Executive Women’s Day presented by Hancock Askew & Co.
Executive Women’s Day is a fan favorite and full of excitement, engagement and energy. We’re thrilled to welcome Kimberly Ballard-Washington, our Keynote Speaker, and our 2022 panelists.
Executive Women’s Day is presented by Hancock Askew & Co.
Kimberly Ballard-Washington was appointed president of Savannah State University by the The Board of Regents May 13, 2021. She served as Savannah State’s interim president since July 1, 2019.
Ballard-Washington has practiced law for 20 years and most recently worked at the USG as associate vice chancellor for legal affairs and assistant secretary to the Board of Regents.
She previously served as an associate director for legal affairs at the University of Georgia and as assistant to the president for legal affairs and director of Equal Opportunity Programs at Valdosta State University. She also served as interim president at Fort Valley State University and then was tapped to lead Albany State University on an interim basis. She was previously named to Georgia Trend Magazine’s “Top 40 under 40” list.
Ballard-Washington is a native of Montezuma, Ga., and received a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Georgia. She earned her juris doctorate at Texas Southern University School of Law.
In 1976, Carolyn Hodges Bell distinguished herself by becoming the first African American female manager for the City of Savannah, Georgia. She served local government for 38 years before retiring in 2011. She is a native of Selma, NC and a product of the public school system, graduating in 1967 as Valedictorian. She received a BS in Mathematics from Shaw University, an MPA from the University of Georgia and a dual degree (MDiv and MACE) from Shaw University Divinity School. She completed post-graduate work at Harvard University Kennedy School of Government and at Georgetown University. Immediately after retirement she served on City Council from 2012 – 2019 as Alderman At Large and Mayor Pro Tem. She has taught several courses in the graduate program in Public Administration at Savannah State and is an Executive Leadership Coach , a consultant and a trainer specifying in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. She has served on numerous non-profit Boards and on the Ministerial staff of her church, Jonesville Baptist PAW.
Command Sergeant Major JennyAnne C. Bright entered the United States Army on September 9, 1997 from Columbia, Maryland. She attended Basic Combat Training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Lee, Virginia. CSM Bright began her military career as a 43M, Fabric Repair Specialist, which later became the military occupational specialty (MOS) 92S, Shower and Laundry Specialist.
CSM Bright served in the following duty positions and organizations: Fabric RepairSpecialist, 229th Field Service Company, Fort Polk, LA; Fabric Repair NCO and Squad Leader, 473rd Quartermaster Company, Camp Kyle, Republic of Korea; Section Chief, 16th Field Service Company, Fort Lee, VA; Instructor/Writer, Aerial Delivery and Field Services Department, Fort Lee, VA; Drill Sergeant, Company C, 262nd Quartermaster Battalion, Fort Lee, VA; Senior Shower, Laundry, and Clothing Repair NCO and Operations Sergeant, 18th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, Grafenwoehr, Germany; First Sergeant, 590th Quartermaster Company, 548th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, Fort Drum, NY; First Sergeant, Company T, 266th Quartermaster Battalion, Fort Lee, VA; 92S Course Manager and Department Sergeant Major, Aerial Delivery and Field Services Department, Fort Lee, VA; Operations Sergeant Major, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 23rd Quartermaster Brigade, Fort Lee, VA; Command Sergeant Major (interim) for the 244th Quartermaster Battalion, 23rd Quartermaster Brigade; Department Sergeant Major for the Logistics Training Department, Quartermaster School, Fort Lee, VA; Battalion Command Sergeant Major, Special Troops Battalion, 1st Armored Division Sustainment Brigade, Fort Bliss, TX. CSM Bright has deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom I and VIII and to Afghanistan in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. CSM JennyAnne C. Bright is now serving as the 21st Commandant, Fort Stewart Noncommissioned Officer Academy, Fort Stewart, Georgia.
CSM Bright is a graduate of all levels of the Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development System (NCOPDS), culminating with the Sergeants Major Course, Class 67, at the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy (USASMA). She is also a graduate of the Army Basic Instructor Course, Small Arms Instructor Trainer Course, Master Resiliency Trainer Course, Battle Staff Noncommissioned Officer Course, Drill Sergeant Course, First Sergeants Course, Senior Enlisted Joint Professional Military Education Course, Joint Logistics Course, and Battalion Pre-Command Course.
