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LACRE Listening Session Education II

April 1, 2021

Dear LA Members,

To those of you who were able to join us for the first LACRE zoom session on primary and secondary education, thank you for joining the conversation. We appreciated your engagement and value your feedback as we plan the second zoom session on education, which will focus on college and career readiness. As the surveys suggested, the upcoming session will include fewer speakers, allowing more time for Q&A and active engagement. Additionally, all of the presentations will be “live,” and we are honored that the following leaders will be sharing time with us –

  • Dr. Jim Purcell                 Alabama Commission on Higher Education
  • Dr. Jeremiah Newell     ACCEL Day and Evening Academy (Mobile)
  • Ms. Tammy Dunn            A+ College Ready
  • Dr. Lee Meadows            The Alabama STEM Council

Please mark your calendars for Friday, April 16, at 11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Attendance is free, and if you can’t join us for the entire time, you are welcome to join us as your schedule permits.  If you plan to attend, please click the registration button below to complete the quick and easy registration form.  The Zoom meeting information will be sent within the next week or so.

Register here!

Remembering Co-Founder Mike Jenkins

April 1, 2021

With profound sadness, Leadership Alabama shares the news of the death of Mr. J. Michael Jenkins IV, a beloved board member, former board chair and co-founder of Leadership Alabama. In 1989, Mike Jenkins and Bill Smith, Chairman of Royal Cup Coffee and Tea, shared the vision of creating an organization that would unite people from all backgrounds, professions and perspectives in order to collectively learn about our state’s challenges and opportunities. By annually convening a diverse group of state leaders, it would enhance the opportunities of creating solutions and initiatives that would foster the continued growth and success of Alabama. From this partnership and shared passion, Leadership Alabama was born. Class I launched in Montgomery in 1990, and this fall, Class XXXI will do the same. Since its beginning, approximately 1,700 leaders have participated in the LA program. As we fondly remember Mike, let us all offer heartfelt gratitude for him and Bill for their leadership and commitment to our beloved state.

J. Mike Jenkins IV 

👋 There is so much to share!

