Members of the Board
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 was 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.
1506 Klondike Road
Conyers, GA 30094
Term: 1/1/19 - 1/1/26
Chris Cummiskey serves as executive vice president of External Affairs and Nuclear Development for Georgia Power. Named to the position in May 2015, he leads the company’s policies and activities in community and economic development, corporate communication, environmental affairs, governmental and regulatory affairs, land management, and nuclear development. He also works closely with the company’s region officers, who are responsible for managing Georgia Power’s field operations.
Prior to his current position, he served as chief commercial officer of Southern Power. In this role, he led the expansion of wholesale marketing activities, including business development, acquisitions and asset management for Southern Power.
From 2011 to 2013, Cummiskey served as commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), where he led more than 500 company locations or expansions in Georgia, creating 46,700 jobs and nearly $9 billion in capital investment. Under his leadership, the tourism industry also registered $49 billion in total economic impact in Georgia in 2011, and the impact of the film industry reached a new record at $3.1 billion in the state in 2012. Prior to joining GDEcD, Cummiskey was a manager and director of energy and gas derivatives trading for companies including RWE Americas, Mirant and Mieco. He also served as a state director for U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia, chief of staff for the speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives, and director of state relations for the University of Georgia.
Cummiskey is a member of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, serves on the Georgia board of trustees for the Nature Conservancy, and is a member of the Woodruff Arts Center governing board. He also currently serves on three boards for the University of Georgia, including the Research Foundation board of directors, the Honor’s Program advisory board and the Athletics board of directors.
Cummiskey earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Georgia. He and his wife, Rebecca, reside in Atlanta with their two children, Addison and Jack.
241 Ralph McGill Blvd. NE Bin 10240
Atlanta, GA 30308
Term: 4/18/18 – 1/1/20
W. Allen Gudenrath
W. Allen Gudenrath is a senior vice president with Morgan Stanley’s Wealth Management Division where his son joins him in their practice. Gudenrath joined this firm 32 years ago when it was the original Robinson Humphrey Company. During this time, he was a participant in Smith Barney’s Chairman Counsel and served on the Chicago Option Exchange Advisor Counsel.
Allen’s educational background includes a BBA from the University of Georgia, an AA degree from Reinhardt College and a College Preparatory degree from Notre Dame High School. Current and past outside business interest have included the Georgia Department of Economic Development – appointed Board of Director in 2012. Steering Committee Member on Governor Deal’s Georgia Competitive Initiative, Founding Board Member of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, Georgia Forestry Foundation – trustee, Leadership Georgia – co-recipient of the Frederick B. Kerr service award, J.W. Fanning Fellowship Designee and Reinhardt College Alumni Board of Governors. Allen is active in various local charitable organizations and an active member in the Macon Civic Club and Gridiron Secret Society.
He and his wife, Lynda, reside in Macon, have three children and four fabulous grandchildren. They are members of Vineville Methodist Church.
Morgan Stanley Wealth Management
5444 Riverside Dr., 2nd fl
Macon , GA 31210
Term: 1/1/18 – 1/1/25
Erin Hames is the president of ReformEd, a firm focused on improving educational opportunities and outcomes for children and students. Prior to launching ReformEd, Erin served as Governor Deal’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy and, prior to that, as Governor Perdue’s Policy Director and Chief of Staff at the Georgia Department of Education.
Erin started her career as a public school classroom teacher where she was named as her school’s First Year Teacher of the Year. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia and a law degree from Georgia State University College of Law. Erin is a member of the State Bar of Georgia, the Southern Regional Education Board, the GeorgiaCAN Advisory Board, the American Enterprise Institute Enterprise Club and the State Charter Schools Commission Foundation Board.
She also serves a Commissioner for Education Commission of the States. She received the 2016 Professional Achievement Award from the University of Georgia’s College of Education, was a member of the 2013 40 Under 40 Class by the University of Georgia’s Alumni Association and was selected as a 2010 Henry Toll Fellow by the Council of State Governments.
She and her husband, Ben, natives of Clarksville, Georgia live in Atlanta with their two young children, Isaac and Rachel.
3445 Peachtree Rd., NE Suite 175
Atlanta, GA 30305
District: At Large
Term: 1/1/18 – 1/1/23
Bárbara Rivera Holmes
Bárbara Rivera Holmes is president and CEO of the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce, a business advocacy organization established in 1909 and whose focus is to create the conditions for economic growth and opportunity.
