Seven Named to Alabama Business Hall of Fame for 2020

  • July 22nd, 2020

ABHOF class of 2020

Established in 1973 to honor those individuals that have brought lasting fame to the state of Alabama through their business contributions, the Alabama Business Hall of Fame is proud to announce the names of the seven individuals that compose the Class of 2020.

The inductees are: Mr. Robert Baron of Huntsville; Mr. Cecil Batchelor of Russellville; Dr. Marcus Bendickson of Huntsville; Mr. Jay Grinney of Birmingham; Dr. Lonnie Johnson of Atlanta, GA; Mr. Joe Ritch of Huntsville; and Mr. Stan Starnes of Birmingham.

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and in the interest of the health and safety of our inductees and their guests, the induction ceremony will be rescheduled to fall 2021. Details of the ceremony will be issued at a later date.

The Culverhouse College of Business at The University of Alabama is home to the Alabama Business Hall of Fame, which is located in the College’s Bidgood Hall. The College also organizes the annual induction ceremony.

More about the Alabama Business Hall of Fame and ticket and table sponsorship information at culverhouse.ua.edu/abhof.

Inductee Profiles

Robert O. “Bob” Baron

Robert O. “Bob” Baron
Robert O. “Bob” Baron

Robert O. “Bob” Baron is the CEO and Founder of Baron Services, which is an industry leader in weather forecasting and warning systems. The Huntsville-based company features a portfolio that includes weather radar, storm tracking software, and climatological data analysis tools. The U.S. National Weather Service recently tasked Baron Services with the job of upgrading the nation’s radar network with the company’s products.

Baron founded the company with expertise and relationships earned over a 22-year career in broadcast meteorology. It was the award of a NASA technology transfer grant to access weather data that led to the development of a real-time severe weather warning system that is used by pilots, first responders, and emergency management officials.

For his contributions to ensure public safety through free weather warning apps and other services, he has been commended by the Alabama House of Representatives. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Huntsville-Madison County Chamber of Commerce and the Huntsville Better Business Bureau. He has also supported a number of community organizations that benefit the region such as Big Oak Ranch, the Boys and Girls Club of North Alabama, Manna House, and Homes for our Troops.

He earned his undergraduate degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Tennessee; UT’s Haslam Business School named him Entrepreneur of the Year in 2011.

Cecil Batchelor

Cecil Batchelor
Cecil Batchelor

Cecil Batchelor is the Chairman of CBS Banc-Corp and Chairman Emeritus of CB&S Bank, based in Russellville, Alabama. His 56-year banking career is one defined by success in establishing and leading banks throughout the state. After becoming involved with Russellville’s Citizens Bank, now CB&S Bank, he founded First Federal Savings & Loans in Haleyville. Over time First Federal Savings & Loan merged with First Federal of Alabama in Jasper, now known as Pinnacle Bank.

During his tenure as chairman, CB&S Bank grew from having $5 million in assets to more than $2 billion in assets. The bank also grew from one office in Russellville to an impressive 56 branches in Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee.

A veteran of World War II, having served in the United States Navy, Batchelor is committed to the community of Russellville and has been twice-honored as that city’s Citizen of the Year and is a 72-year member of the local club of Civitan International. He has also led a number of community-oriented initiatives, throughout the state of Alabama, including successful efforts to raise funds for hospitals and health-related causes.

He attended Florence State Teachers College, now known as the University of North Alabama.

Dr. Marcus Bendickson

Dr. Marcus Bendickson
Dr. Marcus Bendickson

Dr. Marcus Bendickson is the retired CEO and former Chairman of the Board of Dynetics, Inc., a leading provider of high-technology, mission-critical services and solutions to government and commercial customers. Now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Leidos, Dynetics has over 2,500 employees throughout the United States providing responsive, cost-effective engineering, scientific, IT solutions to the national security, cybersecurity, space, and critical infrastructure sectors.

Dr. Bendickson became CEO of Dynetics in 1989 when he and his business partner, Tom Baumbach, orchestrated a buyout of its stock from its founders. Under Dr. Bendickson’s leadership, Dynetics steadily grew to the second-largest employee-owned company in the state of Alabama, generating sales of approximately $275 million at the time of his retirement in July 2015. Dr. Bendickson remained as chairman of the Dynetics Board of Directors, leading the company through a period of unprecedented growth. Thanks in large part to Dr. Bendickson’s vision and leadership, the Dynetics portfolio has grown to encompass highly specialized technical services and a range of software and hardware products, including components, subsystems, and complex end-to-end systems. In January 2020, Dynetics was purchased by Leidos for $1.65B, ushering in a new era of opportunity for the company.

