Altamaha Fiber, Brewton Parker College and Local Officials Celebrate Broadband Access

(Photo caption, L-R: Trent Fountain, IT Technician, Altamaha EMC/Fiber; Jay Coursey, Service Lineman, Altamaha EMC/Fiber; Chip Proctor, Design Engineer, Altamaha Fiber; Gavin Jordan, Supervisor for Installations, Altamaha Fiber; George McLendon, Assistant Manager, Altamaha EMC/Fiber; Romanous Dotson, General Manager, Altamaha EMC/Fiber; Dr. Steve Echols, President, Brewton Parker College; Leland Adams, Montgomery County Chairman; Tim Williamson, Montgomery County Commissioner; Ginger Morris, Montgomery County Commissioner; Chad Kenney, Montgomery County Commissioner; Joey Fountain, Mayor, City of Mount Vernon; Clarence Thomas, Montgomery County Commissioner; Leesa Hagan, State Representative, Georgia General Assembly; Brandon Braddy, Montgomery County Manager)

The following press release was provide by Montgomery County Board of Commissioners.

MOUNT VERNON – Mount Vernon/Ailey, GA – Officials representing Brewton Parker College and Altamaha EMC (also known as Altamaha Fiber), joined together with officials from the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, the Georgia General Assembly, and the City of Mount Vernon on Monday, August 8th on the campus of Brewton Parker College to celebrate a milestone that was achieved in providing broadband access for Montgomery County and the cities of Mount Vernon and Ailey. At the request of Brewton Parker College, Altamaha Fiber, installed a ten-gigabyte broadband connection to Brewton Parker College’s campus. According to representatives with Altamaha Fiber, the broadband connection will provide more than enough capacity for the students, faculty, administration, and staff of Brewton Parker College that have already started their fall semester.

This past February, Governor Kemp and state leaders awarded Altamaha EMC $5,973,474 in grant funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to provide Montgomery and Toombs counties with faster and more reliable broadband. Montgomery and Toombs Counties and the cities of Mount Vernon, Uvalda, Alston and Ailey provided over $3,800,000 from their local ARPA funds as matching funds. The broadband service being provided to Brewton Parker College’s campus is one of the many underserved areas in Montgomery County within the city limits of Mount Vernon and Ailey that will benefit from these grant funds. Brewton Parker College is located along US Highway 280 with the campus being located inside the city limits of both Mount Vernon and Ailey.

“I would like to express my appreciation to Romanous Dotson, General Manager, and Gavin Jordan, Supervisor for Installations, for going above and beyond to provide broadband for the fall semester students at BPC,” said Dr. Steve Echols, President of Brewton Parker College. Dr. Echols also expressed gratitude to Brandon Braddy, Montgomery County Manager, for initiating the upgrade and coordinating all aspects that made completion possible.

President Echols noted that the BPC campus student population has experienced fifty percent growth in the last seven years and the increased bandwidth was a tremendous improvement to provide on campus service that is ten times the previous capacity. Echols emphasized that the upgrade will allow the college to continue to grow its residency programs, but also will allow synchronous and asynchronous broadcasts of all of its classes to an online platform which he believes is a great opportunity for the college.

“The board of directors, manager and staff of Altamaha EMC appreciate the opportunity to serve Brewton Parker College and the students,” said Altamaha EMC General Manager Romanous Dotson. “We believe that the providing of fiber/broadband services to our communities is a continuation of the cooperative process. Our community is fortunate to have such forward thinking innovative leaders. We would like to thank everyone for allowing the cooperative to participate in the process that brings the world to our communities.”

Chairman Leland Adams, the Board of Commissioners, Mayor Joey Fountain, and State Representative Leesa Hagan were on campus to celebrate the event as well. “This is a historic moment for Montgomery County and Brewton Parker College,” said Chairman Leland Adams. “Altamaha EMC, along with our state and local leaders worked together as a team to make this broadband access possible. The Board of Commissioners and I would like to thank Senator Blake Tillery and Representative Leesa Hagan for their leadership in advocating for our community and making this broadband access a reality. Also, the commissioners and I would like to thank Altamaha EMC for accepting the responsibility for providing broadband service in our community.”
“This investment in broadband infrastructure is critical to a local community our size,” said Mayor Joey Fountain. “I am thankful that Governor Kemp and our state leaders recognize how important reliable broadband service is for Mount Vernon. Also, I appreciate Brewton Parker College’s investment in technology upgrades to prepare for this moment.”

“One of our top priorities in the General Assembly is supporting higher education in Georgia,” said State Representative Leesa Hagan. “An important way we’re doing that, especially in rural areas like ours, is to make sure the best possible broadband service is available. Brewton Parker College is an important part of the community. With the significant growth it’s seen over the past several years, it was vital to provide the higher capacity that they needed.”

Tammye Vaughn, Manager of Marketing & Communications at Altamaha Fiber encourages the public to visit Altamaha Fiber’s website at to check for updates as to when service will be provided in your area.

Joanna Phillips-Mock

Student Enrichment Director

Joanna Phillips-Mock is a proud third generation Baron, both as a student and a staff member.

