STC Foundation celebrates FY20, announces new members, leadership for FY21

 Kay Ford Headshot Nick Puhala Headshot Trip Tollison

Savannah Technical College Foundation Board of Trustees celebrated accomplishments for the previous fiscal year, announced leadership changes, and welcomed new members to its board.

In FY2020, the STC Foundation Board of Trustees awarded $206K in scholarships to Savannah Tech students. In January 2020, its Opportunity Gala honoring Kevin Jackson raised $250K, which is nearly three times more than previous events. For the fourth year in a row, the STC Foundation earned the designation Role Model Foundation Board Certification in November 2019 from the of Technical College Foundation Association (TCFA).

The FY2021 executive committee includes: Gary Sanchez – Chairman; Loretta Cockrum – Vice Chair; Stewart Bromley – Treasurer; Sam McCachern – Past-Chair; and Lynne Marini and Robyn Iannone will serve as At Large members.

The Foundation welcomed three new board members: Kay Ford, Nick Puhala and Trip Tollison.

  • Kay Ford, currently serves as the chairman of BankSouth’s advisory board for the Savannah market and she BankSouth’s Chief Banking Officer serving the bank’s markets throughout the state. The former president and CEO of SunTrust Bank, Savannah, Ford retired after serving 41 years at Suntrust where she held numerous senior level positions within retail banking and private wealth management, including the position of senior vice president of Private Wealth Management. She is a graduate of Leadership Savannah and Leadership Georgia, a member of the Executive Committee of Savannah Economic Development Authority.
  • Nick Puhala is a partner with Sterling Seacrest Partners. Nick has volunteered and held leadership positions with various organizations including the Rotary Club of Savannah, Chamber CEO Council, Propeller Club, Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf, and Savannah Golf Championship Founders Club. He is a graduate of Leadership Savannah, Leadership Southeast Georgia, and was noted as a 2016 Generation Next Rising Star of Business. Nick holds the Certified Insurance Counselor professional designation and earned a BBA in Management from the University of Georgia.
  • Trip Tollison serves as the President and CEO of the Savannah Economic Development Authority (SEDA) which includes World Trade Center Savannah (WTCSav), Savannah Regional Film Commission and an EB-5 Investment Center. Trip serves on the board of directors for the Jekyll Island State Authority, the Savannah Convention Center Authority, the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce and the Savannah Music Festival. Trip is the former chairman of the Second Harvest Food Bank. He is a graduate of Leadership Savannah, Leadership Georgia and is a former Trustee of Leadership Georgia.

Founded in 1984, the Savannah Technical College Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization that exists to raise and disburse funds to support the College’s efforts to enhance learning, workforce training and economic development in Bryan, Chatham, Effingham and Liberty counties. 


# 2101 | July 14, 2020

Media Contact: Amy Shaffer, APR
912.443.5512 or


Savannah Technical College serves Coastal Georgia with quality, market-driven technical education with campus locations in Chatham, Effingham and Liberty Counties. Serving more than 10,000 credit and non-credit students annually, Savannah Tech offers nearly 150 different instructional programs in Aviation Technology, Business and Professional Services, Industrial Technology, and Health Sciences in addition to Adult Education classes, industry-specific training and continuing education. The College serves as an economic and community development partner for the region, offering corporate and customized training and assessment programs for business and industry.

Savannah Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate degrees, diplomas and technical certificates of credit. Questions about the accreditation of Savannah Technical College may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (