Governor Kay Ivey was sworn in as the 54th Governor of the State of Alabama on April 10, 2017. She is the state’s second woman governor. The first was Lurleen Wallace, wife of former Alabama Governor George Wallace, who became governor in 1967.
Ivey is a state government veteran. She ran for governor in 2010 before switching and winning the race for Lieutenant Governor. She was re-elected in 2014. In 2002, Ivey became the first Republican elected State Treasurer since Reconstruction and was re-elected in 2006. In 1982, Ivey ran unsuccessfully for State Auditor as a Democrat before working for the state’s education commission for more than a decade.
Before entering public office, Ivey worked on her family’s cattle farm in Camden, Alabama. She graduated from Auburn University in 1967 and worked as a high school teacher and bank officer after graduation. Ivey left banking to serve in the cabinet of then governor, Fob James.
Dr. Jerome Williams
District 6, President Pro Tempore
After graduating from Tuskegee University with a degree in animal science in 1968 and a doctorate of veterinary medicine in 1969, Dr. Jerome B. Williams moved to Chicago and worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He moved to Birmingham, Alabama, in 1975 and established the Red Mountain Animal Clinic, where he continues to practice today.
He is a national news reporter for VNN, the Veterinary News Network, and he holds a license to practice veterinary medicine in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, and Louisiana.
Mr. Chris Robinson
District 5B, Secretary to the Board
Trustee Robinson is a native of Huntsville, Alabama, and holds a bachelor’s degree in mass media arts-public relations from Clark-Atlanta University, and a master’s of science degree in management from Florida Institute of Technology. He is a graduate of Leadership Huntsville Madison County Focus Class 5, Connect Class 3, and Leadership Flagship Class 27. He has also been certified in training and leadership development by Langevin Training Services in Ottawa, Canada.
Robinson's experience in human resources, public relations, strategic planning, and leadership development spans over 20 years. He has managed multiple leadership programs for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). He currently serves in a leadership role for the Department of Defense in the area of and workforce and leader development.
Trustee Robinson's community involvement is extensive as he serves on several boards. Currently he serves on the boards of Leadership Huntsville-Madison County, Huntsville Botanical Gardens, Metropolitan Citizens Advisory Committee (Secretary), First Missionary Baptist Church Child Development Center and Academy, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Citizens Academy Alumni Association. He has led and served on boards of The ARTS Council, Huntsville Hospital Development Council, First Missionary Baptist Church Board of Trustees, and Public Relations of North Alabama
His membership affiliations are with the Association of the United States Army (AUSA Redstone–Huntsville Chapter), Association for Strategic Planning, Society for Human Resource Management, Public Relations Council of North Alabama (PRCA), Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., and (The Boule') Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity Inc.
Mr. Kevin Ball
Kevin Ball is currently employed as the Director of Operations for Ball Healthcare Services. Ball is an experienced healthcare professional with proven project management abilities that have supported company growth and development. He has worked in the healthcare industry for over 20 years.
His civic service includes his membership within the Alabama Nursing Home Association, where he currently serves on the Executive Board and as a Regional Director. He recently has served as the Chair for both the Regional Advisory Board for the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind (AIDB) and the Alabama Board of Examiners.
Ball completed his Master of Science degree from the University of North Texas in long-term care administration. His Bachelor of Science degree was obtained in business administration at Alabama A&M University. Ball is a founding member of the Western Area Economic Development Council for the City of Birmingham and is a sitting member of the University of Alabama Birmingham Healthcare Management Advisory Board. He also donates time to his community by coaching Little League football and baseball with multiple parks in the Birmingham area. He is a proud member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
Dr. Scherrie Banks
Dr. Scherrie Banks is a native of Midway, Alabama and is currently employed with the Montgomery Public Schools as the director of school counselors.
Trustee Banks earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Alabama A&M University in 1999. She continued her education at Tennessee State University where she obtained a Master of Science degree in Guidance and Counseling. She went on to earn an Education Specialist degree in instructional leadership from Tennessee Technological University and her doctorate in educational leadership, policy, and law from Alabama State University.
She is a member of St. John A.M.E. Church in Fort Mitchell, Alabama, the Chattahoochee Valley Alabama A&M University Alumni Association, Life Member of the Alabama A&M Alumni Association, Bullock County Voters’ League, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Alabama School Counselors Association, and the Alabama Education Association.
