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Outstanding ODU Alumni Honored at Annual Event

At the 2013 Alumni Honors Dinner last Thursday evening, Old Dominion conferred awards on eight graduates and two honorary alumni who are "stellar examples of success achieved by way of the path less traveled," as President John R. Broderick noted in his opening remarks.

Broderick's statement referenced the great industrialist John D. Rockefeller. In introducing the program's four categories of awards, the president added: "The spirit of entrepreneurism and leadership runs deep among our honored class. Although they've each made their mark in a different field ... they share in common a commitment to help others and a passion for forging new paths."

The awards presented were:

Honorary Alumni Awards: James A. "Jim" Hixon and Gary T. McCollum

James A. "Jim" Hixon is executive vice president, law and corporate relations, of Norfolk Southern Corp., one of the nation's premier transportation companies, headquartered in Norfolk. He received a B.S. degree in finance and business administration from Virginia Tech in 1976 and a J.D. degree from the College of William & Mary School of Law in 1979. A passionate arts patron and public servant, Hixon gives his time generously to many organizations, including the Virginia Arts Festival and the ODU Board of Visitors, for which he served as rector from 2004-06.

Gary T. McCollum is senior vice president and general manager for Cox Communications' Virginia system. He received a B.S. degree in Russian studies and political science from James Madison University and an M.B.A. from the University of Connecticut. He is also a licensed Christian minister and a major in the U.S. Army Reserves. McCollum has received numerous prestigious awards, hall of fame tributes and leadership recognition. He was named five times to CableFAX's list of the "Most Influential Minorities in Cable." He is the founding chair of Elevate Early Education (E3), a Virginia advocacy organization.

Alumni Service Award: Brian Holland '93

Brian Holland is owner and president of Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group in Virginia Beach, a company he founded with his partner, Rick Gregor, in 1996. He was awarded a B.S./B.A. degree in finance from ODU's College of Business and Public Administration in 1993. Holland later joined that college's advisory board and the board of the ODU Athletic Foundation. In 2004, he was named Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year. Holland has served on the board of Multiple Sclerosis for Hampton Roads, has membership in the Young Presidents' Organization, Virginia, and is a charter member and membership chair of the Entrepreneurs' Organization, Southeast Virginia chapter. He is also a former member of the Economics Club of Hampton Roads.

Distinguished Alumni Awards: Jamie M. Grooms '84, Dolph Johnson '87, Juliana J. Kim '93 Jack J. Ross '84 and James M. Smith '73

Jamie Grooms became chief executive officer in January 2012 of the Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research, a one-stop shop in Gainesville for Florida investors and entrepreneurs who are seeking new business opportunities. He was co-founder and CEO of Axogen, a company that creates peripheral nerve reconstruction and regeneration technology products for surgeons. He was also co-founder, president and CEO of Regeneration Technologies, now RTI Surgical, which processes human tissue for allogenic grafts used in orthopedic, oral maxillofacial, urinary and cardiovascular surgeries. Co-inventor of the allograft bone implant basic to RTI's product line, Grooms led the company's spinoff from the University of Florida Tissue Bank in 1998, growing RTI from under $5 million in revenues in 1995 to $150 million in 2001. He oversaw its initial public offering in 2000, which raised $75 million. Grooms graduated from ODU with a B.S. degree in biology in 1984.

Rudolph "Dolph" L. Johnson Jr. is senior vice president of Global Human Resources at Hasbro Inc. in Pawtucket, R.I., a worldwide play company that produces toys, games, and television and motion picture entertainment. He received a B.A. degree in art from James Madison University, followed by an M.A. in psychology. In 1987, he was awarded a Ph.D. in industrial/organizational psychology from the College of Sciences at ODU. Johnson is on the Board of Visitors of Northwestern University, the board of directors of the Pawtucket Foundation and the board of advisors of Year Up, a youth-support program that empowers young adults with a technical and professional skill set to ensure success in livable-wage careers. Since 2010, he has chaired the Hasbro Children's Hospital gala committee.

Juliana J. Kim is currently working as a consultant for the pharmaceuticals and health care industries and serving on the Dean's Advisory Board at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. She received B.S. and M.S. degrees in dental hygiene from ODU's College of Health Science in 1993 and 1995. Later, she was a visiting scholar at Boston University, and in 2008, she received an M.B.A. at INSEAD through a partnership with the University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School. In 2009, she was the first dental hygienist to earn a Ph.D. in the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of British Columbia. In 2012, ODU named her the Outstanding Dental Hygiene Alumna.

In 2009, Jack J. Ross was named president/COO of Dominion Enterprises and Landmark Media Enterprises in Norfolk. With more than 280 paid and free magazine titles, Dominion Enterprises is the largest publisher of localized print publications and websites in all the major market segments for classified media in the United States. Ross received a B.S. degree in marketing management from ODU's College of Business and Public Administration in 1984. He has been a trustee on the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce and a member of the ODU Educational Foundation board, 2009-12. In 2012, he delivered a commencement address at his alma mater.

In 1980, James M. Smith co-founded Hamilton Brook Smith Reynolds, a full-service, worldwide intellectual property law firm in Concord, Mass. For more than 30 years, he has helped universities, start-ups and emerging companies, small companies and mid-sized corporations obtain, expand and protect intellectual property rights. Smith received a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from ODU's Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology in 1973 and a J.D. degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 1977. Along with managing his practice, Smith serves on the firm's Management Committee, board of directors and Practice and Procedures Committee. He is a member of the American Bar Association and the American Intellectual Property Law Association, as well as state bar associations.

Outstanding Achievement Awards: Elizabeth Edlich '85 and Rachel Edlich '91

Elizabeth Edlich is co-founder, with her sister Rachel, of two skin care companies in Los Angeles: One World Live Inc. in 1999 and Radical Skincare in 2009. She brought an extensive career in financial management, capital sourcing, product development, production and market strategy to the companies. After developing more than 100 beauty products through One World Live Inc., the Edlichs founded Radical Skincare to create an anti-aging line that makes women feel both beautiful and empowered. Liz Edlich received a B.S. degree in human services counseling from the Darden College of Education at ODU in 1985. She is the co-author of "Radical Living: Going Above and Beyond."

Rachel Edlich is co-founder and president of One World Live Inc. and co-founder and president of Radical Skincare in Los Angeles. For 15 years she has been producing direct-response marketing programs that have generated more than $150 million in sales. In 1991, she received a B.S. degree in human services counseling from the Darden College of Education at ODU, where she played on the lacrosse team. After college, she became director of the Virginia Beach Boys and Girls Club and, later, was owner of BioLife of Aspen and also a brand manager of Television Marketing Group Inc. In Los Angeles, she volunteered to coach the Pepperdine University lacrosse team while also voluntarily coordinating a mission to Africa for Operation Smile.

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