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Board of Regents

Members of the Board

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C. Dean Alford, P. E.

Mr. Alford is President and Chief Executive Officer of Allied Energy Services and is currently responsible for over $5 billion of energy projects in Central and North America. He has served as consultant to the U.S. Congressional Office of Technology Assessment on energy policy issues. Mr. Alford earned his Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech. He is a member of the Board of Trustees and Chairman of the Georgia Tech Alumni Association, a member of the Georgia Tech Foundation, an inductee of the Academy of Distinguish Engineers and was awarded the Dean Griffin Award for Community Service. In 2003, Governor Sonny Perdue appointed Mr. Alford to the State Board of Education for the State of Georgia where he served until 2006. In January 2007, Governor Sonny Perdue appointed him to the Technical College System of Georgia board of directors and served as its Chairman from 2009 to 2011. Governor Nathan Deal appointed him to the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia in January 2012. Mr. Alford of a member of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. From l983 until l993, He was a five-term member of the Georgia House of Representatives. Of all his activities and accomplishments, Mr. Alford’s most enjoyable and important role is that of husband and father. He and his wife Debbie have five children and two grandchildren.

Correspondence Address
1506 Klondike Road
Suite 105
Conyers, GA 30094

District: Fourth
Term: 1/1/12 - 1/1/19
Tel.: (770) 860-9416


W. Paul Bowers

Paul Bowers was named chairman, president and chief executive officer of Georgia Power, effective Dec. 31, 2010. The company is the largest subsidiary of Southern Company, one of the nation’s largest producers of electricity. Bowers joined the Southern Company system at Gulf Power in 1979 and has held executive leadership positions at multiple subsidiaries. Prior to his current position, he was chief financial officer of Southern Company, where he was rated by Institutional Investors magazine as one of the industry’s Top Three CFOs in America. In 1998, Bowers was elected president and CEO of South Western Electricity plc, Southern Company’s former U.K. subsidiary. From 2001 to 2008, he served as president (currently titled chief operations officer) of Southern Company Generation, where he was responsible for the company’s overall operational activities. He also served as CEO of Southern Power. Bowers serves on the boards of Nuclear Electric Insurance Ltd., AFLAC, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, the Georgia Research Alliance, the Georgia Historical Society, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Foundation and the Atlanta Committee for Progress. He is the 2015 chair-elect of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, as well as a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s Energy Policy Council and a trustee for The Woodruff Arts Center. He is the past chair of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education. A Pensacola, Fla., native, Bowers holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of West Florida and a master’s degree in management from Troy University. He is also a Harvard Business School Advanced Management graduate

Correspondence Address
241 Ralph McGill Blvd.
24th Floor
Atlanta, GA 30308

District: At-Large
Term: 4/18/14 - 1/1/20
Tel.: (404) 506-5355


Lori Durden

Regent Durden currently serves as the vice president for economic development at Ogeechee Technical College. She serves on the Coastal Workforce Investment Board, the board of trustees for the Foundation for Public Education in Bulloch County and the Statesboro-Bulloch County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Durden is a member of the Rotary Club of Statesboro, an alumna of Leadership Georgia and was named on Georgia Trend’s 2009 Forty under Forty list of young business professionals. She earned a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in Business Administration from Georgia Southern University. She and her husband, Tim, have three children. They reside in Statesboro.

Correspondence Address
One Joseph E. Kennedy Blvd.
Statesboro, GA 30458

District: Twelfth
Term: 1/1/13 - 1/1/20
Tel.: (912) 486-7607


Larry R. Ellis

Regent Larry Ellis is the chief executive officer of ESSE. He joined the Board of Directors of Point Blank Solutions in 2004 and served as president and chief executive officer through April 2009. He serves as a director on the boards of SRA International, the Armed Forces Benefit Association and the National Security Studies. Regent Ellis served in the United States Army for more than 35 years before retiring as a Four-Star General. He commanded units at every echelon of the Army, including the First Armored Division while deployed in Bosnia and Herzegovina. As the U.S. Army’s Chief Operations Officer, he oversaw multi-year, multi-billion dollar budget programs supporting national strategic objectives. His military awards include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Army Distinguished Service Medal, the Combat Infantryman Badge and the Bronze Star Medal. Appointed by Gov. Sonny Perdue, Regent Ellis holds a bachelors degree from Morgan State University and a master’s degree from Indiana University. His honors include an Honorary Doctor of Laws, Honorary Master of Strategic Studies, the Distinguished Alumni Service Award, the NAACP National Service Award and the ROCK of the year award.

