August 10, 2017
Our fall edition of GACS Today features an interview with Labor Commissioner Mark Butler as he discusses available resources for small and large business owners. But there is more to the interview. Below we dive deeper into who Mark Butler is and how he came to be Georgia’s Department of Labor Commissioner.
Q: Tell us a little about your public service career. What prompted you to run for a House Seat?
A: I always had a strong interest in politics. I was one of those weird kids that thought it was interesting. My college major was public administration. And after college, I went back to the family business in Carrolton. The first thing I did was volunteer to help a gentleman run for an open house seat. He won. That man ended up not being the person he said he was going to be and continued to run with no opposition. Finally, I told myself that if no one runs against him, I’m going to run just because no one else has and to give the people in our area a choice. They chose me by a wide margin; I had 56% of the votes.
I was the first in this house seat as a republican and served two years as a minority caucus member. We had a republican controlled Senate and a republican Governor, but not a republican house.
Q: Tell us about your transition to DOL Commissioner position.
A: I had served in the House for 8 years. My committee assignments included Industrial Relations and the Appropriations Committees. As a member of the Industrial Relations Committee, I served as Vice Chair. This was the committee at the time where all Department of Labor laws were heard and vetted.
In the House Appropriations Committee, I served as Chairman of the Human Resource Sub-Committee. I worked on budget issues and for both the Department of Human Resources which included mental health as well as a budget for the Department of Labor. So, I was familiar with the budget and some of the workings of the Department prior to this position.
I knew there was a lot of opportunity for change and to do new things, but it also meant big changes at home. I knew I wouldn’t be able to continue to work in my family’s small business. I ran for the office in 2010. In 2011, after 20 years, I gave up working in a small business environment to serving the public as the Commissioner of the Department of Labor.
Q: What do you feel was your biggest accomplishment as a State Representative?
A: That would be our work in mental health issues. We passed a lot of reforms to help create the Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities.
Q: Tell us about you personally. When you’re not in the Commissioner Role, what do you like to do on Mark’s time?
A: You know I have three kids and two grandkids. They are what I like to do in my free time.
Commissioner Butler, a native of Carrollton, graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Public Administration. He and his wife, Chantell, have three children: Blake, Sydney, and Katie. Commissioner Butler and his family are members of Tabernacle Baptist Church in Carrollton.
Still want to know more about Mark Butler: https://dol.georgia.gov/commissioners-biography