Alumni Class Notes, Fall/Winter 2023

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1965-69

Jamie Boswell (BBA ’67) of Athens was elected to serve as secretary of the State Transportation Board of Georgia. He has represented Georgia’s 10th Congressional District on the board since 2013 and previously served as chairman, vice chairman and secretary. He is president and owner of the Boswell Group, which includes insurance, real estate and appraisal companies.

Chuck Clowdis (BBA ’67) of Lookout Mountain, Tenn., retired as managing director, global trade and transportation for IHS Global Insight. He joined the firm in 2008 after decades of positions with major transport firms. An avid writer in his spare time, Clowdis has authored two novels and a sci-fi thriller as well as several books on transportation issues.

1970-74

Joe Stoner (MBA ’72) of Atlanta was selected as the 2023 recipient of the BMGT Nexus Award, established to recognize strategic, outstanding and sustainable contributions to the American Chemical Society’s Division of Business Development and Management. During his distinguished career, he spent 30 years in sales and marketing for Shimadzu Scientific Instruments.

Dan Amos (BBA ’73) of Columbus was inducted as a 2023 Georgia Trustee, the highest honor the State of Georgia can bestow on an individual. Trustees are appointed by the Georgia Historical Society and Office of the Governor for their service, philanthropy and leadership. A noted supporter of higher education and pediatric cancer care, among other causes, Amos serves as chairman and CEO of Aflac Inc.

Dave Burch (BBA ’73) of St. Simons Island was named as a Premier Club qualifier by financial solutions firm Cambridge Investment Research. The honor is earned by financial professionals who demonstrate a commitment to serving clients while upholding an independent mindset and adhering to core values of integrity, commitment, flexibility and kindness.

John Callaway Jr. (BSA ’69, MBA ’73) of Hogansville was inducted into the Georgia Agricultural Hall of Fame in April. A longtime UGA Cooperative Extension agent who retired in 1998, he was celebrated at the ceremony for his wide-ranging impact on the cattle industry and youth livestock programs in Georgia.

Alan Najjar (BBA ’74) of Buford was named to Synovus’ Atlanta advisory board. An Atlanta-area banking veteran, he serves as director of business development for Smith + Howard, a tax, accounting and advisory firm.

1975-79

Ray Gentry (BBA ’78) of Hoschton was named full-time president and CEO of the Southern Baptist Conference of Associational Leaders. He was formerly the conference’s part-time president and CEO and also serves as associational mission strategist for the Southside Baptist Network.

1980-84

Ken Smith (AB ’82, MAcc ’86) of LaGrange was hired as a tax principal for Hancock Askew & Co., an audit, tax, accounting and advisory firm. He has over 37 years of public accounting experience and comes out of retirement to join the firm. His most recent professional role was as a tax partner for BDO.

Barry Wabler (BBA ’82, MAcc ’83) of Atlanta was appointed as CFO of EOS Hospitality, a quickly expanding hotel company. He has more than four decades of experience in finance focused mainly on the hospitality, food service and business services industries, including most recently with Valentine Insurance Services.

James Williams (PhD ’82) of Cincinnati, Ohio, was awarded a contract extension by Mount St. Joseph University, where he will continue to serve as president for at least five years. He has led the private Catholic university of 1,500 students since 2016 and has overseen a period of growth in both academics and athletics. He previously served as president of Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn.

Carolyn Elster (AB ’83, BBA ’88) of Bogart was promoted to lead software compliance analyst for Macy’s. A seasoned IT professional, she previously worked as a software configuration manager for Vision Technologies.

1985-89

Pat Jarvis (AB ’87) of Suwanee was named VP of sales and marketing for Berenson Hardware. A sales and marketing veteran working primarily in the building, bath and fixtures industry, he most recently held the position of general manager with AD Waters.

Dave Morgan (BBA ’88) of Alpharetta was named CFO for ClearStar Inc., a provider of technology-based services in background and medical screening. He has more than three decades of finance experience, most recently serving as CFO of Cendyn, a provider of SaaS technology for the hospitality industry.

1990-94

Shaila Miranda (PhD ’91) of Fayetteville, Ark., was named chair of the management information systems department at the University of Arkansas Sam M. Walton College of Business. She joins the institution from the University of Oklahoma Price College of Business, where she was a faculty member for more than 20 years.

Tim Murphy (BBA ’91) of Valdosta retired as assistant director of auxiliary services for Valdosta State University, where he served as a staff member for more than 28 years.