Correspondence Address
Ellis Services & Solutions Enterprises, LLC.
3835 Presidential Parkway, Suite 118
Atlanta, GA 30340

District: Fifth
Term: 1/1/13 - 1/1/17
Tel.: (770) 458-3773


Rutledge A. (Rusty) Griffin Jr.

Appointed by Governor Sonny Perdue in January 2011, Rutledge A. Griffin, Jr., is the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Griffin L.L.C. of Valdosta, GA., a manufacturer of crop protection & specialty chemicals founded in 1935. After the death of his father, Griffin became President and CEO (at age 26) of the family owned business. Griffin Corporation partnered in joint venture with Dupont in 1998 eventually selling its interest in the joint venture to Dupont in 2003. Griffin serves as a co-chair on the capital campaign for the Boys and Girls Club of Valdosta and has served on the Georgia Ports Authority, Emeritus Trustee of the University of Georgia, and is past chairman of the South Georgia Fellowship of Christian Athletics. Born and raised in Valdosta, Griffin attended Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Georgia, and received a B.S. degree from the University of Georgia with a major in Agriculture and a minor in Business in 1966. He and his wife, Barbara, have three children and eight grandchildren.

Correspondence Address
Griffin Corporation
3821 Skipper Bridge Road
Valdosta, GA 31605

District: Eighth
Term: 1/1/13 - 1/1/18
Tel.: (229) 245-1558


C. Thomas Hopkins, Jr., MD

Dr. Hopkins is board certified in orthopaedic surgery and orthpaedic sports medicine, engaged in private practice in Griffin as a partner of Ortho Georgia. He served in the Air Force as a fighter squadron flight surgeon and orthopaedic surgeon. He is past president of the Griffin Rotary Club, Georgia Orthopaedic Society, medical staff of Spalding Regional Hospital and serves on the board of United Bank Corporation. He serves on the board of MAG Mutual Insurance Company. He has served on the Georgia Health Strategies Council, Governor’s Physician Partnership, and is a member of the Gridiron Secret Society. Hopkins earned a bachelor’s degree from Valdosta State University, attended the University of Georgia, and completed his medical degree and residency at Emory University. He and his wife, Sara, have two children.

Correspondence Address
The Orthopaedic Sports and Injury Center of Griffin
717 South 8th St.
Griffin, GA 30224

District: Third
Term: 04/16/10 - 1/1/17
Tel.: (770) 227-4600


James M. Hull

Jim Hull is a Member Manager of Hull Storey Gibson Companies, LLC and has played a major role in the acquisition, development and redevelopment of the company’s current approximate 11 million square feet of owned retail portfolio located in eight southern states. Jim is a lifelong resident of Augusta, Georgia and active communicant of the Church of the Good Shepherd. He currently serves on the Board of the Community Foundation of the CSRA, Medical College of Georgia Foundation, Augusta State University Foundation, Georgia Regents University Board of Visitors, the Augusta Warrior Project (where Jim is the co-founding member) and Georgia’s REACH Scholarship Program. Jim is the recipient of an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Georgia Regents University. Jim is an active supporter of Paine College, where he endowed the Hull Scholars Program, and Vanderbilt University, where he endowed the Coles and Caroline Hull Scholarship. Jim is a long-standing member of the United Way’s Alexis de Tocqueville Society and has been honored with the United Way’s esteemed Founders Award. He is a Rotary Club Paul Harris Fellow, past president of the Augusta Assembly, and has been inducted in Junior Achievement’s prominent Business Hall of Fame and Beta Gamma Sigma’s Honor Society. Jim is a recipient of the Augusta Bar Association’s prestigious Liberty Bell Award and has been honored with the President’s Award from Augusta State University and the Society of Fundraising Professionals Philanthropist of the Year Award. Jim gives full credit for his happiness and success to his wonderful wife of 32 years, Karen Newton Hull, and their four adult children.

Correspondence Address
Hull Storey Gibson Companies, LLC
P.O. Box 204227
Augusta, GA 30917

District: At-Large
Term: 11/7/2013 - 1/1/2016
Tel.: (706) 863-2222


Donald M. Leebern, Jr.