He is involved in a number of organizations that serve the business interests of the Huntsville area, including serving on the Boards of Directors of the BB&T Greater Huntsville Advisory Board, the Huntsville Chamber of Commerce, and the HudsonAlpha Foundation. He also serves as Vice-Chair of the UAH Foundation Board of Trustees.

Dr. Bendickson earned his doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of Alabama at Huntsville, his M.S. in electrical engineering from Columbia University, and his bachelor’s from Iowa State University.

Jay Grinney

Jay Grinney
Jay Grinney

Jay Grinney is the former President, Chief Executive Officer, and Director of HealthSouth Corporation, now known as Encompass Health. The company, based in Birmingham, employs approximately 44,000 dedicated employees and offers post-acute healthcare services through its national network of rehabilitation hospitals, home health agencies, and hospice agencies.

Grinney has a long track record as a leader in executive roles. Before joining Encompass Health, he was president of the eastern group at Hospital Corporation of America and senior vice president at The Methodist Hospital System in Houston. He is currently serving as a senior advisor to KKR’s private equity healthcare practice.

He has been involved with many community organizations, having served on the boards of directors of the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama, and the United Way of Central Alabama.

After receiving a bachelor’s degree from St. Olaf College, Grinney earned both a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Healthcare Administration from Washington University in St. Louis.

 

Dr. Lonnie Johnson

Dr. Lonnie Johnson
Dr. Lonnie Johnson

Dr. Lonnie Johnson is a lifelong serial entrepreneur and innovator. Growing up in Mobile, his innate scientific curiosity led him down a path that would include inventing advanced defense and aerospace technologies as well as a beloved summertime toy.

Dr. Johnson’s career started at the United States Air Force and NASA where from 1979 to 1991 he worked on the Galileo mission to Jupiter, weapons projects, and the stealth bomber program.

It was, however, a passion project made at home that he is perhaps best known for. While experimenting with a heat pump and high-pressure nozzle, he realized that he had the makings of a water gun. Over the years, he refined the design, and in 1989, Larami Corporation licensed what is known as the Super Soaker.

Currently, Dr. Johnson is involved in developing new battery and fuel cell technologies.

He is a committed supporter of a number of community-oriented causes such as the Boys and Girls Club and serves as chairman of the Georgia Alliance for Children. Recently, he donated $3.5 million to construct a STEM building at Williamson High School in the Maysville neighborhood of Mobile, his alma mater.

He earned his B.S. in mechanical engineering and an M.S. in nuclear engineering from Tuskegee University and has been awarded an honorary Ph.D. from that institution.

Joe Ritch

Joe Ritch
Joe Ritch

Joe Ritch is an attorney in the firm of Sirote & Permutt, P.C. and civic leader who has done much to elevate the Huntsville area with his involvement in a number of organizations. As Chairman of the Tennessee Valley BRAC Committee, he coalesced a group of 13 communities in north Alabama and south-central Tennessee to promote and advocate for Redstone Arsenal at a time when the facility was under strategic review by the United States Army.

As a result of the Committee’s work, thousands of military and government contractor jobs were brought to Redstone Arsenal, which proved to be an economic boon for Huntsville. Furthermore, he helped usher in a $175 million state-funded investment in K-12 facilities to make the area an attractive place for relocation by reason by the BRACs.

Ritch was also the first Chairman of the Board of Directors from Alabama of the Tennessee  Valley Authority and also chairman of its nuclear oversight committee. He has served on the board of directors of multiple defense and technology companies including CAS, Inc. and Axometrics. He has also led the acquisition and sale of several defense contractors.

He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, his Juris Doctorate from Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law, and master of laws in taxation from New York University’s School of Law.

Stan Starnes

Stan Starnes
Stan Starnes

Stan Starnes is Executive Chairman of ProAssurance Corporation, one of the top casualty insurance carriers in the country. During his time as CEO, from 2007 until 2019, ProAssurance transformed itself from a physician-centric, regionally-oriented insurance company to one that took a healthcare-centric approach on a national level. And as a result, the company returned over $2.1 billion to shareholders while growing their equity by 37 percent.

Starnes’ background is in law. In 1975, he and his father established the law firm now known as Starnes Davis Florie, specializing in courtroom advocacy for a wide variety of clients in civil litigation, especially physicians and others in healthcare. He is the youngest lawyer in Alabama ever elected to the prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers. For his work and his well-deserved reputation, he was named to the “Best Lawyers in America” for over 20 consecutive years.

He is a member of the Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama System, a member of the UAB Health System Board, and a member of the Board of the Crimson Tide Foundation. He was elected to membership in the Alabama Academy of Honor in 2018. He is also a member of the Salvation Army Birmingham Command Advisory Board and serves as Chairman of Ascension Board of Directors.

