Montgomery Business Journal

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Members on the Move

September 2014


BIRMINGHAM – The Alabama Power board of directors has elected Tony Smoke vice president of the company with responsibility for marketing.

His election is part of a number of leadership moves. Smoke succeeds Don Scivley, who has been named vice president of corporate services. Bob Weaver, who served as corporate services vice president, has been named vice president of customer services.

In his new position, Smoke will oversee all elements of marketing, including market planning, sales development and support, power contracts and power quality and energy-efficiency programs. Smoke previously served as area manager for the company’s Birmingham division.

“Tony has been a valuable member of the Alabama Power family for years,” Mark Crosswhite, president and CEO of Alabama Power, said in a statement. “His broad experience and strong commitment to serving our customers make him an outstanding choice to head our marketing team.”

Weaver is responsible for integrating all facets of the customer experience, including the use of technologies and research to enhance the company’s relationship with its residential, business, and industrial customers across the state.

Scivley is responsible for facilities and fleet management as well as real estate operations.

The company also announced two other leadership changes focused on the Birmingham area. Foster L. Ware III has been named the area manager for the north region of the Birmingham division, succeeding Smoke. Ashley Robinett has been named area manager for the south region of the Birmingham division.

Smoke has more than 30 years of experience at Alabama Power, having held a variety of roles of increasing responsibility in transmission design, substation design and distribution engineering in corporate and division operations. He has served as manager for commercial and industrial energy sales and efficiency for the Birmingham division. He has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Auburn University and a law degree from the Birmingham School of Law.

Weaver joined Alabama Power in 1980 after graduating from Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in industrial management. He has served in roles of increasing responsibility, including positions in human resources, power delivery, engineering and operations, commercial and residential marketing and sales and service. He was statewide manager of residential sales and the assistant to the executive vice president of Alabama Power.

Scivley began his career with Alabama Power in 1984 as a junior accountant in the Tuscaloosa-based western division. He has progressed through supervisory and management posts and has served as assistant to the executive vice president and assistant to the senior vice president of Alabama Power. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama with a bachelor’s degree in accounting.


PRATVILLE – Amy Brabham has been named the director of economic development for Prattville Area Chamber of Commerce.

Before joining the Chamber staff, Brabham was vice chancellor for Career and Technical Education and Workforce Development for the Alabama Community College System, Department of Postsecondary Education.

She has worked with local governments, state educational entities and statewide economic development organizations such as the Alabama Department of Commerce, Alabama Industrial Development Training agency and Economic Development Partnership of Alabama. Her extensive career includes Wallace Community College’s Corporate Education unit; Alabama Technology Network; and the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development.

“I am excited and honored to serve as the new director of economic development for the Prattville Chamber,” Brabham said in a statement. “I look forward to serving on the Chamber’s economic development team as we continue to build upon an already strong economic development effort in Prattville and Autauga County.”

She received a bachelor’s degree from Auburn University; a master’s degree from Troy University; and a doctorate of education from the University of Alabama.

“We are thrilled to have Amy join our team,” Patty VanderWal, president of Prattville Area Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement. “Amy’s background in work force development will prove invaluable to our community. One of the greatest challenges and opportunities our state faces is the ability to supply a skilled work force that meets the needs of existing and prospective industry. Amy understands this issue and will be able to provide special insight and actions for connecting education and industry.”.


DOTHAN – Stacy Smith has joined Four Star Freightliner Inc. as information technology manager and Chuck Cole has joined the firm as brand manager to represent its Western Star line of trucks.

Smith will manage the Four Star computer network and provide technical assistance to staff members in all five locations: Montgomery, Dothan, Tallahassee, Fla., Tifton, Ga. and Valdosta, Ga.

Smith brings 15 years of experience to his new job. He previously served as an operations manager for a Dothan company. “I wanted to get back into the IT field because it is my passion,” Smith said in a statement.

Cole has more than 35 years of sales experience and has spent the last seven years in the trucking industry. He will be working out of the Montgomery office and covering Four Star Freightliner’s area of responsibility, which includes Alabama, Georgia and the Florida Panhandle.

“I’m looking forward to a long relationship with Four Star Freightliner and growing the Western Star brand,” Cole said in a statement. “I love the challenge of a new venture and building new relationships.”

New truck manager David Turner said in a statement: “We decided the time was right to separate the Western Star and Freightliner brands as they have overlapping products and we need to really focus on both products in the marketplace. This will allow Chuck the opportunity to become an expert with the Western Star brand and he will represent it well.”


Sid Mickle has joined Ziegenfelder Allstate. The Chambers County native has 25 years of sales/sales management experience with firms such as Johnson & Johnson, Unilever and Outer Circle Products before joining Allstate. He is a Troy University graduate.

