Montgomery Business Journal

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January 2015


MONTGOMERY – Trustmark announced that Tod S. Etheredge has been named executive vice president at the Montgomery main office.

Etheredge, who has 23 years of experience in the financial industry, will serve as retail and commercial banking manager.

He received a bachelor’s degree with a concentration in engineering management from the United States Military Academy at West Point. He also received a certificate of accounting from Belhaven University.


MONTGOMERY – EXIT Hodges Real Estate announced the addition of Kathy Thompson to its team of real estate professionals.

“We’re excited to welcome Kathy Thompson to EXIT Realty,” Paul Hodges, broker of EXIT Hodges Real Estate, said in a statement. “EXIT is growing and attracting quality business people like Kathy Thompson each and every day.”


MONTGOMERY – ServisFirst Bank announced the addition of an executive vice president, senior vice president and two vice presidents.

Brad Armagost, who joined ServisFirst as executive vice president, will serve on the senior management team overseeing commercial lending and private banking needs for new and existing clients as well as business development for the Montgomery region. He joins ServisFirst Bank with more than 23 years of banking experience in commercial, private banking and credit administration.   

“We are excited to announce Brad Armagost has joined the ServisFirst team,” Carl Barker, president and CEO of ServisFirst Bank Montgomery, said in a statement. “His expertise, experience and connections will be a great asset to our clients and the bank’s continuous growth.”

Armagost received a bachelor’s degree in commerce and business administration with a major in accounting from the University of Alabama. He is a graduate of the Bank Administration Institute’s Graduate School of Bank Financial Management, which was held at Vanderbilt University and the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Georgetown University.

Allen Farr was hired as senior vice president for commercial banking. He has 14-plus years of experience, most recently serving as vice president and district manager for Wells Fargo in Charlotte, N.C. Farr’s primary responsibilities include developing new business with an emphasis on commercial lending. In addition, he will oversee ServisFirst Bank’s two Montgomery banking centers.

He received a bachelor’s degree in business management with a finance concentration from North Carolina State University.

Janet Roberts joined ServisFirst as vice president, private banking officer. She has more than 29 years of experience. She was most recently serving as vice president, private banking officer with Sterling Bank. Roberts will work with clients and prospects who represent significant and high-net worth banking relationships.

The bank also promoted Brooks Seale to vice president, mortgage lending. Seale, who has more than 14 years of experience in the banking industry, was most recently a mortgage loan officer. His responsibilities include soliciting new residential mortgage business as well as identifying, developing and maintaining a network of business relationships that serve as a recurring source of referrals for new mortgage and lending opportunities.

He received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Southern Methodist University.


TUSKEGEE – After a nationwide search with more than 35 candidates, Cesar Fermin has been chosen as Tuskegee University’s new provost and vice president of academic affairs. Robert Blakely has been chosen to lead the university’s newly restructured Office of Development and Advancement.

Fermin, also a professor of biology in the College of Arts and Sciences, has been with the university since 2007. In August 2011, Fermin was appointed as associate dean for graduate studies and research. He held that position until he became dean in summer of 2013. He has more than 40 years of academic experience.

Fermin also served as project director for the Tuskegee Research Center in Minority Institutions from 2008 to 2011 and is the international academic and scientific adviser for Universidad Tecnológica de Santiago in the Dominican Republic.

Additionally, Fermin has been the chair of Tuskegee’s annual Biomedical Research Symposium since 2007.

“I am very pleased to invite Dr. Fermin to come alongside of me to serve in the capacity of provost/vice president for academic affairs,” Tuskegee University President Brian L. Johnson said in a statement. “…he is a 21st century academic administrator well versed in data-informed decision making, which is quite essential for Tuskegee’s intentions of becoming an outcomes-oriented organization.”

Before coming to Tuskegee University in 2006, Fermin worked at Tulane Medical School Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, where he served from 1988 to 2005 as director of morphological services, including diagnostic electron microscopy, digital imaging and electronic communication matters.

He received a bachelor’s degree in biology-chemistry from Universidad National Pedro Henriquez Ureña in the Dominican Republic in 1974. He studied English at Florida Institute of Technology in 1975. where he also obtained a master’s degree in cell biology in 1977 and a doctorate degree in biology in 1981. From 1981 to1983, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and served there as an assistant professor from 1983 to1988 before becoming an associate professor at Tulane Medical School.