He graduated from The University of Alabama with a bachelor’s degree in business.  In 1972 he graduated summa cum laude and first in his class from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University.

More Info

Learn more about the Alabama Business Hall of Fame and purchase tickets to the upcoming induction ceremony at culverhouse.ua.edu/abhof.

Contact Zach Thomas, the Alabama Business Hall of Fame Director of Marketing and Communications, at zthomas@culverhouse.ua.edu or 205-348-8318.

 

Media can download headshots of the 2020 ABHOF Inductees here: https://alabama.box.com/v/abhof2020press

Alabama Business Hall of Fame Welcomes Six for 2019

  • November 20th, 2019

2019 Alabama Business Hall of Fame Inductees

All 2019 ABHOF inductees from left to right: Sue Whitehead, daughter of Lonnie S. McMillian, Charles A. Collat, Sr., Gary P. Fayard, Marillyn A. Hewson, Joe W. Forehand, Jr., and Michael Reilly.

Annual celebration of business leaders and humanitarians that have brought lasting fame to the State of Alabama welcomes new cohort to join list 229 members strong.

“The only reason I’m up here tonight is because of all those people here who have supported me.” – Gary P. Fayard, former CFO of The Coca-Cola Co., who was inducted into the Alabama Business Hall of Fame for 2019.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — In a festive, black-tie celebration Thursday, November 7, 2019, the Alabama Business Hall of Fame inducted six new members, all of them joining a list now 229 members strong. Over 450 people attended the induction ceremony at Haven in downtown Birmingham.

The Alabama Business Hall of Fame recognizes those who have brought fame and honor to the state of Alabama through not only their achievements as business leaders and entrepreneurs, but their ardent commitment to civic leadership, philanthropy, and humanitarianism.

Alabama Business Hall of Fame guests gathered at Haven in downtown Birmingham.
Alabama Business Hall of Fame guests gathered at Haven in downtown Birmingham.

Now in its 45th year, the Alabama Business Hall of Fame is located on The University of Alabama campus in the Culverhouse College of Business’s Bidgood Hall. Members of the Culverhouse staff and a board representing the Culverhouse Board of Visitors, former inductees, other Alabama institutions of higher education, and Alabama businesses, coordinate the Hall of Fame selection process and planning of the induction ceremony.

All inductees are heavily committed to their communities, serving in leadership roles on boards, donating their time and resources to causes, and inspiring future generations of business leaders.

The 2019 inductees included the following people, all of whom have deep connections to the state of Alabama:

  • Charles A. Collat Sr., chairman emeritus of Mayer, one of the largest electrical product distributors in the country. He is also a committed supporter of the University of Alabama at Birmingham and its business school, now named the Collat School of Business.
  • Gary P. Fayard, as former chief financial officer and executive vice president of The Coca-Cola Co., he helped the company double its revenues to $47 billion. The $12 billion acquisition of the company’s North American bottling and distribution operations is noted among his greatest accomplishments.
  • Joe W. Forehand Jr., former chairman and chief executive officer of Accenture. While CEO, the firm’s revenue grew from $9.6 billion to $13.7 billion. He is a dedicated alum of Auburn University, where he was co-chair of its recent $1.2 billion capital campaign.
  • Marillyn A. Hewson, current chairman, president and CEO of Lockheed Martin Corp. In 2019, TIME magazine identified Hewson as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.” She and husband James recently made a substantial gift to The University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Business to help construct a new building named Hewson Hall.
  • Lonnie S. McMillian, a visionary serial entrepreneur who led the development of innovative companies aligned with telecommunications and biotech. In 2005, he co-founded the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology. He passed away in 2018.
  • Michael Reilly, chairman emeritus of Randall-Reilly, a strategic data, media and marketing services company that services a wide number of industries. He is an ardent supporter of organizations that serve the Tuscaloosa, Alabama community, especially those that benefit youth.

Read in-depth bios of each inductee here.

Tim Kelly, the Chair of the Hall of Fame committee welcomed attendees to the event and Dr. J Gorman Houston provided the invocation. Dr. Kay M. Palan, Dean of the Culverhouse College of Business, introduced each inductee to the stage.

Marillyn A. Hewson, inductee and current chairman, president and CEO of Lockheed Martin Corp.

In her speech upon being inducted, Marillyn A. Hewson said:

“The Business Hall of Fame shows that Alabama’s people, companies, and education institutions are having a positive and lasting impact on our country and on our world. And, that’s not a surprise to those of us who call Alabama ‘home.’ We know that the people, ideals, and universities here provide building blocks for success.”

