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Taking Flight – September 2020

Message from the Dean

I’ve often said to our many students, alumni and business partners that the Parker College produces two basic products, intellectual capital and human capital. Intellectual capital comes in the form of our research, professional engagement, consulting, business outreach, etc. Our faculty should be thought leaders, answering important questions and pushing the boundaries of new knowledge through their scholarship. But, we also produce human capital, in the form of our students and graduates. All should leave here, more knowledgeable, better prepared and more confident than the day they arrived. In particular, we make three promises about our graduates, and we take all three very seriously.  

First, we promise they will be fully competent, technically. This may seem obvious to many but, because it is so widely assumed, it is especially fundamental to our value proposition. Whether in accounting, logistics & supply chain, finance or any of our other programs, employers and the business world generally assume our graduates can meet the basic thresholds of technical competency required by their professional standards. And, those thresholds are continually rising. It is our obligation to evolve with them and to stay ahead of the market’s expectations, ensuring that our students are as competent and well prepared as any graduates anywhere else in the country.

The second thing we promise is professional readiness. Beyond just technical skill and knowledge, our graduates are expected to be professionally ready, able to hit the ground running, to learn the ropes quickly and to provide a positive return on investment. So, we invest heavily in professional development, preparing students to apply their technical expertise, equipping them to interact with leaders in their industries, and helping them to build those soft skills that will be so important as they advance in their careers.

Finally, we promise our graduates will have real intellectual acuity. What does that mean? Put simply, it means our graduates will be good thinkers, able to interact seamlessly with other cultures and work effectively in a diverse world. We want our graduates to be flexible, innovative and open-minded, as necessary to maintain their competence and evolve professionally. By teaching, coaching, encouraging and modeling these three things, technical competence, professional readiness and intellectual acuity, we believe we will produce graduates who will be sought after by employers all over the world, who will produce solutions and provide a strong return on investment, and who will, ultimately, change the world for the better. 

Related to this, I often remind people that, if you make only two products, then you need to make both of them very well. Well, we certainly believe that our greatest impact comes through the human capital we produce; to say we are proud of our graduates and alumni is an understatement. At the same time, the world is a competitive place, and we are but one of many good business schools producing quality graduates. So, our challenge is to stay aggressive, to push forward with programs that will accelerate the competency, professionalism and acuity of our students, and to undergird all of that with an aspirational and “can do” culture that will attract the best, demand the best and produce the best. I certainly believe it is possible. Heck, I believe it is already underway, which is just one more reason why I’m optimistic and excited about the future!

Fall 2020 Eagle Executive

The Fall 2020 Eagle Executive is now available online. In the feature article, “It’s the People Who Make the Place,” the EE explains how our faculty members have adapted to the sudden shift to online instruction in the middle of the semester.

To download it, visit

Alumni Spotlight – David Attaway

David Attaway

David Attaway (ACCT, ’09; MAcc, ’10) is an audit manager in the Dublin office of TJS Deemer Dana (TJSDD) LLP. He typically serves clients in the firm’s Financial Institutions (FI) group, which allows David to step outside of the audit world and work on consulting engagements during the remainder of the year. He really enjoys the exposure to different areas of that industry. The best part of David’s job is easily the people. He likes mentoring and leading staff and seniors on his team and the relationships his team is able to build with clients. He says TJSDD is fortunate to have a great client base who not only values their relationship as auditors and advisors but also as colleagues.

Coming to Georgia Southern as a shy 18-year-old from a small town, David grew tremendously as a person and made some amazing lifelong friends. He really enjoyed the two years he spent as part of the Southern Pride Marching Band. David states that his experience at Georgia Southern was a big turning point in his life, and he is grateful that his parents gave him the opportunity to move away for school and have that growth experience. He adds that the Parker College of Business is the only reason he is where he is today. David’s advisor, Lowell Mooney, Ph.D., professor of accounting and director of graduate programs and MBA, provided valuable guidance and encouraged him to consider a career in accounting. David comments that Mooney is a fantastic member of the Parker College of Business’s team and that, in addition to Mooney, David enjoyed his time with all of the faculty and staff members he encountered while at Georgia Southern. Even after ten years, he is still in contact with many of them.

