Class Notes

Compiled by Chase Martin

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Claude Williams (AB ’44, ABJ ’48) of Athens was awarded the Dean’s Medal for Leadership Excellence in Communication from the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.


Joeseph B. Powell Jr. (BSA ’50) of Albany was honored with a Lifetime Service Award from Darton State College.


Marc H. Coody (BBA ’60) of Coto de Caza, Calif., is now chairman of the USAF Helicopter Pilots Association.


Mark Smith (ABJ ’66) of Eatonton was awarded the Dean’s Medal for Leadership Excellence in Communication from the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. He was also inducted into the Georgia Press Association’s Golden Club. Gloria Ricks Taylor (ABJ ’66) of Athens was awarded the Dean’s Medal for Leadership Excellence in Communication from the Grady College. Mary Laraine Young Hines (AB ’68) of Raleigh, N.C., was honored by the North Carolina Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution as the winner of the Oustanding DAR Service to Veterans Award. Reynold Jennings (BSPh ’69) of Kennesaw is president and CEO of WellStar.


Claude Felton (ABJ ’70, MA ’71) of Athens received the John Holliman Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award from the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. William B. Wood (BBA ’70, MBA ’75, JD ’79) and daughter Morgan Wood Bembry (ABJ ’02, JD ’11) established the law office of Wood & Bembry LLC in Lawrenceville. Cliff McCurry (BBA ’71) of Savannah was recognized by the Southeast Georgia Chapter of the American Red Cross as its 2013 Adult Mentor and Community Volunteer Hero of the Year. Don Jordan Harrison (BBA ’73, MBA ’81) of Gastonia, N.C., was named president and CEO of Alliance Bank & Trust. Jimmy W. Hayes (BBA ’74, MAcc ’75) of Atlanta will retire as CEO of Cox Enterprises in April 2014.


Greg Parker (AB ’75) of Savannah is CEO of Parker Companies and now has 30 Parker’s gas stations and convenience stores in coastal Georgia and South Carolina. Amrey Harden (BBA ’76) of Watkinsville celebrated 40 years of service with Oconee State Bank. Philip G. Meeks (ABJ ’76) of Atlanta was named executive vice president and chief operating officer for business services at Time Warner Cable. Dick Byne (BSA ’78) of Waynesboro came together with three other Georgia farmers to win the snack foods category of the Flavor of Georgia contest, sponsored by the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.


Laura Nehf (AB ’80, JD ’83) of Athens was awarded the Justice Robert Benham Award for Community Service. Leslie Shanks Smithwick (BSEd ’80, MEd ’85) of Athens retired from Clarke County School District after 32 years of teaching. Will Smithwick (BSEd ’80) of Athens is the southeast director of sales for Armament Systems and Procedures. Barry Storey (BSA ’82) of Augusta was elected to the Synovus Financial Board. Mike Henry (ABJ ’83) of Morrison, Colo., is one of the founders of Media Mechanics, which won a 2012 Peabody Award for a series of micro-documentaries exploring inductees into the National Recording Registry. Michelle McDonald (BBA ’83) of Manhattan Beach, Calif., was named director of finance for The Annenberg Foundation. Robert Rosengart (BS ’84) of Macon was elected president of the Georgia Radiological Society.


Elizabeth “Beth” Chandler (BBA ’85, JD ’88) of Atlanta was named vice president and general counsel of Rollins Inc. John Sullivan Hayden (BS ’85) of St. George, Utah, was promoted to deputy executive director of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration in Denver, Colo. Nath Morris (BSA ’86) of Gainesville is currently serving as chairman and is in his fourth term on the Hall County Board of Education. He was also elected president-elect of the Georgia School Board Association. Scott Parel (BS ’86) of Augusta won the Air Capital Classic, becoming the fourth oldest winner in Tour history. Carl Sweat (BBA ’86, MBM ’88) of Roswell was named chief marketing and commercial officer of In Zone Brands. Jill Strickland Luse (ABJ ’87) of Atlanta was appointed as chief of public affairs for DeKalb County. Tammy Gilland (BSHE ’88) of Bishop was named vice president of Athens Regional Health System’s Foundation. William Ostick (ABJ ’88) of Fairfax, Va., received the Henry W. Grady Mid-Career Alumni Award from the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. Matt Montgomery (AB ’89) of Boston, Mass., joined The Trustees of Reservations, Massachusetts’s largest conservation organization, as chief marketing officer. Natasha Trethewey (AB ’89) of Decatur was named a 2013 member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She was also named to a second term as the nation’s poet laureate.


