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01.28.2013

Congratulations to the 2013 Bulldog 100!

This past Saturday, the UGA Alumni Association and more than 700 alumni and friends celebrated the fourth annual Bulldog 100 at the Marriott Marquis in Atlanta. This signature event recognizes the 100 fastest growing alumni-owned or -operated businesses around the globe. This year’s class once again set the bar extremely high with more than 50 industries represented.

Several notable alumni graced the crowd with their presence at the event. Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Jere Morehead (JD ’80) provided attendees with an update on the University. There were quite a few “wows” from the crowd when he shared that the current freshman class had an average GPA higher than 3.8 when they applied to UGA. Provost  Morehead was followed by Brunswick native A.D. “Pete” Correll (BBA ’63), the chairman of Atlanta Equity Investors and chairman emeritus of Georgia-Pacific Corporation. Correll’s keynote address was filled with humorous stories from his time in Athens and memories of Georgia-Pacific’s challenges throughout the years.

Gifford, Hillegass & Ingwersen (GH&I) coordinated the ranking of the businesses this year. Before the final rankings were announced, GH&I representative John Shurley (BBA ‘77) educated the crowd about the incredible growth these businesses have seen over the past few years. The average compound annual growth rate for the class was 39 percent while the top 10 saw an astounding 111 percent. Those are staggering figures, especially considering the sluggish economy in which the the Bulldog 100 have been operating.

The Student Alumni Council then took the stage and began counting down the final rankings. The top 10 honorees for 2013 were:

  1. Hitson Land and Timber Management, Inc. – Greg Hitson (BSFR '94)
  2. Mom Corps – Allison O'Kelly (BBA ’94)
  3. Sovereign Systems – George Barkley (BBA '94), Matt Cadogan (BBA '96), Michael Hunsucker (BBA '91)
  4. The Leaders Lyceum – Keith Eigel (MS '95, PHD '98)
  5. jobTopia – Anthony Moore (BBA '93)
  6. EvoShield – Bob Pinckney (BBA '82)
  7. Athens Fitness & MMA – Rory Singer (BSBE '99), Adam Singer (BSBE '98, MS '07)
  8. Stadion Money Management, Inc. – Tim Chapman (matriculate '82)
  9. Social and Dish Boutiques – Laura Lanier (BA '00)
  10. Needle Solutions – Joshua Needle (BBA '99)

To view the complete list, please click here.

The Bulldog 100 is one of the UGA Alumni Association’s largest events of the year. I want to thank all of the individuals who made this event a success – everyone from our Alumni Association staff members, to the administration, the Student Alumni Council, and of course, the alumni who run these companies. The night was an amazing display of the caliber of UGA graduates working around the world. I am already looking forward to next year’s event. Nominations have opened online, so go ahead and start thinking about who should be considered for next year’s Bulldog 100!

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Recent Entries


04.24.2014

Caplan and Cobb: the new dynamic duo of Atlanta law

Mike Caplan (AB '02, MBA ’05, JD ’06) and James Cobb (BS ’00) recently launched Caplan Cobb LLP, a new law firm focusing on business litigation in the Atlanta area. Mike’s practice focuses on complex business litigation while James’s practice is focused on the resolution of complex business disputes.

Triple Dawg Caplan left quite a legacy graduating magna cum laude from the University of Georgia School of Law in addition to his membership in both the Order of the Coif and the Order of the Barristers. In 2012, he received the Southern Center for Human Rights' inaugural Gideon's Promise Award for his work in Flournoy v. State, which led to significant reforms to Georgia's indigent-defense system.

Cobb graduated summa cum laude from the George Washington University Law School in 2005. While he was at GWU, he was a member of the Order of the Coif and the Senior Projects Editor of the George Washington Law Review. Outside of his business practice, James represents individuals and entities in civil-rights, criminal, and education-related matters.

The duo originally met in college as competitors in a national moot court competition and became friends in the following years. SuperLawyers Magazine named both Caplan and Cobb rising stars in Georgia for Business Litigation. Good luck to both Mike and James as they take on the Atlanta business law world!

To learn more about Caplan Cobb LLP, visit their website here.

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04.23.2014

Alumna puts passion for historic preservation into action

Catherine Garner (MHP ’13) has a passion for preserving the historic buildings of Salisbury, NC. After finishing her undergraduate degree in geography and urban planning at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Garner interned with preservation planners in Winston-Salem. Fulfilled by the work, she chose to pursue the path of historic preservation, eventually earning her master's degree from UGA in preservation planning.

Since then, Garner has landed her dream job as Salisbury’s newest city planner and liaison to the City’s Historic Preservation Commission. In this position, she help develop communities in which people want to live. She is involved in the city’s new "one-stop shop" for development services. The innovative program encourages local business owners to obtain city permits and a business license under the same roof. By streamlining the process, more local businesses will be involved in the city planning process.

Congratulations, Catherine! It’s great to see an alumna making a difference in her community. The work you do will impact Salisbury for generations to come.

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04.22.2014

Longtime UGA supporter hangs his “Gone Fishing” sign

William “Dink” H. NeSmith, Jr. (ABJ ’70) is one of the most passionate Bulldogs you will meet. A 1970 graduate of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, NeSmith is co-owner and publisher of Athens-based Community Newspapers, Inc., which publishes dozens of newspapers in Georgia, Florida and North Carolina. As if his professional responsibilities didn’t keep him busy enough, NeSmith, a self-admitted “joiner,” has dedicated as much (if not more) of his free time to higher education.The list of his past university volunteer roles is unparalleled:

  -  chairman of Grady's advisory board and president of its alumni board;

  -  chairman of the board of directors of the Fanning Leadership Institute;

  -  chairman of the Richard B. Russell Foundation;

  -  member of the Athletic Association Board of Directors; and

  -  trustee of the UGA Foundation

In addition, NeSmith is a past president of the UGA Alumni Association and served from 2003 to 2005. He could always be counted on to support his alma mater, and his leadership was surely a factor in UGA’s rise to a top 20 public institution of higher education.

In 2008, Gov. Sonny Perdue asked NeSmith to join the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents. Five years later, he was serving as chairman of the 18-person governing board for USG. Only the third Athenian to fill this position, NeSmith recently concluded his term as chairman.

Reflecting on a lifetime of professional and philanthropic endeavors, NeSmith recently penned a short piece about his readiness to enjoy his greatest accomplishment: his family. The alumnus is surrounded by an ever-growing swath of Bulldog Faithful: his wife, Pam (BSHE ’71); three children, Alan (BSA ’04), Emily (AB ’99) and Eric (ABJ ’02); and seven grandsons. Upon the birth of each grandchild, NeSmith proudly gave them each a lifetime membership with the UGA Alumni Association. Although the Alumni Association is no longer dues-based, the NeSmith family boasts an impressive 15 lifetime members!

Read more about NeSmith’s transition to “grandpa time” here. This is one alumnus who has certainly earned the right to hang his “Gone Fishing” sign on the door. Thank you for your continued support, Dink, and your fine leadership in many areas across campus and the state.

Dink NeSmith is a regular contributor to the Athens Banner-Herald; read more of his pieces here.

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