Meet The Foundation Staff

Michelle Prater, President & CEO | 770-535-7880 ext. 224

Michelle Prater joined NGCF as President and CEO in October 2015.  A native of Ohio, Michelle moved to Georgia in 1990.  She attended North Georgia College, now the University of North Georgia, where she received her Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing and Management.  She then received her MBA in leadership development from Brenau University. Michelle was a vice president in banking for over 10 years at Regions Bank then BB&T, where she won many sales and leadership awards.  After a mission trip to Uganda in 2005, she decided to leave corporate America and work in the non-profit sector. Her first non-profit role was the US finance manager for an international non-profit, LDI, Inc. She then worked in fundraising management for Map International and United Way of Forsyth County. Most recently she worked with United Way of Greater Atlanta, both in development and then leading the volunteerism department as Senior Director. 

Michelle enjoys traveling, especially participating on mission trips and recently visited Romania where she worked with children living in high poverty.  She also served as a mentor to a child from 1st grade through his graduation in 2013.


 Lisa  Warwick, Vice President, Finance | 770-535-7880 ext. 222

Lisa Warwick joined the NGCF staff in 2000 and currently serves as the vice president of finance. In this role she is responsible for the investment, budgeting and auditing processes of the Foundation as well as for managing the general ledger and distribution of the assets of the Foundation to grantees. Lisa came to the Foundation after working for several years managing the operations for several divisions of Wallace of Sheet Metal. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management and Marketing from North Georgia College, now the University of North Georgia.

Lisa serves on the staff parish relations committee and the youth council at Trinity United Methodist Church and volunteers at North Hall Middle School and Wauka Mountain Elementary School.


 Cheryl Vandiver, Director of Operations | 770-535-7880 ext. 221

Cheryl Vandiver joined the Community Foundation in 2008 and currently serves as director of operations where she oversees building management functions, coordinates Foundation events and provides support for the NGCF board and committees. Cheryl is a graduate of North Georgia College, now the University of North Georgia, with a bachelor's degree in business administration. She has also received planned giving and major donor certifications.

Prior to NGCF, Cheryl worked as a residential and commerical marketing representative with Atlanta Gas Light Company, a branch manager for Atlantic States Bank, and most recently as director of financial development and public affairs with the Northeast Georgia Chapter for the American Red Cross. Cheryl has been a Rotarian since 1995 currently serving as district awards chair and district secretary. She also serves on the Memorial Day Parade committee, co-chairs Green Street Christmas, and serves on the board for the Northeast Georgia History Center.


Margaux Dolenc, Foundation Associate | 770-535-7880 ext. 227

Margaux has worked in banking as an assistant vice president for over 17 years, with BB&T and most recently at Regions Bank.  During this time, she won many sales and top performance awards including the Sterling Performance Award.  She previously attended Gwinnett Technical College and BB&T University for management and business development courses.

She has been an active participant in her community, where she currently serves on the board of the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia. She also volunteers in an annual community Light House Project.

Because she wanted to make a better impact in her community, Margaux decided to move from banking to the nonprofit sector.  She looks forward to giving back and helping our communities grow through her role as Foundation Associate with the North Georgia Community Foundation.


 James E. Mathis, Jr., President Emeritus | 770-535-7880 ext. 223

Jim Mathis served as President/CEO of the North Georgia Community Foundation from 1998-2015 and will continue to serve as President Emeritus through December 2016. He served on the first board of the Community Foundation in 1985, and joined the staff after a 25-year career in banking. 

Jim graduated from Mercer University and has completed graduate work in banking, finance and management. An active member our community, Jim has been involved in numerous civic projects including serving as chairman of Gainesville-Hall '96, the local organizing group for the 1996 Rowing and Canoe/Kayak competition held on Lake Lanier. He is a founding board member of the Georgia Mountain Food Bank, a life trustee of Gainesville College, a trustee of Brenau Unviersity, a deacon at First Baptist Church, a member of the Rotary Club of Gainesville, and an Eagle Scout. Jim was named as both 'Young Man of the Year' by the Gainesville Jaycees and 'Man of the Year' by the Rotary Club of Gainesville and was honored by Brenau University with its Distinguished Citizen Award.




Impacting Communites in North Georgia & Beyond

The Community Foundation serves our 15 county North Georgia region and beyond, encouraging philanthrophy, supporting nonprofits and giving donors a way to improve the quality of life in our region for this and future generations.

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