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Wells Fargo Executive Leadership Series: Gary Stokan (‘78), CEO and President, Peach Bowl, Inc.

February 13, 2019 | 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Nelson Hall, Auditorium (3400)

Join Poole College at the Wells Fargo Executive Leadership Series with Gary Stokan as he shares his career and leadership experiences in a conversation with Frank Buckless, interim dean of the Poole College of Management. 

Gary P. Stokan (‘78) is CEO and president of Peach Bowl, Inc., a position he has held since 1998. Under his leadership, Peach Bowl, Inc. events have generated an economic impact of over $1.08 billion in direct government tax revenue for the city of Atlanta and $66.7 million for the state of Georgia since 1999.

Stokan is a former NC State University basketball student-athlete, Jon Speaks Award winner for team leadership and assistant basketball coach (1978-79). He graduated from NC State in 1978 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

As the conversation wraps up, audience members will have a chance to ask questions. The event is free and open to all NC State students, faculty and staff and the general public.

You can listen to the previous speakers in our podcast.


About Gary Stokan

With 38 years of corporate sports management experience at Adidas, Converse, and owning and operating two sports marketing companies, Stokan has created major events that bring exposure and economic impact to Atlanta by creating:

  • The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, which is the leader in opening weekend games;
  • The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge charity golf tournament, which annually provides more than $800,000 for scholarship and charity to its participating universities and coaches charities;
  • The Atlanta Sports Awards, which recognizes and celebrates success in Atlanta sports and the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl College Corner.

Most recently, Peach Bowl, Inc.’s addition of the management of The Dodd Trophy, college football’s most coveted national coach of the year award, is due to Stokan’s leadership.

Under Stokan’s leadership, the Bowl has enjoyed sellouts in 20 of the past 22 years, earning the second-longest sellout record in the Bowl business, has distributed more than $185 million in team payouts, and is college football’s most charitable bowl organization – having given $32.5 million since 2002 – which garnered the Atlanta Small Business Philanthropic Award. Most recently, Peach Bowl, Inc. was named a Top 10 Small Business in Atlanta by Business Leader Media, and was also presented with the Phoenix Award, the highest honor an individual or group can receive from the mayor of Atlanta.

Additionally, Stokan’s vision and leadership efforts resulted in the relocation of the College Football Hall of Fame to Atlanta and the creation of Atlanta Hall Management, Inc.

As president of the Atlanta Sports Council from 1998-2009, Stokan led Atlanta’s efforts to brand the city as the “Sports Capital of the World”. Stokan has been ranked by the Atlanta Business Chronicle as one of the 100 Most Influential Atlantans, a top 50 leader in Atlanta hospitality, was recently named one of Atlanta’s Most Admired CEOs and will be inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 2019.

Gary has been married to his high school sweetheart, Tia, for 40 years. Together, they have two daughters: Christie, who is married to husband John Hull, and Michele, married to husband Dave Sanders. Tia and Gary are the proud grandparents of Eston, Stokan and Penn.

Read Gary Stokan’s full bio.

About Peach Bowl, Inc.

Peach Bowl, Inc. is the 501(c)3 organization that owns and operates the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge charity golf tournament, manages day-to-day operations of The Dodd Trophy, and was the original recruiter and founding sponsor of the new College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. PBI was originally founded by the Georgia Lion’s Club in 1967 and hosted its first NCAA-sanctioned Peach Bowl game in Atlanta in 1968.

About the Wells Fargo Executive Leadership Series

The Poole College of Management has presented the Wells Fargo Executive Leadership Series since 1992, providing students and the community the opportunity to learn from some of the nation’s and the world’s leading executives as they talk about their careers and leadership experiences. This series is supported by an ongoing gift from Wells Fargo. Learn more about the series.

Podcasts of our prior presentations are available through our Poole College Executive Leadership Series Podcast page on iTunes.

Registration, driving and parking directions

  • Public parking is available in the Dan Allen Parking Deck. Parking stubs are distributed by machine as you enter, and payment is made via credit/debit card as you exit. The pay lot entrance is located at the lower level, west side.
  • The event is free and registration is required.

Please register for the event.


February 13, 2019
4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
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Nelson Hall 3400 (Auditorium)
2801 Founders Drive
Raleigh, NC 27695
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