Celebrating influential Georgians

This week, Georgia Trend celebrated the 2019 Georgian of the Year and Most Influential Georgians at its annual awards luncheon, held in the Oceans Ballroom of the Georgia Aquarium. Sponsored by the Georgia Chamber and Fidelity Bank, the event was a festive reminder of the power of hard work, cooperation and collaboration among individuals representing public and private organizations.

Former Gov. Nathan Deal introduced Georgian of the Year Lee Thomas, deputy commissioner of the Georgia Film, Music and Digital Entertainment office. His heartfelt address honored her diligence and perseverance in transforming the state’s once-fledgling movie and TV production industry into a juggernaut that had a $9.5-billion impact in 2017.

In her remarks, Thomas gave credit to Deal’s foresight, the Georgia legislature for passing film industry tax credits, various state agencies for helping build much-needed industry infrastructure and a number of public and private organizations for their role in making the state a top-ranked film location. For more about Thomas and the Peach State’s success in becoming the new Hollywood, check out “Filmed in Georgia” in the magazine’s January issue.

Receiving awards as inductees into Georgia Trend’s Most Influential Hall of Fame were Mike Cassidy, director of Emory Biomedical Catalyst and former head of the Georgia Research Alliance, and Maria Saporta, founder and editor of the SaportaReport and writer for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Learn more about the inductees’ “Lasting Influence” in our latest issue.

Finally, the 100 Most Influential Georgians and the Notable Georgians were recognized for their work around the state. For a complete listing, see “Propelling Positive Change”. For more event photos, visit photographer Jennifer Stalcup’s image gallery.

Photos from the event by Jennifer Stalcup. Collage by Julia Roberts.

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