Southern Steering Committee
Greg Hecht, Chair
Greg Hecht, a designated Super Lawyer by the publishers of Atlanta Magazine, has been lead counsel in over 300 Trials and 1,000 Hearings. His specialties include business, commercial and real estate litigation, local government law, and litigation, among others. Greg Hecht is a Certified Mediator and Arbitrator, and Hecht Walker offers Mediation, Arbitration and Special Master Services. In addition to his legal practice, Greg served as a State Senator and as a State Representative in the Georgia General Assembly for many years. During his time as a State Senator, he was appointed Chairman of the Civil and Criminal Practice Subcommittee, Vice-Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Chairman of an Appropriations Subcommittee for 4 years. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1985 for his undergraduate degree and the University of Georgia School of Law for his Juris Doctorate degree in 1988, Greg has been serving clients as an accomplished attorney for over 28 years.
David is a partner in the law firm of Bondurant Mixson and Elmore, LLP. For the last twenty years he has represented individuals and businesses in courts across the country. Although his practice has focused on commercial litigation, David has engaged in a significant amount of court-appointed and pro bono civil litigation. For the past two years, David has partnered with lawyers from Children’s Rights to monitor compliance with the consent decree entered in the Kenny A. v. Deal class action in the Northern District of Georgia. David also serves as Board Chair for Intown Collaborative Ministries, a non-profit seeking to prevent and reverse homelessness and hunger in Intown Atlanta.
Karyn is a 25 year veteran of the Consumer Packaged Goods industry. Her experience spans brand and shopper marketing, agency account management, and front line sales at such marquis companies as The Coca-Cola Company, The Quaker Oats Company, Novartis, and Leo Burnett/Arc Worldwide. Karyn attended Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, as an Honors Division Scholar majoring in Journalism & Political Science. She resides in Atlanta, GA with her husband Eric, & daughter Hayley (14).
Jo Ann Herold
Jo Ann Herold is Honeybaked Ham’s chief marketing officer where she leads strategic marketing directing development and execution for retail, franchise and e-commerce to generate continued demand for products and participation with the brand. She previously served as Chief Marketing Officer at Interface, Inc. & FLOR, Interim Chief Marketing Officer at Tropical Smoothie Café & Asian Tin Drum Kitchen, Vice President of Brand Strategy & Communications at Arby’s Restaurant Group. Jo Ann has an MBA in International Business from Mercer University in Atlanta, and an undergraduate degree in Communication from Mississippi State University. She is previously an Adjunct Professor at Georgia State University and Mercer University. She’s a passionate community volunteer and served as Vice Chair of the Arby’s Foundation, whose mission is to end childhood hunger. Her work has been lauded by industry and community groups including the prestigious Best Neighbor Award from the National Restaurant Association, two AMY Awards from the American Marketing Association, a Mercury Award for radio advertising, a Phoenix Award from Shirley Franklin for community volunteerism, and a Silver Effie for advertising effectiveness and was a finalist for the Catalog of the Year award by Catalog Age.
Rhonda D. Jeffries, M.D.
Rhonda D. Jeffries, M.D., has dedicated her career, pediatric medicine, to the care of children. Initially, she was an instructor and assistant professor of pediatrics at Kansas University Medical Center, and then moved to Atlanta where she was in private practice for many years. She was actively involved with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta during that time. She then moved out of state to practice as a pediatric hospitalist and to teach medical students and residents as an assistant and then associate professor. Finally, she worked in pediatric emergency medicine and ended her career here in Atlanta. Rhonda is a graduate of the University of Kansas and the Kansas University Medical School. She then remained there for pediatric residency.
Honorable Cassandra Kirk
Judge Kirk currently serves at Chief Magistrate of Fulton County. Prior to becoming Chief Magistrate, Judge Kirk served Fulton County as an Associate Juvenile Court Judge, where she spearheaded the establishment of Choices, Fulton County’s first Juvenile Drug Court, which was selected to participate in a nationwide Learning Collaborative. She is the first judge in Georgia to become a certified Child Welfare Law Specialist. Additionally, she is a certified National Association of Drug Court Professionals Consultant, a peer reviewer for the Office of Justice Programs and a member of the team of trainers for the NCJFCJ Juvenile Treatment Drug Courts. Judge Kirk began her career with Stokes & Murphy, PC, an Atlanta-based labor and employment boutique, specializing in the hospitality, food service and manufacturing industries, she came to the bench after more than 15 years of varied public service. Justice Kirk is a Georgia native and attended Briarcliff High School before receiving my B.A. from Williams College, and her J.D. from Washington and Lee University School of Law.
Since joining Children’s Rights in 2011, Christina has represented classes of children in foster care in suits challenging violence, inadequate medical care, inappropriate conditions and over-institutionalization. Her clients include those at risk of discrimination associated with their LGBTQ identity, gender, race, immigration status and class. Previously, Ms. Remlin was a litigation associate at Baker & McKenzie LLP, where she represented clients in complex commercial disputes and regulatory investigations. She developed an active pro bono docket and represented children and adults in political asylum hearings, Violence Against Women Act petitions, and Special Juvenile Immigration Status and green card applications. Before that, Ms. Remlin was a member of Shearman & Sterling’s litigation group. Ms. Remlin received her J.D. from Fordham University in 2004 where she participated in The Crowley Program on International Human Rights’ Annual Mission to Bolivia and interned for the Center for Legal and Social Studies in Argentina. She received her B.A. in Political Science from Furman University in 1999 (cum laude). She has a variety of publications focusing on issues of corporate responsibility, investment disputes, environmental protection and human rights reparations.
Sandy joined Children’s Rights as chief operating officer in 2012 and became executive director in 2015. From 2006 to 2012, Mr. Santana served as Managing Director and General Counsel of Legal Outreach, a law-related college prep organization. Prior to Legal Outreach, he served as a corporate associate in the Boston office of Goodwin Procter LLP (2004-2006) and in the New York office of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton LLP (2001-2004). His legal practice focused on international corporate finance, securities, mergers and acquisitions, and private equity matters. Mr. Santana is a member of the board of directors of Manhattan Legal Services, an organization that provides free legal representation to fight poverty and promote racial, social and economic justice for low-income New Yorkers. He is also Treasurer of the Jeremiah Program, a national organization that uses a two-generation approach to prepare determined single mothers to excel in the workforce, readies their children to succeed in school and reduces generational dependence on public assistance. Mr. Santana received his B.A. from Harvard College and his J.D. from Columbia Law School.