Currently, Dr. Banks serves as chairman of the Bullock County Board of Education.
Attorney Tiffany Johnson Cole
Tiffany Johnson Cole is an attorney with the Law Offices of Robert Simms Thompson, PC in Tuskegee, Alabama. She handles cases in the areas of automobile products liability, negligence, wrongful death, trucking litigation, fraud, and breach of contract. Tiffany made history when she became the first Female to be appointed as Municipal Court Judge in the City of Tuskegee and the Town of Jackson’s Gap, Alabama.
Tiffany received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Spelman College and her Juris Doctorate from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. She is licensed to practice law in Alabama and Georgia.
Tiffany recognizes that too whom much is given, much is required and therefore spends a great deal of time in service to others. She is a member of the North Florida Child Development Center Board. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. where she serves as the Alabama Social Action Co-Coordinator. She is a member of the Alabama State Bar Association, Alabama Association for Justice, Macon County Bar Association, Alabama Lawyers Association, the Links Incorporated, and Jack and Jill of America. Tiffany was recognized as one of the most influential persons in Macon County.
In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, reading, horseback riding, and shopping.
MS. Nichelle Gainey
Nichelle Gainey is the president of SilverStone International, a full-service business management firm that provides tailor-made business strategies and critical access for global sports and business clientele.
As the youngest woman appointed to the prestigious 2010 FIFA World Cup Planning Committee, by the chairman of the African Union in 2006, Nichelle was instrumental in coordinating American involvement as well as providing logistical/IT expertise to the newly built stadiums for FIFA’s 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Mr. John Hackett, Jr.
A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Mr. John Hackett, Jr., CEO of J.H. Jr. & Associates, LLC, earned his baccalaureate degree from Alabama A&M University in building construction engineering. He taught woodworking for the Birmingham and Vestavia school systems for approximately seven years. He went on to receive certifications in park and recreation maintenance management, as well as master maintenance from North Carolina State University. While attending the University of Alabama, he was able to complete certificates in maintenance management and master maintenance management.
Hackett’s career spans over 35 years of service to the City of Birmingham, the Housing Authority Birmingham District (HABD), and Alabama Power Company. By holding various positions within the companies, he was able to master many skills that include, but are not limited to, planning, streamlining, organizing, maintenance, construction, purchasing inventory management, warehousing, and administrative techniques.
The member of the Alpha Phi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., is a past president of the Alabama A&M University National Alumni Association. He and his wife of nearly 45 years, the former Lila Morgan, are the proud parents of four, grandparents of seven, and great-grandparents of five.
Ms. Ginger Harper
Ginger Harper serves as Senior Vice President, Private Banking & Retail Market Manager for IBERIABANK in Huntsville, Alabama. In her role, she is responsible for lending, investment strategies, trust and financial planning for the Huntsville market. With over 18 years of experience, Ginger focuses on providing comprehensive financial solutions and offers unparalleled service to high net worth clients as well as leading the Bank’s retail franchise in Huntsville. While her primary role is leading Private & Retail Banking, she also manages events and corporate sponsorships, serves as the Community Reinvestment Act liaison and works to ensure IBERIABANK has maximum visibility and exposure in the market.
Ginger graduated from Athens State University where she obtained a B.S in Business Management. She is also a graduate of Leadership Connect Huntsville Class 7, Leadership Flagship Class 25 and the 2014 Alabama Leadership Initiative; obtained her series 6 & 63 licenses and completed the Life and Health Insurance Exam.
Ginger has a strong sense of community and has been identified as a proven and effective leader working to advance many non-profit organizations. She currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for Alabama A&M University, member of the Board of Directors for The Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville, member of the Board of Directors for The Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce, past Chairman of the Heart of the Valley YMCA, past Board President of HEALS Inc., and is actively involved in various other organizations. Also, in 2017, Ginger was recognized as one of thirty women who are shaping the State of Alabama.
