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Louisiana Native Juanita Baranco to Receive Georgia’s Highest Honor

June 2, 2021, Atlanta, Georgia – On Saturday, June 5, 2021, in the first-ever televised broadcast of the Georgia Trustees Gala, Juanita Powell Baranco, Executive Vice President and COO of Baranco Automotive Group, will be inducted by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and the Georgia Historical Society as a modern-day Georgia Trustee. It is the highest honor the State of Georgia can confer.

A lawyer and entrepreneur, Baranco grew up in Shreveport, Louisiana. She earned her B.S. and J.D. from Louisiana State University where she was also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. Before turning to business, Baranco had a successful law career, including serving as Assistant Attorney General for the State of Georgia. She is currently 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 in Georgia and Louisiana including Mercedes-Benz of Covington in St. Tammany Parish.

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.

Baranco will be inducted along with David Abney, the former Chairman and CEO of United Parcel Service.

“Given the dramatic events of this past year, I can’t think of two more appropriate people to induct as Georgia Trustees than David Abney and Juanita Baranco,” said Dr. W. Todd Groce, President, and CEO of the Georgia Historical Society. “Both have overcome great adversity to reach the pinnacle of their careers; both have been visionaries who led by the example of their deeds as much as by their words. The positive impact they have had on those around them and their remarkable achievement in the face of great odds is a testament to how the values that unite us—hard work, perseverance, and a commitment to doing right and putting others first—are more powerful than the things that divide.”

In conjunction with the Governor’s Office, the Georgia Historical Society reestablished the Georgia Trustees in 2008 as a way of recognizing modern-day Georgians whose accomplishments and community service reflect the highest ideals of the founding body of Trustees. The original Georgia Trustees were a governing body chartered and appointed by His Majesty King George II of England in 1732 to establish a new colony in North America.  They founded Georgia upon the principle of Non Sibi, Sed Aliis, “Not for Self but for Others.”  The Governor annually appoints new Trustees whose history-making accomplishments and service reflect the original Trustees’ ideals.

The Trustees Gala will be broadcast through statewide partners in Georgia at 8:00 p.m. EST (7:00 p.m. CST) on PBA in Atlanta and WTOC in Savannah, and at 7:00 p.m. EST (6:00 p.m. CST) on WRBL in Columbus and WJBF in Augusta. It can also be streamed from anywhere on the Georgia Historical Society YouTube channel at 8:00 p.m. EST (7:00 p.m. CST).

For more information on the induction of Juanita Baranco as a Georgia Trustee, contact Patricia Meagher, Director of Communications, at (912) 651-2125, ext. 153 or by email at PMeagher@GeorgiaHistory.com.

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