February 9, 2021

NEWS &
MEMBER UPDATES

FEBRUARY 2021 | Issue I-XXI
LACRE
Due to the recent and ongoing events in our nation, Leadership Alabama recognized the need for more action on social justice and racial equality. We are in a difficult time demanding heightened leadership, action and results. To provide that leadership, the Leadership Alabama Commission on Race and Equity (LACRE) was created. It is comprised of 28 LA and ALI leaders who are passionate and focused on identifying, prioritizing and offering solutions to the inequities endured by our citizens that directly impact the growth and future prosperity of Alabama
Once we are able to safely convene at large gatherings, the commission’s goal is to conduct listening sessions throughout the state for LA members and other community leaders. In the meantime, LACRE will host a statewide ZOOM “town hall listening session” on Friday, March 19, at 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon on the topic of education and the many critical issues surrounding the disparities in our educational system.  Stay tuned for more details, and we hope you plan to join us for this very important conversation.
“30 and STILL holding…”
Leadership Alabama’s Anniversary Celebration
This will probably come as no surprise, but our celebration event planned for this August at the Grand Hotel in Point Clear has been rescheduled, yet again.  With the uncertainties that continue to surround COVID, LA’s Board of Directors unanimously voted to move the event to the summer of 2022. Understanding how large our anticipated gathering will be, The Grand Hotel graciously agreed with the decision, and our celebration event has been rescheduled for Wednesday, July 27, 2022 through Friday, July 29, 2022.  Again, more details will follow in the future.  For those of you whose previously-paid registration fees are in “safe keeping” with us, they are still secure and will be applied to the 2022 gathering unless we are directed otherwise.
Annual Dues of $175 for Fiscal Year 2020 – 2021
The response to our annual dues campaign has been, and continues to be, overwhelmingly generous and supportive, and Leadership Alabama is humbled by the outpouring of dues and contributions.  For those of you who have not yet had a chance to pay your $175 annual dues, it’s not too late!  LA’s fiscal year does not end until June 30, 2021, and we will be sending another friendly tickler in the days ahead.  Or, you can beat us to the punch and pay online via Swell or click the invoice button to print an invoice to mail with your payment.
RECENT BOARD POSITIONS, APPOINTMENTS AND
NEW LEADERSHIP ROLES
  • Scott Adams – Named to Governor’s AL Innovation Commission, Class XXIII, Protective Life Corporation, Birmingham
  • Rich Bielen – Chosen to co-chair The Birmingham Promise, Class XIX, Protective Life Corporation, Birmingham
  • Tony Cochran – Named to AL State Port Authority Board of Directors, Class XXX, CK Business Solutions, Albertville
  • Pete Key**- President, Florence Rotary Club, Class XXVII, Old Pete Key, Inc., Florence
  • Andy Mann** – President-Elect (2nd time!), Florence Rotary Club, Class XXV, Progress Bank, Florence
  • John Mazyck – Immediate Past Chair of the BCA, Class XXIX, The Frazer Lanier Company, Montgomery
  • Melissa Morrissette* – Appointed to the ABC Control Board, Class XXI, LLB&B Inc. Real Estate, Mobile
  • David Nast* – Immediate Past Chair of AL Bankers Association, Class XX, Progress Bank, Huntsville
  • Eva Robertson* – Elected to the Board of IGNITE Alabama, Class XXIX, Protective Life Foundation, Birmingham
  • Nancy Sanford** – Appointed to the University of North Alabama’s Board of Trustees, Class XVII, Civic Leader, Florence
  • Kevin Savoy ** – Elected vice chair of BCA’s Progress PAC, Class XXIX, Great Southern Wood Preserving, Abbeville
  • Gary Smith – Elected chair of the BCA, Class XXI, PowerSouth, Andalusia
  • Jimmy Stubbs – Elected chair of the AL Bankers Association, Class XVIII, River Bank & Trust, Prattville
  • Larry Thornton – Chosen for the Birmingham Branch Board of Directors for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Class XIII, Thornton Enterprises, Inc., Birmingham
  • Ashley Whatley – Elected to O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Young Supporters Board, Leadership Alabama, Birmingham
  • Lynne B. Vallely* – Elected to the AL Department of Archives & History Foundation Board, Class III, HSV Hospital Foundation, Huntsville
  • DeLynn Zell – Elected chair of Birmingham-Southern’s Board of Trustees, Class XXX, Bridgeworth Financial, Birmingham
CAREER CHANGES & PROMOTIONS
  • Greg Barker, President – Economic Development Partnership of AL, Class XVIII, Birmingham
  • Gary Bolton, President & CEO – Fiber Broadband Association, Class XXX, Huntsville
  • Bradley Byrne, Rejoined Adams & Reese as Special Counsel, Class IV, Mobile
  • Myla Calhoun, Named as Alabama Power’s VP of the Birmingham Division, Class XXIV, Birmingham
  • Jerry Groce,** Executive Director of Easter Seals of NW Alabama, Class XXVIII, Moulton
  • Jimmy Hill, State Executive Director of the Alabama Casa Network, Class XXVIII, Montgomery
  • Chuck Holmes, Executive Director of the Alabama Humanities Foundation, Class XXX, Birmingham
  • Bill Hopkins, Fayetteville City Director of Schools, Class XXVIII, Fayetteville City Schools, TN
  • Richard Marsden, Joined Maynard Cooper & Gale as a partner, Class XXIX, Huntsville
  • Stuart Obermann, VP of Field Operations with the national office of the ALS Association, Class XXIX, Huntsville
  • Jonathan Porter, Promoted to Alabama Power’s SVP of Customer Operations, Class XXVIII, Birmingham
  • Lolly Steiner, Marketing & PR officer for AuburnBank, Class XXIX, Auburn
  • Mark Sullivan,** Executive Vice President, Byrant Bank, Class XXV, Tuscaloosa
  • Jesse Vogtle,** Partner at Waller, Lansden, Dortch & Davis, Class XXIII, Birmingham
  • Eddie Welch, Joined CAPTRUST as a Principal and Financial Advisor, Class XXVIII, Montgomery
“BIRMINGHAM’S
MOST INFLUENTIAL”
FOR 2020
  • Jason Alexander, Ascension/St. Vincent’s, Class XXX
  • Rich Bielen, Protective Life Corporation, Class XIX
  • Rob Burton, Hoar Construction, Class XXV
  • Leigh Collier, Wells Fargo, Class XXIII
  • Mark Crosswhite, Alabama Power Company, Class XX
  • Will Ferniany, UAB Health System, Class XX
  • David Fleming, REV Birmingham, Class XXV
  • Nancy Goedecke, Mayer Electric Supply Company, Class XXIV
  • Jim Gorrie, Brasfield & Gorrie, Class X
  • Herschell Hamilton, BLOC Global, Class XXIII
  • Wayne Hutchens, AT&T, Class XXIII
  • Cathy Sloss Jones, Sloss Real Estate, Class VIII
  • Mike Kemp,** Kemp Management Solutions, Class XXVII
  • Craft O’Neal, O’Neal Industries, Class XXIII
  • Ruffner Page, McWane, Inc., Class XVI
  • Robert Simon,* Corporate Realty, Class XXVIII
  • Sanjay Singh*, Pack Health, Class XXVI
  • John Turner, Regions Financial Corporation, Class XIII
  • Tim Vines, Blue Cross Blue Shield of AL, Class XXX
  • David Walker, EBSCO, Class XXVIII
  • Mike Warren,* Children’s of Alabama, Class III
  • Randall Woodfin, City of Birmingham, Class XXVI
BIRMINGHAM’S “WHO’S WHO IN NONPROFITS”
FOR 2020
  • Frank Adams, A.G. Gaston Boys & Girls Club, Class XXIX
  • J.W. Carpenter, Birmingham Education Foundation, Class XXIX
  • Maria Kennedy, The Daniel Foundation of Alabama, Class XXIV
  • Paul Kennedy, Walker Area Community Foundation, Class XXI, Jasper
  • Drew Langloh, United Way of Central Alabama, Class XIX
  • Chris Nanni, The Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, Class XXVIII
  • Eva Robertson*, Protective Life Foundation, Class XXIX
  • Jeff Underwood, Lakeshore Foundation, Class XXI
*Leadership Alabama Board of Director
**LA Regional Council Member
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Leadership Alabama Class XXXII Nominations Update

