ATLANTA – Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John F. King announced today that he has appointed Cheryl S. Gardner as the Executive Director of Georgia’s state-based healthcare exchange, otherwise known as Georgia Access.

“Our office has worked tirelessly over the past several years to move Georgia away from reliance on the federal government to provide healthcare to our citizens,” said Commissioner King. “With today’s hiring of Cheryl Gardner to oversee our new exchange, we are one step closer to increasing competition and innovation in Georgia’s healthcare market and reducing the number of uninsured Georgians.”

Mrs. Gardner is the founder of Gardner Strategies, a health policy and strategy company advising government agencies, legislative entities, technology firms, and policy shops across the country. She previously served as Chief Executive Officer of beWellnm, (New Mexico’s health insurance exchange), Executive Director of the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace, and Director of Policy and Strategy for the Utah Health Exchange.

“I am grateful to Commissioner King for appointing me to this role and looking forward to this new challenge,” said Mrs. Gardner. “Georgia has proven it is on the cutting edge of healthcare reform and I’m proud to bring my unique background in overseeing and advising healthcare exchanges across the country to Georgia Access.”

Georgia Access, established with Governor Kemp’s signing of Senate Bill 65, is a new state-based healthcare exchange for Georgians to use to shop for health insurance on the individual market beginning in Plan Year 2024. As Executive Director, Mrs. Gardner will be responsible for day-to-day operations, hiring staff, and overseeing Georgia’s transition away from the federal exchange in time for Open Enrollment this November.


The mission of the Office Commissioner of Insurance and Safety Fire is to protect Georgia families by providing access to vital insurance products and safe buildings through fair regulation that creates economic opportunities for all Georgians.


Ethan Stiles