GRACE Commission

Sadly, it is estimated that there are 1.5 million human trafficking victims in the US, most of which are children. The Federal Bureau of Investigation recently named Atlanta as one of the fourteen cities with abnormally high rates of human trafficking. However, the issue is not limited to Atlanta, human trafficking is taking place in every corner of our state.

The Georgians for Refuge, Action, Compassion, and Education Commission (GRACE) was created to combat the threat of human trafficking in the State of Georgia. The GRACE Commission is comprised of public officials, law enforcement, for-profit and non-profit organizations, faith-based institutions, and subject matter experts to tackle human trafficking, seek justice for victims, hold bad actors accountable, and end human trafficking. 

 

Co-Chairs

First Lady Marty Kemp

First Lady of Georgia

 

Jan Jones

Speaker Pro Tempore

First elected to office in 2003, Representative Jan Jones has distinguished herself as a passionate advocate for changing lives and increasing economic opportunities through improved public education and government closer to the people.

Jan was re-elected Speaker Pro Tem, on January 14, 2019, the second highest position in the Georgia House of Representatives. She proudly serves House District 47 in northwest Fulton, covering Milton, Mountain Park and portions of Roswell and Alpharetta.

Born in Warner Robins, Speaker Pro-Tem Jones has lived in Fulton County for 25 years. She graduated with a B.A. from the University of Georgia and an M.B.A. in Finance from Georgia State University. A former marketing manager for Home Box Office, she also owned a small business while raising her children. She operated an energy consulting business with her husband from 2015 to 2019.

Jan is the granddaughter of two Laurens County farmers and the daughter of a career soldier.

She and her husband, Kalin, have four children, and the family worships at Northpoint Community Church in Alpharetta.

Speaker Pro-Tem Jones has authored a wide variety of legislation including bills to bring local control, transparency and accountability to government. Several of her legislative accomplishments have been geared toward reforming our educational system to become more innovative and flexible.

Georgia’s K-12 and higher education systems are not only a critical investment in our students, but also the state’s future workforce and long-term economic success.

 

Vic Reynolds

GBI Director

Vic Reynolds was appointed the Director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation on February 18, 2019 by Governor Brian Kemp. In this position, he leads an agency of over 900 employees.

Vic is the former District Attorney of Cobb County, where he was elected twice. He has also served as a police officer, as the former Chief Magistrate Judge of Cobb County, and he was a partner in the law firm of Berry and Reynolds. He has been published in both local and national print, and he is the author of Georgia Objections at Trial, which is currently in its second edition.

Vic and his wife, Holly, have been married over 30 years and they have two grown daughters. He is involved in numerous civic and charitable organizations, and he and his wife are members of the Marietta First United Methodist Church.

 

Members

Allison Ausband

Senior Vice President of In-Flight Services
Delta Air Lines

Allison Ausband is Senior Vice President — In-Flight Service for Delta Air Lines, leading a team of 24,000 flight attendants, supervisory and support personnel around the globe, as well as Delta's onboard global food and beverage operation and experience.
Her key responsibilities include leading her team to ensure 200 million Delta customers have an enjoyable flight experience while maintaining a focus on safety, and building upon Delta’s “great place to work” philosophy.

She previously served as Vice President — Reservation Sales and Customer Care, where she was responsible for 10 customer engagement centers in four countries, which handle over 37 million customer contacts each year and generate over $2 billion in annual revenue.
Under Allison’s leadership, Delta’s In-Flight Service team has achieved all time customer satisfaction scores. While in Reservation Sales, she developed and launched Delta’s social media customer service model as well as a home-based employment program, creating a new virtual workforce culture that yields more than $2 million in savings each year. She also led the corporation’s strategy to move from the bottom to the No. 2 position in DOT Consumer rankings and under her leadership achieved JD Power certification for Delta's engagement centers — the first U.S. airline to ever achieve.

Allison began her career at Delta in May 1985 as a flight attendant.

Currently, Allison is Delta’s executive sponsor for human trafficking and leads their annual Breast Cancer Research Foundation campaign. She is a member of Leadership Atlanta Class of 2014. She is a University of Georgia Board of Trustee and serves on the Board of Directors for Delta Community Credit Union and the Board of Trustees for the William R. and Sara Babb Smith Foundation. She is also an active member of her local church serving on the personnel committee.

Allison received a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Georgia.

 

Stephanie Blank

Board Chair
Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students and President, Naserian Foundation

 

Sherry Boston

DeKalb County District Attorney

Sherry Boston stands among the elite in the world of prosecution. She is one of only three African-American female District Attorneys in the State of Georgia, and among the rare one-percent of African-American females currently serving as District Attorney nationwide.

In her capacity, DA Boston oversees the prosecution of felony offenses filed in the Superior Court of DeKalb County. Since taking the helm as District Attorney in 2017, Ms. Boston has restructured and redefined prosecution processes and increased the Office’s capacity to serve victims with an expanded victim services unit.

