New Board Members and Officers Announced

Lora Smith

The Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation board elected new officers and two new directors at its October board meeting.

Dee Davis, President of the Center for Rural Strategies in Whitesburg, KY and former Babcock Vice President, was elected President. Board member Mary Mountcastle was elected Vice President. In addition, Ivan Kohar Parra, Executive Director of the North Carolina Latino Coalition in Durham, NC and Laura Mountcastle were elected Secretary and Treasurer respectively.

Chad Berry of Berea, Kentucky and Jerry Gonzalez of Atlanta, Georgia will join the board as new directors beginning January 1, 2014.

Chad Berry is Academic Vice President and Dean of the Faculty at Berea College. Prior to coming to Berea in 2006, Berry was a member of the faculty at Maryville College. He is the author of Southern Migrants, Northern Exiles (Illinois, 2000), which examines the migration of millions of white southerners to the Midwest during the twentieth century.  The book was inspired by his paternal grandparents, who reluctantly left Tennessee in the 1940s to find the economic opportunity that had eluded them in the South. He is published widely in the area of Appalachian studies and international education. Berry received his B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of Notre Dame, his M.A. from Western Kentucky University and his Ph.D. from Indiana University.

Jerry Gonzalez is the founding and current Executive Director of Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO) and the GALEO Latino Community Development Fund. GALEO was founded in 2003 and is a 501 (c) (6) statewide nonprofit and non-partisan organization; its mission is to increase civic engagement and leadership development of the Latino community across Georgia. The GALEO Latino Community Development Fund is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization affiliated with GALEO.  During the 2010 Census, Gonzalez strongly advocated for participation of the Latino community, which ended up having a 96% increase, representing 28% of the state’s overall growth. In voter engagement efforts, the Latino electorate has grown to well over 180,000 in 2012 from a mere 10,000 in 2003.  Gonzalez is a native of Laredo, TX and received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University and his Master of Public Administration with a Nonprofit Administration emphasis at the Andrew Young School of Public Policy at Georgia State University.

Outgoing President Kathy Mountcastle says these new additions to the Babcock board will help the foundation connect with the communities it serves across the Southeast, “Chad and Jerry are outstanding additions to our board.  The perspectives they bring help ensure that we have a diversity of voices to help guide our work.”

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