Michele Coley

Conference Facilitator & Insurance Agent

Michele Coley, is the only African American female Allstate Agent in the state of Alabama. She holds a Business Administration degree from Stillman College. She serves on the West Alabama Chamber Board of Directors, the city of Tuscaloosa Framework Steering Committee and Elevate Advisory Council. Michele also is a member of the University of Alabama College of Continuing Studies Board of Visitors. Recently she was appointed to the City of Tuscaloosa Zoning Board of Adjustments as a Supernumerary. Michele is very passionate about young people and their education. She mentors and sponsors reading/positive behavior initiatives at several city and county schools. Michele is a business owner, wife of 25 years and devoted mother.

Jackie Wuska

President & CEO - United Way of West Alabama

Jackie Wuska is a native of Vestavia Hills, Alabama.  She received her B.A. in Communications and Masters in Public Administration from The University of Alabama. She has more than 25 years in higher education and non-profit fund-raising and management experience. Jackie has worked in development at both UA and UAB and served as the Executive Director and President of The Literacy Council of Central Alabama located in Birmingham. 

Jackie joined United Way of West Alabama as CEO and President in March 2012. This past year, UWWA had a record campaign for funds raised in West Alabama raising more than $4.2 million to address the community’s critical education, income stability and health issues.  Jackie currently serves on the boards of the Alabama Association of Nonprofits, Tuscaloosa’s SAFE Center, Alabama Civil Justice Foundation and UA’s Blackburn Institute. She is a member of the Black Belt Commission Education Committee, Christ Episcopal Church, Immediate Past President of the Alpha Chi Omega Tuscaloosa Alumni Chapter and the United Ways of Alabama Board of Directors and Immediate Past Chairman of the Leadership Alabama West Alabama Regional Council Chairman. Jackie was named to the inaugural 2015 list of Women Who Shape Our State.

Barbara Trautlein

Author of Change Intelligence

Barbara A. Trautlein, PhD is author of the best-selling book Change Intelligence:  Use the Power of CQ to Lead Change that Sticks, principal and founder of Change Catalysts, and originator of the CQ® System for Developing Change Intelligent® Leaders and Organizations. For over 25 years, Barbara has coached executives, trained leaders at all levels, certified change agents, and facilitated mission-critical change management initiatives - achieving bottom-line business and powerful leadership results for clients.  In 2015 she had the honor of being named Change Management Consultant of the Year by the Association of Change Management Professionals. Barbara is gifted at sharing strategies and tactics that are accessible, actionable, and immediately applicable. Her blend of research and real-world expertise makes her an in-demand speaker at conferences around the world. Barbara has a unique ability to connect with her audiences, from C-level executives in Fortune 500 organizations to front line employees, and across industries, from steel mills to sales teams, refineries to retail outlets, and healthcare to high tech.  Clients served include Abbott Laboratories, BP, Cisco, Ford Motor Company, Steel Dynamics, and ThyssenKrupp. Barbara holds a doctorate in Organizational Psychology from the University of Michigan.

Elizabeth Winter

Senior Vice President - Market Executive and Area Business Manager for Private Wealth

Elizabeth Winter is a 1995 graduate of Vanderbilt University and a 1998 graduate of The University of Alabama School of Law.  Elizabeth is a member of the Alabama State Bar, Tuscaloosa County Bar and The Tuscaloosa Estate Planning Council (past president).  She has served on several non-profit boards including the Children’s Hands on Museum (past secretary), the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra and The Alabama Choir School.  She is currently an ex Officio member of the Tuscaloosa County Industrial Development Authority Board of Directors and the Treasurer of The Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama.

Elizabeth has spent her career at Regions Bank, joining Regions as a Trust Officer in 1998 in Montgomery, Alabama.  She now serves in the role of Market Executive for the City of Tuscaloosa and Area Business Manager for Private Wealth Management for the Tuscaloosa, Alabama office.

