CDDA Board of Directors

Robert  Smith

Robert Smith

Chairperson  Rob Smith grew up in Dunwoody and graduated from The University of Georgia with a degree in Economics. He is a resident of Keswick Village and moved to Chamblee in 2012.

Rob works in Real Estate Asset Management, having worked for companies like Jamestown Properties and Rialto Capital Management. He has experience working in Office, Retail, Hospitality and Multifamily in several different markets across the country including San Francisco, Washington D.C. and here locally in Atlanta.

Rob is active in the Lacrosse Community in Georgia, having started both the North Springs High School and Middle School Feeder program. He coached at North Springs, Riverwood and Marist and has been an active volunteer at Atlanta Youth Lacrosse since he first started playing with the program over 20 years ago.

Van Pappas

Van Pappas

Born and raised in Atlanta, Van earned his BA in Finance from Georgia Southern University and was a top manager for two Fortune 500 retailers. Married in 1997, Van has been the father of one boy since 2006. As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, Van has performed comprehensive planning for individuals, families and small businesses. He is one of the three original founding members of Chamblee’s Chamber of Commerce and holds the position of the Chamber’s Chairman and President. Van was appointed to the Downtown Development Authority in March 2013 and is in his second year as the Chairperson.

Ronni French

Secretary   With long term experience as a non-profit Administrator and Executive, Ronni is a perfect fit for the Chamblee Downtown Development Authority. After 16 years with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, she founded and led the Atlanta Downtown Partnership for 13 years, working with the City, CAP, and the business community to create a more vibrant Downtown. Ronni later worked with the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University as Development Director, and with the Fulton County District Attorney’s office as Director of Community Programs.  She is currently working with Consignment Furniture Depot in sales and research.   Ronni is also active in a number of organizations including Kiwanis International, Leadership Atlanta and Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Brian Ray

Brian Ray


Brian Ray is a resident of Huntley Hills, serves on the board of the Huntley Hills Neighborhood Association, and is a member of the Chamblee Chamber of Commerce.  He is married with two small children.  He was born in Texas, grew up in Arkansas, and lived in Montana, Virginia, and Oregon before moving to Georgia in 2006.

Brian is a landscape architect and planner with over fifteen years of experience including land development, site design, planting design, and military base planning.  He holds a Bachelor’s of Landscape Architecture from the University of Arkansas, and a Master’s of Landscape Architecture from the University of Georgia.  

Brian is passionate about community design issues and the importance of designing places for people.  He believes that the city is on the cusp of significant changes, challenges, and opportunities with new developments in and near the downtown area.  He strives to make the DDA area a great place to live, work, and play. He was appointed to the CDDA board in 2015

Leslie C. Robson

Leslie C. Robson

Leslie was first elected to the Chamblee City Council in 2007. Since taking office she has been devoted to becoming a knowledgeable and well-learned public servant and has attended over 260+ hours of credit in state and local government policy and practices seminars sponsored by the Georgia Municipal Association and conducted by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia.

In addition to fulfilling her duties as an elected official Leslie is proud to serve as a Chamblee Downtown Development Authority board member and was instrumental in its founding. She is an active member in the Huntley Hills Neighborhood Association and is a Neighborhood Watch block captain.

Leslie was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania into a military family and spent the first eight years of her life on several different bases in the US and abroad until the family was finally transferred to North Carolina where she grew up, attending St. Mary’s School, Goldsboro High School, and East Carolina University.

Leslie and her husband Jim have been residents of Huntley Hills in Chamblee since 1996. She received her associate’s degree in environmental horticulture from North Metro Tech in 1999. Upon graduating, she formed her present company, Dragonfly Landscapes & Gardens, a residential landscape design/build firm.

Andy Tan

Andy Tan

Andy is the founder and co-owner of Hopstix Brewing Company, located in downtown Chamblee, providing optimal food and beverage services that leave lasting impressions. A highly motivated and creative thinker, Andy is a self-taught entrepreneur and hosts a strong foundation in the craft beer community, which has led to his successes today. 

Andy grew up on a large Indonesian island called Sumatra. With 633 different ethnic groups throughout Indonesia, Andy had the ability early on to absorb those different cultures and has taken that appreciation with him as he stepped into his professional career. In 1997, Andy arrived in Atlanta, GA, which is another diverse, thriving and vibrant city that has helped Andy enrich his potential even more. Since then, Andy graduated from Georgia State University with a degree in Computer Information Systems (Magna Cum Laude) in 2003, and founded an award-winning Hopstix Brewing Company in 2015.

From an early age, Andy developed his passion for food. Andy believes that food and beer can genuinely connect cultures and bring people together. With his design-eye, leadership skills, and ability to turn plans into executable realities, Andy was able to transform his brewing hobby into a prospering hospitality career. 

With his dedication and achievement, Andy has received numerous accolades and awards, and is the newest appointment to the Chamblee Downtown Development Authority board. Andy has come a long way in his professional role and is excited to be able to leverage his skillsets to grow himself, his business, and his City even more.

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