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New Board Members at the Ferst Foundation for Literacy 

by Elizabeth Sprouse

The Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy is making 2014 a banner year when it comes to advancing the life of children through increased literacy. This fall, the organization will mail its 4 millionth book! Four new board members – Kathy B. Ashe, Scott Campbell, Ali Gant and Colin Owens – have joined forces with a great lineup of current board members. Read below to find out more about these new board members, who are dedicating time to Ferst – a nonprofit promoting reading and learning success among Georgia’s children by mailing free, age-appropriate books and learning guides to children from birth up until age five.

 Kathy B. Ashe was elected in 1991 and served for more than 21 years in the Georgia General Assembly House of Representatives. During this tenure, she served on the Education, Children and Youth, Higher Education, and Appropriations committees. She was the chair of the Fulton County House Delegation and active in the Women’s Caucus. Kathy graduated from Agnes Scott College. She then earned a masters degree in teaching from Emory University and did further graduate work at Georgia State University. She taught in Marietta and Cobb County public schools from 1969 to 1977.

In addition to several organization memberships and volunteer activities, Kathy currently serves on the boards of the Southeast Region of the Anti-Defamation League, Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, and Sheltering Arms. She is also a member of the Mayoral Service Board, Junior League of Atlanta Advisory Board, Georgia Justice Project Advisory Board, CHRIS Kids Advisory Board and Atlanta Speech School Board of Visitors. Kathy and her husband have been married since 1972. They have two grown children and four grandchildren.

Entrepreneur Scott Campbell has myriad business ventures – restaurants, a manufacturing company and a logistics company – to his name, but he also brings his business savvy and leadership to several civic and community organizations. This University of Georgia telecommunication management grad was a member of the Warrenton City Council and currently serves as a board member of the YMCA in metro Augusta, a board member of the Historic-Madison-Morgan Foundation and a member of the Madison, Morgan County Planning Commission. That said, his membership on the Ferst Board holds special significance for him. His son, who is now eight, was a Ferst reader and still has all of his Ferst books.

 New board member Ali Gant is the senior development officer for Atlanta’s Mercy Care Foundation – the fundraising arm of Mercy Care, a community resource providing access to comprehensive medical, behavioral health and dental services to more than 18,000 poor and homeless individuals each year. Prior to her work at Mercy Care, Ali held development and volunteer management roles at Westminster Schools, the University of Georgia, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. She holds a bachelors degree in English and a masters in public administration from the University of Georgia. In addition to her work with Ferst, Ali participates on the Murphy Candler Little League Women’s Auxiliary, is a member of the Junior League of Atlanta and is a member of the Kiwanis Club of Atlanta. She and her husband reside in Dunwoody with their twin sons.

 The son of a former schoolteacher and grandson of a schoolteacher and principal, Colin always has had a passion for writing, reading and education. He currently serves as the director of marketing and business development for Jackson Spalding, an integrated full-service marketing firm based in Atlanta. In his time there, he was also involved in forming Elevate U, an invitation-only, pro-bono development summit for nonprofits. He began his career as a staff photographer for Gray Communications, owner of several community newspapers. Colin earned a bachelor’s degree in newspaper journalism from the University of Georgia. He lives in Brookhaven with his wife, five-year-old daughter and, as he says, their scruffy mutt.

 To learn more about how you can support childhood literacy, enroll a child for free or adopt a reader, visit www.ferstfoundation.org

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