“That’s why, throughout my career, I have always been proud to represent this wonderful state.”

The award of inductee Mr. Lonnie McMillian, who passed away in 2018, was accepted on his behalf by his daughter Sue Whitehead, who shared anecdotes about her father and his legacy.

See and download photos from this year’s Alabama Business Hall of Fame here.

Nominate an Inductee

To nominate someone to the Alabama Business Hall of Fame, contact Courtney Miller at cmiller@culverhouse.ua.edu. The criteria are:

  1. A candidate must have by his or her business accomplishments, whether they occurred in Alabama or not, brought fame and honor to the state of Alabama.
  2. He/She should have made a significant impact on the development of their community and state by promoting the free enterprise system and entrepreneurship; by demonstrating civic leadership, philanthropy and humanitarianism toward fellow citizens.
  3. All candidates must have been in retirement at least three (3) years, except those who are 65 years of age and older prior to the date of induction and who are still active in their careers

Six Selected for Alabama Business Hall of Fame

  • July 23rd, 2019

ABHOF 2019 INDUCTEES

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama Culverhouse College of Business announced six business professionals for induction into the Alabama Business Hall of Fame.

The 2019 inductees will be honored in an evening celebration Thursday, Nov. 7, at Haven in downtown Birmingham.

The inductees include: Charles A. Collat Sr., of Birmingham; Gary P. Fayard, of Atlanta, Georgia; Joe W. Forehand, of Dallas, Texas; Marillyn A. Hewson, of Bethesda, Maryland; Lonnie S. McMillian, of Madison (awarded posthumously); and F. Michael Reilly, of Tuscaloosa.

Charles A. Collat Sr.

Charles A. Collat Sr.
Charles A. Collat Sr.

Charles A. Collat Sr. is the retired president and CEO of Mayer Electric Supply and serves as chairman emeritus. As a result of Collat’s leadership and work ethic, Mayer has become one of the largest electrical distributors in the nation with more than 1,500 associates in 80-plus locations with annual sales exceeding $1 billion.

Collat is a committed supporter of The University of Alabama at Birmingham and is on UAB’s Leadership Cabinet and President’s Council. UAB’s business school was recently named the Collat School of Business thanks to a major gift from the Collat family. Furthermore, he has been recognized by UAB for his service to the institution with its President’s Award and was the recipient of an honorary doctorate of humanities.

He served in the United States Air Force during the Korean War and earned an accounting degree from the University of Georgia.

Gary P. Fayard

Gary P. Fayard
Gary P. Fayard

As chief financial officer and executive vice president of The Coca-Cola Co., Gary Fayard helped the company double its revenues to more than $47 billion. Retiring in 2014 after 20 years of service, with 15 years in the CFO role, one of Fayard’s greatest accomplishments was leading the acquisition of Coca-Cola’s North American bottling and distribution business in 2010 for $12 billion. Upon retirement, he established Stonewall Ridge Farm, a registered black Angus seedstock operation in Tennessee.

He serves on the board of directors of Genuine Parts Co. and Monster Energy Corp. He is the past president of the Atlanta Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America and served on the board of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Through Fayard’s  involvement with The Coca-Cola Foundation, UA was the first public institution to receive Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarships. He is a member of The University of Alabama President’s Cabinet and is on the board of visitors for UA’s Culverhouse College of Business.

Fayard attended The University of Alabama where he earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

Joe W. Forehand Jr.

 Joe W. Forehand, Jr.
Joe W. Forehand, Jr.

Joe W. Forehand Jr. is the former chairman and chief executive officer of Accenture, retiring in 2006 after a tenure highlighted by significant growth and strategic changes for the consulting firm. In 2000, he finalized Accenture’s split from Andersen Worldwide and successfully led its international rebranding campaign. The next year he led Accenture through its initial public offering. While Forehand served as CEO, the firm’s revenue grew from $9.6 billion to $13.7 billion, and it added nearly 40,000 employees to its workforce. After retiring, Forehand served as a senior advisor on technology buyouts with global private equity firm Kohlberg, Kravis and Roberts, also known as KKR.

Forehand is devoted to Auburn University, his alma mater. He served on the Auburn University Foundation’s board of directors and investment committee and was co-chair of its recent $1.2 billion capital campaign.

He earned his undergraduate degree in industrial engineering from Auburn University and a graduate degree in industrial administration from the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University.

Marillyn A. Hewson

Marillyn A. Hewson
Marillyn A. Hewson

Marillyn A. Hewson is chairman, president and CEO of Lockheed Martin Corp. Hewson joined Lockheed Martin more than 35 years ago as an industrial engineer. During her career, she has held several increasingly responsible executive and operational leadership positions. In 2019, TIME magazine identified Hewson as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.” She was named the “2018 CEO of the Year” by Chief Executive magazine.

