Consult the meeting schedule for all meeting dates, times and locations.
1st Congressional District
9 Bluff Drive
Savannah, GA 31406
Phone: (912) 355-6951
Home: Savannah, GA
Mary Flanders of Savannah is a career teacher who has served in schools in west Georgia as well as South Carolina. She has worked in the home building industry for 10 years and has served on the boards of various clubs and societies. Flanders has an undergraduate degree in home economics education. She has two children.
Ms. Flanders was appointed to the State Board in 2003 by Governor Sonny Perdue as an At Large Representative. She chairs the Adult Education Committee and serves on the External Affairs and Economic Development Committee. She also chaired the Facilities and Real Estate Committee.
2nd Congressional District
250 N. Broad Street
Cairo, GA 39828
Phone: (229) 377-1514
Home: Cairo, GA
Porter is presently a senior judge of the Superior Courts of Georgia. He served many years as the solicitor of the State Court of Grady County. In 1996, he was elected as a Superior Court judge in the South Georgia Judicial Circuit, serving 12 years until he accepted senior judge status in 2009. He practiced law in Cairo from 1964 to 1996 before becoming a Superior Court judge. Porter earned his bachelor’s degree and law degree from Mercer University. He and his wife, Sonya, have three children and six grandchildren. They reside in Cairo.
3rd Congressional District
Frank S. “Chunk” Newman
P.O. Box 554
West Point, GA 31833
Phone: (706) 643.2534
Fax: (706) 645.1221
Home: LaGrange, GA
Newman is a project executive with Batson-Cook Company in West Point. He serves on the board of Twin Cedars Youth Services, as a member of the West Georgia Technical College Foundation and the LaGrange Rotary Club, and as a member of the executive committee of the Technical College Foundation Association of Georgia. He is a past president of the West Georgia Technical College board of directors and former chairman of the Boys and Girls Club of West Georgia. Newman earned a bachelor’s degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He has three children.
Newman was appointed to the State Board by Governor Sonny Perdue as the Third Congressional District Representative in 2009. Currently he serves as a member of the Governance, Compliance and Audit, Operations, Finance and Planning and Appeals committees.
4th Congressional District
Baoky N. Vu
1800 Century Place N.E. Ste. 400
Atlanta, GA 30345
Home: Decatur, GA
Mr. Vu is currently vice president of VetConnexx, a veteran-owned and veteran-employed small business providing customer care solutions to the telecommunications, financial service and health care industries. He currently serves as vice chair of the DeKalb County Board of Voter Registration and Elections. He also serves as a board member of Visiting Nurse Health System and a member of the board of visitors of Georgia State University’s Honors College. He is a former presidential commission appointee under President George W. Bush. Vu earned a bachelor’s degree from the Georgia Tech and a master’s degree in Business Administration from Georgetown University. He and his wife, Anh Le, have two children. They reside in Decatur.
5th Congressional District
6th Congressional District
Dr. Lynn Cornett
1570 Misty Oaks Drive
Sandy Springs, GA 30350
Phone: (770) 396.1976
Home: Sandy Springs, GA
Dr. Lynn Cornett retired as senior vice president from the Southern Regional Education Board, after 26 years of service. She previously served as the SREB’s vice president for state services. She is involved with the Achievement Awards for College Scientists (ARCS) program and the American Cancer Society’s Reach for Recovery program. Dr. Cornett earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tulsa, a master’s degree from the University of South Florida, and a doctoral degree in education from the University of Rochester. She and her husband, Ben, have one son.
In 2009, Governor Sonny Perdue appointed Dr. Cornett to serve as an At Large Representative to the State Board. She currently serves on the Academic Affairs, Adult Education and Education Liaison committees.
7th Congressional District
Michael L. “Sully” Sullivan
American Council of Engineering Companies of Georgia
233 Peachtree St., Suite 700
Atlanta, GA 30303
Phone: (404) 521.2324
Home: Snellville, GA
Michael L. “Sully” Sullivan is the President & CEO of ACEC Georgia, the trade association for Georgia’s engineering industry. Prior to joining ACEC Georgia in August 2012, Sully was a partner at Andersen, Tate & Carr, P.C., one of Metro Atlanta’s largest full-service law firms, where he led the Government Relations, Land Use & Zoning practice.
