Mobile Bay’s 2022 Class of 40 Under 40

This year’s class of young, local professionals is raising the bar of success and inspiring optimism for this new year on the Bay.

Omar Alkharabsheh, M.D.

Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Clinical Oncology, University of South Alabama Mitchell Cancer Institute 

Since joining USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute in 2018, “Dr. Omar,” as he is endearingly known to patients, has driven the Institute’s growth and increased hematology cancer patients’ access to care throughout the Southeast. Omar serves as a physician-scientist, actively pursuing advances in treatment and care for cancer patients, and he is the principle investigator of four open clinical trials. Certified through the American Board of Hematology, the American Board of Medical Oncology and the American Board of Internal Medicine, Omar is hoping to help lead MCI into the future by developing a stem cell transplant program.   

Alma Mater Jordan University of Science and Technology; Michigan State University; Mayo Clinic
Hometown Al-Salt, Jordan
Spouse + children Isra; Raya (6), Tala (3), Ali (7 months)
Favorite thing about your job Helping patients through their cancer journey
What did you want to be when you grew up? I’ve wanted to become a doctor since high school.
Best advice you’ve ever received As my father told me, “If put your mind to something, work hard and do your due diligence, you will certainly succeed.”

Nick Arnold

Underwriter, The American Equity Underwriters Inc.

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During Nick’s tenure at The American Equity Underwriters (AEU), he has been promoted from underwriting assistant to account manager to his current role of underwriter. A tested leader, Nick is responsible for the profitability of 140 accounts at AEU (roughly 10 percent), and he was part of a team that was once recognized as “MVP Team of the Month” by parent company AmWINS Group. All the while, Nick, a professional tennis coach, has contributed in countless ways to the local tennis community, from running lessons at Heron Lakes Country Club to even working as head coach of the St. Luke’s varsity girl’s tennis team.

Alma Mater St. Edward’s University    
Hometown Houston, Texas
Spouse + children Sage; Lizzie (5 months)
First Job Stringing tennis racquets and mowing a lawn in exchange for free tennis lessons
Guilty Pleasure M&M McFlurry from McDonald’s
What word would you use to describe mobile? Knows-How-to-Throw-a-Party 
If I were Mayor, I would… Bring in a Topgolf with a view of the Mobile River.
Hidden Talents My dad and his family are from Argentina, so I can speak and understand a lot of Spanish.

Stuart Ball, M.D.

Vitreoretinal Surgeon, Premier Medical

After an ophthalmology residency and a vitreoretinal surgery fellowship at the University of Kentucky, Stuart, who is board-certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology, has returned to his hometown of Mobile eager to make a difference in the field of ophthalmology and become involved in the community. While in residency, Stuart won the Wirtschafter Award for his outstanding contributions to resident education as well as the Mark Gross Research Award for his work on chronic corneal pain. He also received the distinct honor of being elected by the faculty to serve as chief resident.

Alma Mater Tulane University; University of Kentucky
Hometown Mobile
Spouse + children Olivia; Barrett (2), Stuart (6 months)
Guilty Pleasure Astronaut ice cream
What did you want to be when you grew up? A fireman
First Job Residential construction
Best advice you’ve ever received Love what you do.
High School Superlative Best smile
Favorite thing about your job Getting to meet new people every day
Where would you take an out-of-town guest to eat?  Callaghan’s Irish Social Club

Matthew Metcalfe-Bees

Principal / Designer, Matthew Monroe Bees Interior Decoration

In 2019, when Matthew was chosen to participate in New York City’s prestigious Kips Bay Decorator Show House, he was one of the youngest participants ever selected and only the second Alabamian to be invited. Matthew has worked on homes from Los Angeles to the Hamptons. A native of Butler County, he is among the most published designers in the Southeast; his work has been featured in publications such as Garden & Gun, House Beautiful, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times, and in 2020, Architectural Digest named him one of six rising young designers in America.

Alma Mater The University of Alabama
Hometown Georgiana, Ala.
Spouse + children Addison; Presley (5-year-old Goldendoodle)
First Job Baling hay on my grand-parents’ farm in rural Crenshaw County
Guilty Pleasure Blueberry cheesecake ice cream from Cammie’s Old Dutch
Hidden talent Public speaking
Best advice you’ve ever received A gentleman always keeps an appointment.
What did you want to be when you grew up? President of the United States 
Favorite thing about your job Every day, I get to make someone’s dream come true.

Weathers P. Bolt

Partner, Starnes Davis Florie, LLP

Law partners describe Weathers as one of the brightest young lawyers in Mobile, having tried perhaps more complex jury trials than anyone else of his age in Alabama. Since joining the firm nine years ago, Weathers has focused his attention on civil litigation such as warranty claims, product liability, physician malpractice, fraud and personal injury claims. Over the course of the pandemic, he has used his experience handling OSHA matters to give numerous presentations on, and assist a wide range of clients with, federal regulation related to COVID-19. Weathers is a member of Order of Fuse and is preparing to launch a water safety program for underserved communities in Mobile County.

Alma Mater Emory University
Hometown Mobile
Spouse + children Molly; Willa (5), Wright (2)
First job Swim coach
What did you want to be when you grew up? Garbage man
High School Superlative Best abs (this one didn’t age very well)
Where would you take an out-of-town guest to eat? Red or White
Best advice you’ve ever received Be grateful. My grandfather John taught me, as much through his actions as his words, to be thankful for the people and experiences we are fortunate to enjoy.
If I were Mayor, I would… Close Lower Dauphin Street to cars.
If Mobile had its own Mt. Rushmore, who would you put on it? Hank Aaron, Joe Cain, Lonnie Johnson, E.O. Wilson

Kyle Brady

Founder of Drivin’ & Vibin’; Partner at RV Digital Strategy Agency

After setting off with wife Olivia to experience the full-time RV lifestyle, Kyle developed the most trafficked RV and camping online magazine, receiving over 3 million visitors a month. With a YouTube channel of 120,000 subscribers, Kyle has built a content team from the ground up, including 25 freelance writers, three editors and multiple content managers. As a speaker at industry events, Kyle strives to help RVers learn how to be good stewards of the land. He is also a dedicated volunteer and donor for the Eastern Shore Repertory Theatre.

