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State DTAE board selects new chairman

POSTED: May 31, 2007 5:02 a.m.

Atlanta — The 20 members of the state Board of Technical and Adult Education have elected former BellSouth executive Carl Swearingen as their new chairman.

Swearingen follows in the footsteps of the board’s outgoing chairman, Ben Copeland of Lakeland, whose annual term ends on June 30.

Vidalia businessman Allen Rice will be the board’s new vice-chairman.

The members of the DTAE board are appointed by the governor to oversee the standards, regulations and policies for the operation of the Technical College System of Georgia’s 34 colleges, including Savannah Technical College.  Their responsibility also includes Quick Start, DTAE’s workforce training program, and the state’s adult literacy services.

Ann Purcell of Rincon is a member at-large of the DTAE board, having been appointed two years ago by Gov. Sonny Perdue.

Chairman-elect Swearingen, who lives in Sandy Springs, was appointed to the DTAE board by Governor Sonny Perdue in July 2006.

Swearingen retired in 2001 as the senior vice president and corporate secretary of the BellSouth Corporation and has a long history of service to Georgia and the state’s business and education sectors.  

He chaired Gov. Perdue’s transition team in 2002 and is today a member of the Governor’s Commission for a New Georgia. He has served on the boards of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, University of Georgia Foundation, Berry College and was the chairman of the board of the Georgia Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism.  

He holds bachelors and masters degrees from the University of Georgia and a masters degree in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  

Among his many civic involvements, Swearingen is active in the United Way, the Atlanta Kiwanis Club, American Cancer Society and the Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins, where he was the past chairman of the National Board of Advisors.

Rice, the vice chair-elect, is president of Savannah Luggage Works in Vidalia, a company he started in 1978. He was appointed to the DTAE board by Gov. Perdue in September 2003.

He currently chairs the board’s Community and Public Affairs Committee, is an ex officio member of the board’s Executive Committee and also serves on the Business Operations, Technology and Administration Committee.  

He has served on the board of directors of the Toombs/Montgomery Chamber of Commerce and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, and is a past chairman of the Toombs County Republican Party.

He has been active for many years in public education in his hometown of Vidalia and is presently involved with a number of local civic and community groups.  He attended North Georgia College and Auburn University.

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