Meet the Planning Committee

Photo taken at BEST Kickoff 2017

Director: Dr. Debi Huffman

Debi Huffman, Director, Georgia BEST, Aeronautics Instructor at Fernbank Science Center, Fernbank LINKS Faculty Advisor. Debi has been on this journey with students since 1973. She was doing STEM when STEM wasn't a "word!" Working with the best students from Metro Atlanta and beyond is a gift. They keep her motivated and energized!

Willie Angew

Willie Agnew competed in BEST, FRC, and other competitions on LINKS from 2009-2013, finishing as CEO of LINKS. He then studied computer science, math, and physics at GT. He is currently getting his PhD in computer science at University of Washington as an NDSEG fellow, focusing on AI. He enjoys volunteering at FLL, FTC, FRC, and BEST competitions in roles that let him interact with all of the amazing robots and people.

Brenden Smothers

Brenden Smothers is the web developer and score master for the planning committee. He is an alumnus of Team 705 Rome High School, and is a current student at Berry College pursuing an engineering, applied physics, and teaching degree. He is a big fan of Georgia BEST and wants to eventually work for Texas Instruments.

Michael Foley

Michael is an alumnus from The Georgia Institute of Technology, graduating in 1975 with a degree in Civil Engineering. He is the current CEO and Executive Consultant at Gate 6 Solutions Inc. In addition to his role on the Planning Committee, he also volunteers for Georgia FIRST Robotics.

Dennis Jin

Dennis is a freshman at Kennesaw State University studying Mechatronics.

Jessie Liu

Jessie Liu is an alumna of CircuitRunners Robotics from Wheeler High School. She spent three years competing in BEST, co-leading the team in her senior year and winning 2nd place BEST Award at Georgia BEST. Apart from BEST, she was also a member of the CircuitRunners’ FRC Team 1002, attending the Houston Championships in 2017. Now she's a 2nd year at Georgia Tech studying mechanical engineering. Her other hobbies include music, art, and sleeping.

Liam McNamara

Liam McNamara was a member of Team 119(now 708) from South Forsyth High School. He also lead South Forsyth's FIRST Robotics, Team 4112 Eaglebots, and was Sargent-at-Arms for the school's Technology Student Association . He currently attends Kenessaw State University pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in economics, and is also a member of Air Force ROTC.

William Parish

William Parish was a member of Team 119(now 708) from South Forsyth. He was also Treasurer for South Forsyth's Technology Student Association and a member of FIRST Robotics Team 4112. William Parish is in his last year of college, majoring in computer science at Kennessaw State University. He is currently president of ACM, taking 18 credit hours, and working part time at Bridge2 Solutions. In his free time, he works on multiple side projects and companies.

Kasey Settles

Kasey is a Controls Specialist at McKenney's.

Matthew Zacune

Matthew is a student at Auburn University studying Computer Engineering.