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đź“° September News and Updates

đź“° September News and Updates

September 15, 2021

With profound sadness, we shared the news in March 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, chair 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 the 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, and Class I launched in Montgomery in 1990.
In honor of Mike’s extraordinary leadership, commitment and vision, Leadership Alabama’s board of directors unanimously voted to establish the “J. Michael Jenkins IV Scholarship Fund” by allocating $10,000 from LA’s operating budget to this newly-created line item for the sole purpose of assisting young professionals (ages 25 – 40) participate in our Alabama Leadership Initiative (ALI) program.  Mike was instrumental in the creation of ALI and felt strongly that rising leaders in our state should be able to participate in this transformative program regardless of their ability to pay.  To make a contribution to this account, click the button to securely give online or mail a check to Leadership Alabama at P.O. Box 131394, Birmingham, AL 35213, and note that it is for the Jenkins ALI Scholarship Fund.


LA Class XXX
(2019 – 2022)
The longest program year(s) in LA’s history!
As many of you remember from previous announcements, we had scheduled and rescheduled Class XXX’s graduation retreat in Birmingham three times prior to planning the “final” graduation retreat in Birmingham last month.   Sadly, due to the spike in COVID cases throughout the summer, coupled with the results from polling the class about meeting in person, its final session was postponed, yet again.  We are still committed to assembling this incredible group of leaders, and we thank David Turner and Regions for offering to host a two-day gathering in early 2022, which will include speakers, a celebratory dinner and a class forum.  So, while the members have yet to officially graduate, we raise a toast to this remarkable class and its enduring journey with Leadership Alabama.  
Please help us welcome the following leaders to our organization!


“30 and STILL holding!”
Leadership Alabama’s Anniversary Celebration
If you haven’t already done so, mark your calendars for our anniversary celebration on Wednesday, July 27, through Friday, July 29, 2022 at the Grand Hotel in Point Clear!  We expect a sell-out attendance, so be sure to watch for emails beginning next month (October) detailing the schedule, speakers, registration information, hotel reservations, etc.
It will be a fabulous celebration, and we thank the Grand Hotel (again!) for being so flexible with our event rescheduling.


After an August break, we are ready to jump back into our work.  While it looks like we still won’t be able to host statewide town hall meetings for a while longer, we will soon wrap-up our education-focused work with some written submissions related to education funding and plan our next listening session.  All previous zoom sessions, accompanying material, various resource materials and a list of the commission members are included on the Leadership Alabama website. Click underlined links for resources and members.
Leadership Alabama CLASS XXXI
Launching in October!
After a year’s postponement, we are thrilled to announce that Leadership Alabama’s Class XXXI is set to launch in Montgomery on Thursday, October 7, through Saturday, October 9, at the Frank M. Johnson Federal Court House Complex.  We are honored and thankful that the following state leaders will be presenting to the class – The Honorable Steven Reed (LA Class XXVIII), David Nast (LA Class XX), Thomas Rains, The Honorable Myron Thompson, The Honorable Teresa Pulliam (LA Class XXX), Bennet Wright (LA Class XXIX), Dr. Ed Bridges (LA Class XIII), AL House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels (LA Class XXIX), Senator Arthur Orr (LA Class XX), Greg Canfield, Alex Flachsbart (ALI Class III), Governor Kay Ivey (LA Class XI), Jimmy Parnell (LA Class XXVII) & ALFA leaders, Dr. John Dorsey (LA Class XXI) and his team from Project Horseshoe Farm, and staff members from the Equal Justice Initiative.  Additionally, we offer a huge thank you to John Saxon (LA Class XXX) for expertly facilitating the upcoming retreat.

