Board of Directors

Dr. Neal Berte serves as President Emeritus of Birmingham-Southern College after serving as President for 28-1/2 years. Prior to his work with Birmingham-Southern, he was Dean of the New College and Vice President for Educational Development at the University of Alabama and also served as a Director in the Midwest Office of the College Entrance Examination Board, among other career experiences.

Dr. Berte holds designation as a Ford Foundation Scholar, Rockefeller Foundation Fellow, and Omicron Delta Kappa National Scholarship winner. He was named to the Alabama Academy of Honor as one of the youngest inductees ever.

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While earning a B.A. degree in mathematics at Birmingham-Southern College in 1969, Steve began his career with Protective Life Insurance Company in Birmingham, Alabama, as a student actuary. He worked in various capacities including product development and pension valuation before joining the Advanced Underwriting Department where he was involved in agent training in advanced uses of the life insurance product.

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Rusty is a Shareholder in the Maynard Cooper & Gale law firm, where he has practiced since 1986. He represents clients in a wide variety of commercial disputes in state and federal court and in private arbitration. 

Rusty also devotes much of his practice to fiduciary litigation involving disputes arising out of trusts or estates. Rusty received his undergraduate degree from the University of South Alabama in 1982 and a law degree from the University of Alabama School of Law in 1985.

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A native of Weldon, Arkansas, Ann Florie received a BA in Political Science from Newcomb College of Tulane University. She is the Executive Director of Leadership Birmingham, a program that yearly brings together 45 civic and business leaders to discuss the challenges and opportunities in the Birmingham area. Ms. Florie was previously the founding Executive Director of Region 2020, Inc., that led efforts to promote regional cooperation and citizen involvement in the areas of affordable housing, education, arts and culture, transportation and land use in a twelve-county area in Central Alabama.

Learn more about Ann D. Florie


Drayton Nabers is a Shareholder of Maynard, Cooper & Gale, P.C. He was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama in June 2004 by Governor Bob Riley.

Justice Nabers was born in Birmingham, Alabama. He received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University in 1962 and a law degree from Yale School of Law in 1965. After graduating from Yale, Justice Nabers served as a Law Clerk for U. S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black. He joined the law firm of Cabaniss, Johnston, Gardner, Dumas, and O'Neal in 1967 as an associate before becoming a partner in the firm in 1971.

Learn more about Drayton Nabers, Jr.


Judge Shanta Owens is the Presiding Judge for the Jefferson County Adult Drug Court Program.  She is a graduate of Alabama State University.  After completing her undergraduate studies, Judge Owens attended Louisiana State University School of Law and the Université D’ Aix-Marseille III in Aix-en-Provence, France where she enrolled in the dual degree program and received her Juris Doctor (J.D.) and Bachelor of Civil Law degrees.

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Richard grew up in Birmingham, graduated from Mountain Brook High School in 1972, then went to The University of the South where he graduated with a degree in Economics. He was in the insurance industry for 28 years, all with Hilb, Rogal, and Hamilton – the last 10 years he was CEO of the company. Richard retired in 2001 to start The Center for Executive Leadership, where he serves as Executive Director. He works with businessmen and does a great deal of public speaking, teaching, counseling and writing.

Learn more about Richard Simmons, III


Lauren Sisler

Lauren Sisler is a national award-winning sports broadcaster. She currently works as a Sports Reporter and Host at AL. com, where she covers a multitude of teams and sports here in the state of Alabama. 

Previously, she worked at WIAT42 where she accrued four prestigious awards, including the National Sports Media Association’s, Alabama Sportscaster of the Year in 2016. She was named Best Sports Anchor by the Alabama Associated Press in 2014 and 2015, and she won an ABBY for Sports Anchor of the Year in 2013.

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Thomas Wilder is Alagasco’s Manager of Employee Development. In this role, he is responsible to developing, implementing, and managing Energen’s performance management process, tuition reimbursement program, diversity/organization development initiatives, nontechnical training programs for all employees, and the Department’s formal communication and activities tracking program.

