FACES AND PLACES: Hand joins law firm

Mary Beth Hand has joined James Bates Brannan Groover LLP.

Hand’s practice in an “of counsel” role will focus on general civil litigation, insurance litigation, eminent domain and governmental representation. Before joining the firm, she worked for U.S. District Judge Hugh Lawson and in private practice in Macon.

Dublin VA names Griffin as customer service manager

The Carl Vinson VA Medical Center has named longtime staffer Keith Griffin as its new customer service program manager. The hospital established the new position to enhance its health care commitment to veterans. Griffin, an Air Force veteran and former Dublin VA police officer, has been with the hospital since 2001.

State Bank’s Ray named CFO of the Year

Sheila Ray, chief financial officer of State Bank Financial Corp. and its subsidiary, State Bank and Trust Co., has been named CFO of the Year in the midsize public company category by Atlanta Business Chronicle.

State Bank operates 21 banking offices in metro Atlanta and Middle Georgia.

Fickling elected to Georgia Historical Society board

The Georgia Historical Society has elected six new members to the GHS board of curators.

One of those members is Roy Fickling, president of Fickling & Co., a regional real estate development, brokerage, management and consulting firm based in Macon.

James joins American Pride Bank

Baxter James has joined American Pride Bank as a commercial relationship manager and vice president. James, a Macon native, is responsible for growing and expanding relationships for the bank.

He works at the bank’s 4511 Forsyth Road location in Macon.

Williams named clemency division director

The state Board of Pardons and Paroles has named James Williams Jr. as the agency’s new director of clemency. After beginning his career as a deputy sheriff in Baldwin County in 1983, Williams joined the state Board of Pardons and Paroles in 1987 as a parole officer in the Milledgeville parole office. He is a native of Milledgeville.

Development Authority members complete training

Catherine Edgemon, Tiffany Andrews, James Vaughn, Tom Baugh, Otis Ingram and Robert Willis recently completed advanced Development Authority training from the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government.

Edgemon is coordinator of the Perry Main Street program. Andrews, Vaughn, Baugh, Ingram and Willis are members of the Development Authority of Monroe County.

Houston Lake Country Club draws award

The Business Development Committee of the Perry Area Chamber of Commerce recognized Houston Lake Country Club as its Business of the Month for May. This award makes the club eligible for the Business of the Year Award. Houston Lake Country Club is located at 100 Champions Way in Perry.

Ponder recognized on top adviser list

Bert Ponder, an adviser in the Private Banking and Investments Group at Merrill Lynch in Atlanta, was recently recognized on Barron’s “America’s Top 1,200 Financial Advisors” list. Ponder, from Macon, has been with Merrill Lynch since 1983.