Governor Appoints 8 to State Boards

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Monday, August 28th, 2017

Michael L. Thurmond, Stone Mountain Memorial Association
Thurmond is the CEO of DeKalb County. Before becoming CEO, he worked at Butler Wooten Cheeley & Peak LLP. Thurmond is a former commissioner of the Georgia Department of Labor and a former state representative. He previously served as the head of the Division of Family and Children Services and served as superintendent of the DeKalb County School District. He sits on the board of visitors for the University of Georgia Libraries. Thurmond’s latest book, “Freedom: Georgia’s Antislavery Heritage, 1733-1865,” won the Lilla M. Hawes Award from the Georgia Historical Society and was named one of the “Top 25 Books All Georgians Should Read” by the Georgia Center for the Book. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Religion from Paine College and a law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law. Thurmond and his wife, Zola, have one child and reside in Stone Mountain. 

Calvin Smyre, Capitol Arts Standards Commission (reappointment)
Smyre is a 43-year veteran of the Georgia House of Representatives and represents the 135th District. He is the Dean of the Georgia General Assembly and sits on the House Appropriations, Rules and Higher Education Committees. Smyre is the chairman emeritus of the House Democratic Caucus and the president emeritus of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators. He was the first African-American to chair the Democratic Party of Georgia and has been appointed as a presidential elector seven times. Smyre retired as executive vice president of corporate external affairs for Synovus and president of the Synovus Foundation in December 2014 after 38 years of service. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Fort Valley State University and holds an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the Morehouse School of Medicine. Smyre lives in Columbus. 

Russ Childers, Board of Community Health (reappointment)
Childers has 45 years of experience as a life and health insurance agent. He is a past president of the National Association of Health Underwriters and a past president and former legislative chair of the Georgia Associations of Health Underwriters. Childers received the Harold R. Gordon Memorial Award in 2014 and was named the Health Underwriter of the Year in Georgia in 2000. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Georgia State University. Childers and his wife, Jo, reside in Americus. 

Russell Crutchfield, Board of Community Health (reappointment)
Crutchfield is the chief of staff to the president of the University of West Georgia and the UWG special assistant of government and external relations. He has held executive leadership roles with the Georgia Department of Public Health, the Georgia Department of Labor and the Georgia Department of Community Health. Crutchfield earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of West Georgia. He and his wife, Susan, live in Newnan.

Kenneth Davis, M.D., Board of Community Health
Davis is the president and chairman of the board of directors for Harbin Clinic. Davis was previously a practicing general surgeon for Harbin Clinic for 15 years and served as the clinic’s CEO. He is the board chairman of Heritage First Bank and sits on the boards for Premedex, Hydrodynamics and Georgia-Alabama Land Trust Inc. Davis earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia and a medical degree from Emory University. He and his wife, Laura, have two children and reside in Rome. 

Thomas Harbin Jr., M.D., Georgia Composite Medical Board
Harbin is a glaucomatologist and an author. He has practiced with the Eye Consultants of Atlanta since 1975 and served on the clinical faculty at Emory for 20 years. Harbin published “Waking Up Blind: Lawsuits Over Eye Surgery,” a book used to teach medical ethics in many ophthalmology residency programs. Harbin is a past president of the Georgia Society of Ophthalmology, a former trustee at large for the American Academy of Ophthalmology and a former chairman of the board for Piedmont Hospital and Piedmont Healthcare System. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University, a master’s degree in Business Administration from Georgia State University and a medical degree from Cornell University Medical College and Georgia State University. Harbin and his wife, Ellen, have two children and five grandchildren. They live in Atlanta. 

Karen Addams, Parent Training Center Representative
Addams is the vice president of innovation for Parent to Parent of Georgia. She previously worked as a parent educator for the Babies Can’t Wait program at Georgia State University and been an advocate for the disability community for 30 years. Addams earned a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. She and her husband, Peter, have two children and reside in Lilburn. 

Ruby Kaspers, State Rehabilitation Council
Kaspers is a certified rehabilitation counselor for the Vocational Rehabilitation Division of the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency. She sits on the board of the Georgia Rehabilitation Association. Kaspers earned bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Journalism and a master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Georgia State University. She and her husband, Tyler, have one child and live in Macon.