Alma Mater Auburn University
Hometown Fairhope
Spouse + children Olivia; Nora Jane (2)
First job Host at Ruby Tuesday in Fairhope
Hobbies Music, RVing, walking
Guilty Pleasure Bingeing reality TV in the background as I review my publishing schedule
If I were Mayor, I would… Focus on controlling growth in Fairhope. It’s the cause of many community problems, and city leadership turns a deaf ear to the citizens’ call for action on it.
Favorite thing about your job I love pairing creativity and data. Every day I have 100,000 people to test content on.

Chad M. Collins, MHA, FACHE, CHFP

Director of Gastroenterology Service Line, University Hospital, USA Health

After completing his service in the U.S. Army, Chad set his sights on making an impact in the healthcare industry. As gastroenterology director of operations at USA Health, Chad brings nine years of healthcare administration experience to every project he touches, including a $1 billion merger and acquisition of Tenet and USPI. Aside from successfully implementing a $1.2 million facility improvement project, he also served as administrative lead for a $5 million Women’s Services expansion. Chad has a special place in his heart for service and is involved with organizations such as Ronald McDonald House, Salty Kidz and Whale of Hope Inc.

Alma Mater Faulkner University; LSU-Shreveport
Hometown Fairhope
Spouse + children Brittany; Madison (13), Parker (5), Pierson (2), Paxton (1)
Guilty Pleasure Almond Joy custard from Whits 
First job Cart boy at Food World
Hidden talents Sewing and working on cars
Best advice you’ve ever received There is never a right time to do the wrong thing. There is never a wrong time to do the right thing. 
Who would be on Mobile’s Mt. Rushmore? Every clinician who has guided us through COVID-19

LCDR Keith Gaines Drago, JAGC, USN

Deputy Force Judge Advocate, United States Navy

A natural leader, Gaines has rapidly advanced through the ranks to reach his current position as deputy force judge advocate for the U.S. Navy. He has been stationed at NAS Pensacola since 2016: two years as a defense attorney for service members, one year as the attorney for Naval Hospital Pensacola and the last two and a half years as Deputy Force Judge Advocate for Naval Education Training Command, which encompasses 25 percent of the Navy. Gaines also enjoys working as a CYO basketball coach for St. Mary’s Parish and Christ the King Parish, where he is also a parishioner.

Alma Mater McGill-Toolen, The University of Mississippi, Cumberland School of Law
Hometown Mobile
Spouse + Children Annie; Wallis (4), Pierce (3), George (1)
Hobbies Coaching youth sports, golfing, traveling, and living in the land of popsicles, pirates and princesses with my three kids
Hidden talent Being able to quote movie lines and song lyrics on demand (much to the annoyance of my wife)
First job Griffith Shell service station attendant 
Favorite thing about your job I like that every day is different and the pride I feel when I put on the uniform knowing the sacrifices of so many before me.

S. Jarrod England

Director of Operations, Hummingbird Ideas

As director of operations for Mobile agency Hummingbird Ideas, Jarrod has helped his team navigate the challenges posed during the pandemic while simultaneously implementing new systems for work efficiency and shepherding new partnerships for office financial management. Jarrod has 10 years of agency experience under his belt, having previously served as director of public relations for Red Square Agency. Before his time in the agency world, he served as a publicist and partnership manager in the NASCAR Cup Series for five years. His role has also presented the opportunity to work with several community organizations, including Lifelines Counseling and Mobile Boy Scouts.

Alma Mater University of South Alabama
Hometown Mobile
Spouse Caitlin 
Hobbies Traeger grilling (“Smokin’ meats” as Zuckerberg would say), CrossFit, deep sea fishing, afternoon bike rides
Guilty pleasure Key lime pie (My wife is a registered dietitian-nutritionist, so I don’t get real sugar very often.) 
Favorite thing about your job Our people because we are like a family. Our clients, because I love being a part of understanding each of their businesses, and then helping them to solve various needs relative to strategic marketing, advertising, and branding.

Meg McCrummen Fowler

Director, History Museum of Mobile

In her role as director of the History Museum of Mobile, Meg has not only boosted annual attendance by 62 percent, she has increased annual grants, sponsorships and gifts by 2,802 percent. She has explored and preserved a wide range of local history by curating such exhibits as “A History of Mobile in 22 Objects” and a forthcoming Clotilda exhibition for the Africatown Heritage House. A Ph.D. candidate in art history and society at Tulane University, Meg also serves on the Rotary Club of Mobile board of directors and is a past president of the UA Mobile Alumni chapter.

ALMA MATER University of Alabama; Tulane University
Hometown Mobile
Spouse + Children James; James (10 months)
Hidden talents Monopoly 
Guilty pleasure The comment section on
What did you want to be when you grew up? A teacher! By 16, though, I knew I wanted to be an art historian.
Where would you take an out-of-town guest to eat? Felix’s or Bluegill. I love showing off our closeness and connectedness to the water.
Best advice you’ve ever received Your success directly correlates to your willingness to have hard conversations.
Favorite thing about your job Watching the lightbulb go off in a visitor’s eyes when they make a connection to an exhibition or program

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Kim Garrett

Director, Victory Health Partners 

Kim has served as the director for Victory Health Partners since 2018, where she is responsible for fundraising, marketing, grant writing, strategic partnerships, event planning and clinical operations. She aims to raise almost $1 million annually, a crucial responsibility as Victory clinic isn’t reliant on government funding. In addition to coordinating about 70 clinic volunteers each week, Kim also developed the successful Change Maker Campaign to promote continuous monthly giving to the clinic. Kim is a familiar face throughout Mobile, thanks to her involvement in organizations such as Mobile United, Leadership Mobile and the Human Relations Commission for the City of Mobile.