January 12, 2021

Dear Leadership Alabama members,

As we all continue to pivot based on the ongoing circumstances surrounding COVID, Leadership Alabama’s timeline/processes have changed, as well. Class XXXI was set to launch this past October, but the start of the program year was delayed by a year, thus the new class will convene this October in Montgomery for a powerful opening session. Additionally, Class XXX has yet to graduate since its final retreat in Birmingham planned for May 2020 was postponed, having been scheduled and rescheduled multiple times. We are committed to providing a meaningful, final session for Class XXX, and it will be finalized as soon as we are able to secure venues and safely gather.

As such, since we are still trying to host a final retreat for Class XXX, while planning the launch of Class XXXI, nominations for Class XXXII will not be solicited until next January (2022).

As always, thank you for your remarkable support and understanding, especially during the past several months!

Kate & Ashley

Leadership Alabama Commission on Race and Equity

November 19, 2020

The Leadership Alabama Commission on Race and Equity (LACRE)

Dear Leadership Alabama members,

As we shared with you on Monday, June 1, Leadership Alabama recognized the need for more action on social justice and racial equality.  Without question, we are in a difficult time demanding heightened leadership, action and results.  To provide that leadership, the Leadership Alabama Commission on Race and Equity (LACRE) was created in August, and a planning committee has been meeting since then to work through the charge and to identify commission members.  We were hoping to convene in person, but due to ongoing COVID restrictions, our gathering was cancelled.  We are now planning virtual meetings to begin this important work.

The commission is comprised of 28 LA and Alabama Leadership Initiative (ALI) leaders who are passionate, committed and focused on identifying, prioritizing and offering solutions to the inequities endured by our citizens that directly impact the growth and future  prosperity of Alabama. Gordon Martin, LA’s immediate past chair, has played a key role in the commission’s formation, and we are honored that LA members Tyrone Fenderson of Mobile, a past LA chair, and Laurie Weil of Montgomery, a civic leader and LA Class III member, have graciously accepted the call to co-chair LACRE.  Please click here to see the list of members serving on the commission.

The action plan, objective and desired outcomes are described below in the commission’s “Charge.”  As it pertains to our planned listening sessions (paragraph 2), we will schedule in-person sessions throughout the state for LA members and other community leaders once we are able to safely convene at large gatherings. Each session will be thoughtfully and strategically facilitated by two LA members, John Saxon (LA Class XXX) of Birmingham and Liz Huntley (LA Class XXIII) of Clanton.

All information pertaining to LACRE and its work will soon be featured on the LA website under “About Us.”  The creation of the web page is in its final stages. Additionally, the retreat programming for all upcoming LA and ALI classes will incorporate key facets of LACRE’s mission, community conversations and objectives.

