Meet the Board

Healthy Savannah Board of Directors 

Board Members

Board President – Tamala Fulton

Tamala R. Fulton is a graduate of the University of South Carolina, with a B.S. in Exercise Science and Armstrong Atlantic State University with a Master’s of Public Health degree. She also holds certifications with the Society for Human Resources Management and the National Institute of Wellness.

Tamala is currently the Employee Wellness Coordinator with Chatham County Government where she is a strong advocate for programs that encourage preventive care and healthy living.

Healthy Savannah is important because the members of this collaborative organization sincerely care about the community. As a result, Healthy Savannah members have supported and successfully advocated for the establishment of policies that both protect and enhance the health of members of this community.

Vice President – Randy McCall, PhD

Randy McCall is the Administrator for the Chatham County Health Department. He has served in various positions with public health for more than 27 years. Currently, he supervises senior management staff with responsibility for nursing, environmental health, epidemiology, emergency preparedness, finance, human resources and others. He has provided oversight and consultation on several difficult environmental health issues, including lead abatement ordinances, beach water quality program, and health consults regarding hazardous waste sites.

He serves on the Healthy Savannah Board (Treasurer), the Center Court Board (works with Accountability Courts), Coastal Georgia Indicators Coalition, Juvenile Court Stakeholders Committee, and is a recent graduate of Leadership Southeast Georgia. Most recently, he began serving on the PLAN4Health Task Force and as a consultant on the Invest Health initiative. He is married to Lynnette, with 4 adult children, Andrew, Connor, Sydney, and Gillian.

Board Secretary – Blake Caldwell, MD

Blake Caldwell is a physician and scientist who retired in 2010 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She is a pediatrician but her early career included 8 years in the Navy doing bacterial research with a two-year tour teaching tropical public health and deployment medicine to Navy physicians in Panama. She joined the CDC in 1989 and her long career there included epidemiological research in HIV, health services research in health care quality and medical errors, and finally health policy for infectious diseases.

She developed and initially ran Skidaway Farms, a large community garden on Skidaway Island. She chairs the Agriculture and Archaeology Committees for Sustainable Skidaway. She is currently serving on the Board of Directors for the Landings Association. She has been Co-chair of the Savannah/Chatham Food Policy Council since 2013 and helped found the Healthy Savannah Grant Planning Working Group. In 2011-2012 she chaired a task force for the Metropolitan Planning Commission to revise the city and county animal control ordinances to encourage urban agriculture.

Blake is married to Joel Rosenstock, an Infectious Disease physician practicing in Atlanta and they have two sons and three grandsons.

How is Healthy Savannah is making an impact? Healthy Savannah had had a tremendous impact on the grant funding in the community through its Grant Planning Working Group helping coordinate grant planning for many successful grants since its inception.

Treasurer – Gary Rost

Gary Rost is the Executive Director of Savannah Business Group located in Savannah, Georgia. Gary has been with SBG since 1993.  He provides leadership and operational oversight of the Coalition’s activities; including value based purchasing, value based benefit design, provider relations, and population health activities. Gary serves on numerous national, regional, and local boards and committees that impact the quality, safety, cost, and access to healthcare services. Prior to joining SBG Gary spent 20 years in the US Army. Gary and his wife Debra live in Guyton, Georgia and have been married for forty-two years; they have four children and ten grandchildren.

Why is ‘Healthy Savannah’ important?
Healthy Savannah is important to our community because it is a facilitator of conversation and a convener of concerned citizens, advocates, government and public organizations.
Through this interaction, the standards and measures of health can be established and a common message developed.

How is Healthy Savannah is making an impact?
There are numerous organizations competing for limited resources; time, money, people, and leaders.
By providing a place for group discussion and prioritization Healthy Savannah helps stretch these precious resources. Healthy Savannah assists the community to execute multiple projects and initiatives simultaneously.

Lizann Roberts, Immediate Past President, Chair, Nominating Committee 

Lizann Roberts serves as a leadership coach, consultant, and facilitator working with individuals and organizations. Currently, she serves as a consultant developing population health and wellness programs for large employers. She received her graduate degree in Education and earned leadership coaching certificates through Georgetown University and Strozzi Institute. Lizann is an active community leader serving on the boards of Inspire Savannah, Coastal Georgia Indicators Coalition and serves as Board President of Healthy Savannah. Recently she’s leading an effort to support and teach women fighting heart disease in our community through WomenHeart is the area’s first support network for women living with heart disease. Champions like Lizann use personal knowledge of living with heart disease with the skills learned at the symposium to educate the community and lead support groups.

Healthy Savannah work focuses on policies, systems and environmental impacts that can address health equity,  improve health and support the program/services so positive health behaviors can be supported. Our intention is to build a Culture of Health in Savannah for all.

