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Governor Perdue Announces Executive Appointments

Friday, July 30, 2004  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


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

Film, Video, and Music Advisory Commission

Mike Akins, 48, Madison, GA, Film Industry Representative- Akins is a business agent for the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees.  He is also the President of Economic Development through Georgia Entertainment, which strives to re-establish Georgia as a film leader in the South.  Since 1987, Akins has been in the film industry, working on projects within the state such as In the Heat of the Night , Driving Miss Daisy , Andersonville , and Remember the Titans .  Akins holds bachelors and masters degrees from Oklahoma State University.  He has four children.

Dallas Austin, 33, Atlanta, GA, Music Industry Representative- Austin is a music and film producer, songwriter, and keyboardist.  He produced more than fifty hit singles and roughly twenty albums.  He produced Drumline , a movie based on his own experiences in a high school marching band.  In 2003, Austin was the music director for The Orlando Jones Show.   He is the creator and sole proprietor of a production company, a studio with three facilities, a record company, a film company, a merchandising and marketing company, and three publishing companies.  Austin created the Dallas Austin Foundation which strives to develop the talents and skills of urban youth.  He won a Grammy in 1999, has been honored by the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, and by the Independent Media Artists of Georgia.  Austin has two children.

Kay Beck, PhD., 61, Atlanta, GA, Film Industry Representative- Beck is a film professor at Georgia State University, where she has taught since 1972.  She serves the community through the IMAGE Board, the Women in Film Advisory Board, and as a judge for the National Golden Key Film and Drama Competition.  Beck has been appointed by four governors to the Executive Committee of the Georgia Film Board and is involved with the Atlanta Bureau of Cultural Affairs, and the Arts Services Advisory Panel. She was an Olympic liaison to Brunei during the 1996 games in Atlanta, assisted with labor relations for Japan Cable Vision, and served as an arts and education liaison to the Mexican Consulate.  Beck has been published in fifteen works, received ten professional presentations, and numerous grants for her work.  She earned her undergraduate from the University of Alabama, a master's degree from American University, and a PhD from Emory University.  She and her husband, Joe, have two children.

Dana F. Braun, 53, Savannah, GA, Local Government Representative- Braun is a partner in Callaway, Braun, Riddle, & Hughes law firm.  He is a member of the State Bar of Georgia, the Savannah Bar Association, and the Georgia Defense Lawyers and Housing Development Law Institute.  Braun is a former Alderman At Large for Savannah.  In that capacity, he created the Savannah Film Commission of which he is now Chairman.  Braun is a Trustee of the Telfair Museum of Art, serves on the Westside Urban Health Center Board of Directors, and is a member of the Georgia Rail Passenger Authority.  He holds an undergraduate degree from Tulane University, a master's degree from the University of North Carolina, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Georgia.  Braun and his wife, Meg, have two children.

Ron Charles, PhD., 54, Gainesville, GA, Business Community Representative- Charles is President of the CUBIT Foundation, former writer for Crown Financial Ministers, and former President of FIBER Education Foundation.  He organized archaeological investigations and humanitarian efforts in seven countries, conducting research, lectures, and diplomatic missions in many of them.  He served as Deputy General on the Board of Directors of the Biographical Centre and Historical Division of Cambridge.  Charles is affiliated with the National Teachers Association and American Engineers Association.  He holds several theological degrees from Florida International University and Berean University, engineering technology degrees from the University of Southwestern Louisiana and Kilgore College, and honorary PhDs from Cambridge University and the University of Tirana.  Charles and his wife, Paula, have two children.

Dan Darling, 51, Mableton, GA, Business Community Representative- Darling is the Senior Vice President of Entertainment Operations for Turner Broadcasting System and a member of the company's senior technology and operations team.  He oversaw the design and construction of Turner Studios, the largest all-digital production facility of its kind.  Turner Studio received the Georgia Oglethorpe Award and his team received the National Technical Emmy.  Darling has also overseen the construction of the Broadcast Operations Center and the launch of the TNT network in high definition.  Darling is a recipient of the National Association of Television Arts and Sciences Governor's Award and the Silver Circle Award.  He also serves on the Centennial Street YMCA Board.  Darling received his undergraduate degree from Ohio State University.  He and his wife, Liz, have two children.

