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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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Recent Entries


12.19.2014

Brothers make business a family affair

How do two brothers from tiny Hopeful, Georgia, manage to take Atlanta’s entrepreneurial spirit to a new level? Well, ask the Shirah brothers, Benjie (BSFR ’07, MFR ’10) and Jamey (BBA ’10). Since leaving Athens, the business-savvy brothers have embarked on a number of successful endeavors, including The Ivy Buckhead and Atlanta-based companies Kill Cliff – The Recovery Drink™ and Vida-Flo: The Hydration Station. Now, the brothers are heading in a new direction - your feet. 

This fall, Benjie and Jamey launched their latest project, JL The Brand, a flair-filled sock company. Together with friends, the brothers are working to add a little jazz to the mundane black and blue men’s suit with top-notch socks. 

Designed with unique patterns and colors, JL The Brand offers affordable high quality socks that add a subtle yet sophisticated pop to any outfit. JL The Brand socks are the perfect gift for any guy this holiday season! 

With the Shirah brothers’ keen eye for business development, these young alumni are sure make a lasting mark on Atlanta's entrepreneurial scene. 

Keep up with the Shirah's businesses on social media: 

@theivybuckhead
@govidaflo
@jlthebrand

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12.18.2014

40 Under 40 honoree to direct UGA’s state government relations

Tobin R. "Toby" Carr (BBA '01, BSAE '01) was named associate vice president for government relations and director of state governmental relations at UGA. Vice President for Government Relations J. Griffin Doyle announced the appointment of Carr, who currently is planning director for the Georgia Department of Transportation.

Carr was appointed to his current DOT post in 2012, a position in which he has led a team of some 30 planning professionals in guiding strategic planning and project budget documents that direct state and federal resources to fund transportation projects. He graduated from the UGA Honors Program in 2001 with bachelor's degrees in business administration and agricultural engineering. Before assuming his DOT post, Carr served as Deal's transportation policy adviser and the governor's liaison to the Georgia House of Representatives. He previously was director of Deal's gubernatorial transition committee.

An active student leader while at UGA, Carr served as president of the Interfraternity Council and was named to Sphinx, Omicron Delta Kappa, Blue Key, Mortar Board, Phi Kappa Phi and the Arch Society. He currently serves on the UGA College of Engineering Alumni Advisory Board and was recognized in 2014 as a UGA 40 Under 40 and as the 2012 Blue Key Outstanding Young Alumnus Award winner.

"I'm humbled and thrilled to serve my alma mater in this role," Carr said. "I'm very grateful to Gov. Deal for his support of this new endeavor and to President Morehead and Vice President Doyle for giving me the opportunity to advance the mission of UGA."

Carr will serve as primary liaison between the university and state government officials, representing the university in all matters involving legislators, agencies, departments, and the other higher education institutions of Georgia. The transition will occur in early January.

Click here to read more. 

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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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