ALMA MATER Abilene Christian University 
Hometown The Woodlands, Texas
spouse + children John; June (7), Rhodes (5), Luke (1)
First job Working a neighborhood lemonade stand
Hidden talents Between being a mom and working in a nonprofit, you learn hidden talents (school-costume-maker, IT, maintenance) every day.
Favorite thing about your job The testimonies of the uninsured patients Victory Health is privileged to serve. For many patients, Victory is the last opportunity to find healing and hope. It is humbling to be a part of such a larger story that is changing the futures of the thousands of people we serve. 

Russell Goode, M.D.

Orthopaedic Traumatologist, Gulf Orthopaedics 

The only fellowship-trained orthopaedic trauma surgeon in Mobile community hospitals, Russell has assisted in the development of trauma protocols and system efficiencies for local hospitals to improve patient care. This directly affects the Lower Alabama community by ensuring they receive the appropriate care as quickly as possible. Russell is also the presiding board member of the Frederick N Meyer Residents Fund, a nonprofit organization that provides scholarships and educational support to orthopaedic residents, and he was recently voted onto the executive board for the Infirmary Physician Alliance.

Alma mater University of South Alabama 
Hometown Florence, Ala.
Spouse + Children Sarah; Scarlett (5), Celeste (3), Cecilia (5 months)
Best advice you’ve ever received You are as good as anyone and better than no one. 
Guilty Pleasures Bourbon on the rocks and a puzzle
Where would you take an out-of-town guest to eat? Butch Cassidy’s
What did you want to be when you grew up? Heavy Equipment Operator. I loved the big trucks and cranes.
Hidden talents Woodworking — and I’ve still got all my fingers.
Favorite thing about your job Helping guide patients through injuries and recovery from what can be the most unexpected day of their lives.

Amber S. Gordon, M.D.

Neurosurgeon / Director of Infirmary Health Neuroscience Center of Excellence, Infirmary Neurosurgery

In 2018, Amber started the current neurosurgery practice at Infirmary Health, focusing primarily on general neurosurgery and the treatment of brain and spinal pathologies. In 2019, she developed the multidisciplinary Neuro-Oncology Board, which meets bimonthly to review cases and provide patients with an individualized treatment plan. At Infirmary Health, Amber is also the director of the Neuroscience Center of Excellence. She is currently serving alongside Ann Bedsole as the chairwoman for the Alabama School of Math and Science’s first capital campaign to raise funds for the Dr. Edward O. Wilson Science Research Center.

Alma mater Vanderbilt University; University of Alabama School of Medicine
Hometown Atmore, Ala.
Spouse + Children Brad; Alexander (5)
Hobbies Reading John Grisham and fishing
What did you want to be when you grew up? Miss America
Favorite thing about your job My favorite thing about being a neurosurgeon is being able to truly improve a patient’s quality and function of life. I get to see, firsthand, how advances in medicine and surgery can transform a patient and their family.

Portia Green

Principal, Prichard Preparatory School

Portia brightens the halls of Prichard Preparatory School every day with her optimism, energy, faith and contagious smile. First a school parent, then a volunteer, then a teacher, then executive director and now principal, Portia’s path to the school’s leading role was a natural progression, as students and colleagues fell in love with her leadership style and genuine affection for her students. Aside from increasing the school’s enrollment, Portia recently led the initiative to get Prichard Prep accredited through the Alabama Independent School Association, an accreditation that must be renewed every five years.

Alma Mater University of Mobile; Columbia Southern University 
Hometown McIntosh, Ala.
Spouse + Children D’Alo; Dalancey (16), DaLaney (11), D’Alo Jr. (4)
First job Cook and cashier at Ward’s Restaurant
Guilty pleasure Dark-chocolate-covered almonds
Who would be on Mobile’s Mt. Rushmore? My mother. She is the strongest woman I know.
Where would you take an out-of-town guest to eat?
Dauphin’s or Southern National
Favorite thing about your job I get to watch children get smarter and smarter. I believe intelligence is not something people are born with. It is something they develop when exposed to the right learning experiences. Helping teachers provide these learning experiences for students is so fulfilling.
If I were mayor, I would… continue with the beautification and revitalization of downtown. I would also work with others to help bring more tourist attractions, such as an aquarium or zoo, to the downtown area.

Jennifer Guthrie

Owner / Instructor, Glow Yoga

Jennifer has been a yoga instructor for 10 years and has led nearly 2,000 yoga classes. Certified with more than 800 hours of training, she has been featured in regional and national magazines and has been invited to teach workshops across the country. At Glow Yoga, Jennifer leads a team of 12 instructors, whose goal is to both physically and mentally prepare their students for whatever challenges life throws their way. Jennifer is also very civic-minded; she currently serves on the Gulf Shores Planning Commission and has volunteered her yoga expertise for several charitable causes.

Alma Mater Elon University  
Hometown Austin, Texas
Spouse + Children Drew; Lil (9), Lloyd (4), Gracie (2)
What did you want to be when you grew up? A lawyer or a secret service agent
Guilty Pleasure Driving around in my “mom mobile” with the windows down while blasting all genres of ’90s music and singing at the top of my lungs
Hidden Talent I was a Division I college tennis player, and I don’t play much anymore, so it’s really a hidden talent.
Favorite thing about your job People share with me all the time how grateful they are to have Glow Yoga and how much it has changed their lives. I’m thankful for that because it helps me remember what life is really all about … being there for others.

Nicolas Hausman

Marketing Leader, Hargrove Engineers + Constructors

Since joining the Hargrove team in 2020, Nick has successfully implemented several creative and innovative processes to reach the company’s clients and to market its services. Even in the face of a pandemic, his expertise in omni-channel marketing, user experience and digital media has elevated Hargrove’s brand. When taking ownership of projects, Nick leads with grace, humor and expertise; he coordinated a redesign of Hargrove’s primary website and has worked with Hargrove’s leadership team to facilitate improvements in internal and external communication. Nick has also enjoyed coaching his son’s baseball team for several years.

