Georgia Historical Society and Office of the Governor to Induct Muhtar Kent and James H. “Jimmy” Blanchard as the Newest Georgia Trustees

Atlanta, Ga., May 19, 2015 - The Georgia Historical Society announced today that Muhtar Kent,  Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of The Coca-Cola Company and James H. "Jimmy" Blanchard, Retired Chairman of the Board and CEO of Synovus will be the 2016 Georgia Trustees.  The announcement was made at a press conference in Savannah where the Trustees will be inducted by Governor Nathan Deal on February 13, 2016. "Muhtar Kent and Jimmy Blanchard are exemplary models of what it means to be Georgia Trustees," said W. Todd Groce, President and CEO of the Georgia Historical Society. "Their commitment to the Trustees motto "not for self but for others" has been an important part of their service and success."

Muhtar Kent is Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of the Coca-Cola Company, a position he has held since April 2009.  Active in the global business community, Mr. Kent is the Chair of the B20 Business Advisory Council; Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s CEO Council on Health and Innovation, a fellow of the Foreign Policy Association and a past Chairman of the U.S. – China Business Council.  Mr. Kent serves on the boards of Special Olympics International, Ronald McDonald House Charities, and Emory University.

James H. "Jimmy" Blanchard is Chairman, Board of Advisors, Jordan-Blanchard Capital, LLC and retired Chairman of the Board and CEO of Synovus Bank Corp.  In 2006, he formed the Blanchard Leadership Forum in partnership with Columbus State University’s Cunningham Center for Leadership Development to provide Columbus and the region the opportunity to interact with some of the most influential political, military, and business leaders in the world and to create a synergy that raises both the local and national standard for leadership development.  Mr. Blanchard also serves on the Board of TSYS, W.C. Bradley, Co., and as Chairman of the Global Teen Challenge Advisory Board.

The induction of the new Trustees will take place Saturday, February 13, 2016, at the Georgia Trustees Gala. For information on how to purchase individual seats and tables for the event, please contact the Georgia Historical Society at (912) 651-2125, ext. 114

The Trustees Gala is the culmination of the annual Georgia History Festival, GHS’s signature educational program.  Christy Crisp, Director of Programs for GHS, announced exciting changes to the format for the 2016 Georgia History Festival, stating that The Festival will follow a new format and begin with the new school year in September and culminate in February, the founding month of the Georgia Colony, with Founding City events like the popular Colonial Faire & Muster living history program held at Wormsloe State Historic Site, Super Museum Sunday, Savannah’s colorful Georgia Day Parade, and the annual Trustees Gala.

"By opening the Georgia History Festival at the start of the school year in September we can expand The Festival to include new programs like our new GHF kickoff event in commemoration of Constitution Day on September 17," said Crisp.  "By adding to the variety of public programs, in-school events, and educational resources we bring history to life for students of all ages and encourage Georgians to explore the richness and diversity of our state’s past."

Ms. Swann Seiler, Corporate Communications Manager for Georgia Power, presented the Georgia Historical Society with a check as the Trustee Level Sponsor for the Georgia History Festival, and Robert S. Jepson, Jr. welcomed guests as Chairman of the Board of Curators for the Georgia Historical Society.

The festive atmosphere was capped off by second graders from Hancock Day School, winners of the 2015 GHF Banner Competition, wearing their Georgia Day Parade colonial costumes.