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07.29.2013

40 Under 40 Feature: Andy Barrs (MFR ’02)

It isn’t every day that you meet someone who has started their own business – let alone four. Well, let me introduce you to Andy Barrs (MFR ’02). Barrs is the founder and CEO of Vega Media Partners, founder of Principle Centered Investments, co-founder and CEO of PharmD on Demand, and co-founder of Brossie Legendary Turkey Callers.

In 2002, Barrs began Principle Centered Investments, a natural resource company that has been responsible for the acquisition and management of more than 300,000 timberland acres across the Southeast. In cooperation with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, he developed the largest contiguous Wetlands Reserve Program – more than 7,200 acres – in the state of Louisiana.

Four years after starting his first business, PharmD on Demand was formed. It provides pharmacy staffing, management, consulting and virtual pharmacy services to Southeastern hospitals, and was the first remote pharmacy in Georgia. Today, Barrs helps promulgate rules and regulations with the Georgia Board of Pharmacy in regards to remote order entry for state hospitals. The company employs more than 30 individuals and has an adjusted gross income of more than $1.3 million.

In 2008, Barrs continued on his entrepreneurial journey when he established Vega Media Partners, a digital software development and marketing franchise. He maintains three successful franchises in Athens, Dublin and Macon, Georgia.

Just two years later, Brossie Legendary Turkey Callers was born. This retail outdoor hunting products company has since had its products distributed to more than 100 stores.

Barrs’s energy must be never-ending because somehow the Athens resident also found time to co-found the Warnell School Young Alumni Endowment for Leadership Training at UGA. He is the chairman of the Emerging Leaders of Georgia Forestry Association and serves on the organization’s board of directors. He is a member of the Athens Rotary Club, a graduate of LEAD Athens, and a volunteer with the Wounded Warrior Project.

Barrs has successfully applied the knowledge he learned in the classroom at both UGA and Auburn University to build a successful career as an entrepreneur – one of the many reasons he is a member of this year’s 40 Under 40. As a guest lecturer at both of his alma maters, I look forward to the next generation of leaders he is helping foster.

Congratulations, Andy! 

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10.20.2014

Alumna Spotlight: Christy Hulsey (ABJ '98)

Bulldog 100 and 40 Under 40 honoree Christy Hulsey (ABJ ’98) lves a busy and fulfilling life as owner and creative director of Colonial House of Flowers in Statesboro, Georgia. 

Hulsey’s work, inspired by her grandmother, is self-described as “timeless elegance that is ethereal and moody.” The majority of her designs feature unusual materials, such as pinecones and berries - something that caught the attention of both Pottery Barn and President Obama. Hulsey’s shop was selected to launch the design giant’s 2014 summer brand, and her floral designs were displayed at the White House last year.

A regular on Pottery Barn’s Have and Hold wedding blog, Hulsey informs brides-to-be on the art of creating garden fresh flower girl halos, cake stand centerpieces and seashore-inspired tablescapes.

Hulsey loves when opportunitues to work with fellow UGA alumni come along in her life. Hulsey began her relationship with Pottery Barn after the floral arrangements she designed for friend and fellow Grady grad Linsay Cheney Rudd’s (ABJ ’08) wedding were noticed by the blog. Hulsey also uses her friends in various photo shoots for Pottery Barn, including one for a driftwood lantern centerpiece tutorial that features Lea Lanier (BSED ’99).

  

Congratulations on all your success, Christy! The UGA Alumni Association looks forward to many more years of your beautiful designs.

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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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