Alliance Members named to Georgia Trend’s 100 Most Influential Georgians of 2019

January 15, 2020

“There are no secrets to success,” said former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell. “It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure.”

His description could apply to the individuals included in Georgia Trend’s 22nd annual listing of the 100 Most Influential Georgians. It’s a remarkable assemblage of people who prepare, work hard and have contributed to making life better for Georgians.

In this year’s list, you’ll find CEOs, politicians, college presidents and economic development leaders, among others, who have challenged, inspired and spearheaded efforts to bring about positive change in virtually every corner of the Peach State. Some are very public figures, while others work quietly behind the scenes. Many have helmed private businesses and helped shape industries, while some are leaders of government, healthcare and nonprofit organizations. All are tireless and passionate in pursuit of their vision for a better Georgia.

Selecting the most influential leaders is a daunting task and one that involves much discussion, mulling and refinement by the Georgia Trend staff. Our initial list typically contains many more than 100 names, and there are always last minute changes as a result of retirements, power shifts and late-in-the-year hirings. However, we believe this year’s final group represents the best qualities of leadership, power, character and influence the state has to offer.

Along with the most influential, we’ve included a list of Notable Georgians on page 52. These are individuals who’ve also made a significant impact on residents’ lives.

Profiles of the 100 Most Influential Georgians were written by Anna Bentley, Amy Bonesteel, Katie Gantt, Karen Kirkpatrick, Brian Lee, Michele Cohen Marill, Patty Rasmussen, K.K. Snyder, Adina Solomon and Randy Southerland. – The Editors

Carol Burrell

President & CEO

Northeast Georgia Health System


Under Burrell’s leadership, NGHS has expanded across North Georgia. Last year, it entered an agreement to take over Habersham Medical Center. The facility would join locations in Gainesville, Braselton and Barrow and Lumpkin counties. The system’s Northeast Georgia Medical Center is part of a group of five cancer programs that received $11 million to improve cancer care. – R. Southerlan

Kevin Brown

President & CEO

Piedmont Healthcare


In Brown’s six years leading the 11-hospital Piedmont Healthcare, it has become one of the largest systems in Georgia, serving more than 2 million patients each year, with 2,300 physicians and 23,000 employees. In the last three years, the system has reduced hospital-acquired infections by 69 percent, resulting in A safety ratings for six of its hospitals. – A. Solomon

John Haupert


Grady Health System


Since 2011, Haupert has set Grady Health System on an innovative and award-winning course. Grady was the first hospital in Georgia to introduce BrainScope One, which can diagnose possible brain bleeds, and the system helped established the state’s first mobile stroke unit. GHS also earned the 2019 CHIME HealthCare’s Most Wired recognition and in 2018 opened an Albany headquarters for its South Georgia EMS fleet. – B. Le

Robert Quattrocchi

President & CEO

Northside Hospital


Quattrocchi has held finance roles with Atlanta-based Northside Hospital healthcare system for more than 30 years, becoming its president and CEO in 2004. Since then, he’s been named a top CEO by Forbes and Glassdoor, and he’s led Northside through continual expansion – the latest, in Gwinnett County, was completed last year. – A. Bentley

Candice Saunders

President & CEO

WellStar Health System


Under Saunders’ leadership, WellStar now includes 11 hospitals and is consistently recognized as one of the best companies to work for in the nation. It made Working Mother magazine’s 2019 100 Best Companies, among other honors. It’s flagship Kennestone Hospital is building a new $126-million emergency department that should open later this year. – R. Southerlan

Ninfa M. Saunders

President & CEO

Navicent Health


Saunders continues to steer Navicent Health in Central Georgia, the hospital system that now operates as a hub of Atrium Health, another not-for-profit health system out of North Carolina. In 2019, Navicent opened the Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital to address the growing demand in the region for children’s care. – K. Kirkpatrick