Governor Brian P. Kemp announced 48 appointments to various boards and commissions.
Board of Commissioners of the Magistrates Retirement Fund
Harlan Proveaux serves as Deputy Director of Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA/HS). In this position, he oversees the Homeland Security division which includes operations, intelligence, critical infrastructure, training, and exercise units of the agency. Prior to joining GEMA/HS, Proveaux served for ten years at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center (GPSTC) as Director of Savannah Regional Police Academy. He has also served as a Law Enforcement Game Warden with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Ware County Sheriff’s Office, and as a Magistrate Court Judge of Ware County. Proveaux earned his MPA from Columbus State University where he now serves as adjunct professor teaching Critical Incident Management. He was a member of the 20th Delegation of Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange to Israel. He and his wife Kim reside in Newnan and have two sons.
Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia
Doug Aldridge leads the Aldridge Private Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors where he is responsible for key client relationships of the team, focusing on families, foundations, and institutions. He provides a broad array of wealth management and financial strategies as a certified PIM Portfolio Manager, and earned his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™ certification in 2007. Prior to joining Wells Fargo Advisors in 2009, Aldridge was a part of Morgan Stanley’s Investment Bank, within their Private Wealth Management division. At MS & Co., he served in the same capacity as his current role. Prior to Morgan Stanley, Aldridge spent time on the floor of the NYSE working for the Specialist firm Wagner Stott Bear. He also spent a year overseas working with a boutique Estate Planning firm—J. Sanz y Asociados. Aldridge earned a B.A. in Spanish and Economics at Washington & Lee University, graduating with Honors. He also holds a M.B.A. from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, where he earned the distinction of Beta Gamma Sigma. Aldridge is married with six children. He and his wife Grace serve as foster parents on a regular basis, including a foster child in their care at the present time. Through their kids he is active in the community as a youth coach for his sons’ T-ball, soccer, and golf teams, and at the Children’s House at Serenbe. Aldridge is also extremely involved at Northside United Methodist Church, The Westminster Schools of Atlanta alumni association, and he volunteers at various other charitable organizations around town. He is on the board of Families First, Georgia’s leading non-profit family service agency and is a very active board member with Serenbe Stables, a like-minded non-profit in Chattahoochee Hills, Georgia.
Georgia Film, Music, and Digital Entertainment Commission
Matt Dollar most recently represented the 45th State House District in the Georgia General Assembly. Dollar was born and raised in East Cobb; after graduating from Pope High School, he attended the University of Georgia where he was a HOPE scholar and Honors graduate. In addition to being a legislator, Dollar is a real estate broker in Marietta. During his time in the General Assembly, he served on several key committees including: Appropriations, Transportation, Education, Insurance, Energy & Telecommunications, and Economic Development. Dollar also served as Chairman of the Creative Arts and Entertainment committee, which handles music, video game development, and the state’s multi-billion-dollar film industry.
Jeff Lewis is a partner at Arnall, Golden, and Gregory in the Litigation practice and member of the Logistics & Transportation, Global Commerce, Industrial and Warehouse, and Pharmaceuticals industry teams. For nearly four decades, Lewis has defended clients through litigation, mediation, and arbitration in the United States and abroad. His widespread experience spans the healthcare, life sciences, pharmaceutical, construction, technology, retail, restaurant, manufacturing, and real estate industries. Lewis was a professional actor from 1985 to 1992 and is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. He served on the Board of Directors for the Southeast Playwrights’ Project and the Georgia Shakespeare Festival. He has performed in the “A Courthouse Line” charitable productions of the Atlanta Bar Foundation.
Steve Mendez is a US Marine combat veteran. He has been recognized for his service having received a Meritorious Mast for Leadership and upholding the highest standards of the Marine Corp, Combat Action Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, Meritorious Promotion, Presidential Unit Citation and Meritorious Unit Citation as a machine-gun squad leader. He served in 2 military campaigns, Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and was recognized at the National Press Club’s annual Hispanic Achievements Award Ceremony in 1991. He is the owner of a US Lawns franchise, and is committed to his community by providing dedicated sustainable landscape management to his clients. Mendez has designed and built sustainable gardens for municipality studies with the University System of Georgia local offices. He has worked with Jekyll Island and the local Land Trust to rebuild the island’s landscape and in new development areas using native plants and sustainable practices. Mendez coaches girls middle school basketball at Frederica Academy and has been a community coach for the past 15 years in multiple sports. He and his three daughters reside in Glynn County.
