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 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 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 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.
Rebecca Cothran is self-employed and works in the health and nutrition field. She received her undergraduate degree in parks, recreation, and tourism from Montana State University and did her master’s work at Clemson University. She and her husband Jim have three children, Madison, Brendan, and Isaac. She has been very involved in many civic minded efforts and enjoys healthy cooking, baking, eating, and living.
Lise Dews and her husband Bob own and operate a 20 room inn. She received a business management degree from the University of Utah. She homeschooled her now grown twin daughters and was very active in the homeschool community both locally and at the state level. Lise has been active in the community serving on numerous boards over the years. She enjoys singing with her church choir and praise team. In her free time she loves to read, hike, and spend time with friends.
Tanna Drummonds earned her degrees in Sociology and Psychology at North Georgia College. She has worked as a case manager at The Department of Family and Children Services, as a community living assistant, and as an advocate for adults and children with disabilities. After moving to Cashiers, she worked at Cashiers Valley Preschool. She and her husband Jay, have three children, Cady, Cole, and Madelyn. In her spare time, she likes to read, garden, and spend time with family and friends.
Denice Dunn is the co-executive director at Camp Merrie-Woode. She majored in packaging engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology. She completed much of her MBA course work at Canisius College. She and her husband Jim have two grown sons named Tyler and Bradley. She has served on the boards of the Hampton School, Summit Charter School, the Summit Charter School Family Association, and the Summit Charter School Foundation. She currently serves as the Chairman of the Board for the North Carolina Youth Camp Association. In her free time, she loves to travel, SCUBA dive, go on walks, and do yoga.
Jim Dunn is the co-executive director at Camp Merrie-Woode. He majored in business administration and finance at Rochester Institute of Technology. He received his advanced degree in education administration from Canisius College. He and his wife Denice have two grown sons named Tyler and Bradley. He has served on the boards of the Hampton School, the Highlands Playhouse, the Summit Charter School, and was the past president of the Cashiers Valley Rotary Club. He also enjoyed coaching youth baseball over the years. He continues to serve in Rotary Club and is enjoying his position with the BGCP. In his spare time, he likes to spend time in the woodshop, fish, shoot, travel, and spend time at his family cabin.
Suzanne Evans is the Marketing Manager for Old Edwards Hospitality Group and their three properties Old Edwards Inn and Spa, 200 Main and Half-Mile Farm. She has her degree in business administration with a focus on marketing, and advertising from University of South Florida. She and her husband Carl have two grown children both serving in the military. She was instrumental in coordinating the two celebrity tennis events that raised the seed money for the BGCP while she worked for William McKee. In her spare time she likes to spend time with friends and family, gardening, canning, cooking, hiking, and playing with her dogs. She is proud to carry on William’s mission of providing for the youth of our community.
Sarah Jennings is the Special Events and Marketing Director at Lonesome Valley. Her degree is in marketing and communications from North Carolina State University. She and her husband Richard have two young sons named Edward and Richard. She has served as the Secretary of the Jackson County Tourism Development Authority. In her free time, she enjoys creating crafts, sewing, dance, and lacrosse.
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 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.
Patricia Morse is a professor and current Head of the Department of Social Work at Western Carolina University. She did her undergraduate work at LSU and she received both her Masters and PhD from Tulane University. She and her husband Ed have four grown children named Leigh, Taylor, Nelson, and Brent. She currently serves on the North Carolina Social Work Certification and Licensure Board as well as the Cedar Creek Racquet Club Fund. She has served on the board of the Community Care Clinic of Highlands and Cashiers. She stays very involved in a variety of community service activities and enjoys pairing WCU students and resources with worthy community efforts.
Donna Nickerson is the National Sales Manager for Biltmore. She is a graduate of Temple University. She and her husband Jeff have two young children named Taylor and Jackson. She currently serves on the board of the Cashiers Valley Pre School and has served on the boards of the Summit Family Association, the Hampton Preschool, the MOD, the Marion Foundation, the Literacy Coalition, and the Cashiers Valley Chamber of Commerce. When she’s not busy with her family or many other responsibilities, she enjoys running, fitness, reading, and traveling.
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 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 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 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 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 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 is a retired Georgia Superior Court Judge. He did his undergraduate work at the Citadel and attended John Marshall Law School. He currently serves as a Rotarian and on the board of the Blue Ridge Free Dental Clinic. He has served on and Chaired the boards of the Salvation Army (Chair from 2005-07), Safe Homes, GA Commission on Family Violence, GA Child Fatality Board, the Augusta Port Authority, the Augusta Historical Museum, and the Augusta Sports Council. He and his wife Carolyn have two grown sons name Ryan and Patrick. In his free time, he enjoys getting his hands dirty by splitting firewood and operating his John Deere tractor. He also enjoys hiking and occasionally volunteering as the Tooth Fairy.
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.