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PhenoMENal Men of Fayette

Five of Fayette's finest share their stories of commitment to our community.

Joe Clark

Fayetteville City Councilman 

By Susan Walworth

Although he’s traveled the world, Joe Clark has found his forever home in Fayetteville. The Rome, GA., native was stationed in Europe while serving in the Army and has worked as a flight attendant with Southwest Airlines for 29 years. Joe is also a former professional drug-free bodybuilder who retired at 55 after 20 years and many titles. “You get tired of being on stage with 25-year-olds,” he said. 

After living in Atlanta for 32 years, he and his spouse Harry decided to relocate to someplace with a slower lifestyle and lower property taxes. Joe admits Fayetteville was the last place he thought he would wind up. But since his move in 2015, he said, “It's been the best decision I ever made in my life.”

Joe quickly became involved in his new community and was elected to the Fayetteville City Council in 2019. He also serves on the Downtown Development Authority and is chairman of the Fayette County Democratic Party. “I need to learn to say no sometimes,” he admits. 

Serving on the city council, Joe said, has been one of the most rewarding things he’s done because he can make a difference in the city that has become his hometown—one that is growing more diverse. “We're a multitude of races that live here and it's made it a very interesting place to live.”  

It’s also given him a better understanding of the community’s needs. He is passionate about non-profits including Two Sparrows Village, which provides a home for adults with special needs. One of seven children, Joe had a special needs brother who could never live independently. “My mother's biggest fear in life is that she would die before he did,” he said, adding that she outlived him by a few months. 

Although he moved to Fayetteville with thoughts of retirement, it’s doubtful Joe will ever stop doing. “There's always going to be a need out there,” he said. “We're not wired just to sit down and do nothing.”

Brian Cooper

Owner, Red Tail Consulting

By Susan Walworth

Whether it’s time, talent, or treasure, Brian Cooper’s mother taught him from a young age to give back. 

“If you don't have the checkbook to write a million-dollar check to a nonprofit, then you can still give your time and whatever talent God gave you,” Brian said. “I’ve always enjoyed doing for someone else or for a greater purpose.”

Originally from Columbia, S.C., and a graduate of the University of Tennessee, Brian came to Fayette County as part of the film industry. While working with an Atlanta company that leased lighting equipment to tv shows and movies such as Zombie Land, Killers, and Lincoln, Brian made sales call on the development team of Pinewood Atlanta Studios. He got more than a sale.  Brian was asked to interview for a leadership position and was hired as the vice president of operations and Pinewood’s first employee in 2013. “When I started, that was just a wheat field where the studios stand today,” he said. After accepting the job, Brian felt that it was important to become part of the Fayette County community where he lives with his partner, Dr. Samantha Brooks.   

Brian left Pinewood in 2019 and started Red Tail Consulting, which provides procurement, site planning, design, construction, and operation of movie studios wanting to locate in Georgia. “There's still a very high demand in Georgia that we just don't have the capacity for yet,” he said. 

While he is pro-development, Brian is also an avid outdoorsman who is passionate about conservation and believes the two can go hand in hand. He is a board member of the Southern Conservation Trust and the Conservation Partnership as well as being involved in Ducks Unlimited and the National Wild Turkey Federation. “It's important to get people outside to understand how powerful nature is, but it's also very delicate,” Brian said. “It's something that we all need to participate in to make sure that it's there for future generations.”

Parker Butler 

Co-owner, Brew-tiful Difference Coffee Cart

By Pam Reid

Twenty-four-year-old Georgia native and business owner Parker Butler is all about community, making connections, new friends, and his favorite drink … coffee. Parker and his mom Vickie Butler, co-own Brew-tiful Difference, a mobile coffee cart service that was launched this past November.

Parker is not limited in what he can do just because he’s differently abled. He has a mind for business, a mind for community, and a mind for meeting new people and making new friends. A former student in the Fayette County Board of Education’s REACH program, Parker gained the skills to be successful in his recent endeavor. Working half days at Panasonic serving the employees on REACH’s coffee cart, gave inspiration for the Brew-tiful Difference Coffee Bar.

The business is a natural fit for Parker who loves coffee and drinks it every day. Parker’s positive outlook and sweet personality are what draw people to him. His favorite part of the business is taking orders and visiting other vendors. “I go to different vendors and get to know them.” 

