Leadership Georgia Announces 2020-21 Award Recipients

Staff Report

Friday, August 27th, 2021

The Leadership Georgia Board of Trustees today announced the recipients of the organization’s most prestigious awards, presented to Georgians who exemplify the principles of Leadership Georgia and whose impact through leadership and stewardship has helped shaped communities and the state.

“It is our pleasure to recognize individuals that exemplify the best that our State has to offer.  These honorees contribute regularly to the establishment of a stronger, healthier Georgia,” said Jennifer Evans, chair of the Leadership Georgia Board of Trustees.  “The Leadership Georgia network of alumni and supporters includes some of the State’s most well-known leaders, as well as those who make a difference ever day without fanfare because we all want a better place to live, work and play.  This year’s recognitions represent a continuation of that legacy.”

The honorees – Troutman Pepper’s Justice Harold Melton; Retired Educator Anne Threadgill; Mayor of Cornelia Georgia John D. Borrow; and Circulate Capital’s April Crow and Xylem’s Brian Crow – will be officially recognized during the Leadership Georgia Gala and Awards Presentation on November 6 at The Kehoe Ironworks at Trustees' Garden in Savannah, GA. The annual black-tie event draws hundreds of alumni and guests, and helps support the organization’s programs, enabling Leadership Georgia to continue its legacy of developing and inspiring leaders from all walks of life and all corners of Georgia. The Leadership Georgia Awards Committee is chaired by Trustee Jerald Mitchell, president and CEO of the Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce in Columbus, Ga. 


The J.W. Fanning Award:

Justice Harold Melton

Troutman Pepper


An award presented in memory of J.W. Fanning to a Georgian whose statewide contributions through progressive leadership and service have been broad in scope and rich in achievement.
Justice Harold Melton served for 16 years as a justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia and resigned as chief justice in 2021 following his appointment in 2018. Prior to leading Georgia's judicial branch, he served as executive counsel to Governor Sonny Perdue and as an assistant attorney general in the office of the attorney general in the Georgia Department of Law where he also led the Consumer Protection Section for four years. Justice Melton joined law firm Troutman Pepper in July of 2021.
He is a Board Member of Young Life and Atlanta Youth Academies, and in November 2020, Auburn University renamed its student center after Justice Melton, who as an undergraduate became the university’s first Black president of the Student Government Association.
Justice Melton’s has been a friend to Leadership Georgia and his optimism, accessibility and desire to continue making Georgia better shows why he’s so deserving of this honor.


The H.G. "Pat” Patillo

:Honorary Membership Award

Anne Threadgill


Presented to an individual who has never participated in a Leadership Georgia class in appreciation for the support demonstrated during outreach to Leadership Georgia.

Laurel Anne Threadgill resides in Watkinsville, Georgia with her loving husband, Dr. Dale Threadgill. She is a graduate of The University of Georgia and holds advanced degrees in education and psychology. She was an educator in the Georgia school system for over 30 years. She is the adoring mother of two successful daughters, Mary Anne Little, a psychotherapist and holistic practitioner in Santa Fe, New Mexico and Laura Katherine Little, a Registered Nurse and Covid hero at Athens Regional Medical Center in Athens, Georgia.

“Miss Anne” exhibits consistent and tireless commitment to Leadership Georgia, and has for many years.  Over the years her strong and quiet presence at programs and offering of encouragement and kindness exemplify the values of Leadership Georgia and makes her very deserving of this honorary membership recognition.


The E. Dale Threadgill

Community Service Award:

John D. Borrow

Mayor of Cornelia, GA


An award presented in honor of E. Dale Threadgill to Leadership Georgia members who have taken the principles learned in Leadership Georgia and put them to work in their communities.

John D. Borrow is the current Mayor of the City of Cornelia, Georgia where he leads the effort to prepare for the future by planning for infrastructure, housing and economic development.  He is also the owner of the family business JSB, Inc which operates McDonald’s franchises and employs 450 people in North Georgia.

He consistently displays the highest standard of community leadership through his ongoing support for Leadership Georgia, Rotary Club, the Habersham County Economic Development Corporation, Boy Scouts of Habersham County, and many other organizations.  John also supports multiple churches and the Ronald McDonald House charities.

John and his wife Holly are the proud parents of David, Judah, Jacob and Caroline. He holds a Master’s of Business Administration from Vanderbilt University and Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.


The Frederick B. Kerr Service Award: April Crow of Circulate Capital


Brian Crow of Xylem, Inc.


An award presented in memory of Frederick B. Kerr to Leadership Georgia members who have demonstrated enthusiastic and active support of Leadership Georgia on a continuing and consistent basis.

April and Brian Crow were members of the LG Class of 2015 and Program Chairs in 2017.  Both are graduates of the University of Georgia. April originally from Rockmart and Brian from Jefferson met as summer camp counselors at Rock Eagle 4-H Center during college.  The two married in 1998 and reside in Atlanta with their son, Garner and daughter, Greer.
April’s career began at The Coca-Cola Company where she spent over twenty years leading sustainability programs for the global business. In 2017 she left Coca-Cola and helped launch Circulate Capital, an impact investment firm focused on decreasing plastics in the ocean and creating a more circular economy. She currently works as Vice President, External Affairs and Investor Relations for the firm.  April was named to UGA’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2012 and has served in a number of volunteer positions.
Brian began his career at Jackson EMC and worked in a number of engineering and software roles before starting Verdeeco, a data analytics company focused on utilities.  Verdeeco was acquired in 2014 by Xylem, a leader in developing water solutions through smart technology.  Brian now works as Chief Software Office for Xylem.  
Brian and April have been consistent and selfless in their support for Leadership and continue to coordinate support for the Brasstown programs.  They are also actively involved in their local community including volunteer roles at The Westminster Schools, Northside Methodist Church and Scouts BSA.