//Kemp announces 41 appointments for state leadership roles

Kemp announces 41 appointments for state leadership roles

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ATLANTA – Governor Kemp announces 41 appointments and re-appointments to various state boards, authorities, and commissions.


Governor Brian P. Kemp announced the appointment and re-appointment of the following 41 Georgians to various state boards, authorities, and commissions.

Board of Regents

T. Dallas Smith will now serve as the Fifth Congressional District Representative.
Thomas L. Bradbury will now serve as the Sixth Congressional District Representative.
Richard T. Evans will now serve as the Seventh Congressional District Representative.

David B. Dove will serve as the Eleventh Congressional District Representative on the Board of Regents. He is a partner at Troutman Pepper, where he leads the Regulatory + Economic Investment Practice in Georgia. This interdisciplinary group provides comprehensive counsel to clients on a variety of legal and public policy matters, leveraging his leadership experience in state government to assist clients in achieving their business goals and navigating regulatory challenges. Before joining Troutman Pepper, Dove served as Executive Counsel for Governor Brian P. Kemp. As one of two direct reports to the Governor, he collaborated with the Attorney General’s office to secure significant legal victories, notably in the Tri-State Water Wars. He also serves as a Georgia Commissioner on the Uniform Law Commission, and in 2023 was appointed by the Georgia Board of Natural Resources to serve as Interim Director of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division. Dove also played a crucial role in Governor Kemp’s appointments, including four Supreme Court Justices, six Judges on the Georgia Court of Appeals, and nearly a quarter of all current trial court judges in Georgia. In addition, he worked alongside Governor Kemp to significantly increase the representation of women and minority individuals on executive branch boards and commissions, expanding diverse representation by more than tenfold since 2019. Originally from Athens, Georgia, Dove holds both a B.A. and a J.D. from the University of Georgia. He is an active member of the University’s community, serving on the University of Georgia Law School Alumni Council and as Chairman of the School of Public & International Affairs’ Alumni Board.

Dan Murphy will serve as the Thirteenth Congressional District Representative on the Board of Regents. He has spent his career in consumer products and sporting goods, working for brands like General Mills, Maxfli, TaylorMade, and most notably Bridgestone Golf. He was central to the launch of the Bridgestone Golf brand in 2005 and its steady growth since. Currently, he is President and CEO of Bridgestone Golf, overseeing North American manufacturing, sales, marketing, and administrative operations, and is based in Covington, Georgia. He serves on several local and golf industry boards, such as the Piedmont Covington Hospital Board and the Audobon International Board. Murphy is formerly the Chairman of the Newton County Chamber of Commerce. He is a graduate of Wake Forest University. Murphy and his wife, Stacey, have three adult children.

Deep J. Shah, MD, MSc will serve as an At-Large Representative on the Board of Regents. He is a practicing primary care physician and Chief Operating Officer at Gwinnett Clinic with expertise in healthcare operations and health finance. The Clinic champions patient-centered, physician-led care. Shah has been named a Top Doctor by both Georgia Trend and Castle Connolly. His recent work has focused on contract negotiation for independent medical groups, efficient utilization of health IT, and medical real estate. In addition to Shah’s work at the Clinic, he advocates for patients and community-based primary care at the state and federal levels. He has won multiple leadership awards, including an Alpha Omega Alpha Fellowship. In 2021, Shah was appointed by Governor Kemp to serve on the board of Augusta University Health System (now Wellstar MCG Health). In 2022, Shah was named a Director of Touchmark National Bank and was elected Secretary of the Bank in 2023. Shah graduated with highest honors from the University of Georgia as a Foundation Fellow. He won Truman and Rhodes Scholarships to study at Oxford University, where he earned a master’s degree in Social Policy. Shah earned his medical degree from Harvard and trained in internal medicine at Emory before entering private practice. He and his wife live with their three sons in Johns Creek.

Board of Economic Development

Cassius F. Butts will now serve as an At-Large Representative.
Benton D. Ellenburg will now serve as the Sixth Congressional District Representative.
Ronald Garrard will now serve as the Seventh Congressional District Representative.
Mulham Sheib will now serve as the Eleventh Congressional District Representative.

