The Board of Directors of Southern Company today announced the election of Shantella (Shan) E. Cooper as an independent director, effective Oct. 16, 2023. Board committee assignments have not yet been determined.
"Southern Company is a solutions-focused business, something Shan has specialized in throughout her diverse, 30-year career," said Southern Company executive chairman Thomas A. Fanning.
"Shan recognizes how much people matter," added Southern Company president & CEO Chris Womack. "Engrained within Southern Company is the belief that customers must remain at the very center of all that we do. Our system's customers, communities and employees will benefit greatly from her wealth of experience implementing and executing successful business strategies featuring sound people strategies."
Cooper is the founder and CEO of Journey Forward Strategies, LLC, a consulting firm with a focus in leadership development and organization effectiveness. Working with Fortune 500 corporations, private companies and not-for-profits, Cooper delivers sustainable solutions in the areas of executive coaching; leadership and culture development; and business transformation.
Cooper is the former executive director for the Atlanta Committee for Progress. Founded in 2003, the group featured business, education and civic leaders and served as the Mayor of Atlanta's external advisory board on key issues important to economic growth and inclusion. Additionally, Cooper is the former chief transformation officer of WestRock and was responsible for developing infrastructure capabilities and system processes facilitating growth. She also led the recycling and waste services division supplying materials to a diverse customer base and international markets via 22 recycling plants across the U.S. In addition, Shan led the enterprise logistics, global procurement and information technology organizations.
Prior to joining WestRock, Cooper served as the vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company and simultaneously served as the vice president of business ethics for the aeronautics division. Prior to her role as a general manager, Cooper served in numerous leadership roles in human resources and served as the first corporate vice president of diversity and equal opportunity.
Cooper serves on the board of directors of SouthState Corporation, Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. and Veritiv Corporation and previously served on the board of directors of Atlantic Capital Bancshares, Inc. In addition, Cooper served on the board of directors of Georgia Power, a Southern Company subsidiary, from 2017 to Oct. 2023. She serves on the Board of Directors for Grady Health System and the Board of Trustees for Emory University. Cooper also is on the Board of the Georgia Tech Research Institute, Georgia Historical Society, Georgia Music Accord and is a member of the Atlanta Rotary Club and a Life Member of the Board of Councilors for The Carter Center.
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