June 20, 2024–Carrington Hodge / 2023 Winner, Distinguished Young Women Program

Carrington Hodge is a Chancellor’s Scholar and student at Vanderbilt University, where she plans to major in Medicine, Health, & Society, focusing in inequality, intersectionality, and health justice, with minors in Communications and Political Science. She is also a member of the Vanderbilt Dance Team and serves on the executive boards of the MOSAIC Student Recruitment Program and the Black Student Association. Carrington is also the founder of Unmasked: The Simone Project, an educational resource website that serves as a platform for neglected voices, which positioned her as the recipient of the 2022 Princeton Prize in Race Relations Certificate of Merit.

 

June 13, 2024–David Bagwell / “Lafayette, We Are Here. Y’all Come!”

David Bagwell is a 78-year old retired lawyer who grew up in Montgomery where he attended the public schools.

He graduated from Vanderbilt fifty-six years ago in 1968, LAST time the Democratic National Convention blew up in Chicago.

He immediately got a one-year draft deferment to travel around the world to study international business in 35 countries in Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.

As soon as he got home he joined the Army National Guard and went to Army boot camp in Fort Polk, Louisiana in July and August. David says he is grateful that the Army taught him the two most useful skills a lawyer can have: how to type and how to bayonet people. His most fun unit was a two-man military history detachment.

David clerked for a famous federal judge, Judge Frank Johnson, an Eisenhower appointee, although the current chief justice foolishly says it does not matter who appointed a judge.

After that, David practiced law for half a century. He was in two rival big firms and a medium firm in Mobile, and for the last seventeen years practiced by himself in Fairhope, Alabama and was his own secretary. He says that this was the only time he liked all of his partners. David mostly handled admiralty and antitrust matters.

Between the ages of 35 and 40, David did a term as U.S. Magistrate for the Southern District of Alabama. He ran for Federal Judge three times and each time, lost by only three votes: the President and both Senators from Alabama.

David was president of this club 32 years ago in 1992, president of the bar association of Baldwin County, president of the school board of St. Ignatius Parish, and is active in his church and the community. He is an honorary member of the Point Clear Rotary Club now.

In retirement he says he “is in the seafood processing business”, meaning that he tries to catch fish in Mobile Bay and puts the carcasses in the five crab traps he maintains on his “wharf”, as Mobilians call a dock or pier. He says life is good.

May 30, 2024–Chris Blankenship / Commissioner, Alabama Dept. of Conservation & Natural Resources

Chris Blankenship is the Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural
Resources (DCNR), appointed by Governor Kay Ivey in May of 2017. He has been with
ADCNR since 1994, when he joined the Department as a Conservation Enforcement Officer in
the Marine Resources Division.
Chris serves on many boards and commissions and is Chairman of the Forever Wild Land Trust
Board as well as Chairman of the Innovate Alabama Council on Outdoor Recreation. Chris also
previously served as a member of the Board of Control of the Employees Retirement System of
Alabama.
Having been integrally involved in the State’s response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill from
the beginning, Chris has a solid background for the oil spill recovery and restoration work he
handles as Governor Ivey’s appointed designee overseeing all the DWH funding allocated
directly to the State of Alabama.
He has been happily married to Allyson Blankenship for 32 years and has three adult children.
He is a native of Dauphin Island, Alabama, and currently resides in Montgomery, Alabama.

May 23, 2024–Karen Hong / CEO, Continental Aerospace Technologies

Karen Hong is the Chief Executive Officer for Continental Aerospace Technologies. ​

Karen served as the Global Chief Financial Officer for Continental since 2019 and brings 25+ years of experience in Finance, Accounting, Strategic Planning, Team Development, and world-class Manufacturing experience to the organization. During her time with Continental, she has managed the Finance, Accounting, and IT teams and played a significant role in Continental’s public listing. Before joining Continental, Karen held multiple executive positions in FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles). ​

Karen has a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Detroit and an MBA from the University of Michigan

May 16, 2024–Jon Carfagno / Executive Director, Mobile Museum of Art

Mobile, AL – The Board of the Mobile Museum of Art announced that following a year-long, national search, they had selected Jon Carfagno, Executive Director at the Hickory Museum of Art (Hickory, NC) as the next Director of the Mobile Museum of Art. He replaces retiring Director, Deborah Velders, who is concluding her 10th year at the Art Museum. Carfagno accepted the position in November 2022 and will assume the directorship effective February 14, 2023. Velders will remain at the MMofA until that time. Board Chairman (2017- 2022), Cory Adair notes of the appointment: “I am thrilled to welcome Jon Carfagno to the Mobile Museum of Art. Jon arrives with an impressive résumé and will be a great champion for art and culture in Mobile. I’m excited to see what Jon accomplishes at the museum.” Hayley Van Antwerp, who chaired the Board’s Search Committee adds: “The MMofA was fortunate to have a remarkable pool of candidates from across the nation apply for the Executive Director position, and the entire committee was impressed by Jon’s desire to more deeply connect the MMofA with our entire community . . . our region is in for a treat as Jon steps in as the leader of the MMofA.”