The Albany Area Chamber has eight core divisions that support the membership the community and a growing business environment: small business; economic development; tourism; military affairs; governmental affairs; education and work force development; leadership development; and membership. The Albany Area Chamber manages the Albany Convention & Visitors Bureau, which supports tourism-related economic development.
Holmes was previously vice president of the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission, where she oversaw the development of the agency’s brand, its marketing campaigns and developed its successful business retention and expansion program, which facilitates existing industry job creation and capital investment in Albany-Dougherty County.
Holmes helped organize the Albany-Dougherty Industry Roundtable, a CEO-level forum of the area’s largest employers. The roundtable is a partnership of the Albany Area Chamber and the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission.
Holmes is a former journalist whose work has earned four awards for excellence in journalism from the Georgia Associated Press. She is a graduate of the 2014 class of Leadership Georgia; the 2009-10 class of Leadership Albany; and in 2008 was recognized as one of Southwest Georgia’s “40 Under 40.” She is also graduate of the Georgia Academy for Economic Development.
Holmes is passionate about the Albany community and about effecting positive change, which is reflected in her professional and personal pursuits.
Holmes, who is bilingual, is a native of San Juan, Puerto Rico. She graduated from Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Fla., with degrees in journalism and in Spanish. She continued her studies at Estudio Sampere Internacional, in Madrid and Alicante, Spain.
Holmes serves on the boards of Leadership Georgia, the Georgia Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, and the Commodore Conyers College and Career Academy.
Holmes and her husband, David, and their daughter, Alejandra, live in Albany and attend St. Teresa’s Catholic Church.
Albany Area Chamber of Commerce Albany Convention & Visitors Bureau
225 West Broad Avenue
Albany, GA 31701
Term: 1/1/18 – 1/1/25
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 OrthoGeorgia. He served in the United States Air Force as a fighter squadron flight surgeon and orthopaedic surgeon. He is past president of the Griffin Rotary Club, Georgia Orthopaedic Society, and medical staff of Spalding Regional Hospital. Dr. Hopkins serves on the board of United Bank Corporation, United Bank of Griffin, Augusta University (MCG) Health System, and MAG Mutual Insurance Company. He was appointed to the Board of Regents by Governor Sonny Perdue in 2010 and reappointed by Governor Nathan Deal in 2018. He served as chairman of the board in 2017.
He has served on the boards of the Medical Association of Georgia, Georgia Health Strategies Council, Governor’s Physician Partnership, Southern Crescent Technical College, Salvation Army and First Methodist Church of Griffin.
He is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and Arthroscopy Association of North America. Hopkins earned a bachelor’s degree from Valdosta State University, attended the University of Georgia, completed his medical degree and residency at Emory University and is a member of Kappa Alpha Order and the Gridiron Secret Society.
He and his wife, Sara Lucas Hopkins, have two children, Charles Thomas Hopkins III, DMD and Paige Hopkins Parker, DPT.
C. Thomas Hopkins, M.D.
717 South 8th St.
Griffin, GA 30224
Term: 1/1/18 – 1/1/25
James M. Hull
Jim Hull is the founder and managing principal of Hull Property Group. He has led the acquisition, development and redevelopment of over 70 big-box retail, neighborhood and regional shopping centers including 30 enclosed regional malls, which comprise the Company’s 15 million plus square feet of owned retail portfolio.
Jim is a lifelong resident of Augusta, Georgia. He serves on the boards of the Medical College of Georgia Foundation, Augusta University Health System, State of Georgia’s REACH Scholarship Program, the Georgia Research Alliance, the Community Foundation of the CSRA, America’s Warrior Partnership and is past Chair of the University System of Georgia Foundation. Jim endowed the Hull Scholars Program at Augusta University, Paine College and Vanderbilt University.
He is a long-standing member of the United Way’s Alexis de Tocqueville Society and has been honored with the United Way’s Founders Award. Jim received the President’s Award from Augusta University, the Liberty Bell Award from the Augusta Bar Association and the Philanthropist of the Year Award from the Society of Fundraising Professionals. He is a Rotary Club Paul Harris Fellow, past president of the Augusta Assembly, and has been inducted in Junior Achievement’s Business Hall of Fame and Beta Gamma Sigma’s Honor Society. Jim is a recipient of an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from Augusta University.
Hull Property Group, LLC
P.O. Box 204227
Augusta, GA 30917
Term: 1/8/16 - 1/1/23
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 Governor 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.”
Georgia Crown Distributing Co.
