Checking in with Alumni Board Member Adam C. Johnson

There’s a group of committed UGA alumni who dedicate their time, energy, and financial resources to bringing Bulldogs together year-round, worldwide, and lifelong. The UGA Alumni Board of Directors represents UGA’s diverse and passionate alumni family and strives to provide feedback, guidance and leadership as the university seeks to ensure that its graduates Never Bark Alone. Throughout the year, we’ll get to know these spirited graduates who hail from various backgrounds and are involved in all corners of campus.


Where do you live?
Sandy Springs, Georgia

Where do you work?
Meta; I am a privacy program manager.

When did you graduate from UGA?
I graduated with my MBA in 2016.

When did you join the alumni board?
2021

How do you support UGA?
I serve on the Alumni Board’s Student and Young Alumni Engagement Committee and serve as the board’s liaison to the Young Alumni Leadership Council (YALC), of which I was a member from 2017 to 2020. I also support the Student Veterans Resource Center, which is a part of UGA’s Student Affairs division. In 2017, I was recognized among the university’s 40 Under 40 honorees.

If you had $1 million, what fund would you support on campus?
I would support the Let the Big Dawgs Eat Food Scholarship.

What was your first job after graduation?
After graduating from the United States Military Academy West Point, I served in the U.S. Army as an infantry officer in the 82nd Airborne Division.

What was your favorite class at UGA?
This is a tough question. I’m split between Dr. Marisa Pagnattaro’s Business Law class and Dr. John Turner’s Competitive Strategy class. Both have shaped my view of business, law, and strategy and impact my work in data privacy.

What makes you most proud to be a Georgia Bulldog?
I believe in the work that our university is doing for students and on behalf of our state. I’ve been part of dozens of conversations with UGA staff and alumni to help solve issues that students are encountering and have witnessed the positive outcome of the decisions made. Seeing staff and faculty pour themselves into students and support alumni has made an immense impression on me. Our university cares about others. That matters.

My family includes …
My beautiful wife Julia Johnson.

Julia and Adam Johnson on Wedding Day

Adam and his wife Julia on their wedding day. Photo: Be the Light Photography

Adam and Julia Johnson Skiing

Adam and Julia Johnson

What were you involved in outside of the classroom as a student?
As a graduate assistant in the Student Veterans Resource Center, I advised the SVRC director on daily and long-term operations and consulted with several organizations to create marketing strategies and solutions for employment opportunities and initiatives that benefitted student veterans at UGA. It was awesome to be a small part of UGA’s efforts to support veterans.

What was your favorite place to study as a student?
The law library … but I had to conceal my calculator so I didn’t give away my status as an MBA student.

Where could you be found on a Friday night in college?
At Magnolias playing pool with my MBA classmates and PhD students.

What has been the most significant change to the physical campus since you were a student?
Terry’s Business Learning Community footprint is incredible. The new buildings are immense assets to the university that are clearly impacting students in a positive way.

What is your favorite UGA tradition?
Ringing the Chapel Bell after victories.

When you visit Athens, where do you grab a bite?
Mama’s Boy. The Georgia Peach French Toast is my to-go-to breakfast there. (Editor note: Mama’s Boy, which now has two locations in the Athens area and one in the horizon in Watkinsville, is an alumni-owned business.)

Who is your most disliked athletic rival?
Navy—the U.S. Naval Academy is West Point’s rival. My second least favorite opponent is Alabama.

What is your favorite alumni-owned business or product?
Dark chocolate and comfortable polo shirts are splendid, so Condor Chocolates and Onward Reserve.


Adam’s support across campus—including his commitment to supporting the Young Alumni Leadership Council and the Student Veterans Resource Center— embodies the spirit of UGA. We appreciate his unwavering dedication to his alma mater.

UGA Alumni Association welcomes new board and council members for 2022-2023

The University of Georgia Alumni Association has added nine alumni to its board of directors and 27 alumni to the leadership councils for the Black Alumni, Latino Alumni, Women of UGA, and Young Alumni affinity groups.

“These alumni volunteers are passionate about helping their fellow graduates sustain lifelong relationships with UGA,” said Meredith Gurley Johnson (BSFCS ’00, MED ’16), executive director of alumni relations. “I am so excited to work with each of them and to see them represent the perspectives of our diverse alumni population across the country.”

Alumni joining the board of directors July 1 include:

 

Rodney L. Brooks (MS ’03)
Beginning Farmer Regional Coordinator, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Leesburg, Georgia


Danelle Faust (BBA ’95)
Consulting Managing Director, Accenture
Deerfield, Illinois



Eddie Garrett (BSA ’06, MBA ’08)

Executive Vice President of Strategy, Current Global
Chicago, Illinois



Selby Hill (ABJ ’14)

Founding Partner / Director of Operations, Yonder Yoga
Atlanta, Georgia



Chuck Kinnebrew (BSED ’75)

Retired / Former VP of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Floor and Decor
Smyrna, Georgia



Christy Plott (BBA ’02)

Partner, American Tanning and Leather LLC
Griffin, Georgia



Ameet Shetty (BBA ’96)

Chief Data Officer, Pilot Flying J
Knoxville, Tennessee



Brian A. StoneBrian Stone (BSFR ’99, MFR ’01)

Director of Business Development, Forest Resource Consultants, Inc.
Macon, Georgia



Scott Williams (AB ’86)

Director of Multimedia Sales, SEC Network
Ellenwood, Georgia

 


The following alumni have joined the affinity group leadership councils to help build a community among specific alumni populations, including young alumni, women, Black alumni, and Latino alumni.

