Author: David Dodson
Contact: Robert T. Sumichrast


Five seniors and three juniors in the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business were chosen to participate in a highly selective leadership initiative for students called the Deer Run Fellows Program.

Later this spring, the students will take part in three days of formal and informal discussions about business, leadership and goal-setting directed by M. Douglas Ivester, the former chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Co. who was appointed Terry College's first Executive-at-Large this past fall.

Students were eligible to be nominated for the Deer Run Fellows by Terry College faculty or staff members, and the inaugural class of fellows was selected by a screening committee. They are:

  • Charlese Cobb, a junior majoring in accounting from Albany, Ga.
  • Katie French, a senior majoring in finance and risk management from West Point, Ga.
  • Ryan Friday, a senior majoring in accounting from Austin, Texas
  • Xiaoling Huang, a junior majoring in accounting and management information systems from Lawrenceville, Ga.
  • Kate Larson, a senior majoring in international business from Valrico, Fla.
  • Taylor Seeloff, a senior majoring in management and real estate from Louisville, Ga.
  • David Sirzyk, a senior majoring in real estate from Marietta, Ga.
  • Tyler Williamson, a junior majoring in management information systems from Lakeland, Fla.

A 1969 accounting graduate, Ivester is president of Deer Run Investments LLC in Atlanta. He was elected chairman of the board and CEO of The Coca-Cola Co. in 1997 and served in that capacity until he retired in 2000.

He has said the Deer Run Fellows Program "is designed to give UGA students a unique chance to learn about real-world challenges from people who have lived them." He and his wife, Kay, will host the fellows program twice a year at Deer Run Plantation, their 18,000-acre property in south Georgia, which they own and operate as a diversified business farming and selling various crops.

"Through the Ivesters personal network of friends, we envision that the students will have face-to-face interaction with some of the great minds of business, the arts and other innovative thinkers," said Dean Robert T. Sumichrast. "We also expect that they will be challenged to develop a deeper understanding of the risks and rewards of leading a business, and that they will explore their own goals in life."

The selection process will continue each spring and fall semester.