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Dec 14, 2020 2020-12 Accountancy Alumni Business Administration

Two Gies alumni named to Forbes 30 Under 30

Two Gies College of Business alumni have been named to the prestigious Forbes 30 Under 30 list. The honor recognizes innovators under the age of 30 across 20 industries who are “changing the world forever.” Lucas Frye (MBA ’17) and Belall Taher (ACCY ’15) received this year’s coveted honor.

Frye, 28, co-founded Amber Agriculture to help farmers manage and monitor their crops with sensors. The company’s wireless sensor flows with grain throughout the supply chain. By detecting moisture or incorrect temperatures, Amber helps farmers protect grain from spoilage and capture high prices.

“I hope that some small-town kid sees another farm kid or aggie on the list, and it sparks them to want to build something too. Agriculture is ripe with opportunities for new ideas that need to be developed,” said Frye, who earned his MBA from Gies in 2017. “I do believe we are partially a product of all the people that have helped us along the way. In Gies, the late Dr. Paul Magelli put the fire in my belly around new idea development being the most effective way to bring about good in the world.”

Taher, 27, is the co-founder of Jon Basíl Tequila. Founded in December 2018, their company has already amassed a loyal customer base of 15,000 in Illinois. Taher and his co-founder Uduimoh Ellis Umolu, who minored in business at Gies, will soon expand distribution to other states through Walmart, Binny’s, and Mariano’s.

“It’s flattering to get recognized by such a prestigious magazine like Forbes, and it makes me even more motivated to succeed,” said Taher. “My educational experience at Gies really helped me grow as an individual for many reasons. Gies taught me so much in terms of understanding the multiple aspects of business. The amount of talented individuals in our school helped me elevate my own thoughts and really believe in reaching for the stars. All in all the combination of education and atmosphere helped shape who I am today.”