Governor Announces 59 Appointments to State Boards, Authorities, and Commissions

Staff Report

Friday, May 12th, 2023

Governor Brian P. Kemp today announced the appointment and re-appointment of 58 people to various state boards, authorities, and commissions.

Lake Lanier Islands Development Authority and North Georgia Mountain Authority

Governor Kemp has recommended Charles Burton to serve as Executive Director of the Lake Lanier Islands Development Authority and North Georgia Mountains Authority, subject to board approval. With over 34 years of experience managing resort properties, he currently serves as General Manager of Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa. Previously, he worked directly with Amicalola Falls State Park & Lodge and Unicoi State Park & Lodge as a Regional Manager. Burton also served honorably in the United States Marine Corp Reserve for six years and was on active duty during Desert Storm. He and his wife, Stephanie, have two children.

Board of Directors of the Georgia Lottery Corporation

Caylee Noggle was recently named as the incoming president and CEO of the Georgia Hospital Association and will step into that role later this year. Currently, she serves as Commissioner for the Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH), managing the $18 billion agency responsible for health care purchasing, planning and regulation, and improving the health outcomes of Georgians. Prior to joining DCH, Noggle was Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations in the Office of Governor Kemp and also served as Interim Chief of Staff. Before joining the Kemp administration in January 2020, Noggle served in various leadership roles at the Georgia Student Finance Commission and as Director of Physical and Economic Development at the Governor's Office of Planning and Budget. She earned a bachelor's degree from Millikin University and a master's in College Student Affairs from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Noggle has extensive experience in management, operations, and finance within Georgia’s state government systems.

Georgia Board of Nursing

Ryan Loke and Ashlan Porter were reappointed.

Georgia Board of Dentistry

Dr. Debra Wilson, Dr. Don Spillers, and Dr. Brent Stiehl were reappointed.

Board of Review of the Department of Labor

Harvey Persons, III and Bambi Riley were reappointed.

State Properties Commission

Yi Jeng "Jay" Lin was reappointed.

State Board of Examiners for Speech Pathology and Audiology

Tracy Jordan was reappointed.

Georgia Student Finance Commission Board of Commissioners

David Perez was reappointed.

Chattahoochee Circuit Public Defender Supervisory Panel

Austin Gower, Jr. is a partner at Gower Attorneys at Law and a member of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association and the Columbus Trial Lawyers Association. He is a graduate of Auburn University and the Mercer University Walter F. George School of Law.

Eastern Circuit Public Defender Supervisory Panel

Falen O’Neal Cox is a founding partner at Cox, Rodman, and Middleton, a litigation law firm practicing criminal defense, personal injury, family law, business formation, contract law, and employment law. She began her legal career at the Eastern Judicial Circuit’s Office of the Public Defender and ultimately became a senior trial attorney. Cox founded Best Foot Forward (B.F.F.), a PCBA program which mentors 8th-grade girls enrolled in a local charter school. She also serves on the Savannah Classical Academy’s Foundation board, which works to benefit Savannah Classical Academy.

Georgia Agricultural Exposition Authority

Joshua Whitworth is an agriculture educator at Madison County Middle School. He is a Georgia Junior Livestock board member, a Young Farmer Advisor, a livestock judging instructor, and a livestock show teams coordinator. Whitworth earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia before earning his master’s and specialist degrees at Auburn University. He also earned a PhD from Murray State University.

Georgia State Rehabilitation Council

Deborah Hibben, Cherise Mlott, Jennifer Page, Peggy Venable, and Samuel Verniero, Jr. were reappointed.Matthew Barnes is an employment specialist with the ARC of Southwest Georgia Vocational Services Program, where he has assisted those with disabilities for over two decades. He also currently serves on the Dougherty Special Olympics Management Board, is a Special Olympics coach, and is the past president of the Southwest Georgia Rehabilitation Association. Barnes holds a bachelor's in psychology and a master's of Education in Rehabilitation Counseling.Lisa Leiter is a Transition Resource Specialist for the Cobb County School District. She is also an active member of the Metro Atlanta Transition Council and the Statewide Interagency Council. Leiter and her family served as the ambassador family for the 2013 March of Dimes Cobb Signature Chefs, and she was named “Volunteer of the Year” by Cobb Life Magazine in 2014 and awarded the 2018 “Teacher of the Year” recognition from the Marriott Foundation’s Bridges from School to Work Program. Leiter earned a bachelor's of Science in Education, with a concentration in Intellectual Disabilities, from the University of Georgia and a master's of Science in Education with an emphasis in Secondary Special Education and Transition from the University of Kansas.Michele Mason has more than 20 years of experience serving the disability and special populations community. She currently serves as the Disability Services Lead for the Technical College System of Georgia’s Office of Workforce Development and has held several positions in this field, including Rehabilitation Employment Specialist, Employment Services Manager, and most recently Board and Council Liaison for the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency. Mason studied Human Services at Audrey Cohen College of Human Services, earned a degree in Organizational Leadership from Point University, and is a Certified Public Manager and Certified Work Incentive Practitioner.Myndi K. Pryor is a mission strategist at Goodwill of North Georgia, where she also served as Senior Director of Career Services and Director of Workforce Development. Pryor has also held several positions at the Georgia Department of Labor, including Rehabilitation Unit Manager and Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. She holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Psychology.

