Chattahoochee Technical College welcomed business leader Ford Thigpen as the new chair of its Board of Directors while honoring outgoing Board Chair Debbie Underkoffler at a recent meeting of the board.

Outgoing board members Mark Haney and Stevan Crew also were commended for their many years of service.

Thigpen is the Northwest Georgia Regional President of The Piedmont Bank. He is a lifelong Georgia resident who grew up in Paulding County, and is active in many civic organizations.

His civic engagement has included serving as chair of the Wellstar Cobb Hospital Authority, president of the Rotary Club of Paulding County, and chair of the Paulding County Chamber of Commerce. He also is a member of the Cobb County Chamber of Commerce, and past chair of both the South Cobb Business Association and the South Cobb Redevelopment Authority.

Outgoing Board Chair Debbie Underkoffler is the president and CEO of North Georgia Staffing, an award-winning human resource consulting and staffing services firm headquartered in Kennesaw. A five-time winner of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Top 25 Small Business award, North Georgia Staffing helps employers with a wide range of human resource needs while helping employees find job opportunities that match their skills. Included in her many years of civic engagement, Underkoffler has served as chair of the Cobb Executive Women and president of the Kennesaw Business Association.

“Debbie’s hard work and dedication over the years has been truly inspiring,” said Chattahoochee Tech President Dr. Ron Newcomb in presenting her with an award of appreciation. “We greatly appreciate her steadfast support for the college and our students.”

Awards of appreciation also were presented to outgoing board members Mark Haney and Stevan Crew.

Haney is a retired healthcare executive, who served in top leadership positions for over 40 years at Wellstar Health System. His civic engagement has included serving as chair of the Georgia Association of Healthcare Executives as well as chair of both the Paulding and Douglas County Chambers of Commerce. In 1977, his postsecondary education began with the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) program at Marietta/Cobb Vocational Technical School, which is now Chattahoochee Tech.

A native of Paulding County, Stevan Crew is the founder and owner of Crew & Associates. After serving in the U.S. Army, he embarked on a career in the insurance and financial services business, specializing in employee benefits and estate planning for business owners and families. He has served over the years on multiple community boards, including the Paulding Schools Foundation, the Paulding County Courthouse Preservation Commission, and the KSU Center for Regional History Advisory Board. Included among his community service awards, he has been presented with the Citizen of the Year award by the Paulding County Chamber of Commerce.

“We thank both Mark and Stevan for their unwavering support. Their tenure on the board through the years was marked by wisdom, dedication and a deep passion for our mission,” said Dr. Newcomb. “Their vision, guidance and tireless commitment has been instrumental in shaping the college’s success.”

The Chattahoochee Tech Board of Directors is an advisory board composed of members who were nominated by area industry and community leaders, and approved by the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG). Board members fulfill important roles as advocates within the community on issues of importance involving the college and the local workforce.

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About Chattahoochee Technical College:

Chattahoochee Technical College awards certificates, diplomas and associate degrees in programs of study for students to become highly skilled professionals in some of the nation’s fastest-growing, high-demand career fields. A Unit of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), Chattahoochee Tech has nine campus locations serving some of Georgia’s most dynamic counties. The college offers real-world training that helps students quickly start, change or accelerate their careers. The college also offers customized workforce training, continuing education classes, and adult education programs that include free GED and HiSET preparation. More information is available at

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