The Atlanta-based insurance holding company, Atlantic American Corp., has reelected Edward E. Elson, the former Atlanta businessman and ambassador to the Kingdom of Denmark from 1993 until June of this year, to its board of directors.
Mr. Elson lived in Atlanta from 1953 when he moved here to attend Emory law school until his appointment to Copenhagen. While in Atlanta, he established himself as a leading businessman becoming the chairman of W.H. Smith, USA, a retailer that has a presence in many U.S. airports including Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport.
He also was on the board of directors of some 30 companies, universities, foundations and human rights organizations including NationsBank of Georgia.
During a telephone interview from his home in New York last week, he told GlobalFax that he did not plan to move back to Atlanta, and would limit the number of boards that he would join. He added, however, that he had made a few exceptions, including three European companies and Atlantic American.
He said that he had agreed to rejoin the Atlantic American board because of his friendship and respect for J. Mack Robinson, the firm’s chairman, whom he called the most creative businessman he had ever known. Mr. Robinson has diversified media and financial interests in Georgia.
He was particularly upbeat about Denmark’s economic prospects calling the country a regional center for 90 million people similar to Denver, Dallas and Atlanta. He also praised the Danes’ productivity and social system.
During his tenure in Denmark, Mr. Elson received the Great Cross of the Order of Dannenborg, the highest decoration that can be given to a non-head-of-state, by Queen Margrethe II of Denmark. He also was the first foreigner to receive the Merkonem Prize for demonstrating exceptional interest in Denmark’s business life.
For more information, call Janice Kuntz of Fleishman-Hillard at (404) 659-4446.