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College of Business 40 Under 40 Class of 2018 – Young & Soaring

In the 40 Under 40 Class of 2018, 12 alumni hail from the College of Business. On Friday, September 28, all members from the Class of 2018 40 Under 40 were invited to campus for lunch to be recognized for their accomplishments. Following lunch, the College of Business hosted its alumni, along with approximately 30 business students to network and discuss building a legacy as a young professional.

As part of the College of Business’s “Young & Soaring: Building a Legacy Before 40” event, a select group of current student leaders were invited to sit down with the College’s honorees from the 40 Under 40 Class of 2018. These 30 students and nine alumni were divided into small groups for chat sessions that allowed for an easy and interactive exchange of ideas, moderated by current faculty. In this intimate setting, students were able to hear directly from young alumni about a wide range of topics and receive advice they can use to chart their own path to success. Students and alumni had an open conversation during the course of these sessions where they discussed the meaning of success and how it is achieved, ways to maintain a healthy work/life balance, and how to get involved in the community as a working professional. These chats provided student leaders with the knowledge that building a legacy requires giving back, teamwork, and support from family and friends. By the end of the event, students were able to recognize that their current activities are creating a framework for future accomplishments, but that, ultimately, true success is not an individual endeavor but is a personal process and can be measured in many ways.

College of Business 40 Under 40 Class of 2018:

Jeffrey Bush, ECON, ’13, Chief Operating Officer, Parker’s, Savannah

Katie Childers, MBA, ’11, Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy and Legislative Affairs, Office of Governor Nathan Deal, Atlanta

Matt Donaldson, FINC, ’13, Assistant Vice President, Controller, Durden Banking Company, Twin City

Robert Goolsby, MBA, ’13, Vice President, Professional Services, Fiserv, Alpharetta

Dean Hudson, LOGT, ’06; MBA, ’11, Regional Business Manager, J.B. Hunt Transport, Atlanta

Wayne Murphy, MGMT, ’04, Branch Manager, Queensborough Bank & Trust, Savannah

Paul Newman, MKTG, ’05, Owner/Broker, Statesboro Real Estate, Statesboro

Wesley Olliff, MGMT, ’07, Senior Vice President, Commercial Lending, Colony Bank, Savannah

Kutina Ruhumbika, MKTG, ’02, Vice President of People, Barteca Restaurant Group, New York, New York

David Schott, MBA, ’16, Chief Operating Officer, South Georgia Medical Center, Valdosta

Erica Sellers, MGMT, ’04; MBA, ’12, Director of Marketing and Sales, Morris Multimedia, Statesboro Magazine, Statesboro

Curtis Williams, IS, ’09, Owner, HHE Enterprise, Curtis J. & Associates, Smyrna

Georgia Southern officially announced the 40 Under 40 Class of 2018 earlier in the fall semester. Out of 120,000 living University alumni, more than 50,000 are under the age of 40. This award honors those University alumni who are paving the way in business, leadership, community, educational and philanthropic ventures.

Not only do the honorees represent exceptionally talented young alumni, but they also embody the core values of Georgia Southern. The College was well represented, again, in the 40 Under 40. Congratulations to all of our College’s 40 Under 40 recipients!


Georgia Southern graduate, Business Innovation Group member helps improve education of low-income children in Statesboro

Shunda Marie Williams

Sometimes you never know where your degree – and resulting career – will take you. If you’re Shunda (Marie) Williams (’08), one day you’re studying graphic design at Georgia Southern, the next, you’re working to organize conventions and seminars for the University’s Continuing Education program, and from there, you’re inspired to start your own business, Williams Events. Though that seems like enough twists and turns for one person, Williams’ journey doesn’t stop there.

Inspired by her own son, who Williams noticed was struggling academically, this accomplished entrepreneur decided to use her education and experience to help improve academic outcomes for children, primarily those of low-income families, throughout Statesboro.

An extension of her parent company, Williams Events, W.E. Move! is Statesboro’s first traveling tutoring camp and summer fun program for students ages 6 to 12. Rooted in the motto, “We Move Up! We Move Forward! We Move Around!” the camp recently completed its first summer session.The response was so tremendous, Williams had to close registration.

“I’m really thinking about how [I can] develop W.E. Move! to be a year-round source for parents and children who have academic areas of need,” Williams said.

According to the 2016 U.S. Census, more than 50 percent of the Statesboro population is below the poverty line, which puts many elementary school students in Statesboro at risk for falling below the national academic standard. For concerned parents, W.E. Move! was able to provide customized tutoring services to help children improve in challenging areas while also taking steps to ensure they retained what they learned in the previous school year. The program has been approved by the Georgia Department of Early Care and for qualification for the Childcare and Parent Services (CAPS) program.

For a small fee, with reduced rates for qualified low-income families, children who participated in the W.E. Move! summer session enjoyed structured and fun learning from 8 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., including STEM, art, online learning, character building, free play and seven field trips to locations throughout Statesboro and Savannah.

Like her event-planning business, W.E. Move! is also part of the Georgia Southern Business Innovation Group (BIG), an Innovation Incubator that offers dedicated space and business-development guidance to 20-plus local entrepreneurs at City Campus in downtown Statesboro. The W.E. Move! summer program was largely operated from BIG’s FABLAB and classroom and was led by student volunteers who provided instructional teaching based on curriculums designed by Williams and her former assistant.

With the help of generous donors, the first session of W.E. Move! was a huge success, and Williams has her sights set on continued growth in the months to come to help as many Statesboro students as possible. If you’d like to help, or to find out more, please visit the W.E. Move! Facebook page at

Marie Williams is the administrative assistant in the Georgia Southern College of Business Office of Development and Alumni Affairs.

