Montgomery Business Journal

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November/December 2015


MONTGOMERY – Todd B. Smith has been named the director of administration and fiscal affairs for the Montgomery and Selma campuses of the Montgomery Regional Medical Campus of the UAB School of Medicine.

He is replacing Valerie Johnson Treat, who left the School of Medicine after 25 years of service.

Smith was most recently serving as an administrator in the UAB Provost Office. He began his career in health care administration at the Mobile Infirmary, where he was manager of cancer services for that institution. In 2001, he began his service to UAB as research administrator and administrative director for the departments of radiology and pediatrics and the division of preventive medicine. He subsequently served as the senior administrator for the UAB School of Optometry from 2012 until assuming his current role in the provost office. Smith also is an adjunct instructor in the UAB School of Health Professions and the UAB School of Nursing.

Smith, who is a graduate of Sidney Lanier/Loveless Academic Magnet Program High, received a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Auburn University at Montgomery. After completion of a master’s degree in business administration degree from UAB, he also received a master’s degree in health administration from UAB in December of the same year. Smith received a doctorate degree from the UAB Schools of Health Professions and Business.


MONTGOMERY – Trustmark has named Heather Phillips as branch manager at the Montgomery main office.

She has nine years of experience in the financial industry in various banking roles, including personal banker, relationship banker, market leader and mortgage loan officer.

“Heather is a welcomed addition to our Trustmark family,” Trustmark Montgomery Metro Retail & Commercial Banking Manager Tod Etheredge said in a statement. “We look forward to drawing from her banking knowledge and expertise.”

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


MONTGOMERY – Alabama News Network has announced that Shane Butler has been hired as chief meteorologist.

Butler, a native of Central Alabama, has more than 25 years of experience in weather forecasting, making him the most experienced TV meteorologist in the Montgomery market.

“I’m excited to finally be coming home,” Butler said in a statement. “I will enjoy forecasting the weather on CBS 8, ABC Montgomery and the other Alabama News Network stations and re-connecting with the people of this area.”

Butler comes to Alabama News Network from WRDW, the CBS affiliate in Augusta, Ga., where he was chief meteorologist for six years. Previously, he worked as chief meteorologist for stations in Lynchburg-Roanoke, Va., Huntsville and Atlanta.

He also worked as a meteorologist for stations in Birmingham and Jacksonville, Fla. Early in his career, he worked in Dothan and for WSFA in Montgomery.

Butler was born in Montgomery and grew up in Elmore County. He is a graduate of Elmore County High School and Troy University. He received his broadcast meteorology certification from Mississippi State University.

He has won numerous awards over the years, including “Best Weathercaster” from The Associated Press in Alabama, Georgia and Virginia, and has been nominated for an Emmy Award.

Butler’s forecasts are weeknights on the Alabama News Network at 5 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. on WAKA CBS 8 and WNCF ABC Montgomery as well as 9 p.m. on WCOV Fox 20.


MONTGOMERY – Jared Freeman has been named chief executive officer for the Alabama State Employees’ Credit Union (ASE Credit Union).

He replaced Ned McHenry, who retired after 26 years with the credit union. McHenry assisted in leading ASE Credit Union through major changes, including opening the credit union’s community charter, which opened up membership from just Alabama state employees to anyone; expanding the locations to include Wetumpka, Millbrook, downtown Montgomery and EastChase in Montgomery; and increasing ASE’s asset size by 220 percent.

“My affiliation started in 1989 when I became a director on the board, and later became the CEO in 1999,” McHenry said in a statement. “Throughout my tenure with this great credit union, I have enjoyed working with our members and being a part of the progress we have made together.”

Freeman, who graduated from the University of Mobile with both undergraduate and graduate degrees in finance, was chief operations officer at Guardian Credit Union prior to being hired at ASE Credit Union.

“For 61 years, ASE Credit Union has provided excellent service to both its members and employees,” Freeman said in a statement. “I look forward to continuing that tradition of great member service while bringing new ideas and perspectives to keep ASE on the path of success.”

