Excellence. Leadership. Character.


Governance at Riverside Military Academy

The Academy is governed by a 24-member Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees, greatly expanded since 2009, has become a strength of the Academy. The depth and breadth of professional experience represented among the Trustees is impressive and invaluable. In addition to bankers, attorneys, and financiers, they count college presidents, a state Superintendent of Education, general contractors, CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, and a Flag Officer among their number. The president has autonomy in operational matters, while the Board of Trustees is more strategic.

Executive Staff

List of 12 items.

  • COL(R) Stanley C. "Stas" Preczewski, USA, Ph.D.

    Read Bio
  • Robert Brittain Daniel, J.D.

    Executive Vice President
    Read Bio
  • SgtMaj(R) Jorge F. Sosa, USMC

    Academy Sergeant Major
    Read Bio
  • LTC Adam Carter

    Interim Commandant of Cadets
  • LTC(R) David Lee

    Senior Army Instructor
    Read Bio
  • Ellen DeFoor

    Vice President for Advancement
    Read Bio
  • Mark DeFoor

    Interim Athletic Director
  • MAJ Brandon Knox

    Vice President for Student Activities & Chaplain
  • Laura Maxwell

    Chief Financial Officer
    Read Bio
  • Tee Mitchell

    Vice President for Enrollment Management
    Read Bio
  • Cathy D. Moore, Ph.D.

    Dean of Academics
    Read Bio
  • Amanda Willis

    Vice President of Operations, Strategic Communications and Initiatives
    Read Bio

Board of Trustees

List of 24 items.

  • C. Brian Daniel, Chairman

    Brian Daniel is President & CEO of Carroll Daniel Construction Company, a general contracting firm based in Gainesville, GA. Mr. Daniel earned his B.S. in Management from Auburn University and his M.S. in Building Construction from Kennesaw State University.

    Mr. Daniel serves on the Board of Governors of the Georgia World Congress Center Authority, as Board member and former Chairman of the Georgia State Licensing Board for Residential and General Contractors, and Vice Chairman of Board of Directors of the Associated General Contractors of Georgia. Mr. Daniel is a past Campaign Chairman and Board Chairman for the United Way of Hall County, Past Chairman of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, and is affiliated with a number of other community and civic organizations in Hall County. Mr. Daniel is a graduate of Leadership Hall and Leadership Georgia.

    Mr. Daniel and his wife Kristin have 2 children and live in Gainesville, Georgia.
  • GEN(R) Daniel J. Kaufman, Vice Chairman

    GEN(R) Daniel J. Kaufman is President of DKaufman Consulting, LLC, a firm specializing in advising on leadership and organizational development. He is the past President and Chief Executive Officer of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, a position he held from July 2013 until June 2019.  
    He was the founding president of Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC), located in Lawrenceville, Georgia, the first new public four-year college in Georgia in over 100 years. The college admitted its first class of 118 students in August 2006. At the time of his departure in June 2013, GGC had nearly 10,000 students.
    In addition to serving on the Riverside Military Academy Board of Trustees, Kaufman has served on the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, the Gwinnett Medical Center Foundation, and was a founding director of Touchmark National Bank. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.  
    He was a Brigadier General in the U.S. Army, serving as Dean of the Academic Board and Chief Academic Officer at the United States Military Academy at West Point, a position from which he retired from in June 2005.  
    Kaufman graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1968. He holds a Masters of Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and a Doctorate in Philosophy in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was selected as a Distinguished Graduate by the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 2017.
    His military service includes tours in the United States and Vietnam, where he received the Bronze Star for heroism and two Purple Hearts. He served as a Special Assistant to three Chiefs of Staff of the Army and was a member of the Department of Defense Presidential Transition Team in 1992. He was engaged extensively in the development of the National Military Academy of Afghanistan, which opened in Kabul in April 2005. General Kaufman was honored by the British government as an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.).  
    He and his wife, Kathryn, are both natives of Brunswick, Georgia. They have two children, Emily and David, and four grandchildren.
  • John W. "Jay" Jacobs III, Secretary

    John W. “Jay” Jacobs III is the son of Martha Rand Jacobs and the late John W. Jacobs, Jr. He is a 1979 graduate of Lakeview Academy in Gainesville, Georgia, and attended Presbyterian College and Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia.

