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ATL Business Chronicle

G-P’s Jim Hannan to lead 2015-2016 Arts Center campaign

By Maria Saporta
Published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on June 12, 2015

It probably was a good thing that Jim Hannan, president and CEO of Georgia-Pacific, was out of town on June 9 when the Woodruff Arts Center held its victory celebration of the 2014-2015 annual corporate campaign.

The event, held at the High Museum of Art, provided the perfect forum to announce that Hannan would be serving as the chairman of the 2015-2016 Woodruff Arts Center’s Annual Corporate Campaign.

“We did it! It was quite the goal,” Garcia, the retired CEO of Global Payments, said at the reception that included a performance by key members of the symphony (see related photos on Page 8A).

The event was competing with the Rolling Stones concert about 12 blocks away.

It was the first time that Woodruff Arts Center had done an integrated and comprehensive corporate campaign that included its divisions: the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the High Museum of Art, the Alliance Theatre and Arts for Learning.

By comparison, the previous record of combined gifts across all the divisions was during the 2012-2013 year when $11.2 million was raised.

Garcia, who is vice chairman of the Woodruff Arts Center board, described a conversation he had with a West Coast executive who described philanthropy in California as: “We have a lot of people with very deep pockets but with very short arms.”

Garcia said: “Here we have deep pockets but people with long arms.”

Now Hannan will be able to test that theory for himself.

“We are thrilled Jim Hannan has agreed to serve as the chair of next year’s campaign,” said Doug Hertz, chairman of the WAC board. “He has been a great contributor as a member of the Woodruff Arts Center board as well as in his work with other community organizations. I look forward to working with Jim in making our next campaign our most successful ever.”

Virginia Hepner, president and CEO of the Center, said Hannan would continue in the tradition of former campaign chairs: Garcia; SunTrust Banks’ CEO Bill Rogers; and Georgia Power’s CEO Paul Bowers.

“Jim will lead a team of more than 80 volunteers in next year’s campaign, and we are thankful for all their support,” she said.

Hannan joined Georgia-Pacific in 2005 after it was acquired by Koch Industries, and he was named CEO and president in 2007. He had been with Koch since 1998.

He has been actively involved in the Atlanta community, serving as a past chairman of the Atlanta Committee for Progress, working closely with the Atlanta Police Foundation, and serving on the boards of the Center for Civil and Human Rights and the Georgia Research Alliance.

“Georgia-Pacific has been a wonderful corporate partner of the Arts Center dating back to Marshall Hahn,” Hertz said. “Jim is such a well-respected leader in the business community, and we would like to think this is a pretty prestigious position to hold in the community.”

High Museum of Art

In other Woodruff Arts Center-related news, the High Museum of Art has appointed Charles Abney III as its new board chairman.

Abney has served on the High’s board for eight years, during which he has served as chair-elect, vice chair of the finance and operations committee, treasurer and as a member of the operating committee. He succeeds Louise Sams, who has served as chairwoman since 2011.

Abney is currently a director, portfolio manager and member of the Investment Policy Committee with ZWJ Investment Counsel, where he has been since 1993. Previously, he worked with the Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C.

The High Museum currently is in the middle of a search for a new director to succeed Michael Shapiro, who has been with the museum since 1995 and director since 2000. Shapiro will be leaving his post at the end of July.

Arts Center education

Charisse Williams, who has been implementing education programs across the Woodruff Arts Center campus throughout the different divisions, has started her own consulting firm.

In an email to friends and colleagues, Williams said she was filled with excitement and gratitude about the launch of her firm — which she is calling Charisse M. Williams Consulting–Mission Possible.

“I am honored to begin this new chapter with my former employer, the Woodruff Arts Center, as my first client,” she wrote. “This is such an exciting time in Atlanta and the nonprofit sector is a critical part of what makes this city so vibrant, fresh and innovative. I look forward to continuing my leadership in the sector by partnering with you to help make your mission possible.”

Georgia Historical Society

Six distinguished members have been elected to the Georgia Historical Society’s Board of Curators at the organization’s 176th annual meeting.

“The six new curators are some of Georgia’s top business and philanthropic leaders,” said W. Todd Groce, president and CEO of the Georgia Historical Society. “Their commitment to GHS and our mission will impact history-based education in Georgia for generations to come.”

The new board members are Dolly Chisholm, a partner of the Bouhan Falligant LLP law firm in Savannah, who previously served as chairman of the GHS Endowment Board of Trustees and as an ex-officio member of the Board of Curators; Erroll Davis Jr., senior advisor at TalentQuest and former superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools and chancellor of the University System of Georgia; Roy Fickling, president of Fickling & Co. Inc., a regional real estate development, brokerage, management, and consulting firm based in Macon; Doug Hertz, president and CEO of United Distributors Inc., a privately held beverage distribution business, and chairman of the Georgia Research Alliance and the Woodruff Arts Center; Mark Smith, managing partner of Savannah Investors and CEO of Water Utility Management LLC, which operates water and wastewater systems throughout southeast Georgia; and Don Waters, chairman, president, and CEO of Brasseler USA, a manufacturer and provider of dental and surgical instrumentation and services, as well as a member of the Board of Regents for the University System of Georgia.


Make-A-Wish Georgia has announced the addition of three new members to its volunteer leadership: Veronica Sheehan, Angela Naegele and Lauren Tashma.

“We pride ourselves on having a well-rounded group,” said Rick Elliott, who chairs the board of Make-A-Wish Georgia. “Each board member brings a multitude of skills and experiences that will only help us to better support and grow Make-A-Wish Georgia.”

The Make-A-Wish Georgia board now has 22 active members.

Sheehan is the senior vice president of Global Network, Technology and Studio Operations at Turner Broadcasting..

Naegele is the vice president of Global Procurement at Reed Elsevier. Reed Elsevier is a multinational publishing and information company headquartered in London.

Tashma is the senior vice president of general counsel and security at Graphic Packaging International Inc., an Atlanta-based packaging manufacturer.

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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