The Advisory Board provides guidance for curriculum and speakers, and participates actively in lectures, symposiums, and discourses. Board members serve as mentors for students and fellows. They are selected for their commitment to ethical leadership in areas related to a dynamic future for our state.

Catherine Alexander-Wright (1998 Fellow)

Catherine Alexander-Wright is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Alabama and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with a concentration in Management and Community Practice. She started her career approximately 20 years ago, working for the Alabama Department of Human Resources as a child abuse/neglect caseworker. She then moved to Winston-Salem, NC, where she worked for a private law firm serving immigrant victims of crime, and later, for the District Attorney’s office as a victim/witness legal assistant. While in NC, she also served as a domestic violence and sexual assault crisis response volunteer. A fluent Spanish speaker, she has spent much of her career working with Latinx/immigrant families who were attempting to negotiate the child welfare or court system, including survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. She transitioned from her role as Programs Director at ¡HICA! (the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama) in September of 2018, when she became the Director of Domestic Violence Services for the YWCA of Central Alabama: overseeing all operations for domestic violence services for the YWCA, serving Jefferson, Blount, and St. Clair counties, which includes a staff of approximately 45 employees, two confidential shelters, and a family law center. She was promoted to Associate Vice President of DV and Supportive Services in April 2020, which includes oversight of DV Services and the organization’s comprehensive case management and trauma-informed care initiatives. She was President of the Board of Directors of the Jefferson County Children’s Policy Cooperative from 2017-2019. She is the current Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence. She is a 2018 graduate of the Alabama Organizing Project’s Grassroots Leadership Development Program and a 2019 graduate of Leadership Vestavia Hills. She is a member of Alabama Arise and the Interpreters and Translator’s Association of Alabama. She is also active in the Parent-Teacher Organization at her daughter’s elementary school. Her specific areas of interest for future growth include: intimate partner and gender-based violence; child abuse and neglect; inclusivity of marginalized communities (including but not limited to immigrants and/or Limited English speakers); economic, language, and social justice; safe and affordable housing and child development programs; grant writing and management, social service program evaluation and quality assurance; and trauma-informed care. She is a Blackburn Institute Fellow, participates in the Fellows Involvement Network, and is part of the Blackburn Institute’s Advisory Board, with a term starting in 2021.

Current Term: 2021-23

Allen Arnold

Allen D. Arnold is a born and raised Birmingham, Alabama native. He earned a B.B.A. in Finance from Southern Methodist University (2000). After a short stint with General Electric’s Transport Int’l Pool, Allen attended Stetson University College of Law where he graduated Cum Laude and was a member of the Stetson Law Review (2004). After passing the Alabama State Bar exam, Allen began his legal career under the mentorship of David Arendall. After working several years the firm was renamed Arendall & Arnold. In 2016, Allen’s legal practice moved to the Five Points Law Group. Throughout his legal career, Allen’s practice has focused on representing workers to ensure that they receive fair wages, protected family and medical leave, and a workplace environment free from discrimination. Allen has served on various committees of the Birmingham Bar Association. When he is not working, Allen and his wife Evalouise are active members of the Highlands United Methodist Church. Allen spends his free time drawing, hiking, and spending time with his three daughters.

Current Term: 2021-23

Dr. J. Norman Baldwin

Now retired, J. Norman Baldwin is a former faculty member in the Department of Political Science at The University of Alabama where he served as the Director of Graduate Studies, Undergraduate Studies, and Master of Public Administration Program. He taught course work on how to lead, manage, and organize employees for public service and conducted research on diversifying male-dominant and race-dominant organizations, whistle-blowing, state economic development, differences between public and private organizations, and followership. He served on 97 campus committees in his career and chaired or co-chaired 32 of them. For his leadership and service, he is the only faculty member in the history of UA to win two Premier Awards–the Morris Lehman Mayer and Algernon Sidney Sullivan awards. He is also winner of the Buford Peace Award for facilitating peace and justice, the Other Club Person of the Year Award, the Outstanding Commitment to Students Award, the Samuel S. May Award, commendation resolutions from the Faculty Senate and Board of Trustee, Last Lecture Finalist, and the Service Project of the Year Award for creating an organization with two Blackburn Fellows that placed over 210 students in credit-earning internships and jobs in the 2011-2012 tornado relief effort. Off campus, Professor Baldwin is a member or supporter of The International Justice Mission, Refugees International, The Center for Victims of Torture, Amnesty International, A Brighter Alabama, Alabama Arise, and the Children’s Hunger Fund.

Current Term: 2020-22

Baldwin Norman

Gloria Blackburn

Mrs. Gloria Blackburn is a retired community leader and Wife of Dr. John L. Blackburn.

Current Term: Permanent

Danielle Blevins (2007 Fellow)

Danielle Blevins is from Pleasant Grove, Alabama. She grew up with strong ties to the Birmingham community. Danielle spent five (5) years working at WBRC-TV (FOX6) before attending law school at UA. Her alma maters include Ramsay High School (Birmingham), The University of Alabama (B.A. Communications), and The University of Alabama School of Law (Juris Doctor). Danielle is a 2007-2008 Blackburn Fellow. Additionally, she was a student aide in the Blackburn Office at Temple Tutwiler in 2008.

Currently, Danielle is in Washington, D.C. and is an Attorney-Advisor for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of the General Counsel. She is a member of both the Alabama and D.C. Bar associations. Additionally, Danielle co-founded Mission Reconcile, a faith-based nonprofit that focuses on racial reconciliation between single race/culture churches. In 2019, Danielle and Mission Reconcile were awarded the Daniel Community Scholars’ Civic Pitch Project Award, a $10,000 programming grant facilitated by the Blackburn Institute. Additionally, she is also a D.C. liaison for Blackburn within the Washington, D.C. community by connecting fellows to one another and planning local networking events. Danielle also spends time moonlighting by observing media trends and strategies, journalism ethics, and Supreme Court opinions. Moreover, Danielle spends her spare time volunteering at Joseph’s House, a home for the homeless who are terminally ill, including those with HIV and AIDS, with her church, mentoring, reading, traveling, watching television and movies, and the frequent nap, all the while taking care of her four plant babies and being a good neighbor.

Current Term: 2021-23

Kyle Buchanan (2003 Fellow)

Assistant Vice-President of Business Development and Regional Services at UAB Health System; 2004 graduate of the health care management program at Culverhouse College of C&BA; Masters degree in Health Services Administration (MHSA) in the Department of Health Management and Policy at the University of Michigan in April of 2006; Interests include the business of health and associated policies, health disparities, and healthcare administration in the southeastern U.S.

Current Term: 2019-21

Buchanan Kyle

Dr. Henna Budhwani

Dr. Budhwani is a public health scholar and social scientist who conducts studies designed to reduce health disparities, improve health equity, and inform thoughtful policy that is good for humanity in resource-constrained settings. To date, Dr. Budhwani has worked in over fifteen countries and has published studies from Pakistan, Nepal, India, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Cameroon. Her scholarship focuses heavily on understanding behaviors of stigmatized populations that are at risk for experiencing adverse health outcomes. For her commitment to improving health in local and global communities through research, public health practice, and education, Dr. Budhwani has received multiple accolades. In 2015, she was a finalist for Birmingham Young Professional of the Year. In 2016, she was named one of Birmingham’s Top 40 under 40 and was awarded the Vulcan Award by the Mayor of Birmingham. In 2017, she was honored by the Women’s Fund and was a nominee for Delta Zeta International Woman of the Year. In 2020, Dr. Budhwani was co-recipient of the Robert Carr Research Award awarded from the International AIDS Society (IAS), the International Council of AIDS Service Organizations (ICASO), Human Rights Watch (HRW), and the Johns Hopkins Center for Public Health and Human Rights (CPHHR).

Current Term: 2020-22

Mary Margaret Carroll

Mary Margaret Carroll began her career with Fine Geddie & Associates in January 2013.

Mary Margaret, a native of Ozark, was born and raised in the Wiregrass region of Alabama. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Alabama in 2006. As an undergraduate student, she interned for U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions, served as Student Government Association President, and was the student representative to the The University of Alabama System Board of Trustees. Mary Margaret earned the degree of Juris Doctor from the University of Alabama School of Law in 2010. While in law school, she worked part-time for a law firm focused on banking, creditor’s rights, and corporate law; and performed pro bono legal work through the law school’s Public Interest Institute and clinical program. She received the Dean Nathaniel Hansford Award for Leadership in 2010.

Mary Margaret has government experience on the federal and state levels, in the legislative and judicial branches. Mary Margaret was the Assistant to the Chief of Staff for U.S. Senator Richard Shelby in Washington, D.C. from 2006 – 2007 and, during law school, worked for two federal judges on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama. Prior to joining Fine Geddie, Mary Margaret served as a staff attorney for Judge Craig S. Pittman on the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals for two years.

Mary Margaret is on the Britton YMCA Board of Directors, serving as an advisor for both the Youth Judicial and Youth Legislature programs; a member of the Montgomery Junior League; and a member of the First United Methodist Church of Montgomery. She is also a member of the Alabama State Bar, to which she was admitted in September 2010.

Current Term: 2019-21

Carroll Mary Margaret

Dr. Cheree Causey

Dr. Cheree Causey is retired from The University of Alabama. Dr. Causey is interested in seeing the Blackburn Institute honor the vision, legacy and example set by Dr. John L. Blackburn.

