Movers & Shapers, August 2014
Spotlight on Bibb, Chilton and Dallas Counties
Bainbridge is manager of community and economic development for the Central Alabama Electric Cooperative, serving 10 counties, including Chilton. She also served as executive director for the Chilton County Chamber twice in the past and is currently on its board of directors. She has more than 20 years of experience in economic development, strategic planning, business management and integrated marketing. She has been active in recruiting several major manufacturing, retail, tourism and industrial/business park developments. Currently she serves on the National Rural Economic Developers Association and the International Council of Shopping Centers Board of Directors, Alliance, Public Chair of the Southern Division. She is a graduate of Leadership Alabama.
Crawford is economic developer for Chilton County and was owner/president of Crawford & Crawford, an association management firm, from 1991 to 2012. He served as Alabama secretary of state in 1989 and as assistant secretary of state from 1989-91, and was legislation assistant director in the governor’s office from 1987-1989. He was senior vice president of governmental relations for the Alabama Hospital Association, executive director of the Health Careers Council of Alabama and a teacher. He is on the board of American Village and of the University of Montevallo Foundation. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and master’s degree in education from the University of Montevallo.
Driskell is executive director of the Craig Field Airport and Industrial Authority (CFAIA). CFAIA is a 2,220-acre facility with a 700-acre industrial park, a municipal airport and a golf course in Selma. While at CFAIA, he has overseen $3.5 million in hangar renovations, added FAA compliant fencing, a new terminal building, a self-serve aviation fuel island and repaved the 8,000-foot runway. Driskell also serves as chairman of The Cahawba Advisory Committee, and is a board member for Selma and Dallas County Economic Development Authority, Team Selma, and the past president and current board member of the Aviation Council of Alabama. He is a member of various organizations including the Economic Development Association of Alabama and the Southern Economic Development Council.
George Patrick Evans
Evans is serving his second term as mayor of Selma, after serving two terms as president of the Selma City Council. A lifelong resident of Selma, he served as superintendent of Dallas County schools from 1994-2001 and as chief academic officer for the Alabama State Department of Education from 2002-2006. He also served as a principal, assistant principal and teacher. He is active in several civic and charitable organizations. He is a graduate of St. Mary’s College, Livingston State University and Troy University. He is a men’s basketball official and officiating coordinator of the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
Forrester is the business office manager of Alabama Power’s Clanton Operating Center, responsible for customer service operations in parts of Autauga, Chilton and Coosa counties. He serves on the Chilton County United Way board, the Economic Workforce Development Council and Jefferson State Community College’s Community and Corporate Advisory Board. He is vice president of the Chilton County Chamber of Commerce. He recently was appointed a member of the Education Workforce Development Council.
Glasscock will face no opposition for the general election in November for Chilton County schools superintendent and will take office later in the year. He has been employed by the Chilton County Board of Education for the past 20 years, where he served 14 years as a career technical teacher at LeCroy Technology Center and six years as its director. For the past two years, he has served as career technical director for the school system. He is a member of several professional, civic and community organizations, including as a member of the executive board of the local Education Workforce Development Council. A graduate of Athens State University and Alabama State University, he and his wife own Morlyn’s Fine Jewelry and Gifts in downtown Clanton, and he is owner of TeeGee & Associates, which includes commercial rental properties and business services.
Hull, a certified public accountant, is president of Hull & Russell PC in Clanton, an accounting firm that provides auditing, accounting and tax preparation services for businesses, nonprofits and government agencies. She has been president of the Chilton County Chamber of Commerce three times during three different decades and currently holds the position of managing consultant. Hull, who helped form P.E.E.C.H. (Partners Enhancing Education in Chilton County), chairs the Education Workforce Development Council and the first task force of ToGetHerThere Alabama, an initiative of Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama to provide leadership building skills and enrichment opportunities to underserved females ages 5 to 17. Hull is a past chair of Chilton County Department of Human Resources and a past president of Kiwanis Club of Clanton.
Jones is a longtime member of the West Blocton Town Council in Bibb County. She is a retired social studies teacher and counselor at West Blocton High School and is very active in her community. Recent activities include working with the Cahaba Lily Festival, now in its 25th year, and service on the board of the West Blocton Improvement Committee, the West Blocton Public Library Board and the West Blocton Coke Ovens Park.
Labbe has served as mayor of Valley Grande in Dallas County since September 2012. He recently retired from Bush Hog Inc. after more than 41 years, including 12 as materials manager, where he was responsible for annual expenditures of more than $50 million. Under his leadership, several improvements to the sports complex, volunteer fire departments, youth sports leagues, schools and more have been made.
Rev. Dr. Tilahun Mekonnen Mendedo
Mendedo is president of Concordia College Alabama, one of the 10 colleges and universities of the Concordia University System of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Since his appointment in 2010, the Selma college tripled in size when it purchased the nearby United Methodist Children’s Home, adding 37 acres and several buildings to the existing campus. Prior to coming to Concordia, he was pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Mobile and taught as an adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of South Alabama and Spring Hill College in Mobile. He has served as coordinator of the Mobile Bible Schools of the Mekane Yesus Church, the Lutheran Church in Ethiopia, the fastest-growing Lutheran church in the world. He holds degrees from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Ind.
Parnell is Alfa Insurance and Alabama Farmers Federation president, elected at the federation’s 2012 annual meeting. A native of Chilton County, his family has been involved in agriculture for decades, and today Parnell Farms is a partnership with his father, James H. Parnell, and his brothers, Jeff and Joseph. The Farms include 600 brood cows and a beef stocker operation plus a timber and logging business in Maplesville. He has served as a board member of several professional agriculture-related organizations and is a former president of the Chilton County Farmers Federation. He is a charter member of the National Cattlemen Beef Association.
Reed has served as mayor of Jemison in Chilton County since 2004. The first minority person to hold elective office in Jemison, he had served 10 years on the board of education and six terms on the city council before being elected mayor. He was a teacher in Chilton County schools and an instructor of history at Concordia College before joining Wallace Community College Selma’s Clanton extension center as a sociology instructor. He received his bachelor’s degree from Daniel Payne College and his master’s degree in education from the University of Montevallo. He has won awards locally and statewide for his leadership, and is founder of the organization Center for Humanity for the Revitalization of Community and Home. He also has co-founded three businesses.
Stripling was elected mayor of the city of Brent in Bibb County in 2004 and is serving his third term. He is employed by Atmospheric Research & Analysis Inc. and the Bibb County Board of Education transportation department. He serves on the Alabama League of Municipalities Executive Committee, AMFund Board, West Alabama Regional Commission Board of Directors, Indian Rivers Mental Health Board, Bibb County E911 Board and is a member of the Brent Civitan Club. He is a certified municipal official.
Tyner is county administrator of Bibb County and has served in that position since 2003. He also is director of the Bibb County Economic and Industrial Development Authority. Tyner holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s of public administration from the University of Alabama and has 15 years of experience in local government.
Vardaman is president and CEO of the Selma & Dallas County Centre for Commerce, an umbrella organization for the local economic development authority, of which he is executive director, the Chamber of Commerce and Tourism. A native of Dallas County, he has a master’s degree in personnel management from Troy University and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from The University of Alabama. Before coming to economic development, he worked in private industry for 23 years, including senior vice president of operations for the American Candy Co. and is active in the YMCA, John T. Morgan Academy and the West Central Alabama Rehabilitation Center. He served as a member of Gov. Bob Riley’s Black Belt Action Commission and is chairman of the Alabama Workforce Development Council for Region Six.