Dot Martin

First Female Executive MBA Student

Dorothy J. Martin, Associate Provost, has completed forty eight years at The University of Alabama. Born in Vance, Alabama, she attended Brookwood High School and then attended The University of Alabama earning her B.S. degree from the College of Commerce and Business Administration.  After graduation, she spent three years in Atlanta, Georgia pursuing a career in administration.  Having an opportunity to return to The University of Alabama, she accepted an entry level position in the Office for Academic Affairs. During her tenure at The University of Alabama, she has worked with eleven Presidents, six Vice Presidents for Academic Affairs, and four Provosts.

In 1985 when the Executive Master's of Business Administration program was launched, she returned to school and continued her full time career while earning her EMBA.  Ms. Martin was in the first graduating class and was the first female graduate of this new program.  She has served on numerous Standing Committees and special committees during her tenure and is a member of the Women of the Capstone and serves as Chairman of the Supervisory Committee of the Alabama Credit Union.  Because she has always been interested in making a difference in the lives of faculty, staff, and students, a scholarship fund was established in her name by friends to assist recipients in their pursuit of academic excellence.

Honors she has received include the E. Roger Sayers Distinguished Service Award and the ODK Living Legend Award.  In her leisure time since her retirement in 2014, she can be found traveling the world, spending time at the beach, enjoying time with family and friends, and attending UA sporting events, especially Alabama Football.

Gail D. Rudolph

CEO of LIFT Leadership

An internationally sought-after master at enhancing teams, Gail D. Rudolph possesses the ability to identify root issues and leadership tools to create lasting solutions. As the CEO of LIFT Leadership, she has extensive experience in bringing her expertise to all types of organizations and industries. Gail is certified and credentialed to facilitate, speak, train, and coach individuals and groups in leadership development, professional skills, and personal growth. Using qualitative and quantitative research to ensure success, Gail assesses team dynamics, zeros in on individual needs, and collaboratively formulates plans to help create high-producing organizations.


Gail obtained comprehensive training and mentorship by John Maxwell and members of his world-class faculty. She is equipped with proven programs, tools, resources, and experience to help organizations and teams improve productivity, performance, and profitability by moving them from participation to partnership and cooperation to collaboration. As a facilitator for group workshops, corporate training in leadership, speaking, sales, or coaching skills for leaders, or as a lecturer or keynote speaker, Gail can support your organization to attain its goals and objectives.

Gail has more than 25 years of experience serving in leadership positions across a spectrum of organizations, including community hospitals, academic medical institutions, large healthcare systems and consulting. Her past experience includes extensive work in Leadership and Philanthropy at Cleveland Clinic, Northwestern University, Dignity Health, and various other community organization and companies. Gail holds a Master’s degree in Human Services Administration and is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE). Among her many accomplishments, Gail has been named a Top 10 Leader You Should Know and is currently serving as Executive Director on The John Maxwell Team while also serving on his Presidents Advisory Council. For two consecutive years, Gail was the Chair of the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy’s (AHP) Leading Forward Executive Summit, helping to enhance leadership skills within the healthcare industry. As an active member and frequent speaker with AHP, Gail believes in the impact that leadership can have on individuals and organizations, which compels her to share and mentor from her experience. Additionally, Gail has worked with local and global youth organizations, government agencies, and local social services to enhance the character development of future generations. She holds several certifications to enhance leadership and character skills in youth. Gail firmly believes that investing in upcoming leaders is vital in shaping the future of our communities. Gail is a sought-after advisor to numerous consulting and research firms and executive coach to leaders across the world. Certified to train leaders internationally, Gail most recent trip was to Asuncion Paraguay to train government leaders, business executives, and students as part of a national Transformation Effort as a joint partnership between members of The John Maxwell Team and the Paraguay Leaders. The overarching sentiment, “It is not the conditions that surround us but the decisions that we make that determines our future,” encouraged the Minister of Education and Sciences of Paraguay, Eduardo Petta, to request this leadership training be part of curriculum in every school in the country. As a Specialist in Team Dynamics, Philanthropy, Sales Training, Leadership Training,  Value Based Leadership, a DISC Certified Behavior Analyst and Consultant, and Certified Speaker on The John Maxwell  Methods, Gail aids personal and professional growth through study and practical application using proven leadership methods. She possesses a Graduate School of Business Leadership Entrepreneur Certification from Stanford University. Gail helps you make the rest of your life into the best of your life.

