Originally created 02/05/01

Board chairman makes presence known



Ed Tarver was born in Kileen, Texas, and has lived everywhere from Korea to Oklahoma. Ask him, though, and he'll tell you he's from Augusta.

A partner with Augusta's biggest law firm, Hull, Towill, Norman, Barrett & Salley, Mr. Tarver's Army upbringing - and the inevitable roaming that came with it - never managed to sever his ties to the Augusta community.

"My mother and father are from Augusta; they were both raised in Augusta. Augusta was always home for me and my three sisters," Mr. Tarver said. "When my father retired from the Army, we moved right back here."

With the exception of an eight-year stint in the Army and a few years at the University of Georgia in Athens, Mr. Tarver has lived in Augusta since he was a high school sophomore - and the community has felt his presence.

Mr. Tarver is a member of the Augusta Exchange Club, a director on the boards of Georgia Bank & Trust Co., United Way, University of Georgia National Alumni Association and the Augusta chapter of the American Red Cross.

He is a former president, legal counsel and current member of East Georgia Easter Seal Society and a former chairman of the St. John Towers Advisory Board; and he serves on the Augusta-Richmond County General Aviation Commission and the Court Advisory Committee for the Southern District of Georgia.

And he's the newly anointed chairman of the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce.

"The only thing negative I can say about Tarver is he's already involved in so many activities - and he still has to find time to go to work," chamber President Jim West said.

Good point. Where does Mr. Tarver find time to be a lawyer?

"The things I do in the community are pretty consistent with what I do as an attorney," Mr. Tarver said. "Our firm, we don't advertise. So a large part of what we do is getting to know people. People select Hull, Towill because of trust, and you can't develop those relationships unless you're out there working with people and giving them a basis for establishing that trust."

His incredible record of civic involvement is a result of a family philosophy started in Augusta before he was born.

"My mother, my grandparents, we always gave our time to the community through the churches," Mr. Tarver said. "... There is that sense of obligation, to give something back was always a part of my upbringing."

But, he allows, it's more than just a sense of obligation. Mr. Tarver is a man who acts - he prefers that to waiting and reacting. Couple this drive with a sense of community obligation, and he is a man who gives back to Augusta as much as he takes.

"Augusta is my home; it's my wife's home," Mr. Tarver said. "We came back here because we wanted to, not because we had to. One of the reasons we came back was to take an active role in the direction this community will take."

Mr. Tarver met his wife, Beverly, the director of student diversity at Medical College of Georgia, at Glen Hills High School in south Augusta. He married her after they graduated from Augusta College in 1981.

He then spent eight years in the Army as a field artillery officer. While stationed in Oklahoma, he attended night school at Oklahoma City University and studied law. He left the Army as a captain - and headed straight for Georgia.

He was accepted to University of Georgia as a transfer student. After graduation, he secured a clerkship with Dudley Bowen, U. S. District Judge, southern district of Georgia.

And his passion for trial work was kindled.

"That job gives you a lot of experience and exposure to courtroom activity," Mr. Tarver said. "When I accepted this position with Hull, Towill, my background was more suited to trial work because of the time I spent with Judge Bowen."

The judge was immediately impressed.

"He was very productive when he worked for me," Judge Bowen said. "(He's) a person with great industry, superior intellect and a remarkable ability to get to the heart of any issue."

More than that, Judge Bowen said, he's a good man.

"He is first of all and end of all a gentleman," Judge Bowen said. "He's one of those people who is always trying to make people around him comfortable. That's what a gentleman is, and I think that's probably more important than all the industry and intelligence in the world."

VITALS

Name: Ed Tarver

Born: July 22, 1959, at Fort Hood in Kileen, Texas.

Family: Married to Beverly; son Edward, 15; daughter Beverly Elizabeth, 7

Title: Partner with Hull, Towill, Norman, Barrett & Salley

School: Augusta College '81, bachelor's degree in political science; University of Georgia '91, J.D. (juris doctorate)

History: Artillery officer in the Army, 1981-89; law clerk for Dudley Bowen, U.S. District Judge, southern district of Georgia, 1991-92; associate attorney for Hull, Towill, Norman, Barrett & Salley, 1992, made partner in 1998.

Civic: Chairman of the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce; member of the Augusta Exchange Club; director on the boards of Georgia Bank & Trust Co., United Way, University of Georgia National Alumni Association and the Augusta chapter of the American Red Cross; former president, legal counsel and current member of East Georgia Easter Seal Society; former chairman of St. John Towers Advisory Board; former chairman of the board of trustees for Leadership Georgia; and a member of the Augusta-Richmond County General Aviation Commission and the Court Advisory Committee for the Southern District of Georgia.

Reach John Bankston at (706) 823-3352 or jbanks15@hotmail.com

What they are saying

"Ed is simply motivated to be the best. I saw that when I interviewed him the first time. I could see he wasn't going to settle for anything less."
- Judge Dudley Bowen, U.S. District Judge, southern district of Georgia

"Ed impresses me as someone who gets things done. We have only recently begun working together, but he has jumped in with both feet, and I think he is going to be a real leader for the chamber of commerce."
- Jim West, president of the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce