Founders – Philip & Gail Ross

Philip and Gail moved to inner-city Atlanta in 2000 to work with at-risk children and single mothers.

They purchased property located across from Ben Carson Middle School in the Grove Park Community, now home to Bright Futures Atlanta and the Rosses. Most of their time and talent is focused on establishing and developing relationships with students in their immediate area. Using Christian-based love, mentoring programs and activities, they are making an obvious difference in the lives of the participants and the community.

Eddie Echols

Eddie Echols


Eddie Echols is the Principal of Bright Futures Academy. Originally from Cleveland, TN, Mr. Echols graduated from Lee University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics in 1980. He served as the Admissions Counselor at Lee University from 1980-1982 before moving to Rose Heights Church of God in Tyler, TX, as the Minister of Music from 1982-1987. While in Texas he completed his Master’s Degree at the University of Texas at Tyler. Mr. Echols moved to Atlanta in the fall of 1987 to begin his teaching career in mathematics at Roswell High School, where he served for six years before being promoted to the Dean of Students position at Riverwood High School in 1993. Serving as Dean of Students for one year, he then became the Assistant Principal for the next eight years and served as Principal of Riverwood International Charter School the following nine years until the fall of 2011. During his tenure at Riverwood, the school received charter school status and was repeatedly ranked as one of the top 5 schools in the state.

Eddie’s hobbies include singing and spending time with his six wonderful children and beautiful wife LeighAnn. Mr. Echols is an ordained minister and has been involved with church music and leading of praise and worship for over 30 years. He has a heart for the children of Bright Futures Academy and their futures and has a vision to see each student achieve his/her goals and dreams.

Board of Directors

Rob Metcalf (Chair)
International Director Broker Leader, JLL,

Craig Viergever (Past Immediate Chair)
Executive Vice President/Principal, Lee & Associates

Mike Andreas (Vice Chair)
Fixed Income Trading, Suntrust Robinson Humphrey

Karen Sutton (Treasurer)
Director of Investment Research, Schoen Foundation

Megan Tharp (Secretary)
Client’s Insights Consultant, IRI,

John Fitzpatrick
CEO & President, Force Marketing


Matt Hartnett
Vice President, Global Corporate & Institutional Advisory Services, Merrill Lynch

Tony Johns
Executive Director, Crossroads Community Ministries

David Kinsey
President, Veritas Classical Schools

Ross Lautenbach
President, Freightline

Brandon Powell
Head of Product, Cricket Wireless

Shannon Price
Vice President/Brokerage, JLL