Meet the Team

Thillen Education Foundation is privileged to work with an extraordinary group of volunteers who work tirelessly to make a difference in our student’s lives. Our volunteer Board of Directors drives day-to-day foundation operations and partnerships, establishes long-term financial strategy for donor fund investment and disburses earned financial assistance to students, and guides communications and fundraising to continue our efforts for years to come. Each member of our Board of Advisors offers specialized skill sets to provide balanced insight for our strategic initiatives and professional connections to open doors to future collaborations. Our Associates take on special marketing and communications projects to advance our corporate mission. Meet our talented team. 

Board of Advisors

Tania Dowdy
Tania Dowdy

Social Media Community Manager, Truist

David Duley
David Duley

Founder and CEO, PlanGap
Author, I Can Fix America

Jack Gavin
Jack Gavin

Chairman, GMS Inc.

Dave Hady
Dave Hady

President, Hady Media

Mark Kyles
Mark Kyles

Construction & Facility Manager

Tamika Miller
Tamika Miller

Ritz-Carlton Lake Oconee, Parent

Gregg Novek
Gregg Novek

Professor of Finance,
Seton Hall University

Greg Simmons
Greg Simmons

Graduation Coach, Greene College & Career Academy

Marcus Siwemuke
Marcus Siwemuke

Founder and CEO, Three to Five Publishing

Elaine Thillen

Co-Founder, Thillen Education Foundation

President, eKistics LLC

Associates

Web Development
Sam Alefsen
Sam Alefsen

Graduate of Emory University, Owner of SamJo Web Consulting, music audio engineer, trailblazer

Special Projects
Jayden Daniel
Jayden Daniels

Georgia Military Institute student, community volunteer, founder of the Easter Baskets for Foster Children projects in Greene, Putnam, Morgan, and Baldwin counties in Georgia, future Eagle Scout 

Marketing
Trent Dumon
Trent Dumon

University of South Carolina student scholar, campus community service leader, George Rogers Foundation and United Service Organization (USO) fundraiser, past member of Youth Men's Service League, athlete

Art Direction
Emilee Martin
Emilee Martin

Graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design, Owner of Emgraphx, adventurer 

Leadership Team

Founder and President
Dave Thillen
Dave Thillen

Creator of the Career Coaching Program, retired IBM marketing and management executive, instructor and gymnastics coach at West Point, U.S. Army veteran

Vice President
Chuck Rowland
Chuck Rowland

Retired international sales and internal auditing corporate executive, world traveler, avid runner 

Secretary
Marjorie Ellis
Marjorie Ellis

Greene College & Career Academy Coach and Parent Liaison, past higher education professional

Treasurer
Brian Dickens
Brian Dickens

Past Chief Financial Officer for two companies, Past Treasurer for three banks, coach to bank executives, and GCCA career coach

Community Partnerships
Rob Mitchell
Rob Mitchell

Past President of Reynolds Lake Oconee, Past Executive Director of Atlas Ministries, United States Olympic Athlete - Kayak and Canoe Team 

Communications Outreach
Michelle Valigursky
Michelle Valigursky

President - Amaxim LLC, Managing editor of Emory Business.com and Emory Business magazine at Goizueta Business School, book author, U.S. Chefs' Open winner

GCCA Partnership
John Ellenberg
John Ellenberg

Chief Executive Officer of the Greene College & Career Academy, Former principal of Newton County High School in Georgia, U.S. Army veteran

Chuck Rowland poses with a student
Dave Thillen poses with a family at graduation

Join Our Impact

Experience the rewards of playing a role in sending a hard-working teen to college, advancing their professional skills, and ensuring a guided, financially-assisted path to their future. 

Become a Partner

Activate your corporate mission by partnering with us to advance student opportunity through earned financial assistance and respectful diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

Two students in front of a class of 2024 poster
Two students with a Dave Dollar

Sign Up For Events

Nothing is more exciting than seeing our kids engaging with our volunteer life coaches. Join us for our next in-person event! 

Ways to
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Involved

Stay Informed

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Curious? Contact Us

We'd love to hear from you!

Education creates opportunity.

Career plans provide structure.

Coaching delivers inspiration.

Hard work guarantees success.

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© 2021 Thillen Education Foundation.

The Thillen Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization registered in the state of Georgia.

Registered Non-Profit Tax ID: #85-0600929

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