Leadership Georgia Announces 2023 Award Recipients

Staff Report

Wednesday, June 14th, 2023

The Leadership Georgia Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the recipients of the organization’s most prestigious awards. The organization will honor seven Georgians who exemplify the principles of Leadership Georgia and whose impact through leadership and stewardship has helped shape communities and the state. 

“Each year the Leadership Georgia Board of Trustees takes great pride in selecting exceptional Georgians whose lives and work represent the best values of our great state.  We are all made better by the award recipients selected this year, and we are proud to recognize each recipient for their contributions to all of us,” said Chairwoman Teresa MacCartney. “As an organization, Leadership Georgia is fortunate to have unwavering support from around the state for its purpose of preparing strong and effective leaders for the future development of Georgia. Our 2023 honorees are exemplary in all ways and are beacons of leadership for emerging leaders participating in future classes of Leadership Georgia.” 

The 2023 honorees are:

  • Governor Brian Kemp – H.G. “Pat” Pattillo Honorary Membership Award

  • Egbert Perry – J.W. Fanning Award

  • Judge Joy Lampley-Forston – Judge Horace J. Johnson, Jr. and Michelle Bryant Johnson Distinguished Public Service Award

  • Gretchen and David Corbin  Frederick B. Kerr Service Award

  • Katie and Scott Chastain – E. Dale Threadgill Community Service Award

Leadership Georgia will formally recognize the award recipients during the Leadership Georgia Annual Alumni Awards Gala on November 11, 2023, at Pullman Yards in Atlanta, GA. The black-tie event draws hundreds of alumni and guests and helps support the organization’s programs focused on enabling Leadership Georgia to continue its over fifty-year legacy of developing and inspiring leaders from all walks of life and all corners of the state.

H. G. Pat Patillo Honorary Membership Award
Governor Brian Kemp

An award given in memory of H.G. “Pat” Patillo and in recognition of an individual who never participated in a Leadership Georgia class but demonstrates support of Leadership Georgia. 

Governor Brian Kemp is a native of Athens, Georgia, and a graduate of  the University of Georgia. He started his first small business over 35 years ago with a pickup truck and a shovel. He went on to establish several agribusiness, financial services, and real estate companies prior to entering politics. 

He served as a Georgia State Senator from 2003 to 2007. In early 2010, he was appointed as Georgia Secretary of State. He was elected to serve a full term later that year and re-elected to serve another four-year term in 2014. He has served as the 83rd governor of Georgia since January 2019. 

Governor Kemp’s experience as a small business owner has driven his mission to put hardworking Georgians first. His leadership over his first and second terms has yielded historic results, most notably in economic development.  Georgia continues to be a great place to do business under his leadership as evidenced in part by the location of Rivian, Hyundai, and countless other companies in the state of Georgia and the creation of thousands of new jobs for Georgians. 

Governor Kemp has made historic appointments and supported various causes in all communities to bring Georgians together. His leadership is a model for many states across the country, especially in the South. His office and the many agencies he oversees as Governor are represented in each class of Leadership Georgia with his support.  

Governor Kemp, First Lady Marty Kemp and their three daughters live on their family farm in Athens. They are all committed to building a safer, stronger Georgia for all who call the Peach State “home.”

J.W. Fanning Award
Egbert Perry

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. 

Egbert Perry is the CEO of Integral Group LLC, a holistic mixed-income real estate development company based in Atlanta, GA since 1993. The guiding mission for the company is to “create value in cities and (re)build the fabric of communities”.  

Perry is a widely acknowledged visionary for how affordable housing and mixed-income housing development can re-activate and connect disparate communities in cities, as best exemplified by Centennial Place in downtown Atlanta.  Centennial Place is the first mixed income housing development in the United States with housing at all price points, retail shopping, a YMCA, a neighborhood school, and other components that meaningfully connect and uplift all economic and social community segments.  The historic development was built on the sixty (60) acre site of the first affordable housing project in the country and laid the financial, legal and partnership framework for similar developments around the country.  In its three decades of existence, Integral has developed 10,000 units of housing in 20 American cities in addition to its landmark development at Centennial Place, a model for sustainable, revitalized communities. 

Perry has a Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Civil Engineering and a Master of Business Administration degree from The University of Pennsylvania.  He is a Board Member of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights and served on the Board of Directors of Fannie Mae for over a decade including five (5) years as its chairman.  Perry has been a Georgia resident since the early 1980s where he was instrumental in developing and executing the plans that paved the way for the stratospheric rise of HJ Russell & Company, another GA-based entity with ties to Leadership Georgia through several of the organization’s graduates. 

Judge Horace J. Johnson, Jr. and
Michelle Bryant Johnson
Distinguished Public Service Award
Joy Lampley-Fortson

An award presented in memory of Judge Horace J. Johnson and in honor of Michelle Johnson to Leadership Georgia members for overachievement through participation and contributions to Leadership Georgia while managing commitments of public service and non-profit careers.  Its recipients embody the leadership principles of unity, innovation, and mentorship. 

