Lee Shearer - Athens Banner-Herald
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal recently appointed three new members to the state Board of Regents, including a former staffer.
Deal reappointed two others to the board, the 19-person body that sets policy and budgets for the University System of Georgia. Its members are appointed by Georgia governors to seven-year terms.
The state a few years ago had 35 public colleges, but after a series of consolidations will have 26 as of Jan. 1, when the new Regents take office.
The former staffer joining the Regents is Erin Hames, who will join as an at-large member. A graduate of UGA’s College of Education and the Georgia State University law school, Hames was formerly Deal’s deputy chief of staff for policy and is credited with developing the “Opportunity School District” plan voters rejected in the 2016 general election.
Hames left the governor’s office in 2015 to form her own private consulting firm, ReformED.
Deal also appointed Barbara Rivera Holmes to represent the Second Congressional District on the Board of Regents. Holmes is president and CEO of the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce.
A former journalist, Holmes graduated from Florida Southern College and did additional studies in Spain. She is on the boards of Commodore Conyers College and Career Academy in Albany and Leadership Georgia.
W. Allen Gudenrath of Macon, vice president with Morgan Stanley’s Wealth Management Division, will represent the Eighth Congressional District. He is a founding board member of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation and of the Reinhardt College Board of Governors. He has an associate degree from Reinhardt and a UGA bachelor’s degree.
Deal reappointed Thomas Hopkins Jr., an orthopedic surgeon, to represent the Third Congressional District. Hopkins has a Valdosta State undergraduate degree and graduated from Emory University Medical School. His current board appointments include the United Bank Corporation, the United Bank of Griffin and MagMutal Insurance.
Deal also reappointed Don Waters of Savannah to represent the First Congressional District on the board. Waters is CEO of Waters Capital Partners LLC. Waters has an undergraduate degree from Armstrong State University and a UGA law degree.