Board of Trustees
- Richard D. Phillips, Ph.D., Chair
- Jeffrey Kudlata, Vice Chair
- Michael Wright, Treasurer
- Scott Conner
- Scott Frank
- Chris Martin
- Leslie Munson, Ph.D.
- Donald Paul
- Laura Ries
- Maia Alees Walton, M.D.
- Robert Gray, Emeritus
- Gail Swift, Emerita
Dr. Phillips is the Dean of the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University and he is also the C.V. Starr Professor of Risk Management and Insurance. Dr. Phillips’ other board work includes serving on the board of directors for the Munich American Reassurance Corporation, the World Affairs Council of Atlanta, and the American Risk and Insurance Association.Dr. Phillips earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota and his MS and PhD degrees are from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Phillips joined the Swift School’s Board of Trustees in 2006 and has served as the Chair of the Education Committee and Vice Chair of the Board. He began his tenure as Chair of the Board in 2011. Dr. Philips' girls Megan and Caitlin are both Swift School alumni.
Jeffrey Kudlata is a Talent Management practice leader at AT&T. Jeff brings a deep expertise in corporate education and people development. Jeff graduated from Vanderbilt University and has an MBA from Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management. He has held Alumni Board positions at both schools. Jeff joined the Swift School’s Board of Trustees in 2011. He has served as Chair of the Personnel Committee and Jeff and his wife Regan have co-chaired the Swift Annual Fund. Jeff has served as secretary since 2012. Jeff’s daughter Ainsley is an alumni of Swift School.
Michael is a recently retired high-level executive. Mike spent 32 years within the Coca-Cola system working in both finance and information technology. In his role as Vice President of Finance, Mike managed the treasury, investor relations, financial reporting, budgeting and planning, taxation and insurance functions. Mike’s roles in information technology included multi-million dollar, multi-year projects in finance, human resources and product supply. Mike is a member of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants and is a dual citizen of Canada and the United States. Mike has personally experienced the challengers and concerns of having a child with dyslexia. His son was diagnosed with dyslexia in elementary school. He graduated from Lassiter high school and attends George College and State University. Mike’s frustrations with the lack of access to information and resources for parents with dyslexic children led him to join the board of the IDA where he continues to serve. Michael joined the Swift School’s Board of Trustees in 2016 and he is currently serving as Treasurer.
Scott Conner retired from the position of senior vice president at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. after 39 years of service in April of 2017. Scott began his career with Honda in 1978 as a motorcycle service representative in Texas. He advanced through the ranks of the Service Division to the level of national manager for Power Equipment Service before his 2010 promotion to senior vice president. Honda Power Equipment Division is the sales, marketing, customer service and engineering arm for Honda power products, general purpose engines and outboard marine engines in the USA, US Territories, Central America and the Caribbean. Scott has earned over 20 professional certificates in technical, managerial and marketing disciplines ranging from machine shop technology from Madison County Trade Tech to marketing from Emory University Goizueta Business School. He has served as a board member on several operating boards including Honda Power Equipment Mfg. (HPE), the Executive Board for the Engine Manufactures Association (EMA), the board of the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and the board of the American Honda Foundation. Scott has been married to his wife Judie for 36 years, they have three children and four grandchildren all living in the greater Atlanta area. Scott joined Swift School’s Board of Trustees in 2017.
Scott is president of AT&T Intellectual Property and is responsible for the identification, development, protection, management, marketing, licensing and sale of all company-wide intellectual property for AT&T. Scott received his Bachelors in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech, and his Law Degree and Masters in Business from Georgia State University. Scott is a member of the Board of Directors of the Intellectual Property Owners Assoc.; Chair of the Georgia Tech and Georgia State University Intellectual Property Advisory Boards; Chair of the Board of Directors of the Georgia Tech Research Corporation, and former Chair of the State Bar of Georgia’s Intellectual Property Law Section. He is also former Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Mary Hall Freedom House, an organization that rehabilitates women with addiction problems. Scott has a dyslexic daughter and has taken a great interest in Swift School and its mission. His daughter was diagnosed with dyslexia in fifth grade. She graduated from Marist and is currently attending Kennesaw University. Scott joined the Swift School’s Board of Trustees in 2016.
Chris is president of EM2, an integrated brand marketing company that serves the communications needs of educational institutions and non-profit organizations. His creative approach is a catalyst for inspiration, inquiry, collaboration and success. Under his leadership, EM2 has provided ground-breaking creative strategies and tools for a many public and private schools of every size and scope. Chris has served as an adjunct profession at The Creative Circus and was the past president of the AIGA, a professional organization for design. Chris joined the Swift School’s Board of Trustees in 2016.
