THE BUSINESS TEAM BEHIND UAB FOOTBALL’S
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TIME INC.’S NEW TEST KITCHENS
DEREK WALTCHACK AND PAGET PIZITZ
IT’S WHO YOU KNOW
205 THE BIRMINGHAM
INFLUENTIAL EXECS OUR ROSTER OF 205 PEOPLE YOU SHOULD KNOW IN BIRMINGHAM BUSINESS
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12 THINGS ABOUT
Who you know in business is the currency of commerce. Networking. Mentoring. Selling. All arise from personal interaction, the human equation in business. In the Birmingham 205, we put together a roster of top Birmingham business people across a range of industries. This is not a ranking. It is not a list of the only important people in business in the metro. It is, though, a microcosm of business in this town, influential men and women who are leading great companies, who are at the top of their professional game, who are leading a charge to innovation. We thought these are some people you would want to meet.
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arts/sports/entertainment/media Ronnie Bruno Chairman, Bruno Event Team
Under the leadership of Bruno and cofounder Gene Hallman, the Bruno Event Team, founded in 1995, has managed numerous major sports events across the nation, including the Southeastern Conference baseball tournament in Hoover, the annual Magic City Classic college football game in Birmingham, and scores of golf tournaments. Bruno served as chairman and CEO of Bruno’s Supermarkets from 1991 to 1995, when the company was sold. In 1995, Bruno founded an investment company, Bruno Capital Management, where he currently serves as president. He has also served on numerous charitable and corporate boards. He was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2009. ALMA MATER The University of Alabama (B.S., marketing) PASSION/HOBBY College football and vintage automobiles SMARTPHONE APP Open Table and Pandora FAVORITE MUSICIANS Eagles, Bruce Springsteen, and Adele DESSERT Sugar-free bread pudding
Founder, Maki Fresh, Jinsei Sushi, and Miss Dot’s restaurants Cassimus, a Birmingham native, played football at the University of Alabama and was a member of the 1989 SEC Championship team. In 2000, Cassimus took his mother Zoe’s concept and started the company that grew Zoe’s Kitchen into a national brand that now operates 170 restaurants and employs over 3,500 people. He is also the founder of restaurants Maki Fresh, Jinsei Sushi, and Miss Dot’s. He has a charitable foundation that, among other initiatives, provides full scholarships for underprivileged students at the University of Alabama. He is also a popular motivational speaker. ALMA MATER The University of Alabama (undergraduate degree in finance) ON MY BUCKET LIST Fly my plane around the world PASSIONS Bow hunting, snowboarding, and kite boarding FAVORITE CHARITY Big Oak Ranch DESSERT Caramel Baby Bites from the Pastry Art Bake Shoppe
President, Summit Media Entertainment With five years spent as chief of staff at the side of Mayor William Bell behind him, Faush can look back on a period that has been an extraordinary renaissance for the city. Faush has now returned to his roots in broadcast media as senior vice president of Summit Media Corp. and president of the newly created Summit Media Entertainment. He’ll be working to offer complete marketing solutions with radio and digital, as well as events. The company creates signature events with corporate, ur-
ban, and blue-collar offerings, as well as elevating supporting existing events in the existing Summit footprint. ALMA MATER UAB BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Opus One on very special occasions ON MY BUCKET LIST Build (literally) a church with my family in Africa FAVORITE CHARITY AME Zion Church SMARTPHONE APP Myradio (Summit Media!) FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE Sun Tzu’s The Art Of War and Gladiator FAVORITE MUSICIAN Chris Botti
Gene Hallman President and CEO, Bruno Event Team
Hallman formed the company with partner Ronald Bruno in 1995. The company, with 12 offices in North America, is one of America’s largest event management companies dedicated exclusively to sports. Bruno has managed scores of golf tournaments, including the annual Regions Tradition PGA Senior Tour event in Birmingham; the Southeastern Conference Baseball Tournament in Hoover; Olympic soccer matches; a heavyweight boxing title fight; and numerous races and other events at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham. ALMA MATER College of Charleston, (B.S., Economics), 1982; University of South Carolina (MBA), Columbia, S.C.,1985 ON MY BUCKET LIST Visit all 50 states (I have visited 42 so far); skydiving SMARTPHONE APP ESPN FAVORITE CHARITY United Way FAVORITE MUSICIAN Bruce Springsteen
Chris Hastings Chef and Co-Owner, Hot and Hot Fish Club
Since opening the award-winning Hot and Hot Fish Club in 1995, Hastings—along with his wife and co-owner, Idie Hastings—has earned a reputation for serving some of the freshest and most refined dishes in the region. Hot and Hot was one of the first farmto-table restaurants east of the Mississippi. Hastings was honored with the James Beard Best Chef: South award in 2012. The Hastings won the Robert Mondavi Culinary Award of Excellence in 1998 and have been featured often in the media, including in The New York Times, USA Today, Garden & Gun, Southern Living, and Food and Wine. ALMA MATER Johnson & Wales Culinary School, Providence, R.I. TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Finding balance in my life FAVORITE CHARITY Nick’s Kids Foundation PASSION/HOBBY Turkey hunting, wing shooting, and fishing DESSERT The one in front of me!
arts/sports/entertainment/media Jim Keet
President and CEO, Taziki’s Keet was tapped as the president and CEO of Taziki’s—owners of the popular Taziki’s Mediterranean Café—in 2012, with a mission to take the restaurants through the expansion process. Keet has more than four decades of experience in the restaurant industry. Among other positions, he has served as chairman and founder of Guest House International, president and CEO of Barnhills Buffets Inc., and chairman of Maxies of America Inc. Keet worked his way through college in the restaurant and hotel business. ALMA MATER Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas (B.B.A., finance) TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Recruiting, hiring, and retaining a world-class staff BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Scotch on the rocks or a glass of Puligny Montrachet BUCKET LIST Skydive with my oldest son...or any other willing participant FAVORITE MUSICIANS Paul McCartney and Nora Jones
Chairman and CEO, Luckie & Company Luckie has worked at the advertising agency founded by his father for more than three decades and has been pivotal in helping Luckie evolve from a traditional suit-and-tie agency to a cutting-edge, digitally savvy shop earning national attention for its integrated use of advertising, public relations, and social media. As CEO, he keeps close tabs on agency operations. ALMA MATER Auburn University (undergraduate degree in marketing); Samford University (MBA) TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Focusing PASSION/HOBBY Golf, reading, exercise, and family FAVORITE CHARITY Monday Morning Quarterback Club FAVORITE MOVIES The Godfather and My Cousin Vinny
Jake McKenzie CEO, Intermark Group
Under McKenzie’s leadership, Intermark has grown into the largest advertising agency in the state and one of the largest in the Southeast. In 2009, McKenzie won the Advertising Agency President/CEO of the Year award from Birmingham’s Ad Fed. He has also served the company in other roles, including chief operating officer and president of Intermark Interactive. ALMA MATER Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn. (B.A., psychology and political science); Birmingham-Southern College (MPPM in private sector management) BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Red Diamond iced tea PASSION/HOBBY Psychology—I’m fascinated by what shapes how people
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think and act. TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Trying to be a good enough father, husband, and servant to justify all the sacrifices that my mother made for us growing up FAVORITE CHARITY Big Brothers and Big Sisters
Kathy G. Mezrano
President, Kathy G & Co. and KG Designs by Kathy G Mezrano’s philosophy is simple: exquisite food, beautifully presented. For nearly 30 years, this basic principle, along with her entrepreneurial spirit, made Kathy G & Company into one of the leading catering and event design firms in the Southeast. Mezrano and Jason Mezrano, her son and executive chef, have appeared on numerous local area television stations and given seminars on the latest trends in design and style. Kathy G & Company is a member of The International Special Event Society, Atlanta, National Catering Executives, Wedding Industry Professional Association, and Alabama Wedding Event Professionals. ALMA MATER Spring Hill College BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Highlands martini ON MY BUCKET LIST Fly a plane; Hike the Amalfi Coast PASSION/HOBBY Yoga and boxing TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Writing a cookbook FAVORITE CHARITY Community Food Bank; Heart Association FAVORITE MOVIE Love Actually (during the holidays) FAVORITE MUSICIAN Cat Stevens DESSERT Pot de Crème
Partner and Chief Wordsmith, Cayenne Creative Group Cayenne is a creative brand-development agency in Birmingham that offers national and international brand storytelling experience in the form of an agile creative firm. Monroe, who earned an English degree in 1983, labors under the delusion that there’s a great American novel trapped in one of his pens. He serves on the board of the Birmingham YMCA and is actively involved with the Cahaba River Society, Co-Starters, and the Birmingham Sunrise Rotary Club. ALMA MATER Vanderbilt University (B.A., English), Nashville, Tenn. PASSION/HOBBY Writing, sailing, hiking BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Lagavullin 16-year-old Scotch whiskey TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Three-way tie: (1) Caring for a colicky infant (2) Army training and (3) Quitting cigarettes FAVORITE BOOK Beach Music by Pat Conroy
John Montgomery Founder and President, Big Communications
Montgomery has built Big from a one-man PR shop into a sizeable creative house that’s passionate about building brands powered by public relations DNA. As the agency’s chief cheerleader and lead blocker, Montgomery is involved in every level of strategy and execution with a head-on, hands-on approach to each client. ALMA MATER University of Alabama at Birmingham ON MY BUCKET LIST I would love to board a cool boat with my closest friends and port hop down the Mediterranean for as long as I could afford it. Another obvious choice is lunch with Bono at the Le Meurice Hotel in Paris. Dream big, right? SMARTPHONE APP Instagram FAVORITE BOOK Less Than Zero by Brett Easton Ellis FAVORITE MUSICIANS Brittany Howard and the Alabama Shakes DESSERT Any flavor semifreddo from Bottega
Executive Director, Alabama Sports Hall of Fame Myers became only the third executive director in the history of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2009. He is also the managing director of the World Games 2021 Birmingham Foundation. Previously, he had worked with the Birmingham Steeldogs arena football team; the Birmingham Bulls hockey team; the Birmingham Fire football team; and the Alabama Sports Foudnation. For two years, he served as vice president of International Sales for Amerex Corporation, the world’s largest distributor of fire extinguishers. A competitive runner in 5Ks, 10Ks, and half marathons, he ran with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, in July 2005. He and his wife, Claire, have three children. ALMA MATER Samford University BEVERAGE OF CHOICE O’Henry’s coffee ON MY BUCKET LIST Climb Mt. Kiliminjaro DESSERT Macaroons
Jonathan Nelson General Manager, Birmingham Barons
FAVORITE CHARITY Autism Society of Alabama SMARTPHONE APP NFL Fantasy Football FAVORITE MOVIE The Big Lebowski. Recently the Coen Brothers were questioned on a potential sequel, but I am relieved they promised to never do one. The dude abides. DESSERT Ice cream
Nick Pihakis CEO, Jim ’N Nick’s
Pihakis began working in restaurants when he was just 19 years old. A Birmingham native, Pihakis worked each station in an old-school Italian restaurant doing everything from sweeping up and washing dishes to eventually becoming “the best bartender in the world.” In 1985, Pihakis, along with his father, Jim, reclaimed an old pizza parlor on Clairmont Avenue and opened the first Jim ’N Nick’s Bar-B-Q. Their main focus was traditional recipes, scratch-made everything, and genuine community service. Now, 31 years and 35 restaurants later, Jim ’N Nick’s has become one of the South’s most respected restaurant groups, recognized by the James Beard Foundation with consecutive nominations for Outstanding Restaurateur. Pihakis also sits on the board of the Jones Valley Teaching Farm and is a strong supporter of the Southern Foodways Alliance. He lives in Birmingham with his wife, Suzanne, and his three children.
George Reis Restaurateur
After living in New York, Dallas, Atlanta, and on the Gulf Coast, Reis moved to Birmingham in 2012 and opened Ocean, a restaurant that draws upon the flavors of the world and combines them with fresh seafood. Ocean has won several awards, including the Wine Spectator Award. Reis also operates 5 Point Public House Oyster Bar, which has a beer-centric, chef-driven menu. He is involved in numerous charities and other organizations. Reis recently won the inaugural Alabama Seafood Cook-Off. ALMA MATER Paul Smith’s College, Paul Smith’s, N.Y. ON MY BUCKET LIST To sail a boat through the Caribbean to South America FAVORITE CHARITY Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. My son, Peter, has Type 1 diabetes. SMARTPHONE APP Google Maps, which keeps me from getting lost FAVORITE DESSERT Ice cream
Nelson, a native of Fairhope, Alabama, enters his 18th season in professional baseball and sixth as the Barons’ general manager. Nelson’s career with the Barons began in 1993. In 1997, he worked for the Detroit Tigers Baseball Club at Tiger Stadium. He returned to the Barons in 1998 as assistant general manager. Nelson also worked with the Birmingham Bulls Hockey Club. He and his wife, Christy, reside in Vestavia Hills with their son, Jonathan Jr., and daughter, Sophia, and are members of Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church. ALMA MATER University of Montevallo BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Birmingham craft beers ON MY BUCKET LIST Visiting all Major League Baseball ballparks with my son www.BHMBIZ.com
arts/sports/entertainment/media Greg Sankey Commissioner, The Southeastern Conference
Sankey became the SEC’s eighth commissioner in June 2015 after holding various leadership positions, including Chief Operating Officer, on the conference staff for 13 years. For example, Sankey was an integral part of former commissioner Mike Slive’s efforts to reshape the SEC’s governance, enforcement, and compliance program. Prior to joining the SEC staff, Sankey was commissioner of the Southland Conference for seven years. He is also a member of various NCAA committees. ALMA MATER The State University of New York at Cortland (B.A.); Syracuse University, Syracuse, N.Y. (master’s) TOUGHEST CHALLENGE In 2009, I set a goal of running a marathon each month for the year. I actually ran a marathon for 15 straight months, and in June 2009, I ran marathons in consecutive weeks. FAVORITE BOOK The Book of Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament FAVORITE BAND U2 DESSERT Bananas foster
Chef/Owner, Highlands Bar & Grill, Bottega, Chez Fonfon Stitt’s flagship restaurant, Highlands Bar and Grill, opened in 1982, with a menu of simple Southern ingredients with French sauces and braises for superb, delicately balanced flavors. Highlands was an immediate success, and soon after, he opened Bottega (1988), Café Bottega (1990), and Chez Fonfon (2000). In 2011, Stitt was inducted into Esquire magazine’s Restaurant Hall of Fame and named to the James Beard Foundation’s “Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America.” Highlands was nominated for the seventh consecutive year by the James Beard Foundation for the Outstanding Restaurant Award in 2015. ALMA MATER Cullman High School; attended Tufts University and the University of California Berkeley PASSION/HOBBY Riding horses and playing polo TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Having my father respect me for being a cook FAVORITE CHARITY Jones Valley Teaching Farm; Make-a-Wish Foundation SMARTPHONE APP The flashlight FAVORITE MUSICIANS David Byrne, Tom Waites, and Dr. John DESSERT I love the meringue cake from Harry’s Bar (Venice), and we combine that and zabaglione to make “Frank’s Favorite Cake.”
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John Paul Strong
Owner, Strong Automotive Merchandising For over 10 years, Strong has been responsible for daily operations of his company, leading the account service division and overseeing the marketing strategies for dealerships, focusing on traditional and digital media. The company was voted one of Birmingham’s “Best Places to Work” in 2015. Strong is a nationally recognized speaker in the industry, has written two books on next-day traffic, and was named to the “Top 40 Under 40” list in the Birmingham Business Journal in 2013. ALMA MATER University of Montevallo (B.A., liberal arts) BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Ice-cold Coca-Cola in a glass bottle FAVORITE CHARITY It’s incredible the work that John Croyle and his team have done to raise and love the children at Big Oak Ranch. FAVORITE MUSICIAN Elvis, because he knew how to work a crowd
President and Partner, o2ideas Recognized as a leader in the marketing industry, Todd is an experienced marketing and advertising C-suite professional with proven, long-term success across a wide expanse of industry activity. He excels in strategic marketing and planning, branding, digital and social media, business management, and public relations. His other skills include business development, crisis communications, and media and governmental relations. Earlier in his career, he worked in finance and broadcast journalism. He has served as an adjunct member of the advertising faculty at Samford University and wrote No Ordinary Joe, a motivational book. ALMA MATER University of Alabama (B.A.); University of Alabama at Birmingham (M.A.); Auburn University (MBA). ON MY BUCKET LIST Get fluent in Spanish and French and spend time along the Mediterranean coast BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Diet Grapico—every night with dinner! DESSERT My mom’s classic pound cake
business services/products Sheila Benson
CEO, Employment Screening (ESS)
Benson has always had the drive and vision to identify business opportunities. Founding her first business at 24, Benson successfully sold that company, as well as two other title insurance companies she founded. In the process, she saw a chance to help clients do background screening of potential employees. ESS offers background screening, drug testing, electronic I-9 delivery, and security and investigative services. She was named the Birmingham Business Journal’s 2014 CEO of the Year. ALMA MATER The University of Georgia BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Tito’s Vodka, soda, and a splash of cranberry ON MY BUCKET LIST Spend the months of June and July in Tuscany and see The Kentucky Derby TOUGHEST CHALLENGE The next one DESSERT Anything caramel
Terry Chapman President, Business Electronics
Chapman’s Business Electronics Corp. has provided document imaging systems and managed IT services to the Birmingham business community since 1988. He is a graduate of Mountain Brook High School (1980) and Birmingham Southern College (B.A. 1984, master’s 1989) and worked in the banking industry prior to his current role. Chapman has served in leadership roles in local chambers of commerce, Red Mountain Theatre, American Cancer Society’s Jefferson-Shelby chapter, Episcopal Place, Camp Smile-A-Mile, and his industry’s trade group, the Business Technology Association. He has three daughters and attends Canterbury United Methodist Church. BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Good People IPA ON MY BUCKET LIST A Tesla SMARTPHONE APP Spotify; it’s the latest recommendation I got from my daughters DESSERT Banana pudding from Dreamland BBQ
President and CEO, EBSCO Industries Inc. In July 2014, Collins became the president and CEO of EBSCO Industries, Inc., one the largest private companies in the United States, with more than 5,000 employees and over $2.7 billion in annual revenue. He served as president of EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO), EBSCO Industries’ largest division, before moving into his new role. In 1983, Collins cofounded a company specializing in indexing and abstracting of periodical information, which was subsequently purchased by EBSCO Industries, Inc. Collins lives
in Boston with his wife, Emily, and two children. ALMA MATER The University of New Hampshire PASSION/HOBBY Collecting historical items related to U. S. history. For example, I have a Civil War cannon and a WWII command car. TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Making the business I cofounded in college successful DESSERT Blueberry crisp
C0O, City Paper Company Friedman has been working at City Paper Company for 46 years and gravitated to sales immediately. In addition to acting as the company’s COO, Friedman also maintains a book of business that includes more than 500 active customers. His son, Brad, is vice president; his daughter, Haley, is in sales; and his daughter-in-law, Stephanie, is vice president of marketing. When not working, Friedman enjoys spending time with his girlfriend, Shirley, and his kids and granddaughters, playing tennis, watching Alabama sports, and going to the beach ALMA MATER Jefferson State BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Dewars and water ON MY BUCKET LIST I’d like to have 24 grandchildren; retire to Lake Como, Italy PASSION Tennis FAVORITE CHARITY The Lupus Foundation FAVORITE MUSICIAN Billy Joel
Paul Friedman Jr. President and CEO, City Paper Company
Friedman was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. He has walked the halls of City Paper Company for 48 years, starting in 1968, initially as a billing clerk. His dad, Paul Sr., eventually showed him the benefits of sales and he began his career as a salesman. Today, Friedman is the president and CEO of City Paper, having been appointed in 1997 when his dad retired. His daughter, Julie, works in Vendor Relations and the Promotional Marketing Department. When not working, Friedman enjoys spending time with his wife, Cathy, his kids, and his grandchildren. ALMA MATER The University of Alabama BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Very dry vodka martini FAVORITE CHARITY Collat Jewish Family Services SMARTPHONE APP Pandora FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE Exodus; Gone with the Wind FAVORITE MUSICIAN James Brown DESSERT A good piece of New York cheesecake
business services/products Nancy Collat Goedecke
Chairman and CEO, Mayer Electric Supply Goedecke and Mayer Electric Supply have always been connected through her grandfather, Ben Weil, who founded the business in 1930, and her mother and father, Patsy and Charles Collat, who took the helm in 1979. Goedecke began working at Mayer during the summers of her high school years. In 2005, she was named vice chairman of the Board and, in 2008, chair of the board and CEO. Goedecke was recently chosen to be the first woman in the 93-year history of the United Way of Central Alabama (UWCA) to chair the organization’s annual fundraising campaign. ALMA MATER Newcomb College of Tulane University BEVERAGE OF CHOICE I enjoy a good Scotch on the rocks, as well as red wine FAVORITE CHARITY United Way touches so many people in our community. SMARTPHONE APP The camera DESSERT Unfortunately, all desserts
President, Rush Wines A native of Tuscaloosa, Garner graduated from the University of Alabama in 1993 and started Rush Wines in 2002. Having eclipsed $35 million in gross sales since then, the company services the entire state of Alabama as a wholesale wine distribution network, employing 13 full-time people. The company created what is a very unique custom label project, Rush Cellars, which has expanded to include 10 different selections only sold in the state of Alabama. ALMA MATER University of Alabama BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Champagne ON MY BUCKET LIST Visit Machu Picchu; dive with Great White sharks PASSION/HOBBY Collecting vinyl LPs FAVORITE CHARITY The Humane Society FAVORITE MOVIE ESPN 30 for 30 sports documentaries FAVORITE MUSICIAN Sam Cooke DESSERT Bread pudding
President and CEO, Ram Tool Construction Supply Company Ram Tool, based in Birmingham, is a distributor of commercial construction supplies, power tools, accessories, and concrete chemicals. Head started with Ram Tool in 1993 as general counsel and became president in 2005. Since 1993, the company has grown from five locations to 35, with warehouses in 12 states. Ram Tool’s footprint spreads across the South, from Washington, D.C., to Texas.
