In conjunction with the Governor’s Office, the Georgia Historical Society reestablished the Georgia Trustees as a way of recognizing Georgians whose accomplishments and community service reflect the highest ideals of the founding body of Trustees. The original Georgia Trustees, a governing body chartered and appointed by His Majesty King George II of England in 1732 to establish a new colony in North America, founded Georgia upon the principle of Non Sibi, Sed Aliis, “Not for Self but for Others.” GHS and the Governor’s Office reestablished the Trustees in 2008. The Governor annually appoints new Trustees whose history-making accomplishments and service reflect the original Trustees’ ideals.
The Office of the Governor and the Georgia Historical Society (GHS) named David Abney and Juanita Baranco the 2021 Georgia Trustees, the highest honor the State of Georgia can bestow. Their induction was broadcast on June 5, 2021. Watch their induction on the GHS YouTube Channel.
The 2021 Georgia Trustees
David Abney is the former Executive Chairman of the UPS Board of Directors. He served as CEO of UPS from 2014 until May 2020 and was appointed Chairman of the Board in 2016. Prior to his role as Chairman and CEO, Abney served as the company’s Chief Operating Officer, overseeing logistics, sustainability, engineering, and all facets of UPS’s global transportation network. Abney began his UPS career in 1974 as a part-time UPS package loader in a small facility in Greenwood, Mississippi, while attending Delta State University.
Abney serves as a Trustee of the UPS Foundation and the Annie E. Casey Foundation and is a member of the World Affairs Council of Atlanta as well as the Business Roundtable. In 2019, Abney received the prestigious Horatio Alger Award for perseverance, integrity and a commitment to excellence. During that same year he was elected and served as Chairman of the Metro Atlanta Chamber. He also serves on the boards of Macy’s, Inc., Northrop Grumman Corporation, and Catalyst, an organization working to accelerate and advance women into senior leadership and board positions.
A native of Greenwood, Mississippi, Abney earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Delta State University, where he and his wife, Sherry, sponsor the school’s annual symposium on international business.
Juanita Powell Baranco
Lawyer and entrepreneur Juanita Powell Baranco was born in the District of Columbia. Raised in Shreveport, Louisiana, Baranco earned her B.S. and J.D. from Louisiana State University. Before turning to business, Baranco had a successful law career, including serving as Assistant Attorney General for the State of Georgia. She is the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Baranco Automotive Group, which she co-founded with her husband, Gregory Baranco, in 1978. Baranco Automotive Group was one of the first African-American-owned car dealerships in the metropolitan Atlanta area. The Barancos also own several other car dealerships including Mercedes-Benz and Acura.
Baranco’s extensive involvement in education has led her to serve as the Chairman of the DeKalb County Education Task Force and as a member of the Georgia State Board of Education from 1985 to 1991. She was appointed by Governor Zell Miller to the Board of Regents and in 1995 became the first African-American woman to chair the board. She served on the Board of Trustees of Clark Atlanta University for twenty years, including ten years as board chair. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Southern Company and previously served on the Board of Directors of Georgia Power Company.
Her business and community activities have been recognized with numerous awards including recognition by the Dow Jones Company for entrepreneurial excellence; the first Trumpet Award from Turner Broadcasting System for entrepreneurial excellence; Entrepreneur of the Year by the Atlanta Business League; the DECCA Award from the Atlanta Business Chronicle; the YWCA’s Women of Achievement Award; and most recently the Blanchard Award for Outstanding Stewardship and Ethics in Business. Baranco has been featured in Essence magazine as one of best businesswomen in Atlanta and was also a finalist for the 2003 Time magazine Quality Dealer Award. She is a member of the American Bar Association and the State Bar Associations of Georgia and Louisiana.
- Robert L. Brown, Jr., President and CEO of R.L. Brown & Associates, Inc.
- Robert S. Jepson, Jr., Founder and CEO of Jepson Associates, Inc.
- Frank Blake, Retired Chairman and CEO of The Home Depot
- John Schuerholz, Vice Chairman Emeritus of the Atlanta Braves
- Edward H. Bastian, CEO of Delta Air Lines
- W. Paul Bowers, Retired Chairman, President, and CEO of Georgia Power
- F. Duane Ackerman, Retired Chairman of the Board and CEO of BellSouth
- A.D. “Pete” Correll, Retired CEO of Georgia-Pacific
- James H. Blanchard, Retired Chairman of the Board and CEO of Synovus
- Muhtar Kent, Chairman of the Board and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company
- Alana Smith Shepherd, Co-founder of the Shepherd Center
- Paula S. Wallace, President and Co-founder of the Savannah College of Art and Design
- Arthur M. Blank, Co-founder of The Home Depot, Owner of the Atlanta Falcons
- William Porter “Billy” Payne, Former Chairman of the Augusta National Golf Club, Chairman of Centennial Holding Company, LLC
- Tom Cousins, Founder of Cousins Properties, Inc., Founder of Purpose Built Communities
- Andrew Young, Former UN Ambassador and Mayor of Atlanta
- Henry “Hank” Aaron, Baseball Legend
- Robert Edward “Ted” Turner, Founder of CNN, Chairman of Turner Enterprises, Inc.