Leadership Georgia Announces 2018 Award Winners

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Thursday, September 6th, 2018

The Leadership Georgia Board of Trustees is pleased to announce recipients of three coveted awards to
be presented at this year’s annual gala. Leadership Georgia’s Annual Gala and Awards Presentation has become a signature event for honoring and celebrating the outstanding accomplishments and contributions that have been made by alumni and others to Leadership Georgia, our communities and the state as a whole. Over 650 people attend the event to honor the award recipients, reconnect with friends, and relive memories in true Leadership.

This year’s awards and honorees are:

The FREDERICK B. KERR Service Award – Honorable Horace J. Johnson Jr. of Covington

An award presented in memory of Frederick B. Kerr to Leadership Georgia members who have demonstrated enthusiastic and active support of Leadership Georgia on a continuing and consistent basis.

Judge Horace J. Johnson Jr., a Newton County native, has served his hometown community as a superior court judge in the Alcovy Judicial Circuit since 2002. Judge Johnson, an Emory University and University of Georgia School of Law grad, was one of the first black students to integrate Newton County Schools. Judge Johnson presides over a Parental Accountability Court, serves as past president of the Council of Superior Court Judges of Georgia, is founder of Newton Mentoring and serves on the Judicial
Council of Georgia.

Through the years, he has been appointed to various statewide and community boards and committees, including the Georgia Accountability Courts Funding Committee; the Access, Fairness, Public Trust & Confidence Committee, and the Judicial Council’s Domestic Violence Committee. Judge Johnson and his wife, Michelle, are proud parents of two sons. The Johnsons are alumni of the 2002 class of Leadership Georgia and Judge Johnson served as the 2009 president of the organization.

The J. W. FANNING Award – Mrs. Julie Ewing Hunt of Tifton

An award presented in memory of J.W. Fanning to a Georgian whose statewide contributions through progressive leadership and service have been broad in scope and rich in achievement.

Julie Hunt is the president of J.H. Services, Inc. She is an entrepreneur with experience in the restaurant, advertising and real estate industries, as well as a former school teacher. Hunt serves as a member of the Georgia Ports Authority, a member of the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College President’s Club, an emeritus trustee of the University of Georgia Foundation and a former Regent of the University System of Georgia. She is a past chair of the Tifton-Tift County Tourism Association and a past president of the Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce. 

Hunt is a former member of the Commission for the Privatization of State Government and the Georgia Economic Development Authority. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Valdosta State University. Hunt has two children and seven grandchildren. She resides in Tifton.

The E. DALE THREADGILL Community Service Award – Mr. Eddie Staub of Gainesville

An award presented in honor of E. Dale Threadgill to Leadership Georgia members who have taken the principles learned in Leadership Georgia and put them to work in their communities.

Eddie Staub is founder and executive director of Eagle Ranch, a community uniquely designed to help make life better for children and families going through a crisis. For nearly 35 years, Eagle Ranch has served as Georgia’s foremost family reunification program.

Staub has been honored for Eagle Ranch’s contributions to youth and families throughout Georgia.  Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, Staub graduated with a B.S. in science education from Auburn University and was a member of the varsity baseball team. He also has a master’s degree in physiology from Auburn. He is married to the former Kayanne Morris of Atlanta, and they have five children. The Staubs are alumni of the 1999 class of Leadership Georgia.

The 2018 Leadership Georgia Annual Gala will be held Friday, Nov. 2, 2018, in beautiful Athens, Georgia, at the Classic Center! “We as vested Georgians are privileged to honor these great individuals who have had significant impacts on their communities and the state at-large,” stated James Nixon, trustee and chair of the 2018 awards committee.