UGA Alumni signature events

2017 Bulldog 100 Celebration

On February 4, the University of Georgia Alumni Association and friends of UGA gathered in Atlanta to celebrate the 100 fastest-growing companies owned or operated by UGA alumni during the eighth annual Bulldog 100 Celebration.

The 2017 fastest-growing business was Chicken Salad Chick, helmed by president and CEO Scott Deviney, who received his degree in economics from UGA’s Terry College of Business in 1995. The company is based in Auburn, Alabama, and was started by a stay-at-home mom and her software salesman husband after selling chicken salad at PTA meetings.

To date, the company operates 62 restaurants and has sold 146 franchises in eight states, selling chicken salad in 15 flavor profiles. In 2016, Chicken Salad Chick landed at No. 37 on Inc. Magazine’s annual list of the 500 fastest-growing companies in the U.S., raking in $9.8 million in 2015, with a growth rate of more than 6,000 percent in the past three years. The company has also been named one of FastCasual.com’s top Movers and Shakers and one of Nation’s Restaurant News’ 2015 Breakout Brands.

View the complete ranked list of all 100 companies at alumni.uga.edu/b100.

This year’s keynote speech was given by Double Dawg Debbie Storey (AB ’80, MBA ’06), retired executive vice president of mobility customer service at AT&T, author of Don’t Downsize Your Dreams. As Storey wrapped up her remarks, she encouraged all of the evening’s guests to stay connected to the University of Georgia. 

Nominations are now open for the Bulldog 100 Class of 2018. Learn more about the criteria and nominate a business today.

 

2016 40 Under 40 Awards Luncheon: Recap

On September 8, the University of Georgia came together to recognize 40 outstanding young alumni, the Class of 2016 40 Under 40. The Class of 2016 included graduates from several schools and colleges, majors and backgrounds. While several hail from the state of Georgia, some live as far away as California or New York. The list included current and former NFL players, a country music artist, entrepreneurs, lawyers and more.

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Before being presented with their awards, the honorees and other guests were treated to a keynote speech from alumna and former Gym Dogs member Leah C. Brown, MD (BS ’98). Brown is a medical corps commander in the United States Army Reserve.

This event would not have been possible without Verizon, our platinum sponsor. Julie Smith (AB ’00), one of this year’s honorees, is vice president for external affairs for the southern region for Verizon. 

40 Under 40 Highlights: Political Figures and Non-Profits

Today we are highlighting members of Class of 2016 40 Under 40 who are political figures or work for non-profits. The members highlighted are Allison Alexander, Andres Villegas, Brendan Buck, Brittany Brown, Christina Swoope, Derick Corbertt, Jehan Zweig, Jennie Blake, Katie Childers, and Meredith Seacrest.

Allison Alexander graduated from the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication in 1999 with a degree in broadcast news. Mrs. Alexander now lives in Silver Spring, Maryland and serves as the vice president for the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. While the 1996 Olympics were held in Atlanta, some events were held in Athens, Georgia at UGA venues. “I was a flower and medal bearer in the 1996 Olympics for the soccer and rhythmic gymnastics events held in Athens,” said Mrs. Alexander, “I was interning at the County Executive’s office in New Castle County, Delaware, and the local news misreported that I was competing in the Olympics!”

Allison Hoke Alexander

Allison Hoke Alexander

Andres Villegas is the president of the Georgia Forestry Association. Mr. Villegas graduated in 1998 from the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Mr. Villegas now lives in Macon, Georgia. After Mr. Villegas graduated, his first job was with the Georgia Department of Agriculture. He led several trade missions with Cuba during his time there. During these missions, Mr. Villegas and nine other people had the opportunity to have dinner with President Castro. “I still have a couple of cigar boxes that he signed,” said Mr. Villegas.

Andres Villegas

Andres Villegas

Brendan Buck graduated from the Terry College of Business in 2004 with a degree in economics. Mr. Buck now lives and works in Washington, D.C. as the chief communications advisor for the Office of the U.S. Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan. Mr. Buck never imagined he would have a job in politics after graduated; he expected to work in finance. He is also a strong proponent of the oxford comma.

