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Governor Perdue Announces Appointments to State Boards and Commissions

Thursday, August 7, 2003  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


Atlanta - Governor Sonny Perdue announced today the following appointments to various State Boards and Commissions:

Board of Community Affairs

Brett Harrell, Snellville, GA, Seventh Congressional District - Harrell is the owner/operator of American Speedy Printing in Snellville and the Vanguard Communications Corporation. He is also the mayor of the City of Snellville, GA. He holds a bachelors degree in marketing/finance from the University of Georgia. Harrell has been a member of the Snellville Rotary Club, the Snellville Commerce Club, and the Gwinnett County Chamber of Commerce, and was named as one of the 40 Under 40 Rising Stars in Georgia by Georgia Trend Magazine.

Board of Human Resources

Don Cole, Albany, GA, Second Congressional District - Cole is a Principal Consultant with Keane Federal Systems, Inc., a management and information technology consulting firm. He is also an ordained Southern Baptist minister and has served several churches. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Georgia Southern University, a Master of Public Administration Degree from Georgia Southern University, and a Master of Divinity Degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Cole is a member of the Dougherty County Rotary Club, the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce, and serves on the Community Advisory Board for the Junior League of Albany.

Board of Directors of the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority

Kenneth R. Bernard, Jr., Douglasville, GA - Bernard is a partner in the firm of Sherrod & Bernard and formerly served as Judge Advocate General in the U.S. Marine Corps. Bernard earned a bachelors degree from the University of Georgia and a Juris Doctor from the University of Georgia School of Law. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Marine Corps Officer Candidate School, U.S. Marine Corps Basic Infantry School, and the U.S. Naval Justice School.

Board of Trustees of the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia

Brenda Joyce Baggett, Springfield, GA - Baggett is an educator at Effingham County Public Schools. Baggett is also an educator in the Department of Early Childhood Education at Georgia State University. Baggett has previously participated in the Project Green Light Summer School program.

Bill Gardner, Gainesville, GA - Gardner is Executive Director of the Georgia Retired Educators Association. Prior to that position, Gardner served as Headmaster of Southland Academy in Americus, GA. He has also served as Superintendent of the Okeechobee County, Baldwin County, and Dougherty County School Systems. He is active in community and civic affairs including serving as president of the Milledgeville Kiwanis Club and serving on the Board of Directors of the Albany Rotary Club. Gardner holds a bachelors degree from Stetson University, and a masters and doctorate in education from the University of Florida.

Mimi D. Gudenrath, Macon, GA - Gudenrath is Director of Elam Alexander Academy (EAA), a member of the Georgia Psychoeducational Network. EAA is designed to provide comprehensive, community-based services to students with severe emotional and behavorial disorders and students with autism. She is a member of the Professional Association of Georgia Educators and the Leadership Advisory Board at the University of Georgia. Gudenrath earned a Bachelor of Science degree, Masters degree, and Education Specialist degree in Education from the University of Georgia.

Board of Technical and Adult Education

Debbie Lyons, Macon, GA, Eighth Congressional District - Lyons serves as a technical consultant, with services including developing and delivering technical training programs to business and industry and technical writing projects. She also serves as the President and Founder of Blue Ribbon Parents, whose mission is to promote and enhance parental involvement in their children's education. Lyons holds a bachelors degree in chemical engineering and a masters degree in mechanical engineering.

Allen C. Rice, Vidalia, GA, Third Congressional District - Rice is currently President of Savannah Luggage Works, which he started with his brother, David, in 1978. Rice served in Army Active Duty for five and a half years. Rice is currently on the Board of Directors/Executive Committee of the Toombs/Montgomery County Chamber and the Board of Directors of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. Rice is active in Boy Scouts, Troop 933 and received his degree in Textile Management from Auburn University.

Stephen Charles Rieck, Atlanta, GA, Thirteenth Congressional District - Rieck is presently President of Southwind Enterprises, Ltd., a company committed to strategic planning, market analysis and executive recruitment for its clients. Rieck previously worked with the Clayton County Chamber of Commerce, Georgia Department of Industry, Trade & Tourism and the State Crime Commission. Rieck was Commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army in 1969 and voluntarily transferred to the inactive reserve as a Captian in 1977. Rieck serves as Chairman on the Georgia Foreign Trade Zone #26/Atlanta Tradeport, among others. Rieck received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Magna Cum Laude at Georgia State University and his Master of Public Administration from Georgia State University.

Professional Standards Commission

Gary F. Bechtel, Macon, GA - Bechtel is Account Executive for Southstar Funding, responsible for generating production of Southstar Funding Mortgage products in Central Georgia. Formerly he served as Branch Manager of Spherion. Bechtel is active in the Macon Rotary Club and the Bibb County Board of Education. Bechtel received his Bachelor of Science from Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, GA.

Terri DeLoach, Blackshear, GA (Reappointment) - DeLoach is principal of Pierce County Middle School in Blackshear, GA. From 1994-2001, she served as principal of Patterson Elementary School in Patterson, GA. DeLoach is a member of numerous professional associations. DeLoach earned a bachelors degree and an Educational Specialist Degree in Administration/Supervision from Valdosta State University.

