Spotlight on Baldwin County: Movers & Shapers

The individuals who help shape the communities in Baldwin County

Steve Condon is the third president of the United States Sports Academy. He has a 44-year career in higher education, serving as a coach, winning four national championships and a gold and silver medal at the 1986 and 1988 World Championships in golf. He was inducted into the 2014 NCAA Hall of Fame. He has served as president or chancellor of Tennessee Wesleyan College, John Wesley and Carolina universities.

Callie Cox leads communications and government affairs for the $4.1 billion Novelis project under way in Bay Minette. A graduate of the University of South Alabama, Cox is active in Manufacture Alabama, serves on the board of the Public Relations Council of Alabama and volunteers on Ronald McDonald House Charities of Mobile’s event committees. Cox is also an advocate for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation.


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Sara Davis is the chief communications officer at Coastal Alabama Community College. She is a graduate of Coastal Alabama Community College and Troy University, with a master’s degree from the University of South Alabama. She has served in leadership roles for the Alabama Community College System Public Relations Association and the Alabama Community College Association. She serves on the boards of the North Baldwin Infirmary Foundation and the North Baldwin Chamber of Commerce. She is a graduate of Leadership Baldwin County.


Josh Duplantis is dean of workforce development for Coastal Alabama Community College. A graduate of Louisiana State University, Duplantis has a master’s from Auburn University and a Ph.D. from the University of Southern Mississippi. He serves on the board of the South Baldwin Chamber of Commerce, the advisory board for the University of Mobile School of Business and the national ACT Work Ready Communities council and is a member of the Southwest Alabama Regional Education Commission. Duplantis also serves on the Alabama Committee on Credentialing and Career Pathways Education and Training Technical Advisory committee.

Harold Eubanks is regional vice president for South Alabama for Volkert Inc. He has nearly two decades of experience with infrastructure and transportation projects in Mobile and Baldwin counties. Eubanks is currently playing key roles in the development of the Novelis site, the Mobile International Airport and the expansion of the Airbus facilities in Mobile. A licensed engineer, he is a graduate of the University of South Alabama. Eubanks is active with the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance and Alabama AGC, and serves on the Industrial Advisory Board for the USA engineering department.

Beth Gendler is president and CEO of Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism. Prior to joining the tourism organization, Gendler lived in South Bend, Indiana, and worked in advertising sales. She spent five years with the Marriott Corp. in convention sales and has also worked in the mental health industry.




Cecilia Hammond is a lifelong resident of Baldwin County and is the human resources manager for Gulf Packaging Inc. A graduate of the University of South Alabama, she has spent most of her career in banking, including completing the Alabama Banking School at the University of South Alabama. She currently chairs the North Baldwin Chamber of Commerce board and she serves on the board of United Way of Baldwin County. In 2023, she was selected to participate in the inaugural Baldwin EMC Community Leadership Council.


Penny Hughey is vice president of programs and education for the Coastal Alabama Business Chamber, developing programs on entrepreneurship and leadership for all ages, including Coastal Alabama Kid Entrepreneurs, Junior Leadership of Coastal Alabama, Lower Alabama Young Professionals, Coastal Alabama Leadership League, Coastal Career Connections and PowHER Hour, a women’s quarterly luncheon series. She also is president of the Gulf Shores Orange Beach Rotary Club and serves on the business advisory board for both Gulf Shores and Orange Beach city school systems.

Ritchie Hurt is manager of business development at Thompson Engineering where he has worked for 22 years. He works closely with the Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance, Mobile Chamber of Commerce and local industrial and commercial businesses. He is a board member of Partners for Environmental Progress and a former board member of Junior Achievement and the Boy Scouts, and is active with the Associated General Contractors, Economic Development Association of Alabama and the Gateway Initiative. He is a graduate of the University of Montevallo, the Economic Development Institute and Leadership Mobile.

Lee Johnson is the executive vice president of the Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance. Earlier, he served as senior manager of field operations for the Tennessee Valley Authority in Nashville. He has been active with efforts to bring the Novelis aluminum plant, a $4 billion investment with more than 1,000 jobs, to Baldwin County. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Southern Mississippi. He was named “40 under 40” in the Mobile Bay area in 2024 and “Top Under 50 Economic Developers” by Southern Business & Development.

Aaron Milner was appointed president of Coastal Alabama Community College in January 2024. He has 30 years of educational experience and served as superintendent of Saraland City Schools before coming to Coastal Alabama. He has served as a middle school teacher, a high school assistant principal, and superintendent of Enterprise City Schools. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama, with a master’s from Troy State University and a Doctor of Education from Auburn University. He is an adjunct professor for both master’s and doctoral courses in educational leadership at the University of South Alabama.

Brandon Nelson is assistant CEO of South Baldwin Regional Medical Center in Foley, where he is currently leading the newest hospital expansion. A graduate of Mississippi State University, he has a master’s and an MBA from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is a member of the Alabama Hospital Association, South Baldwin Chamber of Commerce, Central Baldwin Chamber of Commerce, Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance, Foley Downtown Revitalization Steering Committee, and a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and the Maroon Volunteer Center, among others.

Blake Phelps is economic development director for the City of Gulf Shores, working to retain existing businesses and attract new ones. He also manages strategic communications, community and governmental relations activities, and implements other critical initiatives to advance the city’s strategic plan. Phelps serves on the board of Gulf Shores Utilities and has been active with the Coastal Alabama Business Chamber, G.U.M.B.O. and the Dolphin Foundation for Education and Arts. He is a graduate of Troy University, the Auburn University Economic and Community Development Institute and the Alabama Leadership Initiative.

Ormand Thompson is president of Thomas Hospital and brings more than three decades of service to his role. Since joining Infirmary Health in 1991, Thompson has been instrumental in hospital operations and physician practice management. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama and Leadership Mobile. He is past chairman of the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce and the Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance. Currently, he serves on the Alabama Certificate-of-Need Review Board.

Eddie Tyler is superintendent of Baldwin County Public Schools. Prior to his current role, he has served in multiple capacities in Baldwin County Public Schools, and as a superintendent of the Eufaula City School System. Over the years, he has taught, coached, worked in administration — even driven a bus. Tyler is a graduate of the University of South Alabama and has a master’s from the University of West Alabama. He is a 2011 graduate of the University of Alabama Superintendent’s Academy. He also is a member of School Superintendents of Alabama and the Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools.

Randy Wilkes is superintendent of Alabama’s newest school system, Orange Beach City Schools, established in 2022. The district has already won honors for its students’ English language arts and math proficiency scores. The district also boasts a 13:1 teacher-to-student ratio; an outside-of-school participation rate of 96%; a staff where nearly 75% have an advanced degree and expects to spend more than $40,000 in local funds per child next school year. Wilkes is a 35-year veteran of Alabama public education. He was State Superintendent of the Year in 2019 and named Troy University Alumni of the Year in 2021.

John Wilson is chief school financial officer for Baldwin County Board of Education. A native of Baldwin County, he received his undergraduate degree from Auburn University and his master’s from Auburn University at Montgomery. Wilson is a CPA, a Certified Fraud Examiner, and has an MBA. Wilson has received two prestigious awards as CSFO for Baldwin County — the Alabama Robert L. Morton Outstanding School Business Official Award and the Association of School Business Officials International Pinnacle of Achievement Award for the “Pay As You Go” construction financing plan.

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

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