Sarah-Elizabeth Langford will serve as an At-Large Representative on the Board of Economic Development. She is the Executive Director of the Development Authority of Fulton County, which encourages development throughout Fulton County through incentives and other strategic initiatives. She is also a partner with Five Points Development, which builds market-rate and affordable housing, specializing in affordable housing and commercial construction projects, including business strategy and operations for companies doing government and commercial construction and facilities work. A former First Lady of the City of Atlanta, Langford has worked on initiatives that include partnering with Google Fiber to provide low-income families with technology and high-speed internet services. She also helped open a technology center and computer lab with the WNBA in partnership with the YWCA and supported the grand opening of technology incubator Tech Square Labs and the Vine City At-Promise Youth Center. Langford is an Atlanta native and Pace Academy graduate. She was an NCAA Academic-All-American gymnast at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where she received a B.A. in French. She also earned a J.D. from Howard University School of Law. Langford serves on the boards of the Atlanta Children’s Museum, the Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students (GEEARS), the Motherless Daughters Foundation, and the nonprofit BIH. Langford served as the Fifth Congressional District Representative on the Board of Regents from 2017 to 2024.

Harry S. Pierce, Jr. is one of the founders and current CEO of Hard Time Products, LLC, located in Rome, Georgia. Hard Time Products sells and distributes both wholesale and commissary products to correctional facilities across the United States. Previously, Pierce was one of the two founders and CEO of Big Time Products, LLC, which was the largest glove and tool manufacturer and distributor at retail in the world with annual sales of over 400 million. Before starting Big Time Products, Pierce retired after 20 years of service at The Home Depot, holding multiple executive positions and opening numerous markets for the company. At the time of his retirement, he was President of the Western Division and was responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations of approximately 2 billion dollars in annual sales. Before entering the retail segment, Pierce spent four years in the United States Airforce.

Jose Perez is the retired President of Target Market Trends, Inc. (TMT), a business consulting firm he founded in 2002. TMT helps clients develop strategies to target their markets and increase revenue. Perez also spent 25 years with and retired from BellSouth, working in various management capacities as well as an International Consultant with Gartner, Inc. He is an American born in Cuba. His parents sent him to live with his grandparents in Key West, Florida, at the age of 12 to escape Castro’s regime. From 2004 to 2011, he served on the Board of Education, representing the 7th Congressional District. He also served on the board of the National Association of State Boards of Education, as a Commissioner on the State Charter School Commission, and most recently as the 7th Congressional District Representative on the Board of Regents. Perez has an M.A. in Economics from Florida Atlantic University. He and his wife, Yolanda, have three adult children and reside in Peachtree Corners.

David Tyndall is the Founder and CEO of Collaborative Real Estate, a full-service real estate firm specializing in innovation districts and university-anchored real estate. Working for over 40 years in real estate and development, moving from construction field engineer to company owner, he has learned firsthand what it takes to produce and maintain quality buildings. As CEO, Tyndall maintains daily involvement in all of Collaborative Real Estate’s property management, leasing, and development services. His specific experience in building and managing university-based research and commercialization facilities – including 20+ years of managing the Technology Square area of Midtown Atlanta, combined with his experience as a real estate attorney, venture investor, and commercial contractor – give him unique insight into the needs of technology-related developers, landlords, property managers, and tenants. Known in the industry as a thoughtful and innovative manager of innovation-related real estate as well as a successful developer and investor in those asset sub-classes, Tyndall often speaks for national and international organizations and associations on the subjects of creating collaborative real estate environments, issues of coordinating the needs and constraints of academic and corporate researchers, and future trends in the role of culture and community in the workplace generally.