Angela B. Hamiter

Chair of the Women in Motion Committee

Angela is a member of the JMF Tax Department, and leads the JMF Timber and Natural Resources practice group. She is also the Chair of the JMF Recruiting team and our newly formed Women in Motion Committee.  With more than 24 years of experience in public accounting, she assists clients with corporate, partnership, and individual income tax reporting and tax planning, as well as assisting with estate and small business succession planning and other tax planning matters.

Kenyatta Browne

Branch Manager and Assistant Vice President at Regions Bank

Kenyatta Browne is a Branch Manager and Assistant Vice President at Regions Bank – Indian Hills and the mother of two daughters, ages 13 and 7. She is a graduate of Mississippi College, holding a degree in Communications, and currently working on her MBA. Kenyatta has an unwavering passion for people and is fueled by educating her clients financially and partnering with them to achieve their financial goals.

Kenyatta sits on the boards of March of Dimes, the Stillman Foundation, and Theatre Tuscaloosa. She is also a member of the Tuscaloosa Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc.


When Kenyatta is not in the bank or hosting financial workshops, she is nurturing her pastime as an actor and print model.  

Shannon Bumgarner

Author of Change Intelligence

Shannon Bumgarner is a strategic operations leader with 20 years of manufacturing experience within diverse industries including pulp and paper, optical fiber and connectivity, consumer products, and diversified industrial. Her extensive experience includes roles in engineering, operations, quality, and procurement. She is an accomplished architect of processes and systems including enterprise implementations of quality architecture, integrated quality systems, and tooling asset management. Shannon is currently a Category Manager at Ingersoll Rand where she leads global and regional sourcing strategies for brazing alloys and facilities management. She holds Bachelor of Science degrees in Chemical Engineering and Pulp and Paper Science from North Carolina State University as well as a Master in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

Throughout her career, Shannon has been an advocate for women’s leadership development. She is currently a co-chair for the Ingersoll Rand Women’s Employee Network in Davidson, NC and formerly a founding member for a local telecommunications women’s network. She is a graduate of Ingersoll Rand’s Women’s Leadership Program and remains actively involved in program activities. In 2017, Shannon launched a “Women in Technology” peer coaching circle at Ingersoll Rand with 2018 program expansion to include diverse disciplines and experience levels. She is also a member of Ellevate Network, Women in Manufacturing, and Society of Women Engineers.

Candace Reese Walters

Empowerment Speaker

With a reputation for challenging small visions and transforming them into global notoriety, Candace Reese Walters is a nationally-recognized entrepreneur and inspirational speaker. Specializing in corporate and government strategy management, Candace has a strong track record in exceeding expectations.

After several years in corporate and nonprofit public relations, marketing and advertising, Candace founded Envision Global Corporation to serve a diverse clientele list of individuals, organizations and corporate clientele by delivering leading-edge, innovative image building campaigns, with a global focus. Having an affinity for representing socially-conscious clientele, through Envision Global, Candace has managed projects and provided unlimited business and lifestyle resources to a plethora of distinguished entrepreneurs, executives and philanthropists who have been featured in national and international multi-media outlets, including online/digital media, nationally-syndicated radio and television broadcasts.

Candace’s passion lies in her empowerment presentations and community initiatives. As a children’s advocate, she offers inspiring words to young men about etiquette and image, as well as young women on entering and maintaining healthy relationships. Candace also engages with entrepreneurs and business executives on leadership, marketing, public relations, professional etiquette, and effective, next-level business practices as an executive coach.

