Mark Wilcox Announced as Board Member of Tharros Place

Friday, February 23, 2024

Tharros Place, a nonprofit providing residential services for girls ages 12 to 17 who are survivors of human trafficking, recently announced it has added new members to its board and selected officers.

The new board members are:

  • Justine Keller, Test Engineer, Georgia Power
  • Pria Padgett, Assistant News Director, WTOC-TV
  • Elizabeth Summerell, Senior Assurance Manager, Marcum LLP
  • Mark Wilcox, Partner, Sterling Seacrest Pritchard

The officers include:

  • President: Marsha Buford, Founder and Pastor, The House of Favor Full Gospel Ministries
  • Vice President: Denise Cooper, Assistant City Attorney, City of Savannah
  • Treasurer: Kate Blair, Executive Director, Brightside Child & Family Advocacy
  • Secretary: Phylicia Anderson, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

In addition, Tharros Place formed an Advisory Board to provide thought leadership and supplement specific areas where the board requires expertise. Members include:

  • Ashlee Aspden, Human Resources Professional, Gulfstream Aerospace
  • Sheila Grossman, Retired Communications Professional
  • Paul Meyer, Founding Partner, Meyer and Sayers, LLP
  • Aurelia Moss, Retired Educator and Licensed Realtor, Keller Williams Realty
  • Alicia Wilson, CASA Advocacy Coordinator, Brightside Child and Family Advocacy

“We are so grateful to all of these community leaders who are stepping up to help make transformative change happen in the lives of young girls,” said Julie Wade, Executive Director of Tharros Place. “With their help, we will give our youth a chance at a better life through bold and innovative approaches and create a world where young people are heard, supported, and empowered.”

Last year, Tharros Place opened its doors to survivors of human trafficking. This residential facility is open 24/7 and staffed by trained and licensed professionals providing trauma-informed, client-centered care to girls ages 12 to 17.

In 2022, 494 minors with an average age of 14 were identified as victims of human trafficking. Chatham County ranks fourth in the state for the number of sex trafficking cases of minors. Tharros Place’s ultimate goal is to transform those girls from victims to young women brimming with confidence, self-respect, and courage.

The issue is of particular concern for Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and First Lady Marty Kemp, who created the Georgians for Refuge, Action, Compassion, and Education (GRACE) Commission to eliminate human trafficking as a threat to people in every corner of Georgia.

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Originally Published in Savannah Business Journal.