P.O. Box 308
McDonough, GA 30253-0308
Term: 1/1/19 - 1/1/26
Mrs. Marsh is a member of the law firm Taulbee, Rushing, Snipes, Marsh & Hodgin, LLC in Statesboro, Georgia. She began her legal career at Sullivan & Cromwell in New York City and worked as an investment banker and counsel to the capital markets group at Lehman Brothers, Inc.
From 2012 until 2016, Mrs. Marsh served as Vice Chairman and then Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Bulloch Academy, a private K4-12 secondary school. She is a member and past President of the Statesboro Service League and has served on the Board of Directors for the Boys & Girls Club of Bulloch County and the Bulloch County Chapter of the American Heart Association. Mrs. Marsh is a recipient of a Business Mentor Award from the Georgia Southern University College of Business Administration and of a Deen Day Smith Service to Mankind Award. Marsh is active in her community and has established and continues to provide pro bono legal services to numerous charitable and civic organizations.
Mrs. Marsh earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Florida State University where she was a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority. She received her law degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Georgia School of Law. While attending the University of Georgia, Mrs. Marsh was a member of the Editorial Board of the Georgia Law Review, the Intrastate and National Moot Court teams, Blue Key, Phi Kappa Phi, Order of the Coif, Order of Barristers and a Pupil of the Lumpkin Inn of Court.
She and her husband, Randy, have two daughters and are active members of the Statesboro First United Methodist Church.
1209 Merchants Way, Suite 201
Statesboro, GA 30458
Term: 6/24/16 - 1/1/20
Neil L. Pruitt, Jr.
Neil L. Pruitt, Jr. is chairman and CEO of PruittHealth, Inc., 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. Pruitt served as chair of the Board of Governors of the American Health Care Association and chair of the Georgia Health Care Association.
As shown by his February 2013, Congressional appointment to the Commission for Long Term Care – a 15-member panel charged with developing plans for a comprehensive, coordinated and high-quality system ensuring long-term care for older adults and people with disabilities, Pruitt has become a recognized leader in the health care profession. Pruitt served as chair of the Board of Trustees of the University System of Georgia Foundation, Inc. and currently serves as a Board Member for the Georgia Regents Health System.
He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of the South in Tennessee and was awarded a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Health Administration from Georgia State University. He is an active member of the Peachtree Presbyterian Church in Atlanta.
He and his wife, Mebane, have three children.
1626 Jergens Court
Norcross, GA 30093
Term: 2/10/17 - 1/1/24
Reed is the former First Lady of Atlanta. She sits on the boards for the Children’s Museum of Atlanta and the Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students.
Reed was awarded the Early Childhood Champion Award from Sheltering Arms Early Education and Childhood Center and was recognized among the 2016 Women of Achievement by Greater Atlanta YWCA. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a law degree from Howard University.
Reed and her husband, former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, have one child and live in Atlanta.
1544 Niskey Lake Trail
Atlanta, GA 30331
Term: 2/10/17 – 1/1/24
As president of SG Contracting, Inc., Sachin has responsibility for the company in its entirety, governing its activities and providing the direction to smoothly and efficiently match people and projects to deliver successful outcomes. Sachin is known for his integrity, honesty and commitment to client satisfaction.
His extensive portfolio of construction experience and his ability to solve problems and effectively communicate plans and processes at all levels, make him a valuable leader to assist owners, subcontractors, architects and designers with new projects and renovation projects alike.
Sachin is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology and an alumnus of Woodward Academy, where he has also served as a former president of the Alumni Association and member of the school’s Advisory Council. He is a current member of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia and is chair of the University System of Georgia Foundation.
He is a board member of the Georgia REACH Foundation and also sits on the board of Children’s Health Care of Atlanta’s Sports Network as well as serving on the board of the Metro Atlanta YMCA.
SG Contracting, Inc.
1760 Peachtree Street NW, Suite 100
Atlanta, GA 30309
Term: 4/4/14 - 1/1/21
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.
88 Herron Lane
Ringgold, GA 30736
Term: 1/1/13 - 1/1/20
Kessel D. Stelling, Jr.
Appointed by Governor Sonny Perdue in February 2008 to represent Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District, Kessel D. Stelling, Jr. is the chairman and CEO of Synovus, a financial services company based in Columbus, Georgia with approximately $30 billion in assets. Synovus provides commercial and retail banking, investment, and mortgage services to customers in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Florida, and Tennessee.
A Georgia native, Stelling was the chairman of the Dean’s Advisory Council of the University of Georgia Terry College of Business, and serves on the boards of directors of Georgia Power, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Financial Services Roundtable. Regent Stelling earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in banking and finance from the University of Georgia and completed the Graduate School of Banking of the South at Louisiana State University.
