Atlanta Junior Chamber (JCI Atlanta)

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Junior Chamber International Atlanta
Key people
num_members = 100+
WebsiteJCI Atlanta

The Atlanta Junior Chamber is an organization of young professionals ages 21–40 that provide a wide range of professional and personal development activities. Members can participate in community service, business networking, leadership development, and social events. The Atlanta Junior Chamber is a non-profit corporation as described under IRS Code 501(C)(4).

The organization was established in April 1921 by John L. Westmoreland, an Atlanta attorney, and was the first Junior Chamber in Georgia to charter and affiliate with the United States Junior Chamber (Jaycees) and is currently one of the oldest, continually active chapters in the national organization.

The Atlanta Junior Chamber has played an active leadership role in the City of Atlanta and the State of Georgia for almost 90 years. The organization played a leading role in the creation of the Georgia Junior Chamber and the Florida Junior Chamber and has sponsored the establishment of numerous Junior Chambers throughout the metro area.

Atlanta Junior Chamber Mission and History[edit]


To positively impact the Atlanta community by providing young professionals opportunities for networking, community involvement and leadership advancement.


Developing the Atlanta Community[edit]

From its inception, the Atlanta Jaycees became concerned with almost every type of project which would serve the needs of Atlanta. The Atlanta Jaycees played a significant role in establishing Atlanta as the Southern Terminus of the Airmail Route in the Eastern corridor of the United States.

The Eastern corridor stretched from New York to Florida. In understanding how common flying is now, we lose sight of the fact that competition in the airline industry was fierce, for it meant a new economy coming to an industry starved section of the country. In 1926, the Atlanta Jaycees sponsored a special airmail flight between Atlanta and New York City in order to encourage the government to establish a regular air route between the two cities. The Atlanta Jaycees were also involved in organizing a group of citizens who posted beacons in the night so that pilots could see to safely fly into the city. These efforts were critical in establishing Atlanta as the Southern terminus for airmail delivery and helped establish Atlanta as the premier city in the southeast.[1][2]

In the 1970s, the Atlanta Junior Chamber recognized that the future growth of Atlanta would require an improved transportation system. With the financial and political support of Past President Clifford Oxford, the Atlanta Junior Chamber initiated a campaign to establish the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority.[3]

Community Service[edit]

Atlanta Jaycees with 1995 ESF Honorary Chairman Bobby Cox, manager, Atlanta Braves.

In 1931, the Atlanta Jaycees joined the Atlanta Georgian (a Hearst newspaper that merged with the Atlanta Journal in 1939) and fused their efforts in the Atlanta Empty Stocking Fund begun by Georgian Editor James B. Nevin in 1927. In 1939 it became the Atlanta Jaycee Journal-Constitution Empty Stocking Fund, Inc.[4] The program has now become the largest of its type in the United States. In 1997, the Atlanta Jaycees and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution ceded control of the charity to a community board of directors and a professional staff in an effort to ensure that the service provided would continue to expand within the Atlanta community. At the high point of the Junior Chamber’s role in managing this charity (1994–95), the Empty Stocking Fund purchased toys for 80,000 children by raising well over $1,000,000.

While ESF was the largest and best known service project, the Atlanta Jaycees did not limit programming activities to just ESF. The Atlanta Jaycees service tradition extends to actively supporting the establishment of the Hugh O'Brien Youth Leadership Foundation in Georgia, building houses through Habitat for Humanity, establishing the Bedford-Pine Boy's Club in 1968, and operating of the Summerhill Little Street Community Center.[5]

This tradition continues with chapter's dedication finding a cure for childhood cancer research through its annual support of St. Baldrick's Day. Since assuming the lead for this effort in Atlanta, the chapter has raised in excess of $175,000 for this charity over the past three years. In 2007, the chapter projects to raise over $80,000 and exceed $250,000 in total fund raised for the first four years of the project.

Social Justice[edit]

In the 1950s the Atlanta Jaycees, under the leadership of Clifford Oxford, led a legislative drive to require the Ku Klux Klan to unmask in public. This successful legislative effort was recognized as instrumental in weakening the KKK in Georgia. As a result of these efforts, in 1953, Clifford Oxford was recognized as Atlanta's Young Man of the Year and one of Time Magazine's 100 Leaders of Tomorrow.[3][6]

The 1960s saw a continuation of the Atlanta Jaycees civil rights involvement with the desegregation of the chapter in 1966-67 under the leadership of Ivan Allen III. The chapter demonstrated its commitment to desegregation at the local and state level by seating African-American chapter members as delegates to the Annual Meeting of the Georgia Junior Chamber of Commerce in 1967.[7]