    Mr. Jacobs began with Jacobs Media in 1983 as an advertising salesman and was promoted to President five years later. In 1990, he and family friend Clara Martin erected WMJE FM 102.9, known today as WDUN FM 102.9. The company acquired WGGA AM in 1992, which is known today as 94.5 FM/1240 AM WGGA The Lake.

    In 1999, Jacobs Media developed a news and information website, AccessWDUN.com, formerly known as AccessNorthGA.com, which is Northeast Georgia’s most-read local news website with more than 55 million page views and over 3 million unique visitors annually.

    Mr. Jacobs is a former chairman of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, former President of the Kiwanis Club of Gainesville, and a former member of the Gainesville Jaycees. He is also a recipient of the Jaycee of the Year Award. He is a member of the Leadership Georgia Foundation Class of 2000. He previously served on the Gainesville Bank and Trust Board, the Lakeview Academy Board of Trustees, Board of the Georgia Association of Broadcasters, and is a member of the Board of Directors for United Way of Hall County. He is a member of Gainesville First United Methodist Church.

    Mr. Jacobs is the owner and chairman of Jacobs Media Corporation, a second-generation family media business founded by his father in 1949, located in Gainesville, Georgia. Today, Jacobs Media is composed of three radio stations, WDUN AM 550, WDUN FM 102.9, and 94.5 FM The Lake, a premier north Georgia online news source (AccessWDUN.com), and a digital design entity (AccessWDUN Plus).

    Mr. Jacobs is also the managing partner of Jacobs Management, a real estate partnership that manages local commercial properties including Thompson Court Shopping Center in Gainesville, Georgia.

    Mr. Jacobs has been married to Anna Alexander Jacobs for 33 years and has three adult children, Lydia Jacobs Gailey, Louisa Rhodes Jacobs, and John W. Jacobs IV, and one grandchild, William Wesley Gailey. The family resides in Gainesville, Georgia.
  • Charlie J. Lail, Jr., Treasurer

    Charlie J. (Jody) Lail, Jr. is a Senior Vice President for Entegra Bank, headquartered in Franklin, North Carolina. Before its acquisition by Entegra Bank in 2017, he was the founding President and CEO of Chattahoochee Bank of Georgia, headquartered Gainesville, Georgia, for nine years. Mr. Lail’s banking career spans a total of 30 years.
    Mr. Lail’s community involvement includes stints as a Director & Treasurer of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, an advisory director of the Hall County Salvation Army, and a past President and Lt. Governor in the Georgia District of Kiwanis International.
    Mr. Lail earned a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the United States Military Academy and a Juris Doctorate from Georgia State University College of Law. He is also a graduate of the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University. Mr. Lail served five years in the U.S. Army, followed by 16 years in the Georgia Army National Guard, retiring from military service in 2004.
    Mr. Lail is a Georgia native and a long-time resident of South Hall County. He and his wife, Nancy, have two sons.
  • Foster Bachschmidt, '06

    Foster Bachschmidt is a 2006 graduate of RMA and was honored as the Distinguished Young Alumnus in 2015. An excellent student during his five years at RMA, he competed on the rifle and golf teams, was a member of the National Honor Society, Horton Society, and Literary Society, and served as a peer tutor. He was the Battalion S-1 his senior year.
    Following RMA he graduated from the Cockrell School of Civil Engineering at the University of Texas. 
    Foster’s interest in the construction industry began at an early age when he worked as an apprentice mechanic in his mother’s equipment repair facility. He has served in nearly every role in the heavy civil construction industry from pipe layer to ironworker and rose rapidly through the ranks both within his company and the industry. 

    Foster is a renowned leadership consultant, investor, and business reformer. He serves as the chief executive officer of Umeris Holdings, a privately held multifaceted corporation with involvement across several industries worldwide. He provides salient leadership in new and developed industries to enhance efficiency and cultivate growth through proven leadership skills, implementation of automation, and instilling a culture of diligence and integrity. 

    Foster’s second life is in aviation. He began flying at the age of 13, soloed on his 16th birthday, and received his private pilot’s license one year later. He has logged more than 3,000 hours, mostly in aerobatic aircraft. He began his aerobatic career at 17 and has earned a spot atop the national and international aerobatic rankings. He has won two U.S. National Aerobatic Championship titles and is the former captain of the U.S. National Aerobatic Team. He is also fond of flying his vintage Waco YFM-5C biplane, his Daher TBM910, and he is the youngest pilot to ever earn a rating in the 95-year history of the Ford Tri-Motor. 