CSM Bright holds an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts from Saint Leo University and a Bachelors in Professional Business and Management from Excelsior College. CSM Bright’s awards and decorations include: The Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (5OLC); Army Commendation Medal (4OLC); Army Achievement Medal (2OLC); Good Conduct Medal (7th Award); National Defense Service Medal;
Afghanistan Campaign Medal; Iraqi Campaign Medal; Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (Numeral 5); Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Korean Defense Service Medal; North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Medal; Meritorious Unit Citation; Army Superior Unit Award and the Combat Action Badge. CSM Bright is also a member of the prestigious Sergeant Audie L. Murphy Club and a recipient of the Distinguished Order of Saint Martin.
Carol Coppola serves as Market Executive for Regions Bank in Savannah, Georgia, and the coastal communities of South Carolina, including Beaufort, Bluffton, Ridgeland and Hilton Head.
Coppola is part of a team of Regions financial professionals leveraging their local experience and market insights to expand Regions’ client base while also taking a strategic, proactive role in addressing needs affecting the broader community. Coppola also serves as Commercial Relationship Manager for Regions, helping to deliver financial resources and guidance to businesses and employers across the area.
Before joining Regions Bank in February 2019, Carol held various Commercial Banking positions for over 20 years. Her career has focused on supporting clients in the manufacturing, retail and service sectors, as well as government entities and nonprofit organizations.
A graduate of the University of Georgia, Coppola holds a Bachelor of Business Administration with concentrations in International Business and Finance. Active in the Savannah community, Coppola is a graduate of Leadership Savannah and Leadership Southeast Georgia. In addition, she serves in leadership and membership roles with several organizations including the Coastal Heritage Society, Coastal Empire Habitat for Humanity, the CFO Council of Savannah, Savannah Sunrise Rotary, the Savannah Propeller Club, and Junior Achievement.
Stacy Jennings is the director of communications for the Savannah Chatham County Public School System. After a 30-plus year career in media, Stacy left the newspaper business for the public sector. She led the marketing department at the Savannah Morning News after starting as an advertising account executive, then led the sales and marketing efforts for the Georgia Press Association until 2019, when she joined the Communications department at SCCPSS. Her responsibilities include communicating with the media, parents, business partners, staff and other stakeholders; managing the brand of the district; and developing communication strategies for the evolving education sector.
Stacy is a graduate of Tulane University and is the #1 Saints fan in Savannah, GA. Maybe the whole state of Georgia. She and her husband, Skip, live in Kensington Park where they raise chickens, tend a garden, and enjoy empty nesting. Their grown daughters, Nolan and Alex, live in Atlanta and Montana respectively.
Jodi is a Partner at Hancock Askew & Co., LLP and has over 35 years of public accounting experience. Jodi began her career in Chicago at Price Waterhouse after graduating from Indiana University, with highest distinction, with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. Jodi is the Assurance Practice Leader for Hancock Askew, ensuring quality control and technical guidance for the Firm. Jodi oversees assurance and advisory services for numerous public and private companies and manages the firm’s Employee Benefit Plan (EBP) Audit practice. Jodi specializes in audits, researching complex accounting and auditing issues, and SEC and financial reporting.
Jodi is deeply involved in the EBP community. She served on the Executive Committee of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) EBP Audit Quality Center, Jodi currently serves as a member of the AICPA’s Enforcement Committee, Chairing the Committee effective October 1, 2021, and is a conference speaker at AICPA events. Jodi holds two advanced AIPCA Certifications, Advanced Defined Contribution and Advanced Defined Pension Plans. Jodi was past Chair and committee member of the Georgia Society of CPAs EBP Conference. Jodi has presented at the Florida Mega Conference and the Massachusetts State Conference on EBP technical standards. She is a founding member and active participant of the BDO Alliance EBP community, a member of the Alliance Partners’ Advisory Council (APAC) and the Women’s Resource Group Leadership Team.
