Movers & Shapers, May 2014
Spotlight on Baldwin County
Vinson Bradley, Huntingdon College
Bradley is the site coordinator for Huntingdon College’s Adult Degree Completion Program in Bay Minette, where he is responsible for student recruitment, academic advising, event planning, job and benefit fair representation, marketing, community involvement, faculty recruitment and development, organizational planning, team building, course enrollment and graduation rates. A graduate of Huntingdon and Faulkner State Community College, he is very active in the community, including serving on the board of directors of the North Baldwin Chamber of Commerce, North Baldwin Coalition for Excellence in Education, the chamber’s young professionals group and more. He recently was awarded the North Baldwin Chamber’s Harry B. Still Distinguished Service Award.
Cain, of Daphne, is owner of T. Cain Grocery Inc., a Piggly Wiggly grocery chain with locations in Mobile, Foley, Loxley, Fairhope and Mary Esther, Fla. He recently won the Man of the Year Award from the Central Baldwin Chamber of Commerce. Cain was cited not only for his success in business, but also as a community and civic-minded person — he has been involved with more than 40 churches, public and private schools, organizations and groups over the years. He recently retired as vice president of Catholic Social Services, a position he held for more than 23 years. He recently was featured in a Wall Street Journal article on how small businesses are dealing with the growing cost of health care.
In 2012, Clark became general manager of The Beach Club Resort, Gulf Shores, a gated resort that offers waterfront accommodations, pools, dining, spa, tennis, golf and family recreation. Prior to that, he served 25 years with the Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa in Point Clear, starting in golf operations and advancing to head golf professional, director of golf, resident manager and general manager. He led the recovery of the resort and club after Hurricane Katrina and orchestrated $75 million in capital improvements. He is very active in the community as founder of the Children’s Hospital Golf Tournament, co-chairman of the Blueprint for a Better Tomorrow and is a member of the Eastern Shore Chamber Board of Directors, Coastal Alabama Business Chamber board and the Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance.
Covington has served as community relations coordinator for the city of Bay Minette since May 2013. Before that, she worked for 23 years for the Mobile Press Register as a member of the news staff. She is president of the North Baldwin Coalition for Excellence in Education, serves on the board of directors for the Baldwin County Education Coalition and United Way of Baldwin County. She also has served as PTO president at three area schools and is secretary for the Baldwin County High School Band Boosters. She is previous winner of the Kiwanian of the Year Award, Heritage Junior Women’s Clubwoman of the Year and the Harry B. Still Distinguished Service Award.
Cox is CEO of Battle Plan Capital, the parent company of Bellator Real Estate & Development and Truland Homes. Cox founded Bellator in 2008, and the company has quickly grown to one of the largest real estate companies in the region. The company’s more than 90 agents produced in excess of $190 million in closed volume in 2013. Cox founded Truland Homes in 2011, and it is the largest custom home building operation in south Alabama. He is a licensed broker in Alabama, Florida and Mississippi, and the Baldwin County MLS lists him as the top individual producer in Baldwin County for the last two years. A graduate of the University of Alabama, where he was awarded the Paul “Bear” Bryant Award his senior year as UA’s most outstanding student athlete, he also served in the U.S. Marine Corps and is a member of the inaugural class of Mobile Bay magazine’s “Forty Under 40.” He is very active in the community and is leading the effort to build the “Fallen Heroes Memorial” at the USS Alabama Battleship Park.
Gendler joined Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism in 2002. She is vice president of sales, working with the sales staff to attract groups, meetings and conventions to the Alabama Gulf Coast. She helped develop a new event based around the Southeastern Conference Sponsorship, the SEC BeachFest, which was held in Gulf Shores in 2012 and 2013. She also is vice president of the sports commission division of the tourism office. She received her Certified Meeting Professional designation in 2013, a designation issued by the Convention Industry Council to professionals in the industry who meet the qualifications and pass a rigorous competency test.
Gillette is the general manager of UTC Aerospace Systems – Aerostructures’ Alabama Service Center in Foley. She moved into this role in October 2013. Gillette spent 12 years with jet engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney, another UTC company, where she held roles in engineering and operations and served six years as the general manager of three different Pratt & Whitney MRO businesses. She has extensive experience in applying lean manufacturing principles and has been successful in reducing costs and turn-around time and in increasing customer satisfaction. Gillette is a native of Idaho and holds a BS degree in mechanical engineering from North Carolina State University and an MBA, with a concentration in operations management, from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Kaiser is the founder of Kaiser Realty Inc., a leading vacation rental, property management and real estate sales company in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Since its beginning in 1980, the business has received countless awards and national recognition for its professional and community initiatives. In December 2012, the vacation rental, property and association management divisions of Kaiser were acquired by Wyndham Vacation Rentals. Kaiser then established Kaiser Real Estate Sales Inc. Most recently, he introduced Cottages at Romar, a low-density beachfront residential community in Orange Beach. He has been instrumental in tourism development and real estate sales and marketing of the area for 35 years, and is involved in many community and civic endeavors.