Board of Natural Resources

Mark Hennessy is the owner of Hennessy Cadillac, Inc. In 2020, Hennessy was appointed to the State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia, where he served until Spring of this year. In addition to his undergraduate degree, he holds an MBA in Management from Georgia State University. He and his wife live in Atlanta and have two adult children.

Board of Directors of the Georgia Emergency Communications Authority

Billy Grogan, Billy Hancock, Alex Lee, Steve Nichols, and Ted Wynn were reappointed.Barry Woodward, Sr. currently serves as a Lieutenant over the 911 Center and Tech Operations of the Decatur Police Department. He began his public safety career with the State Civil Defense Office, now the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency, as a communications officer. Throughout his career, he has held positions in the DeKalb County Police Department and the Stone Mountain Park Police and Fire Department. Woodward is a certified police officer, firefighter, EMT, communications officer, and emergency manager. He also serves on the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Council as the communications specialist on the advisory board.Vernica Crockett has been the Coffee County E-911 Director for nearly 20 years. She is a member of the Georgia National Emergency Number Association and is a past vice president for region 9 on the board. She is also a member of the Georgia Association of Public Safety Communications Officials and is on the Georgia 911 Board of Directors. Crockett is also active in her community, having served on the Coffee County Chamber Board of Directors and on the Coffee County 4-H Board of Advisors. She and her husband, Willis, have three adult children.Douglas Jamieson serves as the County Manager and EMA Director for Schley County. He is a retired Air Force officer, former County Commissioner, and former Vice President of Operations for Southwest Georgia Wholesale Builders Supply and Kings Custom Builders. Douglas retired from the Air Force following 28 years of honorable service as a Lieutenant Colonel and Command Pilot. In 2017, he was appointed to the Middle Flint Regional E911 Authority and has been serving as the board’s Vice Chairman since January 2020.Scott Wood was named City Manager of Riverdale in July 2014. With extensive experience in local government management, he has served on numerous boards, authorities, and commissions during his career. Additionally, he has taught local government classes at Georgia College and State University. Wood earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Mercer University and a master’s in Public Administration from Georgia Southern University.Rhonda Chatham currently serves as Executive Vice President and Executive Director at Georgia’s Rural Telephone & Broadband Association where she works with state and local partners to receive broadband grants and improve telecommunication services across Georgia. Previously, she worked in accounting and in event planning for both the corporate and nonprofit sectors. Chatham earned a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the University of North Georgia.Rich Johnson is Assistant Vice President (AVP) of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs for AT&T, managing and directing engagement with policymakers and regulators throughout the state. He previously served as the AVP of External Affairs. Prior to joining AT&T, Johnson served as the Senior Director of Government and Public Affairs for the Technology Association of Georgia. He also serves on the board of the Georgia Partnership for Excellence and Education, Georgia 811, the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce, and the Council for Quality Growth.

State Board of Funeral Service

Bradley Anderson has over 26 years of experience as a licensed funeral director and embalmer in the State of Georgia. He is the owner and operator of Low Country Cremation and Burial in Reidsville and the Glennville Funeral Home in Glennville. Anderson also currently serves as the Tattnall County Coroner and a certified police officer, having previously served as the City of Collins Chief of Police. He is active in a number of civic organizations, including serving as the past Chairman of the Reidsville Housing Authority, past president of the Reidsville Lions Club, and as a member of the Greater Tattnall County Chamber of Commerce, the Rising Sun Lodge 32, the Tattnall Shrine Club, and the Glennville First United Pentecostal Church. Anderson earned an associate's degree from East Georgia College and an associate's degree from Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service.Shanna Jackson Sheats has been a Georgia Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer for 24 years. She currently works at Jackson-McWhorter Funeral Home in Athens and is a Restorative Art Instructor at Gupton-Jones College. Sheats is a member of the Georgia Funeral Service Practitioners Association, the National Funeral Directors and Morticians Association, the Links Incorporated, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. Sheats obtained a bachelor’s in Business Administration and an MBA from Piedmont College, as well as an associate's degree in Science in Funeral Service from Gupton-Jones College of Mortuary Science and a master’s in Pharmaceutical and Forensic Science from the University of Florida.

