Montgomery Business Journal

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Check out the Chamber Members on the Move! And meet new hires at our Member organizations. If you are a Chamber Member and wish to submit a press release for the print and online editions of the MBJ - click here


MONTGOMERY – T. Grant Sexton Jr. has been named a shareholder in the law firm of Rushton, Stakely, Johnston & Garrett, P.A.

Sexton’s practice is devoted to litigation in state and federal courts. He has been selected for inclusion in Alabama Super Lawyers 2012-2014 as a Rising Star in Medical Malpractice Defense.  He is licensed to practice in Alabama and Oklahoma.



BIRMINGHAM – The nation’s largest microlending organization, Accion Texas Inc., has promoted Lisa Riley to vice president of the Delta region.

Riley, who previously served as Delta region manager, will remain based in Birmingham and will continue her ongoing responsibilities throughout Alabama and oversee Accion’s small-business lending and education programs in Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee.

She continues to be responsible for the management and performance of the nonprofit organization’s loan programs throughout the region, supervising all lending staff, fundraising, public relations, marketing and more.

“Lisa has proven herself a valuable member of our team and we are proud of her contributions to Accion - especially her leadership in the Delta region,” Chief Lending Officer Dan Lawless said in a statement. “We continue to move forward with our mission and continue helping entrepreneurs and existing small-business owners in Alabama and the Delta Region.”

Riley, who helped launch Accion’s Alabama operations in January 2012, is currently majoring in business at the University of West Alabama.

Since opening in Alabama in January 2012, Accion Alabama – with offices in Birmingham and Mobile - has made nearly $700,000 in loans to more than 60 businesses. Throughout the Delta region, Accion has disbursed nearly $2 million since 2012.



MONTGOMERY – Sasser, Sefton, Brown, Tipton & Davis, P.C., announced that Timothy J. Gallagher has been named a shareholder of the law firm.

Gallagher joined the firm in 2007 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.



TIFTON, Ga. – Scott Dixon has been hired by Four Star Freightliner to focus on solutions for local and national fleet customers in the company’s dealership network.

Dixon, the new fleet services manager, will have a range of duties including searching for service and parts opportunities, including additional leasing and mobile maintenance solutions.

“One thing that Four Star does is offer a complete solution to a customer,” Dixon said in a statement. “We can service the whole truck, offer leasing - whatever the customer needs, we can provide.”

Although Dixon will be based out of the Tifton, Ga. location, his goal is to increase sales for all locations including Montgomery, Dothan, Tallahassee, Fla., and Valdosta, Ga. He will work with all Four Star service managers at all five locations.

“This job was a good opportunity to do something on a broader level,” he said. “I want customers to know that Four Star is always available to help at anytime. We can work after hours and around their schedules to make sure they’re never down and without a truck.”



MONTGOMERY – The Alabama State Employees’ Credit Union (ASE Credit Union) has hired Candace Garner as vice president of lending.

Garner, a graduate of Prattville High School and Auburn University at Montgomery, has nine years of experience in the financial industry, including four years with credit unions. She received a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in accounting from AUM.

“Because of Candace’s strong interest in the credit union movement, we believe that she will create loan programs with the members’ best interests in mind,” ASE Credit Union CEO Ned McHenry said in a statement. “ASE Credit Union is very fortunate to have her on board as an important member of our management team and we look forward to seeing where she takes our credit union in the future.”

Garner comes to ASE after Melanie Math, former vice president of lending, retired last year. She had been with ASE Credit Union for 12 years and helped the loan department expand.

ASE Credit Union, which was established in 1954, operates four offices in Montgomery, Millbrook and Wetumpka.



BIRMINGHAM – The Alabama Power Board of Directors has elected Mark A. Crosswhite as the new president and CEO of the company. Crosswhite also will join the board of directors of Alabama Power.

He succeeds Charles McCrary, who is retiring after more than 12 years as the company’s leader. McCrary will remain chairman of the board of directors of Alabama Power until May 1, when Crosswhite is expected to assume the role.

“It is an honor to rejoin the ranks of the 6,700 employees of Alabama Power who, for more than a century, have been dedicated to serving communities across our state,” Crosswhite said in a statement.

Crosswhite, 51, returns to Alabama Power from Southern Co., Alabama Power’s parent, where he served as chief operating officer. In that position, Crosswhite oversaw Southern Co.’s operations organization, which includes generation, transmission, engineering and construction services, system planning, research and environmental affairs, fleet operations, and trading. He also had responsibility over wholesale energy providers Southern Power and Southern Wholesale Energy.

