The primary mission of the Board of Advisors in the School of Economics (BASE) is to assist the Chair in identifying and securing financial or other opportunities for the further development of the School of Economics, its faculty, students, and programs. In addition, the BASE acts as an advocacy group for the School within and among Georgia Tech and its various external constituencies, as well as a sounding board for the Chair on matters relevant to the articulation and direction of the School’s long-range strategies for academic excellence. Current members of our Board of Advisors, in alphabetical order, include:
B.S. Economics, 2019
Master’s Candidate, University of Pennsylvania
Ayo Aladesanmi is a current Master’s Candidate at the University of Pennsylvania, pursuing an MPA through the Fels Institute of Government and a Master's in Law, focusing on administrative law & regulatory policy, through the University of Pennsylvania Law School. From 2019 to 2021, Aladesanmi worked as a Research Economist & Planning Associate with the Atlanta Regional Commission in Atlanta and served as a National Hometown Fellow in the inaugural cohort of the Lead For America fellowship program.
Aladesanmi graduated with a B.S. in Economics from Georgia Tech in 2019, also completing a minor in Public Policy and a Certificate in Finance through the Scheller College of Business. While at Georgia Tech, Aladesanmi interned with the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, worked with the Georgia House Democratic Caucus (under the leadership of then-Minority Leader Stacey Abrams), and served as SGA Executive Vice President for Georgia Tech’s undergraduate student body. As of fall 2021, he also serves as an At-Large Member on the Board of the Atlanta Economics Club and is learning about NGOs & social impact leadership as a Lipman Family Prize Fellow through The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
In his spare time, you can find Aladesanmi buying (and hopefully reading) new books, exploring the city with friends, and checking out Pitchfork’s Best New Music reviews.
Rathi Bala Scudder
B.S. Economics, 2011
Digital Product & Ecommerce Strategy, Deluxe
Rathi Bala Scudder graduated from Georgia Tech with a B.S. in Economics in 2011. After Georgia Tech, she obtained an MBA from the Darden School at the University of Virginia.
She has worked in a variety of companies, including PowerPlan, Inc as a software implementation consultant, and for Anheuser-Busch as a manager in the Off-Premise and eCommerce Strategy group. She currently is in the Digital Product and Ecommerce Strategy group for Deluxe, a technology services company that helps deepen customer relationships through trusted, technology-enabled solutions.
She lives in Atlanta and is a new mom!
B.S. Economics, 1997
Product Manager, Rubicon Global
Kendall Boykins graduated from Georgia Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Economics in 1997. He is currently the product manager for Rubicon Global, providing direction and thought leadership for Rubicon’s cloud-based platform that is disrupting the waste management industry. Rubicon Global’s technology platform connects customers with a national network of haulers, while making it economically compelling to divert waste from landfills. Prior to Rubicon, Boykins worked in Fintech, Telecommunications, and as a software developer for Hitachi.
B.S. Economics, 2002
Founder and Owner, Worksprout Partners, LLC
Katherine Wells Brune graduated from Georgia Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Economics in 2002. While at Tech, she was active in the Alpha Xi Delta sorority and FASET. She earned her M.S. in Human Resource Development from Georgia State University.
She began her career at NetBank, an online financial institution, and in 2006, Katherine joined SunTrust where she has held various positions in Human Resources and Commercial Banking. After four years as senior vice president and director of employee well-being and benefits for the bank, she founded Worksprout Partners, LLC, a consultancy that assists employers in aligning their employee experience with the company's purpose, mission, and values.
Brune grew up in Alpharetta and currently lives in Marietta with her husband Matt (CE 2000), daughter Hannah, and son Mark. She spends her free time playing with her kids, cooking, and reading.
B.S. Management, 1992
Virtual Chief Information Security Officer, Eastburn Associates
Reid Eastburn completed his B.S. in Management from Georgia Tech in 1993 and went on to complete coursework for his M.S. in Economics. He is currently the virtual chief information security officer at Eastburn Associates. Prior to that, he served as the vice president of professional services in security solutions for almost five years at Atlantic BT, an award-winning technology firm located in Raleigh, North Carolina. He was elected president to the ISACA Atlanta chapter Board of Directors for the 2019-20 term and worked for several technology companies including Orion Technology Services as chief architect, principal for Midtown Consulting Group, and as VP of information assurance and security for The Experts. Eastburn comes from a diverse professional background, also having worked as a junior broker, consultant, and TRMS practice manager.
Charles E. Hodges II (Chuck)
M.S. Economics, 2018
Partner, JONES DAY
Chuck Hodges is a partner with Jones Day, one of the top 10 largest law firms in the United States, specializing in federal tax controversies and litigation. Hodges combines his tax law background with his master's degree in economics to advise clients on transfer pricing issues and the global taxation of intellectual property.