Don Leebern, Jr. is Chairman of Georgia Crown, Alabama Crown, and Tennessee Crown Distributing Companies. Regent Leebern spends most of his time at the Atlanta office. Georgia Crown Distributing Company, Inc., is a wholesaler, bottler and importer of liquor, wine, beer, and water products. Regent Leebern was Chair of the Board of Directors of MCG Health Inc. He also is a member of numerous industry and social organizations. First appointed to the Board of Regents in 1991 and re-appointed in 1998 by Governor Zell Miller and again in 2005 by Gov. Sonny Perdue, Regent Leebern serves as a member At-Large. Regent Leebern served as Board Chair from 1994 to 1995. He studied Business Administration at the University of Georgia and played varsity football in 1957, 1958, and 1959. He was honored with the Georgia Athletic Association’s 2002 “Circle of Distinction Award.”

Correspondence Address
Georgia Crown Distributing Co.
P.O. Box 308
McDonough, GA 30253-0308

District: At-Large
Term: 1/1/12 - 1/1/19
Tel.: (770) 302-3000


Doreen Stiles Poitevint

Appointed by Governor Sonny Perdue in January 2004, Doreen Poitevint is a partner in Stiles Apartments and A.B. Stiles Enterprises in Athens, Ga. She currently serves on the Board of the Decatur County Library Foundation and is a past member of the Executive Committee of the Bainbridge College Foundation and the executive boards of the Decatur County Library and the Southwest Georgia Regional Library. A former teacher in DeKalb County and Decatur County, Regent Poitevint previously served as Public Education Chairman for the American Cancer Society, President of the Bainbridge Book Club and President of the Decatur County Friends of the Library. She also is a past Director and member of the Executive Committee of the Friends of the Library USA and served as a member of the Department of Technical and Adult Education Commissioner’s External Advisory Committee for Statewide Public Libraries. Regent Poitevint earned her undergraduate degree, a master’s degree in education and an education specialist degree from the University of Georgia. Regent Poitevint resides in Bainbridge, where she is a member of First Presbyterian Church. She represents the Second Congressional District on the Board of Regents.

Correspondence Address
2001 Twin Lakes Dr.
Bainbridge, GA 39819

District: Second
Term: 1/1/11 - 1/1/18
Tel.: (229) 246-8577


Neil L. Pruitt, Jr. (Vice chair)

Neil L. Pruitt, Jr. is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of PruittHealth, Inc. (formerly known as UHS-Pruitt Corporation) an integrated health care company offering independent and assisted living, skilled nursing services, rehabilitation services, home health and hospice care as well as pharmacy services, community-based services, medical supplies and care management. As a past Chair of both the Board of Governors of the American Health Care Association and the Board of Directors of the Georgia Health Care Association, Regent Pruitt is a recognized leader in the health care profession as shown by his February, 2013 Congressional appointment to the Commission for Long Term Care. He currently serves as a Board Member of the American Health Care Association, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the PruittCares Foundation. Regent Pruitt graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of the South. He was awarded a Master’s of Business Administration and a Master’s of Health Administration from Georgia State University in 2000. He and his wife, Mebane, have three children.

Correspondence Address
PruittHealth
1626 Jergens Court
Norcross, GA 30093

District: Eleventh
Term: 1/1/13 - 1/1/17
Tel.: (770) 806-6893


Sachin Shailendra

Sachin Shailendra serves as President of SG Contracting, a full service construction management and general contracting company based in Atlanta, Georgia. He has been involved in construction industry for most of his life – and is proud that SG Contracting continues to provide successful built environments for their clients. Mr. Shailendra graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Civil Engineering. As an alumnus of Woodward Academy, he sits on the Advisory Council for the private institution. Mr. Shailendra has actively raised money for many local and national non-profit organizations and enjoys his involvement in community. He is a past member of the Board of Trustees for the Alexander-Tharpe Fund, Board of Visitors for Emory University, President of the Woodward Academy Alumni Association, the Georgia Network to End Sexual Assault and the Government Affairs Council of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. He is currently a Board Member of the Atlanta Opera Board and the Children’s Healthcare Sports Network Board. Mr. Shailendra is a proud resident of the City of Atlanta.

Correspondence Address
SG Contracting Inc.
1720 Peachtree Street NW, Suite 150
Atlanta, GA 30309

District: Thirteenth
Term: 4/4/14 - 1/1/21
Tel.: (404) 591-6700 ext. 226


E. Scott Smith

E. Scott Smith serves as board member and secretary of NW Services Corp, as board member of the Catoosa County Economic Development Authority, and past chairman of the board of Junior Achievement of Chattanooga. He has served as a trustee for the Dalton State College Foundation, as board member of the Georgia Banker’s Association and the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce. Smith earned a bachelor’s degree from Georgia Southern University and a master’s degree from Georgia State University. He and his wife, Melanie, have three children. They reside in Ringgold.

