Gov. Kemp Names 27 Appointments to Various Boards and Commissions

Monday, October 25th, 2021

Today, Governor Brian P. Kemp announced 27 appointments to various boards and commissions.

Georgia Commission on Women

Valerie Montgomery Rice is the sixth president of Morehouse School of Medicine and the first woman to lead the free-standing medical institution. Montgomery Rice serves as both the president and CEO. A renowned infertility specialist and researcher, she most recently served as dean and executive vice president of Morehouse School of Medicine, where she has served since 2011. Prior to joining Morehouse, Montgomery Rice held faculty positions and leadership roles at various health centers, including academic health centers. Most notably, she was the founding director of the Center for Women’s Health Research at Meharry Medical College, one of the nation’s first research centers devoted to studying diseases that disproportionately impact women of color. Montgomery Rice was named to the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans and received the 2017 Horatio Alger Award. For three consecutive years (2016-2018) Georgia Trend Magazine selected Montgomery Rice as one of the 100 Most Influential Georgians. Other honors include the following: The Dean Griffin Community Service Award from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Girls Inc. 2019 Smart Award, The National Medical Association OB/GYN 2019 Legend of the Section Award, The Turknett Leadership Character Award (2018), Visions of Excellence Award, Atlanta Business League (2018), Links Incorporated Co-Founders Award (2018), Trumpet Vanguard Award (2015), The Dorothy I. Height Crystal Stair Award (2014), National Coalition of 100 Black Women - Women of Impact (2014), YWCA – Women of Achievement of Atlanta (2014) and Nashville (2007), American Medical Women’s Association Elizabeth Blackwell Medal (2011), and Working Mother Media Multicultural Women’s Legacy Award (2011). A Georgia native, Montgomery Rice holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology, a medical degree from Harvard Medical School, an honorary degree from the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and a Doctor of Humane Letters honorary degree from Rush University. She completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Emory University School of Medicine and her fellowship in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Hutzel Hospital. Montgomery Rice is married to Melvin Rice Jr., and they have two children.


Georgia Trauma Care Network Commission

Dennis W. Ashley and Regina S. Medeiros were reappointed.


Georgia Public Telecommunications Commission

Mark Parkman was recruited to lead the International Olympic Committee’s start-up multi-media platform in August 2015. Parkman developed a strategic plan of implementation which culminated in the launch of the Olympic Channel following the Closing Ceremony of the Olympic Games Rio 2016. Five years later, Parkman led the digital strategy and transformation of the Olympic movement prior to the Tokyo Olympic Games, combining legacy platforms into a single consumer-facing digital entity incorporating the Olympic Channel, the IOC institutional properties, and the Olympic host city digital platforms into Those efforts resulted in record-breaking audience figures of 178 million unique users, five billion social engagements, and fueled to become the world’s most visited sports site in July 2021. Parkman was named in April 2020 as an Olympic Power Player by the Sports Business Journal. Additionally, he also created the critically acclaimed documentary series Five Rings Films and selected legendary Hollywood producers Frank Marshall and Mandalay Sports Media to co-produce the films. In July 2017, a traditional television version of the Olympic Channel made its debut in 35 million homes in cable systems across the USA in partnership with NBC and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee. In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), beIN HD 10 Olympic Channel was created in November 2017 and is distributed across 23 countries. In the fall of 2017, the Olympic Channel was named Best Sport Thematic Channel, and Parkman was nominated for Media Executive of the Year by the prestigious TV Sports Awards. Prior to leading the Olympic Channel, Parkman served as the Operations Executive for Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) and Vice President of International Sports Broadcasting (ISB). Recognized by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences with an EMMY award for his work on the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Winter Games, Parkman has also been on the cusp of new technology development, both in traditional television and digital media. Prior to his leadership in the global television market, Parkman worked in public relations, marketing, and international television coordination with Turner Broadcasting System and Cohn & Wolfe where he led media efforts for the NFL, NBA, MLB, NASCAR, PGA Golf, and two Goodwill Games. A graduate of the University of Georgia, he served four years as a student assistant in the University’s Sports Information Office.

