Savannah Downtown Neighborhood Association
Nominees for the 2016-17 DNA Board of Directors
All nominees for the 2016-17 DNA Board have been fully vetted and are unanimously recommended by the DNA Nominating Committee.
The additional information below may be helpful to DNA Members currently voting on recommended 2016-17 DNA Board.
Melinda Allen – President
Melinda and her husband Matthew moved to Savannah in 2002 after falling in love with the charm of the City. They became Downtown residents in 2010 after starting their family in Ardsley Park. Melinda is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio and a graduate
of the University of Toledo holding an honors degree in Biology and Chemistry. She spent the majority of her career in the pharmaceutical industry as a product specialist in cardiac care and marketing manager before leaving the industry to
concentrate her efforts on raising her family, serving her community, and playing an integral role in the marketing and expansion of the family’s dental business.
Melinda has served on the DNA board for 3 years, serving the roles of membership chair, vice-president, and president. She also maintains active roles in the Downtown Garden Club, Historic Savannah Foundation, Hancock Day School, and various City boards. She is a past member of the Junior League and former vice-president of the Christ Church Children’s School. Melinda and her husband currently operate a large dental business and land holding company based in Pooler with a secondary location in Lexington, South Carolina. They are the proud parents of three children and enjoy raising them in the vibrant community of the Landmark Historic District.
As President, Melinda has used her background in leadership, strategic positioning, and negotiation to further the mission of the DNA to benefit the residents of the Landmark District.
Gale Steves – Vice President
Gale’s career was in consumer magazine publishing except for a 5- year hiatus to run a marketing office for the US Department of Commerce. She was Editor in Chief of Home Magazine for ten years and currently is the Chief Creative Officer of Open House Productions. A graduate of Cornell University, Gale has a MA from New York University
Gale’s previous board involvement includes NYC Center for Senior Services, the Catskills Center for Conservation and Economic Development and the Humane Society of Greater Savannah. She is currently on the Board of Friends of Massie Heritage Center, and Arts Resource Collective.
Gale brings to her board duties as Vice President - Development a good understanding of the community and its leaders and organizational skills from her executive editorial positions.
Meredith R. Dulany – Secretary
After coordinating and managing events in New York City with National Public Broadcasting, Meredith returned to her home town of Savannah where she directed the events for Savannah College of Art and Design’s, then, three campuses in
Savannah, Atlanta and Lacoste, France. She married her husband, Reed, and quickly became project manager for both the renovation of the “old Savannah Bank” into the couple’s first restaurant, Local11ten, and the restoration of the couple’s historic home.
Meredith is now a full time volunteer serving as Secretary of The Women’s Board of Bethesda, where she also chaired the Academic Achievement Committee for seven years. She serves on the Advisory Board for the Next Generation for the Children’s Hospital at Memorial University Medical Center. Meredith works as a volunteer, Class Mom and Parent Liaison at the Savannah Country Day School and assists at the Savannah Classical Academy in the office and classroom. Meredith has been a member of the Downtown Neighborhood Association since 2009 and has served as DNA’s Events Chair and Secretary. Meredith and Reed have two children and three restaurants. Meredith brings a level head and a family outlook to the DNA Board. She plans to continue outreach to her downtown neighbors, working to preserve the beauty of the squares and quality of life for children and other families in the downtown area. She also hopes to help improve the lives of those surrounding the landmark historic district through education.
Michael Rundbaken – Treasurer
Michael is a Certified Public Accountant and a Partner with Hancock Askew & Co, LLP. He has more than 20 years of business experience and has worked for Hancock Askew & Co., LLP for the past 16 years in the areas of audit, income tax and management services. He serves corporations (both public and private), partnerships and individuals, specializing in the financial institution, construction, manufacturing, retail and service industries and manages the relationships with some of the firm’s largest clients.
Michael is a Savannah native and alumnus of Benedictine Military School, received a Bachelor of Arts from Armstrong Atlantic State University, a Master of Arts from the University of South Carolina and completed an accounting concentration at Georgia Southern University.
