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05.08.2014

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 www.borrowingmagnolia.com 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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12.19.2014

Brothers make business a family affair

How do two brothers from tiny Hopeful, Georgia, manage to take Atlanta’s entrepreneurial spirit to a new level? Well, ask the Shirah brothers, Benjie (BSFR ’07, MFR ’10) and Jamey (BBA ’10). Since leaving Athens, the business-savvy brothers have embarked on a number of successful endeavors, including The Ivy Buckhead and Atlanta-based companies Kill Cliff – The Recovery Drink™ and Vida-Flo: The Hydration Station. Now, the brothers are heading in a new direction - your feet. 

This fall, Benjie and Jamey launched their latest project, JL The Brand, a flair-filled sock company. Together with friends, the brothers are working to add a little jazz to the mundane black and blue men’s suit with top-notch socks. 

Designed with unique patterns and colors, JL The Brand offers affordable high quality socks that add a subtle yet sophisticated pop to any outfit. JL The Brand socks are the perfect gift for any guy this holiday season! 

With the Shirah brothers’ keen eye for business development, these young alumni are sure make a lasting mark on Atlanta's entrepreneurial scene. 

Keep up with the Shirah's businesses on social media: 

@theivybuckhead
@govidaflo
@jlthebrand

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12.18.2014

40 Under 40 honoree to direct UGA’s state government relations

Tobin R. "Toby" Carr (BBA '01, BSAE '01) was named associate vice president for government relations and director of state governmental relations at UGA. Vice President for Government Relations J. Griffin Doyle announced the appointment of Carr, who currently is planning director for the Georgia Department of Transportation.

Carr was appointed to his current DOT post in 2012, a position in which he has led a team of some 30 planning professionals in guiding strategic planning and project budget documents that direct state and federal resources to fund transportation projects. He graduated from the UGA Honors Program in 2001 with bachelor's degrees in business administration and agricultural engineering. Before assuming his DOT post, Carr served as Deal's transportation policy adviser and the governor's liaison to the Georgia House of Representatives. He previously was director of Deal's gubernatorial transition committee.

An active student leader while at UGA, Carr served as president of the Interfraternity Council and was named to Sphinx, Omicron Delta Kappa, Blue Key, Mortar Board, Phi Kappa Phi and the Arch Society. He currently serves on the UGA College of Engineering Alumni Advisory Board and was recognized in 2014 as a UGA 40 Under 40 and as the 2012 Blue Key Outstanding Young Alumnus Award winner.

"I'm humbled and thrilled to serve my alma mater in this role," Carr said. "I'm very grateful to Gov. Deal for his support of this new endeavor and to President Morehead and Vice President Doyle for giving me the opportunity to advance the mission of UGA."

Carr will serve as primary liaison between the university and state government officials, representing the university in all matters involving legislators, agencies, departments, and the other higher education institutions of Georgia. The transition will occur in early January.

Click here to read more. 

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12.11.2014

UGA’s Thank-a-Teacher Program

Did a teacher at UGA enrich your life or create a spark that inspired you to pursue your dreams? Was there a professor or teaching assistant that pushed you to do your best and helped you discover your passion for a certain subject? 

Now is the time to let that teacher - and the university community - know how grateful you are for their effect on your life. UGA's Center for Teaching and Learning invites current UGA students and alumni to particpate in the Thank-a-Teacher program.

What is Thank-a-Teacher? It is a program that allows students and alumni to express gratitude for teachers who have impacted their lives in a profound and meaningful way. If a teacher (professor, instructor, teaching assistant) made a positive contribution to your experience at UGA, please consider sending them a brief note. You may choose to remain anonymous or have your name attached to the note. 

You will be asked to fill out a simple form and acknowledge your appreciation for your teacher's work, dedication and extra effort. Share a simple thank you or an anecdote to let that teacher know what you enjoyed about their class and why it was important to you. 

Click here to complete the Thank-a-Teacher form

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