J. Alvin Wilbanks was named CEO and Superintendent of Gwinnett County Public Schools in March 1996. Under his leadership, the school district earned a reputation as one of the most successful in the country. The Broad Foundation selected GCPS as a finalist for the prestigious Broad Prize for Urban Education three times—in 2009, 2010, and 2014—and awarded Gwinnett the Broad Prize in 2010 and 2014. As Superintendent, Wilbanks was tapped by three Georgia governors and two United States Secretaries of Education to help craft significant education-reform legislation at the state and federal levels. He served seven years as chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia. In 2017, Governor Nathan Deal appointed Wilbanks to chair the Joint Study Committee, charged with establishing a statewide school leadership academy for Georgia. He is a leader in organizations that advocate for public education at the state and national levels, including the Georgia Education Coalition and the national Large Countywide and Suburban District Consortium. Wilbanks is the founding president of Gwinnett Technical College, which opened in 1984. Throughout his career, he has won numerous honors for his professional accomplishments and civic contributions, including being named “2005 Georgia Superintendent of the Year” and one of four finalists for the national title. Other major honors include the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce “Citizen of the Year;” the Boy Scouts of America’s “Distinguished Citizen Award;” Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful’s “Environmental Legacy Award;” the University of Georgia College of Education’s “Lifetime Achievement Award;” and the Professional Association of Georgia Educators 2016 honoree at its “A PAGE Turning Event” that recognizes outstanding business and civic leaders for their contributions to public education in Georgia. In 2018, Wilbanks and the Gwinnett County Board of Education were named the state’s first-ever “Governance Team of the Year” by the Georgia School Boards Association. Wilbanks was honored in 2019 with the Georgia Association for Career and Technical Education’s first “Lifetime Achievement Award.” He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from the University of Georgia, and his education specialist degree from Georgia State University.


Board of Community Health

Nelva Lee is the Founder and CEO of MiTio Inc., a Medical and Court Interpreting and Translating Training Institute. MiTio Inc. employs interpreters and translators directly to healthcare/legal organizations in need of its services. Lee has over 20 years of experience in healthcare and over 10 years in academia as an adjunct professor. She is the secretary of the board of the Henry County Pregnancy Resource Center; a board member of the Georgia Black Republican Council and a former Republican candidate for State Senate in District 17. Lee has authored several books to include: “The Good Christian Wife” and the blogger of “The Black Woman’s Guide to Revival.” Lee and her husband Donny have been married for over 20 years and they have three children.

Georgia State Rehabilitation Council

Juliet Hardeman is a mentor in the Georgia Parent Mentor Partnership, where she supports families of students with disabilities in Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools. Hardeman has also taught high school students with disabilities and holds a Master of Education from Georgia Southern University. Additionally, Hardeman has served in the Army Medical Service Corps for over 21 years, and she has been deployed globally in support of combat and humanitarian missions. She and her husband, Frank have been married for over 32 years and have raised 2 daughters on Wilmington Island, Georgia.

Jerry Haywood is the Program Coordinator and an Associate Professor of Psychology at Fort Valley State University. Before accepting a full-time faculty appointment, he worked as Director of Academic Counseling & Disability Services for nearly 10 years where he served as an advocate and liaison for students with disabilities within the University community. Haywood’s research and program development strategies on African American Males in Higher Education have been well recognized by colleagues and scholars across the nation. He attributes much of his success and his passion to his experiences growing up in a small town in rural Georgia. Haywood received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling, both from Fort Valley State University. In 2012, he received a Ph.D. in Psychology from Capella University. In addition to his experience in higher education, he has over 15 years of experience and training in both group and individual counseling.

Kathryn Hearn works for the Atlanta Braves as Senior Coordinator, Digital & Accessible Services, and is their Club ADA Coordinator. At the age of 28, Hearn was diagnosed with pseudotumor cerebri, a rare disorder related to high pressure around the brain due to an excess of spinal fluid, resulting in the loss of her eyesight. In 2018, the Braves awarded Hearn with the Walker Banks Award for her extraordinary customer service. Hearn is passionate about providing opportunities to Georgians with disabilities to live, work, and thrive in our state. She resides in Smyrna.

Joy Norman served for 18 years as the Director of the Center for Accommodation and Access at Columbus State University. Recently retired, she continues to work as a part-time instructor at Columbus State University and gives self-advocacy presentations for Georgia high school students with disabilities for High School High Tech. Norman recently resigned from the Columbus Mayor’s Commission for Persons with Disabilities after serving 6 years as chair. Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson proclaimed September 1, 2021, as Joy Norman Day in Columbus. Norman is married to Mickey Norman. They have a son and daughter and 6 granddaughters. She holds a bachelor’s degree in health science and a master’s in community counseling.