Alma mater Seton Hall University
Hometown Alton, Illinois
Spouse + Children Beth; Camille (12), Emmitt (8)
What did you want to be when you grew up? The next “Pistol Pete” Maravich
Where would you take an out-of-town guest to eat? Felix’s Fish Camp 
Best advice you’ve ever received The secret to getting ahead is getting started.
Guilty Pleasure The McRib
Hidden Talent I can make anyone laugh.
If I were Mayor, I would… Continue to promote, encourage and incentivize local businesses within the communities we live and work.

Afiya K. Hooker, MS, LPC 

President and CEO, The Sunshine’s Haven Counseling Center, LLC

Afiya is a licensed psychotherapist in the state of Alabama and has over 13 years of experience in the mental health and business fields. As CEO of a counseling center and a wellness center, Afiya leads a team of clinicians and professionals and has extensive training in trauma, depression, anxiety and hypnotherapy. She also owns The Sunshine’s Haven Closet, a nonprofit aimed at providing resources to disadvantaged individuals and families. Afiya was recently nominated for the Outstanding Practitioner Award from the Alabama Counseling Association and is a member of Chi Sigma Iota, the international honor society for professional counseling.

Alma mater Spring Hill College; Walden University
Hometown Mobile
Children Arrayah (4)
Hidden talents Singing and writing poetry
First job Arby’s drive-thru cashier. I was 15 years old, and you had to be at least 16 to actually make the food.
Best advice you’ve ever received Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.
Favorite thing about your job Holding space for my clients and helping them gain mental clarity, while also facilitating positive change in their everyday lives
Who would be on Mobile’s Mt. Rushmore? Fannie Smith Motley, the first African-American to graduate from my alma mater, Spring Hill College, who also has a scholarship named after her.

Gray Ingle

Director of Qualified Retirement Plans, Mitchell McLeod Pugh & Williams Inc.  

Since returning to Mobile in 2007, Gray has been engaged in the financial services industry, and in 2018, she joined Mitchell McLeod Pugh & Williams as Director of Qualified Retirement Plans. Gray has earned her Retirement Plan Fundamentals Certificate through the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries, the premier national organization for retirement plan professionals. Though COVID-19 brought unprecedented challenges, Gray worked with a steady resilience to meet the financial needs of 401(k) plan participants impacted by layoffs, furloughs or reduced work hours. She is also an active member of the Junior League of Mobile and the national Alabama Alumni Association.

Alma Mater University of Alabama
Hometown Mobile
Spouse + Children Will; Stansell (2)
Guilty Pleasure Bake My Day’s sweet-n-salty chocolate chip cookies
What did you want to be when you grew up? A mom
Best advice you’ve ever received “Remember to balance your checkbook.” – My grandfather
Hidden talent I can type 10-key really fast (from my days as a teller at Regions Bank).
Where would you take an out-of-town guest to eat? Via Emilia for brunch and Felix’s for dinner
Favorite thing about your job I love helping business owners set up a retirement plan.

Mandy Irby, LMSW 

Child and Family Counselor, Joyworks Counseling

Mandy’s dedication to aiding children and teens in Mobile and Baldwin counties extends from her professional to personal life. As a former foster care social worker at the Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes & Family Ministries and as president of the board of directors for Fostering Together Gulf Coast, Mandy has helped a significant number of children find stable homes. Mandy also expands her impact by teaching foster care licensure classes. She now uses her role as a counselor to assist those in the community who face crises. Mandy and her husband have personally fostered 30 children in their home since 2012. 

Alma Mater Troy University
Hometown Mobile
Spouse + Children Ken; Jackson (18), Calvin (17), Benjamin (14), Shawn (9), Landon (4), Ethan (2)
Guilty pleasure Crime dramas
First job Popeyes
What word would you use to describe Mobile? Emerging
Where would you take an out-of-town guest to eat? Las Floriditas
Best advice you’ve ever received You can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself also.
Favorite thing about your job I love that I get to be a support to people who are in crisis. I enjoy being able to come alongside someone in need and help them find hope.

Sarah Kahalley

Director of Clinical Resources, USA Health Physician’s Group

In the spring of 2020, Sarah headed the team that developed and launched the first mass COVID-19 testing center in the Gulf Coast Region through a partnership with the City of Mobile at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. She has since directed more than two dozen community outreach events to expand vaccine and testing access, resulting in the administering of over 100,000 vaccines and 85,000 COVID tests. Sarah’s fearless leadership has helped USA Health become a leader in the fight against COVID. In 2021, she was presented with the City of Mobile’s Exceptional Citizen Award. 

Alma mater University of South Alabama; The University of Alabama at Birmingham
Hometown Mobile
Children Julian (15), Olivia (9), Adelinh (8)
First job Piercing ears at Earrings and Things
What did you want to be when you grew up? Marine biologist
If I were mayor, I would… Develop mobile units to offer healthcare resources to areas of our community which we know lack access to care.
Best advice you’ve ever received Living in the past causes depression, living in the future causes anxiety, living in the present brings you peace.

Cathy Kateon

Consumer Banking Manager / Vice President, Regions Bank

As consumer banking manager for Regions Bank in Mobile and Baldwin counties, Cathy oversees about 120 employees. Over her 14-year banking career, she has consistently been chosen for leadership positions. Competitive by nature, Cathy works tirelessly to grow her teams into top decile performance rankings. Coworkers recognize her desire to make life better for the employees, customers and communities she serves. Cathy is on the board for Junior Achievement, a volunteer with United Way and Habitat for Humanity. The Christ United Methodist Church member has also organized collection drives for families affected by Hurricane Sally.

