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08.22.2013

40 Under 40 Spotlight: Ashley Jones (BS ’02)

According to UGA Director of Federal Relations Andrew Dill (BBA ’06, AB ’07), 40 Under 40 Class of 2013 honoree Ashley Jones (AB ’02) “defines leadership.” He adds that she “is a public servant who has passed on more lucrative opportunities to stay in a position to serve her state, country and university.”

Jones is currently Congressman John Barrow’s chief of staff, a position she has held since 2007. At the age of 27, she became the youngest female to obtain this position on Capitol Hill. As chief of staff, Jones oversees Barrow’s Washington, D.C., office and four district offices, manages a staff of more than 20, and serves as Barrow’s senior political advisor.

“The average age of a chief of staff is 42. The fact that I was put in charge of the Congressman’s operation at the age of 27, and the fact that I am the only female chief of staff in the Georgia Delegation, is a source of pride for me,” said Jones.

Jones began her career with Barrow as an intern, but quickly moved into a fundraising role with the Congressman’s first campaign in 2003. That year, Barrow’s team raised more money than any other challenger in the country. The alumna later managed Barrow’s 2012 re-election campaign, which was seen as a no-win contest. Through Jones’s leadership, though, the congressman won re-election by eight percentage points – a victory recognized nationally as one of the greatest upsets in that election cycle.

When asked about her favorite UGA memory, Jones acknowledged the challenge of selecting just one. She added, “I hope I’m not done creating memories at UGA, which is why I continue to stay involved. I can hopefully help others leave UGA with the same impossible task of picking just one favorite memory.”

Jones gives back to her alma mater on a regular basis. She has hired more than 25 UGA graduates since she became chief of staff, and always welcomes several UGA interns each semester. She speaks to UGA Washington Semester students and visits campus to share her experiences with SPIA students.

Thank you for representing your alma mater in D.C., Ashley. Your university is proud of your success and looks forward to what else your career will hold. Congratulations on being named to the 40 Under 40 Class of 2013!

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Recent Entries


02.25.2015

Alumna Spotlight: Sara Alread (BFA ’09)

Sara Alread (BFA '09) of Saint Simons Island, Georgia successfully launched her business, Little River Designs, in April 2013. The web-based business features rustic hand-crafted, wooden designs for the Southern home. Litter River Designs is a family business in every sense of the word. Sara's father is a carpenter, while her mother and sister serve as constant inspirations for new designs. The idea to create Little River Designs came in the form of a new family member. 

Sara shares how Litter River Designs got its name, "On November 30, 2011, my nephew, River, was born. He became our inspiration and official mascot. We were already making signs, planning weddings and building furniture for ourselves when friends became interested in what we were creating. Soon after River was born, Little River Designs began."

Little River Designs centers around a timeless family tradition: tracking grandchildrens' growth-spurts on the wall at grandma's house. Little River Designs' most popular item is the wooden Grow Chart Rulers.

      

Grow Chart Rulers by Litter River Designs

Today, Little River Designs continues to develop its online business and clientele. A recent expansion includes a line of wedding signs and the personalization of all Litter River Design products. As Sara and her team grow the Little River Designs line, they have gained the attention of a few big crafting and design websites. The business has been featured on SwissMiss, Sweet Peach, 100 Layer Cake, Rustic Wedding Chic, Golden Isles Magazine, and in the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

To learn more about Sara and Little River Designs, check out the website and Facebook page.

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02.23.2015

Sisters Rethink “Something Borrowed”

Sisters Ashley Steele (ABJ ’06), of Charlottesville, Virginia., and Cali Brutz (AB ’08), of Athens, Georgia., own and operate two businesses that are modernizing the wedding industry. Steele and Brutz began working together in 2008 at the ages of 24 and 22, respectively. At the time, Steele was planning her own wedding and Brutz was a photographer. During the wedding planning process, the pair identified a number of issues that arise for the soon-to-be brides. Looking to solve those issues sparked several entrepreneurial projects.

The duo's latest venture, Borrowing Magnolia, uses a concept similar to that of Rent the Runway and Warby Parker in that brides will be able to rent wedding dresses for their big day directly from Borrowing Magnolia. The dresses available for rental will be provided by former brides who are interested in earning extra cash by lending their gown to another individual. Borrowing Magnolia ensures that the dresses are in good quality by limiting each dress to three rentals annually and five total. Sizes range from 0 to 24 and alterations are available as long as the changes are reversible

Borrowing Magnolia lives to serve the bride. The sisters ensure the brides-to-be that, "Borrowing Magnolia is committed to helping you find your dream gown, the way the modern bride does the dress. We make it easy for you to buy or borrow a designer gorgeous gown at a fraction of the retail cost, while still having a white-glove personalized boutique experience from start-to-finish. Look fabulous in your dream dress, save some cash, go green, and focus on what really matters on your wedding day. That’s what we’re all about."

The sisters have obviously been bitten by the entrepreneurial bug and show no signs of stopping. This year, Borrowing Magnolia is expected to have over 800 dresses in their collection by the end of the year; the business was featured in the New York Times’ Style Section; and reality show producers are in talks of covering their business endeavors.

Congratulation to Ashley and Cali on their stellar sucess and best wishes as they continue to help women live their dream weddings. 

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02.20.2015

Amazing Student: Sarah Huber '15

From the moment she stepped foot on the campus, Sarah Huber could tell that UGA was the perfect place for her. Nearly four years later, the future dentist calls the journey an “extraordinary experience.”

Throughout my four years at UGA, I have experienced significant development in my character and drastic change in my approach to life. I entered college with an outlook that was enthusiastic, yet full of uncertainty in my surroundings and in my hopes for the future. Today, my recent acceptance to dental school and each of the incredible relationships I have formed at UGA serve as reminders of the extraordinary experience that this university has provided me over these past four years.

Read more about Sarah's incredible four years at UGA.

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