Joseph E. Heatherly
Audit Partner, Grant Thornton LLP

Tocqueville Society Member
Young Professional Leaders Advisory Board Member



Joseph E. Heatherly is an audit partner at Grant Thornton LLP, one of the world’s leading organizations of independent audit, tax and advisory firms.

Joseph began his career at Grant Thornton in September 2004 in Charlotte, NC. After spending several years in the audit division of the firm’s Charlotte, NC, and Columbia, SC offices, he completed a two-year rotation within the firm’s national office. In July 2015, Joseph moved to the Atlanta office of Grant Thornton searching for additional career opportunities and was promoted to audit partner in August 2016. Joseph focuses on serving publicly traded and privately held entities within the transportation, retail, service, and pharmaceutical industries.

In addition to his membership in the Tocqueville Society of United Way Atlanta, Joseph is a member of the Young Professional Leaders Advisory Board of United Way Atlanta and serves as Internal Communications Chair. He is also a member of the 2019 Multiple Sclerosis Leadership Class of Atlanta.

Joseph is a native of Jonesville, SC, and received his Bachelors of Science in Accounting and Masters of Professional Accountancy from Clemson University. He resides with his wife, Caroline, and their daughter in Buckhead.

#WhyWednesday: Ronshavius Strozier

“The essence of leadership is servitude.”

Ronshavius Strozier chooses to use her leadership skills in service of her community as a United Way of Greater Atlanta Young Professional Leaders board member. Today, hear why!

United Way Young Professional Leaders is a group of community champions, aged 40 and under, making connections and sparking change in Greater Atlanta. Want to see what YPL is all about? You have two great opportunities coming up: the annual SaturDAY of Service on April 13 and the Night for a Brighter Tomorrow (on the rooftop at Ponce City Market!) on May 3.

#WhyWednesday: Evonna Christmon

“You never know who you will be a light to.”

Evonna Christmon, United Way VIP graduate and Executive Director of Blossoming Brown Girls, believes that as human beings, we are all responsible for taking care of each other.


How will you take care of your community? If you’re ready to step up into nonprofit board service, consider United Way of Greater Atlanta Volunteer Involvement Program (VIP). To apply for VIP board training, click here.

LINC Member, Terry Vilayhong
Commercial Banker, SunTrust Bank

Why did you decide to get involved with United Way of Greater Atlanta’s LINC group?
Terry: I got involved from a United Way campaign when I moved to Atlanta 3 years ago, it was really fulfilling and now I’ve got multiple friends coming on a regular basis.


What aspect of United Way’s work in the community are you most passionate about supporting?
Terry: I’m most passionate about helping individuals that don’t have alternatives, circumstances were bad but we can always have faith in the future.


What is your favorite quote?
Terry: “People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel.”
– Maya Angelou

Jennifer Barbosa Clegg
Inova Payroll and Principal Owner
Barbosa Benefits and Financial Services

“I could not have imagined the value I was going to receive from the United Way VIP program. Originally, I anticipated making great connections and learning how to sit on a non-profit board. My goal was to be able to expand my professional reach. I must say, my expectations were far below what I actually gained! I have grown in so many ways!

United Way VIP has allowed me to grow personally, professionally and spiritually. My reasons for serving on a board are far more than what I can gain, rather, what can I do that aligns with what is important to me. I am beyond grateful for the intangibles I have gained from United Way VIP; friendship, personal and professional growth and most of all, a true sense involvement in my community and being able to give!”

Jennifer is currently serving on the board of the Georgia Micro Enterprise Network Inc. and on the board of the March of Dimes Young Professionals.

Board Members Needed

It’s time to put your VIP skills to work! Engage with one of these excellent organizations working to create a thriving community in Greater Atlanta.

To find out more about these opportunities, contact

#WhyWednesday: Victoria Witherington

At a YPL event, Victoria Witherington saw firsthand the impact of United Way — and she stepped up to do her part. Hear why Victoria gives back to her community as a United Way Young Professional Leaders advisory board member!

United Way of Greater Atlanta’s Young Professional Leaders turn their influence into impact in our communities. Through their signature cause, United Way’s Kids Home Initiative, YPL members are helping families across Greater Atlanta become financially stable and have access to brighter futures. Click here to become a member!