David admits public accounting is a unique industry to work in. At times, the hours can be long, and deadlines can be tough; however, the periods of downtime allow for time off and relaxation. During his career, David has sometimes been unsure about how he fit into the big picture while transitioning between roles and after being assigned additional responsibility. Fortunately, the partner under whom he works has always been available to guide David through his career and provide advice and insight where it was needed.

In the future, David intends to remain at TJSDD throughout his career, hopefully retiring from there. The firm, he states, has provided a great experience, and he would like to see it all the way through with TJSDD. He would also like to use that experience, and the other opportunities he has been granted, to grow as a person and as a professional and to add value to the lives of others. In his spare time, David enjoys spending time with his wife, Kristen, and son, Connor, a rambunctious three-year-old and David’s proudest accomplishment. He and Kristen are excited to be raising a future Eagle. The family really enjoys vacationing at St. Augustine Beach, FL, and travelling. A drummer since the age of ten, David also plays with the worship band at Liberty Church in Dublin.

Rising Stars 2020: Marcelo Estrada

Marcelo Estrada

from Progressive Railroading

Marcelo Estrada (LOGT, ’08), 35
General manager, intermodal operations
CSX Corp.

Nominator’s quote: “As general manager of CSX Intermodal Terminals, Marcelo oversaw the transformation of Fairburn Terminal outside of Atlanta into one of the most advanced intermodal operations in the industry.” — Jamie Boychuk, CSX

What is your educational background?
Georgia Southern University, Bachelor of Business Administration in logistics and intermodal transportation

Describe your current job and responsibilities.
As general manager of CSX Intermodal Terminals Inc., I am responsible for leading the development and implementation of strategies that support excellence in safety, service and efficiency throughout CSX’s intermodal network.

Describe your career path.
I started my career at CSX in 2008 as a management trainee and have been promoted through the management ranks. I was a trainmaster in Evansville, Indiana, and Memphis, Tennessee, then went on to become a terminal manager in New Orleans, followed by terminal superintendent positions in Baltimore and Chicago. After two years as terminal superintendent in Chicago, I was promoted to superintendent of the entire Chicago zone, which ultimately led to the opportunity to lead CSX intermodal operations in my current role.

Why did you get into the railroad industry?
I decided to join the rail industry during my senior year in college. As I studied logistics, I became increasingly interested in railroading and learned the critical role of railroads in our nation’s economy. As a student athlete, I wanted to be able to work outdoors among people and, more importantly, to have the opportunity to lead men and women. It became apparent quickly to me that the railroad industry would provide the opportunity to accomplish these goals. CSX came to Georgia Southern University during a career fair, which led to the management trainee opportunity that began my career in the rail industry.  

What is the best career advice you’ve received?
Over the years I have received great advice from several influential leaders, including those I have been fortunate enough to work with closely on the current leadership team at CSX. One quote that will always stick with me is, “No matter how critical you feel you are to the railroad, it was here before you and will be here long after you are gone — but that doesn’t mean you can’t leave your mark on the industry.”

What advice would you give to a new railroader?
The railroad is a very promising career, but it can also be very demanding, especially in operations. You have to enjoy and have passion in what you do on a daily basis. If you don’t, you’ll find it difficult to be successful. The first few months may be the most challenging, but don’t let that get in the way of a prosperous, lifelong career.

What was your very first job?
I will always consider being a football player in high school and college as my first job. For nearly 10 years, when my schoolwork was complete, football was my full-time job. I learned many of my foundational traits that have made me successful over the years, including work ethic, discipline, accountability and leadership. I use all of these characteristics daily in my career.

Describe a fun fact about yourself.
I was a First Team All-American and All-Conference college football player at Georgia Southern University.

Do you have any hobbies?
My hobby is definitely anything to do with my son. He is nine years old and three years into youth football. I truly enjoy training with him and preparing him mentally and physically to balance sports and academics as he gets older. I am also his youth football coach and the strength coordinator for his Pop Warner Football League. I enjoy working with young athletes which allows me to share any knowledge or support they may need.