Georgia Public Service Commission Advisory Committee

Matthew Bergen currently serves as the Fayette County Environmental Project Manager. Prior to this role, he was the Utility Service Manager for the Fayette County Water System and was General Manager at Rabey Utilities. Bergen is on the Georgia Utilities Coordinating Council (GUCC) Legislative Committee, the GUCC Safety Committee, and has been on the Fayette Utilities Coordinating Council for over a decade.Chris Rotalsky currently serves as the Public Works Director for the City of Gainesville, providing guidance and leadership to eight divisions. He has served in several capacities within the Public Works Department, including as the Assistant Director. Prior to working in local government, his career in the private sector focused on project management and operations within the construction industry. Rotalsky is an active member of the Georgia Chapter of the American Public Works Association and has served as both the Chapter President and Chairman of the Advocacy Committee. He earned his bachelor’s in Landscape Architecture from the University of Georgia.Lisa McKnight is a damage prevention professional in the underground utilities industry with 25 years of expertise in natural gas regulatory compliance, pipeline safety, and public awareness programs for pipeline operators. She currently serves as the City of Lawrenceville’s Damage Prevention Director and represents the city on several commissions, advisory panels, and stakeholder groups, including the Georgia 811 Board of Directors and the Leading Women of Damage Prevention Advisory Board. Previously, she served as Assistant Gas Director with the City of Lawrenceville and as a Lead Investigator of Regulatory Compliance. Her leadership and community engagement include serving as a member of the Lawrenceville Rotary Club, the Georgia Utilities Coordinating Council, and as a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity.

Georgia Board of Health Care Workforce

William Fricks, Jr. practices family medicine in Albany, Georgia and is currently the Program Director of the Phoebe Family Medicine Residency, the Chief Medical Informatics Officer for Phoebe Physicians, and a Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine at the Medical College of Georgia and Mercer University School of Medicine. He serves on the board of the Phoebe Physicians Group and has previously served on several other Phoebe Putney and Phoebe Physicians committees. Fricks graduated from the Medical College of Georgia.

State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia

Mike Long currently serves as the Agency Relations Consultant for the Southern Trust Insurance Company. Previously, he was President and Co-Owner of Partners Risk Services South Insurance Agency in Jesup, Georgia. He is a past member of the State Board of Education, the State Workforce Development Board, the Georgia Rehabilitation Association, the Georgia County Workers Association, and the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Institute Advisory Council. Additionally, Long has served as Chairman of the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce, Vice Chair of the Wayne County Solid Waste Authority, and was a member of the Wayne County Industrial Authority and the South Georgia Hospice Board of Directors.

Georgia State Board of Architects and Interior Designers

Craig Buckley was reappointed.Ralph Raymond is a Senior Associate at HOK and has worked on significant projects like Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Porsche Cars North America headquarters building, Solis Hotel Two Porsche, the Center for Civil & Human Rights, Emory Health Sciences & Research Building, Grady Center for Advanced Surgical Services, AstraZeneca Cell Therapy Lab, and others. He also serves on HOK’s worldwide Technical Board. An active member in community and social organizations, he held leadership positions with the National Organization of Minority Architects Atlanta, the American Institute of Architects Georgia, the National Council of Architectural Registration Board, and the ACE Mentor Program. He also currently serves as president of the American Institute of Architects Georgia Board of Directors and the National Organization of Minority Architects Atlanta. Raymond earned both a bachelor's of Science in Architecture and a master's of Architecture from Georgia Tech.

Alapaha Circuit Public Defender Supervisory Panel

Suzanne Mathis was reappointed.

Appalachian Circuit Public Defender Supervisory Panel

Lynn Doss was reappointed.

Atlanta Circuit Public Defender Supervisory Panel

Jonathan Hawkins was reappointed.

Cherokee Circuit Public Defender Supervisory Panel

Harold Choate III was reappointed.

Dublin Circuit Public Defender Supervisory Panel

J. Stanley Smith, Jr. was reappointed.

Macon Circuit Public Defender Supervisory Panel

O. Wendell Horne III was reappointed.

Mountain Circuit Public Defender Supervisory Panel

L. Allyn Stockton, Jr. was reappointed.

Northeastern Circuit Public Defender Supervisory Panel

Graham McKinnon IV was reappointed.

Northern Circuit Public Defender Supervisory Panel

Gary Gerrard was reappointed.

Piedmont Circuit Public Defender Supervisory Panel

Robert Alexander, Jr. was reappointed.

Southwestern Circuit Public Defender Supervisory Panel

James Skipper, Jr. was reappointed.

Stone Mountain Circuit Public Defender Supervisory Panel

Jeffrey Brickman was reappointed.

Toombs Circuit Public Defender Supervisory Panel

Bryant Swan, Jr. was reappointed.

Towaliga Circuit Public Defender Supervisory Panel

Ben Vaughn was reappointed.