Atlanta, GA– Today, Governor Brian P. Kemp announced 40 appointments to various boards, commissions, and councils.
State Board of Pharmacy
James “Jim” Bracewell is the President and CEO of the Bracewell Group Ltd. In 2014, Governor Nathan Deal appointed Bracewell to serve as the consumer member on the State Board of Pharmacy where he served until 2018. Bracewell is an active voice in the pharmaceutical industry having served as the Executive Vice President of the Georgia Pharmacy Association and previously serving in several roles at the South Carolina Pharmacy Association. Bracewell was appointed to serve as a consumer member on the State Board of Pharmacy.
Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission
David Burge is a partner with Smith, Gambrell, & Russell, LLP in their Atlanta Real Estate Practice where he focuses on real estate transactions in commercial lending, corporate, and capital markets, as well as in general leasing, sale, and purchase. In 2020, Governor Brian Kemp appointed Burge to serve as a member of the Board of Community Affairs. He was previously appointed as the Consumer Member of the Georgia Real Estate Commission serving 2008 to 2019 and served on the Board of the Georgia Superior Court Clerks’ Cooperative Authority (2007-2012) and the Fulton County Board of Registration and Elections (2013-2019). Burge was Chairman of both the Real Estate Section of the Atlanta Bar Association (1999-2000) and the Real Property Law Section of the State Bar of Georgia (2006-2007). He is active with the Urban Land Institute and NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association. Burge is a board member of the Atlanta Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the Visitors of Emory University, and the Trustees of Buckhead Christian Ministries. Burge is a graduate of the Midtown Alliance Leadership Program, the Coverdell Leadership Institute and Leadership Atlanta. Additionally, he was a delegate to the 2008 Republican National Convention.
Bona Fide Coin Operated Amusement Machine Operator Advisory Board
Jamie Boyden was reappointed.
Veterans Service Board
Shawn Hanley was reappointed.
Darius “Pete” Peterson, Sr. is the Owner and Founder of P&A Training Solutions and a retired Major in the U.S. Army. He previously served as an Adjunct Instructor for Shorter University’s College of Adult Professional Program, teaching courses on; International Management, Management & Leadership, Influence and Power, Business Ethics, Effective Global Management, and Understanding Corporations. Peterson has 23 years of federal experience with the Department of Defense and is a DOD award-winning G6/CIO.
McPherson Implementing Local Redevelopment Authority
Marvin S. Arrington, Jr., Cassius Butts, Ernestine Garey, Laurel Lynne Hart, Liz Hausmann, and Sondra Rhoades-Johnson were reappointed.
Thomas Andrew Calloway is the Owner-Operator of Atlanta Custom Tile and represents Ward B on the City of East Point City Council. Calloway was elected to serve on City Council in 2015 and currently serves as the City’s Budget and Finance Committee chair. After graduating from Georgia Tech in 2000, he began his career in private equity before founding his construction company. Calloway is a member of the Georgia Municipal Association and an active volunteer with the Urban Land Institute.
Eshe Poem Collins serves as Chair of the Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education. She was elected to the Atlanta Board of Education in 2013 and reelected in 2017. Collins currently serves as the Director of Programs for Jumpstart, a national, early education non-profit, where she works with organizations and communities to provide high-quality early education to all children. Her previous experiences include service as Judicial Clerk of the North Carolina Court of Appeals, she served as Policy Clerk with the Children’s Defense Fund in Washington, D.C., where she analyzed national education issues and advocated for accessible healthcare for all children. Collins worked in Cape Town, South Africa, where she helped refugee women and children access quality services and enrollment in local schools and communities. As a board member, she has chaired the Policy Review Committee and Accountability Commission. Additionally, Collins serves on boards for the Andrew and Walter Young YMCA, Atlanta Partners for Education, Atlanta Educational Telecommunications Collaborative, and Odyssey Atlanta. She earned a B.A. in Psychology from Spelman College, M.S. in Educational Leadership from Georgia State University, and J.D., cum laude, from North Carolina Central University School of Law. Collins is a member of Leadership Atlanta Class of 2016, Outstanding Atlanta Class of 2014, and Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys. She is a recipient of Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 40 Under 40, Georgia Trend’s 40 Under 40, Georgia State University’s 40 Under 40, Carl V. Patton President’s Award for Community Service and Social Justice, and the Andrew and Walter Young YMCA’s Innovative Woman in Education award.
Audra Lynne Cunningham is Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of T. Dallas Smith & Company. She has performed in several management roles, including call center management, product management, and multiple special projects. Cunningham, studied Business Administration at Mercer University, began her career as a tenant rep broker in Atlanta in 2008. She was recruited to join JLL in Washington DC in 2010 where she built a client base of law firms, non-profits, government contractors, and corporations. Subsequently, Cunningham went on to be recruited by CBRE and Newmark Knight Frank where she represented clients between Atlanta and Washington DC. Her most recent role was with Physician’s Realty Trust (REIT), where she was responsible for leasing throughout the Southeast, more than over 3 million square feet of medical office space. Cunningham is very active in the community. As a board member for CoreNet, she is co-chair of the Diversity in Action committee. Other memberships include the Atlanta Commercial Board of REALTORS®, the Atlanta Business League, the Empire Board of Realists, OnBoard, and the Grant Park Neighborhood Association. She is the founder of No Opportunity Wasted and a founding member of the Network of Empowered Women in Commercial Real Estate.