Hodges is an international tax columnist for the Journal of Taxation and serves as chair of the Federal Bar Tax Section for Atlanta, secretary/treasurer of the Atlanta Bar Tax Section, and is a former chair of the Georgia Bar Tax Section. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel and a Fellow of the American College of Trusts & Estates Counsel (for tax controversies and litigation).
Richard House, Jr.
B.S. Economics, 1985
Chief Executive Officer, FlexShopper, Inc.
Richard R. House, Jr. has more than 30 years of experience in consumer lending across a multitude of disciplines and has led businesses from inception to becoming stock exchange-listed public companies. In 1997, he was a co-founder and then president of Atlanticus Holdings (formerly Compucredit Corp.), which has been a significant lender in the prime and non-prime markets in both the United States and the United Kingdom.
Under his leadership, Compucredit Corp. became one of the nation's largest sub-prime issuers of consumer credit with revenues exceeding $700 million. After leaving Atlanticus in 2014, House was the chief executive officer of Veta Finance, Ltd., a provider of technology solutions to lenders in the United States and the United Kingdom. Prior to Atlanticus, he was a managing director of the Quantitative Solutions and Consulting Division of Equifax. House earned B.S. and M.A. degrees in Economics from Georgia Institute of Technology and Southern Methodist University, respectively.
Wendy Horton McLeod (Board Chair)
B.S. International Affairs 1994 & M.S. Economics 1996
Director, Product Insights at Cox Communications
Wendy Horton’s career spans 20+ years in the telecommunications industry. After graduating from Georgia Tech in 1996, Horton worked at Sprint for six years, then began working for Cox Communications in 2002. Her roles at Cox include support for Technology, Customer Care, and Product organizations through process improvement, program management, and analytics. Currently, Horton serves as the director for product insights, leading a team that is passionate about product health, where they identify and quantify opportunities for improvement. Horton is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and a Six Sigma Black Belt.
Horton is an active volunteer with Young Life and serves on the Perimeter North Area Committee. She is a member of Northside United Methodist Church and lives in Vinings with her husband John (ECON 1989, M.S. ECON 1994) and their two children.
B.S. Economics, 2008
Director of Finance, Allstate
Matthew Miller graduated from Georgia Tech's School of Economics in the Spring of 2008 with a B.S. in Economics. Shortly after graduating, Miller was hired as a financial analyst for Allstate Insurance Company and has since held a variety of roles throughout the company. For the last three years, he has led a talented team as the Director of Finance overseeing Agency Economics, where his primary responsibilities include the strategy, design, and analytics behind the company's sales compensation programs.
After growing up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Miller has subsequently lived in Atlanta, Seattle, and Chicago, the city which he currently calls home with his partner Rachel and their cat Pusha. In his spare time, Miller enjoys traveling with Rachel, playing golf and ice hockey, and working on his hockey analytics startup.
B.S. Economics, 2014
Senior Manager, Financial Analysis, WarnerMedia
Stephanie Moody graduated from Georgia Tech in 2014 with a degree in Global Economics and Modern Languages. After delving into a few engineering majors, she was shocked to come across a major that blended her love for languages with math and science without the technicalities of engineering. She loved applying the fundamentals of mathematics to real-life applications in governments, investments, analyzing consumer behaviors, opportunity costs, and the foreign exchange market. In her Global Economics program, she began to understand the behind-the-scenes of the U.S. economy as well as the global economy.
Since graduating, she started her career at Turner (now WarnerMedia). She’s been with WarnerMedia for seven years and is a senior manager with the Sales & Distribution FP&A team. In this role, she consolidates the financial forecasts for network distribution revenue, ad sales, and content sales, analyzes consumer behaviors in the media and streaming industry, and macroeconomic trends affecting subscriber growth for traditional linear Pay TV, SVOD / AVOD services and direct to consumer services like HBO Max. Her experience encompasses both international and distribution finance. As the team lead for Georgia Tech for the finance and accounting intern recruitment at WarnerMedia, she thrives in helping students with resume writing, interview preparation, excel skill building, and sharing career guidance.
In her spare time, she has created a 501c3 animal rescue and sanctuary located in the North Georgia Mountains, just north of Atlanta. At Rue’s Rescue & Sanctuary, her and her husband currently have 22 large and small animals including 11 dogs, six chickens, two horses, two cows, and one kitty. Apart from her love for animals, she loves Frank Sinatra, airplanes, and farm life.
Joseph Owens, Jr.
