Board Profiles

Meet our Board of Directors

Bryan Sappe

Chairman

Bryan Sappe is a lifelong resident of Wilkinson County and resides in Gordon. He attended Georgia College & State University and is the owner of Sappe’s Heating and Air in Gordon. He is active in the Development Authority of Wilkinson County and is a former chair of the Wilkinson County Chamber of Commerce. He also serves on the Fall Line Regional Development Authority Board. He and his wife Carla have three children. He has served as a Development Authority Board member since 2002.

Karen Lee Kester

Vice Chair

Real Estate Broker licensed in VA for 25 years. Residential and Commercial Real Estate sales with an emphasis on large parcels. Relocation specialist working with government and IT relocation. Twisted K Ranch Equestrian Center Instructor, Roundhill, VA. Early career in the golf business. Sales, marketing, and tournament organization. Graduate of Virginia Southern Seminary for Women, Buena Vista, VA. Married to Glenn Kester, District 1, Wilkinson County Commissioners living in Ivey, GA.

Roger L. Smith

Secretary

Retired. Former Social Worker at Central State Hospital, Wilkinson County Board of Education, Chairman Graduate of Georgia College and State University, Married to Susie Smith.

Mark A. DuPree

GA Farm Bureau Insurance Company Agent/Agency Manager for 31 years. Enjoys deer hunting and fishing. Former Chairman Wilkinson County Commissioner for four years. Served on Economic Development Board for 2 years. Served on Wilkinson County Chamber of Commerce Board and Middle GA Economic Development Board. Married to Debbie DuPree.

Wade Miller

Certified Public Accountant with 30 years’ experience (24 years as a CPA) in business, budgets and financial management serving as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Executive Officer of two companies. BBA Finance, UGA; DDA Accounting, Georgia College and State University. Private Pilot. Enjoys fishing. Married.

Danny Starley

Commercial Truck Sales (new and used). Enjoys playing golf. City of Ivey Councilman. Middle GA Regional Commission – Wilkinson County Representative. Middle GA Joint Development Authority – Wilkinson County Representative. Member of Ivey Baptist Church. Married to Ashley Starley.

John Williams

Keith Gundy

Samille Jackson

Staff

Samille Jackson has been working with the Development Authority of Wilkinson County since January of 2019. Samille currently serves as the Development Authority’s Office Manager. Samille graduated from Wilkinson County High School and later attended Nazarene Bible College, becoming an Ordained Elder in the Church of the Nazarene where she pastored for six years. Samille is currently ordained by the Universal Life Church.

Pat Topping

Interim Executive Director

Pat has over 30 years’ experience in Chamber and Economic Development
agencies. He has served as President of Chambers and Economic Development agencies in Milledgeville/Baldwin County and Cumming Forsyth County. He retired from the Macon-Bibb
Economic Development
Commission in 2018 after 20+ years leading one of the state’s premier Business Recruitment and Retention teams.
He continued his career consulting with Businesses and Economic Development agencies in Georgia.
Pat also served the industry in leadership roles with state and regional economic development groups including the Georgia Economic Developers Association (GEDA) and the Southern Economic Development Council (SEDC) In his 30+ year career, Pat has worked with small businesses as well as some of the largest in the country, leading teams that have recruited, created and retained 1000’s of new jobs and 100’s of new companies.