Atlanta, GA – Today Governor Brian P. Kemp announced sixty-seven appointees to serve on various state councils, associations, commissions, authorities, and boards.

Peace Officers Standards Training Council

Ray Paulk
is the sheriff of Berrien County. He has worked with the Berrien County Sheriff's Office since 1994 and was promoted to captain in 2007 and then to chief deputy in 2010. Sheriff Paulk has worked with local, state, and federal officials to keep citizens safe. He worked with county officials to add additional school resource officers and implemented the C.H.A.M.P.S. program which targets fifth grade education to address drugs and bullying. He and his wife, Leann, have four children and one grandchild.

Andy Hester is the sheriff of Turner County. He and his wife have four children, and they reside in Ashburn.

Georgia Behavioral Health Reform and Innovation Commission

Mark Cundiff Johnson, M.D.
is currently the CEO of Gateway CSB. Previously, he practiced outpatient medicine at BJC Behavioral Health in St. Louis, where he provided motivational interviewing, case management, and the use of peer support to assist people in making recovery-oriented healthcare behavior changes. As an associate professor of Clinical Psychiatry at the Washington University School of Medicine, Dr. Johnson served as a site director for an outpatient rotation and taught various didactic lectures. He holds a bachelor's degree in Social Psychology from Eckerd College. Following pre-med studies at Stetson University, he graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and trained in psychiatry at the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic University of Pennsylvania and at Hahnemann University Hospital. He and his wife, Marcia, live in Savannah.

Georgia Firefighters Standards and Training Council

Landry Doyle Merkison
is the Fire Chief and Director of Emergency Management with the Clayton County Fire Department. Previously, he served as a firefighter. He earned a bachelor's degree in Fire Administration from Columbia State University and MBA from Columbia Southern University. Landry and his wife live in Locust Grove.

Douglas Ronald Duncan, Jr. serves as the Vice President of Recruiting and Staffing at MAU and chair of the Columbia County Board of Commissioners. He earned a BBA from Augusta University. Duncan and his wife live in Martinez, and they have three children.

Professional Standards Commission

Abigail Morgan Coggin
was elected in November 2010 to serve on the Newton County School Board. She is a lifelong resident of Newton County and graduated from Newton County High School in 1992. She received a bachelor's degree in Political Science from Oxford College and Emory University. Throughout her college career, Coggin was employed as a staffer on many successful state-wide political campaigns and served in the Georgia State Senate's Public Information Office. After graduation, she continued her career in public service and later began working with the Arts Association in Newton County, where currently serves as an operations director. Coggin and her husband, Derek, are the proud parents of two children, Shaw and Kathleen, and reside in Covington.

Brian Sirmans was reappointed as chair of the commission through November 5, 2021.

Board of Economic Development

Cassius Butts
serves as the chairman and CEO for Capital Fortitude Business Advisors. He obtained a bachelor's degree from Morehouse College and master's degree from Clark Atlanta University. He lives in Atlanta.

Georgia Board of Chiropractic Examiners

James Douglas Hollandsworth, Jr.
is appointed as a consumer member. He is the founder and operator of Georgia Golf and Travel, LLC. He earned his bachelor's degree in Political Science and History from Mercer University. Hollandsworth and his wife, Judy, live in Monroe.

Mary E. Watkins, Robert Alpert, David Wren, and Andrew H. Krantz were reappointed.

Board of Directors of the Georgia Higher Education Savings Plan

Carl Lee Powell
is the president and CEO of Integral Emerging Markets, principal and executive vice president of the Integral Group, vice chairman of the Investment Committee, member of the Executive Committee, and managing director of the Investment Management Division. Previously, Powell served as president and CEO of the Investment Management Division for the Integral Group. He also has several years of experience as an international strategy consultant for a leading strategic consulting firm. He is currently on the board of directors of several companies in the telehealth, manufacturing, and consumer products industries. Powell holds a bachelor's degree in Accounting from the University of Mississippi and MBA from Harvard Business School. He and his family reside in Roswell.

