Bill Battle is a former college athletics administrator and football coach. He was the athletic director of the University of Alabama from 2013 to 2017. Battle was the head football coach at the University of Tennessee from 1970 to 1976. At the time he began as head coach, he was at 29 the youngest college head coach in the country. A native of Birmingham, Alabama and a graduate of the University of Alabama, Battle was one of many of Bear Bryant’s former players and assistant coaches who would later become head coaches. Battle is the founder and chairman of The Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC). In 1981, while working for Golden Eagle Enterprises in Selma, Alabama, Battle signed Paul “Bear” Bryant to a licensing agreement.
Hall of Fame member Jim Boeheim has had a remarkable run as head coach at his alma mater, Syracuse University. Boeheim has guided only winning teams in his tenure and has pushed the Orange into the postseason in all but three of his 44 years. Syracuse has made 34 trips into the NCAA Tournament, including Final Four appearances in 1987, 1996, 2003, 2013, and 2016. The Orange won the national championship in 2003.
The architect of numerous remarkable campaigns, Boeheim added another one to the books in 2019-20 in an 18-14 campaign halted by the national pandemic.
Boeheim wrapped up his most recent year as head coach on the Hill ranked second in all-time Division I coaching triumphs. He is also second on the active games coached list, trailing only Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski in the two categories.
Boeheim achieved the ultimate basketball tribute in 2005 when he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He was honored again in the offseason, receiving the John R. Wooden “Legends of Coaching” Award in April. That spring he and Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun were the “Spirit of Jimmy V” honorees at the annual V Foundation Gala.
Boeheim enrolled at Syracuse in 1962 and was a walk-on with the basketball team. By Boeheim’s senior season, he was a team captain along with the legendary Dave Bing. The Orange were 22-6 overall that year and earned the program’s second-ever NCAA Tournament berth. In 1969 he turned to a career in coaching and was hired as a graduate assistant at SU by head coach Roy Danforth. In 1976, he was named head coach at his alma mater.
A four-time BIG EAST Coach of the Year, Boeheim has been honored as NABC District II Coach of the Year 10 times and USBWA District II Coach of the Year on four occasions. During the 2000 Final Four he was presented with the Claire Bee Award in recognition of his contributions to the sport. In the fall of 2000, he received Syracuse University’s Arents Award, the school’s highest alumni honor. On February 24, 2002, the University named the Carrier Dome court “Jim Boeheim Court.” Boeheim joined a select group of coaches working the sidelines of a court named after them.
A long-time participant in the USA Basketball program, Boeheim was named 2001 USA Basketball National Coach of the Year. He’s served as an assistant coach for the U.S. Olympic teams that won gold medals in 2008, 2012 and 2016, and the World Cup in 2010 and 2014.
A champion of many charitable causes, Boeheim and his wife started the Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation. He has lent his time to Coaches vs. Cancer, Crouse Hospital’s Kienzle Family Maternity Center, the Children’s Miracle Network, the Eldercare Foundation, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Pioneer Center for the Blind and Disabled, Lighthouse, People in Wheelchairs, Easter Seals, the Special Olympics, the Rescue Mission and the Jack Bruen Fund, among others.
In the spring of 2016, Boeheim was presented with the Circle of Honor Award, presented annually by the American Cancer Society to a college coach who has shown extraordinary commitment and leadership with the Coaches vs. Cancer program fundraising, education and promotional initiatives. He received the 2019 Court of Honor Award from the NABC Foundation in 2019. The recognition goes to individuals who have roots in college basketball, value those roots, and have gone on to distinguish themselves in their profession, exhibiting the highest standards of leadership.
Jim and his wife, Juli, are parents of Jimmy, and twins Jack and Jamie. Jim also has a daughter, Elizabeth.
“In Alabama, the saying goes, there are two types of people: those who admit they listen to Paul Finebaum, and liars.”
Thus begins a 5,000-word profile of Paul Finebaum under the heading “King of the South” in the New Yorker magazine. His career changed overnight following the publication in 2012. He would sign a book deal with Harper-Collins which led to subsequent New York Times best-seller as well as a contract with ESPN, where he would become the face of the SEC Network, and ultimately, according to the Wall Street Journal, become known as “the Oprah Winfrey of college football.” Rachel Bachman, who wrote the piece, went on to say: “He is perhaps college football’s best-known voice since Keith Jackson retired.”
