UGA Alumni Association:


Archives



09.18.2015

Checking in with Marc Gorlin (ABJ ‘95), No.1 Bulldog 100 business owner

Director of Alumni Programs Frances Beusse (BS '06) sat down with Marc Gorlin (ABJ '95), serial entrepreneur and owner of Kabbage, Inc., the 2015 No. 1 Bulldog 100 business to discuss his latest venture, Roadie, the first neighbor to neighbor shipping network. 

 

Roadie delivers your stuff where it needs to go faster, cheaper, and friendlier. Learn more about Roadie and download the app at roadie.com/download.

 

Say you’re making a Roadie delivery from Atlanta to Athens. Describe your perfect day in the Classic City.

Well, the day obviously starts with me rolling into Athens with a package to deliver. I love meeting new people and the Roadie community includes more than its fare share of Bulldog fans, so that’s always fun. After that, I like to walk around campus and stop at the bookstore to get my kids something – you can never have enough UGA gear. Stopping by the Grady College is a must and Dean Charles Davis (MA ’92) usually has good stories to share. Finally, it’s hard to get me out of town without visiting The Grill. I used to enjoy that fine establishment much later in the evening during my days in Athens, but these day I go old school and drop in for a BBQ Burger platter with some feta fries and a chocolate milkshake. That always makes for a great day.

The start-up world is continuing to gain speed in the business world. As an alumnus, what advice do you have for UGA alumni or students looking to break into the start-up business?

Start early and start often. Don’t be afraid of failure. Coming out of school is your best time to take risks. Most students aren’t coming out of school with a spouse, mortgage payments or kids. Take chances and don’t be afraid to break things. My Dad always told me, “Don’t get a job, find a deal.”  Whether you’re starting a company or just figuring out the right career to begin with, it’s important to find your deal.

  

Executive Director Meredith G. Johnson (BSFCS '00) and Marc Gorlin (ABJ '95)

With all of your business ventures throughout your career, you’ve met and worked with some pretty accomplished people. Who is the coolest? Celebrities count, too.

The real superstars in my world are the people on my team. They’re the ones that propel the business forward and I’m fortunate to have the job where I get to talk about all the awesome stuff they’re building everyday. Outside of that, meeting Steve Case, founder of AOL, was pretty cool. We met this summer as he toured the country on his start-up tour called Rise of the Rest. What he’s doing is very exciting in our community. But, I’d have to say my favorite is Chris Bridges, better known as Ludacris in the music world, Roadie’s newest partner. This guy is a Grammy Award-winning artist, he’s about to start filming Fast & Furious 8, and he’s so down to earth, and easy to work with. Not to mention that getting to know him has been seriously great for my street cred.

  

Marc and Ludacris

What did it meant to you to be the owner of the No. 1 Bulldog 100 fastest growing business in 2015?

It was a huge honor. There are so many great Bulldog businesses out there, so to come out on top was an unexpected but crazy awesome honor. I love that it was the first time someone from the Grady College has won the award. That made it even more special to me, and based on his reaction, Dean Davis was pretty excited about it, too. 

As a UGA student, what impacted you the most? Any student groups, notable professors or light bulb moments that helped to launch you?

It’s not every day that a tech entrepreneur comes out of journalism school, but I think that experience had a huge impact on me. It helped develop my natural curiosity for people and for how things work in the world. That’s what being an entrepreneur is all about. Conrad Fink was one of my favorite professors in J-school. He taught me to ask great questions and narrow in on the essence of an idea or concept. He probably exhausted more than one box of red pens getting that point across, and for that I owe him a huge debt of gratitude.

Your career path has had lots of twists and turns. Where do you see yourself in five years?

Assuming Roadie’s partnership with Ludacris continues to go well, I plan to start my own hip-hop career under the stage name Lil’ Roadie and I hope to fill stadiums worldwide and make billions. If that doesn’t work out, I’ll be thankful to be running the most innovative company in the shipping industry and helping make the world a better, greener, friendlier place.

