Board Of Assessors
The Board of Assessors' members are appointed to fixed terms, as defined by state law. The DeKalb County
Board of Tax Assessors is the agency charged with the responsibility of establishing the fair market value of
property for ad valorem taxation purposes.
Presently, the members of the Board of Assessors are the Chair, Robert A. Burroughs, Vice-Chair, Charlene
Fang; Tax Assessors Vivian R. Ingersoll; James D. Vernor; and John W. Lawson.
Robert A. Burroughs is currently serving as Chair of the DeKalb
County Board of Tax Assessors. He was appointed to the Board in
Mr. Burroughs has been engaged in the active practice of law since
graduating from Emory University School of Law in 1978. His
primary area of practice is real estate and real estate based
financing. He is an experienced residential and commercial closing
He is a founding member of the law firm of Burroughs Keene Paulk
& Von Schuch, LLC, which has offices in Lithonia, Georgia and
Mr. Burroughs is a past member of the DeKalb County Planning Commission where he served as Chairman
from 2001 to 2004. He is also a former member of the DeKalb County Development Advisory Board. He is an
active member and a former President of the DeKalb Lawyers Association. He also formerly served as
General Counsel of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, Inc.
Mr. Burroughs served on active duty in the United States Marine Corps from 1971 to 1975. He holds a BA
degree from North Carolina Central University and a Doctor of Law degree from
Emory University School of Law.
Charlene Fang is currently serving as Vice-Chair of the DeKalb County Board of Tax
Assessors. She was appointed to the Board in January 2010.
A native of Taiwan, Charlene was formally Senior Vice President/Business
Development Officer for The Touchmark National Bank. Prior to this, she was a
Relationship Officer with Summit for 15 years. During that time she has been
extremely active in the Asian Community:
President of the Chinese American Lion's Club, (past)
Two terms be President of Chinese American Women Association, (past)
Advisor of Chinese American Leo Club of Atlanta. (2006-2007)
Board member of Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce, (2006-2007)
Public affair officer for Hip Sing Association in Atlanta (2006-2008)
The Board of director of Leadership DeKalb, (2006-2008)
Board of advisor of DeKalb District Attorney, (2006- )
Board member of DeKalb County Library Foundation, (2006-2008)
Executive Board of Direct of Chinese Community Center (2006-2009)
She has sponsored many fund raising efforts and acted as an all-around advisor to a number of local
business groups as well.
A single mother, who has built a new life for herself and her children in this country, Charlene can easily relate
to the problems people face as they adjust to new locations, customs and ways of working. "My own
experience has been a real asset," she confided.
Vivian R. Ingersoll has been a certified member of the DeKalb County Board of Tax
Assessors since 1994 and has served as Chair or Vice-Chair multiple times during her
She is retired Executive Director of the Atlanta Committee for Public Education and
past Director of the Alliance for Human Services Planning and Lecturer in German at
Spelman College. Prior to returning to Atlanta in 1986 she was Director of the Office of
Executive Planning for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Education
and, earlier, Dean of Academic Programs, Class Dean, and Lecturer in German at Wellesley College;
founding Manager of the Harvard University Center for Employee Training and Development; Assistant to the
CEO of Nixdorf Computer Corporation, and Managing Associate of Charles Hamilton Associates, LLP.
In Atlanta Mrs. Ingersoll has been an active community volunteer. Among her leadership roles she has been
chair of the Senior Citizen Services Foundation, chair of the United Way's Fund for Community Problem
Solving and AIDS Fund, a lay leader of the Pittulloch Foundation Middle East Travel Seminar, a member of
Leadership Atlanta, Class of 1989, and a Trustee of the Metropolitan Atlanta Group. She is currently serving a
second term on the Chief Justice's Commission on Professionalism.
She is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University with a double major in chemistry and German, has an MA in
German from Middlebury College/Johannes Gutenberg Universitat, Mainz, Germany, and speaks fluent
German. She lives in Druid Hills.
James Doyle Vernor PhD, MAI was appointed to the DeKalb County Board of Tax
Assessors in January 2010.
He is Chairman Emeritus and Associate Professor Emeritus of Real Estate, Georgia
State University, Atlanta, Georgia where he was a full time faculty member from 1974
through 1997 teaching real estate appraisal, finance, investments and market
research. He has also been a mortgage officer, a real estate broker and a
commercial real estate appraiser. He is an MAI Member, (semi-retired) of the
Appraisal Institute and a member of the International Association of Assessing
Officers, the American Real Estate Society, and the Urban land Institute.
He holds a BBA with a Finance Major, MBA in Real Estate and Urban Development; and PhD in Real Estate
and Urban Land Economics, all from the University of Wisconsin. He served a previous term as a member of
the DeKalb County Board of Tax Assessors (1993-2000), and as 1997, 2011 and 2012 Chair.
He has published articles on appraisal in academic and practitioner journals as well as several books for The
Appraisal Institute, in Chicago. He has served as a consultant to retail companies, hotel chains, developers,
attorneys and governments.
John W. Lawson currently serves as Tax Assessor of the DeKalb County Board
of Tax Assessors.
Mr. Lawson, an Attorney at Law, is recently retired from a private practice of
criminal and civil trial and related appellate law. His legal career spanned a period
in excess of 35 years, with his firm being based in Decatur, Georgia.
His other professional experience included service as Director of Personnel
Administration and General Staff Services, Georgia Department of Human
Resources. He also served as Vice President of Public Research and Management, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia,
and Washington D. C. This consulting firm rendered broad based services to units of local, state and federal
Mr. Lawson further served four elected terms as Mayor of Avondale Estates, Georgia, and one additional
elected term as a City Commissioner.
He is a member of the State Bar of Georgia, Decatur-DeKalb Bar Association, and various other professional
He holds a BS in Industrial Management from Georgia Institute of Technology and JD and Master of Laws
Degrees from the Atlanta Law School.
The Greenest Urban County in America