Melissa Goodman, 49, Marietta, GA, Film Industry Representative- Goodman is the Executive Director of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and Screen Actors Guild.  Prior to her affiliation with this group, she was a talent agent in Atlanta.  Goodman is a member of the Georgia Production Partnership, the Atlanta Labor Council, and the Sisterhood of Congregation Etz Chaim.  She is also a panelist for Image Film and Video.  Goodman holds a degree in education from the State University College of New York.  She and her husband, Jeffrey, have two children.

Bart L. Graham, 43, Atlanta, GA, Department of Revenue Representative- Graham is the Commissioner of the Department of Revenue.  He brings seven years of operating experience in information technology, commercial banking and defense contract manufacturing industries and nearly 12 years of capital markets and corporate banking experience.  Prior to serving as Deputy Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Graham was employed as CFO and corporate secretary of Seventh Wave Technology, Inc.  He also previously served as CFO of Bank Atlanta.  During his tenure with Seventh Wave Technology and Bank Atlanta he was also a partner with Tatum CFO Partners, LLP.  Graham is an honors graduate with an undergraduate degree and a master's of Business Administration from The University of Tennessee. He and his wife, Susan, have two children.

Michael T. Gravley, II, 30, Marietta, GA, State Government Representative- Gravley is a member of Governor Sonny Perdue's Administration.  He has worked to help bring recognition to the historic endeavor of Emory University's Michael C. Carlos. Gravley has also worked diligently with members of the state's music and entertainment industries to help bring awareness to those in state government of Georgia's rich history in these industries.  In 2001, he began working with " The Golden Trailer AWARDS" in New York.  Gravley previously acted in local theater productions such as " Cast Productions" and " One Act Series," then went on to compete at the 2001 Georgia State Theater Competition.  He is currently working on an independent documentary of the Austrian Alps region.  Gravley received his undergraduate degree from Emmanuel College.

Shay Bentley-Griffin, 60, Cedartown , GA , Film Industry Representative- Griffin is the President and CEO of the Chez Group.  She began as a talent agent, launching actors from the Southeast to the national screen.  Griffin has become a preeminent casting director for the region, encouraging filmmakers to complete projects in the Southeast, and to utilize regional talent.  She has cast over 200 television and feature film projects, including In the Heat of the Night and I'll Fly Away .  Griffin has worked on such recent films as Sweet Home Alabama and Unchain my Heart .  She has served as Film Liaison for Georgia, promoting the state as a prime location for filmmaking.  Griffin is the President of the Georgia Production Partnership, serves as an advisor to Women in Film Atlanta, and holds a membership in the Women in Film Los Angeles.  She is a member of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, and of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.  Griffin is a graduate of Bauder College and Clayton College.  She and her husband J.E., have two children.

Patrick Jones, 36, Atlanta, GA, Film Industry Representative- Jones is the Executive Vice President and Executive Producer of Journey Productions.  He is a member of the IMAGE Board and a frequent guest lecturer, workshop presenter, and panelist for independent film industry events.  Jones has produced, marketed, and distributed his own independent film, The Journey .  He is past Director of Programs for the MLK Jr. Federal Holiday Commission.  He received his undergraduate degree from Miami University and holds a master's degree from Duke University.

Joel Katz, 60, Atlanta, GA, Music Industry Representative- Katz is the Co-Managing Shareholder for the Atlanta Office of Greenberg Traurig, LLP.  He is the past Chairman of the American Bar Association's Entertainment and Sports Law Section and represents over fifty artists and Fortune 500 companies.  Katz is the General Counsel, former Executive Entertainment Counsel, and former Chairman of The Recording Academy.  He is a member of the Georgia Music Hall of Fame Board of Directors, the Advisory Board Member for both the Atlanta Songwriters Association, and The Music Educators National Conference.  Katz serves on the Board for the T.J. Martell Foundation for Leukemia Research and the Very Special Arts Board.  He is a Georgia Music Hall of Fame inductee.  Georgia Trend named Katz one of the 100 Most Influential Georgians.  He is a graduate of the City University of New York and earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Tennessee.

