Kate H. CottonExecutive Director Cell: 205 515-6515 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Leadership Alabama Class XVII
Kate Cotton joined the Leadership Alabama team in January 2018 following a long career at Protective Life Corporation, serving in her last position as the vice president of community relations and executive director of the Protective Life Foundation.
She has served on various boards of directors, including PARCA, Judge Frank M. Johnson, Jr. Institute, the Kiwanis Club of Birmingham, the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center, the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, the Birmingham Education Foundation, the Woodlawn Foundation, Jones Valley Teaching Farm, and the YWCA Central Alabama. Additionally, she is a member of Leadership Alabama, Leadership Birmingham, UAB’s Leadership Cabinet, UAB’s Educational Foundation Board and PreSchool Partners’ Advisory Council. She was named one of the BBJ’s “Top Birmingham Women for 2020,” in addition to being named one of Birmingham’s “Women Who Make a Difference” in 2014 and being honored as a “Woman of Distinction” by the Girl Scouts.
Kate, a graduate of the University of Oklahoma’s Price College of Business, is married to John, and they have three grown sons. She enjoys spending time at Lake Martin, reading, walking, and silently cheering for the Oklahoma Sooners amidst the sea of Alabama and Auburn Fans.
Ashley KaplanDirector of Operations and Engagement Cell: 205 905-9415 Email: email@example.com
Born and raised in Montgomery, Ashley Kaplan graduated from Auburn University with a Bachelor of Arts in communications. She began her career with the Auburn University Foundation in Major Gifts Development, working and meeting strategic alumni across the country. She returned to Montgomery and served as an admissions counselor at Huntingdon College, recruiting students around the state of Alabama. Ashley joined the Leadership Alabama team in December 2007. She serves as the director of operations and engagement.
Ashley has served on UAB’s O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Young Supporters Board and the PARCA Roundtable. She is a member of the Kiwanis Club of Birmingham and served on the Kiwanis Connect Committee.
Ashley and her husband Kent live in Birmingham with their children, Tripp and Lexie. They are active members of St. Mary’s-on-the-Highlands Episcopal Church and thoroughly enjoy their community and its many activities. Ashley enjoys volunteering at her children’s schools, running, watching football, live music, and spending time with family at Lake Martin.
Melissa N. ShererMembership, Communications, & Operations Associate Cell: 205 919-6864 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Melissa Sherer has dedicated her life to public service in Alabama. She began her career in 2008 as operations director for Better Basics, where she strategically planned the nonprofit’s literacy programming for 42 high-need schools across seven school systems. In 2016, Melissa launched the Helping Families Initiative of the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office and served as director.
Melissa is a graduate of the University of Mobile with a Bachelor of Science in organizational leadership. She previously served on the board of directors for the Children’s Policy Cooperative of Jefferson County and was an Action Network Lead for the Bold Goals Coalition of the United Way of Central Alabama. Melissa honed her adult education skills as facilitator for a successful three-year cohort of educational leaders focused on improving school attendance. She is a proud member of Alabama Leadership Initiative Class III.
Melissa and her husband Jeremy live in a historic home in Birmingham with their children, Ryland and Finn. They are active members of Redeemer Community Church. Melissa is an avid reader and enjoys playing piano, cooking paleo recipes, gardening, and besting her husband in word games.