News Release: Emory Healthcare , Woodruff Health Sciences

Dec. 2,  2009

Wesley Woods Foundation Names New Board Members and Foundation Chair

The Foundation of Wesley Woods recently announced four new board members, including its new chairman, John C. Ethridge, Jr.

Founded in 1954 by leaders of the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church and Emory University, the Foundation of Wesley Woods partners with Wesley Woods Center and Emory Healthcare to help people age in healthy, affordable and ethical ways through a program of service, education and research in seven facilities in North Georgia and the residential-medical complex on Clifton Road in Atlanta.

The Foundation of Wesley Woods is the connection point between the generosity of supporters in the community, and the practical, life-changing work for which Wesley Woods is respected and renowned. Through the Foundation of Wesley Woods, significant charitable care is extended to those whose assets have been consumed by medical bills or by simply outliving their savings. Millions of dollars a year are contributed for unreimbursed and charitable care. Just as importantly, the Foundation provides vital support for specific Wesley Woods programs, including some of the most consequential research initiatives underway anywhere in the world on geriatric health issues.

2009 Foundation of Wesley Woods Board Members: 

John C. Ethridge, Jr

Foundation Chair

John C. Ethridge, Jr. is a partner in the Corporate Section of Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP.

In addition to his transaction- based practice, Ethridge also is engaged in a general corporate law practice in which he advises manufacturers, distributors, retailers, service providers and technology companies, and other clients with respect to the organization and formation of business entities, corporate governance, financing arrangements and the negotiation and preparation of agreements and contracts relating to those businesses including employment agreements, shareholder agreements, licensing agreements and supply and distribution agreements.

Ethridge received a BS degree in business administration with a major in accounting from the University of North Carolina in 1978. He received a JD degree, with distinction, from Emory University in 1982, where he was elected to the Order of the Coif. While at Emory he served on the Board of Editors of the Emory Law Journal and was the recipient of the Myron Penn Laughlin Award for excellence in legal writing.

A native of Elberton, Ga., Ethridge is a member of the Atlanta and American Bar Association and currently serves as a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. He also is actively involved in leadership roles with a number of educational, religious and civic organizations.

Dennis “Denny” Betz

Former BellSouth Vice President of Corporate Communications, Dennis “Denny” Betz began his 35-year telecommunications career with New York Telephone working in the business marketing organization before transferring to Atlanta in 1972 to join the sales organization of Southern Bell. Between 1972 and 1989, he held positions of increasing responsibilities in sales, marketing, customer operations, public relations and public affairs for Southern Bell and BellSouth.  In 1989, he was promoted to assistant vice president of public relations for BellSouth Telecommunications.  In 2000, Betz was appointed vice president of corporate communications/public relations for BellSouth Corporation, a position he held until his retirement in early 2006. 

In addition to his leadership of numerous non-profit organizations, Betz played an integral role in many major fund raising efforts in Atlanta such as the $10 million Olympic Park drive and the $40 million Atlanta Symphony Orchestra endowment campaign. Within BellSouth, Mr. Betz ran several successful Savings Bonds and United Way campaigns.

Betz served three years as aviation fuels officer aboard the USS Forrestal following his graduation from the U.S. Navy Officer’s Candidate School.  He was honorably discharged in 1971 with the rank of lieutenant. A native of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Mr. Betz is a graduate of Washington and Jefferson College with a degree in political science.  He has completed the Executive Management Program at Duke University and post-graduate studies in business at Georgia State University.

Catherine Hilton

Catherine Hilton began her career as a production planner with Burlington Industries, Inc. and held a management position with Ethicon, Inc., a Johnson & Johnson Company.  She enrolled in Emory University School of Law in 1992 and received a JD degree from Emory in 1995. 

While at Emory Law School, Hilton made the Dean's List, was a member of the Moot Court Society and the Black Law Students Association, received the American Jurisprudence Award for Property and the Award for Excellent Achievement in Appellate Litigation, and was an intern for Justice Carol Hunstein of the Supreme Court of Georgia. After law school, she was an associate at Smith, Gambrell, Russell, LLP in Atlanta, specializing in general corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, real estate leasing and commercial lending. In December of 2000, Hilton, who also earned a Bachelor’s degree from North Carolina State University, joined UPS Capital Corporation as a lending attorney, and in August of 2002, she was named the Vice President of Legal Affairs for UPS Capital. 

Currently, she is a member of the State Bar of Georgia and the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism for the State of Georgia; is a member of the board of directors of the Mary Hall Freedom House, Literacy Volunteers of Atlanta, the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Greater Atlanta and Sheltering Arms. A resident of Duluth, Ga., she is married to Larry Hilton (a speech-language pathologist), and has two children, Sheena (a 2009 Yale University graduate and chemistry teacher at Phillips Academy, Andover) and Sean (a junior at Yale University majoring in psychology). 

Christopher Nunn

Christopher Nunn is a member of Russell Reynolds Associates’ Corporate Officer Sector and Financial Officer Practice. Based in Atlanta, he leads assignments to recruit CFOs, controllers, treasurers, investor relations officers, audit professionals and division finance executives. His executive recruiting experience spans a variety of industries, including financial services, technology, information services, consumer products and manufacturing. 

Nunn, who earned his BA in political science from Emory University and a Master’s degree from the University of St. Andrews, in Scotland, serves on the Advisory Committee for the Robert T. Jones Scholarship Trust at Emory University, where he is an active alumnus. He is a past member of the Operating Board at The Commerce Club in Atlanta, and he currently serves on the Board of Directors for Young Audiences, a division of the Woodruff Arts Center, as well as the Wesley Woods Foundation.

For more information about the Foundation of Wesley Woods, please visit:

For more information about Wesley Woods Center, please visit:


The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service.

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