Meet the UGA alumna behind the Georgia Trail Summit: Tracie Sanchez (AB '88, MPA '11)
Alumni Spotlight: Josh Collins (BSEH '97, MS '99)
Alumnus Spotlight: Carlton Curtis (ABJ '72)
Shabbat 500 creates home for UGA students
Alumna Spotlight: Christina Sass (AB ’02)
UGA launches Women’s Leadership Initiative
Registration now open for 2015 UGA Day Tour
Alumnae Work to Save our Hearing
3rd Annual TEDxUGA is Friday, March 27
2015 Alumni Seminar: Food for Thought
EXTENDED DEADLINE: Dawg Trot 5K for Scholarships
Alumnus Spotlight: William Shepard Rose III
UGA Grady College announces recipients of 2015 Alumni Awards
Alumnus Spotlight: Alex Crevar (AB '93)
Alumna Spotlight: Sara Alread (BFA ’09)
Sisters Rethink “Something Borrowed”
Amazing Student: Sarah Huber '15
Griffin-Spalding County is UGA’s 12th Archway Partnership community
Alumni Spotlight: Tituss Burgess (AB '01)
UGA unveils 2015 UGA Day Tour schedule
UGA names new DC facility in recognition of $5 million grant from Delta Air Lines Foundation
UGA unveils 2015 Bulldog 100 rankings; Kabbage Inc. tops list
2015 Bulldog 100 Celebration is tomorrow
UGA alumni named to Atlanta Magazine’s Best of Atlanta 2014
Alumna Spotlight: Keysha Lee (ABJ '97)
Happy New Year, Bulldogs!
Alumna Spotlight: Amy Robach (ABJ '95) receives Distinguished Achievement Award from UGA
Student Alumni Association celebrates UGA’s birthday
UGA to celebrate 230th anniversary on January 27
UGA alumnus participates in Alaska tradition
Flavor of Georgia celebrates tradition of artisan and craft foods
Alumna Spotlight: Brooke Anderson (ABJ '00)
UGA alumna explores success of minorities in media
UGA’s Amazing Students: Colby Ruiz
Alumna Spotlight: Antonina Lerch (MFA '06)
Brothers make business a family affair
40 Under 40 honoree to direct UGA’s state government relations
UGA’s Thank-a-Teacher Program
Former UGA football player gives back to the community
Spotlight on a Bulldog Business: FotoIN
Introducing Executive Director Meredith Gurley Johnson (BSFCS '00)
UGA alumnus takes daring dive
UGA Alumni Association announces sixth annual Bulldog 100 list
2014 International Education Week
Alumna Spotlight: Cheri Leavy (BSED '97)
From the Desk of Provost Whitten: Food for Thought
Classic city sound from television to the silver screen
In remembrance of Carl E. Sanders (JD '48)
San Diego Chapter president leads successful career in medical illustration
UGA alumnus heads to Neverland
UGA named ‘Best Place for Student Veterans’
Warnell School honors distinguished alumni
A Bulldog Love Story
There’s no business like show business
UGA College of Education honors five alumni for career achievements
Bulldog advocates for arts education
Georgia agricultural leadership program graduates inaugural class
Former Diamond Dawg makes a difference for individuals with disabilities
UGA Graduate School honors 2014 Alumni of Distinction
Bulldogs in the Sunshine State
2014-2015 Signature Lecture Series
Alumna Spotlight: Christy Hulsey (ABJ '98)
Pulaski County students experienced life at UGA
Alumnus Sets Sights on Vonage
UGA Alumni See Success in Startup Companies
Clear the Air at UGA
Good Eats: Alton in ATH
Sic ‘Em City: Homecoming 2014
Georgia Fund receives generous gift from Lake Oconee Area Chapter
By now, most students have exchanged their Ramen noodles, late-night study sessions and blue books for a little R&R under the close watch of family members and home-cooked meals.
The UGA Alumni Association staff members and I will join them tomorrow by spending a few days away from the office with loved ones. We will return on Tuesday, January 2, ready to kick off what is sure to be an exciting year in 2013.
This is the time of year when a number of “Top 10” lists are released. Every newspaper, TV show and blog seems to have its own list documenting the previous year or preparing for the next one. Not to be outdone, here are ten of my favorite UGA Alumni Association memories from 2012 (in no specific order):
1. Meeting Graduates
Nothing excites me more than meeting new alumni and interacting with old acquaintances. I look forward to seeing you at a 2013 UGA Alumni Association event if I haven’t already. All graduates of UGA are automatically members of the Alumni Association and therefore welcome to attend any of our special events in Athens, Atlanta, and across the country.
2. Founders Week
Every year, the UGA Alumni Association and the UGA Emeriti Scholars sponsor the Founders’ Day Lecture to celebrate the University's birthday which is January 27. Dr. Betty Jean Craige presented the 10th Annual Founders Day Lecture this past year. Mark your calendars now for the 11th Annual Founders Week.
