UGA Alumni signature events

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.”


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.


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.


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.”


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.


Meet the rest of this year’s 40 Under 40 class at

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.


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.

2015 Young Alumni Night at SweetWater Brewing Company

Dust off your red and black and celebrate the Dawg days of summer with fellow Bulldogs at the UGA Alumni Association’s annual Young Alumni Night at SweetWater Brewing Company! This year’s event will be held on Friday, June 26 from 9:00 p.m. to midnight.

Enjoy live music by Velvet Runway, appetizers from Jim ‘N Nicks BBQ and beer tastings at one of Atlanta’s top breweries. This year, part of the admission fee will support university-wide alumni and scholarship initiatives.

Register by June 23 to ensure admission and avoid long registration lines at the event.

Online Registration prior to June 23: $25*
Walk-up Registration (first-come, first-served): $30*
*Non-charitable benefit = $20
Must be 21+ to attend

Register Today!

Grab your shades, UGA is heading to California!

The University of Georgia is hosting two receptions in California in mid-July and all UGA alumni, friends and parents are invited to attend. During these free receptions, President Jere W. Morehead (JD ’80) will provide updates from campus and attendees will have the opportunity to meet other Bulldogs living in the Golden State.

Tuesday, July 14 (7:00 p.m.)
Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills
Los Angeles, CA

UGA in the Bay
Thursday, July 16 (7:00 p.m.)
The Fairmont San Francisco
San Francisco, CA

The deadline to register online is July 7, but walk-up registration will be available. Complimentary appetizers, wine, beer and sodas will be provided.

Don’t miss this opportunity to mix and mingle with fellow California Bulldogs. Register today!

UGA alumna wins second Peabody Award

This evening, the 74th annual Peabody Awards will be presented in New York City. Coordinated by the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, the Peabody Awards recognize great storytelling in electronic media.

This year, Lauren Ezell Kinlaw (ABJ ’08, AB ’08) will earn her second Peabody Award.  Last year, the alumna won for her work as an associate producer for “Frontline” and this year, she takes home her second Peabody for her role with “United States of Secrets.” Read an interview with Lauren on Grady’s blog.

Follow along with this evening’s festivities via the following social media outlets – it’s going to be a wonderful event!

Peabody Awards accounts
Instagram –
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Facebook  –
Twitter –
Pinterest –
Grady College accounts
Twitter –
Instagram –

Registration now open for 2015 UGA Day Tour

The University of Georgia is once again hitting the road to bring the Bulldog spirit to alumni, friends and fans around the Southeast.

From April to July, UGA coaches and administrators will travel to seven cities, sharing their insights into UGA’s upcoming athletic seasons and the latest news from campus. Attendees will also learn more about local UGA Alumni Association chapters and how to become involved.

Each stop on the UGA Day Tour will bring delight to UGA fans of all ages – you won’t want to miss out on the action.

Please click on the city nearest to you for more information and registration.

The first 300 registrants in each city will have an opportunity to have a photo made with Coaches Mark Richt and Mark Fox.

If you are interested in serving as a sponsor for UGA Day, please click here for more information.