Bancroft is executive chef/partner of Acre Restaurant and Bow & Arrow BBQ in Auburn. An Alabama native and Auburn University graduate, his commitment to the Alabama farming community has earned him widespread recognition. A winner on the Food Network show “Iron Chef Showdown,” he has been nominated four times for the James Beard Foundation for Best Chef: South. He organized the Alabama Oyster Social to benefit oyster farmers and Bourbon & Beef to aid those harmed by 2019 tornadoes in Lee County.
Boyd is fire chief for the city of Opelika. Early in his career, he worked with the Birmingport and Concord fire districts, before moving to the city of Bessemer as a firefighter paramedic fire sergeant, fire lieutenant, fire captain and battalion captain over the course of his 25-year career. He has associate and bachelor’s degrees from Athens State University. He teaches with the Alabama State Fire College and Department of Defense and is active in several professional firefighting organizations.
Coley is superintendent of Russell County schools. A graduate of Russell High School and Auburn University, she has a master’s from Troy University, specialist credentials and a doctorate from Walden University. She is on the boards of the East Alabama Chamber of Commerce and United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley. In August 2021, she received the Sammie Lee Vann Darty Educational Foundation Trailblazer Award. She is active in the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and the Alabama High School Athletic Association Support Committee.
Gauntt is chief relationship officer for BEAM, an internet service provider for east Alabama. She is a graduate of Columbus Technical College and Auburn University. She is board chair of the East Alabama Chamber of Commerce and president of Phenix City Rotary Club and serves on the boards of United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley and the Chattahoochee Valley Community Foundation. She was named Frank McLemore Award for Rotarian of the Year and Individual Community Leader of the Year by the East Alabama Chamber of Commerce.
Healey is chief of police in Opelika. He is active in professional organizations and on the board of Curtis House. He is a 2019 graduate of Leadership Lee County. Healey attended Auburn University and Southern Union State Community College before becoming an officer and completing certification with the Alabama Criminal Justice Training Center, where he finished first in his class.
Herring is superintendent of Auburn City Schools. She earned bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degrees at Auburn University. Honors include Outstanding Administrator Award from Auburn’s College of Education, The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Lee County’s Chairman’s Award, Who’s Who Among American Teachers and Outstanding Young Women of America. She also is active in the Auburn Chamber of Commerce and United Way and on the Auburn University College of Education’s National Advisory Board.
Hovey is president and CEO of the Auburn Chamber of Commerce. An Auburn native and Auburn University graduate, she serves on the city of Auburn’s Industrial Development Board, the Leadership Lee County Board and Auburn City Schools advisory councils, and she volunteers for United Way of Lee County. She has chaired the Preservation League’s Christmas Tour of Homes, served on the board of the East Alabama Mental Health and is a 2012 graduate of Leadership Lee County.
Natalkka “Nikki” Jordan
Jordan is a marketing consultant and manager of Moton Field Municipal Airport in Tuskegee. She is a board member of the Aviation Council of Alabama, currently serving as secretary, and a founding member of the Southern Airways Birmingham Chapter of the Women in Aviation. She is on the board of the Southern Museum of Flight Foundation, a member of the Birmingham Aero Club and the Friends of the 99s Women Pilots organization board.
Krehling is community relations officer for the city of Opelika. She also chairs the public information task force for the Lee County Emergency Management Agency. A graduate of Auburn University, she is a board member for Opelika Art Haus and United Way of Lee County, where she is also 2022 campaign chair. She is a member of Public Relations Council of Alabama, Leadership Lee County and Citizens Police Academy, and volunteers with the Opelika Chamber of Commerce Total Resource Campaign and the Opelika City Schools.
Rep. Joe Lovvorn
Lovvorn represents Lee County in the Alabama House of Representatives. In August 2021, he retired as a battalion chief with the Auburn Fire Department. He holds a bachelor’s degree and an MBA from Auburn University. He owns the Two Men and A Truck moving company for the Auburn and Montgomery areas. He is recipient of the Spirit of Auburn Award from the Auburn Chamber of Commerce, and is active with Rotary Club of Auburn, Auburn Airport Advisory Board, Joint Legislative Committee for Re-Apportionment and The Energy Council.
McGinnis is director of the Opelika Public Library. A University of Montevallo graduate, she holds a master’s in library science from the University of Alabama. She also managed volunteer work for the Opelika and Auburn joint vaccine clinic, resulting in almost 90,000 vaccinations. A volunteer with the Opelika Chamber, she was the first recipient of its Young Professional of the Year award. She is a graduate of the Opelika Chamber 20 under 40 Class of 2018 and is now chair elect for the group. She works with Victorian Front Porch Tour and is on the board for the Opelika Art Haus.
Rosser-Mims is vice chancellor of the Troy University Phenix City campus. She completed Harvard’s Women in Educational Leadership Institute and is the recipient of the 2013 Wallace D. Malone Jr. Distinguished Faculty Award, a 2016 Chancellor’s Fellow, and past president of Troy University’s Faculty Senate. She holds a doctorate in adult education and an MPA from the University of Georgia. She is a founding board member and vice president of Steps of Love Inc., a nonprofit organization that collects clothing items for those in need.
Morris is president of Tuskegee University. A graduate of Jackson State University, she holds a master’s from Delta State University and a Ph.D. from Kansas State University. She has served as an accreditation peer reviewer and is active in the Montgomery Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and the Agnes J. Lewis Women’s Club. Other organizations include the Society for Human Resources Management, Beta Gamma Sigma National Honor Society in Business, the Golden Key National Honor Society, the National Council of Negro Women, the American Council on Education and Leadership Montgomery.