3. Women of UGA
This program connects female UGA graduates for networking and socializing in their area. We held a number of these successful events in 2012 and will host many more in the coming year. Stay tuned to the Women of UGA webpage and Facebook page for upcoming events.
4. Alumni Leadership Assembly
Each year, UGA Alumni Chapter volunteers gather for a fun-filled weekend in Athens. The 2012 attendees learned new things about UGA, toured new facilities on campus, and spent time with students and other chapter leaders. I hope to see those chapter leaders return for the 2013 Alumni Leadership Assembly and a number of new leaders as well.
Hundreds of alumni and friends come together at Stegeman Coliseum each spring for Athens’ largest 5k. Here are last year’s winners. Register now for the 2013 DawgTrot on March 16. Not a runner? Volunteer instead!
6. Bulldog 100
The Bulldog 100 recognizes the 100 fastest growing businesses that are owned or operated by UGA Alumni. jobTopia CEO Anthony Moore ’93 was honored with the No. 1 fastest growing Bulldog Business in 2012. Here is the complete list for 2013–who will be No. 1? Join us on Saturday, January 26, to find out.
7. Chapter Gatherings
While UGA graduates are spread across the globe, they still enjoy connecting with other alumni for Bulldog Breakfast Clubs, Women of UGA luncheons, Dinners with a Dozen Dawgs, Bulldogs After Business Hours, game watching parties, and other networking events. Collectively, chapters hosted several hundred gatherings in 2012. Check out your local chapter’s webpage for updates on events near you.
8. Student Alumni Council
I already shared my appreciation for the Student Alumni Council in a previous blog post, but these student leaders always bring a smile to my face. They do an amazing job acting as liaison between the UGA Alumni Association and the student body. I look forward to seeing them back on campus in 2013.
9. UGA Days
During these events across the country, UGA alumni and friends get the inside scoop on the Georgia Bulldogs’ upcoming seasons, hear the latest news from the university, and learn more about alumni chapter activities. In 2012, we hosted UGA Days in cities such as Macon, Tampa, Charlotte, and Birmingham. Stay tuned for the cities we’ll be visiting in 2013!
10. 40 Under 40
The UGA Alumni Association’s 40 Under 40 recognizes UGA graduates who are leading the way in business, leadership, community, educational and/or philanthropic endeavors. Congratulations to the 40 Under 40 Class of 2012. We look forward to celebrating next year’s class.
As you can tell, it was a busy year. I look forward to an even busier one in 2013!
Until then, I wish you and your family the best. I hope your holiday season is filled with joy and rest. Go Dawgs!
The Georgia Trail Summit is excited to announce the schedule for its second annual event, which will take place in Athens, Georgia, June 4-6 at The Graduate. Continue reading to learn more about Georgia Trail Summit's founder, Double Dawg Tracie Sanchez (AB '88, MPA '11), and the inspiration behind this organization.
I’ve been riding bikes, hiking mountains and paddling rivers all my life. Being on a trail makes for wonderful escapes, new adventures and challenges, new friends, staying healthy and connecting with nature. And great photo memories.
Earning my Masters of Public Administration at UGA late in life allowed me to focus on which public policy I wanted to champion. Being part of the effort to build a world-class network of connected trails in every corner of Georgia is a cause I believe in deeply.
The first thing I did as an undergrad in 1985 was sell my car and become a bicycle commuter to campus. I still had that bike 24 years later when I returned to UGA for my masters’ in public administration. I caught trail fever in Athens biking the greenway, helping the Firefly Trail incorporate as a non-profit, and collaborating on a graduate project in Hartwell that led to inventorying regional greenspaces with UGA landscape architecture students.
Clearly, alternative transportation solutions involving active living are my passion. Eight years at UGA as a program coordinator for the Leonard Leadership Scholars and one-on-one chats with mentor Earl Leonard taught me a thing or two about leading an effort. So with a background in graphic design, leadership development, a public policy degree, and spare time during the job search, I reached out to all the trail hounds I knew in Georgia, and began to build a network.
Research in 2011 revealed there are 82 trail and greenway projects proposed or underway in Georgia. I was familiar with many of them from my own explorations and serving as a mobility manager for a regional commission. I learned of others while attending Smart Growth conferences, Transportation Camp, the Georgia Bike Summit and transit and mobility workshops. But something was missing. No one knew about anyone else’s project; no one seemed to be sharing lessons learned. Why wasn’t there an easy opportunity to convene Georgia’s entire community of trail experts in one place?
The Department of Natural Resources admitted they didn’t have staff capacity to update a 15-year-old comprehensive trail plan. With so much to learn from each other, I felt compelled to connect the dots…and the people.
The solution came when attending the National Bike Summit in DC. While visiting Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s development director, Kelly Pack, she inspired me with great advice, “Round everyone up and hold a Georgia Trail Summit.” I pitched the idea that spring and have been recruiting and collaborating with trail, greenway and blueway partners ever since. The time was right and I visualized myself as the champion for the effort. UGA taught me how and now I'm on a roll.
