Board of Directors

Julie Childs, Chair (Attorney, McLain & Merritt, PC)

Julie Childs is a partner with the law firm of McLain & Merritt, P.C. in Atlanta and has practiced in the area of estate planning since 1986.

Julie received her BA and law degrees from the University of Georgia.  She grew up in Decatur, Georgia and attended Decatur High School.

Her civic commitments include participation in and numerous leadership positions at Decatur First United Methodist Church, active membership in the DeKalb Junior League from 1982 – 1992, serving on the board of the Georgia United Methodist Foundation, the board of Wesley Woods Home, Inc., currently serving on the Board of Trustees of the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church, and serving as Chair of the board of directors of Breakthru House, Inc. for 2013-2019.

Isabel Pelcastre, Director (American Life Fund)

As a Director at American Life Fund, she designs and implements strategic sales and marketing efforts that have propelled the viatical settlement industry. She strongly believes that individuals of all types of demographics should be given a fair opportunity at a high-quality life and takes pride in assisting terminally ill patients and elderly individuals at American Life Fund, with the exploration of financial options, to meet their financial needs and enable a higher quality of life. She is a trusted partner in the industry and successfully developed business partnerships at both a local the national levels. Innovation in processes and procedures has allowed her to reduced spending at American Life Fund by 30%.

Isabel attained her bachelor’s degree from Clayton State University with a concentration in Management. She is currently enrolled in the Master of Health Administration Program at Clayton State University and is expected to graduate in 2020.

After witnessing the impacts of drug addiction, firsthand, Isabel was driven to make a difference. Having a loved one battle with addiction has given her a deeper understanding of the challenges that recovering encompasses. Her desire to serve the Breakthru House is fueled by the desire for recovery and rehab services to be more accessible and affordable, with better outcomes of success on both a microscopic and macroscopic level, understanding that change is a process. Isabel joined The Breakthru House’s Board in 2019.

Gordon Barber, Director (Retired)

T. Gordon Barber is a retired ATT Executive with 41 years of experience in Network Operations. He is owner and manager of Barber Properties. He grew up in Hendersonville, NC, graduated from The Citadel and earned a Master’s Degree from the University of Maryland. He was an Army officer and served in Okinawa. Currently, he volunteers at North Fulton Community Charity, Habitat for Humanity, BEATS hippo therapy and is a member of the Disaster Recovery Team at Alpharetta Methodist Church. He and his wife, Karen, live in Milton and have 3 grown sons and 2 grandchildren.

Suzanne Savarese, Treasurer

Suzanne is a Certified Public Accountant who has 14 years of experience in the accounting field. After graduating from Clemson University, she worked in public accounting then transitioned to the private sector where she has served in various leadership roles.

Joseph E Brown, Jr. (Retired)

Joseph E Brown, Jr. Board member since the 80’s. My father was an original founder/supporter of BreakThru House when it was founded at St. Mark UMC in 1969. I have worked at Courts & Co., a regional brokerage firm from 1961-1972, Atlanta Federal Savings & Loan that became Georgia Federal Bank from 1972-1987, and finally with my wife’s State Farm Insurance agency for 20 years until retirement. I have witnessed the incredible growth and progress of BreakThru House and witnessed the change in the lives of many women who have become whole again because of the love and support they received while residing on campus and completing the BrealThru House recovery program.

Nancy Young, Development Chair (Georgia United Methodist Church)

Nancy Young serves as Vice President of Development for the Georgia United Methodist Foundation. She brings over 35 years of nonprofit experience in the areas of fundraising, major donor development, training, special events, planned giving and facilities management.

Prior to joining GUMF, Nancy served as Vice President of Development for Action Ministries. She began her career in development while serving as the Executive Director of the YWCA of New Britain, Connecticut.

Ondre Gooch

He grew up in Detroit Michigan and obtained a Basketball scholarship to Albany State University in 1983. Since 1987, He has worked in Sales & Marketing for companies such as Coca-Cola, Edy’s Ice Cream, Hunter Douglas, and currently Treager Grills as a sales rep. He is married to Olivia Gooch and he has three beautiful girls. He resides in Lawrence GA.

June D. McKenzie

My name is June D. McKenzie and I’ve been married to Reginald McKenzie Sr. for 31 years. We presently reside in Conyers, Ga.

I was born and resided in McComb, MS from 1965 until 1980 with my mother and siblings. I then lived in Southern California with my father/stepmother and other siblings until I graduated Cum Laude from high school in 1983. I moved to Los Angeles summer of 1983 to attend UCLA until my graduation with a BA in Political Science in 1987.

I was married in and resided in Los Angeles, Ca in 1989, as well as Tempe, Arizona, and briefly, Montreal, Canada from 1985 to 1993 while I attended Pepperdine Law School and my husband played professional football in Arizona and Canada. During this time, we were blessed with our first daughter, Jasmin Dolores. She graduated from Wheaton College in 2014 and presently resides in Memphis, TN for the past 4 years as a 9th-grade teacher’s chair and English/Humanities teacher.

I graduated from Pepperdine Law School in May 1993 with my JD and certification in Alternative Dispute Resolution, ADR.  We moved out of California and lived briefly in Knoxville, TN with my husband’s father while I studied for the Ga Bar exam and my husband was a graduate assistant for his Alma Mater, the University of Tennessee.  Our youngest daughter, Makayla Mariah was born shortly after arriving in Tennessee that August, and I was sworn into the Ga bar shortly thereafter. Mahkayla is a Civil Engineer with an honors graduate of Duke University in 2015 and presently resides in Oakland, Ca while she works as an outside contract Analytics staff for Facebook.

We moved to Green Bay, Wi June of 1994 for my husband to take a position with the Green Bay Packers and I was sworn into the WI bar a month or two later. I operated my own law office specializing in Elder Law, Estate Planning, Juvenile Defense, and Adoptions for four and a half years.

I closed my practice in April of 1999 to welcome our second son, Jalen Elijah, that following July. Jalen is an offensive lineman for the USC Trojans and graduates in December 2020 with an International Relations Degree.