Leigh Acevedo

Leigh is the director of the Business Retention & Expansion department of the Savannah Economic Development Authority (SEDA). With a focus on manufacturing and logistics industries, she works to connect companies with resources, identify and facilitate opportunities for growth, and address any challenges they may face. 

Leigh holds a Master of Public Administration from Georgia Southern and has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Oglethorpe University. She currently serves as president of Metropolitan Savannah Rotary, is a member of the Coastal Workforce Investment Board, and is a director on the board of Coastal Center for Developmental Services, in addition to her role with Healthy Savannah. 

A native of Dalton, GA, Leigh has lived in Savannah since 2001. She is married to Alex and they have 3 dogs and a cat.

Healthy Savannah is important because healthy citizens contribute significantly to a vibrant community. Being a vibrant community makes our job of marketing Savannah as a location for business even easier! My career in economic development has taught me many things, but one truth that stands out is that companies weigh seriously the availabilityand quality of the region’s talent pool when making location and expansion decisions. A healthy, able-bodied, and skilled workforce is attractive to employers for a number of reasons, including accessibility to dependable personnel, potentially lower healthcare premiums, and proof of a high quality of life.

Onetha Bonaparte

My name is Onetha Bonaparte and I am The School Nutrition Director for Savannah-Chatham County Public School System.  I have been in this position for over a year now but have 21years of experience in the field. Coming from the military, prepared me for the many facets that you can encounter dealing with students from all walks of life.

Healthy Savannah has helped bridge the gap between the community and the School Nutrition Program.  Healthy Savannah has taught me how important it is to network in the community to open the eyes of constitutes that would  normally not make the connection with health and wellness and preparing the whole person to be the best that they can be rather it be in academics, raising a family, having good work ethics or just simply just seeing healthy as a way of life.  I enjoy the wisdom that the board provides to help inspire Savannah Chatham School Nutrition to be of great service to the students of this district.

Nick Deffley

Nick Deffley is the Director of Environmental Services & Sustainability at the City of Savannah, promoting a healthy, equitable and economically vibrant community for our current citizens and future generations. Nick has worked with a variety of organizations locally including Armstrong University, Emergent Structures, Sustainativity, and Step Up Savannah on strategic planning, workforce development, and sustainability efforts. Prior to Savannah, Nick worked at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities where he developed sustainable building policies, managed the University’s first sustainable building program and improved collaboration with women and minority-owned businesses on sustainable building projects. Nick has a multi-disciplinary Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies, Political Science & Communications and a Masters in Environmental Policy & Organizational Effectiveness. 

The impact of Healthy Savannah is a direct result of its breadth and depth of relationships, connections, and partnerships that it has developed among so many organizations and people in Savannah and beyond.  Healthy Savannah’s collaborative and inclusive approach spurs innovative policy, environment and systems change that has far-reaching impacts on the health of Savannah and its residents.

Cristina Gibson, MPH

Cristina has been in public health for 13 years, in the divisions of epidemiology, youth development and has finally found her passion in health promotion. She is the Chronic Disease Prevention Director for the Coastal Health District, serving all the counties along the coast of Georgia and her branch’s motto is “Make the healthy choice the easy choice.” Her current work involves increasing community assets in the way of opportunities for physical activity, access points to healthy foods and smoke-free environments. She is a member of the Healthy Savannah Coalition, that was instrumental in helping the City of Savannah and Chatham County pass local smoke-free ordinances and at our local university, Armstrong State, adopt a 100% smoke-free campus policy.

Lillian Grant-Baptiste

Lillian Grant-Baptiste is a celebrant, inspirational speaker, cultural artist, and community change agent. She is known throughout Chatham County for her advocacy for personal, family and community empowerment. In her present position with the City of Savannah, Lillian serves as the Leadership and Training Coordinator for the WorkSource Coastal Department. Lillian is also the Chair of the Healthy Savannah’s Faith and Health Coalition. Lillian Grant-Baptiste is a 1985 honor graduate of Savannah State University and 2006 graduate of Leadership Savannah.

Healthy Savannah is not just an organization that aims to effect positive change around health and wellness, it is a campaign that seeks to connect, inspire and grow to ultimately make Savannah a more holistic, healthy and abundant community. More than 10 years ago, Healthy Savannah began as a few collaborative conversations and a dream deeply rooted in the heart of Mayor Otis Johnson and has since grown from a hope and a dream to a social movement that has drawn tremendous energy and momentum.

Dennis Hutton

Dennis Hutton is a Savannah native who worked in heavy construction for most of his life. His second career was with the Chatham County- Savannah Metropolitan Planning Commission. He is retired but remains active in Healthy Savannah, The Savannah Urban Garden Alliance, The Food Policy Council, and the Forsyth Farmers Market.