Lake Lanier Islands Development Authority

Nick Masino is the President & CEO of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce and Partnership Gwinnett. A U.S. Chamber-accredited organization, the Gwinnett Chamber was established in 1947. With his leadership, the Gwinnett Chamber became a leader among U.S. chambers of commerce regarding safe return to work and essential business during the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, he has shepherded the most diverse board of directors in Gwinnett Chamber history, reinvigorated its public policy focus, and implemented a new strategic plan. Previously, he was Partnership Gwinnett’s Chief Economic Development Officer where he oversaw the business recruitment and retention efforts for the county. Since Partnership Gwinnett’s inception in 2007, it has brought approximately 290 company expansions or relocations, more than 28,000 new jobs, more than 9 million square feet of space filled, and more than $2.1 billion in investment to Gwinnett. Masino serves on a plethora of boards, including the Regional Business Coalition of Metro Atlanta, the Council for Quality Growth, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, and The Water Tower Global Innovation Hub @ Gwinnett, among many others. Masino has received many accolades, including Most Notable Georgians, Power 100: Most Influential Atlantans, and 100 Most Influential Georgians.

Stone Mountain Memorial Association

Dwight Evans is a founding partner in the Pendleton Consultant Group. Previously, he held the position of executive vice president and group president at Southern Company. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees at Piedmont College and has chaired the New Orleans Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, the Southeastern Electric Exchange, the Mississippi Economic Council, the Mississippi Partnership for Economic Development, and the Mississippi Chapter of the Nature Conservancy. Evans earned a bachelor’s in civil engineering, a master’s in environmental engineering from Georgia Tech, and a law degree from Atlanta Law School. Appointed in 2013 by then-Governor Nathan Deal, Evans served on the Board of Natural Resources for nearly a decade and most recently on the Board of Economic Development.

State Licensing Board for Residential and General Contractors

Doug McMonigle is the President of MRC Construction Company. He is a past president of the Home Builders Association of Georgia, the Builder Association of Metro Augusta, and the past Chairman of the Remodelers Council. McMonigle earned his bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering from the University of Cincinnati. In 2001, the Builder’s Association of Metro Augusta named him Remodeler of the Year. McMonigle is a past member of the Richmond County Construction Advisory Board and is a certified green builder. He and his wife, Tammy, have three children and reside in Columbia County.

State Water Well Standards Advisory Council

Dan Elder III, Greg Grosch, Andy Pippin, and Raymond J. Wilke were reappointed.

Georgia Composite Board of Professional Counselors, Social Workers, and Marriage and Family Therapists

William David Lane was reappointed.

State Board of Podiatry Examiners

Leonard LaRussa and Joseph Giovinco were reappointed.

Division of Family and Children Services State Advisory Board

Anna Marie Bearden is the Executive Director of Chosen for Life Ministries (CFLM). She earned her bachelor’s in Public Relations from the University of Georgia and her master’s degree in Disasters, Adaptations, and Development at Kings College London. For over a decade, she has worked within organizations around the world addressing issues of human trafficking, homelessness, and poverty. She initially became passionate about orphan care as a foster aunt and then through her work with Wiphan, a widow and orphan care ministry in Zambia. Most recently, she worked with foster families through Miracle Hill Ministries in Greenville, South Carolina. Bearden returned to the Athens area to serve as CFLM’s Executive Director in April 2018. She attends Calvary Bible Church.

State Board of Long-Term Care Facility Administrators

Barbara J. Baxter was reappointed.

Veterans Service Board

Steve E. Mendez and Timothy B. Paslawski were reappointed.

State Board of Occupational Therapy

Rebecca C. Hammad works at Shepherd Center in Atlanta, serving individuals with spinal and brain injuries. She is currently a therapy manager within Shepherd’s post-acute spinal cord injury program. She earned her B.S.Ed. in Health Promotion and Education from the University of Georgia and her Master of Health Science in Occupational Therapy from the Medical College of Georgia. Hammad is a certified lymphedema therapist with Casley-Smith International. She started a lymphedema program at the Shepherd Center to offer complete decongestive therapy interventions to individuals experiencing acute and chronic edema after injury or illness. She is a recipient of the 2021 NBCOT Innovation Award for her innovative work on lymphedema interventions. Hammad has published research in the peer-reviewed journal Spinal Cord from the International Spinal Cord Society. Additionally, she serves as a board member of the Lighthouse Lymphedema Network.

