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Bulldog sisters make mark on wedding industry

Sisters Ashley Steele (ABJ ’06), of Charlottesville, Va., and Cali Brutz (AB ’08), of Athens, Ga., own and operate two businesses that are modernizing the ever-growing 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 in the photographer-bride relationship.

To foster a hassle-free experience for both parties, Steele and Brutz launched (once like a spark) photography. The company’s full-time staff of eight includes photo editors, wedding planners and art directors. These individuals work with more than 30 freelance photographers across the country to provide clients with a boutique experience for their special event.

Enjoying success from their (once like a spark) venture, the duo is now preparing to launch its latest venture, Borrowing Magnolia, in May. The concept is similar to Rent the Runway and Warby Parker in that soon-to-be brides will be able to rent wedding dresses for their big day via the Borrowing Magnolia website. 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.

Steele and Brutz are currently seeking dresses for Borrowing Magnolia, so if you are interested in earning a little money from a wedding dress in your closet, visit and fill out a short form about you and your dress.

The sisters have obviously been bitten by the entrepreneurial bug and show no signs of stopping. This year, (once like a spark) is expected to provide photography for more than 400 weddings; Borrowing Magnolia has garnered interest from the New York Times’ Style Section; and reality show producers are in talks of covering their business endeavors.

Congratulations to Ashley and Cali on their stellar success and best wishes for a successful launch of Borrowing Magnolia!

To learn more about (once like a spark) photography, click here.

To learn more about Borrowing Magnolia or how to offer your dress for inclusion in this service, click here.

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UGA honors The Coca-Cola Foundation for its support of academics

UGA recently honored The Coca-Cola Foundation for its legacy of supporting academics at the state's flagship institution of higher education.

In an on-field presentation before the Nov. 21 football game, Coca-Cola representatives-Kirk Glaze, director of community partnerships; Gene Rackley (BBA '90), director of federal government relations; and Scott Williamson (MMC '92), vice president of public affairs and communications of Coca-Cola North America-were recognized by UGA officials for The Coca-Cola Foundation's most recent gift of $1 million.

The money will provide additional funding for the Coca-Cola First Generation Scholars Program. UGA President Jere W. Morehead (JD '80), Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Kelly Kerner and Coca-Cola First-Generation Scholars Angel Hogg '18 and Michael Williams '18 joined the representatives from Coca-Cola to accept the gift on behalf of the university.

"We are immensely grateful for the continued support of one of our state's pre-eminent corporate partners," Morehead said. "Coca-Cola's generosity is providing vital support for deserving students from Georgia who are seeking to become the first in their families to earn a college degree." Continue reading.

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Alumna Spotlight: Emily Scofield (MS '99)

Emily Scofield (MS '99) published her first book, Coco & Dean: Explorers of the World, in April. The book is the first in a series of adventures Scofield is writing to educate children about environmental awareness. Scofield is the executive director for the U.S. Green Building Council's North Carolina Chapter. She leads members, volunteers and staff members across the state to promote sustainable construction practices under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. In the past few years, she has been named to the UGA Alumni Association's 40 Under 40 Class of 2013, and was a Charlotte Top Woman in Business in 2014.

Scofield lives in North Carolina with her husband, Tom, and their two children. She is an avid volunteer in the community working with organizations such as the American Heart Association, Providence United Methodist Church, Calvary Child Development Center, Communities in Schools and Habitat for Humanity.

Coco & Dean: Explorers of the World takes readers on three adventures with Coco and Dean. Readers learn how to conserve resources, the benefits of recycling and the importance of keeping oceans clean. Scofield exposes complex topics like ‘carbon footprints’ and ‘renewable resources' through each adventure. Not only is the reader engaged in learning about these topics in the story, there are study questions and links to environmental organizations in each chapter. 

The UGA Alumni Association is proud of this Bulldog and the work she is doing to improve the world around her! 

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Drumroll, please ... announcing the 2016 Bulldog 100!

The UGA Alumni Association is pleased to reveal the 2016 Bulldog 100! Bulldog 100 celebrates the 100 fastest-growing Bulldog businesses owned or operated by UGA alumni. This year, the university is excited to not only unveil a new group of honorees, but a new logo for the Bulldog 100 program - check it out!

The 2016 Bulldog 100 includes businesses of all sizes and from industries such as veterinary medicine, IT consulting and pest control. Several areas of the country are represented, including companies from as far north as New York and as far west as California. Of the 100 businesses, 80 are located within the state of Georgia, and only two business have made the list all seven years: Mom Corps and Vino Venue/Atlanta Wine School.

The ranked Bulldog 100 list will be revealed at the awards celebration on Saturday, January 30 at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. Registration for this event will open soon.

The awards ceremony will feature a keynote address by Jeff Dunn, CEO and president of C-Fresh, a division of Campbell Soup Company that includes Bolthouse Farms, Campbell’s retail fresh soup unit, and Garden Fresh Gourmet. Dunn earned a bachelor’s degree in 1980 from UGA’s Terry College of Business.

Please view the complete list and congratulate the honorees on social media using #Bulldog100

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