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Movers & Shapers

People making a difference in the Coastal Gateway

Dottie Gaston. See additional photos below.

Dottie Gaston. See additional photos below.

Dottie Gaston

Gaston, director of economic planning and development, has worked for Thomasville Mayor Sheldon Day since 1988, both at the city and earlier at Walmart Stores Inc. She is active with Thomasville Junior Women’s Club and the Thomasville Public Library Board.

Pete Black

Black, who retired as executive vice president–general manager of the Alabama River Pulp Co. in 2010, joined Parsons & Whittemore Inc. in 2011 as the Alabama business development manager. In this position, he works with the Monroeville-Monroe County Economic Development Authority and the Coastal Gateway Economic Development Alliance to promote economic development.

J.W. Cowan

Cowan is administrator of the new Choctaw General Hospital in Butler. A former mayor of Butler, he also served as executive director of Choctaw County EMS/EMA/Homeland Security for many years and as an administrator of Tombigbee Regional Medical Center and Rush Foundation Hospital. He also owned and operated J.W.’s Clothing Co. in Butler. 

Cereal Daniel

Daniel is general manager for Frontier Communications’ Alabama, Florida and Mississippi properties. He was president of the Atmore Chamber of Commerce in 2011. He also serves on the Atmore Housing Authority, Escambia County Habitat for Humanity and the Atmore YMCA Board.

Jason Daniel

Daniel is public affairs manager for the Georgia-Pacific Brewton mill, handling communications and community affairs. He is a board member of the Greater Brewton Area Chamber of Commerce and the United Fund of Brewton and East Brewton. He started the Brewton Young Professionals and was a board president. He is a member of the Brewton Rotary.

Georgia Dozier

Dozier is vice president of First United Security Bank. A lifelong resident of Choctaw County, she is a board member of the Choctaw County Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Choctaw, Choctaw County Health Council, the Choctaw County Tech Advisory Council and the Ballet & Theatre Arts Performing Companies, and president of the Butler Lions Club.

Paul England

England is market president for BankTrust in Monroeville. He is on the board of Coastal Gateway Economic Development Alliance, Kiwanis Club of Monroeville, Monroe County United Way and Monroeville Industrial Development Board. He is immediate past president of the Monroeville/Monroe County Area Chamber of Commerce and president of the Alabama Southern Community College Foundation.

Peggy Jaye

Jaye is public affairs manager for Georgia-Pacific’s Alabama River Cellulose facility in Monroe County, one of the largest pulp and paper manufacturers in North America. In that role, she led the community steering committee for the GP Amphitheater Project, dedicated in April in downtown Monroeville.

Bob Jones

Jones is president and CEO of United Bank. Active with the American Bankers Association, he also is involved with the Auburn alumni board, Atmore’s industrial development board, the Bay Area Food Bank and South Alabama Workforce Development Coalition.

Virginia Loftis

Loftis is the executive director of the Choctaw County Chamber of Commerce and Community Development Foundation and economic developer for Choctaw County. Civic involvement includes the Cattlewomen’s Association, Lions Club, Mobile Area Education Foundation, Leadership Choctaw,  plus health, education and workforce projects there.

Shep Marsh

Marsh has served as president of First National Bank & Trust in Atmore since 2003. He is vice chairman of the Atmore Industrial Development Board, director of the Coastal Gateway Regional Economic Development Alliance, vice president of Alabama Multifamily Loan Consortium and a member of the Atmore Rotary Club.

Debra Mathews

Mathews is the executive director of the Clarke County Economic Development Partnership. Mathews is responsible for recruiting and retaining business and industry. She has been active in United Way, Leadership Clarke County and The Clarke County Development Foundation.

Robert McGhee

McGhee serves on the Tribal Council for the Poarch Band of Creek Indians as governmental relations advisor and tribal council treasurer. McGhee worked in Washington, D.C. for five years at the Department of Interior-Bureau of Indian Affairs, the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and Troutman Sanders LLP-Indian Law Practice Group. He is former president of Creek Indian Enterprises.

Marty Parker

Parker manages communications, governmental affairs and customer relations for Boise Alabama operations. He is a Clarke County school board member and past president of the Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce. He has served on the Alabama Workforce Investment Board for the Local Alabama Workforce Initiative since 2003.

Marshall Rogers

Marshall Rogers is executive director of the Escambia County Industrial Development Authority. She is active with the Economic Development Association of Alabama, Southern Economic Development Council, Southwest Alabama Economic Development Association and Escambia County Society for Human Resource Management.

Jim Searcy

Searcy became executive director of the Coastal Gateway Regional Economic Development Alliance in January 2011 after serving as vice president of business and industry retention at the Birmingham Business Alliance. He also has worked with the Alabama Development Office.

Bobby Skipper

Skipper, a Butler County native, is economic development director for the Evergreen-Conecuh Development Office. He has worked as publisher of the Greenville Standard newspaper, managed the engineering section of Skipper and Sons Construction and has worked in economic development for the South Central Alabama Development Commission.

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