Alma mater Auburn University, University of South Alabama
Hometown Mobile
Spouse + Children Bunky; Brady (8), Ann Easley (5)
First job I helped start the Campus Store at St. Paul’s Episcopal School.
Guilty pleasure Old Dutch Ice Cream; it’s our favorite family date night.
High school superlative Funniest laugh
Where would you take an out-of-town guest to eat? Cheese Cottage but walk over to Old Majestic for drinks and board games.
Favorite thing about your job Investing in others through coaching and development and watching them take the next step in their careers, knowing I had a small part in helping them achieve goals.
Best advice you’ve ever received Control what you can control. 

Ashley Kleinschrodt

Chief of Navigation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Ashley oversees, manages and leads a team of engineers in the dredging and dredged material disposal operations of numerous channels along the Gulf Coast while also overseeing the management of approximately 2,200 miles of inland waterways across the Southeast. During her 13 years with the Corps, she has received numerous awards and distinctions and is a recognized technical expert in her field. The Mobile native sails competitively and has won both gold and bronze medals for crewing. In the community, Ashley is involved in growing young students’ interests in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields and has volunteered at Grand Bay Middle School’s Career Day and participated in the Girls Exploring Math and Science event held at the University of South Alabama.

Alma mater University of South Alabama
Hometown Mobile
Spouse + children Paul; Joie (6), Parks (1) 
Hobbies Boating, sailing, gym, fantasy football
Hidden talent I can leg press 360 pounds. 
Guilty pleasure Spice Girls and Ace of Base  
Where would you take an out-of-town guest to eat? Front Yard Tacos and Nova for a matcha
High school superlative I didn’t have one, but my 30s superlative is “most likely to have everyone drinking tequila by end of the night.”
Favorite thing about your job Understanding that our job of keeping the waterways maintained and open for cargo vessels has a direct impact on the economy and local community.  

Joshua Manning

Chief Operating Officer / Vice President of Operations, Ameri-Force, Inc.

Josh transcended the ranks, from management trainee to chief operating officer, in 13 short years — unprecedented, according to a colleague who says the Elberta, Alabama, native is “perhaps the strongest employee Ameri-Force has ever had.” Being responsible for the nationwide staffing operations for the marine and industrial sectors, Josh has accumulated a deep well of contacts and is able to mobilize large teams with a moment’s notice. The self-described amateur foodie and aspiring mixologist leads the company’s marque sponsorship, the Austal United Way Golf Tournament, where he smokes and serves some of the best brisket in South Alabama. Josh enjoys traveling with his family and is always ready for the next epicurean adventure. 

Alma mater Auburn University; Troy University
Hometown Elberta, Ala.
Spouse + children Hannen; Bennett (4), Owen (3), Lela Jane (2)
First job Picking and pitching watermelons and cantaloupes with my mom on hot summer mornings.
Hobbies Cooking and traveling…I’m always ready for the next epicurean adventure!
If I were mayor, I would… Resolve our recycling issue in Daphne.   
Who would be on Mobile’s Mt. Rushmore? Hank Aaron, Archbishop Lipscomb, Bob Grip and John Edd Thompson
Guilty pleasure Donut holes and New York-style cheesecake

Danielle Mashburn-Myrick

Attorney, Phelps Dunbar

Danielle graduated magna cum laude from Rhodes College, after which she taught English in Kyrgyzstan through the U.S. Peace Corps program. After completing her service, she helped manage her family’s retail furniture business, Green Gates Market in Fairhope, before enrolling in law school. Danielle received her Juris Doctor degree, graduating magna cum laude, in 2013, after which she clerked in the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Alabama. Upon joining Phelps in 2015, she established a bankruptcy practice for the firm’s Mobile office. When she’s not working, reading or exercising, you can find Danielle on the sidelines at the soccer field or attending a social with her small group from St. James Episcopal Church, where she and her family are members. 

Alma mater Rhodes College, University of Alabama School of Law
Hometown Fairhope
Spouse + children Matthew; Ida Mae (8), Telly (6), Virginia (1)
First job Summer camp counselor  
Hidden talent Cooking. My husband will tell you, I keep it well hidden. 
Where would you take an out-of-town guest to eat? Sage Lebanese Cuisine & Café in Fairhope
What word would you use to describe Mobile? “Estuary.” Just like Mobile Bay is a unique mixture of fresh water and saltwater, the Mobile area blends influences from New Orleans, the Florida Gulf Coast and other parts of the Deep South into something uniquely our own.  
If Mobile had its own Mt. Rushmore, who would you put on it? Hank Aaron, John LeFlore, Dr. Regina Benjamin, Marietta Johnson 

Caroline McGugin, M.D., MSPH

Breast Surgical Oncologist, Infirmary Surgical Specialists

Caroline is a fellowship-trained breast surgeon, specializing in the surgical management of breast disease, including breast cancer, high-risk conditions and benign breast disease. She offers her patients at Mobile Infirmary and Thomas Hospital a multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of breast cancer, advanced surgical techniques, and a passion for breast cancer research. Caroline has a masters of science in public health in addition to her robust surgical training, which includes being a Harvard clinical fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institute. She is active in her community with her two sons and as a member of Fuse Project.

Alma mater Vanderbilt University
Hometown Dallas, TX
Spouse + Children Wesley; Jack (2), Charlie (2 months)
Hobbies Traveling, horseback riding, running and skiing
Hidden talent Party planning!
Best advice you’ve ever received Be kind, honest, work hard and never stop learning. – My Dad
High school superlative My high school didn’t do this, but I was voted best dressed of my medical school class.
If I were mayor, I would… Continue to revitalize Downtown and add more running and bike paths.
What word would you use to describe Mobile? Welcoming
Favorite thing about your job My patients. I consider it an extraordinary honor and privilege to be a part of their cancer journey. 