Chris Klaus, 30, Atlanta, GA, Business Community Representative- Klaus is the CEO of Klaus Entertainment.  He is also the founder of Internet Security Systems.  Klaus has testified before Congress on several occasions, concerning cyber security.  He is co-chair of the Technical Standards and Common Criteria Task Force for the Department of Homeland Security National Cyber Security Summit.  Klaus is involved with the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Hands on Atlanta, and the Technology Association of Georgia.  He received his undergraduate degree from Georgia Tech.  Klaus and his wife, Crissy, have two children.

Diane Lewis, PhD., 44, Cartersville, GA, Business Community Representative- Lewis is President and founder of Georgia nanoFAB.  Previously, she was the Director of the Advanced Technology Development Center, in Savannah.  Lewis previously worked for EM Industries and Dow Chemical Company.  She is a member of the American Chemical Society.  Lewis is the Statewide Vice President and Coastal Secretary of the Business, Education, Technology Alliance Board, and is past Board Member for Our Lady Queen of Peace School.  Lewis is Chairman of the Skidaway Marine Science Foundation and the Operating Board Member and Chair of Membership Committee for the Technology Association of Georgia.  She received her undergraduate degree from St. Mary's College and a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University.  Lewis and her husband, Gregg, have three children.

Butch Parrish, 62, Swainsboro, GA, State Government Representative- Parrish is a pharmacist and a member of the Georgia House of Representatives.  He is a member of the First United Methodist Church of Swainsboro.  Parrish is a graduate of the University of Georgia.

Mitch Seabaugh, 44, Sharpsburg, GA, State Government Representative- Seabaugh is the State Senator for the 28 th District.  He was elected Majority Whip of the Senate.  He is a member of the Regulated Industries and Utilities, Appropriations, Retirement, Rules, Public Safety and Homeland Security, Insurance and Labor, and State and Local Government Operations Committees.  Within the community, Seabaugh served as Chairman of the Coweta County Business License and Tax Appeal Board.  He served on the Coweta County School Board Citizens' Advisory Council and has coached youth baseball in the Newnan and Sharpsburg youth leagues.  Seabaugh is a graduate of Southern Arkansas University.  He and his wife, Leah, have two children.

Ed Spivia, 63, Gainesville, GA, Business Community Representative- Spivia is the President of Filmworks USA.  He served as Director of the former Georgia Department of Industry, Trade, and Tourism.  In this capacity, he developed the idea for the Georgia Film Commission, which has brought hundreds of productions to the State of Georgia.  Spivia also increased Georgia's tourism ranking from 27 th to 7 th in the nation.  He is a former member of the Board of the Georgia Hospitality and Travel Association, the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Chairman of Travel South USA.  Spivia was named one of the top three tourism directors in the nation and was named "Georgia Toastmaster of the Year."  He is a graduate of Young Harris College.  He and his wife, Barbara, have three children.

Paula Wallace, Savannah, GA, Education Community Representative- Wallace is President and co-founder of the Savannah College of Art and Design.  She created Design Press which offers a venue for staff and students to publish works.  Wallace has published six children's books.  She was instrumental in creating the annual Sidewalk Arts Festival and the annual Savannah Film Festival.  Wallace organized the Art Educators' Forum and the Rising Star program for high school seniors.  She is President of the College's Board of Trustees and established a second campus at Lacoste, France in 2002.  Wallace has been named an Outstanding Young Woman of America, Who's Who of American Women, and Employer of the Year by the Oglethorpe Business and Professional Women.  She is a recipient of the James T. Deason Human Relations Award and the W.W. Law Legacy Award.  Wallace received an honorary Doctor of Laws from Gonzaga University.  She received her undergraduate degree from Furman University and master's degree from Georgia State University.  She and her husband, Glenn, have three children.

Harriette Watkins, 55, Atlanta, GA, Board of Economic Development Representative- Watkins is Vice President of Community Affairs for AGL Resources.  Prior to this, she worked with Georgia Power for twenty years.  Watkins is the past Chairman of the Atlanta Business League Board of Directors and is the Leadership Chairman for Leadership Atlanta.  She serves on the Boards of the Atlanta Partners in Education, the Regional Leadership Foundation, and the South Fulton Partnership for Tomorrow.  Watkins is on the Peachtree National Bank Board of Directors and is a member of the Trustee Board for the Cascade United Methodist Church.  She was featured as one of Atlanta's 100 Most Influential Women by the Women Looking Ahead Magazine and Smart Money .  Watkins and her husband, Fred, have two children.