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ALMA MATER Yale University, B.A., American Studies; Washington and Lee School of Law, J.D. BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Fiji water ON MY BUCKET LIST I want to go fox hunting. TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Working through the business issues brought on by the Great Recession. The construction industry was hit hard, and we were forced to tighten our belt quickly and dramatically. FAVORITE BAND R.E.M.
CEO, Automation Personnel Services In May 1990, Nordness and his wife, Leslie, began their business in a small office space with first-year revenue of just under $200,000. Automation Temporary Services evolved into Automation Personnel Services, Inc. Today, Automation employs approximately 250 full-time staff employees and over 30,000 temporary or contingent employees. They delivered revenue of over $180 million in 2014 and rank in the top 1 percent of staffing companies nationwide. Nordess and Leslie have three children and four grandchildren. ALMA MATER Auburn University BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Milo’s Tea ON MY BUCKET LIST See the Northern Lights; visit Australia. PASSION/HOBBY Tennis TOUGHEST CHALLENGE In 1990 my wife and I had a new baby and a 3-year-old. We decided to move to Birmingham and start a new company from scratch. SMARTPHONE APP Flixter—I love movies.
Founder and Managing Partner, ITAC Solutions LLC After graduating from Auburn University in 1994 and working three years in accounting, Pitts moved to the recruiting industry. In 2000, he launched ITAC Solutions, which specializes in the temporary, contract, and direct placement of accounting, information technology, corporate, and administrative professionals nationwide. Pitts had a vision to help professionals in Alabama find rewarding, satisfying jobs. ITAC has offices in Birmingham, Mobile, Huntsville, Nashville, and Atlanta. ALMA MATER Auburn University PASSION/HOBBY Kids and golf. Both will leave you shaking your head. TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Juggling the responsibilities of being the best father of four kids I can be and the leader our business needs. FAVORITE BOOK The Big Short by Michael Lewis DESSERT Blizzards from Dairy Queen are hard to beat.
Started in 1999 as an emergency response business, Riley has grown OSE to be a premier woman-owned full-service environmental company based in the Southeast and serving the entire continental U.S. Riley brings over 20 years of experience to the field. Through her background in chemistry and her strong management expertise, Riley has led One Stop Environmental to be one of the fastest growing companies in Alabama and the country ranking on the Inc. 5000 and ICIC 100. Riley enjoys spending time in Montana hiking, fishing, snow skiing, and enjoying the stars with her husband, Richard, and their four children.
Frederick W. “Ricky” Bromberg is the sixth-generation family member to serve as president of Bromberg & Company, Inc. A graduate of The Altamont School and the University of Alabama School of Commerce and Business Administration, he also participated in the Macy’s New York Executive Training Program. Currently chair of the Alabama Retail Association, he is past chair of the Jewelers Research Group and past board member of the American Gem Society. Bromberg has served on the University of Alabama’s President’s Cabinet, Birmingham City Action partnership, Alabama Goodwill Industries, and Birmingham Area Council Boy Scouts of America. He has been married since 1987 to Nancy Beaird Bromberg, and they have one son, Frederick W. “Wil” Bromberg Jr., age 26.
Founder and CEO, One Stop Environmental
ALMA MATER Furman University (undergraduate); The University of Alabama (graduate) PASSION/HOBBY Gardening and working in my yard SMARTPHONE APP Weather Bug FAVORITE BOOK Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West by Steven Ambrose. FAVORITE CHARITY Christ Health Center
consumer services/retail Amit Berger Vice President, Diamonds Direct
Berger, vice president, founded Diamonds Direct Birmingham in 2008. He joined the Diamonds Direct parent company in 1995 in Israel while working in the cutting facility and learning the trade. Born in Israel, Berger grew up working in his family restaurant business. When he turned 18, Berger served in the Israel Defense Force in the air force division for three years. After the military, Berger spent two years in an Israeli University and enrolled in a professional diamond course where he fell in love with the industry. Berger moved into the retail side of the company and opened the second Diamonds Direct location here. Berger lives with his wife, Liat, and three daughters, Lyn, Lielle, and Lia. BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Water ON MY BUCKET LIST Skydiving TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Serving three years in the Israeli Defense Force FAVORITE CHARITY The Diamonds Direct Foundation—we love giving back to local charities. SMARTPHONE APP Scan Biz Cards FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE Rhinoceros Success; The Shawshank Redemption DESSERT Israeli chocolates
President, Bromberg & Company, Inc.
BEVERAGE OF CHOICE One Mountain Dew per day—first thing I do when I wake up. ON MY BUCKET LIST Visit the Holy Lands; cross the Atlantic on an ocean liner TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Strike a balance between honoring Bromberg’s 180-year legacy and traditions while keeping customer experience totally fresh and exciting SMARTPHONE AP The Weather Channel app FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE To Kill A Mockingbird DESSERT Desserts with caramel
Remon Danforah President, Remon’s
“My job is to create a complete image for my customers; To sell a suit is easy, but to groom a man is more demanding.” On that basis, Danforah has built one of Birmingham’s most stylish men’s clothing shops: Remon’s, which is located at The Summit. Danforah’s grandfather has a friend in the clothing business in Ramallah, 10 miles north of Jerusalem. Danforah started working in the tailor shop when he was 5 years old. He moved to the United States at 16, working in tailor shops until he could open his own in downtown Birmingham. Today at The Summit, his store is filled with exceptionally beautiful clothes from some of the most venerable designer names around, as well as popular casual clothing.
President and CEO, Brownell Travel Haas has served Brownell for over 20 years, managing over 140 employees and independent contractors in 25 states across the country, and loves the company’s “Discover More” approach and the way the Brownell team fulfills a vision to “enrich lives through exceptional travel.” Haas has done plenty of civic and charitable work. For example, he is co-chair of Railroad Park’s $5 million “Give the Gift of Green” campaign ALMA MATER The University of Alabama (B.A., accounting); Harvard University (MBA). Crimson on Crimson. www.BHMBIZ.com
consumer services/retail ON MY BUCKET LIST Attend all four Grand Slam tennis tournaments; Australia is next! TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Helping our team with the dual challenges of 9/11 and the Internet. They responded amazingly, and the result is this vibrant, life-experience business we enjoy today. FAVORITE BAND St. Paul and the Broken Bones
Tyler Hillman Owner, AllSouth Appliance
Founded by brothers Tyler and Josh Hillman almost two decades ago, AllSouth now has locations in Birmingham, Huntsville, Montgomery, and Chattanooga, bringing the highest levels of quality brands and expert advice to consumers in those markets and throughout the South. AllSouth’s soon-to-be new location on State Farm Parkway off Lakeshore will provide an expanded showroom in Birmingham for AllSouth’s family of top-tier brands. AllSouth also believes in nurturing the heart of the community, so it is very active in assisting charities with meeting their awareness goals via special events at the showroom. AllSouth recently announced a partnership with Wellborn Cabinets, a family owned and operated cabinetmaker located in Ashland, Alabama, to expand their kitchen design offerings.
Bruce Limbaugh President, Limbaugh Toyota
Birmingham native Limbaugh has spent 40 years in the retail automobile business, serving as president of Limbaugh Toyota since 1989. In 2011, Limbaugh received the Time magazine Dealer of the Year Award for the state of Alabama. He has now passed dayto-day operations of the dealership on to his sons, Matt and Brian Limbaugh. Limbaugh currently serves as president of the Homewood City Council. He is also vice-chairman of the Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau. Limbaugh and his wife, Debbie, have six children and 10 grandchildren. ALMA MATER University of Alabama BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Pinot Noir BUCKET LIST Marrakesh Express through India PASSION/HOBBY Doting on my grandkids TOUGHEST CHALLENGE The first six months of 2009 in the Toyota business FAVORITE CHARITY The Horizons School in Birmingham SMARTPHONE APP Mahjong FAVORITE BOOK House of the Rising Sun by James Lee Burke FAVORITE MUSICIAN Diana Krall DESSERT Key lime pie
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Betsy McAtee CEO, Dreamland BBQ
With over 20 years of experience in the food industry, McAtee has spent her career in key positions for regional and national brands. During her time with Dreamland, she has served as director of marketing and purchasing, chief operating officer, and now chief executive officer. Dreamland BBQ Holding Company owns and operates seven restaurants in the Southeast and is the franchisor of the Dreamland Brand, a nationally recognized restaurant brand. McAtee holds a bachelor of science degree in geology and a bachelor of arts degree in economics from the University of Alabama and obtained her MBA from the University of West Florida. She has lived in Birmingham since 1992 and is the mother to two girls, Ella and Campbell. BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Sparkling flavored water with lime and a dash of pomegranate juice ON MY BUCKET LIST Sail around the United States, see the Iditarod in Alaska, and visit the D Day Invasion sites FAVORITE CHARITY Camp Smile-A-Mile SMARTPHONE APP Verse a Day, a daily Bible verse FAVORITE MUSICIAN Dave Matthews DESSERT Dreamland’s banana pudding and our new Chocolate Dream
Jeff Rosenthal President and CEO, Hibbett Sports
Hibbett Sports president and CEO, Rosenthal has been with the Alabama-based company since 1998, after working several years for Champs Sports. Rosenthal has been instrumental in company growth, helping Hibbett Sports implement their “small market” concept for mid-size and smaller markets in need of premium athletic retail stores. In his current role, Rosenthal has increased sales by 28 percent, grown the company’s footprint across 33 states to over 1,000 stores, and maintained highest operating margins in the athletic retail industry. ALMA MATER Florida State University PASSION/HOBBY Avid sports fan TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Speed—the world is changing at a very fast pace FAVORITE CHARITY American Heart Association SMARTPHONE APP Twitter FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE Steve Jobs FAVORITE MUSICIAN Jay Z
Founder, Mountain Brook Trading It all started as a fun way to sell some baby clothes. In 2012, Silsbee wanted to clean out some closets and get rid of some furniture she didn’t use anymore. Thus arose Mountain Brook Trading, a boutique trading site for members to sell their gently used, designer and upscale furniture, home decor, and other items and for buyers to locate some great finds. ALMA MATER BA from Sweet Briar College; masters in building construction from Auburn University BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Home-brewed Starbucks coffee, breakfast blend. Gt’s Organic Raw Kombucha Gingerade. If it is after 5 p.m., I love an Oregon Pinot Noir ON MY BUCKET LIST Drive the PCH 1 in California; mule ride in the Grand Canyon TOUGHEST CHALLENGE After having children, I have a new respect for my parents and parenting in general. FAVORITE CHARITY Mercy Multiplied, which is based in Nashville SMARTPHONE APP Facebook, of course FAVORITE MUSICIAN I love Madonna. DESSERT I have to eat gluten-free so creme brulee.
Forrest Walden CEO, Iron Tribe Fitness
Walden has worked in fitness since 1996. His fitness story begins when he was the smallest guy on the Auburn University cheerleading squad. Working out and putting on 30 pounds of muscle made Walden aware of the power of exercise for the human psyche. In 2001, he started Fitness Together in Birmingham, eventually opening six studios. He opened Iron Tribe in 2010. At the heart of the story is a community of people with the shared purpose of creating communities where lives are changed. ALMA MATER Auburn University. War Eagle! BEVERAGE OF CHOICE La Croix TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Selling my previous business and starting over from scratch in 2010 with Iron Tribe. FAVORITE CHARITY Neverthirst provides providing clean water in some of the poorest places. Iron Tribe has contributed over $1.5 million dollars to this organization.
finance/insurance Leroy Abrahams North Central Alabama Area President, Regions Bank
Midwest—as executive vice president of strategic and corporate planning in 2013 and was named area president for North Central Alabama in 2014. Abrahams previously worked for SunTrust as president and CEO of the company’s Hampton Roads region in Virginia. In addition, he held roles as the retail banking executive and central group retail line of business leader. Before joining SunTrust, Abrahams held the position of consumer banking manager in eastern Tennessee for Regions Bank. Abrahams serves on the boards of such organizations as REV Birmingham and the Woodlawn Foundation. ALMA MATER Texas Christian University (bachelor’s in business administration and finance) TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Trying to be the father my kids need FAVORITE BOOK On the Edge by Allison Levine FAVORITE MUSICIAN Malisa Abrahams DESSERT Carrot cake
Nelson S. Bean
President and CEO, First Commercial Bank/ Regional CEO., Synovus Financial Corp. Bean, a Birmingham native, has worked in banking for more than 30 years. He joined First Commercial Bank as vice president in commercial banking in 1988. He became president of First Commercial Bank in 2003 and president and CEO in 2004. He was named Synovus Regional CEO in 2009. Bean serves on the board of such organizations as the Birmingham Business Alliance and the United Way of Central Alabama. ALMA MATER Vanderbilt University (B.A., business administration, 1983) PASSION/HOBBY Golf and jogging TOUGHEST CHALLENGE 2008–2010 FAVORITE CHARITY There are many, but currently, The Woodlawn Foundation SMARTPHONE APP Twitter DESSERT Anything with chocolate
Brian H. Bucher Regional President, PNC
Bucher is regional president for PNC. In this role, he is responsible for corporate banking, commercial banking, wealth management, and institutional investments businesses for the state of Alabama. In addition, Bucher’s office leads all sponsorship and philanthropic efforts to execute PNC’s community-based goals and initiatives. Prior to relocating to Alabama in 2012, Bucher, a 32-year veteran of PNC, served as regional president of PNC’s Northwest Ohio market. He received his bachelor’s degree in finance from The Ohio State University and a master of business administration from Baldwin Wallace College. Bucher is active in the community and currently serves on the boards of directors for Jones Valley Teaching Farm, the Birmingham Museum of Art, the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, the Birmingham Business Alliance, Innovation Depot, and REV Birmingham, along with the Alabama School Readiness Alliance Pre-K Task Force. He resides in Homewood with his wife, Beth; they have three adult sons.
Abrahams joined Regions—a Birmingham-based bank with $126 billion in assets and more than 1,600 offices in the South and www.BHMBIZ.com
finance/insurance Linda Cencula President and CEO, Avadian Credit Union
Cencula has worked in the finance industry for 34 years and served as Avadian president and CEO since 2001. Since then, she has spearheaded many of the credit union’s biggest milestones, including a major rebranding in 2015. She joined Avadian as vice president of credit union development in 1991 when the company was called Alabama Telco Credit Union. ALMA MATER The University of Alabama (degree in communications); The University of Phoenix (master’s degree in organizational management) TOUGHEST CHALLENGE This changes periodically. Right now, I’m trying to get in 10,000 steps per day. FAVORITE CHARITIES American Cancer Society and Magic Moments SMARTPHONE APPS Fitbit and Facebook DESSERT Soft, chewy cookies from anywhere at any time
Leigh V. Collier Regional President for the Mid-South, Wells Fargo
Collier—a 24-year veteran of financial services who joined Wells Fargo in 2004 —oversees 164 bank locations in Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Her responsibilities include revenue growth, business planning, and the execution of retail sales and service strategies. She was named one of Birmingham’s “Most Influential Executives” by the Birmingham Business Journal in 2015. She works with several area nonprofits, including the United Way, Red Cross, and the Birmingham Zoo. ALMA MATER Louisiana State University (B.S., commercial bank administration) ON MY BUCKET LIST Attend the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and The Rose Bowl Parade PASSION Alabama football FAVORITE BOOK Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen FAVORITE MUSICIAN Elton John DESSERT Fleming’s chocolate lava cake
Jim Cunningham CEO, Warren Averett
As CEO, Cunningham leads Warren Averett’s internal mission to use its resources and culture to help our clients, employees, and communities thrive and accomplish what’s important. He ensures that the firm is poised for success—whether that’s by adding resources, expanding the geographic footprint, or developing a non-traditional, innovative, value-added service to the ever-changing accounting profession.
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ALMA MATER The University of Alabama ON MY BUCKET LIST Visit all 59 national parks, all 10 national seashores, and all four national lakeshores TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Training for the Tour de Cure race after being diagnosed with late-onset Type 1 diabetes FAVORITE CHARITY The UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center SMARTPHONE APP The Daily Motivator DESSERT Pecan pie
CFA, Founder, CEO, Chief Investment Officer, Vulcan Value Partners Fitzpatrick is the founder and CEO of Vulcan Value Partners. Vulcan Value Partners is a registered investment adviser that started operations in Birmingham in early 2007 to manage Fitzpatrick’s personal capital. In 2010, Vulcan Value Partners opened its doors to outside clients. The firm had a three-year track record and approximately $20 million assets under management. As of today, the firm is closed to new clients and the firm manages approximately $12 billion. Fitzpatrick established the Fitzpatrick Endowed Professorship, founded an advisory board to interact with students, and played a key role in the Culverhouse Investment Management Group. He and his wife, Kelley, and their two sons, Tranum and Lewis, attend St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. ALMA MATER University of Alabama; MBA from the Owen School of Management at Vanderbilt University BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Earl Grey tea ON MY BUCKET LIST Fly fish and hike in New Zealand PASSION/HOBBY Fly fishing, Alabama football, music TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Being still in the midst of chaos FAVORITE CHARITY Alabama Symphony Orchestra DESSERT Frozen Icelandic berries with melted white chocolate
O.B. Grayson Hall Jr. Chairman, President, and CEO, Regions Financial Corporation
Hall, who began his career in the management training program at Regions in 1980, now oversees a bank based in Birmingham that has $126 billion in assets and about 1,600 offices in the South, Midwest, and Texas. Hall was named president and CEO in October 2009 and also the company’s operating committee and executive council. Hall earned a bachelor’s degree in economics at The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., in 1979, received an MBA from the University of Alabama, in 1980, and did other graduate work in banking. He serves on many boards, including those of Alabama Power and Vulcan Materials.
Elam Parrish Holley Jr.
President and CEO, First Partners Bank
Banking veteran Holley, along with other investors, started SouthCity Bank—now First Partners Bank—in Vestavia in 2007, in the early days of the Great Recession. In the early days, it was a team effort, as the employees took turns cleaning offices and restrooms, but First Partners has since won industry awards, including high marks for safety and profitability, and has become known for its support of small business. Holley began his banking career in Selma more than 40 years ago and moved to Birmingham in 2005. ALMA MATER Marion Military Institute and The University of Alabama BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Black coffee! PASSION/HOBBY Golfing, fishing, or any type of hunting. FAVORITE MOVIE The Green Beret with John Wayne. It was the movie my wife and I saw on our first date. FAVORITE BAND Beach Boys
Alabama Regional President, IBERIABANK Banking veteran King began his career at Highland Bank. In 1997, he joined AmSouth Bank—later bought by Regions Bank—and became part of the Metropolitan Commercial Banking Group. He worked with that group in Chattanooga and Birmingham. Upon IBERIABANK’s entry into the Birmingham Market in 2009, King served as market president, covering both Huntsville and Birmingham. His community activities include a place in the Leadership Cabinet for The Campaign for UAB fund drive. ALMA MATER Birmingham Southern College (B.S., accounting); The University of Alabama at Birmingham (MBA) BEVERAGE OF CHOICE A good Pinot Noir TOUGHEST CHALLENGES Balancing career and family and making sure priorities are always set correctly FAVORTIE CHARITY The United Way of Central Alabama SMARTPHONE APP Starbucks
President, Southeastern Financial Group Meehan entered the financial services industry when he graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1988. A Chartered Financial Consultant, Meehan has been successfully advising families and business owners on the accumulation, protection, and transfer of wealth for almost a quarter of a century. Meehan acquired Southeastern Financial Group in 2000 and has served as its president since then. In 2009, Southeastern Financial Group created a partnership with Peachtree Planning to focus on developing and distributing a unique process to help people create and protect wealth using the Living Balance Sheet® system. Meehan and his wife, Catherine, met in college at Vanderbilt University and live in Mountain Brook with their three boys and their two rescued standard poodles. Meehan loves to barbecue on his Big Green Egg and is an avid skier and bird hunter.
Burton McDonald President, BB&T Alabama
McDonald is responsible for Alabama, West Georgia, and Northwest Florida. He leads corporate banking, commercial banking, retail banking, wealth management, mortgage, operations and marketing. The Greater Alabama market is a $5 billion market for BB&T. McDonald, who has been in banking for nearly three decades, joined BB&T in 2007, serving as area executive of Birmingham and corporate banking manager for Alabama, and later serving as the bank’s market president of greater Birmingham. ALMA MATER Birmingham-Southern College (B.A., finance and economics) BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Diet Coke. I drink way too many each day. ON MY BUCKET LIST Take my children to Hawaii, which is where my wife, Laura, and I went on our honeymoon. TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Finding the daily balance of family and work. FAVORITE MOVIE The Star Wars collection, because my son is a huge fan! FAVORITE MUSICIAN Jimmy Buffett
Michael E. Mullis CPA, PFS, Managing Partner and Wealth Manager, Kelley & Mullis Wealth Management
Mullis has always had a deep interest in the financial industry and followed his dad’s footsteps into an accounting career right out of college. He went to work for Kelley & Associates in 1999. In 2010, Mullis was named managing partner, and the firm became Kelley & Mullis Wealth Management. The company has grown to be one of the most successful independent financial planning firms in Birmingham. His greatest satisfaction comes from the relationships that develop with clients through this personal approach to investment and retirement planning. ALMA MATER Samford University (bachelor’s degree, business administration); The University of Alabama at Birmingham (master’s degree, accounting) ON MY BUCKET LIST Visit Greece PASSION/HOBBY Watching and participating in my daughters’ activities FAVORITE BOOK Gates of Fire: An Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae by Steven Pressfield DESSERT Bread pudding
Richard Murray IV President & CEO, National Bank of Commerce
Murray is president and CEO of National Bank of Commerce (NBC). NBC opened in November 2010 (formerly Red Mountain Bank) and currently operates through four markets in Alabama (Birmingham, Huntsville, Opelika, and Baldwin County). Murray’s 30-year career in banking began in 1984 with SouthTrust Bank of Alabama. He is a member of the Kiwanis Club of Birmingham and serves on the Mountain Brook Board of www.BHMBIZ.com
finance/insurance Education. Murray, born in Mobile, is married to Norita Riegle Murray and they have three children: Richard, Grace, and Margaret. ALMA MATER Vanderbilt University ON MY BUCKET LIST Family vacation in Italy; Golf at Pebble Beach PASSION/HOBBY Weekends at the lake when all three of our kids can be there SMARTPHONE APP WeatherBug; the NBC mobile banking app FAVORITE MOVIE The Godfather and the other mob movies FAVORITE MUSICIAN Robert Earl Keen and Emmylou Harris
Scott B. Reed
Senior Managing Director and CEO, Oakworth Capital Bank
Germany PASSION/HOBBY University of Alabama athletics, Roll Tide! Golf with friends FAVORITE CHARITY Crippled Children’s Foundation FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE Animal House FAVORITE MUSICIAN Jimmy Buffett
Executive Vice President, Consumer and Commercial Banking (East Region), BBVA Compass
Reed is responsible for the overall growth, profitability, and strategic direction for Oakworth Capital Bank. He previously worked for 16 years with Regions Financial Corporation. While at Regions, he served as Central Alabama Group President, helping run a $7 billion business unit. Reed is also the founder and president of the Robert E. Reed Gastrointestinal Oncology Research Foundation.
Smith has been with BBVA Compass for nearly 30 years and is responsible for the bank’s retail and commercial banking and wealth management operations in Alabama and Florida. He is also responsible for the bank’s loan production offices throughout the East region, including in Atlanta, Miami, Chicago, New York, and Washington, D.C. He is vice chair of the Birmingham Business Alliance and is active on boards, including those of the Innovation Depot and The Salvation Army.
ALMA MATER Auburn University BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Craft beers ON MY BUCKET LIST Play a round of golf at Augusta National PASSION/HOBBY Exercise; playing golf TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Starting Oakworth Capital Bank. It was also the most fun and rewarding experience of my professional life. I work with a great team, and it has been (and is) a truly awesome experience! FAVORITE CHARITY Robert E. Reed Gastrointestinal Oncology Research Foundation SMARTPHONE APP Weather Channel FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE Good to Great by Jim Collins FAVORITE MUSICIAN R.E.M. because this band reminds me of my college years DESSERT German chocolate cake
ALMA MATER Baylor University (B.S. in business and an MBA) PASSION/HOBBY Outdoor activities, such as running, hiking, and golf FAVORITE BOOK Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey FAVORITE MOVIE The Shawshank Redemption DESSERT Peach cobbler with ice cream
Michael D. Ross Central Region President and Chief Commercial Officer, Renasant Corporation
With more than 29 years of commercial banking experience, Ross has been the top executive in the Alabama/Eastern/Central Region for the last eight years for Renasant. He led the entrance into two new banking markets in Alabama, both of which became profitable within six months of opening. Ross was named chief commercial officer of the entire franchise approximately two years ago. He has been married for 26 years to Hilary Howard Ross, owner of Mater Natura Designs, a landscape design firm. They have three children: Hunter Duncan Ross, age 20; Charles Owen Ross; age 18; and Margaret Addison Ross, age 13. ALMA MATER The University of Alabama, undergrad 1986, MBA 1989 BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Good People IPA ON MY BUCKET LIST Play Augusta National; Attend Octoberfest in
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Senior Vice President, USAmeriBank Since 2007, Spears has managed the Commercial Real Estate Division for USAmeriBank and the Commercial Lending Team. Spears began his banking career at Colonial Bank in Birmingham. In 2003, at the age of 26, Spears was afforded the opportunity to pilot a CRE Division for BancorpSouth in Birmingham. ALMA MATER University of Montevallo BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Strawberry milkshake from Chick-Fil-A ON MY BUCKET LIST A week in Bora Bora with my wife with no cell phones PASSION Help build a church in Chelsea Park that will serve God’s people for centuries FAVORITE HOBBY Whatever my kids tell me it is going to be that day TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Forgiving the men who murdered my brother in 2004 (Steven C. Spears Jr.). Forgiveness was given to us at a great expense and we are called to do so as well. SMARTPHONE APP ESPN FAVORITE BOOK AND MOVIE A Conspiracy of Paper by David Liss; Good Will Hunting FAVORITE MUSICIAN Casting Crowns DESSERT Strawberry shortcake (angel food)
CEO, Reli Settlement Solutions, LLC Stewart is the founder and CEO of Reli Settlement Solutions, LLC, a title insurance and real estate closing firm headquartered in Birmingham. Reli has 11 offices throughout Alabama, Tennessee, and Florida. He is also the founding partner of the law firm of Stewart & Associates, PC. Stewart and his wife, Julie, are mountain climbers aiming to climb the Seven Summits (the highest mountain on each of the seven continents). Stewart and Julie have been married for 33 years and have two children: Tanner, a professional musician in New York, and Taylor, a senior at Vanderbilt University. ALMA MATER University of Alabama and University of Alabama School of Law BEVERAGE OF CHOICE A good Malbec from Mendoza ON MY BUCKET LIST Summit Mount Everest and complete the Seven Summits PASSION/HOBBY Travel FAVORITE CHARITY Seven Summits Foundation—formed to help children here in Birmingham but also in Tanzania and Nepal SMARTPHONE APP Dark Sky FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE Into Thin Air; To Kill A Mockingbird FAVORITE MUSICIAN My son, Tanner DESSERT Strawberry pie
Sam Tortorici CEO and Director, Cadence Bank, N.A.
Tortorici is the CEO and director of Cadence Bank, N.A. Cadence Bank was formed through the acquisitions of Cadence Bank in Mississippi, Superior Bank in Alabama, and Encore Bank in Houston, along with an aggressive organic growth strategy. Today, Cadence Bank is a thriving $8.2 billion regional bank that operates throughout the Southeast and Texas. Tortorici has served in this role since July 2011. Tortorici had a 24-year career at Regions Bank and predecessor AmSouth Bank, where he served in a wide variety of leadership roles throughout the organization. ALMA MATER The University of Alabama BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Organic dark roast coffee from Café Milagro (Costa Rica) ON MY BUCKET LIST Hang gliding; Playing guitar in concert with Eric Clapton TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Surviving the financial crisis FAVORITE CHARITY United Way or Central Alabama FAVORITE MOVIE The Godfather FAVORITE MUSICIAN The Eagles DESSERT New York style cheesecake
Managing Partner, Bridgeworth, LLC For more than 25 years, Zell has specialized in comprehensive retirement planning, asset management, and income distribution. Zell serves as managing partner, providing guidance and leadership as Bridge-
worth continues to grow to meet the evolving needs of clients. Zell is active in both community and professional organizations. She is a member of the doard of trustees of Birmingham Southern College, St. Vincent’s board of directors, Greater Alabama Council Boy Scouts of America, the Oasis Advisory Board, The Women’s Fund, and the Financial Planning Association of North Alabama. She is married to Lee Zell, a partner with the law firm of Balch & Bingham, and they have one son, David Michael. ALMA MATER Birmingham-Southern College. BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Diet Dr. Pepper TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Starting my practice at age 23 FAVORITE CHARITY Oasis Women’s Counseling Center SMARTPHONE APP Trello, which helps keep me organized FAVORITE MOVIE My Cousin Vinny FAVORITE MUSICIAN My Uncle, Buddy Buie. Founder/Writer/Producer of The Atlanta Rhythm Section and The Classics Four DESSERT Anything chocolate
governmental/community service William Bell Sr. Mayor, City of Birmingham
Mayor Bell has served the City of Birmingham as City Councilor and Council President for over 25 years. Bell was elected to a full term as mayor of Birmingham in 2011. He was re-elected Mayor again in 2013. In 1985, during his third term on the Council, he was elected to serve as the first African-American president of the Birmingham City Council. He was again chosen as president following the Birmingham City Council elections in 1987 and 1997. Bell is a graduate of John Carroll High School and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he received his master’s in psychology and guidance and counseling. He also received his doctorate in Jurisprudence from Miles College. Bell has served as a probation officer in Family Court, sales consultant with the Xerox Corporation, and special assistant to the vice president at UAB. Bell is married to Dr. Sharon C. Bell, an administrator with the Birmingham City School System, and has two children and two grandsons.
David Carrington Jefferson County Commission, RacingUSA.com
Carrington is now serving in his second term on the Jefferson County Commission. He now chairs the Commission’s Finance, Information Technology, and Business Development Committee. Carrington is president of RacingUSA.com, the world’s most frequently shopped, independently owned NASCAR store. In this capacity, Carrington was recognized as the 2006 Alabama Retailer of the Year and in 2009, he was named a National Entrepreneurial Hero by the Acton Foundation. He and his wife, Sonia, have been married for 45 years and have two sons, two granddaughters, and five grandsons. ALMA MATER The University of Houston BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Unsweetened iced tea with lemon ON MY BUCKET LIST Walking on the Great Wall of China FAVORITE HOBBY Traveling to foreign countries with my wife to experience other cultures TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Successfully navigating what was at the time of www.BHMBIZ.com
governmental/community service filing, the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history FAVORITE CHARITY aTeam, serving pediatric cancer patients and their families SMARTPHONE APP Twitter FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE The Bible FAVORITE MUSICIAN Kenny Chesney DESSERT Banana pudding
Fundraiser, Birmingham Landmarks, Inc. Cosby has been in fundraising and development in Birmingham for the past 40 years. He is a 35-year veteran of the former Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce, now BBA. His fundraising efforts have supported the restoration of Rickwood Field, Vulcan Park & Museum, Birmingham’s Veteran’s Day Parade, and the Lyric Theatre. The Lyric Theatre campaign succeeded in raising more than $8 million to restore the classic vaudeville house. He and his wife, Gail, are avid hikers who are working to bring the trailhead of the world-famous Appalachian Trail to Alabama.
David B. Fleming President & CEO, REV Birmingham
Fleming is president and CEO of REV Birmingham, which was formed in 2012 by the strategic merger of Operation New Birmingham and Main Street Birmingham. Fleming was the founding executive director of Main Street Birmingham, Inc., a nonprofit organization created to target nine older neighborhood commercial districts for revitalization and development. Fleming is a native of Birmingham, having graduated from Vestavia Hills High School in 1990. He received a bachelor’s in history at Samford University and a masters in public and private management from Birmingham-Southern College. His professional career has included several years working previously with Operation New Birmingham and stints with Sloss Real Estate Group and Congressman Spencer Bachus in Washington, D.C. Fleming and his wife, Brooke, have a young son, Thomas. They live in the Crestwood neighborhood of Birmingham and are active members of Redeemer Community Church.
ALMA MATER Auburn University; The University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute ON MY BUCKET LIST Going hunting in Canada TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Birmingham’s self-image FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry DESSERT My mother’s apple pie
Mayor, City of Hoover Mayor Ivey has a long history of service to the people of Hoover. He has lived in Hoover for over 33 years. Ivey is president and CEO of Crest Cadillac in Hoover. He served on the board of SafeHouse in Shelby County for 12 years and on the Hoover Planning and Zoning Board for eight years. Ivey was elected to the Hoover City Council in 2004 and was re-elected in 2008, serving as president of the council. He was appointed mayor of Hoover in October 2011 to fill the unexpired term of the former mayor and was re-elected July 2012 with no opposition. Ivey is married to Carolyn Ivey and they have two daughters, Tyler and Nicole. BEVERAGE Water ON MY BUCKET LIST Walk my daughter down the aisle in August PASSION/HOBBY Cars and guns TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Cancer survivor. Being in a wheelchair for four months after both of my achilles tendons ruptured. FAVORITE MOVIE Any movie starring John Wayne FAVORITE MUSIC I love the music from the ’60s and ’70s DESSERT Strawberry cake
President, Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau Oros was selected to succeed Jim Smither as president of the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau last year. Oros, who assumed his new position last August, was most recently chief operating officer and executive vice president of the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau, overseeing a staff of convention sales, convention services, sports sales, and tourism professionals. Oros markets Birmingham in the changing landscape of convention and tourism sales.
In leading the BBA, which seeks to grow and diversify the Birmingham economy and enhance the area’s quality of life, Hilson draws on 35 years of experience in economic development in Alabama. Prior to joining the BBA in 2011, he was president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County. Over the years, Hilson has worked with many important companies, including Toyota, UPS, Delta Air Lines, and Verizon.
In addition to helping lead AmSher, Sher leads business development for the Small Business Division of the Intermark Group, a large Birmingham advertising agency. He is also the publisher of ComebackTown, a blog is designed to help create a conversation about a better Birmingham (thecomebacktown.com).
President and CEO, Birmingham Business Alliance
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Co-CEO, AmSher Compassionate Collections
health/education ALMA MATER University of Alabama (B.S.); Syracuse University (M.S.) ON MY BUCKET LIST To witness a transformational change in the regional governance for our Birmingham region PASSION Publishing theComebackTown.com SMARTPHONE APP Overcast, a podcast player FAVORITE BOOK 30 Lessons for Living by Dr. Karl Pillemer FAVORITE MUSICIANS The Beatles
CEO & Executive Director, BirminghamJefferson Civic Center Authority Snider is the executive director and CEO of the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center Authority. With over 20 years of progressive growth within the Authority, he has served in the senior position of CEO since 2010 while responsible for the overall management, sales, marketing, and operation of the facility, overseeing a full-time and part-time staff of nearly 600 and an annual budget of $60 million. ALMA MATER Auburn University BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Water with a lime, or at the appropriate time, a fine single malt scotch ON MY BUCKET LIST Attend the Monaco Grand Prix or Tour de France FAVORITE CHARITY Humane Society; Jimmie Hale Mission FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway FAVORITE MUSICIAN Ryan Adams DESSERT A scoop of really good homemade vanilla ice cream
CEO, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute A former Microsoft executive, Taylor is the CEO of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, named to the post last year. Taylor spent more than eight years as the director of citizenship and public affairs, North America for Microsoft. Prior to Microsoft, she created and led national and global grant programs for the Ford Foundation and the Benton Foundation. She has served as a delegate to four global summits of the United Nations in Africa, Switzerland, China, and Egypt.
Edward K. Aldag Jr.
Chairman, President and CEO, Medical Properties Trust, Inc. Aldag launched Medical Properties Trust, Inc. (NYSE: MPW) in 2003 as the nation’s only real estate investment trust (REIT) focusing exclusively on hospitals and built it into America’s leading source of real estate capital for hospitals. Assets now approach $6 billion, invested in more than 200 hospital properties across the U.S. and Western Europe. MPT is the fourth largest owner of acute care hospital beds in the world, now exceeding 21,000 beds. A native of Eufaula, Aldag resides in Birmingham with his wife, Melinda, and their three children. He also serves on the President’s Campaign Leadership Cabinet for UAB’s $1 billion fundraising campaign and on the board of Mitchell’s Place. ALMA MATER The University of Alabama PASSION/HOBBY One real passion is to do anything with my family TOUGHEST CHALLENGE This past summer, my wife was diagnosed with a very rare lung tumor and lost one of her lungs. It was the loneliest, hardest time of my life. I don’t know what I would have done had I lost her. FAVORITE CHARITY Racing for Children’s FAVORTIE MOVIE On Golden Pond FAVORITE MUSICIAN U2 DESSERT Port wine
Dr. Michael S. Beckenstein M.D. FACS
Beckenstein is a board-certified, fully credentialed plastic surgeon who completed fellowships and residencies around the country. He has extensive experience in reconstructive and plastic surgery. Born and raised in New York, Beckenstein earned a bachelor of science degree in biology from Union College in Schenectady, New York. In 1987, he received his medical degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk Virginia. He was elected into the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society. During his fellowships at Georgetown University and in Birmingham, he developed expertise in cosmetic (aesthetic) surgery of the face and the body, as well as the latest liposuction methods. ALMA MATER Union College, Schenectady, NY BEVERAGE Sweet tea PASSION/HOBBY Cooking and eating (foodie) TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Keeping off the 35 pounds I lost CHARITY The charitable surgeries I give to my patients in need SMARTPHONE APP Find Friends, so I know where my kids are FAVORITE MOVIE The Godfather DESSERT Cannoli from Venierios in NYC
health/education Neeysa Biddle
FACHE, Senior Vice President, Ascension Health and Birmingham Market Executive Biddle is the senior vice president of Ascension Health and Birmingham Market Executive, leading St. Vincent’s Health System (STVHS). She previously held the position of executive vice president and chief operating officer from 2005–2011. A fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, Biddle has more than 25 years of healthcare administrative and executive experience. She holds a bachelor of science degree and a master of health administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Prior to joining STVHS in 2005, she was chief operating officer of Brookwood Medical Center in Birmingham, part of Tenet Healthcare. ALMA MATER Bachelor’s and master’s in health administration, University of Alabama at Birmingham BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Iced tea ON MY BUCKET LIST Attending the college graduation of all of my grandchildren; a midnight sleigh ride FAVORITE HOBBY Gardening and grandchildren FAVORITE CHARITY St. Vincent’s Foundation SMARTPHONE APP Fitbit FAVORITE MUSICIAN Norah Jones DESSERT White chocolate bread pudding
Susan Beard Brouillette
CEO, Alacare Home Health and Hospice Brouillette, MBA, MBH, joined Alacare in 1988 as the director of community relations and education and one year later became the associate director of administrative services. At that time, Alacare had two offices, approximately 35 employees caring for some 150 patients per day, and revenues of approximately $500,000. In 2012, Brouillette was named CEO of Alacare. Under her strategic direction, Alacare has grown revenues of $37 million and 13 locations employing 380 Alabamians to revenues of over $100 million and 24 locations employing over 1,000 Alabamians caring for over 5,000 patients each day. Brouillette is married to David B. Brouillette and together, they have two daughters. ALMA MATER Birmingham-Southern College and UAB (MBA and master’s in public health) BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Good coffee ON MY BUCKET LIST Travel to every continent at least once; Scuba dive FAVORITE CHARITY The Rotary Foundation SMARTPHONE APP Snapchat and Instagram FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE Forrest Gump DESSERT Chocolate anything!
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Dr. William Ferniany
CEO, UAB Health System Ferniany became CEO of the UAB Health System in September 2008. A senior leader in health care since 1975 and in academic medicine since 1988, Ferniany came to UAB from his position as associate vice chancellor and CEO of the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) in Jackson, having previously held key leadership positions at the University of Pennsylvania Health System and at UAB. Ferniany earned his bachelor’s degree in manpower and industrial relations from the University of Alabama, and his master’s degree in hospital and health administration and doctorate in administration-health services from UAB. While at Penn, he was on the faculty of the Wharton Business School, and regularly taught classes, as he did at Mississippi and UAB.
J. Howard Finch Dean and Professor, Brock School of Business, Samford University
Finch joined the Brock School of Business at Samford University as dean and professor of finance in July 2011. From 2000–2011 he held the Alico Chair in Finance at Florida Gulf Coast University, where he served as department chair, associate dean, and acting dean of the Lutgert College of Business. He served as professor of finance at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga from 1991–1999. Prior to his academic career, he worked for five years in broadcasting and financial services sales. He holds a BBA from the University of North Georgia, an MBA from Mercer University, and a PhD in Finance from the University of Alabama. He and his wife, Kathy, have two grown children and are members at Vestavia Hills Baptist Church. ON MY BUCKET LIST A cross-continental trip through Canada. PASSION I read at least three books simultaneously: one for pleasure, one for professional growth, and one for personal or spiritual growth. FAVORITE MUSICIAN George Winston DESSERT Key lime pie
Dr. George T. French Jr. President, Miles College
French served as acting president for the institution beginning October 2005 and then as interim president starting December 2005, becoming the 14th president of Miles College in March 2006. He led the largest Capital Campaign Fund Drive in the history of the College; more than $32 million dollars have been raised. He and Mrs. Joyce Parker French have three children: LaShelle, George III, and Jasmine. ALMA MATER University of Louisville; University of Richmond; Miles College BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Korean ginseng tea with lemon
ON MY BUCKET LIST Skydiving; Studying with Shaolin monks; Exploring interior tunnels of Giza pyramid PASSION/HOBBY Martial Arts; Proficient in Wing Chun, Kempo; Study of history FAVORITE CHARITY A.G. Gaston Boys and Girls Club SMARTPHONE APP TED education FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE Republic by Plato; The Last Emperor FAVORITE MUSICIAN Chris Botti DESSERT Creme brûlée
L. Keith Granger President and CEO, Grandview Medical Center
Granger currently serves as the president and CEO of Grandview Medical Center, a 372-bed facility in Birmingham. Granger came to Trinity Medical Center in October 2009, having served as CEO of Flowers Hospital in Dothan, Alabama, since 1992. In October 2015, Trinity Medical Center was relocated to Highway 280 and renamed Grandview Medical Center. For the last six years, he oversaw pursuit and construction of the new, state-of-the-art hospital facility opened as Grandview Medical Center. A graduate of the University of Alabama in Birmingham, Granger and his wife have three daughters and six grandchildren. ALMA MATER UAB BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Diet soft drinks ON MY BUCKET LIST Attend more country music events; spend more time at the beach and lake; spend more time attending grandkids’ sporting events PASSION/HOBBY Youth sporting events TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Facing the realization of my own potential mortality at an early age FAVORITE CHARITY United Way SMARTPHONE APP AL.com FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE Top Gun FAVORITE MUSICIAN Kid Rock and Keith Urban DESSERT Marble pound cake
Dr. J. Brian Gray Interim Dean, Culverhouse College of Commerce, University of Alabama
Gray is the associate dean of the Manderson Graduate School of Business in the Culverhouse College of Commerce at the University of Alabama. He is also the Harrison Family Teaching Excellence Faculty Fellow and professor of statistics in the Department of Information Systems, Management Science, and Statistics. Gray came to the University in 1990 after spending seven years as a faculty member in the Department of Finance and Decision Sciences at Texas Christian University. He earned the MS and PhD degrees in mathematical sciences from Clemson University in 1980 and 1983, respectively. Gray attended the University of Alabama in Birmingham, where he received a BS degree in mathematics in 1978, with minors in business administration and computer science. He is an active member of the American Statistical Association. His research interests include applied statistics, exploratory data analysis, data mining, business analytics, regression analysis, statistical computing, and statistical graphics.
Dr. Corey Hartman, MD President, Skin Wellness Center of Alabama Business
Hartman is the founder and medical director of the Skin Wellness Center of Alabama in Birmingham. He is assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the University of Alabama School of Medicine. A native of New Orleans, Hartman attended Emory University graduating with a bachelor of arts in psychology. After earning a doctorate of medicine from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, he completed an internship in internal medicine at Tulane University Medical Center and a residency in dermatology at the University of Alabama School of Medicine. Hartman is certified by the American Board of Dermatology and is a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology.
Dr. Bill Hardgrave Dean, Auburn University’s Raymond J. Harbert College of Business
Hardgrave serves as dean and Wells Fargo professor of Auburn University’s Raymond J. Harbert College of Business. He has published several books and more than 75 research articles, primarily on software development and radio frequency identification (RFID). Before coming to Auburn in 2010, he served as professor of information systems in the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas and as the Executive Director of the Information Technology Research Institute. He also founded and directed the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Research Center, now known as the RFID Lab at Auburn University. The lab works with a variety of industry leaders, including Amazon, Avery Dennison, Target, and Tyco. A graduate of Arkansas Tech University, he earned an MBA from Missouri State University and his doctorate at Oklahoma State University. BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Iced tea PASSION/HOBBY Running, biking, golf, and most anything outdoors FAVORITE CHARITY Church of the Highlands and Auburn University SMARTPHONE APP Google Maps FAVORITE MOVIE Christmas Vacation FAVORITE MUSICIAN AC/DC DESSERT Pecan pie
Dr. Bruce Irwin, MD CEO, American Family Care
Irwin has been active in family practice, occupational medicine, and emergency care throughout his career. He opened the first comprehensive health care center in Birmingham in 1982 with the opening of the Hoover clinic. Irwin is board-certified and a member and Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. With more than 160 urgent care clinics in 26 states, American Family Care has become a national company with the goal of becoming one of the most widely known and admired health care brands in the world.
health/education ALMA MATER Birmingham-Southern College; medical degree, UAB; fellowship at Michigan State University BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Simply water and lime. Lots of lime. PASSION/HOBBY I like big game fishing, second to spending time with my grandchildren. FAVORITE CHARITY Cystic Fibrosis Foundation; Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, or LLS FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE Citizen Kane FAVORITE MUSICIAN It comes down to Seal and Sting. Let’s go with Seal. DESSERT Boston cream pie
Dr. Eric P. Jack Dean, UAB Collat School of Business
Jack is the Wells Fargo Endowed Chair in business administration, professor of management, and dean of UAB’s Collat School of Business. He received his bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an MBA with an emphasis on research and development management from Wright State University and a doctorate in operations management from the University of Cincinnati. Jack served as interim dean, associate dean, and interim chair of the department of management, information systems, and quantitative methods. He was awarded the 2006 UAB President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. Before beginning his academic career, Jack served for 21 years as a U.S. Air Force officer. A naturalized U.S. citizen, Jack was born on the island of Trinidad and Tobago. He is married to his engineering classmate, Ave Parker Jack from Augusta, Georgia, who is also an instructor at UAB.
Terry D. Kellogg, F.S.A. President and CEO, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama
Kellogg joined Blue Cross in 1982 as vice president and chief actuary. He has also served as the company’s senior vice president and chief financial officer, executive vice president, and president and chief operating officer. He serves on the boards of the BCS Financial Corporation; Prime Therapeutics, LLC; and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Kellogg is a member of the advisory board for Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc. He is immediate past chairman of the board for United Way of Central Alabama and currently serves on the board of directors for the Greater Alabama Council of Boy Scouts of America and the Bold Goals Coalition Leadership Council. ALMA MATER The University of Kansas BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Birmingham craft beer ON MY BUCKET LIST Attend an NCAA Tournament Final Four with Kansas winning the national title; Tour Italy in the late spring with cooking lessons at each vineyard PASSION/HOBBY Wildlife and nature photography; grandchildren (four boys) TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Overcoming shyness and introversion FAVORITE CHARITY United Way of Central Alabama
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Dr. Lawrence Lemak, MD
Founder, Lemak Sports Medicine & Orthopedics Lemak is a nationally recognized orthopedic surgeon who is a leader in sports medicine and arthroscopy research. Lemak has been instrumental in sports medicine treatment for high school, collegiate, and professional athletes for over 40 years. He is founder of the National Center for Sports Safety, Alabama Sports Foundation, and American Sports Medicine Institute; chief medical officer for Major League Soccer; and a member of the medical advisory board for Pop Warner Football, USA Football, National Federation of High Schools, and the Alabama High School Athletic Association. Lemak has been married to his wife, Georgine, for 50 years, and they have three children, John, David, and Matthew, and six grandchildren, who all reside in Birmingham. In his free time, Lemak is an avid entrepreneur, travels extensively, and is busy raising two Golden Retrievers. ALMA MATER The University of Alabama School of Medicine BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Sweet tea PASSION/HOBBY Vacationing at the Gulf Coast with family FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE Concussion FAVORITE MUSICIAN Most country singers DESSERT Ice cream
Dr. Edward F. Leonard III
President, Birmingham-Southern College Leonard became the 14th president of Birmingham-Southern College on May 13, 2015. Before coming to BSC, Leonard was president of Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas. During that time, Leonard grew enrollment more than a third and completed the school’s largest fundraising campaign. He previously worked at Wilmington College in Ohio and Georgia College. Leonard received his bachelor’s degree in philosophy at William Jewell College, his MBA from Saint Louis University, and his PhD in educational administration from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Leonard and his wife, Sheila, have two sons: Quade, 12, and Thomas, 5 BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Arnold Palmer ON MY BUCKET LIST Visit all 50 states; walk the Great Wall PASSION/HOBBY My two sons FAVORITE SMARTPHONE APP Evernote FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach; Patton FAVORITE MUSICIAN The Beach Boys or Marc Cohn DESSERT Breyer’s Vanilla Fudge Twirl
President and CEO, Odyssey Early Schools Odyssey Early Schools was founded in 1995. Mitchell joined Odyssey in 1996 as its vice president, overseeing the expansion of Odyssey’s original location off of Highway 280 in Inverness and the construction of a second location in Trace Crossings. He purchased sole ownership of the company in 2004. Odyssey employs 90+ teachers who provide nurturing care and excellent teaching to approximately 450 children between the ages of six weeks and five years old, plus after school and summer camp programs for children through third grade. Mitchell has been married to Jennifer Glaze since 1993 and they have two children: Sara Chandler, 18, and Hughes,16. ALMA MATER University of Alabama, B.A. (1992), MBA (1995), and J.D. (1996) BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Unsweet tea; Jefferson’s Ocean bourbon on the rocks ON MY BUCKET LIST I’d like to visit every MLB ballpark with my son. PASSION/HOBBY My kids’ sports (volleyball and baseball) top the list. SMARTPHONE APP Fitbit FAVORITE BOOK Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen
Dr. Richard Marchase VP, Research, Economic Development, UAB
Marchase was named vice president for research in February 2005, having served as acting vice president for research for six months. In 2007, Marchase’s responsibilities expanded to include business development for the university research enterprise. Marchase joined UAB in 1986 as associate professor of cell biology and anatomy. He was named professor of cell biology in 1990. Later that year, he became chair of that department, a position he held until 2000, when he was named associate dean for biomedical research for the School of Medicine. Marchase received his bachelor’s degree in engineering physics from Cornell University and his doctorate in biophysics from Johns Hopkins University. He completed his postdoctoral training and then was named assistant professor at Duke University. He was an initial recipient of the Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation.
Owner, Home Instead Senior Care After dealing with long distance eldercare issues while taking care of his parents, Pahos decided to resign from his industrial supplies sales position and start up the first Home Instead Senior Care franchise in 1997 in the state of Alabama. Born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota, Pahos graduated from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management, in 1987 with a degree in marketing. He married in 1995 to the former Andrea Olvey; they have two children: Andrew, 15, and Hannah, 17. They reside in Vestavia Hills and attend Shades Mountain Baptist Church.
ALMA MATER University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Mountain Dew BUCKET LIST Baja off road driving; Attend a Stanley Cup hockey game PASSION/HOBBY Hockey and golf TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Starting a business FAVORITE CHARITY Alzheimer’s of Central Alabama SMARTPHONE APP Uber FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE The Sting, Braveheart, The Usual Suspects
Dr. Marc Michelson
Michelson Laser Vision Health Michelson, M.D., is a Corneal Specialist, Cataract and LASIK Eye Surgeon at Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, P.C., and Michelson Laser Vision, Inc., in Birmingham, located at UAB Highlands on the campus of the University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) Medical Center. In addition, Michelson is associate clinical professor of ophthalmology at the University of Alabama-Birmingham School of Medicine. He completed his bachelor of science and master of science degrees at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. He earned his medical degree from the University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) School of Medicine followed by an internship in internal medicine at the University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) and then completed a residency in ophthalmology at the Eye Foundation Hospital of the University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB).
Market President, Brookwood Baptist Health Parrott currently serves as market president of the joint venture between Brookwood Medical Center and Baptist Health. The new company has 1,500 physicians, operates five hospitals and 77 health centers, and employs over 7,000 people in Alabama. Parrott most recently served as president and CEO of Baptist Health System. He joined BHS in February 2008 as president of Princeton Baptist Medical Center. Prior to that, he spent 17 years with Memorial Hermann Healthcare System in Houston, Texas. Parrott graduated from Baylor University with a bachelor of arts degree and received his master’s degree in Health Care Administration from the University of Houston-Clear Lake (UHCL). Parrott is a member of the Kiwanis Club of Birmingham. An ordained Baptist deacon and member of Mountain Brook Baptist Church, he and his wife, Kristy, have three children: Reid, Mary Kathryn, and Benjamin. ALMA MATER Baylor University HOBBY Golf FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE Saving Private Ryan; anything by Jim Collins or Patrick Lencioni DESSERT Sweet and salty cake at Highlands Bar and Grill
Dr. Marc Passman UAB Vein Clinic Care
Passman joined the UAB Department of Surgery as an associate professor of surgery on July 1, 2006. He is an American Board of Surgery diplomate in general and vascular surwww.BHMBIZ.com
health/education gery and practices the full spectrum of arterial and venous surgery. He is also the director of the UAB Vein Program, which provides inpatient and outpatient care to patients with a range of venous problems. He has authored numerous journal articles and book chapters and is on the editorial board for the Journal of Vascular Surgery. He is also involved in several national medical societies, holding executive committee positions in the Peripheral Vascular Society, the American Venous Forum, and the Society for Vascular Surgery.
Joan C. Ragsdale, JD CEO, MedManagement, LLC
Ragsdale serves as the CEO for MedManagement, LLC, a company she cofounded in 1995. MedManagement, LLC, provides physician advisor services and compliance services to facilitate compliance with health care regulations and has national accreditation for health utilization management and as an independent review organization. Prior to joining MedManagement, Ragsdale was a partner with Sirote & Permutt and Bradley Arant. ALMA MATER University of Alabama (undergraduate and School of Law) BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Coffee, usually black, but a special treat is a white chocolate mocha! ON MY BUCKET LIST Visit every national park; watch the final match of the World Cup (with the U.S. in it, of course) SMARTPHONE APP Nixplay allows friends and family to send pictures to a picture frame in my home FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE It’s a Wonderful Life; To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and My Soul is Rested by Howell Raines. DESSERT Warm homemade chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream
CEO, Education Corporation of America Reed was named CEO of Education Corporation of America in January 2015. His former role was president and chief operating officer. Reed joined ECA after a successful career most recently with Sears Holdings, where he served as president of the company’s $3.7 billion Home Services business unit for the past six years. Prior to that, he was a senior executive for Motorola, where he ran the company’s Supply Chain and Operations, and later served as president of the company’s $20 billion Mobile Devices division. He also served more than 20 years at IBM, where he held executive roles in multiple operational areas and was a key thought leader among the team of senior executives who transformed IBM’s supply chain operation. Reed holds a master’s degree in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was appointed a Sloan Fellow. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in materials and logistics management from Michigan State University.
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Dr. Daniel E. Rousso
Rousso Facial Plastic Surgery and the Alabama Hair Institute Rousso of Rousso Facial Plastic Surgery and the Alabama Hair Institute has been practicing in Birmingham for more than 25 years, focused exclusively in facial cosmetic surgery and hair transplantation procedures. Rousso offers NEOGRAFT hair restoration in his practice and is the only Alabama physician who is board-certified by the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery. He is also board-certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology. He is both a past president of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery and the American Academy of Facial Plastic Surgery. He is a clinical assistant professor of surgery at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Department of Surgery. ALMA MATER Emory University BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Water; Herradura Tequila ON MY BUCKET LIST Grandchildren, then seeing them get married PASSION/HOBBY Boating on Lake Martin TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Medical school and residency FAVORITE CHARITY Laura Crandall Brown Ovarian Cancer Foundation SMARTPHONE APP Pandora FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE Forrest Gump FAVORITE MUSICIAN The Rippingtons DESSERT Apple pie a la mode
Dr. Jack L. Schaeffer President and CEO, Schaeffer Eye Center
Schaeffer is the president and CEO of Schaeffer Eye Center and started his fullscope primary eye care practice in 1979. Schaeffer Eye Center is one of Alabama’s largest optometric practices with18 locations, more than 130 employees, and 23 doctors in Birmingham, Huntsville, Montgomery, and Tuscaloosa. Schaeffer is also founder and president of Alabama Eye Network, founder of the Contact Lens and Anterior Segment Society, and co-founder of the Ocular Surface Society of Optometry. He is a frequent lecturer both nationally and internationally. ALMA MATER University of Georgia; Southern College of Optometry BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Macallan 18 ON MY BUCKET LIST I am living a bucket list. PASSION/HOBBY My grandchildren; Schaeffer Eye Center; and cycling FAVORITE CHARITY Camp Smile-A-Mile. SMARTPHONE APP Epocrates and Pandora FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE Good to Great by Jim Collins and The End of Marketing as We Know It by Sergio Zyman; Too many to name—Scent of a Woman and Gone with the Wind FAVORITE MUSICIAN Coldplay and Mumford & Sons DESSERT No dessert for me—lactose intolerant
Deborah L. Stephens
Founder, Chairman, & CEO, Behavioral Health Systems, Inc. Stephens is the founder, CEO, and chairman of Behavioral Health Systems, Inc. (BHS), in Birmingham. She was the principal founding member of the company in 1989. BHS provides managed behavioral health care services through a 17,000+ preferred provider network to over 750+ client companies, covering 750,000+ persons, with operations extending across the nation. Stephens attended the University of Iowa (Kappa Kappa Gamma alumnus), the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, and the Western Institute of Healthcare Executives program at the University of California Berkeley. She also attended private school in Dusseldorf, Germany, for three years prior to college. ALMA MATER University of Iowa BEVERAGE OF CHOICE A nice, dry Sauvignon Blanc ON MY BUCKET LIST Cruise of Cannes, Monico, and the Greek Isles; Retirement home in Naples, Florida FAVORITE CHARITY PETA FAVORITE BOOK The Terror by Dan Simmons; The Other Guy Blinked: The Coca-Cola/Pepsi War by Roger Enrico FAVORITE MUSICIAN Current Artists: Sam Smith and Adele; Older: Piano Musician Danny Wright and George Winston
Dr. John W. Stewart III President, University of Montevallo
Stewart is the 15th president of the University of Montevallo. Since his arrival at the University in August 2010, Stewart has endeavored to raise awareness of the school’s profile. The University has seen a 22 percent increase in freshmen enrollment in each of the last five years with a 105 percent increase in application for admission. Stewart’s focus on academics has led the University to rise to the No. 1 public master’s-level institution in Alabama (No. 15 in the South) in U.S. News and World Report rankings. The University also attained a status of “College of Distinction” during Stewart’s tenure. BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Cabernet ON MY BUCKET LIST Publish a novel; Fish/travel to the Caribbean in my own boat PASSION/HOBBY Bluewater fishing FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway; Islands in the Stream FAVORITE MUSICIAN Bob Marley, Jimmy Buffett, Bruce Springsteen DESSERT Wedding cake
Jeff Underwood President, Lakeshore Foundation
Underwood is president of Lakeshore Foundation, a position he has held since 1991. Lakeshore Foundation is one of the country’s largest providers of fitness, sport,
and recreation programs for people with physical disability. Today, the Lakeshore Foundation serves over 10,000 people with disability annually through its three core lines of business: physical activity, research, and advocacy. Lakeshore is an official USOC training site for Olympic and Paralympic athletes. Underwood was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He and his wife, Melinda, have two daughters, Anna and Maria. They attend Trinity United Methodist Church in Homewood. ALMA MATER University of Alabama and AUM (graduate school) BEVERAGE Cabernet sauvignon ON MY BUCKET LIST Seeing my wife holding a future grandchild; Going to the Grand Prix of Monaco HOBBY Baseball TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Undergoing 37 radiation treatments CHARITY Birmingham YWCA APP Map My Run BOOK Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas MUSICIAN Neil Young, Lucinda Williams DESSERT Peanut butter M&Ms
José Antonio Valencia CEO, The Valencia Group
In 1998, Valencia established The Valencia Group, Inc. (TVG) in Birmingham. With an expert, health care management team, TVG finds solutions for its clients by providing a complete outsourcing of healthcare revenue cycle services, consulting and regulatory services. TVG develops and deploys its own enabling technologies for the revenue cycle, and at this time is working with more than 20 health care facilities in Alabama. In 2002, Valencia created En Español to provide health services for the growing Latino population and directed its operation until 2005. ALMA MATER University Gabriel Rene Moreno, Finance and Auditing, Santa Cruz, Bolivia; University of Houston, Computer Science; Samford University, MBA ON MY BUCKET LIST Visit with my family in Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Iguazu Falls, Montevideo PASSION/HOBBY Travel, golf, reading, and helping in my community TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Opening my own firm in Bolivia at 19 years of age FAVORITE CHARITY Alabama Ear Institute SMARTPHONE APP Whatsup FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE The Prophet by Hahlil Gibran FAVORITE MUSICIAN Soledad Pastorutti DESSERT Crème brulee
CEO, Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center Warren is the CEO of Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center in Birmingham. She served as a physician practice management consultant with Warren, Averett, Kimbrough and Marino for 10 years. Other work experiences include management of Brookwood Hospital’s primary care physician network and MedPartners, a physician practice management company. She serves on the advisory board for the Sports Marketing Program at Samford University and is a member of www.BHMBIZ.com
health/education the board of trustees for the Healthcare Worker’s Compensation Fund. She is also immediate past chairman of the board for M-Power Ministries. She was awarded “Executives of Influence” by the Birmingham Business Journal. She is married to Brent Warren and they have two girls, Kendall,12, and Holland, 9. They reside in Vestavia Hills and are members of Vestavia Hills Baptist Church. ALMA MATER James Madison University, BBA-Economics Magna Cum Laude; UAB, MBA and master’s in health services administration ON MY BUCKET LIST Visit the Grand Canyon; Ride in a hot air balloon PASSION/HOBBY Cooking/eating good food and running FAVORITE CHARITY M-Power Ministries SMARTPHONE APP Map My Run DESSERT Tiramisu
President and CEO, Children’s of Alabama Warren is president and CEO of Children’s of Alabama. Children’s is an independent, not-for-profit, free-standing pediatric health care center. Prior to joining Children’s in January 2008, Warren was chairman and CEO of Energen Corporation and its two primary subsidiaries, Alagasco and Energen Resources. Warren practiced law with the Birmingham firm of Bradley, Arant, Rose & White for a dozen years before joining Alabama Gas in 1983. He and Anne have three married children and 10 grandchildren. ALMA MATER Auburn University and Duke University Law School ON MY BUCKET LIST Anne and I have visited 58 of the 59 national parks— Pinnacles National Park in California is our last and we will visit in February. PASSION/HOBBY My hobby is searching for the world’s best cheeseburger. TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Alabama Medicaid SMARTPHONE APP Dark Sky—the best weather app ever. FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE Best movie and play—Les Miserables FAVORITE MUSICIAN John Denver DESSERT Chocolate chip cookies
Dr. Ray Watts President, UAB
Watts, UAB’s seventh president, is a Birmingham native and graduate of West End High School and UAB in 1976. He graduated from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis as valedictorian of his class. Watts completed a neurology residency, medical internship, and clinical fellowships at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, followed by a two-year medical staff fellowship at the National Institutes of Health. Before returning to UAB in 2003, he was part of a team that helped create an internationally renowned research and clinical center for Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders at Emory University in Atlanta. At UAB, he has served as John N. Whitaker Professor and chairman of the Department of Neurology, then as senior vice president and dean of the School of Medicine. Watts and his wife, Nancy, who worked at UAB as a nurse before retiring, have five grown children.