What is the biggest challenge the rail industry now faces or will face?
I believe the biggest challenge for the rail industry will be continuing to gain market share in the overall transportation sector by converting traffic from highway to rail. As our service continues to improve and become more reliable, we need to engage customers to take advantage of the efficiencies offered by our operating model. A consistently safe and reliable service product is the key to rail industry growth.

Georgia Trend Honors Parker’s Founder and CEO Greg Parker

Mr. Greg Parker


Georgia Trend magazine honored Parker’s founder and CEO Greg Parker as a “Legacy Leader” in the September 2020 issue. To celebrate the magazine’s landmark 35th anniversary, Georgia Trend spotlighted 15 business leaders across the state who have made a long-term impact on their communities and on the state as a whole.

“The [Parker’s] brand is synonymous with clean, friendly, profitable and philanthropic,” the article raves, citing Greg Parker’s $5 million gift to Georgia Southern University as well as the company’s $1 million endowment to the emergency and trauma center at Memorial University Hospital in Savannah, Ga., and ongoing Fueling the Community donations to support schools in Georgia and South Carolina. “Parker credits his ‘remarkable team’ for his success.”

One of Georgia’s leading business innovators, Parker has earned acclaim for his commitment to high-quality foodservice, technology, consumer rights and charitable giving. Parker’s was recently named the 2020 CSDecisions Chain of the Year, which is the convenience store industry’s highest honor.

Over the years, Parker has been recognized as the Convenience Store News Foodservice Leader of the Year, Frank Callen Boys and Girls Club Citizen of the Year, Convenience Store News Tech Executive of the Year, Savannah Morning News Entrepreneur of the Year and Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur of the Year.

Under his leadership, Parker’s has grown from a one-store operation in Midway, Ga., to an award-winning, 66-store company with state-of-the-art convenience stores located throughout Georgia and South Carolina, serving delicious, award-winning Southern-inspired Parker’s Kitchen food that’s made from scratch on-site.

Parker’s has been included on the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing companies for five years and has been honored by Food and Wine as one of America’s Best Convenience Stores, by The Shelby Report as the Southeast Retailer of the Year and by Convenience Store News as the Foodservice Leader of the Year. Parker is currently leading the company through an ambitious growth plan which includes a strategic expansion into the Charleston, S.C., market.

A steadfast advocate for consumer rights, Parker launched the Parker’s PumpPal loyalty program which includes more than 150,000 members and has saved customers more than $10 million to date. He also founded the company’s acclaimed Fueling the Community charitable giving initiative which gives back to every community where Parker’s does business, and [he] endowed the Parker’s Emergency and Trauma Center at Memorial Hospital in Savannah, Ga.

In the Fall of 2018, Parker made a record $5 million donation to name the Parker College of Business at Georgia Southern University, supporting the next generation of business leaders in Georgia.

A national industry leader who is originally from Collins, Ga., Parker is active in the Petroleum Marketers Study Group and previously served as the vice chairman of research for the National Association of Convenience Stores and as chairman of the BPAmoco Marketers Association, a member of the Pepsi Retail Advisory Council and a member of the Coca-Cola Retail Advisory Committee.

Parker donates his time and resources to a number of nonprofit organizations in Savannah, Ga., and currently leads a city-wide anti-litter initiative. He previously served as chairman of the Mayor’s Business Roundtable and contributed to the Mayor’s Crime Task Force. Over the years, he also served as the chairman of the Savannah Master Plan Task Force and on the board of directors for the Savannah Economic Development Authority, the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce and Memorial Health Foundation.

Parker’s is one of America’s most respected convenience store brands and is known for having the cleanest stores in the industry and for serving award-winning Southern-inspired food. The company operates stores across coastal Georgia and South Carolina, employs 1,200 individuals throughout the region and completes more than 125,000 transactions daily. 

Steve Charlier, Ph.D., Publishes Paper, Research Featured in BBC

Steve Charlier, Ph.D., associate professor and department chair, management

Steve Charlier, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of the Department of Management, was recently quoted in a Worklife article on how leadership skills differ between in-person and virtual environments.

