Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Tekes Help Google Fight Spam & Fraud

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

John Nickerson & Oliver Barrett

Since early 2011, two Tekes from the Beta-Pi Chapter at Georgia Tech have been working at Google helping keep the Internet clean. Oliver Barrett (#1258) is a strategist with the Search Quality team and John Nickerson (#1251) is a support engineer with the Ad Traffic Quality team. Both work at the Mountain View headquarters in California.

As a strategist on the Search Quality team, Oliver’s primary focus is ensuring that search results are spam free and, above all else, useful for Google’s millions of users. His day to day work involves analyzing search trends for spam and abuse and developing solutions to help keep Google one step ahead of those trying to “game the system”. In addition he works on Webmaster Communications and as a part of that has been traveling around the U.S. helping small and medium businesses get online to increase their presence in the digital age.

John’s role on the Ad Traffic Quality team involves engineering tools and applications that help detect click fraud activity across the Google AdSense network. He spends most of his day working with analysts to identify areas of product abuse, and developing applications that Google uses to ensure their advertising partners are not affected by fraudulent activity. Additionally, John helps advise on AdSense policy to ensure they are properly communicated to the millions of Google users and that they are enforced .

Oliver and John have also been active in the Northern California Georgia Tech Alumni group, watching football games with other alumni at a local watering hole, The Blue Light, at the brutal hour of 9am local time.

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Cody Parham Earns the PE

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011
Cody Parham, Beta-Pi #1241

Cody Parham, Beta-Pi #1241

Frater Cody Parham (BSCE 2007), Beta-Pi #1241, recently passed the Principles of Practice and Engineering exam and has earned the Professional Engineer license in the state of Florida.

He is in his fourth year with Kimley-Horn and Associates doing aviation-civil design and construction management.

While he was an undergrad, Cody co-oped with Willmer Engineering where he did testing on materials and laboratory soils as well as spent time on construction projects as a technician performing batch-mixed concrete tests, standard penetration tests, fill material compaction tests, and rebar inspections.

Cody also interned with the Georgia Department of Transportation in the Traffic Control Section of District 4 where he performed traffic speed studies, analyzed existing intersection signage conditions and made recommendations for future signage needs.

Besides his involvement with TKE as an undergraduate, Cody was a Greek Alcohol Peer Educator and a member of the ASCE.

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Protecting Nature. Preserving Life.

Friday, December 16th, 2011

Eric Hunter at Larrison Rock, Oregon (Photo by Eric Hunter)

When most people think of business, they think “for profit”. But that term means only that the business takes its profits in money. Non-profit or not-for-profit organizations (NPOs) face the same general organizational challenges as their for-profit cousins only they take their profits differently–as diseases cured, adults taught to read, or children immunized, for example.  As for profit businesses are accountable to stockholders who could invest in other companies, NPOs are accountable to grantors who have other organizations clamoring for their money.

Since 2005, Frater Eric Hunter has been working in Portland, Oregon for The Nature Conservancy (TNC), America’s largest environmental non-profit, to ensure that they are making good use of the resources entrusted to them. As a grants specialist, Eric works with spreadsheets to track the organization’s expenses on publicly funded conservation and restoration projects while mastering the arcane, cryptic and confusing rules and regulations that go along with the funds.

For over six years, Eric has been supporting The Nature Conservancy’s work in Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oregon, Alaska and, most recently, in Hawai’i and the Palmyra Atoll. Among the roughly 50 active grants that he currently manages are projects including:
  • removal of invasive algae and restoration of a bay on Oahu
  • working with native Hawaiians to preserve their way of life as it relates to the sea and land
  • restoring the Hawaiian Islands’ watersheds and protecting them from invasive species
  • the return of native salmon to an estuary in Alaska
  • the restoration and return to proper mangement of a large scale forest in southern Oregon

Eric is also managing the single largest ARRA-funded grant awarded to TNC in the amount of $6.6 million for its work with the City of Ashland and Lomakatsi Restoration Project.

Eric remarks, “While it might not sound like the most exciting job out there, when I get out in the field and see the projects that I support, it makes it all worthwhile. Especially when I have to visit Hawaii in the middle of the Oregon winter.”

Eric Hunter got out of Tech in 1997 with the BS in Biology and again in 2002 with the Masters in Public Policy. When he’s not working to protect nature, he’s out there enjoying it as an avid participant in Cylco-cross.

