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Governor Perdue Announces Appointments to the Board of Community Affairs

Thursday, July 17, 2003  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774

Atlanta - Governor Sonny Perdue announced today the following appointments to the Board of Community Affairs (Board): Alva J. Hopkins, III to represent the First Congressional District, Gregg W. Jones to represent the Second Congressional District, N.L. Yates, Jr. to represent the Third Congressional District, Samuel S. Olens to represent the Sixth Congressional District, Hugh Williamson, III to represent the Ninth Congressional District, Bebe A. Heiskell to represent the Tenth Congressional District, John Wesley Rakestraw to represent the Eleventh Congressional District, and George L. DeLoach to represent the Twelfth Congressional District.

"The Board of Community Affairs has an important role in building and strengthening relationships between the state and local governments throughout Georgia," said Governor Sonny Perdue. "I am pleased to appoint these new members because they will provide sound leadership for this department. They will represent the people of this state with a strong commitment to public service."

The Department of Community Affairs (DCA) operates state and federal grant programs, serves as the lead agency in housing finance and development, promulgates building codes to be adopted by local governments, provides comprehensive planning, technical and research assistance to local governments, and serves as the lead agency for the state's solid waste reduction efforts.

Policy for DCA is provided by the eighteen member Board appointed by the Governor for staggered terms. Each of Georgia's thirteen congressional districts must be represented by one member and five members are appointed at-large. The Board also serves as Board of Directors for three related department activities: the Georgia Housing and Finance Authority (GHFA), GHFA Affordable Housing, Inc., and GHFA Economic Development, Inc. Day-to-day management of DCA is provided by Commissioner Mike Beatty.

Brief biographies of the newly appointed board members are provided below:

Alva J. Hopkins, III, 50, Folkston, GA, 1st Congressional District - Hopkins is the Director of Hopkins-Gowen Oil Company, Inc., President of Toledo Manufacturing Company, Inc., Director of Southeastern Bank, and a Partner in Gowen Timber Company, Inc. He has an undergraduate degree from Emory University and a law degree from Mercer University. Hopkins has served as the Folkston-Charlton County Chamber of Commerce Director and as a member of the Charlton County Development Authority, Georgia Forestry Association, Forest Landowners Association, and the Tree Farm Association. He was a founder and member of the Executive Committee of the Greater Okefenokee Association of Landowners and the St. Marys River Management Committee. Hopkins and his wife, Julie, have two children and are active in the First United Methodist Church of Folkston.

Gregg W. Jones, 40, Albany, GA, 2nd Congressional District - Jones is currently the owner and president of Albany Travel Agency, Inc. He is involved in numerous organizations including the American Society of Travel Agents, Cruise Lines International Association, University of Georgia Alumni Association, Albany Rotary Club, Albany Chamber of Commerce, and the National Federation of Independent Business. He has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Georgia. Jones and his wife, the former Jami Green, have one son and are active in St. Theresa's Church in Albany.

N.L. Yates, Jr., 60, Dublin, GA, 3rd Congressional District - In 1994, Yates opened the first Arby's restaurant in Dublin, GA and became president of Yates Food. Since 1994, Yates has opened two more Arby's restaurants and a Stormin Norman's BBQ Restaurant. Yates has served as President of the Dublin Country Club, President of the Dublin Rotary Club, President of the Dublin Touchdown Club, and President of the Dublin/Wrightsville Bulldog Club. Yates attended Middle Georgia College and has a degree in business administration from the University of Georgia. Yates and his wife, the former Gail Wingard, have four children, and are active in Pine Forrest Methodist Church.

Samuel S. Olens, 46, Marietta, GA, 6th Congressional District - Olens is currently Chairman of the Cobb County Board of Commissioners and is an attorney at Ezor & Olens, P.C. Olens is a member of the board of the Atlanta Regional Commission, the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District, the Cobb County-Marietta Water Authority, Cobb-Marietta Coliseum and Exhibit Hall Authority, Cobb Board of Health/Community Services Board, Downtown Marietta Development Authority, and the Atlanta Regional Arts & Culture Leadership Alliance. He served as a member of the board of the YMCA of Cobb County, Co-chair for the 2002 and 2003 Cobb County American Cancer Society Relay for Life, 2002 United Way in Cobb County Campaign Cabinet, and the Safe America Foundation. Olens has undergraduate and masters degrees from The American University School of International Service and a law degree from Emory University. In 1997, he was named the East Cobb Citizen of the Year by the Cobb Chamber of Commerce.

Hugh Brewster Williamson, III, 49, Monroe, GA, 9th Congressional District - Williamson has been President of Williamson, Musselwhite & Main Street Insurance, Inc of Monroe, Georgia since 2000. From 1977 - 2000, he served as Owner and CEO of Williamson Insurance Agency, and during 1990 - 2000, he founded Community Bank and served as CEO of Walton Bank & Trust Company, also of Monroe. Williamson holds a B.A. in Business from Furman University and is a Certified Insurance Counselor. Some of his activities include the Main Street Bank Board of Directors, Leadership Georgia Class of 2000, Leadership Georgia Board Vice President, George Walton Board of Directors Vice President, Travelers Insurance Agency Council, and Auto Owners Advisory Board. Williamson is married to Vickie Hearn Williamson and has 4 sons, Hugh, John, James, and Lee.

Bebe A. Heiskell, 64, Chickamauga, GA, 10th Congressional District - Heiskell is in her third year as Walker County Sole Commissioner, a post she won in 2000. She served 24 years as County Administrator to the Sole Commissioner and has also served as Zoning Administrator for the city of Chickamauga. Heiskell attended McKenzie Business College and is a Certified County Clerk, Certified County Commissioner, and completed the Certified Advanced County Commissioners Program at the University of Georgia. She was awarded Professional Woman of the Year by LaFayette Business and Professional Women in 1994, the Outstanding Records Management Program by the Secretary of the State in 1996, and a resolution for outstanding achievement by the Georgia Senate in 2002. Heiskell is married to Arthur Thomas Heiskell and has one son, Tom, and two adopted grandchildren.

John Wesley Rakestraw, 45, Dallas, GA, 11th Congressional District - Rakestraw is founder and owner of Raker Construction Company, a commercial general contracting business. He attended West Georgia College and Chattahoochee Technical Institute and enlisted in the United States Marine Corp in 1976. Wesley was honorably discharged with a rank of Sergeant and received two meritorious ribbons and the expert rifleman ribbon. He now serves on the Paulding County Water and Sewer Advisory board and the Paulding County Boys & Girls Club Board of Directors. Wesley is married to Sharron Tibbits and has 3 sons, John, Josh, and Jake.

George L. DeLoach, 62, Waynesboro, GA, 12th Congressional District - DeLoach is a former Georgia State Senator (1994 - 2002) and former mayor of Waynesboro (1980 - 1992). He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Georgia and graduated from the Gupton Jones College of Mortuary Science of the Dallas Institute. DeLoach is a member of the Georgia Funeral Director's Association, Georgia Cemetery Association, Waynesboro Masonic Lodge 274, South Augusta Exchange Club, and Georgia Bulldog Club.