Council for Quality Growth Presents Carol B. Tomé with 33rd Annual Four Pillar Award

For Immediate Release:
Friday, October 21, 2022

Media Contact:
Kathryn Jones 770-813-3388

Council for Quality Growth Presents Carol B. Tomé with 33rd Annual Four Pillar Award
Atlanta Pays Tribute to UPS CEO at 2022 Four Pillar Tribute on October 20th

ATLANTA – On Thursday, October 20, 2022, the Council for Quality Growth held its 33rd annual Four Pillar Tribute and dinner to honor Carol B. Tomé, Chief Executive Officer of United Parcel Service, for her extensive economic and philanthropic contributions to Atlanta and beyond. Tomé’s chosen theme for the evening was LEAD to Inspire, SERVE to Create, and GIVE to Remain, a way she has also framed her personal and professional journey, or as she puts it, her “why.” The 2022 Four Pillar Tribute was presented by the Arthur M. Blank Foundation, Chick-fil-A, Delta Air Lines, The Home Depot Foundation, the New York Stock Exchange, and UPS. Over 1,200 guests filled the Georgia Ballroom of the Georgia World Congress Center in tribute of Tomé.

As the 33rd recipient of the Council’s Four Pillar Award, Carol joins a prestigious group of individuals who have made significant contributions and philanthropic efforts towards economic development and quality of life in the metro Atlanta region. As made evident by the evening’s speakers, Tomé’s commitment to lead, serve, and give is felt far beyond her professional career. With her husband, Ramon, she established The Tomé Foundation to continue to fuel her purpose-led mission of giving back to communities and enabling opportunities. “We love being part of the Atlanta community,” she said, “and giving back is part of our purpose.”

Carol B. Tomé began making strides in Atlanta with The Home Depot in 1995. She soon held the title Executive VP and CFO, having learned the business from the ground up, donning the orange apron at nights and on weekends. Carol delivered a 450% increase in shareholder value during her tenure and successfully led The Home Depot through the financial crisis of the early 2000s. After nearly 25 years at The Home Depot, it was her “why” again that led her out of retirement to become the first female CEO of UPS in its 115-year history in March of 2020. Today, she leads the global logistics giant, employing over half a million people. As CEO, Carol focuses on what matters most to her customers and her employees while making investments in the innovation required to keep up with an exploding e-commerce market.

Albert G. Edwards, the 2022 Chairman of the Council for Quality Growth and the Founder and CEO of Corporate Environmental Risk Management (CERM), presented Tomé with the Four Pillar Award. In her acceptance, Carol reflected on the individuals who influenced her purpose-led journey and the lessons they taught her along the way. From her initial interview with Arthur Blank at The Home Depot and serving under Craig Menear to hiring Ted Decker 20 years prior, Carol still “stands on the shoulders of these leaders” as she continues to carry their torch of servant leadership in her new role at UPS. Tomé also credits UPS with helping her shape her “why.” While she leads to inspire, she is in turn inspired by her 500,000+ UPSers every day. “What a blessing it is,” she said, “to work for two iconic companies with extraordinary leaders who have had an enormous impact on me.”

The ‘Four Pillars’ represent the four principles on which the Council for Quality Growth was founded – Quality, Responsibility, Vision, and Integrity. A distinguished group of speakers paid tribute to Tomé, speaking to how each of these principles are present in her life. On ‘Quality,’ Arthur M. Blank, co-founder of The Home Depot and current Owner & Chairman of the Blank Family of Businesses, said “Carol married to two best qualities a leader can have – making good decisions and caring about the people who the decisions impact.” David Abney, former CEO of UPS and Carol’s predecessor to the role, spoke about ‘Responsibility’ and recognized the meaningful attention that Carol brought to the social unrest in our community that marked her first couple of years as CEO of UPS. “Carol holds herself responsible before she holds anyone else responsible,” Abney said. Virginia Hepner, former CEO of the Woodruff Arts Center and close friend of Carol’s, spoke to ‘Vision,’ praising her vision to help the next generation succeed through her Tome Foundation. Kurt Kuehn, former CFO of UPS, spoke on ‘Integrity,’ highlighting Carol’s extraordinary authenticity and “infectious leadership.”