Amy Denty, Jesup, GA (Reappointment) - Denty is currently a sixth grade science teacher at Arthur Williams Middle School. As the 2000 Georgia Teacher of the Year, Denty was on sabbatical from her teaching duties and traveled the state of Georgia conducting professional development for teachers and school assemblies for students. She received a bachelors degree from the University of Georgia and an Interdisciplinary Master of Arts/Natural Sciences from the University of South Carolina.

Eugene "Bo" Slack, Sylvester, GA - Slack is currently a Worth County school educator and has been since 1997. Slack works with numerous boards including Worth County Chamber of Commerce and Worth County Kids Voting 2000. Slack is a member of the National Education Association and the Georgia Association of Educators. He received both his Masters and Bachelor of Art degrees at Valdosta State University.

Craig Smith, Milledgeville, GA - Smith is Professor and Chair of the Department of Special Education and Administration at Georgia College in Milledgeville, where he is responsible for academic and fiscal administration of department housing programs in Special Education and Education Administration. He earned a bachelors degree from Elmhurst College and a masters and doctorate degree in special education from the University of Florida.

State Soil and Water Conservation Commission

David Trainer Hays, Mansfield, GA - Hays is currently the Owner and President of The Mansfield Group, a company that specializes in land sales. Hays was a former farmer on his family farm in Mansfield, Georgia. Hays is active with the Covington Rotary Club and a past president of the Newton County Bulldog Club as well as Supervisor for the Upper Ocmulgee River Soil and Water Conservation District. Hays received his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Georgia in 1974.

Children's Trust Fund Commission

Carolyn Garcia, Kennessaw, GA, Sixth Congressional District - Garcia earned a degree from the Northwest College School of Business and is currently taking paralegal courses at Kennesaw State University. She currently works with Operation Outcry/Silent No More, as a volunteer media relations director for Georgia. Prior to that position, she served as volunteer legislative director for Georgia Right to Life.

Georgia Board of Nursing

Linda Herren, Atlanta, GA - Herren is a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist who currently serves as an independent contractor in the metro Atlanta area. She earned a nursing diploma from St. Joseph's Infirmary and a nurse anesthetist degree from Ohio State University. She is a member of the Georgia Association of Nurse Anesthetist and the American Association of Nurse Anesthetist.

Scott Thigpen, Douglas, GA - Thigpen is an Assistant Professor of Nursing at South Georgia College in Douglas, GA and serves as a registered nurse at Satilla Regional Medical Center. He holds bachelors and masters degrees of science in nursing from Valdosta State University. Thigpen is a member of the American Nurses Association, the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor, the Georgia Association of Associate Degree Nurses, and was named the Georgia Nurses Association 8th District 2000 Nurse of the Year.

Georgia Board of Chiropractic Examiners

Karen Mathiak, Griffin, GA - Mathiak is a member of the Georgia Council of Chiropractic, the International Chiropractics Association, the Georgia Association of Zoning Administrators, and the Spalding County Zoning and Planning Committee. Mathiak earned an associate of science degree from Wayne County Community College and a doctor of chiropractic degree from Life University.

State Board of Optometry

Dudley B. Christie, Jr. O.D., Perry, GA - Christie is a practicing optometrist in Perry, GA for the last 28 years. Christie is also certified in diagnostic and therapeutic pharmaceutical agents. Christie is a member of the American Optometry Association, the Georgia Optometric Association and the University of Georgia Alumni Association. Christie received her B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Georgia and her Doctor of Optometry from the Southern College of Optometry in 1973.

State Board of Nursing Home Administrators

Barbara J. Baxter, Canton, GA - Baxter is currently the Executive Director of IHS of Woodstock, a facility concentrating on quality care improvements for geriatrics. Baxter received her license in nursing home care and her Associate Degree in Business Science from Midlands Technical College in 1971, where she also graduated with Phi Beta Kappa honors. Baxter is very active in supporting and advising on legislative geriatric programs in the state.

Donna L. Johnson, Atlanta, GA - Johnson is an attorney specializing in various stages of employment, business and commercial disputes, including litigation. Johnson served as Associate for Holland and Knight LLP for 3 years. Johnson is a member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Georgia and the Atlanta Bar Association. Johnson received a Bachelor degree in Psychology from the University of Virginia and a Juris Doctor and Masters in Business Administration Georgia State University.

Board of Commissioners of the Commission on Equal Opportunity

Barbara Gunn, Atlanta, GA - Gunn is Vice President and Director of Special Projects for Harry Norman Realtors. She has been with Harry Norman Realtors for almost 25 years and is a native Atlantan. Gunn was former President of Metro Atlanta Relocation Council and an advisory board member of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. Gunn has received numerous awards, among them two Distinguished Service Awards in 1997 and 1998 and the President's Award in 1997. In addition she received a GEDA award as Honorary Lifetime Achievement in 1998.

Dudley Rochelle, Atlanta, GA - Rochelle is an attorney specializing in advising and representing clients in various areas of employment and labor law including discrimination, religious harassment, wrongful discharge and safety.