In 1977-78, the chapter voted to implement a pilot plan adopted by the U.S. Jaycees under which young women were permitted to join. Atlanta was the only chapter in Georgia allowed to participate in the pilot project, and this involvement eventually led to the inclusion of women in Junior Chambers nationwide. These efforts were quite controversial in Georgia and resulted in an unsuccessful attempt to revoke the Junior Chamber charter from the Atlanta chapter. In response to these attacks, the chapter established a separate corporate identify, the Atlanta Junior Association of Commerce and Industry, Inc., in 1979.[8] While the admission of women into the Jaycees was resolved in 1984 following the Supreme Court's decision in Roberts v. United States Jaycees[9] the chapter maintained this alternate corporate identity for an additional 5-year period to ensure that the issue was completely resolved nationally.

National and International Meetings[edit]

NOM President's Reception Hosted by Atlanta at JCI Area C Meeting in Panama - 1999.

In 1955, the Atlanta Jaycees hosted its first US Junior Chamber National Convention. The Atlanta Jaycees helped convince the rest of the United States that Atlanta is a great convention city. The success of the 1955 meeting laid the groundwork for the US Jaycees to return to Atlanta in 1961, 1972, and again in 1984. The 1972 convention is remembered by the U.S. Jaycees as the first time over 12,000 Jaycees attended a national convention. The 1984 convention represented another significant milestone in the history of the Junior Chamber in that this convention was the first to officially admit women as full members of the organization. The Atlanta Junior Chamber’s role in uniting young leaders from around the country was expanded in 1999 when the chapter was named the host city for the Junior Chamber International's Area C Conference in 2001. This conference, the largest Area C meeting to date, brought 750 Jaycees from 40 countries together in Atlanta. The tradition of bringing young leaders together will continue in 2007 when the chapter hosts the US Junior Chamber Met-Net conference, a meeting designed for Junior Chambers in metro communities around the world.

Recent History[edit]

Georgia Jaycees recognize Atlanta as top chapter - 1994.

The chapter programming during the 1990s focused primarily on fundraising, membership and the Empty Stocking Fund. In 1994, the chapter reached a modern-day high point for membership with 380 members and was recognized as the top chapter in the Georgia Jaycee organization. The strength of the chapter's leadership training was demonstrated in 1993 when Tricia (Evert) Welsh was elected Georgia Jaycee State President - the 5th Atlanta Jaycee to hold that office and the first since 1981. In 1994, Tricia was elected US Junior Chamber National Vice President - only the 2nd Atlanta Jaycee to hold this office. The 1994 year represented high-water marks for chapter and charitable fundraising efforts with members raising over $30,000 for the chapter and in excess of $1 million for local charities.

In addition to these achievements, the role of women and minorities continued to expand within the chapter - a reflection of the growing diversity within the Atlanta community. Since 1990, the chapter has elected 7 women as Local President - representing a 3 fold increase in the number of female local presidents since the chapter was founded in 1921. While impressive, the true impact of female leadership was seen at the board level where the majority of officers and directors leading the chapter have been women.

Further, as the Atlanta population diversified so did the chapter membership. This increasing chapter diversity was bolstered by the election of the chapter's first Vietnamese-American local president in 1995 and the chapter’s for first Peruvian-American local president in 2002. Atlanta also hosted the Junior Chamber International’s Area C meeting and has taken a more active role in leading the US Junior Chamber with individual members serving as the National Legal Counsel and Southeast Metro Area Director in 2006 and 2007 respectively.

The Chapter Today[edit]

Past President Phil and Past President Mike leading the St. Baldrick's Day event.

Under the leadership of Adrian Marshall, the chapter continues to provide the community of Atlanta with leadership training through community service. The signature community event for the chapter is the annual St. Baldrick's Day fundraiser that raises money to support childhood cancer research. Leading the fundraising efforts in Atlanta, the chapter has raised in excess of $500,000 for this charity since 2003.

In 2012, under the leadership of Gary Marshall, the chapter finished number one in the nation for membership growth, growing by 234%. The state of Georgia also finished as the number one state in the nation in 2012.

In 2012, the Atlanta Jaycees were honored to have member Jessica Black named as one of the JCI's 2012 Ten Outstanding Young Americans (TOYA). Every year the U.S. Junior Chamber dedicates an evening at the annual meeting to celebrate several top outstanding young Americans. These individuals exemplify the organization’s mission: to provide development opportunities that empower young people to create positive change. These honorees have taken initiative to address needs in their communities and around the world. However, they did not stop there, pushing onward from initial success onto bigger impact. They show the power of young people to create positive change. Noted past recipients of this award include Elvis Presley, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Orson Welles and Christopher Reed.[10]

The chapter today has approximately 100 members representing a wide variety of educational and professional interests. Members continue to build on its 90+ years of service to the Atlanta community by providing young professionals the opportunity to participate in community service, business networking, leadership development, educational advancement and social events. The chapter's focus remains on its local members and leadership development as it strives to support the legacy established by former members, including the late Senator Paul Coverdell and the late Mayor Maynard Jackson.