She serves on the board of directors of Johnson & Johnson, the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, the board of governors of the USO, and the board of directors of Catalyst. She is a member of The University of Alabama’s President’s Cabinet and the board of visitors of the Culverhouse College of Business.

Hewson earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration and her Master of Arts degree in economics from The University of Alabama.

Lonnie S. McMillian

Lonnie S. McMillian
Lonnie S. McMillian

Lonnie S. McMillian was a visionary serial entrepreneur who led the development of innovative companies aligned with telecommunications and biotech. His interest in tech was sparked while studying radar technology as a member of the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War. After completing his service and graduating from college, he embarked on a wide-ranging career that included co-founding a computer manufacturer, Systems Engineering Labs, and joining SCI in Huntsville as chief engineer.

In 1985, he co-founded ADTRAN, a telecommunications firm, which remains as one of Huntsville’s largest non-public employers. A retirement in 2001 was shortlived: in 2005, he co-founded the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, a non-profit institute, to bring together experts in genetics, education and entrepreneurship to accelerate innovation in the field.

McMillian graduated from Georgia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. He graduated from Presbyterian College with a Bachelor of Science in business before serving his country in the Marine Corps. He passed away Dec. 30, 2018.

Michael Reilly

F. Michael Reilly
F. Michael Reilly

Michael Reilly retired from Randall-Reilly, formerly Randall Publishing Co., in 2015 after 40 years with the company. Under his leadership, the company transitioned from a 40-employee magazine publisher to a strategic data, media and marketing services company, employing more than 600 associates at its offices in Tuscaloosa and elsewhere across the country. He joined the company while a student at The University of Alabama and spent the bulk of his career there. He was named president and CEO in 2002. He is chairman emeritus of the company.

Reilly is heavily dedicated to the community. He has served on the boards of the Boy Scouts Executive Board of West Alabama, YMCA, Boys & Girls Club of West Alabama, and the United Way of West Alabama, and he has made significant contributions of his talents, time and resources to many other area organizations. He is a member of The University of Alabama President’s Cabinet and an active member of St. Francis Catholic Church.

He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from The University of Alabama.

About the Alabama Business Hall of Fame

The Alabama Business Hall of Fame was founded in 1973 by the Culverhouse College of Business Board of Visitors to honor individuals in business who have brought lasting fame to the state of Alabama. A 14-member board of directors establishes the criteria for nominations and governs the Hall of Fame. All candidates must meet the qualifications of being retired for a minimum of three years or be 65 or older, prior to induction, if still active in their careers.

Alabama Business Hall of Fame Inducts Seven for Class of 2018

  • November 26th, 2018

In a festive, black-tie celebration Thursday, November 15, 2018, the Alabama Business Hall of Fame inducted seven new members, all of them joining a list now 223 members strong.

The Alabama Business Hall of Fame recognizes those who have brought fame and honor to the state of Alabama through not only their achievements as business leaders and entrepreneurs, but their ardent commitment to civic leadership, philanthropy, and humanitarianism.

The 2018 inductees included the following people, all of whom have deep connections to the state of Alabama:

  • Patricia “Sister Schubert” Barnes, founder not only of a baking empire Sister Schubert’s, which produces over nine million rolls a day, but also of Sasha’s Home, an orphanage in the Ukraine.
  • Jeffrey Bayer, president, CEO, and co-founder of Bayer Properties, which has amassed a real estate portfolio of about 10 million square feet.
  • Don James, former chairman and CEO of aggregates manufacturer Vulcan Materials Company, one of the largest public corporations in Alabama with operations throughout the United States.
  • Charles McCrary, former president and CEO of Alabama Power Company, the second largest utility company in the country, as well as an innovator in labor relations.
  • Randy Owen, not just the singer of country music band Alabama, among the most decorated bands of any genre ever, with 80 million records sold, but also a major supporter of St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.
  • James Pursell, Sr., a long career in the development of innovative fertilizer products evolved to ownership of Pursell Farms, a luxury outdoors-oriented resort in Fayetteville, Alabama.
  • John Rhoads, an accountant at Ernst & Ernst that earned a well-deserved reputation for ethical leadership, his legacy has supported hundreds of University of Alabama students and athletes through scholarships and gifts.

All inductees are heavily committed to their communities, serving in leadership roles on boards, donating their time and resources to causes, and inspiring future generations of business leaders.

Read in-depth bios of each inductee. 