Black Alumni Leadership Council  

 

Richard Bedgood (AB ’91)
Senior Instructor, CarMax
Mableton, Georgia

 

 



Cherise Brown (MBA ’18)

Senior Manager of Services Sourcing, Salesforce
Lithonia, Georgia



Rodd Cargill (BBA ’10)

Neuroscience Senior Sales Specialist, Johnson and Johnson
Johns Creek, Georgia

 

 



Willie R. Mazyck Jr. (BEEd ’04, MEd ’06, MBA ’14)

Global Head of Talent Development, Danaher Corporation
Powder Springs, Georgia



Tinisha Parker (BEEd ’00, EdS ’07)

Executive Director of Student Services, Gwinnett Public Schools
Lawrenceville, Georgia

 



Candace M. Stanciel (AB ’02, MPA ’11)

Principal and Founder, The Common Good Agency
Atlanta, Georgia



Donjanea Fletcher Williams (ABJ ’00)
Evaluation Coordinator, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Newnan, Georgia



Tangela M. Williams (BBA ’89)

First Vice President of Capital Adequacy Management, Truist Bank
Atlanta, Georgia

 

 

 

Current council member Jacinta Smith began her one-year term as president of the Black Alumni Leadership Council on July 1.


Latino Alumni Leadership Council  

 

Wilheem Perez (BBA ’21)
Vice President, Compliance Business Control Manager, Citibank
Kennesaw, Georgia



Christopher Perlera (AB ’07)

Founder and Principal, Critical Point Consulting LLC
Chamblee, Georgia



Jasmin Severino (AB ’13, AB’13)

Associate, Chamberlain Hrdlicka
Atlanta, Georgia



Leopoldo Vargas (AB ’19)

Regional Outreach Coordinator for Northeast Georgia, Office of U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff
Fayetteville, Georgia

 

 

 

The Latino Alumni Council will continue to operate under the leadership of President Juan Mencias, who was recognized with the UGA Young Alumni Award in April.


Women of UGA Leadership Council  

 

Odufa Aburime (BBA ’02)
IT Clinical Business Analyst, Georgia Dept. of Behavioral Health and Development Disabilities
Decatur, Georgia



Shontel Cargill (BS ’10)

Regional Clinical Director, Thriveworks
Johns Creek, Georgia



Tunisia Finch Cornelius (BA ’04)

Owner and M.D., Divine Dermatology and Aesthetics
Atlanta, Georgia

 



Nicole R. Ingram (AB ’02)

Director of Programs and Special Initiatives, Emory University
Ellenwood, Georgia



Victoria Inman (ABJ ’08)

Director of Client Success, Jabian Consulting
Marietta, Georgia



Anna Wrigley Miller (AB ’14)

Public Service Faculty, Carl Vinson Institute of Government—University of Georgia
Watkinsville, Georgia



Karson A. Pennington (AB ’20, AB ’20, MA ’20)

Doctoral Candidate, University of Georgia
Athens, Georgia



Mandy Rodgers (AB ’08, ABJ ’08)

Founder and CEO, Mandy Kay Marketing
Atlanta, Georgia

 

 

 

Current council member Brandie Park began her one-year term as president of the Women of UGA Leadership Council on July 1.


Young Alumni Leadership Council  

 

Jay Butler (AB ’10)
Flight Attendant, Frontier Airlines
Johns Creek, Georgia



Melissa Crane (BBA ’18, MA ’19)

Associate Brand Manager, Newell Brands
Atlanta, Georgia



Jessica Davis (AB ’21, AB ’21)

Juris Doctor Candidate and Clinical Legal Fellow, University of Georgia School of Law
Athens, Georgia

 



Nash Davis (BBA ’19)

Sales Executive, AssuredPartners
Statesboro, Georgia



Bailey Dryden (AB ’20)

Juris Doctor Candidate, Georgia State University College of Law
Smyrna, Georgia



Ammishaddai Grand-Jean (AB ’19, AB ’19, MPA ’20)

General Manager, RAS Medical Solution
Jonesboro, Georgia



Cameron Keen (AB ’18, AB ’18, JD ’21)

Law Clerk to Justice Charles J. Bethel, Supreme Court of Georgia
Atlanta, Georgia



Christie Moore (AB ’10, AB ’10)

President and CEO, Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce
Valdosta, Georgia

 

 

 

Current council member Maranie Brown began her one-year term as president of the Young Alumni Leadership Council on July 1.

To view the full list of UGA Alumni Association board members, visit alumni.uga.edu/board-of-directors. To view the member roster for each affinity group leadership council, visit alumni.uga.edu/networks.

Checking in with Alumni Board Member Kevin Abernethy

There’s a group of committed UGA alumni who dedicate their time, energy, and financial resources to bringing Bulldogs together year-round, worldwide, and lifelong. The UGA Alumni Board of Directors represents UGA’s diverse and passionate alumni family and strives to provide feedback, guidance and leadership as the university seeks to ensure that its graduates Never Bark Alone. Throughout the year, we’ll get to know these spirited graduates who hail from various backgrounds and are involved in all corners of campus.

