The Office of Gift and Estate Planning can coordinate with you and your professional advisors to help you create a lasting impact at the University of Georgia in the way most advantageous to you. Explore the options and create your UGA legacy today!
At 30 years old, many of us are just establishing a good career foothold, but for Josh Jones (ABJ Journalism '08, AB Political Science '08), he could be accurately described as "long in the tooth" from a professional standpoint. He has fit a wealth of experience into a career that likely has many more years ahead than it does in the rear view mirror.
He credits UGA for much of his success and it started while he was still just a Bullpup from Forsyth County.
"I entered UGA in 2003 and that was a great highlight for me," he said. "UGA was my first choice. I majored in political science, with a mindset that I would eventually attend law school.
"In my sophomore year, I got a call from a friend who put me in touch with a campaign committee working for a candidate in a Forsyth County Commission race. I thought it sounded fun and would be a great way to make a few extra dollars.
"So, I walked into this interview wearing cargo shorts and an untucked polo shirt thinking I was interviewing for a job to put up campaign signs in the summer."
Well, not exactly.
"It was a very aggressive interview, in a room full of developers, bankers and business executives in my home county that I had never met. They liked me for some reason, and put me in charge of a campaign.
"You can't make this stuff up," he said with a laugh.
"We won that seat against two very credible opponents without a runoff. In Georgia, winning a three way race without a runoff is pretty tough, but we did it, and I had been bitten by the politics bug. I loved what I was doing and knew what I wanted to do with my life.
"Shortly after, I interned for the Georgia Republican Party during the campaigns of Cathy Cox (secretary of state), Mark Taylor (lieutenant governor) and Sonny Perdue (governor). "I got some great experience and was offered an opportunity to work for the White House Advance Office in the administration of George W. Bush while still taking a full course load at UGA.
"I got to fly with staff on Air Force One for press briefings and connected with a lot of great folks who really helped me along the way."
After graduation, Josh founded Red Clay Communications, a leading Atlanta-based public relations and public affairs firm with offices in Las Vegas, Phoenix, Salt Lake City and Washington. Josh has consulted on more than 400 political and public affairs campaigns and his work has been vital in the elections of many candidates on the local, state and national levels.
Red Clay Communications was recently honored as number 10 on the annual list of the "Bulldog 100" compiled by the UGA Alumni Association. The prestigious awards honor the world's fastest-growing businesses owned by University of Georgia graduates. That's up from number 65 just two years ago.
Josh believes that UGA was a major key to his and Red Clay's success.
"The university gave me a good academic footing, and it gave me the credentials and credibility to go out into the world ... it gave me the ability to interact with other people and the confidence to succeed," he said.
And he has shown his gratitude by including a very generous gift to benefit the School of Public and International Affairs in his estate plans. Being as young as Josh is, and making this type of commitment through a deferred gift, is a bit unusual, but shows tremendous foresight.
"I would challenge anyone who is young, when they have moved up in their careers, to consider an estate gift," he stated. "I look back on my time at UGA and the experiences, the connections I made and the great education, and this is a great way to give back.
"Unfortunately, we never know what tomorrow holds and I want to ensure that my 'tomorrow' includes giving back to an institutions that has given me so much throughout the years.
"My contributions are designated to the School of Public and International Affairs to help them build and grow their programs. I hope I can help assure that students in SPIA are afforded the opportunity to apply what they learn in the classroom to what they encounter in the real world.
"I would like to see my gift help foster an environment which continues producing generations of leaders that help UGA further its standing as a premier institution. As the oldest state charted university in America, I take great pride in being able to help support and shape what my alma mater may be in 50, 100, 150 years. I wish I could be here to see it."
We wish he could too.
In the meantime, Josh is on track to further enhance his own UGA credentials. He is scheduled to complete degree requirements in the Terry College of Business MBA program in August.
His UGA legacy still has many chapters to be written and we can't wait to see what's next for this outstanding alumnus.
Are you ready to plan your will or trust? We would like to give you a FREE Estate Planning Guide.