Board of directors

Barrie Aycock – Board Chair

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Barrie Aycock and her husband Bobby moved to Habersham County from Decatur, Georgia in 1987 to renovate and open the 150-year-old Glen-Ella Springs Inn which they owned and operated until 2008.

Barrie’s primary focus at the inn was managing the restaurant, which quickly became known as the premier fine-dining destination in Northeast Georgia.  During that time, she was involved in many local and statewide tourism organizations and was also active in national culinary and inn-keeping associations. 

After the sale of Glen-Ella Springs in 2008 the couple moved to Clarkesville.  She became a member of the Clarkesville City Council in 2013.  She has been mayor of Clarkesville since 2015.  In the fall of 2017, when she learned of the opportunity for the City of Clarkesville to assume ownership of the Old Clarkesville Cemetery, she led the efforts to acquire the property from the former non-profit that had been inactive for several years. 


Diane Black Brown – Fundraising

Diane Black Brown is a native of Clarkesville and a graduate of the University of Georgia.

Diane is currently a partner and broker for The Norton Agency for the residential and commercial mountain divisions.

Diane is a past nominee for Georgia Realtor of the Year and served as served as president of Habersham, White, Stephens Board of Realtors for two terms. She currently serves on the board of directors for the Georgia Mountain and Lakes Realtor Association. Additionally, she serves as the chair for the Faith Christian Academy Board of Directors.

She is a member of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Habersham County Rotary Club, Alpha Gamma Delta Alumni Chapter, past member of Emma Shepherd Burns Chapter Children of the Confederacy, Habersham Chapter United Daughters of the Confederacy.

Diane is married to Franklin Brown has three children, nine grandchildren and a very faithful Cocker Spaniel, Dixie Rose. She enjoys cooking, collecting antiques and genealogy.


Polly Earle – Head of Restoration

Polly Earle of Clarkesville is just getting her second wind.

An avid historic preservationist, Polly brings a no-nonsense work ethic to any project.

Along with Brooks Garcia, Polly can be found on most warm days up to her elbow in concrete and dirt working to bring the Old Clarkesville Cemetery back to a sanctuary of respite and solace.

She has worked on several historic preservation projects in Northeast Georgia, including a cemetery in the Lavonia area and a historic schoolhouse.


Brooks Garcia – Head of Landscaping

Brooks was born in Atlanta, attended The Lovett School and then the University of Georgia where he majored in Landscape Architecture and received his BLA. Garcia then toured Europe and studied classical garden design.

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After working for the renowned garden designer Ryan Gainey, Brooks launched his own garden design firm, Fine Gardens, which he headed for almost 25 years. Fine Gardens specialized in high-end residential design.

While in Atlanta, Brooks served on the board of Hills and Dales Estate in LaGrange, Georgia and helped open the historic Fuller Callaway home and gardens to the public. He also served on the board of The Historic Oakland Foundation which is charged with the restoration and preservation of Historic Oakland Cemetery. He also worked at the cemetery as a gardener helping to plant and maintain the Victorian-style gardens there.

He brings with him his six years of experience of working at Oakland to the Old Clarkesville Cemetery board and project. It is his desire to bring the Old Clarkesville Cemetery back to the Victorian splendor that it once might have been.

What brought this new resident to Habersham county was a lifelong desire to fulfill his dream of living in the mountains, owning property and farming. He designed his Tuscan style villa and oversaw its construction in Demorest. When asked if he misses Atlanta he responds, “Where!?” “I have never been happier in my life than I have been living here.”


Virginia Gorday – Historian

Virginia Gorday was born in Augusta attended the University of Tennessee and Georgia State University where she graduated with a BA in psychology-Magna Cum Laude.

Virginia retired from the Portman Companies in 2014 as senior vice president of operations/administration at AmericasMart and had previously served as vice president of property management over the Peachtree Center Complex and One Peachtree Center.

When in Atlanta, she was a member of the Leadership Atlanta Class of 1999, chair of the Atlanta Downtown Partnership Interagency Security Task Force, board member of St. Jude’s Recovery Center, volunteer with the Grady Hospital Rape Crisis Center, president of the board of the Atlanta YWCA and a 2004 member of the Academy of Women of Achievement. Professionally, she participated in numerous real estate-related organizations including serving as the vice chair of the Environmental Issues Committee of the Real Estate Roundtable in Washington, DC.

She is a member of the Tomochichi Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution and is a member of Grace-Calvary Episcopal Church.

Virginia lives in Rabun County with her husband Peter Gorday, a retired Episcopal priest; they have one son.  She is eternally up to her ears in genealogical research – her avocation – and is thrilled to have been asked by Mayor Aycock to join the board.  Having an entire cemetery’s residents to research and document is “a dream come true.”


E. Lane Gresham – Recording Secretary

E. Lane Gresham

E. Lane Gresham relocated with her family to Habersham County in 1999 seeking a deeper connection to community.

Her career in Habersham County has always been community-focused.

Lane, a writer and photographer, is currently serving as the Director of Community Relations for Tallulah Falls School. Prior to working at TFS, she served as the editor of The Northeast Georgian.

She is a member of the Clarkesville City Council and serves as an advisory board member for the Commercial Photography program at North Georgia Technical College. She also serves on the steering committee for the Habersham Chamber of Commerce sponsored professional women’s organization, SOAR.

She is a past member of several other boards and committees including Habersham 200 [Habersham County’s Bicentennial committee], the Georgia Literary Festival, The Little School, the Sautee-Nacoochee Community Association and the Foothills Photography Group.


Anne Short

Anne Short

Anne grew up in Augusta where she graduated from Augusta University. She was a teacher, language arts consultant and Executive Director of the Central Savannah River Area Regional Educational Service Agency (RESA). She was a member of the Columbia County Rotary Club and started the Youth Leadership Columbia Program.

In 1999, Anne moved to Habersham County to become the Executive Director of Pioneer RESA, which serves 14 counties in the Northeast Georgia area.

Upon retirement, she and her husband, Mike, decided to make Northeast Georgia their permanent home. Anne became a CASA volunteer and served on the CASA Board for four years. Anne was active in many areas of service at Grace-Calvary Episcopal Church, is a member of the Tomochichi DAR and serves on the Clarkesville Main Street Board in Clarkesville.

Anne and her husband have three children and nine grandchildren. They enjoy creating art in different mediums and are part of the Art Colony of Georgia. They are avid walkers, enjoy hiking and love to travel.


Kathy Walker – Treasurer

Kathy Walker

Kathy Walker moved to Clarkesville from Stuart, FL in 1990. 

Kathy married Habersham County native Tommy Walker and they spent the next 25 years owning and operating Cody Road Workshops, a boutique furniture factory. 

She and her husband have two sons and are members of Grace- Calvary Episcopal Church in Clarkesville.