Recognized as one the 10 Women to Know in Atlanta, 2011 Fearless Female Entrepreneur and Turnkett Leadership Character Award nominee, Candace is a well-known supporter of local and national community organizations.  She is frequently tapped by nonprofit and religious organizations to strengthen their image and media strategies for initiatives, conferences, and goal-oriented campaigns.  She is a graduate of Auburn University, a wife to Adrian, and mother to James, Eon, and two amazing bonus loves, Elias and Adriana. 


When asked of her legacy, Candace replies, I want it to matter to my family and everyone I have touched, that I was born.  We've seen the dash between the time people are born and when they die on tombstones; I want my dash to be significant.  I don't want my living to be in vain.


Senior Registered Sales Associate

Jessica Crownover, Sr. Registered Sales Associate, with Crownover Financial Group of Raymond James. Jessica joined Raymond James in 2013, drawn by the chance to help clients pursue their financial goals. She partners with Crownover Financial Group team to work to understand client’s unique circumstances and ultimately create a distinctive plan that provides a roadmap for their financial journey. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Consumer Science with a specialization in Financial Planning from the University of Alabama. She also holds Series 7 and 66 securities licenses.

A native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Jessica enjoys the opportunity to serve clients in her hometown. She is active in the community as a volunteer for a number of organizations such as Junior Achievement and the Junior League of Tuscaloosa. Jessica is a member of the University of Alabama Alumni Association, and she enjoys spending her free time outdoors and spending time with her dogs, Pocket and Rory.

Megan Spain

Certified Financial Planner 

Megan graduated from Auburn University summa cum laude with a B.S. in Finance and Marketing in 2008. For the past 10 years, Megan has been financial planning for small business owners. She and her team of advisors work diligently to create solid financial plans to help their clients accumulate wealth, reduce taxes, and continue a legacy for their families. In 2016, she obtained her CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) certification. She is currently working on her Certified Business Exit Consultant (CBEC®) designation. Megan is Series 7, 66 registered and insurance licensed in multiple states across the country.


Since Megan was a little girl her dream was to have a ranch. She has an incredible love of horses and the outdoors. Her own farm experience and her dream of owning a farm have fueled her passion to help agribusiness owners and multi-generational farming operations. She understands their  concerns over growing their operations, retirement planning, and succession and estate planning. Through comprehensive planning, she focuses on her clients’ needs to provide a unique plan that helps towrd meeting their specific goals and objectives. Her goal is to establish long lasting relationships with her clients and their families to ensure a sense of security for their future and the future of their family and operation.


In addition to her work with small business owners and agribusiness owners, Megan serves on the Junior Board of Visitor’s for the UAB School of Nursing and supports several non-profit organizations such as Special Equestrians, National MS Society, the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, and the YWCA.


Megan is married and currently resides in Pelham, AL with her husband and two dogs. When she is not at home or working, you can find her at the farm or running at a barrel race.


Securities Licensed in AL, AR, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, GA, ID, LA, MD, MA, NJ, OK, SC, TX, and VA

Insurance Licensed in AL, AR, DC, FL, GA, ID, LA, NV, NY, OR, SC, and VA

Jacqueline Johnson

Financial Wellness Manager

Jacqueline (“Jacquie”) Johnson is the Financial Wellness Manager at Alabama ONE Credit Union. Jacquie describes this position as her dream job where she gets to share her passion of financial literacy and educating people on how to live a better financial life. Jacquie has worked in corporate America in the fields of business and banking for over 20 years. She is experienced in recruitment and selection of new employees and training and development.  In 2012, Jacquie decided to make a major career shift and enter the non-profit arena.  The non-profit sector allowed Jacquie to pursue her true passion for addressing the educational needs of adolescents and ensuring that the proper community resources are in place to provide the support they need. In 2012, Jacquie co-founded and was the CEO/President of Bright Minds Youth Development, a non-profit organization that serves the youth and young adults in underprivileged areas. Jacquie is married to Derrick, and they are the parents of three amazing teenagers.  Jacquie holds a Masters of Arts – Human Resource Development from Webster University and a Bachelor of Science – Business Administration/Finance from Georgia Southern University. Past Affiliations: American Institute if Banking (AIB) – Instructor; American Cancer Society – Executive Board Member (Pinellas County) and Volunteer Jacksonville, Inc., Blue Print for Leadership Class of 2001.


