Georgia Historical Society President Dr. W. Todd Groce and Board Members Paul Bowers, Doug Hertz, and Philip Wilheit, Sr. Named to Georgia Trend 100 Most Influential Georgians

Dr. W. Todd Groce, Paul Bowers, Doug Hertz, and Philip Wilheit, Sr.

Atlanta, Ga., January 26, 2017 – Dr. W. Todd Groce, President, and CEO of the Georgia Historical Society, and three members of the GHS Board of Curators have been named by Georgia Trend Magazine among of the 100 most influential Georgians.

One of the leading public history executives in the nation, W. Todd Groce graduated cum laude and with honors in history from the University of Memphis and earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in history from the University of Tennessee. While in graduate school he taught American history at the University of Tennessee and Maryville College.

In 1990 Dr. Groce began his career in public history.  He served five years as executive director of the East Tennessee Historical Society, taking that institution to the next level through the development of a new regional history museum. In November 1994 Dr. Groce was named the executive director of the Georgia Historical Society, and in April 2006 he was elected the institution’s 43rd president. This is the sixth consecutive year for Dr. Groce to make the annual listing of the state’s most powerful and influential citizens who affect the lives and livelihoods of all Georgians.

W. Paul Bowers is president and CEO of Georgia Power, the largest subsidiary of Southern Company, one of the nation’s largest producers of electricity. Mr. Bowers is chairman of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, chair of the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education and vice chair of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. He is also a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s energy policy council and a trustee for The Woodruff Arts Center. Mr. Bowers holds a B.S. degree from the University of West Florida and a master’s degree in management from Troy University, and is a graduate of the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program.

Douglas J. Hertz is President and CEO of United Distributors. Under his leadership, United, a privately held beverage distribution business, has grown to be listed as one of the top 25 private companies in metro Atlanta. He is Chairman of Camp Twin Lakes, a camping facility that he founded in 1989.  The camp is designed for and serves nearly 9,000 special needs children and adults annually. He also serves as Chairman of the Board of the Woodruff Arts Center.  He serves on the Boards of Atlantic Capital Bank, Georgia Power, Metro Atlanta Chamber, and Narrative Content Group. He is the incoming Chair of the Board of Tulane University, and the immediate past Chair of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Georgia Research Alliance. Doug serves as a trustee for the Marcus Foundation, East Lake Community Foundation and the Holly Lane Foundation.

Philip Arthur Wilheit, Sr., is President of Wilheit Packaging, where he has worked for 50 years. Born in Charlotte, NC, he moved with his family to Gainesville in in 1949. He graduated from the University of the South, “Sewanee,” in 1966. Wilheit currently serves on the University System of Georgia Board of Regents, where he is a former Chairman, as Vice Chairman of the Brenau University Board of Trustees, and on the Gainesville Hall Development Authority, where he has served for 41 years as chair. Additionally, Mr. Wilheit serves on the Richard Russell Board of Trustees, the J.W. Fanning Board of Trustees, and has chaired all seventeen of Governor Deal’s election campaigns.

“We are proud that Georgia Trend has recognized three members of our Board of Curators and our President in such a meaningful way,” said Laura García-Culler, Executive Vice President and COO of the Georgia Historical Society.  “Their dedicated service to their individual industries, the Georgia Historical Society, and the great State of Georgia has allowed this institution to continually expand its reach and impact on researchers, students, residents, and visitors alike. Their generosity of time and resources has helped us to grow the Research Center, the annual Georgia History Festival, the Trustees Gala, and other educational programs and initiatives that benefit the people of Georgia throughout the year.”

The annual selections of the 100 Most Influential Georgians are made through a year-round process by the editorial staff at Georgia Trend and are announced each January. Profiles for all 100 members of the 2017 class can be found in the January 2017 issue of Georgia Trend.

Georgia Historical Society (GHS) is the premier independent statewide institution responsible for collecting, examining, and teaching Georgia history. GHS houses the oldest and most distinguished collection of materials related exclusively to Georgia history in the nation.
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