Share on Facebook Tweet this Blog Share on LinkedIn Google+


Recent Entries


03.02.2016

Double Dawg Maxine Burton Honored With Her Own Flower

Whenever you go out to look for flowers that can add a pop of color to your home or garden this spring, be sure to keep your eye out for the “Maxine” Dianthus, named after alumna and founder of burton + BURTON, Maxine Burton (BSED ’72, MED ’78).  

In European culture, queens and heads of state have had flowers named after them in their honor. Because of this esteemed tradition, the International Floriculture Exposition (IFE) has only awarded 6 people, including Maxine, with their own flower.

With the help of her family, Maxine and her husband founded their company, burton + BURTON, in 1982. Today, it has grown into one of the largest distributors of balloons and coordinating gifts in the world and has helped the floral industry to flourish as well.

The “Maxine” Dianthus is a fun, solid pink colored dianthus, making it the perfect fit for a bright, go-getter who has dedicated 33 years to the balloon, hard goods, and décor industry.

The award was presented to her at this past year’s International Floriculture Exposition in Chicago. The award was kept a secret in order to surprise her at the exposition.

In light of receiving the award, Burton said, “To be recognized by people with whom I have so much history and so much respect is an incredible honor, not just for me, but for our entire burton + BURTON family.”

Congratulations Maxine on this outstanding honor!

Share on Facebook Tweet this Blog Share on LinkedIn Google+

02.22.2016

Alumna Spotlight: Dr. Kimberly Osborne (PHD '06)

Digital Specialist Jamie Lewis (AB '12, AB '12) recently interviewed alumna Dr. Kim Osborne (PHD '06). Osborne is a professor at Purdue University and was named the inaugural C-SPAN Endowed Chair at Purdue's Brian Lamb School of Communications.

You were named to the C-SPAN Endowed Chair at the Brian Lamb School of Communications at Purdue. Can you tell me a little bit about that position? 

The C-SPAN Chair is a new position at Purdue in 2015-2016, and I am honored to be selected as the inaugural recipient of this prestigious endowment. It is a terrific fit for me because of my background in both public affairs and communication, which are areas central to C-SPAN’s mission. As a scholar, my academic expertise includes cultural studies, program planning, power/hegemony and media literacy.

Before I started at Purdue, I worked for two Cabinet-level federal agencies, in domestic and international roles, and I also have more than two decades of experience with corporations, nonprofits, top PR agencies, and media outlets worldwide helping to shape public opinion and public policy. At Purdue, I speak and teach, I serve on national boards, and I mentor the next generation of public affairs and strategic communications practitioners. It is rewarding to help guide young people whose skill set will impact decision making – from the U.S. Congress to statehouses to corporations nationwide.

Your resume boasts a variety of accomplishments. What are some accomplishments of which you are most proud? 

It seems like I have lived many lifetimes in one, and this has made my life interesting. Professionally, my recent assignment as the Chief Strategic Communications Advisor to the Afghan National Security Forces made me proud. I was the U.S. Department of Defense’s top civilian communications advisor to Afghanistan’s defense ministries in Kabul. In addition to my day-to-day duties mentoring senior leaders in the Afghan Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Interior, I was tasked with “fixing” the “broken” communications function in the Afghan National Army. (Did I mention that I had never worked in a war zone before?) My plan provided recommendations for major organizational improvements, identified training needs and remediation, and proposed more proactive and strategic messaging focused on the end of Operation Enduring Freedom, the upcoming presidential elections, and other major high-stakes, high-visibility endeavors.

  

Additionally, I guided senior military personnel in the development of the first strategic communications plan for the Afghan National Army, and I led efforts by ISAF’s Ministerial Engagement Team and the U.S. Defense Department’s Ministerial Advisory Group. For my part, the Afghan National Army’s Director of Strategic Communications called me “the best advisor I ever had … in spite of being a woman.”

