William Porter Payne
Centennial Holding Company, LLC
William Porter Payne serves as the chairman of Centennial Holding Company, LLC, a real estate investment firm. Previously, Payne served in an executive management role with Gleacher & Company, Inc., a full service investment bank from 2000 to 2013.
Formerly, he was vice chairman of Bank of America, director of Healtheon/WebMD and vice chairman and director of Premiere Technologies, responsible for the creation of strategic alliances for WebMD and for bringing a web-based intelligent communications manager to the attention of worldwide corporate decision makers. Earlier in his business career, Payne worked as an attorney in private practice, specializing in commercial real estate transactions.
Payne was responsible for leading the Olympic bid effort for Atlanta as president of the committee responsible for winning the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games and was the first person in modern Olympic history to continue uninterrupted as president of the organizing committee for the games themselves.
While attending the University of Georgia, Payne received several athletic honors in football, including All Southeastern Conference honors in 1965, 1966 and 1968 and the UGA Outstanding Athlete Award in 1969. The Washington, D.C. Touchdown Club awarded him the National Sports Marketeer of the Year in 1990. In addition, the National Football Foundation awarded him the Distinguished American Award in 2009.
Payne’s civic recognition includes induction into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame; he is also the recipient of the Olympic Order in Gold from the International Olympic Committee; the Distinguished Service Award from the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Non-Violent Social Change; Community Service Governor’s Award for Unique and Outstanding Volunteer Service; 1996 Distinguished Service Award from UGA, School of Business Administration; the 1996 Presidential Citation from Morehouse College; and he was the 1997 recipient of the Theodore Roosevelt Award, the highest honor bestowed by the NCAA.
Payne serves on the board of Cousins Properties, Inc.
Payne received a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and his J.D. degree from the University of Georgia. He holds honorary doctorates from the University of South Carolina, Emory University, Mercer University, Oglethorpe University, Presbyterian College and the University of Georgia.