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Business Portfolio - Dec. 2, 2012

LAW

Chris Cohilas has been named as a partner in the Albany law firm of Watson Spence. His previous experience as chief assistant district attorney and his contributions to the firm over the past two years made him an excellent candidate for this position, officials with the firm said.

Cohilas graduated with a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Georgia and a juris doctorate from Georgia State University College of Law. He maintains an active practice with a concentration in matters of complex commercial and tort litigation. Additionally, Chris is active in the community, having previously served as president of the Artesian City Sertoma Club, on the executive board of the Lily Pad SANE Center, and as co-chair of the King Day Celebration Committee.

Watson Spence has been firmly rooted in the Albany community for more than 60 years. The firm provides a broad range of specialized legal services to large corporations, small businesses, individuals, professional associations, agribusinesses and health care providers.

EDUCATION

The Georgia Southwestern Foundation Inc. has named Reda K. Rowell its director of development at Clayton State University (CSU) in Morrow, as its executive director, effective Monday. Rowell succeeds Boyce E. “Stick” Miller.

“We are pleased to have Reda join the Foundation and the GSW family,” said Jimmy Skipper, chairman of the Foundation Board of Trustees. “She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in working with the Board of Regents, university administrators and staff, foundation members, students, and people interested in supporting a university like Georgia Southwestern with their time, talents, and resources. GSW is one of our community’s greatest success stories, and Reda will certainly help the Foundation, the University, and our community continue to build on that success.”

Rowell comes to the Foundation after spending the last 16 years in progressively responsible roles at Clayton State. Having begun as budget manager of CSU Continuing Education, Rowell moved into the Development and Alumni Affairs Office in 2001. Prior to that, she worked at Loggins and Associates, CP, a CPA firm in Jonesboro. Rowell is looking forward to her new role.

Rowell is an alumna of Clayton State, where she earned a bachelor of business administration in management and a master of arts in history. She and her husband, Kelly, have two adult children and one grandchild.

Dr. Kathaleena Edward Monds, professor of information systems in the Albany State University College of Business, was recently awarded an $11,000 grant by the Charles Koch Foundation for her project, “Using Information Systems to explore Economic Freedom: African-Americans and Free Enterprise.” The grant will engage a cross-disciplinary group of students in lectures and book discussions about economic freedom, private enterprise, and the free market through a book club. The works of Frederick Douglass, Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell will be examined to help students understand the history of African-Americans in a market economy.

The club, known as Sankofa (which means “to return, to go, to look, to seek”) creates an environment where undergraduate students at ASU will learn about economics from history and apply the information to future economic decisions.

The grant will pay program expenses which sstarts in the spring semester. Students will begin reading the books. Lectures and weekly book sessions are scheduled to take place in the fall semester (via webinars). Proceeds from the grant will also pay stipends to student leaders.

Monds, co-director of the Center for Economic Education/Small and Minority Entrepreneurship, has a bachelor of science degree in computer science from Spelman College, a master of science in computer science and a doctorate in instructional technology from Wayne State University.

FINANCE

Allison Godwin has been promoted to human resources manager by Southwest Georgia Farm Credit based in Bainbridge.

Godwin, who has been with the company since 1998, most recently served as assistant controller. In her new role, she will manage recruitment, retention and human resources policy matters. She also manages the Association’s internship program.

Godwin is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. She is a native of Bainbridge, where she resides with her husband, Jimbo, and their two children.

NON-PROFITS

Three Southwest Georgia women were among the Georgia leaders who were recently invited to Washington, D.C., for a White House Office of Public Engagement hosted roundtable conversation , “Working Together to Avoid the Fiscal Cliff.”

The conversation pulled together critical stakeholders from the federal, private, association, creative, and grassroots sectors. Nicki Wilson, Teresa Heard and Julie Hall of Easter Seals Southern Georgia were among the leaders who attended.