Johnathan McKinley

Executive Chef, Fairhope Inn

By age 20, John turned his sights from forestry to his childhood aspiration: Becoming a chef. His love for food, especially chicken and dumplings, was born in his grandmother’s kitchen. After working in popular Auburn restaurants, John turned to culinary school, graduating in 2013. He began his own catering business and taught cooking classes, but it wasn’t long before The Grand Hotel Marriott Golf Club, Resort and Spa tapped him for his talent. In 2018, John was hired as executive sous chef for the Battle House Hotel & Spa. Under his leadership, the Battle House was named No. 3 in food and beverage among 100-plus Renaissance Marriott properties in the world. In November 2020, John was named the Alabama Restaurant & Hospitality Association Chef of the Year. He now delights diners with his culinary prowess at the Fairhope Inn. 

Alma mater Culinard Institute of Virginia College in Birmingham
Hometown Monroeville, Ala.
Spouse Kayla Ford 
What did you want to be when you grew up? A chef
Guilty pleasure Gelato
First job Forester’s hand 
Best advice you’ve ever received Listen more than you speak
Where would you take an out-of-town guest to eat? Chuck’s Fish 
What word would you use to describe Mobile? Animated
Favorite thing about your job The people you meet and the food, of course. 

Daniel McMahon, M.D.

General Surgeon / Assistant Professor, University of South Alabama Department of Surgery

After graduating magna cum laude from the University of Alabama, Daniel received his medical degree from UAB through a military scholarship. He was commissioned as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy in 2008, promoted to lieutenant commander in 2014, and selected for commander in 2019. During his service in the Navy, Daniel completed numerous overseas deployments as a flight surgeon and forward deployed combat trauma surgeon. He received numerous military awards throughout his active duty service and has published two books. Daniel is considered one of the most influential faculty members at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine.  

Alma mater University of Alabama, University of Alabama Birmingham School of Medicine
Hometown Fairhope
Spouse + Children Aurelia; Benton (8), Aurelia Marie (6)
Hobbies Hunting and fishing
What did you want to be when you grew up? A fighter pilot 
If I were mayor, I would … Work hard on the conservation efforts of Dog River and Mobile Bay. 
Where would you take an out-of-town guest to eat? NoJa
Favorite thing about your job Working with a group of extremely talented and dedicated professionals to relieve the pain and suffering of those who are ill.

J. Taylor Norton CIC, CRM

Founder / CEO, South Shore Insurance Companies

In the span of eight years, Taylor started not one but two companies from scratch, growing the firms’ teams from two people to 36 full-time professionals whose work in Mobile and Baldwin counties has expanded to include six states across the Southeast. The Certified Insurance Counselor and Certified Risk Manager is a graduate of Alabama Leadership Initiative and Leadership Baldwin County. Active in community fundraising, Taylor cofounded “Clays for A’s” and founded “The Great Turkey Drive,” which has provided over 14,000 meals since its inception.

Alma mater Auburn University
Hometown Loxley
Spouse + children Shelby; Joseph (6), Chapman (4), Shep (2) 
First Job I started my first enterprise at age 5. It was a massage business called “Reunion Relief,” which gave foot and back massages to my aunts and uncles during a family reunion. My first real job was working as a forestry/reforestation technician for my father.
High school superlative Friendliest
Guilty pleasure Callaghan’s Bacon Cheeseburger
What did you want to be when you grew up? My first memory of answering this question was at the age of 4, and I answered “penguin.” Our entire class erupted in laughter. My face still gets red when I think about that moment.
Where would you take an out-of-town guest to eat? Bucky’s at The Grand Hotel for a Redfish Reuben (and the sunset).

Dee Anne Odom, PE

Distribution Support Manager, Alabama Power

Dee Anne has established herself as a primary thought leader whose attitude and tremendous work ethic equip her to be an impactful leader. In her role, Dee Anne is responsible for planning Alabama Power’s response to major storm restoration events and for leading those efforts during the restoration. In 2020, she led local restoration efforts after hurricanes Sally and Zeta. Dee Anne enjoys participating in programs that focus on engaging youth in engineering. She has served on the Alabama Power Service Organization board and as a district director for Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society, working with engineering students in universities from Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky. 

Alma mater University of South Alabama, University of Alabama
Hometown Satsuma
Spouse + children Jonathan; Bryson (5), Blakeley (3)
Guilty pleasure Eating chips and salsa for dinner
Hidden talent Memorizing the words to any and every song
High school superlative Witty
Best advice you’ve ever received Focus on the things you can control. Worrying about the other things fixes nothing. 
Where would you take an out-of-town guest to eat? Dauphin’s for the beautiful views  
Favorite thing about your job Getting the lights back on after a storm and mentoring younger engineers. 
If I were mayor, I would… work to reduce youth crime and make the city even more business friendly.

Terrell L. Patrick, MPA

Director of Youth and Family Services, Mobile County District Attorney’s Office

Terrell sees leadership as an opportunity to serve others, and his commitment to engaging youth and promoting positive and healthy family relationships is evident to all who he encounters. As director, he has developed programs and curricula to educate students, parents and community partners on the topics of bullying, truancy, internet safety and human trafficking. The 2019 Mobile Area Mardi Gras Association King Elexis I is passionate about at-risk youth and youth mental health. Terrell is a member of the Mobile United Leadership Class of 2022 and is a Big Brother with the Big Brothers Big Sisters Organization of South Alabama.

Alma mater Troy University
Hometown Mobile
Hobbies Cooking, traveling, hanging out with family and friends, walking and playing with my dog Louie Graham 
Guilty pleasure Cammie’s Old Dutch Brownie Delight Ice Cream in a waffle cone
High school superlative Most School Sprit & Most Dramatic
Best advice you’ve ever received Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming things you once thought you couldn’t.
If I were mayor, I would … Work to provide more mental health services to our community and offer residential facilities for displaced teens and children.
Who would be on Mobile’s Mt. Rushmore? My mother, Connecyt Patrick Jenkins, because she is my superwoman.