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Frater Joe Evans Heads Nation’s Top Bank

Monday, August 1st, 2011

Frater Joe Evans, Chairman and CEO of State Bank

Frater Joe Evans has been in banking for over 30 years and now Bank Director Magazine has named his State Bank Financial Corp. the top performing bank in the United States. State Bank is the fourth largest bank headquartered in Georgia, with assets of more than $2.6 billion as of June 30, 2010 and offices located in Middle Georgia and Metro Atlanta.

After an analysis focused on profitability, capital and asset quality, the magazine listed State Bank first among the 150 largest publicly traded banks and thrifts in the U.S., based on financial performance in 2010.  Bank Director calls State Bank a “phoenix,” noting that it formed in the purchase of an institution seized by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. , and has continued to grow from there.

Evans’s banking career has earned him the reputation as one of the nation’s most successful bank executives. Under Evans’s stewardship, State Bank and its investors raised $300 million to acquire assets and deposits of Security Bank Corp. of Macon, Ga., when regulators closed Security on July 24, 2009. American Banker newspaper called the State Bank acquisition “perhaps a model for bank investors around the country.”

Evans earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial management from Georgia Tech in 1971, graduating first in his class. At Georgia Tech, Evans is the former chairman of the board of trustees of the Alumni Association, and on the advisory board of the College of Management, where he has been inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Alumni. He also serves on the board of trustees of the Georgia Tech Foundation and on the board of directors of the Alexander-Tharpe Fund. Evans is a director of Southern Trust Insurance Company and a member of the Investment Committee of the Methodist Children’s Home in Macon.

In May 2011, State Bank reported an $8.2 million profit for the first quarter. State Bank came in well ahead of the other Georgia banks on the list. SunTrust Banks Inc. (NYSE: STI) ranked 125. Moultrie, Ga.-based Ameris Bancorp (NASDAQ: ABCB) and Columbus, Ga.-based Synovus Financial Corp. (NYSE: SNV) placed 133 and 139, respectively.

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Managing Global Supply Chains

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Sean Cumbie contributes much of his success to a philosophy which includes core principles that are tried and true. He believes that it’s all about the people first, the process second, and the application of the proper systems to make it all stick together.

Sean Cumbie - Global Supply Chain Manager

Twenty-five years ago, Frater Sean Cumbie (ME ‘84) was topping off his eight-year stint at Georgia Tech with a Masters in Management.  After spending six years participating in the co-op program (10 quarters), as a Teke, as a member of ANAK and as Student Body President (’83), he was truly ready for some real world experience. The embarkation of his work life journey began with landing a job with a management consulting group in Atlanta, a terrific assignment and a great start for a yellow jacket fresh from the hive.

This eventually lead to several permanent positions within companies where he found many opportunities to build his career, gaining tremendous experience in the areas of inventory, procurement, transportation, distribution, e-commerce, logistics and retail supply chain. Each opportunity built upon the previous one and his expertise level in each field increased. His tempering experiences at Georgia Tech definitely helped mold him into the leadership positions made available to him within the business world.

Criss-crossing the country, Sean has worked for a variety of companies over the last quarter of a century with diverse supply chain needs such as Northern Automotive (aftermarket auto parts), West Marine (boating supplies), Cumbie & Associates (consulting), (internet book sales), Novellus Systems (semi-conductor industry), Iron Age (safety equipment) and MedImmune (Aztra-Zeneca’s biotech division specializing in vaccinations).  His most recent job has brought him to the international stage with a German-based company, Qiagen.

Qiagen is the leading provider of sample and assay technologies. Sample technologies are used to isolate DNA, RNA, and proteins from any biological sample. Assay technologies are then used to make specific target biomolecules, such as the DNA of a specific virus, visible for subsequent analysis.

Sean is presently Vice President of Global Supply Chain, assisting Qiagen with the development and management of over 2000 consumable products and automated solutions.  With over 35 locations worldwide, Sean has truly gone global, managing the end to end supply chain of Qiagen’s testing products for a variety of applications within molecular diagnostic laboratories, forensics, food testing, and the medical and pharmaceutical industries. Sean brings to the table his broad and carefully collected expertise and sees an exciting future with planned expansions into additional countries within the Asian Pacific and South American regions. He is truly enjoying the ride and expects to develop supplementary skills along the way.

When he is in the States, Sean can be found at home where he now resides in Northern Virginia just outside of DC with his wife Susie and two teenagers who lovingly call him the vice president of “stuff.” They can personally attest to the fact that Sean is not only a great friend, husband and father, but he is also “One Hell of an Engineer.”

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The Beta-Pi Chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon International Fraternity has operated for over 60 consecutive years at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Enjoy news of what the alumni are up to and what's in store for the collegiate members. Let us know what you're doing. Learn about our organization and find out how you can help in our good work.
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