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Longtime GAB President Bill Sanders Passes

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Bill Sanders, the longest-tenured President of the Georgia Association of Broadcasters, passed away after an extended illness on Monday, January 9, 2023, at 79. Bill was the President of the GAB from 1975 to 2003. Under Bill’s leadership, the GAB experienced tremendous growth and was respected as one of the strongest and most effective state broadcast associations. Bill’s advocacy for Broadcasters was critical to the association’s relevance in Georgia and Washington, D.C.


With his wife, Marlene, the GAB held memorable conventions that combined educational sessions with fun, entertaining events. Many broadcast families planned their vacations around attending the convention with their children and extending their vacation at the various destinations the GAB chose around the state of Georgia. 


Bill was a proud Georgia Bulldog and equally proud "Grady Grad." The long-standing relationship with the GAB, University of Georgia, and Grady College of Journalism grew in stature as the GAB and UGA hosted job fairs and the must-attend Winter Institute. 


As tributes to Bill pour into the GAB and social media, there are constant reminders of a life well lived and his role in many people’s lives outside of broadcasting. In so many posts, there is mention of his 60-year marriage to his wife, Marlene. Marlene was also a valuable member of the GAB staff, who passed away in December of 2021. 


Bill was a quiet but proud member of AA for four decades. He mentored and coached countless people whose life’s he affected as an AA sponsor, many of whom have acknowledged his support on Facebook. Bill was also dedicated to Toastmasters International. During and especially after retirement from the GAB, he traveled the country as a national member and leader in the Toastmasters Pathway program.


Bill received honor and recognition for his work in broadcasting, the organizations mentioned above, and his church and other church-related programs.  A member of the GAB Hall of Fame and the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame, he enthusiastically supported the newly formed Friends of Georgia Radio.


On a personal note, when I arrived in Georgia “from up north,” Bill welcomed me and, more importantly, introduced me to “everyone I needed to know” in Georgia broadcasting, the Grady College of Journalism, and, of course, the GAB. I truly doubt I would be in my position today if it weren’t for Bill’s putting me on the GAB Board shortly after arriving in Georgia.


He was one of the first to call me to congratulate me when I took this position, and although he would not step foot in the GAB Office (his terms), we would meet for lunch annually. He would send emails of approval and sometimes questions regarding actions we took at the GAB.  Like many others, he was a friend and mentor to me.


Arrangements for a celebration of life are pending and will be posted as soon as we learn of the information. 


— GAB President, Bob Houghton

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