African-American Partnership Member, Michael D. Brown
Vice President, Human Resources
Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Georgia

AAP: Tell us about your role at Kaiser Permanente and how you impact the company’s strategic goals.

Michael: I am accountable for the design and execution of the Human Capital Strategy for Kaiser Permanente of Georgia, the state’s largest nonprofit health plan. The organization has 4,000 health care workers, 26 medical centers, contact centers and administrative offices. My key accountabilities involve delivering Human Resources solutions to the business, including: culture design, change management, succession and talent development, learning and organization effectiveness, employee engagement, equity, inclusion and diversity, workforce planning, employee wellness, employee relations, and labor relations.


AAP: What are your suggestions for individuals who are interested in a career in healthcare?

Michael: I can’t think of a better industry than health care to start a rewarding career.  It is a well-known fact that health care costs in America are too high and unsustainable.  And health care may be the single most important issue facing us today. Becoming a health care professional not only gives you the opportunity to make a real difference in people’s lives but you can also be a part of the innovative and progressive thinking that will help change the system and move us forward. At Kaiser Permanente, we believe all Americans should have access to affordable and quality health care. We are looking for professionals who are ready to take the journey with us and be a part of the bold moves that will transform health care as we know it.


AAP: How have you seen the role of human resources within a company evolve during your career?

Michael: Since 2000 when I started my career there has been a steady transformation of human resources from an administrative support function to a strategic and consultative business partner.  Increasingly, human resources professionals are counted on to solve business problems and lead large-scale change management. Many companies have realized – and rightfully so – that people are their most important assets.  As a result, the smart companies are investing in the development of their people at all levels of the organization; and they look to human resources to create systems and process to identify and cultivate the talent.


AAP: Why is philanthropy important? How do you give back to the community?

Michael: I realize that I have benefited greatly from the generosity and benevolence of others.  From the local small businesses that sponsored my youth sports teams, to the charitable donations of individuals who covered the cost of my college ACT and SAT preparation classes, I have been given opportunity, exposure, and education that I may not have otherwise been afforded.  I give back through volunteering as a coach.  My win-lost record would not suggest that I have a future in coaching, but I try to make it fun for the kids and help instill basic life skills and lessons.  I also participate on local boards.  Although I have only been living in the metropolitan Atlanta area for less than two years I am a proud board member of the Andrew & Walter Young Family YMCA. I have also joined my colleagues in the Kaiser Permanente African American Professional Association business resource group in supporting various United Way African American Partnership events.


AAP: AAP is building libraries where youth play and learn, what is your favorite book and why?

Michael: The Game of Life and How to Play It, by Florence Scovel Shinn.  It’s one of the more recent books that I’ve read.  It is a short book, less than 100 pages.  It is filled with messages about thinking and speaking positively.  The simple and powerful messages in the book apply to anyone, at any age, and any stage in life.  I recommend it to anyone who wants a positive mindset.

It is hard to believe that the 4th Annual AAP Leadership Luncheon is almost here and I, for one, could not be more excited. Of course, I am looking forward to hearing from one of the most influential African-American artists of our generation, Common. This will also be a great opportunity for AAP members to network and share our signature cause with the Atlanta community.

We are offering guests a powerful networking tool. Did you know that once you’ve registered for the Luncheon, you can view the names of the other guests? Simply, use your email address and confirmation number to log in to log-in and select “Information” then “Attendees.” You can create a networking plan before the Luncheon!

At the Luncheon, we are counting on you to help “chat AAP up”. As a member, you know about, not only the many opportunities United Way creates for volunteerism, we are also raising money to fund our signature cause, Powering the Potential of African-American young men and boys.

Lastly, it is not too late to ask Common a question. Send your questions to and one or more may be included in the discussion the AAP Leadership Luncheon.

See you on March 2nd! #LeadWithAAP2019

Kind regards,
Stephanie Gloster
AAP Cabinet Chair

#WhyWednesday: Natasha Chambliss

Meet Natasha Chambliss, Home Depot employee and United Way of Greater Atlanta African-American Partnership board member! Watch Natasha’s Share Your Why video to learn how being a part of AAP helps her fulfill her passion for improving literacy, by getting hands-on in the Build-a-Library program.

What’s your passion? Come fulfill it in partnership with United Way of Greater Atlanta! Whether you’re ready to step up as a board member in your community, want to volunteer more or are interested in joining a group, you can plug into your purpose with United Way.