The Brew-tiful Difference Coffee Bar is a partnership with a local roaster, Alma Coffee, and is available for all types of occasions — weddings, birthday parties, church and school events, markets and fairs, nonprofit events, corporate and office events, and more. Other beverages such as hot chocolate, spiced apple cider, specialty teas, and lemonades are also offered. Parker adds, “In the future, we will have merchandise.”

The vision for Brew-tiful Difference is to grow and hire other differently-abled adults. Parker has a lot of friends in that community who he would love to help gain skills, grow self-esteem, and build new relationships; a testament to the Eagle Scout principles he’s been living by since becoming one in 2019 with Troop 79 in Tyrone. Parker and his mom are supported in the business by Parker’s dad Wilvor, and his brother Taylour. Visit to reserve the coffee cart, and be sure to ask for Parker’s Favorite, a medium roast on their menu.

David Mowell

President, Mowell Funeral & Cremation Service

By Susan Walworth

Fayetteville native David Mowell, president of Mowell Funeral & Cremation Service, who also served as deputy coroner of Fayette County for 20 years, is proud of his family’s tradition of helping others. 

David’s parents, C.J. and Faye Mowell started the business in 1964 in the downstairs of what is now known as the John Arnold house in Fayetteville. The family, including David and his three siblings, lived upstairs. A nightmare for some, David wouldn’t trade it for anything.  “It was great,” he said, adding that he played hide-n-seek in the casket room with friends. “It was never scary or creepy to me.”  

A fond memory is when his father allowed David to drive the hearse to his last day at Fayette County High School in 1989. After calling some buddies, about 80 cars gathered at the funeral home for a full-blown procession, complete with police escort. David, who lives in Brooks now, said the town of about 8,000 was a different world then.

After graduating from the University of Georgia with a business degree, David returned to the family business. “It was the only thing I ever really knew how to do well,” he said. He accepts and embraces that he is always on call. “That is the life I’ve chosen.” 

In a career that involves much tragedy and sadness, David appreciates the support of his wife, April, who also works in the business, his children, Harrison, Grayson, and Macie Rose, and all those who surround him. His faith keeps him positive. “Without that, I don't know what I would do.” Involved in church and community activities, David also enjoys pickleball, golf, and 80’s rock. 

In business and life, relationships are most important to him.  An elderly widow once told him, 'There is no way I could have gotten through this without you.’ Helping someone in their time of need, David said, is my ‘unknown paycheck.’ 

Bren Briggs

Founder - The Eden Project 

By Pam Reid

A recent graduate of Leadership Fayette, Bren Briggs’ military record and his impact on the local veteran community has been nothing short of phenomenal. Born and raised in rural Pennsylvania, all Bren ever wanted to do was be like his dad … a Marine. Although a guidance counselor didn’t see a military career in Bren’s future, when recruiters visited Bren’s school, he joined the Marine Corps at the end of his senior year.

Honorably discharged after 28 years of military service, Bren can attest that there is purpose in times of difficulty and struggles. One of ten trained in counter-terrorism, Bren was sent to Iraq during the height of the surge in the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Bren returned with injuries that required six surgeries and dealt with significant challenges during the years to follow. What Bren was able to endure and overcome became the basis for The Eden Project.

Founded in 2016 with the mission to help veterans transition from military to post-military life, The Eden Project is an award-winning 501(c)3 organization. Managed solely by volunteers, it was selected by the Fayette Chamber of Commerce as the non-profit of excellence in 2021. Countless stories of veterans who successfully progress through the organization’s programs are a testament to The Eden Project’s effectiveness. “We help people become stronger and more resilient so they can deal with all the stuff around us. We help vets find their purpose.”

According to Bren, “There are 178,000 veterans that live within a 30-mile radius of Fayetteville. It's estimated that 30% have post-traumatic stress and 14% have a brain injury. These are the hidden wounds that we can’t see.”

Bren believes, “The core of The Eden Project is our peer-to-peer program. Veterans working with other veterans who have either made the journey or gone through the hard stuff, helping the other ones who are still struggling with it. I feel obligated, committed, and blessed. I’m in a position where I can help other people. This is where I think I’m supposed to be.” 

You can learn more about The Eden Project at


  • At Hero Doughnuts & Buns in the Town at Trilith