    He is an avid Porsche collector and follows Formula 1 and World Endurance Car racing. He and his wife, Alexandra, enjoy travel and the companionship of their five dogs.  
  • Ruben A. Barahona, '89

    Mr. Barahona is a 1989 graduate of Riverside Military Academy and attended law school at Universidad Anahuac Mayab in Merida, Mexico. He was named a Riverside Military Academy Trustee of the Board’s 2014 Homecoming meeting. He is also a past member of Riverside Military Academy’s Board of Visitors.

    Mr. Barahona is a founding member of Camara & Asociados, a law firm in Cancun, Mexico, specialized in Notary, Corporate and Real State Law for the past 24 years. From June 2005 to the present he is Public Notary Number 13th for the State of Quintana Roo, Mexico, base in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

    A native of Cozumel, Mexico, Mr. Barahona resides in Cancun, Mexico with his wife Magda. They have one child, Ruben, who is currently in his fourth year at Riverside Military Academy.
  • Margaret O. Blackstock

    Margaret Owen Blackstock, of Atlanta, is the widow of Jerry Byron Blackstock, Class of 1962, who was Chairman of the Academy’s Board of Trustees from 2002–2006. She is a native of Charlotte, NC and a graduate of Brenau University in Gainesville. She served as President of the Brenau Alumni Association, is a recipient of the Alumnae Leadership Award, a recipient of the Outstanding Alumna Award, The Service to Brenau Award, and was named to the University’s Roll of Honor.

    Mrs. Blackstock’s involvement in the Atlanta community has been extensive. As a member of Peachtree Road United Methodist Church, she has held numerous leadership positions including Chairman of the Administrative Board and Chairman of the Board of Trustees. As a member of Phi Mu Sorority, Mrs. Blackstock served on local and district levels before being named National Public Relations Director and later being elected as National Alumnae Vice President and National President. She chaired the capital campaign to build the sorority’s national headquarters in Atlanta.

    Mrs. Blackstock has served on the Board of Trustees of Atlanta Unit of the American Cancer Society and chaired the Unit’s Residential Crusade. For the American Red Cross, she served as Chairman of the Fulton County Volunteers.  Further, she was President of the Circle for Tallulah Falls School and served on the Board of Trustees of the school. She is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the High Museum of Art, the Atlanta History Center, and the New England Genealogical Society, serving on its Board of Trustees and its Advisory Board.  

    In 2007, following the death of her husband, Mrs. Blackstock endowed the Jerry Blackstock Scholarship of Honor which is presented annually to a rising Senior cadet who displays the characteristics, achievements in leadership and academics, as well as conduct which model the attributes which led to Mr. Blackstock’s success in life.

    Mrs. Blackstock travels extensively overseas and has interest in history, reading, and genealogy. She is an accomplished photographer and authored and published the book of her father’s family: The Lineage of the Reverend John Owen.

    The Blackstocks have three sons and five grandchildren.
  • Maj. Gen. Mark A. Brown

    Maj. Gen. Mark A. Brown is the retired Deputy Commander of Air Education and Training Command (AETC), Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas.  AETC recruits, trains, and educates Air Force personnel.  His command included the Air Force Recruiting Service, two numbered Air Forces and two fully accredited graduate and doctoral degree granting universities: Air University and the Air Force Institute of Technology.  The command trains more than 293,000 Airmen per year with approximately 60,000 active-duty, Reserve, Guard, civilian and contractor personnel.

    Following his retirement he served in the United States Department of Education.

    General Brown was commissioned through the ROTC program at Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Alabama, and entered active duty in 1986. He has served in comptroller, command and staff positions at all levels of the Department of Defense, including two staff assignments working directly with the legislative branch of government. His global experience includes serving in the Philippines, Spain, England, Turkey, and Iraq. He has commanded four times consisting of two squadrons, a mission support group and a numbered Air Force, deployed in support of operation Provide Comfort, served as the Assistant Executive Officer for the 17th Air Force Chief of Staff and was the Financial Management, Senior Military Assistant in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and Chief Financial Officer for Air Force Materiel Command, responsible for a portfolio greater than $60 billion, which at the time was 38 percent of the Air Force budget.
    General Brown resides in Alexandria, Virginia.
  • Jette Campbell, '65

    Jette Campbell is a 1965 graduate of Riverside Military Academy. Although Mr. Campbell attended Riverside Military Academy only his senior year, he attributes much of his success in college and later in life to the discipline and confidence instilled in him then. He went on to graduate from Auburn University in 1969, where he pursued graduate studies until Uncle Sam called. He served in the U.S. Army Reserves from 1969 through 1975 and remembers fondly the treatment he received in basic training because he attended Riverside Military Academy.

