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

  • Ben Vo
    City Farmers Market
    Ben Vo

    Ben Vo is the managing partner of JV Development Group, a real estate investment and management company in Atlanta.

    His current project in Chamblee includes City Farmers Market Square, a 100,000 square feet retail center, anchored by the City Farmers Market, soon to be opened in first quarter of 2015.

    In commercial real estate, Ben is responsible for financing, disposition and management of real estate portfolios. He is also an experienced retailer, starting with grocery store management in 1978 at Safeway Inc., and now he still owns and operates an independent grocery store in Norcross, Georgia.

    Mr. Vo graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles and has resided in Atlanta since 1996.

  • 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.

  • Francis Lai
    Orient Shopping Center
    Francis Lai

    A private real estate investor, Mr. Lai has been the manager of Goldfield Capital, LLC since 1994. He received his MBA from Mercer University. Orient Shopping Center is located on Buford Highway and has a variety of businesses varying from restaurants, pharmacies, jewelry, courier services, market, convenience stores to dentists and even spas.

  • Howie Ewe
    Sweet Hut Bakery
    Howie Ewe

    Howie Ewe is the co-founder, executive chef and interior designer of Sweet Hut Bakery. With over 15 years of restaurant management experiences, Howie brings sensational visions and exceptional business standard to make the business successful. Being known as a perfectionist who is passionate and dedicated to every detail of a business, Howie’s enthusiasm is greatly influencing all his staffs and all-around, that many people believe that is the key of his success.

    Sweet Hut is a boutique bakery and bistro established in April 2012 that specializes in Asian delicacies, snacks, and drinks. From the legendary Hong Kong polo bun to the reputable Chinese tea-egg to the refreshing flavors of Taiwanese bubble tea, there is always something new in our shop to pique your curiosity and satisfy your appetite. Every morning, a delectable array of breads, pastries, and cakes are created fresh and indulged in by the appreciative many. Coupled with a fine selection of specially made coffees, juices, and teas, there’s no better way to start or end your day with a bit of sweet treats.

  • 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.

  • Mark Schutter
    Consignment Furniture Depot
    Mark Schutter

    Former Chamblee residents, Mark and Victoria Schutter established their business on Antique Row in 2008 after over 25 years in the consumer electronics business had taken them throughout the country. The couple met at Mitsubishi Electronics and their careers at that firm and elsewhere collectively spanned sales, marketing, manufacturing and market analysis.

    Taking a cue from Victoria’s sister, who had been working in the consignment furniture business, Consignment Furniture Depot opened it doors in early 2008 and doubled in size to 12,000 square feet three years later. Located in the former location of Moose Breath Trading Company, Consignment Furniture Depot is distinguished by a knowledgeable and friendly staff, a large, airy and well-lit showroom and the fact that it is strictly consignment. The business features an ever growing list of faithful individual consignors, model home furniture from builders and even a flow of set furniture and decor from Atlanta’s growing film industry.

    The family business includes Victoria’s sisters Maria and Paula among the talented staff.

  • Syl Turner
    Broad Street Antique Mall
    Syl Turner

    Syl Turner is the owner and operator of the Broad Street Antique Mall, one of Atlanta’s favorite antique centers since 1979. The Broad Street Antique Mall has been named Atlanta Magazine’s “BEST OF ATLANTA – Best Antique Shop”.

    Syl has served as the president of the Chamblee Antique Dealers’ Association 1997-2003; 2006- present. He is also president of Chamblee Antique Row LTD, a Georgia non-profit corporation, since 2003. Chamblee’s Antique Row is recognized by the Georgia Department of Industry & Tourism as the “Antique Capital of Georgia.”

  • Thom Abbott
    Thomas Ramon Realty @ Palmer House Properties
    Thom Abbott

    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.

     

  • Thomas Blair
    Interactive College of Technology
    Thomas Blair

    Thomas Blair is the Dean Executive Vice President of the Interactive College of Technology. The institution provides training required for emerging, in-demand occupations that satisfy both student and community needs and leads to well-paying positions. Societal technology requires increasingly greater skills, knowledge, and proficiencies for success in a vocation or profession. The institution strives to make the learning process an individualized, change‑oriented, market‑centered process that enables each student, regardless of background, to maximize his or her potential.