 

LACRE Charge

“Leadership Alabama is committed to be a force for change on these vital issues.  LACRE is charged with taking a comprehensive look at race and equity in our state, with an emphasis on solutions and action.  With the assistance of the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama (PARCA), the commission will explore, identify and summarize the data related to racial inequality and inequality in general in Alabama.  The commission will hear from subject matter experts on a wide range of topics, including but not limited to education, health and the legal/criminal justice systems.


In conjunction with media partners, the commission will conduct listening sessions around the state on these topics and others, learning from regional experts and spotlighting successful programs that have driven positive change.  The sessions will also provide opportunities for public comments on the topics of focus, as well as the broader issues of race and equity.  Utilizing the information it has gathered, and with the guidance from experts, the commission will formulate a list of policy options that enable thoughtful decision-making that can lead to substantive changes that address the root causes of racism and inequality in our state.  
The commission’s goal and desire is that its work can serve as a catalyst for Leadership Alabama members and the public to band together and utilize the commission’s findings to establish programs and seek policy outcomes that make Alabama a more just and equitable place for all of its citizens.”


We are eager to actively begin, and we will certainly keep you updated on all LACRE-related activities and news.  If you have thoughts or suggestions, please direct them to any member of the commission.

Respectfully,
David Nast
Board Chair
Kate Cotton
Executive Director

 

2020 – LACRE Commission Members

 

Leadership Alabama is so grateful.

November 12, 2020

 

Dear LA Member,

Your support has been absolutely amazing.  We are profoundly grateful for your dues & contributions, especially as we all continue to navigate the ever-evolving challenges of COVID.  As of today —

  • 345 of you have paid your 2020 – 2021 membership dues of $175, with more than half making an additional contribution.
  • 108 of the 345 are Gold Circle Donors, contributing $500 or more.  (Click the Gold Circle link or the button below to see the list.)     

We are very appreciative of your online payments and the checks being sent to the post office box.  (Please note our mailing address has changed to Post Office Box 131394, Birmingham, AL  35213.) This is such a help! Even though we continue to work together every day, albeit socially-distanced, it would be difficult to coordinate and physically assemble a large mass mailing.  Therefore, the more of you who pay online or send a check from the invoice provided below will greatly reduce, if not eliminate, the need for a future mailing.  You can make an immediate and secure payment online by utilizing this link or by clicking the “Pay Online” button.  Or, if you prefer a printed invoice for mailing a check, click the “Invoice” button.

LEADERSHIP ALABAMA NEWS

Leadership Alabama Commission on Race and Equity

In June, Leadership Alabama released “An Important Message” in response to the tragic death of George Floyd and the national crisis that ensued and has been ongoing since then. We recognize that if we, as an organization, are to make significant and sustainable progress toward a more just and equitable Alabama, we must fully address racism and the resultant inequities.

As such, we have created the Leadership Alabama Commission on Race and Equity (LACRE), and its charge is to take a comprehensive look at race and equity in our state, with an emphasis on solutions and action.  More comprehensive information about its overall work, leadership, commission members, etc., will be announced very soon, and it will also be included on the new website under “About Us.”  We were scheduled to meet in Birmingham tomorrow, but unfortunately, due to the rise in COVID cases, we postponed our gathering.  However, the Commission will definitely start connecting via ZOOM until it is safe for us to meet.

Leadership Alabama Class XXX’s Graduation Retreat & the launch of Leadership Alabama Class XXXI

We were so hopeful that we would be able to conduct Class XXX’s graduation retreat in Birmingham AND start programming for Class XXXI in Montgomery in January 2021, but it simply will not be possible.  Therefore, Class XXX’s last session will be scheduled as soon as we are able to safely gather, and Class XXXI will launch in October 2021.

“30th and Holding…”  Rescheduled Anniversary Event

As of this writing, we are still planning to gather on Friday, August 13, through Sunday, August 15, 2021 at the Grand Hotel in Point Clear, AL, and we will begin communicating details and registration information in January 2021.  Stay tuned for ongoing updates.

As we approach Thanksgiving, we continue to offer thanks for your incredible support, friendship and engagement.  We are indeed fortunate to be associated with all of you and this remarkable organization.

Fondly,
Kate and Ashley

 

Announcing LA Class XXXI

September 11, 2020

It’s always an exciting time at Leadership Alabama to officially announce the newest class.  Welcome LA Class XXXI!

