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ATL Business Chronicle

Column: Paul Bowers, Larry Gellerstedt named to JA Atlanta Business Hall of Fame

By Maria Saporta
As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on November 20, 2015

Junior Achievement of Georgia and Atlanta Business Chronicle have selected Paul Bowers, president and CEO of Georgia Power, and Larry Gellerstedt III, president and CEO of Cousins Properties, to be inducted into the JA Atlanta Business Hall of Fame on Feb. 27, 2016.

Bowers and Gellerstedt will join the list of 87 Atlantans recognized for their significant contributions to Atlanta’s civic and economic vibrancy.

Paul Bowers

Paul Bowers

The JA Atlanta Business Hall of Fame, a black-tie gala to benefit JA of Georgia, was established in 1989 to honor dynamic business and civic leaders who have shaped Atlanta into the city it is today.

Bowers began his 36-year career with Southern Co. at Gulf Power, and he has held various leadership positions within the company, including chief financial officer; president of Southern Company Generation; CEO of Southern Power and president and CEO of the company’s former U.K. subsidiary.

Bowers’ tenure as chairman and CEO of Georgia Power began in 2011, becoming a platform for a host of contributions to the company and community.

Currently, he chairs the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Foundation. He also serves on the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia and multiple other boards throughout the state. He is a past chairman of the Metro Atlanta Chamber.

Larry Gellerstedt III

Larry Gellerstedt III

Gellerstedt’s career began when he was only 26 as the founding president of BCB, a Beers Construction Co. (Beers) subsidiary that was focused on the healthcare industry. He went on to grow the company to revenues of more than $1.2 billion. Gellerstedt’s start at Beers in 1978 laid the ground work for a career spanning over 30 years and numerous leading roles across businesses and local organizations. He was the founding board chair of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and a past board chair of the Woodruff Arts Center. He currently serves as chairman of the Metro Atlanta Chamber, and he is a trustee of the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation.

The JA Atlanta Business Hall of Fame’s Laureate Induction Ceremony will be held at the InterContinental Hotel in Buckhead.

Junior Achievement of Georgia is dedicated to giving young people the skills for their future success by making educated academic and economic choices. It’s programs include the JA BizTown, JA Fellows, JA Finance Park, JA High School Leaders and JA-MBA, all programs that focus on entrepreneurship, financial literacy and workforce readiness. During the 2014-2015 school year, JA of Georgia served 168,000 students statewide.

Emory University endowment

Emory University’s endowment has reached an all-time high of more than $6.7 billion as of June 30. Emory’s three- and five-year returns for the period ending June 30, 2015, exceeded 10 percent annualized, well above the long-term investment return targeted by the Emory University Board of Trustees’ Investment Committee.

Emory’s endowment was strengthened by philanthropic gifts totaling $72 million. Growth was offset by net distributions of $258 million to support Emory’s academic programs and research support.

“During the year, headwinds from falling global energy prices were more than offset by gains generated in public equities, private equities and elsewhere in the portfolio,” says Mary Cahill, vice president of investments and chief investment officer.

“I am proud of our highly skilled and dedicated investment management team that works tirelessly to steward and grow Emory’s endowment assets.”

Mitchell Tanzman, an Emory University trustee who chairs the Investment Committee, said the endowment enables the institution to “remain competitive among the nation’s elite universities.”

EARTH University Foundation

The Atlanta-based EARTH University Foundation has named Jeffrey Smythe as its new director of development. He will report to the foundation’s director, Christine R. Hoek.

“Jeff brings strong managerial and development experience to the Foundation, as well as a real passion for the work of EARTH,” said Hoek. “His proficiency in Spanish, experience living in Costa Rica, and his strong connections in the Atlanta community also uniquely qualify him for this role.”

In his new role, Smythe will be responsible for overseeing the foundation’s fundraising program and for reaching new audiences within the United States.

“Since my time in Costa Rica with WorldTeach two decades ago, I have had my eye on EARTH,” Smythe said in a statement. “More than a career move, this is a calling. I look forward to working with our staff to help more individuals, corporations and foundations throughout the United States become part of the transformative work happening at EARTH.”

Smythe joins EARTH from Meals on Wheels Atlanta where he has held the role of executive director for over a decade.

The EARTH University Foundation supports the educational vision of Costa Rica-based EARTH University, which has offered innovative educational programs for 25 years, preparing young people from Latin America, the Caribbean and other regions, including Africa and Asia, to contribute to the sustainable development of their countries.

Georgia Historical Society

Coca-Cola’s Clyde Tuggle and developer Jerome Russteel have been elected to the Georgia Historic Society’s baord of curators.

“Clyde Tuggle and Jerome Russell are two of Georgia’s top corporate leaders,” said W. Todd Groce, president and CEO of the Georgia Historical Society. “Their dynamic vision extends beyond their own companies and embraces the many non-profits they support with their time and resources. The Georgia Historical Society is extremely fortunate and excited to have their involvement on the board level. They add luster to an already illustrious group and further strengthen one of the strongest boards in the state.”

Clyde Tuggle and Jerome Russell

Clyde Tuggle and Jerome Russell

Tuggle is Coca-Cola’s senior vice president, chief public affairs and communications officer. He also serves as chairman of Agnes Scott College’s board of trustees; and he serves on the boards of the Georgia Research Alliance, the Center for Addiction and Substance Abuse, the U.S.-Russia Business Council and the World Affairs Council of Atlanta. He also is an upcoming president of the Rotary Club of Atlanta.

Russell serves as president of H.J. Russell & Co. and Russel New Urban Development LLC., where he focuses on the firm’s strategic direction and new business development.

He has been involved in the beverage distribution, consumer marketing, banking, construction and development business for more than 25 years – taking after his late father, Herman J. Russell.

In 1997, Jerome was named to the board of Citizens Trust Bank, and in 2005, he was named chairman of the Loan Committee at Citizens Trust Bank. He also serves on the board of the Metro Atlanta YMCA, American Kidney Fund, and Central Atlanta Progress. He is a member of the Urban Land Institute, the Rotary Club of Atlanta, Metro Atlanta Chamber, the Young President Organization and the 100 Black Men of Atlanta.

Tuggle and Russell are joining fellow curators: Chairman Robert S. Jepson, Jr., President Groce, Vince Dooley, John C. Helmken II, Jackie Montag, James H. Blanchard, Clayton Boardman III, Ellen B. Bolch, Paul Bowers, Dolly Chisholm , Erroll Davis, Jr., Walter M. “Sonny” Deriso, Jr., Reed Dulany III, Roy Fickling, Doug Hertz, Thomas D. Hills, Thomas M. Holder, Phil Jacobs, John F. McMullan, Sam Nunn (Honorary), Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears, Mark Smith , John A. Wallace, Don Waters , and Neely Young.

Chairman Emeriti are Robert L. Brown, Jr., Kay T. Hightower, Bill Jones III, Don Kole, Howard J. Morrison, Jr., Grace Greer Phillips, and Lisa L. White.


Maria Saporta

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.


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