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Michelle Dean, Executive Director and Founder of Popes Museum Preservation, is inspired daily by what she sees in both people and places. As a literature teacher and  public speaker, she knows that every person and place tells a story, and that stories motivate people to dream grander, reach higher and strive longer.  Popes Museum is no exception. Using Popes Museum and its stories in a way that strengthens the relationships and the economy of South Georgia is what keeps her focused.  



Daniel Dean, Property Manager, brings a hands on approach to the vision of Popes Museum and Farm.  Dan has been married to Michelle for 29 years. Dan recently completed a career as a deputy sheriff.  He works with property management and bookkeeping for both the museum and farm sites.  Additionally he and Michelle are the parents of four children.  

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Todd Butler is trial lawyer whose home office is in Cairo, Georgia. He is originally from Pelham, Georgia. He is a Navy veteran, and he claims both Thomas University in Thomasville and Florida State University in Tallahassee as his almae matres. He graduated in 1999 from Mercer’s Walter F. Georgia School of Law in Macon. Todd is an avid supporter of education and the arts in southwest Georgia.



Della Wheeler Lovett is the successful small business owner of Wheerlers Christmas Tree Farm and Mazie Daze Fleecery in Grady County. She is also the creator of the Elevate Artisan Market, which is Southwest Georgia's premiere showcase for artisans and craftspeople from throughout the Southeastern United States. The market is held every October at her farm, featuring more than 150 artists and attracting over than 5,000 attendees each year.  She is a 1981 graduate of Thomas County's Central High School and earned a degree in business management from Valdosta State University in 1985.  She and her husband, Jeff, have three grown children and one very beautiful granddaughter. 

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Rich Curtis was born and raised in North Alabama. He received his BFA from the University of North Alabama in 2000. After a year of working at the Birmingham Museum of Art, he entered the graduate program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Curtis received his MFA in 2004. He is currently Assistant Professor of Art at Thomas University.

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 Ellen M. Jeter's interest is preservation and it stems from 25yrs of custom framing where she was personally involved with the cleaning and repairing of old family portraits and original paintings. Working with these personal treasures gave her a respect of rare family and community as well as national treasures. When she was asked to join the Popes Museum team, she was honored and excited to be able to use her experience to help preserve such a community and national treasure.




Kristin Bailey, Assistant Director.  Kristin recently moved to Cairo from Tallahassee, FL.  She is a geologist by day, but has a passion for technology and marketing of Popes Museum.  She manages the Popes Museum Farm website, all social media accounts, and assists Michelle in planning and implementing activities and events for the museum and farm.  

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Johnny H. Moore is the Senior Pastor of Family Worship Center, a steady growing congregation in Cairo, Georgia.  He is also known as a motivator, encourager and equipper of pastors and leaders.  He is the founder of AimHi Incorporated, a leadership development company,, a company that develops resources and materials for Rural Pastors and Churches, and the author of three books, “The Pastor’s Corner Collection”, volume one, and volume two, and “Aimin’ High”.  Over the past 6 years, under the leadership of Pastor Johnny Moore, Family Worship Center has applied for and received over $3,000,000.00 in grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and has built a 31 unit Senior Adult housing complex called "The Haven". 



First National Bank
South GA Tractor
American Legion Post 122
Southern Insurance
Quality LP Gas
Cairo United Methodists Men's Ministry
Richter & Co.


Charles and Robin Renauld Kristin Bailey
Dan and Michelle Dean
Karen Harrington
Fenton Castleberry
Bennie and Judy Prince  Andrea Berneche 
Grace Stallings
Linda Drew Johnson
Judy Kirk
Von and Becky Cox
Deborah Kelly
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