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Movers & Shapers, July 2016

Spotlight on Calhoun & Talladega Counties

John Beehler

John Beehler

John Beehler

Beehler became president of Jacksonville State University in July 2015. A certified public accountant, he is a graduate of the Harvard Institutes of Higher Education Management Development Program and the American Academic Leadership Institute’s Executive Leadership Academy. He earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Pennsylvania State University and an MBA in finance and Ph.D. in accounting and taxation from Indiana University. Prior to taking the helm at JSU, he served as dean of the School of Business at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, after a career in higher education.

Patrick Bryant 

Bryant is city manager of the city of Talladega. He is a native of Birmingham and a graduate of John Carroll Catholic High School. He received his bachelor’s degree in communications and political science and an MPA from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. After being selected as 2007 ASPA Student Administrator of the Year, he was awarded a Local Government Management Fellowship from the International City Management Association to work as a budget analyst for Douglas County, Nevada.  Upon conclusion of the fellowship, Bryant continued to broaden his skill set as an administrative analyst in the city manager’s office and Transit Division of the city of Santa Clarita, California, a suburb of Los Angeles with a population of 215,000. 

Susan Burrow 

Burrow is president of Central Alabama Community College, with campuses in Alexander City, Childersburg, a center in Talladega and multiple off-campus instructional sites. Burrow earned a Ph.D. from the University of Mississippi, a master of science in nursing and a post-master’s certification as a family nurse practitioner from UAB. Burrow has 29 years of experience with the Alabama Community College System. CACC was selected as the ACCS inaugural college joining the National Achieving the Dream (ATD) College initiative in 2013. Through ATD participation, CACC has realized 13 percent increase in student completion rates.

Larry Deason 

Deason is president of Farmers and Merchants Bank, which has four branches and assets of more than $200 million. He has been in banking for more than 43 years. He has a bachelor’s degree from Jacksonville State University and is a graduate of the LSU School of Banking. He chairs the Calhoun County Economic Development Council, a position he has held for seven years. He is co-chair of CORE4, a regional partnership of economic developers and business leaders representing the four counties along the east Alabama corridor. He is serving his last year as Alabama state delegate for Independent Community Bankers of America and is in his third term on the Alabama State Banking Board. He is past chairman of the board of Northeast Alabama Regional Medical Center and current trustee emeritus. 

Brian Johnson


Brian Johnson 

Johnson became city manager of Anniston in September 2013, where he is CEO of the city and responsible to the mayor and city council for the management of all city departments and affairs. Before coming to Anniston, he was city manager of Garden City, Georgia. He also served in the U.S. Navy as a cryptologist and an infantry officer in the U.S. Army. He earned his bachelor’s in political science and a master’s in public administration from the University of Georgia. He is currently one of only five in Alabama to have earned the Credentialed Manager designation from the International City/County Management Association. He is a graduate of Leadership Savannah, Leadership Georgia and Harvard University’s Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government. 

Kenneth Joiner 

Joiner is administrator/treasurer of Calhoun County. He joined the city staff in 1972. He has lectured at conferences for newly elected and appointed county officials and has served on the Association of County Commissions of Alabama board of directors. He is a certified county administrator. He currently serves on the National Association of Counties Justice and Public Safety steering committee, served 24 years on the Calhoun County Economic Development Council and in 2010, the Calhoun County administration building was renamed in his honor. He served on the McClellan Development Authority. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Jacksonville State University in business administration and microeconomics. 

Grant Lynch 

Lynch has served as chairman of Talladega Superspeedway — NASCAR’s Most Competitive Track — since July 2009. He joined the staff in January of 1993 as general manager and was promoted to vice president of International Speedway Corp. (ISC). Later that year, he was named president of the 2.66-mile track. While with ISC (parent company of Talladega, which also owns 12 NASCAR speedways), Lynch has worked in various ISC capacities, including overseeing the development of Kansas Speedway and Chicagoland Speedway (both opened in 2001), but has always lived in Talladega. He serves on several boards and helps with charitable activities. He currently serves on the Alabama Wildlife Federation Board and has previously served on the board of directors of Regions Bank of Talladega County, Antique Talladega, the local Boy Scouts Council, Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind (AIDB) and as chairman of the Talladega Economic Development Authority for 15 years. He has been instrumental in the success of Race Fever, an annual fundraiser for the AIDB Foundation, which has raised more than $4.2 million for the institute over the last 31 years. Prior to coming to Talladega, he worked 11 years with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., where in his last post as senior manager of operations and public relations, he managed the company’s involvement in NASCAR Winston Cup racing. Lynch attended Lees-McRae Junior College in Banner Elk, North Carolina and N.C. State University before joining RJR.

