Juanita Powell Baranco: 2021 Georgia Trustee

Juanita Baranco

Lawyer and entrepreneur Juanita Powell Baranco was born in the District of Columbia.  Raised in Shreveport, Louisiana, Baranco earned her B.S. and J.D. from Louisiana State University. Before turning to business, Baranco had a successful law career, including serving as Assistant Attorney General for the State of Georgia. She is the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Baranco Automotive Group, which she co-founded with her husband, Gregory Baranco, in 1978. Baranco Automotive Group was one of the first African-American-owned car dealerships in the metropolitan Atlanta area. The Barancos also own several other car dealerships including Mercedes-Benz and Acura.

Baranco’s extensive involvement in education has led her to serve as the Chairman of the DeKalb County Education Task Force and as a member of the Georgia State Board of Education from 1985 to 1991. She was appointed by Governor Zell Miller to the Board of Regents and in 1995 became the first African-American woman to chair the board. She served on the Board of Trustees of Clark Atlanta University for twenty years, including ten years as board chair.  She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Southern Company and previously served on the Board of Directors of Georgia Power Company.

Her business and community activities have been recognized with numerous awards including recognition by the Dow Jones Company for entrepreneurial excellence; the first Trumpet Award from Turner Broadcasting System for entrepreneurial excellence; Entrepreneur of the Year by the Atlanta Business League; the DECCA Award from the Atlanta Business Chronicle; the YWCA’s Women of Achievement Award; and most recently the Blanchard Award for Outstanding Stewardship and Ethics in Business.  Baranco has been featured in Essence magazine as one of best businesswomen in Atlanta and was also a finalist for the 2003 Time magazine Quality Dealer Award.  She is a member of the American Bar Association and the State Bar Associations of Georgia and Louisiana.