Finebaum, who grew up in Memphis and attended the University of Tennessee, began his career as a muckraking newspaper journalist in Birmingham Alabama, caught the wave of talk radio in the nineties and ultimately landed his show in 2010 on Sirius-XM radio. Since joining ESPN in 2013, he has appeared on College GameDay and is a regular, in addition to his own daily show on the SEC Network and simulcast on ESPN Radio, on Sportscenter, Get Up and First Take.
Finebaum’s career has not gone unnoticed in Hollywood either as there is currently a sitcom script, “King of the South,” being developed for a major studio about his daily show as well as a documentary in the works on his career.
He has also developed a stand-alone interview show on the SEC Network and has done sit-downs with the likes of Apple Chairman and CEO Tim Cook, Lockheed-Martin chairman and CEO, Marilyn Hewson, author John Grisham and country star Darius Rucker.
“I’ve been interviewed by Johnny Carson three times, Larry King twice, and Merv Griffin. But that guy Finebaum is the best I’ve ever seen,” said Meadowlark Lemon, the former front man for the Harlem Globetrotters.
Lawrence (Larry) A. Jones, Executive Vice President, FOX Sports, is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day business operation of FOX Sports. Jones oversees production budgets, business and legal affairs, talent and rights negotiations, administration, and facility and operations management. He played an integral role in FOX’s acquisition of the exclusive network broadcast rights to the National Football League, Major League Baseball, NASCAR, WWE, United States Golf Association Championships, the Big Ten Championship Game and Pac-12 Football Championship Game and regular season packages.
Jones joined FOX Sports in 1994 as Executive Vice President of Business Operations after serving as Senior Vice President, FOX Inc., responsible for developing new business opportunities for the company. He was President and Chief Operating Officer of FX, FOX’s cable television venture, from March 1992 to November 1993 and was in charge of the launch and operational development of FOX Inc.’s then-new 24-hour cable service.
In addition to his employment at FOX Sports, Jones is the owner and President of Golden Hawk Protea, a boutique grower and seller of exotic protea flowers normally found in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
Jones earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Syracuse University and graduated cum laude from the University of Miami School of Law. He resides in Brentwood, Calif., and has two children.
Wherever he goes, Archie Manning is recognized as an ambassador of goodwill and a molder of people. He was born in Drew, Mississippi and was an All-American Quarterback at Ole Miss. In 1971 the New Orleans Saints made Archie their #1 draft choice. During his 14-year NFL career, he set most Saints passing records, played in Pro Bowls, and was the NFC’s most valuable player in 1978. He is a member of several Halls of Fame including the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame and the Mississippi and Louisiana Halls of Fame. As a player, Archie won numerous humanitarian awards and was named one of 10 outstanding Americans by the U.S. Jaycees. He was named Father of the Year by the National Father’s Day Council.
Following a long and distinguished career as a military officer, men’s basketball coach and administrator, Reggie Minton has announced his retirement as deputy executive director of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). Minton joined the NABC staff as associate executive director in 2000 after 16 years as the head men’s basketball coach at the United States Air Force Academy, the longest coaching tenure in the academy’s history. In 2004, Executive Director Jim Haney elevated Minton to deputy executive director. Minton assisted Haney on issues that impacted college basketball and its coaches, legislative actions and other matters with the NCAA, including preparation for the NABC Convention, held annually in conjunction with the men’s Final Four. He has been the NABC liaison in its partnership with the American Cancer Society for the Coaches vs. Cancer program, which has raised more than $100 million since its inception. Minton also chairs the selection committee for the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. Throughout his career, Minton was active with USA Basketball, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Board of Trustees and the NIT selection committee. He has served on numerous NCAA committees, including a term as chair of the rules committee and as a consultant to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Issues Committee. A Bridgeport, Conn., native, Minton was an all-state selection at Bridgeport Central High and was a collegiate standout at The College of Wooster. Following graduation, Minton served for more than 20 years in the United States Air Force, continuing to earn honors with the All-Air Force and All-Armed Forces teams. He was an alternate for the 1964 U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team.
Actor, Michael O’Neill, just completed starring on NBC’s family drama, Council of Dads (available for viewing on hulu.com and nbc.com), playing “Dad” Larry Mills. His career (to date) spans over 40 years and 120 credits on IMDB. In the past two years alone, he has worked in numerous popular television shows including Messiah (Netflix), Jack Ryan (Amazon), Scandal (ABC), and The Shooter (USA). If you have daughters, they know him as “The Shooter” in Grey’s Anatomy because as grieving husband Gary Clarke he sought revenge against the doctors that pulled the plug on his wife in the season finale of Season 6 of that show. His role as Ron Butterfield on The West Wing, which he appeared on regularly, he marks as the beginning of his most consistent work as a television actor. But he has also worked in many films. The most notable include Seabiscuit, Dallas Buyers Club, Transformers, Green Zone and recently Clemency, which won the Jury Award at Sundance in 2019 and The Stand in Paxton County, which was just released on Netflix.
