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.