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UNG announces new Business Advisory Council officers, members

By Staff
DAHLONEGA - The University of North Georgia's (UNG's) Mike Cottrell College of Business has announced new officers and members of its Business Advisory Council.

The council, which functions in an advisory capacity to the dean to help provide a strong link between the college and community, has chosen two new officers and added six new members to its ranks.

"I am grateful to look around and see such an excellent group of leaders," UNG President Bonita Jacobs said. "It's wonderful to think about how far we've come, knowing that this all began with the generosity and vision of Mike Cottrell. This council is moving UNG further into its elite status within business leadership."

Perry Barnett as the new chairman and Rope Roberts is the new vice chairman.

The new members, representing a wide range of business expertise and experience, are Ron Bracewell, Counte Cooley, Michael Higley, Mary Norman, Bob Willis, and Joe Wood.

Bracewell is managing partner of the accounting firm Bates, Carter & Co., LLP, in Gainesville, and has more than 30 years of experience in business advisory services. For more than a decade, he has served the Gainesville community in various roles, including as a former president of the North Hall Community Education Foundation.

Cooley is president and owner of Electronic Sales Co., which in 2006 was named "Small Business of the Year" by the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce. He is also president of Georgia Powder Coating, and served as president of Gainesville's Kiwanis Club. Cooley and his wife founded the For Her Glory foundation, which provides wigs for cancer patients.

Higley, a UNG alumnus, is managing director of U.S. International for FedEx Express; since 2007 he has been responsible for providing strategic direction and overseeing the company's import and export operations. Beginning as a FedEx courier in 1982, Higley's experience with the company has spanned multiple officer-level positions and several states and also a three-year stint in Santiago, Chile.

Norman is group director of Channel Planning and Development, within Commercial Leadership, for the FoodService and On-Premise Channel of Coca-Cola Refreshments. She has been with Coca-Cola for 14 years. She has also served in key positions with Wendy's International, The Gillette Co., and Stationary Products Group and is a part-time instructor in the Mike Cottrell College of Business.

The founding principal of Willis Investment Counsel, Willis also is chief executive officer and chief investment officer. He is a certified public accountant (CPA) and a chartered financial analyst (CFA). Willis is a member of the Georgia Society of CPAs, the CFA Institute, and the Atlanta Society of Financial Analysts, and is a former trustee and investment committee member of the State of Georgia Employee Pension Fund.

Wood has been president and chief executive officer of Turner, Wood & Smith Insurance Center of Gainesville since 1989; he previously served as vice president from 1980-89. He was vice chairman of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce from 1993-1996, chairman of the Gainesville Redevelopment Authority from 1993-1995, and director of the Gainesville Parks & Recreation Board from 1994-2007.
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