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10.11.2012

King Shaw ’74 ’91 combines business and social work in family business

King Shaw ’74 ’91 was the fourth generation head of his family’s farm manufacturing business, the King Plow Company, until the farm crisis of the 70’s and 80’s. Due to hardships he had sell the family business and soon after enrolled in the University of Georgia School of Social Work.

During Shaw’s first internship with an Atlanta community health program for the homeless, he arranged a deal with the new owners that if customers defaulted, there would be no recourse. They simply would give the property back. He created the deal with the idea of regaining ownership one day. Shaw believed in the potential for the facility and agreed it could be a great space for artists.

His plan gained support from the mayor’s Atlanta Arts Blueprint for Action, which outlined the needs of the arts community in Atlanta. Shaw began devising a master plan. The new King Plow would rent and eventually sell space to artists and creative businesses for residential and commercial purposes. He spent the next 5 years getting the facility up to code and restoring to its historical splendor. Shaw has since won multiple awards for upholding and preserving the facility’s historical assets.

Shaw’s business background and a social worker’s compassion allowed him to bridge the gap between the bankers financing the project and the artists who began to occupy the new King Plow Arts Center.

Today, at any given time, King Plow accommodates 600-700 people. There’s the Paul Mitchell hair school with 200-300 students, the Actors Express Theatre, Georgia Lawyers for the Arts, and the Dogwood Festival, to name a few. Now the center boasts 11 buildings with 230,000 square feet of usable space on 12.5 acres of land.

King Shaw’s story is one that strikes a chord with many of us. He took a difficult situation and used it to compel himself to reach his goal of bringing King Plow back to his family. Through extreme dedication and tireless work ethic, Shaw achieved his dream and created something unique to go with it. The King Plow Arts Center may not be the same King Plow of generations before, but it makes for an incredible place for creative people to get together, work, and make a positive impact on their community.

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12.11.2014

UGA’s Thank-a-Teacher Program

Did a teacher at UGA enrich your life or create a spark that inspired you to pursue your dreams? Was there a professor or teaching assistant that pushed you to do your best and helped you discover your passion for a certain subject? 

Now is the time to let that teacher - and the university community - know how grateful you are for their effect on your life. UGA's Center for Teaching and Learning invites current UGA students and alumni to particpate in the Thank-a-Teacher program.

What is Thank-a-Teacher? It is a program that allows students and alumni to express gratitude for teachers who have impacted their lives in a profound and meaningful way. If a teacher (professor, instructor, teaching assistant) made a positive contribution to your experience at UGA, please consider sending them a brief note. You may choose to remain anonymous or have your name attached to the note. 

You will be asked to fill out a simple form and acknowledge your appreciation for your teacher's work, dedication and extra effort. Share a simple thank you or an anecdote to let that teacher know what you enjoyed about their class and why it was important to you. 

Click here to complete the Thank-a-Teacher form

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12.10.2014

Former UGA football player gives back to the community

In recent years, the Lumpkin Street School in Hawkinsville, Georgia, one of 500 Georgia equalization schools built for African-American students during segregation, has fallen into disrepair. The town’s Deacons and Stewards Association wants to turn the space into a community center and museum, and a former Georgia football player is helping to make that happen.

Charles Johnson (M ’08), through the Charles Johnson Foundation (CJF), has issued a $25,000 challenge grant to renovate the school. The challenge, which states that CFJ will donate $25,000 to match the $25,000 that the Deacons and Stewards Association raises, has been instrumental in gaining donations for the project from other organizations.

Charles Johnson teaches a basketball clinic in his hometown of Hawkinsville, Georgia, during the Charles Johnson Foundation’s annual Community Weekend.

This isn’t the first time Charles Johnson has helped out his hometown. The captain for the Carolina Panthers has donated funds to support Parent Cafes for single mothers, sponsored women to attend the Pulaski Tomorrow program, donated to other middle Georgia foundations, and has provided scholarships to Pulaski County students during his organization’s annual Community Weekend in Hawkinsville.

For more information about the Lumpkin Street School project and how you can help, please email Greg Brown

Thank you for helping preserve the history of Georgia, Charles! The UGA Alumni Association is proud of your accomplishments on and off the field.

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12.08.2014

Spotlight on a Bulldog Business: FotoIN

Class of 2014 40 Under 40 honoree Sly Barisic (MBA ’04) and his brother, James Gates (AB ’01, MPA ’04), founded FotoIN in 2012, an automated mobile and management solution for capturing, documenting and filing site photos to a customer's storage repositories. 

The startup is located in Atlanta and Zagreb, Croatia, Sly’s native country. It serves an array of industries, including construction, real estate and property management.

James Gates

Sly Barisic

The company has seen growth in the construction industry,  managing projects for Brasfield and Gorrie, the lead company in the development of the new Atlanta Braves baseball stadium. Barisic was also invited to speak at tech conferences in Washington, D.C., and San Francisco last year.

The UGA Alumni Association is proud to showcase the success of hardworking alumni! For more information about startups founded by UGA alumni, click here. If you have an alumni-owned or -operated startup that you would like featured on this blog, please email Assistant Director of Communications Jamie Lewis (AB '12, AB '12) at jelewis@uga.edu.

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