Michael is from Montgomery and attended Auburn University where he majored in Economics.
He has served on the Board of Directors (Hollywood Division) for the Screen Actors Guild and is a Member of Motion Picture Academy of Arts & Sciences. This past December he gave the commencement address to his daughter Ella’s graduation class at Auburn University and last May he spoke at the University of Montevallo commencement. He and Mary also have twins, Annie & Molly who are rising juniors – Annie at Cal Poly SLO and Molly at Rhodes College. He has volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, BookPals (a reading initiative of SAG), and Teach for America. When not acting, his favorite activity is working on the garden – during COVID he has planted his own victory garden.
Ben C. Sutton, Jr. is founder and chairman of Teall Capital, a private equity company with investments in a portfolio of businesses including Riddle & Bloom, Tailgate Guys, Sunshine Beverages, Complex Sports & Entertainment, NICKEL, and Dyehard Fan Supply. Sutton, a graduate of Wake Forest University and law school, was previously Chairman|CEO of IMG College, which he founded as ISP Sports in 1992, essentially inventing the college media business as it’s known today. When he stepped down as CEO in 2015, IMG was the largest college sports marketing enterprise, as well as sports/entertainment sales organization in America. In addition to building the core businesses of IMG College into four national market-leading companies, he was largely responsible for the meteoric growth of IMG Worldwide, engineering the sale of the company in 2014 for $2.4 billion. IMG was the national market leader in Media, Licensing, Ticketing and Stadium Seating, working with over 225 universities, conferences, NCAA and College Football Playoff.
In addition to being named one of the most powerful sports executives in America, Sutton has received numerous awards including the North Carolina Order of the Long Leaf Pine, Wake Forest Distinguished Alumni award, NSMA Roone Arledge Award, and is an inductee of the North Carolina Sports, National Football Foundation, NACMA and Sports Business Halls of Fame. He serves on boards of Wake Forest University, White House Historical Association, Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, National Football Foundation, The First Tee and the United States Olympic Committee foundation. The Sutton Family Foundation has invested over $50 million in philanthropic causes.
Kevin Warren serves as the sixth Commissioner of the Big Ten Conference and the first African American Commissioner to lead an Autonomy Five conference. Warren most recently served as the Chief Operating Officer for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League where he worked since 2005. He was the highest ranking African American executive working on the business side for a team in the NFL and was the first African American COO in NFL history.
Warren’s extensive experience in all facets of the Minnesota Vikings organization created the perfect foundation for him to lead the business operations. After being promoted to COO, Warren played a critical role in all business, financial, legal and operational aspects related to U.S. Bank Stadium and was involved in the design, construction, business, legal and operational components of the new stadium. Warren also played a key role in the design, development and planning of Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center, the Vikings’ headquarters in Eagan, in addition to the ancillary real estate development of Viking Lakes. Under Warren’s visionary leadership, the Vikings restructured the organization, with an emphasis on broadening the executive team and promoting women to key executive positions.
Thomas H. Brigham, Jr. (Tommy) is the Chairman and Founding Partner of ARC Realty and also serves as CEO of ARK Real Estate Strategies and the ARK Real Estate Opportunity Fund I. He founded Brigham-Williams in 1982 and it quickly grew to be the third largest real estate company in Alabama. He merged Brigham-Williams with Johnson-Rast & Hays in 1998 to form Alabama’s largest real estate services company (including RealtySouth, TitleSouth, MortgageSouth and InsuranceSouth) and served as President and COO from 1998 to 2002. RealtySouth was sold in 2002 to HomeServices of America, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, and Tommy served as Chairman and CEO of RealtySouth from 2002 to 2007.
