Board of Directors
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Bland Byrne
Corporate Counsel

G. BLAND BYRNE III practices business and estate planning law, advising primarily small and midsized publicly held and private businesses concerning a wide range of legal, financial, securities, and tax planning issues. He represents individuals across the economic spectrum in estate and probate matters, including tax planning utilizing wills, trusts and life insurance products. He also represents entrepreneurs, borrowers, venture capitalists and lenders in connection with equity and debt financing. Mr. Byrne received an A.B. in 1974 with highest honors from the University of North Carolina, where he was a National Merit Scholar and a Morehead Scholar, and where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Eta Sigma, Delta Phi Alpha, Order of the Grail and Order of the Old Well. In 1978, he received his J.D., cum laude, from Harvard University, and has practiced law in Atlanta since then. He is an Elder at First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta.


Patrick “Pat” Canavan
Advisory Board Member

Pat Canavan retired from UPS in 2004 after serving 34 years. His last assignment was the Vice President of Industrial Engineering. Pat was an early investor in Accelegrow and he has served on the Advisory Board. Pat earned a Management degree from the School of Commerce and Engineering at Drexel University.

He has served ten plus years on the Board of Directors for Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta. He has also been President of St Ives Senior Men's Golf.

Pat has been married to his wife Marcie for 42 years. They have four children and four grandchildren.


Dr. Dennis R. “Bob” McGinnis

Dr. Bob McGinnis retired from Auburn University in May, 2014 and is Vice President for Development, Emeritus. McGinnis served as Senior Counsel to the President of the University from 2008 to 2014. In that capacity, McGinnis created and directed the Auburn University Diplomatic Program providing international experience on campus. Visiting dignitaries, including Ambassadors and Consul Generals, provided students with global experiences without studying abroad and faculty opportunities to collaborate with dignitaries on international programs. McGinnis represented the President and the University on numerous international visits in Europe and Asia.

McGinnis became Auburn’s Vice President for Development and President of the Auburn University Foundation in 2002. He planned and executed the University’s Capital Campaign which raised $609 Million against a $500 goal. He increased annual gifts from $60 million to over $130 million. The campaign completed in 2008. He also directed the Foundation which managed all funds received from private sources, including investing, accounting and distributing funds for University programs. The Foundation assets grew to over $500 million.

Formerly, he was Vice President for Development at Georgia State University (Atlanta) and President of that Foundation. During his nine year tenure, GSU completed two campaigns raising in excess of $135 million. The Foundation increased assets from $19 million to over $160 million. McGinnis received his AB (classics) From Georgetown University and doctorate from the University of Georgia. He was President and Managing Director of the Florida Symphony Orchestra, Vice President of two other universities and director of research. He is Past Chair, University System of Georgia Regent’s Advisory Committee for Advancement.

McGinnis is Trustee Emeritus and former Board Chair of the US Naval War College Foundation, Founding Director, Astronauts Memorial Foundation (US National Memorial) and Captain, US Navy Reserve (Retired). On active duty, he served as Chief Engineer aboard destroyers including two combat tours in Vietnam, managed five national recruiting programs and served on the Navy-wide planning team establishing the all-volunteer force. As a reserve officer, McGinnis commanded five reserve units and served as Deputy for Readiness for the Southeast during Operation Desert Storm. He is listed in Who’s Who in the US; a member of three academic honor societies, and received the Kiwanis Leadership and GEAC Distinguished Service Awards and numerous combat decorations and awards.

He is married and has five daughters.


Kim Nicholson

Kim grew up in the heart of the Midwest in Indiana, graduated from Purdue University, and went on to dedicate over 20 years to the agribusiness and specialty chemical industries. She has proven experience in the areas of brand development, sales leadership, strategic planning, general management and operations. Kim most recently led the consumer products division of Chemtura corporation, where she managed the global enterprise with 900 employees and 5 dedicated manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. During her tenure, she served as a change agent to re-structure and reduce division costs, improve margin and focus resources on the most profitable segments of the enterprise. Prior to her appointment as Group President, she led the US sales team for the BioLab division.

Before joining Chemtura, she held the position of VP of Sales and Marketing of Nutra-Park, Inc., a biotech firm specializing in plant growth regulators. At Nutra-Park, she developed and executed the comprehensive sales and marketing plan for the launch of the company’s product portfolio and designed an innovative “grower to grocer” revenue strategy. Kim also served as Director of Global Supply Chain for BASF, where she managed project groups in Europe, North America and Latin America. She optimized projects and processes in the manufacturing and supply chain organization with cumulative project savings of over $35MUSD. She joined BASF as National Sales Manager for the US crop protection division, post acquisition of American Cyanamid, leading the integration and restructuring of the team. Kim began her career with American Cyanamid’s crop protection division, taking on increased levels of responsibilities for market and brand development, including the launch of two brands and revitalization of two others. She managed the promotions and programs for the company’s 2000+ member AgriCenter™ dealer network in her role as Director of Retail Distribution.


Daniel J. O'Dwyer

Danny O’Dwyer has over 35 years experience in Planning and Project Management, with over twenty six years as a senior UPS Industrial Engineering Manager. Danny was instrumental in creating and implementing successful operational strategies that increased business, reduced costs, improved service levels and positively impacted the bottom line results. He has demonstrated his strong background in Project Management and his ability to keep a “critical eye” for opportunities to improve operations. Both his organizational skills and team building abilities were keys to a very successful career.

Danny has 11 years of experience working for the United States government where he provided expertise in the development of route plans and flow control for the Department of Transportation. Danny also has 26 years experience with United Parcel Service where his continual successes allowed him to assume positions of greater responsibility. His last assignment prior to retiring was as the Corporate Transportation Industrial Engineering Manager where he was responsible for the planning of the Domestic U.S.A. Operations with an overall budget in excess of $4 Billion annually.

Danny was a member of the “Commission for a New Georgia” and was instrumental in developing practical recommendations for streamlining processes and reducing costs that were implemented by Governor Sonny Purdue.

Danny has been an active member of the Institute of Industrial Engineers for almost 20 years. He served as the Industry Advisor on their Council on Industrial Engineering for five years representing the Transportation sector.

Danny is a successful serial entrepreneur and provides guidance and assistance to many companies as well as assisting them with securing funding. Danny is also a Managing Partner of Smith Capital, LLC which is based in Georgia.

Danny has a Bachelors Degree in Business Management from Adelphi University and a Masters Degree in Project Management from Keller Graduate School of Management.