Current Term: 2020-22

Prince Cleveland (2002 Fellow)

Prince currently works for the Democratic fundraising firm of Cunningham, Harris, Osborne and Associates as a finance director. He graduated from the University of Alabama with a Bachelor’s in Political Science and a Master of Public Administration. His activities as a student include SGA Attorney General, Vice President of the Student Leaders Council, Vice President of the Graduate Student Association, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Current Term: 2018-20

Prince Cleveland

Justice Sue Bell Cobb

Graduate of University of Alabama, BA and JD. Retired as Chief Justice of Alabama Supreme Court after serving 30 years on the bench. Served as trial judge holding court in almost 40 counties and 12 years on AL Court of Criminal Appeals. Founding member & Chair of Alabama Children First Foundation, a nonprofit which shapes policy for the children of our state. Worked tirelessly on issues such as juvenile justice reform, replication of model drug courts throughout the state, sentencing reform, judicial selection reform, and access to justice. Additionally, during tenure as Chief Justice saved taxpayers millions of dollars by championing eFiling, making Alabama the first state in the nation to have statewide eFiling of all civil cases.

Current Term: 2021-23

Cobb Sue Bell

John Covington

John is a 1973 chemical engineering graduate of the University of Alabama. He is the founder and CEO of Chesapeake Consulting a management consulting firm since 1988. Chesapeake has offices in Annapolis, Maryland and Tuscaloosa, Alabama. John has written five books on leadership his most recent What I Learned About Leadership From My Dog.

Prior to founding Chesapeake he worked in Industry as an engineer and manufacturing executive. Chesapeake encourages their employees to be active in community affairs and as a company they donate 10% of their company profits to charity.

John is a Distinguished Fellow in the College of Engineering, the Chemical Engineering Department and a Centennial Fellow in Chemical Engineering. He serves on the Deans Leadership Board in the College of Engineering and was past National Chair for the Capstone Engineering Society.

Part of John’s volunteer work involves helping people that are unemployed find a job and he has given a presentation to Blackburn students on that topic.

John is active in his church, and enjoys hiking, biking and training dogs. He and his wife Linda have been married since 1972.

Current Term: 2019-21

John Covington

Bradley Davidson (2002 Fellow)

Bradley is a 2002 Blackburn Fellow and Executive Director of Empower Alabama, Alabama’s leading voter registration organization. A native of Selma, he is very interested in issues that affect the Black Belt, especially education, workforce development, and tax policy. Bradley is a graduate of C&BA (finance) and received his masters degree in economics from Vanderbilt University.

Current Term: 2020-22

Davidson Bradley

Milton Arthur Davis

Milton Arthur Davis is the Director of Industrial Business Development for BL Harbert International. He is one of the top performing business development managers in his industry with 30+ years of progressively challenging experience. His current responsibilities include market analysis, sales, strategic planning, client presentations, risk analysis, and contract negotiations. Milton graduated from The University of Alabama with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. Later, he earned an MBA from The University of Alabama at Birmingham and also completed the construction management program at Texas A&M University. Throughout his career, Milton, a registered Professional Engineer, has received several honors and awards including UA College of Engineering Fellow, UA Centennial Fellow Chemical and Biological Engineering, Distinguished Engineering Fellow of the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department and was as Engineer of the Year by the National Society of Black Engineers, earlier in his career. He is the National Chair of the UA Capstone Engineering Society Board, National Vice-Chair of UA’s Chemical and Biological Engineering Advisory Board, Board of Trustees Pro Tempore for the Alabama Community College System, and member of Tuskegee University Construction Science and Management Industry Advisory Board. He is also co-chair of the Economic Development Committee of Manufacture Alabama, former board member of St. Vincent’s Foundation, board member of Better Basics, board member for the Birmingham Urban League, and an active member of St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church, where is he a catechist and lector. Recently recognized by the American Diabetes Association as Father of the Year. Milton is past President of the Japan America Society of Alabama Board of Directors and the current Chair of the Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame. Milton and his wife Alpha have two wonderful daughters, Nkele and Tyra.

Current Term: 2019-21

Davis Milton

Dr. LeeAnn Denham (2005 Fellow)

Dr. LeeAnn Denham is a practicing Radiologist with Women’s Imaging Associates based in Birmingham, Alabama. Through her work there specializing in women’s imaging, she increases access for women to receive the highest level image interpretations throughout Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida. Born and raised in Birmingham, LeeAnn graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2006 from The University of Alabama with a degree in Chemical Engineering. While there, she was actively involved in numerous organizations, including the Blackburn Institute as a 2005 Student Fellow. LeeAnn was honored to be named to the 2005 USA Today All-USA Academic Team during her time at UA for her summer internship work with Southern Company in emissions reporting to the Environmental Protection Agency. She then went on to pursue her career in medicine by earning her Doctorate of Medicine from The University of Alabama School of Medicine in 2010 and continuing at UAB to complete both her Radiology residency and Breast Imaging fellowship. LeeAnn had the pleasure of working with Alabama Coastal Radiology in Mobile, Alabama for two years before returning home to continue her work with a focus on Breast Imaging with Women’s Imaging Associates in 2018. LeeAnn is passionate about increasing access to quality healthcare as well as optimal breast cancer screening and treatment. She resides in Birmingham with her husband Jim and their children Elizabeth and James.

Current Term: 2020-22

David Donaldson

David Donaldson is Vice President, Governmental & Community Relations for Vulcan Materials Company, where his responsibilities include the community and governmental relations initiatives of the corporation and its operating regions in the United States and Mexico, as well as its charitable giving and political action committee programs.

He is a graduate of the University of the South, with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and a master’s degree in Public and Private Management from Birmingham-Southern College. He also studied Renaissance History and Literature at University College, Oxford University.

David has served on the Board of Trustees of The Nature Conservancy, Alabama Chapter, (past chairman) and also serves on the Board of Directors of the Alabama Humanities Foundation, the Wildlife Habitat Council, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama, the Alabama Governor’s School Board of Advisors, the Birmingham-Southern College Norton Board of Advisors, the Birmingham Pledge, and as past president of Leadership Birmingham’s Members’ Council. He is a graduate of Class XXI, Leadership Alabama. David and his wife Debbie live in Homewood, where they are active members of All Saints’ Episcopal Church. Their son Walker, a 2012 graduate of the University of Alabama, Blount Program, and a Blackburn Fellow, teaches English with Teach for America in Denver, Colorado. Their son Ben will begin his freshman year at the University of Alabama in the Blount Program in the fall of 2013.

Current Term: 2019-21

Donaldson David

Ben Foster (2006 Fellow)

Ben Foster joined the Blackburn Institute in 2006 as a student. His previous roles with the Institute have included serving as Chair of the Fellows Involvement Network and as Community Education Leader for the student officers. Ben is a native of Coaling, AL and currently lives in the Birmingham area. A two-time graduate of UA, Ben holds an MBA (’13) with undergraduate studies in Telecommunication & Film and Political Science (’09). He currently works in financial services. Previously, Ben worked on political campaigns including the 2010 Alabama Governor’s race. He is a member of the Rotaract Club of Birmingham where he is a past board member. Ben is passionate about increasing political awareness and engagement in the state. He also works to promote Birmingham’s music scene as he sees the arts as a critical element of economic development, helping attract professionals to places where there is a high quality of life.

Current Term: 2019-21

Fournier “Boots” Gale

Fournier J. “Boots” Gale, III, is general counsel and corporate secretary for Regions Financial Corporation and serves on the company’s Executive Council. Regions is a top U. S. bank holding company headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama.

Prior to joining Regions in 2011, Gale was a founding partner of Maynard Cooper & Gale PC in Birmingham, Alabama. Since founding the firm in 1984, it has grown to be one of the Southeast’s leading law firms. A hallmark of Gale’s 40-year legal career has been his ability to understand new regulatory and legal environments and to help his diverse clients navigate complex issues.

Gale holds both a bachelor’s degree and law degree from the University of Alabama, where he served as editor in chief of the Alabama Law Review. He is a former president of the University of Alabama Law School Foundation and has been active in many civic and community organizations, including Leadership Birmingham and Leadership Alabama. He has served as general counsel to the Business Council of Alabama since its inception.

Gale is a former president of both the Alabama State Bar and the Birmingham Bar Association. He was a member of the Alabama Commission on Higher Education for nine years and served as the chairman from 1998 to 2000. Nationally, he has served on the ABA Standing Committee of the Federal Judiciary (Eleventh District) and the Standing Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution. He is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and has served on the Board of Directors of the American Judicature Society.

Current Term: 2019-21

Gale Boots

Britney Garner (2006 Fellow)

Since 2006, when she became President of Students for Bob Riley for Governor, Britney Mitchell Garner has been a visible presence in Alabama Republican Politics. While an undergraduate at the University of Alabama she was Vice President of External Affairs for the U of A SGA, where she served as the point person between the SGA and outside persons and organizations. In 2009, Britney became a Grassroots Coordinator for the Tim James for Governor campaign. After the 2010 primary, Britney became one of two State Field Coordinators for Dr. Robert Bentley’s campaign. Following Dr. Bentley’s election to the governorship, Britney served first as Finance Director (2011) then Political Director (2013) for the Alabama Republican Party. As Political Director, Britney planned and executed all aspects of the 2014 ALGOP campaign, which saw a Republican sweep of all statewide offices and a supermajority of seats in both Houses of the Legislature. From 2014 to 2018, Britney served as Government Relations Director for the American Heart Association, Alabama Chapter. Britney was AHA’s primary lobbyist for the Alabama Legislature as well as coordinating all state grassroots activities in support of better heart health for all Alabamians. Britney launched Garner Consulting Services in 2014 to provide comprehensive political campaign consulting services at all levels of government. Garner Consulting Services has directed successful campaigns for Alabama Supreme Court Justice and Chief Justice, Court of Civil Appeals, State Treasurer, State Commissioner of Agriculture and Industry, State School Board and several Alabama Legislature races. Britney holds a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations and Political Science from the University of Alabama and a Masters of Public Administration from Auburn University at Montgomery. Britney is married to Timothy Garner. The couple have a daughter, Mae, aged 2 and live in Birmingham, where they attend Mtn Brook Baptist Church.

