Movers & Shapers, November 2015
Spotlight on Jackson, Marshall, DeKalb & Cherokee Counties
Arnold is president and CEO of the Marshall County Economic Development Council. A graduate of the University of Montevallo with an MBA from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, he is active in the Southern Economic Development Council, Economic Development Association of Alabama, the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama, United Way and the Boy Scouts of America, and is past president and Paul Harris Fellow of the Guntersville Rotary Club. He is a graduate of the Marshall County Leadership Challenge and Leadership Alabama. He is vice president of the UM alumni board and received the 2013 President’s Award from the North Alabama Industrial Development Association.
Carol B. Beddingfield
Beddingfield is executive director of the Fort Payne Chamber of Commerce. A University of Alabama graduate, she has twice been named the Citizen of Influence by the Fort Payne Times-Journal, and in 2002 she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Fort Payne Chamber. In 2000, she was inducted into the Alabama Senior Citizens Hall of Fame as the Outstanding Citizen of the Year. She is secretary for Leadership DeKalb County and president-elect of the Top of Alabama Regional Council of Governments.
Campbell is president of Northeast Alabama Community College in Rainsville. Since he joined the college in 1976 as a sociology and history instructor, the college has doubled its enrollment and received national recognition from the Aspen Institute and others. He is a graduate of Auburn University, Florida State University and the University of Texas at Austin, with postdoctoral studies at the University of Alabama. He is chair of the Jackson County Economic Development Authority and the DeKalb/Jackson Industrial Development Board. He is a graduate of Leadership Alabama.
Chesser is mayor of Fort Payne. After graduating from the University of Alabama in mechanical engineering, he spent more than 30 years in the sock business in Fort Payne, where one of his plants was the first in the United States to use modern, high-speed machinery. Later, he was a consultant throughout the U.S. and Central America.
Clemmons, a resident of Jackson County, is a former IBM engineer. He and business partner Saul Berenthal own CleBer LLC, an Alabama company aiming to build tractors in Cuba for the island nation’s smaller farms. He is a former Jackson County commissioner. He also is an owner of Native, a company that uses phone-based applications to help local businesses better compete with national chains. He served in the Marine Corps in Vietnam.
Coby is president of BancorpSouth of Marshall County. A native of Marshall County, Coby is a graduate of the University of Alabama with an MBA from Jacksonville State University. Coby is past president of the Guntersville Rotary Club and a graduate of Marshall County Leadership Challenge. Coby has served on the Snead State Community College advisory board and worked as a founder and first president of the Apple Foundation for the Guntersville City School System. The foundation has awarded more than $500,000.
Coleman, a graduate of the University of Alabama and UAB School of Medicine, is a family physician at Jackson County Family Medicine in Scottsboro and vice president of the Highlands Medical Center hospital staff. He also is founder and ministry leader of The Mercy Place through the First United Methodist Church in Scottsboro, and youth director there.
Coordinator of the Albertville-Boaz Recycling Center, an organization she helped found, Courington is also co-owner of Sebastien’s, a restaurant in downtown Albertville. Her work in downtown revitalization has helped attract two new restaurants, two gift shops, a ladies apparel boutique and a coffee shop downtown. Courington is an officer in the Boaz Rotary Club, and serves on the Keep Albertville Beautiful board and the Alabama Small Business Committee. She has served on the Albertville City Council, Albertville City School Foundation Board, Marshall County Board of Realtors, Albertville Chamber of Commerce Board, United Way and was named Citizen of the Year in 2006.
James Durham Jr.
Durham has served as executive director of the DeKalb County Economic Development Authority since its creation in 1994. He also is an adjunct professor at Northeast Alabama Community College and at Athens State University. He is president of the Fort Payne City Board of Education. He is a graduate of Auburn University and has worked as director of marketing for Ladd Environmental Consultants Inc. in Fort Payne. He also served on the Fort Payne City Council and is a former president of the Fort Payne Chamber of Commerce. He is a graduate of Leadership Alabama and TVA Valley Leadership and is a licensed private pilot.
Ewing was named CEO of DeKalb Regional Medical Center in July 2013. He has 15 years of hospital experience, having served in administrative roles at several hospitals in Tennessee including a term as COO of Gateway Medical Center in Clarksville. He is a member of Kiwanis Club, Rotary Club and the Chamber of Commerce Board. He is a 2015 graduate of Leadership DeKalb County.
Exley is president of Snead State Community College in Boaz. He is a graduate of San Jacinto College in Houston and the University of Houston-Clear Lake and earned his Ph.D. at the University of Texas. He has taught for the University of Alabama’s Executive Ed.D. program. He is a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association Board of Directors, chair of the Alabama Community College Conference executive committee, co-chair of the Vision Marshall Steering Committee and on the Valley Innovation Alliance Leadership Committee.
As an administrator and CEO, Gore has led Marshall Medical Centers for the past 25 years. Gore grew up in Albertville, graduated from the University of Alabama and earned a master’s in hospital administration from UAB. He served seven years as vice president at the former HealthSouth Medical Center in Birmingham. He came to Marshall County to take the helm of Guntersville-Arab Medical Center, now called Marshall Medical Centers.
