James Gates Named to UGA 40 Under 40

University of Georgia 40 Under 40 Class of 2017 includes partner at Bell Oaks Executive Search

ATHENS, GEORGIA – The University of Georgia Alumni Association has unveiled the members of it’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2017. This annual program began in 2011 and celebrates the personal, professional and philanthropic achievements of UGA graduates who are under the age of 40. This year’s group includes James B. Gates, a partner at Bell Oaks Executive Search, a 48-year-old search firm founded in Atlanta.

To qualify for consideration, individuals must have attended the University of Georgia and aspire to uphold the Pillars of the Arch: wisdom, justice and moderation. The Class of 2017 will be recognized at the 7th Annual 40 Under 40 Awards Luncheon on September 14th at the Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead. Ernie Johnson, a 1978 UGA graduate and co-host on TNT’s “Inside the NBA,” will serve as keynote speaker for the event. “Announcing the honorees each year is exciting,” says Meredith Gurley Johnson, Executive Director of Alumni Relations. “It is more difficult every year to narrow the list down to 40, and that is a testament to the caliber of our alumni.”

Honoree James Gates graduated from UGA in 2001 with degrees in Political Science and Communications, and earned his Master’s in Public Administration in 2004. James was active on campus serving as president of his fraternity, elected as a VP on the Interfraternity Executive Council, playing midfield on the lacrosse team and was initiated into Gridiron.

Upon graduation, he joined the Piedmont Healthcare Foundation as a director. In 2012 he helped launch the tech company, FotoIN, eventually becoming the company’s COO. James joined Bell Oaks Executive Search as an Associate Partner in 2015 and was promoted to partner in October 2016. Outside of work, he is active with Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church and coaches his children’s sports teams.

“It is remarkably humbling to be selected by my alma mater for this honor. It has significant meaning to me and my family,” says Gates. “I am grateful to the University of Georgia for offering a kid from Farmville, Virginia opportunities I might not have had elsewhere. As the son of an alumnus, UGA has always been a focal point in my life. I share this recognition with my wife, Elizabeth, my father Jimmy, my late mother Dianne, and my siblings Beth and Sly.”

This year’s 40 Under 40 honorees, including their graduation year from UGA, city, title and employer, may be found by visiting https://alumni.uga.edu/40u40/#40u40class.

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