As Treasurer Michael will continue the high level of fiscal responsibility of the treasurers that preceded him and use his experience to look for ways to streamline the DNA’s accounting function.
Amy Brock – Director of Communications
Amy and her husband, Chad, a psychiatrist, moved to downtown Savannah in 2004. Amy worked in the marketing and communications department at Visit Savannah and the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce for 11 years overseeing the management of the organization’s award winning social media program as well as content management of the organization’s multiple websites. She resigned from her role in 2015 to devote more time to family and pursue freelance projects with small businesses and organizations on their marketing and digital strategies.
Amy successfully helped manage the social media and digital marketing for several political campaigns in the 2015 City election. In addition to volunteering time on the Downtown Neighborhood Association Board since 2012, Amy is a founding member and part of the 1804 Club Committee at St. Joseph’s Candler, serves as Corresponding Secretary for the Downtown Garden Club of Savannah and is DNA’s liaison on the Savannah Film Commission. She is an active member of the Historic Savannah Foundation and a parent volunteer at Hancock Day School.
Amy brings extensive experience in media relations, digital marketing and project management to the DNA Board. Her background with Savannah’s primary tourism marketing organization offers a unique perspective not typical of the residential community. She is a trusted voice among neighbors as the liaison between the Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police Department and the DNA representation for the online community, Nextdoor.com that is widely used among more than 800 Landmark Historic District residents.
Nina Altschiller – Holiday Tour of Homes
From 2001-14, Nina was a partner with Altschiller Associates LLC, an advertising and marketing agency. The agency’s clients included: Boar’s Head, Reuters, Express Scripts, Baldwin Brass, and the Family Violence Prevention Fund. Prior to joining AALLC, Nina spent over 30 years as a luxury goods marketing executive, including stints at Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, The International Wool Secretariat, Waterford Wedgwood, Lenox China, Garfinkel’s and I Magnin. Her previous Board work includes Dress for Success International, Mercer Street Friends and Fernbrook Environmental Education Center.
Nina was educated at Rutgers University, where she majored in journalism. As the Chair of the Holiday Tour of Homes, Nina’s background in marketing, strategy and communications will enable her to successfully promote and administer the DNA’s primary fundraiser.
Staci Donegan – Membership
Staci moved to Savannah in 2005 and is a Realtor with Celia Dunn Sotheby’s International Realty where she has been a Top Producer in sales since 2012. Prior to joining Celia Dunn Sotheby’s International Realty, Staci was a financial and business consultant. She served as controller for Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) and chief of staff in the office of the president at SCAD. She also previously worked for The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta in accounting, finance and in sales and account management. Staci was also a Certified Public Accountant in the audit department at Price Waterhouse Coopers.
She attended Clemson University and the University of Delaware and has a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Active in the community, Staci serves on the boards of the Downtown Neighborhood Association and the Savannah Film Commission. Staci is an active member and past board member of the Downtown Business Association. She is also a member of Wesley Monumental United Methodist Church, Telfair Museum of Art, Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Garden Club, and Historic Savannah Foundation and is a sustaining member of Junior League of Savannah. Staci lives in the heart of Savannah’s Historic Landmark District with her husband, Chris and their 8-year-old daughter and dog, Abbi.
Barry Gale – Public Safety
Barry Gale was born and raised in Los Angeles California. He attended public universities and earned bachelor and masters degrees in communications and communication marketing.
After working in private industry for a number of years he returned to law school to earn his doctor of law degree. He was ranked in the top three of his class at graduation and subsequently became the alumni president of his law school.
Barry’ s legal career was designed with an eye towards public service. He was a Deputy District Attorney in Los Angeles County and retired from that position. During his service in the District Attorney’s Office Barry handled just about every type of crime, spending his initial years working in Compton, Inglewood, Torrance, and Huntington Park Judicial Districts. During this time, Barry worked the misdemeanor courts, called recorder courts here in Savannah. Barry also worked in superior courts handling felony cases from burglary, to assault, robbery, fraud, and murder. Deputy District Attorney Gale was also assigned to specialized units in sexual and child abuse, and juvenile justice, in addition to the being a filing deputy for misdemeanor cases in Compton and Huntington Park.