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Pedro Cherry is the president and CEO of Atlanta Gas Light and Chattanooga Gas. He began his career with the Southern Company in 1997 at Southern Energy Inc., the subsidiary that later became Mirant Corp., where he held positions of increasing responsibility. Cherry returned to Southern Company in 2006, serving as finance manager for Southern Generation/Southern Power and then as assistant to the CFO of Southern Company. In 2012, he became the Metro West Region manager for Georgia Power and was named vice president of the Metro Atlanta Region in 2012. He also served as senior vice president of Metro Atlanta Region. Cherry earned a bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering and MBA in Operations Management and Finance from Auburn University. He is a graduate of Leadership Atlanta, Leadership Georgia, and the Atlanta Regional Commission's Regional Leadership Institute. He resides in Atlanta with his wife, Tomeka, and children, Peyton and Preston.

The following individuals were appointed as ex-officio members: Steve Wrigley, Chancellor of the University System of Georgia; Greg Dozier, TCSG Commissioner; Lynne Riley, Georgia Student Finance Commission Director; Greg Griffin, State Auditor; Kelly Farr, OPB Director; David Curry, Department of Revenue Commissioner; and Steve McCoy, State Treasurer.

Katherine Monti was reappointed.

Sexual Offender Registration Review Board

Matthew B. Connolly
was reappointed.

Georgia Child Support Commission

Representative Houston Gaines, Representative Bonnie Rich,
and Senator Brian Strickland were appointed.

Superior Court Judge Emory Palmer and Superior Court Judge Shawn LaGrua were reappointed.

Georgia Student Finance Commission

Bill Hightower
is a licensed funeral director, embalmer, cardic technician, and critical care paramedic and is fully involved in the funeral business, ambulance service, and the cemetery. He graduated from Carroll Technician School in 1986, Metro Paramedic Program in 1987, and Gupton Jones Mortuary College in 1989. Hightower and his wife, Susan, have four children.

Don Anthony (DAG) Grantham, Jr. attended the United States Air Force Academy and served in the U.S. Air Force from 1993-2003. He achieved the status of instructor/evaluator pilot while serving as an Air Force Advance Agent with Air Force One, leading presidential travel support for President George W. Bush. After leaving the Air Force, Grantham became a citizen airman in the U.S. Air Force Reserves and Air National Guard, where he continued to serve his country as a F-16 Command Pilot. He retired as Lt. Col in 2013 with over two hundred combat hours and 2,200 total hours in the F-16. Later, he accepted a role as Senior Vice President for Business Development with Eden Innovations in the fall of 2016 and returned to Augusta. He and his two sons, Chase and Clay, live in Augusta.

Anna Chafin was reappointed.

Georgia Trauma Care Network Commission

James L. (Jim) Adkins, Jr.
is the owner of South Star Emergency Medical Services in Augusta. He recently celebrated fifty years in emergency medical services, having begun with AAA Ambulance in 1969. Adkins has served as a paramedic since 1980 and an EMT since 2006. He earned his bachelor's degree from Augusta University in 1978. He and his wife, Linda, live in Evans, and they have two adult children.

Stone Mountain Memorial Association

Christopher Lee Collier
is the executive vice president and corporate counsel for Ely Corporation in Cartersville. He earned his BBA in Real Estate from the University of Georgia and law degree from Georgia State University College of Law. He and his wife live in Atlanta.

Joan Thomas was reappointed.

Non-Public Postsecondary Education Commission

Katie Patterson
is a 2001 graduate of the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia. Throughout her career, she has served in several capacities in management and as the director of a church preschool for eight years. She is a graduate of Leadership Georgia and served as a program chair for the organization in 2015. Currently, Patterson is a stay-at-home mom who spends her time serving on the board of Bethel Haven Christian Counseling Agency and volunteering with the Presbyterian Homes of Georgia, with her church, and throughout the community. She is married to Alex Patterson, and they have three children. They have lived in Athens and Valdosta, but they have called Oconee County home for the last four years.

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Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Services Board

Faye Perdue
and Vincent Martin were reappointed.

Georgia Real Estate Commission

Brenda Rice Thompson
is an associate broker with Carriage House Realty, Inc. in Athens. She has held a real estate license since 1980. Thompson and her husband live in Hull and have two adult children.

Georgia Humanities Council

Abit Massey
is president emeritus of the Georgia Poultry Federation. He retired as organization's president in 2009, after serving in the role since 1960. He was the first University of Georgia (UGA) graduate to receive a Presidential Citation for Service from Georgia Tech, He graduated from UGA in 1949, and his family was named the UGA Alumni Association Family of the Year in 2014. Before working in the poultry industry, Massey was head of the Georgia Department of Commerce, now Economic Development, and oversaw the creation of the tourism division and the building of the first welcome station.

