Spotlight on Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Escambia & Monroe: Movers & Shapers

The individuals who help shape the communities of Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Escambia and Monroe counties.

Charles Andrews

Andrews is mayor of Monroeville. A University of Alabama graduate, he worked 40 years in law enforcement, including service as a state trooper, director of public safety and chief of the highway patrol division until he retired as a colonel in 2010. He was appointed U.S. marshal for the Southern District of Alabama by former President Barack Obama, where he served until retiring in 2018.


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Coretta Boykin

Boykin is president of Reid State Technical College. She holds undergraduate and doctoral degrees from the University of Alabama and a master’s from Troy University. A member of the Conecuh County Board of Education and active in the Alabama Association of School Boards, she is a member of the Conecuh Industrial Development Board, the Evergreen Kiwanis Club and the Evergreen-Conecuh Chamber of Commerce. She was named Chancellor Administrator of the Year award in 2019.

Stephanie Bryan

Bryan is tribal chair and CEO for the Poarch Bank of Creek Indians, working with the Creek Indian Enterprises Development Authority and PCI Gaming Authority. A lifelong member of the Poarch community, she has experienced the tribe’s metamorphosis from poverty to prosperity. She is active with the Business Council of Alabama, Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, Escambia County Health Care Authority, Mobile and Montgomery chamber of commerce boards and National Tribal Gaming Commissioners and Regulators.

Susan Coleman

Coleman is director of the city of Evergreen Economic Development at Evergreen-Conecuh Chamber of Commerce, recruiting business and working with the Evergreen-Conecuh Cooperative District Board. She holds degrees from Alabama State University and Auburn University at Montgomery. Earlier she worked in Conecuh and Escambia County schools.


Jessica Dent

Dent is director of economic development for Conecuh County. Before coming to the county, she was a workforce development coordinator for the Alabama Department of Commerce and executive director of Connecting ALABAMA. She has worked with community organizations such as Alabama Communities of Excellence. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Troy University. She is board chair for Montgomery Pride United.

Anna Ellis

Ellis is the executive director of the Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce. She began her chamber experience as a teenager through Youth Leadership Atmore and has risen through the ranks. An Atmore native, she is attending classes at the University of West Alabama. Active in programs to support beautification, tourism and education, she is a member of Atmore Rotary Club, USDA’s Smart Growth America and Alabama ProHealth.


Nick Harrell

Harrell is the chief economic development officer for the Choctaw County Commission and director of the Choctaw County Chamber of Commerce and Community Development Foundation. A graduate of the University of West Alabama, he holds a master’s from the University of Alabama. Harrell serves on the board for the United Way of Southwest Alabama, is a member of the Southern Economic Development Council and is a 2022 Delta Leadership Institute Fellow.


Penelope Hines

Hines is executive director of the Monroeville/Monroe County Chamber of Commerce.  A Monroeville native, she is a graduate of Auburn University. Hines serves on the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama board and was recognized as the organization’s 2021 Chamber Champion. She serves on the Monroeville Zoning Board, Monroe County Pro Health Committee and United Bank Advisory Board, and coordinates Monroe County Leadership Now. She was recently named Kiwanian of the Year in Monroeville.


Stacy Hines

Hines is administrator of D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital in Brewton. Earlier, Hines served as COO of the hospital and as director of revenue cycle for Escambia County Healthcare Authority. She is a graduate of Auburn University and is active on the Brewton Area YMCA board and in Brewton Rotary Club. Hines has also served on the board of Greater Brewton Area Chamber of Commerce and in United Fund of Brewton and East Brewton.


Alex Jones

Jones is chairman and president of UB Community Development and executive vice president of United Bank. In that role he has helped allocate more than $500 million in federal funds to community projects in Alabama and neighboring states. He is a graduate of Vanderbilt University with an MBA from Auburn University. With 20 years of active and reserve service, he is a U.S. Navy commander. He serves on the Escambia County Industrial Development board, Atmore Planning board and the South Alabama Regional Planning Commission.

Brad Lowery

Lowery is administrator of Atmore Community Hospital in Escambia County. He started as the director of operations for the hospital in 2019, after working as a physician practice manager with Infirmary Health in nearby Baldwin County. Lowery is an Auburn University graduate with a master’s in healthcare administration from the University of West Florida.


Thomas McMillan Jr.

McMillan is president of Longleaf Energy Group Inc., owner and president of Longleaf Machining LLC and managing member of Goodway Refining LLC. He is a University of Alabama graduate and serves on the President’s Cabinet, the School of Commerce board of visitors and the Museum board of regents. Active in area economic development, he is a member of the Escambia County and Alger Sulllivan historical societies and of the Florida Independent Petroleum Producers Association, and a U.S. Army veteran.


Jess Nicholas

Nicholas is president and CEO of Centerfire Economic LLC, an economic development consulting firm that is the lead economic development arm of the Escambia County Industrial Development Authority. A University of Alabama graduate, Nicholas also spent more than a decade in media, and continues to write and edit for multiple publications.


Will Ruzic

Ruzic is vice president of facilities and operations for Provalus. Ruzic chairs the Gulf States Gas District and the Sapphire Hospitality Cooperative District and serves on the board of the YMCA. He is a past Chamber of Commerce president, Habitat for Humanity board member, South Alabama Regional Planning Commission member and a member of Rotary International. He is an Auburn University graduate.


Rosalyn Sales

Sales is executive director of economic development for Clarke and Washington counties. An Auburn University graduate, she serves on the board of the Clarke County Community Development Foundation, Clarke County Alabama Wildlife Federation Board, the Governor’s Taskforce for Rural Development Committee, and as a lead on the Southwest Alabama Regional Rural Development Initiative. She is also active with the League of Municipalities’ Economic Development Academy and on the team working to create the A-USA rail corridor. is a member of Economic Development Association of Alabama, Alabama Forestry Association, Alabama Agribusiness Association, Manufacture Alabama, and the General Aviation Alliance of Alabama.

Paul South

South is mayor of Jackson in Clarke County. He worked for Allied Paper, now PCA, for 38 years. He has served on the city council, the water and sewer board and several other city boards. He is chair of Clarke Mobile Gas and Lower Alabama Gas. He has served on the Arc of Clarke County board of directors and the Salvation Army board.


Darlene Thompson

Thompson is executive director of the Monroeville/Monroe County Economic Development Authority. She is president elect of the Monroeville Kiwanis and worked 29 years with Alabama’s Department of Commerce and Community College System. A graduate of Elmore County High School in Eclectic, she holds undergraduate and MBA degrees from Troy University.


Rick Wilson 

Wilson is president of Brewton Iron Works, which has been in his family off and on for more than 115 years. A third-generation Auburn University graduate, Wilson has been president of the Greater Brewton Area Chamber of Commerce, the Alabama Cast Metals Association and the Gulf Coast Chapter of the American Society for Metals. He is currently chairman of the Escambia County Industrial Development Authority.


This appeared in the March 2022 issue of Business Alabama.

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