I imagine many of you are planning to give a few gifts this year. While gift giving is a fun holiday task that brings a smile to the face of a friend or family member, gift wrapping is another story.
Ashley Edmonds (AB '05, ABJ '05, MBA '11) understands this frustration - the roll of tape runs out, boxes can be hard to come by and, of course, wrapping is a time-intensive process. The alumna thus decided to develop a cure for our “wrapping blues.”
Edmonds is the founder of Lilywrap, an eco-friendly (and easy-to-use) gift wrap alternative. She says her “ah-ha moment” came after the holidays when she and her family filled three large garbage bags with wrapping paper. She later learned that 4 million tons of gift wrapping paper is wasted each year. On top of that, the average American spends three hours wrapping holiday gifts alone.
Her answer was simple: reusable gift wrap. Lilywrap offers a patent-pending stretchy fabric wrap that is durable and simple for even novice wrappers to use. Plus - it’s cute!
For her savvy business idea, SPANX recently named Edmonds the November 2013 Leg Up Winner. According to SPANX, the Leg Up awards provide female business owners with great exposure and a well-deserved "leg up."
On behalf of stressed holiday wrappers everywhere, thank you, Ashley, and best of luck as your business continues to grow.
You can learn more about Ashley Edmonds's Leg Up Award here.
As many of you are probably aware, the Bulldogs will take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl in Jacksonville on January 1. If you are as excited as our staff members for one last battle on the gridiron this season, I imagine you might have already started planning your trip down to Florida. As you plan your chilly, winter tailgate menu, you might find this alumni news particularly interesting.
Mike Proctor (BBA '96), CEO of Old Mill Kettle Corn, found a way to combine his love for the Georgia Bulldogs with a successful business endeavor.
Old Mill Kettle Corn was established in 2002, when Proctor and his team began popping the kettle corn at festivals. The recipe was popular among the thousands of festival attendees, leading Proctor to perfect the all-natural recipe and then sell it in stores in 2009. One year later, Old Mill Kettle Corn was among the top 10 most popular snack items in several grocery store chains across the South. Old Mill Kettle Corn now offers flavored popcorn, holiday tins and, of particular interest to all you tailgaters, collegiate packages! In addition to our beloved Bulldogs, Old Mill Kettle Corn offers popcorn for Clemson, FSU, Georgia Tech, Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee fans. Yum.
Whether you take a bag of Mike's popcorn with you to Jacksonville or not, I hope you travel safely and have a wonderful trip.
Congratulations, Mike, on this fun popcorn creation. Go Dawgs!
A few weeks ago, UGA's Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources recognized two alumni, Tommy Sasser (BSFR '70) and Josh Harrell (MFR '03), for the significant contributions they have made to the forestry field while also supporting their alma mater.
Sasser, who has more than four decades of experience in residential and recreational development, received the 2013 Distinguished Alumnus award.
Warnell Dean Mike Clutter praised the alumnus, saying,"Tommy has been a strong supporter of Warnell and UGA for many years, having served on the UGA Alumni Association Board of Directors and the Warnell External Advisory Board. His support and sage advice has helped our school in many ways."
I know Tommy through his role on our board of directors between 2005 and 2010 and agree with everything Dean Clutter said. He currently works for Recreational Community Consultants and Global Golf Advisors. He has been instrumental in the planning, development and construction of more than 75 golf courses around the world, and has been the master planner for community development such as Amelia Island Plantation, Reynolds Plantation, Kiawah Island and Sea Pines Plantation.
Harrell, a regional investment forester and portfolio and research analyst with Forest Investment Associates in Atlanta, earned the 2013 Distinguished Young Alumnus award.
He manages more than 170,000 acres of timerland for clients across Virginia, Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina. He is the student chair of the Society of American Foresters at Virginia Tech, chairman of the Chattahoochee Chapter of the Society of American Foresters and the chairman of the Georgia Division of the Society of American Foresters. In addition, he has authored several articles for publications such as Biomass Magazine, The Southeastern Forester and Forest Landowner Magazine.
Congratulations to these very deserving graduates. Thank you for showing the world what it means to be successful UGA alumni!
Information for this blog entry was sourced from Golf Course Industry online.
Each month, I would like to feature a member of UGA's outstanding faculty. While I am proud to share the achievements of our alumni and students, those accomplishments would not be possible without the guidance and support of the faculty members they interacted with during their time on campus.
Today, I'd like to begin with Kyle Johnsen, an assistant professor in the College of Engineering.
Despite Johnsen being a Triple Gator from the University of Florida, Johnson elected to join the faculty here at the University of Georgia. He cites a few reasons for that decision:
"The boundary-less Faculty of Engineering (now the College of Engineering) fit perfectly with my cross-disciplinary research, which is a hybrid of computer engineering, computer science and education research. I also had the honor of being one of the first faculty members hired as part of the Faculty of Engineering, which began offering a computer systems engineering degree at the same time I was hired. Finally, the opportunity to be on the ground floor of a new college at a top-tier research institution does not come along very often. It was perfect, though I certainly have had to set aside the Florida versus Georgia rivalry!"
We'll let Johnson's allegiance to the orange and blue pass because of his great work here in Athens. The courses Johnsen teaches include “Virtual Reality,” “Intro to Computer Systems Engineering,” “Sensor Networks” and “Capstone Senior Design.” He notes that his senior-level virtual reality course is his favorite because students learn to design, build and demonstrate innovative simulators and virtual experiences. He's seen a variety of projects come through his classroom, including an underwater oil pipeline repair simulator to an augmented reality zombie fighting game. He enjoys helping students create products that they can talk about and even take with them on job interviews.
In his free time, Johnsen has set up his research lab to be an interactive attraction for external groups, especially those that work with school-aged children. According to Johnsen, "It's incredibly fulfilling to see the wonderment in the eyes of children experiencing virtual reality for the first time."
Thank you for your commitment to inspiring UGA students, Kyle, and thank you for being a part of the faculty that brought the College of Engineering to fruition. Keep up the great work!
To learn more about Kyle Johnson and his work at UGA, please click here.
Dwayne Bass (AB ’98) is saving the planet one sculpture at a time. Bass (AB ’98) founded TWOvital, a company that creates awareness of environmental issues and promotes sustainability through its art. The photographer and sculptor transforms trash from construction sites, such as scraps of wood and metal, into sustainable works of arts.
In 2008, Bass created the first-ever sculpture to receive credits under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification program. Using one of TWOvital’s sculptures is worth a LEED credit for developers and builders seeking LEED certification in their projects.
For Bass, creating beautiful works of art from reclaimed materials was not a new endeavor. “I have been making things from leftover or broken items since I was a kid. I made a car out of a broken tape deck when I was about six. I was always fascinated with taking something that is broken and making it into something it was not intended to be,” he said.
From his interest with sustainable art, Bass also created RUBBLOX, a line of furniture crafted from recycled car tires. For information about Bass's work, visit twovital.com.
Thank you, Dwayne, for your commitment to improving the environment and representing UGA so well.