Recently featured in the Birmingham Business Journal, Class XXXI, with 69 members, is the largest class, to date.  Please join us in welcoming them to Leadership Alabama!
  • Ryan Austin, Hoar Program Management, Birmingham
  • Will Barrois, Stirling Properties, Mobile
  • Chris Blankenship, AL Dept of Conservation & Natural Resources, Montgomery
  • Tommy Brigham, ARC Realty, Birmingham
  • Kenyen Brown, Maynard, Cooper & Gale, Mobile
  • Anna Buckalew, Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce, Montgomery
  • Dawn Bulgarella, UAB Health System, Birmingham
  • Greg Butrus, Balch & Bingham, LLP, Birmingham
  • Greg Carnes, University of North Alabama, Florence
  • Ronnie Chronister, Dynetics, a Leidos Company, Huntsville
  • Brooke Coleman, Daniel and Brooke Coleman Charitable Fund, Birmingham
  • Susan Comensky, Alabama Power Company, Birmingham
  • Allison Black Cornelius, The Greater Birmingham Humane Society, Birmingham
  • Tommy Coshatt, Alfa Insurance, Montgomery
  • Derrick Cunningham, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Montgomery
  • Mike Daria, Tuscaloosa City Schools, Tuscaloosa
  • Cathy DeLeGarza, Uniti Fiber, Mobile
  • Michael Douglas, Decatur City Schools, Decatur
  • Trey Echols, Highland Associates, Inc., Birmingham
  • Rebekah Elgin-Council, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama, Birmingham
  • Chris England, City of Tuscaloosa, Tuscaloosa
  • Marquis R. Forge, MRaine Industries, LLC, Autaugaville
  • Brian Gary, Jackson Hospital, Montgomery
  • Joe Hampton, Spire, Inc., Birmingham
  • Scott Harris, AL Dept of Public Health, Montgomery
  • Ben Harrison, Cullman Regional Airport, Cullman
  • Sharon Haynes, Auburn University, AL Cooperative Extension, Rockford
  • Betsy Holloway, Samford University, Birmingham
  • Todd Jackson, Brasfield & Gorrie, Birmingham
  • Stephanie Kennedy-Mell, Church Street Family, Huntsville
  • Felicia Long, Hill, Hill, Carter, Franco, Cole & Black, PC, Montgomery
  • J. C. Love III, Montgomery County Probate Court, Montgomery
  • Delbert Madison, ServisFirst Bank, Montgomery
  • Emily Marks, Middle District of Alabama Federal Court, Montgomery
  • Keith Martin, Poarch Band of Creek Indians, Atmore
  • Scott Mayo, Cook Museum of Natural Science, Decatur
  • Steve Miley, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville
  • Anoop Mishra, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Birmingham
  • John Montgomery, BIG Communications, Birmingham
  • Mac Moorer, Civic Volunteer, Birmingham
  • Chris Newlin, National Children’s Advocacy Center, Huntsville
  • Tim Parker III, Parker Towing Company, Northport
  • Russell Pigg, North Alabama Medical Center, Florence
  • Kelli Powers, Decatur Morgan Hospital, Decatur
  • James Rane, Jr., Great Southern Wood Preserving, Inc., Abbeville
  • Amy Rauworth, Lakeshore Foundation, Birmingham
  • Jim Richardson, RSM US, LLP, Birmingham
  • Lashunda Scales, Jefferson County Commission, Birmingham
  • Tuerk Schlesinger, AltaPointe Health, Mobile
  • Tasha Scott, Maximized Growth, LLC, Montgomery
  • Chad Scroggins, Shelby County, Columbiana
  • Jack Sharman III, Lightfoot, Franklin & White, LLC, Birmingham
  • Jeb Shell, Hargrove Engineers + Constructors, Mobile
  • Andrea Smith, PNC Institutional Asset Management, Birmingham
  • Bryson Stephens, EBSCO Industries, Inc., Birmingham
  • Renee Story, GE Appliances – Decatur Plant Operations, Decatur
  • Hal Taylor, Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, Montgomery
  • Chad Tindol, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa
  • Lynn Troy, Troy 7, Inc., Huntsville
  • Susan Waldrop, Larimer Waldrop & Associates, Birmingham
  • Steve Walker, Protective Life Corporation, Birmingham
  • Bestor Ward, Ward Properties, Inc., Mobile
  • Karockas Watkins, Ability Plus, Inc., Huntsville
  • Phil Webb, Webb Concrete & Building Materials, Heflin
  • Clare Weil, C. Weil Enterprises, Inc., Montgomery
  • Ray White, Warren Averett, LLC, Huntsville
  • Ashli Wilkins, Wallace Community College, Dothan
  • Elizabeth Winter, Regions Bank, Tuscaloosa
  • Bob Woodall, Bob Woodall Air Care Systems, Inc., Dothan


ALI Class IV
Commencing in November!
After suspending the ALI program during the past year due to COVID, nominations for Class IV opened this past July, and once again, we received a record number of strong nominees – 157!  Of those nominated, 102 individuals submitted completed applications for the review committee’s consideration, and a class of 55 was recently selected and notified.  Once everything has been finalized, we will announce the class roster.  The class will begin in November in Montgomery, followed by additional sessions in Birmingham and The Shoals.  Leadership Alabama thanks former ALI members Stephanie Baker, Katie Hancock, Jon Hegeman, Coreata Houser, Taylor Norton, Terrance Smith and Jessica Thomas for serving on the review committee by dedicating an exhaustive amount of time in reviewing and ranking each applicant prior to the committee’s session.  Additionally, we thank LA board member Grits Morris, the LA board liaison to ALI, for serving.


Friday, October 8, 2021
Montgomery Area Membership Luncheon w/ Class XXXI
Capital City Club, Montgomery
Friday, January 14, 2022
Mobile/Baldwin County Area Membership Dinner w/ Class XXXI
TBD, Mobile
Friday, March 11, 2022
Huntsville Area Membership Dinner w/ Class XXXI
TBD, Huntsville
Thursday, May 12, 2022
Birmingham Area Membership Dinner w/ Class XXXI
TBD, Birmingham
Be on the lookout for an email coming to your inbox soon as we kickoff our annual request for membership dues and contributions!