The ARCS Light Award is a distinctive honor presented to a member who has given the highest quality of long-term service to ARCS Foundation. The ARCS Light is honored at the Chapter’s annual meeting and at the ARCS Foundation All Members' Conference.
A candidate for the ARCS Light Award must have been an active member for at least five years, have served on a variety of committees as well as on the Chapter Board, have given continuous service that has had a positive impact on ARCS Foundation, have demonstrated a willingness to serve, have respect for ARCS Foundation leadership and membership, and be an exemplary representative of ARCS Foundation to her fellow members and to the community. Past presidents are not usually selected unless they have made extraordinary contributions following their tenure.
These ARCS Foundation Atlanta members have received the ARCS Light Award:
Frances Swesson 2021
Hats off to Frances Swensson, our Atlanta ARCS Light Award winner for 2021. Extremely capable and talented, she has served locally as Scholar Awards Luncheon Chair and Chair-Elect, Internal Communications Chair, VP Administration, and VP Membership. Numerous committee positions can also be added to her repertoire.
Frances also serves on the ARCS National level on the Chapter Engagement Committee and the All Members Conference Committee. Atlanta is indeed lucky to count her among our membership. She is a true star who serves not only our chapter but the Atlanta community as well.
Sally Hinkle 2020
Congratulations to Sally Hinkle, our ARCS Foundation Atlanta Light Award winner for 2020. Sally has served the Atlanta Chapter of ARCS Foundation in many leadership roles, including President in 2000 and 2001; Vice President of Membership; Treasurer; and Chairman of Nominating, Strategic Planning, Scholar Awards Luncheon and Public Relations. She has been a member of ARCS Foundation Atlanta since 1995.
Many were touched by Sally’s thoughtful invocation at the Scholar Awards Luncheon in November 2019. She has also hosted many ARCS Foundation meetings and events in her home. In her nomination for the ARCS Light Award, Sally was described as a gracious and generous person, traits that have benefitted our membership and our Chapter.
Nancy Chambers 2019
Nancy has served as Assistant Treasurer, VP-elect and VP of Finance/Treasurer, and VP-elect and VP for Fund Development for the Atlanta chapter. In addition, she has served as VP of Communications, VP Finance, and a member of the Audit Committee of the National organization. All of this since she joined the Atlanta chapter in 2007. She is totally committed to the mission of the ARCS Foundation and has given tirelessly of her time and energy to make ARCS Foundation successful for both the national organization and the Atlanta chapter.
Susan Higley 2018
Over the past 20 years as a member Susan has willingly served as Education Chair, Retreat co-chair, Nominating committee chair, and Funds Development chair. No matter where she is or who she’s with she is a true advocate of ARCS Foundation.
A woman of many talents, Susan is a dancer, a floral designer, an appraiser, and a dedicated community volunteer. When asked to serve on an ARCS Foundation committee, she will even take time out from golf. Most recently, Susan co-chaired the 25th anniversary celebration of ARCS Foundation Atlanta.
Gracia Conn 2017
If anyone ever met the criteria to be ARCS Light it is Gracia Conn. She has taken an active role on the board in some capacity since she first joined ARCS in 2001 and immediately became Historian – a challenging job for anyone, let alone a new member. She then moved on to other important jobs such as Newsletter editor, ARCS Scholar vice-chair, Scholar Luncheon co-chair, VP for Communications, and Database chair. After she agreed to be president-elect she was called upon to take on the responsibility early when the president became ill. Then Gracia had her own battle with cancer while serving as president. Now, as assistant to the president, she continues to take on a leadership role in ARCS, an organization in which she clearly believes. Her dedication, competency, loyalty, and commitment make her an excellent representative of our chapter.
Peg Cooley 2016
Peg became a member of the ARCS Foundation Atlanta Chapter in 2002, and she quickly joined the board as Recording Secretary. Since then she has been VP Communications, Scholars Chair, VP University Relations, Nominating Committee Chair, and Chapter Retreat Co-Chair. She is a strong believer in the ARCS mission and supports the activities and goals of the Atlanta Chapter both financially and with her time. She is currently Internal Communications Chair, a job that both utilizes and promotes the ARCS Foundation website.