Sully currently serves on the Georgia Chamber of Commerce Board of Governors & Board of Directors; Council for Quality Growth Board of Directors and Brookwood Schools Foundation Board of Trustees, as well as serving as Chairman of the Gwinnett County Water & Sewer and Chairman of the Georgia Transportation Alliance. Sully was named a Georgia Super Lawyer “Rising Star” by Law and Politics and Atlanta Magazine and has twice been named to James Magazine’s annual list of “Georgia Super Lawyers.”
Sully is a “Double Dawg,” having received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Georgia School of Law and his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of Georgia. Sully is licensed to practice before the Georgia Supreme Court, the Georgia Court of Appeals and the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia and is a member of the State Bar of Georgia (Real Property Law Section and Local Government Law Section), Republican National Lawyers Association and Federalist Society. Sully was appointed to the Higher Education Funding Commission by Governor Nathan Deal in 2011. Sully and his wife, Rebecca, have two children: Grace and Nash. The Sullivans live in Gwinnett County and attend Grace Fellowship Church in Snellville.
Sully was appointed to the State Board in 2007 by Governor Sonny Perdue to represent the Seventh Congressional District and was reappointed to another five year term by Governor Nathan Deal in 2013. He currently chairs the K-16 Engagement Committee and serves on the Academic Affairs and Adult Education committees. He is past chair of the Facilities and Real Estate Committee and External Affairs and Economic Development Committee.
8th Congressional District
Ben I. Copeland, Sr.
Patten Seed Company
23 Valdosta Road
Lakeland, GA 31635
Phone: (229) 482.3131
Fax: (229) 482.2382
Home: Lakeland, GA
Ben I. Copeland Sr. of Lanier County graduated from the University of Georgia in 1967 with a degree in landscape architecture and began working with the Tennessee Department of Conservation, where he became chief of design in the Planning Division. He returned to Georgia in 1971 to work for Patten Seed Company, becoming president in 1995.
Copeland is a former city councilman of Lakeland and a past chairman of the Board of Directors for Valdosta Technical College. He is a current member of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the Lowndes-Lanier Industrial Authority and the Governing Board of Louis Smith Hospital/Lanier Health Systems. He was the recipient of the 2002 Volunteer of the Year award for Technical Colleges in the State of Georgia and Lanier County s Flatlander of the Year award. Copeland is the past president of several organizations, including the Lanier County Lions Club, the Georgia Sod Producers Association and Turfgrass Producers International.
Mr. Copeland was appointed to the State Board in 2003 by Governor sonny Perdue to serve as the First Congressional District Representative. He served as Chairman of the State Board from July 2005 to June 2007. He currently serves as a member of the External Affairs and Economic Development, Governance, Compliance and Audit and Executive Committees. He is past chair of the Standards and Programs Committee and has also served on the Budget, Facilities and Technology Committee.
9th Congressional District
Dinah C. Wayne
5763 Wayne Crest Dr.
Flowery Branch, GA 30542
Phone: (770) 967.6397
Home: Flowery Branch, GA
Wayne is a member of the Flowery Branch Historic Preservation Commission, the Georgia Alliance for Preservation Commission, and the board of directors of the Gainesville Arts Council. She is a former member of the President’s Advisory Council at Gainesville State College & University, and she volunteers with Hall County schools. Wayne earned a bachelor’s degree from Brenau University and an associate’s degree from Gainesville State College & University. She and her husband, Alan, have two children and six grandchildren.
Wayne was appointed to the State Board in 2010 by Governor Sonny Perdue as the Ninth Congressional District. Currently, she serves on the Academic Affairs, Adult Education, and Career Academies committees.
10th Congressional District
Howard Sheppard, Inc.
P.O. Box 797
Sandersville, GA 31082
Home: Sandersville, GA
11th Congressional District
3991 Royal Drive, N.E.
Kennesaw, GA 30144
Home: Kennesaw, GA
Cunningham is a licensed master plumber and the owner of Superior Plumbing Services, Inc. He currently serves on Governor’s Workforce Development Committee, the Cobb Chamber Workforce Development Committee, the Cobb County School Board Superintendents Business and Community Advisory Board, the Plumbing and Mechanical Association of Georgia Board of Directors, the Construction Education Foundation of Georgia Board, the Must Ministries Board, the SPLOST Citizens Oversight Committee and the Strand Theater Board. Cunningham is a graduate of North Cobb High School. He has seven children and they reside in Powder Springs.