Jodi is a Past President and Past Vice-President of WIPs (Women in Pensions) (currently called Women in Pensions Network – WiPN) in Georgia. Jodi is a licensed CPA in GA, FL and MA. Jodi is on the Board of Directors and Co-Chair of the Finance Committee for Girls on the Run Atlanta.
As a resident of the Atlanta area for over 25 years, Jodi currently resides in Alpharetta with her husband. They are the proud parents of a son and twin daughters. Outside of work, Jodi spends most of her time with family activities and is a workout enthusiast.
Jamie oversees Contracts, Properties & Planning; Purchasing; Grants Administration; Risk Management; Navigation Programs; Governmental Affairs and legal matters for the Authority. He is also the GPA’s staff liaison for the Jasper Ocean Terminal Joint Venture with South Carolina.
McCurry previously served the Authority in successive roles as Manager of Legislative Affairs, General Manager of External Affairs, Assistant Director of Administration, Director of Administration, and Senior Director of Administration & Governmental Affairs.
Additionally, he enjoyed a successful tenure with Brasseler USA, a leading national supplier of dental and medical instrumentation, where he was a Senior Product Manager and National Sales Specialist. Following graduation from college, Jamie served on the Washington, DC staff of Congressman Jack Kingston.
Jamie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Furman University and a Master of Science degree in Transportation Management from the University of Denver. He is a graduate and past trustee of Leadership Georgia and a graduate of Leadership Savannah. Jamie and his wife Kendall live in Savannah with their three children.
Paul is a partner in the firm who maintains a federal and state court trial practice. He has tried more than 25 jury trials representing both plaintiffs and defendants in various types of cases including personal injury, products liability, timber conversion, livestock liability, criminal, business disputes, and law enforcement liability. He regularly represents individuals in serious personal injury and wrongful death cases. He has successfully handled dozens of appeals. Paul is the outside general counsel for the Georgia Ports Authority and the Savannah-Georgia Trade Center Authority through his appointment as a special assistant attorney general (SAAG).
Paul maintains the highest, preeminent AV® rating for legal ability and ethics from Martindale Hubbell, the most respected legal rating agency in the country. Paul has been consistently recognized by his peers and named a Super Lawyer® and he’s regularly named to Georgia Trend’s Legal Elite list. He is a fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America, an invitation-only trial lawyer honorary society, and he has been elected to the American Board of Trial Advocates. Paul is also an adjunct faculty member at the University of Georgia School of Law where he teaches a seminar class on representing state authorities.
Paul is admitted to practice before all state trial and appellate courts in Georgia, as well as the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Middle Districts of Georgia, and the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. Paul is the past chairman and a member of the Lawyer Advisory Committee for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia. He has chaired and spoken at numerous seminars for the Institute of Continuing Legal Education and the Georgia Municipal Association. He is a member of the State Bar of Georgia, where he serves on the Judicial Procedures Committee and as a member of the State Bar Disciplinary Review Panel. He is a member of the Savannah Bar Association, and a trustee of the Georgia Legal History Foundation.
In 2007, Paul was appointed Solicitor by the Governor to fill an unexpired term to be Solicitor-General of Toombs County. Paul served as the Solicitor addition to his private practice. He was re-elected to the position by the voters of Toombs County in 2008 and 2012.
Paul attended public schools in Vidalia and then attended the University of Georgia where he earned his ABJ, cum laude, in 1998. Paul earned his law degree from the University of Georgia School of Law in 2001. While at UGA, Paul was a member of Kappa Alpha Order and the Interfraternity Council (IFC), and was elected to membership in Blue Key.
In addition to his law practice, Paul is active in civic affairs. He is a board member of Xcel Strategies, a Savanah-based mentoring network for young men. He has served as a trustee of both the Southeastern Technical College Foundation and the Altama Museum of Art & History. He is also a past president of the Vidalia Kiwanis Club. Paul and his wife, Ansley, are 2009 graduates of Leadership Georgia. In 2011 they served as Program Chairs, and Paul served three years on the Leadership Georgia Board of Trustees.
Outside of his practice, Paul enjoys golf, hunting, fishing, reading and being outdoors and traveling with his wife, Ansley, and their three children.