Alumni Spotlight: Josh Collins (BSEH '97, MS '99)
Alumnus Spotlight: Carlton Curtis (ABJ '72)
Shabbat 500 creates home for UGA students
Alumna Spotlight: Christina Sass (AB ’02)
UGA launches Women’s Leadership Initiative
Registration now open for 2015 UGA Day Tour
Alumnae Work to Save our Hearing
3rd Annual TEDxUGA is Friday, March 27
2015 Alumni Seminar: Food for Thought
EXTENDED DEADLINE: Dawg Trot 5K for Scholarships
Alumnus Spotlight: William Shepard Rose III
UGA Grady College announces recipients of 2015 Alumni Awards
Alumnus Spotlight: Alex Crevar (AB '93)
Alumna Spotlight: Sara Alread (BFA ’09)
Sisters Rethink “Something Borrowed”
Amazing Student: Sarah Huber '15
Griffin-Spalding County is UGA’s 12th Archway Partnership community
Alumni Spotlight: Tituss Burgess (AB '01)
UGA unveils 2015 UGA Day Tour schedule
UGA names new DC facility in recognition of $5 million grant from Delta Air Lines Foundation
UGA unveils 2015 Bulldog 100 rankings; Kabbage Inc. tops list
2015 Bulldog 100 Celebration is tomorrow
UGA alumni named to Atlanta Magazine’s Best of Atlanta 2014
Alumna Spotlight: Keysha Lee (ABJ '97)
Happy New Year, Bulldogs!
Alumna Spotlight: Amy Robach (ABJ '95) receives Distinguished Achievement Award from UGA
Student Alumni Association celebrates UGA’s birthday
UGA to celebrate 230th anniversary on January 27
UGA alumnus participates in Alaska tradition
Flavor of Georgia celebrates tradition of artisan and craft foods
Alumna Spotlight: Brooke Anderson (ABJ '00)
UGA alumna explores success of minorities in media
UGA’s Amazing Students: Colby Ruiz
Alumna Spotlight: Antonina Lerch (MFA '06)
Brothers make business a family affair
40 Under 40 honoree to direct UGA’s state government relations
UGA’s Thank-a-Teacher Program
Former UGA football player gives back to the community
Spotlight on a Bulldog Business: FotoIN
Introducing Executive Director Meredith Gurley Johnson (BSFCS '00)
UGA alumnus takes daring dive
UGA Alumni Association announces sixth annual Bulldog 100 list
2014 International Education Week
Alumna Spotlight: Cheri Leavy (BSED '97)
From the Desk of Provost Whitten: Food for Thought
Classic city sound from television to the silver screen
In remembrance of Carl E. Sanders (JD '48)
San Diego Chapter president leads successful career in medical illustration
UGA alumnus heads to Neverland
UGA named ‘Best Place for Student Veterans’
Warnell School honors distinguished alumni
A Bulldog Love Story
There’s no business like show business
UGA College of Education honors five alumni for career achievements
Bulldog advocates for arts education
Georgia agricultural leadership program graduates inaugural class
Former Diamond Dawg makes a difference for individuals with disabilities
UGA Graduate School honors 2014 Alumni of Distinction
Bulldogs in the Sunshine State
2014-2015 Signature Lecture Series
Alumna Spotlight: Christy Hulsey (ABJ '98)
Pulaski County students experienced life at UGA
Alumnus Sets Sights on Vonage
UGA Alumni See Success in Startup Companies
Clear the Air at UGA
Good Eats: Alton in ATH
Sic ‘Em City: Homecoming 2014
Georgia Fund receives generous gift from Lake Oconee Area Chapter
Former Bulldog’s Studio Shines in Storytelling
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.
Josh Collins (BSEH '97, MS '99) is the proud owner of Athen's newest juke-joint style restaurant, Champy's Famous Fried Chicken. Located at 1120 Baxter Steet, Athen, GA, the restarunt stives to bring together traditional, southern-family recipes with an atmosphere that will attract a diverse crowd.
The UGA Alumni Association’s Strategic Communications intern, Emilie Clarke ’15, had the opportunity to catch up with this outstanding alumnus. Read below to find out more about Josh’s entrpreneurial endeavors.
You recently opened Champy’s Famous Fried Chicken, tell me a little bit about the restaurant. What steps did you take to open your own business? What accomplishments are you most proud of?
Champy's was founded in Chattanooga in 2009 by a good friend of ours, Seth Champion, who was raised on the Mississippi Delta. Although Champy's of Athens is the fifth ocation, which also includes Daphne, Alabaster and Muscle Shoals, AL, we are not a franchise. We refer to ourselves as a "friendchise" between buddies that enjoy great food in a fun atmosphere. The atmosphere is fun for all ages.
My wife, Amy, and I have talked about moving to Athens for the past 10 years and I knew that Athens was a Champy's explosion waiting to happen. We worked on selling the idea of Athens to Seth for over two years then invested everything we had into opening, including having to go all the way to Mississippi to get a business loan because local banks wouldn't work with us. We cashed in our 401Ks, are still living in an RV and continue to invest all of the elbow grease we have every day.