Christopher Hightower is a native of Barnesville. At the age of 25, he was the youngest person ever elected to the Barnesville, Georgia, City Council, has served as the city’s Mayor Pro Tem, and is now in his sixth term on the Council. Hightower is a life member of the NAACP. He is the founder/coordinator of the Barnesville Lamar County Martin Luther King, Jr., Weekend Celebration, and in his current term on the Council is working to revitalize this commemorative weekend in Barnesville. Hightower has received the highest level of recognition, the Certificate of Dedication, and all levels of recognition for municipal training offered through the Harold F. Holtz Municipal Training, which is operated through a partnership between the Georgia Municipal Association and the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government. He also completed Newly Elected Officials Institute, the Robert F. Knox, Jr. Municipal Leadership Institute, and the Georgia Academy for Economic Development Regional Economic and Leadership Development program. Hightower received a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Administration from Troy State University and a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Georgia. Hightower has been an educator for over two decades and currently teaches English in Henry County. He is a member of the Beulah Missionary Baptist Church, where he serves as the Director of Public Relations and as the co-anchor of BNN, the BeulahNews Network.
Travis Turner is a lifelong resident of White County. Having graduated from White County High School, Turner received an associate’s degree in business from Truett McConnell University, and a bachelor’s degree in Finance from North Georgia College and State University. Turner worked in the financial industry for approximately 17 years, last serving as a Senior Vice President and Senior Lender. He then went on to lead the reorganization of his family’s lumber company until its sale and is now involved in local business ventures and enterprises. He is actively involved in the community. He and his family attend the Cleveland Worship Center where he has served on the Board of Deacons. He is also a member of the White County Rotary Club along with various organizations locally. Turner was elected Chairman of the White County Board of Commissioners in 2009, and represents the Board of Commissioners on the Georgia Mountains Regional Commission. Turner has also served on both the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority and the State and Local Workforce Investment Board, and now serves as Vice-Chair of ACCG Worker’s Compensation Board of Trustees.
Emily Davidson is the Director of Strategy and Innovation in Education, Workforce Development, and Apprenticeship at Anthem, Inc. In her role at Anthem, she develops comprehensive workforce partnerships across 25 Medicaid states, utilizing public-private opportunities to bridge the racial and economic opportunity divide through funding in addition to developing expansion of youth programs, apprenticeships, and dual generational initiatives. Davidson was previously the Senior Director of Program Operations at the California Autism Foundation and, prior to that, she was the Quality Assurance Manager with R&D Transportation Services Inc. In 2021, she was invited to Capitol Hill to testify before the House Education and Workforce Committee on youth apprenticeship strategies. Davidson graduated from the University of New Mexico with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Social Welfare and earned a Leadership Certificate from the University of Delaware.
Trey Taylor is the Chief Executive Officer of Taylor Insurance Services. Taylor holds a bachelor’s degree in History from Emory University, a JD from Tulane University, and has done post-graduate work at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and Georgia Tech. Taylor is licensed in life and health insurance sales in Georgia and several other states. He began his management career at Healtheon|WebMD, where he participated in the largest private placement of equity in U.S. financial history. He then worked as a Senior Analyst for a venture capital firm in Atlanta before leaving to work in a corporate development role at EarthLink and AOL/Time Warner. Taylor has served as a board member and past president of the board of trustees of Leadership Lowndes, a member of the board of directors of the Alapaha Council of the Boy Scouts of America, a member of the board of Trustees of Lowndes Associated Ministries to People (LAMP), board member for the Greater Valdosta United Way and the chairman of its Allocation Committee, and a board member for the Valdosta North Rotary Club. In 2013, Trey was named one of Georgia Trend Magazine’s 40 Under 40. Additionally, Trey received the Cheers for Peers MVP, Cheers for Peers MVP Giver, Employee Recognition Award, and Happiest Company Award in 2014 from TinyHR. In 2017, the firm was named the Small Business of the Year by the Lowndes-Valdosta Chamber of Commerce, and in 2018, the Association of Insurance Leadership bestowed its highest award, the Summit Award, on Taylor Insurance Services. Alongside his duties at Taylor Insurance Services, Trey serves as the Managing Director of trinity | blue, a consultancy focused on strategic planning and executive coaching. Taylor and his wife, Sheya, are the proud parents of two children.
