External Affairs Division

Board of Regents Elects Officers for 2024

Atlanta — November 14, 2023

The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (USG) today elected Regent Harold Reynolds to another one-year term as the Board’s chair and Regent T. Dallas Smith to his first one-year term as the Board’s vice chair.

During the board’s meeting today in Atlanta, current Vice Chair Erin Hames shared her decision to not be considered for the role of chair due to the time commitment required for her professional role.

“I am honored to support Chairman Reynolds to continue leading the board as chairman,” Hames said. “No one devotes more time and energy to this role than he does, and he has led the board with integrity and a commitment to excellence. I am pleased to see Regent Dallas Smith move into the role of Vice Chair.”

Reynolds will serve as Board chair from Jan. 1, 2024, through Dec. 31, 2024. Representing the 10th district on the Board of Regents since 2020, Reynolds is the chief executive officer of the privately held BankSouth Holding Company headquartered in Greene County, Georgia. The company owns and operates BankSouth, BankSouth Mortgage, Coldwell Banker Lake Oconee Realty and other subsidiaries. He is a graduate of Georgia Tech, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in industrial systems engineering and has been inducted into the Council of Outstanding Young Engineering Alumni.

During the early 1980s, Reynolds was among the first developers of property near the newly impounded Lake Oconee. He was also general manager of Greensboro Lumber Company, a local, innovative manufacturer of pine and hardwood timber products. The company operated a steam-powered electrical generating plant that was entirely fueled by waste and byproducts of milling and logging operations. The facility was one of the first in Georgia to export excess generation capacity to the electrical grid.

In 1987 through 1992, Reynolds was a founding partner, president and chief operating officer of Linger Longer Development Company. The company owned, developed and operated Reynolds Plantation, now known as Reynolds Lake Oconee. Reynolds served on Savannah-based Coastal Bankshares Board of Directors. He was a founder and director of Specialty Surgery Center Partners.

Reynolds is also past chairman of the State Board of Technical and Adult Education, now known as the Technical College System of Georgia, having served 13 years on that board after an appointment by Gov. Zell Miller. Reynolds and his wife, Lesley, reside on Lake Oconee. They have two adult children.

“It has been my privilege to serve as chair of a board that has prioritized keeping the costs of college down while emphasizing the return for our students on their investment in a college degree,” Reynolds said. “We understand education is major investment in dollars and time, and we’ll continue to work with Chancellor Perdue and our presidents to stress transparency and accountability and ensure we are delivering for Georgia.”

Reynolds also thanked board members for their service, recognized Hames for her work these past two years as the board’s vice chair and welcomed Smith to his new role on the board.

“I want to thank the board for their personal commitment to USG. Board members voluntarily dedicate hundreds of hours each year to further the success of higher education in Georgia,” Reynolds said. “Vice Chair Hames has been a great partner the previous two years. She has led our most recent board retreats and provides valuable counsel to the board and me. I’m excited with the election of Regent Dallas Smith as vice chair. I look forward to working with Dallas. He’s a great board member and will be an outstanding vice chair.”

Smith, who joined the Board in 2020 as an at-large member, will serve as vice chair from Jan. 1, 2024, to Dec. 31, 2024. He is the founder and chief executive officer at T. Dallas Smith & Company, where he leads all new business development initiatives, oversees all brokerage affairs related to the company and provides chief liaison services to key clients.

Smith began his commercial real estate career in 1982 at Atlanta Air Center Realty under the guidance of Thomas W. Tift as a leasing and management representative for the portfolio. In 1989, he became the first African American broker at Cushman & Wakefield of Georgia. His affiliation with the company opened doors for many minority brokers.

In 1995, Smith pioneered the brokerage division for H.J. Russell & Company, an African American-owned construction and management firm. As vice president of the brokerage division, he led the company initiative of acquiring 40 parcels of real estate, a full city block in Atlanta, resulting in a mixture of office, retail and multifamily developments now valued at over $20 million. In 2006, with the blessing of the late Herman Russell, he opened T. Dallas Smith & Company, specializing in tenant representation. Since its inception, the team has grown exponentially, successfully leading transactions totaling over $16 billion in aggregate value.

“I’m looking forward to working with Chairman Reynolds, Chancellor Perdue and my fellow regents to maintain the success we’ve had making an impact for our students and USG’s 26 public colleges and universities across the state,” Smith said. “We need to continue to be intentional about providing opportunities and reducing barriers for our students and their families.”

Smith, a Georgia State University alumnus, is the author of “In the Black,” which details his career as a pioneer in commercial real estate. He serves on the board of directors for the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and is the first Black president of the Atlanta Commercial Board of REALTORS. He has been awarded numerous honors, including a 2021 Alvin B. Cates Award and being named one of the 100 Most Influential Georgians for 2021 and 2022; Georgia Trend Magazine’s 2022 Georgia 500; Atlanta Magazine’s Atlanta 500 for 2021, 2022 and 2023; and Atlanta Business League’s 2021 Entrepreneur of the Year.

About the Board of Regents

The Board of Regents is a constitutional body that governs the University System of Georgia, composed of 26 public colleges and universities, the Georgia Public Library Service and the Georgia Archives, and serving more than 344,000 students.

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