Brendan Buck

Brendan Buck

Brittany Brown graduated with her first degree in speech communications from UGA in 2007. In 2015, Ms. Brown returned to UGA for her master’s in communication. Ms. Brown now lives in Jacksonville, Florida and works as a combat stress recovery specialist for the Wounded Warrior Project. Did you know Ms. Brown was a Braves girl during her time as undergraduate at UGA? Ms. Brown is also the mother of a Cabbage Patch Kid named Lana and has dabbled in standup comedy.

Brittany Brown

Brittany Brown

Christina Swoope works in the Office of the President of the United States of America as a Medicare program examiner. Ms. Swoope received her degree from UGA in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in microbiology. She now lives in Hanover, Maryland. “Even though I was a science major, I chose an undergraduate institution based on the band. Words cannot express how excited I was that UGA also had my major,” Said Ms. Swoope.

Christina Swoope

Christina Swoope

Derick Corbett graduated for a bachelor’s degree in economics in 2000. Mr. Corbett lives in Atlanta and works as the Chief of Staff for the Office of U.S. Congressman Rob Woodall. Mr. Corbett has a secret fear of flying, even though his job requires multiple weekly flights. “It’s ironic that I chose a profession that requires weekly plane rides,” said Mr. Corbett.

Derrick Corbett

Derrick Corbett

Jenah Zweig received her law degree from UGA in 2011. Ms. Zweig lies in Washington, D.C. and serves as the supervisor of policy and technical assistance for the U.S. Department of Energy. “At 12-years-old, I made more than $12,000 buying and selling Beanie Babies. This profit was invested, and helped to fund my UGA Law education,” said Ms. Zweig, “I am the first woman in my family to graduate from a four-year university and the first person in my family to attend graduate school.”

Jennifer "Jenah" Zweig

Jennifer “Jenah” Zweig

Jennie Blake began her education at UGA with a bachelor’s degree in social work and graduated in 1999. Ms. Blake continued her education at Georgia State in pursuing a master’s degree in social work. Ms. Blake now lives and works in Atlanta, where she is the director for the Cox Foundation. Her fun fact? Ms. Blake has met and had a conversation with the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson. Sarah Ferguson was the ground breaking ceremony for the Ronald McDonald House Charities, where Ms. Blake was attending as a guest of the Ronald McDonald House, one of her clients.

Jennie Blake

Jennie Blake

Katie Childers graduated with her bachelor’s degree from the Terry College of Business in 2007. Ms. Childers lives in Atlanta and works as the deputy chief of staff of policy for the State of Georgia Governor’s Office. “My interest in healthcare started when I would spend the night at Athens Regional with my mom while she was on call. I grew up at the nurses’ station on Labor and Delivery, and became fascinated with the healthcare delivery system,” said Ms. Childers, “I knew from an early age that I wanted to be deeply involved in how the healthcare system as a whole functioned.”

Katie Childers

Katie Childers

Meredith Seacrest lives in West Hollywood, California and is the executive director and COO of the Ryan Seacrest Foundation. Ms. Seacrest graduated from the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in public relations. Ms. Seacrest has traveled to 25 different countries and is always wanting to learn more about the world. “I believe some of the best self-growth and insight can be achieved from traveling, “said Ms. Seacrest.

Meredith Seacrest

Meredith Seacrest

Meet the rest of this year’s 40 Under 40 class at alumni.uga.edu/40u40.

 

40 Under 40 Highlights: Agriculture

Today, we are highlighting members of Class of 2016 40 Under 40 who are work in field of agricultire. The members highlighted are Adam Miller, Amanda Lang, Elliot Marsh, and Will Witherspoon.