Doug Strange (BBA ’91) of Moultrie was hired as chief credit officer for Ameris Bank. He joined the bank in 2005 as a senior lender, was promoted to regional credit officer in 2008 and most recently served as managing director of credit administration. Prior to Ameris, he worked for KPMG and Fleet Capital.

Chris Allen (BBA ’92) of Playa Del Rey, Calif., was named CFO of Keck Medicine of USC, the medical enterprise of the University of Southern California. Previously interim CFO of Keck Medicine and CFO of Keck Medical Center of USC, he was named Rising Star CFO of the Year by the Los Angeles Business Journal in 2022. He formerly served as CFO for Adventist Health Glendale Medical Center.

Woochee DeLoach (BBA ’92) of Augusta was named CFO for Open Range Beef, a leading national supplier of organic beef products. She was previously VP of finance for FPL Food.

Julie Partain (BBA ’92) of Cordele was named VP for academic affairs at South Georgia Technical College. She has worked for more than 20 years at the college and previously served as academic dean of enrollment management.

Rachel Perry (BBA ’93) of Mableton joined the UGA Alumni Association Board of Directors, working with UGA’s alumni relations staff to promote, support and advance its programs and services. She serves as chief innovation officer, commercial risk solutions, North America for Aon.

Doug Ross (AB ’93) of Germantown, Tenn., was hired as president of Peli BioThermal, a leading provider of cold-chain solutions for the life sciences industry. He has more than 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, most recently serving as a SVP for Eversana.

Raj Chokshi (BBA ’94) of Alpharetta was named to the UGA Board of Visitors for 2023-2026, where he will learn about university initiatives to extend and enhance its teaching, research and service mission. He is CEO and wealth manager at Bluerock Wealth Management.

Virna Mendoza (BBA ’94, MEd ’99) of Marietta accepted the role of director of events and engagement for Emory University’s Office of the President. She previously served as senior director of student affairs for the Emory Goizueta Business School’s executive MBA program.

Mike Sale (BBA ’94) of Watkinsville joined the Athens Technical College Board of Directors. He is president and CEO of The Commercial Bank and serves on the education committee of the Independent Community Bankers Association of America (ICBA), a national trade association.

Robert Soper (BBA ’94, JD ’97) of Sunrise, Fla., joined the board of directors for Esports Entertainment Group. He is the founder and CEO of Sun Gaming & Hospitality.

1995-99

Jim Exley (BBA ’95, MS ’20, PhD ’21) of Alpharetta collaborated with two other psychology PhDs to write Money Happiness: Five Wealth Lessons with Professor Ocean, a book about the intersection between personality and financial decision making. He is a wealth science researcher and coach for Atlanta-based Wealth Science Advisors.

Don Grimsley (BBA ’96, MBA ’99) of Gainesville joined the UGA Alumni Association Board of Directors, working with UGA’s alumni relations staff to promote, support and advance its programs and services. He is president of Grimsley Enterprises Inc. and a broker for BHHS Commercial Real Estate.

Bryan Hardman (BBA ’96) of Marietta was promoted to VP of marketing technology at Herschend Enterprises, the nation’s largest family-owned themed attractions corporation. He was previously director of marketing technology for the company.

Lance Nail (PhD ’96) of Lubbock, Texas, was hired as provost and SVP for academic affairs at the University of Southern Mississippi. He was previously dean of the Vackar College of Business and Entrepreneurship at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

Mike Bobo (BBA ’97) of Statham was inducted into the Georgia High School Football Hall of Fame as part of the 40-member Class of 2023. A former Thomasville High School and Georgia Bulldogs quarterback, he has enjoyed a lengthy collegiate coaching career. He returned to Georgia in 2022 as an offensive analyst and was promoted to offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2023.

Jason Byrd (BBA ’97) of Brentwood, Tenn., joined Spencer Fane Bone McAllester in the law firm’s corporate and business transactions practice group. He was previously special counsel for Lewis, Thomason, King, Krieg & Waldrop.

Scott Devitt (MBA ’97) of Ho-Ho-Kus, N.J., joined Wedbush Securities as an
equity research analyst initiating coverage on stocks centered around travel and mobility. He was formerly a managing director for Stifel Financial Corp.

Ivan Tornos (BBA ’97) of New York, N.Y., was named to The Healthcare Technology Report’s Top 25 Healthcare Technology Leaders of New York for 2023. He has held the position of COO for Zimmer Biomet since 2021.