Mosley is director of planning for the city of Opelika. Earlier, he worked for the Town of Pike Road as planning director and in various roles with the city of Auburn. A Samford University graduate, he has a master’s from Auburn University. He serves on advisory boards for Auburn University’s master of community planning program and Opelika Creekline Trails. He is a member of Opelika’s 20 Under 40 Class of 2022.
Patel is president of Auburn Hospitality. Since purchasing his first hotel in 2011, he has owned and managed several hotels in Alabama and Georgia. He has been successful in acquiring and reselling venues needing renovations. With the creation of Auburn Hospitality, he has grown his management portfolio to include major brands and expanded his portfolio to include new construction.
Prewett is owner of Prewett Pest Control and Prewett Insurance Group. He is chair-elect for the Auburn Chamber of Commerce and is also a member of the executive leadership program for the National Pest Management Association. In 2018, he was awarded the Auburn Businessperson of the Year Award and was nominated for Leadership Lee County and the Alabama Leadership Initiative. He is an Auburn University graduate.
Rauch is president and CEO of the Opelika Chamber of Commerce, leading it to 5-star accreditation. She is a graduate of Lake Land College and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Earlier, as marketing director at Chicken Salad Chick, she helped the company grow from three to 160 locations. She is active with the Opelika Citizens Police Academy and on the board for Keep Opelika Beautiful and the Opelika Workforce Council. She is a graduate of Opelika Chamber 20 under 40 and Leadership Lee County.
An Opelika city council member, Rauch is vice president of the Community Foundation of East Alabama and active in tornado recovery group MEND. An Army veteran, he earned a Purple Heart in Iraq. He is a graduate of Lake Land College and Auburn University. He holds leadership roles in Museum of East Alabama, Opelika Kiwanis and Twin Cities Masonic Lodge and is a graduate of Opelika Chamber’s 20 under 40 and Leadership Lee County.
Siepmann is deputy director of economic development at the city of Auburn, which has received national recognition for its economic development strategy and success. Siepmann worked in various economic development corporations, including on a regional and state level. His experience includes post-communist East Germany, as well as the economic powerhouse of the Stuttgart Region in Southwest Germany. Siepmann was appointed in 2020 by Gov. Kay Ivey to serve on the Alabama Innovation Commission. He has served as chairman of the Alabama Germany Partnership and is currently vice president of the Southeast U.S. Korean Chamber of Commerce.
Sweatman is project manager with the City of Opelika economic development department, working to recruit and retain businesses. Sweatman is a graduate of Auburn University’s Intensive Government and Economic Development Institute and is pursuing further credentials. He is a board member of Auburn University Career Advisory Board, Envision Opelika Foundation, Creekline Trails of Opelika, Economic Development Association of Alabama and Southern Economic Development Council. He also is a member of the Opelika Workforce Council, past president of Opelika Rotary Club, and active with the Chamber of Commerce and local schools.
Thompson is market president of Synovus Bank in the east Alabama Region. He is a graduate of Shorter University and the University of Georgia Banking School. He is past president and current board member with the East Alabama Chamber of Commerce, where he works in entrepreneurism and economic development. He is helping plan the 2022-2023 ICF Kayak World Cup and World Championship, serves as treasurer of the Russell County Child Advocacy Center board and is active in the Phenix City Rotary Club and United Way.
Turnham is director of the Macon County Economic Development Authority. He helped the Town of Shorter recruit Hanon Systems (formerly Halla Climate Control) to Macon County, and the tier one auto parts manufacturer is now Macon County’s largest private employer. He helped establish MCEDA. In only six years, MCEDA has established seven industrial sites, including one of only three CSX Select Sites in Alabama, and aided in the recruitment of several new retail and major developments. He is a graduate of Auburn University and has been active in leadership positions over the past 30 years.
Whitehead is executive director of the Phenix City Housing Authority. Earlier, he was CEO for the Youngstown, Ohio, Metropolitan Housing Authority, and chief of staff to the mayor. A graduate of Duquesne University, he holds two master’s degrees and a Doctor of Ministry degree from George Fox University. He is active in the Phenix City Rotary Club and the East Alabama Chamber of Commerce. He has founded two nonprofits, Impacting Generations Inc. and Xcel to Excellence LLC, that help people escape poverty and fulfill dreams. Whitehead also has nearly 30 years of experience in ministry.
Wilkes is superintendent of Phenix City Schools. In 2018, he was named Alabama Superintendent of the Year. His primary focus has been on STEM education as a path out of poverty, which helped the system earn an A grade. He is in his 33rd year of public school service. Wilkes has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Troy University and education specialist credentials from Auburn University at Montgomery. He organized the Friends of Phenix City Schools, which raised $1.2 million for the district’s new STEM Center. Currently, he is president of District IV of School Superintendents of Alabama.
Wright is vice president of philanthropy at United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley, responsible for all fundraising and engagement in east Alabama. She also serves as vice chair of the East Alabama Chamber of Commerce and immediate past president of the Phenix City Rotary Club. Under Wright’s leadership, the Phenix City Rotary Club grew in membership and increased the number of service projects. She received her bachelor’s degree from Auburn University in Montgomery and her master’s degree from Troy University in Phenix City.