Current Term: 2020-22

Rodney Grogan

Rodney attended the University of Alabama from 1982 to 1988, receiving his B.S. degree in Aerospace Engineering in 1986, and his M.B.A. with a Finance Concentration in 1988. Following his graduation in 1988, he went to work with Andersen Consulting in Atlanta from 1988 to1994 where he worked in the areas of systems integration and change management consulting. In 1994, he went to work with the Dunn Group of Companies in Birmingham where he has continued his career for the last 25 years. He currently serves as President of MMC Materials, Inc. and Vice-President of Dunn Investment Company. Rodney is a member of the Downtown Jackson Rotary Club, a state board member of the Missississippi Fellowship of Christian Athletes, a board member of the Madison County Business League & Foundation, and an executive board member of the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association. He served as Chairman of the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association from March, 2018 to March, 2019. He also served as President of the Mississippi Fellowship of Christian Athletes State Board from February, 2012 to August, 2015. His desire in life is to make a positive impact on others around him, while helping them reach their goals in life, and in turn, helping them make a positive impact in other’s lives. Rodney and his wife, Kim, a 1989 graduate of the University of Alabama, reside in Madison, MIssissippi. They have three children, Taylor (24), Graham (23), and Parker (19). He enjoys golf and quail hunting.

Current Term: 2020-22

John Hammontree (2008 Fellow)

John Hammontree is managing producer of Reckon by, an in-depth and investigative brand he spearheaded the launch of in 2017. The team won the International News Media Association’s award for Best of Video for its coverage of Alabama’s special election in 2017. He also oversees guest opinions & commentary for, The Birmingham News, Mobile’s Press-Register, and The Huntsville Times, and is a member of the editorial board. John was awarded the Green Eyeshade Award for Best Editorial Writing in the Southeast in 2017 and is a two-time recipient of the Alabama Press Association’s award for Best Editorial. He was a finalist for the Scripps Howard’s Walker Stone Award for Opinion Writing in 2017. John is 2008 Blackburn Fellow, serving as Student Chair from 2009-2010. He graduated from the University of Alabama in 2010. Before joining Alabama Media Group, John worked in politics, public affairs and public relations in Washington, DC, and San Francisco. Immediately prior to joining the Blackburn Advisory Board, John served as Community Education Leader for the Fellows Involvement Network.

Current Term: 2019-21

Robert Harris, III, Secretary (2007 Fellow)

Robert Harris is the Vice President, Community Lending for BancorpSouth Bank (NYSE: BXS), a Tupelo, MS based financial institution with almost $18 billion in assets and which operates nearly 290 full service branch locations as well as additional mortgage, insurance, and loan production offices in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas, including an insurance location in Illinois. In this capacity, Robert is responsible for the Community Bank’s business development, product development, and community outreach efforts related to and supporting the Bank’s Fair Lending and Community Reinvestment Act initiatives throughout its eight-state footprint.

Previously, Robert was the CRA Community Development Officer for Cadence Bank, a now $11 billion dollar financial institution previously headquartered in Birmingham, AL. As the CRA Community Development Officer, Robert assisted in the management of Cadence Bank’s Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) activities to include CRA and HMDA data collection, regulatory reporting, investment and lending monitoring, community service initiatives, and community partnerships. As the Community Development Officer, Robert had primary responsibility for the formulation and cultivation of Cadence’s public-private partnerships as they relate to CRA throughout the Bank’s six-state footprint and served as the CRA point of contact for business and civic leaders in those communities.

Previously, Robert was the Coordinator for Corporate Training and Development in Cadence’s Human Resources Department. In that role, Robert had a broad portfolio of responsibilities which included the evaluation and development of line of business learning plans, the creation of a corporate-wide leadership development initiative (Lead4Results), the administration of a credit analyst development program, and several other programs and initiatives. Additionally, Robert worked as the training project manager for the development and deployment of Cadence’s retooled Performance Management Appraisal and was the primary liaison to the Compliance Department for the Bank’s Compliance Training Program. While in Corporate Training, Robert held primary responsibility for the administration of the Bank’s Compliance Training Program and Learning Management System (LMS).

Prior to banking, Robert worked in Human Resources at Alabama Power Company and for a third-party consultant group contracted to perform a variety of organizational development functions for Mercedes Benz Inc. USA. Robert worked for several years at The University of Alabama and has a background in Student Affairs and higher education. Robert also has a background in politics and public policy having worked as a political staffer/consultant for several local, state, and national campaigns.

Robert is a graduate of The University of Alabama where he attended both undergraduate and graduate school and studied Political Science, History, and Organizational/Business Communication. Robert is also a graduate of the Barret School of Banking’s Commercial Lending and Bank Profitability Academies. Robert is very active in his community and serves on the Board of several local and statewide professional and civic organizations.

Current Term: 2019-21

Cornelia Heflin

Ms. Heflin was born in New York City, where she lived until her family returned to Alabama in 1967. She attended Coffee High School in Florence, Alabama, and received her BA in Political Science at The University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee. Ms. Heflin attended graduate school at The University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School where she received her MBA. After working six years at Chemical Bank in New York, she returned to Alabama on the occasion of her engagement and marriage to Tom Heflin, of Tuscumbia, Alabama. Tom and Cornelia spent three years in Birmingham, where she worked for AmSouth Bank, and where Tom worked for Hare, Wynn, Newton. They returned to Tuscumbia, where their two children, Wil, and Mary Catherine were born.

Cornelia worked several years for Suntrust Bank in Florence, Alabama, and then sat for the CPA exam. Since then, she has been a practicing CPA in the Shoals area, with a focus on business valuations and corporate finance work. Tom and his law partner have a law practice in Tuscumbia, Alabama, Ashe & Heflin, LLC.

Their son, Wil, lives in Carrboro, North Carolina with his wife, Elisa Faison of Decatur, Alabama. He works for a commercial real estate development company in Raleigh, and she is pursuing her doctorate in modern English literature at The University of North Carolina. Their two cats are named Phil and Lil!

Their daughter, Mary Catherine is a registered nurse at St. Thomas Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee. She currently works in the cardiac critical care unit, and she is the best nurse in Nashville! She also volunteers as a nurse at the Sawyerville Day Camp, which is a ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama.

We are all lifelong members of the Episcopal Church, and attend Grace Episcopal Church in Sheffield, Alabama. Tom, Wil, Mary Catherine, and Elisa are also all products of Camp McDowell, which is affiliated with the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama.

Current Term: 2020-22


Russ Henshaw

Russ was born in Huntsville, Alabama and lived in the Washington, DC area and Connecticut, but eventually returned to the state when he attended the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. He graduated in 1995 with majors in political science and marketing. Since 1996, Russ has specialized in helping individuals, families, and corporations with their investment planning, investment consulting and portfolio management needs. As First Vice President, Investments, Russ uses a hands-on approach to managing investment accounts and it has been a passion of his to make sure clients investments are managed with a goal of absolute returns in all market environments. Russ is very involved with the community, church, and The University of Alabama. He is a member of The University of Alabama School of Arts and Sciences Leadership Board, Never Should Have Made It Club, and Red Elephant Club. He is also very involved in the YMCA Board and its development. He has been a Finance Chairman for the First United Methodist Church of Huntsville and currently the Chairman of the church’s Endowment and Planned Giving Committee. Russ loves to spend time with his family, his wife Wendy, and daughters Allie(17), Caroline(15) and Ella(12).

Current Term: 2019-21

Russ Henshaw

Mike House, Immediate Past Chairperson

Mr. House is director of Hogan & Lovells’ legislative group. He is recognized as one of the top three legislative lawyers in Washington, DC by Chamber USA. Mike concentrates on legislative and regulatory matters before the U.S. Congress, White House, and various departments and independent of the executive branch. He represents national and multinational corporations, trade associations, and coalitions.

From 1973 to 1976, Mike served as Chief of Staff to Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Howell Heflin. He also had a dual role as Director of the Permanent Study Commission on the Alabama State Courts, which included the drafting and passage of the judicial article constitutional amendment in 1973, and the implementation legislation in 1975. Because of his work on court reform, he became the youngest person to ever receive an Award of Merit from the Alabama Bar Association.

From 1976-1979, Mike practiced law in Montgomery, Alabama. During that time, he was President of the Alabama Young Lawyers, and Chairman of the Alabama Citizens Conference on Alabama State Courts and the Alabama Citizens Conference on a New Constitution. He also was involved in numerous other professional and civic associations, including being a member of the board of directors of the American Judicature Society. In 1979, Mike was chosen as one of Alabama’s four Outstanding Young Men.

From 1979-1986, he served as Chief of Staff to Senator Howell Heflin of Alabama, managed his campaigns in the 1978 and 1984 elections.

Currently, Mike is a Member of the Society of International Business Fellows, the Council of Excellence in Government, President’s Cabinet of the University of Alabama, Chairman of the Farrah Law Society, University of Alabama Law School, Board of Directors of Alabama Law School Foundation and Member of the Board of Trustees of The Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, DC.

Mike and his wife, Gina, currently reside in McLean, Virginia.

Current Term: 2021-23

Photo of Mike House

Doug Jones

A lawyer at Haskell, Slaughter, Young and Rediker, LLC in Birmingham, AL since 2008, Doug Jones represents individual, institutional and corporate clients in complex civil and criminal litigation, with particular concentrations in class actions, securities litigation, white-collar criminal defense, False Claims Act and whistleblower litigation, environmental litigation and employment discrimination matters.

Prior to joining Haskell Slaughter, Mr. Jones served as United States Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama from 1997 until 2001. As United States Attorney, Mr. Jones personally led the team of prosecutors and investigators in the re-opened case of the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. Mr. Jones served as lead trial attorney in the successful prosecutions of two former Ku Klux Klansmen for the murder of four young girls killed in the bombing. He also coordinated the federal and state task force that led to the indictment of notorious fugitive Eric Robert Rudolph, who ultimately pled guilty to four terrorist bombings and is serving a life sentence.

