Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities Elects New Directors to Board

ATLANTA, March 16, 2016 – Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities (ARMHC) announces nine new members to its Board of Directors: Jeff Cashman, Linda Cole, Lynn Messer Hawkins, John Hurt, Clay Nalley, Muriel Powell, Sharlene Smith, Bob Ward and Craig Williams.

Cashman serves as Manhattan Associates’ senior vice president of business development. He joined Manhattan Associates in January 2005 from MAPICS (now Infor) which specializes in enterprise resource planning software solutions for manufacturing companies. Cashman started his career with Andersen Consulting (now Accenture), where he spent more than a decade in their global distribution/logistics software organization and supply chain strategy practices.

Cole, R.N. is Senior Vice President, Operations and Chief Nursing Officer at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. She began her career as a staff nurse at Children’s 30 years ago and has worked at all three campuses in multiple leadership roles. As the leader of operations for the 575-bed pediatric healthcare system, Cole leads innovative strategies to ensure the highest level quality and service are delivered to the more than 365,000 patients served annually at Children’s. As Chief Nursing Officer she is responsible for nursing care, interprofessional clinical care and nursing research for the system.

Hawkins is a daughter of the late Paul James Messer, Jr., founder of the two Atlanta Ronald McDonald Houses and Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities. She became a McDonald’s owner/operator in 2001 and was honored in 2010 as the first recipient of the University of Georgia’s Distinguished Alumni Award. The Messer Family has been with McDonald’s since 1970. Hawkins and her brother, Paul J. Messer, III, own and operate all of the family’s McDonald’s restaurants in Northeast Georgia’s Clarke, Gwinnett, Oconee and Barrow Counties.

Hurt is a McDonald’s Owner-Operator of 14 restaurants in Southeast Atlanta serving 5.7 million customers annually with 645 employees. Additionally, he is CEO & President of a Sleep Inn & Suites in West Georgia. Hurt is the former president of the Atlanta Black McDonald’s Owners Association, an Atlanta Business League member, board member of The Wheels of Dreams Youth Foundation and the Phoenix Pass Foundation, a former two-term president of the Greater Atlanta McDonald’s Operators Association, member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and board member of the Rockdale County Development Authority.

Nalley is dealer principle with SONS Automotive Group, which owns and operates six dealerships in the metro Atlanta area. He is part of the fourth generation of the Nalley family, who has built a successful legacy in the car industry. He learned the business working in various roles, departments and dealerships throughout The Nalley Companies. Nalley formed SONS Auto Group with his two brothers in 2006 in the years following the retirement of their father, C.V. “Jim” Nalley III.

Powell is a McDonald’s Owner-Operator with three restaurants in the Atlanta metro area. She is President of Golden Partners, LLC and began her career with McDonald’s 15 years ago. Prior to becoming an Owner-Operator, she worked for a global consumer products company in various finance, strategy and marketing and sales leadership roles. Powell is actively involved in several Community organizations and currently serves as President of the Wheels of Dream Foundation, which provides life skills training to local underserved high school students. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and Jack and Jill of America.

Smith is Vice President, General Manager of McDonald’s USA – Atlanta Region. She leads the development of vision, strategy, and tactics to grow market share and brand loyalty to drive a customer centric culture for over 800 restaurants, 80+ employees, 136 franchisee entities, and 60+ supplier partners. Smith oversees the regional capital budget, identifies specific real estate locations and addresses regulatory challenges to deliver a return on invested capital including the continuous development of new and existing restaurants. She also manages a regular cadence of strategic financial reporting and forecasting responsibilities.

Ward is Senior Vice President of Colliers International. His responsibilities include corporate services/tenant representation, strategy development, market research/identification, proposal solicitation, financial evaluation and modeling, deal negotiation, construction management supervision and operating expense audits. Ward is past president of the Young Council of Realtors and a former director of the Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors.

Williams is the President of The McDonald’s Division (TMD) Worldwide for The Coca-Cola Company. He leads a global organization that is responsible for building the strategic alliance with McDonald’s in over 35,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries. Prior to this, Williams was the Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Office for the McDonald’s Division of The Coca-Cola Company. Since joining the Company in 2005, Williams has held positions of increasing responsibility within the McDonald’s Division. In March 2009, Williams was appointed Vice President TMD US, responsible for revenue and profit and the strategic direction of all functional resources for the U.S. business.

About Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities:

Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities (ARMHC) is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization dedicated to nurturing the health and well-being of children and families. The two Atlanta Houses have provided a “home-away-from-home” to more than 46,000 families since the first Atlanta House opened in 1979.

At the Ronald McDonald House, families can enjoy many of the comforts of home, receive nutritious meals prepared and served by volunteers and obtain emotional support through contact with other families experiencing similar situations. No family is turned away if they cannot afford the small $20 requested contribution and many of these families stay at one of our Houses for weeks, and sometimes months, while their children receive medical treatment.

For more information about ARMHC, please visit or call (404) 315-1133.

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