Office of Communications & Marketing
Robinson College of Business
ATLANTA – Robinson College graduates Neda Barqawi, Deepak Raghavan, and Christopher Volk are among five honorees who will receive Georgia State University Distinguished Alumni Awards at a celebration on Friday, Oct. 28. A fourth honoree, Ray Uttenhove, is closely affiliated with Robinson through her involvement with the WomenLead program.
The Distinguished Alumni Award is the highest honor bestowed by the Georgia State University Alumni Association. Now in its 59th year, the award recognizes the professional, philanthropic, and personal accomplishments of outstanding alumni who personify true leadership.
“Neda Barqawi, Deepak Raghavan, Christopher Volk, and Ray Uttenhove are powerful role models for our students for tremendous success in business, as well as for their service to their communities and to Robinson and Georgia State,” said Robinson Dean Richard Phillips. “We are proud to see them receive this recognition.”
Neda Barqawi (EMBA ’10, D.B.A. ’14) is chairman and CEO of Knovatech Launch, an accelerator for technology-related women-owned businesses, and a founding member of Knovatech Angels, a female angel investment group. Barqawi, a technology and operations leader, has a proven record of leading startups, revenue generation, and mergers and acquisitions. She serves on several boards at Robinson and Georgia State, including the Georgia State Foundation Board of Trustees, Robinson College Dean’s Board of Advisors, the Women’s Philanthropy Network, and she is an inaugural member of the WomenLead Advisory Board. In 2019 Barqawi and her husband, Khalid Hamied, endowed the Dr. Ned A. Barqawi and Dr. Khalid Hamied Scholarship at Georgia State to support outstanding business majors with unmet financial need.
Deepak Raghavan (MBA ’98, M.S. ’06, Ph.D. ’09) co-founded Manhattan Associates, Inc. in 1990, where he conceptualized, designed, and developed the first distribution management software in the supply chain and omnichannel commerce industry. After a successful 1998 IPO, he left full-time employment at Manhattan Associates in 2002 to pursue his passion for astronomy, earning his doctorate from Georgia State in 2009, where he now serves as a lecturer. Raghavan is president of his family’s foundation, which focuses on education, animal conservation, and children’s healthcare. A past chair of the Georgia State Foundation Board of Trustees, he currently serves on the boards of Manhattan Associates, Woodward Academy, Zoo Atlanta, Atlanta Police Foundation, and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory advisory board.
Christopher Volk (MBA ’87), the retired founder and CEO of STORE Capital Corporation,
is a leader in real estate investment trusts and net lease businesses. During his career, Volk led the successful IPO and became president of a real estate trust that became a national leader in lease and mortgage financing solutions for restaurant and other chain store operators. He also founded and publicly listed two other market-leading net lease businesses. Altogether, Volk oversaw the successful deployment of more than $20 billion in net lease and mortgage capital to U.S. businesses. In 2022, he published “The Value Equation, A Business Guide to Wealth Creation for Entrepreneurs, Leaders and Investors.” Volk serves on multiple charity boards and is a frequent university lecturer.
Ray Uttenhove (M.A. ’72, M.Ed. ’75) is a commercial real estate leader who provides strategic market direction to national retailers, including Williams Sonoma, The TJX Companies, Old Navy, and Raising Cane’s. As EVP and principal of SRS Real Estate Partners, Uttenhove built dynamic, multi-faceted Southeastern offices. A passionate advocate for women and greater diversity in the real estate industry, Uttenhove established the DE&I program at SRS, served as president of CREW Atlanta, and chaired the Atlanta Women’s Foundation. At Georgia State, she has served on the Georgia State University Foundation Board of Trustees, founded and chaired the Women’s Philanthropy Network, and served on the WomenLead Board of Advisors. She and her husband, John, endowed the Ray & John Uttenhove WomenLead Professorship.
In addition to Barqawi, Raghavan, Volk, and Uttenhove, Franklin Evans (B.A. ’84, M.Ed. ’87, Ph.D. ‘94) will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award. Evans is president of West Liberty University.
The Distinguished Alumni Awards dinner and ceremony will be held on Oct. 28 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Stave Room, 199 Armour Dr. NE, Atlanta, GA 30324. More information about the event can be found at alumni.gsu.edu/daa.