Citing his experiences working on virtual teams while at IBM, Charlier noted that, although “[i]n any leadership role, you’ve got to establish that trust. It’s trusting that the person is going to do things, and trusting that they’re telling the truth and being up front and honest. But how you go about doing that virtually is a little different—it’s a different skill set.” Ultimately, the article concluded that it is the organized, dependable and reliable “worker bees” who make the best remote leaders rather than the confident, magnetic, smart extroverts who are generally the best in-person leaders.

To view the article, visit

Senior Finance Student Takes Advantage of Logistics Virtual Internship Opportunity at Robins Air Force Base

Jeremy Bryant working on a major project for Robins Air Force Base.

by Kristen Connell, Summer 2020 PR Intern

Jeremy Bryant, a Macon, GA, native, and a senior finance major at Georgia Southern planned to spend his summer interning at Robins Air Force Base with civilian services in Warner Robins, GA. While he was still able to complete his internship, unfortunately, it was converted to a virtual experience due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Jeremy thinks of himself as lucky for still having the opportunity to complete his internship “despite the circumstances.” 

“[I’ve] learned that this is a constant part of the real world. Everything changes constantly, and it is up to me as a good intern or full-time employee to be able to adapt.”

Jeremy spent the first few hours of his day in meetings via Zoom and WebEx learning the duties of the job from his mentors. He would spend the last few hours of the day collectively working on an intense group project with nine other interns, researching a Majors Command (MAJCOM) for the Air Force, that took the entirety of his internship period to complete. At the end of his internship, his group presented their project via WebEx to a group of executive leaders within the logistics field.

“Because we [were] virtual, my other group members [were] scattered throughout the country—Ohio, Texas and Florida. Our MAJCOM [was] Air Force Special Operations Command,” stated Jeremy. “We provided history, background and mission and objectives of the MAJCOM with each member of the group focusing on a different career field. I ha[d] engineers, computer science, etc. [because my focus during the internship was] logistics. I [was] responsible for asking [my] mentors [about] the three biggest challenges that COVID-19 ha[d] caused to the logistics field, how they [planned to] overcome it and provide[d] innovative ideas on how to ‘lessen the blow,’ if you will, [should this] ever happen again.”

Throughout his virtual internship experience, Jeremy learned some valuable lessons. His advice to students considering a virtual internship is to have a good work/life balance, being careful not to let your work be all you do; be familiar with all platforms used for your job prior to your first day; and take the virtual internship because it’s still an opportunity that has been provided to you. A virtual internship can provide the experience and skills needed to land that great job upon graduation. 

“[After serving as a virtual intern,] I have been able to tell that, as [my] generation gets in the workforce, virtual work will become more [prevalent]. We have grown up with this technology, and you can say we are ‘in our element.’ I know that the skills [I’ve learned during my virtual internship] will transfer [to other positions].” He continued, “Also, our generation asks more questions behind a computer screen because we are comfortable asking for help in a virtual world.” 

If given the opportunity, Jeremy would participate in another virtual internship in the future. “If your internship home office is away from home, virtual internships allow you to still participate, save money, decide if that is where you want to be and gain crucial experience.” Jeremy continued, “If you decide you want to go elsewhere, your résumé has been [enhanced].”

Effingham County Native Matthew Kessler Joins Seabolt Real Estate as a Sales Associate

Matthew Kessler

from Capricorn Communications

Seabolt Real Estate, the exclusive coastal Georgia affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate, is pleased to welcome Matthew Kessler as a sales associate. In his new role, Kessler leverages his personal and professional experience with historic properties and real estate development to assist individuals buying and selling residential or commercial real estate in Savannah and the surrounding area.

“Matthew’s extensive knowledge of the Savannah area, particularly Effingham County, and his background in aviation and commercial drone photography make him an excellent addition to our growing team,” said Seabolt Real Estate founder and Broker-in-Charge Elaine Seabolt. “He brings strong marketing skills and insider knowledge of the regional real estate market to his new position at Seabolt Real Estate.”

Originally from Rincon, Ga., Kessler is currently completing a Bachelor of Business Administration with a focus on real estate and real estate development at Georgia Southern University, where he has earned Dean’s List and President’s List honors for academic achievement. He is a graduate of Effingham County High School and recently completed an internship with The Kessler Collection in Savannah, Ga.

