Edit Module Edit Module
Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print Pin It Feed Feed

Movers & Shapers, March 2018

Spotlight on Coastal Gateway

Connie Baggett

Baggett is the director of program management for the city of Brewton, charged with quality of life improvement, economic development, grant writing and more. A graduate of T.R. Miller High School and the University of South Alabama, she worked as a journalist with the Mobile Register for more than 20 years. She has been part of the Monroeville production of “To Kill a Mockingbird” for 18 years.

Whitney Barlow


Whitney Barlow

Barlow is executive director of the Monroeville/Monroe County Economic Development Authority and the Monroeville/Monroe County Community Development Corp. A graduate of Auburn University, in 2009 she earned her juris doctorate from Thomas Goode Jones School of Law. She is a board member of Outdoor Women Unlimited and the Atmore-Escambia-Monroe Industrial Development Authority.

Kelly Billingsley

Billingsley is vice president of NDI – Natural Decorations Inc., a company that designs, manufactures and ships faux floral pieces worldwide, to clients including Neiman Marcus, Horchow, Harvey Nichols, Bloomingdales and Lily Pulitzer. Billingsley has a bachelor’s degree from Auburn University and a master’s from the University of Alabama. She is a member of the Brewton Beautification Board and past president of the Jefferson Davis Community College Foundation.

Stephanie Bryan

In 2014, Bryan became part of her tribe’s history when she became the first woman elected to serve as tribal chair and CEO for the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. She previously served as the tribe’s vice chair. During the years that she has served her tribe, Poarch’s economy has grown by 1000 percent and has become a major driver of economic growth in the state. Nationally, Bryan is known as a passionate advocate for Indian Country and serves on numerous regional and national boards.

Nick Harrell

Harrell is the chief industrial development officer for Choctaw County and also serves as the executive director for the Choctaw County Chamber of Commerce and Community Development Foundation. A graduate of the University of West Alabama, Harrell holds a master’s degree from the University of Alabama. As Choctaw County’s economic developer, Harrell has worked to establish regional partnerships through the BlackBelt Business Incubator Network, Alabama Highway “Scenic 17” project and others. Harrell also leads Choctaw County United Way, Leadership Choctaw and the Choctaw County Bicentennial Committee.

Yancey "Yank" Lovelace


‚ÄčYancey “Yank” Lovelace

Lovelace is mayor of Brewton, focusing on economic development, quality of life and maximizing grant funding. Lovelace is also executive vice president of BXS Insurance. He is a past president of the Alabama Independent Insurance Association and was awarded the Insurer of the Year for the State of Alabama. He is a Bank of Brewton director, past chair of the Coastal Gateway Economic Development Authority, and has served with the city’s Industrial Revenue Board and ACE program. A graduate of Leadership Alabama, he has served on the Alabama League of Municipalities executive committee and the UA President’s Cabinet. He was Brewton’s 2004 Citizen of the Year.

Thomas McMillan

McMillan is president of Longleaf Energy Group Inc., Escambia Blueberry Growers Inc., Longleaf Machining LLC and managing member of Goodway Refining LLC. An Army veteran, he is a graduate of Culver Military Academy and the University of Alabama. He serves UA on the President’s Cabinet, the Commerce School board of visitors and the museum board of regents. He also is a board member of the Coastal Gateway Regional Economic Development Alliance, a lifetime member of Escambia County Historical Society and the Alger Sullivan Historical Society, member of the Escambia County Republican Party executive committee and president of the Florida Independent Petroleum Producers Association.

Emilie Oglesby

A Monroeville native, Oglesby is executive director of the Monroeville/Monroe County Chamber of Commerce. She attended Monroe Academy and is an Auburn University graduate now working toward a master’s degree. Former owner of Finishing Touches in downtown Monroeville, she has also worked with Monroe County Hospital. Oglesby is a member of several organizations, including the Downtown Redevelopment Authority, and is a Black Belt Treasures Teaching Artist.

Joseph Oglesby


Joseph Oglesby

Oglesby is serving his first term as mayor of the city of Monroeville. A 2005 graduate of Auburn University, Oglesby works in his family’s business Monroe Scrap Material Inc., a metal recycling facility. He is also a Guthrie’s Chicken franchisee. He is a member of the Delta Regional Authority Leadership Academy class of 2018. He serves on the boards of Monroe County Hospital, Monroeville Main Street and South Alabama Gas.

Jesse Quillen

Quillen is executive director of Clarke County Economic Development. A former mayor of Bruce, Mississippi, he is a graduate of the University of Mississippi with a master’s from the University of Southern Mississippi. He spent 20 years working in the insurance business and is a seasoned economic developer, having worked projects in a number of sectors, including timber/forestry, chemical, steel, warehouse, distribution, food services, natural gas and aviation.

Will Ruzic

Ruzic is executive director at Coastal Gateway Economic Development Alliance and continues to serve on the regional board for ACT Work Ready Communities, a program designed to identify and pre-qualify potential employees for area businesses and industry. Earlier, Ruzic spent 20 years in the finance and investment banking industry, specializing in establishing public/private partnerships through special purpose tax districts and cooperative districts permitted through the state constitution. He is a graduate of Auburn University. He is a FINRA Licensed Municipal Securities Representative. He is involved in many civic and volunteer organizations.

Paul South

South is mayor of Jackson. He attended the University of Alabama. He worked for the grocery industry in management before moving to Jackson and working for Allied Paper, now owned by PCA. He worked at the mill for 38 years until his retirement. He has served at various times on every city board and currently chair of the Clarke Mobile Gas and Lower Alabama Gas. South has served on the boards of The Arc of Clarke County, Allied Credit Union, Alabama Rural Water Association and the Salvation Army. He was chosen Jackson Citizen of the Year in 2012.

Doug Tanner

Tanner is the president of Atmore Community Hospital. A graduate of Samford University with a master’s from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, he is president of the Southwest Alabama Hospital Council and active in the Alabama Hospital Association Rural Task Force and the Washington County Emergency Medical Rescue Board. Active in professional organizations, he also is a volunteer soccer coach.

Add your comment:
Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Edit Module