Class of 2022 Terry Trailblazers to share insights of service, success

The four distinguished alumni dedicated to community and mentorship
Brandon Shat

Being a trailblazer means helping clear a path for those who come after you. It’s a job the 2022 class of Terry Trailblazers takes seriously.

As part of Black History Month, the Terry College recognizes outstanding alumni pioneers in their industry. These Terry Trailblazers are committed to mentoring young people in their community, supporting their college ambitions, strengthening educational institutions and developing new leaders. The four distinguished graduates will share their insights on service and success at the 2022 Terry Trailblazers Panel Discussion on Feb. 24 at 1 p.m. in the Stelling Family Study. Following the roundtable, students can sign up for flash mentoring sessions with the Trailblazers.

This year’s class of Terry Trailblazers are:

Heather Ripley (BBA ’06, MAcc ’06) is a partner in Alston & Bird’s Federal & International Tax Group, where she counsels U.S. and foreign businesses and high net-worth individuals on tax efficiency, tax compliance and risk. She was named “One to Watch” by The Best Lawyers in America in Tax Law, is a frequent speaker at tax conferences, and writes regularly about international tax developments. She earned her JD at Harvard Law School, and when not lawyering, is a professional artist who serves as a tax advisor for nonprofit organizations. She is on the Volunteers of Legal Service board, an organization providing pro bono services to New Yorkers. She mentors students through Read Ahead and develops programs for young patrons at Storm King Art Center, a 500-acre sculpture park in New York’s Hudson Valley.

Brandon Shah (MBA ’18) is a major in the United States Army and director of the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade in Savannah. He oversees the readiness of 2,700 soldiers and $2.4 billion of aircraft and equipment. His MBA area of concentration was in operations management and marketing, and he previously earned a master’s degree in project management engineering from the University of Kansas and completed Army University’s Command and General Staff College. Before becoming director of the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, he served as an Army aviator and helicopter pilot, deploying multiple times to Iraq and Afghanistan. He graduated with a BS from Old Dominion University and serves on and Army Aviation Association Board of Trustees – Savannah Chapter.

Tina Taylor (BBA ’03, MAcc ’05) is a partner with EY Private Client Services in Houston, Texas, where she advises a diverse group of high net-worth individuals on tax efficiency strategies and complex tax issues. She was recognized in 2019 as UGA’s 40 under 40 for her efforts in developing a scholarship program for the students at her former high school. She was selected a mentor in the Emerge 2020 Program, which connects high school seniors with experienced Houston-area professionals who help support them with personal growth and expose them to new cultural, culinary and educational experiences they would otherwise not have access to. She also funds scholarships for student-athletes at her high school alma mater in Longview, Texas.

Christian Robinson (BBA’04) is executive director of J.P. Morgan Private Bank in Charlotte, N.C., a bank he has worked for since 2011. He delivers financial advice for high net-worth families and individuals, covering estate planning, investments, credit and liquidity needs. From 2011 to 2017, he served as a hedge fund due diligence specialist covering event-driven and diversified strategies for the private bank platform overseeing approximately $28 billion in hedge fund assets. He previously worked within Neuberger Berman and Lehman Brothers and earned an MBA from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. He is a committed supporter of education, serving on the UGA Alumni Association Board, the University of North Carolina Board of Visitors, the Central Piedmont Community College Foundation Board and the Sugar Creek Charter School board of directors.