Since returning to private practice, Mr. Jones has represented individual and corporate defendants and targets in high-profile white-collar litigation in both federal and state courts and has represented both individual plaintiffs and plaintiff classes in complex securities and annuities litigation, as well as in other complex litigation and investigation matters. In addition, he was appointed General Special Master in Tolbert v. Monsanto and Pharmacia Corp., a massive environmental clean-up action involving PCBs in the Anniston, Alabama area.

He is an alumnus of Leadership Birmingham and was named in 2009 by the Alabama Supreme Court to the Advisory Committee on the Alabama Rules of Evidence.

Current Term: 2020-22

Jones Doug

James Kemp (2015 Fellow)

James Kemp, Jr., a native of Birmingham, Alabama, graduated summa cum laude with a degree in finance in 2015. James immediately continued on to earn his MBA with a concentration in strategic management and marketing from UA’s Manderson Graduate School of Business. James’ passions have always been organizational operations, finances, leadership, and civic engagement. While at UA, James served as treasurer for UA’s chapter of the NAACP and the Mortar Board honor society. James currently serves as director of business operations for Kemp Management Solutions, LLC, a project management and consulting firm based in Birmingham. His responsibilities include managing the firm’s finances, overseeing its marketing strategies, maintaining and developing the firm’s IT structure, and providing delivery support on client accounts as needed. James became a member of the Birmingham Rotaract Club in June 2018 and served as the VP of finance for the 2019-2020 term. He married his beautiful wife Jasmine in October 2017 and they now reside in the Crestwood neighborhood of Birmingham They have one son, Jotham Michael.

Current Term: 2021-23

Allison Koszyk (2019 Fellow)

Allison Koszyk is a Tuscaloosa transplant, originally from Chicago. She moved here for undergrad in 2015, and since then has been consistently pursuing education. Allison was the first person to complete the Accelerated Masters Program for Hospitality Management, earning her Bachelors in Human Environmental Science, with a double minor in the Blount Scholars Program and Business, in December of 2018, and then receiving her Masters in May of 2019. During that time she was heavily involved in the Blount Scholars Program, and became a Blackburn Student her senior year. She is a member of the first class at the University of Alabama School of Law to have a majority of women members. She is on track to receive her J.D. in May of 2022, and will simultaneously be serving her three-year term as Blackburn’s newest Recent Graduate Advisory Board Member while attending law school. The Blackburn Instituted ignited her initial passion for the state. Her interests in criminal justice reform, environmentalism (she is a proud vegan), pro-bono work, and racial, economic, and gender, justice, are being bolstered and informed by her educational experiences past and present in our great state of Alabama. Allison hopes to be a resource for anyone interested in pursuing higher education, or maintaining a healthy lifestyle. She is so incredibly honored and excited to begin her tenure on the Advisory Board. She believes that it will be, absolutely, rewarding and humbling to give back, to the program, community, institution, and State, that have afforded her with such vast opportunity and knowledge.

Current Term: 2020-22

Dr. Terry Lamar

Dr. Terry Lamar graduated from the University of Alabama in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in Education and membership in Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He is currently the Director of Equity and Educational Initiatives of Hoover City Schools. At the secondary education level, Dr. Lamar has experience as a physical education teacher, school counselor, and an assistant principal. He gained further leadership experience as an assistant principal and school principal in elementary education during which he obtained a doctorate from Samford University. Dr. Lamar has a passion for working with at-risk students and providing guidance to families in need. He is a strong advocate for empowering the youth with the personalized tools they need to make wise, lifelong decisions. Dr. Lamar is currently completing the CLAS Certified Instructional Leadership Program designed to enhance the instructional knowledge of school leaders.

Current Term: 2019-21

Frank Lassiter

Frank Q. Lassiter, CFA Frank Lassiter is the Vice President, Acquisitions and Capital Markets, of Protective Life Corporation. Initially starting in Protective’s Corporate Finance group, his responsibilities have expanded in the last several years to include involvement in Protective’s M&A initiatives, focusing primarily on acquisition sourcing, deal structuring/execution and management of transaction due diligence efforts. He has been with Protective for approximately 12 years. Outside of work, Frank is an active member of Independent Presbyterian Church, where he has served in a number of roles, including Elder and Deacon. He is a past president of the UA National Alumni Association’s Jefferson County Chapter, a member of the Birmingham Red Elephant Club, a Cub Scout Den Leader in Troop 320 of the Greater Alabama Council of the Boy Scouts of America, a coach for his children’s sports teams, and he also serves in a volunteer capacity with Children’s of Alabama. Mr. Lassiter holds a strong interest in matters of local, regional and statewide economic/community development, and looks forward to engaging on these fronts through involvement with the Blackburn Institute and its Advisory Board. Frank holds the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation and he earned Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Business Administration degrees from The University of Alabama in 1999 and 2002, respectively. During his time at the Capstone he was involved in a number of campus organizations including the Interfraternity Council (President), Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity (Vice-President), WVUA-FM (Sports Director / Play-by-Play Announcer) and was also a member of The Jasons and Omicron Delta Kappa honoraries. Frank is a native of Troy, Alabama and has spent most of his life in Birmingham, where he currently resides with his wife, Caron, and two children, Harper (8) and Towns (7).

Current Term: 2019-21

Ben Leonard (2020 Fellow)

Ben Leonard is a 2020 graduate of the University of Alabama, where he earned a B.A. in Political Science. On campus, Ben was involved in the Blackburn Institute, the University Fellows Experience, the Honors College, Vote Everywhere UA, and Forza Financial. During his undergraduate career, Ben interned for the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, the Brookings Institution, Mayor Walt Maddox, and the U.S. Department of State at Embassy The Hague. Ben currently works as a litigation paralegal in the D.C. office of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. He plans to attend law school after several years of working in D.C.

Current Term: 2021-23

Tamara Lee

Tamara Young Lee is a higher education administrator and licensed attorney in the State of Alabama. She is the founder and owner of the Lee Elder Law Group, a boutique law firm dedicated to advising clients on elder law, probate and estate planning issues Before going into Higher Education, Mrs. Lee served as the Vice President of Business Development for Alabama Small Business Capital and Executive Director and General Counsel for the Southern Development Council, located in Montgomery, Alabama. She has received national recognition for her achievements in the areas of economic development and advocacy for small business financing. She was honored by the National Association of Development Companies with the organization’s “National Leadership Award for Executive Directors.” Mrs. Lee is a graduate of North Carolina Central University School of Law, where she received the Juris Doctorate Degree and a graduate of the University of Alabama where she received a B.S. Degree in Music Education. At Alabama she was the second African American cheerleader and was a piano student of the esteemed Amanda Penick. She was the recipient of a four-year Music scholarship and received the Black Faculty Academic Achievement Award from 1977-1981. Upon graduation from law school she was selected as one of 100 law school students in the country for the Reginald Heber Smith Fellowship, working in the Montgomery Legal Services Corporation Office. Committed to community service, Mrs. Lee is also actively involved in several local and national organizations and has served on numerous local community boards including the Montgomery Area United Way and Leadership Montgomery. She is a member of several professional and civic organizations including the Macon County Economic Development Authority, Alabama Bar Association, Alabama Lawyers Association, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., The Tuskegee Chapter of Links Inc. and currently serves as Chair of the Southern Area Links HBCU Initiative

Current Term: 2021-23

Matthew Lewis (2006 Fellow)

Matthew Lewis is a 2006 Fellow who graduated from the University of Alabama in 2008 with a double major in Political Science and History. While at the University of Alabama he was involved in numerous campus organizations and is intensely interested in the Alabama Constitution and how it affects everyday Alabamians. He has a passion for healthcare and access to equitable care for Alabama’s most vulnerable. Matthew’s career in Healthcare Administration began in 2008 and he has worked in numerous skilled nursing facilities throughout the state of Alabama. Currently he is the Administrator of a 225 bed facility in Opelika, AL. He sits on the board of A Brighter Alabama and is deeply involved in his local community.

Current Term: 2021-23

Matthew Lewis

Peter Loftis Lowe

Peter Loftis Lowe is president of G.W. Jones and Sons Real Estate Investment Company, Inc. in Huntsville, Ala., and has made his mark in business through a series of entrepreneurial ventures that have stretched across the Southeast. Lowe has been involved in more than 50 limited liability corporations across the state, ranging from retail stores, shopping centers, aerospace companies, hotels, restaurants, and wine storage facilities. He formerly owned a shopping center in south Alabama and auto supply stores in Alabama, Tennessee and Louisiana.

He received the Member, Appraisal Institute (MAI) designation of the American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers in 1969. He is a member of the National Association of Realtors and is also an Accredited Rural Appraiser, and is a member of the Building Owners and Managers Association.

His experience and background are primarily in the area of commercial real estate. He is responsible for the development and management of all real estate operations of his firm and other partnerships and corporations in which he has ownership.

He served on the Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama System for 17 years and is a Trustee Emeritus. He was an inductee of the Alabama Business Hall of Fame in 2013. He also serves on the University of Alabama Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration Board of Visitors, UAB Health System Board, UAB Valley Foundation and UAH Foundation Board of Directors.

He is a member and past president of the Huntsville Rotary Club, member and past president of Volunteers of America, past board member of the Huntsville-Madison County Chamber of Commerce, past member of the board of directors for the Huntsville Land Trust and served on the U.S. Space and Rocket Center Advisory Committee.

He and his wife have three children: Peter L. Lowe Jr., an attorney; Carl T. Jones Lowe, a building contractor, and Sara Lowe Ahearn, all of Huntsville. They have six grandchildren. His hobbies include golf, art collecting, sporting events and travel.