Blakely is the former vice president for institutional advancement at Birmingham-Southern College, where he led a campaign that raised an all-time high of $16.6 for 2012-2013. During his tenure, he also oversaw a 12.5 percent increase in overall annual fund support, including a 2 percent increase in participation.

Previous to his leadership at Birmingham-Southern, he was the director of development for Samford University’s Brock School of Business for five years. He has also held fundraising positions at The Citadel in Charleston S.C.; Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn.; and DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind.

He received his undergraduate degree in history at the University of Massachusetts and his master’s degree in higher education administration from Vanderbilt University.

“I’m extremely excited about the opportunity to closely examine the structure and processes in advancement, and to make the bold and necessary changes that will continue to professionalize our fundraising and stewardship efforts,” Blakely said in a statement.


MONTGOMERY – City Councilman Arch Lee has joined Partners Realty. He will focus on a variety of real estate categories including residential, commercial and land.

Lee, who was born and raised in Montgomery, has worked in state government relations for the past 18 years and has owned a business, Arch Lee & Associates, since 2001.

He was elected to the City Council in August 2011. 


MONTGOMERY – The Montgomery Regional Medical Campus of the UAB School of Medicine has appointed two new members to its staff.

Cedric A. Hicks has been selected as the medical librarian for the UAB Medical Library at Baptist Medical Center South. Jo Len Kidwell will serve as the clerkship coordinator for the Montgomery regional medical campus.

Hicks is a native of Indiana and received his bachelor’s degree in telecommunications from Ball State University and a bachelor’s degree in English language writing and literature from Eastern Michigan University. Following his graduate studies at Wayne State University, where he received a master’s degree, Hicks obtained a doctoral degree from Alabama State University. He is a 2012 graduate of Alabama State University’s Educational Leadership, Policy, and Law program.

Prior to joining the Montgomery campus, he was the head circulation and business librarian at Alabama State University. Hicks will be responsible for all library and medical literature research for medical students at the Montgomery campus; nursing, dietary, pharmacy, physical therapy and medical technology students; emergency medicine, family medicine, and internal medicine residents; and members of the medical staff at Baptist Medical Center South.

Kidwell, a native of Kentucky, received a bachelor’s degree in social work from Freed Hardeman University and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Louisville. She was the education coordinator for the emergency medicine residency program at Washington University in St. Louis from 2000 to 2013. She had a similar role at the UAB Montgomery internal medicine program in 2013.

In her new role, Kidwell will coordinate all aspects of the various clinical clerkships for the medical students at the Montgomery campus.


MONTGOMERY – William “Billy” Nelson has been named branch manager of Sterling Bank’s Prattville location.

Nelson will also manage the Baptist Medical Center office in Montgomery. His new responsibilities include working with both retail and commercial customers.

“We are excited to have Billy as the new manager of our Prattville location,” Sterling Bank President W. Alan Worrell said in a statement. “His leadership will guide the talented team as they continue to grow the business and contribute to the advancement of the community.”

Nelson has more than 20 years of experience in the banking industry and has worked at Sterling Bank for the last 16 years. He is a native of Montgomery and received his undergraduate degree from Auburn University at Montgomery.

Sterling Bank, a division of Synovus Bank, operates four branches in the Montgomery and Prattville markets.


MONTGOMERY – Jackson Thornton announced that Robert Hines has been selected as the certified public accounting and consulting firm’s newest principal.

Meanwhile, Jackson Thornton Technologies announced that Brian Driskill is the new vice president of business operations. The firm also announced three promotions: Chris Bell is the technical services manager; Rick Thompson is the Tennessee technical services manager; Timothy Smith is the project services manager.

Hines serves as a principal in the firm’s Montgomery office, where he has worked for more than 16 years. A certified public accountant, he specializes in accounting, tax and consulting services for closely-held businesses. Hines has particular concentrations in the industrial sector, working with manufacturing and wholesale distribution companies.

He is a graduate of Troy University with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting.

Driskill has 24-plus years of health care and technology management experience with expertise in executive operations and financial management within the health care services industry. He is a graduate of Samford University and Troy University, where he received a master’s degree in business administration.


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