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Dr. Andrew Westmoreland
President, Samford University As Samford’s 18th president, Westmoreland has led the university to embrace a vision to enrich and expand its service to students and further inspire their desire to meet the needs of the world. Westmoreland is a recognized leader nationally in higher education, as former board chair for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and current president of the American Association of Presidents of Independent Colleges and Universities. A native of Batesville, Arkansas, he is married to Dr. Jeanna Westmoreland. The Westmorelands have one daughter, Riley, a graduate of Samford and Vanderbilt University. ALMA MATER Ouachita Baptist University; Graduate degrees from the University of Arkansas and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Coffee. Black. Strong. ON MY BUCKET LIST Leave Samford a stronger university than when I arrived; Take a couple of months to tour Europe by train PASSION/HOBBY Reading and travel SMARTPHONE APP Mental Note FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis DESSERT Cheesecake and ice cream top the list.
industry/manufacturing William Bowron
Chairman, President, and CEO, Red Diamond, Inc. Bowron is chairman of the board, president, and CEO of Red Diamond, Inc., a 108-year-old family-owned coffee, tea, and foodservice company providing high quality products to fine hotels, restaurants, offices, institutions, and homes across the United States. The nationally recognized brand offers a variety of coffee, carton teas, and fresh brewed ready-to-drink tea. A graduate of the University of Virginia and the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University, Bowron earlier worked in the banking industry in Georgia. He has been active in leadership in numerous charitable, cultural, and business organizations. BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Coffee and tea, of course! ON MY BUCKET LIST Sailing excursion in the Caribbean; Shooting my age as a golf score PASSION/HOBBY Hunting quail TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Leaving my banking career and returning to Birmingham to learn the coffee and tea business in 1991 FAVORITE CHARITY Arthritis Foundation SMARTPHONE APP Ice Futures or Ghin for golf FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE The American President; Bourne Ultimatum by Robert Ludlum FAVORITE MUSICIAN Frank Sinatra and Michael Buble DESSERT Strawberry shortcake and coffee
President and Chief Operating Officer, Bud’s Best Cookies Right after college, Birmingham native Cason went to work for his father, Bud, at his dad’s new company, Bud’s Best Cookies. Cason worked his way up, eventually handling purchasing and logistics for six years. He became president and CEO after graduating from the Harvard University Business School. BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Perrier ON MY BUCKET LIST A multi-week European river cruise with my wife, Jenifer PASSION/HOBBY Alabama football SMARTPHONE APP Waze FAVORITE MUSICIAN Eric Clapton DESSERT White chocolate bread pudding and Bud’s Best Cookies
President, Access Marketing Cooke is president of Access Marketing, Inc., a full-service marketing firm in Birmingham. Access Marketing provides research and implements ideas, strategy, branding, and execution. Access Marketing specializes in consumer products, business-to-business, retail, and new product launches. Current and past clients include the following companies: Nike, Converse, Mission Skin Care, Adidas, Tap Out, Applebee’s, Fuse Science, Crown Royal, Foot Locker Companies, and Newcastle. Cooke executed marketing programs with many star athletes including Tiger Woods, Tiki and Ronde Barber, and Jim Kelly, to name a few. Prior to owning Access Marketing, Cooke was president and CEO of AmMark Global Marketing. ALMA MATER The University of Alabama ON MY BUCKET LIST Take a year off to attend every music festival across the globe PASSION/HOBBY Playing the drums; music; any time I can spend on my boat FAVORITE CHARITY Big Oak Ranch SMARTPHONE APP Uber and Pandora FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE The E Myth by Robert Gerber FAVORITE MUSICIAN Elvis Presley
Burton Dunn, Andrew Pharo, Eric Meyer, Taylor DeBoer, Andy Gwaltney Founders, Cahaba Brewing Company
Cahaba Brewing Company was founded in the summer of 2011 by a group of friends united by their love of craft beer and home brewing. From the beginning, Cahaba Brewing Company has had the goal of providing Birmingham
with clean and consistent craft beers with a broad variety of flavors and styles. They started brewing beer in the late spring of 2012 and officially opened to the public in September 2012. Cahaba found a new location and began the expansion process in early 2015. They celebrating “Last Pint Night” at the original Third Avenue South location in mid-January 2016; the new 51,000-square-foot building, located in the Historical Continental Gin, is now open. The new taproom offers a window looking into the production facility, a covered patio, and ample parking. The space is also flexible, offering multiple options for all varieties of private event needs.
J. Thomas Hill
Chairman of the Board, President and CEO, Vulcan Materials Hill was elected chairman of the board for Vulcan Materials Company in December 2015 and president and CEO in July 2014. Hill has been with Vulcan for more than 25 years, serving in a variety of operations and general management assignments of increasing responsibility since first joining the company in 1979. Prior to being named CEO, Hill was executive vice president and chief operating officer for the company, having previously served as senior vice president of Vulcan’s South Region. He has also served as president of Vulcan’s former Florida Rock Division, as well as the Company’s Southwest Division. Hill worked for Redlands Stone Products from 1990 to 1996 in sales and operations management, before rejoining Vulcan as vice president and general manager of the Company’s Southwest Division. Hill is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and the Wharton School of Business, Executive Management Program.
Jason D. Hoff
President and CEO, Mercedes-Benz U.S. International Since becoming president and CEO of MBUSI in 2013, Hoff has led the company’s more than 3,500 team members making the GLE-Class, GL-Class, and GLE Coupe luxury sport-utility vehicles, as well as the new C-Class for the North American market. Hoff has more than 20 years of experience with Daimler AG, the parent company. He joined Daimler AG in 1993 through the Daimler International Management Associates program. One of his first assignments was serving as controller for the initial $350-million Mercedes-Benz Project investment. ALMA MATER Linfield College, McMinnville, OR TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Parenting SMARTPHONE APP ESPN FAVORITE MUSICIAN Eric Clapton DESSERT My wife’s chess pie
James C. Lee III Chairman of the Board and CEO, Buffalo Rock Company
Lee carries on a long family tradition in serving as chairman and CEO at Buffalo Rock, one of the largest Pepsi-Cola franchises owned by a single family in the United States. He is the fourth generation Lee to take over the business. Buffalo Rock began in 1901 and now employs over 2,000 www.BHMBIZ.com
industry/manufacturing people in Alabama, Georgia, and Florida, providing wholesale beverage and snack sales, full-line vending, and catering services. Lee began working summers at Buffalo Rock when he was 12. He went to work for the company full-time in 1971, about a year after he finished college. ALMA MATER Auburn University BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Diet Mountain Dew ON MY BUCKET LIST Normandy Beach TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Dealing with being a diabetic FAVORITE MUSICIAN Buddy Holly DESSERT Key Lime Pie
C. Phillip McWane Chairman, McWane Inc.
McWane is the chairman of McWane, Inc. in Birmingham. McWane joined the company in 1980 and has held a number of management positions, including executive vice president and president. He has served on the board of McWane, Inc. since 1986. He is a graduate of Auburn University. McWane currently serves on the board of directors of McWane, Inc., the National Bank of Commerce, National Commerce Corporation, and Children’s of Alabama. He is a member of the Downtown Rotary, Leadership Alabama, and serves on the boards of The McWane Science Center, PreSchool Partners Advisory Board, and The Birmingham Business Alliance Executive Committee. He is married to Heather McWane. They have three children: Laura, Katie, and Will. ALMA MATER Auburn University FAVORITE CHARITY Children’s of Alabama SMARTPHONE APP Flipbook FAVORITE MOVIE The Man Who Would be King PASSION/HOBBY Golf and guitar
Claude Nielsen Chairman and CEO, Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED
Nielsen joined Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED, Inc. in 1979, holding a variety of operational and managerial positions until 1991 when he was appointed CEO. Under his direction as CEO, Coca-Cola UNITED has become the largest privately held Coca-Cola bottler in the United States, third largest Coca-Cola bottler in the nation, and the seventh largest privately held company in Alabama. Coca-Cola UNITED is comprised of 28 franchised Coca-Cola territories operating in 27 sales centers in the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee. In 2014, under Nielson’s leadership, Coca-Cola UNITED assumed territories in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee, increasing the company’s size by 48 percent. A native of Evergreen, Alabama, he earned a BA in economics from Sewanee: The University of the South in 1973 and received his master’s degree in business from The Colgate-Darden School of Business at The University of Virginia in 1975. He and his wife, Kate, attend the Church of the Advent and have three children and four grandchildren.
Vice President of Manufacturing, Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, LLC Oatridge began working on the HMA project team in August 2000 and moved to Alabama to support the start up of the new facility in March 2001. Located in Lincoln, Alabama, Honda’s $2.2 billion vehicle and engine operation in Alabama employs more than 4,500 associates. The company produces the Odyssey minivan, the Pilot sport utility vehicle, the Ridgeline pickup truck, the Acura MDX luxury sport utility vehicle, and the V-6 engines that power them. Oatridge started his career with Honda in 1989 at Honda of Canada, where he worked on many new-model vehicle projects, including the Odyssey minivan. Born in Oakville, Ontario, Oatridge now lives in Birmingham. ALMA MATER Ryerson University, 1988, mechanical engineering BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Craft beer ON MY BUCKET LIST Drive an open-wheel race car TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Being a good husband and father FAVORITE MOVIE Blade Runner FAVORITE MUSICIAN Roger Waters of Pink Floyd
Chairman, O’Neal Steel O’Neal, chairman and grandson of company founder Kirkman O’Neal, was born and raised in the steel business in Birmingham. In 1984, he began his career at O’Neal as a member of the Birmingham District’s Inside sales department. After continually increasing positions of responsibility, O’Neal succeeded his father, Emmet O’Neal, as chairman. O’Neal serves on the boards of the American Red Cross, Baylor School, Birmingham Business Alliance Executive Committee, Children’s of Alabama, UAB’s Comprehensive Cancer Center, and UAB’s Athletics Foundation. He is a member of the Monday Morning Quarterback Club and Rotary Club of Birmingham. O’Neal is also an active fundraiser, chairing or co-chairing campaigns for the Birmingham Zoo, Alabama Symphony, American Heart Association, Birmingham International Center, and United Way of Central Alabama. ALMA MATER Birmingham-Southern College ON MY BUCKET LIST Travel to New Zealand and Australia PASSION/HOBBY I love athletics, both as a participant and spectator. TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Loss of my parents and a brother to cancer FAVORITE CHARITY United Way of Central Alabama SMARTPHONE APP Spotify FAVORITE MUSICIAN Chris Martin DESSERT Pralines and cream ice cream
Michael Sellers CEO, Good People Brewing Company
All Sellers set out to do was make good beer to share with friends. He never imagined that a passion for brewing would become a
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business. But thousands of hours, hundreds of hiccups, two abandoned day jobs, and one business license later, Good People Brewing Company was born on July 4, 2008. Offerings now include five year-round brews, four seasonals, and an occasional one-off. According to BeerAdvocate, a leading voice in the beer community, the four highest-rated beers in the South are Good People’s. ALMA MATER Thomasville High School, along with AL.com’s Kyle Whitmire and Teacher of the Year Ann Marie Corgill BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Good People Beer TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Raising my daughter SMARTPHONE APP Uber...such a great thing to have in our city FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE Rocky II FAVORITE MUSICIAN Conway Twitty DESSERT Coffee Oatmeal Stout with chocolate chip pecan pie
Robert “Bo” Stanford
President, American Printing Company A Birmingham native, Stanford attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham and served in the United States Army from 1969 to 1975, leaving the service at the level of Specialist 5. Stanford then began his business career in sales and marketing management and as a successful entrepreneur. Today, he is the owner of a number of companies in the printing, communications, and marketing fields, including American Printing Company, American Interactive Marketing, D2 Design, Press Access, Service Access, Green Access, and Liquidation Access. He has been married for 46 years to his wife, Frances, and the couple has three children and eight grandchildren. An animal lover who has rescued numerous animals in distress, Stanford is also a collector, who has assembled one of the largest collections of antique American flags in the country. A general aviation pilot, Stanford received the Jay Grinder Spirit of Flight Award in 2007. Among his awards, Stanford was named Printer of the Year by Printing Impressions magazine, received the H.O.P.E. Award from the Full Life Ahead Foundation, and the Silver Medal Award from the Birmingham Advertising Federation.
Lee J. Styslinger III Chairman, CEO, Altec, Inc.
Styslinger is the chairman and CEO of Altec Inc., the holding company for Altec Industries, Capital Services, National Equipment Company, Altec Worldwide, Global Rental, and Altec Ventures. Today, Altec has products and services in over 100 countries throughout the world. Altec was founded in 1929 by Styslinger’s grandfather. Styslinger serves on the board of Regions Financial Corporation, Vulcan Materials Company, Harvard Business School, Children’s Hospital, Northwestern University-College of Arts and Sciences, the U.S. Olympic Ski Team, and the Altec/Styslinger Foundation. He earned his B.A. from Northwestern University in 1983 and his MBA from Harvard University in 1988. Lee and his wife, Kelly, reside in Birmingham with three sons: Paul, Scott, and Leo. BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Most any kind of tea ON MY BUCKET LIST Africa and Patagonia PASSIONS Golf and tennis TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Going away to boarding school at age 12...by choice! FAVORITE CHARITY United Way FAVORITE APP Periscope
FAVORITE BOOK The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman FAVORITE MUSICIAN The Rolling Stones DESSERT Anything with dark chocolate
professional services Leon Ashford Managing Partner, Hare Wynn Newell & Newton
Ashford has been a trial lawyer for 42 years. Throughout the course of his career, Ashford has a proven record of consistently obtaining multimillion-dollar jury verdicts and settlements for his clients, their families, and their small businesses. Though he has always focused his practice on complex litigation involving catastrophic personal injuries and wrongful death, he has recently been called upon to represent family-owned and closely held businesses in litigation that threatened generations of success. When the stakes are high, he feels strongly that an experienced trial lawyer is an integral part of the team approach to litigation of complex business disputes. In addition to his busy law practice, he has been Hare Wynn’s managing partner since 1996. Born in 1948 and raised in Athens, Alabama, Ashford attended the University of Alabama to receive his undergrad and law degree.
Managing Partner, Dent Moses Baker has served as managing partner at Dent Moses since 2016. He joined the firm in 1989 and became a partner in Dent, Baker & Company in 1997. His practice is concentrated in the areas of taxation and general business consulting, and he heads the firm’s legal and engineering segments. A CPA, Baker is also a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) with Series 7 and Series 63 licenses from the National Association of Securities Dealers. He serves as chairman of the UAB Accounting Advisory Board and is active with Samford University’s Brock School of Business. In his spare time, he enjoys shooting, hunting, and fishing. He is a member of the sportsmen’s clubs Southern Skeet and Trap and Lake George. He and his wife, Karen, have one daughter. ALMA MATER Auburn University and UAB BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Bourbon, water, and unsweet tea ON MY BUCKET LIST Dove hunting in Argentina PASSION/HOBBY Fly fishing and shooting clays FAVORITE CHARITY Big Oak Ranch FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE Out of Africa DESSERT Banana pudding
Keith M. Barfield Founding Member, Barfield, Murphy, Shank & Smith
With a personal service philosophy to “provide peace of mind to all clients,” Barfield offers solutions for accounting issues, including restructuring company debt, bank and bonding relationships and negotiations, operational and organizational restructurwww.BHMBIZ.com
professional services ing, strategic planning, and acquisitions. His clients range from architects, construction companies, and manufacturers to technology and service businesses. Barfield has the designation of Certified Information Technology Professional, which attests to a CPA’s understanding of such topics as IT, information management, and business intelligence. ALMA MATER Auburn University ON MY BUCKET LIST Restore my 1970 Mustang TOUGHEST CHALLENGE In 2010, I was a co-driver of my best friend’s CNG Powered GTO across Route 66 from Santa Monica to Chicago. PASSION/HOBBY I am a motorcycle enthusiast and avid Harley fan. My bike is a Softail Deuce. My favorite place to ride is out west. FAVORITE BOOK The Singularity is Near by Ray Kurzweil
Joel Blackstock Founding Partner, Williams Blackstock Architects
As a founding partner of Williams Blackstock Architects, Blackstock has practiced architecture in Birmingham for more than 35 years. Due to his creative, flexible, and innovative approach to architectural design and project management, Blackstock has earned a reputation for being a relentless problem solver. He tirelessly pursues the optimal design solution that will create lasting value, both aesthetically and financially. He currently serves on the boards of REV Birmingham, Alabama Council of the American Institute of Architecture, the Alabama Center for Architecture, and Workshops, Inc. ALMA MATER Auburn University BEVERAGE OF CHOICE French white wine ON MY BUCKET LIST Travel the world—Europe and Asia. Specifically, I would love to visit Ireland. PASSION/HOBBY Seeing architecture in its built environment TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Balancing family and work while developing an architectural firm FAVORITE CHARITY REV Birmingham; Workshops, Inc. FAVORITE SMARTPHONE APP FitBit FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee FAVORITE MUSICIAN John Lee Hooker or anyone singing the blues DESSERT Dark chocolate and gummy bears
Stan Blanton Managing Partner, Balch & Bingham
Blanton is chairman of Balch & Bingham’s executive committee and also serves as managing partner. Blanton also leads the firm’s Nuclear Energy Practice Group. Blanton has led the firm’s Nuclear Energy Practice Group since 1994 and is beginning his 10th year as member of the executive committee. For the last 25 years, Blanton has focused on the representation of the owners, operators, and purchasers of electric generating facilities, with special emphasis on commercial nuclear development, regulation and policy. He is a recognized leader in the field and currently is ranked by Chambers USA, one of the most respected legal ranking directories, in its nationwide rankings. Additionally, the firm’s nuclear energy practice, under Blanton’s leadership, achieved a nationwide Chambers USA ranking. Blanton received his B.S. in 1980 and his J.D and MBA in 1983, all from the University of Alabama.
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Stephen E. Bradley
President, Stephen Bradley & Associates LLC In 1995, Bradley formed Stephen Bradley & Associates, a comprehensive, full-service public affairs firm specializing in public and governmental relations after working in executive positions at Alabama Power Company, Waste Management Inc., and AmSouth Bank. Bradley worked as an editor and journalist in the 1970s after serving in Vietnam with the U.S. Navy. Long active in civic and charitable efforts, Bradley served as president of the All American Bowl and the Birmingham Festival of Arts and is a graduate of both Leadership Birmingham and Leadership Alabama. ALMA MATER University of Alabama (B.A., liberal arts, 1968; M.A., public relations, 1971) PASSION/HOBBY Golf and fast cars TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Leaving the safety of the corporate world to start and grow my own firm FAVORITE CHARITY Birmingham Humane Society FAVORITE BOOK The Last Lion, a biography of Winston Churchill by William Manchester and Paul Reid DESSERT Coconut pie
Andy Campbell Managing Partner, Campbell Guin
In a long, diverse career, Campbell—the chair of the firm’s litigation section—has established himself as one of the state’s leading business litigators. He has handled hundreds of cases involving shareholder disputes and litigation and also works on such cases as will contests, class actions, and securities and derivative litigation. He has served on numerous Alabama Bar Institute Committees and was honored as a Fellow of the Birmingham Bar Foundation in 2014. ALMA MATER Birmingham-Southern College and The University of Alabama School of Law BEVERAGE OF CHOICE My wife’s breakfast smoothies PASSION/HOBBY Playing with my grandchildren and hanging out with my children, running, and hiking and rafting near our home in Cashiers, North Carolina (aka “Heaven”) TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Finding enough hours to balance raising a family, handling a heavy caseload, being available for clients, managing a law firm, and enjoying downtime. As an empty nester, it remains a challenge. SMARTPHONE APPS Politico and the Daily Beast DESSERT Coconut cake from Highlands Bar and Grill and Chez FonFon
W. Todd Carlisle President, Sirote & Permutt, P.C.
Carlisle is president of Sirote & Permutt, P.C. and sits on the board of directors. Carlisle is a trusted adviser to many clients as a member of the Corporate & Securities and Tax practices, including co-chairperson of the Privacy and Data Security Group. In recognition of his legal expertise, Carlisle has received the AV-Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings and has been selected to The Best Lawyers in America and Chambers USA publications in the areas of Corporate Law and Mergers and Acquisitions Law. Carlisle serves as a member of the United Way of Central Alabama Board of Directors and the Samford University Board of Overseers, among other civic activities. ALMA MATER Samford University BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Coffee BUCKET LIST Hiking in New Zealand or the Canadian Rockies TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Saying no FAVORITE CHARITY United Way of Central Alabama SMARTPHONE APP Audible FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE Hunt for Red October FAVORITE MUSICIAN My son, Will DESSERT Red velvet cake with cream cheese icing
Richard Carnaggio Vice President, Cohen Carnaggio Reynolds
Carnaggio has been a partner at Cohen Carnaggio Reynolds since 2002. Prior to that, he worked as a partner at Williams Blackstock Architects P.C. from 1995 to 2002. He worked at Giattina Fisher Aycock Architects from 1991 to 1995. His professional education includes a bachelor of architecture degree from Mississippi State University with additional studies at Georgia Tech. He also studied at Plymouth Polytechnic in England, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and the University of Montevallo. He is a LEED accredited professional and is licensed to practice architecture in Alabama, California, and Colorado. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects, Friends of the Railroad District City Steering Committee, Main Street Birmingham, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Water, or water in a solid state with vodka, scotch, or bourbon ON MY BUCKET LIST Immortality PASSION/HOBBY Sculpture, motorcycles, and violins TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Ignorance FAVORITE CHARITY Yes, and it’s personal. SMARTPHONE APP Settings FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton DESSERT An aperitif or two
President, Cohen Carnaggio Reynolds Cohen’s architecture firm celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. A LEED accredited professional, Cohen is a member of the
American Institute of Architects and licensed to practice in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. She serves on the Design Alabama board, Birmingham Design Review Committee, and Kiwanis Club, and as campaign manager for Railroad Park. A graduate of Georgia Institute of Technology, she holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architecture. Prior to founding Cohen, Carnaggio, Reynolds, she worked in Birmingham for the Garrison Barrett Group and Giattina Fisher Aycock Architects and in Georgia for Cleveland Cail & Associates and Chapman, Coyle, Chapman & Associates Architects. ALMA MATER Georgia Institute of Technology BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Prosecco ON MY BUCKET LIST Return to Israel PASSION/HOBBY Pilates and being outdoors FAVORITE CHARITY YWCA FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein FAVORITE MUSICIAN Santana DESSERT Anything with dark chocolate
President, KC Projects, LLC Conlin is the founder of KC Projects, LLC, and is an accomplished public relations professional and successful entrepreneur. She founded KC Projects in 2011. Conlin, an MBA graduate of University of Miami and a finance degree from University of Alabama, is as passionate about public service as she is about public relations. She contributes her time and expertise through various board seats and volunteering to civic organizations including Alabama Forever, Shelby Humane Society, Alabama Women in Business, and March of Dimes. She is an avid and passionate world traveler who seeks adventure to broaden horizons, provide learning, expand awareness, and stoke curiosity. Conlin is the recipient of many awards for her public relations, marketing, and entrepreneurial efforts, including the International Stevie Awards for Women in Business, in which she was a finalist for Female Entrepreneur of the Year; Public Relations Campaign of the Year; and Pro Bono Campaign of the Year.
