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Governor Perdue Announces Executive Appointments

Friday, May 20, 2005  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


ATLANTA - Governor Sonny Perdue announced today the following executive appointments:

Future of Forestry Joint Study Committee

Alva J. Hopkins III, Folkston, GA— Hopkins is the president of Toledo Manufacturing Co., Inc. He currently serves on the board of directors of Hopkins-Gowen Oil Co., Inc., Southeastern Bank, Georgia Forestry Association, and Gowen Timber Co., Inc. He is the past president of the Georgia Forestry Association, current board member of the Forestry Landowner Association, a founding member of the Greater Okefenokee Association of Landowners and the St. Mary's River Management Committee. Additionally, he served on the Georgia Land Conservation Partnership Council and has been a frequent speaker at forest landowners meetings and conferences with regard to forestry issues.  He graduated from Emory University and received his law degree from the Mercer University School of Law. Hopkins and his wife, Julie, have two children.

Connie Jane McMichen, Dallas , GA — McMichen is the co-owner and manager of Paulding Timber Products Inc., in Dallas , GA. She is a member of the Paulding County Chamber of Commerce. McMichen and her husband, Ken, have two children and one grandchild.

Dave Wills, Preston , GA — County Commissioner Representative—Wills serves as the chairman of the Webster County Commission.  He was appointed in February by Governor Perdue to the serve as the county government representative on the Georgia Superior Court Clerks' Cooperative Authority.  Wills is a member of the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia board of managers, the Middle Flint Regional Development Center board of directors and is a supervisor for the Lower Chattahoochee Soil and Water Conservation District.  He is a member of the 2003-2004 class of the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership, taught by UGA's Carl Vinson Institute of Government.  Wills earned a bachelor of science degree from Georgia Southwestern State University .  Wills and his wife, Rebecca, have two children.

Jim Stokes, Atlanta, GA —Stokes is president of the Georgia Conservancy. He was previously employed by Alston & Bird LLP where he founded and led the A&B Environmental Practice Group.  Stokes was also a member of Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership, Governor's Environmental Advisory Council, Trust for Public Land Advisory Board and the Metropolitan Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.  He was a member of the Environmental and Land Use Committee of the Atlanta Regional Commission and a member of the Strategy Implementation Committee for the DNR Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation.  Stokes earned his bachelor's degree from Davidson College and his law degre from Yale Law School .  Stokes and his wife, Esther, have two children. 

Wayne F. Christian, Dublin, GA­— Christian serves as a partner in Christian, Kelly, Thigpen & Co., an accounting firm, and is the Vice President, Director and part owner of Wheeler County State Bank. He is the director of the Georgia Agribusiness Council, vice chairman and director of the AgriTrust of Georgia, the director for the Georgia Peanut Producers Association, director of the USDA- Southern Region Risk Management Advisory Council, the Governor's Agricultural Advisory Commission and the former Director for the Dublin- Laurens County Chamber of Commerce. He received his bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Georgia . Christian and his wife, Ann, have three children.

Chuck Leavell, Dry Branch, GA —Leavell and his wife, Rose Lane, are the owners of Charlane Plantation, a hunting and pine forest plantation that attracts hunters from all over the United States. Leavell and Rose Lane were selected as the 1999 Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year by the American Forest Foundation and the American Tree Farm System. Leavell is also a spokesperson for t he Georgia Forestry Association (GFA). The Leavells have devoted countless hours to improving wildlife habitats and forest management. They have observed and studied conservation techniques in Germany , Sweden , Canada and the United States . Leavell has helped to shape policy and promote sound forestry management practices throughout America . He is also a well-known and established pianist in the music industry and has worked with artists such as The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, The Black Crowes, George Harrison and The Allman Brothers Band.