After earning his pilot’s license at age 17, Kessler became president of Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 489 and secured a commercial drone license. He is the president of Kessler Aerial and resides in Savannah, Ga.

Seabolt Real Estate stands apart as an exclusive affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate in Savannah, Ga. Known as the global authority for marketing luxury properties, Christie’s International Real Estate showcases property listings from 46 countries around the world.


Founded in 2006 by broker Elaine Seabolt, Seabolt Real Estate has earned a reputation as Savannah’s premier luxury real estate firm and serves as the exclusive coastal Georgia affiliate for Christie’s International Real Estate. Specializing in the sale of residential and commercial properties, Seabolt Real Estate has an accomplished team of more than 35 professional agents and is the only residential brokerage firm in Savannah offering five internationally recognized and renowned exclusive luxury real estate affiliations. To learn more, visit

Parker College of Business Students Receive U.S. President’s Volunteer Service Award

Drayton Gilchrist

Students in the Parker College of Business at Georgia Southern University have received the U.S. President’s Volunteer Service award for volunteer hours they logged through the Office of Leadership and Community Engagement (OCLE) between February 2019 and February 2020. 

The U.S. President’s Volunteer Service Award was presented to Iyanna Dandrea, Jasmine Alexander, Jayla Dubose, Drayton Gilchrist, Kenneth Glover and Mary A. Salter. Students who participated in unpaid acts of volunteer service which benefited others are eligible to receive the award.

“It is an honor to see my contributions to the Statesboro community be acknowledged, especially on a national platform,” said Gilchrist, a senior double major in supply chain management and marketing. “This proves that I’m on the right track, and I will use it as motivation to continue to grow and to encourage others who want to do the same.”

Gilchrist’s volunteer work included cleaning Georgia Southern’s campus on Sundays, assisting at the local food bank and handing out flyers with important information such as voter registration, mental health and financial literacy. Community service has always played a large role in his life, he said. 

“Seeing my mother out in our community serving food to children and growing vegetables to distribute to those who truly needed them instilled community service in me,” he said. “Another inspiration came from my brothers in the Men Of Vision and Excellence. Seeing their engagement with the local community proved that it would be a perfect fit for me.”

Additionally, OLCE presented a University-level 50 Hour award to students Hannah Greenblat, Antonia Jackson, Autumn Williams and Tiffany Wills who logged at least 50 hours of community service. 

Greenblat was recognized for her role as a peer mentor with the University’s Academic Success Center and peer leader supervisor with the First-Year Experience program. She also is the founder and president of the student organization Women in Business. 

“I wanted to be a resource to new Georgia Southern students,” stated Hannah. “When I was a freshman, I felt that I had to find resources on my own and wanted a way to give back.”

As a peer leader, Hannah was able to grow personally and professionally, she noted. Volunteering has allowed her to build leadership skills that will help her in her future career — from learning ways to effectively communicate with professional staff and other peers to planning and organizational skills to presentation skills. The awards were presented during the inaugural Eagle Excellence Awards ceremony.

Mary Harrelson

Parker College of Business Connects Students with Potential Employers During Virtual Meet the Firms Event

While her children napped, Georgia Southern University accounting student Mary Harrelson was meeting with potential employers from the comfort of her home with hopes of securing a job or internship. 

Harrelson, a junior, along with nearly 80 of her peers from the Parker College of Business, met virtually with accounting firms looking to fill positions during the Meet the Firms event, the School of Accountancy’s biggest recruiting event of the year. 

“This was my first time attending any of the Meet the Firms events, and I was very nervous,” she said. “I had never done this in person, so I wondered how I would be able to do it virtually. That went away almost immediately. As soon as I entered any of the chat rooms, someone was already there and talking to me either through text or a video call. The longer I talked the more comfortable I got with it.”

Harrelson found the virtual format of the event a perfect fit for her busy lifestyle. 

“Because I have kids, sometimes it can be hard to find time to do things, but because this Meet the Firms event was virtual, I was able to attend while my kids took their naps and still got to speak with all of the firms that I wanted,” Harrelson said. 

Meet the Firms allows students to meet with accounting firms and corporate recruiters to learn about internships, leadership programs and employment opportunities. Through working with accounting firms, the leaders in the School of Accountancy have found that the earlier the Meet the Firms event is held in the fall semester, the better it is for the firms and for accounting students. 

