Donna Savas, President

Prior to serving as President, Donna was Secretary of the organization and has chaired the Milton Tour of Homes committee  (one of our showcase fundraising events) multiple years and involved since its inception.  She is one of the founding members of the SMC organization and is excited to embrace her new role!  After presiding over and being actively involved in PTA leadership at the elementary, middle and high school levels for over 15 years, and sitting on multiple sports team related boards, Donna turned her volunteer focus toward other community involvement and, in addition to her work with Southern Magnolia Charities, she is currently is or has been involved with the following organizations:

   Milton Tour of Homes - Chairperson 2018 and 2019, Committee Member 2017 and 2016

  The Friends of the Milton Library - Board Member

   Milton First Responders Foundation - Volunteer

In her spare time, she is the president/founder of Savas Digital Creations, a local graphics design company specializing in creating logos, websites, marketing material, print layout design, etc. 

Donna and her ever supportive, loving husband, Ted, are the parents of two outstanding young adults, (Drew and Taylor) and love to cheer on the Green Bay Packers, from their residence in Alpharetta - or anywhere else for that matter!  GO PACK, GO!

Cynthia Knutson, Vice President

Cynthia Knutson, a Milton resident since 1994, is President/CEO of Data Tech Computer Services, Inc.  After graduating from The Pennsylvania State University with a BS in Engineering she worked in San Francisco for 10 years and eventually headed back East to be closer to family and landed in Milton, Georgia.  From day one she has been involved in various community and school related volunteer positions.  She served as Milton High School PTSA Co-President and held other various PTSA VP and committee chair positions throughout the years.  Her community involvement includes being elected to the MHS Governance Council as parent elect and volunteering with the Alpharetta Ambush soccer team, Alpharetta Cheer Squad, and Girl Scout leader.   

Currently, Cynthia sits as the Fundraising Chair for all of our fundraising events, including the Comedy on The Green at Crabapple Market, our “Contagious Cuisine” cookbook project and  multiple Milton Tour of Homes and is delighted to be elected to the board of The Southern Magnolia Charities.  “I am proud to call Milton home and to volunteer to help strengthen our community while supporting our strong social structure.”

Cynthia enjoys traveling, sailing, scuba, skiing, cooking and working in her garden.

Amanda Quintana, Treasurer

Amanda Quintana, a longtime Georgia resident, founded the City of Milton’s community initiative Better Together in her role as the city’s first Community Builder. She was also a founding member of the Crabapple Community Association and served as its first treasurer. She chaired Crabapple Fest for multiple years, served on Milton High School’s Governance Council and served on the inaugural Milton Tour of Homes board. She is grateful to be working alongside such a powerhouse of terrific volunteers with the common goal of delivering much-needed funds to deserving charities. 

In her 9-to-5 life, Amanda is an accountant for Palmer & Cay, an insurance brokerage firm located in Atlanta, Savannah, Charleston, and Charlotte. 

In her free time, she volunteers for Speak St. Louis, a dog rescue that specializes in finding homes for blind and/or deaf double-merle Australian shepherds. 

Amanda and her husband Steve enjoy walking, exploring, listening to music, and discovering unique eateries around Metro Atlanta. They have two grown sons, Caleb and Bo, but spend most of their free time chasing Trixie, their deaf, double-merle miniature Australian shepherd puppy. 

Judy Burds, Secretary

Judy Burds serves Southern Magnolia Charities as Secretary, has been on the committee for the Tour of Homes since its inception in 2016 leading logistics and home selection for the committee. She worked at AT&T in Operations and Engineering, followed by international consulting and sales specializing in Sourcing, Purchasing and Accounts Payable.

Judy also serves on the Board of Governors of White Columns Country Club, and as Treasurer of the Friends of the Milton Library. She actively volunteers to help people find vaccine appointments.

She has called Milton home for 14 years. Golf and her rescue dog help keep her active.

Marsha Spear, President Emeritus

I thoroughly enjoy being involved in my community. I am currently serving on the board of Southern Magnolia Charities as President Emeritus, after serving three years as its first President; I have been actively involved with the Milton Tour of Homes, serving as chairman for the 2017 tour; and have served on the board of the Friends of the Milton Library for the past four years.

I am a financial advisor, CFP®, with Edward Jones, having opened my office in Crabapple in 1997. My team and I are dedicated to providing exemplary service and advice to help families in the community meet their financial goals.