A graduate of Georgia State University, Peg has been an active supporter of scholarships through the Women's Philanthropy Initiative and other direct endowments. Early in her career, she was a librarian and an elementary school teacher, but with the birth of her children, Lara and Bryan, she focused on her family and became an active volunteer in church and school activities.
Peg and her husband, Keith, moved away from Atlanta two years ago and now live on Lake Oconee in Eatonton, GA. In addition to maintaining her involvement with ARCS, she serves on the Vestry and Altar Guild at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer. She is active in several golf associations, plays competitive bridge, and sings in the Reynolds Community Chorus.
Ronnie Martin 2015
A member of ARCS Foundation Atlanta Chapter since 2004, Ronnie has served as Database Chair, Internal Communications Chair, Website Chair (for both the old and new websites), and VP for Communications. She has served on the ARCS Foundation National Board as National Newsletter Chair, Information Strategies Chair, and a member of the Council of Advisors. She has devoted herself to enhancing and supporting the ARCS Foundation website’s use by National and all Chapters while helping the Atlanta Chapter shine as it illustrates best practices within its site.
Professionally, Ronnie is executive secretary for the Qatar Computing Research Institute Scientific Advisory Committee. While at Purdue University, she was research coordinator for the National Science Foundation Software Engineering Research Center, a national consortium of universities and industrial members. At Georgia Tech, she was Manager of the Software Test and Evaluation Project that consolidated Department of Defense-wide resources for software test and evaluation and developed new DoD guidance and policy for the testing of computer software for mission-critical applications. Ronnie started her career as a software engineer with IBM Corporation where she developed avionics software for the Space Shuttle.
Ronnie earned an M.S. in Operations Research and a B.S. in Applied Mathematics from Georgia Tech and received her Certification with a Math Education Major/Science Education Minor from Purdue University. She taught upper school mathematics at Kent Place School in Summit, New Jersey. She is married to Georgia Tech professor Rich DeMillo. Their daughter, Cara, lives in Atlanta.
Sherry Lundeen 2014
Upon joining ARCS Foundation in 2004, Sherry immediately became and remains an active Atlanta Chapter member. She has served as President, VP Funds Development, Nominating Chair and Parliamentarian. She has also served on the ARCS Foundation National Board since 2010 including the positions of Treasurer and Chair Fund Development.
Sherry, a retired registered nurse, has been an active civic leader for over 30 years. She has held leadership posts with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta including Auxiliary President, Board of Trustees member, Children’s Foundation Board member, Chairman of Festival of Trees, and Chairman Atlanta Golf Classic. She has been a volunteer and Board member of The Junior League of Atlanta including VP Finance and 80th Anniversary Chairman.
Sherry and John have been married 38 years and have two grown daughters. Together they spend time gardening and plant 1000 tulips and 750 caladiums yearly. Sherry makes time for reading, visiting the family lake house in the North Georgia Mountains, and traveling with John.
Liz Troy 2013
A member of ARCS Foundation since 2000, Liz has stepped up to many varied and diverse roles in the Chapter including Chair of Alumni Scholar Relations, Assistant Treasurer, Treasurer, Chair of Scholar Awards Luncheon, and Director of Funds Development. Liz is currently putting together a campaign as Chair of the Endowment Committee.
Liz still has time and energy for her volunteer work with the Atlanta Symphony Associates, where she has chaired their Decorators’ Show House & Gardens, Symphony Celebration, and led the organization as president. She is also a member of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Board.
And, there’s time for athletic endeavors like yoga, spinning, and golf. Liz and her husband, Mike, enjoy active vacations cycling and hiking in interesting places: Provence, Ireland, Alaska, and Peru. They have 2 children: their daughter, Erin, lives with her husband, Kevin, in Washington, DC, and their son, Brendan, lives in Westfield, NJ with his wife, Candace, and their 3 children: Aidan, Keira, and Bridget.