Ten UNCG alumni and staff were honored at the Triad Business Journal’s 40 Leaders Under Forty ceremony at UNCG’s Elliott University Center on Thursday, Feb. 18.

The annual event, sponsored by UNCG’s Bryan School of Business and Economics, honored the Triad’s top 40 professionals under the age of 40 who are helping their employers become more profitable, efficient and effective, while at the same time making a difference in their respective communities.

In the last two years, a total of 16 award winners – an impressive 20 percent of all honorees – have had ties to UNCG.

The ten Spartans recognized as the community’s top professional and civic leaders for 2016 are:

  • Peggy Blackwell ’15
    BS, business administration
    HR manager
    Heat Transfer Sales of the Carolinas
  • Miriam Bradley
    Director of development for strategic initiatives
  • Collin Cooper ’08
    MA, Romance Languages and Literatures
    Associate contract manager
    Pharmaceutical Products Development, Inc.
  • Zac Engle ’11
    Sales and operations planning analyst
    VF Jeanswear, VF Corp.
  • Brandi Johnson ’09, ’14
    BA, political science
    BA, communication studies
    Project manager
    Leadership Beyond Boundaries, Center for Creative Leadership
  • Zithobile “Zitty” Nxumalo ’11
    MA, communication studies
    Program manager
    Boundless Impact
  • Justin Outling ’05
    BA, political science
    Brooks Pierce
  • Ashley Miller Rice ’08
    BA, communication studies
    President and owner
    EllieO & Miller Monograms
  • Justin Streuli ’11
    N.C. Entrepreneurship Center, UNCG
  • Leslie Thomas ’07
    Senior vice president/senior relationship manager
    Bank of America Merrill Lynch


To view the full list of 40 Leaders Under Forty, click here. For more information about the Bryan School, visit bae.uncg.edu.


Story by Alyssa Bedrosian, University Relations