12th Congressional District
106 Towhee Trail
Statesboro, GA 30458
Phone: (912) 764.6310
Home: Statesboro, GA
F. Thomas “Tommy” David, Statesboro, 12th Congressional District Representative – David is a former chairman of the board of Ogeechee Technical College and was a trustee and past president of the Ogeechee Technical College Foundation. He is chairman of East Georgia Regional Medical Center and serves on the executive committee of the Georgia Southern University Foundation. David served as campaign chairman and president of United Way of Southeast Georgia. He is a member of the Rotary Club of Statesboro and is a graduate of Leadership Georgia and Leadership Bulloch. David earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia and is a graduate of the Graduate School of Banking at LSU. He and his wife, Karen, have two grown children.
David was appointed to the State Board by Governor Sonny Perdue in 2008. Currently, he chairs the State Board Governance, Compliance and Audit Committee and serves on the Operations, Finance and Planning Committee. He also served on the Board’s Facilities and Real Estate Committee.
13th Congressional District
P.O. Box 897
Douglasville, GA 30133
Home: Douglasville, GA
Williams is vice president of corporate and external affairs at GreyStone Power Corp. in Douglasville. He also serves as vice chairman of the board of directors of the GEMC Federal Credit Union in Tucker. He previously served as chairman of the Douglas County Public Education Trust and also as board chairman of the South Fulton Chamber of Commerce. Williams earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama in 1982. He and his wife, Nancy, have two children. They reside in Douglasville.
14th Congressional District
Joe W. Yarbrough
Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI)
President & CEO
100 S. Hamilton Street
Dalton, GA 30720
Phone: (706) 428.2104
Mobile: (706) 217.8410
Home: Rocky Face, GA
A Georgia native, Joe was born in Rome, and has resided in Dalton since 1972. Joe and his wife of 32 years, Nanette, have five adult children and eight grandchildren.
An active member of Grove Level Baptist Church, Joe currently serves as Chairman of the Long-Range Planning Committee, on the Watchman Prayer Ministry, as an Adult Sunday School Leader, and as an Usher.
He is a graduate of Auburn University (1970) with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and has since completed numerous Leadership Development and skill improvement programs.
After six years in various positions with Coronet Industries, Joe joined Aladdin Mills in June, 1978 as Director of Manufacturing. Aladdin Mills was merged into Mohawk Industries in 1994. In 1995, he was named Vice President Manufacturing for Mohawk and in 2004 Joe became Executive Vice President – Operations.
Through March, 2014 Joe served as Senior Vice President, Advanced Manufacturing Engineering. These roles provided an opportunity to lead the innovation and integration of new technologies for the business and to be active in the assimilation of numerous mergers and acquisitions.
On March 31, 2014 Joe became the President of the Carpet and Rug Institute. In this role, he will have the opportunity to lead this industry trade association whose members represent more than 90 percent of the carpet manufactured in the U.S. as well as members that provide numerous raw materials, goods and other services to the industry.
Also an active community leader, Joe currently serves on the Boards of Directors of:
- RossWoods Adult Day Services and is Chairman of the Building Campaign Steering Committee;
- Northwest Georgia Healthcare Partnership and the Executive Committee;
- Christian Heritage School Endowment Foundation Board;
- Former member of the Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce and is a past Chairman;
- Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) and is the current Vice-Chairman;
- Water, Light and Sinking Fund Commission (Dalton Utilities) and is the current Chairman;
- State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia and is the current Chairman.
- Former member of United Way of Northwest Georgia Executive Board and is a past Chairman of the chapter’s Alexis de Tocqueville Society.
- Floor360 Consortium (Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership) and the Alliance for Innovation and Sustainability
Favorite Quote from the Auburn Creed:
I believe that this is a practical world and that I can count only on what I earn.
Therefore, I believe in work, hard work………..
I believe in my Country, because it is a land of freedom and because it is my own home, and that I can best serve that country by “doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with my God.” -George Petrie (1945)
Member at Large
250 Williams Street, 5th Floor
Atlanta, GA 30303
Home: Atlanta, GA
Ben Bryant is an assistant general counsel of Financial Services with InComm. He serves on the Artemis Guild board for the Fernbank Museum of Natural History and on the board of directors of the Chamblee Charter High School Blue & Gold Foundation. Bryant earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Economics from Washington & Lee University, a master’s degree in Legislative Affairs from George Washington University, and a law degree from Mercer University’s Walter F. George School of Law. He and his wife, Kristen, have two children. They reside in Atlanta.