Brigham was recognized by the Birmingham Business Journal’s List of 2018 as one of the Top Birmingham’s Most Influential Executives, and by AL.com’s The Birmingham News as part of the Gang of 7 as the 7th most influential group in the State of Alabama in sports in 2017. He currently serves as Vice President of the UAB Athletic Foundation and is a member of the Foundation’s Executive Committee. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Cornerstone Schools of Alabama and serves as a member of the Executive Committee. Additionally, he serves on the Board of Directors of the Addiction Prevention Coalition and The Center for Executive Leadership and is closely involved with The Early Childhood Learning Center in Woodlawn and the Woodlawn Foundation. Tommy is an active member of Mountain Brook Community Church. He is married to Cecile and has 3 children and 7 grandchildren.
Frank is the 10th Mayor of the city of Hoover. Mayor Brocato has a long history of public service and retired from the Hoover Fire Department after 42 years. He and his wife Frances have been married 46 years and have three children and nine grandchildren. Mayor Brocato has been prostate cancer survivor since 2009.
Lee Edwards is President of Edwards Chevrolet. Lee is the third-generation member of his family to run the business, working along with his father Leon Edwards, and he’s hoping the tradition will continue. Last year, the company celebrated its 100th anniversary, thanks to an attitude of treating others well. When not running the family business, Lee gives back to the community by participating on the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center Board, the Boards of both the Birmingham and State of Alabama Auto Dealers Association, and the Mike Slive Foundation for Prostate Cancer Research.
Ed concentrates his practice in the areas of construction law, litigation and mediation and arbitration at Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC. He has received numerous accolades in his service to law, served on the Board of Directors for the American College of Construction Lawyers, Adjunct Professor at the Cumberland School of Law, Samford University, and member of various boards and committees. Ed attended the University of Tampa and Cumberland School of Law of Samford University. Ed founded the Mike Slive Foundation.
Sam Miller started Champ Creative, a full service advertising agency, in 2021 following 10 years as a partner at Burton Advertising. Sam and his team have been recognized locally, regionally, and nationally for efforts on behalf of their clients including Regional and National ADDY and Regional EMMY recognitions in 2021. Prior to his time at Burton Advertising, Sam worked for the UAB Athletic Department where he oversaw external communications. Sam serves as a Vice President of the Mike Slive Foundation Board of Directors and as Vice President of the UAB National Alumni Society’s Board of Directors, and is a member of the 2022 Leadership Birmingham class. Sam teaches marketing classes at UAB, and is the proud coach of his daughters’ championship soccer team the Marshmallow Hurricanes. He earned his MBA from UAB after receiving an undergraduate degree in Advertising and Public Relations from the University of Alabama. Sam and his wife, Robin, have three daughters, ages 21, 16 and 15.
Charlie was born in Birmingham and attended Washington and Lee University. He is married to his wife Sheri and has three children and five grandchildren. In 1986 Charlie founded Highland Associates, which sold to sold to Regions Bank in 2019. In 2016 he founded the Alabama Capital Network with which he remains involved at present. Charlie holds many board positions with Birmingham-based nonprofits and currently serves as Chair of the Corporate Board for the Alys Stephens Center and a member of the Executive Committee of the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center Advisory Board in addition to his service as a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors for the Mike Slive Foudation. In his free time, Charlie enjoys spending time with his family and being outdoors hunting, fishing, and farming.
Harry has served the community since 1967 providing insurance, estate planning and financial services to help his clients achieve a lifetime of financial security. HE was honored as a key member of the Birmingham community when he received the Outstanding Community Service Award from the organization of the National Conference for Community and Justice in Alabama in 2007. Harry has served as active Chairman of many Boards and organizations, now including serving on the Board of the Mike Slive Foundation for Prostate Cancer Research. When he is not in the office or donating his time to the community, you will find him spending time with his children and grandchildren.
Jason began working in healthcare in 1997 and joined Urology Centers of Alabama in 2016. Prior to joining UCA, Jason has worked with several other groups in the Birmingham area including Alabama Allergy and Asthma Center, MedHelp Family Practice and Urgent Care, and Orthopaedic Specialists of Alabama. He attended Birmingham Southern College graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology/Psychology directed towards health care management. In addition, he also went on to earn his Master’s of Business Administration from the University of Alabama. Jason continues to work with Birmingham Southern, Samford, and UAB to mentor college students interested in pursuing a career in healthcare. Jason is actively involved in the local and state Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) and is currently serving as Executive Director for Birmingham MGMA and Vice President for Alabama MGMA. In 2018, he earned the Certified Medical Practice Executive (CMPE) designation from the American College of Medical Practice Executives. Jason and his wife Brooke currently reside in Trussville with their 5 children and are actively involved at North Valley Church.
