Press RoomPress ReleasesHigh Museum of Art Appoints New Board Chair and Announces Four New Members

High Museum of Art Appoints New Board Chair and Announces Four New Members

July 31, 2019

Atlanta, July 31, 2019 – The High Museum of Art today announced the appointment of Robin Howell as the new chair of its board of directors. Howell will serve for the next two years and succeeds Charles Abney III, who began his tenure in 2015. The High also welcomes four new board members to serve two-year terms: Farideh Azadi, Watt Boone, Will Powell and Mark Preisinger.

Robin Howell is an Atlanta native and longtime supporter of the High, having served on the Museum’s board for many years, most recently on the nominating committee. She is a previous co-chair of the High’s Director’s Circle and has supported key acquisitions for the collection and the annual Wine Auction fundraiser. Howell has held management positions in various businesses in which her family maintains an interest and currently serves on the boards of Gray Television and Atlantic American Corporation. Her previous roles include serving as chairman of the board of Farmers & Merchants Bank and on the board of Premier Bancshares. She supported her alma mater, the University of Virginia, as a member of its board of managers from 1993 to 1999 and has been on its Jefferson Scholars Foundation Board since 2013. Locally, Howell also serves on the board of the Forward Arts Foundation. She is married to Hilton Howell, and they have four children.

“As a steadfast supporter of the Museum, Robin has demonstrated her commitment to our mission and the importance of a thriving cultural community in Atlanta,” said Rand Suffolk, the High’s Nancy and Holcombe T. Green, Jr., director. “We are thrilled to expand her leadership role and bring on our new board members as we continue to grow our audiences, extend our impact in the region and bring diverse perspectives and voices to the Museum.”

“After several years of service on the board, I am very honored and excited to take on my new role at the High,” said Howell. “I look forward to working with Rand and hope to continue the extraordinary success the Museum has achieved in increasing its reach to audiences across our city and beyond.”

New board member Farideh Azadi is the president of the Azadi Foundation, which provides support to nonprofit organizations in art, education and healthcare. She also serves as the vice president of the Family Scouting Committee at Boy Scouts of America – Atlanta Area Council and on the advisory board of the Alliance Theatre. A former pharmacist, Azadi is involved in the Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Scholar Fellowship, which is dedicated to supporting the best and brightest U.S. university graduates with financial awards in science, engineering and medical research. She is also a member of CARE, the Atlanta Women’s Foundation and the Professional Organization of Iranian Americans.

Atlanta native Watt Boone has spent 20 years working in the investment industry and is currently managing director and head of healthcare investing at GMT Capital. Boone serves on the boards of the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University and Lincoln College, Oxford, United Kingdom, and actively supports the Merrie Boone Comprehensive Care Center at Emory and the Michael J. Fox Foundation, both focused on Parkinson’s disease treatment and research.

Will Powell, managing director and market executive for Georgia with Bank of America – Private Bank, is a Georgia-born executive with more than 20 years of experience in the banking industry, including previous positions with Bank One/First Chicago in Los Angeles and Atlanta’s Federal Reserve Bank. He is a guest lecturer at his alma mater, Furman University, and serves on the board of Families First and on the advisory board of the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education. Powell is the executive sponsor of Bank of America’s LGBTQ affinity group and its internal mentoring program.

Lifelong Georgian Mark Preisinger began his career with the Coca-Cola Company in 1984 and over the past 35 years has managed a variety of domestic and international assignments for the business, most recently as director of corporate governance, where he coordinates engagement with institutional and individual investors and manages engagement on environmental and social issues. He is a member of the board of Atlantic American Capital Corporation and of the New York Stock Exchange Listed Company Advisory Board. He is an emeritus member of the Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance’s advisory board at the University of Delaware and serves on the corporate development board for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

About the High Museum of Art
Located in the heart of Atlanta, Georgia, the High Museum of Art connects with audiences from across the Southeast and around the world through its distinguished collection, dynamic schedule of special exhibitions and engaging community-focused programs. Housed within facilities designed by Pritzker Prize–winning architects Richard Meier and Renzo Piano, the High features a collection of more than 17,000 works of art, including an extensive anthology of 19th- and 20th-century American fine and decorative arts; major holdings of photography and folk and self-taught work, especially that of artists from the American South; burgeoning collections of modern and contemporary art, including paintings, sculpture, new media and design; a growing collection of African art, with work dating from pre-history through the present; and significant holdings of European paintings and works on paper. The High is dedicated to reflecting the diversity of its communities and offering a variety of exhibitions and educational programs that engage visitors with the world of art, the lives of artists and the creative process. For more information about the High, visit

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Media contact: 

Marci Tate Davis
Manager of Public Relations