Member at Large
Doug Carter (Vice Chair)
Don Carter Realty Company
525 Candler Street
Gainesville, GA 30501
Home: Gainesville, GA
Doug Carter is President and Broker of Don Carter Realty Company, a 40 year old family owned real estate development and brokerage company located in Gainesville, Georgia. A native of Gainesville, Doug graduated from Gainesville High School, and he was a cum laude graduate of Wake Forest University.
Carter previously worked in education for the State Department of Education as an assistant to the State School Superintendent, Werner Rogers. He is active in a number of community activities including: member of Rotary, served as Chairman of Northeast Georgia Medical Center for the past six years , a former Chairman of The Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, a former Chairman of the North Georgia Community Foundation, a former Chairman of the Quinlan Visual Arts Center, a former vice-chair of the Gainesville Planning and Appeals Board, a former Chairman of Leadership Georgia and Leadership Hall, and he served as the 2011 Chairman the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.
Carter currently is a member of the Economic Development Council in Hall County, a member of the Redevelopment Authority, and a trustee for the Quinlan Visual Arts Center. Carter also chairs the Political Action Committee of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. He served as an appointed member of Governor Nathan Deal’s Competiveness Initiative Task Force, and has just been appointed by Governor Deal to serve as a board member of the Technical College System of Georgia.
Carter is married to Sandy McCormick Carter who is also a graduate of Wake Forest and works with him in the real estate business. They have a son, Shaw, and a daughter, Lauren. Lauren attends Gainesville High School, and Shaw attends Young Harris College. They are members of Gainesville First United Methodist Church. Carter is a recipient of the Jaycee Young Man of the Year, two time recipient of the Greater Hall silver shovel award, recipient of the Quinlan Medallion, and has received the Board of Realtors Phoenix award. He received the 2010 Good Neighbor Award from the Hall county Board of Realtors, and he is also a Will Watt Fellow with Rotary and a Leadership Georgia Fanning Fellow. Doug recently received the Frederick B. Kerr Award from Leadership Georgia for continued alumni support for the organization.
Member at Large
Chief Transformation Officer
504 Thrasher Street
Norcross, GA 30071
Shan Cooper is chief transformation officer, responsible for leading the company’s efforts to develop the capabilities and processes needed for growth. In addition, Shan leads the company’s procurement, logistics, information technology and recycling operations. Prior to joining WestRock, Shan served as vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company.
As general manager, she was responsible for the 6,000 employee operations in Marietta, Ga.; Meridian, Miss.; and Clarksburg, W. Va., which design, produce, modify and maintain military aircraft for the U.S. and countries around the world. Marietta programs include the C-130J Super Hercules, P-3 Orion, C-5M Super Galaxy and F-35 Lightning II.
Shan was named Georgia Trend Magazine’s 2015 Most Respected Business Leader; one of the Women of the Year 2015 by American Association of University Women; and as one of Georgia Trend Magazine’s Most Influential Georgians in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. She also received the 2013 Pioneer Award from U.S. Black Engineer & Information Technology Magazine.
She serves on the executive board of the Metro Atlanta Chamber; is on the Board of Councilors for The Carter Center and the Board of Trustees of both Emory University and the Woodruff Arts Center; is on the Board for the Technical College System of Georgia and is a member of the Atlanta Rotary Club.
Shan earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and religion from Emory University and a master’s of business administration from the Roberto Goizueta Business School of Emory University. She is also a graduate of the Rutgers Global Executive Masters in Human Resource Leadership Program.
Member at Large
Fox Systems, Inc.
PO Box 17777
Calhoun, GA 30703
Work: (706) 625.5520 ext. 12
Home: Calhoun, GA
Fox is president of Fox Systems, Inc. He currently sits on the Gordon County College and Career Academy board of directors, the Calhoun Gordon County Development Authority and the Technical College System of Georgia Foundation board. He also served as past chairman of the board at Georgia Northwestern Technical College. Fox has two children and two grandchildren. He resides in Calhoun.
Member at Large
Anne Kaiser (Chair)
75 5th Street NW, Suite 150
Atlanta, GA 30308
Work: (404) 506-2475
Company: GA Power
Home: Atlanta, GA
Kaiser is vice president of Community and Economic Development for Georgia Power. She is former vice president of Georgia Power’s Northwest Region and held senior marketing positions with KPMG, Westminster Schools of Atlanta and Alston & Bird. Kaiser currently serves on the board of directors of Berry College and is the chair of the Dean’s Council of the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. She is a graduate of the National Association of Corporate Director’s “Director’s College,” as well as Leadership Atlanta. Kaiser earned a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from the University of Georgia and is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program of Harvard Business School. She and her husband, Mark, reside in Atlanta.
