Business Alabama will honor five people as Lifetime Achievement recipients at the inaugural Business Alabama Awards on March 3.
Receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award will be Dr. David Bronner, CEO of the Retirement Systems of Alabama; M. Miller Gorrie, chairman of Brasfield & Gorrie; Abe Mitchell, Mobile businessman and philanthropist; Sen. Richard Shelby, longtime legislator; and Shelley Stewart, radio personality and co-founder of o2ideas.
The five will be honored as part of the Business Alabama Awards. At the luncheon, awards will be given for Large Company of the Year, Small Company of the Year, CEO of the Year, Startup of the Year, Project of the Year, Alabama Ex-Pat and Philanthropic Project of the Year. Click here for more information on the BA Awards.
Here’s a look at the Lifetime Achievement winners:
Dr. David Bronner
Bronner has held the position of CEO of the Retirement Systems of Alabama since 1973, overseeing a public pension fund with assets in excess of $53 billion. High-profile RSA investments include office buildings in Montgomery, Mobile and New York, development of eight hotels and conference centers in Alabama, Gray Television, Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. and the 26-course Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.
M. Miller Gorrie
Gorrie purchased the construction assets of the Thos. C. Brasfield company in 1964 and began operating as Thos. C. Brasfield Inc. In 1967, he changed the name to Brasfield & Gorrie, serving as CEO until 2011. The company now has 13 offices in eight states and annual revenue has grown from $1 million to $5 billion. The M. Miller Gorrie Construction Center at Auburn University is named in his honor.
Mitchell was co-founder and partner, with his brother Mayer, of the Mitchell Company, a real estate development and management company and, since 1985, owner of Mitchell Brothers, an investment management and philanthropy organization in Mobile. He was among Forbes’ Top 15 Entrepreneurs in Philanthropy in 2014. Organizations that Mitchell has supported include the University of South Alabama, where he and his brother endowed the USA Mitchell College of Business in 1999. The Mitchell family has given more than $113 million to USA.
Sen. Richard Shelby
Shelby is the former U.S. senator from the state of Alabama. He recently retired following his sixth term. He’s the former chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee. In March 2019, he became the longest-serving U.S. senator from Alabama. He retired from public office in January 2023.
Stewart’s broadcasting career began in 1949 as a Birmingham radio personality, where he was a key communicator during the city’s human rights struggles in the 1960s. His 55-year broadcasting career included owning a radio station, and he was the first African American inducted into the Alabama Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame. In 1967, he co-founded o2ideas, a marketing, advertising and public relations firm based in Birmingham. He has received numerous national and regional business and humanitarian honors.