A prominent Hall County businessman and chairman of Gov. Nathan Deal’s campaign for governor has been elected vice chairman of the Board of Regents.
Philip Wilheit Sr., president of Wilheit Packaging and Marketing Images in Gainesville, was selected for the one-year position on Tuesday.
“I look forward to working with chair-elect (Dink) NeSmith as we guide the board in achieving its goals and creating a more educated Georgia,” Wilheit said in a press release.
The board elected Dink NeSmith for a one-year term as chairman as well.
Deal appointed Wilheit to the Board of Regents last year. He since has served as the board’s chairman of the finance and business operations committee and chairman of its Shared Services Center.
The board oversees the 35 colleges and universities that comprise the University System of Georgia.
Wilheit spent more than 40 years on the board of the Greater Hall County Chamber of Commerce, including one year as its chairman.
“He’s a very capable leader,” said Tim Evans, the chamber’s vice president for economic development. “I can’t think of an area of the community he hasn’t been involved in. He’s just a great community supporter.”
Wilheit chaired Deal’s election campaign and was treasurer for his campaigns for 28 years. He also served on former Gov. Sonny Perdue’s Economic Development Commission and water task force.
Wilheit also served 20 years on the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, with one year as chairman. He also was on the Georgia Department of Economic Development Commission and the Commission for a New Georgia.
“He’s well respected all across Georgia as a business leader,” Evans said.
Wilheit was a member of the Georgia Chamber Transportation Commission and the Georgia Chamber Advisory Committee on School Board Governance. He also served on the state Board of Education from 1996-1999.