Founding Principal, Cory Watson, P.C. An attorney for 35 years and a lifelong resident of Birmingham, Cory has devoted his practice exclusively to class actions and complex litigation involving defective medical devices, pharmaceutical drugs, and environmental toxins. He is recognized nationally for his role in landmark pharmaceutical and defective medical device litigation and has been appointed to numerous leadership positions in federal and state courts across the country. ALMA MATER The University of Alabama; Cumberland School of Law at Samford University BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Oregon Pinot Noir ON MY BUCKET LIST A fly-in fishing trip to Saskatchewan with my sons; a trip to the Holy Land with my family; and one month on a tropical island with my wife, Vivian, free from all work and responsibility FAVORITE CHARITY Tum Tum Tree Foundation, benefiting Alabama charities for children SMARTPHONE APP Pandora DESSERT Every dessert my wife, Vivian, makes
professional services Augusta Dowd Vice President & Managing Lawyer, White Arnold
Dowd has over 25 years of experience as a trial lawyer, primarily in civil and complex litigation and white-collar criminal defense. She represents both plaintiffs and defendants in a broad spectrum of cases, including mass tort, pharmaceutical, regulatory, environmental tort, and whistleblower cases. She also handles executive severance and compensation matters. ALMA MATER The University of the South, Sewanee, Tenn. (undergraduate); Vanderbilt University (law school) ON MY BUCKET LIST African safari PASSION/HOBBY My fabulous children, of course! TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Raising three kids, maintaining a happy marriage, and being a successful professional without losing my sense of who I am. Stated otherwise, without keeling over from complete and total exhaustion. FAVORITE MUSICIAN I must confess I don’t really listen to music. I cherish the moments of silence. DESSERT Classic white or yellow cake with vanilla icing
Jessica Kirk Drennan
Founder, Kirk Drennan, PC Kirk Drennan, a native of Alabama and founder of Kirk.Drennan, P.C., has passionately served as an advocate for families since 1996 in the areas of family, matrimonial, and adoption law. She is a graduate of Newcomb College of Tulane University, where she received a bachelor of the arts in political economy, and University of Alabama School of Law, where she received her Juris Doctorate in 1995. Upon graduation she entered into private practice as an associate attorney with Radney, Radney, and Brown, P.A., in Alexander City, Alabama. In 1998, she joined the Anderson Law Firm, LLC, of Montgomery, where she became a partner in 2001. Kirk Drennan was a shareholder of The Crittenden Firm, P.C. from 2006 through 2010, when she founded Kirk.Drennan, P.C. in 2011. She is the sole owner of the firm, which employs nine persons and focuses its practice on divorce, alimony, child support, asset preservation, asset division, custody, visitation, dependency, paternity, adoption, pre- and post-nuptial agreements, wills, and estates.
Managing Shareholder, Maynard Cooper & Gale During Drew’s time as managing shareholder of Maynard Cooper & Gale, the firm has expanded to more than 225 attorneys and opened offices in Huntsville, Mobile, Tuscaloosa, and San Francisco. Drew’s corporate practice is focused on counseling private and public companies, at both the board and transactional levels, and he has wide experience handling mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures in the Middle East, China, South America, and Canada. He
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sits on several boards, including those of the The Innovation Depot and UAB’s Leadership Cabinet. ALMA MATER Wake Forest University (B.S.; J.D.) BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Iced tea PASSION/HOBBY Hunting and golf FAVORITE BOOK Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... And Others Don’t by Jim Collins FAVORITE MUSICIAN Cat Stevens DESSERT Chocolate ice cream
Principal Architect and Founder, Jeffery Dungan Architects Dungan discovered a love for art and drawing at a young age while growing up on his family farm in rural Alabama. Being immersed in the countryside would become the inspiration for years of designing and creating beautiful architecture throughout North and Central America. He is recognized for his clean and modern approach to traditional vernaculars and classical architecture. Dungan’s work has been featured in books and numerous publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Garden & Gun, and Southern Living. ALMA MATER The Alabama Polytechnic Institute, aka Auburn University BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Water. And bourbon after 5 o’clock. PASSION/HOBBY Playing guitar, sometimes loudly. And collecting rocks. TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Time. I am chronologically challenged. FAVORITE MUSICIAN I love the Rolling Stones and R.E.M.; they were formative for me. Someone said the three best sounds are the ocean, rain, and the sound of wind in the woods.
Managing Partner, Farris, Riley & Pitt As the managing partner of the law firm Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP, Farris has long been an avid believer in pursing justice for those injured and killed as the result of a personal injury. For almost two decades, Farris has dedicated his practice to representing victims of personal injury and Federal Employers Liability Act, commonly known as FELA. Farris received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Alabama and his law degree from Birmingham School of Law. Farris focuses his practice on railroad litigation (FELA), FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act), personal Injury, and wrongful death. He has been awarded numerous multimillion-dollar settlements and handles FLSA class actions all over the U.S.
Courtney French Founding Partner, Fuston, Petway & French, LLP
French is a founding partner of the law firm of Fuston, Petway & French, LLP, in Birmingham. He has devoted his entire legal
practice to representing individuals and families who have suffered serious personal injuries and wrongful death. Throughout his career, French has handled numerous cases, which have resulted in multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements for his clients. French is a lifelong resident of Birmingham. He graduated from Birmingham-Southern College with a bachelor’s degree in secondary education with a concentration in English in 1995. He received his Juris Doctorate degree from the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in1998. After graduating from law school, French served as a law clerk for Justice Ralph D. Cook of the Supreme Court of Alabama. French is married to Judge Elisabeth A. French, Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge. They have three children. French is an active member of the Living Stones Temple Church, where he serves as the church musician.
Honora Gathings Founding Partner, Gathings Law
Gathings is a founding partner in Gathings Law. She is from St. Petersburg, Florida, where she continued on to earn a bachelor of science degree from Florida State University in 1975. She is a 1978 graduate of Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. While in law school, Gathings served on the Moot Court Board from 1976–1978 and was also associate editor of The American Journal of Trial Advocacy. Gathings has been involved in complex litigation, including business tort litigation, toxic, environmental, and pharmaceutical tort litigation, serious personal injury, consumer class actions, products liability, fraud, and international law. Gathings has been involved in church, civic, and community activities in her spare time. She has been married to Lloyd W. Gathings for more than 30 years. They have two daughters, Honora and Margot. Gathings has actively been a board member of The American Journal of Trial Advocacy Foundation. In addition, she plays an important role in mentor programs for Cumberland School of Law. She is a mentor for freshman law students, Women in Law, and The American Journal of Trial Advocacy.
CEO, GAStudio and BLOX An architect, manufacturer, and contractor, Giattina thinks everything can be made better. Designing training facilities for Honda and Kia introduced him to manufacturing methods that he saw could improve the traditional design and construction process. He now leads two companies: GA Studio and BLOX. GA designs buildings that have changed the landscape of downtown— most recently, the new Birmingham intermodal transportation terminal. BLOX designs, engineers, manufacturess and installs large complex modules into health care construction. BLOX works for health care companies across America and is changing how health care facilities are constructed. ALMA MATER Georgia Tech; The University of Pennsylvania. ON MY BUCKET LIST To make something that matters PASSION Designing and making things TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Either establishing BLOX within an industry highly resistant to change; helping raise my kids SMARTPHONE APP Uber and the 8tracks music app
Chairman of the Board, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, LLP Grenier joined Bradley Arant in 1983 and has spent his entire career there. He focuses on general corporate law, securities, and mergers and acquisitions. Grenier’s work includes the acquisition and divestiture of various types of businesses, as well as venture capital and other corporate finance transactions. He has been responsible for numerous large transactions involving acquisitions or divestures in the manufacturing, information technology, health care, and other industries. ALMA MATER The University of Virginia BEVERAGE OF CHOICE A glass of nice red wine TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Leading our firm through a merger and the economic downturn at the same time FAVORITE CHARITY The United Way of Central Alabama FAVORITE MUSICIAN Van Morrison DESSERT Bread pudding
Everett Hatcher President, CMH Architects Inc.
Hatcher is also a founding principal of CMH, which he formed in 1980 after working for several design firms and serving on the design faculty at the Auburn University School of Architecture. Hatcher designed The Summit in Birmingham in 1996, which was one of the first projects to establish the open-air lifestyle center concept in the United States. Since then, he has been Principal-in-Charge of over 60 successful lifestyle and mixed-use projects. He has done projects all over the United States and in Japan. His architectural career highlights a strong specialization in the planning and design of retail, institutional, educational, and corporate facilities. He designed the first Alabama building to be LEED Gold Certified by the U.S Green Building Council. ALMA MATER Auburn University TOUGHEST CHALLEGE Starting my firm FAVORITE CHARITY The Nature Conservancy SMARTPHONE APP HuntStand DESSERT My wife’s chocolate chip Christmas cookies
Steve Heninger Principal, Heninger Garrison Davis, LLC
Heninger earned a B.A. degree from the University of Illinois in 1972. After spending two years as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, he earned his J.D. degree (Summa Cum Laude) from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in 1977. He served as a law clerk to Honorable James H. Hancock, District Judge for the Northern District of Alabama before beginning his practice as a trial lawyer specializing in the litigation of personal and commercial tort actions. He has been listed by Super Lawyers as one of the Top 10 Lawyers in Alabama for the past four years. He has been listed in the Best Lawyers in America (Woodward & White) since 1991. He is a fellow of the Alabama Law Foundation, which limits its membership to the top 1 percent of the State Bar. www.BHMBIZ.com
professional services ON MY BUCKET LIST Trip to Russia; Kentucky Derby PASSION/HOBBY Reading FAVORITE CHARITY Crippled Children’s Foundation SMARTPHONE APP Waze FAVORITE MOVIE A Few Good Men FAVORITE MUSICIAN Eric Clapton
William W. Horton
Partner, Jones Walker LLP The head of the law firm’s Birmingham office, Horton represents doctors, ambulatory surgical centers, and other health care providers in business transactions, regulatory compliance, and corporate governance matters. A native of Demopolis, Alabama, Horton is a nationally recognized speaker and author on health care, corporate law, and professional responsibility topics and teaches as an adjunct professor at the University of Alabama School of Law and the UAB School of Optometry. ALMA MATER Vanderbilt University; Duke University School of Law PASSION/HOBBY I love to teach—law school, continuing legal education, Sunday School, pretty much anything they’ll let me teach. FAVORITE CHARITY The Demopolis City Schools Foundation. Growing up in Demopolis led to many of the best things in my life, including my wife, and supporting the schools there is important to me. FAVORITE MUSICIAN John Coltrane DESSERT I’m a sucker for a Baskin-Robbins hot fudge sundae with mint chocolate chip.
Kevin McLendon CEO, Telegraph
McLendon is the CEO of Telegraph, a creative technology company that focuses on design, development, and digital strategy. After receiving his B.S. in advertising from the University of Alabama, McLendon began his career in advertising sales for the Paul Finebaum Radio Network and then sports marketing at Bruno Event Team. In 2011 McLendon launched Telegraph. Telegraph has since grown its footprint nationally and grown its team to encompass 25 experts in creative technology. Under McClendon’s leadership as CEO, Telegraph has effectively doubled in size each year. McClendon is an active member of the Summit community, Tech Birmingham, and Entrepreneur’s Organization (EO). ON MY BUCKET LIST Witness the Great Migration in Africa from a hot air balloon; Eat my way through Italy PASSION/HOBBY Golf and managing our farms in Illinois FAVORITE CHARITY The Hope for Autumn Foundation SMARTPHONE APP Flipboard FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE The A Song of Fire and Ice Series by George R.R. Martin; The Big Lebowski FAVORITE MUSICIAN Jim James (My Morning Jacket)
Frances Ross Nolan, Esq.,
Timothy M. Lupinacci
Partner, Nolan Byers, PC
As chair of the Baker Donelson’s Financial Services Department, Lupinacci primarily represents special servicers, indenture trustees, banks, financial institutions and asset-based lenders in loan workouts and insolvency, with an emphasis on creative restructuring of problem loans, including long-term care and senior housing defaults.
Nolan Byers, PC was founded in 2013 by Frances Ross Nolan and Leigh Reynolds Byers, both formerly with The Crittenden Firm, PC, to provide clients with access to all the options for resolving family law disputes. A certified Collaborative lawyer and family law mediator, Nolan cofounded and served as inaugural president of Alabama’s first Collaborative Practice Group, Birmingham Collaborative Alliance. Nolan has been married for 25 years to William G. Nolan, an attorney; their son, William G. Nolan Jr.. currently lives and works in Edina, Minnesota.
Shareholder, Baker Donelson
ALMA MATER The University of Montevallo; Vanderbilt University School of Law ON MY BUCKET LIST I would like to earn an MFA in creative writing and take some culinary classes. PASSION/HOBBY I’m passionate about trying to help nonprofits in Thailand that seek to rescue children from human trafficking. My favorite hobby is running; I have run nine marathons, seven of which raised money for charity. FAVORITE MUSICIAN Big fan of Jars of Clay for more than 20 years. I have enjoyed rap and hip-hop since the late 1970s. DESSERT I will always choose a good, hot doughnut for dessert—or anytime.
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ALMA MATER Indian Springs School; San Francisco State University; Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. ON MY BUCKET LIST Visit Tibet; meet and have a conversation with Brene Brown. TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Changing careers in my 40s FAVORITE CHARITY Oasis Counseling Center and Jones Valley Urban Farms SMARTPHONE APP Dashlane! I can’t remember anything without it. FAVORITE BOOK Liar’s Club by Mary Karr FAVORITE MUSICIAN Shawn Colvin DESSERT The homemade ice cream at Ollie Irene; every flavor is amazing!
law practice SMARTPHONE APP Wunderlist and Flipboard FAVORITE MUSICIAN Jackson Browne DESSERT Anything with chocolate
Perry is a partner and vice president of PHP Communications, Inc., a Birmingham-based communications company founded in1989 representing local, regional, national, and international accounts. Just recently, she was chosen as one of the Women Who Shape the State. She has been recognized for her spirit and leadership with many honors, including Birmingham Woman of the Year, the Ad Federation’s Silver Medal Award, and the American Cancer Society’s St. George National Award. She has served as president of the Birmingham Ad Club, the American Marketing Association, The Women’s Fund of Alabama, The Woman of the Year, Ltd., the American Cancer Society of Birmingham, and American Women in Radio and Television. She is currently serving as president of Foundation Capital. ALMA MATER University of Alabama at Birmingham ON MY BUCKET LIST To travel more: return to Brazil, Europe, Israel, and places I haven’t visited. PASSION Painting. I have a website for my paintings: joanperryart.com. TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Surviving (33 years) cancer SMARTPHONE APP Fitbit FAVORITE MUSICIAN Al Green DESSERT The coconut cake at Bottega and Chez FonFon
William “Lee” Thuston
Partner, PHP Communications, Inc.
Jennifer Rose Attorney/Owner, The Rose Law Firm
With nearly two decades of experience in the legal system, Rose is living the dream and continuing her family’s goal of protecting others’ legal rights with her practice. In the courtroom and in negotiations, she aggressively fights to make sure her clients and their family get the justice they seek. She is well-known for being a creative, tough, skilled negotiator and trial attorney. Her top priority is to aggressively but compassionately fight to protect her clients’ legal rights and make sure that you get the best outcome possible for your case, whether it is in the matters of Alabama divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, family law, paternity, adoption, or divorce modifications. The daughter of a nationally recognized attorney and author, Warren Freeman, of Delta, Alabama, Rose spent over a decade assisting her father in his practice.
Deborah Alley Smith Managing Partner, Christian & Small
Smith is a civil litigation attorney with an active post-judgment and appellate litigation practice and is a member of the insurance practice group at Christian & Small. She is the president of the Birmingham Bar Foundation and was president of the Birmingham Bar Volunteer Lawyers Program in 2015. She also serves on the board of the Birmingham Business Alliance and is a member of the 2014 class of Leadership Birmingham.
Managing Partner, Burr & Forman
Thuston is Burr & Forman’s Managing Partner. Lee practices in the Corporate/Tax practice group where he focuses on economic development, business and succession planning, trusts and estates, tax law, and international law. Thuston is a driving force behind Alabama’s economic development and has played a large role in some of the state’s major manufacturing deals, including Mercedes, Mi-Tech Steel, IPSCO Steel, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, ThyssenKrupp, and the Jack Daniel Cooperage Project. He has been consistently listed in Chambers USA, Alabama Super Lawyers, and the Best Lawyers in America. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Alabama Wildlife Federation Conservation. ALMA MATER University of Virginia BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Red wine ON MY BUCKET LIST Take an Alaskan Cruise; visit Australia PASSION/HOBBY Woodworking FAVORITE CHARITY UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE The Deerhunter, Ben-Hur, or Lawrence of Arabia; Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years and The War Years by Carl Sandburg FAVORITE MUSICIAN Adele DESSERT Pecan pie with vanilla ice cream
Charlie D. Waldrep Principal, Waldrep, Stewart & Kendrick LLC
Waldrep concentrates in representing public agencies with a primary emphasis in civil litigation. He was born in Gainesville, Georgia, and was admitted to the Alabama State Bar in 1976. His areas of practice include Civil Litigation& Appeals and Governmental Relations. Thirty percent of the practice is dedicated to litigation. Waldrep is a member of the Birmingham, Montgomery, and Alabama state bar. Waldrep was chief of staff for Gov. Jim Folsom in 1993–1994. ALMA MATER Jacksonville State University; Cumberland School of Law BEVERAGE OF CHOICE A nice red wine ON MY BUCKET LIST Watch the aurora borealis from a hot tub near the Arctic Circle PASSION/HOBBY Spoiling my grandkids as much as their parents will tolerate TOUGHEST CHALLENGE The loss of our 24-year-old daughter, Brittany, to ovarian cancer SMARTPHONE APP Pandora FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE Casablanca and any book by John Steinbeck. FAVORITE MUSICIAN Rod Stewart DESSERT Yellow cake with chocolate icing
ALMA MATER The University of Tennessee ON MY BUCKET LIST When I retire from law, I’d like to work for a nonprofit, especially one that would allow me to help improve education in Alabama. TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Raising two children while maintaining a full-time www.BHMBIZ.com
professional services Josh Wright
Managing Partner, Hollis, Wright, Clay & Vail, P.C. Wright is the managing partner of Hollis Wright, which has become one of the leading personal injury firms in the state of Alabama and has already established itself as a key law firm nationally in the area of mass torts. Wright focuses on cases of wrongful death, business-on-business, dram shop, personal injury, environmental, products, and pharmaceutical. A native of the Atlanta, Georgia, area, he received his J.D. from the University of Alabama School of Law, as well as a bachelor of science degree in economics from Auburn University. A regular guest on talk shows and local television, he hosts a weekly television show, The Attorneys. Wright is ranked AV Preeminent by his legal peers and judges by Martindale-Hubbell, a Lexis-Nexis Corporation.