He and his wife, Carol, have two sons.
Synovus Financial Corp.
1111 Bay Avenue
Columbus, GA 31902
Term: 1/9/15 - 1/1/22
Ben J. Tarbutton III
Ben Tarbutton III is president of the Sandersville Railroad Company, a shortline railroad located in Sandersville, Georgia. The Sandersville Railroad has been in operation since 1893 and hauls various commodities including kaolin, wood chips, and plastics.
Mr. Tarbutton is active in his community and at the state level. Presently, he serves as a Board of Director of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, the American Shortline and Regional Railroad Association, the Georgia Railroad Association, and as the vice chairman of the Washington County Industrial Development Authority. He is a past chairman of the University System of Georgia Board of Regents, Leadership Georgia, Washington County Chamber of Commerce, the Georgia Higher Education Facilities Authority and past president of the Georgia Railroad Association and the Sandersville Rotary.
Mr. Tarbutton has been designated as a 100 Most Influential Georgian and a Most Notable Georgian by Georgia Trend for several years. Mr. Tarbutton graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Management from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Mr. Tarbutton was reappointed in 2013 for a second term by Governor Nathan Deal to the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia representing the 10th District.
He resides in Sandersville with his wife and three children where they are active members of the Sandersville United Methodist Church.
206 North Smith St.
Sandersville, GA 31082
Term: 1/1/13 - 1/1/20
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.
Arlington Capital, LLC
6224 Sugarloaf Parkway, Suite 150
Duluth, GA 30097
Term: 1/1/19 - 1/1/26
Thomas Rogers Wade (Vice Chair)
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, Wade was a 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 to serve as chairman of the Transition Team by Governor Nathan Deal.
He is a member of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia and serves currently on the boards of the Georgia Research Alliance, the Georgia Trucking Association, the U.S.O., the Fanning Leadership Institute, is a Trustee of the Richard B. Russell Foundation and is chairman of the Governor’s Defense Initiative.
He has also been active on the boards of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Gordon College Foundation, the P.A.G.E. Foundation and the Advisory Board of the School of Engineering at the University of Georgia. He received the Blue Key Service Award from the UGA Chapter of the Blue Key National Honor Society, is the recipient of the Public Policy Foundation’s Freedom Award, received the 2016 Patriot Award from the U.S.O. and was recently inducted into the Georgia Trend’s Most Influential Hall of Fame.
While at the University of Georgia, he was a member of Alpha Tau Omega, the Demosthenian Literary Society and met his late wife of over half a century, the former Marcia Bryan, of Tampa Florida.
Rogers is a member of the Rotary Club of Atlanta and is a long-time resident of Sandy Springs.
Regent Thomas Rogers Wade
GA Dept. of Economic Development, 75 Fifth Street - Suite 1200
Atlanta, GA 30308
Term: 1/1/13 - 1/1/20
Don L. Waters (Chair)
Appointed by Governor Nathan Deal in 2013, Don L. Waters is the CEO of Waters Capital Partners, LLC, an investment company and family office. From 1993 through 2016, he was the chairman, president and chief executive officer of Brasseler USA, Inc., an international manufacturer of dental and medical surgical instrumentation.
Prior to that he practiced both as a Certified Public Accountant, as a partner with Price Waterhouse & Co., and as an attorney with HunterMaclean. A native of Savannah, Waters currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Chatham County Hospital Authority, the Board of Trustees of the Augusta University Health System, and on the Board of Curators of the Georgia Historical Society. In 2013, Waters was inducted into the Savannah Business Hall of Fame, and in 2017 he was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award given by the Savannah Branch of the NAACP. In 2018, he was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Scroll from the University of Georgia School of Law, his alma mater.
Waters graduated from Armstrong State College with a BBA in Accounting and the University of Georgia School of Law with a JD.
His family endowed the Waters College of Health Professions at Armstrong State University, now part of Georgia Southern University. He and his wife Cindy have two daughters, four grandsons, and are members of the Isle of Hope United Methodist Church.
Waters Capital Partners, LLC
200 E. St. Julian St., Suite 100
Savannah, GA 31401
Term: 1/1/18 - 12/30/24
Philip A. Wilheit, Sr.
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, the Commission for a New Georgia and the Georgia Historical Society.
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.
P.O. Box 111
Gainesville, GA 30503
Term: 1/9/15 - 1/1/22