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The idea to create an organization dedicated to honoring important women of Georgia’s history was first suggested in 1988 by Rosalynn Carter. A year later, a founding committee was formed to set the groundwork for Georgia Women of Achievement. The committee included Rosalynn Carter, Robert Ackerman, Frank Jones, Valeria Murphey, Nancy Anderson, Neva Fickling, Eleanor Lane and Colleen Nunn.

In 1989 a mission statement was adopted, and amended in 2015: To honor women in Georgia who have contributed to community through their professional and personal lives. In 1990 the organization’s structure was established, with its goals outlined. These goals included raising awareness through:

  • Publicizing the achievements of Georgia women through an annual induction ceremony, a traveling exhibit, a website, a teacher resource guide, and through other media.
  • Encouraging and supporting research and development of information about important women whose stories and accomplishments are not widely known.
  • Providing information about inspiring role models for Georgia youth.
  • Advocating inclusion of women’s achievements in educational materials.

The first GWA induction ceremony took place in 1992 at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia. Since then, new inductees have been honored each year through ceremonies in various locations. The ceremonies take place in March, in celebration of Women’s History month.

Board of Trustees

* Mary Adams, Athens
* Stella Bailey, Cordele
* Cyndey Busbee, Macon
* Janet Byington, Rome
* Chantel Dunham, Bishop
* Jennifer Frum, Athens
* Ellen Goodrich, Milledgeville
* Leigh Lambert Goff, Atlanta
* Julie Hunt, Tifton
* Judy Jordan, Atlanta
* Ruth Knox, Macon
* Loretta Lepore, Atlanta
* Abit Massey, Gainesville
* Jaynie Nesmith, Manchester
* Shelley Nickel, Atlanta
* Jodi Palmer, Macon
* Missie Woodruff Pierce, Alpharetta
* Mary Raines, Savannah
* Lucretia Payton-Stewart, McDonough
* Jill Stuckey, Plains
* Diane Vaughan, Marietta
* Lisa White, Savannah
* Joni Williams, Atlanta


* Executive Director: Betty Hollan,
* President: Abit Massey
* Vice President:  Loretta Lepore
* Secretary: Jaynie Nesmith
* Treasurer: Mary Raines
* Past President: Leigh Goff

Honorary Trustees

* Nancy Anderson, Macon
* Julia Baldwin, Macon
* Rosalynn Carter, Plains
* Johnnetta Cole, Atlanta
* Cathy Cox, Young Harris
* Eleanor Lane, Macon
* Colleen Nunn, Atlanta
* Dean Day Saunders, Atlanta

Board of Selections

* Mary Ellen Brooks, University of Georgia
* Dr. Lee Ann Caldwell, Georgia Regents University
* Dr. David Connolly, Jr., University of North Georgia
* Corlis Cummings, Clayton State University
* Libba Grace, Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta
* Laura McCarty, Georgia Humanities Council
* Mark McDonald, The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation
* Steve Schaefer, Uncle Remus Regional Library System
* Dr. Ed Schrader, Brenau University
* Roger Smith, The Learning Center, Senior Citizens, Inc.
* Kenneth H. Thomas, Jr., Ga. Dept. of Natural Resources, Historic Preservation Division – Retired
* Lee Webb, Thomasville Landmarks, Thomasville
* Jane Powers Weldon, Editor/Writer, Calhoun

Board of Trustees Presidents List

Founding Chair
1990-1991 Gloria Shatto

1991-1995 Eleanor Lane
1995-1997 Nancy Anderson
1997-1999 Anne P. Smith
1999-2001 Ruth Bracewell
2001-2003 Julia Baldwin
2003-2005 Elizabeth Hardin
2005-2008 Ruth Knox
2008-2010 Lisa White
2010-2012 Cyndey Busbee
2012-2014 Leigh Goff

Induction Ceremony Speakers

2015 – Jill Tietjen, President & CEO, National Women’s Hall of Fame
2014 – Teya Ryan, President & CEO of Georgia Public Broadcasting Media
2013 – Hollis Stacy, 2012 World Golf Hall of Fame, LPGA champion
2012 – Stella Williams Bailey, Personal & Communications Coach
2011 – Rosalynn Carter, Former First Lady of the United States
2010 – Lauretta Hannon, Author and NPR Commentator
2009 – Mary Kay Andrews, Author
2008 – Barbara Christmas, former teacher, principal, and CEO of PAGE
2007 – Julianne Chambliss, former teacher and wife of Senator Saxby Chambliss
2006 – Leah Ward Sears, – Chief Justice of The Supreme Court of Georgia
2005 – Dr. Betty Lientz Siegel, President of Kennesaw State University
2004 – Gail Evans, Bestselling Author & Former Executive VP of CNN
2003 – Cynthia Good, Editor in Chief Atlanta Woman Magazine
2002 – Judy Woodruff, CNN Prime Anchor/Senior Correspondent
2001 – Kathy Hogan Trocheck, Georgia Novelist
2000 – Margaret Edson, a playwright and kindergarten teacher in Atlanta
1999 – Melissa Fay Greene, author of Praying for Sheetrock and The Temple Bombings
1998 – Dr. Nora Kizer Bell, President of Wesleyan College
1997 – Celestine Sibley, renowned southern author, journalist, and syndicated columnist
1996 – Teresa Edwards, four-time Olympic Basketball Star from Cairo, Georgia
1995 – Dr. Johnetta Cole, President of Spelman College
1994 – Mrs. Shirley Miller, First Lady of Georgia
1993 – Judy Woodruff, McNeil/Lehrer News Hour
1992 – Rosalynn Carter, Former First Lady of the United States

Contact Us

Georgia Women of Achievement
PO Box 8249
4760 Forsyth Road
Macon, GA 31210
Betty Hollan, Executive Director