GA Rep, economics professor weigh in on latest round of tariffs

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) – A trade dispute between the United States and China enters yet another round, with both countries imposing billions in tariffs on each others imported goods.

Even though some local elected leaders stand firm behind the President’s hard-line stance on trade policy with the Chinese, some economic experts see an escalating trade war causing more harm than good, even right here in the Coastal Empire.

Monday, President Trump announced new tariffs on $200-billion worth of Chinese goods starting in about a week. Wasting no time, China fired back today with their own retaliatory round of tariffs on U.S. goods to the tune of $60-billion.

“Trade wars tend to decrease the volume of trade, they tend to decrease what’s going out, they tend to decrease what’s coming in,” said Richard McGrath, Ph.D., Professor of Economics at Georgia Southern University’s Armstrong Campus. McGrath continued, “Which means it affects shipping, it affects the Ports, it affects trucking, it affects a lot of what happens going through Savannah, because in a sense, we make a little bit of money off of everything that goes through here in either direction.”

McGrath said, “One might think that we’ve put bigger tariffs on their goods than they have on ours, and we are putting tariffs on more goods than they are on ours. That should give us an advantage. But the reality is, it doesn’t really work that way. And it doesn’t work that well.”

Professor McGrath explained the goal of the trade war is to pull manufacturing back into the U.S. from China, with a purpose of increasing business here with American firms.

From the Chinese side, McGrath explains the point is punish the U.S. for doing that.

“So while we are trying to force business to move from China back to the U.S., they’re simply retaliating by getting business to move from the U.S. to anywhere else in the world.”

Still, Georgia’s 1st Congressional District Representative Buddy Carter backs President Trump’s actions and position on trade with China.

Rep. Carter said, “There’s obviously a trade imbalance that needs to be addressed. This is the President’s way of addressing the situation and I applaud his efforts.”

We asked Congressman Carter his thoughts on the timing of the President’s announcement of the latest round of tariffs, given the potential delay it could cause on negotiations.

“Timing is always a concern, but there’s never really a good time for it. I will tell you that I’m glad the President is not letting up. I hope that he stays with this. Because we need to bring it to a head. We need a fair trade deal with China,” said Rep. Carter.

Copyright 2018 WTOC. All rights reserved.

Georgia Southern and City of Hinesville to build business incubator, funded by $1.5 million in grants

Designing and launching a new business can be difficult. Georgia Southern University will soon provide expanded resources for entrepreneurs in Hinesville with the addition of a new business incubator.   

On Sept. 7, Georgia Southern and the City of Hinesville Development Authority were co-awarded a $750,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) to help fund the construction of a business incubator, which will be led by Georgia Southern’s Business Innovation Group (BIG). The organization connects start-ups with industry and faculty experts to assist in various stages of business, while providing student entrepreneurship interns hands-on experience to see what it takes to start a business.

The Hinesville Development Authority is providing an additional $750,000 grant, bringing the total to $1.5 million in support for the business incubator, which will support overall growth to the area.

“I applaud the Hinesville Development Authority and City Manager Kenneth Howard on their steadfast vision and determination for helping Hinesville residents in starting and growing their business,” said BIG Director Dominique Halaby. “As such, I am excited to begin working with them to successfully execute that vision and to make this incubator a reality.”

The Hinesville incubator will be adjacent to a new public library and within close proximity to Georgia Southern’s Liberty Campus. Made possible by the Coastal Regional Commission’s regional planning efforts, the new facility will house approximately 5,000 square feet to accommodate 12 new business clients.

“We commend the City of Hinesville for creating new opportunities for the community to grow and thrive,” said EDA Deputy Assistant Secretary for Regional Affairs Dennis Alvord. “This project will help strengthen the local economy by providing a facility where entrepreneurs can develop new businesses.”

BIG is committed to developing a vibrant entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem for southeast Georgia. Through innovative and entrepreneurial thinking, BIG assists local communities in achieving their dreams of becoming local entrepreneur hubs. By creating these opportunities, business incubators provide physical and developmental benefits to local entrepreneurs.

College of Business prepares accounting students for careers, internships through annual career fair

Students in the School of Accountancy at Georgia Southern University have an advantage when it comes to finding internships and careers in the accounting field thanks to the dedication of professors and staff who continually work to mentor their students.

Using their own professional career experiences to guide accounting majors through the progression of passing the CPA exam and becoming career-ready professionals, professors and staff work with students individually and prepare them for special events, including a career fair specifically for accounting majors called Meet the Firms.

At Meet the Firms, which has been held each fall for 19 years, students are given the opportunity to talk with recruiters and current firm staff about career goals and what to expect when going into an internship or career in public accounting.

Students are prepped for the event by the faculty and staff in the accounting department through professional development sessions. These required sessions prior to the event ensure the students are ready to put their best foot forward when meeting with recruiters. The professional development sessions cover topics ranging from acceptable professional attire, to proper conversation etiquette, to how to follow up with recruiters. Before Meet the Firms, all accounting majors in attendance must have their résumé approved by the Office of Career and Professional Development.

This year’s event was held Aug. 29 at the Nessmith-Lane Center on the Statesboro campus. More than 30 regional public accounting firms and businesses specializing in advisory and financial planning attended the event, recruiting Georgia Southern accounting majors for internships and full-time positions at their firms. The event, held every year during the peak recruitment season for accounting firms, showcases students looking for internships and full-time positions prior to the tax and audit busy season.

“Meet the Firms helped me to get my foot in the door with public accounting firms around the region,” stated Masters of Accounting student Katherine Wagner. “I felt prepared for the event thanks to the help of the professors in the accounting department, and I plan to get an internship as a result of this event.”