Debra is married to Kevin Frieden, a Director for CGI Technologies. They have two children, Christopher and Thomas, and one grandson, Aiden. They live off the Sixes Corridor in the Falls of Cherokee subdivision. Debra is a lifelong volunteer dedicated to the service to others. Service to Georgians on all levels has been a consistent thread throughout Debra's life. She is a member of St. James Episcopal Church.
A former legislator, Debra helped Georgians by closing a loophole called the "Year and a Day" law, developed the initial Stalking Crime Bill with her police chief which was carried to fruition by her colleagues in 1993. Helping Georgia's children she voted for the H.O.P.E. scholarship, and bring the 1996 Olympic Games to Georgia supporting and voting to appropriate funds which would build infrastructure throughout Georgia. In an unsuccessful bid, she networked her high level contacts to get the Olympic baseball venue moved to Cobb (her district) which would have brought a high level of new infrastructure and attention to the county (and be great fun for citizens!). But hey, at least I tried. On a local level she helped get a 6K new roof for the local senior center by securing Governor discretionary funds. With bi-partisan support, Georgia named a bridge after her for her permanent changes to Georgia laws, and systems, to help Georgias children and seniors.
Hired by John Oxendine, Georgia's first statewide republican Insurance and Fire Commissioner, she helped secure an additional $645,000 in the budget.
Locally Debra has continued her service to others, by serving 10 years on the Cherokee County Board of Ethics, as a member, Vice Chair and Chairman. As recently as May 2016, The Cherokee County Board of Commissioners, presented a Proclamation to her.
When her neighbors have an issue, Debra will try to help them solve the problem, if possible. Noise issues at the Aquatic Center, road striping or repair, big issues or small, Debra will try to find a way to help her neighbors.
She is a photographer, and has 46 documentary photographs and data, in the Smithsonian - Natural Museum of History - Anthropological Archives located in Virginia. Edward Curtis Native American Indian photography collections are stored and preserved in the same collections.
With the help of local historic preservation and history buffs in the Cherokee area, Debra would like to assist, if possible, retention of some of the structures, and areas around the county "at risk" during explosive commercial, residential and road development/changes. Although it may be a hard fought battle, she believes that the reason people come to Cherokee is for it's trees, beauty, charm, parks, trails, and access to main interstate connectivity (jobs), health care, good schools, food and shopping and finally lower crime within the metro suburbs.
She currently sits on the City of Holly Springs Mayor's Advisory Council, and Wellstar Leadership Council during the new health park construction at the Gresham Mill5765/Sixes Road Corridor area.
If there is a hot button issue, Debra is on the front row at city, county, zoning meetings speaking against apartment development and poor quality business proposals. However, Debra is pro business wanting to encourage high quality businesses and developments, such as senior cottage and bungalow communities, health and medical businesses which fit the Sixes corridor, and all other business interests which would benefit and compliment current neighborhood communities.
June 1984 – Present
June 1981 – Present
Self Employed. Based out of metro Atlanta, Georgia US. Full time Fine Art & Freelance Photographer.
January 1988 1990 & 1993 – April 1999 (7 years 4 months)
Contract Lobbyist. Various projects included, but not limited to, Federal Funding Identification for Department of Public Safety. Facilitate and secured $675,000.00 Appropriations in budget for the first statewide elected Republican, John Oxendine, Georgia Insurance and Fire Commissioner's Office; also initiate the CDW Bill, Ticket and Tour Operators of Georgia, Pasteur Merieux Connaught, now Aventis Pasteur Pharmaceutical, Life Chiropractic University, and Pro Bono work with regards to child abuse, and child well-being objectives.
Georgia House of Representatives, State of Georgia January 1991 – January 1993 (2 years 1 month)
Elected at 26 years of age. The second youngest female to be elected in legislature by 1990. Organized a successful grassroots campaign in a district constituency of 235,000 people, 88,000 registered voters. Won election with significant voting margin lead in Cobb County on minimal budget, excellent message.
Served on Health & Ecology Committee, Sub Committee on Children & Youth, Education Committee, State Institutions and Properties Committee Member and leadership positions within various Boards of Directors. Won many awards and commendations for public service.
Waste Management (S/E Division)
Labor Law Department
1987 – 1989 (2 years) Eastern South Central Region Offices Marietta GA
1985 – 1987 (2 years) Headquarters Atlanta, Georgia
The University of Georgia
The Biennial Legislative Institute for Continuing Education 1990 – 1990
The Atlanta College of Art
Fine Art Dean's List 1979 – 1984
Supporter/Contributor Fisher House Foundation September 2013
Supporter/Contributor M.U.S.T. Ministries
Supporting U.S. Soldiers Serving Abroad
Daughter's of the American Revolution Project Patriot January 2013 – Present
Supporter/Contributor Tamassee D.A.R. School, South Carolina, January 2013 – Present
Woodstock High School Football Program Woodstock Georgia USA 2010 – 2014
Board Director & Organizations
Cherokee County Republican Women, 2019
Cherokee County Republican Party, 2019
City of Holly Springs - Mayor's Advisory Council, May 2018 - Present
WellStar - Community Leadership Council, May 2018 - Present
Cherokee County Board of Ethics 2006 – 2016, Chair 2013 – 2014, Vice Chair 2014 – 2016
Georgia Chamber of Commerce Governmental Advisory Council 1993 – 1995
Insurance Underwriter's Association (Appointed by the Insurance & Fire Commissioner of Georgia) Board of Directors Director
1991 – 1993
Daughters of the American Revolution National Defense Committee Chair Fielding Lewis Chapter NSDAR September 2013 – May 2015
Daughters of the American Revolution ByLaws Committee, Committee Member Fielding Lewis Chapter NSDAR
October 2013 – 2016
Daughters of the American Revolution Officer, Corresponding Secretary 2015 – 2017
Daughters of the American Revolution, VIS (Visual Information Systems) Chairman Fielding Lewis Chapter NSDAR, May 2015
Georgia Commission on Family Violence, Member, October 1992 – sunset provision in accordance with SB 703
**Appointed by Speaker of the House of Representatives GA, according to the provisions of Senate Bill 703, passed 1992 Session. State Commission on Family Violence, to make recommendations and for other purposes.