Mr. Perry Jones
Perry Jones is Senior Vice President of Manufacturing and Distillation/North America
at Diageo, a global leader in beverage alcohol. Diageo has an outstanding collection
of more than 200 brands, including Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, Bulleit, Smirnoff,
Cîroc, Ketel One, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray, and Guinness, enjoyed
in more than 180 countries. He is based at Diageo’s Plainfield, Illinois, site, Diageo’s
only location in the world that houses both a technical center and a full, state-of-the-art
Mr. Jones has extensive food and beverage industry experience in applying innovative approaches to end-to-end operations, supply chain management, change management, procurement, supply planning, commercialization, and contract manufacturing. Mr. Jones is responsible for implementing world-class supply chain strategies and best practices in areas including purchasing, inventory management, SAP, Lean, Six Sigma, and Total Productive Manufacturing to deliver bottom line financial results.
Prior to joining Diageo in 2017, Mr. Jones was with the Coca-Cola Company, where he served as Vice President/Thermal and Water, Vice President/Thermal and Contract Manufacturing, and Regional Vice President for the company’s Eastern Region Coca-Cola Refreshments business.
At Mark Anthony Brewing, a division of The Mark Anthony Group of Companies, Mr. Jones was Senior Vice President of Operations. Earlier in his career, Mr. Jones was with PepsiCo, where he served as Vice President Operations and Integration, Vice President Manufacturing, and Director of Manufacturing for the Gatorade brand.
Diageo North America is the company’s largest market and contributes approximately 50% of the company’s operating profit. Diageo North America’s Supply organization represents the leading producer of alcoholic beverages distilled, blended, matured, barreled, brewed, bottled and warehoused in the market. North America operates 10 domestic facilities across the United States, Canada and U.S.V.I. In 2017, Diageo was named to the Gartner Supply Chain Top 25.
Mr. Jones earned his Bachelor of Science degree in industrial technology from Grambling State University.
Dr. Roderick Dewayne Watts
Dr. Roderick D. Watts is a naturopathic doctor and a 1986 graduate of Tuskegee University with degrees in biology and chemistry. Dr. Watts is a Certified Natural Health Professional (CNHP). He also graduated from Trinity School of Natural Health and the Loomis Institute of Digestive Health in Madison, Wis. Dr. Watts has traveled extensively both domestically and internationally.
His memberships and affiliations are with The Etowah County Department Of Human Resources – Board Member; The Gadsden City Board of Education – Board Member; Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.,; Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity (The Boule’); Kappa Kappa Psi Honorary Band Fraternity; and The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Associations.
Watts is an author, a licensed pilot, inspirational speaker, and lecturer on numerous topics, with a concentration on health and wellness. He is married to Ms. Gloria Watts, and they have two children.
Dr. Jeanette Jones
President, Faculty Senate – Ex Officio
Dr. Jeanette Jones is a specialist in medical mycology who serves as professor of biology at Alabama A&M University. In addition to serving as president of the Faculty Senate, Jones is a thorough researcher, committed educator, and a resourceful leader/mentor. After earning the baccalaureate degree from Fort Valley State University, she furthered her education by completing the requirements for master’s and doctoral degrees at The Ohio State University in botany and medical mycology.
Throughout a phenomenal career of teaching, research, and service, she immersed herself in the awareness and promotion of the field of biology/pre-med among African Americans nationally, having also served as director of the Center for Biomedical, Behavioral, and Environmental Health Research. As an educator, she diligently taught such diverse subjects as biology, mycology, medical mycology, and introduction to health careers. Her impressive career also includes service as a higher education administrator and a University trustee.
Finally, in her capacity as President of the Faculty Senate at Alabama A&M University, she demonstrates unwavering commitment to the success and professional development of the faculty, as well as serves as an integral force in the ongoing achievements of hundreds of students seeking entry into the STEM professions.
Ms. Aayana Ingram
President, Student Government Association – Ex Officio
Aayana Ingram is a senior political science major and sociology minor. She serves as the 2018-2019 Executive President of the Student Government Association. She is a native of Ozark, Alabama, and is heavily active on campus. Her organizations include the Honors Program, University Choir, and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. Aayana maintains exceptional grades and has received multiple academic awards, including Honor Roll, Dean’s List, and the Bronze Presidential Medallion since her freshman year. Upon graduation, Aayana hopes to earn a doctoral degree in political science, to teach, and ultimately start a nonprofit that promotes social sciences among young African Americans.