Name:

  • Kevin Abernethy

I live in:

  • Macon, Georgia

Degree:

  • 1999 – Political Science (UGA)

My current job:

  • Chief of the Civil Division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia

Kevin was named a 2013 Fulton County Daily Report 40 Under 40 Legal Star on the Rise.

I joined the alumni board in:

  • 2020

Ways I support UGA:

My first job after graduation:

  • Legislative assistant in the Georgia General Assembly

In 2019, Kevin was sworn in as an assistant U.S. attorney alongside his mother and former U.S. Attorney Charlie Peeler.

If I had $1 million, I would support the ­_____ fund on campus.

The UGA class that I enjoyed the most was:

A story that stands out as a UGA student:

  • In 1997, then UGA President Michael Adams and then Assistant to the President Victor Wilson (BSW ’82, MED ’87) asked me to speak during President Adams’ inauguration as the student representative. Georgia Gov. Zell Miller (AB ’57, MA ’58) and University System of Georgia Chancellor Stephen Portch were platform speakers with me.
  • Over a thousand people from all over the country attended. President Adams and Victor ensured my parents could be present. Speaking at that event remains one of the highest honors of my life. I will always be grateful to UGA, President Adams and Victor for giving me the privilege.

As a student, Kevin was invited to speak at the 1998 inauguration ceremony for UGA President Michael F. Adams. He’s seen here on the day with the late Georgia Governor and U.S. Senator Zell Miller (AB ’57, MA ’58) (left) and Victor K. Wilson (BSW ’82, MED ’87), who is now UGA’s vice president for student affairs.

My family includes:

  • Mother, Marcia Abernethy
  • Brother, Patrick Abernethy (BBA ’01)
  • Sister-in-law, Erin Abernethy (AB ’03)
  • Nephews William, Henry and Locke Abernethy
  • Sister, Anne Abernethy (DVM ’12)

Kevin and his brother Patrick (BBA ’01), sister-in-law Erin (AB ’03), mother Marcia, and nephews.

A special connection I have to UGA is:

  • My great uncle, John T. Jones (BS ’39), played football at UGA for Wally Butts. He missed being on the 1942 National Championship team by one year.

As a student, I was involved in:

The Red & Black ran an article in 1997 following the Student Government Association election in which Kevin was elected president and his friend Ryan Oliver was elected as vice president.

On a Friday night in college, you would have found me:

A fellow UGA grad who inspires me:

Do you remember someone as a student who has since “made it big?”

  • Yes—Kirby Smart!

The most significant change to the physical campus since I was a student:

  • The Miller Learning Center

My favorite tradition at UGA:

  • Spending time on North Campus
  • Visiting Jackson Street Cemetery
  • Getting together with friends and spending time downtown

Kevin and his nephews, Wills and Henry Abernethy.

Favorite band:

  • REM

On gameday, you’ll find me:

  • Tailgating adjacent to the Tate Student Center

Kevin enjoys a game in Sanford Stadium with his nephew.

When I visit Athens, I grab a bite at:

  • The Last Resort Grill

My most disliked athletic rival:

  • Florida

My No. 1 tip to a graduating Bulldog:

  • Work hard and don’t be deterred by adversity.

No. 1 tip to a fellow Georgia grad who has lost touch with our alma mater:

  • Consider getting involved with your local UGA Alumni Chapter.

Kevin’s support across campus—including his commitment to supporting the Division of Student Affairs— embodies the spirit of UGA. We appreciate his unwavering dedication to his alma mater.

 

Checking in with Alumni Board Member Truitt Eavenson

The following Q&A originally ran in the UGA College of Engineering e-newsletter. Thanks to the college for allowing us to share Truitt’s spotlight!

Truitt Eavenson (BSAE ’83) recently retired after a long and successful career with Georgia Power Company. He also recently established the Truitt Eavenson Engineering Scholarship, is a UGA Alumni Association board member, and is a member of the Engineering Advisory Board.

What led you to UGA as an undergrad?

“Growing up 30 miles outside of Athens, I knew that UGA would be where I would go to school. Saturday afternoons listening to Larry Munson on the radio was always a fall tradition. I remember sitting down with the course catalog and reading through the programs, and that’s when I found Agricultural Engineering. I made an appointment with Dr. Robert Brown, and after that visit I knew what my major would be.”

Truitt Eavenson with Uga

Truitt Eavenson with Uga on the sidelines of a football game.

What are your favorite memories of your time at UGA?

“I transferred to UGA in the fall of 1980. Any Dawg fan will say that there was probably not a more exciting time to be in Athens. The football team was headed to the national championship, work was being done to close in the stadium, and Ag Engineering was selling pieces of the track to fans that had sat there and watched a game. The Ag Engineering program was small enough that we really got to know our fellow students and the professors. And I have to put in a plug for Dr. Sid Thompson. He started what would be a long, memorable career and touched many of our lives as students.”

What inspired you to give back to the College of Engineering?

