Class Notes

June 2015

J. Corey Francis

M.Mu. '06

J. Corey Francis (M.Mu. ’06) has joined the faculty of Vanderbilt University as Director of Bands.

Bonnie Buol Rusczcyk

Author of "Take Your Marketing Online: Proven Ways to Grow Your Firm in the Digital Age"
MBA '01

The American Institute of certified public accountants (AICPA) publishes a handful of books every year on topics of interest to the accounting industry and its professionals across North America. The firm’s founder, Bonnie Buol Ruszczyk MBA ’01, was chosen to write about marketing, particularly online tactics, for the industry this year.

Sherrie Brady

J.D. '08

Sherrie Brady (J.D. ’08) was recently appointed chair of the Premises Liability committee of the Georgia Defense Lawyers Association.

B. Andrew Plant

B. Andrew (Drew) Plant
M.P.A. '92

B. Andrew Plant (M.P.A. ’92) is among 15 authors contributing chapters to “Crooked Letter I: Coming Out in the South,” an anthology to be published in August by NewSouth Books. The anthology will debut at the AJC Decatur Book Festival, the largest independent book festival in the country, in September. Plant is of Plant Communications, LLC, an Atlanta-based public relations consultancy serving professional service and financial services firms, as well as political campaigns.

Catherine (Katie) Neal Sinotte

Katie Neal, NMTCB Executive Director
M.S. '06

Katie Neal (M.S. ’06) was recently named as the Executive Director of the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board, Inc. (NMTCB) in Tucker, Ga. The NMTCB is a national medical board for nuclear medicine technologists.

Rajib N. Sanyal

Ph.D. '88

Rajib N. Sanyal (Ph.D. ’88) has been named the new dean of the Robert B. Willumstad School of Business on the Garden City campus of Adelphi University. Sanyal is currently dean of the Miller College of Business at Ball State University in Indiana. From 2005 to 2009 he was the dean of the College of Business at Northern Michigan University. Sanyal was an American Council on Education Fellow at George Mason University from 2004 to 2005.

Gary T. Wright

B.S. '90

Gary T. Wright (B.S. ’90) was recently named Executive Director at A Friend’s House Inc. in Henry County.

Angele Rishi

J.D. '02

Angele Rishi (J.D. ’02) has joined the law firm of Stout, Kaiser, Matteson, Peake & Hendrick LLC as a partner.

Jonathan Day

M.Ed. '05

Jonathan Day (M.Ed. ’05) was recently promoted from Assistant Principal to Principal at Mulberry Elementary School in Gwinnett County.

Matthew D. Owenby

B.A. '99

Matthew D. Owenby (B.A. ’99) was recently promoted to senior vice president, chief human resources officer at Aflac Insurance. Owenby was vice president for human resources for the company.

Erin Barnette

B.A. '03

Erin Barnette (B.A. ’03) recently joined Fifth Third Bank as a Personal Banker in Lawrenceville, Ga. Barnette previously worked at KeyWorth Bank as a Financial Services Representative and has been in the financial industry for 17 years.

Luz L. Urrutia

B.B.A. '83

Luz L. Urrutia (B.B.A. ’83), Vice President of Retail Sales for Oportun, was recently named a Woman of Influence in 2015 by the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

May 2015

Dr. Bryson Payne

Dr. Bryson Payne (Ph.D. '04) is the author of "Teach Your Kids to Code", a new programming book for parents and kids to enjoy together.
Ph.D. '04

Dr. Bryson Payne (Ph.D. ’04) published a book in May 2015 titled “Teach Your Kids to Code: A Parent-Friendly Guide to Python Programming,” from No Starch Press. The book debuted as a No. 1 Best Seller in Children’s Programming Books and a No. 1 Hot New Release in three programming categories on Amazon. Payne was also promoted to full professor with tenure this year at the University of North Georgia where he has taught for 15 years and served as the first department head of computer science.
He lives in Cumming, Ga., with his wife Bev and two sons, Alex and Max, and welcomes contact from Georgia State friends via Facebook or on Twitter at @brysonpayne.

Claudia Lewis

I took this photo of ME.
B.A. '69

Claudia Lewis (B.A. ’69) is still a dance instructor at Williams Island spa in Miami, Fla., after dancing professionally most all of her life. She teaches choreographed jazz and hip hop. She was in two Flash Mob performances on South Beach in the past year and still does handstands every day.

