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

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Deal appoints 8 to boards

November 4, 2011

Melissa C. Thurlow, Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy
Thurlow is an occupational therapist and certified hand therapist with Peachtree Orthopedic Physical Therapy in Atlanta. She has over 30 years experience in physical therapy and rehabilitation. Thurlow was previously on the board of directors of the American Society of Hand Therapists. She is active in the Georgia Occupational Therapy Association, the American Occupational Therapy Association, the American Society of Hand Therapists and the Georgia Hand and Upper Extremity Special Interest Group. Thurlow earned a bachelor’s degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Texas Medical Branch and a Master in Business Administration from Brenau University. She and her husband, Greg, have two sons, Austin and Chandler. They reside in Norcross.

E. Laird Miller, Georgia Board of Pharmacy
Miller is part owner of Medical Park Pharmacy in Gainesville and Jennings Pharmacy in Demorest. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Academy of Independent Pharmacy where he was chairman from 1997 to 2008. Miller is on the legislative steering committee for the National Community Pharmacy Association. He graduated from North Georgia College and State University with a degree in biology and a degree in pharmacy  from the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy. Miller was the recipient of the College of Pharmacy’s “Distinguished Alumni” award in 2003, the Pfizer award for Visionary Leadership in 2003, the Georgia Independent Pharmacist of the Year award in 2004 and the Georgia Pharmacy Association’s Meritorious Service Award. He and his wife, Amy, attend Gainesville First United Methodist Church. They reside in Gainesville. 

Thomas L. Fricks, Board of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities
Fricks serves as the director of the Appalachian Consulting Group and deputy director of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)/ Health Resources and Services Administration (HSRA) Center for Integrated Health Solutions. For nearly 13 years, he was Georgia’s director of the Office of Consumer Relations and Recovery in the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Addictive Diseases. Fricks served on the planning board for the Surgeon General's report on mental health. He now serves on the advisory board for the Carter Center Mental Health Journalism Fellowships. Fricks earned a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and has received journalism awards from the Associated Press, the Georgia Press Association, Gannett Newspapers, the National Mental Health Association of Georgia and NAMI-Georgia. He and his wife, Grace, reside in Cleveland.

Jessica K. Moss, Sexual Offender Registration Review Board
Moss is the chief assistant solicitor general  within the Cobb County Solicitor General’s Office. She previously served in state and local government for 25 years as a prosecuting attorney. Moss earned a bachelor’s degree from Brenau University and a juris doctorate from Mercer University. She was named Assistant Solicitor General of the Year by the Georgia Association of Solicitors General in 2004. Moss has three step children and two step grandchildren. She and her husband, Garry, reside in Ball Ground.

Connie L. Engel, Georgia Board of Dentistry
Engel is a partner for the Atlanta division of Childress Klein Properties. She is in charge of development and leasing at the Atlanta Galleria Office Park location. In 2010, she received the Award of Excellence from NAIOP, a commercial real estate development association, for her career in the commercial real estate industry. Engel is the former president of Commercial Real Estate Women and the Georgia Chapter of NAIOP. Her other community related responsibilities include being elected as a board member and treasurer of the Cumberland Community Improvement District. This board is responsible for allocating a special property tax collected for transportation and other improvements in Cobb County. Engel was selected to serve on the Board of Trustees for Kennesaw State University in 2005, and in 2007 she became chairperson of their real estate committee. Engel and her husband currently reside in Atlanta.

Martha S. Martin, Board of Directors of the Regional Transportation Authority
Martin serves on the Board of Georgia Motor Trucking Association, the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, and the board at Hometown Community Bank. She is involved with the advisory board of Northeast Georgia Medical Center, the Foundation Committee for Gainesville State College, the board of Braselton Christian Academy and the council for West Jackson Primary School. Martin also serves on the committee for the Humane Society of Jackson County and the Braselton-Hoschton Relay for Life. She has worked in the trucking industry for 50 years and has owned a trucking business for 43 years. Martin was named “Business Women of the Year” and received the William H. Booth “High Achiever” award from the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce. She and her husband, Max, have two children and one grandson. They reside in  Hoschton. 

Brian P. McGowan, McPherson Implementing Local Redevelopment Authority
McGowan was recently selected to serve as the president and chief executive officer of the Atlanta Development Authority. Prior to this, he was appointed as deputy assistant secretary of commerce and chief operating officer of the United States Economic Development Administration. He also served as a senior economic adviser in the White House during the BP oil spill and won the Coast Guard Commander’s Award for Civilian Service. In 2007, he was appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to serve as California’s Deputy Secretary for Economic Development. McGowan has also served as a consultant for the United States Agency for International Development and chaired an international economic committee for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris. McGowan attended the University of California, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science. He received his master’s degree in politics, economics and business from Claremont Graduate University in California. McGowan and his family live in Atlanta.

Monty M. Strickland, Georgia State Board of Physical Therapy
Strickland is an outpatient physical therapist for the Atlanta Falcons Physical Therapy Center in Marietta. In addition to his outpatient experience, Strickland has worked as a home health physical therapist. He is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association and the Physical Therapy Association of Georgia. He received a bachelor’s degree from Georgia Southern University and a master's degree from North Georgia College and State University in Dahlonega. He and his wife, Mara, have two children. They reside in Atlanta.