Gov. Brian Kemp. (Photo by Bob Andres / bandres@ajc.com)
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Kemp, sans chainsaw, assigns allies to slash regulations

Gov. Brian Kemp liked to brandish a chainsaw on the campaign trail to demonstrate his determination to slash state regulations. This week he assigned a group of 18 people to rev up that machinery.

The Georgians First Commission is tasked with coming up recommendations to streamline government and devise ways to cut taxes to help foster business growth. The group’s final report isn’t due until June 2020, but Kemp said he may act on some suggestions earlier.

The commission, which was outlined in Kemp’s first executive order, has a simple task: “I told them to go after everything – all bureaucracy and red tape,” Kemp said Tuesday. 

The group will be co-chaired by Cade Joiner, a small business owner, and James Whitley, founder of Landmark Properties.  

Other members include former Georgia Lottery chief Debbie Alford; Rick Desai, a leader in the Indian-American community; Alec Poitevint, an influential Republican National Committee figure; and Sam Holmes, vice chairman of CB Richard Ellis.

Kemp also hired former state Rep. Scott Hilton, a Gwinnett Republican and banking executive who lost in November, as the “director of implementation” to work with the commission on daily operations and strategic planning. 

Here’s the full list:

Co-Chairs 
Cade Joiner – Brookhaven, GA – Owner, Shred X 
James Whitley – Athens, GA – Founder & COO, Landmark Properties

Members 
Debbie Alford – Atlanta, GA – former Commissioner of the Georgia Lottery 
Bobby Banks – Oakwood, GA – Chief Administrative Officer, CBT Inc. 
Natasha Bell, Esq. – Atlanta, GA – Partner, 360 Venture Law, LLP 
Christie Cannon Cole – Albany, GA - Marketing Manager, Flint Equipment Company 
Michael Collins – Jackson, GA – President, Collins Trucking Company, Inc. 
Rick Desai – Buford, GA – Founder, Vanitywala.com 
Sam Holmes – Atlanta, GA – Vice Chairman, CB Richard Ellis, Inc. 
Mark Horn – Macon, GA – COO, EBM 
Ruel Joyner – Savannah, GA – Owner, 24e Design Company 
Vickie Moreland – Tucker, GA – Chief Financial Officer, Moreland Altobelli 
Alec Poitevent – Bainbridge, GA – Chairman & President, Southeastern Minerals, Inc. 
David Renz – Dalton, GA – President, Southern Lubes & Fuels 
T. Dallas Smith – Atlanta, GA – Owner, T. Dallas Smith & Company 
Trey Taylor – Valdosta, GA – CEO, Taylor Insurance Services 
Brad Usry – Augusta, GA – President, Fat Man’s Hospitality Group 
C.B. Yadav – Kingsland, GA – President & CEO, Gope Management Company

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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