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board meeting

Jim Behning - Jim was born and raised in Ohio. Bicycles were his main source of transport and freedom. After graduating from college in 1983, he moved to Georgia with his wife Laura. Working in construction for a few years led to working in IT the past 20 years. Jim and Laura live south of Covington with a small herd of horses and a few dogs.

Lowell Chambers - Lowell has been a Newton County resident since 1994.  He is elected to Porterdale City Council Post 5, represents Porterdale on the Newton County Water and Sewerage Authority, and serves on the boards of other local organizations.  He is married and has two sons.  He and his family enjoy bicycling, canoeing, and outdoor activities of all types.  They also enjoy traveling abroad whenever possible.

Cynthia Eagan - Cynthia, her husband Vince, and their four children have lived in Newton County since 2000. She is the Broker/Owner of East Metro Real Estate, an Epidemiology Assistant COVID-19 Case Investigator for the Georgia Department of Public Health, a member of the East Metro Board of Realtors (EMBOR) Board of Directors, a member of the Parents Council for the Newton County School System, past-President of Piedmont Newton Hospital Auxiliary, and past Board member of the Covington Family YMCA. She enjoys serving the community, running, hiking, trips to the beach, photography and international travel.

Duane Ford (Chair) - Duane and his wife moved to Covington in 2016 following his retirement from a career in higher education. He started that career as an assistant professor teaching crop science but eventually served as a college dean and lastly as a technical college president. They have a daughter and son; hobbies include hiking, bicycling, gardening, disc golf, and DIY home improvement projects.

Debra Griffith (Secretary/Treasurer) - Debra is a 65-yr native to Covington/Newton County.  She retired from her position as the Director of Medical Services & Support for C.R. Bard, Inc., where she worked for 37 years. She currently serves as Board Member At Large representing Newton Trails on the board of Newton County Tomorrow.  Debra, her husband, Rich, and their 2 dogs live on Lake Varner where they enjoy kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing, and bird watching. Additional hobbies in the Griffith household include cycling, hiking, gardening, trap shooting and soap-making.

John Keck - John and his wife, Susie, have lived in Covington since 2005. John retired as President of Pratt Industries Display Division in 2016 and became active in giving back to the community by serving on the Board of Directors for Action Ministries (Hope Atlanta), the Covington Conyers Cycling Club, and volunteering for other local charities in the area. He is an active cyclist and rode 5,284 miles on his bike last year.  John and Susie enjoy travel and have visited 45 countries and are still counting. John has two children, a daughter who is an attorney in Atlanta and a son who is a minister in North Carolina, and seven grandchildren. John has worked to become proficient at home improvement projects over the years but in spite of his best efforts has earned the nickname of the “unhandy man.” John looks forward to working with the Board to expand the trail's footprint.

John McCarthy - John and his wife Terri have lived in Covington for over 20 years and have a son that is attending Mercer University in Macon. Since 2011 he has been the Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 211 in Oxford, GA.  He enjoys camping, hiking and pretty much all outdoor activities. Since his retirement from AT&T in 2017 he has become very active volunteering his time with several not-for-profit organizations.

Rebecca Moore  -  Rebecca was born and raised in Conyers, GA and moved back to the area after graduating from Georgia College & State University in 2018. She is a licensed Realtor and Interior Designer, working all over the Metro Atlanta area. She spends her free time walking the trail with friends and her rescue pup "Birdie". 


Greg Richardson  - Greg has lived in the area since 1987.  He and his wife, Tamara, have 2 daughters who also love the outdoors.   Greg enjoys hiking, cycling, kayaking, bird watching, gardening, and traveling.

Janette Scharf - Janette was born and raised in Wisconsin. She moved to Covington with her family in 2003 and has raised 4 children here.  Janette is the sports director and teaches group exercise classes for the Covington Family YMCA. She enjoys running on the trails and encourages others to get out and use the trails, keeping the residents and visitors of Covington active and involved within the community.

Judy Tilmont - Judy moved to Covington in the fall of 2022. She and her husband, Steve, moved from Indianapolis, IN, where Judy was the Executive Director for the Indiana District of the United States Tennis Association. Volunteering in support of the trail was her first involvement in the Covington community. She and her family lead very active lifestyles that include tennis, golf, hiking and skiing so they are enjoying the trail and hope to help maintain and expand it for everyone in the region. 

Charles “Chip” West - Chip has been a Covington resident since marrying his wife Jonna, a lifelong Newton County resident, in 2002.  Chip retired from the US Air Force Reserves in 2004 where he flew into hurricanes as a meteorologist on WC-130 aircraft, and recently retired for a second time in 2022 from the National Weather Service with 39 years of federal service.  From 2003 until they closed in 2017, Chip was also an earth science professor at Troy University’s Covington campus.  Since retirement Chip enjoys outdoor activities, volunteering, and running and biking on local trails.

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