ASE Credit Union was established in 1954 and is affiliated with 5,000-plus shared branching service centers nationwide.


MONTGOMERY – Billy Whigham has been hired by River Bank & Trust as vice president and relationship manager.

He will be based at the bank’s East Montgomery office on Halcyon Park Drive. Whigham, who has 15 years of experience, specializes in wealth management and private banking. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Troy University.

River Bank & Trust is a locally owned and operated community bank with offices in Alexander City, Montgomery, Prattville and Wetumpka.


MONTGOMERY – Gerald Jones, who has been with Brantwood Children’s Home for 20-plus years, has been named the executive director.

He most recently was the interim executive director and prior to that was youth services director for nine years.

“During my tenure here, I have seen considerable growth and expansion,” Jones said in a statement. “Also, I have seen so many of our children, now adults, go on to the successes they were destined to be. It is with that knowledge that I anticipate continued growth and strength in our family. Together, we will give hope to those currently in our care and those becoming a part of our family soon. I am thankful to be a part of this great organization.”


MONTGOMERY – James L. Spencer IV has been named the head of school for The Montgomery Academy. His starting date is June 1.

“I am honored to be called to serve such a fine institution as head of school,” Spencer said in a statement. “My family and I are excited to be making this move. I was impressed at how genuine and dedicated everyone was during my brief time on campus, and I look forward to developing strong and lasting relationships over the coming years.”

Spencer, who will become the eighth head of school, is currently the director of studies at The Hill School in Pottstown, Pa., from which he graduated in 1984.  He received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and mathematics at Vanderbilt University in 1989. Spencer received a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Vanderbilt in the same year. He served for the next 20 years in the U.S. Navy as a submarine officer.

“We believe we have made an excellent choice in Mr. Spencer,” Ronnie Brown, president of the board of trustees and 1992 graduate of The Montgomery Academy, said in a statement. “Our mission at The Montgomery Academy is to develop leaders committed to honor, scholarship, service and the pursuit of excellence. Jay is the embodiment of MA’s mission and core values and we look forward to his leadership.”

Spencer’s appointment was the result of a nationwide search that took into consideration critical input from The Montgomery Academy school community including parents, teachers, students, alumni and administration. “The school retained a nationally-recognized search firm (that) identified numerous qualified applicants from across the United States,” Temple Millsap, search committee chairman and 1974 graduate of The Montgomery Academy, said in a statement.


MONTGOMERY – Palomar Insurance Corp. has hired Amanda Bechard as an account manager.

She began her career in 2003 in Montgomery, specializing in property and casualty insurance. Bechard has held the designation of Certified Insurance Service Representative since 2007.

Palomar Insurance Corp. is an insurance brokerage and risk management consulting firm.


MONTGOMERY – Jackson Thornton has named certified public accountant Eden Thornton as senior manager.

With more than 20 years of experience, Thornton will focus primarily on tax and assurance services for closely held businesses and the construction industry. She is a graduate of Troy University.

Jackson Thornton is a certified public accounting and consulting firm.


MONTGOMERY – Veteran financial adviser Sam Chambers has moved to the independent channel of Raymond James Financial Services in Montgomery as a financial adviser and branch manager of a new firm he is helping establish.

Chambers has 21-plus years of experience in the financial services industry. His career began in 1993 at Morgan Keegan & Co., which was later acquired by Raymond James. He served as branch manager and managing director there from 2002 through 2014 before stepping down to help develop a new independent firm.

“After thoughtful consideration, I have decided that moving to the independent contractor model with Raymond James is a natural progression in my career while simultaneously creating a new, more entrepreneurial business model,” Chambers said in a statement.

The office is at 4209 Carmichael Road.


MONTGOMERY – Colonial Commercial Realty announced three additions to its staff.

Casey Williams, who has 18 years of experience, is the new facilities manager. David Peden is the new operations manager as well as a leasing agent. He has about eight years of experience in sales and management.

Larry Harvill joined the firm as a leasing and sales broker. He has about 30 years of experience in appraisal, consulting, development and brokerage.

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