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07.09.2014

We are our Sisters’ Keepers

In 2011, while studying fashion merchandising and marketing, UGA alumna Michelle Blue (BBA '13) studied abroad in Ghana. While visiting textile workers and taking in the incredible, vibrant clothing, she was inspired.

Upon returning, Blue contacted her now partner, Sasha Matthews, and together they founded Bené, a company with much more to offer than amazing style.

Bené is an online store that allows users to create their own customized scarves from a number of styles, patterns and features. The scarves are gorgeous and versatile additions to any wardrobe. The real story, however, is behind the scenes.

The scarves themselves are created by the women of the Refugee Sewing Society in Atlanta from unique patterns and textiles that Blue discovered on her trip abroad. The Refugee Sewing Society is a non-profit organization that supports women who have fled their home countries for many reasons including ethnic cleansing and war. The organization teaches women to sew and provides an outlet to help sell their items. The money raised goes directly to provide for their families.

In addition to visiting textile workers while in Ghana, Blue was introduced to many local organizations that work to provide young girls with a secondary education and skills to engage in the world of entrepreneurship.

A portion of all Bené sales goes to the Stay-In-School Tuition Assistance (SISTA) Program and specifically to the SISTA Scholarship program. Built on the goal of increasing female education and business knowledge, SISTA Scholarship funds the secondary education of young Ghanian women. Through each educated girl, the cycle of poverty grows weaker and empowerment spreads throughout the community.

Blue and her partner have made it very clear that at the heart of Bené is giving. They believe that, "as global citizens we are responsible for each other, connected by the similarities and differences that tie us together. We must not simply placate the situation, but empower women by making investments into their lives, natural abilities and gifts to enable them to be self-sufficient."

Click here to learn more about the Bené mission!

Photo credit to www.benebyyou.com.

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Recent Entries


05.21.2015

Once a Dawg, Always a Dawg

"Mine was the best seat in the house at the 2015 UGA graduation exercises last Saturday in Sanford Stadium.  Not because I was a special speaker or honored guest but because I was sitting next to my youngest daughter as a member of the graduating class of 2015." 

Bulldog 100 business owner Frank Raiford's (BBA '15) story is a bit unique. Originally a student in the late 1970s, Frank left UGA to start his business career - just three credits shy of graduating. He intended to return and finish his degree, but months turned into years and the family (Frank's wife, Melanie, is a member of UGA's Class of 1984) and business continued to grow. 

Flash forward to the fall of 2011. Frank's youngest daughter, Meredith (BFA '15), is a freshman at UGA and tells her father how much it would mean to her if they could graduate together. 

"I had promised Meredith that I would "finish" the last class that I needed to graduate and walk with her during her graduation. I will always remember this brief and unique time spent with "my" graduating class. I could feel the energy of youth and sense their expectations as they moved across the field and transitioned from being students to graduates."

After graduation, Meredith said "I was so proud and honored to graduate with my dad. It's because of his hard work and dedication over the past 30 years that I have been able to succeed today. It was only fitting that we got to celebrate our accomplishments together Between the Hedges. We both enjoyed every minute of it."

  

Earlier this year, Frank's company, Police & Sheriff's Press, Inc. was recognized by the UGA Alumni Association as a member of the Bulldog 100 Class of 2015. The business was also recognized in 2014. 

Frank had this to say about this unorthodox path to a degree, "Graduation was a long time in coming. My peers from '76-'82 are ordering senior coffee, receiving letters from AARP and showing off pictures of grandchildren. My new peers have the world before them and are ready to begin their journey. My hope for each of them is to dream big, work hard, cherish the friends they have made at UGA and enjoy the journey." 

Whether you consider him a member of the Class of 1982 or 2015, we know that Frank, as well as Meredith, will represent the Bulldog family with pride wherever they go. Congratulations on graduating! 

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05.18.2015

UGA Executive MBA ranks in top 10 in the U.S., according to The Economist

The Executive MBA Program at the University of Georgia Terry College of Business was ranked No. 14 worldwide by The Economist in its latest assessment.

The new ranking is a step up for Terry's EMBA program, which was No. 22 worldwide in the previous scoring by The Economist.

"I am certainly proud that the excellence of this degree is being recognized in Georgia and around the world," said Benjamin C. Ayers, dean of the Terry College. "This ranking is a reflection of the investment and quality that our faculty put into our EMBA program, and a good indication that it truly enhances the careers of our students."

The Economist's rankings reflect each EMBA program's performance in two broad categories: personal development/education experience and career development, with each category weighted equally. Terry's EMBA program received the highest ranking among schools in Georgia and was eighth among programs based solely in the U.S.

"We are honored to once again be recognized as one of the very best Executive MBA programs in the world," said Rich Daniels, director of Executive and Professional MBA Programs at the Terry College. "Our focus on leadership development, international experience and harnessing the Terry College network has proven to be particularly effective in ensuring that our graduates are successful."

The Terry College's Executive MBA degree is an 18-month program geared toward mid- to senior-level managers. The format combines weekend class sessions with asynchronous interaction using distance learning technologies. The program also offers individual leadership coaching, valuable opportunities to network and an international residency.

For more information about Terry's Executive MBA, Professional MBA (offered in Buckhead and Gwinnett County) and Full-Time MBA (in Athens), see terry.uga.edu/mba.

Source: UGA Today

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05.12.2015

For a taste of UGA, why not go with ...

Honey, caviar or BBQ sauce?

Did you know that UGA has its own honey bee farm in Watkinsville, Georgia, and that honey is a $75 million industry in the state?

Since 1975, honey bees have been the official insect of Georgia. UGA’s honey bees produce up to 200 pounds of honey a year. Honey bee research taking place at the university includes studying bee health management issues, bee pollination, and foraging ecology. UGA honey is a golden color with fruity accents that stem from the blackberry, blueberry, and bramble blooms in the area surrounding the farm. The honey is available for purchase at Athens Seed, Lawn and Garden in Watkinsville, Cofer’s Home and Garden in Athens, and through the UGA Entomology Department. Learn more about the UGA Honey Bee Farm

Q Sauce from Jennifer (BBA ’92) and Chris (BBA ’88, JD ’92) Adams

While the university produces tasty treats (UGA Caviar, anyone?), its alumni are also taking the food industry by storm. Attendees at the 2015 Alumni Awards Luncheon took home a complimentary bottle of Q Sauce, generously donated by Jennifer (BBA ’92) and Chris (BBA ’88, JD ’92) Adams.

Based in Dacula, Georgia, the Adamses began making their sauce after it became popular with friends and family. In 2013, it was a Flavor of Georgia finalist and in 2014, it was a winner in the sauces and marinades category. Their daughters called the sauce “Q” for short and the name stuck. All of their sauces are all natural and contain no preservatives. For more information about Q Sauce, visit www.qsaucestore.com

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