Leadership Alabama, a statewide program of Alabama leaders engaged in creating a network of relationships that seeks mutual understanding of problems and priorities for Alabama’s future, is pleased to announce the 76 members of Class XXXI for 2020 – 2021.  Due to the ongoing restrictions surrounding COVID-19, the opening retreat is scheduled for January 2021 in Montgomery.

During the program year, class members will convene in Birmingham, Huntsville, Mobile and Montgomery, where they will hear challenging presentations and participate in class discussions that encourage them to make critical, thoughtful assessments of our state and its issues – both challenging and successful – while learning of some extraordinary initiatives that are addressing those issues.  “Leadership Alabama is an organization comprised of our state’s most accomplished and forward-thinking leaders who share a strong commitment in serving the people of Alabama.  The outstanding members of Class XXXI continue that legacy.  We need strong leadership now more than ever as we push Alabama to live up to its immense potential and offer all of her citizens the opportunity to maximize theirs,” expressed Gordon Martin, Leadership Alabama’s board chair.

Kate Cotton, executive director, added, “I continue to be amazed by the caliber and leadership experience of each new class, and once again, Class XXXI includes remarkable leaders who will definitely remain engaged and keep our state moving forward.  By bringing these individuals together, Alabama is sure to benefit from their collective passion, knowledge and influence.”

