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

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Deal appoints 19 to boards

October 5, 2012

James J. Bulot, Statewide Independent Living Council
Bulot is an applied gerontologist with more than 16 years of experience working in the field of aging services. He is a nationally recognized expert in the field of gerontology and specializes in elder abuse, neglect and exploitation. He received his master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He has served as director of the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Elderly Affairs and as tenured professor of gerontology at the University of Louisiana. Bulot has served in other capacities including director of the Institute of Gerontology and department head of Gerontology, Sociology and Political Science. Bulot is a certified elderly service officer and was designated by the National Association of Homebuilders as a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist. He serves on numerous national committees, boards and commissions. He and his wife, Lisa, reside in Suwanee.

Ronald M. Pounds, Statewide Independent Living Council
Pounds is the disability housing coordinator for the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. He is responsible for working to develop collaborative models to address issues related to expanding the continuum of housing options for persons that are homeless and individuals with special needs across the state. He is a steering committee member for the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services, Money Follows the Person Grant in Georgia and serves as an advisory council member on the Georgia Council for Developmental Disabilities. Additionally, Pounds serves as a member of the Georgia Mental Health Planning Advisory Council, the Advisory Board of the Healthy Transition Initiative for youth aging out of foster care. He is also a committee member of the Metro Fair Housing workgroup. He is a graduate of Campbell University with a bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he received a master’s degree in Health Care Policy and Administration.

Cecelia Y. James, Statewide Independent Living Council
James is currently a tax analyst with the Internal Revenue Service in the National Partnerships area of the Wage and Investment Division. Her primary responsibility involves working with the “Taxpayers with Disabilities” program. James presents at national conferences on awareness of the tax benefits and free tax preparation for people with disabilities. She is a graduate of the University of Phoenix, where she received her master’s degree in Business Administration. James is hearing impaired and has a speech distortion due to her hearing impairment. She has two children and two grandchildren. James resides in Loganville.

Shelly Simmons, Statewide Independent Living Council
Simmons is an adult living with limb-girdle syndrome, a form of muscular dystrophy. Currently, she is a self-advocate and volunteers her services with various disability advocacy groups. She is a member of the Olmstead Planning Committee and has worked as a program assistant for Georgia Voices That Count. Simmons is also a member/participant of the Independent Care Waiver Program. Prior to relocating, she worked as a benefits specialist, client assistant program coordinator and disability navigator. Simmons is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach and resides in Hiram.

Robert “Scott” Osborne, Statewide Independent Living Council
Osborne currently owns a small interior design/architectural drafting business called Osborne Design/Drafting Services. He obtained his degree in Interior Design from the Art Institute of Atlanta in 1989 and a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Kennesaw State University in 1998. While attending KSU, he was awarded the Outstanding Student Leader award in recognition of excellence in student activities and outstanding work, organizational skills and leadership ability. In addition to working as an interior design consultant, Osborne also volunteers at Georgia Public Radio in Atlanta and Longleaf Hospice in Tucker. He is a resident of Avondale Estates.

C. Peggy Venable, Statewide Independent Living Council
Venable is the project director for the Muskogee Vocational Rehabilitation Program, the only American Indian vocational rehabilitation program in Georgia. She serves on the State Rehabilitation Council and the Consortia of Administrators for Native American Rehabilitation, where she serves as treasurer. Venable is also a member of the Lower Muskogee Creek where she serves as secretary. She holds two doctorial degrees in Theology and Philosophy. She and her husband, Charles, have three children, two grandchildren and one great grandchild. They reside in Whigham.

Ralph “Robbie” Breshears, Statewide Independent Living Council
Breshears is currently working with Walton Options to help provide counseling about Social Security benefits based on disability. Prior to this position, he was an independent living coordinator with the same company. Breshears is a graduate of Augusta State University with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology. He resides in Augusta.

Joy G. Norman, Statewide Independent Living Council
Norman serves as the director of the Columbus State University’s Office of Disability Services. Prior to this job, she worked as a workforce development counselor for Goodwill. She has served as vice-chair for the Columbus Mayor’s Committee for Persons with Disabilities and currently serves on the board of directors for CONTACT Disability Resource Center. Norman earned a bachelor’s degree and a graduate degree from Columbus State University in Community Counseling. She and her husband, Mickey, have two children and two grandchildren. They reside in Columbus.

Robert E. McGarry, Statewide Independent Living Council
McGarry is the executive director of Disability Resource Center in Gainesville. He served in the Navy on active duty for 13 years until an accident left him completely blind. He is actively involved with the Greater Hall County Area Chapter of the Visually Impaired, the North Hall Lion’s Club, and the Rotary Club of Hall County-Sunset. McGarry is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a bachelor’s degree in Technological Studies and a master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. He and his wife, Dyann, have three children and three grandchildren. They live in Clermont.

