Montgomery Business Journal

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April 2015


MONTGOMERY – Randy Baxter has been named vice president of Crosby Electric Co. Inc.

Baxter, who was born and raised in Montgomery, joined the Crosby Electric team in 1976. He has been managing electrical construction projects throughout Alabama and Florida for more than 20 years.

He will continue to manage projects, but his new responsibilities will include strategic planning for the construction division of the company as well as overseeing more of the day-to-day operations such as fleet management.

“Randy has been a terrific senior project manager for years,” Crosby Electric President Al Crosby said in a statement. “The entire Crosby team is excited about his new title and role. He has earned it.”


MONTGOMERY – Montgomery Academy announced the appointment of Sarah Barton Thomas as the middle school director.

Her appointment, which is effective July 1, was the result of a nationwide search that also used input from the Montgomery Academy school community.

Thomas has extensive experience in independent schools. She began her career as a music educator and has spent the last four years as an educational technology integrationist and cross country coach at the Norwood School, a K-8 independent school in Bethesda, Md.

She received a bachelor’s degree in vocal music education at Northwestern Missouri State University and a master’s degree in school administration and supervision from Johns Hopkins University.

 “I am so excited about Ms. Thomas’s appointment,” current middle school director John McWilliams said in a statement. “Sarah’s passion for learning, her care for students and faculty, her collaborative spirit and her enthusiasm about the opportunities at MA established her as clearly the best candidate to take on this role at the school.”

Thomas will succeed McWilliams when he becomes the associate head of school this summer.

“It is an honor to join the MA family as the next middle school director,” Thomas said in a statement. “During my visit to campus, I felt right at home among the faculty, staff and students. I believe that we share common values and goals. I look forward to becoming part of the community this summer and advancing the mission of the school.”


MONTGOMERY – The law firm of Sasser, Sefton & Brown, P.C. announced that D. Brent Hargett and William R. Cunningham Jr. have been named shareholders.

Hargett joined the firm in 2008 after graduating from The University of Alabama School of Law. He is a member of the litigation, creditor rights and bankruptcy and financial services practice groups in the firm.

Cunningham joined the firm in 2013 after practicing with another local firm since his graduation from The University of Alabama School of Law in 2007. He is a member of the real estate, business law, financial services and litigation practice groups in the firm.


MONTGOMERY – Myrle Grate has been promoted to CEO of Children’s Harbor. He was the company’s chief operating officer.

He is responsible for leading and implementing all strategic plans as they relate to long-term goals, organization structure and fund development. He has been with Children’s Harbor since 2012 and served as chief operating officer for two years.

Grate has a bachelor’s degree from Samford University; a Master of Divinity from Beeson Divinity School; and a Doctor of Ministry from Asbury Theological Seminary.

The company has a 25-year history of serving seriously ill children and their families at no cost. There are 33 full-time and part-time employees.

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MONTGOMERY – Central has hired Maggie Gibbs as pastry chef.

She has overall responsibility for developing, designing and executing the dessert menu at Central and creating wedding and special occasion cakes for events hosted at Central. She is a graduate of Orlando Culinary Academy’s Le Cordon Bleu in Florida with a degree in patisserie and baking.

Gibbs, a native of Panama, has extensive catering experience including creating desserts for several political figures and events such as the 2012 presidential inauguration.

“Central is pleased to bring Maggie Gibbs on board,” Central General Manager David Forbes said in a statement. “Her expertise and dedication to making dessert not only taste good, but beautifully designed will strengthen Central’s overall brand and be of great benefit to our guests.”


MONTGOMERY – Airport planner Matt Thomason has joined Goodwyn Mills & Cawood Inc.

Thomason’s wide-ranging expertise includes development of airport master plans, airport layout plans and capital improvement plans; agency and public coordination; airport planning design; airspace analysis, noise and environmental analysis; safety management systems; and terminal programming studies. He will work in the firm’s aviation department.

“Matt adds a new dimension to our airport team and strengthens our complete package of aviation services,” GMC Vice President of Aviation Al Allenback said in a statement. “His life-long love of aviation and passion for airport planning is a definite plus for our airport clients.” 

Thomason’s diverse experience includes projects for airports throughout the U.S., including the Ocala International Airport (Ocala, Fla.); Gainesville Regional Airport (Gainesville, Fla.); Cecil Airport (Jacksonville, Fla.); Space Coast Regional Airport (Titusville, Fla.); Ellington Field Airport (Houston, Texas); Anchorage International Airport (Anchorage, Alaska); Lynchburg Regional Airport (Lynchburg, Va.); Brunswick-Golden Isles Airport (Brunswick, Ga.); McKinnon-St. Simons Island Airport (St. Simons Island, Ga.); McCarran International Airport (Las Vegas); Destin Airport (Destin, Fla.); and Albert J. Ellis Airport (Jacksonville, N.C.).

He has played key roles on unique aviation efforts, such as the Florida Department of Transportation’s statewide aviation economic impact study; the Ohio Airport System Focus Study, which included inventory and analysis of 104 airports about economic impact, compliance and overall system coverage; and feasibility licensing efforts for commercial spaceports in Florida, Hawaii and Texas.

Prior to GMC, Thomason worked as an aviation planner for RS&H in Jacksonville, Fla., and as a staff engineer for CH2M HILL in Montgomery. He received a master’s degree in airport planning and management from Cranfield University in the United Kingdom and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Auburn University.


MONTGOMERY – FBC Mortgage, LLC, hired Mary Sandlin to open its mortgage operation in Montgomery. She will be joined by Kathy Clay.

Sandlin, who has 30 years of experience in the mortgage industry, was with Synovus Mortgage as a producing branch manager and later as a regional manager for Alabama, Florida and parts of Georgia for 10 years. She then worked for ServisFirst Bank in Montgomery. Most recently, Sandlin was a loan officer in Renasant Bank’s downtown location.

Clay has 30 years of mortgage and banking experience.

FBC Mortgage is located at 1904 Berryhill Road and the phone number is (334) 651-0058.   

FBC Mortgage, which is based in Orlando, has branches and/or licenses in 45 states. 


MONTGOMERY – WCOV-TV FOX 20 recently hired Dale Stafford to be the station’s general sales manager.

Stafford is an Alabama native who was born in Birmingham. Stafford majored in broadcast and film communication at The University of Alabama and began his career at the public TV facility on campus in 1976.

Since that time, Stafford has worked as a production director, production manager, operations manager, program director, account executive, local sales manager, director of sales and general manager at various television stations around the Southeast. 

“WCOV is excited to have Dale join our team,” WCOV Station Owner David Woods said in a statement. “His 38 years of broadcast experience will help us serve our clients more effectively.”

Stafford and his family are glad to be back in their home state. “My family and I are thrilled about our return to Alabama,” Stafford said in a statement. “Fox is an exceptional network and I am excited about selling all the outstanding WCOV products.  I also look forward to bringing some new challenges and ideas to our sales team.”

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