Board of Directors
James H. Dixon, Jr.
James H. Dixon, Jr., Chairman, is a resident of Camilla in Mitchell County. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural economics. Mr. Dixon is a poultry and cattle producer. Mr. Dixon joined the Board in 2011.
Rex LaDon Durham
Rex LaDon Durham, Vice Chairman, is a resident of Blakely in Early County. He is a graduate of Mercer University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in accounting. Mr. Durham owns and manages Bluffton Peanut, LLC, a peanut buying point. He also operates a trucking company, Bluffton Freight Company, which primarily provides trucking services to the peanut buying point. Mr. Durham is a licensed grain/seed dealer, and he maintains a beef cattle herd and rents his row crop land to his brother. He serves as a County Commissioner for Early County and also serves as a board member and president of the Early County Farm Bureau. Mr. Durham joined the Board in 2018.
William A. Bell, III
William A. Bell, III, is a resident of the Climax area in Decatur County. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture. Mr. Bell farms in partnership with his brother. Their farm operation includes hay, peanuts, cotton, corn, timber, and cattle. Mr. Bell serves on the board of the Decatur County Farm Bureau and as Treasurer on the board of the American Peanut Grower Group, LLC. He also serves on the Peanut Committee of the Georgia Farm Bureau, as an Advisory Board Member of the Georgia Peanut Commission, and as Vice Chairman of the Decatur County Development Authority. Mr. Bell joined the Board in 2022.
John M. Bridges, Jr.
John M. Bridges, Jr., is a native of Brinson in Decatur County. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Science degree in animal science. Mr. Bridges produces cotton, peanuts, sweet corn, and timber. He serves on the boards of the Decatur County Farm Bureau and AFG Feeds. Mr. Bridges joined the Board in 2015.
Lee N. Bush is a resident of Bainbridge in Decatur County. She graduated from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa with a bachelor’s degree in commerce and business administration. Ms. Bush is a Certified Public Accountant with Arline & Wiggins, CPAs in Brunswick, Georgia where she practices as a Tax Manager. She has extensive experience in the area of annual income tax leveling of agricultural clients including family farming, large crop production, and agribusiness support. In addition to the tax field, Ms. Bush is also a financial consultant for a regional pharmacy with retail sales in four locations in Southwest Georgia. Ms. Bush’s career in public accounting includes tax preparation and audit experience in areas of business, governmental, non-profit, community bank, and non-profit entities. Ms. Bush is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants. She serves on the Board of Trustees and as the Chair of the Audit Committee for Epworth by the Sea, and the Administrative Board as the Chair for the Finance Team for First United Methodist Church in Bainbridge, Georgia. Ms. Bush joined the Board as an Outside Director in 2020.
R. Eric Cohen
R. Eric Cohen, is a resident of Whigham in Grady County. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural economics. Mr. Cohen is a self-employed row crop consultant and a licensed real estate agent with The Wright Group. He is also a pecan producer. Mr. Cohen serves as Chairman of the Board of Grady Electric Membership Corporation and as a trustee of Leadership Georgia. He also serves on the Alumni Board of the University of Georgia and on the board of the Tired Creek Lake Authority. Mr. Cohen joined the Board in 2022.
George Thomas Harrison, Jr.
George Thomas Harrison, Jr., is a resident of Thomasville in Thomas County. He is a graduate of Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida with degrees in accounting and finance. Mr. Harrison is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Financial Planner. He is a partner in the CPA Firm, Lanigan & Associates P.C., where he practices as a tax partner specializing in taxation with special interest in timber, real estate investment and development, and pass through entities. Mr. Harrison’s experience includes working with the accounting and agricultural sectors, specifically pertaining to forest products, farm machinery dealerships, financial planning, and accounting for timber, row crops, peanut and vegetable operations. Mr. Harrison also serves as the Chairman on the Board of Directors of the Georgia Society of CPAs. Mr. Harrison joined the Board as an Outside Director in 2017.
Ted Milliron is a resident of Shellman in Randolph County. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural economics. Mr. Milliron is a fifth generation crop and pecan farmer. He works together with his wife and son. Their farm operation includes cotton, peanuts, corn, soybeans, oats, wheat, and pecans. Mr. Milliron currently serves on the boards of the Randolph County Farm Bureau, an insurance and farm related services provider, Randolph County Board of Assessors, and Milliron Farms. Mr. Milliron joined the Board in 2015.
Board of Director Charters
Executive Management Team
Paxton W. Poitevint
President/Chief Executive Officer
Paxton Poitevint serves Southwest Georgia Farm Credit as President/Chief Executive Officer. During his tenure, he has served in several different capacities including Chief Operating Officer, Chief Relationship Manager, Director of Capital Markets, Director of Special Assets and Director of Marketing. Prior to working at Southwest Georgia Farm Credit, Mr. Poitevint worked as a financial analyst in the textile industry. Mr. Poitevint earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Georgia, and a MBA from Georgia State University. He is also a graduate of the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University.
Chief Lending Officer
Tarrell Bennett serves Southwest Georgia Farm Credit as Chief Lending Officer. During his tenure, Mr. Bennett has served as Credit Manager and worked in the Special Assets Management Department. Mr. Bennett is a graduate of Valdosta State College with a double major in business management and marketing.
Ryan G. Burtt
Chief Financial Officer
Ryan Burtt serves Southwest Georgia Farm Credit as Chief Financial Officer. He is responsible for financial accounting, reporting, technology infrastructures, internal controls, and operations for the organization. He also serves as the Association’s Standards of Conduct Officer. Previously, he served as the Association’s Director of Credit Administration. Mr. Burtt earned a MBA from Troy University. He is also a graduate of the ABA Stonier Graduate School of Banking in partnership with Wharton. Mr. Burtt serves on the Board of Directors for the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership.
Chief Credit Officer
Patrick Deen serves Southwest Georgia Farm Credit as Chief Credit Officer. He is responsible for providing overall leadership for all aspect of credit administration, investment management, and portfolio risk management. Previously, he served as the Association’s Director of Credit Administration & Capital Markets. Mr. Deen began his career with Farm Credit as a loan officer and has also served Southwest Georgia Farm Credit in various Analyst roles, including Special Assets Senior Analyst. Mr. Deen earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Valdosta State University.
Director of Human Resources and Corporate Secretary
Allison Godwin serves Southwest Georgia Farm Credit as Director of Human Resources and Corporate Secretary. She is responsible for providing day-to-day administration of the operations of the human resources and Corporate Secretary functions, including departmental development, employee relations, payroll and benefits administration, compensation, training, diversity and inclusion, recruitment and on-boarding, performance management, annual staff meetings, and Board and stockholder relations. Previously, she served as that Association’s Assistant Controller. Ms. Godwin earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting from the University of Georgia.
Chief Marketing Officer
Liz Nogowski serves Southwest Georgia Farm Credit as Chief Marketing Officer. She is responsible for the leadership and management of the Association’s business development and marketing functions, including all aspects of the marketing and sales strategy and tactics. Prior to joining Southwest Georgia Farm Credit, Ms. Nogowski served as the Director of Marketing for the St. Joe Land Company, Florida’s largest private land owner at the time, and Director of Public Relations and hospital spokesperson for Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare. Ms. Nogowski earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism, with a minor in political science, from Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, CT.