Executive Leadership


Chris Clark

President & CEO
Georgia Chamber of Commerce

A Georgia native, Chris Clark is the President and CEO of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. He received his bachelor’s degree from Georgia Southern University and his master’s degree in public administration from Georgia College and State University. Prior to joining the Georgia Chamber, Chris served as Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and as Deputy Commissioner for the Department of Economic Development. Before his state service, he was the President of the Fayette County Development Authority and CEO of the Hawkinsville-Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce.

Chris serves on the Board of Directors for Council of State Chambers as the Secretary Treasurer, and sits on the boards of the Georgia Allies, the Georgia Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, and Georgia College and State University Board of Trustees. He is also a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Council of 100, the U.S. Chamber’s Board, and the Political Affairs Committee. Among other things, he is a member of the Board of Visitors for the University of Georgia.

He is a graduate of Leadership Georgia and has been consistently named one of Georgia Trend Magazine’s 100 most influential Georgians and one of the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s most influential Atlantans. He received GEDA’s Zell Miller Public Policy Leadership Award. Chris also serves on the Board of Directors for the Real Life Center, a Christian outreach program that provides food, clothing, financial assistance, and educational classes for those in need.

Chris and his wife, Tiffany, and their son, Christian, live in Peachtree City and attend Dogwood Church.

Kessel Stelling

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Synovus Financial Corporation

Stelling began his career with Synovus in March 2006 when the company purchased Riverside Bancshares, Inc., and merged it with Bank of North Georgia, headquartered in Alpharetta, Georgia. In June 2008, he was promoted to Synovus Regional CEO for the Atlanta market. Stelling was named Synovus President and Chief Operating Officer in February 2010 and was named President and Chief Executive Officer in October 2010. He became Chairman of the Board in January 2012.

  • B.B.A., Banking and Finance, University of Georgia
  • Graduate School of Banking of the South, Louisiana State University
  • Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration, University of South Carolina
  • Board Member and former Chairman (2016), Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia
  • Treasurer, Executive Committee, Financial Services Roundtable
  • Board Member, Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen (REACH) Foundation, Inc.
  • Board Member, Georgia Power
  • Board Member, Georgia Chamber of Commerce
  • Leadership Character Award from the Robert K. Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership, 2014
  • Blue Key Service Award, University of Georgia Chapter of the Blue Key National Honor Society, 2013
  • Named to the list of the “100 Most Influential Georgians” by Georgia Trend Magazine every year since 2009
  • “Distinguished Alumni Award” by the University of Georgia Terry College of Business, 2009
Summary of Responsibilities

As Chairman and CEO of Synovus, a $30 billion asset bank, Stelling leads a talented team of bankers, investment professionals, and support teams in developing strategies designed to drive growth. Stelling guides a team consisting of commercial, retail, corporate, and financial management services professionals in building long-term relationships while also ensuring the company remains focused on fostering a great working environment, effectively managing risk, reducing expenses, and increasing shareholder value.

Bill Linginfelter

2017 Chairman
Executive Vice President
Area President, Georgia/ South Carolina
Regions Financial Corporation

Bill Linginfelter oversees the daily commercial and retail operations for the Georgia and South Carolina Division of Regions Financial Corporation, a top U.S. bank holding company headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, with $125 billion in assets, operating over 1,600 branches in 15 states.

Throughout his 38-year career, he has held various management positions in the financial services industry. Prior to joining Regions in 2008, Linginfelter served as Georgia Chief Executive Officer for Wachovia Bank, and before that was the director of SouthTrust Bank’s Enterprise Banking division, which included oversight of all business activities in the bank’s largest markets.

Linginfelter received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia.  He also completed the Commercial Banking Schools at the Graduate School of Banking of the South and Commercial Banking at the UVA Darden School.  He serves on the Executive Board of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, where he served as Board chair in 2010.  He is also on the Board of the Georgia Research Alliance which he chaired from 2009-2012. In addition, he will chair the Georgia Chamber of Commerce Board in 2017. He serves on the Board of Trustees for the Piedmont Hospital Atlanta, Buckhead Coalition, The Commerce Club and Atlanta Hall Management (home of the College Football Hall of Fame). Bill has also served on The Board of Councilors of the Carter Center since 2001. He is the Treasurer of the Board of the Atlanta Speech School.  In 2006, he chaired the Metro Atlanta United Way campaign and in 2004 and 2005 chaired the Atlanta United Negro College Fund campaign.

Bill and his wife, Mitzi, have two children.


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