Adam Miller graduated from the College of Environment and Design with a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture in 2005. Mr. Miller lives in Chicago and is the design principal of Chicago Roof Deck and Garden. As a young adult, Mr. Miller has had almost every job imaginable. “The list includes: Mailboxes etc, Taco Bell, Abercrombie, a plant nursery, J.Crew, phone book delivery, waiter, busboy, host, and disher,” said Mr. Miller.

Adam Miller

Adam Miller

Amanda Lang received her undergraduate degree in 2005 from the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources and her master’s degree in forestry resources in 2008. She lives in Bishop, Georgia and is a partner and senior consultant at Forisk Consulting. At home, Mrs. Lang and her husband recently started raising chickens. At their house, they have one hen and one rooster. The couple looks forward to raising baby chicks in the future.

Amanda Lang

Amanda Lang

Elliot Marsh received both his master’s degree and his bachelor’s degree from UGA. Mr. Marsh graduated in 2002 with his first degree in agricultural economics and then returned in 2011 for his master’s in agricultural leadership. Mr. Marsh lives in Statesboro, Georgia and is the precision ag coordinator for the Southern States Cooperative. Mr. Marsh does not know if he has a fact people do not already know about him. “I’ve found that as I got older and grew in my leadership opportunities that I needed to discuss things and situations with others both good and bad. I found it as a way to relate and could often help in situations that others may not be as comfortable to discuss things,” said Mr. Marsh.

Elliot Marsh

Elliot Marsh

Will Witherspoon graduated in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in housing form the College of Family and Consumer Sciences. Mr. Witherspoon is the owner of Shire Gate Farm in Chesterfield, Missouri. While running a sustainable cattle ranch, Mr. Witherspoon said that his closet hobby is making music. Before owning his farm, Mr. Witherspoon was a linebacker for the NFL.

Will Witherspoon

Will Witherspoon

Meet the rest of this year’s 40 Under 40 class at alumni.uga.edu/40u40.

40 Under 40 Highlights: Real Estate

Today we are highlighting members of Class of 2016 40 Under 40 who are involved with real estate. The members highlighted are Chase Lawrence, Kevin Aycock, Lana Chumachenko, Ryan Irvine, and Wes Rogers.

Chase Lawrence graduated from the College of Family and Consumer Science in 2005 with a degree in housing. Mr. Lawrence lives in Athens, Georgia and is the founder and principle of College Town Properties, LLC. Mr. Lawrence says he is always looking to the next endeavor and challenge. “I think it’s important to recognize that life is precious, and that you have to truly enjoy the time you have, rather than being so focused on particular goals,” said Mr. Lawrence.

Chase Lawrence

Chase Lawrence

Kevin Aycock lives in Atlanta and is the president of Kevin Aycock Homes. Mr. Aycock graduated in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in economics and then returned to UGA for his master’s MBA in 2015. Did you know Mr. Aycock used to be a competitive boxer? “I was the 2012 Golden Glove Heavy Weight Champion of Georgia. I won at the age of 34 which is the oldest you can be to compete in the regular division,” said Mr. Aycock, “I have retired from competitive boxing but still very much enjoy the sport.”

Kevin Aycock

Kevin Aycock

Lana Chumachenko graduated from UGA in 2006 with a degree in business. Mrs. Chumachenko is a senior real estate representative for Chick-fil-a and currently lives in Grayson, Georgia. Mrs. Chumachenko is originally from Moldova, one of the poorest Eastern European countries. “During our first year in the United States, we ate at the soup kitchen due to the lack of funds for the family of five,” said Mrs. Chumachenko, “Today, I mentor four business owners overseas in Kiev, Ukraine and Minsk, Belarus. I have come full circle and it feels great to serve others!”

Svetlana Chumachenko

Svetlana Chumachenko

Ryan Irvine graduated from the Terry College of Business in 2004 with a degree in finance. Mr. Irvine is senior vice president of CBRE. Mr. Irvine has lived in Atlanta for 23 years now, but does not see himself leaving any time soon. During his childhood, he moved five times in the first eleven years of his life. “The longest I’ve ever lived in one place was my family’s first home that I purchased right after graduation,” said Mr. Irvine.