Chris Burrell is a son of Birmingham, AL and one of the city’s brightest young lawyers. He is the founder and lead attorney of The C.Burrell Law Group, LLC, a boutique firm that handles a range of civil and criminal cases. Chris and his wife, Robin make their home in the Oxmoor Valley community of Birmingham.
Michelle Clemon brings fifteen years of experience in employment law and human resources management as a licensed attorney and executive human resources professional. A product of the Birmingham City Schools, Michelle received her Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Yale University and her law degree from Columbia Law School. Michelle has previously served as the Chief Operating Officer of United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Birmingham (UCP), and the Director of Sponsored Programs at Miles College. A licensed attorney, she practiced labor and employment law for a number of years with the Birmingham office of Maynard, Cooper & Gale. Michelle served as Vice President of Human Resources and Community Affairs for McWane, Inc, and more recently, as President/CEO of The Clemon Consulting Group, a human resources consulting firm with an emphasis on compliance/governance and organizational development.
Michelle is an active community volunteer, having served as the Chairman of the Board of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and as a Board member with The Women’s Fund, Impact Alabama, Vulcan Park and Museum and the Legal Aid Society. She is especially interested in health issues that impact minority communities, and has worked with organizations such as the Sickle Cell Foundation of Central Alabama, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the American Diabetes Association and UAB’s Minority and Health Disparities Research Center.
From Miami to Alabama, Howard has been helping his patients breathe a little easier as an Otolaryngologist, currently with ENT Associates of Alabama. A former U.S. Airfoce Major, Dr. Goldberg is a graduate of Emory University School of Medicine and completed residency at the University of Miami. He has practiced for 25 years and has extensive training in Facial Plastic Surgery with Fellowship in The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
Judd Harwood is a partner at Bradley. He focuses his practice on general and nonprofit corporate transactions and healthcare regulatory issues. His clients include health systems, hospitals and related healthcare facilities, multi and single specialty medical practices, ambulatory surgery centers, dialysis providers, hospice and home health agencies and non-profit healthcare organizations. When he’s not representing clients, Judd spends his time in the community using his passions for healthcare and justice to help advocate for children’s healthcare, and now men’s healthcare through the Mike Slive Foundation for Prostate Cancer Research.
Charles Herman graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Master’s Degree in Accounting. Charles served as a First Lieutenant in the Air Force for 3 years and spent one year in Vietnam as a Medical Supply Officer. For 41 years Charles owned and operated Lamps Fantastic, a lamp store in Vestavia. He and his wife, Gail, have two sons.
Kermit’s background molded a competitive spirit and commitment to excellence that guides his handling and resolution of complex litigation matters across the Southeast. As an All-American football player at the University of Alabama, Kermit learned the values of hard work, preparation, perseverance, teamwork, and courage.Kermit has successfully tried a number of cases in Federal and State courts and has also handled a number of arbitration matters. Additionally, Kermit serves as the City Attorney for the City of Meridian, Mississippi. In his capacity as City Attorney, Kermit manages the City’s outside counsel at multiple law firms and serves as chief legal adviser to the executive branch of the local government.
While at the University of Alabama, Kermit was a 4-year starter on the football team, was an All-SEC performer in 1987 and, in 1988, was selected as an All-American. Kermit is especially thankful for having been the first winner of the Sylvester Croom Commitment to Excellence Award while at Alabama. Kermit later attended the University of Alabama School of Law. During law school, Kermit received the Jerome Hoffman Leadership Award and was a member of the Farrah Law Society. In addition, he was selected for membership in the Bench & Bar Legal Honor Society.
After receiving his Accounting degree, and before going to Law School, Kermit joined Merrill Lynch, where he secured a Series 7 license and worked as a financial consultant. In addition, Kermit served as a compliance officer for approximately two years for the University of Alabama’s Athletic Department before attending Law School.
Kermit’s leadership and his desire to provide support to charities in the Southeast are demonstrated by his involvement in a number of organizations. Kermit’s litigation skills were recognized in connection with being selected as a future lead litigator for CSX Transportation, Inc.
Charles Latham is a retired Quality Assurance Manager for the Department of Defense (U.S. Navy) with 25 years of honorable service. He is a member of Grenada High School’s graduating class of 1971. In 1973 he joined the United States Marine Corps, where he received two meritorious promotions before being honorably discharged in 1976. He attended San Diego City College earning a degree in Business Management and a Certificate of Completion in Shipbuilding and Blueprint Reading.