Crosswhite first joined Southern Co. in 2004 as senior vice president and general counsel for Southern Co. Generation. Prior to joining Southern Co., he was a partner in the law firm of Balch & Bingham LLP in Birmingham, where he practiced in the energy section for 17 years.

He first joined Alabama Power in 2006 as senior vice president and counsel, where he oversaw the company’s legal matters. In 2008, he was named executive vice president for external affairs at Alabama Power, where he directed regulatory affairs, economic and community development, public relations, environmental affairs and governmental affairs.

Crosswhite served as president and chief executive officer of Florida-based Gulf Power, also a Southern Co. subsidiary, from 2010 until 2012.

A native of Decatur, Crosswhite received a bachelor’s degree in 1984 from The University of Alabama in Huntsville and a law degree in 1987 from The University of Alabama School of Law.



MONTGOMERY – The Alabama Farmer Federation has named five area organization directors: Bradley Cox, Preston Roberts, Wallace Drury, David Heflin and Josh Melson.

Cox is the Area 2 organization director and his territory covers Cullman, Fayette, Franklin, Lamar, Marion, Walker and Winston counties.

“The most important function the federation serves is being an advocate for farmers,” Cox said in a statement. “My family has a long history as members of the organization, and I’m proud to be part of a group that defends the rights of farmers.”

Cox, who graduated from Auburn University at Montgomery in 2012, is an Arab native.

“With his background, Brad understands the day-to-day tasks of farming and, as a former ag teacher, knows how to make farming appeal to the younger generation,” Federation Organization Department Director Mike Tidwell said in a statement. “I know Brad will work hard to represent our farmers and members in a very positive manner.”

Roberts is the Area 7 organization director, who oversees Barbour, Bullock, Chambers, Lee, Macon, Randolph and Russell counties. He graduated from Auburn University in 2011 with a degree in fisheries and grew up on a catfish and cattle farm in Hale County.

“The Alabama Farmers Federation is a great organization that truly feels like a family,” Roberts said in a statement “I am very thankful to have the opportunity to work alongside farmers to promote and advance agriculture in Alabama.”

Before joining the Federation, he was an environmental scientist with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management.

“With his background in environmental science and his Auburn education, Preston has a wealth of knowledge and experience that will be great benefits to the Federation,” Tidwell said.

Drury is in charge of Bibb, Greene, Hale, Jefferson, Pickens and Tuscaloosa counties as the Area 6 organization director. He received a horticulture degree from Auburn University in 2011 and previously worked as an Alfa Insurance agent.

“I am very excited and privileged to be with the Alabama Farmers Federation,” Drury said in a statement. “Growing up on a family farm, I developed a strong passion for agriculture at a young age. I am honored to work with our farmers across the state.”

Tidwell said that Drury’s experience with Alfa Insurance and a background in farming will serve him well in his new position.

“Wallace is extremely committed to this organization, and he understands both the insurance and farming sides of the business,” Tidwell said.

Heflin, the Area 5 organization director, is responsible for Autauga, Butler, Chilton, Crenshaw Elmore, Lowndes and Montgomery counties.

“The opportunity to work with such a great group of people is a dream come true,” he said in a statement. “This organization has a proud history of serving its members and I’m humbled to help carry on this tradition.”

Heflin graduated from Auburn University in 2007 with a degree in forestry economics. He previously worked six years with Alabama Power Co. and was responsible for vegetation management in a seven-county area.

“David will be working in the community where he was raised, and I know his experience working with the public and his dedication to farming will serve him well in this position,” Tidwell said.

Melson is the Area 1 organization director and his territory covers Colbert, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison and Morgan counties.

A 2012 Auburn University graduate and past federation scholarship recipient, Melson said he looks forward to working alongside the state’s farmers.

“Knowing someone invested time and money into my agriculture education with the scholarship was a tremendous driving force for me to succeed,” he said in a statement.

“The federation stands for the same values I have. It’s a great journey ahead.”

Prior to joining the federation, Melson worked as a broiler field representative with Wayne Farms.

“Previous work experience in the poultry industry combined with his Auburn education provided Josh with a great understanding of agriculture in Alabama …” Tidwell said.

The Alabama Farmers Federation is the state’s largest farm organization with more than 365,000 members.


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