Georgia Commission for Service and Volunteerism

Maria R. Marsh serves as the Communications Specialist for the Georgia Association of REALTORS® (GAR). She takes pride in the work that the GAR Advocacy team does covering many housing issues. At the local level, she has been involved in annual summer lunch programs where she helps make lunches for children whose families rely on these programs during the academic year. She also volunteers at Solidarity Sandy Springs and has taken five service trips to Nicaragua, where she worked with a non-profit organization to help create the opportunity for clean water, access to education, and more stable food sources. In 2021, Marsh joined the North American Language and Culture Assistants Program (NALCAP), which allowed her to travel to Spain, and work as a language assistant. Upon her return to the United States, she began working in the Secretary of the Senate’s office during the 2022 Legislative Session. Marsh earned her undergraduate degree in Mass Communication with a concentration in political communication and a minor in Spanish from Louisiana State University.

Georgia Firefighter Standards and Training Council

Robert T. Horton and Tim Stowers were reappointed.

Daniel Blair Merkel is a City Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem for the City of Alpharetta. He has been an Alpharetta resident for over 28 years. Merkel formerly served as chairman for the Alpharetta Public Safety Foundation. He was a founding member and past chairman of the Alpharetta Chamber of Commerce, past president of the Alpharetta Rotary, and past chairman of the board for the Ed Isakson YMCA. Currently, he serves on the board of directors for the Alpharetta Convention and Visitors Bureau. Merkel and his wife, Colleen, have two daughters.

Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council

Eric S. Wilson was elected Mayor of Forsyth in November 2015. Prior to his election, he served on the Forsyth City Council for six years. He is co-owner, President, and CEO of MedPro EMS, a private ambulance service, located in Forsyth and Warner Robins. In addition to his management responsibilities, Wilson is a licensed paramedic. Prior to MedPro EMS, he served as a regional project manager with the Georgia Department of Economic Development. Wilson serves as chairman of the Georgia Association of Regional Commissions, chairman of the Middle Georgia Community Action Agency, and Public Safety Policy Committee chair for the Georgia Municipal Association. He serves on the board of the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia, Georgia Municipal Association, Central Georgia Technical College, Region 5 Emergency Medical Services Council, Middle Georgia Regional Commission, Middle Georgia Clean Air Coalition, and the Monroe County Health Board. He is the past chairman of the Forsyth-Monroe County Chamber of Commerce. Wilson earned a bachelor’s degree in History from Brewton-Parker College and is a 2005 graduate of Leadership Monroe.

Invest Georgia Board

Jacob F. Crowe spent 25 years working in a variety of senior financial management roles, culminating with a key role in building GreenSky. As CFO, he was responsible for building a proprietary bank settlement funding model, the initial underwriting model, the initial collections systems, the initial HR systems, and he partnered with the CIO to build the proprietary loan tracking system. GreenSky merged with Goldman Sachs in March 2022. Crowe served on active duty in the US Army from 1982 to 1987, earning one of 75 scholarships awarded annually for a soldier to attend college. He is the Chairman of the Autism Foundation of Georgia and sits on UGA’s Terry Dean’s Advisory Council. Crowe attends Amazing Grace Lutheran Church in Lawrenceville and is married to Tracie Crowe.

Upper Oconee Regional Water Planning Council

Linda M. Blechinger is the former Mayor of the City of Auburn, having served from 2006 to January 2024. During her time in office, Blechinger served as President of the Georgia Municipal Association and on the Peace Officer Standards and Training Council. She has served on the Adult Literacy Board, the GMEMBS Board, and the Gwinnett and Barrow Chambers of Commerce. Blechinger earned her bachelor’s degree in Theology from Life Christian University.

James R. Dove served as the Executive Director of the Northeast Georgia Regional Commission from 1987 to 2019. Dove spent his career in community planning and development, serving as the Cherokee County Planning and Building Administrator and in various positions with the Northeast Georgia Area Planning and Development Commission earlier in his career. He served two terms as President of the Georgia Association of Regional Commissions and was Chairman of the Northeast Georgia Emergency Medical Services Council for 30 years. Additionally, he served as a member of the Northeast Georgia Police Academy Board of Directors, was president of the Development District Association of Appalachia, and was a member of the National Association of Development Organizations Board of Directors. Dove earned both his bachelor’s and master’s in Public Administration from the University of Georgia.

