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Young Alumni Board

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Shannaan Dawda

An Atlanta Native, Shannaan Dawda was born at Grady Memorial Hospital in 1986. Although a proud Grady baby and Southerner, his parents moved from Accra, Ghana to Georgia in the spring of 1982 to experience a different way of life. Growing up in a household that valued education, hard work and perseverance, Shannaan graduated from Georgia Southern University 2009 Cum Laude with dual degrees in Accounting and Finance. From there, he began working for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Savannah, GA before moving back to Atlanta in 2012 to work for Frazier and Deeter CPA Firm. He officially passed all parts of his Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam in February of 2013 and soon afterwards founded True Financial LLC. True Financial was founded in order to empower people to regain financial control of their lives by providing the necessary coaching and tools to help them become financially self-sufficient. In September of 2013 Shannaan was trained by Dave Ramsey to be an even better financial coach. In April of 2015 Shannaan authored the book “From Paychecks to Power: 7 power Moves Unlock Wealth Building” to give everyone the opportunity to build wealth and gain Financial Power Shannaan is actively involved in the community through organizations such as Alpha Phi Alpha, Phenomenal Women’s Health, and Camp Horizon. He currently resides in Atlanta.

Matthew Dawkins

Matthew graduated from Georgia Southern University in 2007 with a BBA in Information Systems. He has worked in Multiple SAP instances 3.1i, ECC 6.0 and an ECC 6.0 Validated system. Matt has worked as a team lead for a team bug fix, enhancements, testing, documentation, defect triage, and automation procedures. In SAP 6.0 ECC, Matt gave presentations, user instruction, created documentation, did configuration, conducted master data changes through LSMW, tested enhancements, and coordinated enhancements throughout the testing and production systems.

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Sarah Gleissle

Sarah Gleissle graduated in May 2014 with a degree in finance and a minor in information systems SAP. She graduated from the honors program and earned cum laude status. Sarah has worked an account executive for Worldpay US since July 2014.

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Bryant Hosch

Bryant graduated Magna Cum Laude from Georgia Southern University with a Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting in 2006.  He graduated with a Masters of Accountancy from Georgia Southern in 2007.  While at Georgia Southern he was involved in various organizations including SOAR, Beta Alpha Psi, Omicron Delta Kappa, Golden Key, and Gamma Beta Phi.  He joined Ernst & Young, LLP in July 2007.  He currently is a manager in Ernst & Young’s assurance practice where he services both public SEC filers and private companies.  He is a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA).  Bryant enjoys spending time with family, friends, and on the golf course.

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Jasmine Lightning

While at Georgia Southern, Jasmine Lightning excelled as a high and triple jumper as a member of the 2007 Southern Conference Championship Women’s Track & Field team. Balancing both athletics and academics, she managed a multitude of extracurricular activities, including serving as president of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Student Chapter and volunteering at the Statesboro Food Bank, Senior Citizen’s Inc., and the Statesboro Battered Women’s Shelter. Since graduating in May 2010, Jasmine has worked as a business systems analyst on the HR IT Project Development team at The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta. She is currently working as a business analyst on the Business Systems and Planning team at the Beazer Homes Corporate office in Atlanta. Jasmine is also still involved in several professional organizations, including Technology Association of Georgia and America’s SAP User Group, and is an active advocate for women’s and children’s rights.

 

Katie McGrath

Katie (MKTG, 2014) graduated summa cum laude. While at Georgia Southern University, she was named Top Marketing Scholar in Spring 2014. Katie was a leader of the Zeta Tau Alpha Fraternity, secretary of the American Marketing Association, and a Pi Chi on the Panhellenic Council. She was in various honor societies including Beta Gamma Sigma, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Order of Omega.

