Rocket City SGO’s Board of Directors consists of professionals and stakeholders from the Tennessee Valley community.
Angela Hawke – Executive Director
Angela Hawke, ED for RCSGO, is a 10 year Huntsville resident and has worked in the non profit arena for many years. Most recently she was with The CARE Center. Angela is passionate to serve others and has personally witnessed the benefit of higher education. It is such a blessing when she sees someone step into their God given skills & talents, changing the trajectory of their future as well as the next generation. Joining the RCSGO was like second nature for her and she believes God was instrumental to leading her to this new role.
Brad Garland, CPA – President
Brad Garland, Founder of RCSGO, is a CPA by trade and an Auburn graduate. He’s actively involved philanthropically in his community and seeks to make a difference whenever possible. He has a beautiful wife and family. Together their children are Brad’s daily inspiration and it’s his desire to leave a legacy of hope and resources for future leaders.
Kelly Martin – Co-Founder, Tutor Coordinator
With a background in elementary education, this 5th grade teacher turned temporary “stay-at-home-mom” found it easy to say “Yes!” to Brad Garland’s invitation to help start Rocket City SGO. Every teacher knows that a child’s first and most important teachers are “Mom and Dad,” and Kelly’s favorite part about the organization is the opportunity to connect with families. Kelly shares, “I know how crucial it is for a child to have a solid educational foundation; my teacher’s heart will always fight for that. But assisting the parents(s) as they advocate for their child is a very special honor.”
Rocket City SGO is special to Kelly’s husband, Jason, too; it’s actually a family affair. After serving in his initial role of Board Adviser, Jason graciously volunteered countless hours serving in the role of Executive Director. Kelly and Jason’s nine-year-old daughter loves to help decorate for Parent Events, and their seven and five-year-old boys love playing with other kids during those same events.
Originally from Atlanta, and after graduating from Auburn University in 2002, Huntsville has been home to Kelly and her family for over twelve years. Before having children, Kelly taught 5th grade at Randolph School; she loved that age group and always planned on going back to teach that same grade. But, life always throws you a curve ball or two, and in 2013, while serving as a volunteer at a local non-profit ministry, she accepted the challenge of helping to start a new preschool on its campus. Now serving as Director of that preschool, every day she counts her many blessings.
“My whole world is about learning – whether it’s navigating the tricky waters of ‘parenting’ three young children alongside my husband, or when I began teaching fitness classes a few years ago (because I thought it’d be fun to teach Zumba!), or figuring out how to take an educational opportunity afforded by the law and turn it into a better educational path for young learners. Because it’s true that knowledge brings you opportunities to make a difference!”
Jessica Hovis Smith, CFP, CLU, CPWA – Treasurer
Jessica Hovis Smith, the Vice President of Longview Financial Advisors, Inc. She holds the Chartered Advisor in PhilanthropyTM designation and educates individuals and nonprofits on the alignment of giving, talents and passion. Jessica joined the Rocket City Scholarship Granting Organization’s board in 2014 because she believes that education truly is the key to the future, not just for the individual, but for society. As a Huntsville native, Jessica is excited about the opportunity to serve an organization focused on improving the lives of children right here in our community.
Jason Martin has lived and worked in Huntsville for almost 15 years,
working as engineer, software developer, and entrepreneur. He
currently works as a Software Scientist for Kailos Genetics and as the CTO for ArchPatent, both Huntsville-based companies. Several years ago he began volunteering with his wife, Kelly, mentoring children at Lincoln Academy, where they were able to witness firsthand the transformational power that educational choice can bring to bear upon families that could otherwise not afford it. Jason has served as a volunteer for Rocket City SGO since its founding and continues to support the operation of the organization as a volunteer in any way he can.