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Board of directors

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Mr. Fred Smith, Executive Director

Mr. Fred Smith retired in 2013 as the District Director of the Georgia Department of Labor, where he was responsible for career and unemployment services to citizens in 27 Georgia counties. Mr. Smith is the co-founder of the Athens Area Black History Bowl, serves on the board of the Athens Historical Society, and the committee he chairs has raised over $25,000 for Paine College and the United Negro College Fund, in addition to many other community involvements. Smith is the recipient of many awards, including the University of Georgia President’s Fulfilling the Dream Award.

Dr. Diane Dunston, Chair 

Dr. Diane E. Dunston, MD, has been a member of the Athens Clarke County Community for the past thirty two years. She has served on the EADC Board of Directors for many of those years in her quest to bring equal opportunities to all the citizens of Athens-Clarke County. Dr. Dunston presently serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors here at East Athens Development Corporation. When asked what she would like to see in the coming future for EADC, Dr. Dunston replied, "I want to see EADC help more citizens remain in their community through housing and economic opportunities."

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j.t. jones, co-chair

Mr. J.T. Jones has dedicated 15 years to EADC, now serving as the Co-Chair to our Board of Directors. Before his retirement, Mr. Jones worked for the Athens Housing Authority and is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, where he served 27 years. In the future, Mr. Jones would like to see a program for youth in the community that allows them to transition smoothly into trade schools or community colleges within the general East Athens area. 

Bennie roberson, jr., member

Serving as a member of the Board of Directors, Mr. Bennie Roberson, Jr. is a veteran of the U.S. Army and worked for the City of Athens Recreation Department. Mr. Roberson is the recipient of many awards, including the East Friendship Baptist Church Man of the Year Award, Northeast GA Black Leadership Council Great Leaders Award, and the Athens Tutorial Program Service Award. Mr. Roberson would like EADC to return to its basic foundation of providing job training and affordable housing in the community.

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Maurice Daniels, Acting Secretary

Maurice C. Daniels is dean emeritus and professor emeritus of the School of Social Work at the University of Georgia and is founder and director of The Foot Soldier Project for Civil Rights Studies. He is an author and researcher as well. 

Daniels holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a Master's degree in Social Work, and a Doctoral degree in Higher Education from Indiana University. In addition to his scholarly work, he is active in civil rights and social reform organizations. Daniels is a charter member and inaugural president of the Athens branch of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). He is co-founder of Athens Area Habitat for Humanity and the UGA Black Faculty and Staff Organization.

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Mr. Robert D. Finch, Treasurer 

As a member of the EADC Board of Directors, Mr. Robert D. Finch has spent his life serving others. After receiving his B.S. degree in Criminal Justice and an MBA from Albany State University as a Regents award recipient, Mr. Finch went on to receive his law degree from the Florida Coastal School of Law, where he matriculated as a Governor's Scholar. Mr. Finch has previously served as the Chief of Staff for Georgia's Senate majority leader, as well as the VP of Human Resources and Chief Diversity Officer for Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center. Currently, Mr. Finch is the Vice President of Coffee Regional Medical Center, and the President and CEO of The Dean Group, LLC., a Government Relations consulting firm. As well, Mr. Finch is a pastor at Billups Grove Baptist Church here in Athens. Mr. Finch is the recipient of many awards.

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Professor Lisa Milot, Member

Prior to joining the EADC Board, Lisa Milot designed and ran a 6-month program that provided free basic veterinary care and pet resources to East Athens residents and their dogs. She founded and runs Athenspets, Inc., an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to helping the neediest pets in the Athens area and their families, and is an Associate Professor at the University School of Georgia School of Law specializing in animal welfare issues.

Mr. Taylor Pass, Member

Taylor Pass is the owner and Founder of Pass Pro Performance, LLC. He also serves as Site Manager at Athens Neighborhood Health Center – College Ave. Taylor is a native of East Athens, Georgia and a proud product of the Clarke County School District. He graduated from Cedar Shoals High School in 2008. He received his B.A. in Sociology from Morgan State University in 2013. Currently, Taylor is pursuing his Masters in Health Administration and Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.

               Taylor has a strong love for his community and a passion for helping others, especially the youth in the community. He proudly serves on several local boards in Athens-Clarke County. Taylor is a Deacon of East Friendship Baptist Church and a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Some of his other affiliations include The Champions Foundation, Morton Theatre Board of Directors, Northeast Georgia Youth Football Conference, the Juvenile Offender Advocacy Program, the Clarke County Mentor Program, and the Evelyn C. Neely Leadership Program.

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