Michael Hynes (MAcc ’98) of Winter Springs, Fla., was named CFO for Noodles & Co., a fast-casual restaurant concept. He has nearly 25 years of finance and accounting experience and held several roles in finance and accounting since joining Ruth’s Hospitality Group, most recently as VP of finance and accounting.

Lance Rackley (BBA ’98, MEd ’03) of Gray was named assistant superintendent of the Monroe County School District. He joins the district from Jones County High School, where he served as principal.

Edward Casey (BBA ’99, MAcc ’00) of Milton was appointed as CFO for StarRez, a cloud-based residential community management firm. He has over 20 years of experience in software, cloud, and enterprise-focused businesses and joins from Deposco, where he spent almost 10 years leading finance.

Carle Felton (BBA ’99, MAcc ’00) of Atlanta was hired by Cascadia Capital as managing director of its new capital markets advisory practice. He was formerly employed as a director for Goldman Sachs.

Jeff Flome (BBA ’99, MBA ’05) of Atlanta rejoined Wells Fargo as a tech strategic advisor serving middle market clients in the Southeast region. He has more than two decades of financial services consulting and commercial banking experience, most recently with Marsh & McLennan.

Joey Magaddino (BBA ’99) of Leesburg was appointed as chair of the Albany Tech Foundation. A South Georgia commercial banking veteran, he is regional president and chief credit officer at PeoplesSouth Bank.

2000-04

Claudia Halabi (PhD ’00) of Santiago, Chile, was appointed as director of the continuing education department of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. Before joining the university in 2015, she was director of graduate studies at the Faculty of Economics and Business at Diego Portales University and a professor at the University of Chile.

Andy Marshall (BBA ’00) of Brookhaven was appointed senior vice president and head of capital markets for Bonaventure, a real estate development and property management firm. He has more than 23 years of financial services experience and joins the company from Peachtree PC Investors, where he served as president and chief compliance officer.

Devin Barnwell (BBA ’01) of Brookhaven was promoted to managing partner at Brookfield Asset Management and is the global head of portfolio management for the company’s logistics sector. She has 20 years of real estate experience and previously worked for Morgan Stanley.

Claire Chotiner (BBA ’01) of Marietta was named incoming president of LCG Associates, a national investment consulting firm. She will officially begin in the position in 2024. She joined the company in 2007 as an investment analyst, was promoted to VP in 2011 and has served in the role of COO since 2021.

Tara Eve (BBA ’01) of Suwanee was named to the 2023 Women of the Channel list by CRN magazine. The annual list recognizes women who are making their mark on the technology industry. She is president of ChannelWorks, a sales and marketing firm that helps IT companies build profitable sales channels.

Matt Sawhill (BBA ’01) of Rome joined the UGA Alumni Association Board of Directors, working with UGA’s alumni relations staff to promote, support and advance its programs and services. He is the principal for Sawhill Strategic Partners.

Kimberly Boyce (BBA ’02) of Richmond joined Great Oaks Bank as VP and treasury services manager. She has more than 20 years of experience in retail banking and financial operations and was previously a special assets manager with The First Bank.

West Ferry (BBA ’02) of Cumming was named CFO for Medicus IT, a provider of health-care IT solutions. He previously served as EVP of finance for the company. Prior to joining Medicus, he was a senior finance manager for NCR Corp.

Blake Bruce (BBA ’03) of Atlanta was named to the UGA Board of Visitors for 2023-2026, where he will learn about university initiatives to extend and enhance its teaching, research and service mission. He is a managing director and private advisor at Rockefeller Capital Management.

Al Dallas (MBA ’03) of Augusta was named co-chair of the Leadership Augusta Class of 2024, a professional development program. He serves as administrator and chief of staff for the Georgia Cancer Center at Augusta University.

Nikki Lankford (BBA ’04) of Atlanta was appointed general manager of middle market field underwriting for Liberty Mutual Insurance. She was previously VP for the company’s middle market division.

2005-09

Dave Douglas (MBA ’05) of Atlanta joined Berkley Accident and Health as regional sales manager for the firm’s Medical Stop Loss Group Captive segment. He comes to the company from Optum, where he worked as a territory manager.

Brian Kaiser (MBA ’05) of Greensboro, N.C., joined the executive advisory board for the Department of Advertising and Public Relations in the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. An experienced health-care marketing strategist, he is EVP and head of strategy for Klick, an independent digital health agency.

Beth Rasnick (BBA ’05, MAcc ’05) of Nashville, Tenn., was named chief of staff to the CEO for musical instrument and audio equipment manufacturer Gibson Brands. Through nearly a decade at the company, she previously held key positions spanning finance, accounting, treasury, business acquisitions and divestitures, transformation initiatives and corporate strategy.

