The Gate Museum



Led by Founder & President Rodney Cook Jr., our leadership team strives to carry out the Museum’s mission with the highest standards of excellence, authenticity, professionalism, and fiscal responsibility.


Founder and President

Rodney Mims Cook, Jr. is a graduate of Washington and Lee University. He is a scholar of the American Academy in Rome. At the age of 15, he initiated the campaign to successfully save the 5000+ seat Fox Theatre and in 1974 was a White House intern. In 1982, he established Rodney M. Cook Interests, a design/development company. In 1987, he established PolitesCook Architects which designed the Newington Cropsey Museum, NY, housing the largest American collection of Hudson River School paintings (Arthur Ross Award to founder).


Executive Director

Mac Schmitz is the Executive Director of the National Monuments Foundation, parent organization of the Millennium Gate Museum. He received a BA in Environmental Studies from Rollins College in 2012 with a focus on sustainable urban development. He began working on Rodney Cook Sr. Peace Park with the National Monuments Foundation in 2012 incorporating plans for urban farming and community revitalization. He has since been working with the foundation to inspire a global peace movement through the example of Georgia's history of peacemakers. He is a resident of Peachtree Corners and is also an accomplished drummer and professional musician.


Head of Strategy

Padmini Singh Sharma is a conservationist and a passionate brand builder. She believes in the power of brands to be both a force for good and growth through ethical responsibility, community impact, diversity, inclusion, and environmental sustainability. Padmini has significant experience in Corporate Social Responsibility and Brand Management for organizations such as The Nobel Foundation, US Olympic Association, NUUN Jewels, Mayo Clinic, etc. Her experience growing up in India, and executing client projects across North America, Europe, China and India, have lent Padmini an international perspective. She currently serves as the Strategy Director for The National Monuments Foundation and is responsible for executing its mission of peace and civil equality. While at IMG, her project, “The Honeywell-Nobel Initiative", a multi-country education program, won the Gold Sabre Award. Padmini is a resident of Atlanta, where she lives with her husband and two children.


Museum Director

Richard Kerfoot started with the Millennium Gate Museum as a research intern in 2014, and has been with the Museum ever since; now the Museum Director, Richard oversees the museum’s collection, supervises and negotiates the exchange or loan of artifacts, and organizes exhibitions, along with also managing building operations. He holds a Bachelor of Sciences in Public Policy from Georgia Tech, as well as an Associate of Sciences in Criminal Justice from Georgia State University Perimeter College. A proud nerd, in his spare time he enjoys a plethora of science fiction and fantasy media - including Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, and the tabletop role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons, among others - and is a member of the LARP and cosplay communities. He currently lives in the Atlanta metro area with his girlfriend and their dog.


Events Director

Mike Russell is a combat veteran who served our country for almost 30 years in the US Army. A native of Oklahoma, he has lived and worked in numerous countries. He and his husband move to Atlanta from Europe. He has continued his service to others here volunteering to work with the homeless and supporting organizations that intervene with troubled youth. He organized events honoring Ambassador Andrew Young for his 90th birthday celebration, a public tribute to Queen Elizabeth II at her passing, the Nigerian celebration of their 60th Anniversary of independence and the MLK Peace Walk and statue unveiling commemorating the 55th Anniversary of his Mountaintop Speech and memorializing the 55th anniversary of his assassination.

See what’s keeping us busy…

Thanking our summer interns from the Atlanta International School

At the opening of the Bruno Zupan art exhibition

Founder Rodney Cook welcomes sculptor artist Edwina Sandys to explore the Millennium Gate Park for an upcoming art project.

Rodney Cook and Padmini Sharma entertaining the team from Atlanta Tourism Department on the rooftop of the museum.

Richard Kerfoot doing what he does best; conducting a group tour with parents from the Atlanta International school

Padmini Singh Sharma at The Carter Center touring the centers art collection for future collaborations.

Rodney Cook and Richard Kerfoot giving a private tour to the leadership team of Jimmy Carter’s Presidential Library on the final day of Many Lives of Andrew Young exhibition.

Mac Schmitz, Dr. Negiel Bigpond, Daphne Swilling, and Rodney Cook Jr. visit the Muscogee Creek Nation in Tulsa, OK

The National Monuments Foundation hosts Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Ambassador Kim Sook, Ambassador Kim Bong Hyun, Ambassador Andrew Young, Archbishop Foley Beach, Dr. Shin Dae-yong, and others at the Millennium Gate Museum

Rodney Cook Jr. interviews Ambassador Andrew Young for a new documentary in the museum rooftop conservatory.

Ambassador Andrew Young, Civil Rights leader, co chairman of the Rodney Cook Sr. Peace Park, addressing members of the Atlanta Press Club at the Millennium Gate Museum.

Rodney Cook Jr. in the governor's office at the Georgia Capitol studying a painting of Georgia co-founder Chief Tomochichi as part of the museum’s research of Native American history.

Rodney Cook, meets with Second Chief Del Beaver of the Muscogee Creek Nation and Dr. Negiel Bigpond to discuss the Muscogee people returning home to Georgia