The Georgia Independent College Association (GICA) has a staff of seven to fulfill the strategic plan set forth by the Board and respond appropriately to other member-driven requests.
Dr. Susanna L. Baxter, President
404-233-5433 ext. 21
Susanna is a member of the Georgia Professional Lobbyist Association, Atlanta Rotary and the Georgia United Methodist Commission on Higher Education and Collegiate Ministry. She is married to Mark R. Huffman and they, along with their two sons, live in Atlanta.
Ms. Juliet Jatcko, Administrative Assistant and Event Planner
404-233-5433 ext. 22
Juliet joined Georgia Independent College Association in January 2018. Prior to coming to GICA, Juliet worked in sales and marketing with Cenergy Marketing Group, K2 Marketing Group and Turner Broadcasting. She earned a B.A. in Sociology and Criminal Justice from California State University, Fullerton. In her role at GICA, she handles office management and event coordination, making sure all meetings and conferences hosted by GICA run as smoothly as possible. She also coordinates GICA's scholarship programs.
Juliet lives in Roswell with her husband Jeff and they stay busy volunteering in her four children’s school and extracurricular activities.
Ms. Lisa Macke, Vice President for Member Services
404-233-5433 ext. 24
Lisa joined GICA in October 2012. Prior to coming to GICA, Lisa served as the Dean of Students at Cumberland University in Tennessee, which was the capstone of her career in Student Affairs. She earned a B.A. in English from Indiana University and her M.S. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi. Lisa’s role with GICA involves managing collaborative projects, organizing professional development events for the staff of member institutions, overseeing procurement contracts, and writing grants.
Lisa and her husband Bill live in Peachtree City with their children. She enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, and traveling to the beach whenever possible.
Ms. Judith W. Spain, Compliance Collaborative Program Consultant
Judy joined GICA in March 2018 as the Compliance Collaborative Program Consultant. Judy
is an attorney licensed in Kentucky, New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio and is a Certified Compliance and Ethics
Professional by the Society for Corporate Compliance and Ethics.
Judy is a tenured Professor at Eastern Kentucky University where she also served as General Counsel, MBA
Director, Interim Assistant Dean of Business, and AACSB Coordinator. She conceived and implemented the
first compliance program and served as the Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer. Judy also served as General
Counsel and Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer at Manhattanville College where she developed the first
Judy is the author of Higher Education Compliance: Blueprint for Success; the only book dedicated solely to higher
Dr. Melissa P. Tarrant, Director of Research
404-223-5433 ext. 23
Melissa joined GICA in June 2019 as the Director of Research. Melissa has worked in higher education for many
years with a particular love of the private college sector. She has worked within system and institutional offices
of higher education in Texas, Indiana and Georgia. Her Georgia career has included multiple roles at Shorter
University, including as registrar, and at Berry College in the Office of Institutional Research. Most recently,
Melissa served as the Director of the Advising Center at the University of West Georgia.
Melissa earned her B.A. and M.A. in English from Baylor University and her Ed.D. in Higher Education
Administration from The University of Alabama. Her research interests focus on small private colleges, including
her dissertation titled "A Comprehensive Analysis of Small, Independent, Four-Year Institutions in the United
States: An Examination of 21st Century Invisible Colleges." She continues to pursue research on the private
sector of higher education.
She enjoys gardening, quilting, and going to the beach. Melissa is married to Fredrick Tarrant, and they have
two grown sons.
Mr. James M. (Chip) Moore, III, Director of Operations and Data Analyst
404-233-5433 ext. 26
Chip joined GICA in March of 2012 as an employee of the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement on loan to GICA to assist in the development of the GA-AWARDS State Longitudinal Database. Prior to joining GICA, Chip was employed for 23 years with BellSouth Advertising & Publishing in Atlanta and most recently with UnitedHealth Group in Hartford, CT. His background is in Systems Design and Implementation with emphasis on Quality Assurance. He attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Chip and his fiancé, Neva enjoy traveling, spending time outdoors, and home improvement projects.