Board of Curators

Officers

Walter M. “Sonny” Deriso, Jr. – Chairman

  • Chairman and a Director of Atlantic Capital Bancshares, Inc. and Atlantic Capital Bank in Atlanta
  • Chairman of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce
  • Served as Vice Chairman of Synovus Financial Corp. from 1997 to 2005
  • Practiced law in Albany, Georgia from 1972 to 1991
  • Emeritus member of the Board of Trustees of Emory University. Recognized by Emory as one of the Emory Law 100 and recipient of the Emory Medal. Chaired the largest capital campaign in the history of Emory University ($1.7 billion)
  • Named to Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 100 Most Influential Atlantans in 2011 and its list of Most Admired CEOs in 2017
  • Past President of Rotary Club of Atlanta

Thomas M. Holder – Vice Chairman

  • Chairman and CEO of Holder Construction, one of the nation’s top 100 contractors, with clients including State Farm Insurance, Apple and Mercedes Benz Stadium
  • Board Chair of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, board member of the Westside Future Fund, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, the Georgia Research Alliance, and the Georgia Tech Foundation. He is also a Board Member of the Georgia Power Company
  • Past President of the Rotary Club of Atlanta and the Kennesaw State University Foundation Board of Trustees

Jerome Russell, Jr. – Treasurer

  • President of H. J. Russell & Company and Russell New Urban Development, LLC, with clients including the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, Tuskegee University, and the Center for Civil and Human Rights
  • Serves on the board of H. J. Russell & Company, Endeavor Atlanta, Concessions International, Metro Atlanta YMCA, and Central Atlanta Progress. Chairman of the Loan Committee at Citizens Trust Bank
  • Member of the Urban Land Institute, Atlanta Rotary, Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, the Young President Organization, and 100 Black Men of Atlanta
  • Started the Russell Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (RCIE), devoted to empowering African American entrepreneurs and small business owners

Douglas J. Hertz – Secretary

  • President and CEO of United Distributors, Inc.
  • Chairman and Founder of Camp Twin Lakes, a network of camps that serves nearly 9,000 special needs children and adults annually
  • Named 2018 Most Respected Business Leader by Georgia Trend
  • Past Chairman of the Board of the Woodruff Arts Center and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
  • Serves on the boards of Atlantic Capital Bank, the Holly Lane Foundation, the Marcus Foundation, the Mother Nature Network, and Georgia Power

Curators

Frank Blake

  • Retired Chairman and CEO of The Home Depot
  • Served as deputy secretary for the U.S. Department of Energy, and prior to that, in a variety of executive roles at General Electric
  • Served as general counsel for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, deputy counsel to Vice President George Bush and law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens
  • Serves on the board of directors for the Georgia Aquarium, Proctor & Gamble, Macy’s, and is currently serving as Chairman of the Delta and Grady Hospital boards

James H. Blanchard, Ex-Officio

  • Retired Chairman of the Board and CEO of Synovus
  • Serves as Chairman of The Advisory Board of JBA Capital, LLC
  • Created the Jim Blanchard Leadership Forum in partnership with the Leadership Institute at Columbus University
  • Honors include the Alumni Merit Award for distinguished and loyal service (University of Georgia, 2015), Ken Blanchard Servant Leadership Award, FinTech Lifetime Achievement Award (Technology Association of Georgia, 2010), “Georgian of the Year” (Georgia Trend magazine, 2003), and induction as a Georgia Trustee (Georgia Historical Society / Office of the Governor, 2016)

Ellen B. Bolch, Ex-Officio

  • President and CEO of THA Group
  • Has been a health care educator at Penn State and Armstrong State Universities, and the Medical College of Georgia.
  • Received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2018.
  • Recipient of Honeywell HomMed’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Telehealth and the AWWIN Monica LaRue Award.
  • Serves on the Boards of the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC), Co-Chair of the National Medicaid Action Council affiliated with NAHC, the Advisory Board of the Home Care Technology Association of America, Rotary Club of Savannah, Union Society of Bethesda, The Chatham Club, Board of Visitors Savannah Country Day School, and the immediate past Chair of the South Carolina Home and Hospice Care Association.