Nathan Lewis is President and CEO of Security Capital Brokerage, Inc. (SCB). He is responsible for the firm’s overall strategic direction, its compliance program, and the development of its tax-exempt and corporate finance underwriting transactions. Lewis earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia and went on to earn his master’s, graduating with the highest honors from Clark Atlanta University. He is also a graduate of AIMSE’s Marketing and Investment Management Program at the University of Pennsylvania – Wharton Institute of Executive Education. Lewis began his securities career in sales and trading at Jackson Securities. He served as the Head of Equity Research and Vice President of Corporate Finance. In 2008, Lewis left to start his own investment bank and acquired controlling interest in Security Capital Brokerage, Inc., a registered FINRA member and now a certified minority business enterprise (MBE) with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) focused on securities brokerage and investment banking services. Lewis is an active community volunteer and has a passion for financial literacy, literature and diversity and inclusion initiatives. He is a member of the CFA Institute, the CFA Society Atlanta, former Treasurer of the National Association of Securities Professionals (NASP) – Atlanta Chapter and a member of The Robert Burns Club Atlanta. He is also chair of the Board for the Middle Georgia Center for Academic Excellence, a US TRIO Program, a board member of the Investment Committee for Zoo Atlanta, Communities in School (CIS), and the Georgia Council on Economic Education (GCEE). Lewis also received an appointment by the FIRNA Board Governors to an at-large seat for its Small Firm Advisory Committee (SFAC).
Jane Rookard has been an educator for over two decades. Rookard holds a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Alabama State University, a master’s degree in Management and Administration of Educational Programs from Nova Southeastern University and is Gifted certified. Rookard is the Co-Director of the Chapel Hill Middle School Afterschool program, where she provides program oversight and general administration. She is an active member of her community and school with organizations such as School Council, SMART Girls, Math Team, ASP, Hospitality, PTSO, and mentoring programs for both students and new teachers. Additionally, Rookard serves as a volunteer instructor for the Douglas County Youth Business Shark Tank Program. In her role, she assists students in structuring business budgets and teaching effective management skills. She is a long-time resident of Douglas County and is married with three adult children, all of whom have followed the academic route of both her and her husband.
Kedrione Harris is a native of Calhoun County, Georgia. He attended Fort Valley State University where he received his bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics before continuing his graduate education at Salem International University in West Virginia, where he earned his MBA. After receiving his MBA, Harris began his teaching career with the Calhoun County Board of Education as Business Education and Agriculture Education Instructor/FFA Advisor. He also worked for the Bibb Co. School District teaching Agricultural Education and serving as FFA Advisor. Harris served on the Georgia Association for Career and Technical Education (GACTE) as a member and Vice President of the Agricultural Education Division and the Georgia Vocational Agricultural Teachers Association (GVATA) Boards. He is a member of Georgia Association of Educators (GAE, National Association of Agriculture Educators (NAAE), and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.
Judges of the Probate Court Retirement Fund Board of Directors
Garrison Baker has served as Probate Judge of White County since January 1983. He serves on the board of directors for the White County Historical Society and is chairperson of the Ninth District Opportunity Board of Directors. Baker is actively involved in the preservation and conservation of Northeast Georgia’s local history and cultural heritage and has authored two books on local history. He previously worked with the Georgia Department of Labor and served as the county planner for White County. He is a member of the National College of Probate Judges and the board of directors of Regions Bank of Cleveland. Baker attended Gainesville College and the University of Georgia. He and his wife, Susan, have two children.
Georgia Council for the Arts
Adam Keith Blank spent his younger years in Douglas, Georgia before attending high school at The Bolles School in Jacksonville, Florida. Blank attended college at Georgia Southern University, where he met his wife, Dana. They married in 1999 and currently live in Marietta, Georgia with their three children. Blank is the owner/operator of ABC Recycling, Inc., a scrap metal recycling facility located in Marietta for more than twenty years. He also owns Blank Records, a music production/promotion business that features Live At The Print Shop, an online concert series.
Ruthie Crider is an emergency physician at East Georgia Regional Medical Center in Statesboro, Georgia and partner with Georgia Emergency Associates. She is a longstanding member of the hospital’s Board of Trustees, is on the Peer Review Committee, and has served on the Physician Leadership Committee for EGRMC. Crider graduated Cum Laude with Honors from UGA and graduated from Mercer University School of Medicine in 2003. She completed her residency in Emergency Medicine at Orlando Regional Medical Center. Crider has been inducted into Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society and is a recipient of the Deen Day Smith Service Award for Mankind. She serves as Associate Faculty of Emergency Medicine for Mercer University School of Medicine and as a Trustee for Bulloch Academy. Crider is a member of the Ogeechee River Medical Society, the Medical Association of Georgia, and the American College of Emergency Physicians. Statesboro has been home for Crider and her husband, Bill, for the past 15 years and they have two children.
