Georgia Fogelson is a lifelong learner who grew up in a small mill-town in western Pennsylvania. After attending the University of Pittsburgh, Georgia moved to Chicago to become a wife and mother. Propelled by her curiosity about people and ideas, she embarked on a career that would span more than 20 years in qualitative marketing research conducting focus group discussions and depth interviews. Fogelson became the first woman vice president of Market Facts, then a leading market research firm.
In 1975, she founded Georgia Bender Research (GBR), a qualitative marketing research firm serving national and international clients, including Brown and Williamson, Carnation Company, International Harvester, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Sears and many others. GBR achieved strong recognition for its in-depth analysis on strategic decisions in product development, advertising direction, market positioning and branding.
When Georgia remarried, she slowly withdrew from her business to spend time knitting together a family of one teenager and two young adults. She returned to school, first at the Basic Program at the University of Chicago, then as a full-time student at DePaul University graduating with a degree in psychology.
Fogelson’s interests in the arts led her to assume the chair of Remains Theatre in Chicago. Her interest in art found full flower in California, where she and her husband reside about half the year. She joined the board of the Palm Springs Art Museum serving as the first trustee to become a museum docent. Fogelson currently chairs the museum’s education committee and participates on the executive committee, the development committee, the finance committee, the Contemporary Art Council and the Museum Associates Council.
The arts and arts education is central to Fogelson’s life. In addition to her work at the Palm Springs Art Museum, she also serves on the board of Young Women’s Leadership Charter School. In 2003, the Fogelson family launched the Fogelson Foundation, a privately funded foundation. As a director, Georgia takes an active role with many of the organizations supported by the foundation even as she monitors all of the foundation’s activities in Chicago, California and countrywide.
Georgia’s connection with Columbia College is two-fold: the Fogelsons’ son spent formative time at Columbia as a photography student; and friendship with Warrick and Laurel Carter has impressed her with the astonishing growth and development of the college.