Class XXXI members —
Ryan Austin, EVP & COO, Hoar Program Management (HPM)                                                         Birmingham
Will Barrois, VP & Regional Manager, Stirling Properties, LLC                                                            Mobile
Chris Blankenship, Commissioner, AL Dept. of Conservation & Natural Resources             Montgomery
Tommy Brigham, Chairman, ARC Realty                                                                                                        Birmingham
Katie Boyd Britt, President & CEO, Business Council of Alabama                                                    Montgomery
Kenyen Brown, Shareholder, Maynard, Cooper & Gale                                                                          Mobile
Anna Buckalew, President & CEO, Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce                       Montgomery
Dawn Bulgarella, CFO, UAB Health System                                                                                                 Birmingham
Greg Butrus, Partner, Balch & Bingham, LLP                                                                                                 Birmingham
Greg Carnes, Dean, UNA’s College of Business                                                                                           Florence
Ronnie Chronister, SVP, Dynetics, Inc.                                                                                                             Huntsville
Brooke Coleman, Principal, Daniel and Brooke Coleman Charitable Fund                                Birmingham
Susan Comensky, VP, Alabama Power Company                                                                                       Birmingham
Allison Black Cornelius, CEO, Greater Birmingham Humane Society                                          Birmingham
Tommy Coshatt, EVP, Alfa Insurance                                                                                                                 Auburn
Derrick Cunningham, Sheriff, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office                                              Montgomery
Mike Daria, Superintendent, Tuscaloosa City Schools                                                                              Tuscaloosa
Cathy DeLaGarza, SVP, Uniti Fiber                                                                                                                     Mobile
Michael Douglas, Superintendent, Decatur City Schools                                                                       Decatur
Jed Downs, President, Qualico Steel Company, Inc.                                                                                  Dothan
Trey Echols, President, Highland Associates, Inc.                                                                                       Birmingham
Rebekah Elgin-Council, SVP & CMO, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama                         Birmingham
Chris England, AL State Representative & Chairman, Democratic Party                                        Tuscaloosa
Ed Fields, Senior Advisor & Chief Strategist, City of Birmingham Mayor’s Office                      Birmingham
Marquis Forge, CEO, MRaine Industries, LLC                                                                                             Autaugaville
Brian Gary, Chief Robotic/Minimally Invasive Surgery, Jackson Hospital                                       Montgomery
Leigh Grantham, VP, PowerSouth                                                                                                                     Andalusia
Joe Hampton, President, Spire AL, MS & Gulf Coast, Spire, Inc.                                                       Birmingham
Scott Harris, State Health Officer, Alabama Department of Public Health                                Montgomery
Ben Harrison, General Manager, Cullman Regional Airport                                                               Cullman
Sharon Haynes, County Extension Coordinator,  Auburn University – ACES                            Rockford
Betsy Holloway, VP, CMO & Professor of Marketing, Samford University                                  Birmingham
Todd Jackson, Operations Group President, Brasfield & Gorrie, LLC                                             Birmingham
Stephanie Kennedy-Mell, Proprietor, COO & CMO, Church Street Family                              Huntsville
Felicia Long, Attorney,  Hill, Hill, Carter, Franco, Cole & Black, PC                                               Montgomery
J.C. Love, Probate Judge, Montgomery County Commission                                                           Montgomery
Delbert Madison, SVP,  ServisFirst Bank                                                                                                    Montgomery
Emily Marks, Judge, U.S. Courts                                                                                                                      Montgomery
Keith Martin, Tribal Council Member, Poarch Band of Creek Indians                                        Atmore
Scott Mayo, Executive Director, Cook Museum of Natural Science                                            Decatur
Steve Miley, Associate Director, NASA George C. Marshall Space Flight Center              Scottsboro
Anoop Mishra, Regional Executive & VP, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta                           Birmingham
John Montgomery, Founder & CEO, BIG Communications                                                            Birmingham
Mac Moorer, Retired Managing Partner, Lightfoot, Franklin & White, LLC                            Birmingham
Chris Newlin, Executive Director, National Children’s Advocacy Center                               Huntsville
Tim Parker, President, Parking Towing Company                                                                                Northport
Craig Perciavalle, President, Austal                                                                                                             Mobile
Russell Pigg, CEO, North Alabama Medical Center                                                                           Florence
Kelli Powers, President, Decatur Morgan Hospitals, Huntsville Hospital Health System     Decatur
James Rane, VP, Great Southern Wood Preserving                                                                                Abbeville
Amy Rauworth, Chief of Development & Strategic Partnerships, Lakeshore Foundation    Birmingham
Jim Richardson, Partner, RSM US, LLP                                                                                                      Birmingham
Lashunda Scales, President Pro-Tem Commissioner, Jefferson County Commission       Birmingham
Tuerk Schlesinger, CEO, AltaPointe Health                                                                                           Mobile
Tasha Scott, Owner, Maximized Growth, LLC                                                                                       Montgomery
Chad Scroggins, County Manager, Shelby County                                                                              Columbiana
Jack Sharman, Partner, Lightfoot, Franklin & White, LLC                                                              Birmingham
Jeb Shell, CFO, Hargrove Engineers + Constructors                                                                       Mobile
Andrea Smith, Birmingham Market CEO, BBVA USA                                                                        Birmingham
Bryson Stephens, Chairman, EBSCO                                                                                                        Birmingham
Renee Story, Executive Director Plant Management, GE Appliances                                        Decatur
Hal Taylor, Secretary, Alabama Law Enforcement Agency                                                           Montgomery
Chad Tindol, Chief Administrative Officer, The University of Alabama                                  Tuscaloosa
Will Trapp, SVP, Morgan Stanley                                                                                                                Florence
Lynn Troy, CEO, Troy 7, Inc.                                                                                                                           Huntsville
Susan Waldrop, Partner, Larimer, Waldrop & Associates                                                            Birmingham
Steve Walker, EVP & CFO, Protective Life Corporation                                                               Birmingham
Bestor Ward, President, Ward Properties, Inc.                                                                                  Mobile
Karockas Watkins, CEO, Ability Plus, Inc.                                                                                           Huntsville
Phil Webb, President & Owner, Webb Concrete & Building Materials                                Heflin
Clare Weil, President, C. Weil Enterprises, Inc.                                                                                 Montgomery
Ray White, Office Managing Member, Warren Averett, LLC                                                      Huntsville
Ashli Wilkins, VP & Dean, Wallace Community College                                                             Dothan
Charlie Williams, President & CEO, Citizens Bank & Trust                                                        Guntersville
Elizabeth Winter, SVP, Regions Bank                                                                                                   Tuscaloosa
Bob Woodall, President, Bob Woodall Air Care Systems                                                          Dothan

Don't forget your LA Membership

September 11, 2020

Dear LA Member,

We are thrilled to share that in response to the previous email, 137 of you have paid your 2020 – 2021 membership dues, with many making an additional contribution.  And, 56 of those became Gold Circle Donors by contributing $500 or more (click gold circle link or button below to see!).  We are extremely grateful for all of you, for as we previously expressed, your annual support is THE lifeline of Leadership Alabama, and we will never take it for granted.

This year, more than ever before, we are so appreciative of your online payments and the checks being sent to the post office box.  We have continued to work together every day since mid-March, albeit by phone and ZOOM, and it would definitely be a challenge to coordinate and physically assemble a large mass mailing under the current circumstances.  So, please know how much we appreciate everyone’s quick and efficient response to Leadership Alabama’s annual dues solicitation.