Today, I lead a dedicated team of volunteer trailblazers planning the second annual Georgia Trail Summit. So far, we’ve raised $20,000 with 35 sponsors, including UGA College of Public Health, UGA Office of Sustainability, UGA Warnell School of Forestry, Athens-Clarke County Leisure Services Department, Athens-Clarke County Mayor’s Office and Athens Convention & Visitors Bureau. More importantly, we're connecting people.
The Georgia Trail Summit has seen a drastic increase in presenters since its creation. You all know Athens is an ideal, walkable city with hotels right on the Greenway and other nearby trails for biking, hiking and paddling, which will be featured during 10 mobile workshops.
I remain committed to my vision for Georgia’s trail movement to grow into an established and influential organization helping non-profits, governments and communities focus on connectivity, conservation and comprehensive planning.
UGA alumni are personally invited to attend this timely conversation on the future of Georgia’s trails June 4, 5 and 6 in Athens at the Graduate Hotel. For a closer look, stroll on over to georgiatrailsummit.com.
Josh Collins (BSEH '97, MS '99) is the proud owner of Athen's newest juke-joint style restaurant, Champy's Famous Fried Chicken. Located at 1120 Baxter Steet, Athen, GA, the restarunt stives to bring together traditional, southern-family recipes with an atmosphere that will attract a diverse crowd.
The UGA Alumni Association’s Strategic Communications intern, Emilie Clarke ’15, had the opportunity to catch up with this outstanding alumnus. Read below to find out more about Josh’s entrpreneurial endeavors.
You recently opened Champy’s Famous Fried Chicken, tell me a little bit about the restaurant. What steps did you take to open your own business? What accomplishments are you most proud of?
Champy's was founded in Chattanooga in 2009 by a good friend of ours, Seth Champion, who was raised on the Mississippi Delta. Although Champy's of Athens is the fifth location, which also includes Daphne, Alabaster and Muscle Shoals, AL, we are not a franchise. We refer to ourselves as a "friendchise" between buddies that enjoy great food in a fun atmosphere. The atmosphere is fun for all ages.
My wife, Amy, and I have talked about moving to Athens for the past 10 years and I knew that Athens was a Champy's explosion waiting to happen. We worked on selling the idea of Athens to Seth for over two years then invested everything we had into opening, including having to go all the way to Mississippi to get a business loan because local banks wouldn't work with us. We cashed in our 401Ks, are still living in an RV and continue to invest all of the elbow grease we have every day.
Interior of Chmapy's Famous Fried Chicken
Where do you see the company in five years?
For the Athens Champy's, I can see a destination spot that draws customers from all over Georgia and visiting sports rivals, a thriving catering business for everyone that wants good southern food, and a restaurant full of locals that are drawn to our bluesy atmosphere. As for expansion, I definitely see a second location in five years, maybe an hour or two from Athens.
What chefs or types of cuisines are your biggest food influences?
Flavors from the Deep South - Mississippi Delta hot tamales, fresh fried chicken and homemade sides. Our recipes were handed down from Seth Champion's grandfather over 40 years ago.
How did your time at UGA help you achieve your personal and professional goals? Did you have a favorite professor or class that really stuck with you? Favorite memory from your time at UGA?
My environmental health sciences degree kick-started my corporate career and provided me with 15 years of business experience that I lean on every day to run the restaurant.
I would have to go with two professors, Dr. David MacIntosh and Dean Phil Williams of the Health Science Campus. You didn't ask, but I couldn't forget about Ms. Sandra McPeake who was the department's assistant in the late 1990s. She couldn't always keep me out of trouble, but she tried her best!
Football Saturdays in Athens are my favorite memory. All of them...
What advice would you give to future graduates or young alumni who aspire to own their own business?
Just do it. No one is going to make it happen, but you.
To learn more about Josh Collins (BSEH '97, MS '99) and Champy's Famous Fried Chicken visit ChampysChicken.com.
Former UGA Alumni Association President Carlton Curtis (ABJ '72) has been honored with the 2015 Thad and Alice Eure Ambassador of Hospitality Award. Presented by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF), this award goes to an individual who has shown extraordinary achievement and exemplary leadership in the restaurant and hospitality industry.
"It's a privilege to recognize Carlton and his lifetime of achievements with one of the NRAEF's and the industry's highest honors," said Rob Gifford, executive vice president of strategic operations and philanthropy of the National Restaurant Association and NRAEF. "During his tenure with Coca-Cola and as a member of the NRA and NRAEF boards, Carlton has been steadfastly passionate and committed to improving the industry. He is a tremendous industry advocate, and an exemplary role model within the nation's restaurant and foodservice sector."
Curtis spent the past 43 years with the Coca-Cola Company, while volunteering his time, resources and expertise to restaurant operators and retailers around the globe in an effort to raise the stature of the industry. He has served as chairman of the board of the NRAEF, serves on the Board of Directors of the International Franchise Association, is the current chair of IFA's Diversity Institute, and is a member of the Hall of Fame of the Distinguished Restaurants of North America. He serves his alma mater as an emeritus trustee of the UGA Foundation. He will be recognized today at the National Restaurant Association’s Public Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C.