Co-Founder of Simply Stunning

Daphne Boswell, earned her Dental Hygiene License in 1993, and her Associates of Science degree in 2007. She began her Mary Kay business in 2000 while working full time as a Dental Hygienist. After nearly 10 years in dentistry she decided to pursue her Mary Kay Business full time. Her first year in Mary Kay full time she earned the use of a career car, her first diamond ring and more income with less hours than the previous year as a Dental Hygienist. Since then she’s earned 2 more diamond rings and is currently working on her 2nd Mary Kay career car. Daphne has been a member of BNI over 5 years & has served as a Director Consultant working with local business owners in 2 chapters for 3 years.

She is the co founder of Simply Stunning were she and her partner are makeup artists for weddings and other special events. She says,” Making women feel beautiful gives them confidence. A confident woman can take on the world.” Daphne is also a makeup artist for the University of Alabama working with guests for the local TV station WVUA. Daphne has been married 12 years to Bryan Boswell. She has two adult children, Lauren Elliott & Chase Elliott. In her spare time, Daphne loves to draw, paint & play with her 4 dogs & 2 cats.

Shannon Camper Chandler

Director of Development

Shannon Chandler is a native of Glencoe, Alabama. She attained a Music Education & Vocal Performance Degree from Wallace State College where she was on scholarship for the Concert Choir, Show Choir and was also the Lead Female Vocalist for the Jazz Band. She received a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communications from The University of Alabama and her Master’s from The University of West Alabama. The Communications School is where Shannon was the host of the nationally award winning talk show “Speak Easy.”


Through all of this Shannon began competing in the Miss America Organization at the age of seventeen by winning her first preliminary to Miss Alabama, from here seven years past, accompanied by seven preliminary titles, five top-ten finishes, three top-five finishes as well as the Nora Chapman Overall Interview Award, a preliminary swimsuit award and becoming a three time overall talent winner. This tenacity awarded her over $68,000.00 for her education. In 2004 Shannon won the opportunity to represent our State as Miss Alabama 2004-05. She spent her year traveling more that 7,000 miles a month for a culmination of over 520 appearances.


Shannon spent her years competing with a passion for her platform. Shannon began the Think Pink Campaign in Gadsden and was named youngest spokeswoman for the Susan G. Komen Foundation for North and Central Alabama. She raised over $220,000.00 for breast cancer aid and research. Shannon was awarded The Daily Points of Light National Community Service Award for her efforts to eradicate Breast Cancer, this is an award commended by the President of the United States.


Shannon is currently the Director of Development for Shelton State Community College. She established her ministry years ago where she speaks and sings to churches and local youth and civic groups. She is currently the Worship Leader for The Bridge, the Contemporary Service for FUMCT. She and her husband reside in Tuscaloosa and have a daughter, Evie 3 and son Walt, 2.

Sarah Rumfelt

President of Manderson Women in Business

Sarah Rumfelt is an MBA student at The University of Alabama. Prior to business school, she worked as a marketing coordinator at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida. Sarah is passionate about women’s leadership and realized the Tuscaloosa Women's Network with the goal of bringing together women from across the community. She serves as the president of Manderson Women in Business and is a graduate assistant at the Culverhouse School of Business Career Center. You can find her taking her dog, Rudy, to the Riverwalk, volunteering or drinking iced coffee at Heritage House.

