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The Georgia 4-H Foundation Board of Trustees


Judy Ashley
is currently the Cooperative Extension Coordinator for School Relations and the Walton County Extension Coordinator.  Her extension career began in 1985 as a 4-H Agent in Cobb County.  She worked in Morgan and Newton Counties, before taking the Walton County position in 1997.  She is a three-time district winner of the W.H. Booth Award.  She is also a Leadership Walton class member for the class of 2003.  Judy is a past vice-chair of NACAA, and past president of GAE4-HA.  She served as one of the co-chairs for the 2008 NAE4-HA Conference in Atlanta.

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Kathy Baldwin is currently the Bleckley County Extension Coordinator and is responsible for 4-H programming in the county.  Her Extension Career began in Alabama in 1982.  In 1984, she moved to Georgia and began working in Bleckley County.  She has received the D.W. Brooks Award of Excellence from the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and has been a William H. Booth state award winner.  She is also a member of the Georgia 4-H Advisory Committee.

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Lonice Barrett is currently a Senior Advisor for Governor Purdue’s Commission Office thru December 31, 2010. He is also the former commissioner of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.  Mr. Barrett was a Wahsega and Tybee 4-H Center counselor, and continues to be very involved as a 4-H alumnus.  He served as the Vice-President of the Georgia Master 4-H Club from 1996 to 1997 and continues to attend Master 4-H Club weekends.  He also formerly served as a member of the Georgia 4-H Advisory Committee.  Mr. Barrett was a member of the 2007 Legacy Ball Silent Auction committee and the 2001 Legacy Ball Alumni Fundraising committee.

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Wanda Barrs of Cochran, Georgia is a UGA Family and Consumer Sciences alumni.  She served on the Bleckley County Board of Education for 12 years, including chairing the board from 1997-2002.  Since 2003, Ms. Barrs has served as chair of the Eighth Congressional District on the State Board of Education, following her appointment to the board by Gov. Sonny Perdue.  She is a long time 4-H volunteer in Bleckley County and constant supporter of 4-H and 4-H in the schools.  Ms. Barrs has been an Associate with Knapp-Barrs & Associates, Inc. and a Member of the Middle Georgia College Foundation.

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Mike Beatty is a lifelong resident of Jackson County and a University of Georgia graduate.  He worked as an educator, teaching and coaching football, for a total of eight years in the City of Jefferson, Banks County and Jackson County.  He served in both the state House of Representatives and the state Senate.  He was appointed by Governor Perdue as Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs in 2003.  Commissioner Beatty has increased support of 4-H through contract and grants divisions.  He brought 4-H into Leadership Day at the capitol, and made 4-H one of the focal points of the day.  Commissioner Beatty has asked 4-H to continue to be the host for the Georgia Youth Summit and has involved 4-H in Georgia’s Workforce Ready initiative.

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Gary Black comes from a family with strong ties to 4-H and FFA.  His wife, Lydia was a Rock Eagle Counselor and District Officer and his son, Ward was a District Officer and daughter, Caroline, was both District and State Officer.  Black graduated from UGA with a degree in agricultural education in 1980. Commissioner Black began his career with the Georgia Farm Bureau in 1980 as a Field Representative, and later served as Coordinator for the State Young Farmer Program. In 1989, leaders of the Georgia Agribusiness Council, a chamber of commerce-like organization for farmers and agricultural business owners, tapped Black to serve as President – a position he held for 21 years.

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Joe Burns was a Spalding County 4-H’er where he mastered in his Fruit and Vegetable Productions project.  Joe currently resides in Grayson and is the President of Color Burst, Inc., a landscape company in metro Atlanta.  He also is a member on the Governor’s agriculture advisory committee.

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Bob Burton is the CEO of the wholesale gift business burton + BURTON™, which was founded in 1982. burton + BURTON™ has grown to have an international customer base, over 15,000 different products, and 350 employees.  Bob Burton is a graduate of Leadership Athens and is a member of Society of International Business Fellows. He is a director of the founders of National Bank of Georgia.  Mr. Burton has served on the Board of Directors for the Athens Regional Medical Center, Athens Area Chamber of Commerce Health Plan Select, Athens Academy Building Committee, and the Georgia Museum of Art.   In 2004, the Georgia 4-H Foundation named the Burton 4-H Center on Tybee Island in honor of Bob and his wife, Maxine, for their continuing generosity and support of the Georgia 4-H Program.

