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02.24.2014

Another successful UGA Alumni Leadership Assembly

It was a busy Friday and Saturday this weekend for the UGA Alumni Association staff and the more than 50 alumni chapter leaders who attended our 2014 Alumni Leadership Assembly (ALA) here in Athens. Due to my class schedule, I was unable to participate in this year's ALA. I was pleased to hear that the event was a great success and that our chapter leaders were exposed to a wide variety of information that will help them succeed in the coming year.

On Friday morning, attendees enjoyed getting to know one another, and heard from President Jere W. Morehead (JD '80) and UGA Music Business Program Director David Barbe (ABJ '86). That afternoon, they enjoyed a tour of Sanford Stadium and the Tate Student Center. Then, they were introduced to a variety of information about alumni giving, admissions and the UGA Career Center. The day concluded with a relaxing dinner at Nuci's Space that was catered by Weaver D's.

On Saturday morning, after a few attendees enjoyed a brief stroll on South campus, chapter leaders learned how to use social media more effectively to disseminate information about their chapters. They gained additional chapter funding information from our staff and then heard from the UGA Athletic Association and Gym Dogs Coach Danna Durante. Saturday afternoon wrapped up with a panel of chapter leaders who hosted successful events during the previous year. That evening, the annual Chapter Awards Reception and Dinner was held in the Miller Learning Center. The following chapters/individuals earned awards this year:

Best Use of Web Page and Social Media:

    Athens Area Chapter

Event of the Year (tie):

    Southern California Chapter-Second Annual Forum: Marketing and Branding in the Digital Age

    Augusta Area Chapter-An Evening with the Dawgs

Volunteer of the Year:

    Holly Hunt (BSED '07, ABJ '07)

Chapters of Excellence:

    Athens Area, Asheville, Augusta Area, Birmingham, Charleston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Golden Isles, Houston, Metro Atlanta, Miami, Nashville, NYC, Northern Colorado/Wyoming, Orlando, Pensacola/Panhandle, Raleigh, Richmond, San Diego, Southern California, St. Louis Area, Philadelphia, Upstate South Carolina and Washington, DC.

Chapter of the Year:

    Athens Area Chapter

Congratulations to the chapter leaders who worked so diligently throughout 2013 to connect local alumni and friends with each other and UGA. Your hard work does not go unnoticed and we look forward to what you will accomplish this year. Go Dawgs!

If you are not involved with your local alumni chapter, but would like to be, please email Danielle Alexander (MSW '11) at cdalex@uga.edu.

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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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