Jaela Avery

Director of Sales & Marketing

Jaela Avery is currently Director of Sales and Marketing for Candlewood Suites in Tuscaloosa, AL. Jaela has been in the Marketing field for over ten years and has loved every minute of it. “Every day is different and an adventure” she says. She serves as Board President for Turning Point Domestic Violence Shelter, Junior Achievement Board Member as well as in a leadership role with Junior League of Tuscaloosa. She is currently Chairperson for the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force within the League. She is also Past President of the Tuscaloosa City Council PTA. Jaela is very passionate about women, children and volunteering in the community. “I saw my Dad be very involved in our community while growing up. That planted the seed in me always making sure I do my part for the world I live in.” She looks at all she does as her ministry. Jaela is married to wife, Anedrea and they have two children. When she is not doing all she can for others she enjoys reading, writing and cheering her beloved Florida Gators on.

Nichelle Williams Nix, JD MPH

Director, Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs | State of Alabama

Nichelle Williams Nix was sworn in as a member of the Governor’s cabinet in May 2016, when the Governor signed into law legislation establishing the Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs (GOMA) as a cabinet-level agency for the State of Alabama, which was a historic move for Alabama.  Director Nix was reappointed by Governor Kay Ivey in 2017, and serves to advise the Governor on policy issues affecting women and minorities, in the areas of economic development, education, health, housing, civil rights, criminal justice and empowerment.  Among its comprehensive portfolio of issues, GOMA has three main initiatives:  Minority and Women’s Business Enterprise Initiative, Alabama HBCU Initiative, and Childhood Hunger Initiative. 

Under its HBCU Initiative, Director Nix and the Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs recently unveiled its Alabama HBCU Co-op Program - a unique public-private partnership program that is aimed at increasing diversity in industries and careers that consistently demonstrate an underrepresentation of minorities, sustaining the State’s fourteen HBCUs, and retaining diverse talent within the State of Alabama.  This program is a first of its kind, and will run as a pilot during its first year, with a focus on minority HBCU STEM majors.  Students will be nominated and apply to be placed with employers around the State, with the first set of students being placed by the Summer 2019 semester.  To learn more about this program and the Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs for the State of Alabama, please visit their website at


Before joining the Governor’s administration, Director Nix was an attorney at Maynard, Cooper & Gale, P.C., in Birmingham, Alabama, where she was a member of the firm’s Governmental and Regulatory Affairs practice group.  Prior to her arrival at Maynard Cooper, Director Nix served as Executive Director of the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America in Mobile, Alabama.

Director Nix also spent some time on Capitol Hill, serving as Legislative Counsel to U.S. Representative Artur Davis (D-AL) in Washington, D.C., and as a Healthcare Fellow at the Alabama Appleseed Center for Law & Justice in Montgomery, Alabama.

A native of Mobile, Alabama, Director Nix is a graduate of Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia.  She earned her Masters of Public Health degree from Emory University, and law degree from The University of Alabama School of Law.

Director Nix is a member of the Alabama State Bar Association.

Gina Simpson

Professor of Entrepreneurship & Coach at Soluna Strategies

Gina Simpson is a native of Alabama and a multiple graduate of The University of Alabama. She has spent her career as a serial entrepreneur founding, managing and growing several companies. Mrs. Simpson, a certified professional coach, enjoys using her entrepreneurial experience to grow and foster businesses. Currently, she is the President of Regina Holdings, LLC, a consulting and investment firm, and Soluna Strategies, a professional coaching firm. In addition to a business owner, consultant, and coach, Mrs. Simpson is a Professor at The University of Alabama in Entrepreneurship. Gina and her husband, Mark, began their entrepreneurial journey in the field of construction and have founded six businesses over the last 18 years. She was awarded the Rising Star Entrepreneurship Award by the West Alabama Chamber of Commerce and the Roots and Wings Award by the Women in Business Council. She is very active in the community serving on several boards. Mrs. Simpson holds a B.S. in Management with a concentration in Small Company Management and Entrepreneurship and an M.S. in Marketing. She has been married for 19 years and has two daughters, which she hails as her greatest accomplishments.