During his 25 years of service with the Department of Defense, Charles received numerous Sustained Superior Performance Awards and Excellence Performance Awards. In 1996, he was promoted to Supervisory Quality Assurance Specialist and was assigned to head the Repair Division for Southwest Regional Maintenance Center in San Diego, Ca. The first African American to hold the position. There he was responsible for the quality assurance oversight for every U.S. Navy vessel that required ship repair or overhaul from San Diego, Ca. to Long Beach, Ca. area. In 1999 he became a Certified Quality Manager and a Certified Lead Auditor. He has participated on numerous NAVSEA Inspector General Audit Teams as a Quality Systems Expert and Lead Auditor conducting compliance audits on U.S. Naval activities. and their contractors providing contract required services. After his retirement in December of 2004, he returned to his hometown Grenada, Ms. and began volunteering his service to his community. Some of his volunteer efforts include the following;
Past member of the Advisory Board for the Boys and Girls Club Grenada Unit
Past Chairman of the Grenada Historic Preservation Commission
Member of the Chamber of Commerce Education Committee
Past Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce Unity Committee
Past member of the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors
Past Chairman of Central Mississippi Inc. Board of Dircectors
Founding member and current President of the 100 Black Men of Grenada, Inc.
Charles has spoken at all local schools in Grenada county, Piney Woods Academy, and has been the keynote speaker for Fench-Henry Job Corps Center on numerous ocassions. For his contributions to his community, Charles was recognized as one of Grenada’s Good Neighbors of 2008 in a special edition of the Grenada Star Newspaper. In 2008 he was awarded the Magnolia Bar Association and Magnolia Bar Foundation’s Harriet Tubman Award. In February 2010 he received the Chamber of Commerce James “Coach” Edmond Award. In March of 2017 he awarded Man of the Year by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Pi Sigma Lambda Chapter, and in June 2017 he received the 100 Black Men of America, Inc. James T. Black Award.
Charles has been married to Dorothy Latham for 34 years and is the proud father of Charles II, Naomi and Daa’iyah.
James C. Lee, III, “Jimmy,” currently serves as Chairman of the Board & CEO of Buffalo Rock Company, one of the largest privately held, family owned Pepsi franchises in the United States. Jimmy is the fourth generation Lee to manage the business.
Jimmy began his career with Buffalo Rock Company, working summers, at the age of 12. After graduating from Auburn University in 1970, he spent one year working with Pepsi-Cola Company. He then came to work for Buffalo Rock Company on a full-time basis in 1971.
As a Birmingham resident, Jimmy concentrates his efforts toward community involvement. With his encouragement and support, Buffalo Rock makes significant contributions to the community through sponsorship of charitable events, including donations of time, services and product. In addition, a civic project with which Jimmy has had a passion for is Bent Brook Golf Course. The 27-hole facility was the first privately-owned public course in Birmingham that offers residents an upscale alternative for public golf.
In 2015, Jimmy was inducted into the Alabama Business Hall of Fame and received Auburn University’s Jefferson County Distinguished Alumnus of the Year. Jimmy was also the recipient of the 2013 Alabama Newcomen Award and was named the 2011 March of Dimes Citizen of the Year.
Jimmy is currently a member of the Alabama Beverage Association, Board Member of the Mike Slive Foundation, Board Member of the Coach Safely Foundation, Board Member of the UAB School of Medicine’s Board of Visitors, and Board Member of the Lord Wedgwood Charity. Jimmy is also the Past Director of the Birmingham Business Alliance, Past President of Children’s Hospital Foundation Board, Past Chairman of the Board of Children’s Hospital of Alabama, Past President of the Alabama Beverage Association, Past Board Member of the American Beverage Association, Past President of the Vestavia Park Foundation, and Past President of the Auburn University Athletic Development Council.
Robert D. Marks, joined Gastro Health in June 1996 and practices at our Grandview and Alabaster locations. Prior to this date, Dr. Marks was an assistant professor of medicine in the division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Marks obtained his undergraduate degree from Mississippi State University and his medical degree from Meharry Medical College (Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society). He performed his internship at St. Mary’s Hospital (Yale School of Medicine Affiliate) and his Internal Medicine residency and GI Fellowship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is board certified in both Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology.
In 1996, Dr. Marks completed his MPH at Yale University School of Public Health with an emphasis on the epidemiology of chronic diseases (colon cancer screening and clinical outcomes). He also completed a post-graduate fellowship at Yale as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar. While on faculty at UAB, Dr. Marks’ clinical research initiatives involving gastroesophageal reflux disease were published in the scientific journal “Gastroenterology” and featured on CNN. Dr. Marks also serves as medical director of the Alabama Digestive Research Center.
