Correction: Francis Horton has volunteered at the Community Assistance Center for the past few months.


The Community Assistance Center (CAC) has chosen Francis Horton as its next CEO to fill the position upon Tamara Carrera’s retirement.

Horton plans to use his experience with international nonprofits that help to lift people out of poverty to aid neighbors in Sandy Springs and Dunwoody, the CAC said in a news release. Horton and Carrera will spend the next month or so working on the transition to his leadership.

Francis Horton and his wife, Angie, are familiar faces at the Community Assistance Center’s food pantry and thrift shop. (Special)

Carrera was the driving force behind CAC’s growth from a small charity initially housed at a scout hut at the Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church campus, providing food and clothing to about 280 families a year, to the go-to emergency assistance agency in the community serving more than 6,500 individuals a year from 3,000 households.

Carrera joined CAC as a volunteer in 1993, and in 1997 was hired as its fourth director.

Horton and his wife Angie have volunteered at the CAC food pantry and thrift shop for the past few months.

“He understands both the circumstances and conditions leading to poverty, and more importantly, has years of frontline experience designing and implementing models to help people recover from natural disasters, food insecurity, inadequate housing, and poor access to education and sustainable jobs,” said CAC board member Cece Webster, who led the search committee.

He has worked in leadership positions in Africa, Asia and Pakistan with International Mission Board, Samaritan’s Purse and other organizations, the CAC said in a release. Those teams have included volunteers across countries diverse in race, religion and ethnicity.

He earned a law degree from Mississippi College School of Law.

“Francis is well positioned with the right leadership skills, values and motivation to move CAC from ‘good to great’ to achieve even further impact in service of our critical mission,” said CAC Board Chair Anne Hicks. 

Bob Pepalis covers Sandy Springs for Rough Draft Atlanta and Reporter Newspapers.