Memorial Health Foundation Introduces New Board Members

(March 31, 2017) – The Memorial Health Foundation Board of Trustees welcomed a new chairman from among its ranks and confirmed five new members at its meeting last month.

Paul Hamilton, already a member of the board, assumed the position of chairman from Bill Donahue. The five new members are Laura Samford Armitage, Gus H. Bell III, Toby Hollenberg, Charles Tarver, and Nancy Thomas.

Hamilton recently retired as senior vice president of supply chain strategy, planning, logistics and commercialization of PepsiCo. He had been in that role since November 2008 and was responsible for strategic development, innovation commercialization, warehouse delivery, planning, and transportation for North American Beverages and Quaker Foods & Snacks. Hamilton holds a degree in chemical engineering from the University of New Hampshire. He is a former board chair of both Ability Beyond Disability in Bethel, Connecticut, and Jesse Lee United Methodist Church.

Armitage and her husband, Rich, are very familiar with Memorial: they had seven grandchildren born here in 13 months, including quadruplets and a set of identical twins. Five of those grandchildren spent time in Memorial’s Level III neonatal intensive care nursery. The couple has fostered more than 50 children and adopted six of them. Armitage has been a preschool teacher and director, a special needs adoption and foster parent trainer, and a court-appointed special advocate for children. She was a founder of the successful Options Program in Fairfax, Virginia, which serves students with developmental disabilities. She has worked and been involved with the Rift Valley Children’s Village in Tanzania for the past 10 years.

Bell was a partner of Hussey Gay Bell Engineers and Architects for 50 years and served as chairman for more than 30 years. Currently he serves as chairman of the Mercer University School of Medicine, Savannah campus Board of Directors. He is a veteran board member, with 12 prior years of service on the Memorial Health Board of Directors and, before that, four years on the board of the Memorial Health Foundation. Additionally, he served four years on the Mercer University board in Macon. He now serves on the Savannah State Board of Visitors. He was one of the founders of St. Andrew’s School, where he served on the board.

Hollenberg is a community volunteer with a long history of active involvement at Memorial Health. She founded the Stephen D. Hollenberg Memorial Fund, which supports outpatient oncology care, in memory of her late husband. She has held leadership roles with Congregation Mickve Israel, where she is a past president, and the Savannah Jewish Federation, where she is a past board member and annual campaign chair. She is currently on the board of the VOICE Experience Foundation. A native of Brooklyn, she has resided in Savannah for 18 years.

After serving in the U.S. Air Force from 1969 to 1974, Tarver and his wife Susan moved to Atlanta, where he joined the First National Bank of Atlanta. Soon, he was able to use his bachelor’s degree in forest management from Auburn University to guide investment in timberland for some of the bank’s larger clients. A few years later, he started a private timberland investment company that became Forest Investment Associates (FIA), one of the earliest timberland investment companies and one of today’s largest timberland investment management organizations, with timberland located throughout the United States.  He retired from FIA in 2008.

Thomas, formerly of Statesboro, retired from Speechworks Communications Company in 2012 as an executive speaking skills coach and sales representative. Prior to her work with Speechworks, she served as the director of protocol for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. She is a co-founder of the Lowcountry Annie Oakley women's shooting group. She also serves on the board for the State Botanical Gardens in Athens. She is married to Lindsay Thomas, a former U.S. congressman for this district.

Memorial University Medical Center is a two-state healthcare organization serving a 35-county area in southeast Georgia and southern South Carolina. The system includes its flagship hospital, a 604-bed academic medical center; Memorial primary and specialty care physician networks; a major medical education program; business and industry services; and NurseOne, a 24-hour call center. You can follow us at,,, and