Haney retired from the Boaz City School System in 2014 after 10 years on the job. He served in the U.S. Navy for more than 30 years, retiring as a lieutenant commander. A member of the Marshall County Republican Executive Committee, he is on the Marshall County Personnel Board, active in the Boaz VFW Post 6837, the Boaz Area Chamber of Commerce and an elder for his church. Haney has accumulated more 8,700 hours of flight time and is a certified flight instructor. He holds a doctoral degree in educational leadership.
Hoyt Harbin III
Harbin is third-generation owner of Harbin Ford Lincoln, Harbin Chevrolet and Quick Lane Tire and Auto Center in Scottsboro. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama and joined his family’s automotive business in 1980. He has received numerous automotive awards, including the 2014 President’s Award from Ford Motor Co., its top honor for customer satisfaction. He was instrumental in beginning the “Drop Everything and Read Day,” where Rotarians volunteer to read to school children. He also is a sponsor of the Jackson County Education Foundation and the Impact Learning Center of Jackson County.
Hayes is the campus director and director of economic development at the Gadsden State Community College-Cherokee campus. Hayes also serves as chairman of the Centre-Piedmont-Cherokee County Regional Airport Authority. An Auburn University graduate, she also completed Leadership Cherokee, TVA Valley Rural Leadership Institute and Alabama Community College Leadership Academy. She is secretary of the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce and past president of the Rotary Club of Centre.
Hess returned to Jackson County after more than 32 years with ExxonMobil. He is a board member of the Greater Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, the Impact Learning Center and the Jackson County United Givers Fund. Also a board member of the Greater Alabama Council, Boy Scouts of America, he has been leading restoration efforts for Camp Jackson, after the 2011 tornadoes, and earned the Scouts’ top volunteer honor, the Silver Beaver Award. This year, Hess was honored by the Greater Jackson County Chamber. He is a graduate of the University of North Alabama with an MBA from the University of Mississippi, and he served in the U.S. Army.
William “Jim” Hughes Jr.
Hughes is general manager of Bridgeport Utilities, a position he has held for 37 of his 42 years with the company. He is active in the Alabama Natural Gas Association, American Public Gas Association, American Water Works Association and the Water Environment Federation. He is past president of the Bridgeport chapter of the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce and served 23 years on the Bridgeport Industrial Development Board, 19 years as chairman. He is a member of the Economic Development Association of Alabama and attended the University of Alabama.
Kitchens is president of the Arab Chamber of Commerce, working to engage residents and businesses atop Brindlee Mountain. Earlier, he worked in collegiate athletics, in women’s basketball programs at the University of Denver and Auburn University. He is a graduate of Auburn University and Snead State Community College.
A native of Cherokee County, Long returned in 2014 to head Cherokee Medical Center. Long is a third generation employee of the hospital — both his mother and grandmother worked at Cherokee County Hospital. He brings more than 25 years of health care leadership experience to CMC. He is a member of the Rotary Club and a president elect of the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce.
Ramsey is president of Arab’s Downtown Merchants Association, a member of the Arab Chamber of Commerce board and on the Arab Historic Preservation Commission. Ramsey spearheaded local merchants and Arab High School art students to paint murals in Arab’s historic district. In researching the history of her buildings, she discovered that her warehouse once belonged to her great-great-grandfather, J.G. Carter, who operated a furniture and hardware store there in the early 1900s.
Rogers is president and CEO of Jackson County Economic Development Authority. A graduate of Auburn University with a master’s from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, he served in the Army National Guard and Reserves, retiring as a colonel. He is a graduate and former coordinator of Leadership Jackson County and a graduate of Leadership Alabama, and was honored as Jackson County Citizen of the Year. In 2012, Rogers was appointed to the Alabama Economic Development Alliance, formed to create the first-ever economic development strategic plan for the state of Alabama. In 2013, the TVA board appointed him chair of the TVA Regional Energy Resource Council.
Wheeler is Marshall County Extension coordinator with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Alabama A&M University. He is extension advisor for the Marshall County Poultry and Egg Association and the Marshall County Cattleman’s Association.
Whitten is director of community and economic development for the city of Albertville. She is a graduate of Jacksonville State University and Marshall County Leadership Challenge and has extensive experience in workforce issues. She is a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow and has served on the Marshall County Christmas Coalition board and currently serves on the boards of United Way of Marshall County and Keep Albertville Beautiful.
Yancy has been president of the Lake Guntersville Chamber of Commerce since January 2000. Earlier, she worked for the Huntsville/Madison County chamber as assistant to the director of Cummings Research Park. She is a graduate of Auburn University and earned additional credentials from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She serves on the Southeast Board of Regents for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Organizational Management, the Business Council of Alabama board of directors and is Chamber of Commerce of Alabama chair-elect of the board of directors. She is secretary/treasurer of the Marshall County Leadership board of directors.