Kathryn Cheek is a pediatric physician and Clinical Associate Professor at Mercer University’s School of Medicine. Cheek attended the University of North Carolina for her bachelor’s degree, she went on to earn her graduate degree in Health Education and Doctor of Medicine from the Medical College of Georgia. She is the board chair for the Pediatric Healthcare Improvement Coalition of Georgia, former chair and member of the Board of Public Health, as well as an executive committee member for the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Clinical Information Technology. She has served on dozens of advisory boards over her career. She is married to Dr. Ben Cheek, an OB-GYN private practitioner, and they have three children.
Lynn Barber currently serves as the Assistant Superintendent and CTAE Director for the Ware County School System. Prior to serving in this capacity, he taught high school agricultural education for 16 years and served five years with the Georgia Department of Education as the South Region Director for Agricultural Education. Barber received his doctoral degree in Education from Valdosta State University in the field of Adult and Career Education, a master’s in Education from The University of Georgia, as well as his undergraduate degree from UGA in Agriculture Education. Barber has been married to his wife Lori for 27 years and they have two daughters. They reside in Manor, Georgia where they raise cattle and where he serves as pastor at Manor United Methodist Church.
Angie Lewis is the Interim Executive Director of the Office of College and Career Readiness with the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System. Her post-secondary educational experience began with receiving her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Savannah State College and her master’s degree in Public Administration from Savannah State University, and she received her Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership from Argosy University in Sarasota, Florida. Lewis has been heavily involved in Career and Technical Education for the past twenty-four years. She began her career as a business teacher and Youth Apprenticeship Facilitator at Robert W. Groves High School. Lewis served as Assistant Principal at Savannah High School and then later Savannah Arts Academy. She was then appointed as principal of the School of Law and Criminal Justice at Savannah High School and subsequently, the Administrator of Woodville-Tompkins Technical & Career Institute and the Career, Technical Agricultural Education (CTAE) Department. She was named the CTAE Director for the Savannah Chatham County Public School Systems and has served in that capacity for the last 12 years and was recently promoted to Interim Executive Director for the Office of College and Career Readiness. She was honored as the 2015 and 2017 Georgia Administrator of the Year for the Georgia Affiliate for Engineering & Technology Education. The Georgia Association for Career & Technology Education (GACTE) is the second largest state affiliate of the national organization, Association for Career & Technical Education (ACTE). She was named the Teacher of the Year for Groves High School and Business Teacher of the Year for the Georgia Affiliate for Business Education. She was also recognized by Georgia STEM/STEAM for Visionary Guidance and Exception Leadership in Advancing STEM and STEAM Education in Georgia Schools in October 2018. Lewis is a member of the Leadership Savannah Class of 2020-21 and serves on the Savannah Schools Federal Credit Union as the Vice-Chair and the CTAE Resource Network (CTAERN) Directors Board for the State of Georgia.
Employee Retirement System of Georgia Board of Directors
Rhonda Barnes Wilson is a paralegal in the Office of the Governor. She started her career with the State of Georgia in 1997 and has served in the Governor’s Office for more than 16 years. Wilson attended Clayton State University. She has served on the Executive Board of the Atlanta Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities, and as a member of the Georgia Historical Records Advisory Council. She is the mother of three and has three grandchildren. Wilson and her husband, Randy, reside in Covington.
Board of Trustees of the Judicial Retirement System of Georgia
Ellen Golden and Ron Mullins were reappointed.
Board of Trustees of the Public School Employees Retirement System
Michael Lowe and Richard Taylor were reappointed.
Board of Commissioners of the Magistrates Retirement Fund of Georgia
Berryl A. Anderson, Connie J. Holt, and Brendan Murphy were reappointed.
Division of Family and Children Services State Advisory Board
Emily Brantley and Judy Manning were reappointed
Travis Niblett and his wife are the owners and operators of The Trendy Science Teacher, LLC and Niblett Properties, LLC. He is an active member of the Eastman Rotary Club and First Baptist Church of Eastman. Niblett and his wife, Dana, have two children whom they adopted from foster care. They live on a timber farm in Plainfield, Georgia.
Jennifer Shinpoch and her husband, Joel, have five children, adopting twice through foster care while serving seven years as an open foster home. They are passionate about seeing families restored and children protected in the foster care system. In 2019, the Shinpoch’s were instrumental in the passing of Senate Bill 177 alongside of Senator Matt Bass. Shinpoch currently serves on the Adoptive and Foster Care of Georgia Association board as an advocate. She has also led the Oconee County Foster Parent Association for over three years.
Cecil Hamby Cordele was reappointed.
