Thirteen University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) graduates were recognized as part of this year’s Bulldog 100 list of the fastest-growing businesses owned or operated by UGA alumni.
Ron Holt, a 1997 graduate of CAES, was on an emotional high during this year’s Bulldog 100 celebration. Not only was his Two Maids and A Mop Franchising business honored with a No. 17 ranking, Holt was presented the Michael J. Bryan Award, given to a returning Bulldog 100 honoree who demonstrates entrepreneurial spirit and whose business has sustained growth.
“Being recognized as the Michael J. Bryan award winner was so humbling and I’ll never forget that evening,” Holt said. “Chill bumps, disbelief, honor, excitement — you name the emotion, and I probably felt it after the award’s announcement.”
More than 564 nominations were submitted for this year’s list.
Selected CAES alumni, and their Bulldog 100 rankings, company names and degrees, include:
- Ron Holt (17), Two Maids and A Mop Franchising, B.S.A, 1997;
- Jason Lawson (43), Baseline Surveying and Engineering, B.S.F.R., 2000, B.S.A.E., 2002;
- Marc Irvin (50), Irvin Retail Group of Marcus and Millichap, B.S.A., 2004;
- Robert Moore (51), Moore Civil Consulting Inc., B.S.A.E., 2004;
- Chandler Conner (54), C2 Medical Solutions, B.S.A., 2003, PharmaD, 2008;
- Dee Dee Mesaros (55), Southland Therapy Services, B.S.A., 1993;
- Mike Lewis (61), American Tank Maintenance, B.S.A., 1986;
- Justin Woodall (63), Woodall Realty Group, B.S.A., 2001;
- Ed Lane (66), Smith Planning Group, B.S.A.E., 2005;
- Jaime Foster (85), Georgia Grinders, B.S.A., 1999;
- Brad Hardy (96), Hardy’s Peanuts Inc., B.S.A., 1996;
- Ken Hardy (96), Hardy's Peanuts Inc., B.S.A., 1993; and
- Nicholas Dale (97), Condor Chocolates, B.S.A., 2004.
Holt’s original Two Maids and A Mop franchise opened in 2003 in Pensacola, Florida, and currently serves 70 markets across the U.S. Holt is quick to credit his alma mater for helping him believe anything was possible.
“My time in Athens provided me with a world-class education and also gave me the ability to dream big. I’m a small-town boy from southwest Georgia and my worldview was akin to a bubble. UGA showed me that anyone can accomplish big things if they believe strongly enough in their mission,” Holt said. “My success today was born on the campus of the University of Georgia and I’ll never forget the school’s purpose in my life.”
Dee Dee Mesaros is a co-owner of Southland Pediatric Therapy, recognized with a No. 55 ranking. The Savannah, Georgia-based business provides speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy for patients. Like Holt, Mesaros was encouraged to dream big while attending UGA CAES.
“As long as you have the right motivation to do what you want to do, you will be able to accomplish anything. While focusing on my studies at UGA, I learned to be committed to my goals and to study and work hard to achieve them,” Mesaros said. “The experience I had at UGA supported and enhanced my determination to be successful.”
For the complete list of 2019 Bulldog 100 businesses, visit alumni.uga.edu/b100/.
Nominations are already being accepted for the 2020 Bulldog 100.