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Augustans named as most influential in Georgia

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Mayor Deke Copenhaver joins Dr. Ricardo Azziz as one of Georgia Trend's 2013 100 Most Influential Georgians.

"It is always an honor to be recognized by Georgia Trend on this annual list," comments Mayor Copenhaver. "I've long stated that Augusta is getting a great deal of positive attention at the state level and I believe this recognition is a credit to our entire city as we continue to move forward on many innovative initiatives.  I would like to congratulate Dr. Azziz for making the list as well as his work at GHSU has been outstanding."

Most Influential Georgians: Georgia's Power List

Georgia Trend's annual listing of the state's most powerful and influential citizens who affect the lives and livelihoods of all Georgians.

Edited By Jerry Grillo

Henry Ward Beecher must have known a thing or two about influence. He was the subject, after all, of a 2007 Pulitzer Prize-winning biography entitled The Most Famous Man in America.

According to Beecher, an obviously renowned 19th century preacher, speaker and abolitionist, "the humblest individual exerts some influence, either for good or evil, upon others."

The individuals on this 15th edition of Georgia Trend's 100 Most Influential Georgians list, many you've heard of and a few you may not know by name, are exerting lots of influence in the worlds they inhabit – business, philanthropy, politics. They are impacting how we live, how we vote, how we buy or how we give.

Is this the definitive list that completely reflects the realities of leadership in Georgia? It's a start – it's how we start every year. And if it generates discussion and debate, it's a good start.

There's been some turnover – 33 of these individuals weren't on the list last year. If you didn't make the list this year, take heart. You're in good company, one of the 10 million other Georgians who, as the Rev. Beecher knew, are also exerting some influence.

Profiles were written by Stan Awtrey, Mary Anne Dunkin, Jerry Grillo, Karen Kennedy, Susan Percy, Don Sadler, Randy Southerland and Ben Young. Susan Percy and Christy Simo assisted in the editing process.

Ricardo Azziz
President, Georgia Health Sciences University
CEO, Georgia Health Sciences Health System 


Age: 54 

Azziz has led GHSU through an ambitious building program, expanding both its physical campus and offerings in biomedical education, research and clinical service. Now he is taking the helm of Georgia Regents University Augusta, created by the merger of GHSU and Augusta State University. The $1.3-billion university will include nine colleges, 10,000 students and nearly 7,000 faculty and staff.

Deke Copenhaver

Mayor, City of Augusta


Age: 45

Born in Montreal, Copenhaver has been the mayor of Augusta (where he was raised) since 2005. His extensive background in real estate and business, including serving on the Georgia Land Conservation Partnership Advisory Council and as the executive director of the Central Savannah River Land Trust, has helped him focus firmly on economic development during his tenure.

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