Ryan Irvine

Ryan Irvine

Wes Rogers graduated from the Terry College of Business in 2005 and then returned to UGA for his master’s in 2004. Mr. Rogers lives in Athens, Georgia and is the president and CEO of Landmark Properties. Mr. Rogers was born and raised in Athens, Georgia and has never left. “Most people probably don’t realize that I have lived all but about four years of my life in Athens—- with almost all of it within a one mile radius,” said Mr. Rogers, “As we grew Landmark, I often feared we might need to relocate the business to attract the talent we would need to successfully grow the company, but that has fortunately not been the case.”

Wes Rogers

Wes Rogers

 

Class of 2016 40 Under 40 Highlights: Medical

Today we are highlighting members of Class of 2016 40 Under 40 who are involved with the medical field. The members highlighted are Erica Parks, Hammad Aslam, Lance Boles, Mark Schaeffer, Sarah Smith, Stephan Schaefbauer, Steve Herndon, and Thai-An Nguyen.

Erica Parks graduated from the College of Public Health in 2011 with a Master’s in public health. Ms. Parks now lives in Elgin, South Carolina and is a health promotion officer and ORISE fellow for the United States Army Training Center at Fort Jackson. In 2003, Ms. Parks was deployed to Bagram, Afghanistan. “I was responsible for supervising soldiers and distributing medical supplies to over 61 units,” said Ms. Parks, “Following my outstanding performance overseas, I received the Army Commendation Medal and the Overseas Service Bar.”

Erica Parks

Erica Parks

Hammad Aslam graduated in 2008 from UGA with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry then continued his education at Augusta University. In 2014, Mr. Aslam graduate from Augusta University with his Doctor of Medicine degree. Mr. Aslam now works as a doctor at the University of Alabama Birmingham hospital. While in college, Mr. Aslam started breakdancing. While he admits he was never very good, Mr. Aslam still occasionally dreams about breakdancing and walking on his hands while he sleeps.

Hammad Aslam

Hammad Aslam

Lance Boles graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in pharmacy in 1999 then completed his master’s degree in business administration in 2003. Mr. Boles now lives in Hartwell, Georgia. Mr. Boles is the owner of Independent Pharmacy Stores in Hartwell, Georgia and Hartwell, South Carolina. A little unknown fact about Mr. Boles is he completed all thirteen years of schooling, prior to college, with perfect attendance. Mr. Boles attributes his perfect attendance, “to both the values of dependability and accountability instilled in me during my childhood and youth by my parents– and the blessing of good health.”

Lance Boles

Lance Boles

Mark Schaeffer graduated from UGA in 2006 with a degree in marketing from the Terry College of Business. Mr. Schaeffer now lives in Birmingham, Alabama, where he is an optometrist at Schaeffer Eye Center. While his singing voice might be less than impressive, Mr. Schaffaer has a hidden passion for karaoke. “I thoroughly enjoy the excitement and entertainment that comes with it,” said Mr. Schaeffer.

Mark Schaeffer

Mark Schaeffer

Sarah Smith came to UGA to continue her education and earn her Masters of Public Administration in 2001. Ms. Smith lives in Atlanta and is a management officer for the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While Ms. Smith now works in public health, she almost became a vet student at UGA due to her love and passion for animals.

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith

Stephan Schaefbauer began her education at Claflin College with a Bachelor’s of Science degree. Mrs. Schaefbauer then came to UGA to study veterinary medicine and graduated in 2006. Mrs. Schaefbauer now lives in Des Moines, Iowa, where she works as an epidemiology officer for the United Sates Department of Agriculture in Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Did you know that Mrs. Schaefbauer is a first degree black belt? She began training in 2010 then had a son in 2012. After a six-month break, Mrs. Schaefbauer returned to her training and received her black belt.

