Movers & Shapers, September 2015
Spotlight on Tuscaloosa County
Blakley oversees the operation of Regions Bank Tuscaloosa’s market, which includes the consumer, commercial, business banking, mortgage, investment services and wealth management lines of business. After serving in the U.S. Army, Blakley joined the bank in 2000 through the management associate program and has served in management positions in Tennessee and Alabama. He is currently chair elect of the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama.
Bragg is director of practice growth for JamisonMoneyFarmer PC where he is responsible for strategy, new service offerings and new business development for the accounting firm. He is the vice chair for entrepreneurship and innovation for the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama and is a strategic advisor to The Edge, Tuscaloosa’s small business and start-up incubator. He is a member of the Birmingham Venture Club and Central Alabama Angel Network, and a startup mentor for several Alabama companies. He holds a BBA and a master’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin and volunteers for the American Heart Association. He is a graduate of Leadership Tuscaloosa and now serves as vice president of membership for the Leadership Tuscaloosa Alumni Association.
Norman A. Crow Jr.
Crow is president of D.T. & Freight Co. Inc. Founded in 2004, the long-haul trucking company employs 35 people and has annual revenues of more than $6 million.Crow is currently chairman of the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama, and is a past chairman of the chamber’s public affairs committee and vice chairman for governmental affairs. He is also currently on the Chamber board and its executive committee. He serves on the boards of the Boys and Girls Clubs of West Alabama, Tuscaloosa County Industrial Development Authority and the Business Council of Alabama RAC for Region 3. He was appointed by Gov. Robert Bentley to serve on the Alabama Workforce Council in 2014. He was also elected in 2013 to serve on the Tuscaloosa City School Board. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama and a CPA.
Flemming is CEO of FNB of Central Alabama. He received his bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Alabama. He continues to be active both at the University of Alabama and in the Tuscaloosa community and is a member of the President’s Cabinet at UA. He is a past chairman of the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama and currently serves as the chamber foundation chairman. He is a current board member and past chairman of the Tuscaloosa County Industrial Development Authority. He is an active member of the United Way, serving as a past campaign chairman, and is a member of the Alexis de Tocqueville Society. In addition, he has served as chairman of the DCH Foundation and as co-chair of the capital campaign for the Manderson Cancer Center Building. He is a graduate of Leadership Alabama.
Gill, an Alabama native, has lived in Northport for six years, where she and her husband, Blake, operate a Chick-fil-A. Gill is involved in the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama, serving on the executive committee as vice president of community and leadership development. In addition, she serves on the executive committee for Hospice of West Alabama. Gill is a Chick-fil-A Champion’s Club award recipient.
Glaze is executive director of the Alabama Center for Real Estate (ACRE), housed within the Culverhouse College of Commerce at the University of Alabama. ACRE’s core purpose is to advance Alabama’s real estate industry by providing research, education and outreach, while acting as liaison to students pursuing a career in real estate. Glaze is 2015 secretary for the Alabama Chapter of the CCIM Institute and is a member of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta’s Affordable Housing Advisory Council. He is a former president of the Alabama chapter of the Institute of Real Estate Management and serves nationally as a member of its Student & Academic Outreach Advisory Board. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama and the Birmingham School of Law. He holds the CCIM and CPM professional designations.
Johnston is vice president of engineering for Mercedes-Benz U.S. International Inc. in Vance. He joined the automaker in 2001 as project leader for the plant’s $600 million expansion announced in 2000, and has overseen several large expansions and product line additions. He has more than 35 years of diverse experience in the global automotive industry with General Motors in Canada and in Michigan and with Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Canada. Last year, Gov. Robert Bentley appointed him to the Alabama Workforce Council. He has a bachelor’s degree in applied science in mechanical engineering from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, and is a graduate of Duke University’s Executive Management Program.
Karrh is a senior vice president of Bryant Bank in Tuscaloosa. A Tuscaloosa native, he is a 1997 graduate of the University of Alabama and holds a degree from the Graduate School of Banking at LSU. Throughout his 18-year banking career, he has been active in the community. In 2011, he and other Bryant bankers worked on tornado relief efforts and he was a team leader for Samaritan’s Purse. Due to this collective service, Bryant Bank was awarded the American Bankers Association’s Revitalizing Your Community Award. In 2009, Karrh completed the Leadership Tuscaloosa program. He has also volunteered with Arts ’n Autism, Soup Kitchen, Caring Days, Hospice of West Alabama, Humane Society of West Alabama, Junior Achievement, Families of SMA, American Cancer Society, the Salvation Army and Temporary Emergency Services.
Leikvold is plant manager of BF Goodrich Tire Manufacturing, a division of Michelin North America located in Tuscaloosa. He joined Michelin in 1985 and has held management positions in the U.S., Canada and Europe. He serves on the board of directors for the United Way of West Alabama. He is also active in the West Alabama Chapter of the American Red Cross, the Chamber of Commerce Workforce Development Council where he serves as chairman of the Manufacturing Cluster, and the West Alabama Works Steering Committee. Leikvold and BF Goodrich were recently recognized by the Red Cross of West Alabama as 2015 Corporate Partner of the Year.
J. Dara Longgrear
Longgrear is executive director of the Tuscaloosa County Industrial Development Authority. During his tenure, TCIDA surpassed the $3 billion mark for investments by domestic and foreign manufacturers. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama. Prior to his position with TCIDA, he worked with the Birmingham Area Chamber of Commerce, the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce in Anniston and the Home National Bank of Kansas. He is a past president of the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra, the Economic Development Association of Alabama and the AlabamaGermany Partnership.