Active in a number of civic and professional organizations, Thomas has served on the boards of the United Way of Central Alabama, the Shelby County Department of Human Resources, Girls Inc., the Birmingham Construction Industry Authority and United Cerebral Palsy.

Learn more about Thomas L. Wilder, Jr.


Board of Advisors
Thomas H. Brigham (Tommy) has been in real estate sales and development since his graduation from Emory & Henry College in 1974. He founded Brigham-Williams in 1982 and it quickly grew to be the third largest real estate company in Alabama. He merged Brigham-Williams with Johnson-Rast & Hays in 1998 to form Alabama largest real estate services company (including RealtySouth, TitleSouth, MortgageSouth and InsuranceSouth) and served as President and COO from 1998 to 2002. RealtySouth was sold in 2002 to HomeServices of America, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, and Mr. Brigham served as Chairman and CEO of RealtySouth from 2002 to 2007.

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Gary Fenton is the senior pastor of a 8,000-member Dawson Family of Faith in Birmingham, Alabama. He received a B.A. from Southern Nazarene University and a master of divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Fenton went on to receive a doctor of ministry at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Prior to moving to Alabama, Fenton served as the senior pastor of churches in Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri. Each week Fenton addresses thousands in central Alabama through a weekly telecast on CBS 42.

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Drew Langloh has dedicated his career to the mission of serving the underserved through the United Way movement. This Arlington, Virginia native believes United Way is a ministry of service to others—its work is not only to help those in need but to help volunteers and donors fulfill their service needs by helping others.

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James McManus is Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Energen Corporation. Based in Birmingham, Alabama, Energen is a diversified energy company with two lines of business.

McManus has been with Energen since 1986 and has held numerous senior-level positions within the company. In 1997 he became President and COO of Energen Resources and, over the next decade, led the growth of the E&P company from a small niche player in coalbed methane development in Alabama to one of the top 20 independent oil and gas producers in the United States. Prior to joining Energen, he worked with Price Waterhouse Coopers.

Learn more about James T. McManus, II


Chief A.C. Roper was born in Birmingham, Alabama where he is a graduate of the Birmingham public school system. He has over 24 years of law enforcement experience. He began his career with the Montgomery Police Department in 1985 where he was promoted to Corporal and served as a Patrol Officer, Academy Instructor and Recruiter. After more than three years away from home, he returned to live in Birmingham when he was hired by the Hoover Police Department. In Hoover, he was promoted through the ranks, culminating with his promotion to Assistant Chief of Police. In November 2007, Mayor Larry Langford appointed him as Birmingham’s thirty-third Chief of Police.

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Joel Welker was named president and publisher of the Birmingham Business Journal in June 2008. Prior to moving to Birmingham, he worked as advertising director for the Atlanta Business Chronicle and the South Florida Business Journal, which are sister publications of the BBJ also owned by American City Business Journals. Before starting his career with ACBJ, he worked for 13 years at Harte-Hanks Communications. He is a member of the Birmingham Business Leadership Group. Welker was born in Connecticut and grew up in Miami. He has a 22-year-old son named Carson.

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Dr. Mark Wilson became Health Officer of Jefferson County on October 1, 2011 after serving on the Board of Health for three years and providing 20 years of inpatient and outpatient care as a general internist at Cooper Green Mercy Hospital, including 12 years as medical director of outpatient clinics and three years as chief of the medical staff. With a bachelor’s degree in Engineering from Georgia Tech and a medical degree from UNC-Chapel Hill, Dr. Wilson is well poised to oversee our health department’s programs, ranging from air quality control, inspections of restaurants and other public facilities, to its six clinic sites providing over 200,000 patient visits each year in disease control, preventive health services and primary care.

Learn more about Mark Wilson, M.D.