Michael Abramowitz (ABJ ’90) of North Palm Beach, Fla., featured a traveling PGA Championship History Exhibit at the Rochester Museum & Science Center. Kimberly Ballard-Washington (AB ’90) of Lawrenceville was named interim president of Fort Valley State University. John Newman (BLA ’90) of Hampton won the Iron Age Designs’ Challenge. Vicki Whichard (ABJ ’90) of Columbia, S.C., graduated from Leadership South Carolina, the state’s most recognized leadership development program. James Robert Copeland (BBA ’92) of Pike Road, Ala., was named principal of Saint James Middle School. Elizabeth Ann Lippmann (AB ’93) of Smyrna was named community development director for Paulding County. Ben Spitalnick (BS ’93) of Savannah received the President’s Award from the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society. Brian Epps (AB ’94, JD ’98) of Augusta was selected as a federal court magistrate judge. Kay Keller (BBA ’94) of Watkinsville was named president of the Oconee County Chamber of Commerce. Camille Kesler (BSFCS ’94) of Atlanta will serve as the 2013-14 president-elect of the Atlanta Symphony Associates.


Ivy C. Hall (ABJ ’95) and sister Britney Vickery celebrated the 10,000th consultant signed to their fashion handbag and home organization company, Initials Inc. Robert Edward DeFrancesco III (AB ’96) of Alexandria, Va., was named a partner in the international trade practice at the Washington, D.C., firm Wiley Rein LLP. Jason Douglas Dickens (BSA ’96) of Watkinsville is president of the Home Builders Association of Georgia. Jonathan R. Granade (AB ’96) of Atlanta was appointed judge pro tempore of the municipal court for the newly formed city of Brookhaven. Melissa Allen Purcell (BS ’96, MEd ’98, EdS ’03) and Jason Purcell welcomed their second son Marshall Allen Purcell March 21. Nicole Greer (AB ’97) of Oxford has purchased and renovated a historic antebellum home that is now a bed and breakfast. Twelve Oaks Bed & Breakfast was named to’s list of the Top 10 Luxury Inns in the World. Robert Alexander Williams (ABJ ’97) of Asheville, N.C., helped create Asheville School’s iPhone/iPad universal app, which features a virtual tour, photo gallery, podcast player and more. Mark Abney (BSA ’98, MS ’00) of Zebulon, N.C., heads the peanut entomologist post at the UGA Tifton campus. Doug Booher (BS ’98) of Athens received a graduate research fellowship from the National Science Foundation. Rodrecas Davis (BFA ’98, MFA ’06) of Bernice, La., was granted tenure as assistant professor of art at Grambling State University. Kellie Dean (AB ’98) of Athens was elected chairwoman of the Young Agents Committee of Georgia. Courtney Gale (BSA ’98, MPA ’11) returned to the Athens police force as an officer nearly six years after a near-fatal stabbing. Tracy Golden Reznik (AB ’98) of Norcross was elected to the board of directors for Dress for Success Atlanta. Katarina Burin (BFA ’99) of Cambridge, Mass., won the Institute of Contemporary Art’s 2013 James and Audrey Foster Prize. Rebecca Lane (ABJ ’99) of Athens was named the official Vidalia onion spokesperson for 2013.


