Officers (2018-19)

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: 2017-19

Martin Gordon

Holly Piper, Vice-Chairperson

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

Current Term: 2016-18

Holly Piper

Alex Smith, Member-at-Large

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

Marion McIntosh, Secretary (2005 Fellow)

Marion S. McIntosh is originally from Monroeville, AL, and currently works as a Process Engineer at Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, LLC. 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: 2018-20

Marion McIntosh


  • Executive Committee

    • Gordon Martin, Chairperson
    • Mike House, Past Chairperson
    • Holly Piper, Vice-Chairperson
    • Alex Smith, At-Large Member
    • Dr. R. Mac Griswold, Director (Ex-Officio)
  • Student Selection Committee

    Works with the institute staff in the nomination and selection of outstanding applicants seeking to become Blackburn Students. Also assists with the selection on award (Daniel Community Scholars) and scholarship (Siegal Scholarship) recipients, as necessary

    • Bradley Davidson, Chairperson
    • Prince Cleveland
    • Milton Davis
    • Wendy Evesque
    • Marion McIntosh
    • Louise Thibodaux
    • Bobbie Siegal
  • Leadership Development Committee

    Identifies and nominates new members for the Advisory Board and recommends ways for strengthening the ties among Blackburn Students and members to increase the effectiveness of the Blackburn Institute.

    • Alex Smith, Chairperson
    • Sue Bell Cobb
    • John Covington
  • Policy and Finance Committee

    Insures the viability of the institute by securing adequate funding and support to carry out its mission and purpose throughout the state of Alabama and the nation.

    • David Donaldson, Co-Chairperson
    • Mike House, Co-Chairperson
    • Tom Patterson
    • Alejandro Perez
    • Joe Ritch
    • John Saxon
  • Legacy Committee

    Formed as ad hoc committee to oversee the research and creation of a documentary video on the Blackburn Institute.

    • Cheree Causey
    • Kathleen Cramer
    • Carol Patterson
    • Holly Piper
    • Bobbie Siegal