Courtney Dean English is an Atlanta native and was elected to the Atlanta City Schools Board of Education at the age of 24. English earned his Master’s degree from Columbia University after serving as a founding teacher at BEST Academy, the first all-male school in the city of Atlanta in 60 years. Additionally, he is a graduate of Frederick Douglass High School, Morehouse College, and a member of the LEAD Atlanta Class of 2011. English serves on the boards of nonprofits like the National Center for Global Engagement, Child First USA, and the Morehouse College Center for Teacher Preparation Advisory board. He has guest lectured at Emory University, Spelman College, Morehouse College, and Harvard University. English is the Director of Community Development at an Atlanta-based non-profit.
Nicholas Arlen Hess is a Web Application Architect at Sharecare, Inc. For twelve years, Hess served as President of Mad Housers, Inc, an Atlanta-based nonprofit that builds and donates shelters for the homeless community. He graduated from Georgia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science in 1994. Hess is presently the chair of his Neighborhood Planning Unit. He and his wife, Tracy, have two children and are active members of their community.
Jekyll Island State Park Authority – Chairman
Dale Atkins was appointed by Governor Brian Kemp to serve as a member of the Jekyll Island State Park Authority in 2019. Since 1993, Atkins has served as Executive Director of the Development Authority of Appling County and is the CEO of The Atkins Agency. He is an active member of his community, sitting on many boards such as the Renasant Bank local advisory board, the Board of Directors for the Baxley-Appling County Chamber of Commerce, and the Baxley-Appling County Board of Tourism and the Arts Council of Appling County. He is the Chair of the Southeast Georgia Regional Development Authority. Atkins and his wife, Kathy, have three children.
Sexual Offender Registration Review Board
Mindy White Ackerman is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and has specialized in evaluating and treating juvenile and adult sex offenders for the last 25 years. She started her career working with domestic violence and sexual abuse victims and then transitioned into working with sexual offenders shortly afterward. 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, Ackerman 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.
Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Anne Louise McQuade is the Director (volunteer) at Deaf-Blind Access of the South, Co. After a 30-year career in IT in the Telecommunications Industry, she manages an all-volunteer non-profit where she facilitates the planning, organizing, and fundraising of retreats for DeafBlind Adults. McQuade previously worked in several IT positions including as a developer, traveling consultant, and project manager for companies like BellSouth Telecommunications Inc. and AT&T. Her current position allows her to oversee the DBAS committee that provides a biennial retreat for dozens of DeafBlind Adults who are encouraged to interact with another through workshops, field trips, sporting events, and more.
Paula Janelle Harmon is a Pediatric Otolaryngologist, Head and Neck Surgeon, and Medical Director of Hearing Loss at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. After completing her Doctor of Medicine degree, with honors, at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Harmon continued her training at the University of North Carolina Hospital. She then completed a Fellowship in Pediatric Otolaryngology at the Children’s Hospital of Alabama in Birmingham before returning to Atlanta as an Assistant Professor at Emory University School of Medicine. She joined the Pediatric ENT of Atlanta in August 2015. A strong advocate for children with hearing loss, she works diligently with the Georgia General Assembly as a supporter of hearing loss coverage in Georgia when not involved in her clinical practice. In addition to her responsibilities in clinical care and research, she has also traveled extensively around the world on various medical missions in Nicaragua, Cuba, and Africa. Harmon and her husband, Dale, have four children and reside in Atlanta.
Ibrahim Saidu Dabo is the Director of Enterprise Business Systems at General Board of Global Ministries and is the Founder and Executive Editor of Ib Talk Online. As a child, Dabo fled a brutal civil war in his native country, Sierra Leone, before settling in The Gambia. At 17, he was appointed Africa Correspondent for a large international Internet media company. Four years later, he became the Africa Editor for the leading soccer website in the world and continued to share heartfelt stories of the impact of war like the power of football in Africa. In 2013, he was diagnosed with bilateral sensorineural hearing loss. Today, Dabo uses his experiences to advocate for other people experiencing hearing loss. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Hearing Loss Association of America, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization representing 48 million people with hearing loss in America.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Advisory Council
William “Billy” Mitchell serves as the president of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, elected by his peers to lead the 740-member organization of African American State legislators from throughout the nation. Mitchell was overwhelmingly elected in 2002 to the Georgia General Assembly. He also presently serves as Chair of the Georgia House Democratic Caucus. Formerly vice-mayor of the City of Stone Mountain, he authored legislation permitting the erection of the “Freedom Bell” commemorating the exhortation to “let freedom ring, even from Stone Mountain of Georgia!” Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. A frequent public speaker and writer, Mitchell is a contributor to the best-selling, Keeping the Faith by media personality, Tavis Smiley. The book was recognized as Best Literary Work at the nationally televised NAACP Image Awards. He and his wife, Shawn, have two children and are active members of the Saint Philip AME Church in Decatur.
