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Gov. Nixon makes appointments to Missouri Ethics Commission, NWMSU Board of Regents, four other boards and commissions



JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Gov. Jay Nixon today announced his appointments to six boards and commissions, including appointments to the Missouri Ethics Commission and the Board of Regents of Northwest Missouri State University. The appointees will be subject to confirmation by the Missouri Senate. The appointees, along with their boards and hometowns, are:

Administrative Hearing Commission (Brett W. Berri – Jefferson City)

Children’s Trust Fund Board (Amy Beechner-McCarthy – Rolla)

Governor’s Council on Disability (Chair) (Yvonne R. Wright – New Bloomfield)

Missouri Ethics Commission (Eric Dirks – Kansas City)

Northwest Missouri State University Board of Regents (Dr. Marilou Joyner – Kansas City; Richard N. Smith – Coffey)

State Board of Pharmacy (Douglas R. Lang – St. Louis)

Administrative Hearing Commission

The Governor has appointed Brett W. Berri, of Jefferson City, to the Administrative Hearing Commission. The AHC is a neutral, independent administrative tribunal that decides disputes involving state agencies and another party, usually a private person or corporation. The Commission typically decides the cases after a trial-type hearing.

Berri has been the legislative liaison for the Missouri Office of Administration since 2009. Prior to that, he served as an assistant attorney general in the Office of the Attorney General, and as legislative liaison and counsel for the Secretary of State. Berri obtained his law degree from Washington University School of Law and he also is a graduate of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. The Governor has appointed him for a term ending July 20, 2021.

Children’s Trust Fund Board

The Governor has appointed Amy Beechner-McCarthy, of Rolla, to the Children’s Trust Fund Board. The Children’s Trust Fund works to prevent or alleviate child abuse and neglect by planning and policy development; ensuring appropriate funding of results-oriented programs, training programs for prevention professionals, and research; promoting public awareness and education; and assisting in the integration of statewide prevention efforts.

Since 1997, Beechner-McCarthy has held the position of executive director of The Community Partnership, a not-for-profit organization in Rolla. She obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Missouri – Rolla (now Missouri University of Science & Technology) and also holds a master’s degree in pastoral theology. The Governor has appointed Beechner-McCarthy for a term ending Sept. 15, 2017.

Governor’s Council on Disability

The Governor has appointed Yvonne R. Wright, of New Bloomfield, as the Chair of the Governor’s Council on Disability. The Governor’s Council on Disability works to promote employment of people with disabilities and create a climate in which all Missourians with and without disabilities have equal opportunity for full participation in all aspects of community life; educates the public to reduce stereotypes and promote more accurate images of disability in the community; and represents needs, issues and concerns of people with all types of disabilities in the formation of public policy.

Wright is the director of workforce development and business outreach for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Office of Adult Learning and Rehabilitation Services. She also is a board member of the Missouri Association of Workforce Development. Among other positions, Wright has served as a board member for the Midland Empire Resources for Independent Living, in St. Joseph. The Governor has appointed her as Chair for a term ending Oct. 1, 2015.

Missouri Ethics Commission

The Governor has appointed Eric L. Dirks (D), of Kansas City, to the Missouri Ethics Commission.  The Ethics Commission receives and reviews complaints alleging violations of conflict of interest, lobbying and campaign finance disclosure laws.

Dirks is principal attorney at the Kansas City law firm of Williams Dirks Dameron, and has practiced law in Kansas City since 2003. He obtained his law degree from the University of Iowa School of Law and his undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas. The Governor has appointed Dirks for a term ending March 15, 2018.

Northwest Missouri State University Board of Regents

The Governor has appointed Dr. Marilou Joyner (D), of Kansas City; and Richard N. Smith (R), of Coffey, to the Northwest Missouri State University Board of Regents. The board develops policy and has responsibility for sound resource management of the university, and determines general, educational and financial policies.

Dr. Joyner is the CEO and owner/administrator of Cameron Group Care Inc., which provides services under the Medicaid waiver program and through an intermediate care facility home for developmentally disabled adults. She is a longtime educator in northwest Missouri public schools, and was assistant commissioner for the Division of School Services within the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Dr. Joyner obtained her undergraduate, master’s, and education specialist degrees from Northwest Missouri State University, and her doctorate in education from the University of Kansas. The Governor has appointed her for a term ending Jan. 1, 2021.

Smith is currently the part-time superintendent of schools at the Cainsville R-1 School District, and was superintendent of schools for the South Harrison R-11 School District in Bethany from 2004 to 2008. He also served as a principal and teacher in the district from 1973 to 2004. Smith obtained his undergraduate and master’s degrees from Northwest Missouri State University, as well as his specialist in education degree. The Governor has appointed him for a term ending Jan. 1, 2019.

State Board of Pharmacy

The Governor has appointed Douglas R. Lang, of St. Louis, to the State Board of Pharmacy. The board issues renewal and original licenses to pharmacists, pharmacies, drug distributors, intern pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. The board is also responsible for assuring safe, competent pharmacy services for the citizens of Missouri, and reviews complaints, investigates reports, and schedules fact-finding meetings with pharmacists regarding their pharmacy practices. The board also files complaints with the Administrative Hearing Commission against licensees and has the power to take disciplinary action if the AHC finds a violation of the law occurred.

Lang is a registered pharmacist who is vice-president of pharmacy compliance for Express Scripts Inc., in St. Louis. He also serves as senior director of specialty pharmacy practice for the company. Lang has more than 35 years of experience in the pharmacy field and is a graduate of the St. Louis College of Pharmacy. The Governor has appointed him for a term ending July 20, 2020.