“This may sound like a simple reason, but I was at work one day talking with a colleague that had also graduated from UGA. We were talking about making contributions to the school where you graduated. They made the statement that they really didn’t understand why people wouldn’t support the school where they received their degree, since the school helped you get a job, reach your career goals, and simply gave us the means to provide for our families. That statement really resonated with me, and I started making small contributions to the engineering program.”

What led to your decision to support scholarships in the College of Engineering?

“I think it just grew from making small gifts. I’ve enjoyed a successful career with Georgia Power, and I wanted to do this as a way to pay it back. An early president of Georgia Power used a line in a speech around 1928. He said that we would be a “citizen wherever we serve.” That was a big part of my career with volunteer activities and the jobs that I was asked to do in communities around that state. My fellow employees at Georgia Power have always set the bar really high when it comes to giving back. When you spend 36 years of your career where that is encouraged and supported, it just becomes second nature, and you find yourself looking for opportunities where you can serve.”

What are your hopes for the future recipients of your scholarships?

“My hope is that 40 years from now they will be asked these questions and will be able to say that the study they completed at UGA allowed them to accomplish all their life goals, and that it helped them provide for their families and make a significant contribution in whatever they attempted to do.”

What has been the most rewarding part of supporting a scholarship in Engineering?

“Just knowing that you are doing a small part in helping the next generation prepare for the future. There’s a proverb that says “society grows when men plant trees they will never sit under.” I feel certain these trees will grow and prosper in ways we haven’t even imagined yet!”

 

Checking in with Alumni Board Member Russ Pennington

There’s a group of committed UGA alumni who dedicate their time, energy, and financial resources to bringing Bulldogs together year-round, worldwide, and lifelong. The UGA Alumni Board of Directors represents UGA’s diverse and passionate alumni family and strives to provide feedback, guidance and leadership as the university seeks to ensure that its graduates Never Bark Alone. Throughout the year, we’ll get to know these spirited graduates who hail from various backgrounds and are involved in all corners of campus.

Their goal: to empower the next breed of Bulldogs to continue that tradition of excellence.

Name:

  • Russ Pennington

I live in:

  • Atlanta, GA

Degree:

  • 2001 – Bachelor of Science in Biological Engineering (UGA)
  • 2006 – Master of Business Administration (UGA)

I joined the board in:

  • 2016

Ways I support UGA:

Russ with interim Uga mascot

Russ with the former mascot Uga IX, also known fondly as “Russ.”

My first job after graduation

If I had $1 million, I would support the _____ fund on campus.

The UGA class that I enjoyed most was

  • A Maymester course called “Geology, Hydrology and Soils of Georgia,” where we spent the term camping around the state and learning about Georgia’s natural resources.
Russ with family a UGA homecoming football game

Russ with his wife, Kelli, and two daughters, Caroline and Eleanor, at a UGA football game.

 A story that stands out as a UGA student was:

  • I remember my first time riding a UGA bus. I jumped on an Orbit bus and after a complete loop around campus, I realized I had no clue where I was going!

My family includes:

  • Wife, Kelli (BBA ’00)
  • Two daughters: Caroline and Eleanor
  • Two dogs: Gertie and Hattie

A special connection I have to UGA is …

  • In May 2014, I had the humbling experience of being the keynote speaker for the College of Engineering’s Convocation. I realized in that moment that my school could give me so much more than I can give it. It also was amazing to see the college grow from where it was when I graduated to where it is now.
Russ delivering convocation speech 2014

Russ delivering his convocation speech to engineering students in 2014.

A memory from my acceptance into UGA:

  • I remember vividly getting the envelope with the red stripe in the mail. I decided to go early and start classes in the summer semester. I never went back home!

As a student, I was involved in:

On a Friday night in college, you would have found me:

  • Participating in the downtown nightlife!
Russ with wife at football game

Russ and his wife, Kelli, as undergrads.

The most significant change to the physical campus since I was a student:

My favorite tradition at UGA

  • The Battle Hymn trumpet solo

When I visit Athens, I have to grab a bite at:

  • The Last Resort
Russ Pennington Alumni Weekend photo shoot

Russ participating in a photo shoot to promote Alumni Weekend.

When this song comes on the radio, I think of college:

  • “Babs O’Riley” by The Who

My most disliked athletic rival:

  • The Gators

My dream weekend in Athens includes:

  • When Notre Dame played UGA in 2019— the prime-time kickoff, the flyover, the new LED lights and the victory— it was as good as it gets!

No. 1 tip to a fellow Georgia grad who has lost touch with their alma mater:

  • You really need to understand how much you can get back from your alma mater.  It is easy to move away and forget about the students, but giving back is so rewarding. Everything has changed so much and the direct hand that our alumni have in that change is incredible. Be involved and you will be blown away as to how much you will learn and benefit from the experience.

 

Russ’s support across campus— including being a committed advocate for the College of Engineering— embodies the spirit of UGA. We appreciate his unwavering dedication to his alma matter.

Checking in with Alumni Board Member Wes Neece

There’s a group of committed UGA alumni who dedicate their time, energy, and financial resources to bringing Bulldogs together year-round, worldwide, and lifelong. These spirited Alumni Board members represent the diverse and passionate UGA alumni family and strive to provide feedback, guidance and leadership as the University of Georgia seeks to ensure that its graduates Never Bark Alone. Throughout the year, we’ll get to know these individuals; they hail from various backgrounds and are involved in all corners of campus. Their goal: to empower the next breed of Bulldog to continue ta tradition of excellence.