Angela Danielle Martin

Strategic Organizational Development Leader for Hunt Refining

Angela Martin is a native of Greenville, SC where, she graduated from the International Studies program at Southside High School.  As the 1999 Miss Southside High, she worked to inspire young people to be their best selves; that work became her passion and has continued throughout her career. Ms. Martin received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia and her Masters of Business Administration from Wake Forest University in North Carolina.  She began her career in marketing with S.A.L.E.S., Inc. where she created marketing campaigns for rental properties. This was followed by 7 years with Michelin North America, where she worked as a Territory Manager in the Southern California and Las Vegas markets as well as a Customer Trainer at the North American headquarters in her hometown of Greenville, SC. 

After several years in the oil and gas industry in Houston, TX, as a Leadership and Learning Leader, Ms. Martin decided to start her own consultancy and began to work with non-profits, religious organizations and radio in the areas of administration and leadership. In 2016, Ms. Martin joined Hunt Refining Company in Tuscaloosa, AL, where she is the Organizational Development Manager. She manages professional development, succession planning, recognition and leadership programs as well as employee retention and engagement efforts.

Ms. Martin volunteers with Junior Achievement, serves as a United Way Loaned Executive and Campaign Chair, Adopt-a-School Coordinator and volunteer at a local elementary school also serving as a Big Brothers Big Sisters mentor. She is the Executive Director for aParent Miracle, Inc., a non-profit based in Atlanta, GA aimed at assisting single parents in becoming financially literate and independent and as Administrative Director for Beauty and the Beach, an organization dedicated to self-empowerment. Ms. Martin serves as a Board Member for the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama and the West Alabama Chapter of the American Red Cross where she is the chair for the Engagement and Development committee.  

In addition to her work at Hunt Refining she currently serves as a guest instructor at the University of Alabama in the College of Continuing Studies where she is an Executive feedback coach and leads workshops on resolving workplace conflict, generations in the workplace, diversity and inclusion and the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) exam preparation course. Ms. Martin is a certified trainer/facilitator, PROSCI change manager, Master Instructional Designer and SHRM-Certified Professional.

Ms. Martin is passionate about people living a full life and reaching their goals.


Leadership and Workforce Consultant

Mildred Black Hooks is the Founder and Principal Consultant of People Optimum Consulting, LLC.  She and her team partner with leaders, teams, and organizations to advance their goals through HR consulting, professional coaching and training services.

Her leadership experience spans the technology, healthcare, retail, service, and government industries.  She has been deemed “The People Optimizer.” In addition to launching People Optimum, LLC, Mildred is an author and national speaker. 


Mildred is a native of West Alabama and graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in Financial Management.  After graduation, she moved to Atlanta and advanced her career in the fields of human resources, technology integration and business development.  After completing her Executive MBA from Georgia State University, Mildred returned to West Alabama to lead HR Operations the largest health system and the second largest employer in West Alabama. For nearly a decade, Mildred oversaw HR legal and TJC regulatory compliance, employee relations, employee appreciation, HR policy, and the HR shared services center for a workforce of over 5,000 employees and contract staff working across multiple facilities and multiple states in the United States.  


Mildred has held key HR and Operations leadership roles in the public and private sectors, helping organizations strengthen people, systems, and structures to realize exceptional outcomes.  Mildred holds an Executive MBA and two Senior Professional HR certifications, SHRM-SCP, and SPHR.


Mildred is a sought-after, national speaker, entrepreneur, consultant, and author with a passion for optimizing to unlock potential.  In her career, she has delivered effective, impactful presentations on key leadership and industry topics for over 20 years in healthcare, business development, and technology.


Mildred loves spending time with her husband, Edward, five beautiful children, and extended family.  Mildred finds fulfillment in serving through her outreach ministry. 


