Sarah Maude Merritt Finley


In 1964, I earned a four year full tuition scholarship to attend Spelman College; I graduated cum laude in 1968.

Effective 9/1/2004, I retired from a career spanning 31 years and 10 months in county DFCS employment with the Georgia Department of Human Resources. From 1976-1998, I served as a manager, motivator, and trainer of personnel at Fulton County DFCS whose major strengths (in creating functional materials, in team building, in leadership training by example and customer service/cultural responsiveness training) consistently rendered positive results. From 1991-1992 (During Desert Storm) while still employed by Fulton County DFCS, I served as the volunteer Family Support Coordinator of the Family Support Group of the Atlanta Detachment 2nd Army Maneuver Training Command and as a volunteer member of the Family Support Council of the USAR 87th Maneuver Area Command (now the 4th Brigade, 87th Division). After more than 22 consecutive years of supervision in the benefits sector of Fulton County DFCS, I desired to be able to directly affect the lives of recipients of DFCS services. My last assignment was at Clayton County DFCS where I served as a GPS (Group Preparation & Selection) M.A.P.P. (Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting) Leader, recruiter and monitor of potential and approved foster and/or foster/adoptive parents.

Career Highlights: I am proud of some initiatives I developed and implemented at Fulton County DFACS and of the continued use of the Family Support Model that I developed for the U.S. Army Reserves (USAR) which is used by the Pentagon as a model for family support groups throughout the USAR in the world. In 1987 during the administration of DHR Commissioner, Douglas Greenwell, I was selected as the “exemplary statewide supervisor/manager” in the Georgia Department of Human Services (which included all sectors of the Division of Family and Children Services and Mental Health) and was consequently featured as “the Supervisor” in the 1987 “Count on Me Video”. I am most proud of meeting my personal ongoing goal as a manager in inspiring numerous of my supervisees to perform their jobs in an ethical manner, to remain state employees, and to use their experience in seeking, attaining and maintaining administrative positions in which they would also “lead by example”. Since 1990, I have been included annually as a biographee in at least one publication of Marquis Who’s Who (inclusion in which is limited to individuals who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in their own fields of endeavor and who have, thereby contributed significantly to contemporary society).

I am the recent widow of the late Craig W. Finley, and our Spel-House union produced two sons who are alumni of Morehouse College.

My hope is that my broad experience in serving (and affiliation with groups which serve) individuals, families and children enhances my performance as a Director of E.D. Cubed, Inc.