ATLANTA – Robinson College graduates David Deeter, Beth Johnston and T. Dallas Smith are among five honorees who will receive Georgia State University Distinguished Alumni Awards at a celebration on Friday, Oct. 13.
The Distinguished Alumni Award is the highest honor bestowed by the Georgia State University Alumni Association. Now in its 59th year, the award recognizes the professional, philanthropic, and personal accomplishments of outstanding alumni who personify true leadership.
“David Deeter, Beth Johnston and T. Dallas Smith emulate the level of success and service we encourage our students at Robinson to strive for,” said Robinson Dean Richard Phillips. “We are proud to see them receive this recognition.”
David Deeter (B.B.A. ’77, MBA ’78) is co-founder of Frazier & Deeter with a major role in facilitating its growth. From 2001 - 2009, during his term as Managing Partner, the firm experienced an average growth of 20% annually and became a Top 100 Firm in the US (the firm has since moved into the Top 50). In a survey conducted by Inside Public Accounting, David was recognized by his peers as one of the 5 most admired leaders in US accounting firms. David’s work primarily focuses on income tax and financial planning. He is an advisor to many of Atlanta’s leading families and has extensive experience with companies in the real estate, entertainment, finance, manufacturing, services and nonprofit industries.
Beth Johnston (MBA ’85) retired from Delta Air Lines in 2008 after a 31-year career with the company, advancing from flight attendant to senior vice president of human resources. In 2010, she became chief human resources officer for Qatar Airways, a role she held until she retired in 2014. During her time there, she helped the Doha, Qatar-based commercial airline grow its workforce from 14,000 employees to more than 35,000. In addition to being a trustee emeritus of the Georgia State Foundation board, Johnston served on the Robinson Dean’s Advisory Board and also has mentored Panthers through the WomenLead program. The resident of Vero Beach, Fla. stays actively involved in her community with Women’s Impact 100 and as a member of the executive committee for volunteers at the Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital, for whom she is also a driver for the volunteer ambulance association.
T. Dallas Smith (B.B.A. ’86) is founder and chief executive officer of T. Dallas Smith & Company, the largest African American-owned commercial real estate firm in the U.S. exclusively focused on tenant representation. After beginning his real estate career at Atlanta Air Center Realty, he became the first African American broker at Cushman & Wakefield of Georgia in 1989. He went on to pioneer the brokerage division for H.J. Russell & Company, an African American-owned construction management firm, where he was VP of the brokerage. Smith is a former chair of the Georgia State Foundation board’s real estate committee and has been a guest lecturer at many classes at the university. He has a seat on the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, is a trustee of the Georgia Higher Education Facilities Authority board and is a member of the board of the University System of Georgia Real Estate Foundation Manager, LLC. Smith is the first African American president of the Atlanta Commercial Board of REALTORS® and serves on the boards of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of REALTORS®.
In addition to Deeter, Johnston and Smith, Jack R. Fox (M.Ed. ’75) and Felicia Mayfield(B.S.Ed. ’75, M.Ed. ’80, Ed.S. ’87) will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award. Fox is a retired brigadier general in the U.S. Army and Mayfield is a retired associate professor at Clark Atlanta University.
The Distinguished Alumni Awards dinner and ceremony will be held on Oct. 13 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Savanaa Hall at Zoo Atlanta. More information about the event can be found at alumni.gsu.edu/daa.