Katie joined UBS Financial Services Inc. in 2014 and is a wealth strategy associate. She provides financial planning, investment research and relationship management support. A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, she has earned the Series 7 and Series 66 security licenses as well as health, life, long-term care, variable life and variable annuity insurance licenses. Dedicated to professional proficiency, Katie is a member of the Financial Planning Association of Georgia; Georgia Planned Giving Council; and Association of Fundraising Professionals. She volunteers as an American Cancer Society National professional advisor and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta legacy advisor.

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Jennifer Mock

Jennifer graduated from Georgia Southern University in 2004 with a BBA in Finance with an emphasis in Risk Management and a BBA in Marketing. IN 2007, she received her Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Georgia. She has won many awards over the years as well. In 2011, she won an Award of Achievement for Outstanding Service to the Bar, in 2013 she was nominated for Bulloch County 20 under 40, in 2013 she was awarded Georgia Trend Legal Elite, and in 2014 she was nominated for Georgia Southern University’s 40 under 40.

She has also been a member of the Georgia Bar, Young Lawyers Division since 2007. She is the Class of 2009 Leadership Academy Graduate. From 2009-2011 and 2012-2013 she was a Southern District Representative. She has sat on the Board of Directors for four years.

Jennifer is currently the owner of The Mock Law Firm in Statesboro, Georgia.

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Wayne Murphy

Wayne graduated from Georgia Southern University in 2004, receiving his bachelor’s degree in Business Management and a minor in Hotel/Restaurant Management.  Wayne has roots in both Savannah and Statesboro, Georgia having lived in both during his childhood and adult life.  Currently, Wayne works for Queensborough National Bank and Trust in Savannah.  For the past several years, he has also coached and mentored with The First Tee of Savannah, a national non-profit organization teaching life lessons to under-privileged youth through the game of golf.  Wayne also volunteers for Ronald McDonald House of the Coastal Empire, Historic Savannah Foundation, U.S. Green Building Council, and America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia.  In Wayne’s free time he enjoys fishing, golf, spending time with friends, and watching his beloved Eagles.

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Wesley Olliff

Wesley Olliff was born and raised in Statesboro, Georgia.   He moved to Savannah in 2007 upon his graduation from Georgia Southern University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in Business Management.   In 2008, he married Jessica Hammonds, originally from Macon, Georgia.  Jessica also attended Georgia Southern University and obtained her undergraduate and master’s degree from the College of Education.   They have a son, Archer, who was born on May 2, 2015.

Wesley has eight years of experience in consumer/commercial lending.  He joined Colony Bank in 2012 as VP of Commercial Lending.  He obtained a Master’s degree in Accounting from New England College in 2014, and was promoted to Senior Vice President of Commercial Banking for Colony Bank in 2015.

He is active in the Savannah community, serving on the Emerging Leaders Council, the Endowment Committee for Wesley Monumental United Methodist Church, and is an Ambassador for the Savannah Chamber of Commerce.  He is also a graduate of Leadership Savannah and Leadership Effingham.

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Justin Reynolds

Justin is a senior in the Fraud Investigation and Dispute Services (FIDS) practice of Ernst & Young, LLP. Justin has professional experience in dispute services and the life sciences and financial services industries. He is a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE). He is a proud member of Buckhead Church and actively serves the Atlanta Mission.  He enjoys spend time with friends, family and fitness.  Justin holds undergraduate (Class ’07) and graduate accounting (Class ’10) degrees from Georgia Southern University.

 

Eric Sellers

Eric Sellers (MGMT, 2004; MBA, 2012) has been with Statesboro Magazine for more than ten years. Currently, she serves as the Magazine’s marketing and sales director. Previously, Erica worked at Sea Island Bank for a couple years after graduating from Georgia Southern in 2004 with a degree in management. After working for six years, she decided to get her MBA while working full time. During her professional years, Erica has been a member of many professional and networking organizations, most with leadership positions including president of Professional Women of Statesboro, Leadership Bulloch Alumni Board president, Jaycees VP, Georgia Jaycees Board VP, and several committees. Participating in service and mentor opportunities is also very important to Erica, and she continues to advise her college sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma and donates time to area non-profits.