Aarti Sahgal is the founder of Synergies Work, a 501c3 that is committed to expanding business opportunities for people with disabilities. By providing mentorship, training, and ongoing support through their network of industry experts and volunteers, the organization helps individuals find that special spark and turn it into a business. As a parent of a child with Down Syndrome, Sahgal has always been an advocate for her son and resisted services for her son that might isolate or disempower him. Prior to founding Synergies Work, Sahgal worked as a consultant to the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities, building inclusive communities and workforce strategies for individuals with different abilities and for three years with Parent to Parent of Georgia as a diversity coordinator. She currently serves as a secretary on the board of Georgia APSE. Sahgal holds a degree in business administration and has worked in the for-profit world for 14 years.


Board of Trustees of the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia

Jason Branch was reappointed.


Board of Early Care and Learning

Kristy Beam currently serves as Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning in City Schools of Decatur. She also works with the University of North Georgia preparing teachers for the classroom. Beam has experience working with all levels of education from preschool to university. Throughout her twenty-three years in education, she has worked as a principal, assistant principal, and teacher in Gwinnett County, Rockdale County, and Valencia, Spain. Beam has three daughters.

Joanna Gaines Hill is the owner and operator of Bright Promises Children’s Center. Prior to opening her business in 1994, she taught in the Madison County School System. Hill formerly served on the board for Georgia Childcare Association and is a current member of the Georgia Children’s Cabinet. She is also the chair of the Royston Downtown Development Authority, and a very active member on several boards including Royston/Franklin Springs Chamber of Commerce, the Junior League of Athens, the Athens Garden Club, Athens First Baptist Church, and UGA’s John Fontaine Jr. Center for Alcohol and Awareness and Education. Hill is the Athens Academy PSO President. She graduated from the University of Georgia in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. Hill and her husband Bert have two children and reside in Oconee County.


State Board of Registration of Used Motor Vehicle Dealers and Used Motor Vehicle Parts Dealers

Tyler Wood is a small business owner in Macon, Georgia. Wood is a partner in the Northside Used Auto Sales, LLC and owns several other businesses that have dealings in real estate and finance. He is an active member of his community having served on the board of several organizations. Wood is currently a member of the Forsyth Kiwanis. In 2007, he was profiled by the Georgia Trend Magazine in a feature titled “The Perils of Prosperity.” Wood graduated from the University of Georgia with a bachelor’s degree in business education. He and his wife Catherine have four children and reside in Forsyth, Georgia.


Board of Trustees of the Georgia Firefighters’ Pension Fund

Timothy Milligan was reappointed

David Bullard has been a part of the Columbia County fire service for over 23 years. Bullard is involved in many professional organizations that include the Georgia State Firefighters Association (current President), Georgia Association of Fire Chiefs; National Fire Academy Alumni Association; Leadership Augusta Alumni; Georgia FLAMES Alumni; International Association of Fire Chiefs; Peach Belt FOOLS; and the Firefighter Cancer Support Network. Additionally, he has been a presenter at Fire-Rescue International; SEAFC Conference; Panama City Beach Fire Conference; South Eastern Fire Expo; and the South Carolina Fire Rescue Conference. Bullard is also a contributing author for the National Volunteer Fire Council’s Backdraft Magazine, the Training Officer’s Desk Reference textbook, and on the curriculum committee for IFSTA’s Driver Operator textbook. He serves as an adjunct instructor for the Georgia Fire Academy and Firefighter Basics, using his travels of teaching to further spread the message of the GSFA. Bullard has been honored twice for his exemplary performance as a Georgia firefighter as Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue Firefighter of the Year, as well as a GSFA Valor Award recipient.


Georgia Board of Driver Services

David Connell and Jeff Markey were reappointed.


Georgia Board of Dentistry 

Larry Willis Miles, Jr. is a partner at Dental Partners of SWGA in Leesburg, Georgia, and adjunct faculty at the Dental College of Georgia in Augusta. Prior to joining SWGA, Miles was a solo practitioner at Larry Willis Miles DMD PC. He attended the University of Georgia for his undergraduate education before attending the Medical College of Georgia, School of Dentistry. Miles is a member of the American Dental Association, the Georgia Dental Association, and the SW District Dental Association. He and his wife Ashley have been married for 24 years and have two teenage daughters.

David Reznik is the Director and founder of the Oral Health Center of Grady Health System’s Infectious Disease Program and serves as Chief of the Dental Medicine Service. Reznik is president and founder of the HIV Dental Alliance (HIVdent), a not-for-profit organization of concerned healthcare providers committed to assuring access to dental care for people with HIV. Reznik has lectured and published extensively on HIV and oral health and infection control issues. During the last year, he has focused his concentration on ensuring that both providers and consumers of dental care have the safest possible visits during the COVID-19 pandemic. Reznik was the 2016-2019 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar alumni working with multidisciplinary teams to increase access to oral health care adults and children throughout the U.S. In 2020, Reznik was awarded the Atlanta Business Chronicles Healthcare Heroes Lifetime Achievement Award. He is the recipient of OSAP’s 2021 Dr. James J. Crawford Award, which is a lifetime achievement award that recognizes individuals who have made major contributions in science, education, or public policy related to dental infection control and patient and provider safety.