Interior of Chmapy's Famous Fried Chicken
Where do you see the company in five years?
For the Athens Champy's, I can see a destination spot that draws customers from all over Georgia and visiting sports rivals, a thriving catering business for everyone that wants good southern food, and a restaurant full of locals that are drawn to our bluesy atmosphere. As for expansion, I definitely see a second location in five years, maybe an hour or two from Athens.
What chefs or types of cuisines are your biggest food influences?
Flavors from the Deep South - Mississippi Delta hot tamales, fresh fried chicken and homemade sides. Our recipes were handed down from Seth Champion's grandfather over 40 years ago.
How did your time at UGA help you achieve your personal and professional goals? Did you have a favorite professor or class that really stuck with you? Favorite memory from your time at UGA?
My environmental health sciences degree kick-started my corporate career and provided me with 15 years of business experience that I lean on every day to run the restaurant.
I would have to go with two professors, Dr. David MacIntosh and Dean Phil Williams of the Health Science Campus. You didn't ask, but I couldn't forget about Ms. Sandra McPeake who was the department's assistant in the late 1990s. She couldn't always keep me out of trouble, but she tried her best!
Football Saturdays in Athens are my favorite memory. All of them...
What advice would you give to future graduates or young alumni who aspire to own their own business?
Just do it. No one is going to make it happen, but you.
To learn more about Josh Collins (BSEH '97, MS '99) and Champy's Famous Fried Chicken visit ChampysChicken.com.
Former UGA Alumni Association President Carlton Curtis (ABJ '72) has been honored with the 2015 Thad and Alice Eure Ambassador of Hospitality Award. Presented by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF), this award goes to an individual who has shown extraordinary achievement and exemplary leadership in the restaurant and hospitality industry.
"It's a privilege to recognize Carlton and his lifetime of achievements with one of the NRAEF's and the industry's highest honors," said Rob Gifford, executive vice president of strategic operations and philanthropy of the National Restaurant Association and NRAEF. "During his tenure with Coca-Cola and as a member of the NRA and NRAEF boards, Carlton has been steadfastly passionate and committed to improving the industry. He is a tremendous industry advocate, and an exemplary role model within the nation's restaurant and foodservice sector."
Curtis spent the past 43 years with the Coca-Cola Company, while volunteering his time, resources and expertise to restaurant operators and retailers around the globe in an effort to raise the stature of the industry. He has served as chairman of the board of the NRAEF, serves on the Board of Directors of the International Franchise Association, is the current chair of IFA's Diversity Institute, and is a member of the Hall of Fame of the Distinguished Restaurants of North America. He serves his alma mater as an emeritus trustee of the UGA Foundation. He will be recognized today at the National Restaurant Association’s Public Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C.
Recently, Executive Director Meredith Gurley Johnson (BSFCS '00) had an opportunity to attend the Shabbat 500 dinner.
Thanks to generous Georgia Fund gifts, University of Georgia student organizations are able to apply for sponsorship dollars from the UGA Alumni Association. This is an important way for alumni to support the diverse student groups on campus, including UGA’s student Jewish center, The Rohr Chabad House.
Since 2011, the UGA Alumni Association has been a proud sponsor of the Shabbat 500, an annual free dinner for UGA’s Jewish community in celebration of Shabbat. As a sponsor of Shabbat 500, we help fund the 500-person event hosted by The Rohr Chabad House.
The Chabad House is located near the Spec Towns Track and is a home-away-from-home for Jewish students that offers fellowship and an opportunity to celebrate the holidays. Rabbi Refson and his wife, Chana, have five children, yet they are still able to provide unparalleled hospitality to UGA students through their work with The Chabad House. Every Friday evening, the couple welcomes approximately 60 students for a free dinner in their home. The UGA community is lucky to have individuals like Rabbi Refsen and Chana who provide such special moments for students to gather and celebrate Judaism.
I was able to attend this year’s Shabbat 500 with UGA Alumni Association Vice President Ruth Bartlett (BBA ’76). I witnessed a number of UGA’s student leaders participate, enjoyed seeing the special connections these students have with one another, and loved hearing the prayers, blessings and singing that took place! The students’ energy reminded me how wonderfully diverse the University of Georgia student body is and it made me proud that the UGA Alumni Association sponsors this program.
I greatly admire Rabbi Refson’s family and appreciate the role they play in building a welcoming community for students on campus. I am proud to call them my friends and hope the entire Athens community knows how lucky we are to have them as a resource for students. I invite students, parents and alumni to investigate Chabad of Georgia and The Chabad House to find their role in supporting Rabbi Refson and this special organization on campus.
Executive Director Meredith Gurley Johnson (BSFCS '00), Student Alumni Council Member Reed Turry '17 and Vice President Ruth Bartlett (BBA '76)
I look forward to our team sponsoring this event, which promotes campus diversity and inclusiveness, again in the future. Thank you to The Chabad House for hosting Ruth and me!
Meredith Gurley Johnson (BSFCS ’00) is the executive director of the UGA Alumni Association.