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09.20.2013

2013 40 Under 40 Awards Lunch a Success!

Yesterday, nearly 400 University of Georgia alumni, staff, and friends gathered in the Oceans Ballroom of the Georgia Aquarium to celebrate the 2013 40 Under 40. Attendees were welcomed to the sounds of a live steel drum band during the reception, and were then ushered into the ballroom which was decorated with eye-catching red and black decor. In the back of the room was a window into the Ocean Voyager exhibit, featuring large manta rays and massive whale sharks! The far side of the room was highlighted by a window into the playful beluga whales exhibit.

While attendees gathered around the glass to catch glimpses of these amazing creatures, the real stars of the show were still minutes from being recognized. At noon, lunch was commenced and the program began. UGA Alumni Association President Tim Keadle (BBA '78) introduced President Jere W. Morehead (JD '80), who offered the keynote remarks. President Morehead took a few moments to speak directly to the honorees themselves. 

"This is my charge to you: Be of good service," Morehead said. "Be the people who make their communities better. Be the people who keep this nation's important volunteer organizations strong and vibrant. Be the people who see themselves as responsible to others, to society and to the planet. Make a difference, large and small, in every way that you can, in every place that you go."

Following President Morehead's remarks, I was proud to provide an overview of this year's class - and what an accomplished and diverse class it is. The members of the 2013 40 Under 40 graduated in the years ranging from as early as 1996 to as recently as 2011. 26 honorees graduated since 2000, and nine are Double-Dawgs, having recieved two degrees from UGA.

This year's honorees hail from nine states, the District of Columbia and the countries of Guatemala, China and Saudi Arabia. They represent a variety of industries, including art, law, education, government, finance and banking, nonprofit, food production, PR and marketing, the Armed Forces and health care.

The afternoon's festivities concluded with a class picture in front of the Oceans Voyager tank as "Glory, Glory" played over the sound system. 

It was an exceptional event honoring exceptional young men and women. Nothing illustrates the value of a University of Georgia degree better than UGA's graduates, and this group of talented and dedicated young alumni have proven a UGA degree to be very valuable indeed.  

Stay tuned to our website and your email inbox for information on nominating a deserving young alumni for the 2014 list. Congratulations to this year's honorees and to all of you who attended the lunch yesterday. It was truly an afternoon to remember! Go Dawgs! 

CLICK HERE to see the members of the 40 Under 40 Class of 2013. 

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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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