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08.19.2013

40 Under 40 Spotlight: Tosha Hays (BSFCS ’07)

Tosha Hays (BSFCS ’07) is enjoying an enviable career in the fashion industry. It could be said that her success began during her study abroad experience at UGA.

In 1996, Hays traveled abroad, for the first time, with the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences. While she was there, she was selected to intern with designer Bella Freud, great-granddaughter of Sigmund Freud. The internship was such a success, says Hays’s former teacher, Patricia Hunt-Hurst, that she was invited to work London Fashion Week.

After leaving Athens, Hays moved to New York City, where she took a job as a merchandising assistant with Tommy Hilfiger, Inc. In 1997, her husband’s job took the couple to Seattle, where Hays became a sales coordinator for Unionbay Sportswear and Supplies Menswear.

After relocating to Charlotte, N.C., Hays decided took the plunge and started her own fashion line, Tosha Hays, Inc. The line saw tremendous success and led to business investors and buyers, including Saks Fifth Avenue. At just 24, Hays was awarded the Women’s Wear Daily Fresh Face Award for the clothing line.

In 2007, Hays joined SPANX, Inc., as a product designer and developer. Just two years later, she was named senior director of design. In this role, the alumna manages and directs the brand’s designers in addition to creating new business category designs for launch seasons including SPANX Active, ASSETS Swim, and Men’s.

This past February, Hays was invited to attend the Chanel Haute Couture Spring 2013 Fashion Show in Paris by Chanel and SPANX CEO, Laurie Ann Goldman. To those outside the fashion world, this may seem like a trivial accomplishment, but the invitation is highly coveted among the fashion elite and allowed Hays to mix and mingle with top fashion leaders, and participate in a private event with Chanel designer, Karl Lagerfeld, and Vogue Fashion Editor Anna Wintour.

Hays hasn’t forgotten about her alma mater, though. According to Hunt-Hurst, Hays has returned to campus numerous times to guest lecture and offer learning opportunities to current students. In her free time, the mother of three is a board member for Fernbank Museum’s Artemis Foundation.

I’m so impressed by Tosha Hays’s success in such a highly competitive industry and congratulate her on being named to UGA’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2013!

To view the full list of the 40 Under 40 Class of 2013, please click here.

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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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