Blake Swearengin (BBA ’05) of McKinney, Texas, was hired as national casualty practice leader for One80 Intermediaries, a specialty insurance broker. He formerly served as VP and casualty broker at Amwins specializing in manufacturing, energy and environmental risks.

Shawn Vincent (MBA ’05) of Hinsdale, Ill., was named to the 2023 Becker’s Hospital Review list of 100 Academic Medical Center CEOs to Know. He is president and CEO of Loyola Medicine and the former COO of Augusta University Health.

Tim Daugherty (BBA ’06) of Florham Park, N.J., joined the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) as SVP for general licensing. He previously spent five years with Vice Media Group, most recently as SVP for revenue and digital operations, and also held senior roles with Lonely Planet Global and Turner Broadcasting.

Blake Fulenwider (BBA ’06) of Atlanta was named to the Georgia Trend 40 Under 40 Class of 2023. He serves as executive director of government affairs for Northeast Georgia Health System. He has extensive experience in health policy advising in the public and private sectors, including with the Georgia Department of Community Health.

Clay Huffman (BBA ’06, MAcc ’07) of Atlanta was named to the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2023. He is an audit partner at Frazier & Deeter. In addition, he serves as chairman of the Georgia State Board of Accountancy.

Brad Mathews (BBA ’06) of Tampa, Fla., joined Stealth Partner Group, a stop-loss wholesale company, as a VP working in the southeast region. He previously spent 17 years with Sun Life Financial and was inducted into the company’s Distribution Hall of Fame in 2017.

Winton Mays (BBA ’06) of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., was named a 2023 40 under 40 honoree by the Jacksonville Business Journal. He works as a financial advisor for Bridgewater Wealth Advisors of Raymond James and was a member of UGA’s 2004 College World Series baseball team.

Billy Joe Nelson Jr. (BBA ’06) of Hinesville was elected in fall 2022 to the position of district attorney for the Atlantic Judicial Circuit and took office in January. A family attorney by trade, he lives in Liberty County with his wife, Kathryn, and three children, Jennings, Beau and Julia Laine.

Stuart Bern (BBA ’07) of Dunwoody was named to the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2023. He is EVP of corporate development for ATTOM Data Solutions, a provider of property and real estate data.

Pete Frayser (BBA ’07, AB ’07) of Atlanta was named chief commercial officer for Janus International Group, a supplier of self-storage, commercial and industrial building solutions. He formerly served as the company’s VP of sales and estimating since 2019.

Christopher Sanders (MBA ’07) of Stone Mountain was named vice chair of the board of directors for the Georgia Charter Schools Association. He serves as executive director of the East Metro DeKalb Community Improvement District (CID).

Jen Schuck (BSW ’93, MSW ’95, MBA ’08) of Snellville was named CEO of Emory Decatur Hospital, Emory Hillandale Hospital and Emory Long-Term Acute Care. She has been with Emory for more than 28 years and previously served as VP of operations for Emory University Hospital at Wesley Woods.

Brent Shearer (BBA ’08) of Atlanta joined real estate firm Blue River Development as a strategic partner. He previously served as a partner with Blake Investment Partners and is a founding partner of Heatherland Homes.

Stephen King (BBA ’09) of Augusta was named chair of the Leadership Augusta Class of 2024, a professional development program. He serves the greater Augusta area as region external affairs manager for Georgia Power.

Brittany McCall (BBA ’09, ABJ ’09, MBA ’10) was promoted to VP for commercial excellence, pricing and inside sales at WestRock Co. She has spent a decade with the company and previously served as director of commercial finance and demand planning for the corrugated packaging division.

2010-14

Alex Hill (BBA ’10) of Atlanta was named to the Georgia Trend 40 Under 40 Class of 2023. He is director of investments at Icarus Alternative Investments, a real estate investment firm. He was captain of the Bulldogs tennis team that won back-to-back national titles and is also the founder of Yonder Yoga, which has five locations employing 135 people. 

Michael Wilson (BBA ’10) of Kennesaw was named a partner at Tidwell Group, an accounting and consulting firm serving clients in the real estate industry. He joined the company in 2021 as a senior manager.

KB Yabuku (MBA ’10) of Atlanta was named a VP for Colliers’ Atlanta-based office tenant representation team. He was formerly a senior-level consultant and sales executive working in the company’s occupier services group.