The Center for Powder Springs Foundation, Inc. Board of Directors, Vice President, 1992 – 1993
Abused Children's Taskforce, Inc., Board of Directors, President & Founder 1989 – 1991
Georgian's for Children, Inc., Board of Directors Director 1990 – 199
Georgia DFCS Advisory Group,1989
South Cobb Jaycees 1991 – 1993
The Falls of Cherokee HOA Board Board of Directors Director 2013 – 2015 **(check date for accuracy)**
The Falls of Cherokee Governmental Affairs Committee, 2013 – 2014
The Falls of Cherokee Beautification Committee, 2013 – 2014
Atlanta Photography Group Member, 2007 – 2014
Assistant BSA Den Leader, BSA Troop 405, 1990 – 1992
Honors & Awards
Georgia Outstanding Georgia Citizen, Georgia Secretary of State, 1999
Debra Mills Commemorative Bridge State of Georgia - Georgia General Assembly State of Georgia
SR 467 Mills, Debra; commend (Commemorative Bridge designated in HR 453/AP) Sponsored by Senator Steve Thompson
Georgia State Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (GSSDAR) Statewide Winner Outstanding VIS (Visual Information Specialist), 2016
Georgia State Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution Statewide Winner Best Coverage of Event, March 2016
The Atlanta Journal & Constitution Statewide Political Endorsement Atlanta Journal & Constitution, 1990
Atlanta Journal & Constitution Statewide Political Endorsement 1992 Atlanta Journal & Constitution, 1992
The Atlanta Journal & Constitution Cobb Extra Volunteer of the Week Atlanta Journal & Constitution, 1990
Making a Difference Award Georgia Women's Political Caucus, 1991
Cobb Association for the Mentally Ill,Special Recognition Award, 1992
Appreciation Award Georgia Council on Aging, 1992
Georgia Retired Teacher's Association, 1991
Aide de Camp, Governor of Georgia, Zell Bryan Miller
Additional Honors & Awards
MOCA GA Artists Photographing Artists Exhibition, 2013
The Airport Show, Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson Airport, 10/2010
Fay Gold Selects APG, Atlanta, GA, 2007
Pilsner Urquell International Photography Awards (IPA) 2008 Recipient of 9 Awards
Px3 Award Paris France, 2008
Best of Photography Canon, Serbin Communications CA., 2006, 2007, 2008
ATLART2007 Arthouse, Atlanta, GA, 2007
APG Photographer’s Choice Atlanta, GA, 2007
Museum of Contemporary Art Off the Wall Atlanta, GA 2007
Atlanta Photography Group Push Pin Show Atlanta, GA 2007
The Coastal Arts League Gallery, CA 2006
Notable Public Collections
Smithsonian 46 Photographs & video documentary 2006 - Present
MOCA GA Museum of Contemporary Art Georgia, 2013 Permanent Collection
Debra Frieden Portfolio, published 2007
Best of Photography Canon, Serbin Communications CA., 2006, 2007, 2008
Inside Cobb Magazine, 1992 Cover & Article
Oncology Issues Trade Magazine, 1993
TowneLaker Magazine, 2013
Woodstock High School Yearbook 2014, Woodstock GA opening 2 page photo spread & photo credited
● Initiated the "Death Investigation Act of Georgia" Senator Steve Thompson sponsored. Passed.
● AntiStalking Crime Bill Researched and had legislation drafted. Found Constitutionally sound. Post election, Senator & House Judiciary Committee member Mary Margaret Oliver and House Appropriations Chairman Terry Coleman agreed to introduce the bill. Passed.
● Sponsored and closed the "Year and a day" law loophole on homicides which enabled authorities to pursue criminal cases to convict murderers. Passed.
● Off label drug cancer therapy made legal and available for Georgia citizens. Passed.
● Meningococcal vaccines for Georgia college students. Nonlegislative. Successful.
● Counter terrorism Federal funding identification for the Department of Public Safety. Nonlegislative. Successful.
● $675,000.00 line item in GA budget secured for the Georgia Insurance and Fire Commissioner; and others. Non-legislative measure/Budget. Successful.
Additional ongoing activities:
Digitization of State House of Representatives campaign materials and legislative documents, photos, and materials, currently being prepared for inclusion in the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies 2016 Athens, GA
She is a member of the Daughter's of the American Revolution, loves nature, working in her mini private botanical gardens (yard), and spending time with family and the neighborhood children, who enjoy coming over to visit "Miss Debra" in which they like to help her in the gardens. When not active in her volunteer or neighborly roles, Debra manages and works on their rental properties.
l to r: Tanya Huff with her big sister Debra.