Governor Nathan Deal - Georgia’s 82nd Governor (2011-2019)

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Deal appoints Butterworth to adjutant general

September 6, 2011

Governor names new directors of Equal Opportunity, Workforce Development


Gov. Nathan Deal today tapped Sen. Jim Butterworth of Clarkesville to take on the role of adjutant general of Georgia. Butterworth will resign his Senate seat on Oct. 2, the day he takes command as leader of the National Guard.

Butterworth replaces Maj. Gen. Terry Nesbitt who is retiring after more than 40 years of service, including service in the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) in Vietnam and Chief of Staff, Headquarters, Georgia Army National Guard and Deputy Commander of the 48th Infantry Brigade. He has also served as Commander of Joint Task Force G8, Director of Manpower and Personnel-J1, Director of Domestic Operations-J3 at National Guard Bureau and Director of the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security.

The Adjutant General of Georgia is responsible for more than 14,000 personnel in the Georgia Department of Defense, which includes the Georgia Army National Guard, the Georgia Air National Guard and the Georgia State Defense Force.

Sen. Jim Butterworth

Butterworth currently represents the 50th District. He was first elected to the state Senate in 2008 and was appointed to serve on the Committee on Assignments and as one of Gov. Deal’s floor leaders for the 2011-2012 legislative session.

Butterworth serves as chairman of the Higher Education Committee and vice chairman of the Banking and Financial Institutions Committee. He is also a member of the Appropriations and Natural Resources and the Environment committees and is an ex-officio member of the Economic Development and State and Local Governmental Operations committees.

Prior to serving in the Senate, Sen. Butterworth was chairman of the Habersham County Commission. He negotiated a 25-year water contract providing the county with 3 million gallons of water per day and also helped pass a Special Local Option Sales Tax to finance transportation, economic development, recreation, and natural resources improvements. The Norton Native Intelligence Report named him a “Next Generation Leader.” Butterworth also served on boards to the Georgia Mountains Regional Development Center, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, All Hazards Council, and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs Regional Advisory Committee.

Butterworth is a pilot for Delta Air Lines. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Georgia, and he was active in the Air Force R.O.T.C. program and named twice as “AFROTC Cadet of the Year.” He later served in the U.S. Air Force for 12 years, and flew B1 bombers with the Georgia Air National Guard.
Butterworth attends Bethlehem Baptist Church in Clarkesville with his wife, Amy, and their four children.

Deal names directors of the Georgia Commission on Equal Opportunity, Workforce Development

Melvin Everson will succeed Gordon L. Joyner as director of the Georgia Commission on Equal Opportunity. Everson has served as director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development since January. A U.S. Army veteran and former Snellville city Council member, Everson was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 2005. He became the first African-American Republican to win a contested race since Reconstruction. Everson earned his bachelor’s degree in Criminology from Albany State University. Everson and his wife, Gerri, have one son and reside in Snellville. 

Tricia Pridemore will replace Everson as director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development. Pridemore is a Marietta-based businesswoman with a background in technology companies. She serves on the Georgia World Congress Center Board of Governors, WellStar Hospitals Foundation Board, and the Republican Leadership for Georgia Board of Directors. She co-chaired Deal’s Inaugural Committee. Pridemore earned a bachelor’s degree from Kennesaw State University. She and her husband, Michael, are members of Mount Paran Church in Atlanta.