Montgomery Business Journal

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September 2015


MONTGOMERY – MAX Credit Union has named Montgomery native Tony Graydon as vice president of business services and commercial lending and named Ken Peavy as vice president of wealth management.

Graydon, who has been in banking since 1993 and has dealt with the commercial side of banking since 1998, will work with local business clients and potential clients to grow lending and deposits at MAX.

He graduated from Auburn University at Montgomery in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and completed the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University in 2009.

“We at MAX are proud to have Tony on board with us,” MAX Chief Lending Officer Martin Head said in a statement. “It’s not just his wealth of banking experience that will help River Region businesses grow and prosper – it’s Tony’s demonstrated care and concern for people and their well-being that will help them be even more successful in the years to come.”

Peavy will oversee the comprehensive wealth management for MAX customers in MAX’s Central and East Alabama footprint. His services will range from portfolio management and retirement planning (individual and business) to college savings and estate management.

“I am excited to join the team at MAX,” Peavy said in a statement. “One of the main reasons is the great reputation MAX has in the community. Secondly, it’s the ownership and pride employees take in their work at MAX. That level of customer service makes me enthusiastic to be a part of this team.”

Peavy built his financial career while living in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and Memphis, Tenn., before returning home to Montgomery, serving most recently as a wealth manager. Prior to starting his career, he received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Auburn University at Montgomery.

MAX has more than $1 billion in assets and 15 branches.


MONTGOMERY – Trustmark announced that Kelley B. Hall has been named vice president at the Taylor Road office in Montgomery.

The bank also announced that vice president Cathy S. Duncan has assumed a new role as private banking relationship manager at the Montgomery main office.

Hall, who has 26 years of experience in the mortgage industry, serves as regional mortgage manager. She is responsible for managing sales and operations for the Central Alabama region as well as originating residential mortgage loans.

She attended Auburn University at Montgomery.

In Duncan’s new role, she will be responsible for developing customer relationships and further establishing Trustmark’s footprint in the Montgomery market. She has 25 years of experience in the financial industry in various retail banking roles, including branch manager and regional sales manager in East Central Alabama.

She received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Faulkner University.


MONTGOMERY – EXIT Hodges Real Estate in Montgomery announced the additions of Murlee Harris and Justin Worthington to its team of real estate professionals.

Paul Hodges, broker of EXIT Hodges Real Estate, said in a statement that the firm was “excited” about hiring Harris and Worthington.

Harris, a multi-million dollar sales producer, is a native of Montgomery and has concentrated her business in the Tri-County area. She attended high school, college and business school in Montgomery. Her real estate career spans 30-plus years.

Worthington, a Montgomery native, has spent his entire adult life working in the service department of the automotive industry, including the past four years at Jack Ingram Motors. He attended real estate class at EXIT Hodges Real Estate. “I never imagined working anywhere else after I got my real estate license,” Worthington said in a statement.


MONTGOMERY – Central restaurant announced the promotions of Randal Gresham Jr. and Kareem Wade to executive chef and banquet chef, respectively.

Gresham replaces executive chef Leonardo Maurelli III, who was appointed executive chef at The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center. Gresham was the chef de cuisine at Central-second in command, and trained under Maurelli.

Wade has more than 20 years of culinary experience from a corporate trainer at national chain restaurants to managing the banquet kitchen at large-service hotels. He is responsible for servicing all private event menu requests. He works closely with Central’s event director Autumn Lewis to develop and execute unique menu items.

“I was always taught to leave something better than I found it and hopefully that’s what I’ve done,” Maurelli said in a statement. “I continue to credit Central’s culinary success to my entire team. They are all so talented and I know Central will prosper and continue to achieve greatness after my departure.”

Central owner Jake Kyser said in a statement: “We are excited about our new culinary team and grateful to have qualified chefs internally who were ready to step up to the plate. We are confident there is a bright future ahead of us.”


MONTGOMERY – Dr. Melissa S. McNally has been named clerkship director for pediatrics at the Montgomery Regional Medical Campus of the UAB School of Medicine.

McNally will succeed Dr. Mendy Blakeney, who served as the initial clerkship director for the campus.

A native of Fort Myers, Fla., McNally received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Emory University and subsequently served as a postgraduate fellow at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. She received a doctorate of medicine degree from the University of Florida College of Medicine, where she also completed her residency in pediatrics.

She has been in practice with Partners in Pediatrics since 2012 and a member of the UAB faculty since 2014.


MONTGOMERY – Rich Williamson has joined 42 Equity Partners, LLC, an affiliate of Jim Wilson & Associates, LLC, as director of asset management.