Current Chapter Leadership[edit]

  • Adrian Marshall – President
  • Brandt Wilson – Chairman of the Board / immediate past president
  • Michelle Kim – Executive Vice President
  • Andrew Sexton – Recruitment
  • Steve Bush – Marketing
  • Chelsea Yearous - Social Chair
  • Jordan Suresky - International Relations
  • Peter Rossi – Management
  • Graham Osborn – Individual Development
  • Curtis Smiley – Communications
  • Kal Chakalakonda – Member Services
  • Alex Smith – Digital Media
  • Lee Yu – Treasurer

Junior Chamber Creed[edit]

The original handwritten Jaycee Creed.

The author of the Jaycee Creed was C. William Brownfield. The Creed was adopted by the Junior Chamber International in 1946 and the United States Junior Chamber in 1947. The original version of the Creed did not include a reference to faith in God. This reference was not added until 1951.[11]

We Believe:

That faith in God gives meaning and purpose to human life;
That the brotherhood of man transcends the sovereignty of nations;
That economic justice can best be won by free men through free enterprise;
That government should be of laws rather than of men;
That earth's great treasure lies in human personality;
And that service to humanity is the best work of life.

Atlanta Junior Chamber Local Presidents[edit]

  • John L. Westmoreland – 1921 – Charter member; US Junior Chamber Director
  • Eugene Oberdorfer - 1922 – Charter member
  • Rayburn Blackborn - 1923 – Charter member
  • Roy LeCraw - 1924 – Charter member
  • John M Slaton, Jr. - 1925 – Charter member
  • Fitzhugh Knox, Jr. - 1926 – Charter member
  • Herbert B. Kenney - 1927
  • Baxter Maddox - 1928 – GA Junior Chamber President
  • Jonathon Woody - 1929
  • Joe W. Ray - 1930
  • Frank K. Shaw - 1931
  • Rayford W. Tharpe - 1932
  • Duncan G. Peek - 1933
  • Clifford Hendrix - 1934 – GA Junior Chamber President
  • Everett G. Jackson - 1935
  • J.B. Couch - 1936
  • F. Dade Kelley - 1937
  • William A. Horne, Jr - 1938
  • Herbert B. Hayes - 1939
  • Vernon S. Brown - 1940
  • John L. Parks - 1940
  • O.C. Hubert - 1941
  • Fred Sington - 1942
  • R.W. Schilling - 1943
  • Donald L. Moore - 1944
  • B.L. Brown - 1945
  • Dan C. Flinn - 1946
  • W. Lee Burge - 1947
  • Sidney Haskins - 1948
  • Hamilton Douglas, Jr. - 1949
  • Clifford Oxford - 1950
  • Irving K. Kaler - 1950
  • Joseph A. Wyant - 1951
  • Charles H. Smith - 1952
  • Harold J. Salfen - 1953 – US Junior Chamber Vice President; GA Junior Chamber President
  • Stewart Wright - 1954
  • DeJongh Franklin - 1955
  • John H. Thurman - 1956
  • Robert L. Marchman, II - 1957
  • L. Douglas Cook, Jr. - 1958
  • Daniel C. Kyker - 1959
  • Dom Wyant - 1960
  • James B. Pilcher - 1961
  • Lamar Sheets - 1962
  • OK Sheffield – 1963
  • William A. Frankel - 1964
  • Sam Buckmaster, Jr. - 1965
  • Ivan Allen, III - 1966
  • W. Jim Goldin - 1967
  • Claude H. Grizzard - 1968
  • James R. Cleveland - 1969
  • William Walton - 1970
  • Talbot C. Bryant, Jr. - 1971
  • Thomas D. Hills - 1972
  • James Breedlove - 1973
  • J. Stephen Black - 1974
  • James V. Manning - 1975
  • Robert E. Price - 1976
  • Atlee O. Harmon, Jr. - 1977
  • John L. Johnson - 1978
  • Jim Lovejoy - 1979
  • Ronald L. Thomas - 1980
  • Leon Wheeler - 1981 – GA Junior Chamber President
  • Robert Melson - 1982
  • Daniel B. Amaker - 1983
  • Bruce H. Gaynes - 1984
  • Gary Saddler - 1985
  • Amye Reece-Shelton - 1986
  • Chris M. Parlontieri - 1987
  • Seashols N. Starks - 1988
  • Rob Cox - 1989
  • Tricia (Evert) Welsh - 1990 – US Junior Chamber Vice President; GA Junior Chamber President
  • Larry Hilsmier - 1991
  • Lisa Brattin - 1992
  • Chuck Zimmerman - 1993
  • Sal Lucido - 1994– US Junior Chamber Legal Counsel
  • David Nguyen - 1995
  • Mike Neff - 1996
  • Matt Lupo - 1997
  • Sarah Sledge - 1998
  • Martin Dekom - 1999
  • Margaret Stewart - 1999
  • John Pamplin - 2000
  • Carol Kennemore - 2001
  • Tania Lopez - 2002
  • Justin Seymour - 2003
  • Michael Waldrep - 2004
  • Lara Stegman - 2005
  • Michael DiLonardo - 2006– US Junior Chamber Southeast Metro Director
  • Phillip Minnes - 2007 - US Junior Chamber Southeast Metro Director
  • Ben Hester - 2008
  • Dan Lack - 2009
  • George Jaramillo - 2010
  • Kathryn Powell - 2011
  • Gary Marshall - 2012
  • Trevor Smith - 2013
  • Tunç Kip - 2014
  • Chris Williams - 2015
  • Brandt Wilson - 2016
  • Adrian Marshall - 2017

