Campus News

University of Georgia unveils 40 Under 40 Class of 2020

The 2020 40 Under 40 honorees include a Paralympic athlete, a veterinarian for SeaWorld, an emergency room doctor in New York City, a policy director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and a “Good Morning America” producer.

Alumni Association recognizes outstanding graduates under the age of 40

The University of Georgia Alumni Association has unveiled its 40 Under 40 Class of 2020. This annual recognition program celebrates the personal, professional and philanthropic achievements of successful UGA graduates under the age of 40.

This year’s honorees work in a variety of industries and include a Paralympic athlete, a veterinarian for SeaWorld, an emergency room doctor in New York City, a policy director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and a “Good Morning America” producer.

“This year’s honorees highlight the amazing work UGA graduates are doing early in their careers,” said Meredith Gurley Johnson, executive director of alumni relations. “Among this year’s class are individuals who are solving some of the greatest challenges facing our country and the world. During a particularly challenging year, we are especially proud to call them members of the Bulldog family.”

The 2020 Class of 40 Under 40, including their graduation year(s) from UGA, city, title and employer, are:

  • Ashish Advani (PHARMD ’07), Atlanta, CEO, InpharmD
  • Thomas D. Beusse (AB ’08), Marietta, executive director, Georgia Retail Association
  • Ginny Barton Bowen (BS ’04), Atlanta, lieutenant commander, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Eddie Beanard Bradford Jr. (BBA ’04), Atlanta, tax principal, Frazier & Deeter LLC
  • Laine Bradshaw (BSED ’07, MED ’07, PHD ’11), Athens, founder and CEO, Navvy Education LLC
  • Jeffrey Brown (AB ’05), Decatur, vice president of development and marketing, Partnership Against Domestic Violence
  • Geary D. Bush (BSA ’03), Gainesville, general surgeon, Longstreet Clinic
  • John D. Cates (AB ’07, MBA ’11, JD ’12), Augusta, chief operating officer, Meybohm Real Estate
  • Stacey A. Chavis (MSL ’19), Brookhaven, managing director, Campaigns Academy
  • Rennie Curran (BBA ’17), Atlanta, CEO, keynote speaker, author and personal development coach, Game Changer LLC
  • Chuck Efstration (AB ’04), Auburn, Georgia, state representative, Georgia General Assembly
  • Wells Ellenberg (AB ’13), Washington, D.C., governmental affairs manager, Southern Company
  • Claire Erlacher-Reid (DVM ’08), Orlando, senior veterinarian, SeaWorld Florida
  • Jason Faircloth (BSAE ’05), Carrollton, vice president of sales, National Accounts at Southwire Company
  • Tsion Firew (BS ’07), New York, New York, assistant professor of emergency medicine, Columbia University Medical Center
  • Houston A. Gaines (AB ’17, AB ’17), Athens, state representative, Georgia General Assembly
  • Adam Gobin (AB ’06, BS ’06, MPH ’08), Atlanta, assistant vice president, Wellstar Health System
  • Leslie Hale (MPA ’13), Athens, executive director, Books for Keeps
  • Mamie Marie Harper (BSW ’09), Atlanta, executive director and founder, Carrie’s Closet of Georgia
  • Jack Hartpence (AB ’15), Jackson Hole, Wyoming, co-founder and CEO, Powwater
  • Jasmin Severino Hernandez (AB ’13, AB ’13), Brookhaven, associate attorney, Chamberlain Hrdlicka at Law
  • Eric Jones Jr. (ABJ ’12, AB ’12), New York, New York, entertainment producer, ABC News, “Good Morning America”
  • Brittany DeJarnett Kisner (BSED ’07), Aiken, South Carolina, co-founder and chairman, The Kevin and Brittany Kisner Foundation
  • Samantha Arsenault Livingstone (BSED ’05, MED ’08), Williamstown, Massachusetts, founder and CEO, Livingstone High Performance
  • Cheryl L. Maier (AB ’04, BS ’04), Atlanta, medical director, Emory Special Coagulation Laboratory, Emory University School of Medicine
  • Jay McCracken (BS ’05), Atlanta, neurosurgical oncologist, Piedmont Atlanta Hospital Brain Tumor Center
  • Ashley McMaster (ABJ ’06), Washington, D.C., vice president, membership and development, America’s Essential Hospitals
  • Erin Mordecai (BS ’07), Stanford, California, assistant professor, Stanford University
  • Kiana C. Morris (MBA ’14), Atlanta, associate director for policy, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • David G. Quintero (BBA ’06), Armed Forces Pacific, deputy director for dental specialists, periodontist, United States Navy
  • Jamelia Outlaw Smith (ABJ ’03), Atlanta, director, diversity and inclusion, Cox Enterprises
  • Matt Stevens (AB ’03, MPA ’14), Athens, vice president of strategic impact, Creature Comforts Brewing Co.
  • Mikaya Thurmond (ABJ ’12), Raleigh, North Carolina, anchor and reporter, WRAL-TV
  • Charles T. Tuggle III (BS ’05), New Orleans, Louisiana, assistant professor of clinical surgery, LSU Health Sciences Center
  • Jarryd Wallace (AB ’19), Watkinsville, professional athlete and director of affordable blade project, Xiborg Inc., United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee
  • Lauren K. Ward (JD ’07, MNR ’12, PHD ’17), Boone, North Carolina, general counsel and director of regulatory affairs, Forest Landowners Association
  • Franklin West (PHD ’08), Athens, associate professor, University of Georgia
  • Amanda Dalton Wilbanks (BBA ’09), Gainesville, owner and founder, Southern Baked Pie Company
  • Matthew Wilson (BSA ’06, JD ’14), Brookhaven, attorney, Wilson Law Firm, state representative, Georgia General Assembly
  • Tosha Dunnigan Wright (BSFCS ’05), Douglasville, co-founder, The Wright Stuff Chics

Nominations for 40 Under 40 were open from February to April, and 374 alumni were nominated for this year’s class. Honorees must have attended UGA and uphold the Pillars of the Arch, which are wisdom, justice and moderation. Additional criteria are available on the UGA Alumni website.

Due to the challenges presented by COVID-19, there will not be a 40 Under 40 Awards Luncheon this fall. Plans to celebrate this year’s class virtually are underway.

To learn more about the 40 Under 40 program, visit