Georgia Leaders Appointed to 2019 Georgia Chamber Executive Committee

Walt Farrell

Published January 17, 2019

Press Release

The Georgia Chamber of Commerce announces the transition of its leadership effective January 16, 2019, with Walter M. “Sonny” Deriso, Jr. succeeding Kessel D. Stelling, Jr. as Chairman. Kessel Stelling, Chairman & CEO of Synovus Bank, served as the Chair of the Georgia Chamber for 2018 and has served on its Board of Governors over the last decade. Kessel will continue to serve on the Executive Committee for 2019.

Sonny is the Chairman and a Director of Atlantic Capital Bancshares, Inc. and Atlantic Capital Bank in Atlanta, a position he has held since their founding in October 2006. Chris Clark, President and CEO of the Georgia Chamber commented: “Kessel and Sonny have an incredibly supportive history with the Chamber. Kessel has been the driving force behind our accomplishments in 2018, and I am delighted that we will continue to work together and benefit from his wisdom.”

“Sonny has been a member of the Georgia Chamber Board since 1995 and has played a critical role in our economic development programs, and as a faithful supporter of our public affairs initiatives,” said Chris Clark. “I am confident that the tremendous growth and success of the Chamber will continue as Sonny steps into the Chairman’s position this year.” 2019 Chairman, Sonny Deriso remarked, “I look forward to working with the Georgia Chamber Executive Committee, all of whom have an unwavering commitment to carry out the Chamber’s mission to improve Georgia’s economic outlook and increase our competitiveness in the global marketplace. I am excited for a momentous year ahead.”

The 2019 Georgia Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee will take office on January 16, 2019 at the Chamber’s annual Eggs & Issues Breakfast. The Executive Committee provides leadership through the development of pro-growth policy, effective advocacy, support for economic development and quality investor services.

The full GCC Executive Committee and their affiliations are as follows:

2019 Chairman | Walter M. “Sonny” Deriso, Jr. | Atlantic Capital Bank
2020 Chair-Elect | Peter Carter | Delta Air Lines, Inc.
2021 Chair-Elect | Teresa White | Aflac
Immediate Past Chair | Kessel D. Stelling, Jr. |Synovus
Political Affairs Council Chair | Dr. Spurgeon Clark III | The Clark Eye Clinic, PC
Government Affairs Council Chair | Heather Teilhet | Oglethorpe Power Corp.
Operations Council Chair | Anthony Hilliard | Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Center for Competitiveness Chair | Ben J. Tarbutton III | Sandersville Railroad Company


Christina Tuck
Communications Manager

Sarah Rettker
VP, Investor Engagement