The four newest members of the Brenau University Board of Trustees are three alumnae and a physician and avid art collector from New Jersey.
Melissa Currin Heard, The Women’s College class of 1992; Melissa Cannady Howard, The Women’s College class of 1997; Mary Kathryn Wells-Winsett, The Women’s College class of 2000; and Dr. Michael Stubblefield, National Medical Director for Cancer Rehabilitation for Select Medical in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, began their three-year terms in March.
“With the addition of these four new trustees, Brenau continues its 143-year tradition of being guided by a board of trustees who understand the value of higher education and the dynamics that drive the institution,” said Board of Trustees Chair Mike Smith. “Our newest trustees also help fulfill one of the board’s goals of increasing diversity among us both in terms of ethnicity, professional experience and personal passion.”
Heard is the president and owner of Success Consulting & Mediation Inc., where she has been for 20 years. In addition to her own company, Heard has worked with the Justice Center of Atlanta. She was awarded the 2019 Chief Justice Harold G. Clarke Award, given by the Georgia Supreme Court Commission on Dispute Resolution and the Dispute Resolution Section of the State Bar of Georgia. The award was in recognition of her contributions to the field of alternative dispute resolution in Georgia. It also marked the first time the award was given to a non-attorney.
Heard studied broadcasting and marketing while attending Brenau and went on to earn her master’s in social work from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Howard is assistant general counsel for WarnerMedia in Atlanta, Georgia, where she has worked for more than 15 years. WarnerMedia, formerly known as Turner Broadcasting System Inc., is owned by AT&T and owns networks including Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, TBS, TNT, HBO and HBO Max. In her role, Howard negotiates program acquisition and co-production agreements for WarnerMedia’s kids and family networks and provides legal support for the on-air/creative groups for Cartoon Network and Adult Swim. Prior to her time with WarnerMedia, Howard worked as an associate with King & Spalding law firm in Atlanta.
She earned her bachelor’s in biology at Brenau and graduated from Georgia State University College of Law with a Juris Doctor in 2000. Howard has been actively involved with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s volunteer Friends organization for many years, including serving as president of the Friends Board and chairing numerous fundraising events. She also has led several volunteer projects and committees at Christ the King School, where her sons attend school.
Wells-Winsett is the chief creative officer at The Wells Agency, a marketing company she founded in 2017. The Wells Agency provides innovative solutions to companies looking to launch, engage with customers and grow their business through branding, marketing and community relations.
Wells-Winsett began her marketing career in 2003 with Turnberry Associates as the Director of Marketing at Destin Commons, a lifestyle center in Destin, Florida. Five years later, she was promoted to director of marketing for Town Square Las Vegas, a 2.5 million-square-foot outdoor lifestyle center located on the Las Vegas Strip. She moved back to her hometown of Atlanta in 2013 and served as the director of marketing for The Shops Buckhead, where she worked closely with luxury and boutique retail brands across the globe. In 2015, Wells-Winsett was honored to be profiled as a Top Entrepreneur Under 40 by The Atlantan Magazine.
In 2018 and 2019, Wells-Winsett co-chaired the Wine Women & Shoes charity event that raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Northside Hospital Foundation. She has also sat on the board of the Woodruff Arts Center Corporate Campaign and served two terms as president of The Success Lounge’s women’s entrepreneur group in Atlanta. Wells-Winsett graduated from Brenau with a degree in musical theatre.
In addition to his position at Select Medical, Stubblefield serves as the director of cancer rehabilitation at the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in West Orange, New Jersey, and professor of rehabilitation at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. He is triple board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation, internal medicine and electrodiagnostic medicine. Stubblefield has authored numerous articles and book chapters on cancer rehabilitation and is the editor of “Cancer Rehabilitation: Principles and Practice,” the only comprehensive textbook on the topic.
Outside his medical career, Stubblefield is a professional nature photographer and writer, as well as an avid art collector and birder. He has won several awards for his photography and writing, and his natural history images and articles have appeared in hundreds of publications. Stubblefield has shown some of his art collection virtually with the Brenau community and has been instrumental in helping to grow Brenau’s Permanent Art Collection, as he and his wife, Elyn, provided funding for the purchase of numerous botanical prints.
Stubblefield graduated from Brown University with degrees in biology and philosophy. He received his medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City.
“A true mark of the caliber of a university is the board members whom it recruits and retains,” said Brenau University President Anne Skleder. “This is a wonderful class of new trustees, and their experiences and insights will prove to be most beneficial as they help shape our new strategic plan that will provide a roadmap for our years ahead. Brenau is most fortunate to attract trustees of their distinction, and I look forward to working with them.”