Trustees & Staff

  • Trustees

    • Lyons Gray


      Lyons Gray formerly served as a commissioner on the North Carolina Utility Commission, Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Revenue, senior advisor to the President of the University of North Carolina system and chief financial officer for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Mr. Gray was also a six-term member of the North Carolina House of Representatives. He has served on the boards of the North Carolina Communities and Business Alliance, Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership and the North Carolina School of the Arts Foundation, among other groups. Mr. Gray attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

    • Bolling P. Spalding

      Vice Chair

      Bolling P. Spalding is the retired co-founder of Atlanta-based public relations and communications firm Jackson Spalding. He previously worked for Manning Selvage & Lee and Bank South Corporation, and was also a journalist for The Atlanta Journal. He is a trustee of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Home. Mr. Spalding holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Georgetown University, as well as a bachelor’s degree in journalism and master’s in business administration from the University of Georgia.

    • Herbert A. Claiborne III

      Herbert A. Claiborne III is Chief Legal Officer and Secretary of Carpenter Co. in Richmond, Virginia. He currently serves on the board of the Virginia Historical Society. Mr. Claiborne formerly chaired the board of governors of St. Catherine’s School and served on the board of the Medical College of Virginia Foundation. He is also a former director and president of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Foundation and a former member of the Advancement Council for the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing. Mr. Claiborne earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and his J.D. degree from the University of Richmond.

    • Charlotte Hudson

      Alternate Trustee

      Charlotte Hudson is the Project Director of the Lenfest Ocean Program, a scientific grant-making program based at The Pew Charitable Trusts, that funds research projects that address the needs of marine and coastal stakeholders and supports grantees to engage with the people most likely to use the results.  Hudson is the co-author of many papers on the role of science, philanthropy and policy in decision-making. She received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Davidson College and a master’s degree in environmental management from the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University.

  • Staff

    • Dahlia Bell Brown

      Program Officer

      Dahlia joined the Foundations’ staff in 2020. She previously served for six years the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS), most recently as the Deputy Division Director of Strategy, Innovation and Engagement. Prior to DFCS, she led the Family Violence Division at the Georgia Governor’s Office for Children and Families and spent several years doing frontline social work in the nonprofit sector. Dahlia received a B.A. degree in psychology and a correlate sequence in Africana Studies from Vassar College, and earned an M.P.H. degree from Morehouse School of Medicine.

    • Carrie Davis Conway

      Senior Program Officer

      Carrie joined the Foundations’ staff in 2014. She previously served as Executive Director of the Southeast Region for CARE USA, and has 10 years of experience working in development in the higher education sector. Carrie graduated magna cum laude from Duke University with a B.A. degree in history and received an M.A. degree from St. John’s College.

    • Stephanie Gaines

      Executive Assistant to the President

      Stephanie joined the Foundations’ staff in 2020. She previously served as Executive Assistant and Office Manager of the Grady Health Foundation, and has over 30 years of experience working in administration at SunTrust Banks. Stephanie earned her Associate of Applied Science degree from Clayton State University.

    • P. Russell Hardin


      Russ joined the Foundations’ staff as Secretary in 1988, became Treasurer in 1989, Vice President in 1994 and President in 2006. Prior to joining the Foundations, Russ practiced law with King & Spalding and was associated with the Robinson-Humphrey Company. He currently serves as a trustee of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company and as a director of Genuine Parts Company and Rollins, Inc. Russ also serves as a director on the Truist Atlanta Advisory Council and The Commerce Club in Atlanta. He is a former board chair of Candid and Philanthropy Southeast. Russ received his B.A. degree with high distinction from the University of Virginia in 1979, and his J.D. degree with honors from Duke University School of Law in 1982.

    • Erik Johnson

      Secretary and Vice President

      Erik joined the Foundations’ staff in 2006. He was elected Treasurer in 2014 and Vice President in 2021. He previously served as a law clerk to Chief Judge J.L. Edmondson on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Erik is the former chairman of the Georgia Grantmakers Alliance. He earned his B.A. degree from Emory University in 1998 and his J.D. degree with high honors from the University of Georgia’s School of Law in 2005.

    • Jenny Zhang Morgan

      Grants Officer

      Jenny joined the Foundations’ staff in 2013. She previously worked as an account executive at the marketing communications firm Jackson Spalding. Jenny serves on the President’s Advisory Council for PEAK Grantmaking and is a 2022-23 Education Policy Fellow. She graduated summa cum laude from the Georgia Institute of Technology with B.S. degrees in psychology and communications.

    • Eli Niepoky


      Eli joined the Foundation’s staff in 2021. She previously served as Chief Investment Officer (CIO) of Berman Capital Advisors and as CIO and Principal of Diversified Trust Company. Eli started her investment career at Delta Air Lines’ pension fund. She is board chair of the Employees’ Retirement System of Georgia and serves on its investment committee.  She received her B.A. degree in economics from Wake Forest University and her M.B.A. degree from Georgia State University. Eli is a CFA Charterholder and a member of the CFA Society Atlanta, where she previously served as president and board member.

    • Emily Patteson

      Grants Program Administrator

      Emily joined the Foundations’ staff in 2019. She previously worked as a client and grants manager with the SunTrust Bank Foundations and Endowments Specialty Practice. Emily graduated cum laude from Vanderbilt University with B.A. degrees in economics and Spanish.

    • Litzy Perez


      Litzy joined the Foundations’ staff in 2023. She previously worked as a legal assistant at Githieya Law and is a recipient of the U.S. Department of State’s Critical Language Scholarship. Litzy graduated summa cum laude from the Georgia State University Honors College with a B.S. degree in criminal justice and a minor in Chinese language and culture.

    • Lizzy Smith

      Grants Program Director

      Lizzy joined the Foundations’ staff as Grants Officer in 2005 and became Grants Program Director in 2011. She previously worked for the fundraising consulting firm of Coxe Curry & Associates for more than seven years, and also served as Director of Special Events for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in Raleigh, NC. Lizzy serves on the steering committee for the Georgia Grantmakers Alliance. She is a former trustee of Philanthropy Southeast and the past chair of Candid’s Atlanta Advisory Board. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. degree in economics.

    • Sarah Tablan


      Sarah joined the Foundations’ staff in 2007. She previously worked in public accounting with Smith & Howard, P.C., and ran her own accounting and tax practice for six years. Sarah graduated summa cum laude with a B.B.A in accounting and received her master’s in taxation from Georgia State University’s Robinson College of Business. She is a certified public accountant.

    • Katrina Voegtlin

      Assistant Controller

      Katrina joined the Foundations’ staff in 2017. She previously served as Vice President of Corporate Accounting at Quadrant Real Estate Advisors and as Tax Manager at Windham Brannon. Katrina earned her master’s degree in taxation from Georgia State University and a B.A. degree in French literature from Emory University. She currently serves as trustee of the Georgia United Methodist Foundation. She is a certified public accountant and member of the AICPA.

    • Tammy Walton


      Tammy joined the Foundations’ staff in 2008. She previously worked as an equipment supply coordinator at Coca-Cola Enterprises and as an HR assistant at Emory Healthcare. Tammy earned her B.A. degree in business administration from Talladega College in 1993, and her M.A. degree in Marriage and Family Therapy Counseling from Argosy University in 2016.