Board of Advisors

Chestnut Mountain Ranch Board of Advisors

Nancy Panoz

5 children, 10 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren. Co-Chair North East Georgia Medical Center Foundation. Director Fountainhead Corp. Board of Wesley Woods/Brenan Lodge. Panoz Family Foundation. Sponsor of Chair at Emory Breast Health Center Founder/CEO Conan Real Estate & Investments. In the past, Nancy has served on Gwinnett County Foundation, The Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, Georgia Chamber of Commerce, President of Chateau Elan Resort, Vice-Chair of Elan Corp – Ireland, Board of Ga Botanical Gardens, Chair for Council of Battered Women, and many more.

Nancy has always been involved with her local community.  She has served as counsel with local children’s homes (Eagle Ranch), sponsored local softball teams, soccer teams, helped build soccer facilities, and supported the needs of local teachers. She helped build the Rose Garden at the North Georgia Regional Hospital, and has been involved in many causes that benefit others her entire life. Nancy, at an early age, learned this gift of serving others from her mother.

Nancy has been awarded many awards in her lifetime.  Some more prestigious awards are the Melitta Bentz Woman of the Year, 2000 Notable American Woman Award, and an honorary degree from Macon Wesleyan College.

Wife of entrepreneur and businessman, Dr. Don Panoz. Together, they built businesses across the world, from pharmaceutical companies, race tracks, their own line of sports car (Panoz), golf resorts, wineries, and more.  Don recently passed, and one of his last requests was to build a chapel at Chestnut Mountain Ranch. Nancy worked with the staff of Chestnut Mountain Ranch to design and fund the construction of this beautiful chapel. The chapel was completed in 2021.

Don Nehlen

Donald Nehlen is a former American football player and coach. He was head football coach at Bowling Green State University (1968–1976) and at West Virginia University (1980–2000). Nehlen retired from coaching college football in 2001 with a career record of 202–128–8 and as the 17th winningest coach in college football history. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2005 and has served as a president of the American Football Coaches Association.

Since his retirement from coaching, Nehlen has been a spokesman for the coal industry. Nehlen received the 2002 Distinguished West Virginian Award from the West Virginia Broadcasters Association. In 2006, Nehlen published a book called Don Nehlen’s Tales from the West Virginia Sideline, an autobiographical account recalling his 21-year tenure as the head football coach at West Virginia.

Don Nehlen helped launch Chestnut Mountain Ranch in 2005 when Steve and Dawn Finn first moved to West Virginia.  He established connections with prominent people in West Virginia, conducted many speaking engagements, and established the annual Don Nehlen Golf Classic.

Paul Smith

Paul went to work for Kroger as a bag-boy in high school, and spent the next 38 years with the company.  In 1985 he became President of Kroger/Southeast Division located in Atlanta, Ga. For the next 15 years, he built that Atlanta market from 87 stores to 160 stores. Paul developed the first employee volunteer program, and through that Kroger gave out their very first charitable gift under his leadership. Paul built a charitable program that was focused on the support of children’s education and wellness.  Kroger adopted over 100 local schools during that time. Paul led over 18,000 employees.

At the time of Paul’s retirement in 2000, he continued aligning Kroger with children’s needs.  He became a full-time volunteer with Eagle Ranch Children’s Home in north Georgia.  He built a healthy food source by raising the funds to build a food storage facility that resembled a mini-grocery store with a walk-in cooler and freezer.  In this on-site store, he installed commercial shelves, shopping carts, and a full variety of food and dry good needs for the children and support staff.  In 2006 he did the same for Wear’s Valley Ranch in Tennesee.

He also served on the board for an addiction ministry called No Longer Bound in Atlanta.  There he not only developed a food support program like Eagle Ranch, but he helped build their social enterprise with his expertise in retail.  They developed a car recovery program, furniture building shop, boutique stores, thrift stores, printing shop, and greenhouses.

In 2006 Paul helped build up Chestnut Mountain Ranch in the early days when the property was first purchased. He has served this program in a variety of ways ever since, including helping build the successful Ranch Community Store and Ranch Quick Lube.

Morris Morrison

Morris Morrison is obsessed with building Stronger, Kinder, Connected human beings. As co-owner of StoryMaker Brands and Windmill Park Media, Morris is a world-class Entertainer, Writer, and Entrepreneur whose journey began in New York City before a doctor’s words changed his life forever, after being orphaned a second time.

Many world-leading organizations have partnered with Morris Morrison to build fearless, focused leaders that drive uncomfortable change and healthy disruption. Challenges and opportunities early in Morris’s life uncovered a unique brand of engagement that connects with audiences of all ages and backgrounds, with an unforgettable message that sounds like a Hollywood movie script.

After receiving his education from Fairmont State University, and the John Chambers College of Business and Economics at West Virginia University, Morris Morrison’s business journey included critical leadership roles in Human Resources and Sales & Marketing, prior to exploring his dedicated path of Entrepreneurship. Today, many global leaders have witnessed his message live on stage and in his latest books titled: Overnight Success and Disrupt Yourself. His message is powerful, his story is unforgettable, and his focus is clear: to bring families & teams closer, and make organizations more impactful, through personal ownership, service, and generosity.

Morris is best known for celebrating his biggest accomplishments off stage – through his Faith, Family, and Follow-Through in his community — with service to organizations including Big Brothers & Big Sisters, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the YMCA, and many others. Morris is a proud brother of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and he currently serves on the Board of Directors for the West Virginia University Alumni Association, while also serving on the board (visiting committee) for the John Chambers College of Business and Economics at West Virginia University and also serving as an advisory board member for the Chestnut Mountain Ranch.