The Allstate office is located at 8417 Crossland Loop. For information, call Mickle at (334) 288-7095 or send an email to


MONTGOMERY – Martella M. Nelson has been appointed medical librarian for the Montgomery Regional Medical Campus of the University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) School of Medicine and Baptist Medical Center South.

She will be responsible for all library and medical literature research for medical students at the Montgomery campus; nursing, pharmacy, dietary, physical therapy, and medical technology students; emergency medicine, family medicine, and internal medicine residents at Baptist Medical Center South; and all members of the medical staff.

After receiving a bachelor’s degree in English from UAB in 2004, Nelson received a master’s degree in instructional technology from Troy University followed by further postgraduate degrees in leadership and management from San Jose State University and a master’s degree in English from the University of West Alabama.

Prior to her appointment in Montgomery, Nelson served at Birmingham Southern College, Samford University and at UAB.


TUSKEGEE – Brian Johnson has been named president of Tuskegee University and his family has pledged $100,000 over five years for student scholarships.

Johnson, the university’s seventh president, said during his introduction that he would assess the university and meet with various groups including faculty, students and staff. He said he wanted the university to be an “outcomes-oriented organization.”

He emphasized five areas:

  1. Creating a student-oriented culture
  2. Fully inaugurating 21st century higher education
  3. Overseeing efficient resource management
  4. Increased student enrollment
  5. Fostering a culture of advancement and development.

“I am asking Tuskegee University to do two things – trust the Tuskegee tradition and trust the Tuskegee trajectory,” Johnson said. “At the end of the day, what Tuskegee University will be judged by internally amongst ourselves and also externally will be by what we are producing.”

He has held administrative and academic posts in the following capacities: vice president for Strategic Planning & Institutional Effectiveness; assistant provost for Academic Affairs; associate vice president for Academic Affairs; chief of staff; director; coordinator; associate; and assistant professor of English.

He received a doctorate in 17th-19th century American literature at the University of South Carolina at Columbia (2003); a master’s degree in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1998); and a bachelor’s degree in English from Johnson C. Smith University (1995).


MONTGOMERY – Garrett Jemison has joined the firm of Franklin Resources Group, LLC, as a member.

In addition to joining the team at Franklin Resources Group and assisting their clients at the state and local level, he has formed Jemison, Inc. which will represent clients in Washington, D.C.

Franklin Resources Group is a Montgomery-based corporate and public affairs consulting firm that formed in 1996. The firm provides governmental affairs, media relations, strategic planning, crisis management, lobbying, research and communication services to an array of local, state, national and international organizations.

“I have been very fortunate in my life to have gained from many meaningful experiences while working for U.S. Sen. (Richard) Shelby and look forward to doing whatever I can to help the State of Alabama in my new capacity at Franklin Resources Group,” Jemison said in a statement.

Franklin Resources Group President Johnny Crawford said in a statement, “Garrett Jemison epitomizes the personal and professional qualities we all seek to attain. He is a leader, a professional and most important, an individual that cares deeply for this state.


MONTGOMERY – Jiho “Joe” Yi is the new program coordinator for Alabama-Korea Education & Economic Partnership Inc. (A-KEEP).

He previously worked as a Korean manager of The Midfield Group in Australia; an intern at Korea Electric Power Corp. in the Philippines and as an Korean/English interpreter at Seoul Samsung Hospital in Korea.

“I truly believe that I can enrich the Montgomery community through A-KEEP’s global youth leadership training program,” he said in a statement.


MONTGOMERY - TTL Inc. announced that Lynn Sisk has joined the firm as a senior client manager in the Montgomery area.

Sisk, who brings 30 years of experience in water quality and water resources management to TTL, is a native of Greene County. He is retired from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management where, for the last 13 years, he managed the water quality branch of the water division

Sisk holds a master’s degree in civil engineering from Auburn University and is a registered professional engineer in Alabama.

TTL has provided geotechnical engineering, analytical laboratory testing, construction materials testing, and environmental consulting services for clients nationwide for the past 50 years.


TROY – Maj. Gen. Walter D. Givhan has been named senior vice chancellor for Advancement and Economic Development at Troy University.

Givhan, a native of Safford, who received a master’s degree from Troy, retired this year as a major general in the U.S. Air Force. He served as vice commander of Air University in Montgomery, where he oversaw all of the Air Force’s higher education – with the exception of the Air Force Academy – including the Community College of the Air Force, the world’s largest community college system.

He has also served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in charge of U.S. global assistance programs and as commandant of the Air Force Institute of Technology in Dayton, Ohio, the Air Force’s graduate school of engineering and management as well as its institution for technical professional continuing education.

In his role at Troy, Givhan will lead development and outreach efforts, including fundraising, sponsored programs, governmental relations and marketing and communication. In addition, he will lead the university’s efforts at promoting economic development across the state and region.