W. Paul Bowers, Ex-Officio

  • Chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Georgia Power
  • Serves on the boards of Nuclear Electric Insurance Ltd., Nuclear Energy Institute, AFLAC, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Atlanta Committee for Progress, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Georgia Research Alliance, and the Georgia Ports Authority. Past member of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia
  • Has received the American Jewish Committee’s National Human Relations Award and the Council for Quality Growth’s Four Pillar Award
  • Inducted as a Georgia Trustee by the Georgia Historical Society and the Office of the Governor in 2018

Dolly Chisholm

  • Partner at Bouhan Falligant LLP
  • Member of the Savannah Bar Association and the State Bar of Georgia
  • Member of the Estate Planning Council, a director of Georgia Legal Services Foundation, past president of the Savannah Community Foundation, and secretary of the Beehive Foundation and the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum
  • Has received the Chief Justice Robert Benham Award for community service in 2001, the Sarah Nichols Pinckney Volunteer Award from the Georgia Historical Society in 2007, the John B. Miller Award from the Savannah Bar Association in recognition for community service in 2009, and the H. Sol Clark Pro Bono Award from the State Bar of Georgia in 2015

Shan Cooper

  • Executive Director for the Atlanta Committee for Progress
  • Former chief transformation officer of WestRock and former vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company
  • Named Georgia Trend’s 2015 Most Respected Business Leader and as one of Georgia Trend’s Most Influential Georgians in the years 2012–2016.
  • Named one of Black Enterprise magazine’s Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America in 2017
  • Serves on the boards of Georgia Power, The Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, Emory University, and the Technical College System of Georgia

Alston D. “Pete” Correll

  • Chairman of the Board of Grady Health Foundation
  • Former chairman and CEO of Georgia-Pacific Corp.
  • Serves on the boards of the Georgia Aquarium, the UGA Foundation, and the Mother Nature Network
  • Named Georgia Trend’s 2006 Most Respected Business Leader and a Georgia Trustee by the Georgia Historical Society and the Office of the Governor in 2017
  • Is a recipient of the Catalyst Award, which recognizes corporate efforts to build inclusive environments and expand opportunities for women at work

Erroll B. Davis, Jr.

  • Retired Superintendent, Atlanta Public Schools; Retired CEO & President, Alliant Energy Corporation
  • Served as chancellor of the University System of Georgia, 2006–2011
  • Graduate of Carnegie Mellon University
  • Honors include the 2014 100 Black Men of Atlanta Leadership Award, the 2014 Atlanta Partners for Education Partnership Champion of the Year Award, one of Georgia Trend’s “100 Most Influential Georgians” in the years 2007–2011, and the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s “100 Most Influential Atlantans” in 2006 and 2007
  • Serves as a member of the board of directors of Union Pacific Corp and the Public Broadcasting System (PBS). Serves on the advisory boards of The Institute for Nuclear Power Operations (INPO), the Atlanta Ballet and WABE/ATL30

Reed Dulany III

  • President and CEO of Dulany Industries, Inc.
  • Owner of Local 11 Ten, Public Kitchen and Bar, and Soho South Café restaurants
  • Graduate of the University of Georgia
  • Serves on the board of the Chatham Club and has served as board member for the Nature Conservancy’s Georgia corporate council, the Telfair Museums, and the Davenport House
  • Selected as one of Georgia Trend’s “40 under 40” in 2002

Larry Gellerstedt III

  • Executive Chairman of Cousins Properties, one of the nation’s largest real estate investment firms, with iconic properties in Atlanta, Dallas, Austin, and Phoenix
  • Has held positions as President and Chief Operating Officer of The Integral Group and as Chairman and CEO of American Business Products
  • Serves on the board of direcors for Georgia Power, Brown & Brown Insurance, and United Distributors; and as Vice Chairman for the Woodruff Foundation
  • Honors include Atlanta American Jewish Committee National Human Relations of the Year Award, Atlanta Business Chronicle Most Admired CEO, and Georgia Trend’s 100 Most Influential Georgians
  • Named 2019 Four Pillar Award honoree by the Council for Quality Growth