Dr. Marks is a Fellow in the American College of Physicians and a member of the State Medical Association, American College of Gastroenterology, American Gastroenterological Association, American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and the Alabama Gastroenterological Society.
He and his wife Frances have two adult children. They worship at the Sixth Avenue Baptist Church where they are actively involved as Sunday School teachers and in mission work.
As a founder of Markstein, a corporate strategy and communications consulting firm, Danny puts his decades of marketing knowledge to work for a vast number of community initiatives. A Birmingham native, Danny attended Highlands Day School and Indian Springs School. He lived in Washington, DC for 10 years after graduating from Trinity College (Connecticut) before returning to Birmingham. Danny brings great expertise to the board of the Mike Slive Foundation. Danny and his wife Eileen are proud parents to two young boys: Max, 10; and Wyatt, 7.
Emmett McLean is a Founder, Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and Secretary of Medical Properties Trust, a publicly traded healthcare real estate investment trust. Previously, Emmett worked in the healthcare services industry at senior financial positions, and prior to that he worked in investment banking and corporate finance with Dean Witter Reynolds (now Morgan Stanley), Smith Barney (now Citigroup) and Trust Company Bank (now Truist Bank).
He is member of the Board of Directors of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama, Smile-A-Mile, Greater Alabama Council-Boy Scouts of America, UAB Athletics Foundation, United Way of Central Alabama, The World Games 2022, Rotary Club of Birmingham Foundation and The Mike Slive Foundation. He is also a member of the Rotary Club of Birmingham and has chaired many fundraising events throughout Birmingham.
Emmett earned his M.B.A. at the University of Virginia, and a B.A. in Economics from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
He and his wife Catherine have three children and two grandchildren.
With over 20 years of experience in building relationships across the Atlanta civic, business and philanthropic communities, Kendyl brings an extensive background which includes growing non-profit community initiatives, special events, youth programming, event marketing as well as sponsorship and donations.
Kendyl has worked in collegiate and professional athletics, respectively. She has served as the Assistant Director of the Men’s Basketball Championship and Final Four for the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) and most recently as the Vice-President of Community Relations for the Atlanta Falcons.
She earned a Bachelor of Science in Speech Communications from the University of Texas (USA) as a Division I collegiate track and field student-athlete and a Master of Arts in Corporate Communications from DePaul University (USA).
The reason Tom is an asset to the Mike Slive Foundation is not rocket science, but his background is. With degrees in Aeronautical Engineering and Aeronautical Systems, acquired before and during his time in the U.S. Marine Corps and followed by time serving in the Alabama National Guard and over 35 years at Motion Industries, Tom had a lengthy and diverse career. His work did not end with retirement—he started a consulting firm and serves in multiple capacities within the community. Tom will help the Mike Slive Foundation soar to new heights with his many talents.
Lisa is currently the Senior Development Director for the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center. Prior to coming to UAB, Lisa was employed for 30 years by the American Cancer Society. In her last position, she served as the National Senior Vice President for Product and Program Management. Lisa’s experience will be instrumental in furthering the fight against prostate cancer.
Currently serving as CEO of Vituro Health, Clete created the company in honor of his father, who had prostate cancer, and all men who have been affected by prostate cancer. Vituro Health empowers men with comprehensive prostate care during all stages of their lives. With more than 25 years of experience in operating, growing and investing in successful businesses, partnered with his personal experience with prostate cancer, Clete brings a unique perspective to the Mike Slive Foundation.
Joel Welker has served as market president and publisher of the Birmingham Business Journal since 2008. Prior to moving to Birmingham, he worked at the Atlanta Business Chronicle and the South Florida Business Journal, which are sister publications of the BBJ also owned by American City Business Journals. Before starting his career with ACBJ, he worked for 13 years at Harte-Hanks Communications. He is a 2011 graduate of Leadership Birmingham and a 2014 graduate of Leadership Alabama. He has served on the boards of directors of Lakeshore Foundation and the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center. He was also a member of the UAB Athletics Campaign. Welker was born in Connecticut and grew up in Miami. He and his wife, Pam, have four children combined.
