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Movers & Shapers, October 2012

Spotlight on Lauderdale & Colbert Counties

W. Douglas Arnold

Arnold was named CEO of Helen Keller Hospital in July 2011. A native of North Alabama, he has more than 30 years of experience in health care management with 25 years as a hospital CEO. Most recently he served as market CEO for Community Health Systems’ Northwest Arkansas Hospitals LLC, which encompasses 497 beds at four hospitals with more than 2,000 employees and 400 physicians. He also was CEO at four other hospitals in Oklahoma and Mississippi. 

C. Ross Berry

Berry is CEO of Shoals Hospital, a position he has held since 2010, when RegionalCare Hospital Partners, based in Brentwood, Tenn., purchased Eliza Coffee Medical Center and Shoals Hospitals. RegionalCare plans to build a new $250 million, 300-bed regional medical center in Lauderdale County to replace the ECM Hospital campus, a project expected to have an economic impact of about a billion dollars. Under Berry’s leadership, Shoals Hospital has seen double-digit increases in both surgeries and inpatient days, has been recognized as a JD Power Distinguished Hospital for Patient Satisfaction, and an accredited Breast Center of Excellence.

David Bradford

Bradford is serving his third term as mayor of Muscle Shoals. Prior to his election, he served as assistant chief of police. A graduate of the FBI National Academy, he was a 27-year veteran of the police department, receiving three commendations and one Governor’s Life Saving Commendation during his career. He has received several other awards and commendations relating to his mayoral career, and has the advanced Certified Municipal Official designation. He recently was named president of the Alabama League of Municipalities.

William G. Cale Jr.

Cale became president of the University of North Alabama in 2005. Cale, who has a Ph.D. degree, was professor of ecology and environmental science at the University of Texas at Dallas from 1975 to 1989, ultimately serving as department head and associate dean for natural sciences and mathematics. He then joined Indiana University of Pennsylvania as dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. In 1994, Cale returned to Texas as executive vice president for academic affairs at Lamar University, Beaumont. From July 2000 until joining UNA, Cale was CEO and dean of Penn State Altoona. Cale also has served as a visiting scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, research consultant with Colorado State University, and a member of the Ecosystem Studies Panel of the National Science Foundation. He and his wife are deeply involved in community activities in the Shoals. Cale serves as a member of the Shoals Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and is a member of the Florence Rotary Club.

Steve Holt

Holt is president of the Shoals Chamber of Commerce, a position he has held since 1994. A native of Morristown, Tenn., Holt has a bachelor’s degree in political science/public administration from the University of Tennessee. In addition, he is a Certified Chamber Executive and a Certified Economic Developer. Holt is past president of the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce Executives, the East Tennessee Industrial Council and the Northeast Tennessee Industrial Development Association.  He also is a former board member of the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce Executives. In Alabama, he is past chairman of the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama.

Bobby E. Irons

Irons, mayor of Florence since 2004, will step down this year, as he has decided not to seek a third term. He was president of Avalon Aluminum Co. and Wise Alloys Co. during the acquisition of the Reynolds Metals Co. facilities in Alabama and also has held several financial and administrative positions with Reynolds Metals Co. He retired from Reynolds after serving in corporate headquarters as chief financial and administration manager of two major divisions. He has served as executive in residence at the University of North Alabama. 

Humphrey Lee

Lee is the fifth president of Northwest-Shoals Community College with more than 33 years of experience in higher education. He has served as president NW-SCC since 2004 and previously served as dean of students at Shelton State Community College for 25 years. Lee successfully led NW-SCC through its SACS reaffirmation of accreditation process and directed NW-SCC to the forefront of industry training. He is chair of the Tennessee Valley Workforce Initiative, a plan to meet an expected shortfall of employees in a 13-county region that includes eight two-year colleges. He has been honored with several academic awards, and serves on many community boards and organizations.

Ian Sanford

Sanford, a native of Sheffield, is beginning his fourth term as mayor. Prior to being elected mayor in 1996, he was president of Sanford Realty Co. Inc., founded by his great-grandfather, Dr. C. B. Ashe in 1887. He is president of Associated Developers Inc., established by his father, William E. Sanford Jr. in 1955, handling residential development. He is a 35-year member of the Sheffield Kiwanis Club and active in First Presbyterian Church - Sheffield.

Teryl Shields

Shields has served as executive director of Florence Main Street since 2010. As a former marketing and communications director and event planner, Shields works to enhance the economic vitality of downtown Florence and promote the downtown as a center of commerce, culture and leisure while maintaining the character and integrity of the city’s historic district.  Her community and professional involvement includes the United Way of Northwest Alabama, Junior League of the Shoals and the Northwest Alabama Alumnae Chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha. She served as chair of the First Fridays Florence event.

Billy S. Shoemaker

Shoemaker, mayor of Tuscumbia since 2004, is serving his second term. After college, he began working for the Alabama Highway Department, starting as an engineer assistant and then supervising all highway operations in the six northwest counties. He received numerous commendations and awards for his accomplishments, and retired as division engineer in 1996. He is currently the owner and operator of a surveying firm. He is involved in several community and civic organizations, including the United Way of the Shoals, Shoals Chamber of Commerce, Tuscumbia Housing Authority and the Kiwanis Club.

May Woodie Christopher

Woodie Christopher is president of Tuscumbia Retail Development, a non-profit group formed to promote business opportunities in the city. TRD operates a retail incubator, “Fiddledee D!” that houses seven merchants. She is a former owner of a private kindergarten in Tuscumbia, and taught public school in Sheffield for several years, all in early childhood. She also is former owner of a children’s clothing store in Tuscumbia.

Forrest Wright

Wright is president of the Shoals Economic Development Authority, a position he has held since 1991. He formerly served as president of the Southern Kentucky Economic Development Corp. and coordinated economic and workforce development for Barren River Area Development District in Bowling Green. While president of SEDA, the agency has received achievement awards from the Economic Development Association of Alabama, the Alabama Development Office, the Southern Economic Development Council and the North Alabama Industrial Development Association.

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