He will manage and direct the asset management of the firm’s portfolio of Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) investments, including specifically monitoring of investment activity, accounting compliance, budgets and investor reporting. He will be based in Montgomery.

Williamson, who has 25-plus years of experience in tax credit investment management for affordable housing investments, joins New York-based Kevin Fiore, Michael Haynes and Constantine Chigounis.

42 Equity Partners, which is located in New York with offices in Montgomery, focuses on a wide range of tax credit investments across the United States and Puerto Rico with an emphasis on the LIHTC program.


MONTGOMERY – Carla Cole Gilmore recently joined the law firm of Capell & Howard as a shareholder.

Gilmore has been practicing law in Montgomery for 20 years and focuses her practice primarily in the areas of labor and employment law, commercial litigation, probate and estate litigation and administrative law.

She received a bachelor’s degree in commerce and business administration from the University of Alabama, where she majored in accounting. She received her juris doctor from the University of Alabama School of Law.


MONTGOMERY – Felicia A. Bell has been named the director of Troy University’s Rosa Parks Museum.

An assistant professor of history at Savannah State University since 2011, Bell previously served as director of education and outreach for the United States Capitol Historical Society in Washington, D.C. She also served as director of education and programs for the Coastal Heritage Society in Savannah, Ga.

“Troy University is excited about the appointment of Dr. Felicia Bell to director of the Rosa Parks Museum,” Lance Tatum, vice chancellor of the University’s Montgomery campus, said in a statement. “The university went through an exhaustive search and Dr. Bell’s museum experiences and academic background matched very well to the current and future activities of the museum.”

Bell received a bachelor’s degree in history from Savannah State University; a master’s degree in historic preservation from Savannah College of Art and Design; and a doctorate in U.S. history from Howard University.

She has long been an advocate for preserving African American heritage. Research for her dissertation garnered attention from Congress, and, in 2007 she gave an expert testimony before the U.S. House of Representative’s Committee on House Administration about the use of enslaved and free black craftsmen to construct the U.S. Capitol. Her testimony, along with that of others, resulted in a bill to name the Capitol Visitor Center’s great hall, “Emancipation Hall.” The bill was signed into law in December 2007.


MONTGOMERY – Kimberly Baker has been elected the 90th president of The Junior League of Montgomery.

Her focus this year will be to bring awareness of the history and impact The Junior League has had on Montgomery and the River Region.

“I am truly honored to celebrate the work and legacy of so many women who have come before me,” Baker said in a statement. “The women of The Junior League of Montgomery have blessed this city richly with their time, energy, talent and funds from our many fundraisers. I am proud to share their success stories.”

Baker will lead organization during its 90th anniversary and part of the celebration will be the league’s #90for90 campaign. The organization will select a nonprofit each month to receive 90 gifts leading up to the April 7, 2016 gala.

“While we are celebrating 90 years of passion and purpose here in Montgomery, we will spend most of the year doing what we do best – giving back,” Baker said. “We are an organization of women dedicated to serving others and expecting nothing in return other than the satisfaction of knowing we have truly made a difference.”

In addition to the 90th anniversary gala and #90for90 campaign, the league will kick off a fall calendar of fundraisers and community events with College and Career Night on Sept. 14 and the 27th annual Holiday Market will be Oct. 15-17. The rummage sale will be at the City of St. Jude on Jan. 23 and Taste of the River Region will be March 6.


MONTGOMERY – The Trenholm Tech Foundation has named Adrienne Tickle as development officer working to further the organization’s mission and helping better the lives of its students.

She will be responsible for continuing fundraising efforts and increasing academic success opportunities for Trenholm students.

Tickle brings more than eight years of experience in marketing and communications. Previously, she served as the community relations coordinator for a local financial institution. She also worked as a Department of Defense contractor and with several non-profit organizations.

She has a bachelor’s degree in mass communications with a concentration in public relations from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a master’s degree in public administration from Auburn University at Montgomery.


MONTGOMERY – Josh McFall has been promoted to vice president of strategic development for the Alabama Association of Realtors.

He will lead the association’s strategic initiatives, member services, professional development and communication areas. McFall, who has been at the association since 2012, was previously the director of education and digital media.

“I have seen Josh’s creativity and keen passion for his work as well as his collaborative style with our members and staff,” Alabama Association of Realtors CEO Barry Mask said in a statement. “This coupled with his team approach and communication skills will allow me and our leadership team to propel our association to the next level.”

McFall has degrees from the University of North Alabama and Auburn University. He is a member of the Auburn University at Montgomery faculty.


MONTGOMERY – Certified public accounting and advisory firm Warren Averett, LLC, announced that Rick Blanton, Jessica Thompson and Chuck Burroughs have been promoted.

