Atlanta Business Leader Thomas M. Holder Elected Georgia Historical Society Board Chairman


Officers of the Georgia Historical Society Board of Curators: Thomas M. Holder, Chairman; A.D. “Pete” Correll, Vice Chairman; H. Jerome Russell, Jr., Treasurer; Douglas J. Hertz, Secretary

Atlanta, Ga., August 4, 2020 – In an unprecedented, first-of-its-kind virtual gathering in the 181-year history of the Georgia Historical Society (GHS), the GHS Board of Curators met on July 30 via Zoom and elected Thomas M. Holder (Atlanta), Chairman and CEO of Holder Construction Company, as the new Board Chairman. Holder succeeds Walter M. “Sonny” Deriso, Jr. (Atlanta/Albany) who served as GHS Chairman from 20182020.

Mr. Holder is one of Georgia’s most prominent businessmen and civic leaders. Since 1997, he has been the Chairman and CEO of Holder Construction Company in Atlanta. A graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology, he began his career at Holder in 1976. Over the years he has held various operations and management positions before being promoted to President and CEO in 1989. Consistently ranked as one of the top 25 contractors in the nation, Holder’s clients include State Farm Insurance Company, Apple, Cox Enterprises, NCR, Norfolk Southern, and the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Continually active in community service, Mr. Holder serves as the Board Chair of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and as a board member of the Westside Future Fund, the Metro Atlanta Chamber, the Georgia Research Alliance, and the Georgia Tech Foundation. He has been active with the Rotary Club of Atlanta, serving as club president, and is also a member of the boards of the Georgia Power Company and Atlantic Capital Bank.

“I am honored to assume this role at the Georgia Historical Society and proud of all GHS has done and continues to do for our state,” said Mr. Holder.  “I am humbled to be standing on the shoulders of those who have gone before, who guided and helped this institution to grow and flourish. I look forward to helping GHS continue to fulfill its important educational mission.  We are at a critical moment in our country’s development. Resolving the challenges confronting us requires an honest understanding of our past and I am excited about the role GHS will play in building a better future.”

“Over the past two years we have been privileged to have an extraordinary community builder like Sonny Deriso chairing our board,” said GHS President & CEO W. Todd Groce. “The transition to Tommy Holder’s chairmanship will be seamless. With his vast experience in business, non-profit governance and fundraising, and the construction industry, he will ensure that our institution is well-positioned to continue growing in new directions.”

In addition to Holder, other officers elected for the 2020-2022 term are A.D. “Pete” Correll (Atlanta), Vice-Chairman; H. Jerome Russell, Jr. (Atlanta), Treasurer; and Doug Hertz (Atlanta), Secretary. The Curators also elected John Morgan (Atlanta) as the newest member of the GHS Board.

Mr. Morgan is the owner of Morgan Timber, LLC, a private timberland and real estate management and development company, as well as the owner of South Coast Commercial, a real estate investment firm, both based in Bluffton, South Carolina. He serves as chair of the board of directors for the Fortune-500 Plum Creek Timber Company, one of the largest private landowners in the US.

Mr. Morgan was one of nine founders of INVESCO Capital Management and served as chair of the Emory University Board of Trustees.

Returning to the GHS Board were Paul Bowers (Atlanta), President, Chairman, and CEO of Georgia Power, and Ellen Bolch (Savannah), President and CEO of THA Group.

For more information on the Georgia Historical Society Board of Curators please contact Patricia Meagher at 912.651.2125, ext. 153 or by email at


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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