Executive Committee and Board of Directors

Executive Committee





Kerry Mitchell, President



Kerry Mitchell State Farm

Kerry Mitchell is the President and CEO of the Kerry Mitchell Insurance Agency, an independent contractor for State Farm Insurance and Financial Services. He focuses on providing professional advice and unsurpassed customer service. Prior to his entrepreneurial pursuit, Kerry built a successful 20 year career in supply chain management working for and consulting with Fortune 100 companies including Motorola, Oracle, General Electric and EMC. Kerry is very active in the Chamblee community and in the Gwinnett community where he resides.

Kerry’s community involvement includes:

• Past Vice President of Chamblee Business Association
• Served on WJ Cooper Elementary School Council Board
• Served as WJ Cooper PTA Board Member
• Member of McConnell Middle School PTA
• Served on Taste of Chamblee planning committee
• Archer High School Foundation Board member
• Gwinnett Neighborhood Leadership Institute graduate and mentor
• Youth volunteer and middle school Sunday School teacher
• Archer Athletic Association Basketball Coach

Kerry and his wife Monica stay active with their twin sons, Zachary and Nathan.





Thom Abbott, Vice President



Thom Abbott is a real estate broker in Atlanta, Georgia.  As the owner of Thomas Ramon Realty @ Palmer House Properties, his primary focus since 2004 has been Midtown Atlanta, Chamblee and Doraville where the living options range from condos to historic single family homes and new construction.  Having lived in Atlanta since 1994, Thom has become an authority on the city’s qualities and is an expert in its diverse housing options; and his previous experience in the hospitality industry has served to enhance his commitment to his clients.  Thom can be found online at MyMidtownMojo.com  and ChambleeHomesForSale.com as well as on Facebook and Twitter. He is also involved with the Atlanta Film Society, Atlanta Film Festival, and the Georgia Production Partnership.

He is a native of Montana, the Big Sky Country. He grew up on a ranch just outside of Yellowstone National Park but has lived in Houston, TX, Myrtle Beach, SC, Miami, FL, and New York City before landing in Atlanta. With all those cities,  you can imagine that Thom Abbott with Palmer House Properties has a good understanding of relocation and helping people discover all that Chamblee, Doraville and beyond have to offer.


BoardMembers-withLogo - debra




Debra Furtado, Treasurer




Senior Connections

Debra worked for nine years with AGL Resources (parent company of Atlanta Gas Light Company), serving in several positions including director, diversity and volunteer outreach and director, community affairs, where she managed the community affairs/giving program. She also served as a strategic partner as human resources director for Atlanta Gas Light Company.

Other professional experience includes several consulting positions involving strategic planning, management and implementation of human resources and business programs. She worked for David M. Griffith & Associates where she served as the manager of the human resources consulting practice for the Atlanta office. She also worked for the Atlanta Regional Commission, providing consulting services to local governments.

Debra was awarded a B.A. in Political Science in 1987 and a Masters of Public Administration in 1989 from the University of Georgia. She is the chair for Aging Services of Georgia, serves on the UGA Alumni Association Board, and is a community volunteer. She is a graduate of Leadership DeKalb, Class of 2007, and the GA 100 Women’s Mentor/Mentee Program. She is a graduate of the Deloitte Center for Leadership and Community.


Ronni-French Ronni French, Secretary

Consignment Furniture Depot

With long term experience as a non-profit Administrator and Executive, Ronni French is a perfect fit for the Chamber Secretary position. After 16 years with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, she founded and led the Atlanta Downtown Partnership for 13 years, working with the City, CAP, and the business community to create a more vibrant Downtown.   Ronni later worked with the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University as Development Director, and with the Fulton County District Attorney’s office as Director of Community Programs.  She is currently working with Consignment Furniture Depot in sales and research.   Ronni is also active in a number of organizations including Kiwanis International, Leadership Atlanta and Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Board Members

  • Brent Morris
    Peachtree Benefit Group
    Brent Morris

    Brent Morris has more than twenty years of commercial insurance experience with companies such as GE Capital/Employers Reinsurance, American International Group, Metropolitan Life Insurance, and Humana. He became a partner with Peachtree Benefit Group in 2008, and specializes in group medical insurance. His role includes being a broker and consultant to commercial clients.