Now in its 44th year, the Alabama Business Hall of Fame is located on The University of Alabama campus in the Culverhouse College of Business’s Bidgood Hall. Members of the Culverhouse staff and a board representing the Culverhouse Board of Visitors, former inductees, other Alabama institutions of higher education, and Alabama businesses, coordinate the Hall of Fame selection process and planning of the induction ceremony.

Over 550 people attended the induction ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham – The Wynfrey Hotel. Notable guests included the following higher-education officials:

  • Dr. John M. Beehler, President of Jacksonville State University
  • Dr. Stuart R. Bell, President of The University of Alabama
  • Dr. Ray L. Watts, President of The University of Alabama at Birmingham

Tim Kelly, the Chair of the Hall of Fame committee welcomed attendees to the event and Dr. J Gorman Houston provided the invocation. Dr. Kay M. Palan, Dean of the Culverhouse College of Business, introduced each inductee to the stage.

The award of inductee Mr. John Rhoads, who passed away in 2001, was accepted on his behalf by his wife Margaret E. Rhoads. His friend Mr. Hilton Dean shared some of his fondest memories with guests.

See photos from this year’s Alabama Business Hall of Fame.

Watch speeches from the inductees!

Nominate an Inductee

To nominate someone to the Alabama Business Hall of Fame, contact Courtney Miller at cmiller@culverhouse.ua.edu. The criteria are:

  1. 1. A candidate must have by his or her business accomplishments, whether they occurred in Alabama or not, brought fame and honor to the state of Alabama.
  2. 2. He/She should have made a significant impact on the development of their community and state by promoting the free enterprise system and entrepreneurship; by demonstrating civic leadership, philanthropy and humanitarianism toward fellow citizens.
  3. 3. All candidates must have been in retirement at least three (3) years, except those who are 65 years of age and older prior to the date of induction and who are still active in their careers

2018 Alabama Business Hall of Fame Inductees Named

  • July 18th, 2018

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama Culverhouse College of Business announced seven business professionals to be inducted into the Alabama Business Hall of Fame for 2018.

The 2018 inductees will be honored in a Nov. 15 celebration at the Hyatt-Regency Birmingham – The Wynfrey Hotel.

The inductees include: Patricia “Sister Schubert” Barnes, of Andalusia; Jeffrey Bayer, of Birmingham; Don James, of Birmingham; Charles McCrary, of Birmingham; Randy Owen, of Fort Payne; James Pursell, of Fayetteville; and John Rhoads, of Birmingham (awarded posthumously).

Patricia "Sister Schubert" Barnes
Patricia “Sister Schubert” Barnes

Patricia “Sister Shubert” Barnes 

Patricia “Sister Schubert” Barnes founded her bread company in her home kitchen using her grandmother’s yeast-roll recipe and transformed the business into a national brand that produces more than 9 million rolls per day with distribution in each state in the country as well as abroad.

Barnes sits on numerous boards, including those of the Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame and the Dean’s Board for the College of Human Sciences at Auburn University.

She attended Troy University, Auburn University and The University of Alabama.

Jeffrey Bayer
Jeffrey Bayer

Jeffrey Bayer

Jeffrey Bayer is the president and CEO of Bayer Properties LLC, headquartered in Birmingham, which specializes in developing, leasing, managing and marketing mixed-use real estate properties nationwide.

Since its inception, Bayer has fostered the organization’s growth from a local property management firm to a national commercial real estate leader with a mixed-use asset portfolio of approximately 10 million square feet.

Bayer serves on the board of directors for Leadership Alabama, is a board member for Leadership Birmingham, and an International Trustee for the International Council of Shopping Centers. He also sits on The University of Alabama President’s Cabinet, The University of Alabama Culverhouse Board of Visitors and The University of Alabama at Birmingham President’s Cabinet Executive Committee. He became a board member for The University of Alabama Health Services Foundation in 2015 and serves on The University of Alabama Health Services Foundation Executive Committee.

Bayer attended The University of Alabama Culverhouse College of Business.

Don James 

Don James
Don James

Under Don James’ leadership in various executive-level roles, including chairman and CEO from 1992 until his retirement from the company in 2015, Vulcan Materials Co. grew to be one of the largest public corporations in Alabama.

He is a business and civic leader, serving on the boards of Wells Fargo & Co. and The Southern Co. Previously, he has served on the boards of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Manufacturers Association, Birmingham Southern College, and the United Way of Central Alabama. He has also served as chairman of the Birmingham Museum of Art.

James is a graduate of The University of Alabama and the University of Virginia School of Law.

