Rebecca Berton is one of six Grady alumni in the 2021 Bulldog 100 class. (Photo: provided; Design: Sophia Haynes, Yarbrough Fellow)
Bulldog 100 Honoree Interview: Rebecca Berton (ABJ ’11, AB ’11)
This is one of a series of interviews honoring Grady College College alumni who have been recognized as Bulldog 100 recipients in 2021. The Bulldog 100 is sponsored by the UGA Alumni Association and celebrates the 100 fastest-growing businesses owned or operated by UGA alumni.
Other Grady College alumni recognized in the 2021 Bulldog 100 class include:
Rebecca Berton [Holton] (ABJ ’11, AB ’11) is the co-founder & CMO of Rheos Gear, a company that specializes in nautical eyewear. She co-founded the company with her husband, Jake Berton (BBA ’08).
Rheos Nautical Eyewear is a team of eyewear specialists who love water sports. They believe the best of us comes to life out on the water. The company provides unique eyewear for water sports.
Grady College: What experience during your time at Grady College had the biggest influence on where you are today?
Berton: “I’ll never forget sitting in the SLC (now referred to as the MLC, for Miller Learning Center) during Law of Mass Communication and feeling my phone buzz in my pocket. I was expecting a call to hear if I’d earned a spot as the Coca-Cola intern for 2010. I ran out of the room to answer (sorry, Professor) and sure enough it was Scott Williamson on the other line. He offered me the position which launched me into my future career success — not only from the tremendous work experience but also from the mentorship and confidence it instilled in me and my capabilities.”
GC:What advice do you have for today’s Grady College students?
Berton: “Say yes. Say yes to new experiences, meeting new people and trying new things. Go outside of your comfort zone. Apply for a job that feels out of reach. Take risks. Travel the world (when it’s safe again) and build the life you want for yourself. Everyone says life is too short, but life is LONG! Make it what you want one step at a time. Every decision you make builds habits and habits formed early last long into your adult years, whether that’s social, health, career or otherwise.”
GC: Are there any books or podcasts that you would recommend to young entrepreneurs?
Berton: “A million! There are lots of inspiring podcasts and books for entrepreneurs (How I Built This, Let My People Go Surfing, etc.) however I’m a big fan of giving your brain a break from the hustle. Laugh alongside “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend” and drive cattle with Gus McCrae and Captain Call. Read what makes you happy. Listen to what brings you joy.”
GC: What is the most important skill an entrepreneur must master?
Berton: “Stamina. Entrepreneurism is an endurance sport. You can’t sprint your way to victory or you’ll burn yourself out. Resilience, tenacity and the ability to keep driving forward will serve you far better than a burn-and-churn approach. This is something I constantly remind myself, so it’s easier said than done! Take time for balance and learn how to ask for help when you need it.”