ACCG Civic Affairs Foundation - Board of Directors
James P. Monacell, President
is a Partner in the Corporate and Bond Practice of Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP. Mr. Monacell heads the firm’s Bond and Public Law Practice. His practice includes assistance of for-profit and nonprofit enterprises locating or expanding projects with tax-exempt and taxable financing, tax abatement and other governmental incentives. Mr. Monacell’s practice is concentrated in the areas of bonds, public law, public finance and project finance. Mr. Monacell has participated in several billion dollars in tax-exempt financings, including general obligations, revenue bonds, SPLOST borrowings, contract-backed and tax-backed obligations, tax anticipation notes, leasing, certificates of participation, Section 501(c)(3) bonds and private activity bonds, most frequently as bond counsel. Projects financed include the High Museum of Art, the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Atlanta Public Safety Headquarters, Zoo Atlanta, Scottish Rite Medical Center, Upson and Tift Regional Medical Centers, the Medical Partnership at the University of Georgia and student housing at Georgia State University and Spelman College.
Samuel F. Hart, Sr., Vice President
has had a distinguished public service career with Bibb County government. He served for five years chairman of the Bibb County Board of Commissioners and, prior to election as chairman, served an additional ten years as a district commissioner. He is recognized for his role in reshaping county operations, implementing constituent feedback processes, spearheading efforts to increase transparency in government, overseeing the construction of major facilities including the Bibb County Justice Center and supporting the work of other government and civic organizations working to improve the community. Under his leadership, Bibb County also launched the Georgia Civic Awareness Program for Students (GCAPS) program, an initiative developed by the Civic Affairs Foundation to foster greater awareness of county government programs and services in high school youth.
While an elected county official, Mr. Hart was very active with ACCG. He was elected by his peers to serve in various leadership roles including the position of ACCG 2nd Vice President. He is the 2013 recipient of ACCG’s Emory Greene Leadership Award, the highest recognition a county commissioner can receive from his peers.
Dave Wills, Secretary-Treasurer
is the executive director of ACCG, Georgia’s County Association. ACCG works on behalf of Georgia’s county officials and their communities, with a focus on public policy and advocacy, leadership development, civic and community engagement and cost-efficient programs such as insurance and retirement. Mr. Wills is well known and respected among Georgia’s county officials. He joined ACCG in 2009 as the association’s government relations manager, putting his experience as a county official to work helping counties with technical and professional assistance on a wide range of issues. Wills served for 14 years on the Webster County Commission, including 12 years as chairman. In this capacity, he also served on the ACCG Board of Managers, Lower Chattahoochee Soil and Water Conservation District, the Middle Flint Regional Development Center Board of Directors and the Middle Flint E-911 Authority Board of Directors, among others. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Georgia Southwestern University and a Master’s in Public Administration from Valdosta State University.
is currently the president of M L. Berg & Associates. He serves as chief finance officer of Marketing Incentives, assistant governor of Rotary Club District 6910, and chairman of the Foothills Community Bank Board of Directors. Mr. Berg also serves on the Coosa- North Georgia State Water Planning Council and as vice chair of Keep Dawson County Beautiful. He is the former chairman of Dawson County having served as the 2013-2014 president of ACCG. Other previous statewide leadership roles include chairman of the state Public Defender Council, Council of Chief Elected Officials, and executive board member of the Georgia Mountain Regional Commission, in addition to many others. Mr. Berg is a graduate of Georgia State University, the Georgia Academy of Economic Development, the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership, and the Regional Leadership Institute. He is the 2015 recipient of the ACCG Emory Greene Leadership Award, the highest recognition a county commissioner can receive from his peers.
Roger C. Byrd
is an associate professor of social sciences and director of prison programs at Brewton-Parker College and an adjunct professor of political science at East Georgia State College. Before his education career, Mr. Byrd served in the Georgia General Assembly for 22 years where he chaired the House Human Relations & Aging and Intra-governmental Coordination committees. Byrd was the sponsor of the House intern program for 15 years and chair of the Youth in Government Committee for the State YMCA Youth Assembly for 12 years. After serving in the General Assembly as a State House member, he was elected as House Messenger and served as Chief of Staff for the Speaker of the House. His recent research projects include “When the Devil Turned Around; Lessons from the 1977 Georgia State Prison Riot” and “A Short Route to Chaos; Lessons of Leadership from the Civil Rights Movement”. Byrd is also the author of the book, “Sisyphus No More: The Case for Prison Education”.