Current Term: 2019-21

Lowe Peter

Farah Majid

Farah Majid is currently the Managing Attorney of the Birmingham Office of Legal Services Alabama. She joined LSA in 2012 after graduating from the University of Alabama School of Law in 2011. Farah has served a Staff Attorney for LSA in Huntsville and Mobile, and has also served as the Consumer Lead Attorney (2015-2018) and the Rural Economic Improvement Project Coordinating Attorney (2019-2020). Farah has led efforts at LSA to protect low income consumers’ wages from garnishment, including statewide trial and appellate advocacy, providing materials to the bench and bar, and teaching Continuing Legal Education (CLE)’s. Farah is a native Alabamian and was born in Tuscaloosa. She is also a first-generation child of immigrants; her parents met while pursuing graduate degrees at the University of Alabama. Farah has spent her career as a public interest attorney in Alabama. She advocates for low income Alabamians to have equal access to justice and be able to protect their rights.

Current Term: 2021-23

Gordon G. Martin, Chairperson

Gordon G. Martin is Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Alabama Power Company. A native of Birmingham, Gordon graduated cum laude from the University of Alabama, where he was elected President of the Student Government Association. He also earned a law degree from the University of Alabama; a Masters degree from the George Washington University; and is a French test shy of a Masters degree from Georgetown University. He has completed executive coursework at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and Oxford University in England. In the area of economic development, Gordon served as Chairman of the Board of the Montgomery Riverfront Development Foundation, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce. In the area of education, Gordon serves on the Board of Directors of the A+ Education Partnership and the McWane Science Center. He is a member of the President’s Cabinet at The University of Alabama, and previously served on the Board of Trustees of Huntingdon College. Gordon has also served on advisory boards at Auburn University, Auburn Montgomery, and Birmingham-Southern College. Gordon plays a leadership role at numerous charitable and civic organizations, including board service at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, The American Village in Montevallo, the United Way of Central Alabama, the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama, the Alabama Archives and History Foundation, and the Alabama Heritage Foundation. Gordon is a graduate of Leadership Alabama, Leadership Montgomery and Leadership Shelby County. He was named Montgomery Advertiser’s Citizen of the Year in 2006. He and his wife, Margret, have five children, two of whom attend the University of Alabama.

Current Term: 2020-22

Martin Gordon

Dr. Mark Martin (2000 Fellow)

Dr. Mark Martin recently returned home to Alabama after nearly 15 years away to launch Build Urban Prosperity. Build UP is the nation’s first early-college workforce development program to comprehensively address poverty and urban blight, empowering youth to become educated, career- ready homeowners and landlords. He most recently graduated Harvard’s Doctor of Education Leadership program where he worked with Jobs For the Future and the Alabama State Department of Education on education-to-career transitions and workforce readiness, focusing on youth apprenticeships and the Swiss dual-education model. Mark previously served as the School Director at Langston Hughes Academy, a preK-8 public charter school he co-founded in 2007. He was a founding Board Member of THRIVE, Louisiana’s first public urban residential school, which posted the highest one-year academic gains in state history. Investing 15+ years educating children in poverty, Mark began his career with Teach For America in Atlanta’s Woodson Elementary, where he was honored as the Employee of the Year and as West Atlanta’s Cub Scouter of the Year, after founding Troop 351. Mark has served on numerous Advisory Boards including the Greater Birmingham Association of Home Builders, the University of Alabama’s Blackburn Institute, University of New Orleans College of Education, and Christian Active Parenting. He has led and served on mission trips to Nuevo Laredo, Mexico; Swaziland, Africa; and Katrina Relief in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Mark graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in Finance from the University of Alabama and earned an MBA from the University of Georgia. Mark and his wife Tiffany have two children, Marilee and Rhett.

Current Term: 2020-22

Mark Martin

Dr. F. David Mathews

David Mathews is president of the Kettering Foundation, a nonprofit research foundation rooted in the American tradition of invention. Prior to his work with the foundation, Mathews served as Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare in the Ford administration. From 1965 to 1980, he taught history at the University of Alabama, where he also served as president from 1969 to 1980. Mathews earned an A.B. degree in history and classical Greek. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Alabama, he received his Ph.D. in history from Columbia University. Mathews has served on the boards of a variety of organizations, currently including the Gerald R. Ford Foundation, National Issues Forums Institute, Southern Institute on Children and Families, and Public Agenda. He has received numerous awards, and in 2007, the Alabama Center for Civic Life was renamed in his honor. He is also the recipient of 17 honorary degrees. Mathews has written extensively on Southern history, public policy, education, and international problem solving. His books include Politics for People: Finding a Responsible Public Voice and Reclaiming Public Education by Reclaiming Our Democracy. Mathews is married to Mary Chapman Mathews, and they have two daughters and six grandchildren.

Current Term: 2020-22

David Mathews

Adrienne Mathison

Adrienne is the Senior Director of Government and Public Affairs for the Poarch Band of Creek Indians located in Atmore. The Poarch Band of Creek Indians is the state of Alabama’s only federally recognized Tribe. Prior to her position with the Tribe, Adrienne practiced law in Anniston. Adrienne graduated from Auburn University with a B.A. in Political Science and from Louisiana State University’s Paul M. Hebert Law Center with a J.D. and Diploma in Civil Law.

Current Term: 2021-23

Warren Matthews

Warren Matthews was born and raised in Ozark, Alabama. Warren progressed northward for undergraduate (University of Alabama), law school (Vanderbilt) and graduate law school (NYU), worked and lived in Birmingham for a number of years, and then moved his family to Greenville, Alabama, where he and his wife Elizabeth (Stabler) have raised their two children in the house where Elizabeth’s grandparents lived for 70 years. Since 1991, Warren has practiced law with Burr & Forman LLP, a law firm with offices throughout the Southeast. He opened the Montgomery Office in 2000 and now also works out of the Firm’s Mobile Office. Warren’s legal practice is centered on economic development, assisting companies, oftentimes foreign companies, with locating, constructing, equipping, starting up and operating new and expansion projects. He has been involved with start-up and expansion projects representing over 28,000 new jobs and an estimated $20 billion of capital investment. Representative projects include work for Mercedes-Benz, Honda, ThyssenKrupp, Ipsco Steel, Hyundai, Kia, Kronospan and Brown-Forman. Warren has been named to Best Lawyers in America in the fields of Economic Development, Nonprofit and Tax Law. Warren takes great pleasure in being involved with nonprofit endeavors. He has over 25 years of experience representing a myriad of nonprofit entities. Examples include the Alabama Basketball Foundation (Final Four Tournament), Alabama Prep Football Foundation (Super Six Championships), Birmingham Zoo, Birmingham Bar Foundation, Greenville YMCA and numerous private foundations. Warren is serving, or has served, the following nonprofits: Greenville YMCA (Chairman), Fort Dale Academy (Chairman), Montgomery Area YMCA, United Methodist Children’s Home, First United Methodist Greenville, Alabama Bar Association (Chairman, Bar Examiners). Personal interests include competing in pickleball tournaments with his wife, and playing golf and tennis.

Current Term: 2021-23

Warren Matthews

Isaac McCoy

William Isaac McCoy is a professional mentor, and business development executive skilled at navigating the busy intersection of nonprofits, corporations, and social impact investment. During a 20 year-long academic and professional career marked by success, William Isaac — who goes by “Isaac” — has founded or led companies and nonprofit organizations that improved civic health and increased economic opportunities for communities and businesses. From 2010 to 2013, Isaac served as Vice President of Operations and Public Affairs at Proviso Leyden Council for Community Action (PLCCA), a faith-based organization that has aided thousands of families each year, in the Chicago land area, since its founding in 1968. In this role, Isaac was responsible for the development and management of the annual operating ($6 million) and capital budgets ($4 million). He directed the development, maintenance and monitoring of organizational plans to align with PLCCA’s mission, vision, and values. At PLCCA, Isaac also developed innovative initiatives through inter-departmental collaborations to enhance internal efficiency and effectiveness, and monitored, and appraised the performance of each department. Following his time at PLCCA, Isaac served as the senior operations manager for the Illinois African American Coalition for Prevention (ILAACP), a statewide, membership-based charitable organization that strengthens prevention systems, policies, and programs in underserved communities through culturally-relevant research, training, and advocacy. In this position he managed the day-to-day operations for all the ILAACP initiatives. After directing initiatives at a leading advocacy nonprofit, the ILAACP, Isaac was invited to join the economic development policy team of President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C. Isaac was appointed to serve as Senior Advisor for Business Development at the U.S. Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). For nearly 50 years, MBDA has been the leading Federal bureau dedicated to supporting and growing companies and entrepreneurs from across the nation’s rich tapestry of ethnic communities. In this role, Isaac served as an agency liaison between various industry task groups, White House officials, and other Federal agencies; state and local organizations, and financial services companies in the effort to support minority-owned businesses. During his time advising White House officials and members of the business community, Isaac helped spearhead marketing initiatives, entrepreneurship programs, and technological innovation programs to spur the domestic and global expansion of minority owned companies (MBEs). Recently, as co-founder of Jamii Group, a social impact and business development firm, Isaac has combined his passion for education and mentoring entrepreneurs with the best practices and principles of corporate responsibility. By leveraging his Certifications in project management, business analysis, and other organizational specialties along with his advanced degree in Public Service Management, Isaac focuses on positive results and measurable outcomes. In 2017, the U.S. State Department selected Isaac to its inaugural cohort of Global Innovation Fellows. The inaugural class of Global Innovation Fellows (50 American entrepreneurs and 50 Chinese entrepreneurs) will be matched with one another to discuss business trends and accessing American/Chinese markets, as well as build relationships––all with the goal to promote shared economic prosperity, inclusive innovation, and civic responsibility across the globe. Now, as Dean of the Business School at historic Stillman College, Isaac brings deep knowledge of current business intelligence, capital investment opportunities, technological innovation, and community support systems to the table. His vision and strategy to achieve the School of Business’ goals & objectives focuses on these areas: Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Technology, Accreditation, Fundraising, Globalization, and Civic Engagement and Responsibility. While guiding the next generation of business leaders, Isaac plans to develop partnerships in corporate, government, and nonprofit sectors, and build upon Stillman’s legacy of excellence. Isaac brings his experience and passion to serve his community on several boards and committees in Alabama and Illinois. In Alabama, he serves as an advisory board member for the EDGE and is a member of the Realizing the Dream Committee. In Illinois, he was appointed to the State of Illinois’ Charitable Trust Stabilization Committee (confirmed by the IL State Senate) and the Advisory Committee for the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office (confirmed by Cook County Board of Commissioners). He serves as a member of the 100 Black Men of Chicago and is board member of New Path Transformation Foundation, Inc., and associate board member of Goodcity Chicago. Isaac holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master’s degree from DePaul University.

