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NGCF Welcomes Four New Board Members Joining in 2021

Gainesville, GA – At it’s February board meeting, the North Georgia Community Foundation welcomed four new board members to its Board of Directors, which guides and oversees the strategic direction and operations of the organization.

“The North Georgia Community Foundation is proud to welcome these outstanding community leaders to the board, says Rob Fowler, outgoing NGCF board chair and partner and CEO at Turner Wood & Smith Insurance. “Each of them was selected for their expertise and dedication to the community and make great additions to a board filled with individuals all working to support and strengthen our community.”

Joining the board for their first three-year term are Christina Jones,financial planner at Windsor Wealth Planners & Strategists, Steven Mickens, CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Lanier, Lydia Sartain,attorney with Lydia J. Sartain, P.C., and Tom Johnston, senior vice president and wealth management advisor at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management.

Christina Jones, CFP®, is a member of the Windsor Wealth Planners & Strategists Group where she helps families maximize their investments and savings allowing them to achieve their financial goals. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Piedmont College and is a graduate of Leadership Hall County. Jones currently serves as the board chair for the Arts Council of Gainesville Hall County as well as for Womensource. She is treasurer for the Rotary Club of Gainesville and is a founding member of the Women’s Professional Advisory Council of Northeast Georgia.

Steven Mickens is the Chief Executive Officer of the Boys & Girls Club of Lanier. Mickens serves on the National Board for the Training & Professional Development with Boys & Girls Clubs of America and most recently served as the chairman for Boys & Girls Clubs of America State of Georgia Youth of the Year Event. He has experience and training in the Positive Career Culture philosophy which focuses on empowering youth to take ownership of their lives. Steven has been named Executive of the Year for the Southeast Region for Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Professional of the Year by Boys & Girls Club of America, and has received the Robert M. Sykes Award for Professional Excellence through Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

Lydia Sartain specializes in family law and mediation. After more than 35 years in the industry, she opened her own law practice, Lydia J. Sartain, PC, in 2019. Prior to opening her practice, Sartainwas a partner at Stewart, Melvin & Frost for more than 20 years. She also served as district attorney of the Georgia Northeastern Judicial Circuit for nine years and was the director of Georgia’s Children and Youth Coordinating Council under the leadership of Zell Miller. Sartain is a founding member and past board chair of Gainesville’s Edmondson-Telford Center for Children. She has served in the elected position of solicitor for the State Court of Hall County, was a past president of the Northeastern Bar Association, and has been recognized as one of Georgia’s top trial lawyers.

Tom Johnston, CFP®, is senior vice president and wealth management advisor at Merrill Lynch in Gainesville.. Johnston was awarded the Forbes “Best-in-State Wealth Advisors” in 2019 and 2020. He holds a degree in business administration from Furman University and has completed the Wealth Management Practice: High Network Investment Program through the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. THe has served on numerous non-profit boards in Hall County, is a deacon at Lakewood Baptist Church, and was a member of the Gainesville Rotary Club for more than20 years.

For a full list of officers and board of directors, visit

About the North Georgia Community Foundation
Founded in 1985 by Lou Fockele and other business leaders, the North Georgia Community Foundation supports nonprofit organizations and donors by building, distributing and preserving philanthropic assets. The Community Foundation serves Banks, Dawson, Fannin, Forsyth, Franklin, Habersham, Hall, Hart, Jackson, Lumpkin, Rabun, Stephens, Towns, Union and White counties. To learn more, visit or call (770) 535-7880.

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