Lee is president and CEO of Vulcan Inc., an aluminum manufacturing company in Foley. He has worked for Vulcan since 1985, and he also is secretary/treasurer of Vulcan Scholarships Inc. Prior to joining Vulcan, he was employed by Alabama Power Co. as a commercial sales engineer. A graduate of Auburn University, he is a former chairman of the South Baldwin Chamber of Commerce and a past winner of the Walton M. Vines Free Enterprise Person of the Year. He is a Leadership Alabama alumnus and has been president of several civic, local, school and professional organizations. He is second vice chair of the Business Council of Alabama.
Lawson was named president and CEO of the Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance in August 2012. Prior to that, he worked as an economic development representative for PowerSouth Energy Cooperative in Andalusia, where he managed the company’s domestic and foreign economic efforts for its 39-county Alabama service territory. He also served as vice president of economic development for the BCEDA from 2006 to 2008. He also has worked with the Jefferson County Economic and Industrial Development Authority and the Madison Chamber of Commerce. A graduate of Troy University, he serves on several economic and professional boards.
McMeans, who owns Design Print Promote with her husband Braswell, moved to Gulf Shores in 2010. McMeans served two years as marketing director of The Hangout Music Festival. She and her husband hold several leadership positions in the Coastal Alabama Business Chamber and are active volunteers with many civic organizations, as well as the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, a year-long program that teaches high school students how to start and run their own businesses. She is a recipient of the chamber’s Special Chairman’s Award for Significant Achievement for the chamber’s rebranding project.
Nelson is chief operating officer for Meyer Vacation Rentals. She also serves as vice chairman for SH Enterprises, the umbrella company for the companies Century 21 Meyer Real Estate, Meyer Vacation Rentals and Meyer Services with operations in Alabama and Florida, and Starr Textile Services, a commercial laundry and textile rental business serving customers in four states. She is chairman of the South Baldwin Chamber Foundation and sits on the board of the Coastal Alabama Business Chamber, where she also serves as chairman of the educational affairs committee, the South Baldwin Chamber, the Coastal Baldwin Educational Enrichment Foundation and the Baldwin County Education Coalition. She is secretary/treasurer of the Coastal Resiliency Coalition’s “War Room,” a joint chamber initiative created in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. She is a graduate of Leadership Alabama and Leadership Baldwin County.
Newton is CEO of South Baldwin Regional Medical Center in Foley. He served earlier as the center’s chief financial officer and has more than 25 years of health care experience. He serves on the board of directors for the South Baldwin Chamber of Commerce, Coastal Alabama Business Chamber, Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance, the Foley Public Athletic and Sports Facilities Cooperative District and the Foley Public Cultural and Entertainment Facilities Cooperative District. He is a 2013 graduate of Leadership Baldwin County.
D. Mark Nix
Nix is president and CEO of Infirmary Health, which serves the health care needs of 11 counties and more than 600,000 residents along the Gulf Coast of Alabama and Mississippi. Prior to becoming president and CEO, he served as president and COO, executive vice president and chief financial officer, vice president of real estate and vice president of Infirmary Medical Clinics. In Baldwin County, Infirmary Health Hospitals include North Baldwin Infirmary in Bay Minette and Thomas Hospital in Fairhope. A graduate of the University of Alabama, Nix is involved in several civic and community organizations including Mobile Arts and Sports Association, Regions Bank-South Alabama, UMS-Wright Preparatory School, Leadership Alabama, VHA-Southeast and Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center.
Reehl is president and broker of Coldwell Banker Reehl Properties Inc., with locations in Daphne and Fairhope. He has been in the real estate business for 30 years, and his real estate company has been ranked as the top Coldwell Banker franchise in the state of Alabama for six years running. Reehl finished 2013 as the No. 1 Coldwell Banker agent in the state of Alabama, and he earned membership into Coldwell Banker’s International President’s Premier. This award recognizes the top 1 percent of all sales associates worldwide in the Coldwell Banker system. Reehl was the president of the Baldwin County Association of Realtors in 2009 and was awarded the Realtor of the Year in 2010. He has partnered in several real estate developments in Baldwin County over the last 20 years.
Thomas P. Rosandich
Rosandich is founder, president and CEO of the United States Sports Academy in Daphne. He has created sports programs around the world and built the USSA into one of the largest sports educational institutions in the world. He has received numerous awards and citations for his work in sports and has trained athletes in 50 nations and has served as a national track coach for several Olympic Games over the years. Rosandich served in the U.S. Marines.
Dennis V. Stastka
Stastka is owner of Stastka Insurance Agency, and has 41 years in the insurance business, opening his own agency in 2000. He serves on the education and CIC committees for the Alabama Independent Insurance Association in Birmingham. He has received many awards for community service, and is a past recipient of the Central Baldwin Chamber of Commerce’s “Man of the Year.” A former chairman of the chamber board, he also serves as vice chairman of the Women’s Care Medical Center board of directors, Youth Reach Gulf Coast and serves on the support group for the Alabama Sheriff’s Boys & Girls Ranches. He is a member and past president of the Robertsdale Rotary Club. He served on the Baldwin County Board of Education.