Firms begin filling internship positions in the fall to ensure they have the help they need during tax season and often use their summer leadership programs, which are reserved for rising seniors during the summer before their final year, as a pipeline for the internship positions.

Harrelson, a junior, is ready for future opportunities. 

“I was able to secure invitations to two different summer leadership programs with my top two firms,” Harrelson said. “I know because of this, my future as an accountant is looking really good.” 

Meet the Firms is just one of several recruiting and job fair events the Parker College of Business has moved to a virtual format since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The College also hosted a virtual Accounting Day career fair event in June. 

“The best thing about the virtual Meet the Firms is that in spite of the pandemic, Georgia Southern University made it possible for us, students, and the firms to meet online and continue with the event,” said Emily Olsson, an accounting student set to graduate in December.

Olsson attended both Accounting Day and Meet the Firms events hosted by the School of Accountancy and was able to land an internship for the spring and summer semesters.

“What made the biggest impact on me and my future career from the virtual Meet the Firms event was the invaluable experience at connecting with companies virtually, which will be vital once I am officially out of college and competing for employment in the job market,” Olsson said. 

Logistics Roundtable Goes Virtual

For more than ten years, the Department of Logistics & Supply Chain Management has hosted the Logistics Roundtable, and this year is no different.

The annual Logistics Roundtable is still on, just in a virtual environment instead of face-to-face on campus. The fall 2020 event will be held on Tues., Oct. 20, via Zoom with the company registration fee being waived to ensure there are no barriers to our industry partners gaining access to the best and brightest logistics students in the region.

Prior to turning the Logistics Roundtable into a virtual event, Marc Scott, Ph.D., assistant professor of logistics and director for the Southern Center for Logistics and Intermodal Transportation, conducted a survey of the program’s business partners with regards to the event. From the survey, he found the majority of companies surveyed (91%) indicated they wanted to recruit Georgia Southern supply chain management students during the fall 2020 semester; however, the majority also said they were undecided or unlikely to attend if the Logistics Roundtable was conducted in a face-to-face manner. From there, Scott and other department leadership decided to go virtual.

The Logistics Roundtable exists for one purpose: to connect students and industry together. By surveying the program’s industry partners, the Logistics Roundtable coordinators have planned an event that its partners will find value in, yet, will facilitate flexibility given our current environment during a global pandemic. Many of the companies have incorporated social distancing and/or limited travel policies for their recruiting activities, and, for some, recruiting budgets are requiring the companies to be as efficient as possible. By going virtual, the Roundtable reduces some of those expenses associated with travel and lodging, marketing materials and other transactional costs for recruiters; provides flexibility in signing in and engaging from any location, allowing many more representatives from each of the companies to be involved; offers a platform to learn and gain capabilities in the virtual recruiting space; and allows new industry partners to have the opportunity to attend with fewer resources invested.

Our students benefit from this annual event in two very distinct ways. First, they are able to build their networks, connecting with employers in a safe environment; and second, with this being a virtual event, they can attend the event from any location and engage with the companies with which they would normally connect face-to-face.

“One of the biggest benefits for our students participating in the Virtual Logistics Roundtable is getting familiar with conducting themselves and business in a virtual environment,” stated Scott. “Many of these students will likely be entering jobs that require high levels of comfort with interacting virtually and communicating professionally over web-based platforms. The virtual nature of the Roundtable facilitates exposure to this way of working and interacting.”

Now is an opportune time to be involved in supply chain management and logistics, and our students understand the value of this field during these unprecedented times of uncertainty and technological disruption. The Department of Logistics and Supply Chain Management, along with the Parker College of Business, are grateful for our industry partners for their support and commitment to our students and their professional development.

Finance Association Kicks Off Fall Guest Speaker Series

By Axel Grossmann, Ph.D., and Allissa Lee, Ph.D.

The Finance Association kicked off its fall 2020 Guest Speaker Series by welcoming Grace Bergeron, Ph.D., and alumnus Jaymin Patel (FINC, ’19). Bergeron is a university connect relationship manager with Anaplan, and Patel is a sales operations analyst at Equifax. More than 20 students participated either in person or virtually via Zoom. 