    Mr. Campbell is a CPA and began his career in Houston, Texas with Arthur Andersen & Co. in 1970. He was admitted to the partnership in 1979 and transferred to Austin, TX, where he headed the audit practice until 1983. He left Andersen to pursue opportunities in real estate and venture capital before returning to public accounting in 1988 as a direct entry partner in KPMG Peat Marwick’s Dallas office. In 1991, he joined his client PepsiCo as CFO of its Northern European Snack Foods Division based in London and returned to Dallas in 1993 as controller of Frito Lay. In 1994, Mr. Campbell was recruited by Rusty Griffin to join Griffin Corporation as CFO and a shareholder. When Griffin was sold to DuPont at the end of 2003, Mr. Campbell joined Carl Marks Advisors where he is a partner in its corporate restructuring group based in Charlotte, N.C.

    Mr. Campbell has an extensive track record in community service and education. He has served as a Trustee of St. Edwards University, Stetson University’s School of Music, and Paul Quinn College from which he received an Honorary Doctorate for his leadership as Chairman of the Executive Committee. He has served as an Arts Commissioner for the City of Austin, Chaired Leadership Austin, and is a life time Boy Scout having achieved Eagle Scout as a youth, served as a Scoutmaster and Council President as an adult, and is a recipient of the Silver Beaver Award.

  • Felix A. Gonzalez Canto, '86

    Felix Arturo González Cantoo, RMA Alumni Class ‘86, is a native of Cozumel, Mexico, who enrolled at Riverside Military Academy as a 7th grader in 1980. He quickly became an honor Roll student and as Battallion Commander his Senior Year. Upon graduation, he returned to Mexico’s Monterrey Institute of Technology where he majored in Economics. Mr. González Canto returned to his beloved Cozumel, where he started a career in Politics as Treasurer of the Municipality. A successful career contributed to being elected as Cozumel Presidente Municipal (City Major). Mr. González Canto transformed the Island’s Economy and infrastructure, bringing progress to its citizens. After completion of his term as mayor, he was nominated and elected Diputado Federal (Federal Deputy/congressman). At the age of 36, he became Governor of the state of Quintana Roo 2005-2011, the most important touristic region in Mexico and Latin America.

    In his first year as Governor, he confronted Hurricane Wilma- a Class 5 storm- a major challenge that tested the young mexican governor’s faith, knowledge, leadership, and keenness. No life losses, and a record time rebuilding, made possible a return to tourism in 4 short months. 

    Mr. González Canto credits his leadership and his ability of decision making skills to his time at Riverside Military Academy. Right after finishing his 6-year term as governor, he ran and won the election to become ‘A Federal Senator.’ In that position, he was elected President of the “Senate Tourism Commission,” and stayed in office for 6 consecutive years until September 2018.

    Currently a member of the Board of Trustees at Riverside Military Academy, Mr. González Canto awaits his next challenge in Mexico’s political and Economic arena.
    Amongst awards, he received awards, citations, recognitions, being an honor student, overall achiever, and class president during most of his school years at Riverside Military Academy. Mr. González Canto has also been receptor of numerous awards such as: Superior Cadet Award (4), Efficiency Medals in all of his ranks as a cadet, Academic Excellence Medal, Cadet of the Month Award, General Excellence Award, 1985 Douglas MacArthur General Excellence Award for Military Institutions, 1st place Muscle College Award, General Citation Award (2), and Honor Roll Citations every year. In public office, he earned United Nations (UN) Recognition for his performance in category-5 Hurricane Dean which resulted in no life losses, nobody wounded, and a quick recovery to normality, and multiple Municipal and State Decorations and Citations throughout his career. 

