Meet our Board
Directors & Advisors
Board of Directors:
Chair: John Silvey Zaxby’s Franchisee
John is the Co-Owner of two Zaxby's locations in Marietta. John is married with a family of four children. During his marriage, John and his wife, Beth, became foster parents, where they adopted their twin girls. John is the Past President of the Cobb County Foster Adoptive Parent Association. John also sits on the Advisory Board for the Junior League of Cobb-Marietta, is the Business Committee Chair for the Marietta High School Career Pathways Academy and is on the Education Committee for the Marietta Business Association.
John and his business are very active in the community. For the past two years, John's Zaxby's locations have managed to raise and donate $8,000 to the R.E.A.C.H. program, which gives a deserving 8th grader in Marietta City Schools a scholarship that follows them through high school and is matched by certain colleges and universities. Both of John's locations are Partners in Education with six schools in their areas. John is very passionate about helping and supporting the children in his community.
Chair Elect : Mark Mathews Henssler Financial
Mark Mathews serves as the Business Development Director at Henssler Financial. As Business Development Director, Mr. Mathews focuses on identifying and strategically assessing opportunities to create long-term value for the firm. He works closely with firm managers to engage new clients, improve business relationships and ensure existing clients stay satisfied by developing services that meet or predict Henssler clients’ future needs. Prior to joining Henssler, Mr. Mathews served as Mayor for the City of Kennesaw from 2008 through 2015. As Mayor, he presided over all City Council meetings and executed contracts, deeds and other official documents as authorized by the City Council.
Treasurer: Tanya Yarbrough Synovus Bank
Tanya is with Synovus Bank in Kennesaw. She has a passion for serving our community and connects with the mission statement of My Next Big Adventure, Inc. We are delighted to have her serve on our team.
Secretary: Katara Nix Synovus Bank
My name is Katara Nix and I am a Vice President for Synovus Bank at the Marietta Square location. I am accountable for the overall branch success, including branch profitability, sales, customer service and support, and team development. I am actively involved in business development efforts, primarily in small business lending, deposit acquisition, and customer retention. I am passionate about strengthening the community as a market leader.
Because of this passion, I am grateful and excited to be a part of the My Next Big Adventure. Our youth are faced with many big issues that provoke fear and anxiety, depending on their circumstances. We need to Educate, Encourage, and Empower our youth through positive peer-pressure and reinforcement of positive life skills. Their actions of today will mold their actions of tomorrow.
Executive Director: Julie Michaels
My passion is to serve the community as I serve in the role of the Executive Director for My Next Big Adventure, Inc. I am delighted to begin this journey. My Next Big Adventure’s mission is to build up our youth by educating, encouraging, and empowering them with peer to peer mentoring. Our program is unique, as we developed curriculum and resources available for peer to peer mentoring at our meetings. We want to encourage our students to make a difference by building their self-esteem, developing leadership skills, creating positive friendships, making healthy life choices, and finding the value of giving back to our community. This will have a tremendous impact on the people they become through high school and beyond. Ultimately, this program will help to develop students to become positive leaders that will influence each other and our community.
Dr. Jack Llewellyn
A world-renowned sports psychology consultant, speaker and corporate coach, Dr. Jack Llewellyn is founder and president of the Atlanta-based Center for Winning Performance. Dr. Llewellyn helps clients use the same approach and strategies used by world famous athletes to properly assess their abilities, correctly focus on the right processes to reach goals, thrive on stress, and recover quickly from adversity in order to become top performers.
A sports psychology consultant for more than 30 years, Dr. Llewellyn began to receive national recognition when he was credited with turning around Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz’s career in 1991. He continued to work with the Braves during their record 14 consecutive National League Division titles and 1995 World Series Win.
He has authored 8 books and in his spare time supports the program that My Next Big Adventure will provide students in his community.
Major Jake King, Marietta Police Department
Jake King is a Lieutenant with the Marietta Police Department. During his tenure there, his assignments have included Uniform Patrol, Community Outreach Unit, Honor Guard for 10 years, Public Information Officer, Detective in Investigative Services assigned to the Homicide Team, Uniform Patrol Sergeant, and Training Sergeant. He is currently the Lieutenant over the Community Response Unit and is in his 16th year on the SWAT Unit.
Jake earned his graduate degree of Public Safety Management from Columbus State University. He has his General Instructor certification and many other instructor certifications to include; Firearms Instructor, Use of Force Instructor, Taser Instructor, Active Shooter Instructor, and Pepper Spray Instructor.
He received the Marietta Police Department’s Medal of Meritorious Service in 2002 for saving a man’s life; which is one of the most distinguished awards given by the department.
Dr. Dayton Hibbs, Principal of Marietta Middle School
Spanning almost two decades in public education, Dr. Dayton Hibbs has served in a variety of capacities ranging from teacher to administrative positions at the elementary, middle, high school and district levels. After starting his career in South Florida, he joined Marietta City Schools in 2005 as an assistant principal at Marietta High School. In 2006, Hibbs became Principal of Marietta Center for Advanced Academics (MCAA). After two years at MCAA, he was named Principal at Marietta Sixth Grade Academy (MSGA) where he successfully served for 3 years. He then served for one year as Assistant Superintendent for Operations, Technology, and Assessment before being named Associate Superintendent in 2012. In 2017, Dr. Hibbs was named the Principal of Marietta Middle School and K12 Academic Transformation Officer.
