverside Venture Group from 1984-1995. He has served as a director of a number of venture-backed companies and is a founding director of the Atlanta Venture Forum and a past president of the Southeastern Association of Small Business Investment Companies (SBIC).


Mr. Barry is a member of The Country Club of Sapphire Valley and has served on various committees and boards of the High Hampton community.

Lisa Bates

Lisa Bates currently works as an accountant with the Community Bible Church.  She has a psychology degree from Davidson College and has her Masters in international development from Clark University.  She currently serves on the Cashiers Community Fund board and was involved with the Summit Charter School Family Association.  She has three grown children, Sara, Tucker, and Hayden, and enjoys living in Cashiers with her husband Thomas.  She is interested in health, nutrition, outdoor activities, and helps with local tutoring programs.


Cheryl Benitez

Cheryl Benitez keeps busy with her interior design work.  She is a graduate of the University of South Florida where she got her degree in mass communications.  She currently serves on the board of the Rabun Gap Nacoochee School and has been on various other boards including the Junior League of Tampa, the Summit Charter School Foundation, the Gift of Adoption Fund, the Tampa Arts Council, and the Gasparilla Arts Festival. She has two grown children, Madeline and David, and enjoys living in the Cashiers area with her husband Michael.  Cheryl stays very busy with her many civic interests and volunteering.

Joni Benitez

Joni Wavra is the Office Administrator at Camp Merrie-Woode.  She completed her undergraduate degree at Michigan State University.  She has two grown children named Tyler and Lynsi.  She has served as both a member of and the Chair of the Summit Charter School.  She also served on the boards of the Community Foundation of WNC, the Highlands Playhouse, and the Girl Scouts.  In her free time, she enjoys working her tree farm, her truffle orchard, yoga, and frequent hikes.

Sarah Jennings

Sarah Jennings is the Special Events and Marketing Director at Lonesome Valley.  She received a marketing and communications degree from North Carolina State University and has spent much of her career planning and executing large scale corporate and social events.  Her husband, Richard, is a custom home builder and they live in Cashiers full time with their sons, Edward and Richard, who are also proud club members.  She is currently an active board member of the Cashiers Area Chamber of Commerce, Cashiers Valley Preschool and Summit Charter School. 

Anne McKee

Anne McKee is a retired retail shop owner.  She was an English major at Stratford College. She was married to the late A. William McKee who helped to found the Boys & Girls Club of the Plateau.  She has two grown children named Woodward and Cris.  She has served on the boards of the Cashiers Area Humane Society, the Hampton School, the Highlands Cashiers Hospital Foundation, and on the Vestry of the Church of the Good Shepherd.  She enjoys hiking and playing golf when she gets the chance.

Becky McKee

Becky McKee is the resort buyer for the High Hampton Inn.  She received her degree from Randolph Macon Women’s College.  She and her husband Will have two grown daughters named Rebecca and Elizabeth.  Becky served on the boards of the Cashiers Area Humane Society and the Cashiers Community Fund and was on the vestry of The Church of the Good Shepherd. She was a mentor with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program. She is currently serving on the board of the Colony Club Community Fund.  During her free time, she enjoys hiking, travelling, running, and tennis. 


Sallie Peterkin

Sallie has lived in Cashiers most of her life. She is married to Brien Peterkin and together they raised 3 children in Cashiers. Sallie has always been active in the community.

Jim Robinson

Jim Robinson is the founder and owner of Design South Builders, a residential design/build firm based here in Cashiers.  Jim received his Masters degree in Architecture from Tulane University.  He has been working in the Cashiers area for over 12 years, and lives with his wife Kristin on Lake Glenville.  They have two grown children, James and Caroline.  Jim enjoys the lake life, fishing, boating and swimming. 

Marcie Snowden

Marcie Snowden is a recently retired Kindergarten Teacher at Summit Charter School.  She received her degree in Elementary Education from the University of Kentucky.  She and her husband Buddy have two grown sons.  She currently serves on the Administrative Board of the Summit Charter School.  She has served on the boards of the Chillicothe, MO YMCA, the Chillicothe, MO Chamber of Commerce, and the Cashiers Valley Preschool.  In her free time, she enjoys assisting with children’s activities, arts & crafts, hiking, golfing, gardening, and tutoring.

Allen Tansil

Allen Tansil is a retired executive recruiter from the Atlanta area.  He completed his studies at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.  He and his wife Jo Ellen have four grown children named Wendy, Amanda, Ryan, and Robyn.  He has served on the board of MUST Ministries in Marietta, GA and currently serves on the Lonesome Valley Property Owners Association.  Allen enjoys hiking and playing golf. 

Nat Turner

Nat Turner is a founder and Managing Director of Whiteside Capital Partners, LP, a firm specializing in energy and technology investments and management.  Nat is a graduate of Georgia Tech with a degree in Applied Physics – Geophysics.  He has served on numerous charitable and corporate boards and is a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) with the Glenville Cashiers Rescue Squad.  Nat, and his wife Ellen, have two grown children and one new grandchild.  Nat enjoys hiking, fly fishing, and spending time with the family.




Robin McKinney Walker

Robin McKinney Walker is the Director of Development at Camp Merrie-Woode.  She did her undergraduate work in history and French at Davidson College before getting her law degree from the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.  She served on the boards of the Junior League of Tampa and the Junior League of Greater Orlando.  She enjoys being involved in fundraising efforts and event planning. She also stays current on different areas of the law and non-profit management.  In her free time, she likes to hike, climb, and enjoy the outdoors.

Cary Weems

Cary Weems has lived part time in the Cashiers area since 1991. She has an undergraduate degree from Duke University and a Masters in Business from the University of Chicago. After a short career in banking, she and her husband Herron had triplets, and she became a full time mom. She has held various roles in community activities over the years, and has served on the Boards of Garrison Forest School and the Friends Of First Tee of East Lake, as well as several steering committees at Duke. She takes the greatest pride in her 3 Volunteer of the Year awards, at Metro Atlanta Recovery Residences, First Tee of East Lake and Duke University. She and her husband live in Saint Simons, GA and Cashiers where she hikes, paints, plays lots of golf and mahjong.

Duncan Wheale

Duncan is a Georgia Senior Superior Court judge who now resides with his wife Carolyn in Cashiers. Over the past several years he has served on the Boards for Cashiers Rotary, The Blue Ridge Free Dental Clinic and the Blue Ridge School Education Foundation. While living in Augusta, Georgia Duncan was appointed by two Governors to chair both the Georgia Commission on Family Violence and the Georgia Child Fatality Review Panel. In 2004 he was selected as Child Advocate of the Year for the state of Georgia. He also serves as Tooth Fairy Blue Suede Elvis for the Free Dental Clinic. 

Susie Young

Susie Young is the owner/operator of the Wits End Shop in Highlands.  She did both her undergraduate and graduate work in business and finance at the University of Florida.  She and her husband David have four grown children named Rebecca, Tyler, Kevin, and Caroline.  She previously served on the boards of the Summit Charter School and the Hampton School.  She enjoys good food, the outdoors, and traveling.  

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