Business founded by NMI alumni ranks No. 2 on Bulldog 100

A company founded by graduates of Grady College’s New Media Institute was recognized as the second fastest growing company owned or operated by UGA alumni during the fifth annual Bulldog 100 Celebration Jan. 25 at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.

Atlanta-based Vert Mobile landed at No. 2 in the rankings behind mental health and social service agency Social Empowerment Center. Co-founders of Vert—a full-service digital agency specializing in mobile, social and emerging media and brand experiences—are Kevin Planovsky (ABJ '05), Michael Lentz (ABJ '06), and Matt Griffin (BBA ‘05).

“We were blown away and humbled to be so high in the rankings,” Planovsky said. “We are still on cloud nine.”

While at the university, the three were very involved in the New Media Institute (NMI) as Mobile Media Scholars. 

“We’re really excited to represent Grady and the NMI, because our company’s genesis is so closely tied to what we were doing there,” Planovsky remarked.

NMI director Scott Shamp serves as a strategic advisor for Vert.

“In 2005, Vert Mobile's founders were NMI students,” Shamp reflected. “Now, they run the number two company in the Bulldog 100! And they weren't the only NMI alum run business in the 100. It’s proof that NMI and other Grady digital media programs are playing a real role in growing Georgia's economy.”

Another NMI alumni led company, Full Media, finished at No. 34.

Other Grady alumni recognized during the awards ceremony were:

• Mary Butin (ABJ '86), The Butin Group, St. Simons Island, Ga.
• Maureen Clayton (ABJ '80, MA '84), Insight Strategic Communications,  Roswell, Ga.
• Laura Gross (ABJ '95), Scott Circle Communications, Washington, D.C.
• Steve Howard (ABJ '83), Sunburst Beach Vacations, Seagrove Beach, Fla.
• Christy Hulsey (ABJ '98), Colonial House of Flowers, Statesboro, Ga.
• Joshua Jones (ABJ '08), Red Clay Communications, Cumming, Ga.
• Linda Kerr Kamm (ABJ '78), Happy & Healthy Products, Boca Raton, Fla.
• Melanie Ledford Radford (ABJ '84), Police & Sheriffs Press, Inc., Vidalia, Ga.

To be considered for the list, each company must have been in business for at least five years, experienced revenues in excess of $100,000 for the calendar year 2010, and be owned or operated by a former UGA student who owns at least 50 percent of the company or be the CEO, president or managing partner.

The complete list of the 2014 Bulldog 100, photos from the event and 2015 sponsorship information are available at

The UGA Alumni Association
The UGA Alumni Association supports the academic excellence, best interests and traditions of Georgia's flagship university and its more than 280,000 alumni worldwide. For more information, see

Date: January 28, 2014
Author:  Elizabeth Elmore,; Stephanie Moreno,
Contact:  Frances Beusse,