Current Term: 2019-21

Marion McIntosh, Member-at-Large (2005 Fellow)

Marion S. McIntosh is originally from Monroeville, AL, and currently works as a Process Engineer in automotive manufacturing. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Industrial Engineering, May 2003 and August 2006, respectively. While at the Capstone, Marion served as a Regional Executive Board member, and President of the UA Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers. He also served as an SGA Senator, and a 2005 Student Fellow in the Blackburn Institute. Marion gained experience working with students as a Residential Assistant and Hall Director in Housing and Residential Communities, and a Teaching Assistant in the Dept. of Industrial Engineering. In his spare time, he volunteers as a motivational speaker and addresses youth groups, minority engineering students, and professional organizations on topics ranging from collegiate success to community activism. He aspires to get more actively involved in public service and volunteers on various political campaigns. Marion currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Alabama Mathematics, Science, Technology, and Engineering Coalition (AMSTEC) and is a Life Member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Current Term: 2021-23

Marion McIntosh

Dr. Rosalind Moore-Miller

Rosalind is a former military dependent, born in Vicenza, Italy with a number of places she calls hope. She received an undergraduate degree from Jacksonville State University (Jacksonville, AL) with a double major in English & Political Science and also a master’s degree in Counselor Education with an emphasis in College Student Personnel. She has recently completed her Ph.D. in Social & Cultural Foundations of Education at The University of Alabama. She is the Director of Undergraduate & Graduate Student Involvement and is responsible for the co-curricular engagement of students at The University of Alabama in purposeful involvement and leadership opportunities. In her role, Rosalind combines collaborative efforts, student engagement, and needs assessment to create programs and services that open doors for student to have meaningful involvement experiences. In the past, Rosalind has served professional associations as the NASPA Region III Representative for the Administrators in Graduate & Professional Student Services Knowledge Community, advisory board member of the National Association of Graduate & Professional Students (NAGPS), and Internship Coordinator for a minority initiative called the Southeastern Greek Leadership Summit (SEGLS). Prior to her work in the Office of Student Involvement, Rosalind gained experiences in Housing and Residential Communities, Greek Life, Assessment, and Student Parent support programs. Her research areas focus on education access, intersectionality, policy analysis, minority student experiences, and other sub-populations interests/experiences. Rosalind has been actively engaged in the Blackburn Institute for the last 4 years as a partner and advocate of the Institute mission.

Current Term: 2020-22

Dr. Rosalind Moore-Miller

Dr. Martha Morrow

Dr. Martha Rosemore Morrow was born and raised in Fayette, Alabama. She has her Bachelor of Science, Doctor of Optometry, and Doctor of Ocular Science . Dr. Morrow has been honored with many various awards including Lifetime Achievement Award, Optometrist of the Year, and Optometrist of the South for the 12 southern states (the only female to ever be honored with this distinction). She has served as President of the American Optometric Association Foundation. For over 20 years, Dr. Morrow was a Board Member & Trust Manager with companies on the New York Stock Exchange.

Dr. Morrow lives in Red Bay, Alabama with her husband, State Representative Johnny Mack Morrow. She works very closely with her husband serving the constituents on HD 18.

Current Term: 2020-22

Dr. Martha Morrow

Dr. Rick Myers

Dr. Richard M. Myers grew up in Selma and then Tuscaloosa Alabama. He received his B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Alabama in 1976, his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley in 1982, and did his post-doctoral training at Harvard University. He joined the faculty at UCSF Medical Center in 1985 moved to Stanford University in 1993, where he served as Professor and Chair in the Department of Genetics. Since 2008, Dr. Myers has been President and Science Director of the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, a non-profit research and teaching enterprise in Huntsville, AL. HudsonAlpha is one of the world’s largest genome centers, and its scientists develop and apply technologies in the exciting field of genomics, the science of reading and interpreting our entire genetic makeup, as well as that of plants and animals, to the betterment of human health, agriculture and our environment. Dr. Myers’ research activities are in diseases of the nervous system, including neurodegenerative diseases like ALS, Alzheimer, Parkinson and Huntington diseases, as well as psychiatric disorders, cancer and autoimmune diseases. In addition to leading HudsonAlpha and his research lab, he participates in numerous activities to increase and foster diversity in research and education, with particular emphasis in under-represented groups, including teaching the public – from young children to senior citizens – the importance and impact of science in our everyday lives. In addition, he advises and serves on boards of government and private organizations that support and develop policy in research and education, as well as involvement in commercial biotechnology companies. Dr. Myers is passionate about helping to solve problems that affect our community, state, country and the world, and contributes to a variety of activities and organizations dedicated to eradicating poverty, protecting our environment, improving our health and feeding the world.

Current Term: 2021-23

Rick Myers

Brad Newman

Brad Newman has served as plant manager, ZF Chassis Systems Tuscaloosa, LLC since 2012. In this role, he oversees the Just in Time (JIT), Just in Sequence (JIS) supply of complete chassis modules to two Mercedes-Benz U.S. assembly plants in nearby Vance, Alabama. In 2019, his plant received the prestigious recognition of Manufacturer of the Year Award from the Business Council of Alabama (BCA) for the state of Alabama – Large Manufacturer Category as well as runner-up for Automotive Supplier of the Year (Alabama Automotive Manufacturing Association). Prior to ZF, he held plant manager roles at various suppliers and began his career at General Motors as a manufacturing engineer.

Brad is a member of the West Alabama Regional Workforce Council, West Alabama Works Executive Steering Committee, Board Member and Vice-Chair for Education and Workforce Development for The Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama, Board Member of Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) as appointed by the Governor. He is a German Business Council Founding Member and member of the Alabama Germany Partnership.

Beyond his leadership role in the automotive industry and West Alabama, Brad has a passion for improving the lives of others. He is actively engaged in developing young leaders, co-leads a statewide effort to improve the process for prisoner re-entry, volunteers his time through prison ministry, and leads The OnTrack Process for juvenile delinquents and underserved youth. He plans to continue to work at all levels (local and state) with stake holders to reduce recidivism and increase opportunities for the underserved by focusing resources on that common goal.

Brad has both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Alabama. Together with his wife Hollie, Brad has two children and two grandchildren (so far).

Current Term: 2020-22

Taylor Nichols (2004 Fellow)

Taylor is currently Deputy Chief of Staff to Lt. Governor Kay Ivey, and previously served as a policy advisor to Governor Bob Riley. He holds a 2006 B.S. in Economics from UA, and 2011 dual J.D./M.B.A. degrees from UA. During his two stints on campus, Taylor served as Blackburn Institute Student Chairman and Federalist Society President. Taylor is also a member of the Alabama State Bar Association.

Current Term: 2020-22

Taylor Nichols

Marjorie Kay Nix

Marjorie Kay Nix, widow of Frank A. Nix, graduated from Samford University with a Bachelor of Music degree with an emphasis in piano performance. She is a member of the Samford Legacy League, University President’s Cabinet, and Women of the Capstone at The University of Alabama. She is a member at Brookwood Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama where she has served as church pianist, kindergarten teacher, piano instructor, children’s choir teacher, and is a member of the choir and handbell choir. She is the proud mother of 2 daughters and 1 son, all graduates from The University of Alabama, and 7 beautiful grandchildren. Her hobbies and interests include sewing, gardening, traveling, attending sporting events, and “baby-sitting” grandchildren.

Current Term: 2019-21

Marjorie Kay Nix

William O’Connor

Bill O’Connor is a public affairs consultant from Montgomery, Alabama. In the past he has served as the Director of Public Information for the Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Mental Health, Executive Director with the Alabama Press Association, Assistant to the President of The University of Alabama as Director of Legislative Relations, Associate Professor in the Department of Advertising and Public Relations in UA’s College of Communication, Vice Chancellor for External Affairs at The University of Alabama Systems, President and CEO of the Business Council of Alabama, and Managing Director for the Campaign for Alabama. Currently, he is an independent business consultant associated with Franklin Resources Group.

Current Term: 2019-21

OConnor Bill

Carol Patterson

Carol is a retired professional in the healthcare field, having spent fifteen years with CIGNA. She and her husband, Tom, were co-founders of TXEN and DAXKO. The Pattersons are also devoted to family and church activities.

Current Term: 2019-21 (Currently on Sabbatical)

Carol Peterson

Tom Patterson

Tom is retired and previously founded SEAKO and co-founded TXEN, and DAXKO, where he demonstrated his entrepreneurial spirit in developing computer based systems for healthcare and non-profit member organization.

Current Term: 2019-21 (Currently on Sabbatical)

Tom Patterson

Andres Peña (2009 Fellow)

Andres Peña is Director of Governmental Relations at Kaufman & Killen, a land use law firm in San Antonio, TX. He was previously the head of External Affairs at the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC), where he led the USHCC’s government affairs, policy, and public engagement efforts among key stakeholders in Washington including Congress, the Administration, and national trade associations. Prior to this role, Andres worked under the USHCC’s Vice President of Government Affairs & Policy as a Special Assistant and later as Manager of External Affairs and Policy. In his time at the USHCC, he has co-authored two editions of the USHCC Legislative Agenda, coordinated several high profile events with presidential candidates and senior government officials, and managed public affairs projects that highlight Hispanic business owners. Originally from Bay City, TX, Andres attended the University of Alabama where he studied business management and political science. As an undergrad, he worked for two years on campus at the Women’s Resource Center. Andres currently volunteers in Washington, DC with the American Cancer Society.