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Frank Carter is a partner in Medical Specialist a Medical practice in Waynesboro, Wrens, and Sardis, Georgia.  The Family Medicine Practice has a heavy emphasis on Obstetrics.  Dr. Carter is also a member of Healthspan which is a hospital management group that owns the local hospital.  He is a member of the AMA, Medical Association of Georgia, the Georgia Academy of Family Medicine and serves on the Governors Council of Maternal and Infant Health.  Frank Carter served for 4 years as a 4-H camp counselor at Tybee (Burton) 4-H Center, and served as camp manager 1981 and 1982.  He and his wife Christy and two children have lived in Waynesboro GA since 1993. Dr. Carter served as the chair of the Foundation Board of Trustees from 2006 to 2008.

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April Hembree Crow is a former 4-H’er from Polk County.  She began her career with The Coca-Cola Company in the Corporate Environmental Department in 1995 and held various positions in Scientific & Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance before returning to the environmental group in 2005 as a Senior Environmental Manager.  She maintains an active role with several environmental organizations and is a board member of the Georgia Recycling Coalition, Keep Georgia Beautiful and the Sustainable Packaging Coalition.  She served as the co-chair for the 2004 Legacy Ball.  Ms. Crow was a National 4-H winner in the Consumer Education Project, participated in the Congressional Intern Program under Senator Sam Nunn and was a Rock Eagle Camp Counselor from 1991 to 1993.  She resides in Atlanta with her husband Brian and two children.

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Zippy Duvall a Greene County poultry, cattle, and hay farmer, has been a member of the Georgia Farm Bureau, Inc. since 1977.  Zippy Duvall has served in many leadership roles for the organization.   He was elected as the Georgia Farm Bureau President in 2006.  He was previously the Greene County Farm Bureau president and vice president, and served on the Georgia Farm Bureau Board of Directors representing the organization’s 4th District. Duvall has served on numerous GFB Commodity Advisory Committees, the GFB Policy Development Committee and is a past chairman of the GFB Young Farmer Committee. He has represented Georgia as a voting delegate at the American Farm Bureau Federation Convention, and served on the AFBF Board of Directors in the 1980’s. He is a member of Gov. Sonny Perdue’s Agricultural Advisory Council.  Mr. Duvall served for eight years as the Chairman of the Greene County Commission.

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Guy Eberhardt of Macon, Georgia is a realtor of long standing in Middle Georgia.  Presently, his firm EBERHARDT & BARRY, INC. manages in excess of 1,000,000 square feet of residential lease space in Central Georgia in over 300 properties.  In addition, properties held by Coldwell Banker Commercial – Eberhardt & Barry include office, retail, industrial, development and motels / hotels.  The Eberhardt family stepped forward with a 4-H endowment in honor of his dad, the late L.W. “Hoop” Eberhardt, who was a former Georgia 4-H Foundation Trustee, and former director of Cooperative Extension.

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Karen Garrett works closely with her husband Mike Garrett who is the current President and CEO of Georgia Power.  She was a member of Women of Georgia Power from 1971 to 1990, and member of the Alabama Power Service Organization from 1990 to 2000.  From 2000 to 2004, Mrs. Garrett served as a charter member of the Community Connection in Mississippi and on the Gulf Coast Red Cross Board.  She has been a member of the Citizens of Georgia Power Co. since 2005.  Mrs. Garrett is known to be instrumental to establishing grants for new teachers in several organizations within three different states.

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Jerry Griffin is a former 4-H member from Spalding County. Mr. Griffin served as a leadership counselor at Rock Eagle for three summers and as a 4-H Washington Intern for Senator Richard Russell. Jerry is the former Executive Director of the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia, and received the “Friend of Extension Award” for his support of 4-H. Mr. Griffin is married to Janie Griffin, and they both met while serving as Rock Eagle Counselors. They both are life long supporters and friends of Georgia 4-H.

