Our Board of Directors consists of several men and women who work in key industries that are essential in our fight to end homelessness in our community. Our organization is eternally grateful for our generous Board members who endow HOPE Atlanta with knowledge and support.
Dr. Raymond Allen’s Biography
Dr. Raymond Allen is a board-certified Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist. He has been with Atlanta Perinatal Consultants since 1993. He is currently the managing partner of the group. Born in New York City, he completed his undergraduate studies with honors at Amherst College.
He obtained both his medical degree and his Obstetrics and Gynecology training at Stanford University Medical Center. His fellowship training in Maternal-Fetal Medicine was at Cedars Sinai/Harbor-UCLA. Dr. Allen is published extensively and lectures frequently on several high-risk pregnancy topics. His primary clinical interests include prenatal diagnosis, management of medical diseases in pregnancy, and fetal therapy. He is a member of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine and the Atlanta Obstetric and Gynecological Society. Dr. Allen and his wife, Lucy have lived in Atlanta since 1992. They are both enthusiastic advocates of the visual arts, and a large portion of their community activity involves supporting the local art institutions. Dr. Allen served on the Museum of Design Atlanta Board from 2004 until 2009 and was Chairman from 2006-2008. He is a member of the 2007 class of Leadership Atlanta. Dr. Allen joined the board of Directors for Hope Atlanta in 2013 after learning about the organization’s multi-faceted approach in addressing homelessness in the metropolitan Atlanta region.
Rocky Atkins’ Biography
Rocky was most recently Commissioner of Customer Service for the City of Atlanta, a Cabinet-level role in the administration of Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. He previously held a similar Cabinet-level position in Mayor Kasim Reed’s administration. Prior to his move into City government, Rocky spent 25 years leading large organizations across Europe, India and North America in roles spanning technology operations, outsourcing and customer care, primarily in the telecoms industry.
Rocky is an Atlanta native and a graduate of Georgia State University, but he also holds British citizenship and spent 17 years based in the UK. He and his wife returned to Atlanta in 2016 and he was appointed to HOPE’s board later that year. Rocky also serves on the Advisory Board for the Robinson College of Business at Georgia State.
Kathleen Brownlee’s Biography
Affiliated with Purpose Built Communities since its inception in 2009, Kathleen Brownlee has extensive experience in affordable real estate financing, development, and asset management. For two years prior to joining Purpose Built Communities, she led the C.F. Foundation’s real estate initiatives in Atlanta.
Kathleen focused primarily on planning and developing mixed-use, mixed-income developments in and around the East Lake community. Before joining the C.F. Foundation, Kathleen was the first President of Mercy Housing Southeast, a subsidiary of Mercy Housing, Inc., a national not-for-profit affordable housing developer, and lender to affordable housing initiatives. She led a team of developers, and in less than five years, successfully secured the financing for over $40 million in affordable housing for low-income families and seniors. Before her appointment as President of Mercy Housing Southeast, Kathleen was the Director of Portfolio Risk Management and underwrote housing developments and managed portfolios for the entire Mercy Housing system. In an ongoing effort to provide assistance to low-income families, Kathleen chairs the Tapestry Development Group Board and serves on HOPE Atlanta’s Board of Directors, and serves on the Mercy Loan Fund Review Committee. Kathleen Graduated from Agnes Scott College with Honors.
James Caldwell’s Biography
Jim Caldwell is now retired from Deloitte & Touche, where he was a Regional Director of Operations at time of retirement. He held many other positions at the company over 25 years service.
Jim brings expertise to his position on the Board of Directors at HOPE Atlanta in the areas of Finance, Accounting, Management, and Human Resources. He currently serves on the Finance and Audit Committee.
He has also contributed a lot of time in various positions for the United Way in the following arenas: chaired Community Investments Committee and Fulton County Advisory Committee; Served on Metro Board of Directors; Community Engagement Committee; Strategic Planning and Implementation Committee; Human Resources Advisory Committee.
Alex Idichandy’s Biography
Alex Idichandy’s Biography
Alex Idichandy is an executive vice president and head of the Consumer Retail Corporate Banking Group. He is responsible for providing capital and other banking services to companies in the consumer products, food, and beverage, and retail and apparel industries.
Before joining Wells Fargo, he worked at Wachovia Securities in Atlanta for eight years. He served as a relationship manager in the Midwest and also as a risk manager covering a variety of industries across the United States. Alex began his career at JP Morgan Chase in New York City in the Corporate Banking Group.
