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01.27.2014

Social Empowerment Center named top Bulldog 100 business

This past Saturday, I had the honor of being a part of the fifth annual Bulldog 100 Celebration. During this special gathering, the UGA Alumni Association recognizes the fastest growing companies owned or operated by UGA alumni. The evening began with a reception, dinner and keynote address by SmallBizClub.com founder and hall of fame quarterback, Fran Tarkenton (BBA '61). The evening culminated in the unveiling of the 2014 Bulldog 100 - with Social Empowerment Center, of Lawrenceville, Ga., landing at No. 1.

Owned by husband and wife duo, Rachelle (MSW ’00) and Edward (MED ’09) Hutchinson, Social Empowerment Center offers support to families in crisis, including mental health and indigent services. This was the first year that the company appeared on the Bulldog 100 and Rachelle is the first female and the first minority business owner to secure the top spot since the recognition program began in 2010.

Other Southeastern companies rounded out the top ten:

2. Vert Mobile, LLC, Atlanta
3. The Ansley Group, Atlanta
4. Hitson Land and Timber Management, Inc., Port Orange, Fla.
5. Aycock Properties, Inc., Atlanta
6. EvoShield, Bogart, Ga.
7. Professional Technology Integration, Inc., Norcross, Ga.
8. Blake & Brady, Anderson, S.C.
9. Two Maids and A Mop, Mountain Brook, Ala.
10. Sovereign Systems, Norcross, Ga.

Between January and May last year, more than 800 nominations were received for Bulldog 100. The businesses recognized vary in size and provide services and products in a variety of industries, including advertising, mixed martial arts, pest control and timber management.

Nominations for the 2015 Bulldog 100 are now open; visit www.alumni.uga.edu/b100 to nominate a business today!

I am so proud of all 100 businesses and the alumni who lead them. Their success is staggering and I look forward to seeing who makes the list again next year. Go Dawgs!

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10.20.2014

Alumna Spotlight: Christy Hulsey (ABJ '98)

Bulldog 100 and 40 Under 40 honoree Christy Hulsey (ABJ ’98) lives a busy 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 White House staff. Hulsey’s shop was selected to launch Pottery Barn's 2014 summer brand, and her floral designs were displayed at the White House in 2013.

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

Hulsey enjoys opportunitues to work with fellow UGA alumni. She began her relationship with Pottery Barn after the floral arrangements she designed for friend and fellow Grady graduate 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).

  

In 2013, Colonial House of Flowers, generously donated flowers to UGA Day in Statesboro. She also gifted each 2014 40 Under 40 honorees with a red rose after the awards ceremony.

Congratulations on 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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