Mobile Museum of Art is a city and county-supported institution in the heart of Alabama’s fourth-largest city of 190,000 people. The facility was expanded in 2001 with a $15 million capital campaign and upgraded with another capital campaign for the Museum’s 50th Anniversary in 2014. MMofA was re-accredited by the American Alliance of Museums in November of 2022, following a rigorous year-long effort by the staff and Board of Directors.

Carfagno joined the Hickory Museum of Art as Executive Director in April 2017, steering the museum’s growth and evolution with the HMA team, Board, and volunteers to implement the HMA’s strategic plans and helped the institution exceed its financial and programming goals. Jon holds a Master of Arts in Art History from the University of Massachusetts and completed Kendall College of Art and Design’s MBA Certificate Program in Design and Innovation Management. His familiarity and expertise in programmatic development, community engagement, and strategic thinking were instrumental in building partnerships and connecting new audiences with the Hickory Museum of Art. Prior to his directorship at the Hickory Museum of Art, he worked in significant positions at the Grand Rapids Art Museum; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College. He served in multiple internships at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Worcester Art Museum, among other institutions.

Incoming Board Chair for 2023, F. Grey Redditt, Jr., adds: “We are indeed fortunate to have such a dynamic art professional as Jon take the helm of the Mobile Museum of Art. Jon has extensive experience in all aspects of museum operations – curatorial, educational, financial, and administrative – and will well complement the leadership the museum has enjoyed for the past ten years.  With Jon’s vision and energy, we look forward to the museum further engaging with the community and enriching the culture of our city.”

May 9, 2024–John Kilpatrick / Founder & CEO, Vet’s Recover

COL John F. Kilpatrick has served in the Reserves for over 37 years; 10 years as an
enlisted intelligence analyst in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and over 27 years as a
Medical Service Corps Officer in the U.S. Army Reserve. COL Kilpatrick is a combat
veteran of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation
Enduring Freedom and the Global War on Terrorism. COL Kilpatrick has excelled in
healthcare operations at all levels of service, including three overseas deployments and
18 months as a staff officer in Healthcare Operations at the Office of the Surgeon
General, Headquarters, Department of the Army at the Pentagon and Chief of
Healthcare Operations for Central Command.
COL Kilpatrick is an accomplished entrepreneur, small-business owner, executive and
leader fulfilling a calling to help military service members and Veterans struggling with
substance abuse and post-traumatic stress. He founded Vets Recover in 2015 and
currently serves as its CEO. He leads Vets Recover’s mission to remove barriers to
care, deliver quality integrated health care, and build a better community through
recovery and connection. Vets Recover’s vision is to build a thriving community where
Service Members, Veterans, First Responders, and their families are receiving the care
needed to accelerate overall well-being.
COL Kilpatrick holds a BA from Spring Hill College, a Masters in Social Work from the
University of Alabama and is a graduate of the US Army Command & General Staff
College. He resides in in Mobile, AL with his wife, Laurie Collins Kilpatrick and their
three children, Owen (21), Henry (19) and Kate (16).

May 2, 2024–Jim Nagy / Executive Director, Resse’s Senior Bowl

JIM NAGY

Executive Director

Jim Nagy was named to the position June 1, 2018, by Mobile Arts & Sports Association Chairman Mr. Angus Cooper II.  In his role, he is responsible for both the football and business operations of the nation’s premiere college all-star game.

While the Senior Bowl has long been regarded as the preeminent event on the NFL scouting calendar, the game has reached new heights over Nagy’s first three years, both on and off the field.  Since taking over for former Cleveland Browns General Manager Phil Savage four years ago, Nagy’s overarching vision for game was to position it as the unofficial start of the NFL pre-draft process, which led to the organization’s trademarked mantra “The Draft Starts in Mobile”.

On the football side, Nagy is primarily responsible for the identification, evaluation, and selection of the top NFL prospects to be invited to the game, as well as serving as a liaison to the agent community representing those players. Under Nagy’s leadership, the Senior Bowl team is coming off a year in which it strategically and skillfully pulled off the event despite the extreme challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, something no other pre-draft event accomplished, including the NFL Combine.