Correspondence Address
88 Herron Lane
Ringgold, GA 30736

District: Fourteenth
Term: 1/1/13 - 1/1/20
Tel.: (706) 935-7268


Kessel Stelling, Jr.

Appointed by Governor Sonny Perdue in February 2008 to represent Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District, Kessel D. Stelling, Jr. is the President and CEO of Synovus Financial Corp., a financial services company with $31 billion in assets based in Columbus, Georgia. Synovus Financial Corp.’s bank divisions provide commercial and retail banking, investment and mortgage services to customers in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Florida and Tennessee. Stelling, a Georgia native, is an accomplished business and community leader whose leadership abilities and dedication to service have benefited many civic organizations. He is currently a member of the board of directors of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, where he served as Chairman in 2008. He is also a member of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce, where he served as the Interim President from 1994-1995 and Chairman in 1998 and 2006. He is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council of the University of Georgia Terry College of Business and a Trustee of Kennesaw State University. Regent Stelling earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Banking and Finance from the University of Georgia and attended the Graduate School of Banking of the South at Louisiana State University. He and his wife, Carol, have two sons.

Correspondence Address
Synovus Financial Corp.
1111 Bay Avenue
Columbus, GA 31902

District: Sixth
Term: 1/1/08 - 1/1/15
Tel.: (706) 649-2924


Benjamin “Ben” J. Tarbutton III

Ben Tarbutton is Assistant Vice President of the Sandersville Railroad Company, where he oversees daily operations, including maintaining the infrastructure, train transportation and customer service. He serves on the boards of directors for Oconee Fall Line Technical College and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. Regent Tarbutton is a past chairman of Leadership Georgia, of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce, and past president of the Sandersville Rotary Club and the Georgia Railroad Association. He earned a bachelor’s degree in management from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Regent Tarbutton was reappointed in 2013 for a second term by Governor Nathan Deal to represent the Tenth District. He and his family reside in Sandersville and are active members of the Sandersville United Methodist Church.

Correspondence Address
Sandersville Railroad
206 North Smith St.
Sandersville, GA 31082

District: Tenth
Term: 1/1/13 - 1/1/20
Tel.: (478) 552-5151 x208


Richard L. Tucker

Richard L. Tucker, Sr. was appointed to the Board of Regents in 2005 as the 7th Congressional District representative by former Governor Sonny Perdue and reappointed in 2012 by Governor Nathan Deal. Tucker served as Chairman of the Board in 2008-2009 and has been a member of the Executive Committee for the past 7 years.Tucker is Managing Partner of Arlington Capital, LLC, a private equity firm. He is also principal in multiple ventures in real estate investment, development, and management. Additionally, the Tucker family own and operate Beverage SuperStores, Georgia’s premier alcoholic beverage retailer.Regent Tucker served as President/CEO of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce from 1996-2003 and in 2005, was named Chairman of the Board. He also serves on the Gwinnett Convention and Visitors Bureau Board, Georgia Gwinnett College Board of Trustees, Gwinnett Medical Center Foundation Board and is Chairman of the Gwinnett Championship Foundation. Tucker has been recognized multiple times by Georgia Trend magazine as one of Georgia’s 100 Most Influential leaders. The Atlanta Journal Constitution has also recognized Richard Tucker as one of Gwinnett’s most influential.In 2003, Tucker received from the Council for Quality Growth its Four Pillar Award, one of the Atlanta region’s most distinguished.Tucker was a charter member of the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (GRTA) and also served on the Governor’s Development Council. He received his BBA from the University of Georgia. He and his wife, Peggy, maintain their primary residence in Suwanee.

Correspondence Address
Arlington Capital LLC
One Sugarloaf Centre, 1960 Satellite Blvd, Suite 3500
Duluth, GA 30097