Barry was eventually transferred to the downtown headquarters to work in the major fraud unit. While there he lead a team investigating auto, insurance and workers’ compensation fraud. During this time Barry prosecuted complex cases involving thousands of pages of documents and hundreds of exhibits. He designed, lead, taught and prosecuted interdepartmental fraud investigations that included numerous local, county and state agencies.
Retired Deputy District Attorney Gale brings to the DNA a background and ability to comprehend, investigate and apply both law and common sense to the myriad problems that face us as downtown residents. Having worked closely with law enforcement allows him, as a retired law enforcement officer, to engage and understand the challenges facing the men and woman working in the law enforcement field today. Additionally, Barry’s background in the front line of prosecution and justice, allows him to understand and apply ideas, laws, concepts and assist on the local level to bring about the betterment of the downtown area.
Barry retired to Savannah 11 years ago with his wife of 28 years, Cookie Tenenbaum Gale. Barry had fallen in love with Savannah over those years with his constant visits to the hostess city to see the many relatives here. So when the time came to retire there was no hesitation as to where he wanted to call home!
Barry continues to work to improve our downtown safety with programs that involve police and ward captains and local residents. Among these is; a program to have dusk to dawn porch lights on every house, have the squares trimmed to improve police sight lines and increased foot and bike patrols in our downtown area.
Matthew Hallett – Ward Captains
Matthew moved to Savannah in 1994 to study architecture and furniture design at The Savannah College of Art and Design and has lived here longer than in any other place. Working in preservation since 2000, he has restored and sold a number of historic properties in several of Savannah’s historic neighborhoods. He now owns a design-build firm based in Savannah. He and his husband Daniel E Smith live on Crawford Square.
He has been a member of the DNA since relocating back into the historic district in 2011 and has served as a co-ward captain for his ward the entire time. He serves on various boards including the HSF Education Committee, the SDRA Planning and Advocacy Committee, and various volunteer opportunities as they arise.
Since becoming Chair of DNA Ward Captains last year he has been working to get the ward captains more engaged in community building as part of an ongoing effort to get neighbors acquainted with each other, strengthen the resident community in each ward, and hopefully prevent crime. Ongoing we are rolling out neighborhood watch initiatives into the squares.
Nick Henry – Historic Preservation
Doctor Henry (“Nick”) and his wife, Muriel, have lived in the Historic District for more than a decade, and are Co-Ward Captains for East Forsyth Park. Nick is completing two terms on Savannah’s Historic District Board of Review.
He is Professor Emeritus and President Emeritus of Georgia Southern University. He is also a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and the author of “Public Administration and Public Affairs”, the most respected college textbook on public administration. He is a member of the Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C. Nick and Muriel have two children and three grandchildren, all thriving in Georgia.
Nick served as DNA’s “Warden” coordinating our team of Ward Captain for six years. His experience working with the Metropolitan Planning Commission and Historic Review Board staffs support DNA’s continuing efforts to protect our historic downtown environment.
William (Bill) Lovett – Tourism Policy and Management
Bill is a Graduate of The Citadel with a degree in Civil Engineering as well as an MBA from Georgia State University. A decorated Viet Nam combat veteran. Retired as President of Hussey, Gay, Bell & DeYoung Engineers after 37 years in various capacities. Former Chairman of the Board of Historic Savannah Foundation. Presently DNA’s representative to the City of Savannah Tourism Advisory Committee (TAC.)
As DNA’s representative to the TAC, Bill hopes to help in getting a workable tourism management plan in place as early as next year.
Chassidy Malloy – Events & Historic Preservation
Chassidy is a native of the metro Atlanta area. She moved to Savannah in 2004 upon enrolling at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), where she received her BFA in Historic Preservation, including a minor in Architecture, in 2008.