Observers have taken notice of DA Boston’s efforts. She was recently lauded by Atlanta Magazine as one of metro Atlanta’s 500 Most Influential People. Through her work with the Institute for Innovation in Prosecution and the Fair and Just Prosecution initiative, DA Boston has also become an integral part of the national dialogue on criminal justice reform. DA Boston is the only District Attorney appointed to the newly formed GRACE Commission, a statewide taskforce created by Georgia’s First Lady to combat human trafficking.

Prior to her role as District Attorney, Ms. Boston served as DeKalb County Solicitor-General and was instrumental in the development of DeKalb’s revamped Traffic Division and the implementation of a wide variety of innovative programming and strategies aimed at community outreach and crime prevention.

In addition to her elected positions, DA Boston has received numerous legal appointments and wide recognition for her prevention/intervention initiatives and impassioned commitment to domestic violence awareness. In 2018, she received the Champion for Change Award from the Women’s Resource Center to End Domestic Violence for her leadership in the DV arena, including the development of two signature community awareness campaigns.

Among her varied involvement in community and legal organizations, DA Boston is an active member of the State Bar of Georgia where she serves on the Disciplinary Board and the Board of Governors.

District Attorney Boston is a graduate of Villanova University and Emory University School of Law. She is a dedicated member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and resides in DeKalb County with her husband and two daughters.

 

Mary Frances Bowley

Executive Director
Wellspring Living

 

Chris Carr

Georgia Attorney General

Christopher M. Carr was appointed by Governor Nathan Deal and sworn into office as Georgia's 54th Attorney General on November 1, 2016. On November 6, 2018, Carr was elected by the people of Georgia to serve a full four-year term.

As Attorney General, Carr believes he has no more solemn duty than to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution and laws of the State of Georgia and the interests of the people of the State of Georgia. He also believes that his office must play a significant role in protecting Georgians. Since taking office in 2016, Carr has made it a priority to combat opioid misuse, gang violence, human trafficking, elder abuse and consumer fraud. He established and leads the Statewide Opioid Task Force – which now has more than 400 members – and the Georgia Anti-Gang Network – which is focused on strengthening multi-jurisdictional investigations and prosecutions. To help prevent our older, at-risk adults from falling victim to scams, Carr created the Georgia Consumer Protection Guide for Older Adults, and he works every day to make sure older, at-risk adults and all consumers are protected from exploitation in any form. Carr is also a champion for the state’s Sunshine Laws, working each day to ensure that government operates openly and transparently. In 2019, he announced the creation of the state's first-ever Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit at the Department of Law. Under his leadership, the unit will work with statewide partners to aggressively combat buyers and traffickers.

Carr appoints all members of the Georgia Consumer Advisory Board and is a member of the Georgia Board of Homeland Security. He served on Georgia’s Judicial Nominating Commission, the body charged with recommending candidates to the Governor to fill judicial vacancies, from 2011 through 2018, and the Executive Committee for the Georgia Older Adults Cabinet from 2016 - 2018. A dedicated member of the National Association of Attorneys General, Carr currently serves on the Human Trafficking, Substance Abuse and Presidential Initiative Committees (focused on elder abuse in 2017-18 and natural disasters in 2018-19) where he collaborates with his colleagues to shape the association's policies in these respective areas.

Carr previously served as Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) under Governor Deal from November 2013 to November 2016. As Commissioner, Carr led the state agency responsible for creating jobs and investment in Georgia through business recruitment, retention and expansion, international trade and tourism, as well as the arts, film and music industries. During Carr's three-year tenure at GDEcD, the state of Georgia was recognized as the top state in the nation in which to do business for three consecutive years. In addition, GDEcD helped facilitate 1,069 projects across the state that represent approximately $14.4 billion in investment and the creation of more than 84,000 jobs. In 2015, GDEcD was recognized as the top economic development agency in the country.

Prior to joining GDEcD, Carr was Chief of Staff for U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson for six years. During his time in Washington, Carr advised the Senator on federal legislation, numerous judicial nominees for the U.S. Supreme Court and lower federal courts in Georgia and across the country.

Carr began his career with Georgia Pacific, then practiced law with Alston & Bird LLP in Atlanta and later served as Vice President and General Counsel for the Georgia Public Policy Foundation.

A graduate from the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business and Lumpkin School of Law, Carr is admitted to practice law in Georgia.

Carr and his wife Joan have two daughters and live in Dunwoody.

 

Dr. Meria Carstarphen

Superintendent
Atlanta Public Schools

 

Geoff Duncan

Georgia Lieutenant Governor

A former professional baseball player and successful entrepreneur, Geoff Duncan has served as Georgia’s Lieutenant Governor since his inauguration in January of 2019.

Geoff graduated from Chattahoochee High School in Alpharetta where he met his wife, Brooke. Geoff and Brooke both attended the Georgia Institute of Technology where Geoff was a scholarship pitcher. After a successful career at Georgia Tech, Geoff was drafted by the Florida Marlins’ organization. Geoff spent six seasons playing baseball in the minor leagues, advancing as high as AAA before a shoulder injury forced his retirement in the early 2000s.

