COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Four prominent people from the Columbus area have been named to Georgia Trend’s annual list of the ’100 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 honorees from Columbus include:
- Dan Amos, Chair & CEO, Aflac
- Dr. Chris Markwood, President, Columbus State University
- Jerald Mitchell, President and CEO, The Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce
- Kessel Stelling, Chair and CEO, Synovus Financial Corp.
Amos has long been known for his tenure as CEO of one of the largest suppliers of supplemental insurance in the nation, as well as his support of children’s cancer research. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Amos made a large donation to convert an unused Piedmont Columbus Regional Hospital building to a facility devoted to COVID-19 care.
Dr. Markwood led Columbus State University to a record high enrollment in fall 2020 in spite of the pandemic. Georgia Trend notes that this growth could be credited to Markwood’s emphasis on creativity and innovation, a spirit among students and faculty that has helped the university navigate the challenges of COVID-19.
In 2020, Mitchell made history as the first Black leader of the Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce. Previously the head of economic development for the Atlanta BeltLine, Mitchell will help shape Columbus’ identity and image it puts out to the world.
Georgia Trend highlights Stelling’s contribution to the United Negro College Fund to set up the Synovus/Calvin Smyre Scholarship Fund. By the beginning of May, Synovus had also processed and approved 18,000 PPP loans, totaling $2.9 billion.
Amos, Markwood and Stelling have all appeared on the list for the past three years.
Marc Olivié, CEO of the W.C. Bradley Company, was also recognized as a ‘Notable Georgian.’