College of Management Honors Exceptional Alumni

The Georgia Tech College of Management recognized the vision, achievement and leadership of its alumni April 21 at the business school's Third Annual Celebration, inducting twelve business leaders into the Hall of Fame, Academy of Distinguished Alumni, and Council of Outstanding Young Alumni.

Held in the Management building in Technology Square, the Celebration included a formal reception and dinner, in addition to the awards presentation.

"This occasion honors twelve individuals who have done so much to enhance the College's reputation through their remarkable professional and civic leadership," says Terry C. Blum, dean of the business school. "We are proud that they are a part of the College and delighted to publicly recognize their achievements."

New members of the Hall of Fame, which recognizes leaders for their lifetime career achievement and contributions to society and Georgia Tech, will include:

Joel H. Cowan, IM 1958
Owner of the investment company Habersham & Cowan Inc., Cowan founded Georgia's Peachtree City, serving as the town's first mayor from 1959 to 1963 and CEO of the town's development company through 1976. In recent years, he has shifted from real-estate development to focus on international activities, including trade, technology transfer, and merchant banking in the Netherlands and the emerging economies of Central Asia, Eastern Europe, Russia, and China.

Alvin M. Ferst Jr., IM 1943
A native of Atlanta, Ferst was president of Alvin Ferst Associates Inc. until retiring in 2003. He started his real-estate development and management-consulting company in the early 1980s after retiring from a long career with Rich's Inc. After joining Rich's in 1946, he held a variety of management positions, finally rising to executive vice president and treasurer of the company. He began his career as an industrial engineer with Philco Corporation.

W. Mansfield Jennings Jr., IM 1956
Jennings is chairman of ComSouth Corporation, a full-service telecommunications company. A native of Hawkinsville, Georgia, he served as ComSouth's CEO for several decades until 2003. Jennings led ComSouth's evolution from Hawkinsville Telephone Company, founded in 1913, into a full-service telecommunications company offering not only local and long-distance phone service, but also cable TV, high-speed Internet, business phone systems, and more.

New members of the Academy of Distinguished Alumni which recognizes leaders for their contributions to business, Georgia Tech and society at large, will include:

Neil K. Braverman, IM 1960
Braverman retired five years ago after starting three companies and selling them to major corporations. He co-founded the last of these, Safeskin Corp., in 1988. Safeskin was the first company to market hypoallergenic examination gloves designed for health-care professionals who were sensitive to latex. Under Braverman's leadership, Safeskin was recognized by Fortune magazine five years in a row as one of the top ten small companies in America. Kimberly Clark bought it in 2000.

David W. Dorman, IM 1975
Dorman is the former chairman and CEO of AT&T Corp., which he led through a period of profound reinvention and transformation prior to completing the merger of AT&T Corp. and SBC Communications in November 2005. Dorman, who was named AT&T's chairman and CEO in 2002, joined the company as president in 2000. Prior to that, he was the CEO of Concert, a global venture created by AT&T and British Telecommunications.

Joseph W. Evans, IM 1971
Evans is the chairman and CEO of Atlanta-based Flag Financial Corporation, which is the parent company of Flag Bank. This seventy-five-year-old community bank now has twenty-seven offices in fifteen Georgia counties. He joined Bank Corporation of America in 1980, rising to CEO in 1984. After the bank merged with Century South Banks in 1997, Evans became president and COO of the combined entity. He served as CEO from January 2000 to June 2001, when BB&T acquired Century South.

Jack Guynn, MSM 1970
Guynn is president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta , where he has worked for his entire career. He joined the Atlanta Fed in 1964, holding a variety of positions in the bank's New Orleans and Miami offices over the years. In 1984, he was named first vice president and chief operating officer, with responsibility over the operations of the bank's Atlanta headquarters and five branch offices, a position he held for twelve years until taking over the presidency.

Toney E. Means, IM 1982
Means is the CEO of Rx Fulfillment Services Inc., a leading national mail-order pharmacy and drug-benefit management company that is a subsidiary of Intrepid Holdings Inc. In 1988, six years after he started working in the pharmaceutical industry, Means started the first African American-owned pharmaceutical company, Imiren, growing it to produce and market twenty-seven generic prescription products dispensed in more than 20,000 U.S. retail pharmacies and 6,500 hospitals.

Dennis M. Patterson, GMGT 1971
Patterson is corporate executive vice president and a member of the Management Committee for SunTrust Banks Inc., the seventh largest commercial bank in the United States, with $180 billion in assets, more than 1,650 offices in eleven states, and just under $2 billion in earnings. Patterson is responsible for development and coordination of SunTrust's sales and service organization and culture across all lines of business and geographic divisions.

New members of the Council of Outstanding Young Alumni, which recognizes alumni for their career achievements and contributions to Georgia Tech and society, will include:

Kelly H. Barrett, IM 1986
Barrett, who joined The Home Depot in 2003, was named vice president of Internal Audit last fall. In her current position, she is responsible for developing and executing a risk-based audit plan and building a leadership program within her area that serves as a pipeline of talent for The Home Depot. In her previous role as vice president and corporate controller for The Home Depot, Barrett was responsible for all of the company's internal and external financial reporting, and its financial controls and systems.

Jeffrey A. Beech, MGT 1987
Beech serves as president of The Beech Foundation, which assists nonprofit causes with strategic planning, fundraising, business modeling, board and leadership structure, and community outreach. Prior to creating the foundation in 2000, Beech enjoyed an international consulting career, serving as a global managing partner for Accenture (formerly Anderson Consulting), where he was part of a leadership team responsible for developing the largest supply-chain strategy practice in the world.

J. Michael Robison, MGT 1997
Robison is founder, chairman and CEO of Lanier Parking Holdings, an Atlanta-based conglomerate controlling more than $10 billion worth of commercial parking at 300 properties in thirty-four cities across the United States. He is also chairman of the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau and Atlanta Streetcar Inc., a nonprofit organization restoring streetcar service along Peachtree Street. Lanier is the only parking company to have an entire division devoted to alternative transportation.

Writer: Brad Dixon, College of Management

The Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the world's premier research universities. Ranked seventh among U.S. News & World Report's top public universities and the eighth best engineering and information technology university in the world by Shanghai Jiao Tong University's Academic Ranking of World Universities, Georgia Tech’s more than 20,000 students are enrolled in its Colleges of Architecture, Computing, Engineering, Liberal Arts, Management and Sciences. Tech is among the nation's top producers of women and minority engineers. The Institute offers research opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students and is home to more than 100 interdisciplinary units plus the Georgia Tech Research Institute.