Spotlight on Greene, Hale, Marengo & Sumter : Movers & Shapers

The individuals who help shape the communities of Greene, Hale, Marengo and Sumter counties


Allison Tucker Brantley is director of economic development for the University of West Alabama’s Division of Economic and Workforce Development. A University of Alabama graduate, she holds an MBA from the University of West Alabama. She is vice chair of Alabama Communities of Excellence Associates Council, a member of the Economic Development Association of Alabama’s Rural Committee and on the Sumter County Chamber of Commerce board. UWA’s National Alumni Association honored her with the College of Liberal Arts Emerging Leader Award.


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Doug Brewer is president/CEO of the Tombigbee Healthcare Authority and Whitfield Regional Hospital in Demopolis. A University of Central Oklahoma graduate, he holds an MBA from Kutztown University in Pennsylvania. Brewer serves on the boards of Talladega College, Marengo County Industrial Development and the Demopolis City Schools Foundation. He is active with the Alabama Hospital Association and a past member of the State Medicaid Advisory Board.



Tracy Bryan, a native of Panola, handles strategic partnerships for University Charter School, working to provide students with information to a wide variety of career opportunities. She holds a master’s degree in engineering from Auburn University and is working toward a master’s at Athens State University. She holds multiple certifications related to career advising. She is a Leadership Sumter graduate and serves on the board of the Sumter County Chamber of Commerce.



Woody Collins is mayor of Demopolis. A University of Alabama graduate, he worked for LaFarge Corp., and then joined his brother in the family business, Collins Communications in 1992. He has served on nearly every board in the city, including two terms on the Demopolis City Council, Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce president, 12 years on the city’s Industrial Development Board and more. He has been honored by the chamber with both a Citizen of the Year and a Lifetime Achievement award.


Arthur Crawford Sr. is the first Black probate judge in Hale County. He is a native of Sawyerville and an alumnus of Alabama A&M University. He is a retired command sergeant major of the U.S. Army with 26 years of service. He is the chief election official of the court, the chairman of the Hale County Commission, president of the Alabama Probate Judges Association, chairman of the Self Insurance Liability Board for Alabama County Commission Association and the vice chair of West Alabama Regional Commission board.



Michael Davis is senior district manager for the WM Chemical Waste Management Emelle facility. A graduate of the University of West Alabama, he is chair of the Sumter County Chamber of Commerce; a board member for University Charter School and the UWA Foundation; on advisory boards for several UWA units and the Black Belt Regional Agri-Center; and is a member of the Alabama Region 3 Workforce Council. He and his wife operate a commercial Black Angus cattle farm.



Dan Garnand is CEO and chairman of Merchants & Farmers Bank of Greene County. He is a graduate of Livingston University with additional banking credentials from the University of South Alabama and Louisiana State University. He served as the local chairman of Ducks Unlimited from 1991-2004 and of the National Wild Turkey Federation from 2010-2021.



Roy Geiger is the owner of Sumter Timber Co. and co-owner of Two Rivers Lumber Co., both in Demopolis. Sumter Timber has been serving west Alabama for 36 years, and Two Rivers Lumber began productions in 2017. Two Rivers Lumber is also a partner in Drax, which opened its Demopolis pellet-making plant in April, and in SmartLam Cross-Laminated Timber. Geiger is active in the Alabama Forestry Association and Demopolis City Schools Foundation.


Banks Gordy is director of the Sumter County Chamber of Commerce and the coordinator for the UA/UWA Inservice Center at the University of West Alabama. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of West Alabama. She is a member of the Sumter County Rotary Club, the UWA Sumter County Alumni Chapter, and is on the board for the Livingston Country Club.



Rodney Granec has more than 20 years of experience in university grant administration. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of West Alabama (UWA) and is an Ed.D. candidate. He has facilitated more than 200 federal grants, bringing some $40 million to UWA. He is a member of the National Council of University Research Administrators. He was awarded the 2018 Alabama Conservation District III, Distinguished Service Award, and an ARMS-Global Fellowship and serves on several non-profit boards.


Shawn Hall is president and managing member of H & M Construction Co. in Demopolis. He has been with the company his father founded in 1997 for 23 of their 25 years. He is a graduate of Northwest Technical College in Louisiana. Hall is the worship leader for Cowboy Church of the Prairie in Uniontown and sits on the boards of Eikon Ministries, Blueprint for Leadership Alabama, Marengo County Cattlemen’s Association, Demopolis Industrial Development and Amen Ministries. He and his wife own Bermuda Hill Brangus cattle ranch.