Amanda Montford (BSEd ’01) of Savannah was featured in Walls and Ceilings magazine as one of The Fantastic Five Women in Today’s Construction Industry. Jason Eric Brooks (AB ’02) of Loganville published his first collection of short stories, about a private detective working unique cases in Athens. Katrina Elliott (BFA ’02, MFA ’07) of Los Angeles, Calif., and her team at Digital Domain received a Grand CLIO Award for “Virtual 2Pac at Coachella” in the Content & Contact Category. Kelly Maddux Hines (ABJ ’02) and James Harris “Hap” Hines (BSEd ’02) of Newnan welcomed son Preston “Harris” Hines II April 24. Jennifer Lance (BSA ’02, MEd ’06) of Washington received a Berneta Minkwitz Scholarship of $10,000 for the 2013-14 academic year from the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International. Tripp Owings (BBA ’02) was appointed vice president of business and development at Wesley Medical Center. Joel Turner (AB ’02) of Bowling Green, Ky., was promoted to associate professor of political science and granted tenure at Western Kentucky University. He and his wife Candice also welcomed a son, Lincoln Roswell Turner, their second child. Anne Rayborn Howard (BS ’03, MIT ’04) and husband Steve Howard (BBA ’02), along with uncles Dan Howard (BSEd ’99) and Will Howard (BBA ’03) and aunt Kimberly Rayborn (BSEd ’06), welcomed Virginia Bethany April 12. Andrew Walton Beal (ABJ ’04) of Wake Forest, N.C., graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University with a master of arts in political science. Jason Carter (JD ’04) of Atlanta was the commencement speaker at Georgia Southwestern State University’s spring 2013 commencement ceremony. Corey Willis Cottle (BBA ’04) of Valdosta was promoted to director of marketing for AgGeorgia Farm Credit. Irish Ryan Neville (BBA ’04) of Charleston, S.C., received the 2012-13 Young Lawyer of the Year Award from the South Carolina Bar Association. David Stanford Young (EdS ’04) of Decatur published his third school counseling book, More Skits and Raps for the School Counselor.


Jason Conner (BSEd ’05) of Jefferson was hired as the head football coach at Duluth. Phillip Blume (ABJ ’06) of Winterville directed “Lost Boys of Paradise,” a documentary that shows the conditions of one of Guatemala’s worst zones. Chad M. Cowan (ABJ ’06) of Pittsburgh, Pa., joined the firm Leech Tishman as an associate in the corporate practice group. Todd Isaacs (BBA ’06) of Atlanta celebrated the one-year anniversary of his business, District Solutions. Ben Mayer (ABJ ’06, AB ’06) of New York, N.Y., received the John E. Drewry Young Alumni Award from the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. Andrew Moore (AB ’06, MA ’06) of Buford won six straight games on “Jeopardy!,” with winnings totaling around $137,000. Paige Tidwell (BSW ’07, MSW ’08) was named the 2013 School of Social Work BSW Field Instructor of the Year. Whitney Wade (AB ’07) was named assistant coach of UGA’s women’s golf team. Peyton Ethridge (BBA ’09, JD ’12) of Gray received his LLM in taxation with distinction from Georgetown University. He also received a certificate in estate planning as well as a dean’s certificate for recognition of special and outstanding service. Andrew Thomas Wiese (BS ’09) of Alpharetta earned a doctor of chiropractic degree from Life University and joined the practice Milton Chiropractic & Massage in Milton.

2010 -

Tyler Coley (BLA ’10) of Atlanta was hired as a professional landscape architect at Stantec. Harris English (BSFCS ’11) of Thomasville won the St. Jude Classic, his first PGA Tour victory. Catherine Taylor (BSEd ’11) of Chattanooga, Tenn., was named a member of the 2013 LearnZillion Dream Team. Robby Arrington (BSES ’12) of Albany is the Altamaha Riverkeeper and attended a fundraiser in Athens promoting river recreation. Cameron Brown (BS ’12) of Durham, N.C., received a graduate research fellowship from the National Science Foundation. Drew Davis (ABJ ’12, AB ’12) performed an acoustic set at the Green Room in April. Colby May (AB ’12) of Guyton is head baseball coach at Bethlehem Christian Academy. Jennifer Rouan (BS ’12) of Jefferson received the 2013 Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship. Kerrie Grunnet (BSA ’13) was awarded a $1,000 scholarship from the Elizabeth Wilmot Bull Memorial Scholarship Fund by the Rockdale Medical Center Auxiliary. Leslie Hale (MPA ’13) of Athens became the first full-time director of Athens-based Books for Keeps. Carly Mathis (ABJ ’13) of Leesburg was named Miss Georgia.