Mayfield is president of Shelton State Community College. Active in professional organizations, she is on the board of trustees of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and is a member of Leadership Alabama. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Livingston University, a master’s in biological sciences from the University of West Alabama and a Ph.D. in community college leadership from Mississippi State University. She is on the board of the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama and active with West Alabama Works, United Way, Rotary Club of Tuscaloosa and Tuscaloosa Business Exchange.
Moore serves as the director of economic development for the city of Tuscaloosa. Over the last three years, he’s managed more than $100 million of private investment in the city. This investment resulted in the creation of 700 new jobs and more than 400,000 square feet of commercial space. Moore received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Alabama and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). His specializations include economic development, land use planning, and project management.
Page is president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama, based in Tuscaloosa and serving more than 1,250 corporate enterprises, civic organizations and educational institutions. He serves on the board of directors of the Business Council of Alabama and is immediate past chairman of the board of the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama. He also serves on the board of directors of the Alabama Partnership for Children and is a member of the Alabama School Readiness Alliance Pre-K Task Force. He is spokesman for the Partnership for Alabama’s Vision for Economic Development and is chairman of the University Communities Council for the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives. He is a graduate of Leadership Morgan County, Leadership Tuscaloosa, Leadership Alabama, the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for Organization Management and holds the professional designation of Certified Chamber Executive. He is a graduate of the University of North Alabama.
Carl A. Pinkert
Pinkert is vice president for research and economic development at the University of Alabama. Among his responsibilities, he promotes collaborative research partnerships with the business community. Most recently, he served at Auburn University as associate vice president for research, and professor and interim head of the department of pathobiology. He also served as a tenured faculty member at the University of Rochester and University of Alabama at Birmingham. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. He served as an editor of one scientific journal and on a number of editorial boards. He was a Sigma Xi national lecturer and a recipient of the 1997 Doerenkamp-Zbinden Foundation Research Prize, for biomedical research positively impacting the welfare and well being of animals used in research. He is a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Plaster is senior vice president for wealth management at Merrill Lynch in Tuscaloosa. He has worked for more than 36 years in the financial services field and was named to Barron’s Top Financial Advisors in America for the past three years. Plaster is the immediate past chairman of the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama and continues to serve on its executive committee. A past president of the Rotary Club of Tuscaloosa, he is chairman of Tuscaloosa Rotary Honor Flight, which has taken more than 500 WWII and Korean War veterans to see their memorials in Washington, D.C. He is a board member of Business Council of Alabama and chairperson for the Campaign for Easter Seals West Alabama. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama.
Simpson is CEO of Tuscaloosa Tourism & Sports, which works to enhance economic development through destination promotion. Simpson is a graduate of the University of Alabama with a B.S. in management and an M.S. in marketing. She has spent her career as an entrepreneur, consultant and professor, which has given her extensive experience in local economic development and small business growth. Simpson and her husband, Mark, have founded five businesses over the last 15 years. Currently, she is president of Regina Holdings LLC, a private consulting and investment firm she founded in 2010. She is a graduate of Leadership Tuscaloosa. She is the 2013 recipient of the Woman of Distinction award from Soroptimist Tuscaloosa.
In January 2014, Spencer returned to Alabama after 30 years in the Washington, D.C. area to join the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama as vice president for economic development and public policy. Originally from Brundidge, he attended the University of Alabama before joining the Air Force. After retiring as a colonel, Spencer spent four years with an Alabama-owned, Virginia-based firm that provided software and consulting services to clients worldwide. Then in 2001, he joined U.S. Congressman Sonny Callahan as deputy chief, then chief of staff. Following Jo Bonner’s election to succeed Callahan in 2003, Spencer remained as chief of staff during Bonner’s entire tenure in Congress. During this time, he was involved in the recruitment of both Airbus and ThyssenKrupp to Alabama. In addition to a BS from UA’s College of Commerce, Spencer has a master’s in public administration from Webster University. He completed Harvard Business School’s Program for Management Development and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.
Walker is president of Walker Associates Inc., a consulting engineering and surveying firm in Tuscaloosa. The firm’s practice includes the planning, design and administration of infrastructure projects in the public and private sector. He is a 1994 graduate of the University of Alabama and is a registered engineer in numerous states across the South. He is actively involved in civic and community organizations, including the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama and the firm’s Adopt-A-School partnership with the Tuscaloosa Career and Technology Academy. Walker is a past president of the Alabama Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers and currently serves as a vice president of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Alabama.
Winter is a founding partner of Winter McFarland LLC, a full service law firm dedicated to providing concierge general counsel services to business and industry. A graduate of Princeton University and the University of Alabama School of Law, Winter has extensive economic development, transactional and complex litigation experience, representing a diverse group of national and international clients. Winter has served as chairman of the AlabamaGermany Partnership, chairman of Temporary Emergency Services of West Alabama, vice chairman of the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama and as a member of the board of directors of the Kentuck Arts Festival and the West Alabama Heart Walk Executive Leadership Team.
Wright is president of JNJ Apparel – Custom Screen Printing & Embroidery, vice president of sales for The Music Garden, and co-founder/president of Game Day Tents/Special Events. He began JNJ Apparel in 2004 before his graduation from the University of Alabama. JNJ has grown from a small business serving the UA Greek community to selling custom-designed products at more than a dozen campuses throughout the U.S. JNJ also provides products for corporate clients. Also in 2004, he began his career with The Music Garden, which represents more than 250 regional bands. Game Day Tents followed in 2007 as a full-service tailgating company for UA home games and has grown to include Special Events, the state’s premier event rental company. He is active in many civic and community organizations, serving on the board of directors of the Children’s Hands-On Museum and is a member of the Tuscaloosa Red Elephant Club.