Tramaine Perry

Vice President / Business Banking, Hancock Whitney Corporation

During his basketball career at the University of Mobile, Tramaine broke nearly every record in school history. Even then, coaches and school administration recognized him as born leader. Instead of becoming a professional athlete, Tramaine turned his attention to the world of finance. In his three years at Hancock Whitney, he has brought in new clients and consistently smashed year-to-date goals. When not in the office, Tramaine is on the court, coaching the Mobile Grizzlies 10U Club basketball team and the Daphne High School Varsity basketball team. The University of Mobile Alumni Star recipient says his relationship with God is the only thing that has carried him through this life. 

Alma mater University of Mobile
Hometown Hammond, La.
Spouse + children Kimyatta; Jaden (10), Jacob (9), Justin (4)
First job Wells Fargo Financial
Guilty pleasure Trolli Sour Gummy Worms
Where would you take an out-of-town guest to eat? SOCU
Best advice you’ve ever received Self-control is strength, but calmness is mastery.
High School superlative Most Likely to Succeed and Mr. Hammond High
Favorite thing about your job Helping people achieve their dreams and goals by providing sound counsel and guidance.
What word would you use to describe Mobile? Hidden treasure!

William Bradley Pitts, M.D.

Pulmonologist / Intensivist, Pulmonary Associates of Mobile

Brad joined Pulmonary Associates of Mobile in 2017 and quickly gained his patients’ appreciation, thanks to his attentiveness and time spent with them. He served an integral role in the design and management of the practice’s relocation to West Mobile, keeping patient flow, comfort and safety the utmost importance. Board certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine and Critical Care Medicine, Brad is passionate about teaching the next generation of medical students. He is a member of Christ United Methodist Church and is an adjunct faculty member at the University of South Alabama Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine.

Alma mater Spring Hill College, University of South Alabama College of Medicine
Hometown Mobile
Spouse + children Melissa; William Grady (6), Victor Jackson (1)
Hobbies Woodworking, cooking and traveling
What did you want to be when you grew up? Combination astronaut and professional surfer
Guilty pleasure McDonald’s chicken nuggets and horror movies
Where would you take an out-of-town guest to eat? Via Emilia
High school superlative If I could retroactively give myself one it would be “Most Likely to Buy All Their Clothing from Costco.”
What word would you use to describe Mobile? Endearing
If I were mayor, I would… I would focus on expanding tourism and try to make Mobile a travel hub as well for airlines and rail travel.

Patricia Parnell Powe, CPA

Business Manager, University of South Alabama College of Medicine

After living in Tuscaloosa for several years, Patricia moved back to Mobile and hit the ground running getting involved in the community. According to acquaintances, she is a very dedicated employee, leader and volunteer who uses her accounting knowledge and servant spirit to benefit the community and her church. In 2019, Patricia received the Distinguished Alumna Service Award from St. Paul’s Episcopal School. She is treasurer and a board member at Beckwith, parent council member and new parent chair of the Saints’ Fund at St. Paul’s Episcopal School, and vestry member, confirmation mentor and Sunday school teacher at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. 

Alma mater University of Alabama
Hometown Mobile
Spouse + Children Garrett; Hilton (6), Mary Stuart (3)
First job Hostess at Zeke’s Downunder in Orange Beach
What did you want to be when you grew up? A pharmacist like my grandmother and aunt
Hidden talent Party planning. I enjoy any excuse to get friends or family together to celebrate everything.
Where would you take an out-of-town guest to eat? Dew Drop for onion rings and Via Emilia for Eggplant Parmesan.  
If I were mayor, I would … Continue the revitalization of Downtown and create more of an entertainment district on the waterfront, therefore bringing in more visitors and sales tax revenue to our city.  

Grant Reaves

Principal, Stoic Equity Partners / Senior Associate, Marcus & Millichap

Grant began his real estate career after his time at Auburn University with a specialty in investment commercial real estate. Beginning as a broker, Grant transacted over $100,000,000 of hospitality assets in under 5 years. In 2020, Grant formed Stoic Equity Partners with a fellow broker. Stoic is a private equity real estate firm specializing in acquiring and developing commercial real estate throughout the southeast. In the community, Grant is a member of Church of the Apostles in Daphne and is involved in development conferences throughout the year.  

Alma Mater Auburn University
Hometown Columbus, Ga.
Spouse + Children Lawren; William Craig Reaves II (2 months) 
Hobbies Blue marlin fishing
Guilty pleasure Watching Christmas movies 365 days a year 
First job Brick cleaner, which is to knock the old mortar off of bricks from demolished buildings to be resold as reclaimed bricks. When I had cleaned and stacked 600, I made $30.
Hidden talent My wife says I am impeccable at laying pine straw. 
Where would you take an out-of-town guest to eat? Jesse’s in Magnolia Springs
Favorite thing about your job The ability to work through complex deals and issues to get the project to the finish line.

Jacob Rowe

Artistic & Executive Director, The PACT Theatre Company

As a student at St. Dominic’s Catholic and McGill-Toolen High schools, Jacob spent much of his time onstage at Playhouse in the Park and Chickasaw Civic Theatre and with the Mobile Singing Children and the Spring Hill Singers. In college, Jacob was awarded numerous dance awards, and his keen eye for detail led to a two-year tenure as the production manager of both The Alabama Repertory Theatre and Dance Alabama. He spent the summer of 2018 as the director of musical theatre at the world-renowned French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts in New York. He now brings his many talents to The PACT Theatre, where, according to a parent, Jacob has created a safe, positive environment for performers where he encourages kindness, support and hard work. 

Alma Mater University of Alabama
Hometown Mobile
Hobbies Traveling, working and hanging out with my dog Nova 
First job Lifeguard and a brand representative at Hollister
Guilty pleasure Watching cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies 
Where would you take an out-of-town guest to eat? Squid Ink
If I were mayor, I would … Invest in the arts! I would work hard to bring a professional summer stock program into the city, invest in facilities to bring in touring Broadway shows, and create a yearly grant for art organizations to help fund art education.  
Favorite thing about your job Creating new theatre experiences and working with kids as they discover their love of theatre and performing

Sydnie Shuford

Sixth grade counselor, Causey Middle School

Sydnie began her career as an elementary classroom teacher. After receiving a Master’s degree in counseling, she became the school counselor at Dawes Intermediate before moving to Causey Middle. Sydnie is described as a superior communicator, exceptional writer and speaker, and an innovative and transformational leader who thoroughly understands what it takes to champion children in education. She is an award-winning teacher and counselor, having garnered the National Blue Ribbon Award Winning Counselor, Alabama Performance Award Winning Teacher, and National Blue Ribbon Conference Presenter titles.  