April 2015

Stefan Ritter

J.D. '87

Stefan Ritter (J.D. ’87), an 18-year veteran of Georgia’s Attorney General’s Office, was elected Tuesday as the new head of the state ethics commission. Ritter was chosen over three other candidates in a unanimous vote of the commission. Currently the head of the Attorney General’s Education, Elections, Local Government & Judiciary Section, Ritter has served as the commission’s assigned legal counsel.

John Goodhew

B.B.A. '89

John Goodhew (B.B.A. ’89) has joined Landmark Dividend LLC, one of the nation’s leading ground lease acquisition companies, as a Vice President of Acquisitions in the company’s Atlanta office. Goodhew formerly worked as a development manager with Parke Day Properties LLC. Prior to that he worked in the real estate department at Waffle House, Inc. and as regional director at American Tower Corp. As Vice President of Acquisitions, Goodhew will work to provide capital to consumers and businesses seeking to liquidate ground leases to cell towers, billboards, wind turbines, solar farms and fiber optic networks.

Stephanie Everett

Stephanie Everett
J.D. '02

Stephanie Everett (J.D. ’02) has left her successful law firm to begin a consulting practice, Stephanie Everett Consulting, LLC, to help other law firms reach the same level of success.

Christine Riordian

MBA '89, Ph.D. '95

Christine Riordian (MBA ’89, Ph.D. ’95), Provost and Professor of Management at the University of Kentucky, has been named the 10th president at Adelphi University. She will begin her term on July 1. At Kentucky, Riordian was responsible for supporting and advancing academic programs, teaching, and scholarship at the university, and she oversees all of its academic operations. Prior to her appointment at Kentucky, she was dean of the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver. Under her watch, the college ranked among the top business colleges in the world. Adelphi University is a 118-year-old private institution located in Garden City, N.Y, with satellite campuses in Manhattan, Suffolk County and Poughkeepsie.

Odie Donald

Odie Donald, WIA Services Director
B.A. '03, MBA '12

Odie Donald (B.A. ’03; MBA ’12) was recently appointed to serve as Workforce Investment Act Services Director with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Workforce Division. In this role, Donald is responsible for managing close to $90 million in federal funds to implement a variety of workforce programs throughout Georgia’s 159 counties.

Yolundra Jackson-Bush

B.A. '08

Yolundra Bush (B.A. ’08) is currently a paralegal for The Home Depot. Bush has been with The Home Depot since 2012 where she handles transactional agreements for the regulatory, merchandising and intellectual group. She also handles project management and training for the department.

Shalya Forté

B.S. '04

Pandora Internet Radio, the leading online radio service, recently named Shalya Forte (B.S. ’04) its new Director of Southeast. In this role, Forté is charged with leading all Pandora’s national and local sales and strategy efforts in the Southeastern U.S.

Al Floda

B.B.A. '76

Long-time Buckhead resident Al Floda (B.B.A. ’76), an agent with Keller Williams Realty Peachtree Road, received the Crystal Phoenix Award at the Atlanta Board of Realtors annual Multi-Million Dollar Sales Club Banquet this March. The award was presented in recognition of earning 20 years of membership in the ABR Multi-Million Dollar Sales Club. A decades-long member of both the Atlanta Preservation Center and High Museum of Art, Floda enjoys the art and architecture of homes in addition to the honor of serving people’s real estate needs.

Kim Martin

MBA '87

Kim Martin (MBA ’87) has been named new chief strategy officer for the Meredith Corporation. In this role, Martin will work with Meredith’s senior management team on developing corporate and business unit strategies — with a strong focus on Meredith’s millennial strategy across the company’s multiple media platforms — and leading other key strategic initiatives.

March 2015

Camila Sarmiento

Volunteering in Villavicencio, Colombia
B.A. '11

Camila Sarmiento (B.A. ’11) has been granted an invitation from the Peace Corps. She accepted her invitation and will be leaving to serve in Peru for 27 months on Aug. 19.

Richard S. Bergholtz

B.S. '97

Richard S. Bergholtz (B.S. ’97)  as been appointed to a one-year term on the Mount Dora, Fla., Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Bergholtz serves on the boards of local, regional and national civic and charitable organizations. Bergholtz is an attorney with Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, P.A., and concentrates his legal practice in real estate, construction and corporate law.