Name:

  • Wes Neece

I live in:

  • Atlanta, GA

Degree:

  • 2000 – BBA in Management Information Systems (UGA)

I joined the board in:

  • 2018

Ways I support UGA:

Wes Neece with Home Depot

Wes represents UGA at a Home Depot summer intern networking breakfast in 2018.

My first job after graduation:

  • A computer programmer at The Home Depot

The class at UGA that I enjoyed most was:

  • Intro to Management Information Systems. I love the way that business and technology interact.

What makes me most proud to be a Georgia Bulldog:

  • The fact that our academic reputation continues to escalate!

My family includes:

  • Wife, Becky (BS ’01)
  • Daughters, Rowan and Carlson
  • Dogs, Olaf and Dolly
Wes Neece with his kids

Wes enjoys a tailgate on Myers Quad with his two daughters, Rowan and Carlson.

A special connection I have to UGA is:

  • I met my wife and my best friends there.

As a student, I was involved in:

My favorite place to study on campus was:

  • Law Library— cool, quiet, and close to downtown for when study time is over!

On a Friday night in college, you would have found me:

  • Having one too many at Sons of Italy and Steverino’s

When I was a student, I lived in:

  • Creswell
  • University Commons
  • College Park

My greatest accomplishment as a student:

  • Graduating Magna Cum Laude— I was proud of the balance I struck between partying and school!

My favorite memory from graduation:

  • I only slept for 90 minutes the night before my graduation ceremony. My mom was mortified that I wore flip flops to it!
Wes Neece graduation

Wes wearing his infamous flip flips at graduation in 2000!

A fellow UGA grad who inspires me is:

My favorite tradition at UGA:

  • The Battle Hymn Trumpet solo

When I visit Athens, I have to grab a bite at:

  • The Last Resort

On game day, you’ll find me:

  • Rushing to make kickoff after a kid’s soccer game!

My most disliked athletic rival is:

  • University of Florida— everyone knows that Gators wear jean shorts!

A few of my favorites:

  • Book: Pillars of Earth
  • Podcast: The Daily
  • Movie: The Shawshank Redemption
  • Band: Mumford & Sons
  • TV show: The West Wing
Wes Neece at Rose Bowl

Wes cheers on the Dawgs at the 2018 Rose Bowl.

Favorite alumni-owned restaurant:

No. 1 tip to a graduating Bulldog:

  • There will be higher highs (wedding day, birth of your children, etc.), but know that when you look back at your life, your time in Athens will be one that you long for. You only get one go at this. Make sure you enjoy it!

No. 1 tip to a fellow Georgia grad who has lost touch with their alma mater:

  • Your school has so much to offer you. It gives you a sense of grounding of who you are, who you were and, most importantly, what used to be important to you. A sense of grounding is incredibly important in the chaos that is today. Let UGA be an anchor for you.

Wes, who you might recognize from UGA’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2017, supports UGA in a variety of ways—including being a wonderful advocate at The Home Depot—and we appreciate his ongoing commitment to his alma mater.

Checking in with outgoing Alumni Board Member April Crow

There’s a group of committed UGA alumni who dedicate their time, energy and financial resources to bringing Bulldogs together year-round, worldwide and lifelong. These spirited Alumni Board members represent the diverse and passionate UGA alumni family and strive to provide feedback, guidance and leadership as the University of Georgia seeks to ensure that its graduates Never Bark Alone. Throughout the year, we’ll get to know these individuals; they hail from various backgrounds and are involved in all corners of campus. Their ultimate goal: to empower the next breed of Bulldog to continue that tradition.

April Crow Headshot

April Crow, an outgoing board member and dedicated alumnus.

Name:

  • April Crow

I live in:

  • Atlanta, GA

Degree:

  • 1995 – BS in Environmental Health (UGA)

I joined the board in:

  • 2015

What makes me proud to be a Georgia Bulldog:

  • The community of fellow Bulldogs around the state and the world that are doing great work in their communities. I love interacting with them both socially and professionally.

Ways I support UGA:

If I had $1 million, I would support the _____ fund on campus.

My first job after graduation

  • Regulatory Affairs Specialist at Coca-Cola

A moment that stood out as a UGA student was

  • I wanted to take Ballroom Dance for one of my P.E. courses, but you could only sign up with a partner. I recruited a good friend named Brian. Who knew that class would spark a little romance that made him my dance partner for life?

My family includes:

  • Husband, Brian (BSAE ’97)
  • Son, Garner
  • Daughter, Greer
April Crow and family at football game

April cheers on the Dawgs with her husband, Brian, and two children!

A special connection I have to UGA is…

  • Throughout my professional career, I have focused a significant amount of time and personal interest in solving the plastics in the ocean challenge. I connected with Jenna Jambeck, a leading academic researcher on the topic and a UGA professor. I’ve had the opportunity to work and speak with her at events around the world. It is great to see UGA contributing to such an important challenge.

