UWG Foundation Adds Two Members

Friday, February 11, 2011

George Brooks, president of the central region for UPS in Aurora, Ill., and Dave Knight, senior vice president of J. Smith Lanier and Co. in Carrollton, have been appointed to three-year terms on the University of West Georgia Foundation Inc. Board of Trustees.

“I am delighted to welcome two new board members to our foundation board, and look forward to working with Mr. George Brooks and Mr. Dave Knight,” said Beheruz N. Sethna, president of UWG. “They come at the right time to help us in our journey to become a destination university.”

Brooks began his career with UPS as a part-time package handler while an undergraduate student at West Georgia. After graduating with a degree in management in 1984, Brooks continued various assignments in many facets of UPS operations.

In 1999, Brooks was promoted to vice president of operations for the central Florida district, and was later named to the same position in Denver in 2001. He was named vice president for UPS’s Southeast region in 2004, and in 2007 he became president of the North Central region. Last year, the North Central region was realigned and today he serves as president of the Central Region, encompassing parts of 19 states in the middle of the country.

Brooks serves on the executive advisory council of the National Urban League’s Black Executive Exchange Program, and is a board member for the Chicago Urban League and the United Way of metropolitan Chicago. He is also a member of the National Association of Guardsmen and a 30-year member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.

Beyond his UWG degree, Brooks received a master’s degree in business administration with an emphasis on global management from the University of Phoenix. He is also a graduate of the Columbia Senior Executive Program at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business, and the Chief Executive Leadership Institute at the Yale School of Management.

He lives in Naperville, Ill., with his wife, Gloria, a 1987 graduate of UWG. They have two children, Gratia and Greonna.

Knight serves as senior vice president for J. Smith Lanier and Co. in Carrollton. He received a bachelor of science in business education degree from West Georgia in 1973, and later became a commissioned officer at the Georgia Military Institute.  Knight was a charter member of the Theta Pi chapter of Sigma Nu Fraternity at UWG.

His professional affiliations include serving as president of the Georgia Association of Health Underwriters (1999-2000), and he has been a board member of the organization since 1996. He also led the National Association of Insurance Financial Advisors from 1994 to 1996.

Knight is deeply involved in civic organizations locally. He is a member of the Carrollton Lions Club and served as president from 1989 to 1990. He is a volunteer fundraiser with youth in the Carrollton summer track program, and has been the fundraising chair for the Georgia Association of Health Underwriters during the past three years with donations surpassing $100,000 for CURE and Cystic Fibrosis.

Through his service to the Lions Club, he has been named a Melvin Jones Fellow (1997) and was named Lion of the Year twice - 1987 and 1994. In addition, he was named the Georgia Health Underwriter of the Year in 2004 and that organization honored him by naming its foundation the R. David Knight Foundation.
Knight is a widower and has one son, Josh (a UWG graduate), who lives in Jacksonville, Fla., and an 8-year-old grandson who lives on Tybee Island.

“We are excited to have George and Dave join the Board of Trustees and help us advance the University of West Georgia,” said Jim Naughton, associate vice president for development and alumni relations at UWG. “Both of these accomplished alumni are not only leaders in their respective fields, they are extraordinarily fine gentlemen.

“We are so very pleased that they have agreed to offer their time and energy to help us at the foundation raise the awareness of UWG and to help us help our student population every way possible.”

The University of West Georgia Foundation Inc. is a non-profit organization with the primary purpose of exclusively raising, administering, investing and transferring private gifts for the University of West Georgia. While funding from the state provides financial support for the university, charitable funding provides scholarship opportunities and enhances the quality of UWG’s academic programs.