Donald Miller is the James Graham Brown Professor of Oncology at the University of Louisville. From 1999 to 2017 he was Director of the Brown Cancer Center and Executive Vice President for Health Affairs at the University. Prior to moving to Louisville he was on the faculty at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (from 1984 to 1999) and the University of Michigan. He is a practicing Medical Oncologist with an interest in melanoma and glioblastoma. His research has focused on the development of new cancer treatments. His laboratory discovered AS1411 which was the first DNA aptamer to be tested in cancer patients and is now being evaluated as a potential treatment for coronavirus.
Dr. Patridge is Director Emeritus and Distinguished Professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center. He served as Director of the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center and holder of the Evalina B. Spencer Chair in Oncology from 2007 to 2017. He was Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology from 1996 to 2017 and former Director of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology. His clinical interests are cancer control and prevention; cervical cancer; community based participatory research; gynecologic oncology; and minority health disparities.
In 2010-2011 Dr. Partridge served as President of the National Board of the American Cancer Society. He was Chairman of the Commission on Cancer for the American College of Surgeons and currently serves as Chairman of the Cervical Cancer Screening Guidelines Committee of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. He is on the Board of Directors of the Mid-South Division of the American Cancer Society having served as Chairman of that board. His long-time volunteer work with the American Cancer Society included a major role in the establishment of the Joe Lee Griffin Hope Lodge, which provides housing in Birmingham for out-of-town patients receiving cancer treatment.
Dr. Partridge has received numerous awards and honors throughout his career, including the UAB Distinguished Alumni Award, UAB President’s Excellence in Teaching Award from the School of Medicine, the Distinguished Faculty Award from the Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Academic Health Center and UAB’s highest honor – the Distinguished Faculty Lecturer Award. Outside of UAB, he has been honored with the National Excellence in Teaching Award from the Association of Professors in Gynecology and Obstetrics, the St. George’s Medal for Contributions to Cancer Control from the American Cancer Society, the Birmingham Business Journal’s 2009 Health Care Heroes physician provider award, and many more. Most recently, he was honored with the American Cancer Society’s prestigious 2013 national Humanitarian Award.
Jodi’s background is in IT Audit, Technology, Law, Business Operations, and Product Management. Jodi is currently employed by Regions Bank as Chief of Staff to the Chief Operations & Technology Officer. Previously, at Regions, she was a Manager in Operational Excellence in Risk Management. Prior to joining Regions Bank, Jodi started her career at Ernst & Young in IT Audit. She spent several years in the utility industry serving as Director of Software Product Lines at Landis+Gyr and held several leadership positions at Southern Company over 7 years. At Southern Company, Jodi was an Enterprise Application Portfolio Manager, Chief of Staff to the CIO, and led a $364MM divestiture. Jodi holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Management Information Systems with a minor in Computer Software Systems from The University of Alabama and a Juris Doctorate from Birmingham School of Law. Jodi is an active member of the Alabama State Bar Association and holds a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) certification. She is also a certified SAFe Agilist and Scrum Master.
Nicole Hardekopf is a licensed realtor at ARC Realty, and was voted Vestavia Hills’ Best Realtor in 2019 by Vestavia Hills Magazine. Nicole graduated from Auburn University in 2011 with a degree in Public Relations, concentration in Marketing, and minor in Spanish. While at Auburn, Nicole was a member of the Student Government Association, Mortar Board, Omicron Delta Kappa, Lobby Board, ADPi, and served as Vice President of the prestigious Cater Society, an organization comprised of the top 10 most influential women at Auburn University.
Nicole’s volunteer experience in Birmingham includes serving on the Junior League of Birmingham and UAB Womens Club. She has served as two-time President for the Birmingham Fashion Week Junior Board, Publicity and New Member Chair for the American Cancer Society Junior Executive Board, and instructor at Steeple Arts Academy of Dance.
Morgan Trotter Copes currently works as the VP of Business Operations at Birmingham Legion FC. Morgan has been around soccer his entire life and holds a United States Soccer Federation B-License. He played in college at the University of Mobile and earned his bachelor’s degree in management as well as his MBA. After being accepted into Regions Bank’s Management Associate program, he moved to Birmingham in 2012. While working there, he co-founded the amateur soccer team, called the Birmingham Hammers, whose main goal was to help bring professional soccer to the Magic City. During his time as the club’s President and General Manager, he was able to help build it to a successful organization and his efforts earned him the honor of being Legion FC’s first employee as well as a spot in Birmingham Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2016. Outside of work, Morgan enjoys spending time with his wife, Emily, checking out local breweries, playing live music, wood working and taking his ’84 Jeep CJ 7 for a spin.
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