Georgia Historical Society Elects David Abney as Chair, Clyde Tuggle, Larry Thompson, & Reed Dulany III as Officers

Staff Report

Monday, July 8th, 2024

The Georgia Historical Society (GHS) has announced its newly elected officers to the GHS Board of Curators. GHS is welcoming several business and philanthropic leaders from across the state to leadership positions on the Board: David P. Abney (Atlanta), Board Chair; Clyde C. Tuggle (Atlanta), Vice Chair; Larry D. Thompson (St. Simons Island), Treasurer; and Reed Dulany III (Savannah), Secretary. The new leadership was elected at the 185th Annual Meeting of the Board of Curators held in the GHS Jepson House Education Center in Savannah on June 13.

The meeting was led by Shan Cooper, CEO of Journey Forward strategies, LLC, who presided over her final meeting as Board Chair. At the end of the meeting, she passed the gavel to David P. Abney, former CEO and Executive Chairman of UPS, who now begins his two-year tenure as Board Chair.

“Shan Cooper has been an extraordinary leader of the board,” said Dr. W. Todd Groce, President and CEO of the Georgia Historical Society. “During her tenure as chair, the institution completed a $15 million capital campaign, created a new five-year strategic plan, and broke all previous fund raising goals. We are grateful for the gift of her time and leadership. Her successor, David Abney, will continue the momentum she created.”

David P. Abney served as CEO of UPS from 2014 to May 2020 and was appointed Chairman of the UPS Board in 2016. Abney previously served as the company’s Chief Operating Officer, overseeing logistics, sustainability, engineering, and all facets of UPS’s global transportation network. He began his UPS career in 1974 as a part-time UPS package loader while attending Delta State University.

In addition to his service on the GHS Board of Curators, Abney serves as a Trustee of the UPS Foundation and the Annie E. Casey Foundation and is a member of the World Affairs Council of Atlanta as well as the Business Roundtable. In 2019, he received the prestigious Horatio Alger Award for perseverance, integrity, and a commitment to excellence. He also served as Chairman of the Metro Atlanta Chamber, as well as on the boards of Macy’s, Inc., Northrop Grumman Corporation, and Catalyst, an organization working to accelerate and advance women into senior leadership and board positions. A native of Greenwood, Mississippi, Abney earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Delta State University, where he and his wife, Sherry, sponsor the school’s annual symposium on international business.

GHS incoming Vice Chair Clyde C. Tuggle is Co-Founder and Founding Partner of Pine Island Capital Partners, an innovative private equity investment firm. In 2017, Tuggle joined former Goldman Sachs partners, John Thain and Phil Cooper, in founding the Washington, DC-based firm, which focuses on U.S. middle market investment opportunities.

Tuggle previously spent 30 years with The Coca-Cola Company, from 1988 until his retirement in 2018, serving as Senior Vice President of Global Public Affairs and Communications from 2009 to 2017, a position reporting directly to the Chairman and CEO of the Company.

Tuggle serves on the board of directors of the Georgia Power Company, and on the boards of Oxford Industries, Inc and TRIFORM, LLC. Tuggle is a past Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Agnes Scott College and a Trustee of the Georgia Research Alliance. He serves on the Boards of Directors of the Center for Addiction and Substance Abuse and the U.S. Russia Business Council. He is Chairman of the Board of Directors of the World Affairs Council of Atlanta, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Goizueta Business School Advisory Board, and the Yale University International Advisory Board. In 2013, Tuggle was elected a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow.

Larry D. Thompson serves as Counsel to the Atlanta law firm of Finch McCranie, LLP. Thompson retired in December 2014 as Executive Vice President, Government Affairs, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for PepsiCo, Inc. Thompson previously served as PepsiCo’s Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, General Counsel, and Secretary from 2004 to 2011. He served as a Senior Fellow with The Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., and his government career includes serving in the U.S. Department of Justice as the former U.S. Deputy Attorney General under George W. Bush (2001-2003).

Previously, Thompson was a partner in the Atlanta law firm of King & Spalding. From 1982-1986, Thompson served as the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia. In that role, he directed the Southern Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force and served on the Attorney General’s Economic Crime Council.

He is an elected Fellow of the American Board of Criminal Lawyers and has served as a Trustee on the Chautauqua Institute Board since 2014. Thompson was elected as a Trustee to the University of Georgia Foundation in June 2016. In 2017, Thompson was appointed by the U.S. Department of Justice as the Independent Corporate Compliance Monitor and Auditor for Volkswagen AG.

Reed Dulany III is the chairman and chief executive officer of Dulany Industries, Inc. Founded in 1897, Dulany Industries is one of the oldest privately owned and continuously operated industrial corporations in the United States with operations in Savannah, Georgia, Wilmington, North Carolina, and Norfolk, VA. He is also a partner in Daniel Reed Hospitality, which operates several hospitality related establishments in Savannah and Atlanta. Dulany’s other interests include timberland, conservation, and historic restoration projects. He also serves on the Board of the Chatham Club, the 200 Club, the Savannah Benevolent Association, the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce, the Savannah Economic Development Authority, is a member of the Young Presidents Organization and is a strong supporter of The Savannah Classical Academy. 

Ex-officio members James H. Blanchard, John F. McMullan, and Dr. William T. Moore were re-elected to the Board.

The new GHS Board of Curators began serving on July 1, 2024.

The officers join fellow Curators Dr. W. Todd Groce, GHS President and CEO, Kevin S. Blair, Frank S. Blake, James H. Blanchard (ex-officio), Stephanie V. Blank, Ellen B. Bolch, Mark Burns, Dan T. Cathy, Kimberly S. Greene, Venessa Harrison, Jeff Kole, John F. McMullan (ex-officio), Dr. William T. Moore (ex-officio), Sam Nunn (honorary), Beatriz R. Perez, and H. Jerome Russell.

The outgoing Board members were honored at the Annual Meeting for their contributions and many years of service to the Georgia Historical Society. Shan Cooper (Atlanta) has become Chairman Emeritus. During her tenure GHS completed the Next Century Initiative campaign and launched a new strategic plan, “Building on Our Legacy,” that moves the institution forward into the next decade.  H. Jerome Russell, Jr. (Atlanta), outgoing Secretary, remains on the Board in a non-officer capacity. Departing from the Board of Curators is Kessel D. Stelling, Jr. (Atlanta), who has been elected to the GHS Endowment Trust.

For more information on the Board of Curators of the Georgia Historical Society, please contact Christy Crisp, Vice President of Education and Programs, at 912.651.2125, ext. 117, or by email at [email protected].