It is said that service to others is the rent we pay for living on this earth. If this is true, Curley M. Dossman has paid in full.

As President of the Georgia-Pacific Foundation, Dossman leads the organization’s charitable giving program and community affairs efforts – a position that affords him the opportunity to enact change by supporting causes related to education, the environment and entrepreneurship. While the role provides greater opportunity to make an impact, his history of making a difference began long before.

Born in Ville Platte, Louisiana, Dossman comes from a long lineage of servant leaders.

“I inherited a life of service and sacrifice that I learned from my father, mother and grandfather in particular,” he explains. “My grandfather was sort of a pillar in our local community. People were always gravitating to him for assistance or help. It was the same sort of situation with my dad and his younger sister. They were always engaged and passionate. I saw them make sacrifices for others in our community.”

Now a resident of Atlanta, Dossman followed the path set forth by his family, and also that of one of the city’s leaders, the late Mayor Maynard Jackson, Jr., a fellow Morehouse College graduate, whom he had the distinct honor of paying tribute to through his work on an exclusive commission.

“One of the highlights of my career was the opportunity to bring the community together and participate in the movement to rename the Atlanta airport after him. He was such a strong role model for myself and many others. I was pleased to have an instrumental role in honoring him for all of the things he did for the African American community, and minority-owned businesses.”

Since that time Dossman, has had many additional career achievements, including his successful efforts to direct charitable contributions to the United Negro College Fund for the education of Black youth, and his work as former chairman of 100 Black Men of America, Inc.

The achievements augment his early work as Legislative Director in the United States Senate and as Vice President of State Government Affairs for AT&T.

Today, like his grandfather, he has become a pillar in his own right partly through his work at Georgia Pacific, and his development of strategies, and cultural and diversity counsel to the organization’s parent company, Koch Industries.

He is also esteemed for his leadership while serving on multiple boards such as: 100 Black Men of Atlanta, the Executive Leadership Council, the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, the Savannah State Board of Governors, refinED, the Atlanta Committee for Progress Community and Government Affairs Council, the Atlanta Rotary Club and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District.

The secret to his success?

“I learned humility and not to be fearful of trying new things early on from my father and grandfather. I really heed the advice that I’ve received from my elders. I try to stay true to those values and principles that were instilled in me at an early age,” he explains.

Those lessons are ones that Dossman now takes pride in sharing with his two young grandsons.

If they follow in his footsteps they’ll continue the great family tradition of service, which Dossman considers a part of his legacy.

“I want my legacy to be one of devotion to service, doing good and caring for others while living a life of purpose.”

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