Our Leaders


Lori George, ED

Lori George was born and raised in Rome, Georgia. She is a graduate of Armuchee High School. She attended Georgia Highlands and Shorter University. While in college, she worked part-time at the Sara Hightower Regional Library and the Rome Braves. After many years of hard work and dedication, she was promoted at the Rome Braves … Read More


Charlie Schroeder, President & Treasurer

A native of Rome. Graduated East Rome High 1967. Georgia Institute of Technology, Textile Management 1971. Served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve. Married to Suzanne Barnett Schroeder and father to Three Children Christian, Cory, Caleigh. Served on Board of Directors of Parent to Parent of Ga. including terms as Treasurer and President. Served … Read More


Barbara Monday, VP

Barbara is a mother of two sons with speech/language problems. Due to their disabilities, Barbara returned to school and earned her degree in Speech-Language Pathology and CCC. She worked in the field for 25 years serving students in a variety of school-based settings. Her one son, Tom, cannot live independently and she is concerned about … Read More


Rita Lawler, Secretary

Rita moved to Rome in 1979 with her husband, Dr. Peter Lawler. She has a BA in Government from Centre College, and an MA in Government from the University of Virginia, 1977. Rita was the Executive Director of Network from 1980-1994. She was especially proud of the work the Board did to promote and advocate … Read More


Jean Battle (founding)

Jean is a retired teacher of 32 years from Pepperell High School. She is married to a wonderful husband of 43 years with two wonderful sons and a grandson. Jean has served with Habitat for Humanity during the years 1988-90. She has also served in many other areas in her community including a co-president of … Read More


Linda Floyd Blackwell (founding)

Linda was raised in South Carolina. She graduated from the University of South Carolina with a B.A. in Psychology. She’s married to her husband CQ Blackwell and they have three lovely daughters. Their oldest daughter has a developmental disability.  It was discovered when she was 7 months old that she had bilateral schizencephaly, which meant … Read More


Louise Schroeder Branham (board)

Louise was born and raised in Rome, Georgia. She graduated from East Rome High School and attended Georgia Highlands and Shorter College. She is married to Robert Branham and they have two daughters, Mary Katherine of Chicago and Linley of Charleston. She has been the Director/Manager of the Habitat for Humanity Restore of Rome. Louise … Read More


Alexandria Cantrell (board)

Alexandria is a Rome native, graduating from Model in 2012 and attending UGA for college, where she obtained a degree in Finance. After graduating, Alexandria quickly realized that she missed working with children and was able to transition into a job in education, where she found her calling. Alexandria is currently a Special Education Teacher … Read More

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Linda Castellanos (founding)

Linda is a founding member of DIGS. She has worked in the field of Special Education for 32 years. Eighteen of those years were in Floyd County as a special education teacher and administrator. She is currently working for the Georgia Department of Education. Linda and her husband Carlos have been married for 33 years … Read More

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Laura Harrison (founding)

Laura is a DIGS, Inc. founding member. She has had a variety of interesting occupations to include small business owners, bridal consultants, and activity directors for assisted living. Laura has been active with DIGS because of her grandson Justin. She is glad he has activities to do and is hopeful he will one day have … Read More


Mark (“Pop”) Harrison (founding)

Julian Mark “Pop” Harrison is a retired U. S. Navy veteran. Mark or “Pop” as he is known in the community as president of Harrison & Sons dba as Happy Day Chrysler-Plymouth, Coosa Motor Co. dba National Car Rentals, and Julian Harrison Finance. He also presided as Vice President of Julian Harrison Ford. Pop is … Read More

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Joy Wyatt Jones (board)

Joy is a life-long resident of Floyd County. She worked as a nurse for 36 years and was the director of Heyman HospiceCare at Floyd Hospital. Joy also contributes her time in the community as volunteer for America Cancer Society and on the Board of Directors of Network day Services, Inc. She has 2 daughters, … Read More


Kelly McDowell (board)

Kelly is a native of Chattooga County and graduated from Tron High School in 1995. She graduated from Shorter College with her BSBA. She also graduated from GNTC as a Master Cosmetologist. She is a classically trained pianist and also studied piano while at Shorter. Kelly loves all things hair and makeup, crafting, shopping, and … Read More

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Kimberly McGuiness (founder/web content)

Kimberly has been involved in special education for some 19+ years. Because of her own daughter’s life journey of living with deaf autism, Kimberly has stepped up to become an activist for deaf and hard of hearing citizens and other individuals living with developmental disabilities. Because of her strong will in making a difference in … Read More


Pat Millican (board)

Pat is a local genealogist and cemeterian. She has been researching her and her late husband’s families for over 35 years. She is a member of the DAR and UDC. Pat is the widow of Ronald Millican, to whom she was married for 31 years. They are the parents of Justin & Patrick Millican. Her … Read More

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Mary Patton (board)

Mary was born in Atlanta, Georgia. She attended Atlanta Public schools and Graduated from Reinhardt Junior College with an AA degree in 1974. Mary is married to S. Stephen Patton. Mary’s past experience has been working with the Cerebral Palsy Center, which is now known as Network Day Services and has managed an in-home daycare … Read More


Lamar Paul (founding)

Lamar was born and raised in Plains, GA. In 1969, he moved to Rome with his wife, Barbara, and their five children. He helped in the construction of many power plants in GA, TN, and Alabama and was a member of the Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 766 of Rome, now local 72 of Atlanta. He … Read More


Suzanne Schroeder (founding)

Suzanne retired from Delta Air Lines after working for more than 32 years as a flight attendant. She is married to Charlie Schroeder and they have three children Christian, Cory, and Caleigh and three grandchildren.


Winston Sirmans (board)

Winston Sirmans is an experienced, licensed real estate broker with a degree from the University of Georgia in Journalism and Public Relations.  A native of Waycross, GA, he and his wife, the former Millie Starnes, have resided in Rome since 1967.  They have 2 sons and 5 grandchildren. Winston is an active communicant and former … Read More


Mary Williams (founding)

Mary is a retired school administrator. She was a special education teacher before becoming an administrator. Mary became involved with DIGS because of her sweet son, Noah. She had no idea of all the blessings she and Noah would receive from being part of the DIGS family. As Mary and Noah constantly participate in fundraising … Read More


Marie Wilson (board)

A Cartersville native, a graduate of Woodland High School in 2015, and a graduate of Paul Mitchell Cosmetology School. She was a part of the Rome Braves Brigade starting in 2015. Working there, along with the Challenger Brigade team, is where her passion for serving the community began. She enjoys her career, spending time with … Read More

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