    Mr. González Canto is married to Narcedalia Martin Villanueva, and has two children Víctoria Patricia and Felix Lenin. 
  • William B. Carr, Jr.

    William B. Carr, Jr. owns Carr Cattle Company, LLC. Carr Cattle Company is dedicated to producing registered Angus, Charolais, and SimAngus cattle.  
    William B. Carr, Jr. graduated from Davidson College in 1968. He received his Master of Divinity Degree in 1974 at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia, and his Doctor of Ministry Degree from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois. 
    Mr. Carr previously served in the Medical Service Corps with the U.S. Army at Fort Bragg and Pleiku from 1969-1971 and went on to become Chaplain of the U.S. Army Reserve and U.S. Army from 1981-2006, in the U.S.A., Germany, and Kuwait. From 1974, Mr. Carr has served in many pastoral positions across the United States, including Arkansas, South Carolina, and Georgia.
    Mr. Carr currently serves as the Gainesville Fire Department Chaplain in Gainesville, Georgia. He is an active member of Believers Concert Band, First Presbyterian Church of Gainesville, Georgia’s Grant Committee, and Northeast Georgia Presbytery’s Pastoral Care position.
    Mr. Carr is married to Jan McLelland Carr, and is the father of three children, Bracken, David, and John. The Carrs’ have one grandchild.
  • Counte L. Cooley

    Counte Cooley started his career in 1958 with Electronic Sales Company, holding flashlights and passing tools to his father, Don Cooley. He is originally from Georgia and attended Southern Tech, majoring in Electronics Engineering. From 1967 through 1972, he served in the Georgia National Guard Infantry with training in Advanced Infantry. Mr. Cooley is now President and Owner of Electronic Sales Company.   
    Mr. Cooley serves as President and major stockholder of Georgia Powder Coating located in Gainesville, Georgia. Since 1999, GPC has provided commercial and architectural high specification powder coating services for government agencies, architectural companies, and industrial operations near Gainesville, Georgia and beyond. In 2015, GPC was selected as 1 of 50 Top Shops in North America by Products Finishing Magazine.

    Mr. Cooley is proud to have led his company while meeting the standards of Underwriter Laboratories since 1972. His company is UL Certified for both Fire and Burglar ratings. In July of 1999, Electronic Sales Company obtained the listing of Position #99 in the "Top 100" Listing of the SDM Magazine.  Furthermore, ESC received the 2006 Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce “Small Business of the Year” Award.

    Mr. Cooley served a two-year term as President of the Georgia Burglar and Fire Alarm Association and four years as Director. He also served a two-year term as Vice President of the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association and three years as a member of the “Strategic Planning Committee.”

    Mr. Cooley was also involved in chartering the new Georgia Electronic Life Safety and Systems Association (GELSSA) and served as Director. Presently, he is serving on the Board of Directors. 

In 2011, Mr. Cooley was named to the Georgia State Construction Industry Licensing Board: Division of Low Voltage Contractors by Governor Nathan Deal. This Board serves to safeguard the public against
    faulty, inadequate, insufficient, or unsafe low-voltage contracting, installation, and repair.

    In 2012, Mr. Cooley was invited to serve on the Riverside Military Academy (RMA) Board of Trustees in Gainesville, GA. The purpose of Riverside Military Academy is to develop virtuous and competent young men who are prepared for success in college and positions of responsibility thereafter. 
Locally, Mr. Cooley has served as the past President of Gainesville’s very active Kiwanis Club, serving children all over the world. He also serves on the Advisory Board for the Cottrell Business College at the University of North Georgia. Mr. Cooley is also currently a Deacon at First Baptist Church and was President of his Angler’s Sunday School Class. Mr. Cooley is also quite involved with the Chattahoochee Country Club in Gainesville. He served as the past President and has co-chaired the campaign for renovations in the Athletic and Ball Room/Grill Areas.     

    Mr. Cooley is the director and co-founder with his wife, Jackie, of the "For Her Glory" Foundation which provides wigs, compression garments, and other related items for cancer patients that cannot afford them.  