Beginning her teaching career in Middle Georgia in 1995, Mrs. Mock worked with a state funded program that served some of the most disadvantaged special needs students within the local school districts. She ultimately moved into leadership positions within the organization, serving and training others in multiple initiatives. She enjoys working with students of all ages to recognize and to achieve their greatest potential.

Mrs. Mock holds a Bachelor’s degree from Brewton-Parker College, a Master's degree in Education with a concentration in Behavior Disorders, and an Education Specialist degree in Educational Administration from Georgia College and State University. She resides in Ailey, Georgia, with her husband Don, their son Tye Lewis, her mother Carol Joyce, and multiple fur babies. She enjoys traveling, gardening, camping, and attending concerts.

Candace Lilford

Profeessional Tutor

Candace Lilford graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Theatre Generalism in 2021 from Anderson University and with her master’s degree in English Literature in 2023 from the University of Alabama. She presently serves as Professional Tutor for the Student Enrichment Center while also teaching sections of ENG 101 and 102. 

As part of her two-year master's program, Ms. Lilford taught sections of ENG 101 and 102, while also serving as teaching assistant for British Literature Survey courses and volunteering in the university’s Writing Center. Ms Lilford has also presented papers at the Hudson Strode Conference and the South Eastern Christian and Literature Conference as well as working on various theatrical productions.

Born in North Carolina of South African descent, Ms. Lilford has lived in Uganda, Botswana, South Africa, and Trinidad before settling in Mount Vernon with her family in 2016, where she attended Brewton-Parker College as a dual enrollment student. She presently resides in Mount Vernon with her family and spends her free time watching old TV shows.

Linda Armstrong

Academic Advising and Career Specialist

Linda Armstrong earned an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice Technology from Southeastern Technical College and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Walden University. Throughout her career, Linda has worked with diverse populations, including at-risk youth and families and youth in crisis because of mental health and other issues. Her empathetic nature has made her an effective advocate for those in need. In addition to her professional work, Linda is also is committed to volunteerism. She has dedicated countless hours as a youth mentor, and to teaching about her faith at various Christian organizations. She believes in the power of positivity and its ability to transform not only her life but also the lives of others.

"If you must look back, do so forgivingly. If you will look forward, do so prayerfully. But the wisest course would be to be present in the present gratefully." ~ Maya Angelou

Willie Ford

Academic Advising and Career Specialist

Greetings, Baron Nation!

It's truly a joy to be back in a place that has shaped me so profoundly. I'm Willie Ford, a proud 2022 graduate of historic Brewton-Parker College, holding a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a Minor in Education. Following my graduation, I embarked on a journey in education, teaching Special Education within the Vidalia City School District. In addition to my role as an educator, I had the privilege of serving as the Unit Director at the J.D. Rabun Boys and Girls Club. All the while, I was honored to pastor at the esteemed New Hope Baptist Church of Rhine, Georgia. With God's grace, I managed these responsibilities, and now, I'm thrilled and ready to contribute to the welfare of our students, aiming to inspire through service.

Dusty Arnold

Mental Health Counselor

Dusty Arnold  is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst as well as a BPC alumnus. He has years of experience working with a variety of mental health issues including anxiety, grief, and challenges related to Autism. He specializes in behavior-related interventions that can help college students build on their strengths to set achievable goals while also learning how to deal with the thoughts and feelings that sometimes get in the way. He incorporates Biblical values and evidence-based treatments to meet students wherever they happen to be on their journey to spiritual and psychological health. 

Carl Anthony "Tony" Wardlaw

Assistant Student Enrichment Director & Student Success Coach

Carl Anthony “Tony” Wardlaw – For over 25 years, Dr. Wardlaw has worked in leadership, counseling, and pastoring. Beginning with working in middle management for a manufacturing company in Douglas, GA, Dr. Wardlaw has also worked in the academic, nonprofit, public, and private sectors. Additionally, he served over 7 years in the United States Military as a Military Intelligence Officer before resigning his commission as a Captain in the Army.

Currently serving as the Assistant Director of the Student Enrichment Center, Student Success Coach, and Adjunct Faculty at Brewton-Parker College in Mount Vernon, GA, he also serves as the Pastor of The Green Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Dublin, GA.

As a member of the renowned International Gospel Singing Group, The Wardlaw Brothers, Dr. Wardlaw has traveled all over the nation and abroad ministering and singing the Gospel of Christ Jesus. Dr. Wardlaw has served as a consultant for various agencies and has worked as a Fatherhood Coordinator and G.E.D. instructor within the Technical College System of Georgia and participates in local and national civic and philanthropic work.

Dr. Wardlaw holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in International Business from the University of Georgia, two master's degrees from Troy University (Master of Science in Clinical Counseling and Psychology and Master of Education in Counseling), and a Doctorate in Education from Argosy University in Organizational Leadership. Dr. Wardlaw is a Lifetime Silver Member of The NAACP and a member of The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. He is happily married to the former Mrs. Stephanie Scott. They have 3 Children; Chambria, Marc, and Carleigh.

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