A graduate of Seton Hall University, Hibbs earned a Doctorate in Education at that institution. He also holds a Master of Science in Educational Technology from Nova Southeastern University, and he completed a certificate program in Educational Leadership and Supervision with an Emphasis in Curriculum Development at Florida Atlantic University where he initially earned his Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education.
Dr. Hibbs is passionate about providing students with quality mentors and as such, works closely with mentoring organizations such as My Next Big Adventure.
Dr. Andrea Francis, Marietta Middle School
Dr. Andrea Francis is a Marietta Middle School counselor, who has worked with Marietta City Schools for over 17 years. Her career in counseling spans over 25 years working with children, adolescents and their families. A licensed therapist and counseling psychologist; Dr. Francis earned a Master of Arts and Master of Education from Columbia University. Her doctoral studies at Walden University focused on interventions that foster resilience and efficacy in children and young people faced with adversity. Dr. Francis is excited to be a part of the My Next Big Adventure program. This wonderful initiative will provide young leaders strategies to achieve fulfilling lives.
Dr. Francis uses positive psychology, narrative therapy, and cognitive behavior therapy in her work with young people. Her current research interests are in adolescent identity states, especially the influence of online fantasy play and fan fiction. Dr. Francis also holds a degree in English Literature, writes poetry, collects children stories and slave narratives. She lives with her family in Georgia, where she conducts workshops for practitioners in the field and has her private practice.
Marie Morgan, Marietta Middle School
Mrs. Morgan began working at Marietta Middle School in July 2016. She is one of the school counselors for both 7th and 8th-grade students. This is Mrs. Morgan’s 22nd year as a school counselor. Previously she was the Guidance Director/High School Counselor at Oscar Smith High School in Chesapeake, VA for 14 years. She graduated with a Master’s in Counseling from Georgia State University and began her career at Brookview Elementary in East Point, GA. She is fortunate to have been a school counselor at the elementary level, high school level and now at the middle school level.
Mrs. Morgan is very excited to be a part of the My Next Big Adventure Program. This program offers so many opportunities for students to grow personally, socially and emotionally. The skills that these young people will be learning will help prepare them to become productive citizens in the future, which in turn will help our community grow as a whole.
Matt Freedman, Principal-Park Street Elementary
Matthew Freedman is currently the Principal at Park Street Elementary School, home of the Park Street Panthers in Marietta City Schools. He earned his Master’s degree at Kennesaw State University and a Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership from Georgia State University. He has held a variety of teaching positions that include special education, second and third grade, and early intervention. His leadership experiences include serving as a Response to Intervention Coordinator, Assistant Administrator and Assistant Principal in Cobb County Schools. Mr. Freedman has a passion for working with students and teachers and jumped at the opportunity to partner with Julie Michaels in the Next Big Adventure Initiative. He believes that peer to peer mentoring programs help students develop strong leadership and create positive relationships.
My name is Jennifer Hyppolite. I am a professional school counselor. I have a Specialist degree in Professional Counseling and Supervision from the University of West Georgia. I have been the counselor at Park Street Elementary since January 2017. Before that, I spent 2 years as the counselor at Glanton-Hindsman Elementary in Carroll County. I truly enjoy being an advocate for students and their families, hence why I was a thrilled to be involved in My Next Big Adventure.
Allison Estabrook, Blue Sky Exhibits
Allison Gresham Estabrook is an Accounting Supervisor for Blue Sky Exhibits, in Marietta. Allison is a graduate of UGA and currently, lives in Marietta. Allison is the single mother of Elijah, who is her world. He keeps her busy by being active in baseball and scouts. Allison loves Marietta and everything it has to offer. She loves being able to walk to the Square and enjoy the shops and restaurants, or even a concert. Allison has a huge servant’s heart for the community and wants to be part of something that makes a difference in the lives of children. She is very excited to be a part of My Next Big Adventure, as Treasurer.
Bambi Papp, Marietta Sixth Grade Academy
Greetings my name is Bambi Papp. I am a Math Teacher at the Marietta Sixth Grade Academy. I am also the PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention Support) Coach and Co-Coordinator for the Mentoring for Leadership program at MSGA. I have a Bachelor’s Degree from Kennesaw State University in Middle School Math & Science with a K-12 Special Education Endorsement. I have been teaching at MSGA for 4 wonderful years! My Next Big Adventure provides an amazing opportunity to the participating 5th graders to hear ‘first hand’ peer experiences from 8th graders who have experienced Middle Grades. Since being here at the Sixth Grade Academy, I see the importance of an experience like this and the positive impact it would inevitably have for an upcoming 6th grader. These Middle School years are the most “Unique” years for many individuals, so any and all support is a wonderful blessing.
* All board meetings are open to attend. The calendar and minutes are available upon request.