Gary Martin Hays — Founder & Chairman
As an Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer and wrongful death attorney, Gary Martin Hays has seen, first-hand, how unexpected tragedies can devastate a family. He founded Keep Georgia Safe in 2008 to provide safety education and crime prevention training to Georgia’s families, and created the only network that sends out all three Georgia emergency alerts for missing or dangerous persons using the latest cell phone texting technology.
Gary began his law career in the insurance defense arena with the law firm Bovis, Kyle & Burch. In 1993, he and Duncan Maysilles formed the firm HAYS & MAYSILLES, P.C. in Atlanta. Upon Mr. Maysilles’s retirement at the end of 1999, the firm has continued as the Law Offices of Gary Martin Hays & Associates, P.C. His firm specializes in personal injury, wrongful death, worker’s compensation, and pharmaceutical claims. Since 1993, his firm has helped over 21,500 victims and their families.
Gary has conducted numerous lectures to other Georgia attorneys, including presentations at the Workers’ Compensation Law Institute for the ICLE of Georgia, as well as the Georgia Trial Lawyers’ Auto Torts Workshop in 2005, 2006 and 2007. He was selected as one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Georgia for 2007 and 2008 by the American Trial Lawyers Association, and recognized by Lawdragon as one of the leading Plaintiffs’ Lawyers in America.
When Georgia lawyers voted on the Super Lawyers in this state, they selected Gary three years in a row as being among the top 5% of Georgia’s lawyers (as featured in Atlanta Magazine). He has hosted a radio show on News Talk 1340 WGAU, and also appeared as a regular guest on WKHX and WUBL in Atlanta, and WNGC and WXAG in Athens, Georgia. He has provided legal commentary on WSB TV, and has appeared on WXIA TV’s Atlanta & Company and WAGA TV’s Good Day Atlanta.
Hays is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, a Champion member of the Georgia Trial Lawyer’s Association, a board member of the Georgia Consumer Justice Foundation, a member of the Georgia Civil Justice Pac, and serves on the Board of Directors for Georgia’s WINPAC, a political action committee engaged in lobbying efforts on behalf of the injured worker in Georgia.
Hays was awarded Georgia Trial Lawyers Association’s Community Service Award in 2007 for his charitable endeavors for the American Cancer Society, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, and Dream House for Medically Fragile Children. Gary has also served on the Advisory Council for Mothers Against Drunk Driving in Georgia. He has helped raise over $3.5 million for charities, given away 1,000 bicycle helmets and 14 college scholarships, and supported numerous youth sports teams.
Gary attended Emory University where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in political science, with a minor in African-American and African Studies. He received a J.D. from the Walter F. George School of Law of Mercer University. He, his wife Sheri and their three daughters live in Duluth, Georgia.
Mary Ellen Fulkus — Executive Director
A background in education and child protection instruction fully prepared Mary Ellen Fulkus for her post as Executive Director of Keep Georgia Safe, where she oversees all safety curriculum development and program implementation, community and media awareness, and the wireless network. She also works as an Independent Consultant within the Criminal Justice Services Child Protection Training for Fox Valley Technical College, a U.S. Department of Justice initiative. Mary Ellen is founder of The Safe-T-Net, Inc. a safety and security training and consulting company for schools, businesses, adults and children.
In March of 2007, Mary Ellen participated in the CART (Child Abduction Response Team) AMBER Alert Training Conference in Houston, Texas. She is a nationally-certified r.a.d. (Resisting Aggression Defensively) KIDS Instructor and a participant in the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Training Conference on Crimes Against Children, in Pensacola, Florida.
A former 8th grade teacher, Mary Ellen completed a Graduate Leadership Certification Program in Public School Administration at The University of Georgia in 2004. She also earned a master’s degree in education from Mercer University in Atlanta, and received her undergraduate degree from Florida State University.
Mary Ellen resides with her husband Robert and their family in Atlanta, Georgia.