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10.25.2013

Former 40 Under 40 honoree sees dream approach reality

Despite having just graduated from UGA in 2007, Brian Bordainick's (AB ’07, BSED ’07) LinkedIn profile reads like a seasoned professional's.

Following graduation, Bordainick elected to join Teach for America and headed to George Washington Carver High School in New Orleans. By the time he was 23, he was named the school's athletic director and the youngest individual in Louisiana history to hold the position.

Although Bordainick concluded his time as athletic director in 2010, the press is still recognizing him for his efforts to bring a special dream to fruition for Carver High athletes - especially as that dream took one step closer to reality in September.

Carver High's original football field was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Over the course of the past five years, Bordainick has led a campaign to raise more than $1.4 million to build a new state-of-the-art football field at the Upper Ninth Ward school - The 9th Ward Field of Dreams. Donations poured in from across the country. Sean Payton donated $20,000. Former New Orleans city councilman Arnie Fielkow pledged $25,000. The Brees Dream Foundation donated $100,000. The NFL and Recovery School District each pitched in $200,000. Nike contributed $237,000.

Disbelief and doubt by many didn’t stop Bordainick, and because of his determination, officials celebrated the groundbreaking of the stadium project in late September. The New Orleans Times-Picayune featured the alumnus at the time of the groundbreaking.

Bordainick is now chief executive officer of Dinner Lab, a membership-based social dining experiment that unites undiscovered chefs with adventurous diners who are looking for something different from the traditional restaurant experience. He was named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list and the UGA Alumni Association's 40 Under 40 Class of 2011, and I have no doubt he’ll keep doing amazing things.

Congratulations, Brian, on seeing your dream in New Orleans take one step closer to completion. Thank you for representing UGA so well.

To read more about Bordainick’s Field of Dreams, click here

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10.20.2014

Alumna Spotlight: Christy Hulsey (ABJ '98)

Bulldog 100 and 40 Under 40 honoree Christy Hulsey (ABJ ’98) lves a busy and fulfilling 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 President Obama. Hulsey’s shop was selected to launch the design giant’s 2014 summer brand, and her floral designs were displayed at the White House last year.

A regular on Pottery Barn’s Have and Hold wedding blog, Hulsey informs brides-to-be on the art of creating garden fresh flower girl halos, cake stand centerpieces and seashore-inspired tablescapes.

Hulsey loves when opportunitues to work with fellow UGA alumni come along in her life. Hulsey began her relationship with Pottery Barn after the floral arrangements she designed for friend and fellow Grady grad 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).

  

Congratulations on all your success, Christy! The UGA Alumni Association looks forward to many more years of your beautiful designs.

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10.15.2014

Pulaski County students experienced life at UGA

Guest Blogger: Michelle Wilder Rivers (MA '10)
Program Coordinator
Archway Partnership

To demonstrate the possibilities available through higher education, the Hawkinsville LIFE League worked with the UGA Archway Partnership and the Office of Institutional Diversity to bring students to campus in July. The goal of the trip was to increase the awareness of postsecondary education opportunities, and to provide direct access to college admissions information. 

LIFE League teaches life skills and encourages excellence through basketball and other programs for at-risk youth in Pulaski County.

The day started with a UGA police escort for the students similar to that given to the football team on game day. Basketball games at the Ramsey Student Center were preceded by a reception during which numerous UGA administrators welcomed students.

Throughout the day, students participated in events including tours of the Ramsey Student Center and Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall (where they met student-athletes Nasheema Oliver, Kenny Gaines, Marcus Thornton and Chris Conley). Students had lunch at the Village Commons dining hall and emjoyed an interactive session with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. LIFE Leaguers ended their day with pictures in front of Sanford Stadium before heading home.

Units across campus made the day possible including: Office of the President, Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach, Terry College of Business, Mary Frances Early, UGA Athletic Association, Recreational Sports, Parking Services, Food Services, UGA Police Department and Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

  

Those involved hope that providing these students with a day on the UGA campus illustrated the possibilities that exist through post-secondary education. It was a great day for the Bulldog Nation and I felt lucky to be part of such a life-changing event for so many young people.

Click here to view more photos from the students' visit to UGA. 

More information about the Archway Partnership, a unit of Public Service and Outreach at UGA, can be found at www.archwaypartnership.uga.edu.

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10.10.2014

Alumnus Sets Sights on Vonage

Former Google executive Alan Masarek (BBA ’82) is making big moves.

Later this year, Masarek will be joining Internet phone service provider Vonage as the chief executive officer. He will also serve on the company’s board of directors. Vonage, which is based in New Jersey, is an international company that reported $829 million in revenue last year. The company also has ties back to Georgia, with its business services division moving to Cobb County in the near future.

Over the years, Masarek has served as president of a healthcare IT company and co-founded AdOutlet, an online media buying platform, and Quickoffice, an app provider that was acquired by Google in 2012. Most recently, he was the director of Chrome and apps at Google.

Congratulations on your continued success, Alan! The UGA Alumni Association wishes you the best of luck in your new role.

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