Current Term: 2019-21

Pena Andres

Holly Piper

Former Hotel Executive; Vanderbilt University development officer, and small business owner; Civic and community leader. Daughter of Dr. John L. Blackburn.

Current Term: 2019-21

Holly Piper

Judge Chuck Price, II

Judge Charles “Chuck” Price, II is with the Birmingham Municipal Court where he presides over misdemeanor cases occurring within the City of Birmingham. Originally from Montgomery, Alabama, Judge Price is a graduate of Morehouse College and received his law degree from Creighton University School of Law. After graduating law school, Judge Price clerked for Justice Bernard Harwood on the Alabama Supreme Court from 2003-2004. After a brief stint as a clerk for the Alabama Securities Commission, Judge Price joined the civil litigation practice group of Haskell Slaughter Young & Rediker, LLC in 2005. While at Haskell Slaughter, Judge Price’s practice areas were split between insurance defense, securities and labor & employment. Judge Price eventually became a partner at the firm. After leaving Haskell Slaughter, Judge Price spent time as a solo practitioner continue to focus on insurance and labor & employment matters. Judge Price was appointed to the Birmingham Municipal Court in January of 2017. Throughout his legal career, Judge Price has served on various committees and held numerous officer positions with the Birmingham Bar Association, Magic City Bar Association, Alabama State Bar, Alabama Lawyers Association and National Bar Association. He has worked with various mentoring groups and routinely speaks at junior high and high schools in the area. In addition to serving on bar committees, Judge Price is currently a Board member of the Literacy Council of Central Alabama, and also serves on the UAB Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center Young Professionals Board.

Current Term: 2019-21

Pat Reynolds (2017 Fellow)

Patrick “Pat” Reynolds, Community Director at Loyola University New Orleans, believes in leaving everything better than when he found it. At Loyola, Pat leads the civic engagement initiative though SPARK, a residential themed living community. Through SPARK, Pat’s focus is to engage student cohorts in a variety of service opportunities that assist in helping students form their civic identity. The aspect of service that Pat is most proud of is engaging the student body to focus on prison reform. This was prompted by Blackburn’s Annual Symposium in 2017 when Bryan Stevenson initiated a call to action. In conjunction with Chris McQueen, Pat also co-leading a newly developed Black Male Initiative (BMI) at Loyola that specifically focuses on intergenerational mentorship and networking. Pat’s interest include developing young men through the Social Change Model to be leaders and active citizens for others. Pat’s future aspirations is to create pipeline programs at predominately White institutions that contribute to the successful retention and matriculation of first generation low-income students. Pat also aspires to be a public speaker who shares wisdom about the importance of one’s life philosophy. Pat is from Toomsboro, GA and is the son of Lee and Patricia Reynolds.

Current Term: 2019-21

Gina Rigby-House

Originally from Smiths Station, AL in Lee County, Gina started with Aflac during high school and continued worked there for her first two years of college at Chattahoochee Valley Community College. She then transferred to Liberty University to study international relations and moved to Washington, DC after graduation. Her first ten years in the DC area were with the Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association (GAMA), seven of which were as head of their Government Affairs Department. Gina then became head of Aflac’s Washington office in 2000 and, after 18 years, remains as lead Republican lobbyist for the company, dealing with the United States House of Representatives, Senate, and Trump Administration on issues of trade, tax reform, health care, and insurance issues. She is married to Mike House and they are busy with 3 (step) children and 4 grandsons. Her hobbies include family, travel, flower gardening, paper crafts, entertaining, and baking.

Current Term: 2019-21

Gina Rigby-House

Julia Smeds Roth

Julia Smeds Roth, is an Eyster, Key, Tubb, Roth, Middleton & Adams, LLP partner, with over 30 years of litigation experience. Mrs. Roth’s experience is focused primarily in the area of family law, wills and estate planning, and litigation. She has also had substantial experience in other complex litigation, including class actions. She was the court appointed facilitator in In re Managed Care, MDL1334, Southern District of Florida. She is a registered divorce mediator.

Mrs. Roth has been involved throughout her career in professional services and activities. She was Chair of the Client Security Task Force of the Alabama State Bar to evaluate the fund and to make recommendations regarding its funding. She also served as the President of the University of Alabama Law School Foundation. The Foundation assists the University of Alabama Law School with its fundraising and support of the law school. She serves on the United Way Board and is Chair of the Princess Theatre Center for the Performing Arts Board of Directors. She has served on the vestry at St. John’s Episcopal Church. She is past President of the Morgan County Bar Association.

In the past, from 1986 to 1992, Mrs. Roth served as special counsel to the Alabama House of Representatives, Judiciary Committee. She also served as a Law Clerk to The Honorable Sam C. Pointer, Jr., Chief Judge, United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama. She is a life-long Alabama resident with three adult children, three adult stepchildren, and five grandchildren. She is married to Nicholas B. Roth, also a partner in the EysterKey law firm.

Current Term: 2020-22

Angie Wages Rush

Angie was born and raised in Tuscumbia, Alabama and graduated from Deshler High School. She attended the Capstone from 1982-86 and earned an undergraduate degree in marketing. She then went on to earn her master’s degree in marketing in 1988. During her undergraduate years, Angie served as a Crimson Girl, which is now called the Capstone Men and Women. She also served as Vice President Scholarship and Vice President New Membership for Alpha Gamma Delta. Angie was in various organizations including Omicron Delta Kappa, Mortar Board, Anderson Society, Order of Omega and the XXXI. Angie is currently the Director of Marketing for Phoenix Rehabilitation & Health Services. She has spent her career in healthcare sales and marketing, starting with Searle Pharmaceuticals as a medical sales representative in 1992. Angie then moved on to a corporate marketing position with Kowa Pharmaceuticals America and Cendalor Therapeutics. Her current role with Phoenix allows her to continue her passion for healthcare marketing while staying closer to home. Angie also has her own marketing consulting business, AWR Consulting LLC. Angie has two children, both students at the University. Trey is a freshman and Olivia is a senior. She is married to Woody Rush, who works with Jim Wilson & Associates in Montgomery. Angie is an active member of First United Methodist Church; she has held many volunteer roles both at her church and at The Montgomery Academy where her children attended since Kindergarten.

Current Term: 2020-22

John Saxon

Attorney with John D. Saxon P.C., specializing in employment litigation; Former White House Fellow and counsel to four Committees of the U.S. Senate; Former Treasurer, Alabama Democratic Party; Chairman, Alabama Clinton for President Campaign; Chairman Alabama Wes Clark for President Campaign; Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers.

Current Term: 2019-21

John Saxon

Rashmee Sharif (2012 Fellow)

Rashmee Sharif earned both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from The University of Alabama, double majoring in management and Spanish as an undergraduate and earning an MBA in 2013. As an undergraduate, she was heavily involved in numerous service and international related activities on campus. From 2006–2008 she served as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she studied international relations and Spanish. Prior to obtaining her MBA, Sharif was an instructor at the University, teaching courses in global studies from 2008–2012. Additionally, she was a study abroad director, leading Alabama students to Bangladesh’s Grameen Bank for three consecutive summers. Now a Change Manager with Cigna’s Operational Excellence team, Sharif lives in Birmingham and is enjoying life back in sweet home Alabama with her husband and son. She serves on the executive committee of the UA Community Affairs Board of Advisors as Chair of the Global and Community Leadership committee. From 2015 to 2018, Sharif served as Vice Chair of the Fellows Involvement Network (FIN).

Current Term: 2019-21

Bobbie Siegal

Bobbie Siegal has a passion for promoting inclusiveness, respect and mutual understanding among people from different backgrounds. Bobbie’s lifetime goal and work has been to teach and engage young people to help them appreciate their own value and dignity and to instill in them a sense of empathy and compassion for others. She has devoted a large part of her life toward teaching and has taught at UAB, Mountain Brook High School, and Tuscaloosa County Junior High.

Through her teaching and her volunteering, Bobbie has tried to foster cross-cultural relations so that our society can appreciate our diversity rather than be threatened by it. She has been an advisor of Camp Anytown, has served on numerous boards and has been honored by NCCJ, Girl Scouts of America.

Bobbie feels blessed to have had the opportunity to give back to her community and to have the love and support of her husband of 55 years, Don, and her 2 children and 5 grandchildren.

Bobbie has received many honors, the most recent being selected as a 2016 recipient of Positve Maturity’s “The Top 50 Over 50” in central Alabama.

Current Term: 2019-21

Bobbie Siegal

Alex Smith, Vice-Chairperson

Since his graduation with a marketing degree from The University of Alabama in 1985, Alex had remained steadfast with his support and involvement of many facets of UA. Having served as president of the Atlanta alumni chapter in 1996, as well as national president of the National Alumni Association (NAA) in 2016, his main volunteer involvement has always been student recruitment. He hosted numerous college fairs and events in the Atlanta area and is thrilled that Georgia has become the number one feeder state for The University, helping comprise many of its honor students. Alex and Donna recently moved back to Tuscaloosa after 30 years in Atlanta when Alex was named national president of the NAA. Their move back to Tuscaloosa has allowed both to become more intimately involved in campus-related organizations such as the Blackburn Institute, The Culverhouse College of Business, and the Athletic Department’s 1st and Ten Club, as well as the local Tuscaloosa alumni chapter. On the professional side, Alex built his career in the financial services industry. After working as a financial advisor for Smith Barney and UBS for several years, Alex became a consultant to the industry. He started A. Smith Consulting in 2002, focusing on the advisory team dynamic within the industry. He offers marketing, client service, and practice valuation services to advisory teams across the country. His experience and organizational skills also encourage him to continue to support students and university causes alike in the areas of public speaking, corporate interviews, and professional development.

