Movers & Shapers, April 2018
Spotlight on Covington & Butler counties
Abbie Gardner Ballew
Ballew is a lifelong resident of Greenville where she is a State Farm agent. After earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Troy University, Ballew taught biological sciences in both the Butler County School System and at Lurleen B. Wallace Community College, before taking over her father’s State Farm agency. She helped start a program to distribute backpacks and school supplies to local children, and she is children’s director for the Butler Baptist Association, president of the Butler County Troy Alumni Association, a member of Greenville Kiwanis Club, and on the board for Safe Harbor, Butler County’s Relay for Life and the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce.
Bracke is mayor of Opp and a longtime business owner. She opened Becky’s Kinder Kollege in 1977 and has worked with more than a thousand children at her daycare and preschool. She also owns The WoodMore, an assisted living facility celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Bracke has served as a school board member for Opp City Schools, and been a chamber member for more than 40 years. She is a trustee for PowerSouth Energy Cooperative.
Carter has worked at REF Alabama in Greenville for 18 years, with 14 years as the operations manager. REF provides machining services. He has undergraduate degrees from the University of Alabama and Troy University and a master’s from Troy. He is a council member of the Butler County Commission for Economic Development, Southeast Alabama Works, and serves on the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce board of directors. He is a member of the Escambia County Society for Human Resource Management and the Butler & Lowndes County Human Resource Association.
Clifton is president and CEO of the Covington County Economic Development Commission. An attorney, he coordinated bond issues and resolved complicated legal matters clearing the way for economic development projects that led to more than 700 jobs for the community and has developed incentives to attract new businesses to the area. He still practices law on a limited basis. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama with a law degree from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University and an LLM in Taxation from the University of Alabama. He is a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and served as staff judge advocate at Maxwell Air Force Base/Gunter Air Force Station in Montgomery. He has lived in the Covington County area for more than 30 years and has been active in local, regional and statewide community organizations.
Rentfro is CEO of L.V. Stabler Memorial Hospital in Greenville. He holds undergraduate and master’s degrees from Northeastern Louisiana University (now University of Louisiana-Monroe). After graduation, he began his career in healthcare, following in the footsteps of his father who worked in healthcare administration for many years.
Riedel is president of Lurleen B. Wallace Community College. He is a graduate of the University of Pretoria, South Africa, with master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Waterloo, Canada. Riedel is conversant in five languages and holds a sixth degree black belt in the Japanese martial art of Aikido, which he teaches at LBWCC. Riedel represents the Alabama Community College System on the Alabama Council of Presidents. He is a past president of the Alabama Community College System Presidents’ Association. Riedel founded the Andalusia Chamber Music Society, is active in the Covington County Economic Development Commission, the Alabama Partnership for Children, the Andalusia Ballet and Rotary International and four local chambers of commerce.