Eleven University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) graduates were recognized on this year’s Bulldog 100 list of the fastest-growing businesses owned or operated by UGA alumni during the 11th annual celebration on Feb. 8 at Sanford Stadium.
“It’s a great venue and mechanism to recognize the university—I think it’s a great way to get everyone energized,” said Mike Lewis, president of American Tank Maintenance. This is the second year that his business, which is headquartered in Warthen, Georgia, has been recognized.
Lewis, who earned his bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics in 1986, says he uses many of the business processes he learned while at CAES and appreciates the value of his education.
“It carries some weight in the marketplace,” he said. “[The university] is a great place to have a degree from, especially in the Southeast.”
The CAES-alumni honorees in the Bulldog 100 rankings, listed with their degrees and position in the rankings, include:
- Moore Civil Consulting Inc. (27), Robert Moore, BSAE 2004;
- Southland Therapy Services (57), Dee Dee Mesaros, BSA 1993;
- American Tank Maintenance (41), Mike Lewis, BSA 1986;
- Two Maids and A Mop Franchising (42), Ron Holt, BSA 1997;
- Hardy’s Peanuts Inc. (60), Brad Hardy BSA 1996, Ken Hardy BSA 1993;
- Smith Planning Group (65), Ed Lane, BSAE 2005;
- Irvin Retail Group of Marcus and Millichap (72), Marc Irvin, BSA 2004;
- Three Tree Coffee Roasters (79), Philip Klayman, BSA 2011;
- The Sign Brothers (94), Justin Seibert, BSA 2002; and
- Georgia Grinders (99), Jaime Foster, BSA, 1999.
“Bulldog 100 honorees truly embody the best that UGA has to offer,” said Suzanne Griffeth, CAES director of alumni relations. “We are proud that these CAES graduate-owned businesses represent a variety of industries that have a positive impact on the economies of their communities, the state and the world.”
Three Tree Coffee Roasters of Statesboro, Georgia, is a CAES-graduate owned company with both a local and global mission. New to the Bulldog 100 this year, owner Philip Klayman says he enjoys meeting the farmers that he buys from face to face and donates proceeds from his business to efforts to end human trafficking.
“From farming and food production to franchising and consulting, these individuals and their businesses provide an exceptional example of what a CAES degree and hard work can achieve,” Griffeth said.
Nomination and Selection Process
Each year, the UGA Alumni Association partners with the Atlanta office of Warren Averett CPAs and Advisors to review nominated businesses’ financial records to determine the ranked list. Nominations were accepted between February and May 2019 for the 2020 list.
Approximately 533 nominations were received for the 2020 Bulldog 100. Each organization must have been in business since 2015, experienced revenues in excess of $100,000 for the calendar year 2016, and be owned or operated by a former UGA student who owns at least 50 percent of the company or is the CEO, president or managing partner.
The Bulldog 100 recognizes the fastest-growing businesses, regardless of size, by focusing on a three-year compounded annual growth rate. The average compounded annual growth rate for this year’s Bulldog 100 businesses was 59 percent.
For the complete list of 2019 Bulldog 100 businesses, or to nominate a business for the 2021 contest, visit alumni.uga.edu/b100.
Danielle Bezila from UGA Development and Alumni Relations contributed to this story.
Editor’s Note: the BSAE degree in agricultural engineering was formerly awarded by CAES until 2012 when it was changed to the College of Engineering.