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Georgia First Generation Foundation Announces New Board Members

Updated: Nov 19, 2023

Lawrenceville, GA, November 4, 2023 - Georgia First Generation Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting first-generation students in Georgia, proudly welcomes seven distinguished individuals to its Board of Directors. The appointed members bring a wealth of experience and passion for promoting educational equity and fostering opportunities for underrepresented communities in the state.

The new Board Members are as follows:

Ana Maria Villegas - Vice Chair of the Board & Senior DEI Analyst at Deloitte

Ana Maria Villegas is a dedicated professional who fosters diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives. Born in Colombia, she is a first-generation college graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Georgia State University, which she attained through merit scholarships. Currently, Ana serves as a Government and Public Services Analyst at Deloitte, representing Latinas in Business with pride.

Oscar Lievano - Marketing and Development Committee Chair & Employee Benefits Consultant

Oscar Lievano is an experienced Employee Benefits Consultant known for his exceptional service delivery and over a decade of experience in the insurance industry. Oscar has excelled in management roles, top sales performance, benefits counseling, and open enrollment expertise. He has held key positions at Risk Strategies Company, Colonial Life, Hamilton Insurance Agency, and other reputable organizations. Oscar's multicultural background, coupled with his expertise in building technology systems, allows him to provide cutting-edge service to his clients.

Candy Isabel - Programs and Engagement Committee Chair & Founder & Principal Consultant, Khamai Strategies

Candy Isabel is a seasoned bilingual Consultant specializing in Project Management and Stakeholder Engagement. With a passion for equitable outcomes, she established Khamai Strategies, focusing on empowering communities through education and engagement. Candy's multifaceted expertise extends to successful collaborations with non-profits like Linc Up and Habitat for Humanity.

Daniel Varitek - Board Member & Strategic Programs & Operations Associate, The New York Times

Daniel Varitek is a dynamic consultant known for his strategic planning skills and expertise in project management. With experience at Canopy Atlanta and The New York Times, he has demonstrated proficiency in strategy planning, program management, and process improvement. Daniel holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from Georgia State University and possesses strong skills in OKR planning, project prioritization, and group facilitation. His career is marked by successful project launches and the implementation of efficient campaign intake processes, showcasing his ability to drive organizational efficiency and data management.

Sami Tabbaa - Board Member & Founder & Managing Attorney

Sami M. Tabbaa is an accomplished attorney specializing in personal injury cases, leveraging his legal expertise to secure millions in compensation for victims of negligence. With a Juris Doctor and Master of Health Administration from Georgia State University College of Law, he adeptly manages bodily injury and property damage claims at Tabbaa Law. Sami's diverse background includes roles at The Nathan Law Firm, Mercer Health, and Grady Memorial Hospital, reflecting his commitment to serving his community.

Christian Bello Escobar - Board Member & Director of Academic & Community Engagement at the University of North Georgia

Christian Bello Escobar is a dynamic higher education executive known for his transformative leadership and commitment to fostering an inclusive educational environment. With a strong background in grant administration, counseling, and educational research, Christian excels in driving student success and community engagement. Currently serving as the Director of Academic & Community Engagement at the University of North Georgia, his notable achievements include securing significant grants and fostering strategic partnerships to enhance student outcomes. He is also a dedicated educator, contributing to various courses and programs and actively participating in numerous professional organizations. A respected leader with a passion for student empowerment and diversity, Christian Bello Escobar continues to make significant contributions to the field of education.

Christy Finley - Board Member & Assistant Director of Diversity and Community Partnerships at PCOM Georgia

Christy Finley is a dedicated DEIB (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging) transformational leader with extensive experience in College Admissions, Enrollment Management, College Access, Program Management, and Student/Client Engagement. She has held various roles, including Assistant Director of Diversity and Community Partnerships at PCOM Georgia, Chief Diversity Officer at The Well Group LLC, and Adjunct Professor at The University of Georgia. Christy is known for her commitment to fostering inclusive environments and has significantly contributed to promoting equity and student success in higher education. She holds a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Student Affairs Leadership from the UGA Mary Frances Early College of Education, along with a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Higher Education Administration from Georgia Southern University.

Each member possesses a unique set of skills and experiences that align with the mission and vision of Georgia FirstGen. Their dedication to enhancing the educational journey of first-generation students in Georgia embodies the core values of the foundation.

"I am humbled by the sheer level of expertise and leadership that this group of exceptional Board members exude and am honored to work with them in advancing the next generation of student leaders in Gwinnett," said Charbel Aoun, Founder and Executive Director of Georgia FirstGen.

The Georgia First Generation Foundation is excited to leverage the diverse perspectives and contributions of the new Board Members as it continues to empower and uplift first-generation students throughout the state.

Georgia FirstGen Media Contact

Nick Fernandez | Director of Marketing |

Georgia First Generation Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity helping first-generation students become the next generation of leaders and forward-thinkers. For more information, visit

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