Joy Lampley-Fortson is an Assistant Chief Immigration Judge with the United States Department of Justice, her latest position in a laudable succession of public service positions at the local, state, and federal levels.  She has served with distinction as an Assistant Solicitor with the Office of the City Solicitor in Atlanta, an Assistant U.S. Attorney with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia, Assistant Chief Counsel with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Executive Director of the Georgia Commission on Equal Opportunity.  While professionally serving others in all of these positions, Judge Lampley-Fortson has committed herself to the development of young leaders and professionals through active participation in organizations such as Leadership Atlanta (graduate), the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorney (Past President of GABWA, Past President of the GABWA Foundation, and recipient of The Leah Ward Sears Award for Distinction in the Profession) and most notably Leadership Georgia (LG graduate, Program Chair, Trustee, Past President and Chair of the Board of Trustees). Judge Lampley-Fortson has been universally recognized as an effective leader with quiet confidence and an innate ability to connect individuals and organizations for the advancement of common goals beneficial to all involved. She is a tireless mentor, friend, and advocate for all.

Judge Lampley-Fortson received her Bachelor of Science and Juris Doctorate degrees from the University of Florida. She and her husband Reginald Fortson were members of the Leadership Georgia Class of 2009 and served the Class of 2011 as Program Chairs. Judge Lampley-Forston continued her service to the organization as a trustee (2012-2014), president (2016), and chairwoman (2017). Mr. Forston has been her dutiful partner in positively influencing the lives of countless Leadership Georgia graduates.

Frederick B. Kerr Service Award
Gretchen & David Corbin

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.

Gretchen and David Corbin embody the spirit of the Federick B. Kerr Award. The Corbins, members of the Leadership Georgia Class of 2003, have actively supported the mission of Leadership Georgia for twenty years. Gretchen served as a Leadership Georgia Trustee from 2006-2008, and together, the Corbins served the Class of 2010 as Program Chairs. Throughout Gretchen’s years of service as a trustee, president (2014) and chairwoman (2015) of Leadership Georgia, David was equally engaged with the organization and its participants.  

The Corbins envisioned a program that would foster a love for Leadership Georgia within the hearts of young Georgians like their two daughters. Gretchen, with the support of the Board, founded LG Play in 2014. The program, designed for alumni children ages 4-16, connects our youngest leaders and cultivates an appreciation for the work of the organization.  

Gretchen is President & CEO of the Georgia Lottery Corporation. Previously, she worked with the Technical College System of Georgia (c0mmisioner), Department of Community Affairs (commissioner), and Department of Economic Development (deputy commissioner). She devotes time to several professional and civic organizations and has been named Georgia Trend Magazine’s 100 Most Influential Georgians for the last nine years. Atlanta Business Chroniclelists her as a Top 20 Women Who Mean Business, and James Magazine recognizes her among its Most Influential Georgians. David is the Director of Information Technology at State Mutual Insurance and is involved with many community organizations. 

The Corbins are Georgia Grown – Gretchen was raised in Cedartown, while David grew up in Cartersville. Today, Rome is home to their family, and both of their daughters currently attend the University of Georgia. 

Gretchen and David Corbin are many things to the organization and their circle of family and friends. Admirers of the Corbins value their continued involvement in Leadership Georgia, their investment in emerging Georgia leaders, and the kindness they bestow to all. Leadership Georgia has benefited greatly over the last two decades through the Corbins’ engagement as alumni. 

E. Dale Threadgill Community Service Award
Katie and Scott Chastain

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. 

Scott Chastain is an entrepreneur and an evangelist for small town urbanism. As founder and CEO of Everfan, Scott designs and manufactures custom superhero costumes and other creative apparel products, but his background in Landscape Architecture has made him a passionate advocate for well-designed and livable cities. He was elected to Thomasville City Council in 2022 and as Councilman has focused on sustainability, parks, and connectivity, while pushing for more entrepreneurial approaches within city government. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Thomasville-Thomas County Chamber of Commerce, where he chaired the Leadership Thomas program for five years. He was voted Thomasville’s 2022 Man of the Year for his servant leadership and civic engagement. Scott was a design team member for Thomasville’s award-winning Ritz Amphitheater, as well as Victoria Place, a mixed-income neighborhood adjacent to downtown. In addition to Everfan, he and his wife enjoy developing creative places to live, work, and play. He may be found biking on the not-yet-created bike trails in and around Thomasville.

Katie Chastain has spent the last 20 years working in education and business development. She primarily works as an independent project manager to implement creative solutions to community problems. Recent projects include the establishment of the Thomasville Community Development Corporation, to improve the quality of life and wealth creation opportunities for residents in historically underserved neighborhoods in Thomasville. In addition, she has been working with the Chamber of Commerce, alongside the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education, to identify barriers and create opportunities for a stronger, more aligned workforce pipeline in Thomas County. Katie’s problem-solving education company TiskTask.org is a partner in Georgia Tech’s recent Georgia AI Manufacturing (GA-AIM) grant, an approximately $65 million Build Back Better initiative to accelerate the adoption of artificial intelligence in manufacturing. She currently serves as Board Chair for the Vashti Center, which has been recognized by Resilient Georgia as a model for mental health services in rural Georgia. As former owner and operator of The Bookshelf in downtown Thomasville, she worked with other businesses and organizations to revitalize and extend the downtown district.

The Chastains are members of Leadership Georgia’s Class of 2017 and were Program Chairs in 2019. They continue to support the organization with their presence, wise counsel, and encouragement of other Leadership Georgia participants from Thomasville and South Georgia.  

The Chastain family, Katie, Scott, and their two daughters, reside in Thomasville.