Insights into nonprofit leadership & governance

Gina Simpson, Executive Director of Rotary Club of Atlanta

July 7, 2020  

Atlanta, Georgia

Gina Simpson, veteran civic leader, to be ED of Rotary Club of Atlanta, Georgia’s first Rotary and one of the largest throughout the global Rotary network, succeeding 20-year incumbent.

Read more on the announcement from Rotary Club of Atlanta below.

Gina Simpson, the former CEO of Hands On Atlanta, has been named the new executive director of the Rotary Club of Atlanta.

Simpson replaces Linda Thomason Glass, who is retiring from the club after 20 years. The club is the largest Rotary Club in the state as well as one of the largest in the world and was the first club chartered in Georgia. It is regarded as one of the most influential civic clubs in the world. Its membership includes top leaders in the Atlanta business and civic community.
John O’Neill, president of the Southeast and Southcentral Region of Cushman & Wakefield and chair of the club’s board of directors, made the announcement. “Throughout our executive search process,” O’Neill said, “Gina demonstrated just how closely her leadership experiences and approach to public service matched the club’s aspirations for greater engagement in the major issues affecting our region.”

Cannon Carr, CEO of CornerCap Wealth Advisors and incoming president of the club as well as chair of the search committee, added, “There has never been a more critical time for us as Rotarians to support our community. After an extensive regional search, Gina was our unanimous choice to assume the newly redefined role of executive director.”

Simpson said, “I am genuinely excited by the opportunity to work with such a wonderful group of leaders, many of whom I’ve had the privilege of collaborating with before. Rotary’s members are among our region’s most engaged leaders. It will be a distinct pleasure to work with such a strong group, especially as the club explores new opportunities for community engagement and impact.”

While in Atlanta as CEO of Hands on Atlanta, she traveled with members of the Rotary Club of Atlanta on its annual trip to build schools in rural Honduras. For the past four years, she has been deputy commissioner of the Alabama Department of Human Resources. While in Alabama, she was a member of Rotary.

Commenting about retiring executive director Linda Thomason Glass, O’Neill thanked her for a “terrific job in managing numerous responsibilities associated with the role,” noting she had played a significant part in the growth and prestige of the club.

Atlanta Rotary members Sam Pettway and John Sparrow of Boardwalk Consulting led the search. In addition to Carr, the search committee included Rotary members Pat Upshaw-Monteith, CEO of Leadership Atlanta; Janine Brown, managing partner of Alston and Bird; Gretchen Corbin, CEO of the Georgia Lottery, Katharine Kelley, CEO of Green Street Properties, and past club president Robert Balentine, chairman of Balentine.

Rotary is the largest civic organization in the world with 1.2 million members and 36,000 clubs globally.

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