Georgia Historical Society Elects New Board Members at 174th Annual Meeting

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Georgia Historical Society Elects New Board Members at 174th Annual Meeting


Savannah, Ga., May 7, 2013 – The Georgia Historical Society held its 174th Annual Meeting at Congregation Mickve Israel in Savannah on May 2, 2013. Robert L. Brown, Jr. of Decatur will remain Chairman of the Board of Curators, Robert S. Jepson, Jr. of Savannah will remain Vice Chairman, Jackie Montag of Altanta will remain Secretary, and John Helmken II of Savannah will remain the Treasurer for another year. Dolly Chisholm of Savannah, James H. Blanchard of Columbus, and Vince Dooley will serve a one-year term as Ex Officio Curators. Ellen Bolch, Paul Bowers, Sonny Deriso, Leah Ward Sears, and Neely Young were elected as new members of the Board of Curators.

New Board of Curators

Ellen B. Bolch is President and CEO of THA Group, a company that provides Medicare-certified home health care, private home care, non-profit hospice home care, and telehealth. She is a recipient of the Honeywell HomMed Lifetime Achievement Award for her work with telehealth and telemonitoring. She is chair of the South Carolina Home Health Care & Hospice Association’s Board of Directors and a member of the Georgia Association of Home Health Agencies. Bolch serves on many local boards, including the Bethesda Union Society, the Chatham Club, and the Savannah Country Day School.

Paul Bowers is president and CEO of Georgia Power, the largest subsidiary of the Southern Company. He serves on a number of boards and is chairman of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and vice chair of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. Bowers is also a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s energy policy council and a trustee for The Woodruff Arts Center. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of West Florida, a master’s degree in management from Troy University, and is a graduate of the Harvard Business School Advanced Management.

Walter M. “Sonny” Deriso, Jr. is the Founding Chairman and a Director of Atlantic Capital Bank and Atlantic Capital Bancshares, Inc. Previously, Mr. Deriso served as Vice Chairman of Synovus Financial Corp and as CEO and director of Security Bank & Trust Company of Albany. Currently, Mr. Deriso is chairman of the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority, a Trustee of Emory University, and board member for Post Properties, Inc., Georgia Bankers Association, Foundation for the Methodist Children’s Home of South Georgia Conference, and Georgia Chamber of Commerce.

Leah Ward Sears was the first woman and the youngest person ever to serve on the Georgia Supreme Court when she was appointed by Gov. Zell Miller in 1992. In 2005 she became the first African-American female chief justice of any state supreme court in the nation. Sears earned her B.A. from Cornell, her law degree from Emory, and an LLM from the University of Virginia. She serves on many boards and is the founder of the Battered Women’s project in Columbus. After retiring from the Georgia Supreme Court in 2009 after 27 years on the bench, Sears became a partner with the law firm of Schiff Hardin LLP and is a Distinguished Fellow in Family Law at the Institute for American Values.

Neely Young is co-owner and publisher of Georgia Trend magazine. He is the former CEO of Morris Newspaper Corporation. The Cedartown native and UGA graduate has served as President of the Georgia Press Association, Associated Press of Georgia, the Clayton County Rotary Club, and chaired the Clayton County Chamber of Commerce. He is the former Chairman of the Atlanta Region Salvation Army and serves on several other boards including UGA’s Henry W. Grady School of Journalism, Georgia Press, UGA board of Visitors, Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.

Returning Officers of the Board of Curators

Robert L. Brown, president and CEO of R.L. Brown & Associates, one of Georgia’s most highly recognized and respected architectural firms. He is a member of the boards of Citizens Trust Bank, Georgia Power, and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, and has served on the boards of the Fulton-DeKalb Hospital Authority, and the Georgia Board of Corrections. Mr. Brown is a magna cum laude graduate of Tuskegee University, and has been recognized by Georgia Trend magazine as one of the state’s 100 Most Influential Citizens and Most Respected CEO for 2012.

John C. Helmken II is the president and CEO of The Savannah Bancorp, Inc. and serves on the board of directors for both The Savannah Bancorp and The Savannah Bank. He also serves on the board of the Bryan Bank & Trust, Harbourside Community Bank, and Minis & Co. He is a graduate of Leadership Savannah and Leadership Georgia, and is past president of the Downtown Savannah Rotary Club. He serves on the board of the Savannah Book Festival, Hospice Savannah Foundation, The Savannah Foundation, and the Bethesda Home for Boys. He is a Trustee on the Endowment Board of the Telfair Museum of Art and is on the Foundation Board of Armstrong Atlantic State University. He received a BA in Finance from the University of Georgia

Robert S. Jepson, Jr. is Chairman and CEO of Jepson Associates, Inc., a private investment firm. Mr. Jepson and his wife, Alice Andrews Jepson, focus much of their philanthropy on higher education. The Georgia Historical Society’s Jepson House Education Center, the Society’s educational programming facility, is named in honor of the Jepson’s for their fundraising efforts to acquire the house. He serves on the Boards of the Georgia Ports Authority and Dominion Resources, is Chairman of the Board of Visitors of the Savannah College of Art and Design, and has been recognized by Georgia Trend Magazine as among the 100 Most Influential Georgians and Most Respected CEO for 2013.

Jackie Montag oversees business development at A. Montag & Associates, an Atlanta-based investment firm for endowments, families and foundations. She serves on the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Foundation Board, the Friends of Trinity School Board, the Advisory Board of the Atlanta Girls School and the Board of Anti-Defamation League. She is past President of the Temple, past Board Chairman of the Atlanta History Center and past Vice-Chairman of Visiting Nurses Association. She is an active Wellesley College Alumna, a member of the Leadership Atlanta Class of 1990.



SAVANNAH: 501 Whitaker St., Savannah, GA 31401
ATLANTA: 260 14th St., NW, Ste. A-148, Atlanta, GA 30318

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.