Robert Kadoori’s Biography
Robert Kadoori is a Vice Chairman for CBRE’s Debt & Structured Finance Group within the Atlanta, Georgia and Tampa, Florida, offices. Mr. Kadoori’s specialties include: arranging equity investments/joint ventures; Freddie Mac Program Plus Financing; Fannie Mae DUS lending; arranging term senior debt (life company/balance sheet); arranging mezzanine/ preferred equity; structured, bridge and construction financing and low income tax credit (LIHTC) financing.
Prior to joining CBRE, Robert was Director of The First Fidelity Companies, where he specialized in structured finance and equity procurement for development projects and acquisitions across all major property types throughout the U.S. A native of New York, Robert received his undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst and his MBA from Emory University. For the past six years, Robert has been among those recognized as CBRE’s Top 275 performers.
In August 2016, Robert became a member of CBRE’s Institutional Properties Group.
David Kreidler’s Biography
David has extensive experience in the City has spent the last 20 years in Atlanta. Attending Georgia State University to attain a degree in Business Management put him at the center of the hub of an ever expanding city and his experience has developed with Atlanta’s rapid growth.
In 2007, David, with Scott Strumlauf and Michael Krohngold, succeeded in accomplishing the task of closing Tongue & Groove in its Buckhead location and securing a new site at Lindbergh City Center. David was an active player in the design of an establishment of The Joint, another concept that grew out of Tongue & Groove in 2012. David uses his business savvy to help direct his philanthropic endeavors in many Atlanta organizations.
ANTHONY B. MAGEE’S JR.’S BIOGRAPHY
Anthony B. Magee Jr. is an experienced Senior SharePoint Consultant who specializes in collaborative Cloud technologies. He is responsible for managing two core products focusing on the Professional Services and Real Estate Industries. He provides product vision and strategy to ensure company executives understand the value and importance of business process and automation within the corporate setting.
Before joining one of the local prestigious consulting firms, Abel Solutions LLC, he was commissioned in the United States Army as a Signal Corp Officer. He is a graduate of Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University and is now pursuing his Masters in Business Administration at the University of Georgia – Terry College of Business.
CHERYL NAJA’S BIOGRAPHY
Cheryl Naja is the Director of Pro Bono and Community Service for the law firm of Alston & Bird and has served in her current role for over a decade. Cheryl is one of the co-founders of GAIN, the Georgia Asylum & Immigration Network, where she serves as the co-chair of the Advisory Board. She is an active member of the Atlanta Pro Bono Roundtable, the Atlanta Immigration Working Group, Advisory Board of the GA PATENTS Program, Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta and United Way’s Public Policy and Advocacy Committee. She also serves on the board of re:Imagine/ATL, an organization dedicated to developing the next generation of digital storytellers. Cheryl serves on the GO Team for Paul H. Dunbar Elementary School, an Atlanta Public School. She is a Past-President of the Corporate Volunteer Council of Atlanta and a proud graduate of the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Regional Leadership Institute’s Class of 2016 (aka #RLIBestClassEver).
A graduate of Berry College, Cheryl is a former high school teacher and began her legal career as a reference librarian.
HEATHER OLSON’S BIOGRAPHY
Heather Olson, vice president at Walker & Dunlop, is responsible for multifamily originations and specializes in affordable housing nationwide. She is based out of Atlanta, Georgia and has assisted with the origination, underwriting, and funding of over $800 million in multifamily financing. Ms. Olson’s focus is in affordable housing developments utilizing tax exempt bonds and low-income housing tax credits, as well as market rate transactions.
Ms. Olson joined Walker & Dunlop in 2012 through the acquisition of CWCapital LLC. Prior to CWCapital, Ms. Olson worked for TriMont Real Estate Advisors.
Ms. Olson holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from Kennesaw State University and earned her Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation in 2014. She has been a member of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Atlanta since 2013. Ms. Olson was honored as a Young Leader by Affordable Housing Finance in 2018.
JAMES PAIGE’S BIOGRAPHY
James Paige has a military background, serving three terms in the Marine Corps with an Honorable discharge. While serving in the military he attended Palomar Junior College in San Diego, CA.
His love of the restaurant business came when he was growing up in Savannah, Georgia. During his high school years, he washed dishes for Shoney’s and Morrison Cafeteria. His restaurant management experience came from managing corporate national chain full-service restaurants, Sizzler Steak House, Bob’s Big Boy and others.
Serving as General Manager and having 13 years’ experience at the corporate level, James decided to stretch his faith and started his own catering business in 1993 focusing on corporate meetings. In 1998, James wanted to take the business to another level that’s when we open the Collard Green Cafe. In 2011 he decided to sharpen his culinary skills, went back to school at Atlanta Technical College for Culinary Arts Diploma.