Thanks to our partnership with SWELL Fundraising, you can make an immediate and secure payment online by utilizing this link or by clicking the pay online button below.  Or, if you prefer a printed invoice for mailing a check, click the invoice button below.

Plus, exciting news is right around the corner!  Leadership Alabama Class XXXI members will be announced this week, and an engaging and impactful opening retreat is being planned for January 2021.  Additionally, Leadership Alabama’s new, improved and updated website will “go live” within the next week or so, and we will send another email about its launch very soon.  This week, since we were unable to host Alabama Leadership Initiative’s (ALI) Class III graduation session in the Black Belt, the speakers graciously agreed to present to the class via ZOOM, and we thank members and partners Tommy Bice, Kia Debnam, John Dorsey, Alex Flachsbart (ALI), Andrew Freear, Mary Helmer, Tammy Montgomery, Emily Schultz and JJ Wedgworth (ALI) for sharing their time and talents with ALI.

With heartfelt gratitude,

Kate and Ashley

Leadership Alabama -- Continuing the Mission

September 1, 2020

Dear LA Member,

As we all continue to adjust to the daily challenges resulting from the ongoing pandemic, Leadership Alabama continues to adapt to the circumstances by rescheduling previously-planned retreats, creating and scheduling programming and speakers for upcoming retreats and membership activities, staying in contact with Class XXX (yet to graduate due to COVID), finalizing Class XXXI (soon to be announced – will start in January 2021), reorganizing the “30th & Holding!” anniversary celebration postponed until August 2021 and implementing the newly-created “Leadership Alabama Commission on Race and Equity,” on which more information will follow in the next few weeks.

As the work continues, we started this fiscal year (July 1) with a streamlined budget, eliminating $26,000 in general operating expenses and keeping all other expenses level, if not less, wherever possible. We obtained a small PPP loan and are waiting for instructions as to how to proceed with the loan forgiveness, and we have been very deliberate and conservative when planning for future expenses. We understand that we work for you, our members, and we will always strive to be prudent stewards of your investment in Leadership Alabama.

Last year set a record for dues paying members – 664 of you paid your annual dues of $175, with many making contributions, as well, and we are extremely thankful! Without question, your annual support is the lifeline of our organization, and we humbly ask you once again to submit your dues. In the fall of 2018, a new category of donors was established for those contributing $500 or more through their dues/contribution – Gold Circle Donors – and we are thrilled to share that 80 members (click above or click attachment below) were Gold Circle donors last year.

Through our valued partnership with SWELL Fundraising in Birmingham, you can make an immediate and secure payment online simply by utilizing this link or click below. Or, if you prefer a printed invoice for mailing a check, please note that an invoice is attached below, as well.

We raise a toast to each of you in heartfelt appreciation as we continue to look to the future.

Kate Cotton                           Ashley Whatley
Executive Director                 Director of Programs and Membership Engagement

Helpful Attachments and Links

LEADERSHIP ALABAMA
POST OFFICE BOX 131394
BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA 35213
www.leadershipal.org
205-515-6515 ot 205-905-9415

News from Leadership Alabama

July 2, 2020

Dear Leadership Alabama members,

Throughout the past several months, as all of us have adjusted to very challenging circumstances, we have remained focused on Leadership Alabama’s overall objectives and mission, including the planning for upcoming events and retreats, finalizing retreat programming and speakers, orchestrating the selection process for LA Class XXXI, conducting board elections and carefully managing the financials. As such, we respectfully offer the following update.

“An Important Message”

We hope all of you read “An Important Message” sent on Monday, June 1, regarding the need for more action on social justice and racial equality. Without question, we are in a difficult time demanding heightened leadership, action and results. In response to that demand, we are working to create a group of Leadership Alabama and Alabama Leadership Initiative members who can provide invaluable insight and help guide Leadership Alabama forward on a positive, effective path. More details will follow in the weeks ahead – we simply wanted you to know that we are actively delving into these important issues that continue to keep our state and its citizens, particularly African Americans, from reaching their full potential.

Original email message sent on Monday, June 1, 2020.

