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Dr. Umfress featured lecturer for the National Association of Campus Activities conference
Posted 12/04/2014 12:00AM

Brunswick, GA – In a season of giving, St. Simons Island residents Greer and Laura Brown provided the College of Coastal Georgia with a gift that will keep on giving to the campus, the School of Business and Public Affairs and business students in perpetuity. Through the College of Coastal Georgia Foundation, they established the permanently-endowed Brown Family Executive-in-Residence Program.

An executive-in-residence is a retired or semiretired leader who lectures and teaches occasional classes in the business and public affairs programs, advises student-run organizations, participates in conferences, presents at campus-wide events, and organizes informal lunches for groups of students with common interests, according to Elizabeth Weatherly, Vice President for Advancement at the College.

“While attaining my MBA at the Terry College of Business, the Executive-in-Residence at the time [Earl Leonard, retired Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs of the Coca-Cola Co.] had a profound impact on my professional and personal perspective.  He not only helped me reason through the practical applications of my degree, he emphasized the importance of balancing family with my career path, a lesson that Laura and I believe has contributed substantially to our family’s happiness,” Greer Brown said, explaining the inspiration for the gift. Brown is Senior Vice President of Brown-Rose Wealth Management Group, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner, & Smith Inc.

Career advising is another key feature of the program, according to Dr. Skip Mounts, Dean of the Coastal Georgia School of Business and Public Affairs, with one-on-one counseling sessions to discuss prospective career choices. Executives-in-residence are appointed by the business school dean to renewable one-semester terms.

“Executives-in-residence bring energy and a perspective based on their personal business and leadership experiences that add meaning and context to classroom studies and research projects,” Dr. Mounts said. “They also provide networking opportunities. Students often establish and maintain connections with these executives that can translate into summer internships and personal references. The faculty experience is also enhanced and the contacts made with other high-level executives through the executive-in-residence can result in exciting guest lectures in the classroom as well as informal discussions open to the community.”

Weatherly noted the potential impact of the program as students refine interview skills and strategies, plan a career path, and consider career-oriented courses and extracurricular activities using recommendations by the executives-in-residence.

“Given our location in the Golden Isles, the Coastal Georgia School of Business and Public Affairs should have one of the best executive-in-residence programs on the east coast! Reg Murphy, our current executive, is an excellent example of our program’s quality. He also represents the depth of experience and knowledge available in this wonderful retirement community,” Dr. Mounts added.

“Greer and Laura Brown are already supporting students who embrace business innovation and community service through the John Hunt Entrepreneurial Scholarship, which they established to memorialize Greer’s uncle,” Weatherly noted. “This new commitment further demonstrates their support of the College’s vision, the Foundation’s commitment to program excellence, and the School of Business and Public Affairs’ growing impact on business development in coastal Georgia.”

“The College of Coastal Georgia is critical to the long term development and economic stability of this region,” Brown concluded. “All you have to do is look around the state, and even the nation, to s
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