Nine University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences graduates were honored on this year’s Bulldog 100 list of the fastest growing businesses owned or operated by UGA alumni.
To be honored, companies must have been in business for five years or more, verified revenues of $100,000 or more for the 2010 calendar year and operate in keeping with the values and image of UGA.
CAES alumni selected and their Bulldog 100 ranking include:
- Rory Singer and Adam Singer (7), Athens Fitness & Mixed Martial Arts, BSBE 1999, BSBE 1998, MS 2007;
- Ron Holt (13), Two Maids & A Mop, BSA 1997;
- Will Harris (14), White Oak Pastures, BSA 1976;
- Jack W. Hartley (36), Home Instead Senior Care Valdosta, MS 1978;
- Larry Cunningham and Chris Cunningham (60), \R.L. Cunningham & Sons, Inc., BSA 1980, BSA 2007;
- D. Timothy Campbell (66), SecurAmerica, LLC, BSAE 1984, MS 1985; and
- Tracy Stanley (87), Vidalia Valley, BSAE 1992.
“With so many jobs in both traditional and nontraditional agriculture, it is no wonder that so many CAES graduates are recognized in the Bulldog 100,” said J. Scott Angle, dean and director of the college. “We are pleased that our graduates are producing new jobs for the great state of Georgia.”
More than 700 nominations were submitted for this year’s program. The 2013 honorees include companies ranging in all sizes and services from an array of fields including the airline, healthcare and insurance industries.
Some of CAES’ Bulldog 100 honorees run traditional agriculture companies like White Oak Pastures, R.L. Cunningham and Sons and Vidalia Valley. White Oak Pastures raises grass-fed beef and free-range poultry. The heart of Cunningham and Sons is shelling seed peanuts, a service they have provided Georgia farmers since 1942. Vidalia Valley grows its own Vidalia onions to process into relishes, dressings, salsas and sauces.
Other honored CAES alumni operate companies that are not directly related to agriculture like Tim Campbell, CEO of SecurAmerica, an Atlanta-based guard services provider.
Jack Hartley runs a Home Instead Senior Care franchise in Valdosta, Ga. “I don’t use my ag degree directly in my business, but I do use the discipline of my Georgia degree,” Hartley said. “The ag econ department developed my nature to complete and finish things and to be the best.”
Ron Holt earned a biological sciences degree from CAES and began his career as a chemical technician, and later laboratory director, for Micromeritics in Norcross, Ga. Holt had a “tremendous” desire to open his own business and in 2003, he did just that.
Holt bought Two Maids and a Mop, a cleaning business in Pensacola, Fla. Today, he owns 11 locations and will open two more in just a few weeks. “My degree gave me the foundation I needed to get a good job so I could earn the money I needed to purchase that first business. I credit my education for my success, indirectly.”
Brothers Rory and Adam Singer both graduated from CAES with biological science degrees. Together they own and operate Athens Fitness and Mixed Martial Arts in Athens, Ga.
During the day, Adam Singer uses his degree in agriculture working for Merial Pharmaceuticals in Athens. At night, he helps his brother run the gym and teaches martial arts.
“My brother and I have been doing martial arts for most of our lives,” said Rory Singer. “We ran a rec sports program in martial arts at UGA while we were students.”
Rory Singer started training to compete in 1999 and turned professional in 2001. He also appeared on season 3 of the reality show Ultimate Fighter. When Rory’s professional career began to “dwindle down,” the brothers decided to open their own business and Athens Fitness and MMA was born.
“I’m still a giant fan of science and medicine. When I was a UGA student, I looked into moving into prostheses and orthopedic replacements but I realized I was too old to go into medicine. So, I took a different route – watching people’s lives change through martial arts,” Rory Singer said. “My brother loves what he does and he loves science. So now the job he has working in the lab is fulfilling and he still has the love of martial arts and competing and training.”
In addition to being named to the 2012 Bulldog 100 list, the Singers were listed among the top coaches in the nation by USC Magazine.
For a complete list of the 2012 Bulldog 100 honorees, go to www.alumni.uga.edu/alumni/index.php/site/bulldog100.