Sonny Deriso to Helm Georgia Historical Society Board
Friday, May 18th, 2018
The Georgia Historical Society Board of Curators has elected Walter M. “Sonny” Deriso (Atlanta/Albany) as the new Board Chairman. Deriso is the Chairman and a director of Atlantic Capital Bancshares, Inc. and Atlantic Capital Bank, a position he has held since their founding in October 2006. Deriso succeeds Vince Dooley, who will complete a two year term as chairman on June 30, 2018.
“The Georgia Historical Society Board of Curators fulfills a vital leadership role in the Society’s mission to collect, examine, and teach Georgia history,” said Deriso. “It is my great honor and privilege to serve with and to lead this esteemed board, and to work alongside Todd Groce and the dedicated staff at GHS.”
In addition to Deriso, other officers elected for the 2018-2019 fiscal year are Thomas M. Holder (Atlanta), Vice-Chairman; Doug Hertz (Atlanta), Secretary; and H. Jerome Russell, Jr. (Atlanta), Treasurer. New members elected to the GHS board are Alston D. “Pete” Correll (Atlanta), Kessell D. Stelling, Jr. (Columbus), and Reed Dulany III (Savannah).
“We are excited and honored to have so many influential leaders on the Georgia Historical Society team,” said GHS President and CEO Dr. W. Todd Groce. “Our transformation into a nationally recognized educational and research institution is a direct result of their involvement and vision. I am confident that the tremendous growth led by Bob Jepson and Vince Dooley will continue as Sonny Deriso steps into the chairman’s position and that GHS will reach new heights of achievement under his leadership.”
In addition to serving as Chairman and a director of Atlantic Capital Bancshares, Inc. Mr. Deriso served as Vice Chairman of Synovus Financial Corp. from 1997 to February 2005. He is a graduate of Emory College and Emory Law School, where he was elected to be the first President of the Emory Student Government Association. He practiced law in Albany, Georgia from 1972 to January 1991, when he left his law practice to become the President and CEO of Security Bank.
In 2011 he was listed in Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 100 Most Influential Atlantans and was recognized as a Most Admired CEO by Atlanta Business Chronicle in 2017.
The new Board of Curators will be seated July 1, 2018, and the term of newly elected officers will expire in June 2020.