Though the 40 Under 40 honorees represent many different colleges, work in various fields and live all over the world, each has fond memories of time spent at UGA and its impact on their life.
In celebration of the upcoming 40 Under 40 Awards, the UGA Alumni Association has asked the honorees to share some of their favorite memories of 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 organizations 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 & 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 […] 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.
“My experience with Terry’s Leonard Leadership Scholars Program (LLSP), and the closing banquet that culminated our two years of development and growth […] I learned so much about philanthropy, and the giving of one’s time, through its founder Mr. Earl Leonard […During the closing banquet] I was honored to be sitting at a table with Mr. Leonard, his wife and my family. It 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-aged 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. 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.
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.
Award-winning UGA graduate, Kim Bearden (BSED ’87), co-founder and executive director at the Ron Clark Academy, will take the stage as the keynote speaker at this year's 40 Under 40 Awards Luncheon on September 18. Over the years, Bearden has fine-tuned the skills necessary to be one of the most engaging and effective educators in the country.
Over the years, Bearden has been a teacher, director, school board member, trainer and middle school principal. Bearden has won countless awards ranging from Teacher of the Year in Cobb County, to being chosen from teachers across the nation as the Disney American Teacher Awards Outstanding Middle School Humanities Teacher. Bearden is a member of the Leadership Atlanta Class of 2008, and she received the Phoenix Award from former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin for her dedication to the education. Her commitment to her students and their success is just as outstanding as her dedication to the education field and her fellow educators.
After more two decades in education, she is now passing along her experiences in an eye-opening read. Bearden has collected many life lessons and grown as an individual by listening to every child’s life story. In July, Bearden published a new book, "Crash Course; The Life Lessons My Students Taught Me." You can learn more about it here.
If you are interested in hearing Bearden speak about her experiences, please consider registering for this year's 40 Under 40 Awards Luncheon, which is being held on Thursday, September 18 at the Georgia Aquarium.
Anyone who has spent a significant amount of time in Athens, Georgia, knows that the music scene is unparalleled. Every night, dozens of venues brim with talented performers and their fans, playing songs from nearly every genre. Although many of these musicians permanently reside in the Classic City, some are here for an education, playing their music while studying at UGA. The university has produced a number of notable musicians over the course of its history, and will continue to do so - especially with the ever-growing Music Business Certificate Program. While Athens is well-known for producing stars such as R.E.M. and Neutral Milk Hotel, many other alumni have also made their mark on the national music scene. Here are just a few:
Bill Anderson (ABJ '59) is a country music sensation who has produced 36 top ten hits on the country music charts. Beyond his music career, Anderson was a TV game show host for “The Better Sex” and “Fandango," and published an autobiography titled “Whisperin’ Bill."
Luke Tan (AB ’01, BS '01) is the founder of the Asheville Tango Orchestra, a group he still directs today. The alumnus is a country music singer and songwriter who began performing in Athens under the name “Racecar." He has also had a number of successful podcasts and radio shows.
Raymond Hughes (AB '74) worked as the chorus master of the Metropolitan Opera in New York from 1991 to 2007. He began his career as a conductor in 2007 at Carnegie Hall and currently works as director of the Thomasville Singers.
Parker Gispert (AB '07) (right above) and Julian Dorio (BS '04) (left above) are two-thirds of The Whigs, a popular garage band that began in 2002. The Whigs are still touring and have accompanied artists such as The Killers, Franz Ferdinand and Drive By Truckers on tour.
Charles Kelley (BBA '04) has recently made headlines as a founding member of the Grammy award-winning country music band Lady Antebellum. Kelley has co-written the majority of the band’s songs and has helped other famous artists including Luke Bryan and Miranda Lambert write some of their recent hits.
Another one of UGA’s big claims to fame in the music industry is the post-punk band Pylon, which earned great recognition on the national stage after opening for U2. Michael Lachowski (BFA '79) (bottom right) played bass, Curtis Crowe (BFA '84) (top right) played drums and Vanessa Briscoe (BFA '78) was the lead singer of this influential Athens group.
The University of Georgia produces numerous talented graduates each year who go on to perform in orchestras, symphonies and other groups around the world. This blog post simply couldn't highlight them all - who did we miss that you think should be on this list? Email email@example.com with your suggestions!
Saturdays Between the Hedges are here and it's time to cheer for the Bulldogs with fellow alumni, friends and fans from your local chapter of the UGA Alumni Association!
UGA Alumni Association chapters will be hosting game watching parties at more than 60 official locations throughout the 2014 football season. Whether you're reuniting with old college pals, looking to get back in touch with the university, traveling or new to a city, game watching parties are the perfect way to bring a little bit of Athens into your life.
Dust off your red and black, practice your Dawg bark and get ready to cheer for the boys in the Silver Britches.
Click here for detailed information about official chapter game watching parties.