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 in Law, focusing on administrative law & regulatory policy, through the University of Pennsylvania Law School. From 2019 to 2021, Ayo worked as a Research Economist & Planning Associate with the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) in Atlanta, Georgia, and served as a National Hometown Fellow in the inaugural cohort of the Lead For America fellowship program.
Ayo 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, Ayo 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 Ayo 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 BS 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, 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 4 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.
Katherine grew up in Alpharetta and currently lives in Marietta with her husband Matt (CE '00), daughter Hannah and son Mark. She spends her free time playing with her kids, cooking and reading.
B.S. Economics, 1989
Vice President of Business Development and Retention, RLI Transportation
Mike Haswell earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Georgia Tech in 1989 and has designations in both AFCPE and CPCU. He has worked in the insurance and tech industry for over twenty years in various leadership and sales roles.
His primary role at Safeco Insurance, where he worked for fifteen years, was as an Assistant Vice President and Regional Claims Manager. This included primary responsibility for loss costs of $400 million, primary responsibility for 350 employees, agent and customer satisfaction, and expense control for the Southeast Region claims department.
Mike's role at Performance Gateway was Vice President of Sales as he onboarded major clients in a specific web strategy targeted to large P&C insurers. His current role is Vice President of Business Development and Retention at RLI Transportation, where he leads all sales and marketing activities as well as all support and loss control roles for the three Transportation Product lines.
Mike also serves as the leader of Storing Treasures, an organization designed to help individuals discover their unique financial personality and help them better reach their financial goals. The mission of Storing Treasures is to offer a web-based financial education program and financial plan to organizations so they can sponsor this with their employees, clients, and students. Mike also has previous experience as an officer in church leadership. He is married to Tonya; they have four children and live in Lawrenceville, Georgia.
Charles E. Hodges II (Chuck)
M.S. Economics, 2018
Partner, JONES DAY
Chuck is a partner with Jones Day, one of the ten largest law firms in the United States, specializing in federal tax controversies and litigation. Chuck 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.
Chuck 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, Mr. 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. Mr. House earned B.S. and M.A. degrees in Economics from Georgia Institute of Technology and Southern Methodist University, respectively.
Richard Inman, Jr.
B.S. Economics, 1973
Managing Principal, Iron Bridge Capital Partners
Richard B. Inman, Jr. is the managing principal and founder of Iron Bridge Capital Partners in Atlanta, Georgia. Iron Bridge specializes in the development and financing of public/private partnerships, infrastructure, affordable housing, and traditional real estate projects. It has particular expertise in development in challenging locations.
Over the past ten years, the firm has focused in the Pacific and has developed and invested over $300 million in a 50-megawatt power plant, four schools, and 575 affordable housing units on the islands of Guam and Saipan. Inman started his career in New York as an investment banker, later moving to Atlanta. He acquired and sold two food companies for his own account. As Chief Executive Officer of the Tucker Federal Bank, he guided its growth from $250 million to $1.2 billion in assets along with a 400% increase in stock price.
He earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Georgia Tech and a Masters of Business Administration from Stanford University. While at Georgia Tech, Inman was elected to ANAK and ODK honor societies, played on the Tech Soccer Club, and was a member of ATO Fraternity. Inman is active in the community as a founder of La Societe des Tetes Grande and serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Guam Education Financing Foundation and is a member of the Board of Advisors for the Georgia Tech School of Economics. Previously, he has served as President of Christmas in April (Gwinnett), Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Georgia State Soccer Association, and on the boards of Emory-Northlake Hospital and Atlanta Soccer Park.
Wendy Horton McLeod (Board Chair)
B.S. International Affairs 1994 & M.S. Economics 1996
Director, Product Insights at Cox Communications
Wendy’s career spans 20+ years in the telecommunications industry. After graduating from Georgia Tech in 1996, Wendy worked at Sprint for 6 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, Wendy serves as the Director for Product Insights, leading a team that is passionate about product health, where they identify and quantify opportunities for improvement. Wendy is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and a Six Sigma Black Belt.
Wendy 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 (B.S. Econ 1989, M.S. Econ 1994) and their 2 children.
B.S. Economics, 2008
Director of Finance, Allstate
Matthew graduated from Georgia Tech's School of Economics in Spring 2008 with a B.S. in Economics. Shortly after graduating, Matthew 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, Matthew 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, Matthew 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 graduated from GA Tech in 2014 with her degree in Global Economics and Modern Languages. After delving in 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 7 years now and is a Sr. 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 GA 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 GA Mountains, just north of Atlanta. At Rue’s Rescue & Sanctuary, her and her husband currently have 22 large and small animals including 11 dogs, 6 chickens, 2 horses, 2 cows, and 1 kitty. Apart from her love for animals, she loves Frank Sinatra, airplanes, & farm life.
B.S. Economics, 1995
Senior Director, Business Operations, SAP AG
Kelly Orman has more than fifteen years of experience as a global finance and sales operations leader. He is currently Senior Director, Business Operations at SAP Americas - a subsidiary of SAP AG which oversees the company's business operations in the United States, Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean. He has served in a number of leadership roles responsible for maximizing global sales productivity and performance.
Kelly is currently focused on building cohesive, consistent programs that support SAP's largest and most strategic global accounts. He started his career as an equity research associate at The Robinson-Humphrey Company, LLC focusing on the healthcare industry.
Kelly earned his B.S. in Economics from Georgia Institute of Technology, where he participated in the Co-Operative Education program in Sales and Marketing at the IBM Corporation. He earned his M.B.A. from the Goizueta School of Business at Emory University. Kelly is an avid golfer, youth athletics coach, and is an active volunteer in the Homeless Ministry of Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church. Kelly lives in Brookhaven with his wife and son.
Joseph Owens, Jr.
B.S. Economics, 1977
Chief Financial Officer, Indego Africa
Joseph B. Owens, Jr. is 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, Joe 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. Joe 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.
Joe 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 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, Jonathan attended Seton Hall University where he earned his J.D.
Currently, Jonathan is VP, Senior Counsel at Apple Bank in New York, NY, where he is head of the Vendor Contract Legal Review team and supervises the Legal Process Department. Prior to this role, Jonathan 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.
Jonathan 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 MS 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 GT, Stephanie attended law school at Georgia State University and graduated with her JD in 2011. Stephanie worked as a construction litigator in private practice for 6 years before going in-house at Ashton Woods Homes in 2017. Stephanie is currently Senior Counsel at Ashton Woods Homes and oversees all claims and litigation for the company. Stephanie lives in East Cobb, Georgia with her husband (who is a three time GT grad) and her three sons.
B.S. Economics, 1991
Trial Lawyer & Mediator, The Tolson Firm, LLC
Ms. 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, Audrey 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 Audrey’s in-depth knowledge and expertise on high-profile civil matters, she has been invited to appear on CNN & HLN as guest legal commentator on various cases. Since becoming a registered mediator, Ms. 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 is a lifelong real estate entrepreneur, passionate about building businesses. Rick 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, Rick continues to hone his craft as a custom home builder. As a land developer, Rick has created highly desirable and award-winning neighborhoods for multiple Fortune 500 home building companies as well as local builders.
Rick 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.
Rick earned his BS in Economics with a certificate in Accounting from GA Tech and his MBA from Harvard Business School. In addition, Rick 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, Rick has been involved in well over $1 Billion in transactions.
While at GA Tech, Rick 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, Rick enjoys performing stand-up comedy on occasion at several local Atlanta venues, collecting Elvis memorabilia, traveling the globe and cheering on the Yellowjackets.