James had struggles in life that were life lessons that built character, strength and steadfastness. He first experienced homelessness at 24. His wife, the love of his life, passed away in 2014, spiraling him into a 2nd homeless experience. His inspiration is his son, 14-year-old James III, of whom he is very proud. James was served by HOPE Atlanta’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families program in both instances, helping him back on his feet.
James states “As God continues to bless me with all my challenges and defeats, I encourage others to stay positive and never ever give up. I have a passion for the restaurant business and want to use it as a platform to bless others, be a role model to veterans and those who have lost hope. My motto is perseverance wins”.
James is honored to serve on the board for HOPE Atlanta. “I am excited to give back and help others who may find themselves in a tough place like I did—not just Veterans, but all people across this metro area.”
Alexis Davis Smith’s Biography
Alexis runs the show. She founded PRecise in 2000, after spending seven years with one of the world’s top 10 PR firms. She was an integral part of its consumer brand marketing team and founding member of the firm’s ethnic marketing practice – the first ever created by an international agency. She left the agency to practice the profession she loved, on her terms. She wanted to work with clients she believed in, offering big agency services without big agency bureaucracy.
Alexis signed Coca-Cola as her first client. Since then, she has lead nearly 100 projects for the brand. She has also provided PR counsel for some of the country’s top brands and organizations, including Toyota, MassMutual, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Spelman College and the Atlanta Falcons, among others.
Alexis lives and breathes strategy. Over the years, she has delivered exceptional strategic communications programs that helped PRecise clients reach their bottom line.
With more than 20 years total in the industry, Alexis is a leader in Atlanta’s public relations community, and a national voice for multicultural marketing. She has been featured in several popular industry trades, from PR Week to O’Dwyers.
Alexis is a native of Philadelphia, PA, a proud Eagles fan and graduate of Florida A&M University.
John Spillman’s Biography
John H. Spillman is a Partner in the Corporate Practice of Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP.
Mr. Spillman counsels clients on corporate and transactional matters, including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, emerging company issues and international transactions. Mr. Spillman has represented both strategic and financial buyers and sellers, as well as sellers of family-owned and entrepreneurial businesses. He has also assisted numerous foreign companies entering the U.S. market through acquisitions and joint ventures. He has extensive experience in franchise law matters, including the purchase and sale of franchisors and multi-unit franchisees.
Mr. Spillman has been listed in Best Lawyers in America® from 2013 to 2017 for Mergers & Acquisitions and Corporate Law and has an AV® Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell.
Mr. Spillman is a member of the Business and International Law Sections of the American Bar Association, as well as its Forum on Franchising. He is a member of the Board of HOPE Atlanta, an Atlanta non-profit. He is former board chair of Travelers Aid of Metropolitan Atlanta, Inc.
Mr. Spillman is a co-author of: M&A — Protecting the Purchaser and Global Venture Capital Transactions, both published by Kluwer Law International. He has spoken frequently at seminars and written articles on transactional topics. He attended law school at the University of North Carolina, where he served on the Law Review before graduating with honors. He received his undergraduate degree in International Studies from the University of North Carolina.
Rhonda Taylor’s Biography
Rhonda D. Taylor is an experienced senior human resources executive with more than 25 years of experience across multiple industries including financial services, telecommunications and nonprofit. Most recently, she served as Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer for Cox Communications.
Rhonda joined Cox Communications in 2008 as Vice President of People Services for Cox Communications in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Prior to joining Cox, Rhonda worked with Citigroup for 21 years. She held various HR roles at Citigroup, including serving as Senior Vice President of Human Resources in the company’s Dallas, Texas office.
David Zanaty’s Biography
David Zanaty has spent twenty years building teams, properties and companies in entrepreneurial and institutional real estate settings. His activities have spanned development, private equity and technology, most recently focused on scaling Opendoor and defining the emerging iBuyer category.
Prior to Opendoor, David was an early participant in the institutional single-family rental space, helping to build Starwood Waypoint (now Invitation Homes) into an institutional-quality owner and operator of that new asset class. Before Waypoint, David was a Vice President of Development at AIG Global Real Estate, where he was responsible for the development of a variety of commercial assets, including Class A office buildings in Atlantic Station. Prior to that, David focused on principal and third-party property development, capital formation, and investment property transactions. He began his career as a financial analyst with CB Richard Ellis. David holds a B.A. in Economics and Philosophy from Emory University, a Master of City and Regional Planning from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. David is active in a number of organizations, including the Urban Land Institute, NAIOP and the Georgia State University Real Estate Honorary Board.