Georgia Power’s Paul Bowers to follow Carol Tomé as chair of the Metro Atlanta Chamber

By Maria Saporta

The Metro Atlanta Chamber has named Paul Bowers, president and CEO of Georgia, to become its chair for 2013.

Bowers, who became president of Georgia Power on Jan. 1, has quickly emerged into one of the state’s key business leaders.

In addition to his upcoming role at the Metro Atlanta Chamber, Bowers has been asked by Gov. Nathan Deal to help in the water negotiations between Georgia, Alabama and Florida.

Bowers also was instrumental is getting former Georgia Chancellor Erroll Davis to become the interim superintendent of the Atlanta Public Schools; and he has become involved in efforts to raise money to develop the College Football Hall of Fame in downtown Atlanta.

And last, but not least, Bowers has agreed to chair the corporate campaign of the Woodruff Arts Center in a couple of years.

“It’s a great honor to be asked to serve by the board of the Metro Atlanta Chamber,” Bowers said in an email. “Over the next two years, we will be facing many challenges that we must see as opportunities to improve the region from a jobs, transportation, education and sustainability standpoint.

Bowers will follow Carol Tomé, chief financial officer and executive vice president of the Home Depot, who will become chair of the Metro Atlanta Chamber on Dec. 1. The current chair of the business organization, which represents more than 4,000 member companies employing nearly one million workers in the region, is John Brock, CEO of Coca-Cola Enterprises.

“With this leadership team in place, MAC (the Metro Atlanta Chamber) is ready to take on the challenges our region is facing in the next few years,” Brock said in a statement. “Carol Tomé and Paul Bowers – leaders of the Home Depot and Georgia Power – serving at the helm for the next two years — will ensure that MAC will continue fulfilling its mission of growing jobs and helping Atlanta thrive.”

Bowers continues a long tradition of Georgia Power executives who have chaired the board of the Metro Atlanta Chamber.

In the past 20 years, other Georgia Power executives who have served in that role include Bill Dahlberg, Allen Franklin and Mike Garrett. And that doesn’t include the executives of the Southern Co., Georgia Power’s parent company, who also have taken leadership roles in the organization.

“There are more than 150 years of MAC leaders that have served before me, and I’m pleased to be stepping up to the leadership role as MAC’s 2013 chair-elect,” Bowers said.

Before becoming president and CEO of Georgia Power, Bowers served as CFO of the Southern Co., president of Southern Company Generation and president and CEO of South Western Electricity PLC, a former Southern Co. subsidiary based in the United Kingdom. Bowers jointed the Southern Co. in 1979 when he took a position at Gulf Power.

“Paul’s diverse and dynamic leadership will be essential to steer us through these historic times, and continue our focus on job growth,” said Sam Williams, president of the Metro Atlanta Chamber. “Everything we do at MAC, from public policy to economic development, is focused on jobs, and Paul will be a key leader to helping us move forward.”

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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