Shantella Carr Cooper 89C 95B


Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Journey Forward Strategies, LLC
Atlanta, Georgia

Shantella Carr Cooper is the founder and chief executive officer of Journey Forward Strategies, LLC, a solutions-focused consulting firm specializing in leadership development and organization effectiveness that works with Fortune 500 corporations, private companies, and the not-for-profit sector in the areas of executive coaching, talent development, organization cultural assessments, and DEI strategies, as well as business process design and technology transformation.

Cooper is the former executive director of the Atlanta Committee for Progress and the former chief transformation officer at WestRock, where she was responsible for procurement, logistics, information technology, and recycling. Prior to joining WestRock, she served as vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company and was responsible for the 6,000-employee operations in Marietta, Georgia; Meridian, Mississippi; and Clarksburg, West Virginia, that design, produce, modify, and maintain military aircraft for the US and countries around the world. Programs in Marietta included the C-130J Super Hercules, F-22 Raptor, P-3 Orion, C-5M Super Galaxy, and F-35 Lightning II.

Cooper received the Atlanta Business Chronicle's 2021 Women of Influence Lifetime Achievement Award. She was named Most Respected Business Leader by Georgia Trend in 2015; Woman of the Year by the American Association of University Women in 2015; one of Georgia Trend’s 100 Most Influential Georgians in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2020, and 2021; and one of Black Enterprise magazine’s Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America in 2017.

Cooper serves on the board of directors of SouthState Bank. She is a member of the Atlanta Rotary Club and a life member of the board of councilors for The Carter Center. She earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and religion from Emory College and an MBA from Goizueta Business School. She is also a graduate of the Rutgers Global Executive Master’s in Human Resources Leadership program.

She was elected trustee in 2013.