 

Trey Scrudder

Trey Scrudder (FIN, 2009; MBA, 2011), senior associate examiner at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, met his wife, Katy Stocus Scrudder, who is also a Double Eagle, at Georgia Southern University. His Principals of Finance class with Kevin Eastman, Ph.D., drove Trey into the field of finance and his first Bank Management class, taught by Edward H. Sibbald, BB&T Distinguished Chair in Banking and Senior Lecturer of Finance, retired, really cemented his interest in banking and the desire to join the industry.

From there, Trey got a job with local auditing firm Steve H. Powell & Co. The company serves in the capacity of outsourced internal audit for community banks located primarily in the southeast region. Trey conducted audits in the areas of both consumer compliance and loan review, which provided a unique look into some of the risks and perils facing both consumers and local businesses.

Trey’s favorite aspect of the bank management courses he took at Georgia Southern were the insights into the strategic planning decisions that banks have to make in order to be viable and sustainable entities. This interest later fueled his decision to move up to the birthplace of our nation’s independence and join the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Currently, Trey serves as a safety and soundness examiner in the supervision and regulation department. His primary purpose is to assess and rate risk at regional and community banks in the New England area. The daily duties of this position feed Trey’s interest in the difficult strategic decisions that banks face every day.

Outside of work, Trey enjoys spending time with his wife and dog and frequenting some of the many parks that the Boston area has to offer.

Zach Sines

Zach Sines (IS, 2008) has been a technical recruiter since he graduated. Originally, he sought a position as a developer, but, when he was unable to find a job in that area, he tried recruiting. Since then, he has built recruiting teams, trained dozens of recruiters, worked with hundreds of companies in Atlanta, and networked with thousands of people throughout the world. Zach worked for a variety of staffing agencies before deciding to move to the corporate side to learn more. Currently, he works as a talent acquisition specialist for Manhattan Associates, where he supports the growth of the company’s R&D and IT groups. Zach says he uses his degree every day—something not everyone can claim. The understanding of how companies are built and operate and how IT factors into them that he learned while at Georgia Southern have benefitted his career from day one and continues to do so even now. His favorite classes in operations management, database, web development, and systems design and development have proved valuable as well.

While a student, Zach was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon and served as vice president of communications in 2006. He worked at the Henderson Library as a technical support technician from 2005 through graduation. He also worked for IS Software Design Group (ISSDG), an extension of the IS Department, as a web developer and project manager. His department wrote web applications for the University and installed the Alumni Tracker Database for the College of Business in 2007. They also worked on the Police Agency Database Network, the Neighborhood POS for the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, and Intern Tracker Database to manage internships for any university.

 

Joe Tompkins

Joseph “Joe” Tompkins (LOGT, 2004) was a member of Delta Nu Alpha and Sigma Chi fraternities. His time at Georgia Southern helped form his drive for success and built lifelong friendships. Since graduating, Joe has been working as a Department of Defense consultant. Since college, he has applied the knowledge from the logistics and operations aspects of his degree to manage several multi-year, multi-million dollar contracts. Currently, Joe serves as deputy program manager for Northrop Grumman at Robins Air Force and has oversight of a team of more than 80 contractors who are responsible for the applications that provide technical data to war fighter maintainers; making sure that all aspects from development to testing to implementation are completed. Joe and his two sons, Bryson and Weston, live in Warner Robins, Georgia.

Thomas Van Brunt

While at Georgia Southern, Thomas Van Brunt (FIN, 2015) was involved in various organizations including Omicron Delta Kappa, IFC Judicial Board, and Kappa Sigma. He joined Cushman & Wakefield in April 2016. Thomas is currently an analyst in Cushman & Wakefield’s Diligence & Advisory group where he specializes in debt and equity underwriting for commercial real estate lenders and investors. Thomas and his fiancée, Hannah Jackson, who also attended Georgia Southern University, reside in Atlanta.