Board of Economic Development 

Julie Hunt is the president of J.H. Services, Inc. She is an entrepreneur with experience in the restaurant, advertising, and real estate industries, as well as a former schoolteacher. Hunt previously served as a member of the Georgia Ports Authority, is a member of the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College President’s Club, an emeritus trustee of the University of Georgia Foundation, and a former Regent of the University System of Georgia. She was a founding member of the Tifton-Tift County Tourism Association and a past president of the Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce. In 2018, she was awarded Leadership Georgia’s J.W. Fanning Award. Hunt is a former member of the Commission for the Privatization of State Government and the Georgia Economic Development Authority. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Valdosta State University. Hunt has two children and seven grandchildren. She resides in Tifton.


Georgia Board of Examiners of Licensed Dietitians 

Michael Kaplan is the president of Sanford Insurance Agency in Macon, Georgia. Kaplan attended the University of Georgia where he graduated with a degree in Risk Management and Insurance and went on to open his first insurance agency in 1984. He is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, is the vice president of the Macon Jewish Federation, serves on the Board of Directors for the Professional Insurance Agents of Georgia, and is on the FEMA Committee with the United Way. He and his wife Nancy have three children and reside in Bibb County. Kaplan will serve as the consumer member on the Georgia Board of Examiners of Licensed Dietitians.


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

Brent Herrin is the managing partner in the law firm Small | Herrin, LLP, where he divides his practice between litigation, transactional, and higher education matters. His litigation practice is concentrated in fiduciary and commercial litigation, including probate, trust, bankruptcy law, and creditors’ rights matters. His transactional practice is concentrated in the areas of estate planning, wealth preservation, corporate, and tax. His higher education and accreditation practice is concentrated on advising institutions of higher education in all aspects of accreditation and corporate governance issues. Herrin received his Bachelor of Business Administration in Banking and Finance from the University of Georgia. He obtained his Juris Doctor from Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law and his Master of Laws in Taxation from the University of Alabama. Herrin previously served as Counsel to former United States Senator Jeff Sessions and as Counsel to the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts in Washington, D.C. He was an adjunct instructor at the J. Mack Robinson School of Business at Georgia State University, teaching courses in Business Law and Ethics. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Catholic Foundation of North Georgia, Inc., the Board of Directors and as Immediate Past President of the St. Thomas More Society, Inc. in Atlanta, and as Chairman of the Advisory Council of Queen of Angels Catholic School in Roswell. He and his wife Erika have three children and reside in Roswell. Herrin will serve as the consumer member on the Georgia Composite Board of Professional Counselors, Social Workers, and Marriage and Family Therapists.


State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors

L. Dan Davis was reappointed.


Georgia Board of Health Care Workforce

Josh Walker is a general surgeon in his hometown of Donalsonville, Georgia. Walker attended the University of Georgia for his undergraduate education and went on to graduate from Mercer University School of Medicine. He completed a 5-year surgery residency at the Medical College of Georgia where he was chief resident in 2008. Upon completion of his residency at the Medical College of Georgia, Walker and his family moved to Cooperstown, New York where he completed an abbreviated fellowship in rural surgery. He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons in 2015. Walker serves as a preceptor for medical students at Mercer University School of Medicine as well as the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine. He has been a medical director for Agape Hospice and serves on the Seminole County Warpath Cancer Board.

James “J” Smith has worked in emergency medicine since 1997 and is currently the Medical Director at Envision Healthcare. Smith serves as the Lt. Governor appointee on the Georgia Trauma Commission. He also serves on the Northside Gwinnett Hospital Trauma Committee; the Northside Gwinnett Hospital Credentials Committee; the Georgia College of Emergency Physicians Legislative Committee; and the Northside Gwinnett Hospital Medical Performance and Innovation Commission. He has served in leadership roles for a number of professional organizations and is an active volunteer in his community. Smith has several publications: Headache in a Patient with Ulcerative Colitis, Hiccups (featured in Rosen and Barkin’s 5-Minute Emergency Medicine Consult), and Occipital Nerve Block. He and his wife, Courtney have five children.