Georgia Trustee
Board of Curators, Ex-Officio  

James H. Blanchard

Retired Chairman of the Board and CEO of Synovus

Jim Blanchard served as Chairman and CEO of Synovus, a multi-billion dollar financial services company, based in Columbus, Georgia. Synovus bank divisions provide commercial and retail banking, investment and mortgage services to customers in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Florida and Tennessee.

In 2006, he formed a partnership with Columbus State University’s Cunningham Center for Leadership Development to create the Jim Blanchard Leadership Forum. The mission of the forum is to provide Columbus, and the region, the opportunity to interact with some of the most influential political, military, and business leaders in the world to create a synergy that raises both the local and national standard for leadership development. Previous speakers at the forum include former First Lady Laura Bush, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former U.S. Senators Sam Nunn and Zell Miller, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, author Ken Blanchard, author John Maxwell, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, General David Petraeus and former U.S. Attorney General Griffin Bell. “One of the greatest gifts I can offer to our country is an investment in Leadership. We want to provide a forum where leaders can be exposed to the best and brightest minds in the world today,” said Blanchard.

Blanchard currently serves as Chairman of the Board and Partner of Jordan-Blanchard Capital, a firm that focuses on investing in small businesses in the manufacturing, distribution and business services sectors. In 2009 and 2010, he donated his papers to the Georgia Historical Society, making them available for scholarly research by future generations.