Southeast Leadership


Christopher C. Melton


Chairman & CEO
The White Oak Group, Inc.


Edwin “Spike” Wahlen


Managing Partner
Toxaway Capital Partners

Executive Committee

Christopher C. Melton (Co-Chairman)  ·  Edwin "Spike" Wahlen (Co-Chairman)  ·  Mike Campbell  ·  C. David Chambless  ·  Steven E. Darnell  ·  James Dean  ·  Ezra S. Field  ·  Thomas M. Holder  ·  Suzanne Kelly  ·  D. C. Presten, III  ·  David Sawyer  ·  Jane Stout  ·  Robert P. Wright

Membership Committee

The Membership Development Committee helps identify, recruit, and retain BENS’ only asset—its members. The Committee’s focus is on high-quality executives. The Committee advises the Region Executive Committee and the Region Director on all matters pertaining to recruiting and retention. The Membership Committee is the heart of the Region’s member sales team.

David Chambless (Chair)
Chip Presten (Vice Chair)
Mike Campbell
John Corcia (Florida)
Ezra Field
Jeff Goldworn
Chris Melton
Steve Powell
Mike Quinlan
Andy Stull
Roger Swinford (Florida)
Bryan Tate
Spike Wahlen

Events Committee

The Events Committee helps the BENS SE staff identify, schedule, and coordinate the SE Region’s major events, primarily speakers, regional trips, and socials. The committee strives to ensure that events support the BENS policy agenda and are of interest and value to members. Events are a major recruiting and retention tool.

Bob Wright (Chair)
Suzanne Kelly (Vice Chair)
Dave Bernard
John Corcia
Alonzo Ford
D Martin
Joel Schleicher

Communications Committee

The Communications Committee is comprised by member business leaders who help develop and execute marketing and communications plans in support of BENS Southeast. The Committee performs the counselor function advising the Region Executive Committee, Region Committee Chairs and the Region Staff on all matters pertaining to internal and external communications, and media relations. The Committee is at the heart of the Region’s communications and marketing efforts.

Jane Stout (Chair)
Chip Presten (Vice Chair)
Chuck Allen
Todd Blair
Greg Cooper

Mitzi Hill
Charlie Mann
Ted Miller
Joel Schleicher
Buck Wiley
Bob Wright

Projects & Programs Committee

The Projects and Programs Committee works with BENS national projects staff to identify, refine, and communicate potential projects and programs that may benefit from the skills and involvement of our regional members. The committee works with BENS SE staff and regional partners to define activities with respect to scope, objectives, resources, and duration of potential regional projects.

Jim Dean (Chair)
David Sawyer (Vice Chair)
Dave Bernard
Rob Brinson
Michael Blake
Dave Crow
David Dorton
Drew Evans
Alonzo Ford
Michael Gates
Eric Hermanson
Roger Land
David Lindsay

Connect With Us:

BENS National Office | 1030 15th Street NW, Suite 200 East | Washington, D.C. 20005
Phone: (202) 296-2125 | Fax: (202) 296-2490 | Email:

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