My husband, Kevin, and I are high school sweethearts. We are both involved in the Milton community, serving on various boards. We enjoy cycling, traveling, watching Steelers football and are proud “parents” of two Siberian huskies.

Lara Dolan

Lara Dolan is a full-time real estate agent focussed on residential sales in Milton, Alpharetta, and surrounding communities. Together with her business partner Tracey Craft they are The Craft Dolan Team at Village Realty and specialize in Luxury Residential, Investment and Commercial transactions, consistently achieving "Circle of Excellence" and "Top Team" designations.

Lara is active in the community, and in addition to Southern Magnolia Charities, she currently serves on the boards of the Alpharetta Business Association, the Milton Business Alliance, and is a founding member of landmark fundraising events including ShamRockin’ for a Cure and the Milton Tour of Homes. In 2017 Lara was named one of 10 “Good Neighbors” by National Realtor Magazine selected from thousands of entries across the country, and was a 2014 Points North “Savvy Successful” woman of the year from Points North Magazine. She is New Homes Specialist and a graduate of 2015 Leadership North Fulton. 

Lara and her husband Brian live in the Crabapple area of Milton with their 2 daughters, Olivia and Carly.

Jennifer Ellis

Jennifer Ellis has lived in the Milton community since 1995. She grew up in Dunwoody, GA and after graduating from Dunwoody High School, she attended Vanderbilt University where she received a degree in Elementary Education. After teaching in several local schools, she decided to stay at home to raise her 3 children. She stayed actively involved in her children’s schools through PTA, serving as Co-President in two of the schools, and as a substitute teacher. While her children were at Milton HS, she volunteered at the front desk, for the lacrosse program, for the theater department, and with the band program. She currently works as a CSA for Ronald Blue Trust.

She is married to Bob Ellis, who is a Fulton County Commissioner, works for CNA, and leads their Sunday School group at Northbrook United Methodist Church. They enjoy going to UGA football games, traveling to CA to visit their daughter who lives in LA, and follows Purdue sports since their youngest son will start in the Fall.

Peyton Jamison

Peyton Jamison, a lifelong North Fulton resident, has been actively involved in community and citizen-related activities in the City for many years.

He currently serves on the Milton City Council and has served as chairman of the Milton Planning Commission, chairman of the Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee as well as president of the Crabapple Community Association, a community group made up of residents, businesses and area schools dedicated to improving, protecting and enhancing the overall quality of life in the Crabapple District.

Jamison owns a wealth management business in Milton. Jamison and his wife, Megan, live on Birmingham Hwy. with their three children.  He and his family are members of Birmingham United Methodist Church. He is active in youth sports with his children and has served as coach for numerous teams.

Jamison holds a bachelor of science degree in finance from Auburn University.

Betsy Lowery

After multiple relocations over the past 30 years due to her husband’s military and corporate careers it has become apparent to Betsy that the more quickly she gets involved in a new community the more it feels like home.  And what better way to make Milton home than to participate in the Southern Magnolia Charities? Betsy is excited to be part of SMC and its support of local charities.

Born and raised in upstate New York, Betsy graduated from the University of Vermont with a Business/Finance Degree.  Her professional career includes over 14 years of experience in the financial industry across the country, including establishing a successful a start-up business in Honolulu and managing a medical consulting firm in Boston.

Betsy, Chris, their three teenagers, and black lab have lived in Milton since 2014.   She currently serves on the Board of Young Men’s Service League (YMSL) and previously on the Milton Tour of Homes Committee.  When she is not volunteering, attending soccer games and horseback riding competitions, or traveling, Betsy can be found spending time with family and friends.

Ted Savas


Kevin W. Spear

Kevin is retired after a career as a sales and client relations executive for several firms including PNC Bank, United Parcel Service, and PSCU Financial Services.  He has been and continues to be actively involved in civil and charitable organizations including and serves on the following boards:

   The Friends of the Milton Library (President)

   The Milton Historical Society

   Board of Trustees for West Virginia Wesleyan College (Vice President and Finance Chair)

Kevin and his wife, Marsha, have resided in Milton, GA since 1996.  Go Steelers!

Link to Facebook

Copyright 2024  ~  Southern Magnolia Charities, Inc.

Website designed by Donna Savas