District: Seventh
Term: 1/28/12 - 1/1/19
Tel.: (404) 962-3255


Thomas Rogers Wade

Prior to retirement, T. Rogers Wade was President and CEO of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation from 1997 through 2009. He is currently Chairman of the Board of Trustees of that organization and senior partner of Capitolink Inc. Before joining the Foundation, Rogers Wade was a senior partner in the public affairs firm of Edington, Wade and Associates, with offices in Atlanta and Washington, D.C. He has been an active member of the Georgia business and political community for over 40 years and served as chief of staff to Senator Herman E. Talmadge in Washington, from 1973 through 1980. Upon returning to Georgia, he was named vice president of Watkins Associated Industries, a national company with major holdings in transportation, development, seafood processing, insurance and communications. In 1985 he opened the Atlanta offices of Edington, Wade and Associates representing over half of the Fortune 100 companies from throughout the United States and Europe. He was a founding member of Leadership Georgia in 1972 and in 2010 he was asked by Governor Nathan Deal to serve as Chairman of his Transition Team. He is currently on the boards of the Georgia Research Alliance, the Georgia Trucking Association, the U.S.O., the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, the MILRA and is a trustee of the Richard B. Russell Foundation. He has also been active on the boards of the Gordon College Foundation, the P.A.G.E. Foundation, the Fanning Leadership Institute at the University of Georgia, the Advisory Board of the College of Engineering at the University of Georgia and was the recipient of the Public Policy Foundation’s Freedom Award, in 2011. He was recently appointed as Executive Director of the Governor’s Defense Initiative. He attended the University of Georgia , where he met his wife of nearly half a century, the former Marcia Bryan, of Tampa Florida. Rogers is a member of the Rotary Club of Atlanta and he and his wife are long time residents of Sandy Springs.

Correspondence Address
GDEcD (Attn: Rogers Wade)
75 Fifth Street, NW - Suite 1200
Atlanta, GA 30308

District: At-Large
Term: 1/1/13 - 1/1/20
Tel.: (404) 962-4178


Larry Walker

Walker is an attorney with Walker, Hulbert, Gray & Byrd. He served in the Georgia General Assembly for more than 30 years, where he served as Administration Floor Leader for Governor Joe Frank Harris and as Majority Leader of the Georgia House of Representatives from 1986-2002. Walker also served as Chairman of the State Legislative Leaders Foundation for four years and was named one of “The 100 Most Powerful and Influential People in Georgia” by Georgia Trend for twelve straight years. Most recently, he served on the Georgia Department of Transportation Board, representing the Eighth Congressional District. Walker earned a bachelor’s degree and a law degree from the University of Georgia. He and his wife, Janice, have four children and eight grandchildren.

Correspondence Address
P.O. Box 1234
Perry, GA 31069

District: At-Large
Term: 8/1/09 - 1/1/16
Tel.: (478) 987-1415


Don L. Waters

Appointed by Governor Nathan Deal in 2013, Don L. Waters is the Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Brasseler USA, Inc., an international manufacturer of dental and medical surgical instrumentation. Waters has been CEO of Brasseler for 20 years. Prior to that he practiced both as a Certified Public Accountant, as a Partner with Price Waterhouse & Co., and as an attorney with Hunter Maclean. A native of Savannah, he currently serves as the Chairman of Union Mission, Inc., a provider of social services dedicated to ending homelessness, and as the Chairman of the Chatham County Hospital Authority. He also serves on the Boards of the University of Georgia Foundation, the Armstrong Atlantic State University Foundation, the New York University School of Dentistry, and the University of California at Los Angeles College of Dentistry. Waters graduated from Armstrong State College with a BBA in Accounting and the University of Georgia School of Law with a JD. He and his wife Cindy have two daughters and are members of the Isle of Hope United Methodist Church.

Correspondence Address
Don L. Waters, Brasseler USA, Inc.
One Brasseler Blvd.
Savannah, GA 31419

District: First
Term: 1/1/13 - 1/1/18
Tel.: (912) 921-7535


Philip A. Wilheit, Sr. (Chair)

Appointed by Governor Nathan Deal in January 2011, Philip A. Wilheit, Sr., is the president of Wilheit Packaging and Marketing Images. Regent Wilheit serves on the Georgia Department of Economic Development Commission and the Commission for a New Georgia. He is a member of Georgia Chamber Transportation Commission and the Georgia Chamber Advisory Committee on School Board Governance. In addition to his service on the State Board of Education from 1996-1999, Wilheit served for more than 40 years on the board of the Greater Hall County Chamber of Commerce with one year as chairman and more than 20 years on the Georgia Chamber of Commerce with one year as chairman. He also served as treasurer for Congressman Nathan Deal for 28 years and served as the Statewide Chairman of the Deal for Governor campaign. Regent Wilheit received a B.A. in English from the University of the South-“Sewanee” in 1966. He and his wife Mary Hart have two adult children and three grandchildren.

Correspondence Address
Wilheit Packaging
P.O. Box 111
Gainesville, GA 30503

District: Ninth
Term: 1/1/13 - 1/1/15
Tel.: (770) 532-4421