Oluwatimileyin “Timi” Jafojo is a lifelong native of Georgia; he was raised by two Nigerian Immigrants who came to Georgia for better opportunities. He currently attends Georgia State University, where he is studying for his bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a Pre-Law Concentration. He knows the importance of being involved with his local community. He volunteers through school and church, and every summer, he works for a Non-Profit Organization, 3rd Mile Inc., which serves an estimated 100,000 meals to children in less privileged areas. He has experience working as an intern for A. Jafojo P.C. He gathered valuable knowledge on how the judicial process works and plans to go to law school after completing his internship program with the Governor’s Office and undergraduate degree.
Georgia Board of Nursing
Cynthia Edwards Summerlin is an Assistant Professor of Nursing in Albany, Georgia. Summerlin is also a nurse practitioner with Affinis Hospice, where she provides end-of-life care to patients across 11 counties in Southwest Georgia. Summerlin received her bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Albany State University in 1994 and later received her FNP, MSN, and DPN degrees. She is a member of the International Nurses Association, National League for Nursing, American Association of Nurse Practitioners, and the Georgia Association of Nurse Educators. Summerlin is currently writing a publication on the topic of palliative care.
Georgia Composite Board of Professional Counselors, Social Workers, and Marriage and Family Therapists
Gregory Keith Moffat is the Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Point University and Editor of the Georgia Journal of Professional Counseling. In his private practice, Moffat specializes in children and serves as a profiler/consultant for the City of Atlanta Cold Case Squad. Moffat has dozens of publications and frequently serves as a consultant for television series and films about crime. He is a three-time recipient of the Point University Vulcan Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award. Moffat has undergraduate degrees in both Psychology and New Testament Theology, and both a master’s in Community Counseling and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Georgia State University. He and his wife have been married for 38-years and have 3 children.
State Board of Optometry
B.T. Gutter-Parker is an insurance defense attorney in Gwinnett County, Georgia. Gutter-Parker manages her law firm, B. Thassanee Gutter-Parker, P.C., where she represents clients from all walks of life and has represented both plaintiffs and defendants over her 24-year legal career. An active member of her community, Gutter-Parker serves on the Northside Hospital Women’s Advisory Council Board, is the vice-chair of the Gwinnett Animal Advisory Council Board, and is a founding member of the Gwinnett Youth Empowerment Initiative, and several other civic and professional organizations. Over the years she has served as a volunteer Legal Aid attorney, foster parent, and cheerleading coach. Parker attended the University of Wisconsin for both her undergraduate and legal education and is a member of both the State Bar of Wisconsin and the State Bar of Georgia. Gutter-Parker will serve as the consumer member on the State Board of Optometry.
Board of Trustees of the Georgia Judicial Retirement System
Ann Bethune Harris was elected to the Superior Court bench in July of 2014, and again in 2018. In addition to fulfilling her duties as a superior court judge, Judge Harris also presides over Cobb County’s first Parental Accountability Court, a programmatic alternative to incarceration that seeks to transform chronic non-payers of child support into financially supportive parents through employment assistance and placement, education and substance abuse treatment. She currently serves on the Council of Superior Court. Before taking the bench, Judge Harris served the people of Cobb County as an assistant district attorney for 19 years. Before obtaining her law degree from Vanderbilt University, she worked for several years as a consultant for an international professional services firm. Judge Harris received her bachelor’s degree in Finance from Auburn University, where she graduated with high honors in 1984. Harris is active in the Cobb County community; she serves on the Board of Directors of MUST Ministries and is a longtime member of the Smyrna Optimist Club. She and her husband, Jim, reside in Smyrna. ed.
State Commission on Family Violence
Berryl Anderson, Michele Bedingfield, Jaqueline Bunn, Joon Choi, J. Mike Greene, Tony Hightower, Christine Hudson, Jeff Johnson, Cindy Morris, Chastity Rogers, Charles Sperling, and Paige Whitaker were reappointed.
Connie L. Williford was appointed as Superior Court Judge for the Macon Judicial Circuit in October 2020. Before serving on the bench, Williford practiced family law at her firm which she founded in 2006. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of West Georgia and a Juris Doctor from Mercer University. In 2020, she was named Macon Bar Association’s “Lawyer of the Year,” and she was awarded the Justice Robert Benham Award for Community Service. Williford and her family reside in Macon. In 2020, Williford was appointed by Governor Kemp to serve as a member of the Georgia Child Support Commission.