Andreena M. Patton, Statewide Independent Living Council
Patton works as assistant director at Disability Connections, the Middle Georgia Center for Independent Living, Inc. She graduated from Mercer University with a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and received a second major in Program & Leadership Services. She obtained a master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling and Case Management at Fort Valley State University. Patton is also a certified rehabilitation counselor as well as an assistive technology professional. She and her two children reside in Macon.

G. Russel Carlson, Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission and Council
Carlson currently serves as the deputy adjutant general for the 14,000 men and women of the Georgia Department of Defense. Previously, Carlson was the deputy chief of staff and senior campaign adviser for Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. He and his wife, Anne-Marie, have two children. They reside in Atlanta.

David R. Bockel, Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission and Council
Bockel is currently the executive director of the Georgia Military Affairs Coordinating Committee. Previously, he owned an advertising agency and served 37 years in the Army Reserve where he retired as major general. He also served at the Reserve Officers Association as director of army affairs, deputy executive director, and ultimately executive director. Bockel graduated from the University of Alabama, the U.S. Command and General Staff College and the U.S. Army War College. He and his wife, Jane, have two children and four grandchildren. They reside in Smyrna.

Judy B. Scherer, Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission and Council
Scherer has worked for more than 35 years in public and private education and is currently serving her fifth year as the superintendent of the Liberty County School System. Prior to becoming superintendent, she worked as a special education teacher, elementary principal, curriculum director and deputy superintendent of schools for administrative services. She is a member of the National and Georgia Association of School Superintendents, Georgia Association of Educational Leaders, and the Georgia School Boards Association, where she serves on the state advisory council. She and her husband, John, a Vietnam Veteran who is active in veterans’ organizations, reside in Hinesville.

Tammy C. Burdeaux, Georgia Board of Nursing (reappointment)
Burdeaux is the district nursing and clinical director for the East Central Health District 6 Department of Public Health. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Case Management Society of America Augusta Chapter, and on the advisory councils for Augusta Technical College School of Nursing, Augusta State University School of Nursing and Georgia Health Sciences University School of Nursing. Burdeaux is also an active member of the Editorial Review Board for the Journal of Infusion Nursing and the Augusta Partnership for Children Membership Council. She is a member of the Case Management Society of America, the Intravenous Nurses Society and the Georgia Public Health Association. Burdeaux graduated from the Medical College of Georgia with a bachelor’s in Nursing and she is certified in infusion nursing. She and her husband, Bill, have one son. They reside in Augusta.

Jason R. Winters, Rural Development Council (reappointment)
Winters was elected Chattooga County commissioner in 2008 and is currently serving his first term. He served as chairman of the Chattooga County Chamber of Commerce in 2006 and sits on the board of directors. He also serves on the board of directors of the Coosa Valley Regional Development Center in Rome. Winters earned a bachelor's degree in Political Science from Berry College. He lives on his family’s farm in Lyerly.

William G. Sloan, Jr., Board of Trustees of the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia
Sloan has been the executive director of the Georgia Retired Educators Association since 2005. He retired in 2005 after serving as principal of East Hall High School for more than 17 years. He was named the State High School Principal of the Year in 2004 by the Georgia Association of Secondary School Principals. He has previously served on the Professional Association of Georgia Educators Board of Directors and the Georgia Association of Secondary School Principals Board of Directors. He holds an undergraduate degree from Georgia Southern College, two degrees from the University of Georgia and a doctorate in Educational Administration from NOVA Southeastern University. He and his wife, Janice, have two children and two grandchildren. They reside in Gainesville.

Kimberly J. Ryan, Board of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities
Ryan is CEO of Eastside Medical Center in Snellville. She serves on the boards of Gwinnett Coalition for Health and Human Services, the Gwinnett Tech Foundation, Four Corners Primary Care Center and the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce. Ryan earned a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Albany, a master’s of science degree from the University of Rochester, and a master’s degree in Business Administration from Georgia College and State University. She and her husband, Rich, have three children and two grandchildren. They reside in Snellville.

Cynthia A. Mercer, Board of Public Health
Mercer has been in private practice in gynecology and obstetrics for 30 years. She is a past president of the Georgia OB/GYN Society and a former chair of the Georgia section of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She serves on the Georgia Health Sciences Medical Center board of directors and is a clinical assistant professor with the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the Georgia Health Sciences University. Mercer earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia and her medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia. She completed her residency training at Emory University-affiliated hospitals. She and her husband, Thomas Rogers, have two children. They reside in Athens.

William C. Nelson, III, Tennessee Valley Authority Regional Resource Stewardship Council
Nelson is currently president of Nelson Tractor Company and has served for more than 20 years in the agricultural equipment industry. He is the third generation to carry on the business that was established in 1949. Nelson served as chairman of the Southern Equipment Dealers Association and is a member of the Kubota National Dealer Council. He received a bachelor’s degree in Finance and Economics from Lipscomb University. He and his wife, Kathryn, have three children. They reside in Blairsville.