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Bringing UGA to Charleston and Savannah

On May 21 and May 22, the UGA Alumni Association brought Athens to Savannah and Charleston to remind local alumni that their Bulldog community is wherever they are.

Want to see what the night was all about? Check out our Instagram highlights of both receptions:

Savannah

We kicked things off at the Perry Lane Hotel on its Peregrin Rooftop. Over 150 alumni and friends joined us for a memorable evening overlooking historic Savannah.

UGA alumni and friends converse on Perry Lane Hotel's rooftop.

While we were greeted with high temperatures, the stunning venue and an amazing turnout meant great conversations took place between Savannah alumni–from those who grew up there to those who had lived there for only a few weeks.

UGA Alumni and friends gather at the Perry Lane Hotel overlooking historic Savannah.

Nothing finer than a rooftop full of 150 new friends in red and black, right?

UGA Alumni from Savannah pose for a photo.

View Savannah Photo Gallery

 

Charleston

The next evening in Charleston we greeted local alumni with air conditioning, and shrimp and grits in part of the renowned Cigar Factory called The Cedar Room.

UGA alumni and friends gather in the Cedar Room in Charleston, SC.

Behind the scenes, our Charleston Alumni Chapter President Stephen Scates filmed a shout-out for our Instagram story highlight (linked to above).

UGA Charleston Chapter President Stephen Scates records a video for Instagram.

Executive Director of Alumni Relations Meredith Gurley Johnson (BSFCS ’00, MED ’16) shared news from campus, including announcing the UGA Mentor Program, a university-wide mentorship program that will connect students with alumni (alumni can begin signing up in mid-June).

Executive Director Meredith Gurley Johnson presents at UGA in Low Country event.

Somewhere between the giphy station and tacos, the Bulldog community in the Low Country grew a little closer. If you missed either of these receptions, make sure you’re aware of future events by signing up for your local chapter listserv on the Savannah or Charleston chapter pages.

Reception attendee laughs during remarks.

View Charleston Photo Gallery

 

Upcoming Events

Looking for the next fun chance to connect with fellow Bulldogs? The Savannah Chapter will host a UGA Night at the Savannah Bananas on July 16. The Charleston Chapter is hitting the water with their third annual sunset cruise on June 14 with local BBQ catered by Home Team–sign up today so you don’t miss out!

 

Female Run Bulldog 100 Company: A Signature Welcome

In 2013, Lindsay Bissell Marko (BBA ’07) was moving from New York City to Charleston, South Carolina, to join her husband in the South. She was soon to be the maid of honor for her best friend, Emily Howard Slater (BS ’07). Lindsay was given the opportunity to help create welcome gifts for the wedding guests. As she collaborated with Emily to create those gifts, a unique business idea was born.

In 2014, A Signature Welcome emerged as a luxury wedding welcome gift company. Five years later, A Signature Welcome is now a thriving gifting company that curates gifts for any celebration, domestically or internationally.

“We curate gifts that celebrate,” said Lindsay, “We like to say, anything wedding, corporate, or everyday, we’re here to help with any gifting need.”

A Signature Welcome packaged and sent more than 6,000 gifts in 2018. It continues to grow in gifting numbers and clients. Some of the company’s most notable gifting projects have included custom gifts for the Carolina Panthers, U.S. Secretary of Treasury Steve Mnuchin’s wedding, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s inauguration and the wedding of Martha Stewart’s niece. A Signature Welcome has recently been chosen to curate VIP welcome gifts for the 2019 NBA All-Star weekend in Charlotte. A Signature Welcome also has been named a 2019 Bulldog 100 company, meaning it is one of the 100 fastest-growing businesses owned or operated by a UGA alumnus this year.

Relive your glory (Glory) days!

Emily claims the experience and lessons from mentors are a large reason their business has been successful.

“Working under inspiring managers in the past, seeking mentors, and both of us having seven years of work experience under our belts were important things that we brought to A Signature Welcome,” said Emily. “Lindsay’s corporate experience blended with my small business background provided a unique dynamic to developing our company’s culture.”

After serving on the Terry Young Alumni board, Lindsay praises the Terry College alumni network as an aid for learning how to successfully run their company. “Through those four years on the board, I met so many incredible people,” said Lindsay. “I still keep in touch with some, both personally and professionally.”

As their gifting company continues to grow, these alumni encourage students and future entrepreneurs to understand what it means to be an entrepreneur and not to be discouraged about making mistakes. “It is super important to let your mistakes empower you,” said Emily. “Never take for granted the opportunity a mistake makes for you to grow as a business and as a leader.”

Looking to give a special someone a gift? Check out A Signature Welcome’s website to start the process of a finding that special, curated gift. Check out the Bulldog 100 website to see what other alumni-owned businesses made the list this year.