Gerald McDowell, originally from Hope Mills, NC, graduated from DeVry University in Atlanta in 1987 with a B.S. in Computer Information Systems. He spent over 18 years in the IT industry, and was a small business owner for nearly 5 years. Gerald and his wife, Toni, have been married for 21 years. They have two children: a daughter, Taylor, 17; and a son, Wesley, 14.
Gerald was on staff with the Gwinnett Village CID and the Gwinnett Village Community Alliance for 4 years. He is a 2009 graduate of the Gwinnett Neighborhood Leadership Institute.
Board of Directors
Ed O’Connor, Chairman
VP, Connolly Reality Services, Inc. Connolly Realty Services, Inc. is a commercial real estate development, management and brokerage company based in Lawrenceville, GA. Ed is a member of the Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors, International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP).
Lisa Reeves, Vice Chairman
NDI Development & Management Lisa Reeves was born in Atlanta, attended Lilburn Elementary, and has witnessed many changes to the Lilburn community. Higher education and professional endeavors took Lisa to California where she worked in the commercial real estate markets in Southern and Northern California before returning to her Atlanta roots. Lisa manages a local commercial real estate development company and embodies progress through transforming shopping centers into commercial environments conducive for diverse opportunities and growth. These last few years, she has mainly focused on helping small local businesses survive and grow in this challenging economy.
John Souter, Secretary/Treasurer
Oyster Barn Bar & Grill
John Souter lives in Lilburn and graduated from South Gwinnett High School and West Georgia College. In 1992, at the age of 23, John started Comet National Shipping Corp. Comet was named as Entrepreneur Magazine’s 26th “Fastest Growing Small Business in America” in 1995.
John was a member of the Gwinnett County Rotary Club from 1999 to 2007. He is a commercial property owner in and around Lilburn, and is currently active in redevelopment. He is the owner of the Oyster Barn Bar and Grill.
Providence Christian Academy
James W. Vaught, Jr. (Jim) has lived in the Lilburn area for 19 of his 35 years in Georgia. He is married to Dagmar A. Vaught and has a son, daughter-in-law, and three grandchildren living in Nashville, TN.
Jim has a BS in Math Education from Tennessee Technological University and an MA in Administration from Tennessee Technological University. He is presently pursuing a Doctorate at Columbia International University.
After teaching for three years in a DeKalb County Public School, Jim was principal at DeKalb Christian Academy for eight years and headmaster for five years. He has been headmaster at Providence Christian Academy for 18 years.
Jim retired as a Lieutenant Colonel, after serving 24 years in Georgia Army National Guard. Jim also served in Desert Storm.
The Home Depot - Director of Real Estate, Eastern U.S.
Jim McCarthy is Director of Real Estate – Eastern United States for The Home Depot. As Director of Real Estate, Jim is responsible for the development of all traditional orange box stores as well as new formats for the Eastern United States and Caribbean. In addition, Jim is responsible for any ancillary real estate functions for the existing stores in this geography.
In May of 2003, Jim joined The Home Depot as a Manager of Real Estate in the Southeast Division with responsibility for new store development in North and South Carolina as well as Georgia. In May of 2005 Jim became Director of Real Estate with responsibilities for 6 states as well as Puerto Rico and the remainder of the Caribbean.
Prior to joining The Home Depot, Jim was employed by The Kroger Co for a period spanning 18 years. During his 18 years at Kroger, Jim held a variety of positions within the Real Estate Department which concluded with him supervising all real estate matters for the Southeast Division of Kroger in Atlanta.
Jim holds a bachelors degree in finance and real estate from the University of Cincinnati. Jim is to be married July 31, 2010 to Ms. CJ Powell and is the proud father of 2 children, Katie and Andrew, and soon to be 3 step children, Joshua, Michael and Matthew.
Bruce Arnett, Jr. CEO Everything Car Wash
Bruce has been designing, building and running car washes in the metro Atlanta area since opening the first Carnetts car wash in Lawrenceville, GA in 1987. Franchising became the means to grow the local chain, leading to ten franchises and 8 company-owned, full service locations. Carnetts diversified by entering into the car wash equipment and supply business which services 110+ car washes (in addition to their own chain). In December of 08 Procter & Gamble acquired Carnett’s Car washes and hired Bruce to be the COO of the first national chain in the car wash industry. In 2010 Bruce, Jr. was appointed CEO of Mr. Clean Car Wash and located corporate headquarters in Duluth, GA. The family still owns and operates their company locations, as well as the supply company, ACES, and the Genesis Modular Building company. Bruce has served on the ICA Educational Committee and on the Georgia Saves Water Board and is currently a member of the International Car wash Association board. Bruce, his wife Elaine and their two daughters Giorgi and Carli live an active life in Suwanee, enjoying tennis, soccer, swimming and snow skiing.
Norman J. Nash
Norman is proud to be a ninth generation resident of Lilburn. He is CEO of Nash, LLC and manages several other family businesses. Norman is actively involved in numerous civic projects and organizations including Chairman of the Gwinnett County Board of Tax Assessors, Chairman of the Lilburn Community Partnership, and Chairman of the Lilburn Downtown Development Authority, among others. He and his wife, Dr. Linda Nash, are members of the Lilburn First Baptist Church. They have three sons and three grandchildren.
Raymond Cobb, III
Raymond Cobb is president of JB Media, Inc., a marketing communications service provider. The company also publishes a magazine – Inside Gwinnett Magazine. Prior to launching his company, he worked in corporate and commercial finance for companies such as Bank of America and GE Capital. Raymond also spent several years working as senior account executive for local PR agencies serving clients such as SunTrust Bank. He received his MBA from the University of Pittsburgh Katz Graduate School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Toledo.
Active in various community service efforts, Raymond currently serves on the Metro Atlanta United Way Board, and is a member of the marketing committee. He is also a member of the Gwinnett County Planning Commission. Other civic board involvement includes the American Cancer Society – Gwinnett Leadership Council, Gwinnett County 2030 Comprehensive Plan, the Norcross High School Foundation, past member of Simpson Elementary School Council, and as a member of the United Peachtree Corners Civic Association. Raymond served as past president of the University of Toledo Alumni Association and is a member of the Atlanta Press Club, a Chairman’s Club member of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce – economic development committee member. He is a 2006 graduate of the Coverdale Leadership Institute and a 2009 alumnus of Leadership Gwinnett. Raymond, his wife, and son live in Gwinnett County.
3870 Lawrenceville Highway
Lilburn, GA 30044