Honorary Life Members[edit]

  • Mr. Austin Abbott
  • Mr. William B Hartsfield
  • Mr. Harrison Jones
  • Mr. Frank Neely
  • Mr. A.L. Zachry
  • Dr. Allen D. Albert Jr.
  • Mrs. Dany Byrd
  • Mr. Mills B. Lane, Jr.
  • Mr. Fain Peek
  • Mr. Robert S. Lynch
  • Mr. H.O. Smith
  • Mr. Fred B. Moore
  • Mr. Richard H Rich
  • Mr. James V. Carmichael
  • Mr. Abe Goldstein
  • Mr. Obey T. Brewer, Sr.
  • Mr. Edgar J. Forio
  • Mr. Robert R. Snodgrass
  • Mr. Granger Hansell
  • Mr. A.L. Feldman
  • Mr. Fred J. Turner
  • Mr. Ivan Allen, Sr.
  • Mr. Hughes Spaulding, SR
  • Mr. John A. Sibley
  • Dr. Lee Brown
  • Mr. Robert Strickland
  • Mr. Danny Betz
  • Mr. John Sibley
  • Mr. Robert T. Maddox
  • Mr. Ivan Allen Jr.
  • Mr. Ben S. Gilmer
  • Mr. Edward Smith
  • Mr. Joseph Sheehan
  • Mr. John J. McDonough
  • Mr. J. Pollard Turman
  • Mr. Rawson Haverty
  • Mr. Denny Betz
  • Dr. Noah Langdale
  • Dr. John W. Letson
  • Mr. I.M. Sheffield
  • Mr. Albert J. Bows
  • Mr. W. Smythe Gambrell
  • Mr. Gordon Jones
  • Mr. Dillard Munford
  • Mr. Thomas G. Cousins
  • Mr. A.B. Padgett
  • Mr. Robert Woodruff
  • Mr. Jaspar Dorsey
  • Mr. Jesse Hill
  • Mr. Ben Fortson
  • Mr. Herman Talmadge
  • Dr. Lee Brown
  • Mr. Alan F. Goodelman
  • Mr. Hollis Harris
  • Mr. Nathaniel C. Harrison[12]

Notable Atlanta Jaycees[edit]

JCI Senators from Atlanta[edit]

  • Tricia (Evert) Welsh - JCI Senator 51952
  • Sal Lucido - JCI Senator 66512
  • Phil Minnes - JCI Senator 72027

Georgia Jaycees Rebel Corp from Atlanta[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ History of South Carolina Jaycees,[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ a b Georgia State University Press release: "Georgia State honors Atlanta lawyer for distinguished public service", April 9, 2001
  4. ^ Empty Stocking Fund: About Our Organization, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-08-22. Retrieved 2007-01-31.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ Atlanta Jaycees Annual Report - 1970
  6. ^ Dudley, JW: ""Hate" Organizations of the 1940s ", pp. 262-274. Phylon 1981
  7. ^ 109 CONG. REC. A4438 (daily ed. July 16, 1963) (appendix of statement of Atlanta Junior Chamber of Commerce)
  8. ^ Georgia Secretary of State, Control Number: H900539,[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ Roberts v. United States Jaycees, 468 U.S. 609,
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-02-21. Retrieved 2013-01-03.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ USJC History, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-02-07. Retrieved 2007-01-24.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ 70th Annual Meeting Program, Atlanta Jaycees May 14th, 1990