Leadership Alabama’s Financial Outlook

With profound gratitude to all of you for your continued and valued investment in Leadership Alabama, we are “faring the storm” relative to our budget/income/expenses. We met fundraising & membership dues/contributions goals for the 2019/2020 fiscal year, eliminated $26,000 of expenses moving forward when finalizing the 2020 – 2021 budget (after greatly streamlining the budget last year), obtained a PPP loan, and are actively creating our fundraising plans and membership dues solicitation campaign for the upcoming fiscal year (beginning July 1). Additionally, we offer a huge round of applause and appreciation to Mr. Rich Bielen, president & CEO of Protective Life Corporation, for generously providing Leadership Alabama with donated office space. It has been such an incredible gift and has alleviated financial concerns regarding rent, especially during the pandemic when everyone has been working from home.

Rescheduled Graduation for Current LA & ALI Classes 

(2019 – 2020) 
  • The current LA Class XXX’s May 2020 graduation retreat was rescheduled for late October in Birmingham.
  • The current ALI Class III’s April 2020 graduation session was rescheduled for September in the Black Belt.

Status of Selection of Leadership Alabama Class XXXI (2020 – 2021)
As you may remember, we purposely delayed the selection process due to the urgent circumstances surrounding COVID-19. As of this week, we started extending invitations to the candidates selected for Class XXXI, and the final class will be announced no later than Monday, August 10. The opening retreat is in October in Montgomery; however, in the event we are NOT able to convene as a group due to ongoing COVID restrictions, the program year will begin in January and extend through June.


Postponement of Alabama Leadership Initiative (ALI) Class IV
(Young professionals aged 25 – 40)

Due to ongoing COVID guidelines and concerns (furloughs, layoffs, unknowns about school calendars, the availability of young professionals, etc.), ALI Class IV has been postponed until the 2021 – 2022 program year. When nominations open next year, the maximum age (for that year only) will be 41, not 40.


Continuation of Current LA Board Officers
Since the LA board is not scheduled to be together again until Wednesday, October 7, it was decided that Gordon Martin (chair/Birmingham), David Nast (vice-chair/Huntsville) and Melissa Morrissette (treasurer/Mobile) would remain in their current roles until that meeting. Typically, all LA board changes (officers, new members, etc.) align with Leadership Alabama’s fiscal year, which is

July 1 – June 30.



With great pleasure, we announce the election of the following members — 
Election of LA Board Officers  (ultimately becoming chair of LA)
  • Linda Young/Treasurer
    Wallace Community College, Dothan
    (Chair 2022 – 2023)
  • Michael Patterson/Secretary
    Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama, Birmingham
    (Chair 2023 – 2024)
Current Board Members Elected to a Second, 3-Year Term
  • Chip Bivins                   The University of Alabama System, Birmingham
  • Trey Clegg                     Brasfield & Gorrie, Birmingham
  • Melissa Craig               Bank Independent, Decatur
  • Helene Hassell            Dauphin Island Sea Lab Foundation, Mobile
  • Grits Morris                  Walker360, Montgomery
  • Sheron Rose                 Montgomery Chamber of Commerce, Montgomery
  • Kennon Walthall        Avenu Insights & Analytics, Birmingham
  • Danny Windham        HudsonAlpha Institute/Biotechnology, Huntsville
LA Members Elected to the Board for First, 3-Year Term
  • Doug Bachuss                Nowlin, Bachuss & Gray, Decatur
  • Michael Kirkpatrick   DESE Research, Huntsville
  • Vanessa Leonard         Attorney, Rockford
  • Eva Robertson              Protective Life Foundation, Birmingham
  • David Silverstein         Five Stone Group, Birmingham
Emeritus Status – LA Board

Two of our highly valued board members, Preston Bolt/Mobile and Mike Warren/Birmingham, elected emeritus status as of October.

Rolling Off LA Board

After serving two consecutive terms, it is difficult to say farewell to the incredible board members rolling off in October – Jeffrey Bayer/Birmingham, Kelly Bownes/Birmingham, Sara Graves/Huntsville and Bill Wallace/Montgomery.

“30th and Holding…” – Rescheduled Anniversary Event
Simply as a reminder, our fabulous 30th anniversary celebration originally scheduled for this month has been rescheduled for next summer on Friday, August 13, through Sunday, August 15, 2021 at the Grand Hotel in Point Clear, AL. More information will be sent in the next few months, and we hope you will plan to join the festivities!

Wishing you a healthy, safe and fun 4th of July!

With heartfelt thanks,

Kate Cotton                                       Ashley Whatley

Executive Director                        Director of Programs & Membership Engagement
205-515-6515                                 205-905-9415 *new cell*