Five Columbus natives named among 100 Most Influential Georgians

Five Columbus natives named among 100 Most Influential Georgians

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Five prominent people from the Columbus area have been named to Georgia Trend’s list of the most influential Georgians.

Each year, Georgia Trend produces a list of the year’s most influential people across the state, some of them are high-profile public figures, while others work behind the scenes.

This year’s recipients include:

  • Aflac CEO & President Dan Amos
  • Columbus State University President Dr. Chris Markwood
  • W.C. Bradley Co. President and CEO Marc Olivié
  • Greater Columbus Georgics Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President of Economic Development Brian Sillitto
  • Synovus Financial Corp. Chair and CEO Kessel Stelling
(Clockwise): Dan Amos, Kessel Stelling, Dr. Chris Markwood, Marc Olivié, & Brian Sillitto
(Clockwise): Dan Amos, Kessel Stelling, Dr. Chris Markwood, Marc Olivié, & Brian Sillitto (Source: WTVM)

Amos has spent nearly 30 years at the helm one of the longest-serving Fortune 500 companies, which covers more than 50 million people worldwide. The Aflac CEO and President is also known for a laundry list of charitable works, including Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, according to Georgia Trend.

Dr. Markwood recently wrapped up a capital campaign with Columbus State University, reaching a $120 million goal from alumni and community donors. Georgia Trend also notes the university’s recent approval for new bachelor’s degrees in the “booming cybersecurity industry.”

This is Dr. Markwood’s fourth time in a row being named to the list.

Georgia Trend notes Olivié's leadership of the W.C. Bradley company in bringing the largest single real estate investment in the company’s history to Columbus: the $55-million, five-story Rapids at Riverfront Place.

Sillitto was praised for his leadership with the Chamber of Commerce and the arrival of big businesses like Global Callcenter Solutions and expansion in the education sector with the Mercer University School of Medicine expanding to a four-year campus.

Georgia Trend noted Synovus’ focus on commercial real estate and opening new branches across the Southeast, especially in Florida. Stelling also serves on the Board of Regents for the University System of Georgia and the Georgia Historical Society.

Other Georgians on the list include Stacey Abrams, Donald Glover and Tyler Perry. Click here for the full list of Georgia Trend’s 100 most influent Georgians.

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