University of Georgia unveils 40 Under 40 Class of 2020

Danielle Bezila

Friday, July 17th, 2020

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 (DMV '08), Orlando, senior veterinarian, SeaWorld Florida

Jason Faircloth (BSAE '05), Carrollton, director of business development, Southwire Company LLC

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 (MPH '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. (AB '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 vice president, The Kevin and Brittany Kisner Foundation 

Samantha Arsenault Livingstone (BSED '05, MED '08), Williamstown, Maine, 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 (AB '07), 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 and communication science, 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 (AB '03), Atlanta, director, diversity and inclusion, Cox Enterprises

Matt Stevens (AB '03, MPH '14), Athens, vice president of strategic impact, Creature Comforts Brewing Co. 

Mikaya Thurmond (AB '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), Atlanta, attorney, Wilson Law Firm 

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