Latasha Jenikco Johnson is mayor of Eutaw after serving on the city council. She is a graduate of Shelton State Community College and the University of West Alabama. She earned her licensed practical nursing degree from Herzing University, and she is a nurse at Whitfield Regional Hospital in Demopolis. She is a youth advisor for the Greene County Baptist District Association and a member of the Order of the Eastern Star Chapter No. 735 Saint Johns Beauty. She is a member of the West Alabama and Black Mayors associations.


Corey Jones is superintendent of Greene County Schools. He is a graduate of Troy University with both bachelor’s and master’s degrees and earned an Ed.D. from Alabama State University. He taught science and math in the Perry County schools, worked as an administrator and helped bring $1 million in grant funding to the system. He became Greene County schools superintendent in 2019.



Miriam Leftwich works at DCH Regional Medical Center. She is a Stillman College graduate. She is founder of United Purposes, a nonprofit  helping Greene County citizens. She has worked with Girl Scouts and senior citizens, helping provide cultural experiences. She serves as community health advisor, coordinator for the city’s food effort, board member at Eutaw Elderly Village and an officer of Greene County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

Jovita Lewis is County Extension coordinator in the Hale County office of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. A 32-year Extension veteran, she works particularly in community workforce, leadership and economic development. A Livingston High School graduate, she holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama and a master’s from the University of West Alabama in Livingston.



Sam Marsonek is executive director of Baseball Country in Greene County, which uses baseball to share the gospel. He is a native of Tampa and former MLB player with the New York Yankees. The ministry has expanded to Creator’s Outpost, an outdoor ministry in Pickens County using hunting and fishing to mentor fatherless kids and provide opportunities for parents and children and also partnering with Westervelt to offer youth mentorship and other programs.


Marcia Pugh is CEO and administrator of the Greene County Health System, which includes Greene County Hospital, its nursing home, the Physicians Clinic and other specialty services. She has a bachelor’s degree from Tuskegee University, a master’s from the University of Phoenix and a doctorate in nursing practice from the University of Alabama. She has 40 years of experience in health care. She has an extensive portfolio of more than $10 million in funded grants.

Llevelyn Rhone is founder and president of the Hale County Chamber of Commerce and an executive with Direct Invest Development, an impact focused, sustainable real estate company. He is a graduate of Duke University with an MBA from the University of Chicago. He is a member of the boards of the Alabama Community College System and the West Alabama Chamber of Commerce. He also serves on the Industrial Development Board of Hale County, the Black Belt Advisory Committee of the Mike & Gillian Goodrich Foundation and was selected as a Delta Regional Authority Leadership Institute Fellow.


Natasha Satcher-Bell is a professor at the University of West Alabama. A Dillard University graduate, she holds a master’s and doctorate from the University of Southern Mississippi. Earlier, she taught and coached at the high school level. Satcher-Bell is vice chair of the Sumter County Chamber of Commerce, and serves on the University Charter School board, chairs leadership and civic engagement for the Sumter County Renaissance Plan and coordinates UWA’s physical education teacher program.


Allen Turner Jr. has served as chairman of the Greene County Commission since 2021 and has served as a commissioner since 2010. A graduate of Alabama A&M University, he has also studied at Shelton State Community College and pursued graduate studies at the University of West Alabama. He has spent more than 32 years with Alabama Power Co. He is an active member of the Tishabee Volunteer Fire Department.



Josette White is chief of police and director of campus safety for the University of West Alabama. She is a Livingston native, a 2006 UWA graduate and a longtime member of the university’s police department. She began her law enforcement career in 1994 as a Livingston Police Department dispatcher, then entered the police academy at the University of Alabama, rejoined the Livingston force where she reached sergeant, and then accepted a position as chief juvenile probation officer in Tuscaloosa and Sumter counties. She then returned to Livingston to join the UWA police department.

Barbara Williams is the librarian at the Newbern Public Library in Hale County. She is a graduate of Greensboro Public Schools and the University of Alabama. Since joining the library in 2017, she has increased the collection and other library services. The library is the only place in town to offer high speed internet to the public. It also offers programs ranging from McWane Science Center and UA’s Moundville Archeological Park to local artist and handicrafts workshops, as well as tutoring, homework assistance, summer reading programs and preschool readiness programs.


This appeared in the June 2022 issue of Business Alabama.

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