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06.04.2014

Alumnus and Bulldog 100 Honoree works to lead Georgians out of poverty

Georgia has the third highest poverty rate in the nation, and about 20 percent of Georgians live in hunger-threatened households. On any given night, about 28,000 people are homeless in Georgia, half of whom are children. These startling statistics have motivated John R. Moeller Jr. (BBA '93) to mobilize communities and serve others in poverty-related ministries throughout his career.

Moeller is currently the president and CEO of Action Ministries, Inc., a nonprofit focused on leading people out of poverty in Georgia. Action Ministries was recognized as No. 45 on the 2014 Bulldog 100 list. 

“Once you know the struggles and challenges that families in Georgia face every day, it’s impossible to turn away,” Moeller said. “As a native of this great state, I’m consistently moved by the fighting spirits of the people we serve. They make me want to work harder to ensure their success.”

With a $6 million operating budget and locations in Athens, Augusta, Gainesville, Rome and Atlanta, Action Ministries also operates a women’s residential addiction recovery program, Breakthru House, in Decatur and regional hunger relief and housing initiatives throughout the state.

Action Ministries Athens provides hunger relief, education and housing specifically to those in need in the Athens community. Our Daily Bread community kitchen has served its guests with meals and transformational services since 1989.

Under Moeller’s leadership, Action Ministries launched the regional initiative Smart Lunch, Smart Kid in 2012 to provide summer lunches to children who receive free and reduced-price meals during the school year. The program has grown exponentially each year, and the nonprofit expects to deliver more than 200,000 lunches to children in their own neighborhoods in the summer of 2014.

UGA alumni who reside in North Georgia are invited to get involved individually or as part of a corporate challenge in a sandwich-making day or other Action Ministries hunger-fighting efforts in their own communities.

To learn more about Action Ministries and the work they do in Georgia or to volunteer for a sandwich-making event, please visit www.actionministries.net or email Executive Director Mark Hellman at mhellman@actionministries.net.

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02.03.2016

Alumnus Spotlight: Peter Conlon (BBA '75)

One of the biggest attractions to the Atlanta music scene is its annual music festival, Music Midtown. From mainstream pop artists to rising rock bands, Music Midtown offers the crowds that gather performances from a wide variety of artists. For Peter Conlon (BBA '75), one of two founders of the festival and president of Peter Conlon Presents, this was the overall goal: to create an event fit for attendees of all music tastes and genres.

Conlon graduated from Georgia with a bachelor’s degree in international business in 1975. During his four years as an undergraduate student, he was a member of University Union where he first began booking rock concerts that featured artists such as Jethro Tull and the Allman Brothers. He attended law school for a short period of time after graduation, but then took a risk and dropped out to work as an intern for the Carter presidential campaign, a risk that ended up paying off through a victory.

Peter continued to work for Jimmy Carter throughout his presidential term. His position required that he help set up benefit concerts for the president. In 1982, Conlon partnered with Alex Cooley to begin his career in the music industry.

Music Midtown at Piedmont Park

After working many years booking concerts, the pair founded Music Midtown in 1994, inspired by the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. After having to pull the plug on the event in 2005 due to low sales, the festival was reintroduced in 2011 and now takes up several stages across Piedmont Park, hosts more than 30 different artists, and attracts attendees from all over the nation. Moreover, since the festival’s relaunch, it has generated $50 million for the local economy each year.

Congratulations to Peter and best wishes for the continued success of Music Midtown! 

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02.01.2016

Alumna Spotlight: Devin Clower (BFA ’08)

Anyone family with downtown Athens and its eclectic variety of shops is surely familiar with Frontier. Since opening nearly 20 years ago, the store has connected local artists with community members by providing a venue for them to showcase and sell their work. 

UGA alumna Devin Clower (BFA '08) took ownership of the store three years ago. Her background in interior design helped her with the introduction of custom framing and redesigning the store layout.

The store’s motto, “All for the heart and home,” is reflected in the unique gifts that you can find at the store. Devin has worked hard to fulfill the motto, and through her leadership, the store has grown into a local favorite.

Congratulations on your hard work, Devin!

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01.29.2016

UGA awards the President’s Medal

On January 27, the UGA President’s Medal was awarded to Francis “Abit” Massey (BBA ’49) and the late Jane Seddon Willson. This honor recognizes extraordinary support and contributions to individuals that have made a tremendous impact in the lives of students and staff. Through them, the university is able to continue to push forward to greater heights in the realm of academia.

Francis "Abit" Massey (BBA '49)

Abit served as the president of the UGA Alumni Association’s Board of Directors from 1991-1993. Throughout his career, he served in the roles of head of the Georgia Department of Economic Development and executive director of the Georgia Poultry Federation. Currently, he is serving on the board of the UGA Real Estate Foundation, Georgia Research Foundation, and is an emeritus trustee of the UGA Foundation. Moreover, Abit has received numerous medals throughout his lifetime that include the 1986 UGA Alumni Merit Award and the Harold E. Ford Lifetime Achievement Award from the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association.

During her lifetime, Jane served as a member of on the Arts and Sciences Advisory Board, the Arts and Sciences Dean’s Council, the Franklin College Advisory Board, the UGA Research Foundation, the Honors Program and Advisory Board, the Georgia Museum of Art Board of Advisors, and she served as an emerita trustee of the UGA Research Foundation. In 2004, she endowed the William Harry Willson Distinguished Chair of Business in honor of her husband and later on, she created the Willson International Honors Scholars Program for students in the university’s Honors Program. Jane was honored with a Doctor of Laws degree in 2006, one of the highest accolades granted to any individual that is a part of the Bulldog community, and in 2008, she was inducted into the Crystal Arch Society in recognition of her passion for giving back to the university.


 

The late Jane Willson 

 “We are honored to recognize two great Georgians for helping to improve our state and strengthen the university,” said President Morehead. “Through their influential vision and tremendous generosity, both Abit Massey and the late Jane Willson have had a profound impact on UGA, and their contributions will continue to benefit the university for generations to come.”

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