After retiring from baseball, Geoff and his wife Brooke started a small marketing firm in their living room. The company experienced tremendous success which allowed Geoff and Brooke to sell the business and move on to multiple other entrepreneurial ventures. Geoff most recently served as the CEO of a health technology startup.

Geoff’s faith inspired him to a life of leadership and prompted his upstart run for political office. Before running for Lieutenant Governor, Geoff served in the Georgia House of Representatives from 2012 to 2017. As a state representative, he authored several important pieces of legislation. These include HB 749-The Cargo Theft Act, HB 152- Michael’s Law and most recently SB 258- the Rural Hospital Tax Credit. In his first legislative session as the President of the Senate, the Georgia General Assembly passed landmark health care reform measures, ensured that computer science courses will be offered in every middle and high school across the state, and offered legislation to term limit the Office of Lt. Governor to two consecutive four year terms.

Geoff and Brooke are married and have three sons: Parker, Bayler, and Ryder. Geoff has coached 20+ youth sports teams and led a weekly bible study with his wife Brooke. The Duncans attend Browns Bridge Community Church, an affiliate of North Point Community Church.

 

Evia Golde

Community Advocate
United Way of Greater Atlanta

 

Donna Hyland

CEO
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

 

Katie Kirkpatrick

Chief Policy Officer
Metro Atlanta Chamber

 

Dave McCleary

Vice Chair Rotary Action Group Against Slavery
Rotary International and Founder/CEO, End Human Trafficking Now

 

Danelle McCusker Rees

President of Human Resources US Domestic Operations
UPS

 

Jay Neal

Director
Criminal Justice Coordinating Council

Mr. Neal currently serves as the Executive Director for the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. He was appointed to this position by Governor Nathan Deal in November of 2016. Director Neal formally served in the Georgia House of Representatives from 2004 until 2013, when he was appointed by Governor Deal to be the Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Transition, Support, and Reentry. Director Neal previously sat on the Board of Directors for the Lookout Mountain Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the SAGE Resource Center, and the YOBEL House. He and his wife Gretchen have two children and seven grandchildren, and they currently reside in Chickamauga, Georgia.

 

B.J. Pak

United States Attorney

On October 10, 2017, Byung J. “BJay” Pak was sworn in as the 25th presidentially appointed U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia. He is returning to the office, having served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Criminal Division from 2002 to 2008. Previously, BJay was in private practice handling complex civil litigation and defending clients in white-collar investigations and prosecutions.

From January 2011 to January 2017, BJay served in the Georgia General Assembly as a State Representative from the 108th District. He served three terms as a State Representative and voluntarily retired in January 2017. During his legislative tenure, BJay served as a Deputy Majority Whip, as the Vice Chair of the Judiciary Non-Civil Committee, as Chair of the Subcommittee on Crimes Against Person, Property, and Public Administration, and as Secretary of the Code Revision Committee. He was also a member of the tax writing Ways & Means Committee and the Health and Human Services Committee, and was the Chairman of the Gwinnett County Legislative Delegation. For his policy work, BJay has won recognition from numerous organizations and has been recognized by James Magazine in its "Most Influential Legislators" list.

BJay has been honored with numerous awards throughout his legal and public service career. He has been consistently recognized by Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business; as a "Super Lawyer" by Atlanta Magazine; as one of 100 Most Influential Georgians by Georgia Trend Magazine; as one of the Best Lawyers Under 40 by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association; and he was previously recognized as one of "13 Georgia Lawyers Under 40 to Watch" by the Fulton County Daily Report. BJay was named as “Role Model of the Year 2013” by News & Post; awarded the New American Hero Award by America Korea Friendship Society; and the Korean Prosecutors Association named him Prosecutor of the Year for 2018.

He earned his Juris Doctorate, summa cum laude, and Order of the Coif, from the University of Illinois College of Law, where he was a Harno Scholar, served as the Notes Editor for the Recent Decisions Section of the Illinois Bar Journal, and as a member of the Elder Law Journal. In 2013, his law school named him "Distinguished Alumnus of the Year." Upon graduating from law school, he clerked for Honorable Richard Mills, United States District Judge for the Central District of Illinois. He is a graduate of Stetson University in DeLand, FL, where he was a Florida Academic Scholar, a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa, and was on the Interfraternity Council. BJay is a registered Certified Public Accountant in the State of Illinois.

BJay and his wife, Sandra, have three daughters and live in Lilburn

 

Gene Rackley

Director of Government Relations
Coca-Cola Company

 

Tom Rawlings

Director
Division of Family and Children Services

 

Heather Stockdale

CEO
Georgia Cares

 

Michelle Wallace

Senior Vice President - Clinical Operations
Grady Health System

 

Camila Zolfaghari

Vice President of Policy
Street Grace

 

 

Meeting Announcements, Agendas and Notes