William "Bill" Cheeks
is a native of Woodruff, SC, and a graduate of Johnson C. Smith University. He is an alumnus of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University where he received a Master’s in Human Resources. Mr. Cheeks has served in various roles in the following organizations: Atlanta Private Industry Council; American Collectors Association; State YMCA; Georgia Council on Economic Education; Communities in Schools of Cobb County; Chair of Board-Cobb County Workforce Investment Board; Youth Council Chair-Cobb County Workforce Investment; Blue Ribbon Committee for Cobb County School System and Board Advisor - Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. He is an active board member in the following organizations: Boys and Girls Club, Cobb County; Cobb County United Way; BUY Inc.; Southeast Board—Operation Hope; Advisory Board Member- Purchasing Power; Member-Experian Consumer Council and Advisory Board Member-eCredable.
Mr. Cheeks is currently president of ABBA Associates Inc. – a Powder Springs, GA, based fiscal management consultant firm that provides counseling and conducts seminars nationwide to help consumers map a successful Life Plan. He is a consultant to the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy and, in that capacity, serves as regional director of southeastern states – assisting and advising Jump$tart state coalitions in the region.
is a former Glynn County Commissioner having served as county chairman. He also served as chairman of the Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water & Sewer Commission and was an active member of ACCG as he served on the Policy Council and the New Commissioner Training Committee. A 40-year resident of Georgia, Mr. Provenzano is a graduate of McEachern High School in Cobb County. He is also a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology where he received a degree in industrial management. Mr. Provenzano entered the hospitality industry upon graduation where he held executive management positions with Six Flags and Marriott Hotels in Georgia, Texas, and Florida. He was a regional vice president with the Georgia Hospitality and Travel Association and served on its board of directors for many years. At the height of his career with Scott Hudgens Company, Provenzano the entrepreneur owned and operated two hotels and three restaurants. He serves on the boards of the Boys and Girls Club, the United Way, and his church, among others.
Helen Lynah Stone
is a native of Savannah Georgia and holds a bachelor of science degree in education from the University of Georgia. Since 2004, Ms. Stone has served as a member of the Chatham County Board of Commissioners. Previously, she taught middle school math and worked as a public affairs and public relations representative for the Patrick Media Group. Ms. Stone has taken many active leadership roles in her county by serving on and chairing the Savannah Metropolitan Planning Commission and the Savannah Zoning Board of Appeals. Ms. Stone has additionally served as a member of the Chatham Area Transit Board, the Board of Directors for the Curtis. V. Cooper Primary Care Facility, and the Peace Officers Board for the Savannah Technical College. Ms. Stone has also served in leadership roles on a statewide basis as a member of the Governor’s E-9-1-1 Council and through ACCG leadership roles as a member of the Board of Managers from 2008-2012 and as the Chairman of the Health Steering Committee’s Sub-Committee on Behavioral Health. Ms. Stone has been recognized for her service by the Savannah Junior League as the Sustainer of the Year in 2005, as the 2018 Board Member of the Year by the CVC Georgia Community Health Centers, and recently received the 2019 Recognition Award from the National Association of County Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities Directors.
is a native of Paulding County and is currently serving his second term as Chairman of the Gilmer County Board of Commissioners. Mr. Paris graduated with honors from Kennesaw State University (KSU) with an associate degree in science and continued his education by taking business management and computer classes at KSU and Oglethorpe University. During his career, Mr. Paris worked as a senior engineer for Southern Bell, as a member of the technical staff for AT&T, and as a consultant specializing in Unix/Linux server administration, disaster recovery, and data center administration. Mr. Paris has been married to his wife, Barbara, for 40 years and has four children and four grandchildren.