A memory from my acceptance into UGA:

  • I remember answering the phone in our family living room during Spring 1991. Wen Williams, associate dean for academic affairs, congratulated me on being awarded a full tuition scholarship from the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

As a student, I was involved in:

  • Zeta Tau Alpha
  • College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences Ambassador
  • Job at the Tate Copy Center
April Crow in Sanford Stadium

April Crow celebrating the Bulldog 100 with her husband in Sanford Stadium.

My favorite place to study on campus was:

  • Science Library

My favorite place to dine on campus:

  • Bolton Dining Hall –– My best friends and I loved making waffles and topping them with ice cream from the UGA Creamery!

On a Friday night in college, you would have found me:

  • At the Zeta Tau Alpha house getting ready to go downtown!

When I was a student, I lived in:

  • Boggs Hall
  • Zeta Tau Alpha house
  • Apartment at Rivers Edge

My fashion/hair style as a student

  • Floral, puffy sleeves
  • Jumpers for dressing up
  • Sorority/fraternity T-shirts

When in college, I wish I had known that …

  • The time would go by so quickly– I wish I could go back and soak in more of those experiences and meet more people.
April with son and husband

April with her son, Garner, and husband Brian.

The most significant change to campus since I was a student

  • Tate Center expansion!

When this song comes on the radio, I think of college:

  • “Love Shack” by the B-52’s

My most disliked athletic rival:

  • University of Florida

Favorite alumni-owned restaurant:

  • Condor Chocolates

My dream weekend in Athens includes:

  • Tailgating, seeing friends, enjoying lots of restaurants and shopping downtown.

No. 1 tip to a graduating Bulldog:

  • Learn as much as you can. Meet as many people as possible. Leverage the UGA network and give back financially and by helping other Bulldogs!

No. 1 tip to a fellow Georgia grad who has lost touch with their alma mater:

April’s term on the Alumni Board concluded June 30, but we know this loyal Bulldog will remain involved for years to come. Also, be sure to check out a special story about April and Brian’s financial support for UGA. LINK

UGA Alumni Association names new president, board members

The UGA Alumni Association Board of Directors has elected its 77th president, Yvette K. Daniels (AB ’86, JD ’89), and approved eight new board members. Their terms began July 1.

Daniels has been on the board since 2015 and succeeds Brian Dill (AB ’94, MBA ’19), whose two-year term concluded June 30. Her passion for policy, mentorship and relationship-building has guided her career. She spent six years as an assistant state attorney in Florida, and then joined the Georgia Department of Public Health where she has held lobbying and director positions. Today, she is the director of university relations for the Georgia Department of Public Health.

“Yvette is a valued leader among this group of passionate alumni,” said Meredith Gurley Johnson (BSFCS ’00, MED ’16), executive director of alumni relations. “She embodies the spirit of UGA, is committed to the UGA community and goes above and beyond to serve our university.”

The Atlanta native graduated from the University of Georgia in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and in 1989 with a law degree. She resides in Stone Mountain, Georgia, with her husband, Frederick L. Daniels Jr. The couple has two daughters – Kasey is a second-year student at UGA, and Kinsey is a senior at Arizona State University. Daniels will be the first Black woman president of the UGA Alumni Association.

Alumni joining the board on July 1 include:

  • Charlene Johnson Benn (BS ’85), Director of Operations and Technology Strategy, Fiserv; Suwanee, Georgia
  • Ericka Brown Davis (AB ’93), Chief Communications Officer, State Road and Tollway Authority and Atlanta-Region Transit Link Authority; College Park, Georgia
  • Deretta Rhodes (BSFCS ’92, PHD ’10), EVP/Chief People Capital Officer, Atlanta Braves; Atlanta
  • Paton Faletti (BBA ’99), President and CEO, NCM Associates; Atlanta
  • Ashley M. Horne (ABJ ’01), Chief Marketing Officer, Womble Bond Dickinson (U.S.); Atlanta
  • Adam C. Johnson (MBA ’16), Director, Jabian Consulting; Atlanta
  • Christian Robinson (BBA ’04), Executive Director, JP Morgan Chase & Co.; Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Marisa “Marsay” Simpson (BSW ’97), Director of Legislative and Governmental Affairs, Atlanta Gas Light; Greensboro, Georgia

The executive board members who will serve alongside Daniels include:

  • Lee Zell (AB ’96), Vice President — Account Executive, Turner Sports; Atlanta
  • Bobb Watts (AB ’10), Secretary — Associate, Jones Day; Atlanta
  • Dominique Holloman (BS ’01, AB ’01, MED ’04, JD ’04), Nominating Committee Chair — Government Affairs Manager, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority; Atlanta
  • Stephanie Powell (BSED ’94, MED ’97, EDS ’99), Student Engagement Committee Chair  — Director of Internal Affairs, Joe Powell and Associates, Inc.; Cumming, Georgia
  • Corey Dortch (BSA ’03, MED ’05, PHD ’11), Affinity Committee Chair — Associate Dean, Evening MBA Program, Emory University Goizueta Business School; Mableton, Georgia
  • Cheri Leavy (BSED ’97), Events Committee Chair — Editor/Creative Director/Founder, guide2athens/Bulldog Illustrated/The Southern Coterie; St. Simons Island, Georgia
  • Todd Phinney (BBA ’88), Chapters Committee Chair — Business Consultant-Field Operations, Chick-fil-A, Inc.; Bishop, Georgia

“These new board members represent an array of diverse perspectives and alumni experiences at the University of Georgia,” said Johnson. “Their dedication to leadership and service are invaluable in engaging alumni and inspiring Bulldogs year-round, worldwide and lifelong.”

