Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia Alumni Association recently unveiled the members of the 40 Under 40 Class of 2016. This program, in its sixth year, recognizes outstanding young UGA alumni under the age of 40.
This year, nearly 400 nominations were submitted. Selections were based on the graduates’ commitment to a lifelong relationship with UGA and their successes in both personal and professional endeavors. This year’s class includes alumni in a variety of industries ranging from law to optometry, and it includes current and former NFL players and an award-winning country music artist.
Nominations opened in February and remained open through early April. The honorees will be celebrated during the 2016 40 Under 40 Awards Luncheon on Sept. 8 at Flourish Atlanta.
“Announcing the 40 Under 40 honorees each year is exciting,” said Meredith Gurley Johnson, executive director of alumni relations. “We received hundreds of nominations this year, highlighting the incredible accomplishments of UGA’s young graduates. It is truly challenging to narrow the list down to 40.”
This year’s 40 Under 40 honorees, including their city, title and employer, are:
• Allison Alexander, Silver Spring, Maryland, vice president, National Marine Sanctuary Foundation.
• Brooks Andrews, San Francisco, vice president, Essex Woodlands.
• Hammad Aslam, Birmingham, Alabama, doctor, UAB Hospital.
• Kevin Aycock, Atlanta, president, Kevin Aycock Homes.
• Jennie Blake, Atlanta, director, Cox Foundations.
• Lance Boles, Hartwell, owner, Independent Pharmacy Stores.
• Brittany Brown, Jacksonville, Florida, combat stress recovery specialist, Wounded Warrior Project.
• Brendan Buck, Washington, D.C., chief communications advisor, Office of the Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.
• Katie Childers, Atlanta, deputy chief of staff-policy, Georgia Governor’s Office.
• Lana Chumachenko, Grayson, senior real estate representative for existing restaurants (Southwest, Midwest, Northeast), Chick-fil-A.
• Eric Cohen, Whigham, owner, R&E Pecans/Pecan Ridge Plantation/Truffles by Tate/Cohen Crop Consulting.
• Derick Corbett, Atlanta, chief of staff, Office of Congressman Rob Woodall.
• Thomas Davis, Waxhaw, North Carolina, NFL linebacker, Carolina Panthers.
• Mandy Edwards, Statesboro, owner/founder, ME Marketing Services.
• Meredith Forrester, Atlanta, senior vice president-senior managing director of internal audit, SunTrust Bank.
• Dave Haywood, Nashville, Tennessee, singer/songwriter, Lady Antebellum.
• Steven Herndon, Smyrna, president, Safety Net Recovery.
• Ryan Irvine, Atlanta, senior vice president, CBRE.
• Travis Johnson, Atlanta, assistant commissioner, external affairs and facilities, Technical College System of Georgia.
• Amanda Lang, Bishop, partner and senior consultant, Forisk Consulting.
• Chase Lawrence, Athens, founder and principal, CollegeTown Properties LLC.
• Ronnie Mabra, Atlanta, state representative and attorney, The Mabra Firm LLC.
• Elliott Marsh, Statesboro, precision ag coordinator, Southern States Cooperative.
• Adam Miller, Chicago, design principal, Chicago Roof Deck and Garden.
• Thai-An Nguyen, Atlanta, epidemiologist-Enteric Diseases Epidemiology Branch, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
• Erica Parks, Elgin, South Carolina, health promotion officer/ORISE Fellow, U.S. Army Training Center & Fort Jackson.
• Lauren Pittenger, Atlanta, senior associate, Booz Allen Hamilton.
• Mitch Reiner, Atlanta, chief operating officer/founder and managing partner, Capital Investment Advisors/Wela.
• Heather Ripley, New York, senior associate-federal and international tax, Alston & Bird.
• Wes Rogers, Athens, president and CEO, Landmark Properties.
• Stephan Schaefbauer, Ankeny, Iowa, assistant director, MN USDA – APHIS Veterinary Services.
• Mark Schaeffer, Birmingham, optometrist, Schaeffer Eye Center.
• Meredith Seacrest, West Hollywood, California, executive director and chief operating officer, Ryan Seacrest Foundation.
• Julie Smith, Sandy Springs, vice president of external affairs-south area, Verizon Wireless.
• Sarah Smith, Atlanta, management officer, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
• Christina Swoope, Hanover, Maryland, Medicare program examiner, Office of the President of the U.S.
• Andres Villegas, Macon, president, Georgia Forestry Association.
• Benjamin Watson, Metairie, Louisiana, NFL tight end, Baltimore Ravens.
• Will Witherspoon, Chesterfield, Missouri, owner, Shire Gate Farm.
• Jenah Zweig, Washington, D.C., supervisor of policy and technical assistance, U.S. Department of Energy.
For more information about the 40 Under 40 program, or to view lists of previous honorees, visit alumni.uga.edu/40u40. The 2016 40 Under 40 Awards Luncheon is open to the public and registration will open in late July/early August. Sponsorships are available.
The UGA Alumni Association
The UGA Alumni Association supports the academic excellence, best interests and traditions of Georgia’s flagship university by inspiring engagement through relevant programming, enhanced connections and effective communications. For more information, see alumni.uga.edu.