• Gov. Nathan Deal served as the 82nd governor of Georgia from 2011 – 2019. During his tenure as Governor, he implemented investments in Georgia's education and transportation systems and championed bipartisan criminal justice reform. His public service to the State spans four decades as a prosecutor, judge, state senator, U.S. Congressman, and Governor.
• The late Sandra Dunagan Deal served as first lady of Georgia from 2011 to 2019. As an education advocate and former public-school teacher, she championed reading and literacy across the State, appearing at over 800 schools and reading to students in all of Georgia's 159 counties. She co-chaired Georgia's Literacy Commission, chaired the Georgia Children's Cabinet and Georgia Older Adults Cabinet, and partnered with the Get Georgia Reading Campaign and Read Across Georgia Month.
• J. Veronica Biggins served as Assistant to the President of the United States and Director of Presidential Personnel under William Jefferson Clinton. She has a vast four-decade span of corporate and civic board experience throughout Atlanta, including current board chair of Savannah College of Art and Design and board member of the Woodruff Arts Center Foundation, Metro Atlanta Chamber, and the Carter Center Board of Councilors. She is currently the Managing Partner of Diversified Search Group’s Atlanta office.
“Our 2023 honorees are true icons of Georgia and embody the very best of what it means to be true leaders and public servants, said Diane Vaughan, president of the Foundation of Wesley Woods. "From Gov Deal’s work on criminal justice reform and Sandra Deal’s tremendous literacy efforts in their beloved State to Veronica Biggins's unwavering commitment to Atlanta's civic leadership, they have all shown what it takes to be true heroes in our community. It is an honor to recognize their lifelong service and leadership with the Heroes, Saints, and Legends Award."
North Georgia United Methodists including Bishop Robin Dease, Rev. Bill Burch, and Rev. Phil Schroeder participated in the event. Phil Jacobs, a prior Heroes, Saints & Legends honoree and Founding Partner of The Pendleton Consulting Group, served as chair of this year's event, and WSB's Condace Pressley served as emcee.
Learn more at https://www.wesleywoods.org/foundation/special-events/hsl/