Executive Director Jody Sandwick
Jo Ellen (Jody) Sandwick was born and resided in Spring Lake Michigan until moving to Georgia ten years ago.
Jody has two children and six grandchildren. The two youngest grandchildren are adopted because they were abandoned by their birth parents.
She volunteered for fifteen years for the March of Dimes in both volunteer and executive positions. She also volunteered for ten years in the Hackley Hospital Mental Health Unit in Muskegon, Michigan. She was President of the Hackley Hospital Lobbyside Auxiliary from 1984 – 1986. She was a licensed broker for ING Brokerage Firm and had her own branch office servicing many clients for 23 years. She retired from the financial field in 2013.
Board of Directors
Retired, GA State Department of Education
Jonnie grew up in Wrens, GA (Jefferson County). She graduated from GA Southern College with a BA in History and a Master of Educational Leadership. She earned an Educational Specialist in Educational Leadership degree from Augusta College. During her professional career, Jonnie served as a teacher, building level administrator, and system administrator. She was Associate Superintendent when she retired from the Columbia County School System. Jonnie then worked for the GA State Department of Education, School Improvement Division and later as an educational consultant. Jonnie is an active member of an international professional educators’ organization where she has held various positions at the local, state, and international levels.
Jonnie has two daughters, four grandchildren, and three great grandchildren. She has been blessed with a loving and caring family and has a heart for children less fortunate. Jonnie believes that Circle Ranch will provide the stable family support system for abandoned, homeless children and looks forward to serving on the Board.
Kathryn "Katie" Williams
Registered NICU Nurse, St. Mary's Hospital, Athens
Katie is a Kansas City, Missouri native and graduated from the University of Missouri in 2005 with a Bachelor's degree in nursing. She has been practicing as a NICU nurse for 12 years. In 2016 Katie co-founded the Lake Oconee chapter of Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS). She is actively involved with Lake Oconee Church.
She and her husband, Jason Williams, are raising three wonderful little farm girls in Greene County.
Katie strongly believes every child deserves a loving home.
Skipper was born and raised in Montgomery, Al. He graduated from Belhaven College in 1975 and from Reformed Theological Seminary in 1978. He worked in loss control for Harford Insurance and the Chubb Insurance Company.
Skipper retired after 26 years of employment. Skipper and his wife Lynn and two grown children and also have cared for two young boys for two years as part of the Department of Child and Family Service Foster Parent program.
They live in Putnam County and are very active at many different levels in Lakeside Church in Greensboro Ga.
Skipper believes we should all give back and to look after the orphans in need.
Real Estate Agent, American Realty Lake Country
Joyce E. Kender was born in Crossville, Tennessee. She grew up in Dayton, Ohio, moved to Decatur, Georgia in 1972, and to Greensboro Georgia in 1993.
Joyce was employed by three federal government agencies from 1972 to 1995. In 1995, she was employed as an Executive Assistant to the Greene County Chamber of Commerce. She obtained her Georgia realtor license in 1997 and is currently employed by Keller Williams Realty Lake Oconee.
She was past President of the Lake Country Board of Realtors and is currently President of the Lake Oconee Ladies Auxiliary, Elks Lodge 2849.
Robert "Bob" Barns
General Manager, The Lodge on Lake Oconee
Robert Barnes was born in Sterling, Massachusetts, but spent most of his adult life in Florida where he spent about 30 years operating a number of different hospitality, property and travel related businesses.
He moved to Georgia in 2014 after selling his management company. His intention was to find a less demanding job so he could spend more time with his two young children.
He is currently the General Manager of a small lakeside hotel in Eatonton and spends his spare time with his children and in serving with some area churches.
Barbara Torbert is a long term resident of Greensboro in Greene County, Georgia. She has a Bachelor of Science in Home Economics Education from the University of Georgia. She served as a University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Agent in Morgan and Greene counties during which time she was County Extension Director of Greene County. She also served as Home Economics agent for Greene, Morgan and Putnam counties.
Barbara served as a court appointed member of a Judicial Panel assisting in overseeing the wellbeing of children in the foster care system in Greene County. She served five years on the Board of the Greene County Hospital Authority and was instrumental in establishing the first Empty Stocking benevolence program in Greene County. Both she and her husband Gerald were foster parents for Greene County and they have two natural children and one adopted child.
Karen was raised in California and moved to the Lake Oconee area in 2006 after retirement.
She earned a Bachelor of Science in Speech and Communication k-8 Teacher Certificate from Portland State University, a master’s and Specialist’s degree in Library Media Technology from Georgia State University.
Before retirement, Karen spent 26 years as a classroom teacher, Media and Technology specialist, and an Instrumental Lead Teacher.
Karen has two daughters and five grandsons. Karen believes children are our future and she looks forward to working with Circle Ranch to provide a stable loving, Christian environment for as many children as possible.
Patrick attended The Citadel, in Charleston, South Carolina where he graduated Cum Laude and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. He also attended Georgia State University in Atlanta where he received his Master of Business Administration and Juris Doctor degree.
Patrick was employed at Interface, Atlanta for 20 years as CFO and Vice President(2001 – 2007) and as CFO and Senior Vice President (2007 – 2016) Patrick retired from Darling Ingredients in Irving Texas in 2017 as Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President.
Patrick has two wonderful daughters and resides in Eatonton, Ga. Patrick’s desire is to give back to the community where there is a need.
Debra Busing (pronounced Beesing)
Debra taught high school physical education for eight years while living in Indiana. After moving to Atlanta she ran her own swim instruction business.
Debra has done mission work in Guatemala and is active in St. Vincent De Paul organization and Christ Our King Catholic Church.
Debra has three adult children and has a passion for helping children in our own community who are in need. Debra resides in Eatonton, Ga.
Linda S. Martin
Born and raised in suburban Chicago, Ill. Linda moved to Atlanta forty years ago and has lived in the Lake Oconee area for fourteen years after retiring from the banking industry.
Linda has served on the Board of Directors for Habitat For Humanity, Cheerful Hearts Ministry, and Harmony Hospice. She attended a two year Discipleship Training and is an active member of Lake Oconee Presbyterian Church.
Linda has two sons and two grandsons. Linda feels our children are our future looks forward to working with Circle Ranch to provide a stable loving Christian environment for as many children as possible.