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ROTARY CLUB OF
|Foundation Chair||Bonnie Hardage|
|Membership Chair||Benjamin Ragin|
|Foundation Chair||Frank Jackson|
James H. Shepherd, Jr., is the chairman of the Board of Directors and chief strategy officer for Shepherd Center. He co-founded Shepherd Center in 1975 with his parents, Harold and Alana Shepherd, and David Apple, M.D., the hospital’s first medical director.
James and the co-founders have built a facility that has garnered international recognition for the treatment of spinal cord injury, brain injury and multiple sclerosis. Also, Shepherd Center has also become a nationally recognized advocate for people with disabilities.
A native of Atlanta, James graduated from the Westminster Schools and then received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Georgia in 1973. It was his near-fatal bodysurfing accident in Brazil that year that led to the founding of Shepherd Center in 1975. After six months of intensive rehabilitation in Denver, Colorado, James regained the ability to walk with a cane and leg brace. When the Shepherd family returned home to Atlanta, they were frustrated with the lack of rehabilitation center options in the Southeast. With his parents’ enthusiastic support, James and his family founded Shepherd Center in 1975 as a six-bed unit, and almost immediately, there was a waiting list.
Throughout Shepherd Center’s history, James has worked to improve accessibility and opportunity for people with disabilities. He regularly communicates with community leaders, legislators and the news media to increase public awareness. And he tours groups through Shepherd Center, speaks to community organizations, and makes advocates and donors of the many people he reaches.
On both the state and national level, James has made a tremendous commitment and contribution to providing exceptional healthcare for people with spinal cord and/or brain injuries. He exemplifies how dedication and determination can bring change to society. His contributions have been recognized with numerous awards, including a national award for distinguished public service from the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and an honorary doctorate from the University of Georgia – both of which also recognized his parents’ contributions.
James has actively served on numerous boards and committees to further the education and research to benefit people with disabilities. He has served as director of the National Rehabilitation Awareness Foundation, on the Board of Directors of the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Center for Rehabilitation Technology, the Governor’s Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Trust Fund Authority and as a board member of Initiative 2000 (a celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act). James also served on the Steering Committee for the First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta, which led the Interfaith Conference on Disability Awareness. He is an active volunteer in the community, having volunteered on the accessibility advisory committees of MARTA, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, the Georgia World Congress Center and the Georgia Dome.
Congratulations to Mark Galvin, the 2018-2019 Brookhaven Rotarian of the Year!! Thanks so much for all that you continue to do for our Club!
Taifa Smith Butler is executive director of the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, where she leads and inspires the GBPI team to accomplish the organization’s mission and vision to improve economic opportunity for all Georgians. She is a problem solver, tireless champion for equity, working families and investing early in children — Georgia’s greatest asset.
Taifa brings more than 20 years of experience in strategic communications, public policy research and data analysis in the public, nonprofit and private sectors. Prior to joining the GBPI team as deputy director in 2011, she served as the policy and communications director for Georgia Family Connection Partnership where she co-managed the Georgia KIDS COUNT project and monitored public policy and its impact on children, families and communities.
She has served on various local, state and national committees and boards. She was a member of Leadership Georgia Class of 2016 and a Rockwood Leadership Institute Leading from the Inside Out Fellow, Class of 2017. Taifa currently serves on the Demos board of directors, as well as the Betty & Davis Fitzgerald Foundation board of trustees.
She is also a highly sought-after speaker. Recent engagements include the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, New Leaders Council, foundation events for Mary Reynolds Babcock, Annie E. Casey Foundation and Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, and many more.
Taifa graduated from Mount Holyoke College and holds a master’s in public management and policy from the Heinz School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University, with a concentration in economic development and financial management.
Jordan Greenbaum is a child abuse physician at the Stephanie V. Blank Center for Safe and Healthy Children, at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. She is the medical director of the Center’s Institute on Healthcare and Human Trafficking, as well as the medical director of the Global Health and Well-being Initiative with the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children.
Jordan co-chairs the Human Trafficking committee for the Ray Helfer Society, and the Education/Training committee for HEAL Trafficking. She conducts research on child sex trafficking and provides training for medical and non-medical professionals at the local, national and international levels.