History/Leadership/Governing Board



Governing Board

Our Leadership

For over six years, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA), under the leadership of then Commissioner Mike Beatty, was engaged in the Communities of Opportunity, a program to help communities  alleviate the effects of poverty. In these 91 “persistent poverty”  counties, education was consistently identified as the best hope of breaking the cycle of poverty. From this work came the idea to create  the Great Promise Partnership, based on Southwire’s ground-breaking 12 for Life™ program.

“This  is the generation that will lead America to the next level of greatness. This is our promise to these students – if they stay in school and work to get ahead they will have a piece of the American dream, that success formula that has made this country great!”

stated Beatty.   

In partnership with numerous community and business leaders, DCA developed Great Promise Partnership (GPP) to help at-risk students complete  their high school education while gaining real-world job skills, thus gaining the ability to build successful lives. By forming public/private  partnerships in communities across Georgia, we’re showing students that  they have a place in Georgia’s economic future.

DCA launched a pilot program in January 2012. In 2013, Beatty and GPP left DCA and GPP became affiliated with the  Georgia Department of Economic Development, Workforce Division (formerly the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development). In 2016, GPP became an independent 501(c)3 working with dozens of communities across Georgia. 


Our Leadership

Governing Board

Our Leadership

Mike Beatty

Founder, Great Promise Partnership, Inc.

August 1, 2013 was Mike Beatty’s first day on his new adventure. He retired as Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) to lead the non-profit organization, Great Promise Partnership (GPP) as its President and CEO.  Developed during his tenure at DCA, GPP addresses persistent poverty,  high school graduation/dropout rates and workforce development needs around the state.

He was appointed to serve as Commissioner of the DCA by Governor Sonny Perdue in June 2003 and reappointed to serve by Governor Nathan Deal in January 2011. Known for his leadership skills in education, business and government, Beatty’s background provided him a unique perspective of the challenges facing local communities across Georgia.

Prior to his service at DCA, Beatty worked as an educator and businessman. 

His initial government service was as an elected leader. As a state legislator,  Beatty served northeast Georgia in both the state House of Representatives and the state Senate. During his tenure in the Georgia General Assembly, his hard work on numerous issues was recognized by his constituents and several organizations, including the  Georgia Family Council and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Beatty served a President and CEO of GPP until 2017 when he accepted a position at the United States Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C.

Lori Heemann

Executive Director, Great Promise Partnership, Inc.

Lori has been with GPP and working with Founder Mike Beatty from the planning stages of the initiative at DCA. 

Before GPP, Lori was a Field Operations Specialist for the  not-for-profit Communities in Schools of Georgia and more recently, the 

Learn and Serve Coordinator for the Georgia Commission for Service and Volunteerism. Lori started her career in education as a public high school teacher in Chicago and Atlanta. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in broadcast journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master of Education at DePaul University in Chicago.


Governing Board

Governing Board

Governing Board

Steve Hollis

Chairman of the Board

Co-Owner and Chairman of the Board & Executive VP, Power Partners, Inc. 

Simon Bloom

Vice Chairman

Partner, Bloom Sugarman

Roy Bowen


Georgia Association of Manufacturers

Brian Cooksey

Director, Center of Operational Excellence Shaw Industries

Ann Cramer

Senior Consultant

Coxe Curry and Associates

Joy Hawkins

Executive Director

Gov's Office of Student Achievement

Matt Jones

Chief of Staff


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