Chad has been a resident of Dawson County for all his life. He is a graduate from North Georgia College with a degree in Computer Science. He and his wife, Amy, have been married for 18 years and they have a 14 year old son, Lucas. He has been employed at Geek Squad for 9 years and works throughout the year with the Geek Squad Academy program, running STEM camps with at-risk teens in 13 states. This program provided the passion he found to help mentor at-risk teens. He had the opportunity to spend time at the Clubhouse, and was able to attend a few events with the teens and fell in love with the program. Chad is NxTG's newest board member, having joined in 2020.
Dr. Lauren C. Johnson is an Associate Professor and the Coordinator of Diversity and Recruitment Initiatives in the College of Education at the University of North Georgia. She is currently serving as Interim Department Head for Culture, Language, and Leadership in the College of Education. She received her MA in TESOL from Teachers College of Columbia University and PhD in Applied Anthropology from the University of South Florida. Dr. Johnson has taught at the K-12 and university levels in the United States, Venezuela, and China. She conducts research in the areas of cultural studies, applied anthropology, and the anthropology of education on issues of ethnicity and inequality, immigration, and diversity pedagogy. She has published peer-reviewed articles and has presented at numerous academic conferences on the topics of diversity in the field of anthropology, social justice education, and social inequality in the Unites States, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
Niki serves as the Family Services Coordinator/Homeless Liaison/Foster Care Point of Contact for Dawson County Schools. This is her 5th year with Dawson County Schools. Before coming to Dawson County Schools, I worked for Dawson County Planning and Development, and I have worked over 20 years in local/state/federal law enforcement. She is a graduate of North Georgia College with a BS in Criminal Justice. She lives in Dawson County and is a mother of2 boys (13 & 8) who are living their best lives.
Gaye has been a resident of Dawson County for over 25 years and has been employed by Dawson County Board of Education for the past 15 years. She has a strong ties and commitment to the community as seen by her volunteer experience which includes: service as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), youth mentor with Next Generation Youth Development, and PTA President & Secretary/Treasurer for Dawson County Middle School and Riverview Middle School. Ms. Palmer has served as a Board member for the Dawson County Library and Family Connection. Previous employment includes community organizations such as Ric-Rac and Dawson County Parks and Recreation. She is Next Generation’s longest standing board member, having joined in 2002.
Donna is responsible for NGN Carrier Sales, Sales Engineering, Technical Support and Business Development and is critical to the development and management of new product solutions. In addition, she serves as E-Rate Specialist for NGN and its Members. Prior to joining NGN, she served as Corporate Development Specialist for Habersham EMC. In this position, she oversaw the cooperative’s management coaching, process management, and continuous improvement efforts.
Donna has over 25 years of experience in project and process management. She is a certified Lean Systems and Six Sigma Green Belt, and is currently working on her Black Belt. She also has extensive experience with event planning, a skillset that she puts to good use as Event Director for the Fiber Network Owners Alliance (FNA). Her passion for hosting events is critical for both NGN and the FNA group. Under her leadership, the Annual FNA Conference, year after year, has been a success for both FNA Members and vendors.