The Georgia Trustees
In conjunction with the Governor’s Office, the Georgia Historical Society reestablished the Georgia Trustees as a way of recognizing Georgians whose accomplishments and community service reflect the highest ideals of the founding body of Trustees. The original Georgia Trustees, a governing body chartered and appointed by His Majesty King George II of England in 1732 to establish a new colony in North America, founded Georgia upon the principle of Non Sibi, Sed Aliis, “Not for Self but for Others.” GHS and the Governor’s Office reestablished the Trustees in 2008. The Governor annually appoints new Trustees whose history-making accomplishments and service reflect the original Trustees’ ideals.
The Office of the Governor and the Georgia Historical Society (GHS) have named Robert L. Brown, Jr. and Robert S. Jepson, Jr. the 2020 Georgia Trustees, the highest honor the State of Georgia can bestow. Their induction will take place on February 15, 2020 at the Trustees Gala.
The 2020 Georgia Trustees
Robert L. Brown, Jr.
Robert L. Brown, Jr. FAIA has compiled an exemplary record of public service during his career, impacting how the entire profession of architecture is practiced in Georgia. Mr. Brown earned his architecture degree from Tuskegee University and established his firm R L Brown & Associates in 1984.
His role as a true Citizen Architect includes leadership positions with the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education, Citizens Trust Bank and Agnes Scott College. He is Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Curators of the Georgia Historical Society. But perhaps his most significant contribution has been in setting the direction of the Georgia Department of Transportation, serving as its Chair in 2016-17 and on the Board for more than a decade.
Highlights of his design portfolio include iconic work on the campuses of Morehouse College and Tuskegee University as well as Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Mr. Brown was elevated to the AIA College of Fellows in 1999. He is also widely respected for a commitment to mentoring upcoming generations of architects, with many of them now in important leadership roles in the profession in Georgia.
For these reasons – a commitment to civic leadership, education, and mentorship, he received the 2017 AIA Georgia Bernard B. Rothschild award, the highest honor the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Georgia can give to an architect.
Robert S. Jepson, Jr.
Robert Jepson is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Jepson Associates, Inc., a private investment firm that he founded in 1989. He founded and was Chairman and CEO of the Jepson Corporation, a Fortune 500 diversified manufacturing conglomerate, listed on the NYSE, which he sold in 1989. In 1993, he became Chairman and CEO of Kuhlman Corporation, also a NYSE-listed diversified manufacturing company, where he engineered a restructuring that resulted in the successful sale of the company in 1999.
Mr. Jepson and his wife, Alice Andrews Jepson, are active philanthropists and direct the main focus of their giving to the arts and to the field of higher education. Among their most notable contributions is the University Of Richmond Jepson School Of Leadership Studies, which he conceived and created in I992. The School is the only one of its kind in American academia. Mr. Jepson earned two degrees from the University of Richmond: a B.S.B.A. in 1964 and an M.S. in Commerce in 1975. The University awarded him an honorary Doctor of Commercial Science degree in 1987, the Alumni Award for Distinguished Service in 1992, the Trustees Distinguished Service Award in 1994, and the President’s Medal in 2002. In May 2014, Mr. and Mrs. Jepson were presented with the School of Leadership Studies Leadership Award. He has also been awarded honorary degrees by ten other American institutions of higher education.
Mr. Jepson serves on the Georgia Historical Society’s Endowment Trust and is Chairman Emeritus of the GHS Board of Curators. He also serves on the Board of the Georgia Research Alliance. Mr. Jepson is Chairman Emeritus of the Board of the Georgia Ports Authority and former Chair of the Board of Governors of the Lucas Theatre for the Arts. Mr. and Mrs. Jepson, in co-partnership with Mr. & Mrs. John C. Kane and Mr. & Mrs. Curtis G. Anderson, founded the Savannah Educational Alliance, a scholarship program that provides full scholarships at Savannah State University for 24 graduates of the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System. In addition, Mr. and Mrs. Jepson have provided scholarships and professional stipends at Gonzaga University for the past 30 years.