Stephan Schaefbauer

Stephan Schaefbauer

Steve Herndon graduated from the College of Education in 1999. He now lives in Alpharetta, Georgia and is the president of Safety Net Recovery. “Most people are unaware that I have a seat on the Board of Directors at the University of Georgia’s Fontaine Center, said Mr. Herndon, “Our goal is to promote an environment that supports responsible decision-making regarding alcohol and other drug use, on campus and in the community, and to create a center for alcohol awareness and education. I am honored to make a difference at my alma mater.”

Steven Herndon

Steven Herndon

Thai-An Nguyen currently lives and works in Atlanta, where she is an epidemiologist for the Enteric Diseases Epidemiology Branch inside of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ms. Nguyen graduated from UGA with a Bachelor of Science in microbiology. Ms. Nguyen is also a trained marksman in shooting rifles and pistols. She learned this skill from a former Russian Olympian as an exchange student in Russia. “We would set up targets in their apartment hallway,” said Ms. Nguyen.

Thai-an Nguyen

Thai-an Nguyen

 

40 Under 40 Highlights: Investment and Law

Today, we are highlighting members of the Class of 2016 40 Under 40 who are involved with investment and law. The members highlighted are Brooks Andrews, Heather Ripley, Meredith Forrester, Mitch Reiner, and Ronnie Mabra.

Brooks Andrews graduated in 2007 with a BBA in finance and an MA in business from the Terry College of Business and Franklin College of Arts & Sciences. Mr. Andrews currently lives in San Francisco. He is the vice resident at Essex Woodlands. One little unknown fact about Mr. Andrews is, “My dad and sister went to Georgia Tech, so when I decided to attend Georgia my mom cried every day for two weeks straight, because she thought I was making a huge mistake. Thankfully, my parents trusted my judgment and within a couple years, my mom acknowledged that I had made the right decision after all.”

Brooks_Andrews

Heather Ripley currently lives in New York and is a senior associate for federal and international tax at Alston and Bird. Ms. Ripley graduated from the Terry College of Business in 2006 with a BBA in business and a MACC in business. Ms. Ripley continued her education at Harvard Law and graduated in 2009 with her law degree. Ms. Ripley’s favorite place she has traveled to is Cuba and she is considering one day retiring to Cuba to paint on the beach. UGA blood runs deep through Ms. Ripley’s family with both of parents meeting at UGA and Ms. Ripley continuing the tradition of education at UGA.

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Meredith Forrester graduated from Terry College in 1999 with a BBA in international business. Mrs. Forrester now lives and works in Atlanta as the senior vice president and senior managing director of internal audit at SunTrust Bank. Besides working in finance, Mrs. Forrester has always loved the arts. She loves music, photography, and sharing this love for arts and crafts with her young daughters.

Meredith_Forrester

Mitch Reiner graduated in 2005 with a BBA in finance. Mr. Reiner lives in Atlanta and is the COO of Capital Investment Advisors and the founder and managing partner of Wela. When asked to define success, Mr. Reiner said it is “the desire to build something incredible any time that I get involved. Whether it is my children, my business or my community, I am uninterested in being a passive participant.”

Mitchell_Reiner_Headshot

Ronnie Mabra graduated from UGA’s School of Law  in 2004. Mr. Mabra is a State of Georgia Representative and an attorney at The Mabra Firm, LLC. Mr. Mabra lives in Atlanta, Georgia. Did you know Mr. Mabra’s father was an NFL player for the Atlanta Falcons? But that’s not all the unknown facts about Mr. Mabra. He is Kenny Chesney’s biggest fan and lives next to Hip-Hop legend and Rock and Roll Hall of fame inductee Chuck D.

Ronnie_Mabra_Headshot

Meet the rest of this year’s 40 Under 40 class at alumni.uga.edu/40u40.

True and loyal be.

Alma Mater, thee we’ll honor,

True and loyal be,

Ever crowned with praise and glory,

Georgia, hail to thee.

So goes the chorus of the University of Georgia Alma Mater. Words we proudly sing before football games and commencement ceremonies. Do we ever stop to reflect on their meaning?

