CONFLUENCE 2022 Organizers


A retired partner of Alston & Bird, Jane Thorpe was one of the most successful and highly regarded mass tort litigators in the U.S. Her strategic defense of industry-leading corporations and industry coalitions, particularly Daubert strategies, led to national recognition on numerous occasions.

Throughout her 35 years of law practice and in her retirement, Jane has served on and chaired the boards of local and international nonprofits, including The Task Force for Global Health, Meridian Herald, and Capitol Area Mosaic, and she has served on the Boards of Visitors for both the University of Georgia and Emory University. Jane was honored by the Atlanta Business Chronicle in 2015 as Outstanding Director for her work with The Task Force for Global Health, and in 2017 was named Arts Advocate for Emory University.

Sally Sears, an award-winning news reporter and author, is a founding board member of the South Fork Conservancy. The Trust for Public Land named her its 2015 Trail Blazer for her leadership of the vision of linking communities with low-impact trails along the South Fork and other tributaries of Peachtree Creek. 

Sally’s environmental and community work is an outgrowth of 35 years of news reporting in growing cities across the South. Special televised reports on solutions to north Georgia’s growth issues of water, land use and traffic helped her find the broader community connections to create cooperation among partners. She covered politics and suburban growth for WAGA and WSB TV since 1984. Current television reports include specialized news reporting on CBS 46. She served as the founding chair of the DeKalb County watershed oversight committee. Sally is a native of Montevallo, Alabama, and a magna cum laude graduate of Princeton University. 

Event Chairs

Katherine Mitchell is an Atlanta-based artist, who received a BFA from the Atlanta College of Art and a MFA from the Georgia State University. Mitchell has extensively exhibited in Atlanta, across the United States, and abroad. She has had more than 20 solo exhibitions, including a major solo exhibition at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center in 2005, and her first museum solo exhibition at Factory/Kunsthalle/Krems in Austria in 2006. In 2007, Atlanta City Gallery East held a retrospective exhibition that spanned 32 years of Mitchell’s career. Her work has been collected by numerous museums, including the High Museum, MOCA GA, Carlos Museum, the Speed Museum in Louisville, KY, and the Arkansas Art Center. She has exhibited widely, including the National Museum for Women in the Arts in Washington, DC, and the American Academy & Institute of Arts & Letters in New York. Mitchell is a retired Senior Lecturer in Drawing & Painting at Emory University, where she taught for 29 years. 

Pearl Amelia McHaney is the Kenneth M. England Professor of Southern Literature at Georgia State University in Atlanta where she edits the annual peer-reviewed Eudora Welty Review. In 2014, her book-length study A Tyrannous Eye: Eudora Welty’s Nonfiction and Photography was published, and she received the Phoenix Award for outstanding achievement in Welty Studies from the Eudora Welty Society. She is the editor of Eudora Welty as Photographer, winner of the Eudora Welty Prize; Occasions: Selected Writings by Eudora Welty; Eudora Welty: Contemporary Reviews; and A Writer’s Eye: Collected Reviews by Eudora Welty. She has lectured and published on work by William Faulkner, Barry Hannah, David Mamet, Sindiwe Magona, Alice Munro, Natasha Trethewey, and Tennessee Williams. 

Darryl Haddock completed Jacksonville University with a BA in Geography and graduated from Georgia State University with a Master’s degree in Geoscience and Applied GIS. Darryl has over 20 years of professional experience as an environmental scientist working for the consulting firm, Dames and Moore, as a principal investigator with USGS on a subsurface mapping project and as Environmental Specialist for the State of Georgia, Environmental Protection Division. Both Environmental Leadership Program and Toyota Together Green/National Audubon Society recognized him as a fellow and emerging leader in the environment and conservation movements. He is also certified as a Project WET Trainer, an Interpretive Guide by the National Association for Interpretation, and is completing an Environmental Education certification program with Advanced Training for Environmental Education in Georgia (ATEEG); a nationally accredited, professional certification program for formal and non-formal educators. Darryl coordinates educational programs, community outreach, and citizen science research activities and participates in WAWA’s day to day operations. 

Emily Hirn is an Atlanta- based oil painter and teacher. She holds a BFA Cum Laude from the University of Michigan College of Architecture and Design. A former advertising art director in Chicago and New York City, her figurative and landscape work has been featured in galleries in Carmel, CA, Highlands, NC, Atlanta, GA and other locations.  Her work has been published and has received numerous awards, including national juried exhibitions and inclusion in the Permanent Collection of SCAD Atlanta.

Kate Murray is soloist at Trinity Presbyterian Church, member of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus and Chamber Chorus, and former director of choruses at Paideia School and Collegium Vocale. Kate taught for more than three decades at Paideia, where she received the Loridan Award for her work conducting choruses and musicals. She served as conductor for Atlanta’s Collegium Vocale community chorus and was the first director to be recruited from outside the Emory University music faculty. Kate taught the voice class for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus for many years and still maintains a private voice studio.
As a performer, Kate has sung and recorded with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus and Chamber Chorus, as well as with Conspirare, a Grammy-winning professional choral ensemble based in Austin, Texas. She performed in France with the Robert Shaw Festival Singers, appearing as a soloist on two of that ensemble’s recordings.
Kate has served on the Georgia Council for the Arts and is a member of Georgia Music Educators Association, Music Educators National Convention, The American Choral Directors Association, and Choristers Guild. She received her Bachelor of Music degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and her Master of Music degree in voice performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music.

Volunteer Coordinators

Caitlin Dean is the Head of Political, Press and Public Affairs at the British Consulate-General in Atlanta and oversees the consulate’s political engagement and public diplomacy efforts. Caitlin started her career in international education and has lived in several countries before coming to the US in 2014.

After a long career in commercial real estate valuation across the southeast and the launch of her children to their own lives, Sharan Martin celebrates her wealth of available time to explore new joys and commitments. She is happily engaged as a docent at the Michael C. Carlos Museum on the Emory campus, where she loves being part of that sparkling learning community. She also volunteers time and talent to her church and to several community organizations, and now that Covid is on the run, she and her husband are enjoying travel again. Sicily and Egypt are the next big adventures, they hope, but there are also road trips aplenty to visit their scattered children and their families.

Public Relations

Jeannine Addams, president of J. Addams & Partners, Inc., has an extensive background in communications, encompassing public relations, marketing communications and TV and radio production. Since 1987, J. Addams & Partners has served a diverse portfolio of clients—from startups to nonprofits to private companies and some of the world’s largest corporations.

Jeannine’s parents, both lifelong volunteers in too many organizations to mention, planted the flag early in showing her the joys of community service. In addition to her volunteer work for Meridian Herald, she is a volunteer with two nonprofits, National Families in Action and Furkids, where she serves on the boards of directors and provides pro-bono communications services for both organizations. She also served as president of CURE Childhood Cancer, Inc.

Jeannine has been a guest lecturer at Emory University and conducts media training and speech and presentation skills coaching for clients, to whom she says that what you say, how you say it, and where and when you say it will powerfully influence your destination and your success or failure in the market. And in life. She usually follows her own advice. She is a sometimes vegetarian; proud to have mastered crème brulee on the first try and to be among the small percentage of people who drive a stick shift.