Current Term: 2019-21

Alex Smith

Bill Smith II

William F. Smith II (Bill) was born, raised and educated in Alabama and has worked as a civil trial attorney in Birmingham for more than 30 years. He has long been interested in race, gender, LGBTQ and economic justice issues. He has served as a board member for The Leading Edge Institute, a women’s leadership organization. Bill has been an active member of Baptist Church of the Covenant, a diverse congregation in downtown Birmingham, since 1995. He desires a more just society for all Alabama citizens.

Current Term: 2021-23

Christian Smith (2004 Fellow)

Christian Smith is Director of Development for the UAB Department of Medicine, as part of the School of Medicine Advancement Team. In this roles she works to identify and cultivate relationships to secure major gifts for UAB to advance medical care, training and research at the institution. Prior to that Christian worked for the YWCA Central Alabama in development and communications raising critical dollars to support the organizations mission of empowering women and eliminating racism, through programs like the Woodlawn neighborhood revitalization effort. Christian is an active community volunteer in Birmingham serving with organizations like the YWCA, Freshwater Land Trust and Rotaract, as well as serving as an Advisory Board member for the Jefferson County Childcare Development Center. Christian is a two time graduate of the University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication & Information Sciences and a Master of Public Administration and is proud to be a 2004 Blackburn Fellow.

Current Term: 2020-22

Christian Smith

Helen Smith

Helen Wilson Smith has been an Associate Director in the Center for Advanced Public Safety within the UA College of Engineering since 2014. In this role she manages grant and contract funded projects with state and federal entities focused on improving public safety. After receiving her BS in Computer Science at UA she spent 30 years working in software development in various corporations including BellSouth, Protective Life and Southern Company and served in roles from software developer to project manager to software development manager. She received her Project Management Professional Certificate in 2005 and while at Southern Company she advanced her interest in the environment by pursuing a master’s degree in Environmental Management. Helen is a firm believer in lifelong learning and is currently pursuing a College Teaching Certificate at UA. She is also passionate about encouraging other women to pursue STEM careers. Helen’s other interests include travel, running and cooking. She is currently serving as the president of the Tuscaloosa Track Club, is a past president of the UA Tuscaloosa County Alumni chapter and a member of the Mystic Krewe of the Druids, which provides support and partnership to Five Horizons Health Services. Helen is married to Andrew Smith, a Tuscaloosa lawyer, and they have 4 children three of whom have UA degrees bringing the total in the immediate family to 7 UA degrees.

Current Term: 2021-23

Joan R. Smith (2007 Fellow)

Joan Smith currently serves as the Integration Lead for the US Army’s Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP), supporting the future development of US Army Aviation. She is responsible for program management of multiple efforts that will enable a higher powered, more fuel efficient engine in the next generation of Black Hawk and Apache helicopters. ITEP has been identified as the Army’s highest priority modernization effort. These developments will ensure US armed forces remain the best equipped and most technologically advanced military well into the 21st century.

Her career with the Department of Defense began following her graduation from the University of Alabama in 2008 with a degree in Metallurgical and Materials engineering. First working as a Materials Engineer, she specialized in materials characterization, failure analysis, and mechanical testing of aviation and missile structures at the Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC). Joan then became a missile research lead responsible for all component testing and materials selection required for incorporating multi-functional electronics into composite structures. In 2012, she was selected as the first civilian to serve as Executive Officer to the AMRDEC Director, helping manage an organization of 9,000 employees and budget of $2.5B. She began working for Utility Helicopter Project Office (UHPO) in 2013 where she was responsible for the management of multiple programs that facilitated improvements to the Black Hawk Fleet.

Joan’s community involvement began with her work in Leadership Huntsville’s Connect program for young professionals. Through Connect, she became involved in leading community impact projects ranging from fundraising for the victims of the F5 Hackleburg, Alabama tornado to serving as the overall Connect Advisory Council Co-chair, helping impart the same “call to action” that she has to fifty young professionals who are also Connect graduates. Joan is also involved in the Huntsville Hospital Foundation, Junior League of Huntsville, and the Committee of 100. Joan also serves on the Committee of 100 political action committee (PAC), BizPac, whose mission is to identify, develop, and encourage visionary business-oriented candidates with a commitment to cooperative government to run for local public office, and support them as they serve the community.

As an alumnus of the University of Alabama’s College of Engineering, Joan is proud to serve on the Capstone Engineering Society’s Board of Directors where she helps support the College of Engineering recruiting, program development, and alumni involvement. She also serves on the University of Alabama’s Blackburn Institute Advisory Board where she works to develop a network of leaders across Alabama devoted to understanding the challenges which face our state and act as agents of change.

Joan and her husband, Will, live in Huntsville with their five-year-old daughter, Kayleigh, and one-year-old son, Wilson. In her spare time, Joan enjoys cooking from her garden, hiking, and college sports.

Current Term: 2020-22

Smith Joan

Judge Lynwood Smith

Lynwood Smith is a judge on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama. Prior to his nomination by President Clinton and confirmation by the Senate in 1995, Judge Smith served as a judge on the Circuit Court for the 23rd Judicial Circuit and a District Judge for Madison County, Alabama. Among other interests, he serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Alabama Department of Archives and History. Judge Smith resides with his wife, the former Missy Ming, in Huntsville, Alabama.

Current Term: 2019-21

Smith Lynwood

Donald Stewart

Donald W. Stewart is an attorney with the firm of Stewart & Stewart, PC with offices located in Bessemer and Anniston, Alabama; former State Legislator and United States Senator. While Student Government Association President, Donald provided leadership in the integration of The University of Alabama in 1963.

Current Term: 2019-21

Stewart Donald

Mashonda Taylor

Mashonda Taylor is the Chief Community Relations Officer for the Woodlawn Foundation, a holistic neighborhood revitalization organization committed to the elimination of generational poverty in the Woodlawn Community in Birmingham, Alabama. Since the foundation’s inception in 2010, they have developed a high quality mixed-income housing strategy, a cradle-to-college education pipeline, and community wellness programs to support and provide residents a better quality of life. As CCRO, Mashonda is committed to serving the residents of Woodlawn and leads all the Community Wellness efforts for the foundation. She is constantly establishing and building relationships in the community and evaluating not only the needs of the community, but also its assets. More recently, Mashonda is actively involved in the development of a Family Success Center that will house the foundation’s adult education and work force development programs. Mashonda is a graduate of Loyola University New Orleans with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Gonzaga University with a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership. She is dedicated to community service and has served in many facets. In addition to being an Advisory Board Member for the Blackburn Institute, Mashonda is a Commissioner for the Birmingham Planning Commission, the 2018-2019 Volunteer Vice President for the Junior League of Birmingham, and Executive Board Member for Jones Valley Teaching Farm. She is also a member of Class I of the Alabama Leadership Initiative, a Catalyst Fellow for the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, 2015 Class of Leadership UAB, a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, and a Trustee for Mount Hillard Baptist Church. When Mashonda is not serving in the Woodlawn or the greater Birmingham Community, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading about leadership development, and traveling.

Current Term: 2019-21

Dr. Louise Thibodaux

Louise (Lou) Thibodaux is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College (B.A. English) and of the University of Southern California (M.A. Occupational Therapy). She earned a Ph.D. (Medical Sociology) from the University of Alabama at Birmingham where her research focus was on the re-integration of people into productive living following spinal cord injury. In 2002 she was ordained as a deacon in the Episcopal Church and until her retirement on 2015 she served as Archdeacon for the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama. Lou’s passions are teaching, servant leadership, and fostering intergenerational learning throughout life. In 2013-2014 she co-chaired the Bylaws committee for the Blackburn Institute. Working together with the Blackburn staff she assists recruitment of new students and supports enhancement of the growing network of Fellows.

Current Term: 2020-22

Rev. Dr. Robert Turner (2001 Fellow)

From Tuskegee, AL, Robert Turner graduated from The University of Alabama with a B.S. in Political Science. He then graduated with honors from Turner Seminary at the Interdenominational Theological Center with a Masters in Divinity, followed by his Doctor of Ministry from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. Former Student Chair of the Blackburn Institute; Executive Chief of Staff of SGA; President of College Democrats; and Vice President of Alabama Students for Constitutional Reform. Ordained minister and Pastor of St. Paul A.M.E. Church.

Current Term: 2021-23

Turner Robert

Joshua White (2011 Fellow)

Joshua White is currently pursuing his Doctorate of Philosophy in Management at the University of Alabama. Before beginning his Ph.D., Joshua spent five years with Regions Financial Corporation as a member of their corporate finance team. In 2010, he founded the Audie and Kathy White Cancer Research Foundation, a community-based, volunteer organization to raise funds for cancer research. The foundation honors his late parents. Joshua married his high school sweetheart, Brittany, in 2013 and they now live in Trussville, a suburb of Birmingham. He is a 2010 Blackburn Fellow.

Current Term: 2020-22

Joshua White

Tammie Williams

Tammie Doleman Williams is a 1987 University of Alabama College of Engineering graduate; she also holds a Master of Business in Administration from Samford University. She has been employed by Alabama Power Company for thirty-five years and is currently a Lighting Services Engineer in Birmingham, Al. Tammie’s breadth of experience with Alabama Power includes Distribution and Transmission line design, Capital Budgeting, Regulatory Affairs, Commercial & Industrial Marketing as well as serving as an Assistant to a Vice President. Tammie’s many civic involvements include Pell City Board of Education, St. Clair County Chapter of The Literacy Council, University of Alabama Parent Advisory Council, Pell City Education Foundation, United Way Bold Goals Education Committee, Capstone Engineering Society, Jefferson State Community College Workforce Advisory Board, Jacksonville State University Regional Inservice Center Board, Logan Martin Red Elephant Club and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She is also a former math tutor and adjunct math teacher. Tammie has a strong passion for education and believes that every opportunity should be a learning experience. Tammie is married to Ronald Williams (1985 UA Alum); they have two children Tameron and Andrew who currently attend the University of Alabama. Tammie enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and attending Alabama football games.

Current Term: 2021-23