Michael E. Paris, President & CEO of the Council for Quality Growth, added “Carol is the embodiment of the Four Pillars, shown through her commitment to the team members she leads, to the communities she serves, and to the corners of the world she impacts.”

Georgia Governor Brian P. Kemp joined virtually to welcome the audience and Carol on behalf of the state, and Mayor Andre Dickens attended to welcome her on stage from the City of Atlanta. The night opened with a special tribute from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra String Quartet, playing their rendition of a classic Mozart composition. The evening’s musical tribute was presented by the Atlanta Ballet, performing In Creases, an artistic piece complete with live dueling pianos. An esteemed group of Tribute Chairs were selected to pay tribute to Tomé for her extraordinary leadership and reputation for innovation, including:

  • David Abney
  • Ed Bastian
  • Frank Blake
  • Arthur M. Blank
  • Dan T. Cathy
  • Shan Cooper
  • Ted Decker
  • Larry Gellerstedt III
  • John Haupert
  • Virginia Hepner
  • Donna Hyland
  • William R. Johnson
  • Katie Kirkpatrick
  • Kurt Kuehn
  • Craig Menear
  • Hala Moddelmog
  • Russell Stokes
  • Hans Vestberg

The prestigious Four Pillar Tribute annually recognizes an outstanding individual who demonstrates the ‘Four Pillars’ of leadership – Quality, Responsibility, Vision, and Integrity – and exemplifies the Council’s mission of promoting balanced and responsible growth. The Council is proud to add Carol B. Tomé to its list of Four Pillar Award recipients.


The event was recorded and will be made available for playback in the coming days at

The full photo gallery from the event will also be posted to this site as soon as it is available.

Highlights from the 2022 Four Pillar Tribute can be watched here:

A digital program from the event can be downloaded here:


From left to right: Albert Edwards, Frank Blake, David Abney, Carol B. Tomé, Arthur M. Blank, Virginia Hepner, Kurt Kuehn, and Michael Paris

Council for Quality Growth’s 2022 Chairman Albert G. Edwards presents Carol B. Tomé with the 33rd Four Pillar Award.


About the Four Pillar Tribute:

For 32 years the Council for Quality Growth has paid tribute to an outstanding individual in the metro Atlanta region who exemplifies the Council’s mission of promoting balanced and responsible growth through an annual leadership tribute gala that recognizes the ‘Four Pillars’ of leadership – Quality, Responsibility, Vision, and Integrity.

The Four Pillar Award and Tribute is an unparalleled honor that allows the opportunity for the metro Atlanta region and state of Georgia to celebrate the recipient’s significant contributions to quality of life, community leadership, and economic development. The event provides a platform to align the honorees’ impacts on the region and the state with the Council’s ambitions and serves as a beacon of inspiration to perpetuate our economic prosperity.

Past recipients of the Council’s Four Pillar Award include:

2022 – Carol B. Tomé

2021 – Ambassador Andrew Young

2020 – Doug Hertz

2019 – Larry Gellerstedt

2018 – Paul Bowers

2017 – Nathan Deal

2016 – Jenny Pruitt

2015 – Dan T. Cathy

2014 – Steve Selig

2013 – John Portman

2012 – Sam Massell

2011 – R. Charles Loudermilk

2010 – Arthur Blank

2009 – Mayor Shirley Franklin

2008 – Tom Cousins

2007 – John A. Williams

2006 – John Wieland

2005 – U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson

2004 – Charlie Brown

2003 – Richard L. Tucker

2002 – George Busbee

2001 – F. Wayne Hill

2000 – Louise Radloff

1999 – A. Ray Weeks

1998 – J.D. Caswell

1997 – Jim Cowart

1996 – Paul A. Duke

1995 – Virgil R. Williams

1994 – Wayne H. Mason

1993 – D. Scott Hudgens

1992 – J.W. Benefield

1991 – Wayne Shackelford

1990 – Steve Reynolds


About the Council for Quality Growth:

The Council for Quality Growth is a trade organization that works to ensure continued growth and economic success for generations to come by providing advocacy, information, and education to its members. For 36 years, the Council has been committed to the mission of promoting balanced and responsible growth and is proactively involved in the formulation of policy and legislation critical to the growth and development industry. The Council addresses, head-on, strategic economic planning, infrastructure needs, and tough quality-of-life issues throughout the metro Atlanta region and state.