Dr. Leslie Munson is a licensed psychologist and a certified school psychologist. She completed her undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Georgia, earning a Ph.D. in educational psychology in 1992. She has provided psychological services to children and families throughout Georgia for nearly 30 years. She has held numerous leadership positions including serving as Director of the School Psychology Clinic at the University of Georgia. Leslie worked at the Atlanta Speech School for 12 years where she last served as the Chief Academic Officer. She began serving children and families in private practice at the Learning Assessment Center in 2014. She is involved in community and civic organizations, having served as a board member of the Frazer Center, an organization that serves children and adults with disabilities, and on the executive committee of Our House, which supports homeless families, and she served as Chairperson of the Decatur Education Foundation. She currently lives in Downtown Decatur with her husband, Keith, and their college-aged daughter, Kristin. She joined Swift School’s Board of Trustees in 2017.
Don Paul has more than 20 years of experience working in the information technology, warehouse and logistics arenas. Don was an Associate Partner with Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) before joining Georgia-Pacific to run IT for 3 of the company’s divisions. In 1992, Don was recruited to a newly created International and Logistics Group at The Home Depot to forecast, purchase and manage all imported product. After a short retirement, Don was coaxed into the role as Facilities Manager for Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church (MVPC) and School (MVPS), which consisted of managing and maintaining nearly 30 acres and almost 200,000 sq ft of building space ranging in age from new to over 50 years old. In addition, Don served as the Business Administrator for MVPC managing all IT functions, along with accounting and payroll. Don was an Elder at MVPC and has served on the Board of Stirred-Up Ministries, a group serving underprivileged youth in downtown Atlanta. Don holds a BCE degree from Georgia Tech and an MSIA degree from Purdue University. Don joined Swift School’s Board of Trustees in 2017.
Laura Ries is President of Ries & Ries. Her expertise is in marketing and branding. For 20 years, Laura along with her partner/father Al Ries, has run Ries & Ries a global branding strategy firm. Ries & Ries consults with companies around the world on building brands using the philosophies of Positioning, Focus and Visual Hammer which they developed. Laura Ries is the author or co-author of several books including The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding, The Fall of Advertising & the Rise of PR, The Origin of Brands and Visual Hammer. She is also a frequent guest marketing commentator appearing on CNN, Fox News, CNBC, ABC News and the Today Show. Laura earned her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University graduating with highest distinction in the top 2% of her class. Laura’s son Conrad attended Swift since first grade and graduated from Swift's 8th grade in 2016. Laura joined the Board of Trustees in 2010, she is Chair of the Committee on Trustees and has served as Vice Chair of the Board since 2014.
Dr. Maia Alees Walton, MD, is a Board-Certified Pediatrician and Founder of Mommy Made, M. D. where Modern Medicine fuses with Mother Nature. She earned her B.S. in Chemistry with honors and Doctorate of Medicine from Howard University. She trained at one of the top residencies in the country at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Dr. Walton practices functional medicine from a holistic viewpoint. She has a passion for education and children and families with special needs and an integrative, holistic approach to both. She and her husband have two young children, Ava Rose and William IV, that she homeschools via the classical method. Maia joined Swift School’s Board of Trustees in 2017.
With 30 years of professional services experience and engineering and finance degrees, Bob has held senior market facing executive positions in consulting, technology and outsourcing businesses while serving clients in the Global 500 and private equity across a range of industries. As Chief Consulting Officer, Bob led a boutique operations improvement consultancy serving private equity clients. Previously, at NTT Data and Keane, which was acquired by NTT Data, Bob served on the overall management team and directly led a technology services business unit. Prior to that, Bob held positions at Capgemini, EY, Gemini Consulting and Accenture. Bob graduated from the University of Chicago and Purdue University with MBA, Finance and BS, Engineering degrees. Since 2014, he has served in elected office as a Councilman for the City of Johns Creek, Georgia. He serves on the board of Ammacore, a networking solutions company, and the Swift School. Bob joined the Swift School’s Board of Trustees in 2005. He served as Swift’s Chair of the Board from 2005-2011. And Vice Chair of the Board from 2011-2012. Currently he is chair of the Campus Initiatives committee. His son, Marshall, an alumni of the Swift School, is now a Junior at Virginia Tech studying Business Information Technology.