Georgia’s seven-member State Veterans Service Board recently elected new officers for 2018-19. Their terms began April 1.

Daniel Cravey, Georgia native and retired Army Master Sergeant, was selected as chairman. He was appointed to the board in 2015 by Governor Nathan Deal. Cravey, who started with the Georgia Department of Veterans Service in October 2000, worked as a Claims and Appeals Officer and retired in January 2014 as the director of the Appeals Division. Cravey’s military career covered assignments as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division (Fort Bragg, NC), an artilleryman in the 9th Infantry Division (Fort Lewis, WA) and 3rd Armor Division (Germany). He ended his 21 years of active duty in June 1991 after serving key leadership positions in the Army Recruiting Command for over 10 years. Cravey is a 27-year member of the American Legion where he currently serves as the Department of Georgia Chaplain. He is also a member of the Paralyzed Veterans of America and Disabled American Veterans. Cravey earned a bachelor's degree from Liberty University. He and his wife, Lora, live in Milner. They have two children.

Patricia “Trish” Ross was selected as vice chairman. She was appointed to the Veterans Service Board in 2016 by Governor Nathan Deal. After 25 years on active duty in the United States Air Force, Ross retired as a Colonel. She is the Executive Director of the Veterans Education Career Transition Resource Center (VECTR), a state-wide and joint initiative between the Technical College and University Systems of Georgia. The VECTR Center provides veterans and their families a gateway into Georgia’s 51 public technical colleges and university system schools. Prior to leading the VECTR Center, Ross served as the Director of Military Affairs for the Technical College System of Georgia where she led state-wide initiatives to expand educational benefits and opportunities for military students. She is a member of the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education, the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, the Air Force Association, Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Society for Human Resource Management, and the National Association for Professional Women. She and her husband, Scott, have four teenagers and live in Warner Robins.

Marine Corps veteran Thom Mash was named board secretary. Mash was appointed to the Veterans Service Board in 2017 by Governor Nathan Deal. Mash enlisted in 1972, was trained and held assignments as a computer programmer. He was discharged from active duty service in 1976 with the rank of Sergeant, E-5. Mash, who grew up in Michigan, then went to work for Pontiac Motors in their data processing division. He transferred to GMAC – Atlanta in 1981 and later entered private industry starting his own company in 1985. In 1992, Mash went to work for Abatement Technologies as their Operations Manager and retired from there in 2016. Mash has been an active member of the American Legion at all levels since 1998 when he joined Chattahoochee Post 251 in Duluth. He served as the Legion’s State Treasurer from 2007 to 2011, after which he held key state-level positions resulting in his election as the American Legion Department of Georgia Commander in 2015. He remains active in Post 251 activities. Mash and his wife, Susie (who served as the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary State President), have four children and twelve grandchildren.

Serving as members of the State Veterans Service Board for 2018-19 with Cravey, Ross, and Mash are Shawn Hanley of Atlanta, Pat Phillips of Blairsville, Eddie Whitted of Blackshear, and Phil Youngblood of Quitman. The seven-member, governor-appointed, constitutional board recommends policy, procedure, and work projects for the GDVS. Through the Commissioner of Veterans Service, the board controls overall veterans policy for the state.

Information about the Board’s regularly scheduled monthly meetings can be found at

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For more information on the content of this news release, please contact the GDVS Public Information Division at 404-656-5933 or [email protected].