Bergeron spoke about the features of Anaplan and its usability across all industries. She explained that Anaplan is a cloud-based software and aids companies with planning from the top down and has many interfaces for different end-users. In addition, she noted that more than 1,400 well-known firms around the world, representing nearly every industry, utilize Anaplan in some form for their businesses. Patel focused on previewing the software and demonstrated how model builders use the platform or analysts use the Anaplan interface. Further, the guest speakers discussed the availability of the Anaplan Model Builder Level 1 Certification, which Anaplan offers to Georgia Southern University students at no cost.

Patel was the 2019 Student Anaplaner of the Year. He successfully completed Level 1 Model Building while a student in the Parker College of Business and noted, “…that 10–15 hours [completing the course] made my career.” He is now an Anaplan Certified Model Builder. Bergeron and Patel wrapped up the event by discussing job opportunities and career paths available at Anaplan as well as with other companies around the globe for those with Anaplan experience and certification.

Founded in 2006, Anaplan is a San Francisco based company and employs more than 1,600 people worldwide. It is a cloud-native enterprise SaaS company helping global enterprises orchestrate business performance. To learn more, visit

Equifax is headquartered in Atlanta but is engaged globally in more than 24 countries and employs about 11,000 individuals. Equifax is among the top consumer credit reporting agencies. Founded in 1899 as Retail Credit Company, the firm changed its name to Equifax in 1975. For more information, visit


Georgia Southern finance major, Hunter Cornett, joined the FabLab during the summer and has been very busy creating custom wood decor for the home. His hottest seller has been his American Flags. Hunter has been so busy, in fact, that he’s already employing other students to help keep up with orders. 

Recently, Hunter has begun making custom 2′ doggy signs. Customers send in photos of their dogs, and the woodworkers will produce carved signs with the dogs’ images. Other pets can be depicted as well.

You can check out the Borowood facebook page to see some of his creations and order something for your home, dorm or office.

BIG Café Goes Virtual Thru 2020

Due to the current environment of social distancing and limited indoor gatherings, BIG made the decision to hold BIG Café events virtually through the end of 2020. Uncertainty is one of the side effects of the pandemic, and the BIG team felt it was important to go ahead and lock this event into your calendar for the rest of the year. 

So, grab your coffee and join LIVE on the second Wednesday of each month at 9 a.m. on the BIG Facebook page.

Class Notes

Russ Brown (MBA, ’78), Bessemer, AL, is a retired captain in the U.S. Navy Reserves.

Bryan Burke (MGNT, ’85), Statesboro, is the chair for BBWH Insurors.

Mark Byrd (FINC, ’92), Bonaire, is running for Post 5 on the Houston County Commission.

Ross Cannon (ACCT, ’06; MAcc, ’06), CPA, Atlanta, is now a partner in the Entrepreneurial Services practice of Mauldin & Jenkins. He provides accounting, tax and consulting services to individuals, corporations and partnerships and is a member of AICPA and Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Jack Clancy (GEN BUS, ’69), Jacksonville, FL, retired from JC Penney executive management in 2007.

Arecia Combs (ACCT, ’18; MAcc, ’18), Stone Mountain, was promoted to an Associate II in Draffin Tucker’s health care practice, where she works primarily with financial statement audits. 

Josh Fox (ACCT, ’11; MAcc, ’12), Acworth, is a controller at Cypress Equity Investments, a national multifamily apartment ground-up developer based in Santa Monica, CA.

Benjamin Gillis (FINC, ’96), Dublin, has been appointed by Governor Brian Kemp to the State Forestry Commission.

Michelle Glaze (ACCT, ’00), Jacksonville, FL, is now teaching middle school science at a Duval County Public School.

Corey Grant (MKTG, ’08), High Point, NC, is an area manager for

Rhett Harris (GEN BUS, ’89), South Bend, IN, is the owner of Rhett’s Services Inc.

Larry Harrison (MKTG, ’70), Cohutta, has served on the local Habitat for Humanity board for 15 years, serving as president from 2016–2018. He also is semi-retired, working part time as a senior business development officer for the First Bank of Dalton.