She is currently employed by the Historic Savannah Foundation (HSF), serving as their Membership and Volunteer Coordinator. Prior to joining HSF, Chassidy was an Historic Interpreter for the Isaiah Davenport House and Owens Thomas House Museums. In 2015 she joined and began volunteering for the Savannah Downtown Neighborhood Association. She is also an active supporter of the 100 Black Men of Savannah. Chassidy resides in Savannah’s Historic Landmark District with her French bulldog mix, Whiskey.
Chassidy’s extensive knowledge and appreciation of Savannah’s history, coupled with her community activism, perfectly aligns with DNA’s mission. Her excitement at meeting new people and her commitment to supporting the community she loves will aid in the continual development of DNA’s support for Historic Preservation and our fundraising events.
Roger Moss – Liaison with DBA
Roger is originally from Chattanooga, Tennessee. He holds a B.A. in Interpersonal Communication from Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois. He spent 15 years in radio advertising. Ten years ago he gave in to the art muse that so pervades Savannah and became a full time singer, vocal coach and most importantly co-founder and the Executive Director of the critically acclaimed Savannah Children’s Choir. He proudly calls Savannah home.
Roger is also on the boards of the Habersham YMCA, Savannah Downtown Business Association and Chatham County Board of Health. He was the Chairman of the Board for Savannah Classical Academy, a public charter school. He believes that the role of education is to produce better people and better citizens.
As the DNA Liaison with the Downtown Business Association, Roger has forged a strong alliance between the two organizations on issues of common concern.
Susan Myers – Liaison with Government Officials
A Savannahian who graduated from University of Georgia, Susie also has a master degree in preservation from SCAD. She is an Associate Broker with Celia Dunn Realty. Susie served as President of Historic Savannah Foundation and Chair of DNA 2015 Holiday Tour of Homes, and has been appointed to the following public boards: Historic Review Board, Savannah Development & Renewal Authority, County Zoning Board of Appeals, Savannah Zoning board of Appeals and The Metropolitan Planning Board.
Susie brings unmatched experience and knowledge on planning, zoning and preservation in Savannah, along with wide knowledge concerning local government personalities and issues, to the DNA Board.
Bud Rosser – Liaison with Neighborhood Associations
Bud is an Atlanta native who, after years of long weekend vacations to Savannah, made the move to the Historic District with his wife Suzanne, four cats and one dog in 1999. Bud is a graduate of NGCSU, a veteran of Vietnam as a Medical Service Corps officer, and holds a Master’s degree in Health Care Administration from the “other” GSU. In 2010 he retired from a career in health care management, consulting, and outside technical sales in the pool & spa industry. He has served on the board of Coastal Pet Rescue, Inc., the Atlanta Astronomy Club, and President of Savannah’s Beach Historic Neighborhood Association (BHNA.) Bud maintains his musical skills and keeps clean lenses on his telescope to keep close watch on his beloved Savannah. He led the merger of BHNA with DNA Board and serves as our liaison with members in the Beach Historic Neighborhood.
Erika moved from Manhattan to Savannah thirteen years ago with her husband, Joel, so he could pursue his Masters of Interior Design at SCAD. During that time, and still today, Erika maintains her position at the Advertising Agency DDB Worldwide where she remotely runs an online research company. Falling in love with Savannah, Erika and Joel decided to stay and establish together Rethink Design Studio, a local Interior Design Firm, where Erika oversees the operations, client management and new business. Erika is a graduate of Dickinson College in Carlisle, P.A. and is an active member in the Savannah Community. She is currently a member of Historic Savannah Foundations, Georgia Historical Society, Telfair Museum and a past Board Member of the Savannah Advertising Federation. Erika is a mother to a four-year old son named Rye who has inspired her to be part of and give back to our community that will watch him grow.
Erika’s goal as DNA’s Events Director is to create social environments for neighbors to connect over good food and drink. Also, to make downtown feel like a “neighborhood” with special events.