ecoBenefete 2016

Honoring Lieutenant Governor Pierre Howard

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2016  //  6:30 PM - 9:30 PM

At Mason Fine Art Gallery / Atlanta

What a wonderful evening to celebrate one of Georgia's greatest advocates for our state's natural resources. On September 23, at ecoBenefete, the Georgia Conservancy honored Lieutenant Governor Pierre Howard as our Georgia Distinguished Conservationist.

ecoBenefete was hosted at Mason Fine Art in the Armour Yards District of Atlanta and featured Distinctly Georgian music from some of the Georgia Conservancy's favorite acts, Little Country GiantsSans Abri & City Mouse, as well as menu of local vegetables, cheeses and meats prepared by Affairs to Remember , Atlanta's first zero-waste caterer, as well as signature cocktails from American Spirit Whiskey and beer from Atlanta's Sweetwater Brewing Company.

In addition to a wonderful silent auction that featured trips from Maine to the North Carolina Mountains and up-and-down the Georgia Coast, ecoBenefete also featured a handcrafted Ogeechee River Boat, coastal cruise on the Captain Gabby, a Okefenokee Platform Camping adventure and artwork from Atlanta artist BlackCatTips. 

The Georgia Conservancy was also proud to honor Georgia Majority Leader Jon Burns for his work at the Georgia State Capitol to protect our natural resources and promote a Georgia where people and the environment thrive.

2016 Georgia Distinguished Conservationist
Lieutenant Governor Pierre Howard

Distinctly Georgian, Pierre Howard has dedicated his life to the protection of Georgia’s natural resources through his decades of personal and professional pursuits, and his accomplishments have both directly and indirectly advanced conservation in this state. An advocate, a hunter, a fisherman and a birder with a strong love of the natural world in Georgia, Pierre Howard embodies the true conservationist. And as any Georgian should, he has spent ample time exploring the woods, swamps, mountains and beaches that make our state one of enviable beauty.

Pierre Howard’s lifelong love of Georgia led him to serve as Georgia Conservancy President from 2009-2014, an immensely successful tenure which followed a 41-year career in the practice of law and in public service.

A native of Decatur, Howard entered the University of Georgia on a tennis scholarship in 1961 and played under the legendary Coach Dan Magill, serving as captain of the team in 1965. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1965 and attended the University of Georgia School of Law. After admission to the bar in 1968, he began the practice of law in Decatur with his father, Pierre Howard, Sr.

In 1972, at the young age of 29, he was elected to the State Senate from DeKalb County and served for 18 years with opposition only once. Howard was elected Lieutenant Governor in 1990, carrying 156 of 159 counties, and was reelected in 1994, serving both terms with Governor Zell Miller. He was a fiscal conservative and social moderate, appointing the first women, African-Americans, and Republicans to important committee chairmanships in the Senate. Howard also was the first statewide official to form an Environmental Advisory Council and advocate for a sustainable way to fund land conservation.

As President of the Georgia Conservancy, Pierre Howard was instrumental in the organization establishing the Land Conservation Initiative, which in its five years has helped to conserve or restore nearly 54,000 acres of land across Georgia and which successfully advocated for expanding the state’s land conservation tax credit program to allow landowners to sell any easement credits they are not able to use. Under his leadership, the Georgia Conservancy played an important role in crafting Jekyll Island’s 50-year conservation plan and in working with the state to develop stronger protections of the island’s salt marsh. His legacy at the Georgia Conservancy also includes leading the efforts for greater protection of our water resources through the 2010 Georgia Water Conservation Act, one of the most progressive water conservation policies in the nation.

“Pierre Howard’s commitment to our state’s natural resources cannot be overstated,” says Georgia Conservancy President Robert Ramsay. “Georgia is truly a better place today because of Pierre’s vision, dedication and leadership. The Georgia Conservancy, an organization so touched by Pierre’s conservationist spirit, is incredibly honored to celebrate him as Georgia's Distinguished Conservationist.”

Howard’s tireless work for our land and water was not limited to his roles in government and with the Georgia Conservancy. He has served in a volunteer capacity on the Chattahoochee Protection Campaign Board, the Trust for Public Land Board, The Nature Conservancy in Georgia Board of Trustees (Chairman for three years), the Georgia Board of Natural Resources, Fernbank Museum Board of Directors, and the University of Georgia Foundation. He chaired the Heritage Fund campaign in 1998 and the DeKalb County Greenspace Referendum campaign in 2003 that resulted in the preservation of more than 5,000 acres in his home county. Prior to his appointment as Georgia Conservancy President, he was a senior fellow at the University of Georgia School of Ecology. He later taught as a Carl Sanders Scholar at the University of Georgia School of Law.

Pierre and his wife Nancy were married in 1974 and live in Atlanta. They have two children, Christopher and Caroline. Both are graduates of the University of Georgia.

Among his many hobbies is nature photography. He is currently working on a book on the butterflies of Georgia.


Thank you


Past DistinguishED ConservationistS

The City of Columbus
Will Harris III
The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation
Jim Kennedy
Ray Weeks
Clay Long
Laura & Rutherford Seydel
James Mackay
Atlanta Journal-Constitution Horizon
Senator Sam Nunn
Chuck Leavell
Eugene Odum

Georgia Tech College of Architecture
Ben Slade III
E. Cody Laird Jr.
Emory University
Atlantic Station
Charles Brewer
Garden Club of Georgia
Congressman John Lewis
Governor Zell Miller
Ray C. Anderson
Ted Turner

Image of Athos Menoboni's Cherokee Rose & Brown Thrasher, Georgia State Flower & Bird courtesy of Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies / University of Georgia