Mr. Jepson has served on the Boards of numerous NYSE listed companies, including Dominion Resources, Inc., Richmond, Virginia, Washington Water Power Company, Hecla Mining Company, and AGL Resources, Inc. He has also served on the Boards of local and state charities in Georgia, including the Georgia Cancer Coalition. He also founded and served as Chairman of the Board of Visitors of the Savannah College of Art Design. He has received numerous other awards, including Georgia’s Most Respected Business Leader by Georgia Trend magazine, the Blanchard Award for Outstanding Stewardship and Ethics in Business the United Way Spirit of Community Award, and the J.W. Fanning Award from Leadership Georgia & the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.
The 2019 Georgia Trustees
Frank Blake served as Chairman and CEO of The Home Depot from January 2007 through November 2014, and then as chairman through January 2015. Frank joined The Home Depot in 2002 as executive vice president, business development and corporate operations.
The Boston native previously served as deputy secretary for the U.S. Department of Energy and in a variety of executive roles at General Electric, including senior vice president, Corporate Business Development.
Blake’s public sector experience also includes having 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.
Blake 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. Additionally, he sits on the Board of Trustees at Agnes Scott College. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and a jurisprudence degree from Columbia University School of Law.
John Schuerholz has had a long and accomplished career in professional baseball, spending much of it here in Georgia with the Atlanta Braves. After a successful tenure with the Kansas City Royals, Schuerholz became general manager of the Atlanta Braves in 1990 and immediately helped the team go from worst to first, winning the National League pennant in 1991. The Braves established an American professional sports record by winning 14 consecutive division titles from 1991 to 2005. During his tenure the Braves played in the World Series as National League champions five times and won the Series in 1995.
In 2007, Schuerholz was named president of the Braves. As president and then as vice chairman, he was instrumental in the planning and building of SunTrust Park and the mixed-use development, The Battery Atlanta, which opened in April 2017. Schuerholz was named Vice Chairman Emeritus by the Braves in 2018.
Schuerholz’s many honors have included inductions into the Braves Hall of Fame (2017), the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame (2015), and the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame (2008); the Outstanding Achievement in Baseball Award from the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation (2014); the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum’s Andrew “Rube” Foster Award (2001, 2002, and 2005); and Georgian of the Year by Georgia Trend Magazine (1991). Schuerholz received baseball’s highest honor when he was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2016.
A native of Baltimore and a graduate of Towson University, Schuerholz and his wife Karen have two children and four grandchildren. They are active in community organizations, including having served on the advisory board of Camp Sunshine, an organization that provides opportunities to enrich the lives of children with cancer in Georgia, and the board of Yes!Atlanta which seeks to give at-risk teenagers a chance to experience personal success through voluntary programs based on long-term regular support by committed, caring and trained adults.
- Frank Blake, Retired Chairman and CEO of The Home Depot
- John Schuerholz, Vice Chairman Emeritus of the Atlanta Braves
- Edward H. Bastian, CEO of Delta Air Lines
- W. Paul Bowers, Chairman, President, and CEO of Georgia Power
- F. Duane Ackerman, Retired Chairman of the Board and CEO of BellSouth
- A.D. “Pete” Correll, Retired CEO of Georgia-Pacific
- James H. Blanchard, Retired Chairman of the Board and CEO of Synovus
- Muhtar Kent, Chairman of the Board and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company
- Alana Smith Shepherd, Co-founder of the Shepherd Center
- Paula S. Wallace, President and Co-founder of the Savannah College of Art and Design
- Arthur M. Blank, Co-founder of The Home Depot, Owner of the Atlanta Falcons
- William Porter “Billy” Payne, Former Chairman of the Augusta National Golf Club, Chairman of Centennial Holding Company, LLC
- Tom Cousins, Founder of Cousins Properties, Inc., Founder of Purpose Built Communities
- Andrew Young, Former UN Ambassador and Mayor of Atlanta
- Henry “Hank” Aaron, Baseball Legend
- Robert Edward “Ted” Turner, Founder of CNN, Chairman of Turner Enterprises, Inc.