“Walter Givhan’s experience in military education has prepared him to excel in this important leadership role at Troy,” Troy University Chancellor Jack Hawkins Jr. said in a statement. “His experience in Washington, D.C., will be invaluable to our government relations efforts and his administrative and leadership skills will benefit his division as well as the university as a whole. He is committed to the mission of higher education and will do an outstanding job.”

Givhan received his undergraduate degree from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., and joined the Air Force in 1981. He is a command pilot and flight instructor with more than 2,500 flying hours and served in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm and received 15 major awards and decorations for his service. Givhan is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations who also speaks French, German and a dialect of Afghan Farsi called Dari.

“As a Troy alumnus, I’m pleased and honored to have this opportunity to serve my alma mater,” Givhan said in a statement. “I am passionate about the critical work Troy University is doing around the world. Troy University is headed in an exciting direction, thanks to the leadership of Dr. Hawkins and the rest of the Troy team, and I’m grateful to be a part of it. My family and I are delighted to join the Troy family.”

Givhan said that the position with Troy provides him and his family a welcome opportunity to return to his home state.

“Alabama is in my blood and I’m eager to return,” Givhan said, pointing out that his Alabama roots date to the early 19th century. “My family has long been highly involved in the economic and political life of the state, my grandfather having served in the state Legislature for nearly 40 years and my father having served as a bank president in several cities.”

Givhan succeeds John Schmidt, who is retiring after 20 years of service at Troy University in several senior leadership positions.


MONTGOMERY – Katherine Perkowski has been named director of marketing and communications for the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.

Perkowski has worked overseas as the United States Air Force community program director at Royal Air Force Mildenhall in England and as the business manager of the Roadside Theater in Germany. As an arts marketing consultant she has worked with the Atlanta Opera, Community Foundation of Lorain County, Opera Cleveland, Lorain Palace Theater, Arcanum Productions and Arbor Opera Theater. For the past two years she has served on faculty at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music as the opera program assistant director/stage manager.

She has also served as a media adviser and marketing assistant for ASF’s Southern Writers’ Project Festival of New Plays as well as serving as a consultant on numerous other promotions and sales opportunities for ASF.

“Katie not only brings a wealth of experience from markets across the country and around the world, but as an arts professional with roots in Montgomery, she understands the unique qualities and needs of this market,” Michael Vigilant, ASF’s chief operating officer, said in a statement. “The ASF family is excited to have her on board.”

Perkowski will oversee ASF’s marketing efforts as well as the front of house, box office, gift shop and restaurant, the Black Swan Bar and Bistro.

Perkowski has a master’s degree from Eastern Michigan University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Toledo.

In addition to Perkowski’s appointment, David Roberson has been promoted to the position of associate director of marketing. A 10-year veteran of ASF’s marketing department, Roberson has risen from box office agent to ticket services manager to marketing manager. Roberson received a bachelor’s degree from Auburn University at Montgomery and a master’s degree from Troy University.


BIRMINGHAM – Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood Inc. (GMC) recently named Catherine Brooks as lead interior designer for the firm’s health care department. Brooks is a certified designer with more than 17 years of experience.

“Adding an experienced designer like Catherine to our team allows us to stay at the forefront of the ever-changing health care landscape,” GMC Director of health care Steve Alby said in a statement. “We are thrilled to have her on board and are confident that her talents and expertise will help us continue to better serve and meet the various needs of our clients.”

Brooks is already working on several projects, including the Great Falls Clinic Medical Center in Great Falls, Mont.; Infirmary Health Diagnostic and Medical Clinic in Mobile; and the Lauderdale Assisted Living Facility in Killen.

Prior to GMC, Brooks served as a project manager for Mary Schmidt Designs, managing clients such as HealthSouth, Michelson Laser Vision, Alabama Power Co. and more. In addition, she has worked as an interior design instructor at the Virginia College School of Interior Design and a segment contributor for Fox 6 as an interior design expert.

She has an associate degree from the Southern Institute School of Interior Design and a bachelor’s degree in business management from Troy University.


MONTGOMERY – Jackson Hospital has hired registered nurse Twila Wheat as director of medical, surgical and pediatrics.

Wheat joins Jackson Hospital from Gulf Coast Medical Center in Panama City, Fla., where she served as director of general surgery, orthopedics and oncology. She has more than 20 years of health care experience.

“Twila comes to us with a great deal of nursing management experience,” Jackson Hospital’s Vice President of Patient Care Services Sharon Goodison said in a statement. “We are very happy that she is on our team.”

Wheat received a degree in nursing from the University of Louisville, and later obtained her master’s degree in health care administration from Webster University.


MONTGOMERY – Rick Langhorne has been named president of JWA Ventures, a newly formed company.

