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09.18.2013

40 Under 40 Spotlight: Padgett “Pat” Wilson (AB ’96)

Padgett “Pat” Wilson (AB ’96) spent the summer between his junior and senior years at UGA studying abroad in Erlangen, Germany. That trip offered a number of “firsts” for the small-town Georgia native – his first time truly leaving home, his first passport, his first trip abroad, his first time dreaming in another language, his first train trip, his first glass of wine, and the first time to take “the blinders off to the world and the opportunities that exist outside of the life” he knew.

This young graduate has come a long way since those days. Today, he serves as the chief operating officer for the Georgia Department of Economic Development in Atlanta. In this role, Wilson directs the long-term strategy and daily operations of the Georgia agency tasked with growing jobs and investment across the state. He manages a $26 million annual budget and oversees approximately 170 employees in Georgia and 12 international offices.

After graduating from UGA, Wilson served as a Congressional intern, legislative correspondent, and North Georgia regional representative in Washington, D.C. From 2001 to 2005, he worked for Greenberg Traurig. The subsequent five years were spent in former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue’s administration – first as Perdue’s director of federal affairs in D.C., and then as his government affairs director in Atlanta.

In 2010, Wilson joined the Georgia Department of Economic Development as deputy commissioner of global commerce, and in 2011, was named the agency’s COO.

The Georgia Department of Economic Development is responsible for a number of important tasks, including growing and expanding the state’s existing industries; developing and recruiting new businesses to the state; enhancing Georgia’s trade relationships around the world; attracting tourists to Georgia; and promoting the state as an ideal location for film, video, music and digital entertainment enterprises. During the last three years, the alumnus has helped attract some big names to the state, including Baxter, Caterpillar and Starbucks.

In addition to his role as COO, Wilson serves as the executive director of Georgia Allies, a marketing partnership between the State of Georgia and the private sector that promotes Georgia’s economic development priorities. He is a former member of the UGA Alumni Association Board of Directors and a past president of the Georgia State Society in Washington, D.C.

Congratulations to Pat Wilson on being named to the 40 Under 40 Class of 2013. Tomorrow is the big day! It’s not too late to attend the 40 Under 40 Awards Luncheon at the Georgia Aquarium; walk-up registration will be available at 11:30 a.m. See you there!

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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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