Communications Studies 

Madison Green is a second-year master’s student in the communication studies department at the University of Alabama. For the last three semesters, she has helped teach public speaking to over 200 college students as a graduate teaching assistant. Madison discovered her passion for political communication while interning for the United States House of Representatives during the summer of 2019. She plans to pursue opportunities there after her graduation in May 2020. In her spare time, Madison enjoys watching Alabama football and visiting presidential libraries.

Angela Billings

Communication Studies 

Angela Billings is a faculty member in the Communication Studies Department at Alabama University. She started her teaching career coaching multiple state champion high school speech and debate teams and is recognized by the National Speech and Debate Association as a Diamond coach. Currently, she teaches Interpersonal Communication and Public Address classes here at the Capstone. While at Alabama, she has received the Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching award, the Board of Visitors teaching award, the Advising award, and the Faculty Member of the Year award by Alabama Athletics.

Heather Falls

Personal Stylist and Fractional Practice Manager

Heather Falls serves as the Fractional Practice Manager for Simplified Medical Management. She is a licensed Radiographer with ten years of patient care and medical experience. She has a passion for helping physicians provide the best medical care for every patient by simplifying medical management. She is involved in several community organizations, including the United Way of West Alabama and the Young Leader’s Society, and she is an avid supporter of local theater and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Heather is also a local blogger and personal stylist with a passion for inspiring women to love their style and their life. Her positive energy and kind heart make her a joy to work with. Heather loves spending time with her husband of three years and their three fur babies.

Mary Menard

Compliance Professional

Mary Menard is an experienced managed care and compliance professional who serves as the Vice President of Compliance for Simplified Medical Management (SMM), a management services organization whose goal is to allow healthcare providers to focus on their patients and not their practice.

Mary has over 30 years of experience as a leader and trusted advisor in the healthcare industry as a managed care and compliance consultant, chief compliance officer, compliance executive, educator and speaker. She holds multiple professional designations and is a past Toastmaster, holding the designation of Distinguished Toastmaster.

Dr. Judy Bonner

A Legend in Higher Education

Dr. Judy Bonner retired after a 43-year career in higher education. She capped an impressive career when she became the 28th President of The University of Alabama on November 1, 2012 after having served as the Provost and Executive Vice President for almost a decade. She is the first woman named president of Alabama’s flagship university, as well as the first woman to be named president of one of the 14 universities that make up the Southeastern Conference.


Dr. Bonner’s career at The University of Alabama also included positions as Department Chair, Assistant Academic Vice President, Special Assistant to the President, Dean and Interim President.


Prior to returning to her Alma Mater in August 1981, she held faculty appointments in the Department of Medical Dietetics at The Ohio State University (August 1976 – December 1979) where she earned her Ph.D. and in the Department of Pediatrics at UAB (January 1980 – July 1981). She taught pediatric nutrition and did research on nutritional issues faced by children with cystic fibrosis.


Subsequent to her retirement from the University in 2016, Dr. Bonner answered Mississippi State University’s call where she served as Provost and Executive Vice President from July 2016 – July 2019.


Dr. Bonner provided bold and visionary leadership to Alabama’s flagship and the Capstone of Higher Education during a time of economic challenge as well as unprecedented growth in size and quality. In recognition of her many accomplishments, she was elected to the Alabama Academy of Honor in 2014. Further The University of Alabama presented her with numerous awards including the National Alumni Association Distinguished Alumna Award (2016), Omicron Delta Kappa Living Legend Award (2015), Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award (2010), Amanda Grace Taylor Watson Distinctive Image Award (2007 and again in 2015), ODK Frances Summersell Award (2010), Carlton K. Butler Service to the University Award (2006). The Board of Trustees established a $1,000,000 endowment, the Judy Bonner Presidential Medallion Prize, to be presented annually to a UA community member who has gone above and beyond to change the culture or implement new initiatives designed to advance the Alabama experience for undergraduate students.


Our mission is to Connect, Educate, and Empower Women that will not only inspire the next generation of leaders, but provide a community for those currently leading. We will discuss opportunities and issues we handle every day as well as learn skills to strengthen our voice as Women in the Industry!

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