Charles McCrary
Charles McCrary

Charles McCrary

For more than a decade, Charles McCrary served as president and CEO of Alabama Power Co. In addition to his roles at Alabama Power, he served as vice president for Birmingham-based Southern Nuclear, president of Southern Company Generation, chief production officer of Southern Co. and president of Southern Power.

He is a member of the board of Regions Financial Corp., the Auburn University Board of Trustees and the board of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. McCrary served as chairman of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama and was a member of the boards of Mercedes-Benz U.S. International and Protective Life Corp.

He earned a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from Auburn, and he also has a law degree from the Birmingham School of Law.

Randy Owen 

Randy Owen
Randy Owen

For more than 49 years, Randy Owen has been the frontman and lead vocalist of the legendary group, Alabama, the most successful and awarded band in country music history, with more than 80 million records sold. Alabama has received more than 250 industry awards and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2006. Own was also inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame and received the Ellis Island Award for his charity work with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Much of Owen’s time is spent helping others through his humanitarian efforts such as launching the St. Jude Country Cares for Kids, an annual radiothon fundraising event which has raised more than $800 million for St. Jude.

Owen is a graduate of Jacksonville State University.

James Pursell
James Pursell

James Pursell

James T. (Jimmy) Pursell’s business career started when he joined Parker Fertilizer in 1959. In 1964, he became president of the company and began to redirect the company toward the development and marketing of specialty fertilizer products.

In 1997, he relocated the company headquarters to the family farm, and he established Pursell Farms in Fayetteville, which has since transitioned into one of Alabama’s premier resorts, spanning 3,500 acres.

Pursell attended Auburn University and supports a large number of initiatives at Auburn, including the Center for Organizational Cultures in the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business, endowed chairs and programs for student-athletes. He has served as chairman of the State of Alabama Ethics Commission.

John Rhoads 

John Rhoads
John Rhoads

John L. Rhoads was well-known for applying his brilliance and technical skills in helping Alabama entrepreneurs launch their businesses as a partner at accounting firm Ernst & Ernst.

Rhoads was a longtime executive committee member of the Jefferson County chapter of The University of Alabama National Alumni Association, serving as its vice president and treasurer for more than 20 years. He was also council chairman of the State Society for the Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Rhoads was an ardent supporter of Alabama’s educational institutions, either by his service to the University of Alabama Birmingham as an adjunct faculty member or through scholarship and programmatic support, kept ongoing by his widow, Ann.

He graduated from The University of Alabama. Rhoads passed away in 2001.

About the Alabama Business Hall of Fame

The Alabama Business Hall of Fame was founded in 1973 by the Culverhouse College of Business Board of Visitors to honor individuals in business who have brought lasting fame to the state of Alabama. A 14-member board of directors establishes the criteria for nominations and governs the Hall of Fame. All candidates must meet the qualifications of being retired for a minimum of three years or be 65 years of age or older, prior to induction, if still active in their careers.

For more information about the Alabama Business Hall of Fame and 2017 Induction Ceremony, visit abhof.culverhouse.ua.edu/

Alabama Business and Civic Leaders Celebrated

  • November 9th, 2017

On November 9, 2017 at Haven in Downtown Birmingham, six individuals were inducted into the Alabama Business Hall of Fame for their outstanding business and civic leadership contributions. Charles E. Adair, Dr. James R. Andrews, William R. Battle, Dorothy S. Davidson, John D. Johns, and Don Logan were all inductees for this year’s event, joining a group 216 members strong.

The banquet was attended by over 400 of the State of Alabama’s most prominent business and civic leaders, including a number of former Alabama Business Hall of Fame inductees. Among the 400 in attendance were distinguished guests were Dr. and Mrs. Robert Altenkirch, President of The University of Alabama in Huntsville, Dr. and Mrs. Stuart Bell, President of The University of Alabama, Lieutenant General Ronald Lee Burgess, Jr. of the United States Army, and Mr. and Mrs. Ray Hayes, Chancellor of the University of Alabama System.

The night began with an introduction by the Master of Ceremonies and Chairman of the Alabama Business Hall of Fame, Donald W. Nalley, Jr. The invocation was given by Dr. J. Gorman Houston III.

After a break for dinner, Dean Kay Palan, of the Culverhouse College of Commerce at The University of Alabama, introduced the inductees. Each inductee has been highly successful in business: growing organizations, providing steady leadership, and offering inspiration to colleagues.

In addition to their success in business, they have also dedicated themselves to public service with involvement in organizations that aim to better serve its constituents and build community programs.

Dean Palan noted that each individual came from “vastly different career paths” and “have had extraordinary and positive impacts within their communities and on the profile of the State of Alabama.”

