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Governor Perdue Announces Executive Appointments

Wednesday, November 10, 2004  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


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

Department of Community Health

Mary McCalman Covington, 57, Carrollton, GA, At Large—Covington is Executive Vice President of First National Bank of Georgia.  She serves on the board of the Community Bankers Association of Georgia and is the past finance committee chairman of Tanner Medical Center.  Covington is presently on the board of the Carroll Tomorrow Economic Foundation, the board of the Community Foundation of West Georgia, and the American Hospital Association Committee on Governance.  She was the honorary chairman of the 2004 Magnolia Ball, sponsored by the Tanner Medical Foundation.  Covington received her undergraduate degree in English from Florida State University, attended LSU Graduate School of Banking, and received a Master’s degree in business from The State University of West Georgia.  She has two children. 

Board of Juvenile Justice

Sandra Heath Taylor, 43, LaGrange, GA, At Large—Taylor is an attorney with a general law practice.  She is chairman of the board of directors of Project L.O.V.E, a shelter for battered women and children in West Georgia.  Taylor is membership chairman of the American Business Women’s Association and parliamentarian of the Executive Board of LaGrange Junior Woman’s Club.  She is past secretary-treasurer for the Troup County Bar Association and is a member of the American Bar Association.  Taylor is also a member of the Bench and Bar Committee of the State Bar of Georgia.  She received her undergraduate degree in political science from Emory University and a Juris Doctorate from Mercer University.  Taylor has one son.

Board of Natural Resources

Cader B. Cox, III, 55, Camilla, GA, Second Congressional District (to replace Willard Lasseter, who resigned)—Cox is president and owner of Riverview Plantation, Inc.  He is a trustee for the Georgia AgriBusiness Council Self-Insured Worker’s Compensation Fund and serves on the board of the Heritage and Wildlife Conservation Council, the Stripling Irrigation Research Center, and the University of Georgia Research Foundation, Inc. He is a member of the boards for the Heritage & Wildlife Conservation Council and Foundation, serving as president of the former from 2001 – 2004.  Cox received his undergraduate degree in finance from the University of Georgia.  He and his wife, Martha, have three children. 

Georgia Ports Authority

Teresa Coarsey Lasseter , 52, Moultrie, GA, At Large—Lasseter was most recently an associate administrator of the Farm Service Agency with the United States Department of Agriculture, prior to which she served as State Executive Director of the Georgia State Farm Service Agency.  Lasseter has served on the board of directors of the Tifton Rotary Club, as president of the Tift County American Cancer Society, and as chair of the Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce Board.  She was the recipient of the USDA’s Unsung Hero Award and the Athena Award.  She also received the Farm Service Agency Administrator’s Award for outstanding work specifically for implementing the 2002 Farm Security and Rural Investment Act.  Lasseter and her husband, Willard, have two children. 

John James Neely, Jr., 64, Mauk, GA, At Large—Neely is retired from The Citizens State Bank/First Liberty Bank.  He previously served as Mayor of the City of Butler and as a Taylor County Commissioner.  Neely is currently serving on the Development Authority of Taylor County, the Taylor County Airport Authority, the board of directors of the Valley Partnership, and the board of directors of Flint Energies (EMC).  He is a member of the Taylor County Kiwanis Club and is vice chairman of the Valley Partnership.  He received his undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Georgia and is a graduate of Leadership Georgia.  Neely and his wife, Jeanne, have two children and four grandchildren. 

Georgia Athletic and Entertainment Commission (Boxing)

Moses Ector, 56, Decatur, GA, At Large (REAPPOINTMENT)—Ector is currently the Assistant Chief of District 2 for the Dekalb County Police Department and the Director of Emergency Management for Dekalb County.  He began his law enforcement career in 1971 with the Hogansville Police Department after serving a three-year tour of duty in the military.  In 1972, he began a career in the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) as a special agent then served as the first African American deputy assistant director.  He retired after 34 years of service to the GBI.  He currently serves as chairman of the Georgia Athletic and Entertainment Commission.  He is the former president of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives.  Ector received his undergraduate degree from Brenau College, his master’s degree in law enforcement administration from Troy State University, and is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy.  He and his wife, Cookie, have two children and three grandchildren. 

Robert Thomas Moraetes, 52, Augusta, GA, At Large—Moraetes has been an employee of the Augusta-Richmond County Recreation Department for thirty years.  He is also an amateur boxing coach.  In 1998, Moraetes was named coach of the year by U.S.A. Boxing, Inc., the governing body of Olympic boxing.  Moraetes is an affiliate member of the National Police Athletic League Association. He has an undergraduate degree in sociology from Augusta State University.  Moraetes has one daughter.

Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame

Howard H. "Mac" McWhorter, Jr., 73, Athens, GA, Aviation District 2 (REAPPOINTMENT)—McWhorter is currently the chief pilot for the University of Georgia.  He served in the United States Air Force as a fighter pilot.  He is a member of the Georgia Air Patrol Association, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the Kiwanis Club, the Air Force Association and the Clarke County Airport Authority.  McWhorter is also an inductee of the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame.  McWhorter received his undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia.  He and his wife, Iris, have three children.

Eugene Albert Demonet, 66, Hamilton, GA, Aviation District 6 (REAPPOINTMENT)—Demonet is currently retired from his position as manager of Total Flight at the Columbus Airport.  He was previously the office manager of Collaborative Design Group.  He was also an active duty Naval Officer in the U.S. Navy.  Demonet is presently on the board of the Columbus Regional Healthcare System and of the Ronald McDonald House of West Georgia.  He is a member of the Columbus State University Engineering Advisory Committee and is currently chairman of the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame Board.  He received his undergraduate degrees in civil engineering and history from Union College and a master’s degree in business administration from Case Western Reserve University.  Demonet and his wife, Patricia, have five children. 

Board of Trustees of the Georgia Judicial Retirement System

K. Van Banke, 53, Jonesboro, GA, Juvenile Court Judge Representative—Banke is currently the presiding judge of Clayton County Juvenile Court.  He has been involved with the juvenile court for many years, serving, while he was a practicing attorney, as Guardian ad Literm, defense attorney for children and parents, and occasionally as solicitor and Judge Pro Tempore.  Banke is a member of the advisory board for the Clayton County Unit of Salvation Army and is on the board of trustees for the Clayton Collaborative Authority.  He is also a member of the Jonesboro Kiwanis club and is a soloist for the Excelsior Community Chorus.  Banke graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in political science and from Emory University Law School with a Juris Doctorate.  He and his wife, Diane, have two daughters and one grandchild. 

Kelly D. Turner, 42, Valdosta, GA, State Court Judge Representative (REAPPOINTMENT)— Turner serves as judge for the State Court of Lowndes County.  She is president of the St. John Catholic School Board and serves on the Board of Trustees for the Lowndes-Valdosta Turner Center for the Arts.  Turner also serves on the board of the Georgia Commission on Family Violence and on the executive committee of the State Court Judges Council. Turner was an adjunct professor for Valdosta State University’s Criminal Justice Department and is the first regional coordinator for the Georgia mock trial high school competition for South Georgia.  She received her undergraduate degree from the College of Charleston and a Juris Doctorate from the University of South Carolina School of Law.  Turner is a graduate and former trustee of Leadership Georgia and a graduate of Leadership Lowndes County.  She and her husband, Warren, have two children.

Georgia Board of Funeral Services

Lauren Wylie McDonald, III , 36, Cumming, GA, Funeral Director Representative—McDonald is the owner of McDonald & Son Funeral Home and Crematory and co-owner of McDonald & Rogers Funeral Home and Cremation Services.  McDonald serves as Coroner for Forsyth County and is a volunteer fire fighter with the Forsyth County Fire Department.  McDonald serves on the Northeast Georgia Boy Scout board of directors and the Northeast Georgia Red Cross board.  He received his mortuary science and associates degrees from Gupton-Jones School of Mortuary Science, and he received his undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Georgia.  McDonald is a member of Leadership Georgia, class of 2004.  He and his wife, Claire, have two sons. 

State Board of Barbers

Winston McArthur Strickland, 62, Cartersville, GA, Barber Representative (REAPPOINTMENT)—Strickland is owner of S and M Enterprises which encompasses Strick’s Barber Shop, Strick’s Grill and S and M Laundromat.  He is the founder of Blacks United for Youth in Cobb, Inc., a local organization that provides college scholarships to youth in Cobb County.  He served as president of the National Association of Barbers Board of America and was inducted into the National Association of Barber Boards of America Hall of Fame in 2002.  Strickland is also president of the Minority Advisory Committee to Kennesaw College and received the Business of the Year award from the Cobb County Chapter NAACP.  He is a graduate of Brown’s Barber College of Atlanta.  Strickland and his wife, Rosetta, have two children and one grandchild.