real estate/construction/ development Jeffrey A. Bayer President & CEO, Bayer Properties, LLC
Bayer founded Bayer Properties, LLC, in 1983. Under his leadership, the organization has grown from a local property management company to a national commercial real estate firm. As the president and CEO, Bayer oversees the strategic and operational direction for the company. Prior to Bayer, he served as partner in Metropolitan Properties, Inc. for 10 years. ALMA MATER University of Alabama FAVORITE HOBBY Skiing, fly fishing, cycling FAVORITE CHARITY Temple Emanu-El FAVORITE MOVIE Love Actually
President, CEO, and Founder, Building and Earth Sciences As president, CEO, and founding principal of Building and Earth Sciences, Bhate brings 30 years of business experience specific to consulting engineering. From simple beginnings in January of 1999 around a kitchen table with five employees, Building and Earth has grown to a staff of over 178 employees and 10 branches located though out the Southeast and Lower Midwest. Building and Earth has a vastly diverse market of clients, including energy, education, retail, mixed use developments, hospitals, aviation, highways, waste water treatment plants, office parks, military, landfill, churches, and parks. She serves on the United Way Tocqueville Cabinet. ALMA MATER The University of Bombay; New Mexico College of Commerce & Economics
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ON MY BUCKET LIST Do the Mercedes Half Marathon in 2:18:33; Visit the Himalayas PASSION/HOBBY Reading FAVORITE CHARITY United Way of Central Alabama SMARTPHONE APP Map My Run FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE Out of Africa; The Autobiography of a Yogi by Yogananda FAVORITE MUSICIAN Ravi Shankar DESSERT Chocolate ganache cake from Publix; Tiramisu at Bottega’s
Uday R. Bhate, P.E. Senior Principal/President, Bhate Geosciences
Bhate is best known for practical and cost effective solutions to difficult geotechnical and materials testing problems. He has over 20 years of experience with environmental assessment, property condition assessments, and mold evaluations. Bhate has served as principal on more than 10,000 projects. He has been responsible for earthwork and grading programs on sites ranging from five acres to more than 2,000 acres and for providing geotechnical and materials services on facilities ranging in size from 50,000 square feet to more than 1,000,000 square feet. ALMA MATER University of Bombay B.S.; Georgia Institute of Technology, M.S.; UAB, MBA BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Fresh cold water, good coffee ON MY BUCKET LIST Travel to every continent, including Arctic and Antarctic PASSION/HOBBY Travel and golf TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Moving to Birmingham and building a successful business FAVORITE CHARITY Animal Welfare and Children’s Charities SMARTPHONE APP Health monitoring FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee FAVORITE MUSICIAN Bob Dylan DESSERT Fresh seasonal fruit
Tommy Brigham Jr. Chairman, ARC Realty
Brigham has been in real estate sales and development since his graduation from Emory & Henry College in 1974. He founded Brigham-Williams in 1982 and it quickly grew to be the third largest real estate company in Alabama. He merged Brigham-Williams with Johnson-Rast & Hays in 1998 to form RealtySouth Alabama’s largest real estate services company, serving as president and COO from 1998 to 2002 and then chairman and CEO until 2007. In 2013, Brigham founded ARC Realty. He is married to Cecile (37 years) and has three married children and five grandchildren. ALMA MATER Emory & Henry College, BA 1974; Lees-McRae College, honorary doctor of business administration, 2014 BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Water or wine ON MY BUCKET LIST Go to Israel and Italy FAVORITE CHARITY Mountain Brook Community Church; UAB SMARTPHONE APP Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE Bible; The Sound of Music
FAVORITE MUSICIAN Frank Sinatra DESSERT Ice cream
President, Hoar Construction Burton began working at Hoar Construction when he was 13 years old and literally grew up in the construction industry. After graduating from Auburn University with a degree in building science, he joined the firm, being named president in 1996. Under his leadership, the company has expanded, increasingly taking on larger and more complex projects, opening offices in several geographic regions and significantly increasing revenues. He has served the community through his work with the Birmingham Business Alliance, the Birmingham Zoo, Lakeshore Foundation, the Kiwanis Club of Birmingham, the MS Society, and the Monday Morning Quarterback Club. He serves on the boards of directors for the Regions Bank, Protective Life,and the American Contractors Insurance Group. ALMA MATER Auburn BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Water ON MY BUCKET LIST Fishing in Alaska HOBBY Quail hunting and fly fishing FAVORITE CHARITY MS and Cornerstone schools FAVORITE BOOK Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose; Dances with Wolves
Thomas N. Carruthers III
Principal, Red Rock Realty Group Carruthers, a principal owner with Red Rock Realty Group, has an extensive background in commercial and residential real estate dating from 1986. He formed Carruthers Real Estate Company in 2001 and, in partnership with Charles Robinson, acquired Property Managers in 2007. Later in 2010, Carruthers and Robinson merged their two companies into Red Rock Realty Group. Carruthers began his real estate career with Porter, White & Company where he worked for 16 years. He received his MBA in 1986 from the University of Virginia’s Darden School. Between college and graduate school, he worked in the engineering department for Southern Natural Gas Company. He received a degree in civil engineering from Princeton University in 1982. Carruthers and his wife, Brooke, have two daughters, Scout and Neely.
Jay Chapman President and CEO, Capstone Building Corporation
Chapman, who has over 30 years of experience in construction, founded Capstone in 1997. Under his leadership, the company has become a leading general contractor in the multi-family industry with completed projects across the nation. Capstone concentrates on up-market apartment homes, student housing, and condominiums.
ALMA MATER Chelsea High School, followed by the real world BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Makers Mark bourbon PASSION/HOBBY Nothing tops an Auburn football weekend with my family and friends. TOUGHEST CHALLENGE In our industry, an ongoing challenge is the hiring and retention of talented employees. SMARTPHONE APP The New Yorker. DESSERT My wife Cynthia’s peanut butter fudge.
William D. Dobbins IV
Founder and Principal, Dobbins Group Dobbins started his own company in 2010 after a long career that included positions at AmSouth Bank and Arlington Properties, a Birmingham developer. In his career, Dobbins has been responsible for over $200 million in completed real-estate developments and investments, including single-family, mixed-use, and multi-family projects. ALMA MATER University of Montevallo; Massachusetts Institute of Technology PASSION/HOBBY I have been into landscape photography since my mother gave me my first “real” camera when I was 10 years old. It’s a great hobby when combined with my love for travel. TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Starting my company in the middle of the Great Recession in 2010. It was a risky move, but we beat the odds and made it work. SMARTPHONE APP Instagram
AIA, LEED AP, Principal, President & Architect, Appleseed Workshop Appleseed Workshop was founded in late 2005, during Gibson’s third year in Auburn’s architecture program. He built the company on a passion for design and a mission to create beautiful furniture and spaces of lasting value. He is among one of the youngest architects to win an AIA Award. Appleseed’s mission is to create lasting value. Mike and his wife, Brooke, have a daughter named Iris, a son named Jude, and a third little one on the way. They recently built a house in Homewood and attend Christ Fellowship Church in Homewood. ALMA MATER Auburn University BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Coke Icee BUCKET LIST Bird hunt in Argentina; Design a skyscraper PASSION/HOBBY My true passion that drives me is the glory of Christ FAVORITE CHARITY Neverthirst and Urban Purpose SMARTPHONE APP Scanbizcards FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, both by Ayn Rand; Braveheart and Pride and Prejudice FAVORITE MUSICIAN Lindsey Stirling DESSERT White chocolate covered strawberries
real estate/construction/development following a legacy construction business that began with his father and uncle Richard R. Grimes in the 1940s. He provides ultimate leadership and direction for all BL Harbert CEO, RealtySouth
projects worldwide and guides the executive management team.
Just out of Birmingham-Southern College, Grimes joined Carraway Medical Systems, a three-hospital, 20+ clinic health care provider as a business planner. In the late ’90s, he joined First Real Estate, becoming a partner in the business. Following the merger to create RealtySouth, he became senior vice president and was named president and CEO in January 2015. A realtor since1992, he holds designations as Certified Residential Specialist, Certified Real Estate Broker Manager, and Accredited Buyer Representative Manager. Raised in Birmingham in Central Park, he and wife, Holly, live in Hoover with their two girls.
ALMA MATER Auburn University (B.S., building science); Emory University (MBA) ON MY BUCKET LIST Attend the Monte Carlo Grand Prix; hike to the base camp at Mt. Everest. FAVORITE CHARITY The Special Olympics SMARTPHONE APP Kayak FAVORITE BOOK The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand FAVORITE MUSICIAN Ryan Adams DESSERT A scoop of chocolate ice cream and a scoop of pistachio ice cream
ALMA MATER Birmingham-Southern BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Pepsi PASSION/HOBBY Flying and time on the water FAVORITE CHARITY Big Oak Ranch SMARTPHONE APP RealtySouth FAVORITE MUSICIAN Adele, Allison Crowe, Etta James, Tony Bennett, Hillsong DESSERT Anything dark chocolate
Herschell Hamilton Principal, BLOC Global Group
Hamilton is a principal of BLOC Global Group, a leading commercial real estate consulting services firm. With offices in Birmingham and Washington, D.C., the company manages and develops real estate and building projects; provides transaction and advisory services, and structures successful public/private real estate projects. Hamilton has investment banking experience and served in two high-level public administration posts with former Alabama Gov. Jim Folsom and Birmingham Mayor Richard Arrington, Jr. ALMA MATER Howard University, B.S., Zoology; Birmingham-Southern College, master’s of public/private management BEVERAGE OF CHOICE South African red wine; Gimlet with Hendricks Gin ON MY BUCKET LIST Walk “the Way of St. James”...the Camino de Santiago; visit every continent on the planet (three down, four to go) FAVORITE CHARITY The Ballard House Project, Inc.; United Way; and United Negro College Fund UNCF SMARTPHONE APP Urban Spoon and Uber FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom and Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins FAVORITE MUSICIAN Joe Sample DESSERT Chef Jonetta Jarman’s banana pudding and white chocolate bread pudding from Five
Chairman and CEO, BL Harbert International, LLC Harbert has been chairman and CEO of BL Harbert International since it began in 2000,
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Maurice Humphries President, LAH Real Estate
After spending his childhood years in Athens, Georgia, swimming on scholarship for the University of Georgia and working on a Panamanian freighter plying the waters of the southern Caribbean, the president of LAH entered the Birmingham real estate market in 1977. Humphries is married to his wife, Marian, and they have two children and three grandchildren. Humphries’s real estate experience includes commercial and residential site acquisition and development, property management, office and retail leasing, and commercial sales. He was one of the three original founders of LAH in 1992, along with Jim Lawrence and Keith Arendall. In the fall of 2011, Humphries joined with Tom Carruthers, Charles Robinson, and Mike Graham to acquire the ownership interest of Lawrence and Arendall and at that time, Humphries became the chief operating officer of the company.
Vice President, Daniel Homes LLC, Ingram & Associates, LLC As vice president, residential sales and marketing, Ingram oversees the real estate sales and marketing of new residential communities in the Birmingham area, the Eastern Shore of Mobile/Fairhope, and in the Opelika/Auburn area. She has 30 years of experience in the sales and marketing of residential properties, specializing in new home communities. She independently owned and operated Ingram and Associates prior to its merger with Daniel Homes, LLC. ALMA MATER UAB BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Great coffee first thing in the morning and a glass of white burgundy occasionally ON MY BUCKET LIST Make a hole in one PASSION/HOBBY When I’m not working, I enjoy playing golf and shopping. SMARTPHONE APP Audible FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE Both the book and the movie To Kill a Mockingbird FAVORITE MUSICIAN Aretha Franklin and Lady Gaga DESSERT What my mother used to make for my birthday: a white cake with chocolate fudge icing
Catherine Sloss Jones
President and CEO, Sloss Real Estate Company Under Jones’s leadership, her company, a real-estate development and management firm founded by her grandfather in 1920, has focused on urban development and revitalization and community renewal in the Magic City. Her projects include the renovation of an old Dr. Pepper plant as the Pepper Place mixed-used development. She serves on numerous boards, including those of the Lakeshore Foundation, Leadership Birmingham, and the Auburn University Center for Architecture and Urban Studies. She is a member of the Urban Land Institute. In 2007 and 2008, Jones pursued graduate studies at Harvard University, first as a Loeb Fellow and then as a visiting scholar at the Graduate School of Design. BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Lemonade PASSION/HOBBY Playing piano, horseback riding, and holding my new grandson, Jesse
Natalie Kelly Founder and CEO, Sustain
As a long-time proponent of green living and an advocate for sustainability initiatives, Kelly has dedicated her career to helping transform the way communities and businesses seek and achieve progress. As the founder and CEO of Sustain, she has coupled her passion for the environment, social progress, and innovation with her expertise in marketing and management. Kelly is also the founder and publisher of MyGreenBirmingham.com and MyGreenMontgomery.com, community-centric green living websites, now a part of the Sustain Cities brand. Her experience and insight have garnered her recognition as an outstanding green advocate and have led to her being a sought-after contributor to a variety of media outlets. Kelly is regularly seen on local and national market programs promoting green trends and sustainability.
Tom Lamberth President and CEO, Russell Lands, Inc.
Lamberth began his career with Russell Lands, Inc. in 1982 and has served as chief financial officer and chief operating officer and currently serves as president and CEO of Russell Lands, a developer of lakefront neighborhoods on Lake Martin. As a native of Alexander City, Alabama, he is committed to responsible development and preserving the natural resources surrounding the Lake Martin community. In keeping with this sense of community, Russell Lands developed and manages Russell Crossroads, acting as a town center to its residential neighborhoods. A trail system, designed by Ben Russell, connects residential neighborhoods, cabin residences, and Russell Crossroads. The company owns and manages 325 cabins around Lake Martin that are available for long-term lease. ALMA MATER Undergraduate: Auburn University; Graduate: University of Alabama BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Lemonade
ON MY BUCKET LIST Touring the American West; visiting Greece PASSION/HOBBY Golf TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Public speaking FAVORITE CHARITY My church; Children’s Harbor FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE Hoosiers FAVORITE MUSICIAN Van Morrison DESSERT Ice cream
John N. Lauriello CCIM, CPM, SIOR, Principal, Southpace Properties, Inc.
Since 1977, Lauriello and his firm, Southpace Properties, have been involved in $400 million in gross sales and leasing volume and $250 million in gross development volume in commercial real estate. He has saved more than 50 historic commercial and residential properties in the Downtown, Southside, Forest Park, and Redmont areas. Lauriello has served on the boards of the Birmingham Business Alliance, Better Business Bureau, YMCA, Operation New Birmingham, Children’s Harbor, and Auburn Center for Architecture & Urban Studies. ALMA MATER University of Alabama at Birmingham BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Good vodka and club soda with lime ON MY BUCKET LIST Whale watching in Alaska; the Royal Ascot Racecourse in England PASSION/HOBBY Thoroughbred horse breeding and racing TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Renovating vacant buildings downtown and in the Five Points South areas in Birmingham in the late 1970s and early 1980s FAVORITE CHARITY Children’s Harbor and Children’s of Alabama SMARTPHONE APP Daily Racing Form FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE Young Frankenstein FAVORITE MUSICIAN The Beatles DESSERT Strawberry shortcake
President Ray & Poynor Properties Ray is co-owner and president of Ray & Poynor Properties. He founded Ray & Company in 1976. In 1997, Ray & Company bought First Real Estate Corporation of Alabama (FRECA) and Ray served as its president. In 2000, Ray & Company and FRECA merged with RealtySouth, Alabama’s largest real estate firm. Ray served as vice chairman of the board and chief administrative officer until 2004. Before creating Ray & Poynor Properties, he was responsible for business development for Haskell Slaughter Young & Rediker. In 2010, Ray & Poynor Properties was formed. ALMA MATER University of Alabama; Cumberland Law School BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Makers Mark ON MY BUCKET LIST Travel to China, Japan, Israel, Egypt PASSION/HOBBY Bird hunting TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Learning to laugh more softly—still working on that! FAVORITE CHARITY Children’s of Alabama, Magic Moments, UAB and St Vincent’s Comprehensive Cancer Centers, UAB School of Nursing, Children’s Harbor SMARTPHONE APP realtor.com FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee; Year of the Comet www.BHMBIZ.com
real estate/construction/development FAVORITE MUSICIAN Louis Armstrong DESSERT Blackberry cobbler
Chairman and CEO, Sain Engineering Associates Sain is the chairman and CEO for SEA. He is an international award-winning consulting engineer with over 25 years experience in energy efficiency regarding existing facilities of virtually all functions and sizes throughout the United States and several foreign countries. Sain is proficient in most all relevant technologies with world-class expertise in alternative financing of energy projects, and in energy training. Sain is one of the country’s top Certified Energy Managers (CEM). In 1994, he was awarded International Energy Engineer of the Year by the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) and was elected to the Energy Management Hall of Fame by AEE in 2005. ALMA MATER Tennessee Tech University BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Lemonade ON MY BUCKET LIST Learn to fly a helicopter PASSION/HOBBY Scuba diving TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Watching my wife undergo brain surgery FAVORITE CHARITY National Christian Foundation SMARTPHONE APP Google Earth DESSERT Bananas foster
President and CEO, The Sanders Trust Sanders directs investment policy and decisions at The Sanders Trust. He is an attorney with extensive experience in finance and real property law and a leading pioneer in the evolution of the health care real estate industry. He has served as faculty member for VHA, Inc., American Hospital Engineering (ASHE), and Building Owners and Managers Association International (BOMA). He is a board member and substantial shareholder of Jefferson Title Corporation and a former board member of The Business Council of Alabama. ALMA MATER B.S. in finance, Juris Doctorate, University of Alabama BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Stags’ Leap Chardonnay ON MY BUCKET LIST Take a year to explore all seven continents and visit sites such as Machu Picchu, the Amazon, and the Serengeti TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Trying not to devour too much news FAVORITE CHARITY Family Foundation, which supports promising disadvantaged students in Alabama FAVORITE MOVIES Patton, Goodfellas, and When Harry met Sally FAVORITE MUSICIAN Frank Sinatra DESSERT Tiramisu at Bottega or the lemon tart at Chez Fon Fon
CEO, NSH Corp., d/b/a Signature Homes Sandlin has long experience in real estate and construction. He worked in
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real estate, lending for three banks from 1974 to 1987, including a position as senior vice president at BancBoston Mortgage, where he served as the head of construction lending for a six-state area. After he left banking, he founded Regency Homes in 1987, later selling the company to D. R. Horton Homes. He has served on numerous boards, including the Birmingham Homebuilder’s Association and the Birmingham Metropolitan Development Board. ALMA MATER UAB ON MY BUCKET LIST Visit China TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Homebuilding in 2008 SMARTPHONE APP CNBC DESSERT Anything sweet
Joe Sandner III CEO-Alabama, Colliers International
Sandner has been in the real estate business for more than 30 years. Prior to joining Colliers, Sandner led the growth of two of the most successful local real estate services companies in Alabama. In order to better serve its many multi-market corporate clients, Sandner’s firm joined Colliers International in 2012. In 2013, the firm opened an office in Huntsville. Sandner specializes in tenant representation and has been involved in over $1 billion in real estate transactions over his career. Sandner has significant experience in office and industrial property project leasing, project repositioning, development, acquisition, and disposition. ALMA MATER University of Alabama BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Green tea ON MY BUCKET LIST Paris and Rio De Janeiro PASSION/HOBBY Golf; bird hunting TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Learning patience FAVORITE CHARITY Holy Family Christo Rey High School SMARTPHONE APP The stock app FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand FAVORITE MUSICIAN Eric Clapton; The Beatles DESSERT Chocolate with chocolate topping and some chocolate on the side
Principal, Shannon-Waltchak Since starting in the business in 1989, Shannon has always loved creating partnerships to buy investment properties. He has been involved in the acquisition, renovation, and repositioning of over 150 properties. Shannon is in the 2016 Class at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design’s AMDP (Advanced Management Development Program) for real estate. He has three children, who are his passion. They also gain real-life property management experience by working together on his “gentlemen farm,” gardening and clearing land. ALMA MATER Auburn University ON MY BUCKET LIST Expand my garden so I can have an abundance of
food year-round; Be a guest host on SNL. PASSION/HOBBY Going to the lake with my three kids—no TV or Internet there. TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Balancing all of life’s priorities FAVORITE CHARITY Clerestory SMARTPHONE APP Words with Friends FAVORITE MUSICIAN Robert Plant DESSERT My mom’s chocolate roulade
David L. Silverstein Principal, Bayer Properties
Silverstein manages Bayer Properties’s relationship with governmental entities around the country. Before joining Bayer in 1994, he was a partner in the law firm of Berkowitz, Lefkovits, Isom and Kushner, serving as outside counsel to Bayer for seven years. His legal practice concentrated in the acquisition, financing, leasing, management and development of commercial real-estate projects. In addition, he frequently acted as local counsel to out-of-state lenders in connection with the financing of commercial real estate projects in Alabama ALMA MATER Vanderbilt University BEVERAGE OF CHOICE A very cold glass of milk PASSION/HOBBY My family; golf and spending time at Lake Martin FAVORITE CHARITY UAB Comprehensive Diabetes Center FAVORITE BOOK Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose
President, Corporate Realty As president of Corporate Realty companies, Simon provides leadership, service, and innovation for his clients and associates. His experience in real estate brokerage and development presents a unique understanding of market conditions and trends that allow for the maximum results in strategizing and negotiating for clients. His vision and creativity identify opportunities for corporate headquarters, institutional clients, and public-private partnerships. ALMA MATER University of Alabama at Birmingham BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Diet Mountain Dew ON MY BUCKET LIST Skydiving; cruise the Mediterranean with family and friends SMARTPHONE APP Uber FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE Don’t Stop the Carnival by Herman Wouk FAVORITE MUSICIAN Rolling Stones DESSERT Key lime pie
Merrill Stewart President, The Stewart/ Perry Company, Inc.
Merrill Stewart is president of The Stewart/ Perry Company, Inc., a Birmingham-based firm offering commercial construction, civil management, and construction management services. Founded in 1984, the company is licensed in 30 states throughout the Southeast, Southwest, and Mid-Atlantic. Stewart/Perry operates from a 16-acre
corporate campus that achieved USGBC LEED certification. The company has gained multiple honors, including those from Associated Builders and Contractors and the U.S. Green Building Council. A community advocate, Stewart has volunteered in leadership positions for various civic, trade, and nonprofit organizations and social clubs. He is involved with Auburn University’s Master of Real Estate Program and Research Park. An average but enthusiastic golfer, Merrill enjoys hiking and spending time with his three grown children.