Today is #GivingTuesday, a national day of philanthropy. Many spent Friday filling shopping bags with gifts, shopping local on Saturday, and scouring the internet for deals yesterday. Today is the first day of December and a symbolic beginning to the season of giving. Let us not forget the individuals and organizations that depend on our generosity to thrive.

UGA can sometimes be forgotten as a nonprofit worthy of that generosity. Tuition and state dollars do not fully fund the research, service and teaching that takes at the university; private giving closes the gap. Those donations fund scholarships for students who cannot afford to attend UGA (even with the HOPE Scholarship), incredible facilities to house endless hours of studying and teaching, events to promote networking and career exploration, and much more!

Today, UGA reminds you to keep it in mind when making your end-of-year gifts – no matter their size. Because when it comes to our alma mater, we hail to thee.

MAKE YOUR GIFT BEFORE MIDNIGHT!

Drumroll, please … announcing the 2016 Bulldog 100!

The UGA Alumni Association is pleased to reveal the 2016 Bulldog 100Bulldog 100celebrates the 100 fastest-growing Bulldog businesses owned or operated by UGA alumni. This year, the university is excited to not only unveil a new group of honorees, but a new logo for the Bulldog 100 program – check it out!

The 2016 Bulldog 100 includes businesses of all sizes and from industries such as veterinary medicine, IT consulting and pest control. Several areas of the country are represented, including companies from as far north as New York and as far west as California. Of the 100 businesses, 80 are located within the state of Georgia, and only two business have made the list all seven years: Mom Corps and Vino Venue/Atlanta Wine School.

The ranked Bulldog 100 list will be revealed at the awards celebration on Saturday, January 30 at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. Registration for this event will open soon.

The awards ceremony will feature a keynote address by Jeff Dunn, CEO and president of C-Fresh, a division of Campbell Soup Company that includes Bolthouse Farms, Campbell’s retail fresh soup unit, and Garden Fresh Gourmet. Dunn earned a bachelor’s degree in 1980 from UGA’s Terry College of Business.

Please view the complete list and congratulate the honorees on social media using #Bulldog100!

Thank you to the 2015 40 Under 40 Sponsors

The UGA Alumni Association would like to thank the many generous businesses and individuals that are sponsoring the 2015 40 Under 40 program.

In 2011, the UGA Alumni Association launched the 40 Under 40 program to recognize exceptional young alumni who are achieving great success in their professional and personal endeavors. This campus-wide collaboration is supported by the Division of Development and Alumni Relations, Division of Student Affairs and all academic departments. In a few days, the campus community will gather for the 2015 40 Under 40 Awards Luncheon to celebrate these individuals’ leadership in business, research, the arts, philanthropy and education.

Thanks to these sponsors, UGA is able to showcase its great young alumni year after year. Partnerships with sponsors are vital to the success of this program and without their generous help, the program would not be possible.

Platinum Level

Institute for Leadership Advancement, Terry College of Business 
UGA Honors Program
UGA Student Affairs
Two Maids and A Mop
Frazier & Deeter, LLC
UGA College of Education
The Mabra Firm

Silver Level

Porter Keadle Moore
The Georgia Bulldog Club
UGA Gwinnett Campus

Red Level

AGL Resources
Riverbend Environmental
John Wadsworth (BBA ’03) of Strawn and Company
The Zeist Foundation
Georgia EMC
UGA School of Law
Yvette Daniels (AB ’86, JD ’89)
Zeta Psi Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Your Pie
Corptek IT Solutions

Black Level

Margaret (BSHE ’81, MED ’83) and Terry Mathews (AB ’82)
Textron, Inc.

Athens Alumni Office
Wray-Nicholson House
298 S. Hull Street
Athens, GA 30602
(706) 542-2251 | (800) 606-8786

alumni@uga.edu

Atlanta Alumni Center
Live Oak Square
3475 Lenox Road NE, Suite 870
Atlanta, GA 30326
(404) 814-8820

ugaatl@uga.edu

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