Mason Lee Cardwell
Tell us about your first memories of Woodward.
My first memories are of fifth grade with Mrs. Barnett, and Coach Phillips taking us on field trips when I know it was a challenge to get us to cooperate.
Who were your major influences at the Academy?
Coach Ed Notestine for driving bus 10 which was awesome, Coach Kroswick who was tough but fair, and Coach Fritts leading us in the honor guard. I also appreciate Mrs. Shean and Ms. Gibson for putting up with me and my brothers, Coach Freer for being an awesome coach and teacher and, because he was only a few years older than when we were in high school, a peer.
“Woodward is important to me because of the relationships I have from my time in school that still exist today. It was an honor to be chosen as a board member to serve an institution that played a huge role in my life and in my family’s lives.”
How did Woodward help you define yourself and your interests/passions in life?
Woodward was where I met some of my best friends in life and, by far most importantly, my wife, Leigh. The educators, coaches, and employees in the snack bar, cafeteria, and around the campus, taught us important lessons in life for school and beyond.
Where did you go after Woodward? Tell us about your college education and early career.
I went to the University of Georgia as well as Richmond College in London. I worked in London and Houston in the oil shipping business, which was my first career from 2003-2008. In 2008, Leigh and I moved back to Atlanta to be closer to family and for me to begin a career in commercial real estate.
Please describe for us the arc of your professional/life journey. What accomplishments are you most proud of?
I am most proud of my family. My wife worked hard to earn a master’s degree in speech pathology and is a very accomplished speech pathologist, but more importantly she has been unwavering in her dedication to raising our children. My brothers and their wives are all accomplished in their fields of medicine, therapy, and real estate. My parents gave me and my brothers an opportunity to go to Woodward and have shown us all examples of hard work and dedication to family and community. Woodward alumni in our family include my wife, who graduated in 1998, my brother Winston, Class of 1991, and Pat, Class of 1994, and we hope to have more family members attend from the next generation.
Governing Board service is a very important commitment. Why do you choose to devote so much time and energy to your alma mater?
Woodward is important to me because of the relationships I have from my time in school that still exist today. It was an honor to be chosen as a board member to serve an institution that played a huge role in my life and in my family’s lives. It is important to me that the school be a national model for leadership and development of the next generation in our city.