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Matthew Whaley

Matthew Whaley received a BBA in economics and a minor in information systems from Georgia Southern University in Fall 2012. Following graduation, he joined TEKSystems as an IT consultant in Atlanta. While at TEKSystems, Matthew worked contracts with clients such as Georgia Pacific and its subsidiary Koch Business Solutions until hired by Newell Rubbermaid (NWL) as an application developer to support and deliver custom business solutions and applications in Salesforce.com that support the global sales and service teams. At NWL, he also serves as a project leader for an intercompany group focused on volunteerism and community outreach called Give Serve Grow. Some of Matthew’s accomplishments outside of the workforce include serving as a youth counselor for middle to high school students at Mt. Carmel United Methodist Church in Norcross.

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Gregory White

Gregory is a Consultant for Investment Performance Services, LLC and is responsible for client relationships and marketing in the Midwest and Southeast. His manager research responsibilities focus on domestic value and core equity managers. Gregory works on all aspects of client funds, including investment policy formulation, asset allocation strategies, and performance monitoring.

Before IPS, Gregory completed an internship at Gulfstream Aerospace where he served as a budget analyst. While at Gulfstream, he was awarded the Bronze Pride Award for going above and beyond job function.

Gregory earned a BBA in Finance in 2008 from Georgia Southern University. He is an alumni member of Sigma Chi fraternity and he serves as an Ambassador for the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce. Gregory achieved the Eagle Scout rank from the Boy Scouts of America.

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Jason Williams

Jason Williams graduated cum laude from the College of Business in 2012 with a BBA in economics with emphasis in international business and minors in finance and management. Following, he started working for a Fortune 100 company, MassMutual Financial Group, as a financial services professional. After two years, he joined the Palmetto Financial Group and, currently, works with a team of advisors that focus on comprehensive financial planning for businesses and individuals across the Southeast. Jason is actively involved in the Savannah Jaycees and resides with his wife in Savannah.

 

Curtis J. Williams

Curtis J. Williams (IS and LOG, 2010), referred to as Curtis J, is a brother, a son, a mentor and an aspiring philanthropist. An astute entrepreneur with over a decade of experience. Normally, that wouldn’t mean much, but considering his wisdom at his age, accomplishments, and awards; his track record of success is noteworthy.

Originally from Augusta, GA, Curtis J began his first company at the age of 14, when he purchased a manual hand powered ice shaver that allowed him to make and sell flavorful snow cones. “I would have my mother drive me to local events and parks on the weekends. I would set up on picnic tables or benches and sell cups of flavored ice.” Curtis J went on to create a wholesale and drop shipping business specializing in novelty items and wrist watches before being accepted into Georgia Southern University.

“College is something I wanted to complete; I would be the first of my family to do so.” During his tenure at Georgia Southern University, Curtis J had many accomplishments including dean’s list honors, member of various honor society’s, and becoming a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. It was also at Georgia Southern University where Curtis J was also introduced to the business world of entertainment. This exposure is what led him to begin a company from his dorm room alongside current business partner, Elliston Clarke.

That entertainment company, HHE Holdings which he holds the title of Chief Operating Officer, now serves as the holding company for various entities that produces events, concerts, music management, music distribution, and branding campaigns for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Over the past four years, in addition to breaking barriers in the entertainment world, Curtis J has discovered a true passion for educating individuals on wealth building concepts and financial education. Curtis J & Associates currently have education centers in multiple states here in the U.S.

By focusing his talents and knowledge across two industries that he is highly passionate about, it has provided him with an opportunity to educate and empower individuals with financial education, knowledge on investments and the importance of entrepreneurship and business. He calls it, “the merging of two worlds, Music and Money.”

In addition to Music and Money, Curtis J ensures to make time to give back whenever possible, whether through mentoring, speaking engagements, seminars or raising funds for the less fortunate during the holidays.

From snow cones, to Music Executive, to Financial Professional, Curtis J is a man on a mission. He is truly an individual to have in your corner when it comes to business and finances.

 

Last updated: 11/6/2017