Michael D. Thompson
President and CEO, Thompson Tractor Co., Inc. Thompson is president and CEO of Thompson Tractor Company, the Caterpillar dealer for the state of Alabama and 10 counties in northwest Florida. Founded by Thompson’s father, Hall W. Thompson, in 1957, the company is headquartered in Birmingham. Thompson is actively involved in the building and construction community through the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), the Caterpillar Global Dealer Advisory Group, the Coalition for Regional Transportation, and the Southeastern Caterpillar Dealer Association. Thompson is a recognized business leader in Alabama serving on numerous boards. He and his wife, Genie, have three daughters: Lucy, Maxwell, and Annie. Lucy and Jacob Marsh are the parents of their two granddaughters, Hallsey and Mamie. ALMA MATER University of Alabama BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Blue Moon ON MY BUCKET LIST Golf in Ireland; driving the Northern Beltline PASSION/HOBBY Fishing, golfing, hunting, cards with friends TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Transitioning two family businesses to the next generation FAVORITE CHARITY United Way, Salvation Army, Crippled Children’s Foundation SMARTPHONE APP Maps FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE Trading Places FAVORITE MUSICIAN Garth Brooks DESSERT Tiramisu
Derek Waltchack Principal, Shannon Waltchack
Waltchack has developed more than $35 million in real estate projects in the last six years, including shopping centers, restaurant build-to-suits, and lakefront subdivisions. Waltchack has also been a force in Birmingham’s recent urban revitalization, earning him attention recently from The New York Times. His projects include the $4.5 million Railroad Square office development near Railroad Park. ALMA MATER Samford University PASSION OR HOBBY Farming TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Learning self control SMARTPHONE APP Radarscope DESSERT Italian cream cake from Edgar’s Bakery and Café
tech/utilities Greg Barker
Executive Vice President for Customer Services, Alabama Power Greg Barker is responsible for broad oversight for operations that touch and support Alabama Power’s 1.4 million residential, commercial and industrial customers. Barker joined the company in 2002 in the Economic and Community Development organization. He was named vice president of Economic and Community Development in 2007 and senior vice president of Marketing and Economic Development in 2010. Before joining Alabama Power, Barker served as executive vice president for the Birmingham Metropolitan Development Board, president of the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce and director of International Business with the Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce. In February 2011, the Alabama Department of Commerce named Barker the recipient of the first Dave Echols Memorial Award. Barker has served as an EDAA board member and is a past-president of the organization. He has also served on the boards of directors for the Japan-America Society of Alabama (JASA), the Birmingham International Center, the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama and AGP. He has served on the Southern Growth Policies board of trustees. Barker holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Mississippi State University. He attended the Center for Organizational Development at the University of Georgia and the Economic Development Institute at Oklahoma University.
Jay Brandrup Principal, Kinetic
Brandrup founded Kinetic Communications, an internet technology studio specializing in the Web, design, development, and marketing in 1995. Kinetic’s mission is to help organizations understand and apply the latest technologies to become more competitive. Brandrup currently serves on the boards of directors for REV Birmingham, Lakeshore Foundation, United Cerebral Palsy of Alabama, TechBirmingham, Magic City Art Connection, and Birmingham Children’s Theatre. He also serves on Oakworth Capital’s Advisory Board, UAB’s IS Advisory Board, and Southern Research’s Advisory Board. He is an honors graduate of Auburn University, where he earned his bachelor of science in Finance. BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Royal Cup coffee and a local craft beer ON MY BUCKET LIST A round at St. Andrews, Scotland SMARTPHONE APP Lately, it’s Slack, a messaging tool; My wife loves Shipt grocery delivery FAVORITE MOVIE Cinema Paradiso FAVORITE MUSICIAN Pete Yorn, The Lumineers, and Johnny Cash DESSERT Mother-in-law’s blackberry cobbler and ice cream
Dr. Curtis Carver Chief Information Officer, UAB
Carver was named vice president for information technology and chief information officer in June 2015. A senior leader in higher education
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information technology, Carver came to UAB from his position as vice chancellor and chief information officer for the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, having previously held key leadership positions at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Carver earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and his master’s degree and doctorate in computer science from Texas A&M University. Throughout his career, he has received numerous national and international honors and awards for military, teaching, and research excellence. Carver is a frequent keynote speaker and has published extensively.
Mark Crosswhite President and CEO, Alabama Power Company
Mark Crosswhite is chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Alabama Power Company, which provides electricity to more than 1.4 million customers across the state. Before taking the helm at Alabama Power, Crosswhite served as executive vice president and chief operating officer for Southern Company, Alabama Power’s parent company. Crosswhite started at Southern Company in 2004 as senior vice president and general counsel for Southern Company Generation. Prior to that, he was a partner in the law firm of Balch & Bingham LLP in Birmingham, where he practiced in the Energy Section for 17 years. In 2006 Crosswhite joined Alabama Power as senior vice president and counsel, where he oversaw the company’s legal matters. In 2008 he was named executive vice president for External Affairs. In 2011 Crosswhite became president and chief executive officer of Gulf Power, a Southern Company subsidiary based in Pensacola, Fla. Crosswhite is a native of Decatur, Alabama. His family has deep roots in the state, dating to the early 19th century. He received a bachelor’s degree in 1984 from the University of Alabama in Huntsville and a J.D. degree in 1987 from the University of Alabama School of Law. Crosswhite and his wife, Jane Emily, have two sons.
President and CEO, Momentum Telecom Inc. Fox has helped Momentum Telecom grow into a national, industry-leading provider of business phone service. The company has grown revenue by nearly 500 percent in less than three years. He leads the team at Momentum in their mission to combine smarter technology with seasoned experts to deliver an unmatched customer experience. ALMA MATER Washington and Lee University (B.S., business administration and accounting); Harvard Business School (MBA) ON MY BUCKET LIST Bonefishing in Belize BEVERAGE OF CHOICE American Blonde Ale from Cahaba Brewing Company TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Convincing my wife to marry me FAVORITE CHARITY The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. One in 200 peo-
ple have these diseases, many of them children, but it is rarely talked about. The CCFA is an efficient organization with the right mission to find a cure. FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald; The Big Lebowski
Robert Fuqua Jr. CEO, Atlas RFID Solutions, LLC
Fuqua is founder, president, and CEO of Atlas RFID Solutions, LLC. He founded Atlas RFID Solutions after serving five years in the U.S. Army as a Ranger and infantry officer and five years in health care marketing. In 2016, Atlas will relocate its headquarters from the Innovation Depot to the Booker T. Washington building, as Fuqua is committed to supporting Birmingham’s downtown renaissance. ALMA MATER United States Military Academy, West Point; Graduate: The Fuqua School of Business, Duke University PASSION/HOBBY I love baseball and, in particular, the Chicago Cubs. TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Graduating from West Point; Graduating from Ranger School; Leading Atlas through the global recession in 2008–2009 FAVORITE CHARITY Grace House Ministries. FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin; Good to Great by Jim Collins; It’s a Wonderful Life and Shawshank Redemption FAVORITE MUSICIAN Van Morrison, U2, The Rolling Stones, Mumford & Sons DESSERT Hot glazed donuts from Krispy Kreme with a jug of milk
President and CEO, TicketBiscuit A self-taught software entrepreneur with a lifelong love of learning, Gale began developing software in 2001 and built the prototype for TicketBiscuit—a proprietary, Web-based event management system to help small and midsize entertainment venues sell their own tickets online—on something of a whim. Gale turned his attention to TicketBiscuit full-time in 2005. ALMA MATER Indian Springs School; Columbia University (bachelor’s in drama and theatre arts,1996) BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Toss-up between water and coffee. I double fist them all day, every day. PASSION/HOBBY IronTribe Fitness FAVORITE CHARITY Jones Valley Urban Farm, Sweet Om Alabama, Cahaba River Society, Birthwell Partners Community Doula Project FAVORITE BOOK Dune by Frank Herbert
David Gibson CEO, Zeekee Interactive
Zeekee Interactive was founded in 2003 by Gibson with the vision of creating an Internet-consulting firm dedicated to helping its customers understand the marketing power of the internet. Under his leadership, Zeekee has grown into a full-fledged digital agency with services including website design and devel-
opment, website maintenance, Internet marketing campaigns, hosting,email marketing, search engine optimization, e-commerce solutions, graphic design, photography, video, and social media services. In 12 years, Zeekee has grown into the largest Internet marketing company in Birmingham and one of the largest in the Southeast. Gibson and his wife, Kassady, have two little girls and currently reside in Hoover, ALMA MATER East Tennessee State University BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Margaritas PASSION/HOBBY Reading, fiction or nonfiction FAVORITE CHARITY The MS Society SMARTPHONE APP Reddit FAVORITE MUSICIAN Jimmy Buffett DESSERT Key lime pie
T. Michael Goodrich II
Principal, First Avenue Ventures LLC At First Avenue Ventures, Goodrich and the company are focused on growing Alabama businesses. Goodrich works in a variety of capacities with numerous ventures in the state, including Alabama Outdoors; Motion Mobs, a mobile-first software company; and Spruce, a mobile productivity app company. ALMA MATER Trinity University; University of Alabama School of Law ON MY BUCKET LIST To trace the path of Lewis and Clark; to bring about systematic change in intrinsic power structures that hold Birmingham back PASSION/HOBBY Very passionate about Birmingham; hobbies are hunting and fishing TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Putting a cabin full of 11-year-old boys to bed at a church retreat FAVORITE MUSICIAN The Rolling Stones
Dave Gray CEO, Daxko
Gray serves as president and CEO of Daxko. He is responsible for leading the company’s strategic direction, growth, and unique culture. Prior to joining Daxko, he held management positions at Calico Commerce (now part of Oracle) and in Grant Thornton’s management consulting practice in Chicago. He is on the board of YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly, YMCA of Greater Birmingham, and Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham. He is also a member of Birmingham Venture Club, TechBirmingham, and an emeritus member of the Auburn University College of Business advisory council. He and his wife, Susan, along with their three children, live in Birmingham. ALMA MATER Auburn University BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Black coffee ON MY BUCKET LIST Augusta National; white water raft the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon PASSION/HOBBY Travel with my wife and kids FAVORITE CHARITY The YMCA, of course! SMARTPHONE APP Evernote FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE Every Good Endeavor by Timothy Keller FAVORITE MUSICIAN Act of Congress DESSERT Homemade chocolate milkshake
tech/utilities/wholesale John O. Hudson III
Senior Vice President for Marketing and Business Development, Alabama Power John O. Hudson III is the senior vice president of Marketing and Business Development at Alabama Power Company. Prior to this role, he served as the chief executive of the Alabama Power Foundation, one of the largest corporate philanthropic organizations in Alabama and as vice president of Public Relations and Charitable Giving at Alabama Power Company. In addition, he served as executive director of the Alabama Business Charitable Trust. Before joining Alabama Power, Hudson served as senior vice president for Corporate Diversity and Public Affairs at Regions Financial Corporation and currently serves as chairman of the organization’s Diversity Advisory Council. Prior to joining Regions, Hudson practiced law and was president and chairman of The Hudson Group. Before practicing law and establishing The Hudson Group, he served as assistant to the president and CEO and as area manager of the Birmingham Division, the company’s largest customer service and operations center at Alabama Power Company. Hudson received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Alabama A&M University, is a cum laude graduate of Miles College School of Law, and completed the Executive Accounting and Finance Program at Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
T. Devon Laney President and CEO, Innovation Depot Inc.
Laney joined Innovation Depot in 2005 and served in a number of roles before becoming president and CEO. He is also at the heart of the innovation and business communities in the Magic City. He serves on the advisory board of the Collat School of Business at UAB, and he is a member of the executive committees of the Birmingham Venture Club, TechBirmingham, and BioAlabama. He was selected as one of The Birmingham Business Journal’s “Top 40 Under 40” in 2009. ALMA MATER The University of Alabama (bachelor’s degree, international business; MBA) ON MY BUCKET LIST Climb Kilimanjaro; have a beer with Keith Richards SMARTPHONE APP Flipboard FAVORITE MUSICIANS Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, AC/DC, The Allman Brothers, Rolling Stones. DESSERT Chocolate pie
President, InfoMedia Lovoy is a Birmingham native who has served in the web development industry for over 15 years. He currently leads both Infomedia, a web development company, and Uptick Marketing, a digital marketing company. He’s a board member for First
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Priority of Birmingham and the Entrepreneurs Organization of Birmingham and a deacon of Cross Creek Presbyterian Church. He balances a passion for business with a love for his family—he’s a husband to Shawndee and a dedicated father of four: Isaac, Juliette, James, and Mary Rose. ALMA MATER Samford University BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Coffee until mid-afternoon; IPA in the evening ON MY BUCKET LIST Skydiving; Visit Israel for several weeks PASSION/HOBBY My passion is being with my wife and four kids. TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Weathering the storm of 2008 and 2009 SMARTPHONE APP Google Mail, Calendar, Google Maps, Crossy Road FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien FAVORITE MUSICIAN St. Paul and the Broken Bones DESSERT Cantina’s hot apple pie with ice cream or Savage’s Cream Cheese Melt-a-way
Fred McCallum President, AT&T Alabama
A native of Florence, Alabama, McCallum was appointed president of AT&T Alabama in 2008 after serving the company in a variety of executive positions in Birmingham and Atlanta since he joined South Central Bell in 1987. McCallum sits the boards of numerous organizations, including the Business Council of Alabama and the Birmingham Business Alliance. Recognized for community service, McCallum received the A.G. Gaston Award in 2014 and the Building a Better Alabama award from the Business Council of Alabama in 2015. ALMA MATER Auburn University (B.S.); University of Alabama (J.D.) TOUGHEST CHALLENGE AT&T is a large company operating in a highly competitive world, so we have to continuously reshape who we are and modify what we do in order to have a positive impact. This is always a big challenge, but also what keeps the job interesting and rewarding. FAVORITE MOVIE The Sting with Paul Newman and Robert Redford (I am old.) FAVORITE MUSICIAN Elton John (again, I am old.)
Chairman, CEO, and President, Energen Corporation An Energen veteran, McManus has worked at the company since 1986 in a variety of executive positions, becoming CEO in 2007 and chairman in 2008, and has been a key figure as Energen— an energy exploration and production company— continues to grow its extensive assets in oil and natural gas. As president and COO of Energen Resources beginning in 1997, he led the growth of the company over the next decade to become one of the top independent oil and gas producers in the United States. A Certified Public Accountant, McManus earned a B.S. in accounting at The University of Alabama. He serves on numerous boards, including the Alys Stephens Center and the UAB Leadership Council.
CEO, Diamond Studios Miele is the CEO of Diamond Studios. Diamond began with $3,000 over 34 years ago and has grown to be one of the largest multi-media facilities in the South. Diamond has been producing regional and national TV commercials, corporate videos, Infomercials, and interactive programming for over 34 years. Miele attended the University of Alabama in Birmingham and graduated with a BBA of business management and marketing degree. He has pioneered new methods of marketing and has won hundreds of regional, national and international awards. Miele has migrated Diamond from a video company to a multimedia company and began application development 12 years ago and five years ago moved into mobile App development with clients like NAPA, Enjoy the City and LFL. Along with winning seven international awards. Diamond studios was a U.S. Chamber of Commerce 2015 Blue Ribbon Small Business Award Winner.
Dr. Kathy Nugent Managing Director, UAB Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Nugent is the managing director of the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Nugent also currently serves as the director and assistant professor of the Masters of Biotechnology program at UAB. She specializes in providing senior counsel to companies focused on pharmaceutical discovery and development. Nugent also serves as the current president of the Biotechnology Association of Alabama. She earned her PhD in biopsychology at the City University of New York and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in pharmacology at the Weill-Cornell Medical College.
Jonathan Porter Vice President, Birmingham Division, Alabama Power
Jonathan Porter serves as vice president of Birmingham Division for Alabama Power Company. Porter is responsible for the company’s operations, sales, customer service, economic and community development and external affairs activities for more than 430,000 customers across six counties in north central Alabama. Porter joined Alabama Power in 1991 as a Customer Accounting intern through the INROADS program. He rejoined Alabama Power in 2000 and has held various positions of increasing responsibility, including senior corporate recruiter, senior Human Resources business representative, Customer Service supervisor, assistant business office manager, lead HR business consultant, assistant to the executive vice president of External Affairs, Birmingham Division area manager, director of Customer Service, and his most recent role of vice president of Human Resources & Ethics. Porter graduated cum laude from Tuskegee University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and received his Master in Business Administration degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
CEO, Command Alkon Ramsey has held a variety of management positions in Command Alkon. In 2011, Ramsey was named CEO for Command Alkon, which develops, markets, and supports software and hardware products for construction and bulk materials producers worldwide. ALMA MATER University of Tulsa (B.S. Computer Science and an MBA); Harvard Business School BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Margaritas on the lake ON MY BUCKET LIST Tour India and the Maldives; See Alaska PASSION/HOBBY Boating on Lake Martin. I would like to one day get an amphibious plane so I could take off from Birmingham and land on the lake. Skip the traffic! TOUGHEST CHALLENGE I think it was probably Calculus I in college. I grew up in a rural town—Broken Arrow, Oklahoma—so the first year of college was quite challenging. I was also working full-time (midnight to 8 a.m.) to pay for school and taking a full class load. FAVORITE CHARITY The Crohn’s Colitis Foundation of America. SMARTPHONE APP Uber FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE Nelson DeMille and Lee Childs are favorite authors FAVORITE MUSICIAN Bruno Mars
Dr. Sanjay Singh Partner, CTS
Singh, who has been with CTS for 17 years, is responsible for setting the priorities for organizational involvement in the communities CTS serves, including relationships with university partners. For 20 years, Singh was a faculty member at University of Alabama at Birmingham, teaching and supervising theses for master’s and doctoral students in the Schools of Business, Engineering, Computer Science, and Healthcare Administration. In addition, he has visited, lectured, and studied at more than 200 companies in over 75 countries in the Americas, Asia, and Europe. He started the Indian Cultural Society at The Birmingham Museum of Art, which is dedicated to promoting Indian art and culture in Alabama. ALMA MATER University of Georgia (Ph.D. in management information systems and strategic management) ON MY BUCKET LIST To visit 100 countries PASSION/HOBBY Travel TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Being president of The Rotary Club of Birmingham SMARTPHONE APP Wall Street Journal FAVORITE MUSICIAN Kishore Kumar, a Bollywood singer DESSERT Sandesh (from West Bengal, India)
Jennifer H. Skjellum President, Co-Owner, Runtime Computing Solutions LLC
Skjellum, a long-time tech entrepreneur, is at the heart of efforts to promote technology jobs and companies in the Birmingham area. In addition to managing Runtime Computing Solution, which provides software and solutions for the high-performance and embedded computing space, www.BHMBIZ.com
tech/utilities/wholesale Skjellum serves as president of TechBirmingham and executive director of the Birmingham Chapter of the Angel Investor Management Group. Her entrepreneurial experience dates to 1996, when she and her husband founded MPI Software Technology Inc. ALMA MATER Humboldt State University (bachelor’s in speech communication); University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (master’s in communication) PASSION/HOBBY I love cycling. FAVORITE CHARITY McWane Science Center SMARTPHONE APP Google Calendar app and Pure Barre class sign-up FAVORITE MUSICIAN Adele DESSERT You name it, I like it!
Executive Vice President of External Affairs, Alabama Power Zeke Smith is Alabama Power’s executive vice president of External Affairs. With over 30 years of service with the company, Smith has responsibilities for Public Relations and Charitable Giving, Regulatory and Corporate Affairs, Governmental Relations, and Environmental Affairs. He also serves as chairman of the Alabama Power Foundation’s Board of Directors. Prior to working in his present position, Smith served as vice president – Financial and Regulatory Planning, vice president - Regulatory Services, and director – Regulatory and Pricing. Smith is active in his church and community. He serves on the Board of Trustees of Samford University, the Birmingham Business Alliance Board of Directors, the Business Council of Alabama Progress PAC Board, the Alabama Career Tech Education Leadership Council, the Bryant-Jordan Student-Athlete Program Board of Directors, the Alabama Governor’s Labor-Management Conference Board of Directors, the Birmingham Bowl Executive Committee and the Board of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He is a 2014 graduate of Leadership Alabama. Smith graduated from Auburn University with a Bachelor of Science in industrial engineering. He also earned a Master of Business Administration from Samford University.
Arthur J. Tipton, Ph.D. CEO, Southern Research Institute
Tipton joined Southern Research as president and CEO in July 2013. He has worked in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry for 25 years, participating in the growth aspects of three start-up companies. Tipton has 39 issued U.S. patents, 29 published U.S. patent applications, and numerous foreign equivalents. In 2013, he was inducted as a fellow into the National Academy of Inventors. ALMA MATER Spring Hill College; UMass Amherst for graduate school BEVERAGE OF CHOICE From 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., black coffee; after that, a good red wine. SMARTPHONE APP Uber and iTranslate. I programmed it for a nervous travel companion on his first trip to China to say, “Don’t shoot---I know many secrets,” which seemed to calm him. FAVORITE BOOK OR MOVIE The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson
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FAVORITE MUSICIAN Easy, Bob Dylan. DESSERT I make German spice cookies, Lebkuchen, once a year at Christmas.
Catherine C. Waters
Founder, Ai Corporate Interiors LLC Waters has a tremendous amount of experience in the commercial furniture business and put that experience to work in 2008 when she took a leap of faith, bought out another company and started Ai Corporate Interiors, based in Birmingham. Waters, rather than merely selling furniture, became a partner with the design community to help create the best solutions for customers. This unique approach has been the basis for the company’s growth. ALMA MATER Lambuth College, Jackson, Tennessee, 1982 ON MY BUCKET LIST Complete the office in Nashville; Complete building house; Family vacation to Europe PASSION/HOBBY Going to the beach with my family FAVORITE CHARITY Briarwood Presbyterian and Make-A-Wish Foundation. SMARTPHONE APP In Touch Ministry with Dr. Charles Stanley
Dave W. Wood II Chairman of the Board, Wood-Fruitticher
Wood leads Wood-Fruitticher Food Service, an independent broadline distributor of food and other restaurant-related products. Family-owned and operated since 1913, from Birmingham headquarters, they serve a territory covering Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, southern South Carolina, and eastern Louisiana. An Eagle Scout and private pilot, his charitable efforts range from the Boy Scouts to United Way to Angel Flight. ALMA MATER University of Alabama; Graduate School, International Economics, American University, Rome, Italy. ON MY BUCKET LIST Taking the grandchildren on spectacular adventures—I took two to the Arctic last year; Galapagos for three more this summer. PASSION/HOBBY Flying TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Regular exercise DESSERT My homemade pralines