    Mr. Morris has served on the Board of Directors for the Chamblee Business Association since 2009, and as President in 2010 and 2011. He is the past Chairman of the Dunwoody North East Georgia Soap Box Derby Association, is on the Entrepreneurship Program Advisory Board for the Interactive College of Technology, and Past-President of the Chamblee Kiwanis Club. Brent has been a director of the Dunwoody Chamber of Commerce since 2010, and currently serves as the Vice-Chair.

    Founded over twenty-five years ago, Peachtree Benefit Group is a privately owned, independent insurance broker that represents more than one hundred insurance carriers. Specializing in medical, dental, life, and disability, Peachtree Benefit Group provides fully-insured and self-funded solutions for corporations ranging from 10-1,000 employees. Located in Chamblee since 2008, PBG serves local, national and international clients.

  • Breon Haskett
    St. Vincent de Paul Georgia
  • James Tsismanakis
    Discover DeKalb
    James Tsismanakis

    James Tsismanakis, CDME, TMP is the Executive Director and CEO of the Discover DeKalb / DeKalb Convention and Visitors Bureau, Arts DeKalb, Sports DeKalb, DeKalb Hotel Council and Customer Centric Academy in Metro Atlanta. He serves on the Tucker-Northlake CID Study Steering Committee, served on the DeKalb Economic Development Strategic Plan Advisory Council helping to establish the first Economic development plan for DeKalb County and Chair of Tourism and Arts Task Force, serves on the DeKalb Africa Initiative Steering Committee, United Soccer Africa tournament planning committee for 2016, Georgia Hotel & Lodging Association Governmental Affairs Committee, Southeast Tourism Society Board of Directors and Advocacy Pillar Committee member, Georgia Chamber Board, Georgia State University Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality Administration Industry Advisory Board, the Chamblee Chamber founding member and Board of Directors, Chamblee Chamber Economic Development Committee and Chamblee Main Street Development Committee and DeKalb Chamber Board of Directors. Selected by the Atlanta Business Chronicle in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and July 2016 as one of the Who’s Who 100 Leaders Who Are Shaping Atlanta’s Hospitality Industry. The DCVB was honored by winning the Georgia Tourism – Al Burruss Award For Creative Expression – We Are DeKalb Magazine in 2013 and for the new Discover DeKalb Magazine at the 2015 Governors Conference on Tourism. He resides in the Northlake area of Atlanta with his wife Bethany and their three children.

    Specialties: Tourism, product development, destination management, destination marketing, and foundation management.

  • JoAnn Kock
    Interactive College of Technology
  • Julio Peñaranda
    Plaza Fiesta
  • Liz Montgomery
    Atlanta Marriott Century Center/Emory Area
    Liz Montgomery

    Liz is the Catering Sales Manager for the Atlanta Marriott Century Center where she is responsible for all events from 2 people up to 500 with few guest rooms. This is Liz’s second tour of duty at this property. She has been with several Marriott properties in Atlanta over the last 14 years and also spent some time traveling to various Marriott properties who were in need of sales assistance. She has been awarded Marriott Chairman’s Circle; President’s Circle; Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards as well as the PacWest Regions Superior Sales Assistance Award. Her favorite events are Weddings, Mitzvahs and anything with a social vibe.

    Liz is also a Licensed Real Estate Agent with Atlanta Communities and a Certified Wedding and Event Planner (CWEP). In addition to the Marriott and Atlanta Communities, Liz owns her own Travel and Event Company. Liz moved to Georgia in 1983 from Indiana and earned her BS in Management from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2003.

    You can reach her at elizabeth.montgomery@marriott.com or elizabethmontgomery@atlcommunities.net

  • Victoria Schutter
    Consignment Furniture Depot