Mercerians Katie Connell, LAW '05, Shane Gottwals, CLA '06, Brooke Lucas, CLA '02, and Aaron Mumford, BUS '98, LAW '01, made the list and represent 10 percent of the 2013 class.
Connell is a partner at the Atlanta law firm of Boyd Collar Nolen & Tuggle, where she practices in family law. She has written on the subject for The Huffington Post and was recently appointed by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal to a four-year term on the Georgia Commission on Child Support.
Gottwals, one of only two honorees on the list under the age of 30, is CEO of Gottwals Books/Walls of Books Franchise, a used bookstore chain that has become a thriving business. Gottwals Books, the original location in Warner Robins, opened in 2007, and franchise opportunities led to the opening of four Walls of Books locations in Middle Georgia with one planned for New Orleans.
Lucas, a veteran economic development professional, serves as chief of staff to Georgia Department of Labor Secretary Mark Butler. In her role, Lucas helped create a Special Workforce Assistance Team to help jobseekers obtain better results by offering resume help and interview coaching in preparation to attend a job fair.
Mumford works as general legal counsel for Glynn County. In this capacity, Mumford advises commissioners, the police chief and other administrators on matters such as zoning and real estate. Moreover, he collaborated with the Secret Service and other federal officials to host the G8 Summit on Sea Island and negotiated contracts for the filming of "Anchorman II" and "X Men: First Class."
The 40 were chosen by Georgia Trend's editorial staff based on nominations from readers across the state. The group represents industries including business, government, politics, nonprofits, science, conservation and education.
About Mercer University
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University enrolls more than 8,300 students in 12 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing, health professions, and continuing and professional studies – on campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah – and four regional academic centers across the state. The Mercer Health Sciences Center, launched July 1, 2012, includes the University's medical, nursing, health sciences and pharmacy schools. Mercer is affiliated with four teaching hospitals – Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah, the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, and The Medical Center and St. Francis Hospital in Columbus. The University also has educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta. It operates an academic press and a performing arts center in Macon and an engineering research center in Warner Robins. Mercer is the only private university in Georgia to field an NCAA Division I athletic program. www.mercer.edu