B.S. Economics, 1977
Chief Financial Officer, Indego Africa
Joseph B. Owens, Jr. is the chief financial officer and a member of the Board of Directors of Indego Africa Project, a non-profit social enterprise that supports women-owned businesses in Rwanda and Ghana through access to markets and education. Previously he was with American Express Company for over 30 years, where he held leadership positions in finance, business transformation and reengineering, and revenue development.
His positions included vice president, strategic transformation for American Express Global Business Travel, one of the largest corporate travel management companies worldwide. Prior to that, Owens was CFO of Global Business Travel. He has held cross-product line CFO positions in Asia, Europe, and Latin America. During his career with American Express, he has lived in Bangkok, Rome, London, Frankfurt, and Miami, as well as his base in New York. Owens holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Master of Business Administration from the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University.
Owens is a member of the Ivan Allen College Advisory Board and the Board of Advisors for the School of Economics at Georgia Tech, as well as the Alumni Council of the Owen School at Vanderbilt.
B.S. Economics, 2001
General Counsel, eProdigy Financial
Jonathan Samon received his B.S. in economics in 2001 and was a member of Omicron Delta Epsilon, the economics honor society. After receiving his degree from Georgia Tech, Samon attended Seton Hall University where he earned his J.D.
Currently, Samon is vice president, senior counsel at Apple Bank in New York, where he is head of the Vendor Contract Legal Review team and supervises the Legal Process Department. Prior to this role, Samon served as General Counsel of a fintech company in New York, spent over a dozen years in private practice in New York, and served two years as a federal clerk.
Samon is an adjunct professor with the Seton Hall School of Law, an avid marathon runner (a proud 50 States Marathon Club member), dabbles in voice-over work, enjoys classic literature, and is currently increasing his fluency in Portuguese.
M.S. Economics, 2008
Senior Counsel, Ashton Woods Homes
Stephanie Stewart graduated with her M.S. in Economics from the Georgia Tech School of Economics in 2008. While at the SOE, Stephanie worked as a GRA/GTA for several of the graduate and undergraduate economics professors.
After Georgia Tech, Stewart attended law school at Georgia State University and graduated with her J.D. in 2011. Stephanie worked as a construction litigator in private practice for six years before going in-house at Ashton Woods Homes in 2017. Stewart is currently senior counsel at Ashton Woods Homes and oversees all claims and litigation for the company. Stewart lives in East Cobb, Georgia with her husband (who is a three-time Georgia Tech grad) and her three sons.
B.S. Economics, 1991
Trial Lawyer & Mediator, The Tolson Firm, LLC
Audrey Tolson, Esq. has practiced law in Atlanta, Georgia for 26 years. She received her undergraduate degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology where she was a founding member of the university's Pre-Law Society. She then went on to study law and obtain her Juris Doctorate from Georgia State University. In 1998, Tolson was personally recruited and hired by the late Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. and was tasked with launching the Atlanta office of the then newly formed Cochran Firm national law firm, where she practiced until launching The Tolson Firm in 2011.
The Tolson Firm is a boutique law practice specializing in high-damage and complex medical malpractice and wrongful death cases. Due to Tolson's in-depth knowledge and expertise on high-profile civil matters, she has been invited to appear on CNN & HLN as a guest legal commentator on various cases. Since becoming a registered mediator, Tolson uses her experiences to help others resolve complex cases and has recently joined a new mediation panel with Alterity ADR firm.
B.S. Economics, 1992
CEO of Destiny Development Corporation and Richard Tuley Realty, Inc.
Rick Tuley is a lifelong real estate entrepreneur, passionate about building businesses. Tuley got an early start managing the full construction process on his first project at the age of 16 and earned his real estate license at age 18. To this day, Tuley continues to hone his craft as a custom home builder. As a land developer, Tuley has created highly desirable and award-winning neighborhoods for multiple Fortune 500 home-building companies as well as local builders.
Tuley is an active early-stage investor and member of the board of directors of GROUNDFLOOR.US, a leading venture-backed wealth technology platform which pioneered non-accredited investments in private real estate securities and other asset-backed yield investments for the masses.
Tuley earned his B.S. in Economics with a certificate in Accounting from Georgia Tech and his MBA from Harvard Business School. In addition, Tuley previously worked for Ernst & Young's entrepreneurial services group, was a senior associate in leveraged finance and the private equity sponsors coverage group at UBS and a principal with Katalyst Venture Partners in New York. Between real estate and Wall Street, Tuley has been involved in well over $1 billion in transactions.
While at Georgia Tech, Tuley was a walk-on varsity football player, an actor at DramaTech, president of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, and a member of the Ramblin Reck Club. Today, Tuley enjoys performing stand-up comedy on occasion at several local Atlanta venues, collecting Elvis memorabilia, traveling the globe, and cheering on the Yellowjackets.