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Mallard C. Holliday is the Director of Public Relations at Cox Communications. Before joining Cox, Mr. Holliday was the Director of Retail Marketing & Communications for Cinnabon, an AFC Enterprises Company beginning in 1999. He was Senior Communications Specialist for The Southwire Company from 1993 to 1999. Mr. Holliday was a an active 4-H’er in Barrow County, serving as both a district and State 4-H Officer. He was a Rock Eagle Counselor for five summers and served as Co-Chair of the 2007 Legacy Ball Leadership Committee.

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Mary Clayton Gilbert is a Bartow County 4-H’er and served as State 4-H Board officer and 4-H Northwest district President.  She is a 4-H master in Consumer Judging, and mastered in her 4-H Project Achievement in Performing Arts-Vocal.  Furthermore, she was a Clovers and Company member from 2006-2011.  A rising 12th grader, Mary is currently participating in Kennesaw State’s Joint Enrollment Program.  Lastly, Mary became the first “Distinguished Young Woman of Bartow County” during summer 2011.

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Tommy Irvin is the former Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture. He served from 1969-2010.  He was elected to his 10th four- year term in November 2006.  Irvin was the seventh Georgian to be inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame, and has also been inducted into the UGA College of Agriculture & Environmental Sciences Hall of Fame.   Commissioner Irvin served four terms in the Georgia General Assembly as a Representative from Habersham County.  He was the Governor’s Floor Leader and later served as Executive Secretary to the Governor.  Irvin is a Thirty-Third Degree Scottish Rite Mason and served as Grand Master of Masons in Georgia.  He is also a Shriner, a member of Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity, an honorary member of Alpha Zeta Honor Fraternity, a member of the Gridiron and AGHON Societies of the University of Georgia, former Chair, and member of the Board of Trustees of Truett-McConnell College, and currently a trustee of Piedmont College.   Commissioner Irvin and his wife, Bernice, live on a farm in the Glade Creek Community of Habersham County.  They are the parents of five children, 14 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. 

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Dot Knox is a successful realtor with Coldwell Banker, Watson & Knox, based out of Thomson , Georgia for 23 years. Ms. Knox was a member of the 2007 Legacy Ball Leadership Committee and the Co-Chair of the 2001 Legacy Ball Leadership Committee. She is a Master 4-Her and former State 4-H President from Bleckley County. She was the first female president of the Thomson Rotary Club and is the Chairman of Thomson First United Methodist Church Council.  She also serves on the board for the Augusta Technical College Foundation, the local United Way Board, and the First Foundation for Childhood Literacy in McDuffie County.

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LaVonte Lovette served as the Southeast District Senior Board President, and was the State 4-H President this past year. He was a member of the senior 4-H camp planning committee, and was the county 4-H member of the year for three years. He served as a Rock Eagle Muskogee Waterfront Counselor this summer. LaVonte began his studies at the University of Georgia this fall and is majoring in Biological Sciences.

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Jay Morgan is a former Talbot County 4-H'er.  He is the President of The J. L. Morgan Company, Inc. based in Atlanta.  The J. L. Morgan Company, Inc., is a public affairs and issues management consulting firm which assists clients in the ethical representation of their legitimate interests at all levels of government.   Mr. Morgan has served extensively on statewide and national political campaigns.  He has served as senior advisor to now U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson.   He serves on the Government Affairs Council of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and on the Georgia Public Policy Foundation Board of Governors.  He previously served on the Georgia 4-H Advisory Committee, was a member of the Leadership committee for the Georgia 4-H 2001 Legacy Ball.  He is a Master 4-H’er and a former Rock Eagle 4-H Camp Counselor.

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Randy Nuckolls Since 1986, Randy Nuckolls has been in private practice counseling clients on federal legislative, regulatory and government contracts matters.  He began his career working on Capitol Hill as Legislative Counsel for Georgia Senator Herman Talmadge and subsequently spent six years as Chief Counsel and Legislative Director for Georgia Senator Sam Nunn.  He is currently a partner at McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, and counsels clients in regulatory matters before various federal agencies including the Federal Trade Commission, the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Treasury, Defense and the General Services Administration.  He also has particular expertise in agriculture, environment and natural resource policy issues.  He has served on the Board of Visitors for the UGA School of Public & International Affairs and the UGA Honors Program.  He is a past chairman and current Vice President for Executive Programs of the Society of International Business Fellows.