“Healthy Savannah brings together everyone who influences the health of the community so that solutions to heath issues are comprehensive.”

Otis Johnson, PhD 

Dr. Johnson is the former mayor of Savannah, GA. While Mayor, in 2007, he planted the seed to start Healthy Savannah.  Dr. Johnson is a Savannah native who graduated from A.E. Beach High School in 1960, Armstrong Junior College (now Armstrong State University) in 1964 (the first African American to graduate from that school) and the University of Georgia (A.B.) in 1967. He served from 1959 to 1965 in the U.S. Naval Reserve. In 1969, he earned a master’s degree in social work from Clark Atlanta University and, in 1980, he received his Ph.D. from the Heller School of Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.

Before becoming mayor, Johnson worked for the Economic Opportunity Authority, Model Cities Program, and Savannah State University. From 1983 until 1988, he served as the City Council Representative for the second district of Savannah. He then became the Executive Director of the Chatham Savannah Youth Futures Authority He formerly served as chair of the board of trustees of the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation. A longtime neighborhood leader on issues of youth development, he led the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Youth Futures Commission in Savannah. He also was dean of the School of Social Work at Savannah State and is a member of the Aspen Roundtable on Comprehensive Community Change.

Steering Committee Chair – Brittany Lightsey

Brittany received her Bachelor’s degree in Dietetics from the University of Georgia in 2011; and her Master’s of Science degree in 2012 at Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA. During her graduate coursework, she served as a nutrition and cooking instructor for an afterschool program serving middle school students, igniting her passion for teaching healthy habits to children and their families.

In November 2013, Brittany earned her Certificate of Training in Childhood and Adolescent Weight Management from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Commission on Dietetic Registration. In her current role, she serves as coordinator for The Gulfstream Children’s Wellness Program and Center at Memorial Health., working to prevent and treat obesity in children and adolescents. She also serves as Healthy Savannah’s Steering Committee Chair. What does Healthy Savannah mean to her? Community and collaboration. It is great to have so many like-minded organizations at one table.

In her spare time, Brittany enjoys barre classes, cooking with friends and family and trips to the farmer’s market.

Diana Morrison

Diana Morrison,  Founder and President of Advertising Specialty Services, a Promotional Product and Corporate Garment Company that she started from the trunk of her car in 1988.
Diana loves opportunities to teach and speak to motivate and help others to grow and feel accomplished. She knows that the best way to be a better person is to help others achieve who they want to be.
Ms. Morrison is very engaged in our Community through many Volunteer Leadership positions and has been honored with many Small Business Awards through her career. She is a proud Wife, Mother, Grandmother and mentor to many.

Davana Pilczuk, PhD 

Davana Pilczuk specializes in the field of human performance. Currently, she manages the corporate wide ergonomics program for Gulfstream Aerospace. Previously, she managed the corporate wellness program for Gulfstream where she specifically focused the program on sleep and stress management. She is also an external consultant for companies such as Amazon, Google, Savannah College of Art and Design and several divisions of Berkshire Hathaway.

She is a columnist for the Savannah Morning News, writing the biweekly column ‘Finish Line’ which focuses on enhancing people’s performance on the field and in the boardroom. She has been published in numerous journals and magazines and in 2012, was awarded the Practitioner of the Year award by the Institute of Industrial Engineers for her outstanding achievement in creating Gulfstream’s ergonomics program. Under her tenure, the Gulfstream ergonomics program has received seven additional international awards and is annually benchmarked by Fortune 500 companies.

Before coming to Gulfstream, she lived in the United Kingdom and worked as a sports psychology and fitness consultant for the British National Swim Team. She also taught for seven years at Auburn University in the kinesiology department.

She sits on several ergonomics and wellness committees (the General Dynamics Ergonomics Committee, Applied Ergonomics Program Committee, Aerospace Forum, and Healthy Savannah Board) and mentors several other companies, universities and medical schools on how to improve human performance in any setting.

She received her masters and doctorate degrees in Kinesiology from Auburn University, and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Miami, in Coral Gables, Florida.

Brenda S. Pough

Brenda Pough is a native of Savannah. It brings her joy to be the mother of a wonderful son Robert and a precious granddaughter Sheridyn. After she decided to major in nursing, she attended the Memorial School of Nursing and became a Licensed Practical Nurse. She joined the United States Army Reserve and served as a Dental Specialist with the 333rd Med. Det. –Savannah, GA.

She continued her nursing education at Armstrong State University and became a Registered Nurse.  She is an active member of the National Black Nurses and the Savannah Black Nurses Association. She is also a member of the American Association of Ambulatory Nursing (AAACN).

She is a board member of Healthy Savannah, she is pleased to be a part of the discussion and actions that impact the present and long range health concerns of the residents of this city, especially the underserved. Her passion for fellowship and community service extends to the entire Masonic Prince Hall family of organizations as a member and of the Order of the Eastern Star, Savannah Chapter #159.