Maria Manahan

Maria Manahan, HOG
B.S. '94, M.S. '96

The Hemophilia of Georgia Board of Directors announced today that it has appointed Maria Manahan (B.S ’94, M.S ’96) as Chief Executive Officer. Manahan will assume leadership of Hemophilia of Georgia on April 1, 2015. Manahan is a board member and officer of the Hemophilia Alliance on the board of the Campbell-Stone Apartments, and the 340B Advisory Board of the Hemophilia Treatment Center Pharmacy at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Prior to joining Hemophilia of Georgia, Manahan was Director of Assisted Living and Alzheimer’s Programs at Campbell-Stone Apartments.

Sharon Cook

B.A. '00

Sharon Cook (B.A. ’00) was recently named Chief Marketing Officer of Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta. Cook oversees the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta’s marketing, corporate communications and public relations functions. In her role, Cook directs marketing and brand cultivation, external communications, media relations, investor relations and reputational risk for the regional banker’s bank. Cook joined FHLBank Atlanta in 2008 as Senior Marketing Communications Manager and earned promotions to Vice President and Director of Corporate Communications in 2011 and First Vice President in 2012. Previously, Cook was Vice President of Marketing Services for the Centers for Disease Control Federal Credit Union.

Tina Rezvani

Cover of Everyday Persian: Your Essential Guide to the Modern Iranian-American Kitchen
M.A. '10, M.S '12

While studying anthropology at Georgia State, Tina Rezvani (M.A. ’10, M.S. ’12) wrote her master’s thesis on cultural reproduction at Persian dinner parties. Inspired by this work and by her love for writing and food, she wrote a new Persian cookbook titled “Everyday Persian: Your Essential Guide to the Modern Iranian-American Kitchen,” which was published March 14. “Everyday Persian” aims not only to teach the reader how to prepare classic Persian dishes, but it also contains modern Persian-American recipes combining culinary traditions. Across more than 120 recipes, this informative and accessible book will give readers a basic knowledge of the fundamentals of Persian cooking, from aash (bean and herb soup) to zereshk polow (rice with barberries).

William Scarborough

M.Tx. '80, M.P.A. '93

William Scarborough (M.Tx. ’80, M.P.A. ’93) received the Directors Award at an Awards Ceremony held at the United States Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C. The award was given for his outstanding contribution to the enforcement of the federal securities laws in regards to a large financial fraud investigation dealing with software revenue recognition.

Carlos Roberto Ruano

M.S. '92

Carlos Roberto Ruano (M.S. ’92) has been asked to lead work on Education and Learning at the Conference Board of Canada. As principal research associate, he will oversee and produce research and policy guidance on Higher Education issues in North America.

David Adelman

M.P.A. '95

David Adelman (M.P.A. ’95) has joined Reed Smith LLP’s New York office as a partner in the firm’s Energy and Natural Resources Industry Group. His practice focuses on trans-Pacific trade and investment issues. Prior to joining Reed Smith, David was a Managing Director of Goldman Sachs in Hong Kong and Singapore. David also served as the 15th United States Ambassador to Singapore, concluding his term in 2013.

Rona Simmons

Postcards from Wonderland
MBA '75

Rona Simmons (MBA ’75) is the author of “Postcards from Wonderland,” to be released this month, and a previous work of historical fiction “The Quiet Room,” released in January 2014, both published by Deeds Publishing. After retiring from a 30-year career in the financial services industry, Simmons turned to writing. She is an active member of the Atlanta Writers Club and Georgia Writers Association. Her work has appeared in anthologies, blogs, and online and print magazines and journals.

Kaitlin Meurer

Kaitlin Meurer promoted at Sterling Risk Advisors
B.B.A. '13

Kaitlin Meurer (B.B.A. ’13) has been promoted to Account Executive for Strategic Accounts at Sterling Risk Advisors. Sterling Risk Advisors is a full-service, Atlanta-based risk management and insurance brokerage firm serving the commercial, professional and personal needs of clients across a diverse spectrum of industries. Meurer provides multi-line coverage solutions and helps manage risk for the diverse clientele served by Sterling’s Strategic Accounts department. Prior to joining Sterling, Meurer worked in personal lines at State Farm. A Peachtree City, Ga., native, Meurer now lives in the Virginia-Highland neighborhood.