Tom Kohler, Executive Director, is a native of Savannah. He attended the public schools in Chatham County and graduated in 1970 from Herschel V. Jenkins High School. After this, he attended Armstrong State College and the University of Georgia, where he received his degree in 1976. Tom has been involved with people who have disabilities since he was 15 years old. His first involvement was through a volunteer experience at the Temple Youth Group at Mickve Israel Temple.
Tom has been the Executive Director for Chatham-Savannah Citizen Advocacy for the past 40 years. In the early days, Tom was taught that the question was “In what ways is this person broken and how do we fix them?” It has taken thirty years to get to a better question, “The world has a deep crack in it;, how do we try and stitch it back together?” This question follows Buckminster Fuller’s maxim, “Life is long; pick something big and interesting and work on it.”
George Seaborough, Coordinator is a 35 year old native of Savannah and is married to Youth Minister Tyneise Seaborough. He graduated from Savannah High and holds a B.S. in Political Science with a minor in Education and a Master’s of Public Administration from Savannah State University. He is a member of Branded Hearts International Church and President of Twickenham Neighborhood Association.
George served in leadership roles as a Union Organizer for SEIU, Field Director for Young Democrats of Georgia, Interim Director of SSU Community Future Corporation, Loaned Associate for United Way, and Freshman Experience Professor at Savannah State University. In his spare time he has led high school students on several college road trips to South Carolina and throughout Georgia, severed as a volunteer adviser to help students prepare for the Harvard Model United Nations competition, and educated students on the political process of campaigns. “All my life I have searched for a career that would have a direct impact on the lives of the people in Chatham County, and it is through the dedicated work at Chatham-Savannah Citizen Advocacy I am confident that I will accomplish that goal.”
Ashley O’Brien, Director of Administration, has lived in Savannah since she was six-years-old. She attended a variety of Savannah schools and graduated from University of Georgia with a B.A. in English Literature in 1992. She worked in student services at the School of Visual Arts before lucking into an opportunity to work with Tom Kohler in 1998. The past 20 years of learning about citizen advocacy in Savannah has been like putting on a new pair of glasses and seeing our community in a whole different way. “It has been an honor to be involved in this work and inspiring to see how tough people are and how willing people are to go to bat for one another in our community.”