New Greater Hall Chamber Leadership Team
2008-2009 Greater Hall Chamber Chairman R.K. Whitehead is President of Whitehead Die Casting. Founded in Atlanta in 1950, the company moved to its present location on Atlanta Highway in South Hall County in 1990. They produce aluminum and zinc die castings from the simple to the complex, supporting a variety of industries, including lighting, construction, and recreational vehicles.
R.K. is following in the footsteps of his grandfather who founded the company and his father who managed the business until his death in 1990. R.K. joined the family business in 1990 after graduating from Georgia Tech in 1987 and attending Wharton Business School in 1990.
R.K. is a graduate of the Leadership Hall County Class of 1992, Leadership Georgia 1998 and served as Chairman of the Gainesville-Hall County Economic Development Council from 2003 to 2005. In addition, he has served the Chamber on the Executive Committee and Issues Committee. He served on the Gainesville-Hall County Development Authority for four years.
R.K. currently serves on the Northeast Georgia Health System Board and is the Chairman of the hospital’s Finance Committee. He is also a board member and officer of Elachee Nature Science Center, the Quinlan Visual Arts Center, NorthHouse, and the Chicopee Woods Area Park Commission. R.K. was recognized by the Gainesville Jaycees as 2005-2006 Young Man of the Year. R.K. and his wife, Laura, have four children and reside in Gainesville.
Emily C. Bagwell, Chamber Chairman-Elect, is a partner with Whelchel, Dunlap, Jarrard and Walker whose areas of practice include business law and commercial law, healthcare, employment relations and government relations. She has represented several public entities and large regional businesses, including a focus on assisting these entities in understanding and complying with relevant federal and state regulations. She also represents a state insurance trade association in matters before the Georgia General Assembly.
Emily is a native of Gainesville and was admitted to the Bar in 1992. She attended the University of Georgia where she earned her A.B., cum laude, with departmental honors in geology and history in 1989, and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She earned her J.D., cum laude, from Washington and Lee University in 1992.
Emily has been very active in the Gainesville-Hall County community and has served as the Chairman of the United Way Campaign, President of the Gateway Domestic Violence Center, and served as a Director and officer for the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce. She has been recognized with several awards for her leadership and community involvement, including being named by Georgia Trend magazine as one of “40 leaders under 40,” a graduate of the 2002 Leadership Georgia class, and Gainesville Jaycee’s Young Woman of the Year. She is a two-time recipient of the Silver Shovel Award from the Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the Gainesville Rotary Club. Emily is married to Charles Bailey and has three children.
President/CEO of the Greater Hall Chamber since 1998, Kit Dunlap has spearheaded several multi-million dollar community and economic development initiatives (HALLtogether, HALLmark) that funded the new Chamber building, economic development programs, education and government affairs programs, and VISION 2030.
Through challenging economic turns and events, Kit’s leadership has guided the Chamber to solid ground with a membership base of 3,000 individuals and a professional staff of 12 people.
A native of Jasper, Alabama and a Brenau College graduate, Kit is at the top of the industry among fellow Chamber executives and has a strong economic development background.
She served on the Board of the Georgia Department of Industry, Trade & Tourism (Georgia Department of Economic Development) for 10 years, and as chairman for two years. She is a founding member of the Gainesville-Hall County Economic Development Council, and served as the council’s first chairman in 1992.
Kit is currently serving as a Board member for the Northeast Georgia Medical Center, SunTrust Bank Northeast Georgia and on the Board of Trustees at Brenau University. She serves as Chairman of the Metro North Georgia Water Planning District Board and was recently appointed by Lt. Governor Casey Cagle as a member of his economic development advisory board.