Directors & Staff

The Northern Star Board of Directors is composed of local community members who passionately support the mission of Northern Star, and who have committed to creating and overseeing a program that will aid young adults in becoming successful members of the community.



Deidre Tinsley

Board Chair – Deidre Tinsley
Deidre, a Literacy Coach for Forsyth Co. Schools, is the mom of 3 children and wife of Dennis Tinsley, a local Student Minister.  She serves her church as the Worship Leader and volunteers as a small group leader for middle school girls. Deidre brings her passion for young adults and enthusiasm to see them become successful in life!

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Tabitha Weaver

Secretary – Tabitha Weaver
Tabitha works as an account manager and social media strategist at Morton Vardeman & Carlson, a marketing & public relations firm based in Gainesville. She lives in Hall County with her husband, Nicholas, and together they have two children. At Northern Star, Tabitha helps with graphic design, website maintenance, social media and marketing efforts.

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Kenny & Teresa Payne

Board Treasurer – Teresa Payne
Retired Lieutenant Colonel Kenny Payne & Teresa Payne have lived in Dahlonega for the past 13 years. They have 3 children and are members of Dahlonega Baptist Church. Kenny is the Senior Army Instructor at Riverside Military Academy in Gainesville, and Teresa is a Nurse Practitioner for Northeast Georgia Physicians Group. They have supported this organization from the beginning and are very excited to see the positive influences and lives changed.



Joy Dunbar

Joy’s organizational skills and attention to detail keep help keep events punctual and running smoothly.  Joy has been dedicated to Northern Star since it was just an idea in the beginning.  She resides in Dahlonega with her husband and two children.  Joy is also a member of Dahlonega Baptist Church where she leads a moms group.


Alainey Penn

Alainey recently graduated with her bachelor’s degree in psychology and is currently pursuing her master’s degree at the University of North Georgia. She learned about Northern Star through her involvement in Kappa Delta Sorority (in 2014 Northern Star was chosen as Kappa Delta’s local beneficiary for their annual 5k, ‘Run Dahlonega’). Since then, she has fallen in love with Northern Star’s mission and hopes to continue her work with this organization for many years to come.

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Susan Lancaster

Susan retired from a career in telecommunications with AT&T and MCI and moved to Dahlonega, along with her husband Anthony, in 2001.  Since then she has spent time working with her husband in a new business, traveling, and doing volunteer work with local organizations and her church, Dahlonega United Methodist.  It was her experience as a volunteer CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocate) for foster children that inspired her to volunteer with Northern Star, understanding from this continuing experience the great need for the service Northern Star will provide.


Laura Bowers

Laura is currently enrolled at University of North Georgia. Her and her husband are active members of The Branch Church in Dahlonega.  Laura and Ricky share a passion for youth and equipping them with the skills and support to see them succeed in life. Laura’s passion for Northern Star is evident when sharing the organization’s mission with everyone.