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01.10.2013

Georgia’s Power List: 24 UGA Alumni Named Among 100 Most Influential Georgians

Georgia Trend magazine recently released its “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” list for 2013. These Georgians are exerting their influence in our state’s business dealings, philanthropic endeavors and politics. As Georgia Trend puts it, they “impact how we live, how we vote, how we buy and how we give.”

This year’s list includes 24 UGA alumni:

·         Dan Amos (BBA ’73) Chairman & CEO Aflac

·         John D. Barge (EDD ’04) State School Superintendent

·         Gary W. Black (BSA ’80) Commissioner: Georgia Department of Agriculture

·         Jason Carter (JD ’04) State Senator

·         Saxby Chambliss (BBA ’66) U.S. Senator

·         Chris Cummiskey (BBA ’96) Commissioner: Georgia Department of Economic Development

·         Rob Gibson (AB ’81) Executive & Artistic Director: Savannah Music Festival

·         Hank M. Huckaby (matriculate ’06) Chancellor, Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia

·         Johnny Isakson (BBA ’66) U.S. Senator

·         Reynold Jennings (BSPH ’69) President & CEO WellStar Health Systems

·         Jan Jones (ABJ ’80) Speaker Pro Tempore: Georgia House of Representatives

·         Brian Kemp (BSA ’87) Georgia Secretary of State

·         Jack Kingston (AB ’78) U.S. Congressman

·         Timothy Mescon (PHD ’79) President: Columbus State University

·         Charlotte Nash (BBA ’75) Chairman: Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners

·         Dink NeSmith (ABJ ’70) President/Co-owner, Community Newspapers, Inc.
Chairman, Board of Regents                                                    

·         Alec Poitevint (AB ’02) Chairman & President: Southeastern Minerals Inc.

·         David Ralston (JD ’80) Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives

·         Lynn Smith (BSED ’68) State Representative

·         Kessel D. Stelling Jr. (BBA ’78) Chairman & CEOSynovus

·         Natasha Trethewey  (AB ’89) United States Poet Laureate

·         T. Rogers Wade (matriculate ’63) ChairmanGeorgia Public Policy Foundation

·         Yvonne D. Williams (ABJ ’78) President: Perimeter Community Improvement Districts

·         Sally Quillian Yates (ABJ ’82, JD 1986) U.S. Attorney: Northern District of Georgia

I am pleased to see so many alumni of UGA on this list, in addition to University of Georgia President Michael F. Adams, and the imprint they are leaving on our state. My congratulations to them all.

See the complete list of influential Georgia, please click here

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10.15.2014

Pulaski County students experienced life at UGA

Guest Blogger: Michelle Wilder Rivers (MA '10)
Program Coordinator
Archway Partnership

To demonstrate the possibilities available through higher education, the Hawkinsville LIFE League worked with the UGA Archway Partnership and the Office of Institutional Diversity to bring students to campus in July. The goal of the trip was to increase the awareness of postsecondary education opportunities, and to provide direct access to college admissions information. 

LIFE League teaches life skills and encourages excellence through basketball and other programs for at-risk youth in Pulaski County.

The day started with a UGA police escort for the students similar to that given to the football team on game day. Basketball games at the Ramsey Student Center were preceded by a reception during which numerous UGA administrators welcomed students.

Throughout the day, students participated in events including tours of the Ramsey Student Center and Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall (where they met student-athletes Nasheema Oliver, Kenny Gaines, Marcus Thornton and Chris Conley). Students had lunch at the Village Commons dining hall and emjoyed an interactive session with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. LIFE Leaguers ended their day with pictures in front of Sanford Stadium before heading home.

Units across campus made the day possible including: Office of the President, Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach, Terry College of Business, Mary Frances Early, UGA Athletic Association, Recreational Sports, Parking Services, Food Services, UGA Police Department and Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

  

Those involved hope that providing these students with a day on the UGA campus illustrated the possibilities that exist through post-secondary education. It was a great day for the Bulldog Nation and I felt lucky to be part of such a life-changing event for so many young people.

Click here to view more photos from the students' visit to UGA. 

More information about the Archway Partnership, a unit of Public Service and Outreach at UGA, can be found at www.archwaypartnership.uga.edu.

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10.10.2014

Alumnus Sets Sights on Vonage

Former Google executive Alan Masarek (BBA ’82) is making big moves.

Later this year, Masarek will be joining Internet phone service provider Vonage as the chief executive officer. He will also serve on the company’s board of directors. Vonage, which is based in New Jersey, is an international company that reported $829 million in revenue last year. The company also has ties back to Georgia, with its business services division moving to Cobb County in the near future.

Over the years, Masarek has served as president of a healthcare IT company and co-founded AdOutlet, an online media buying platform, and Quickoffice, an app provider that was acquired by Google in 2012. Most recently, he was the director of Chrome and apps at Google.

Congratulations on your continued success, Alan! The UGA Alumni Association wishes you the best of luck in your new role.

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10.06.2014

UGA Alumni See Success in Startup Companies

Several alumni are enjoying success in Atlanta's competitive startup environment. Technology startups seem to be popping up all over Metro Atlanta and three UGA alumni are leading the charge with their innovative businesses.

The brainchild of Adam Wexler (BBA ’07) and Devon Wijesinghe, Insightpool uses social media to help its clients, including Intercontinental Hotels, Chobani Inc. and A&E Networks, market more effectively to their target audiences. Last week, Insightpool announced it had raised $4 million in funding and plans to expand its Altanta headquarters later this year. The company's staff roster will also expand by approximately 75 individuals. This growth will help Insightpool as it helps businesses mine social networks for top influencers, prospects and potential customers. 

Adam Wexler (BBA '07) on right

Insightpool isn’t the only startup taking Atlanta by storm. Michael Tavani (ABJ ’02), co-founder of ScoutMob, is launching SwitchYards, a startup focused on business to consumer (B2C) relationships. Located in the heart of downtown Atlanta, SwitchYards hopes to bring consumer- and design-focused startups together to build new and innovative brands.

Tavani plans to launch two to three B2C startups per year, including mobile applications and e-commerce. Those that break even within 15 months, will continue to receive funding.

  

Michael Tavani (ABJ '02)

Everett Steele (AB ’06) launched Kanga, a mobile application that crowdsources shipping, moving and delivering, in Atlanta earlier this year. The application, which will be expanding to Athens later this month, connects individuals needing something moved or delivered with people who are looking to make some extra money.

    

Everett Steele (AB '06) 

As Atlanta continues to grow as a major technology hub, the UGA Alumni Association looks forward to hearing about the continued success of these three alumni and their businesses.

Do you know of other UGA alumni running successful startups across the country? We'd love to hear about them! Please email Jamie Lewis (AB '12, AB '12) at jelewis@uga.edu. 

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