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12.09.2013

Mike Proctor (BBA ‘96) sells collegiate kettle corn

As many of you are probably aware, the Bulldogs will take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl  in Jacksonville on January 1. If you are as excited as our staff members for one last battle on the gridiron this season, I imagine you might have already started planning your trip down to Florida. As you plan your chilly, winter tailgate menu, you might find this alumni news particularly interesting.
 
Mike Proctor (BBA '96), CEO of Old Mill Kettle Corn, found a way to combine his love for the Georgia Bulldogs with a successful business endeavor.
 
Old Mill Kettle Corn was established in 2002, when Proctor and his team began popping the kettle corn at festivals. The recipe was popular among the thousands of festival attendees, leading Proctor to perfect the all-natural recipe and then sell it in stores in 2009. One year later, Old Mill Kettle Corn was among the top 10 most popular snack items in several grocery store chains across the South. Old Mill Kettle Corn now offers flavored popcorn, holiday tins and, of particular interest to all you tailgaters, collegiate packages! In addition to our beloved Bulldogs, Old Mill Kettle Corn offers popcorn for Clemson, FSU, Georgia Tech, Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee fans. Yum.
 
Whether you take a bag of Mike's popcorn with you to Jacksonville or not, I hope you travel safely and have a wonderful trip.
 
Congratulations, Mike, on this fun popcorn creation. Go Dawgs!

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09.15.2014

Class of 2014 40 Under 40 Honorees: Favorite UGA Memories

Though the 40 Under 40 honorees represent many different colleges, work in various fields and live all over the world, each has fond memories of time spent at UGA and its impact on their life.

In celebration of the upcoming 40 Under 40 Awards, the UGA Alumni Association has asked the honorees to share some of their favorite memories of their time in Athens.

Turmel Kindred (BBA ’02), Inspector General, United States Army

“I happened to run into this pretty, young freshman in the elevator and exchanged numbers [with her]. We became friends, and we later matured that friendship into a healthy relationship that spanned two continents. My chance meeting with this young lady led to that woman becoming mother of my two children, protector of my household and my lovely bride.”

Jon Ostenson (BBA ’02, MBA ’06), Vice President of Sales, Carter’s/OshKosh B’Gosh

“The time I spent [as president] with the Banking and Finance Society […] We succeeded in nearly doubling the organizations 100-member base through bringing in top-notch Atlanta companies to present on a frequent basis and setting up networking nights in downtown Athens […] It was very rewarding to be a part of this turnaround.”

Jon Pannell (BBA ’00), Partner; Gray, Pannell & Woodward, LLP

“I was fortunate enough to be selected as a member of Arch Society as a student leader, and served during my junior and senior years as a member. Through the Arch Society, I was exposed to some incredible experiences as a student ambassador for UGA.”

Michael Patrick (BBA ’03), Vice President of Capital Markets, Carroll Organization

“Representing my fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha, as a member of the winning team in the Greek step show that takes place annually at the Classic Center downtown. This memory […] touches one of the things I’m most passionate about: my fraternity brothers […] The night we won the competition, we all became that much closer.”

Godfrey Powell (BBA ’00), Team Lead, Business Development & Partnerships, Samsung Electronics

“I worked as a roadie for the UGA event technical crew. We set up the stage and sound technology equipment at events all over campus […] I worked with the Harlem Ballet, met Destiny’s Child, picked up Bobby McFerrin from the airport, set up a drag queen ball and assembled a Rolling Stone Magazine exhibit. Each event exposed me to the rich diversity of UGA’s student body.”

Bakari Brock (BBA ’01), Director of Business Development, Lyft, Inc.

“The Outkast concert at Soldier’s Field […] This was a time in their career before they were global megastars, and performing in a relatively small venue. Most importantly for me, however, it was the first time other than at a sporting event that I witnessed our multi-cultural student body truly interact with each other in a positive manner.”

Jared Schmidt (BBA ’04), Vice President, Goldman, Sachs & Co.

“My experience with Terry’s Leonard Leadership Scholars Program (LLSP), and the closing banquet that culminated our two years of development and growth […] I learned so much about philanthropy, and the giving of one’s time, through its founder Mr. Earl Leonard […During the closing banquet] I was honored to be sitting at a table with Mr. Leonard, his wife and my family. It was the culmination of pride, hard work, sacrifice and gratitude that I felt on that evening.”

Robert Thomson (BA ’02), Major, United States Army Special Forces (Green Beret)

“My older sister, Tracy (ABJ ’00 and fellow 40 Under 40 honoree), gave me a personal tour of the campus and mapped where all my classes were located before my first day of class […] During that campus tour, she not only gave me a UGA history lesson, but she shared all the great insights that a new student would surely need and put my nerves at ease as I embarked on my UGA journey.”

Eric Wearne (MA ’02), Assistant Professor, Gwinnett College School of Education

“My first child was born while I was a student at UGA. Living in Gwinnett and commuting to Athens, I remember being ‘on call’ [while in class], waiting for my huge, stone-aged cell phone to ring with my wife telling me to hurry back down 316 […] My professor, Sally Krisel, was very understanding, but that memory is a good one because it reminds me of the kindness of the faculty members who taught me during my time at UGA.”