Pough is honored and humbled to serve as the 29th Illustrious Commandress for Omar Court No. 91 Daughters 2016-2017. Brenda is pround to call the regional Savannah area “home”! Her entire family is very important to her, as is her faith in God for the blessings she is granted every day.

Joel Smoker

Joel Smoker; President/CEO of the YMCA of Coastal GA, Inc, a graduate of Georgia Southern University.
In addition to serving his community through his work with the YMCA, he is most proud of his volunteering as Past Chair and board member for Healthy Savannah, a non-profit community coalition working to increase physical activity and healthy choice opportunities for citizens through policy change.
He is married to Carmen Smoker, his wife of twenty-nine years, whom he met when she asked him out on a date when they were both working part-time at their hometown YMCA. He and Carmen have two grown children

How is Healthy Savannah making an impact? HS is making an impact by making the healthy choice the easy choice: especially when someone chooses to ride a bike to work or the grocery store, rather than take the car; especially when a child can walk safely to school with friends, rather than ride in a car; and especially when access to fresh vegetables comes through the local farmers market and then becomes a staple at the dinner table.

Officer at Large –  Thomas L Thomson, P.E. (Florida), AICP

Tom Thomson has more than 40 years of experience in planning, management, and engineering. He has directed programs and projects in roadway planning, public transportation, marketing, policy, engineering and community consensus building.Thomson is the principal of Tom Thomson Consulting, LLC. TTC’s services include a range of urban, development and transportation planning; project and program management; and business and organizational consulting. He previously served as director of the metropolitan planning commission and metropolitan planning organization, in Savannah and was director of the transportation division for the Hillsborough County Planning & Growth Management Department in Tampa, Florida.
Thomson graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in civil engineering. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and other professional organizations. He is a licensed professional engineer in Florida.

Tyrone Ware

Tyrone Ware is the President of the Woodville Community Action Organization (additional information coming soon)

Melanie Willoughby, RN, BSN, CCR

Melanie received her Bachelor’s in Nursing from Armstrong State College in 1987.  She has worked at St. Joseph’s/Candler for the past 32 years and is currently the Director of Health Management. She received national certification in Critical Care Nursing (CCRN) by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses.  Melanie’s area of expertise is critical care, cardiac rehabilitation, and Health Management.  Melanie is very active in her church and the community. She currently serves on the board of Healthy Savannah and is the chair of the Health and Wellness Panel for the United Way of the Coastal Empire.

Why is ‘Healthy Savannah’ important?Healthy Savannah promotes community-wide involvement. Involving all segments of the community encourages interaction across social, economic, and political lines. Those ties strengthen the community as a whole, change people’s perspectives for the better, increases community-wide cooperation, and can positively transform how the community works.  I believe Healthy Savannah is a social movement dedicated to making Savannah a healthier place to live. Our aim is to increase opportunities for everyone to engage in healthy activities including physical activity and healthy eating.  

Director Of Healthy Living – Paula Kreissler, MBA

Paula volunteered with Healthy Savannah from its launch in 2007, prior to accepting her current position. In 2008 Paula received the Top Ten Working Women’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award from A Working Women In Need (AWWIN). Paula’s business Wound Care Clinic -ESU won the 2008 Small Business of the Year Award from the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce; in 2014 Healthy Savannah received the Gulfstream Community Involvement Award from the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce; in 2015 Paula was recognized by the United Way Women’s Legacy Council with a “Women Who Rule” award in 2015; and in 2016 Healthy Savannah received the “Healthy Georgia Award”
Paula graduated from Concordia University, is a licensed CPA, earned an MBA in Sustainable Business from Marylhurst University in 2012 and is a 2016 graduate of Leadership Southeast Georgia. The first 25 years of her career were spent primarily in operations management at FedEx.
As a volunteer at Healthy Savannah, Paula was on the inaugural Board of Directors, has led the Policy and Advocacy Committee, Steering Committee, Savannah Chatham Food Policy Committee and the Visibility Committee. Paula is now the Project Lead on a Healthy Savannah grant to reduce childhood obesity in the Savannah/Chatham County community.

Healthy Savannah and its 100+ public and private partners are making an impact by collaborating around Policy, Systems, and Environmental change through the lens of health equity.  We collectively have been at the table to educate policy influencers and policy makers on how they can help the healthy choice to be the easy choice.  From the creation of Healthy Savannah in 2007, Savannah has seen positive health outcomes as a result of new policies being implemented like Smoke-Free Air, School Wellness Policy, School Design Guidelines, Complete Streets Ordinance, Community Garden Policy, Farm Truck Ordinance, and many more.  I am looking forward to the next 10 years as we create a Culture of Health in our community.