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Kathy Palmer of Swainsboro, Georgia, was an Emanuel County 4-H’er.  Early in her career, she worked with the Prosecuting Attorney’s Council of Georgia and the Dekalb County Solicitor’s Office.  Mrs. Palmer was a partner in the law firm of Reeves and Palmer, before opening her own firm in 1996.  In 2000, she was elected Superior Court Judge for the Middle Judicial Circuit of Georgia.  She has served as Chair of the Board of Directors of East Georgia Healthcare Center, a chair and member of the Advisory Council for the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and as the Chairperson of the Protocol Committee for the Family Violence Task Force of the Middle Judicial Circuit.  She became Chief Judge of the Middle Judicial Circuit in 2007.  Kathy is a member of the Swainsboro/Emanuel Chamber of Commerce, and is a member of the UGA Alumni Association Board. She also is a frequent lecturer on local issues throughout the state of Georgia.

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Brandie Rucks Park of Atlanta, Georgia is a former Spalding County 4-H'er.  Mrs. Park grew up on a dairy farm and was an outstanding state 4-H officer, 4-H camp counselor, and a master 4-H’er in the Agriculture Project.  She now is the President of the Aurora Group, Inc. consulting firm in Atlanta.  She has strong connections with face-to-face customer acquisition company CYDCOR, which serves hundreds of industries in North America ranging from telecommunications and energy to merchant services.  Mrs. Park was the Corporate Fundraising chair for the Georgia 4-H 2004 Centennial Gala and the 2007 Legacy Ball. She also served as the 2010 Silent Auction Chair for the Gala. She has annually sponsored the State 4-H Officers training and other State Officer needs for several years.  She has served as a host committee member for Fashion Cares, Planned Parenthood, and Fundraising Chair for Project Peds.

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Sharon Hurt Reeves is a partner with Jones, Cork and Miller, LLP.  She works primarily in the areas of workers’ compensation, trial and appellate litigation, insurance defense, and probate.  Ms. Reeves represents Cherokee Brick and Tile Company, Southern Trust Insurance Company, Wausau, Rheem Manufacturing, Southeastern Claims Service and, among others.   She has represented a variety of large and small clients, including the Georgia Department of Transportation, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Pioneer Machinery, Inc., and Georgia Power Company.  Ms. Reeves serves as co-leader and advisor to the Georgia 4-H State Board of Directors.  She is a 2002 graduate of Leadership Macon and a member of the Safety Committee of the Macon Chamber of Commerce. She is a former state 4-H president from Crisp County.  She mastered in her Public Speaking project and was a 4-H Camp Counselor. 

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Tom Rodgers retired from Cooperative Extension in 1996 having served as State 4-H leader for 14 years and Assistant Director for County Operations for 3 years. He served as UGA's Associate V.P. for Public Service for 5 years and served for 3 years as the Associate Dean for the College of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Georgia. He is currently working part-time for UGA's Housing and Demographics Research Center.   Dr. Rodgers has served as a board member for Athens Area Habitat for Humanity, a past chair for the Community Economic Developer’s Forum, and on the board of the Athens Area Community Foundation.  He served as a Lieutenant in the U.S Navy and is a Vietnam veteran.  He has been recognized by the Georgia 4-H Agent Association as a Friend of 4-H, selected for Leadership Georgia, and was a torch bearer in the 1996 Olympics.

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Bo Ryles is the former State 4-H Leader/ Director of 4-H.  Bo is involved with public service and outreach for the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences.  He formerly served as a 4-H Specialist, District 4-H Agent, County Extension 4-H Agent, and 4-H Program Assistant.  Dr. Ryles serves on the State Workforce Investment Board, the Governors Energy Investment Committee, and the State P.L.A.N. Coalition.  He was a Dodge County 4-H’er and 4-H camp counselor.  Dr. Ryles also has served as National Chair of 4-H Leaders and as a Trustee on National 4-H Council.  He is continuing learning as professor, and launching a new career or two, with plans to start a band, roast coffee, raise chickens and run more marathons.  He and his wife, Becky, have one son. 