Mark T. Saxon was elected to represent Post 4 on the Oconee County Board of Commissioners in 2013 and re-elected in 2020. Saxon serves as a member of the Hard Labor Creek Management Board, currently as Chairman; as a member of the Upper Oconee Basin Water Authority; and the Oconee County Liaison for Georgia Civic Awareness Program for Students (GCAPS). He is one of several Commissioners in the State to have completed all certifications with the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia’s Lifelong Leadership Academy. Continuing his service with the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia, Saxon serves as the Fifth district representative on the County Legislative Coordinator General County Government; and Lifelong Learning Committees. Before serving his community locally, he served in the Georgia Army National Guard from 1983 to 1986 when he joined the active Army. He continued his service with the military until 2007 and retired after 24 years of service as a Sergeant Major. Saxon then served the community by working at North Oconee High School for three years with the administrative staff and assisted the Athletics Program with sporting events. He and his wife, Marie, have two sons.

Jennifer H. Scott has served as the Town Manager and former Town Clerk for the Town of Braselton, Georgia, since 1997. In 2015, she was named the Jackson County Woman of the Year and received the Boys & Girls Club of America National Service to Youth Award. During her career, Scott has served in various legal roles, including as a law clerk in reputable law firms and as a legal research law clerk. She is on the board of the Braselton Community Improvement District, is the Chair of the Braselton Visitor Bureau Authority, and is the president of the Athens Area Facilities Corporation. She is the board Secretary for both Braselton Tech Inc. and the Braselton Police Foundation. Additionally, Scott is a member of several public library boards, is on the board of the Piedmont Athens Regional Foundation, and is on the Member Services Advisory Council for the Georgia Municipal Association. She earned her J.D. from Samford University and a master’s degree in Justice & Public Safety/Judicial Administration from Auburn University at Montgomery.

Bill W. Sharp is the Chairman of the Putnam County Board of Commissioners. He worked as a farmer raising cattle and burley tobacco before becoming a Radio Personality with WEZJ in Williamsburg, Kentucky; a Chemist for American Enka in Lowland, Tennessee; and a Process and Product Engineer at Dupont in Martinsville, Virginia. He also worked in Sales and Sales Management at Fisher Scientific, as District and Regional Manager for Wyandotte Chemical Company, as Sales and Marketing Management at Novamax Technologies, and as Marketing and International Business Development Manager at Hinkel in Detroit, Michigan. Sharp was first elected to the Putnam County Board of Commissioners as the District Three Commissioner and has served on several boards during his time of service. He is a past member of the American Chemical Society and the past President and Treasurer of the American Electroplaters Society. Additionally, he was a member of the Aluminum Extrudors Council and served on the Board of Directors for the Aluminum Anodizers Council. He is also the former Chairman of the Putnam County Board of Equalization, former Chairman of the Eatonton Putnam Water and Sewer Authority, and former Chairman of the Putnam County Development Authority. Sharp earned degrees in Chemistry, Math, and Physics from the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Kentucky. He also attended the University of Tennessee where he studied Chemical Engineering. He and his wife, Jennie, have been married for 59 years and have two adult children.

Board of Natural Resources

James “Jeff” Andrews will serve as the Fourth Congressional District Representative on the Board of Natural Resources. He began his career in the long-term care industry in 1981 as Marketing Director for a 273-unit continuing care retirement community in Birmingham, Alabama. He then became Executive Director and later Southeast Regional Vice President, overseeing six properties in the Southeast. In 1988, Andrews assumed the position of Senior Vice President of Corporate Development, where he spearheaded the addition of seventeen properties to the management portfolio, establishing the company as the largest for-profit, third-party manager of retirement housing in the U.S. By 1990, he co-founded Retirement Management Corporation and eventually served as its President until its acquisition by Sun Healthcare in 1998. In 1999, Andrews founded Wellington HealthCare Services, L.L.C., which grew to 11 owned facilities before its sale in 2007 for $88 million. He retained a significant ownership stake and guided the company to meet operational targets, leading to a strategic sale in 2012 for $166 million. He remains at the helm of Wellington, which now manages 17 facilities.