Board members concluding their terms on the board include:

  • Bill Caldwell (BLA ’97), Smyrna, Georgia
  • Jody Corry (ABJ ’88, JD ’91), Watkinsville, Georgia
  • April Crow (BSEH ’95), Atlanta
  • Shelly Hutchinson (MSW ’00), Snellville, Georgia
  • Lex Kenerly (BS ’78), Jesup, Georgia
  • Luther Lockwood (BBA ’89), Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Bonney Shuman (BBA ’80), St. Simons Island, Georgia

The UGA Alumni Association Board of Directors works closely with UGA’s alumni relations staff to promote, support, and advance the programs and services that are offered to nearly 340,000 living alumni around the world.

brian dill

Checking in with outgoing Alumni Board President Brian Dill

Brian Dill in front of Wray-Nicholson House

There’s a group of committed UGA alumni who dedicate their time, energy and financial resources to bringing Bulldogs together year-round, worldwide and lifelong. These spirited individuals represent the diverse and passionate UGA alumni family and strive to provide feedback, guidance and leadership as the University of Georgia seeks to ensure that its graduates Never Bark Alone. Throughout the year, we’ll get to know these individuals; they hail from various backgrounds and are involved in all corners of campus. Their ultimate goal: to empower the next breed of Bulldog to continue that tradition.

Name:

  • Brian Dill

I live in:

  • Carrollton, Georgia

Degrees:

  • 1994 – AB in Political Science (UGA)
  • 2019 – MBA (UGA)

I joined the board in:

  • 2007

What makes me most proud to be a Georgia Bulldog:

  • Being a part of a diverse and highly successful alumni family.
Brian Dill speaking at 40 Under 40

Brian speaking at UGA’s 40 Under 40 Awards Luncheon.

Ways I support UGA

If I had $1 million, I would support the ______ fund on campus.

My first job after graduation was

  • lobbying for the Atlanta Homebuilders Association

The UGA class I enjoyed most was

  • Southern Politics with Charles Bullock III
Brian Dill as Redcoat Band Member

Brian was a proud member of the Redcoat Band.

A moment that stood out as a UGA student was

  • My first game as a freshman in the Redcoat Band – the season opened with a night game in Baton Route against LSU.

My family includes:

  • Wife, Carmen (BSFCS ’95)
  • Son, Mason – attending Dean College in Massachusetts
  • Datson/Beagle, Jake
  • English Bulldog, Savannah
Carmen Brian and Mason Dill at the Arch

Brian (center) and his wife, Carmen, and son, Mason.

A special connection I have to UGA is:

  • My wife, Carmen, and I met on campus and later married in the UGA Chapel.
Carmen and Brian in Sky Suites

Carmen and Brian cheer for the Dawgs whenever they can!

As a student, I was involved in:

  • Redcoat Band
  • College Republicans
  • Job in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Crop and Soil Science department

My favorite place to study on campus was:

  • Main Library

My favorite place to dine on campus was:

  • Tate Center – quick and easy!

On a Friday night in college, you would have found me:

  • Studying? Oh yeah, downtown!
Brian Dill Delivering Commencement Address in 2019

Brian Dill delivering welcome remarks to the Class of 2019.

Graduation was:

  • On a very hot day, in the morning, and we sat in the stands at the time – not on the field.

When in college, I wish I had known that:

  • Just because they offer you credit card deals with free stuff doesn’t mean you should take them – not the best financial move back in the day!

A fellow grad who inspires me is:

  • Maria Taylor (ABJ ’09, MBA ’13), sportscaster for ESPN

A fellow student I knew who has since “made it big” is:

  • Brett Bawcum (BMUS ’97, MM ’00, DMA ’17), Redcoat Band director. It’s a pretty big deal to lead a band that you were a member of. Very proud of him!

Favorite UGA tradition:

  • Singing the Alma Mater in Sanford Stadium
Brian Dill and Hairy Dawg

While serving on the board, Brian has run into Hairy Dawg a few times!

When visiting Athens, I have to grab a bite at:

  • The Blind Pig Tavern

On gameday, you’ll find me:

  • Tailgating on North Campus

When this song comes on the radio, I think of UGA/college:

  • “Georgia On My Mind” by Ray Charles
Kevin Steele, Carmen and Brian Dill at 2015 Bulldog 100 Celebration

Carmen and Brian with Kevin Steele, a former UGA Student Alumni Council member, during the 2015 Bulldog 100 Celebration.

Most disliked athletic rival:

  • Georgia Tech

A few of my favorites:

  • Book: Decision Point by George W. Bush
  • Podcast: Andy Stanley
  • Band: Jimmy Buffett
  • TV/Streaming Show: Blue Bloods
  • Alumni-owned Business: Onward Reserve
  • Move: Smokey and the Bandit

Describe your dream weekend in Athens.