    Mr. Cooley enjoys spending time with his family and grandchildren. Traveling, boating, flying, and golfing are some of his other favorite pastimes. He is also a past national, regional, and state champion for racquetball in his age bracket and category.
  • Bernard M. Freeman, ‘58

    Mr. Freeman is a 1958 graduate of Riverside Military Academy. He attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point from 1958-1960 and graduated from the University of Virginia School of Engineering in 1964 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. From 1964-1973 he held a variety of engineering positions with the Virginia Department of Highways, E.I. Dupont Engineering, and Construction and Allied Chemical Corp. Engineering. He joined Steel-Fab Inc. in Fitchburg, MA in 1973 as general manager. He purchased the company in 1979 and became chairman, president, and CEO from 1979-2007. Since 2007, he has been chairman and treasurer. 

    For many years, Freeman chaired the government affairs committee where he has served on the Board of Directors of The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce. In addition to his RMA fundraising efforts, Mr. Freeman has raised funds for The United Way of North Central Massachusetts where he is a member of The United Way Tocqueville Society. In addition to serving as a Board of Trustee, he is also Co-Founder and Chairman of the Riverside Military Academy Foundation and Chairman Emeritus of the Alumni Council. He was presented with the President's Leadership Award at Riverside in 2014 for his leadership in philanthropy, and he received Riverside's Distinguished Alumnus award in 2016. 

    Mr. Freeman and his wife, Marcia, have two children and six grandchildren and divide their time between homes in Vero Beach, FL and East Harwich, MA.
  • Anthony M. Herdener

    Anthony Herdener earned his CPA Certificate and Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. He began his career at the CPA firm Ernst & Ernst (Ernst & Young), followed by Saint Joseph Hospital in Tacoma, Washington.
    Mr. Herdener retired in 2018 from his role as the Chief Financial Officer of Northeast Georgia Health Systems (NGHS) since 1995. NGHS is the leading healthcare system in northeast Georgia with three hospital campuses, nursing homes, physicians group, and numerous urgent care clinics. Mr. Herdener was responsible for all financial operation strategies and the capital formation of NGHS’ $1+ billion organizations. 
    Prior to his time at NGHS, he served as CFO of Saint Joseph Health System of Atlanta and as Vice President of Finance and Treasurer of Catholic Health East in Pennsylvania.
    Mr. Herdener is an active member of the Georgia CFO Networking Group and the Gainesville Rotary Club, where he served as President in 2013. His past service includes the United Way Budget & Allocation Committee, Leadership Hall Program, Lakeview Academy Finance Committee Chair, and Chairman of Elachee Nature Center Board.
    Mr. Herdener and his wife, Cathy have two children and two granddaughters, which they enjoy seeing as much as possible.
  • Drew W. Horner, '78

    Mr. Horner is the Founder, Chief Financial Officer, and Vice President of Progressive Improvements, Inc., a hotel renovation company based in Kennesaw, Georgia. Since its establishment in 1987, he and his business partner have developed the company into a multi-million dollar international success. Progressive Improvement’s portfolio includes full-scale renovation projects at some of the world’s most luxurious hotels. He is also the managing partner of Swanhorn LLC, a real estate holding company located in Kennesaw. Prior to Progressive Improvements, he worked as the operations manager of a national transportation company. He is a 1978 graduate of Riverside Military Academy and attended the University of West Georgia. He previously served on the Academy’s Board of Visitors, and he is committed and passionate about the welfare and future of Riverside. Mr. Horner lives in Marietta, Georgia, with his wife, Jane, and he has two adult children, Andrew and Allison.
  • Ernest T. Lopez III, '84

    Ernest T. Lopez III is the Founder and President of Atlanta Paving and Concrete Construction, Inc., and the Ernest T. Lopez Company, LLC, both of which are located in Atlanta, Georgia. Mr. Lopez has more than 34 years of experience in the paving and concrete construction field, Ernie has grown Atlanta Paving and Concrete Construction, Inc. to be one of the premier providers of asphalt and concrete services in the state of Georgia and in the southeastern United States. In 2018, Mr. Lopez completed the acquisition of Dykes Paving to become a vertically integrated asphalt and material supplier in the Atlanta, Georgia area. Mr. Lopez is currently doing business in 26 states and more than 275 cities across the United States. He has even conducted operations in Canada and Ecuador, making Atlanta Paving and Concrete Construction, Inc. one of the few American asphalt companies that works internationally.
    A graduate of the Riverside Military Academy class of 1984, Mr. Lopez credits much of his business success to the RMA’s coaches and teachers who played a vital role in his development as a leader. Mr. Lopez serves on the Riverside Military Academy Board of Trustees as the Chairman of the Building and Grounds Committee. 
    Mr. Lopez is married to Donna Lopez, and, together, they have six children and six grandchildren. Mr. Lopez is also the proud uncle to a nephew who attends Riverside Military Academy.
  • John B. McKernan II, '88