Blanton, a certified public accountant who joined Warren Averett in 2010, is a manager in the firm’s audit division. He primarily plans and conducts audits for governmental and nonprofit organizations.

Thompson, who is also a CPA, joined the firm in 2008. She is a manager in the firm’s audit division, focusing on bank, benefit plan and real estate audits.

Burroughs is a manager in the firm’s information technology division. He has been with Warren Averett for more than two years and has 15-plus years in the IT industry. His primary responsibilities include IT project management and implementation.


MONTGOMERY – Jackson Thornton, a certified public accounting and consulting firm, is pleased to announce several promotions in its offices throughout Alabama and Tennessee.

Tuan Blank, CPA, has been promoted to Senior Manager. Blank, who joined the firm in 2005, specializes in healthcare consulting and small business tax. She is located in the firm’s Nashville office. Blank served as a Southwest Chapter Board Member of the Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants (ASCPA) from 2006 – 2012. She is currently a member of the Nashville Medical Group Management Association and Leadership Health Care, an initiative of the Nashville Health Care Council. Blank received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of West Florida.

Will Jones, CPA, received a promotion to Senior Manager. Jones, who joined the firm in 2007, specializes in tax with a focus on the Utilities industry and closely held businesses. He is located in the firm’s Montgomery office. Jones holds professional memberships in the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA) and the National Society of Accountants for Cooperatives (NSAC). He completed the ASCPA Leadership Academy in 2015. Jones received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Auburn University.

Brian Driskill was promoted to Vice President & General Manager, Jackson Thornton Technologies. Driskill, who joined the firm in 2014, is responsible for the management and strategic direction of Jackson Thornton Technologies (JTT), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Jackson Thornton. He is a member of the Alliance Network and the Alabama Medical Group Management Association. Driskill received his undergraduate degree from Samford University and his graduate degree from Troy University.

In the Montgomery, Alabama office, Jackson Thornton also promoted Dana Hess, CPA; Elizabeth Stough, CPA; Will Tucker, CPA; Crystal Smith, CPA; Matthew Hilburn, CPA; and Sarah Chandler to Manager and Wes Scardina to IT Project Manager. In the Wetumpka, Alabama office, the firm promoted Ben Mustin, CPA, to Manager and in the Nashville, Tennessee office, Kristin Jackson, CPA, to Manager.


MONTGOMERY – Aldridge, Borden & Co., P.C. announced that Dane Floyd is the accounting firm’s new managing partner. He succeeds James Blake, who has been the firm’s managing partner for 35-plus years.

Floyd serves as a partner in Aldridge Borden’s consulting group, which provides business valuations, forensic accounting and business consulting services. He graduated from Auburn University in 1989 and began his career in public accounting with Ernst & Whinney (now Ernst & Young).

“We are grateful for the leadership that has created an environment of strong client service at our firm,” Floyd said in a statement. “Our professionals are eager to continue that level of service while constantly seeking better and innovative ways to collaborate with our clients as they work to succeed in their business pursuits.”

Blake has worked his entire professional career at Aldridge Borden, coming to work at the firm following the completion of his accounting degree at Auburn University at Montgomery. Although he is stepping away from his duties as the managing partner, Blake will continue to serve clients with their accounting and tax needs. “The enduring principles that are engrained in the culture of Aldridge Boden are honesty, integrity and objectivity,”

Blake said in a statement. “We have kept, and I believe always will keep, those as our core principles at the firm. I look forward to seeing our next generation of professionals applying these principles in a dynamic business environment.”

Aldridge, Borden & Co. is a full-service certified public accounting firm founded in 1918.


MONTGOMERY – Amy O. Dicks was recently promoted to business relationship manager at Wells Fargo.

Her new responsibilities include ensuring the overall success and growth of an assigned portfolio with existing business customers and acquiring new business customers with sales between $2 million to $20 million.

“We are very fortunate to have Amy as a member of our Business Banking team,” Billy Livings, senior vice president and area business banking manager, said in a statement. “This promotion will enable her to take the lead in acquiring, retaining and growing relationships with Wells Fargo customers and prospects. Amy’s extensive banking experience and knowledge of our products and services will certainly help our clients succeed financially.”

Dicks, who has been a teller, teller manager, financial specialist and branch manager for Wells Fargo, was most recently a business associate II. Her previous duties included providing a high level of sales, marketing and operations support to a business relationship manager. She also consolidated, analyzed and interpreted customer activity in support of customer retention.

She has been in the local banking field since 2001 when she worked for SouthTrust. She graduated from Troy University with a bachelor’s degree in banking and finance.

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