Jim Squire is president and CEO of Franchise Marketing Advisors, LLC, a broad-based franchise development consulting practice serving companies exploring franchising their concept, as well as emerging franchisors seeking direction in developing a more strategic approach to franchise growth. Prior to FMA Squire was a senior executive with well-known franchise brands such as Firestorm, HoneyBaked Ham, Great American Cookies, Arby’s, Day’s Inn, and Howard Johnson. Squire is a member of the Board of Trustees of the International Franchise Association Foundation and recipient of the Foundation’s highest honor, the William Rosenberg Leadership Award. He is the founding chairman of IFA’s Institute of Certified Franchise Executives and is a former member of the IFA Board of Directors. On the local level he serves as chairman emeritus of the Southeast Franchise Forum, and a member of the Georgia State University Franchise Entrepreneurship Advisory Board. He serves as chairman emeritus of the Georgia Restaurant Association and is a member of Georgia State University’s School of Hospitality Industry Advisory Board. Squire is a veteran of the Georgia Army National Guard where he served as an artillery officer and is a member of American Legion Post 201. He is past chairman of the Housing Authority of Fulton County, past chairman of the Private Industry Council of Atlanta, and is a former member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Private Industry Councils. He was chairman of the FCRP Circle R, and in 2011 was elected a GAGOP State Committeeman, chairman of Precinct SS 25 (later to merge with SS 01), and a delegate to the FCRP County Convention, the 6th Congressional District Convention, and the GAGOP State Convention. He has served his community as a member of the Sandy Springs Charter Commission, Planning Commission, Board of Appeals, and Development Authority. He and his wife Donna are active members of Dunwoody United Methodist Church.
Ryan Loke currently serves as Deputy Commissioner at the Department of Community Health. He was previously Chief Operating Officer in the Office of Governor Brian P. Kemp and served as the Governor’s Health Policy Advisor. Before joining the Governor’s Office, Loke worked in the private sector advising several Georgia-based companies on legislative strategy. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a degree in Political Science and is currently pursuing a graduate degree at the Emory University Rollins School of Public Health.
Georgia Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Jennifer Clark, Kelly Jenkins, Amy Lederberg, Deshonda Washington, Ellen Rolader, and Jimmy Peterson were reappointed.
Board of Commissioners of the Sheriffs’ Retirement Fund of Georgia
Robert Markley and Randy Shirley were reappointed.
Don Spillers has practiced Orthodontics in Warner Robins, Georgia for 29 years. He is a graduate of the Dental College of Georgia, Class of 1991. He received his Orthodontic Specialty from the University of Missouri at Kansas City where he also received a master’s in Oral Biology. He is the past president of the Georgia Association of Orthodontics and the Central District Dental Society. Spillers has served the Southern Association of Orthodontics as a Director and is an active member of several other dental organizations. Spillers continues to be very involved in his local community, as he serves on a bank board and is active in local charities. He and his wife, Cheryl, have two children.
Jeanne Perrine has worked in the ophthalmic industry in private practice and surgical centers for over 35 years. She is board certified by the American Board of Optometry and currently practices in Decatur, Georgia. Perrine has completed research on the interactions between Ocular Surface Disease and Glaucoma. She graduated from the University of Alabama-Birmingham School of Optometry in 1984. Perrine is the Immediate Past President and Executive Officer of the Georgia Optometric Association, an Executive Officer of the Georgia Optometric Foundation, the recipient of the Irvin B. Borish Award UAB School of Optometry. She has served as a member of several professional organizations including having served as a board member of Prevent Blindness of Georgia from 2018 to 2022 and the AOA Advocacy Congressional Member from 2018 to 2022.
Sexual Offender Registration Review Board
Mindy Ackerman is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and has specialized in the evaluation and treatment of juvenile and adult sex offenders for the last 25 years. Ackerman started her career working with victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse and then transitioned into working with sexual offenders shortly afterwards. She has worked with this specialized population in several states including residential placements, correctional facilities, out-patient facilities, and private practice. Ackerman has performed numerous psychosexual evaluations and established the arousal management unit at the Florida Civil Commitment Center. She has presented trainings and workshops at various conferences around the country focusing on juvenile sex offenders’ treatment. Currently she holds the position of Sex Offender Treatment Services Administrator at the Department of Juvenile Justice and is responsible for the clinical supervision of the Sexually Harmful Behavior Program.
Board of Early Care and Learning
Kimberly Neville is an Instructional Coach and MTSS Coordinator for Bulloch County Schools. She has worked in education for 16 years, 6 of them being spent in the classroom. Neville received both her bachelor’s degree and master’s from Georgia Southern University. She and her husband, Rawls, reside in Brooklet, Georgia and have two daughters.
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House Bill 146 provides three weeks of paid parental leave as a new benefit...