John F. McMullan, Ex-Officio

  • Chairman of Camden Real Estate Company
  • Previously held CEO positions at SMS Investment Associates, Inc. and McMullan & Co. accounting firm
  • Serves on the board of Life Care Centers of America
  • A founding Trustee of the University of Georgia’s Arch Foundation and an emeritus Trustee of the University of Georgia Foundation
  • Recipient of the 2009 Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Georgia and a 2018 recipient of the Significant Sig Award from Sigma Chi Fraternity
  • Supporter of numerous causes and organizations, including the Woodruff Arts Center, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and the Piedmont Park Conservancy

Sam Nunn, Honorary

  • Co-chairman and chief executive officer of the Nuclear Threat Initiative
  • Served as a United States Senator from Georgia for 24 years (1972-1996)
  • Has continued his service in public policy as a distinguished professor in The Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at Georgia Tech and as chairman of the board of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.
  • Has served as a board member of Chevron Corporation, The Coca-Cola Company, Dell Inc., and General Electric Company
  • Inducted as a Georgia Trustee by the Georgia Historical Society and the Office of the Governor in 2011

Mark V. Smith

  • Independent hotel owner
  • Chief Executive Officer for his family’s water utility business
  • Serves as Chairman of the Board of the Savannah Convention Center
  • Serves as President of Council of the Lutheran Church of the Ascension
  • Is an active member of the Coastal Georgia Regional Water Planning Council
  • Has served as Chairman of the Savannah Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Trustee of the Coastal Heritage Society, and member of the Historic Savannah Foundation Board

Kessel D. Stelling, Jr.

  • Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Synovus
  • Honors include the Leadership Character Award from the Robert K. Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership, the Blue Key Service Award, University of Georgia Chapter of the Blue Key National Honor Society, and the “Distinguished Alumni Award” by the University of Georgia Terry College of Business
  • Past chair and current member of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, treasurer of the executive committee for the Bank Policy Institute, and board member for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Georgia Power, and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce

Clyde C. Tuggle

  • Co-founder and partner of Pine Island Capital Partners
  • Former Senior Public Affairs Adviser to the CEO, The Coca-Cola Company
  • Serves on the board of directors of the Georgia Power Company, Oxford Industries, Inc., TRIFORM, LLC, the Center for Addiction and Substance Abuse, and the U.S. Russia Business Council
  • Is a trustee of the Georgia Research Alliance and is chairman of the World Affairs Council of Atlanta
  • Was elected a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow in 2013

Don L. Waters

  • Retired chairman, president and chief executive officer of Brasseler USA, Inc.
  • Chairman of the Board of Regents for the University System of Georgia
  • Serves on the board of the Georgia Research Alliance, Board of Trustees of the Chatham County Hospital Authority, and the Board of Trustees of the Augusta University Health System
  • Inducted into the Savannah Business Hall of Fame in 2013, recieved a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Savannah Branch of the NAACP in 2017, and received the Distinguished Service Scroll from the University of Georgia School of Law in 2018

Philip A. Wilheit, Sr.

  • President and managing partner of Wilheit Packaging Materials
  • Serves on the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the Commission for a New Georgia, and the Board of Regents for the University System of Georgia
  • Has held the position of chairman of the Gainesville/Hall Development Authority for the last 30 years
  • Also serves as Chairman of the Board of Gainesville Bank and Trust and Chairman of GBTBankshares
  • Named to Georgia Trend’s Most Influential Hall of Fame in 2018

Chairmen Emeriti

Robert L. Brown, Jr.
Vincent J. Dooley
Kay T. Hightower
Robert S. Jepson, Jr.
Bill Jones III
Don Kole
Grace Greer Phillips
Lisa L. White