Chris Godfrey (BBA ’11) of Powder Springs was named a principal at Avison Young. A specialist in third-party office landlord representation, he joined the company in 2015 and was honored with its Global Sean Faught Emerging Leader Award in 2022.

Holly Hawk (MAcc ’11, PhD ’20) of Greenville, S.C., was named to the CPA Practice Advisor 40 Under 40 Class of 2023. In addition, she received the George Krull/Grant Thornton EDGE in Teaching Award from the American Institute of CPAs. A former Terry College accounting lecturer, she is a clinical assistant professor at Clemson University.

Patrick Anderson-Higgins (BBA ’12) of New York, N.Y., was hired as commercial insurance property and casualty sales director for ICT North America, a division of broking and solutions firm WTW. He was formerly a senior strategic partner manager for Celonis.

Justin Patterson (BBA ’12) of Gainesville was named VP of operations for fast-casual pizza concept Your Pie. He has been a franchise owner with the company since 2015, successfully opening two more restaurants in 2017 and 2019.

Daniel Singer (BBA ’12) of Raleigh, N.C., launched FPC Peachtree, a division of executive recruiting company FPC National specializing in finance, accounting and technology placements. Prior to joining FPC, he spent over a decade in business and technology consulting, most recently at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Ryan Hammock (MBA ’13) of Watkinsville was promoted to SVP and regional director of lending and business services at Pinnacle Bank. He previously served as the bank’s middle market manager. Prior to Pinnacle, he spent 15 years in various roles with Wells Fargo.

Corbin Tanenbaum (BBA ’13) of New Orleans, La., was promoted to VP of the Dallas-Fort Worth office of Weitzman, a retail-focused commercial real estate firm. Before joining the company, he served in a risk management and credit role at BB&T.

Sarah Beeson (MBA ’14) of Roswell was named to the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2023. She is VP of Oasis Consulting Services, a multigenerational family engineering consulting firm. In addition, she serves as Post 1 member of the Roswell City Council.

2015-19

Tyler Jones (BBA ’15) was promoted to Griffin market president for Georgia Banking Co. He previously served as the company’s VP of specialty finance. Prior to joining Georgia Banking Co., he was director of operations for White Brothers Auto Parts.

Logan Brown (BBA ’16) of Brookhaven was named VP of marketing for Reagan Consulting. She previously spent seven years at Newell Brands, where she most recently served as omni-channel marketing manager.

Rennie Curran (BBA ’17) of Stone Mountain was inducted into the Georgia High School Football Hall of Fame as part of the 40-member Class of 2023. A former linebacker who played for Brookwood High School, the Georgia Bulldogs, the NFL’s Tennessee Titans and in the Canadian Football League, he is a keynote speaker, leadership coach and author.

Josh Bailey (BBA ’18, MAcc ’19) of Rocky Face was promoted to corporate accounting manager for M3, a cloud-based data management platform serving the hospitality industry. He has been with the company full-time since 2020 and was formerly a corporate senior accountant.

Anna Brechin (BBA ’18) of Stone Mountain was hired as information security manager for the Atlanta Hawks. She previously spent three years with Global Payments Inc., where she most recently worked as an IT and security audit manager.

Mac Shelander (BBA ’18) of St. Simons Island joined Oakbridge Insurance as a client executive. He was previously an account manager for Galis Stewart Insurance.

Catherine Carter (BBA ’19) of Knoxville, Tenn., was promoted to relationship manager at The Trust Co. of Tennessee. She joined the firm in 2021 and most recently served as a client specialist.

Melanie Lane (BBA ’19) of Atlanta joined Founders Legal as an associate attorney focusing on trade and litigation. She earned a JD from Pepperdine University’s Caruso School of Law in 2022.

2020-

Jake Lee (BBA ’20) of Savannah was promoted to relationship manager for BankSouth’s Savannah market. He joined the bank in 2020 as a loan operations intern before being hired as a credit analyst and then portfolio manager.

Winston Fox (BBA ’21) of Atlanta joined Colliers Savannah as a research analyst. He previously worked as a market analyst for Bull Realty.

Joe Berry (BBA ’22) of Newnan was named an account administrator within RT Specialty’s Environmental and Construction Professional Practice. He previously served as a marketplace analyst at iGAM.

Spencer Parker (MBA ’22) of Atlanta joined Process Vision, a technology company serving the energy industry, as a general manager. He is the founder of Green Design Technologies and previously worked as an area manager for Power Source Inc.

Garrett Williams (BBA ’22) of Atlanta works as an associate consultant at Bain & Co., where he supports clients in media and entertainment and consumer goods.