Photos from the 2017 Alabama Business Hall of Fame

Gallery 1: Photos of inductees and attendees

Gallery 2: Casual photos in front of the Alabama Business Hall of Fame banner

2017 Alabama Business Hall of Fame Inductees Named

  • July 14th, 2017

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Commerce announced six business professionals to be inducted into the Alabama Business Hall of Fame.

The inductees include Charles E. Adair, of Montgomery; Dr. James R. Andrews, of Birmingham; William R. Battle, of Tuscaloosa; Dr. Dorothy Davidson, of Huntsville; John D. Johns, of Birmingham; and Don Logan, of Birmingham.

They will be honored during the Alabama Business Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Nov. 9 at the Haven in Birmingham.

Charles Adair

Adair graduated from The University of Alabama with a degree in accounting and completed the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School. He is the president of Kowaliga Capital, an investment management company, in Montgomery.

Adair is a member of the board of directors of Tech Data Corp., Torchmark Corp. and Rayonier Advanced Materials. He has been active in civic organizations having served on boards of the Montgomery Area Red Cross, United Way, Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce, Health System and Health Services Foundation at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Alabama Culverhouse College of Commerce Board of Visitors and The University of Alabama President’s Cabinet.

Dr. James Andrews

Andrews received his bachelor’s from Louisiana State University and medical degree from Louisiana State University School of Medicine. He is one of the founding members of Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center and co-founder of the American Sports Medicine Institute, or AMSI, dedicated to injury prevention, education and research in orthopaedic and sports medicine.

Andrews serves as chairman and medical director of ASMI as well as president and chairman of the board of the Andrews Research and Education Foundation. He also serves as medical director and orthopaedic surgeon for Auburn University Intercollegiate Athletics, senior orthopaedic consultant for The University of Alabama and senior orthopaedic consultant for the Washington Redskins.

Bill Battle

Battle holds degrees from The University of Alabama and The University of Oklahoma. Following his coaching career at The University of Tennessee, he founded Collegiate Licensing Co., creating the industry of collegiate licensing. When Battle sold the company to IMG, Collegiate Licensing Co. had earned over $800 million in royalties representing more than 200 colleges, universities, bowls and conferences.

Battle has been inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame and National Collegiate Licensing Association Hall of Fame. He is a founding member of the Crimson Tide Foundation Board and serves as president. Battle recently retired as the athletic director for The University of Alabama.

Dr. Dorothy Davidson

Davidson is the CEO and chairman of the board of directors of Davidson Technologies Inc. After receiving her Bachelor of Science, she began her career as a research mathematician with the United States Air Force at the Pentagon. Davidson then spent a number of years working with NATO countries in defense systems.

In 1992, Davidson relocated to Huntsville. In 2013, after the death of her husband, she became the CEO and chairman of the board for Davidson Technologies, where she grew the company in size and revenue from its beginning in 1996.

Davidson has remained supportive of the Huntsville community for 25 years. She personally pledged $5 million to the University of Alabama in Huntsville for the construction of an Innovator’s Center, funded the construction of the Davidson Center for Space Exploration at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center and pledged $5 million to Auburn University for their student engineering center.

John Johns

Johns holds degrees from The University of Alabama, Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School. He was recently elected executive chairman of Protective Life Corp. Johns serves on the corporate boards of Regions Financial Corp., Genuine Parts Co. and Southern Company.

He has been actively engaged in community and philanthropic service, having served as the chairman of the Business Council of Alabama, the McWane Science Center, the Greater Alabama Council of the Boy Scouts of America and Birmingham Business Alliance, as well as being an emeritus trustee of The University of Alabama System.

Logan holds degrees from Auburn University and Clemson University and honorary doctorates from Auburn University, Clemson University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He served as CEO of Southern Progress, CEO of Time Inc. and chairman of Time Warner Media and Communications.

Don Logan

Logan and his family own the Birmingham Barons and Seek Publishing. In 2010, he and two partners acquired B.A.S.S., the world’s largest fishing organization, from ESPN. A respected civic leader, Logan is on the Executive Board of the Birmingham Business Alliance, is a founding member of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and has served on the boards of the Magazine Publishers Association and National Book Foundation.

The Alabama Business Hall of Fame was founded in 1973 by the Culverhouse College of Commerce Board of Visitors to honor individuals in business who have brought lasting fame to the state of Alabama. A 14-member board of directors establishes the criteria for nominations and governs the Hall of Fame. All candidates must meet the qualifications of being retired for a minimum of three years or be 65 years of age or older, prior to induction, if still active in their careers.

For more information about the Alabama Business Hall of Fame and 2017 Induction Ceremony, visit abhof.culverhouse.ua.edu/.

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