    Mr. McKernan graduated from Riverside Military Academy in 1988. He studied at Shorter College. After leaving Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in 2013, Mr. McKernan founded Two Brown Dogs Realty as the broker of record focusing on the areas along the 400 Corridor of Buckhead, Roswell, Alpharetta, and Lake Lanier, Georgia. His professional life has included corporate compliance investigation responsibilities reporting directly to the Chief Compliance Officer of then Prudential Bank. Mr. McKernan has also served as co-owner of a web design firm and managing partner for McKernan Consulting, LLC. He has served on the Triangle Inc. Board of Directors in a variety of positions including President. He has served, and his wife currently serves, on the board of The Soaring Hawks Foundation as President, which is a foundation setup to meet any and all needs of the teaching and administration staff of Hembree Springs Elementary School.

    Mr. McKernan enjoys mentoring young men who have struggled with alcoholism and drug addiction. He also coaches soccer in the Roswell Santos Soccer Club's Junior Academy.

    Mr. McKernan resides in Roswell, GA with his wife, Tracy, and their son, Trey.
  • J. Allen Nivens, Jr.

    Allen Nivens is the owner of Sun Valley Energy, a national wholesaler of refined fuels and renewable fuels. Mr. Nivens is a graduate of The Asheville School and Georgia Tech.

    Mr. Nivens is a resident of Gainesville, Georgia and has lived within a mile of Riverside Military Academy’s campus his entire life. Mr. Nivens and his wife, Meg, have two teenage daughters.  
  • Jonathan A. Pope, Esq.

    Jonathan A. Pope, Esq., is a partner of Hasty Pope LLP in Gainesville, Georgia. Mr. Pope’s areas of practice include civil trial practice in all state and federal courts specializing in personal injury, wrongful death, catastrophic injuries, and automobile and semi-truck collisions. He says he was inspired to become a lawyer in part because his father, Judge Marion T. Pope, had Mr. Pope and his brother in courtrooms from an early age.

    Mr. Pope is a 1992 graduate of The Citadel with a bachelor of arts in political science. He had his first direct experience in law at The Citadel as part of the honor court, the court system of the school. He earned his Juris doctorate in 1995 from the Georgia State University College of Law.
    Mr. Pope has been named repeatedly to the Top 100 Attorneys in Georgia by the Atlanta Magazine Super Lawyers, and Georgia Super Lawyers. He was named to the National Trial Lawyers’ Top 100 Trial Lawyers in 2013.  Georgia Trend Magazine named him one of Georgia’s 40 under 40 in 2004.

    He is president-elect of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, he was a two-term president of the State Bar of Georgia-Blue Ridge Circuit Bar Association, and is a member of the Southern Trial Lawyers Association among numerous other professional organizations.

    Mr. Pope and his wife, Amy Nix Pope, are the parents of two children, Andrew Pope, and Caroline Pope.
  • William E. Russell

    Dr. William E. “Bill” Russell holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural Chemistry from Ohio State University and has an extensive 20-year background in landscape pesticide research. Dr. Russell’s expertise includes past experience as regional director for a Fortune 100 firm and conducting research at many of the nation’s most prestigious golf courses and resorts, including Augusta National, Opryland U.S.A., Disneyland, PGA National, and Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club.

    In 1987, Dr. Russell founded Russell Landscape, LLC; a family-owned and managed commercial landscape company. During his time as CEO, Dr. Russell has been part of several boards of directors within his community, including the Georgia Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Georgia Gwinnett College Board of Trustees, Gwinnett Health System Board of Directors, and Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful. He has also served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce. Dr. Russell has been honored with many awards, including the GBC 2003 Howard Allen Business of the Year Award, the GMC Distinguished Citizen Award, and the Pioneer Lifetime Achievement Man of the Year Award from Metro Atlanta Landscape and Turf Association.

    In 2012, Dr. Russell was appointed to the Georgia World Congress Center Authority Board of Governors by Governor Nathan Deal. Dr.