Personally, I have done a lot of things that make me proud. One of them is saying yes when a woman asked me if I believed in her dreams. She approached me at a speaking engagement in Los Angeles, and she told me she wanted to start a leadership development program to send young adults to Ethiopia to do service work. She asked if I thought she could do it and if I would give her advice. Today, she is the executive director of a start-up nonprofit organization called Ethiopian Diaspora Fellowship. In the first year, EDF sent five young people from the Ethiopian diaspora – including one UGA graduate -- to Addis Ababa for six months where they worked with community partners to build capacity in sub-Saharan Africa. In a recent meeting, Ethiopia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs asked if EDF could expand their program and model to other western nations and bring even more help to Ethiopia. I am officially the organization’s “strategic advisor,” but I am always introduced as the “person who said yes.”

You earned your Ph.D. in adult education at UGA. What attracted you to UGA? Do any particular memories of your time in Athens stand out? 

After I executed the public launch of Kelly Educational Staffing, which became the fastest-growing, most profitable business unit in (Fortune 500 professional services supplier) Kelly Services’ history, I’d become tired of Michigan’s winter weather. UGA’s Office of Public Affairs offered me a job in which I would help elevate the institution’s profile in the national media, and I did not hesitate to move south. In the decade that I worked and studied at UGA, I have more fond memories than I can recount in this space. Academically, I am grateful for the opportunity to study with several of the most esteemed scholars in the field of adult education and to have graduated from the top program in the discipline. Professionally, I enjoyed starting the Amazing Student feature on UGA's website with my colleague, Janet Beckley, because I got to learn about and showcase so many talented Dawgs. I also enjoyed working as the first coordinator of the joint program between UGA’s Office of External Affairs, the Office of the President, and the Athletic Association where we featured UGA’s top teaching, research and service faculty on the field during home football games - which helps remind the Bulldog Nation that there is a university attached to its football team!

  

If you could give one piece of advice to UGA students as they prepare for internships and graduation, what would it be?

Be bold. Dare to dream. Take chances. Live the life you wish for. Think outside the box. Color outside the lines. Blaze new trails. I think back to when I was graduating from college, and I want to take that 22-year-old version of myself and hug her. I want to tell her to worry less and risk more. I want to tell her it will turn out to be more amazing than she can imagine. I want to tell her not to be so concerned about what other people think. And I want to assure her that it’s okay if you don’t know what you want to be when you grow up. Try one thing, and when it’s time to try something else, then do that. You only have all the answers when you look back at your life, never when you look ahead. It blows my mind to think about what a pivotal and transformational time this is in human history. What incredible opportunities we have to influence the course of events-for ourselves, for other people, for societies and for humankind! Do something positive. Inspire others. Make the world a better place.

Share on Facebook Tweet this Blog Share on LinkedIn Google+

02.17.2016

Alumna Spotlight: Mariah Domenech (BSED ’15)

The UGA Alumni Association welcomes Mariah Domenech (BSED ’15) as today’s guest blogger. Mariah is a Georgia Fund scholarship recipient who studied abroad this past fall in Spain. The Georgia Fund is the annual giving program to support academic and alumni initiatives at UGA. Georgia Fund gifts enrich the lives and experiences of students, faculty and alumni, wherever they are engaged in advancing the University's mission - on campus, around the state or abroad. For Mariah, this trip would not have been possible without generous support from alumni and friends. 

"Teaching in Spain was a lifechanging experience. Being completely submerged in such a different culture was nerve-wracking. I wasn’t sure what mannerisms were appropriate or how to ask for things without coming off as rude; it took a lot of observing my surroundings in order to find out the proper way to interact with others. It also took a lot of me asking my host family a ton of questions whenever I didn’t know or understand something. The school system is so different from what I am used to in the United States. The teachers were more affectionate and open with their students; there was more physical interaction than what I was used to. Seeing new, beautiful landscapes and interacting with new people and gaining such an amazing experience is something I may have never been able to experience if it was not for the OIE - Alumni Association Study Abroad Fellowship. I am beyond thankful for receiving this scholarship that made it possible for me to study abroad in Spain."

In December, Mariah graduated from UGA with a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education. She is currently pursuing a graduate degree from the College of Education. To learn more about Mariah’s study abroad experience, click here.

Share on Facebook Tweet this Blog Share on LinkedIn Google+

Next Page
Thank you to our Affinity Partners
Bank of America
Marsh Liberty Mutual