Billy Hickman (ACCT, ’74), Statesboro, received the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) Award for his 35 years as a member of NFIB and his dedication to Georgia’s small businesses.

Cathy Johnson (OFFC ADMIN, ’83), Brunswick, is a family advocate for Coastal Georgia Area Community Action Authority, Inc.

John Magrane, Ph.D. (MBA, ’02), Chandler, AZ, a faculty member at Trident’s Glenn R. Jones College of Business at American InterContinental University, recently received the Best Paper Award at the 19th Global Information Technology Management (GITMA) World Conference for his research paper, “Antecedents of Consumer Willingness to Disclose Personal Information in E-Commerce.”

Sergio Morales (IS, ’20), Athens, opened the Mi Familia Mexican Restaurant in Jefferson in February of this year. In May, he was offered a position with Walmart to launch a new fulfillment center outside of Atlanta.

Wendi O’Connor (ACCT, ’94), Brunswick, is a realtor with GardnerKeim Coastal Realty.

Brian Prevatt (MAcc, ‘09), Savannah, CFO for Parker’s, was named a “Future Leader of Convenience” by industry-leading publication Convenience Store News. This honor celebrates the next generation of convenience industry leaders and provides a forum for talented young professionals to develop their leadership skills.

Stacie Pridgen (MKTG, ’13), Valdosta, opened Honey Pot the Wax Spot on August 15. The business uses honey wax with no chemical additives in its full-body wax, make-up application and spray tanning services. Honey Pot the Wax Spot is located at 1595 Baytree Road in Valdosta and can be found on Facebook and Instagram.

Steve Rawlins (ACCT, ’81), Jacksonville, FL, is president of Masters, Smith & Wisby, P.A.

Jeremy Sanders (MGNT, ’01; MBA, ’03), Milwaukee, WI, is the new chief commercial officer for Stoughton Trailers.

Brandon Smith (ACCT, ’07; IS, ’08), CPA, Atlanta, is a new firm partner at Mauldin & Jenkins LLC, working with organizations throughout the Southeast to help deliver a blend of capacity building, management consulting and traditional accounting services.

Tori Wilson (LOGT, ’19), Guyton, is a credit and customer accounts representative for Gulfstream.

In Memoriam

Clay Hurst (MBA, ’97), Tifton, passed away on July 27, 2020.

Faculty/Staff News

David Sikora, Ph.D., associate professor of management, and his co-authors recently had their article, “Workplace Accountabilities: Worthy Challenge or Potential Threat?” published by Career Development International. Congratulations, David!

Arda Yenipazarli, Ph.D., associate professor of operations management, received the 2020 European Journal of Operational Research Editors’ Award for Excellence in Reviewing. He also has been invited to join the newly established editorial review board of Decision Sciences Journal for a three-year term. Congrats, Arda!

Hyunju Shin, Ph.D., associate professor of marketing, participated as a panelist in a webinar for doctoral students on networking tips. The webinar was organized by the Academy of Marketing Science and had more than 150 participants from all over the country. To view the recording, visit

Xinfang Wang, Ph.D., professor of enterprise systems and analytics, received funding for a Scholarly Pursuit Grant for FY21 from the Faculty Research Committee (FRC). Congrats, Xinfang!

Marc Scott, Ph.D., assistant professor of logistics and supply chain management, participated as a panelist in a webinar, “The New Normal of Teaching Supply Chain Management—Tools for Classroom Success,” hosted by the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals’ Academic Committee. As a panelist, Scott was one of five representatives from leading supply chain programs and universities across the nation. To view the recording, visit

Jason Beck, Ph.D., associate professor of economics, was featured in WalletHub’s article about American Express 0% APR credit card. To view his contribution to WalletHub, visit He was also featured in a CreditDonkey article about real estate investing. To view it, visit

Steve Charlier, Ph.D., associate professor and department chair for management, was cited in an article by the BBC for an article that was accepted for publication in the Journal of Business and Psychology in May 2020 titled “Who Emerges into Virtual Team Leadership Roles? The Role of Achievement and Ascription Antecedents for Leadership Emergence Across the Virtuality Spectrum.” To read the BBC article, visit Congrats, Steve!

Last updated: 1/17/2023