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Raj Shah is a former Gwinnett County 4-Her.  He was a Shawnee MI in 02’, Cherokee MI in 03, and Mico in 04.  He has served on the 4-H Advisory Committee since 2010.  Raj is an attorney focusing on health care litigation, compliance, and regulatory matters with Fortson, Hudson, Rainer and Dobbs. Prior to law school, Raj interned with the Peace Corps in Honduras and worked in Washington D.C. for the CEO of the National 4-H Council, the nation's largest youth development organization.

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Diane Vaughn is a former Cobb County 4-Her and was a 1979 Muskogee SIP, 1980 Shawnee S/R and 1981 Cherokee Princess.  Diane served as co-chair of the 2010 Georgia 4-H Gala.  She was also a 4-H Washington Intern in Senator Nunn’s office.  She is a development professional with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

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Anne W. Sapp has been practicing law in Atlanta for 22 years, practicing in the area of Eminent Domain as Special Assistant to the Georgia State Attorney General.  Ms. Sapp is a former Fulton County 4-H’er, and served on the Reception Committee for the 2007 Legacy Ball. She is a former Rock Eagle leadership counselor, and former district and state officer.   She is a Master 4-H’er, winning in the Fashion Revue at the State and National level.  Ms. Sapp participated in Washington Intern program and won the State Leadership Award.  She also serves on the board of directors for Usher’s New Look Foundation, is chairman of the Camp New Look Advisory Committee, a member of the UGA Leadership Advisory Board, the Strategic Planning Advisory Committee for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and volunteer sat The Bridge, a residential care program for severely abused teens.

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Kirby Thompson is the current Foundation Board of Trustees chair. In 2009, he became the Senior Vice President of Government Affairs for the Central Group of SunTrust Bank.  He is the owner of KAT Consulting, Inc., a public affairs company.  Mr. Thompson was the Vice President of Community and Legislative Affairs for Equifax, responsible for The Equifax Foundation and managing state and federal legislative affairs, until 2008.  Prior to Equifax, he spent three years as Vice President of Georgia Government Relations and six years as Vice President of Community Relations for Citizens at Southern National Bank (predecessor of NationsBank/Bank of America).  He was Senator Sam Nunn’s Legislative Assistant in Washington, D.C., from 1978 until 1981.  Mr. Thompson is a board member for the Georgia Council on Economic Education, Eagle Ranch, and serves on various committees for both the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and Metro Atlanta Chamber. 

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Paul Williams is the Managing Member of Harvest Advisors, LLC in Tifton, Georgia, a real estate finance consulting firm. A CPA by training and education, Paul served as the Chief Financial Officer of Bank Corporation of Georgia (First South Banks), Community Bancshares, Inc., and Riverbrooke Capital Partners, and was Chief Operating Officer for Colony Bankcorp before founding Harvest Advisors in 2005.  Paul was a Bleckley County 4-Her who mastered in Crop Improvement and was an Atlanta Journal Leadership winner. He spent 4 years in the camping program. A former vice chair of the 4-H Advisory Committee, he was a member of the Leadership Committee of the Inaugural Gala Celebration and was co-chair of the Centennial Gala Leadership Committee. He is an elder at New Life Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Tifton and is the stadium announcer for Tiftarea Academy football, as well as broadcasting road games for the Panthers on local radio.

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Paul Wood is the President and CEO of the Georgia Electric Membership Corporation.  Prior to becoming President/CEO of GEMC in September 1997, Wood served from 1983 to 1997 as Executive Director of the Association of Louisiana Electric Cooperatives, Inc. He began his rural electric career in 1965 at East Central Oklahoma Electric Cooperative, Inc. and in 1977 was appointed General Manager of Dixie EMC, Baton Rouge, La.  Mr. Wood has served on the Board of Directors of the Georgia Department of Economic Development; the NRECA Health Care Task Force; the Georgia Chamber of Commerce; and co-chaired the Governor’s Conference on Tourism.  In 2007, he was appointed by Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue to Chair the Commission for a New Georgia Service Delivery Task Force. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army Special Forces (Airborne) and the Louisiana National Guard.  Mr. Wood has two grown sons and a granddaughter.

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