The new company, an affiliate of Jim Wilson & Associates, LLC, will focus on single-purpose real estate investments, including build-to-suit development for single tenant buildings as well as other developments and redevelopment projects.

Langhorne brings 20-plus years of real estate investment experience to Montgomery-based JWA Ventures.

He is a 1982 graduate of the University of Georgia with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. A certified public accountant, Langhorne’s prior experience was in the Atlanta office of Pricewaterhouse; chief financial officer at Jim Wilson & Associates from 1995 until 2002; president of Ronus Properties 2002-2012; and most recently he served as chief financial officer for The Hutton Co. in Chattanooga, Tenn.


MONTGOMERY – Saint James School announced three new hires, including Larry McLemore as the director of advancement and Elizabeth Fritz is the new controller and business manager. Lani Ashner has been hired as director of public relations and marketing.

In his new position, McLemore will direct the school’s development program and assume responsibility for facilitating continued interaction between the school’s admissions, marketing, alumni and development programs.

“Our advancement team is dedicated to connecting with our alumni, parents, grandparents, and friends in a way that attracts resources, new families and volunteers to Saint James School,” McLemore said in a statement. “It is inspiring to be part of a school where 100 percent of our faculty, staff, board members make a gift to our annual fund – Giving for Continued Excellence.”

McLemore, a class of 2000 alumnus of Saint James School, received a bachelor’s degree from Huntingdon College with a double major in political science and history. He received a master’s degree in education from Vanderbilt University in 2006 and a doctorate degree in history from Auburn University in 2012. Since beginning his employment at Saint James, McLemore has served as an AP history teacher, football coach, high school counselor and dean of student programs.

Fritz, a native of Montgomery, replaced Bill Furr, who retired from the position after 17 years. “I am so thrilled to be working for the school that has given my children so much, both academically and outside the classroom,” Fritz said in a statement. “I had such respect for the administration of Saint James as a parent. And now, what an honor it is to be a part of this team of professionals.”

She received her accounting degree from Auburn University at Montgomery. Prior to Saint James, Fritz was the business manager for 13 years at a local school. She also manages the business aspect of her husband’s law firm.

In her post, Ashner will direct the school’s media communications, its internal and external marketing efforts and work with the faculty coordinator for the school’s student publications.

“Every day, there is something new to share about our school and our accomplished students,” Ashner said in a statement. “Saint James School is truly the leader in Central Alabama for 21st century learning. The classroom structure, the course offerings and the enrichment opportunities are preparing our students for college – as early as elementary school.”

After graduating from the University of Georgia with a bachelor’s degree in speech communications, Ashner began her marketing career in marketing working in Atlanta, Harlingen, Texas; and then Montgomery. She served as an account director at three advertising agencies across the Southeast.


MONTGOMERY – Certified public accounting and consulting firm Jackson Thornton announced five promotions.

Allison Guice and Ben Wallace have been promoted to senior manager; Selina Sexton has been promoted to firm administration; David Tew has been promoted to manager; and Sakina Kochi has been named the new information technology helpdesk manager.

Guice, who joined the firm in 2006, specializes in business valuation, overseeing that side of the valuation and litigation group’s practice.

Wallace specializes in small business tax and audit. He has been with Jackson Thornton since 2005. He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Auburn University.

Sexton joined the firm in 1992 and became firm administrator in 2000. She chairs the firm’s utilization committee and oversees scheduling for all staff accountants. She also oversees and provides guidance for administrative functions throughout the firm. She is a graduate of Holmes Junior College.


MONTGOMERY – The Alabama News Network has named long-time Montgomery news anchor Glenn Halbrooks as news director.

Halbrooks has 30-plus years of experience in television news at stations in Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and most recently as co-anchor of the 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts on the Alabama News Network’s CBS8 and ABC Montgomery stations.

Halbrooks has held positions in news, promotions and TV management. He got his start working for a local station while in high school in Chattanooga, Tenn., before landing his first on-air reporting job as a college freshman in Macon, Ga. He also anchored the noon news at WSFA in Montgomery in the early 1990s.

Glenn, who was born in Huntsville, is a graduate of The McCallie School in Chattanooga and Mercer University in Macon.

The Alabama News Network’s state-of-the-art facility features full high-definition, three studios, 23 cameras and three master control rooms capable of providing information for multiple networks.

The three primary networks are CBS8, ABC Montgomery and CW Montgomery. There are also three sub-channels: MeTV, Heartland and a 24-hour-a-day weather channel.

The Alabama News Network produces 28 hours of news per week for four of the five primary networks in the market with 16 field units, four remote microwave units, two broadband-based transmission units and three interconnected news bureaus in Troy, Greenville and Selma. The network also produces a live, hour-long talk show, “Good Afternoon Montgomery”, that airs weekdays on the CW at 1 p.m.

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