Joseph Alonso is an attorney and member of the executive committee of Gregory, Doyle, Calhoun, & Rogers, LLC. and head of its Restrictive Covenant and Trade Secrets Group. He earned his associate degree from Oxford College of Emory University and law degree from Tulane Law School. Alonso serves on the board of the Children's Development Academy, volunteers with Central Night Shelter and the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, and serves as a judge for National History Day Georgia. He is also a published author and photographer.

Board of Commissioners of the Georgia Equal Opportunity Commission

Karen Johnston
is the associate director of the Center for the Comparative Study of Metropolitan Growth at Georgia State University (GSU) College of Law. She is also the managing editor of the Journal of Comparative Urban Law and Policy and affiliated faculty in GSU's Urban Studies Institute, Micro-mobility Lab, Partnership for Urban Health Research, and Teaching Atlanta Studies group. She holds a bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering and master's degree in Environmental Engineering from Virginia Tech as well as a law degree from Georgia State University. Johnston resides in Brookhaven with her husband, Erik, and three daughters.

Kelvin King is a Georgia native who graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 1996, where he was an all-conference football player. He began his active duty military career as a contracting officer. Following his service, he became a business development director for a global construction firm. King was also named to Engineering New Records Top 20 Under 40 in 2012. He went on to self-fund his own construction company, Osprey Management, which is headquartered in Marietta. He is married to Georgia Gang panelist, Janelle King, and his son, Christian Ward, serves in the U.S. Air Force.

Ashoo Sharma is Harry Norman's vice president and general counsel. She is considered to be an industry expert and regularly serves on panels, discussing real estate and corporate counsel best practices. She earned her law degree from the University of Georgia in 2001. Sharma is a past barrister in the Bleckley Inn of Court and recipient of several professional excellence awards. She has been in the real estate legal field for more than fifteen years. She is married to her childhood sweetheart, has three children, and loves to travel the world with them.

Robert Dawkins worked for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission from 1986-2016. He served as the regional attorney in the EEOC's Atlanta District Office. In this role, he was responsible for enforcing the federal employment discriminations laws in Georgia and parts of South Carolina and overseeing systemic investigations in the district office. In 2016, Dawkins received the Georgia Commission on Equal Opportunity Freedom Award.

Kelly McAloon has been the executive director of the Snellville Tourism and Trade Association (STAT), the direct marketing organization for the City of Snellville, since 2012. She served as the vice president of STAT from 2010-2012. McAloon is a graduate of the Southeastern Travel Society Marketing College, where she received her Travel Marketing Professional Certificate and Festival and Event Certificate in 2016. She currently serves as a board member on the South Gwinnett Cluster Foundation. She and her husband, John, have one daughter, Michelle, and a son-in-law, Randy. They are members of St. Oliver Plunkett Catholic Church in Snellville.

Travis Stegall, Angela Hsu, and Sugandha Yadav were reappointed.

Board of Community Health

Norman Boyd, Roger Folsom, Allana Cummings, Kenneth Davis, Russ Childers,
and Russell Crutchfield were reappointed.

Georgia Council on Lupus Education and Awareness

Teresa Lassiter
grew up in Tifton. She obtained her bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Abraham Baldwin Agriculture College. She went on to work for the Georgia Department of Transportation before taking a part-time summer job in the FSA County Office in 1977. Lassiter held a number of positions and entered the agency's management training program before stepping back in 1993. Governor Zell Miller appointed her to serve as the executive director of the Georgia Agrirama Development Authority in Tifton, where she remained until 1999. She later became the associate administrator for programs in the FSA. Lassiter was appointed as chief of the FSA in October 2005, and she serves as the executive vice president of the Commodity Credit Corporation.

Representative Kim Schofield and S. Sam Lin were reappointed.

Georgia Sports Hall of Fame Authority

Dr. Wilson Gosier, Jr., Emily Parker Meyers, Jeff Van Note,
and Earl Wright were reappointed.

Georgia Council on Aging

Adrienne Mims, Ashton Windham, Kenneth Brooks, Maureen Kelly, Patti Lyons, Ruth Lee,
and Tony Marshall were reappointed.stats

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