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09.16.2014

40 Under 40 Class of 2014: Advice to Students

Each 40 Under 40 honoree has an amazing success story that started with their time at UGA. 

With this year's 40 Under 40 Awards Luncheon right around the corner, the UGA Alumni Association cannot think of a better group to give advice to current UGA students.

Silvije Barisic (MBA ’04), Founder & CEO, FotoIN Mobile Corporation

“Believe, for you and for those around you. Act on what you know and believe, for you and for those around you. Selflessly acting for others leases to the greatest personal gains. Faith, family, team – all successful when based on selfless action.”

Mark Butler (BBA ’02), Founder & President, CXO Staffing, Inc. & Pay It Forward Atlanta

“The world measures success often in numbers, whether it is people or dollars. Work hard with passion, drive and superior ethics for yourself, not others, because you are made of greatness. More importantly, try to be sensitive to, and available to meet the needs of, those around you.”

Toby Carr (BBA ’01), Director of Planning, Georgia Department of Transportation

“Be trustworthy. Live your passion. Seek mentors for guidance, and mentor those who need it. Do not be too proud to ask for help. Be curious, reading everything you can. Question every assumption. Balance life by keeping work in its place. Rest on Sundays, and practice humility.”

Ashley Diamond (BBA ’06), Global E-Commerce Leader, Proctor & Gamble

“Take the opportunity to study abroad at least once during college. Immersing yourself in another culture and a foreign situation will challenge you from an emotional, mental and physical perspective, allowing you to grow and evolve in ways not possible in Athens, Georgia.”

Bynikini Frazier (BSED ’08), First Grade Teacher, Hodge Elementary School

“Always believe in your dreams and never give up on them. Develop a plan that aligns with your focal point and that allows you to discover your resources, make connections and get involved. Your actions determine your success and your experiences at UGA will guide you into your forever.”

Matthew Sawhill (BBA ‘01), Managing Director of External Affairs, AGL Resources

“Get out of your comfort zone and be involved with other students and organizations. The effort put into building relationships and understanding differing opinions will have an exponential return on your investment.”

Lindsey Harper (BSFCS ’99), Owner, Lindsey Coral Harper Interior Design

“Take advantage of all the opportunities around you. If you are able, study abroad. I participated in a work/study program in London. It definitely was a stepping stone in my career, and it gave me the confidence to move to New York City, the epicenter for interior design.”

Danielle Hosker (BS ’01), Founder & CEO, Dancefx, Inc., Antage Bleu and Baby Bleu

“College is about discovering your passions. Expose yourself, find out what you don’t like and uncover what you love. Read the UGA Bulletin and discover majors and minors you never knew existed. Get involved and pursue every interest: intern, volunteer, shadow, audit a class, join professional clubs, study abroad and have fun!”

Laura Jalbert (BSW ’99, MSW ’00), Owner & Clinical Director, Mindful Transitions, LLC

“Be mindful of the full experience of each moment you encounter. Experience every moment, now and forever, pleasant or unpleasant, with the curiosity and inquisitiveness of a child, but utilize the wisdom you are acquiring as an adult.”

Burt Jones (BA ’03), President, JP Capital & Insurance

“A lot of us have preconceived notions about whom and what we want to be. Knowledge is power! The more education and life experiences you have will create a better you. Make your own decisions, think for yourself and find your place in this world.”

Jody Young (BA ’99), Founding Principal Partner, Atlanta Capital Group

“Take risks, but don’t be a fool. Do your homework, learn as much as you can, so when you make that leap you have some idea of where you are going to land.”

Congratulations to all our 40 Under 40 honorees! The UGA Alumni Association supports you in all your current and future endeavors and can't wait to see you on Thursday, September 18, at the Georgia Aquarium! 

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09.15.2014

Class of 2014 40 Under 40 Honorees: Favorite UGA Memories

Though this year's 40 Under 40 honorees represent different colleges, work in various fields and live all over the world, each has fond memories of time spent at UGA. 

In celebration of the upcoming 40 Under 40 Awards Luncheon, the UGA Alumni Association asked a few honorees to share some of their favorite memories from 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 organization's 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 and 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 is one of my favorite memories from UGA. 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.

“I learned so much about philanthropy and the importance of giving one's time through Mr. Earl Leonard and Terry's Leonard Leadership Scholars Program. One year at the closign banquet, I was honored to be sitting at a table with Mr. Leonard, his wife and my family. That moment 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-age 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. Robert 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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