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 Left to right, top row: Matt Ashworth, Valerie Bradley, Thane Good  Left to right. bottom row: Chris Jackson, Rumer Shirakbari, Kevin Williams

Left to right, top row: Matt Ashworth, Valerie Bradley, Thane Good Left to right. bottom row: Chris Jackson, Rumer Shirakbari, Kevin Williams

The Otis Redding Foundation is excited to welcome six new members to its Board of Directors. Matt Ashworth (WE Communications), Valerie Bradley (Visit Macon), Thane Good (Hargray Fiber), Chris Jackson (Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia), Rumer Shirakbari (Night Owl, singer/songwriter), and Kevin Williams (Mercer University) were all voted in at the February 2019 board meeting.

“The Foundation has seen great growth in the last few years,” says Karla Redding-Andrews, executive director and vice president for the Otis Redding Foundation, and daughter of Otis Redding. “With the growth of the Foundation and its programming, we have seen the growth of the board and its involvement in the strategy and planning for the future of the organization. We are incredibly fortunate to have such an amazing group of people to take us into these next years, with such diverse areas of expertise.”

The six new board members join Mrs. Redding-Andrew, Zelma Redding, Jeff Battcher, Steve Daugherty, and Jessica Walden.

New board members’ bios:

Matt Ashworth: Matt is an SVP in the Technology Practice and the General Manager for the Seattle office for WE Communications, a PR and digital marketing firm that solves amazing, complicated, strategic, creative, fast-moving, global and tactical communications mind-benders. In this role, he works with a mix of clients including Brother Business Group and McDonald’s. Previously in his career, he guided communications for a wide variety of brands including DoubleDown Casino,, HP, PlayNetwork, T-Mobile, and Zonar. His passion for digital technology and storytelling serves him well in my role on the advisory board for the Seattle Interactive Conference.

A self-proclaimed “music nerd,” he is the founder, publisher, and editor of, a volunteer online music and culture magazine publishing from the Northwest since 1997 and has served as the publicist for the Bumbershoot and Capitol Hill Block Party festivals.

Valerie Bradley: As Vice President of Marketing for Visit Macon, Valerie Bradley oversees the marketing, advertising, branding, public relations and social media for Macon’s tourism organization. Valerie has spent the last 7 1/2 years with Visit Macon in several marketing and communications roles and leading various initiatives including rebranding the destination to “Where Soul Lives”. A graduate of the University of Alabama, she is a member of the American Marketing Association, Public Relations Society of America and is active in numerous community organizations in Macon.

Thane Good: A strong, accomplished and energetic leader with 28 years of telecommunications experience working with Cox Communications and most recently Hargray Fiber as of July of 2018. He has a proven record of sustaining growth and profitability while building effective teams and relationships. “Having the opportunity to invest in the Macon community and our young adults helps to bolster economic growth and prosperity and is very special to me. I am passionate about Macon’s future and the people who live here. It is very exciting to be part of initiatives that make a big impact, such as the Otis Redding Foundation and I am both fortunate to be a part of the Otis Redding legacy and future,” says Good.

Good received his BA in Management at Bellevue University in Omaha, Nebraska. Originally born in Colorado, he moved to Macon 34 years ago where he graduated from Central High School and later met his wife, Dodi. Married for 25 years, they have two children, Bailey and Alex. Together they spend most of their free time enjoying and hosting events on their family farm, Tiny Tails Fun Farm. The Good family benefits from the Otis Redding Foundation with Alex attending the summer music camp and weekend educational program involvement.

Chris Jackson: Proud Veteran of the United States Air Force. Change agent and disruptor. Chris teaches leaders and organizations how to inspire people to connect and excel. His unconventional and innovative views on business and leadership will leave you both amazed and refreshed. Chris remains optimistic about the future of business and shares his optimism in every encounter. Chris understands the connection between results and business growth. He has spoken across the United States to various trade organizations as well as local chamber events, and he brings a unique world view and personal experiences in life and business to his talks, courtesy of his military background. Chris is active on Social Media as well as in his local community.

Rumer Shirakbari: Rumer Shirakbari is a critically acclaimed British singer and songwriter. Her debut album, Seasons of My Soul, (Atlantic) has sold over a million copies worldwide. Her sultry voice has earned her praise from Elton John and Burt Bacharach.  Rumer’s success has taken her all over the world, and she has even performed for Mr. and Mrs. Obama at the White House. Rumer now runs her own music and media production company, Night Owl, and is Macon’s newest resident.

Kevin Williams: Dr. Kevin B. Williams is the former project coordinator for the Injury Prevention Center at Hughes Spalding Children’s Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, where he taught health education to patients, parents, and staff. His other responsibilities included managing a grant from the Robert Woodruff Foundation, data collection, and evaluation of program and research activities. Kevin Williams was an entrepreneur from 1993 – 2006 serving as the former president and CEO of Uplift Enterprises Inc., a management, special events, and production company. His current research focus is on African American students living with Learning Disabilities, and the health and education outcomes of those students. Other research interests of Dr. Williams include health services research, health workforce research, and health policy research and leadership. Kevin believes a person using uplift education values the learner’s contribution in the classroom and challenges the student to be great in critical thinking, writing and oral delivery. An uplift educator also challenges the learner to think about the larger contribution that he or she can make through his or her education and career.