Spotlight on Autauga & Elmore: Movers & Shapers

The individuals who help shape the communities in Autauga and Elmore counties


Samantha Brantley is a certified ophthalmic technician at Vision Center South. As a lifelong resident of Wetumpka, Brantley is active with the Main Street Wetumpka Promotions Committee, working to bring promotional events such as Galentine’s on Main and Christmas in July to downtown Wetumpka. Brantley was awarded the Main Street Hero Award for 2022-2023 by Main Street Alabama for her efforts and service.



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Clyde Chambliss Jr., a graduate of the University of Alabama, is a licensed professional engineer and is serving his third term in the Alabama Senate. Chambliss served on the Autauga County Commission and the Prattville City Council. He is the principal engineer for Chambliss Engineering and provides services to local governments, developers and water systems. As Majority Whip for the Alabama Senate, he is responsible for managing bills on the Senate floor.


Jennifer Eifert is executive director of The Kelly Fitzpatrick Center for the Arts in Wetumpka. A Montgomery native, she traveled the world as a Navy wife before returning to Alabama. She spent a decade in the dental industry before returning to school and focusing on her love of the arts. As executive director, she has managed and led 12 exhibitions, two festivals, numerous classes, workshops and children’s activities.



Dennis G. Fain is a retired CPA, having worked for the accounting firm, Jackson Thornton for 43 years. He served 33 years as a principal in the firm and was the managing director for the Wetumpka office. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Alabama Society of CPAs. He is treasurer of the Main Street Wetumpka board, treasurer of the Wetumpka Gateway Development Corp. board and for the last 45 years treasurer at his church. He is a member of the Wetumpka Rotary Club and was recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow.

Marquis Forge, a native of Autaugaville, is founder and CEO of MRaine Industries LLC in Autaugaville. Attending the University of Alabama on an academic scholarship, he was a walk-on for the football team. After starting in the automotive industry, he and his team created MRaine Industries and moved into the bottled water industry, opening a $6.5 million green facility. In 2019, the Alabama Legislature designated MRaine’s Eleven86 Real Artesian Water as the official state water, and the plant is currently expanding. He is a licensed ordained apostle at Hurricane Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa and vice president of 100 Black Men of West Alabama.

Tim L. Gothard is executive director of the Alabama Wildlife Federation (AWF). A lifelong resident of Millbrook, Gothard is an Auburn University graduate. During his tenure, AWF developed the Alabama Nature Center in Millbrook, a 400-acre site with The NaturePlex educational facility. Gothard is a past president of the Prattville-Millbrook Sunrise Rotary Club and serves on the board of the Elmore County Economic Development Authority, Alabama Forest Land Trust, Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association, National Wild Pig Task Force and the Alabama Sportsmen’s Foundation. He is a graduate of the Alabama Ag & Forestry Leaders Program and Leadership Alabama.

Haley N. Greene is executive director of Main Street Wetumpka. She is a graduate of Columbus State University in Georgia. Her passion for the Main Street program and small businesses began in 2017 in her role with Uptown Columbus Inc., a decades-old organization responsible for the revitalization initiatives in the uptown Columbus area. Greene moved back from Utah to the Southeast in 2021 and continued pursuing her passion for downtown revitalization and economic vitality.


Sarah A. Hill is mayor of Tallassee after serving on the city council. She focuses on economic development, using her expertise in project management, leadership development and stakeholder relationships to help the city. She holds undergraduate and master’s degrees from Troy University. She is a graduate of Leadership Elmore County and served on the board from 2012 to 2015.



Bill Myers is executive director of the Grandview Family YMCA in Millbrook. During his tenure, the organization has had multiple expansions and renovations, growing from a $650,000 budget to a $2 million budget today. He earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Mississippi and served in the YMCA Movement for more than 20 years at four YMCAs in three states. Recently, the YMCA partnered with the city to staff and operate its senior center and the 17 Springs project. Myers is past president of the Millbrook Men’s Club, the Millbrook Area Chamber of Commerce and the Prattville-Millbrook Sunrise Rotary Club.

Brandy Mitchell is dean of academic programs for Central Alabama Community College and is the administrator for CACC’s Prattville campus. She holds a master’s from Mississippi State University and has completed postgraduate work with Faulkner University. Mitchell began her work with CACC as an English instructor. During her faculty tenure, she led the college’s Quality Enhancement Plan and worked with Elmore County Technical Center to begin its dual enrollment program. She completed Auburn University’s Intensive Government and Economic Development Training course and is a graduate of Leadership Autauga. She is a member of the Prattville-Millbrook Sunrise Rotary and a Prattville Chamber Ambassador.

Danae Morgan is director of the newly formed city of Millbrook’s Cultural Arts & Special Events Department. She also is director of the Millbrook Art Mill, a community arts facility that opened in April 2023. She brings more than 24 years of arts administration gained through her tenure as the city of Montgomery’s cultural arts director and executive director of the Arts Council of Montgomery, as well as director of the Armory Learning Arts Center. Morgan graduated from Troy University.


Kristi Pieper is the first economic and community development director for Autauga County, where she has lived for more than 35 years. Earlier, she was marketing and communications director for the Prattville Area Chamber of Commerce. She is a graduate of the University of West Florida, with specialized credentials in economic development and leadership. Pieper is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers; the Economic Development Association of Alabama, where she is serving on the 2024 Winter conference committee, and has served on the boards of several business and civic organizations.

Jay Thompson is chairman of the Autauga County Commission. He is the immediate past president of the Association of County Commissions of Alabama. Thompson serves on the boards of Central Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission, Central Alabama Aging Consortium, Autauga Montgomery Elmore Seniors, Mid-South RC&D and Montgomery MPO Policy Board. He is a graduate of Leadership Autauga County and Leadership Alabama. Thompson owned a residential construction and development company for 20 years, then served 10 years as construction coordinator for the Autauga County Board of Education and is now construction maintenance and transportation coordinator for JF Ingram State Technical College.

Lisa Van Wagner is executive director of the Elmore County Economic Development Authority. She has been an attorney for more than 28 years specializing in representing businesses, employers and local governments. She grew up in Millbrook and attended Elmore County Public Schools. She is a graduate of Auburn University and the Thomas Goode Jones School of Law, with additional economic development credentials. She also is a member of the Economic Development Association of Alabama, International Council of Shopping Centers and Wetumpka Rotary.

Bryant Whaley is economic development director for the city of Prattville. He holds undergraduate and master’s degrees from Jacksonville State University and is pursuing a doctorate from Liberty University. A former economic director for Randolph County, he holds certification from the Alabama City/County Management Association and specialty credentials in economic development. He also serves on Gov. Kay Ivey’s Government and Public Administration Technical Advisory Committee of the Alabama Committee on Credentialing and Career Pathways.

Lyman Woodfin is superintendent of Autauga County Schools. He is a 17-year veteran of the school system, serving as a classroom teacher, coach and most recently as Marbury High School principal. At Marbury, he was credited with overhauling the curriculum, adding new vocational classes and championing many infrastructure improvements. He also served as an assistant principal at Prattville High School, where he also served as the Lions’ athletics director. He is a Huntingdon College graduate with a master’s from Auburn University Montgomery and has Instructional Leadership Certification from the University of West Alabama.

This article appears in the January 2024 issue of Business Alabama.

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