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08.16.2013

40 Under 40 Spotlight: Brendan K. Hatcher (BBA ’97)

Brendan “Kyle” Hatcher (BBA ’97) was named to this year’s 40 Under 40 because of his outstanding accomplishments as a diplomat. According to Michael Pennell, a colleague of Hatcher’s, Hatcher “has proven to be one of  America’s finest diplomats and government leaders in political and economic affairs, having led engagement with bilateral partners on stopping terrorism and human trafficking, as well as support for human rights and religious freedom/tolerance.”

After graduating from UGA with a bachelor’s degree in 1997, the former UGA Lacrosse co-captain and fraternity rush chairman went on to earn master’s degrees from the Monterey Institute of International Studies and the Foreign Service Institute for the Department of State.

Between 2002 and 2008, Hatcher worked for The Home Depot, the Department of Treasury, and the Department of State. In mid-2008, he became a political officer with the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. During his two years there, he spearheaded political and social change. One of his biggest accomplishments was establishing sports leagues to foster intercultural connections in both Washington, D.C., and Moscow.

Hatcher’s efforts did not go unnoticed by Russian authorities, though, and the alumnus endured a long and public attack campaign by the Russian KGB to smear his reputation and prevent him from continuing his efforts to bring forth social change.

Hatcher then became an economic officer with the U.S. Embassy in the Bahamas. There, the alumnus established a Caribbean model for fighting human trafficking which eventually led to the arrest of several high crime bosses. Hatcher also served as the mission disaster relief officer responsible for the evacuation of American government personnel during Hurricane Irene.

I was delighted to hear about Hatcher’s experience in the Peace Corps, where he served in Taraz, Kazakhstan. While there, he realized the Kazakhstan Ministry of Education lacked risk management curriculum. Hatcher reached out to former Terry College of Business professors for assistance in filling this void.

Sure enough, UGA Professor Rob Hoyt airmailed textbooks, teaching guides and spare supplies to Hatcher. I hear that, as of a few years ago, business professors in Kazakhstan were still building from Hatcher’s initial plan. What a fantastic story!

This doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of all of the responsibilities Hatcher has handled in his professional career. I encourage you to join me at the 2013 40 Under 40 Awards Luncheon on September 19 to meet him in person to learn more about his busy career.

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10.22.2014

Bulldogs in the Sunshine State

Southern California is known for its beaches, beautiful weather and the glamour of Hollywood, but the Sunshine State has a touch of Bulldog, topo. With more than 3,535 UGA alumni, Southern California is home to a host of alumni and alumni-owned businesses. 

A beer tap made from a Harley engine? Check. An annual Halloween party that includes a strait jacket escape contest and something called the Dead Marionette Theater? Check. A Johnny Cash shrine? Sure! All these elements and more come together to create the Gasser Lounge, a rock n’ roll bar located in Redondo Beach, California, the pride of owner Mike Bouchard (BBA ’03).

Serving as the Southern California Chapter’s game watching party venue, the Gasser Lounge hosts an energetic crew of football devotees every week for an indoor tailgating experience unlike any other, complete with a red leather interior and a special surprise after every Dawgs touchdown, served up by bartender Bouchard.

Bouchard and his bar aren’t the only ones keeping the Southern California Chapter entertained, however.

  

M. Ali Salimi (BBA ’03), president of the chapter, is an esteemed attorney who lived in Switzerland and London before beginning his own firm in Irvine.

Outside of work, Salimi opts for a hobby that’s a little less serious - gracing the stages of comedy clubs across the region. 

The UGA Alumni Association is proud of your accomplishments, Mike and Ali! Continue keeping the Southern California Chapter interesting.

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10.21.2014

2014-2015 Signature Lecture Series

Guest Blogger: Meg Amstutz, Ph.D. 
Associate Provost for Academic Programs

UGA is now highlighting a number of premier lectures through its new Signature Lectures designation, designed to help focus attention on the variety of prominent thinkers visiting campus.

When I first came to UGA in 1997, one thing I missed from my prior institution was the twice-yearly notice of its endowed lecture series. At the beginning of each semester, the arrival of the list of upcoming lectures would prompt my fellow graduate students and me to mark our calendars and chat with friends and colleagues about the topics that interested us most. Faculty across campus encouraged students to attend these lectures, and they often incorporated the work of the speakers into the classes they were teaching.    

In 2013-2014, more than 50 individual lectures were listed on UGA’s Master Calendar, signaling the strong level of intellectual activity taking place. At the same time, this long list signaled an opportunity to reframe these offerings conceptually, so that students and faculty might more easily mark the dates, participate and engage in classroom discussion together.

To that end, we have launched the UGA Signature Lectures, featuring speakers noted for their broad, multidisciplinary appeal and compelling bodies of work. This special designation recognizes a number of UGA’s endowed lectures, including the Gregory Lecture and the Mason Public Leadership Lecture, as well as lectures with historic significance on our campus, such as the Louise McBee Lecture, the Holmes-Hunter Lecture, and UGA’s Founders Day Lecture.

I am grateful to those who have chosen to endow lectures, because these Signature Lectures are one of the best ways for students to discover that they are truly part of a larger, international intellectual conversation.

For a full list of the 2014-2015 Signature Lecture, please click here.

The UGA Alumni Association will hold the 2015 Founders Day Lecture at the Chapel on Tuesday, January 27 at 1:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

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10.20.2014

Alumna Spotlight: Christy Hulsey (ABJ '98)

Bulldog 100 and 40 Under 40 honoree Christy Hulsey (ABJ ’98) lives a busy 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 White House staff. Hulsey’s shop was selected to launch Pottery Barn's 2014 summer brand, and her floral designs were displayed at the White House in 2013.

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

Hulsey enjoys opportunitues to work with fellow UGA alumni. She began her relationship with Pottery Barn after the floral arrangements she designed for friend and fellow Grady graduate 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).

  

In 2013, Colonial House of Flowers, generously donated flowers to UGA Day in Statesboro. She also gifted each 2014 40 Under 40 honorees with a red rose after the awards ceremony.

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

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