    Russell also serves as president and CEO of Fundraisers Group Inc., an auction/fundraising company. He has raised over $20 million in charity auctions throughout the Southeast/Midwest as an auctioneer during the past 35 years. 

    ​Dr. Russell received the 2017 Gwinnett Chamber's Citizen of the Year Award.
  • Andrew W. Talkington, ‘71

    Andy Talkington is a Managing Director on the Board and Industrial practices at ZRG Partners. With more than 20 years of executive recruitment experience, Mr. Talkington has conducted over 450 searches for small to large private and public companies in all global regions. His search practice has been concentrated in placing top executives in Board of Director, CEO, and executive-level management positions. During his earlier
    executive search affiliations with Korn Ferry International, Heidrick & Struggles, and CTPartners. Mr. Talkington was a member of the CEO & Board Practices and held firm leadership roles at all firms for 15 years.

    In addition to his extensive search experience, Mr. Talkington brings 20 years of management experience in the energy, chemicals, and mining industries to his search practice. While at Olin Corporation and then Occidental Petroleum Corporation, Mr. Talkington's responsibilities included mergers and acquisitions, business management, operations and engineering, and technology. Mr. Talkington has and continues to coach technology focused start-up businesses.

    An active member of various associations, including the NACD, Mr. Talkington has conducted leadership development programs and authored leadership articles for numerous management publications. Additionally, he continues to be active in the community as a Trustee of Riverside Military Academy and co-chair of various events for the Nehemiah Center, an inner city after school K-12 program. He was previously on the boards of the Houston Museum of Natural Science and the Gulf Coast chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

    Mr. Talkington received both his Master and Bachelor degrees in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University.

    Mr. Talkington lives in Houston, Texas with his wife Nancy. Their two children attend SMU in Dallas, Texas, and Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.
  • James R. Van Arsdale, ‘79

    James R. Van Arsdale has been employed by UBS AG since 2003. He is an Executive Director and continues to serve as Head of Banking Solutions for UBS AG, US Private Bank, a position he has held since 2008. In the Fall of 2018, he was given additional responsibility and serves as International Banking Lead for UBS Bank USA. In his first five years at UBS, he was assigned as a Regional Banking Consultant and covered both the NJ and the Northwest US markets during that time. Prior to joining UBS, Mr. Van Arsdale was Senior Vice President, Private Clients Division at Fleet Bank. Earlier in his career, he held a number of Private Bank sales and management roles of increasing responsibility.

    Mr. Van Arsdale graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and is a graduate of Riverside Military Academy, rising through the ranks to Battalion Commander. Among other achievements during his time as a cadet, he was awarded Riverside Military Academy’s Sandy Beaver Medal of General Excellence. Mr. Van Arsdale served as a member of Riverside Military Academy’s Board of Visitors for three years prior to his election to the Board of Trustees.

    During the 2018 General Election, Mr. Van Arsdale won his first campaign and proudly serves his home community in NJ as a Township Committeeman. Prior to that, he served for ten years on the Township’s Land Use Board. He has been appointed a Commander in the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem. Mr. Van Arsdale has served on several non-profit boards and as a Junior Achievement volunteer where he worked alongside teachers helping children learn about the merits of the free enterprise system.

    Mr. Van Arsdale lives with his wife and two children in Green Brook, New Jersey.
  • Emeriti

    Lucile E. Beaver †

    Paul A. Gross, '56

    O. Jon McRae

    Richard M. Nichols

    Frederick J. Kennedy, '64

  • Honorary Members

    Jerry B. Blackstock, '62, (Posthumous)

    P. Alexander Fraser

    Howard A. Kalmenson, '49

    Ira J. Middleberg, Esq., '66

    Abraham A. Mitchell, '52

List of 1 items.

  • Board of Visitors

    The Riverside Military Academy Board of Visitors (BOV) is comprised of alumni, former parents, community leaders, and friends of the Academy. The purpose of the BOV is to assist the President and the Board of Trustees in the achievement of the Academy mission. The BOV will offer the collective wisdom, advice, and counsel of the members toward the continual improvement of the educational environment at the school. The Board meets twice a year to receive briefs relative to all aspects of the Academy.
    View Members
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 reads: No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. Riverside Military Academy complies with Title IX.

Alcohol/Tobacco/Drug-Free School: Strictly Enforced