Alma Mater University of South Alabama
Hometown Mobile
Spouse + Children David; Olivia (20), Taylor (18), Jackson (6)
Hidden talents Re-creating accents I hear, sleuthing
What did you want to be when you grew up? Actress or a lawyer
Guilty Pleasure Reality shows on Bravo
Who would be on Mobile’s Mt. Rushmore? Sandy Stimpson, for his revitalization of Downtown; Abraham Mitchell, for his contributions to the University of South Alabama; Hank Aaron; and Joe Cain.  
Favorite thing about your job I am blessed with the opportunity to meet wonderful children and make a lasting, positive impact on their lives.

Enoch Lamar Smith

President, Easy Heating & Cooling

In April 2005, Enoch founded Easy Heating & Cooling, Inc. The Alabama-licensed HVAC and general contractor has won many accolades, including the 2020 Small Business of the Month and the 2021 Small Business of the Year Finalist, both of which were awarded by the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce. Enoch believes each day allows him to perfect his craft and train others in the field of HVAC technology. He accomplishes this through a partnership with local mentorship programs, one of which is The Minority Accelerator Program with the University of South Alabama. Enoch is a member of Mount Hebron Church Ministries and is currently pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering.

Hometown Mobile
Spouse + Children Gretta Lendale Smith; Mariah Viola
Hobbies Bicycling, fishing, basketball, football, photography
First job Quincy’s Steakhouse
What did you want to be when you grew up? As a child I wanted to be a fireman, police officer or engineer
Hidden talents Motivational speaker, teaching, photographer, multi-craft repairman, dancing, singing, Christian gospel preaching 
High school superlative Best Smile, Class Clown, Most Likely to Be Successful 
Favorite thing about your job Being the Comfort Air Hero. Everyone knows I am there to rescue and save them from uncomfortable living conditions and higher utility costs. 

Luke Spaulding

Senior Vice President / Commercial Banking, IBERIABANK / First Horizon

Luke is described as a hard-working go-getter who is always seeking out new opportunities. As an undergraduate, he was a long snapper for the University of Alabama. Luke took his intensity from the field into the banking industry, where he has worked for 10-plus years. He enjoys finding innovative ways to help clients reach their financial goals and objectives. In the community, Luke is a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Alabama, assistant basketball coach at UMS-Wright and basketball coach at St. Ignatius.  

Alma mater University of Alabama
Hometown Mobile
Spouse + Children Ashley; John (7), Ann (3)
What did you want to be when you grew up? Veterinarian
Best advice you’ve ever received See a little, see a lot; see a lot, see a little.
Hidden talent I can pretty much fall asleep anywhere, at any time, within a two-minute window.
High school superlative Most Athletic
Where would you take an out-of-town guest to eat? Callaghan’s or NoJa
Who would be on Mobile’s Mt. Rushmore? Jeremiah Denton, Ozzie Smith, Jimmy Buffett, Orlando Jones
Favorite thing about your job Customer interaction and developing relationships with some of the best leaders in our community.  

Trevor Stubbs, M.D.

Orthopaedic Surgeon, Bayside Orthopaedic Sports Medicine & Rehab Center

After his orthopaedic surgery residency at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Trevor went on to complete a fellowship in sports medicine at Lenox Hill in New York City. While there, he served as an assistant team physician for the New York Jets and New York Islanders. Trevor joined Bayside Orthopaedic in 2020 where he is committed to not just ever-improving high-tech techniques of joint replacement, but inspiring young minds through a hands-on educational program at area schools. Trevor is a volunteer physician for the Robertsdale Bears and an active participant in the national Stop Sports Injuries campaign.

Alma Mater Louisiana State University
Hometown Pride, La. 
Spouse + Children Megan; AJ (4), Grady (1)
What did you want to be when you grew up? A garbage man because riding on the back of the truck looked like a blast.
High school superlative Most likely to succeed
Guilty pleasure Boutique coffee and Monster energy drinks
Where would you take an out-of-town guest to eat? Glass of wine at Provision, dinner at Camellia Cafe and ice cream at Mr. Gene’s Beans.
If I were mayor, I would… Work to strengthen the partnerships of healthcare networks based in Mobile with the providers of the Eastern Shore.     

Abby Rose Wilson, MSN, RN

Nurse Manager, Springhill Medical Center

Since she began working at Springhill Medical Center, Abby has served as hospital house supervisor and director of patient relations, the last of which she voluntarily gave up to take on the job of managing the hospital’s primary COVID-19 nursing unit. Abby is described as a leader of heroes and a hero to heroes — she was carrying out incredibly important lifesaving work throughout her entire second pregnancy. Abby is a licensed minister in the Church of God, and she teaches life groups and helps her husband’s church ministry, all while maintaining a 3.92 GPA in graduate school — she’s nearing the completion of her nursing doctorate.  

Alma mater University of Alabama in Huntsville
Hometown Sylvania, Ala.
Spouse + children Kyle; Emma Rose (5), Sarah Kate (1)
Hobbies Running, spending time with my children
First job I grew up working on the family farm. My first public job was at Sonic Drive-In. 
What did you want to be when you grew up? A marine biologist
Where would you take an out-of-town guest to eat? Osman’s Restaurant
High school superlative Class Clown. I love to see people laugh and be happy.
Who would be on Mobile’s Mt. Rushmore? Public service figures like a nurse, firefighter, police, etc.

Photos by Matthew Coughlin // Shot on location at Fuse Factory
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