Member at Large
Robert “Buzz” Law
Creative Financial Group
1000 Abernathy Rd.
Bldg. 400 Ste.1500
Atlanta, GA 30328
Home: Alpharetta, GA
Law is president and chief executive officer of Creative Financial Group, Ltd. He is vice chairman of the Georgia Foundation of Public Education. He has a long history of service to his community with involvement in the University of Georgia Alumni Board of Directors, the DeKalb County School Systems Academy of Finance Advisory Board, the United Way Resources Development Committee, the Atlanta Habitat for Humanity and the Rotary Club of Dunwoody. Law earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia. He and his wife, Cathy, have four children. They reside in Alpharetta.
Member at Large
Sylvia E. Russell
275 13th Street
Atlanta, GA 30309
Home: Atlanta, GA
Sylvia Russell is President for AT&T Georgia, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.
Ms. Russell has spent 15 years with AT&T. She began her career in 1992 in Greensboro, North Carolina as a Senior Attorney to AT&T’s business services unit which managed sales relationships with Fortune 100 businesses and the United States Government. In 1996, she moved to Atlanta where she was promoted to General Attorney, supporting AT&T’s entry into the local telecommunications market. In 2000, she became Vice President of Law and Government Affairs for the Southern Region. Following the completion of AT&T’s merger with SBC in late 2005, Ms. Russell was asked to lead External Affairs in the Southeast.
Ms. Russell serves in a number of leadership positions in organizations in Atlanta and around the state. Currently, she serves on the Board of Directors of the Georgia Cancer Coalition, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Georgia Allies, a partnership between state government and private business designed to promote Georgia’s economic development. She also serves on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee for the Georgia Partnership For Excellence In Education. She is a member of the Steering Committee for the Atlanta Education Fund’s College Success Network, and is also a member of the Board of Trustees for the Woodruff Arts Center and for Atlanta Landmarks, Inc. Also, Ms. Russell was recently appointed by Governor Perdue to the State Board of Technical and Adult Education.
Ms. Russell was born in Nurnberg, Germany. She received her undergraduate degree from Rutgers College, Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey and her law degree from Rutgers School of Law in Camden, New Jersey. She has two sons, Eric and Kevin and a chocolate Labrador, Chip.
Ms. Russell was appointed to the State Board by Governor Sonny Perdue in 2007, as an At Large Representative. She currently serves a vice chair of the Adult Education Committee and serves on the External Affairs and Economic Development Committee.
Member at Large
Catoosa Citizens for Literacy and
The Catoosa Learning Center
36 Muscogee Trail
Ringgold, GA 30736
Phone: (706) 965.8275 Ext. 4
Home: Ringgold, GA
Mrs. Shirley Smith has been the executive director of Catoosa Citizens for Literacy, a certified community literacy program, since 1996. Before working with literacy, she worked with a Pre-K program for eight years. She served five years on the Catoosa County Planning Commission, where she was elected chairman. Smith has been awarded the Ambassador of the Year and Citizen of the Year awards from the Catoosa County Chamber. She was a recipient of the Liberty Bell Award in 2001 and the Georgia Press Award in 2007. Smith was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award for Catoosa County by the Fort Oglethorpe Kiwanis Club in 2010. Smith and her husband, Wesley, have three children and six grandchildren. They reside in Ringgold.
Member at Large
Chief Administrative Officer
Kubota Manufacturing of America
Kubota Industrial Equipment
2715 Ramsey Road
Gainesville, GA 30501
Phil Sutton is the Chief Administrative Officer for Kubota Manufacturing of America Corporation in Gainesville, Georgia and Kubota Industrial Equipment Corporation in Jefferson, Georgia. In this capacity, he is responsible for Human Resources, Training, Safety, Administration, Information Technology and the Legal Departments as well as Government and Community Relations. Phil is an active member of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce where he served as the Vice Chair of Economic Development, Chair of the Human Resources Council and a member of the Workforce Development Task Force. He actively supports the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce as well.
Phil is a native of Indiana and a retired veteran of the United States Air Force where he served in various capacities in his 20 year career, including Law Enforcement Operations, Criminal Investigations, Antiterrorism, Training and Public Affairs.
Phil has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Occupational Education from Wayland Baptist University and a Master of Science in Public Administration Troy University in Alabama. Phil is also a graduate of the 187th Session of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.
Phil and his wife Sue live in Hall County. They have two sons, a daughter-in-law and one granddaughter.