Trey Wood (BBA ’08), Partner/Vice President, Turner, Wood & Smith Insurance Agency

“One of my favorite memories is the final RMI project I completed in Dr. Hoyt’s class […] Our team of three met every single Monday afternoon for several months […]At the time, I could not have had any idea that my teammates would soon thereafter transition from classmates to colleagues […] Both now serve as underwriters for companies I work with daily. We often meet for lunch and reminisce about […] that project.”

Evangeline George (BA ’08), Press Secretary, U.S. House of Representatives, Office of Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi

“The Washington Semester Program was an incredible experience. Differing political perspectives didn’t matter – we formed a bond over our love of UGA and excitement to be in the nation’s capital. The fall of 2008, lifelong friendship were formed through countless seminars, networking receptions, lunches on Capitol Hill, walks on the mall, football games, West Wing episodes, late-night talks about our futures, a near collapse of our financial system and a presidential election.”

Click here to see the rest of the 40 Under 40 Class of 2014. Information about others in this year's class will be posted to the UGA Alumni Association's blog between 9/15/14 and 9/18/14. 

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09.12.2014

Class of 2014 40 Under 40 Honorees

In the days leading up the the 2014 40 Under 40 Awards Luncheon on Thursday, September 18, we'll be highlighting this year's honorees. Today's group of alumni work in a science-related field. Read on to learn more about these outstanding individuals. 

A triple Dawg from Omaha, Nebraska, Deann Akins Lewenthal (BSA '02, MS '05, PHD '08) works as a principal food safety specialist for ConAgra Foods. In addition, Deann serves as a founding, and the youngest, member of the company's Innovation Council. Deann has remained engaged with the university and helped organize the first UGA Alumni Association Chapter in Omaha. 

Tiffany Parr Fowles (DRPH '13) is the senior maternal and child health epidemiologist at the Georgia Department of Health's Maternal and Child Office Epidemiology. Outside of the office, Tiffany serves as a supervisor for student interns in UGA's College of Public Health. 

A leader in his field, pediatric ENT surgeon Brian Kulbersh (BS '01) works at the Children's Hospital of Alabama in Birmingham. 

While at UGA, Kameko Nichols (BS '02, AB '02) not only earned two degrees, but also served as a Foundation Fellow and an Arch Society member. After spending several years as an investment banker on Wall Street , Kameko left her job to help bring life-saving medical care to more than 14 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa. Today, Kameko works for Riders for Health, which trains health care workers to ride and maintain motorcycles to deliver vital care to rural communities. 

Darigg Brown (BSEH '00) is a research public health analyst with RTI International, where he provides scientific support to research studies involving disease prevention and health communication. Darigg has served in leadership positions with the Society of Public Health and has conducted HIV/AIDS research around the world. 

A founding member and former chairwoman of the Terry College of Business Young Alumni Board, Mai-Lise Nguyen (BBA '05) earned a marketing degree and a cellular biology minor at UGA and now combines her love of the two subjects as international communications manager with F. Hoffman-La Roche, a leading biotechnology pharmaceutical corporation in Switzerland. 

President of the College of Veterinary Medicine Alumni Association, Chad Schmiedt (DVM '00) is an associate professor at the college and a small animal surgeon with a focus on kidney disease. Chad founded and operates UGA's feline renal transplantation program, one of only four programs of its kind in the world. 

Aleisha Gomes Swartz (DVM '02) lives in Honolulu, where she focuses on serving animals without an owner as chief veterinarian for the Hawaiian Humane Society. In this role, she oversees the medical and behavioral needs of nearly 30,000 animals that are brought to the shelter each year. As a delegate on the executive board of the Hawaii Veterinary Medicine Association, Aleisha played an important role in the design of the association's new $18 million facility. 

Click here to see the rest of the 40 Under 40 Class of 2014. Information about others in this year's class will be posted to the UGA Alumni Association's blog between 9/12/14 and 9/18/14. 

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09.05.2014

2014 40 Under 40 Keynote Speaker: Kim Bearden (BSED '87)

Award-winning UGA graduate, Kim Bearden (BSED ’87), co-founder and executive director at the Ron Clark Academy, will take the stage as the keynote speaker at this year's 40 Under 40 Awards Luncheon on September 18. Over the years, Bearden has fine-tuned the skills necessary to be one of the most engaging and effective educators in the country.

Over the years, Bearden has been a teacher, director, school board member, trainer and middle school principal. Bearden has won countless awards ranging from Teacher of the Year in Cobb County, to being chosen from teachers across the nation as the Disney American Teacher Awards Outstanding Middle School Humanities Teacher. Bearden is a member of the Leadership Atlanta Class of 2008, and she received the Phoenix Award from former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin for her dedication to the education. Her commitment to her students and their success is just as outstanding as her dedication to the education field and her fellow educators. 

After more two decades in education, she is now passing along her experiences in an eye-opening read. Bearden has collected many life lessons and grown as an individual by listening to every child’s life story. In July, Bearden published a new book, "Crash Course; The Life Lessons My Students Taught Me." You can learn more about it here.  

If you are interested in hearing Bearden speak about her experiences, please consider registering for this year's 40 Under 40 Awards Luncheon, which is being held on Thursday, September 18 at the Georgia Aquarium. 

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