Col. Martine Kidd


Col. Martine Kidd

Kidd is commander of the Anniston Army Depot. She enlisted in the Army Reserve as a Supply Specialist in 1989 and, after graduation from Methodist College in 1994, she was commissioned as a Quartermaster Officer. She has held several leadership positions in Germany, Kuwait and Iraq, as well as stateside. In June 2011, she assumed command of the America’s East Battalion for the Defense Logistics Agency-Energy, in Houston, Texas. In July 2013, she transitioned to Fort Belvoir, Virginia, working as the executive officer to the Commanding General of U.S. Army Cyber Command. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the Florida Institute of Technology, and graduate degrees from SAMS and the Eisenhower School, earning honors in several of the programs. In April 2015, she was selected as a Distinguished Member of the Quartermaster Regiment.   

Calvin Miller 

Miller is executive director of the Talladega County Economic Development Authority.  He has been involved in economic development at the regional and local level since 1983 and has worked in Talladega County since 1990. He has a B.S. in geology from the University of Alabama and an MBA from the University of South Alabama. He is a Certified Economic Developer by the American Economic Development Council and a past president of the Economic Development Association of Alabama. 

Kelley Haynes Pearce

Pearce is the campus director of Gadsden State’s McClellan Center. She also is a history instructor at the college. She has a bachelor’s degree and an MBA from Jacksonville State University. A lifelong Calhoun County resident, Pearce is a member of the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce board of directors and serves as vice chairperson of program development. She chairs the Leadership Calhoun County Advisory Committee and serves on the World of Works Advisory Committee. She also represents Gadsden State as a member of the Anniston Rotary Club and the United Way of Calhoun County board of directors. Pearce serves on the committee of the Longleaf Botanical Gardens and is an elected member of the Jacksonville City Board of Education, where she has served as both the president and vice president during her three terms on the board.

Ashok Roy

Roy joined the Jacksonville State University administration in March 2016 as vice president for finance and administration and professor of practice in finance. He previously served in senior management positions at four universities, as well as in the private sector and local government. He holds six university degrees and five professional certifications. He has written more than 90 publications in academic and trade journals, including chapters in two encyclopedias. In 2000, the governor of Tennessee recognized his public service with the state’s highest honor, the title of Colonel, Aide de camp. 

Robin Scott 

Scott is executive director of the McClellan Development Authority in Anniston. He attended the U.S. Air Force Academy and has a master’s from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. His Air Force career took him to Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and multiple stateside locations. A fighter pilot with more than 4,300 flying hours and 70 combat sorties during Operations Desert Storm and Northern Watch, his duties included tours as commander of a Fighter Squadron, Operations Group and Composite Air Intervention Wing, two tours on the Pentagon’s Joint Staff and a final assignment as commander of the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center. He retired from the Air Force in 2007 as a major general, and in 2008 became executive director for the McClellan Authority, an Alabama public corporation charged with the economic redevelopment of the former Fort McClellan. Working with the board, he is responsible for the day-to-day management, planning, property development and marketing of this 9,500-acre mixed-use community. He is also responsible for the operational oversight of a $224 million environmental cleanup program that encompasses 4,700 acres of the former military installation.

Julia Harwell Segars

Segars is vice president of Alabama Power’s Eastern Division, responsible for customer service operations and external affairs for a 12-county area of east Alabama. She is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Alabama. She is vice chairman of the Calhoun County Economic Development Council and co-chairs CORE4 regional economic development organization. She is a 2016 graduate of Leadership Alabama and serves on the JSU University Foundation, Knox Concert Series, Longleaf Botanical Gardens, AIDB and the Boy Scouts of America Greater Alabama Council, who presented her with the Heart of an Eagle Award in March for her community service. She was 2013 chairman of the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce, 2014 chairman of the chamber’s foundation board and received the chamber’s 2015 Chairman’s Cup for her service. She is a founder of G.E.T.T. Moving East Alabama. She is an award-winning artist who has painted several murals in historic downtown Anniston. 

Joel Taylor

Taylor began serving as the CEO of Citizens Baptist Medical Center in 2010. Earlier, he was CEO of Parkway Medical Center in Decatur and at a hospital in Tennessee. After graduating from Birmingham-Southern College, Taylor received master’s degrees in business and health administration from UAB. During his time at Citizens, he has led a $1 million renovation project in 2015, and a $3.5 million Professional Office Building project is set to break ground in fall 2016. In addition to his membership in the American College of Healthcare Executives, he is active with the boards of the Talladega-St. Clair Red Cross and the Greater Talladega/Lincoln Area Chamber of Commerce, and active in Talladega Kiwanis Club, Historic Ritz Theater Board, The Get Healthy Talladega County Coalition, Talladega Leadership Council and the Alabama Hospital Association Medicaid Steering Committee.  

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