Robert Scott Jepson Jr. was awarded this year’s Blanchard Award for his work as a successful entrepreneur and generous humanitarian who has become a model of ethical business success.
Mr. Jepson was presented with The Blanchard Award for Business and Ethical Leadership before an audience of 1,000 Georgia business, political and military leaders. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and American astronaut Mary Kelly were also in attendance as keynote speakers for the annual conference at Columbus State University.
The award was created by a group of Georgia leaders in 2009, following their concern about ethical lapses in business that contributed to the 2008 economic crash.
Previous awardees have been B. Franklin Skinner of Atlanta, President of BellSouth Telecomuncations, Ray C. Anderson of Atlanta, Founder of Interface, William B. Turner of Columbus, former Chief Executive Officer of W.C. Bradley co. The award is named for Jim H. Blanchard, a resident of Columbus and the Chief Executive Officer of Synovus, who received the honor the year before it was given his name.
Mr. Jepson is the chairman and chief executive officer of Jepson Associates Inc., a private investment firm that he founded in 1989. He is also the former head of The Jepson Corporation, a Fortune 500 diversified manufacturing conglomerate, listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). He sold The Jepson Corporation in 1989.
Mr. Jepson is also the chairman of the Georgia Ports Authority and currently serves as vice chairman of the Board of the Georgia Historical Society. “There is nothing in Georgia that I could do that is more important than the work I’ve done on this board,” Jepson says of his experience with the authority.
Mr. Jepson, who now lives in Savannah, Georgia, has established a reputation as an unmatched philanthropist. After he sold The Jepson Corporation, he resolved to spend the rest of his life engaged in philanthropy, especially education. Bob and his wife of 49 years, Alice, have been giving their money, time and creativity to schools and educational programs for more than 30 years with a focus on education. Beneficiaries have included schools in Savannah, and especially at the University of Richmond, where the Jepson School of Leadership Studies (in Jepson Hall) opened in 1992.
“It’s what you do with your resources for the rest of the world, for others, that really lasts, and all of that business success created some wonderful opportunities for me to support the things that really matter to me,” Mr. Jepson said.