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Feb. 11 - Georgia Trust Announces Honorees for 36th Annual Preservation Gala

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

February 11, 2020 - The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation will honor five outstanding preservationists from around the state at its 36th annual Preservation Gala on Saturday, March 14, at 7 p.m. at the historic Pink Castle in Atlanta. The “Venetian Carnival” themed gala will feature cocktails, dancing and culinary delights prepared by Atlanta’s top caterers.

Five individuals will be honored for their work in preservation, including Jerry Lominack of Savannah.

Lominack has over 50 years of extensive experience in the practice of architecture. Over the course of his tenure, Jerry has been involved in hundreds of projects in Savannah and other communities. Many of his projects have received design awards from the Georgia Trust, AIA, Historic Savannah Foundation and other organizations. He is a frequent design critic at the Savannah College of Art and Design, regularly serving as a topic advisor to thesis students and as a mentor to architectural interns. A 55-year resident of Savannah’s Landmark Historic District, Jerry has operated an architectural practice there for over 50 years, the first five as a partner in another firm, 27 years as Lominack Associates Architects, and now as a partner in Lominack Kolman Smith Architects. 

Barbara and Les Callahan of Atlanta are longtime supporters of The Georgia Trust. Les is the president of First Colony Financial Corporation and has shared his time and expertise generously with The Georgia Trust, serving as Vice Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, and on the Executive Committee, as well as on multiple committees. Barbara is involved with numerous organizations, in addition to the Trust, and serves on several boards including the Parents and Families Council of the University of Georgia and The Robert S. Peabody Institute of Archaeology of the Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. The couple’s generosity and commitment to preservation has made a tremendous impact on historic buildings in Georgia through the Callahan Incentive Grant.

Atlanta-based interior designer, Melanie Turner and husband, Stan Benecki, CEO of Benecki Homes, are the owners of Atlanta’s Pink Castle. One of only three families to call the Pink Castle home, the couple have meticulously restored one of Atlanta’s greatest architectural treasures to its former grandeur. Melanie’s work has been featured in multiple regional and national magazines. She has been selected as the Southeast Designer of the Year twice by Veranda Magazine. She oversees the Benecki Homes design staff and is instrumental in working with clients. Stan, a graduate of Columbia University’s School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, has over 25 years in luxury real estate development.

The Preservation Gala is The Georgia Trust’s biggest fundraiser of the year. Proceeds from the event will go directly to the Trust’s mission to reuse, reinvest and revitalize Georgia’s historic places.

Tickets are $150 for members; $250 for non-members (includes membership to the Trust); and $100 for guests under 40. To purchase tickets, visit or call 404-885-7812.

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