Augusta Metro Chamber Welcomes Five New Board Members for 2021

Thursday, January 14th, 2021

The Augusta Metro Chamber is pleased to welcome Dr. Jermaine Whirl, President at Augusta Technical College, and Jason Kennedy with Loop Recruiting to their Board of Directors for 3-year terms. Kevin Oard has assumed the term of Karen Pagorek with John Deere. Also joining the Chamber’s Board in 2021 by appointment will be the 2020 Augusta’s Entrepreneur, Allan Soto with Vinea Capital, and Kim Elle, Chair of Leadership Augusta.

With more than 15 years in higher education, Dr. Jermaine Whirl is President of Augusta Technical College. Dr. Whirl most recently served as VP for Learning & Workforce Development and VP for Economic Development & Corporate Training at Greenville Technical College in Greenville, SC.

Jason Kennedy, one of Loop’s founding partners, brings fifteen years of recruiting and HR experience to the company. A Samford University graduate with an MBA from Augusta University, Jason earned multiple industry certifications and awards before founding Loop in 2015.

Kevin Oard has been with John Deere for over 20 years and is currently the Operations Manager for John Deere’s No. 1 tractor plant located in Grovetown, GA. Kevin holds a Master of Science in Industrial Engineering as well as a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Kansas State University.

Allan Soto is CEO/Owner of Vinea Capital, the parent and management company for Soto ALG, ABLE Kids, ABLE Pediatrics, Soto Properties, Vinea Properties and Pineapple Ink Tavern, voted "Best New Restaurant"byAugustaMagazine's2020BestofAugusta. SotoopenedthedoorsofVineaCapitalin2019 to provide support to existing companies and startup businesses in the CSRA.

Kim Elle served as the President & CEO at ForcesUnited (formerly Augusta Warrior Project) for the last seven years before her recent retirement. Elle served as an Air Force Reserve lieutenant colonel, joining the military in 1988. Elle is a 2015 graduate of Leadership Augusta and currently serves as Chair of Leadership Augusta’s Board of Directors.