President and CEO
Gary P. Stokan is President and CEO of Peach Bowl, Inc., a position he has held since 1998. Stokan is the past president and CEO of Atlanta Hall Management – the organization created to relocate and manage the new College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. He is also the past president of the Atlanta Sports Council, where he served from 1998 to 2009 and was the chairman of the Atlanta Local Organizing Committee to recruit the FIFA World Cup in 2018.
Peach Bowl Inc., which owns and manages the Chick-fil-A Bowl, Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game and Chick-fil-A Bowl Challenge charity golf tournament, generates an annual economic impact of $80 million for the city of Atlanta and state of Georgia. Stokan has successfully led the Chick-fil-A Bowl bid to become one of six College Football Playoff Bowls. The Bowl has enjoyed a string of 17 consecutive sellouts, making it one of the highest-attended bowl games in the country. The Chick-fil-A Bowl is college football’s most charitable bowl game – having given more than $15.7 million since 2002, which garnered the Atlanta Small Business Philanthropic Award. Additionally, the Chick-fil-A Bowl has been named a Top 10 Small Business in Atlanta by Business Leader Media.
With 36 years of corporate sports management experience, Stokan has put his fingerprint on major events that bring exposure and economic impact to Atlanta by creating the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, a BCS-type neutral-site game that annually matches top-ranked teams to open the college football season; the Chick-fil-A Bowl Challenge charity golf tournament, which annually provides $500,000 for scholarship and charity to its participating universities; and the Atlanta Sports Awards that recognizes and celebrates success in Atlanta sports.
Additionally, Stokan’s leadership efforts in recruiting the National Football Foundation resulted in the relocation of the College Football Hall of Fame to Atlanta and the creation of Atlanta Hall Management, Inc. The College Football Hall of Fame will open a new state-of-the-art, $82 million interactive facility in downtown Atlanta in proximity to Centennial Olympic Park in 2014. For his efforts, in 2011 Atlanta Hall Management was recognized as winner of the Best in Real Estate Award – Land Category by the Atlanta Business Chronicle.
From 2005-2010, Stokan served as president of the Atlanta Tipoff Club, owner of the Naismith Awards. Named in honor of Dr. James Naismith, founder of the game of basketball, the Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T is presented annually to the men’s and women’s college basketball players of the year.
As president of the Atlanta Sports Council, Stokan led Atlanta's efforts to brand the city as the “Sports Capital of the World”, drawing a range of world-caliber sporting events to metro Atlanta. Named the 2002, 2004 & 2006 Sports Commission of the Year, the Atlanta Sports Council successfully bid for Super Bowl XXXIV, the 2009 and 2012 ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament, 2002, 2007 and 2013 NCAA Men’s Final Four, 2003 Women’s Final Four, 2008 NHL All-Star Game, 2000 MLB All-Star Game, 2003 NBA All-Star Game and the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour. Stokan also lead the Atlanta Sports Council recruitment of the USA Volleyball Junior Olympic Championships and the U.S. Women's Figure Skating Championships to the metro Atlanta and led Atlanta’s successful bid for Wrestlemania 27. Over his 13 years, $1.87 billion in economic impact and $73.6 million in direct government tax revenues was created. Including the future contracted events in 2011, 2012 and 2013, Stokan's leadership has created an economic impact of over $2 billion and $75 million in direct government tax revenues for the city of Atlanta and the state of Georgia.
Stokan, ranked as one of the 100 Most Influential Atlantans, is a nationally recognized speaker and serves on the Board of the Children's Healthcare Sports and the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau. He has been recognized by Sports Events Magazine as one of the top 25 key innovators and influencers in the sports community, as well as honored with Boy Scouts of America’s “Bobby Jones Award,” American Diabetes Association “Father of the Year,” and SAE Fraternity’s “THE (The Higher Effort) Award.”
A former basketball student-athlete, basketball coach and graduate of North Carolina State University, Gary has been married to his high school sweetheart, Tia, for 35 years. Together, they have two daughters, Christie, a graduate of the University of Tennessee and Michele, a graduate of the University of Georgia.