  • Friday night at Georgia Theatre with Kinchafoonee Cowboys, Saturday in Sanford Stadium watching the Dawgs beat the Nerds, and a Sunday brunch at Hilltop Grill listening to Jeff Dantzler (AB ’07) and Kevin Butler (AB ’18) break down another whupping from a Bulldog Saturday night!

No. 1 tip for a graduating Bulldog:

  • If you ever get an offer to work for a Georgia Tech grad … don’t!

No. 1 tip for a fellow Georgia grad who has lost touch with their alma mater:

  • We Never Bark Alone, so get re-engaged. You will never regret it. Go Dawgs!
Brian Dill speaking

Brian Dill speaking during a 2014 Alumni Board meeting in Athens.

Brian will remain on the Alumni Board of Directors as immediate past president, so we’ll still see him around – plus, as they say: Once a Dawg, Always a Dawg!

 

UGA Alumni Association welcomes new volunteers to board of directors and leadership councils

The University of Georgia Alumni Association Board of Directors recently welcomed Kevin Abernathy, Elliot Marsh, and Charlita Stephens-Walker as new board members. In addition, 16 new alumni volunteers have joined the Black Alumni Leadership Council, Women of UGA Leadership Council, and the Young Alumni Leadership Council. 

“These graduates reflect the characteristics of a true Bulldog: committed, caring and spirited,” said Meredith Gurley Johnson, executive director of alumni relations. “They are leaders in their communities, and they will bring an important voice to these leadership groups as we seek to foster a supportive and inclusive community for the more than 332,000 living alumni around the world. I’m looking forward to working with each of them.” 

Kevin Abernethy served as president of the Student Government Association before graduating from UGA in 1999. Today, he is an assistant U.S. attorney with the Middle District of Georgia, defending federal agencies and recovering assets for the U.S. Treasury. Abernethy participates in the UGA Mentor Program, was named to UGA’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2013, completed the Harvard Kennedy School’s Emerging Leaders program, is on the School of Public and International Affairs Alumni Board of Directors, and serves on the advisory board for UGA’s vice president of student affairs. 


A Statesboro, Georgia, native, Elliott Marsh earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics and a master’s degree in agricultural leadership from UGA. Today, Marsh is a financial advisor with Edward Jones. He has earned several honors, including the J.W. Fanning Distinguished Young Professional Award from the Agricultural Economics Association of Georgia, and was named to the 40 Under 40 lists for both UGA and Georgia Trend Magazine. Marsh is a past president of UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Alumni Association. 



Charlita Stephens-Walker earned an undergraduate degree in public relations from UGA and is now the national director of corporate and cause partnerships for Boys & Girls Clubs of America. She is an Alliance Theatre trustee and is on the board of Women in Film and Television Atlanta. She guides students through the UGA Mentor Program and is a charter member of The 1961 Club, a giving society established by the UGA Black Alumni Leadership Council. She resides in Decatur, Georgia. 


The following alumni will join the leadership councils for the UGA Alumni Association’s three affinity groups that seek to build relationships with specific alumni populations in the metro Atlanta area:   

Black Alumni Leadership Council  


Ashley Noel Carter (BSA ’10), Army National Guard military officer and contractor, U.S. Army, McDonough, Georgia.  


Stacey Chavis (MSL ’19), managing director, Campaign Academy, Brookhaven, Georgia.  


Corinna Ellis (AB ’92), senior mortgage loan officer in the financial services industry, Sandy Springs, Georgia.  


Extriara Gates (MSW ’11), behavioral health and family support manager, Bobby Dodd Institute; owner, Lavender Grove Psychotherapy, Atlanta, Georgia.  


Sara Hall (BSW ’09, MSW ’11), clinical social worker, hematology and bone marrow transplantation, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.  


Shayla Hill (BBA ’08), assistant director of digital strategy, Georgia Institute of Technology, Tucker, Georgia.

Women of UGA Leadership Council  


Kim Eilers (BSED ’95, MED ’97), real estate agent, Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty, Smyrna, Georgia.  


Cecilia Epps (BS ’08), freelance sign language interpreter, Lithonia, Georgia.


Christy Hulsey (ABJ ’97), creative director, Colonial House of Flowers, Marietta, Georgia.  


Crystal Ivey (MBA ’14), brand manager for Diet Coke, The Coca-Cola Company, Conyers, Georgia.  


Stephanie Jackson (BBA ’13, MACC ’14), land finance analyst, Ashton Woods Homes, Brookhaven, Georgia.  

Young Alumni Leadership Council  


John Bowden (BBA ’13, BBA ’13), associate broker, Harry Norman Realtors, Atlanta, Georgia. 


Maranie Brown (BSFCS ’12), digital program manager, You Are Here, Smyrna, Georgia. 


Morgan Cook (BBA ’15, MBA ’19), senior risk analyst, Beecher Carlson, Atlanta, Georgia.   


Maxwell Mitchell (BBA ’12, MACC ’13), mergers and acquisitions manager, Deloitte, Atlanta, Georgia.  


Pierce Persons (ABJ ’14), director of operations, Room 422, Atlanta, Georgia.  


To view the full list of UGA Alumni Association board members visit alumni.uga.edu/board-of-directors and alumni.uga.edu/networks for the complete list of leadership council members.