The past three games have produced a three-year record 292 drafted players, including 20 first round picks and an all-time high 106 total prospects a year ago.  In each of the three years prior to his arrival, the Senior Bowl’s total number of drafted players represented 32% of the that year’s total draft class. That figure has climbed from 36% in each of Nagy’s first two years to an all-time high 41% last year.  Moreover, Nagy’s classes have enjoyed incredible staying power once they get to the NFL.  From his first two Senior Bowl classes (2019 and 2020), 90% of the players (218 out of 243) wound up making an active 53-man NFL roster at some point during their rookie season.  Some future NFL stars who played in the Senior Bowl the past three years include: Los Angeles Chargers QB Justin Herbert, San Francisco 49ers WR Deebo Samuel, Washington Football Team WR Terry McLaurin, and New England Patriots QB Mac Jones.

One of Nagy’s first moves was to build the game’s first-ever personnel department composed exclusively of former NFL scouts, which in 2021 included seven scouts with a collective 120 years of league experience. The Senior Bowl’s year-round evaluation process begins each February with extensive tape study on college prospects, continues through the summer with recruiting visits to events like the Manning Passing Academy, and concludes each year in the fall after more than a hundred live game exposures on campuses around the country.  Before invites are sent, Nagy relies on his over 20 years of relationships in the NFL to get input from the league’s top decision-makers to ensure the Senior Bowl is bringing the best draft eligible talent to Mobile each year.

An integral part in the Senior Bowl’s success during Nagy’s tenure has been the use of social media to connect with potential players and expand the reach of the Senior Bowl brand.  Since August 2018, Senior Bowl Twitter accounts (@seniorbowl and @JimNagy_SB) have grown exponentially every year, increasing total impressions from 40 million in 2018 to a staggering 350 million in 2021.  Embracing the power of social media has helped the Senior Bowl maintain a consistent year-round presence and greatly enhanced the game’s overall visibility.

Another significant growth area over the past four years has been the acquisition of several prominent national partners. With new additions like Nike (on-field) and Swet Tailor (off-field) as the official apparel sponsors, Panini America as the official trading card/NFT partner, and Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux as the official practice partner, Senior Bowl sponsorship revenues have nearly doubled since 2018.  In addition, prominent local businesses such as Regions Bank and Alabama Power have made significant commitments to the growth of the game over the past three years and Wind Creek Casinos recently did the same by signing on as the official sponsor of the Senior Bowl Street Party.

Away from the field, Nagy and his staff have added three exciting new January events—the Senior Bowl Summit, Player’s Mardi Gras Parade, and Downtown Concert—that have quickly transformed Senior Bowl week into more than just a game.  Star-studded events like the Summit, which has featured guests like ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit, Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban, and celeb entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuck, and free concerts by groups like The Revivalists and Grammy-winners Portugal The Man have helped drive tens of thousands of visitors to downtown Mobile over the past few years.

The Senior Bowl remains an active community partner throughout the year with its youth NFL Flag league, charitable events such as the Senior Bowl Charities Celebrity Golf Classic, which raised $20,000 for Big Brothers/Big Sisters in its inaugural year last June, and the Turkey Bowl that helped feed 1,000 underprivileged families at Thanksgiving.  Additionally, through the Mobile/Baldwin Athletic Partnership (MBAP), the Senior Bowl awarded over $50,000 in grant money for team equipment needs and donated Nike uniforms to several local public high school programs in the city of Mobile.

In addition to his duties at the Senior Bowl, Nagy has worked as a draft analyst for ESPN, covering both the NFL Combine live from Indianapolis and the NFL Draft live in Nashville.  He also does extensive work across various football media platforms, including regular appearances on NFL Network and NFL Sirius Radio, and he was named one of the “Top 50 NFL Twitter Accounts” by The Athletic in 2020.

Nagy, a native of Traverse City, Mich., graduated from the University of Michigan in 1996 and was honored with a career achievement award from the school in 2019.  He broke into the NFL as an intern for the Green Bay Packers during their Super Bowl XXXI winning season and held various scouting roles over his 18 years in NFL personnel departments, elevating to national scout with the Kansas City Chiefs from 2009-2012. Prior to coming to the Senior Bowl, he spent five years as the southeast area scout for the Seattle Seahawks.  Nagy was a part of six teams that reached the Super Bowl and four Lombardi Trophy Champions (Packers XXXI, New England Patriots XXXVIII and XXXIX, and Seattle Seahawks XLVII).

Nagy and his wife, Lindsay, have two children, son Hayden (18) and daughter Lillian (15) and they have lived in Mobile since 2007.

Apr. 25, 2024– John Eads / Executive Director, Light of the Village Ministry

John Eads’ Bio

 

John Eads grew up in New Mexico, and at the age of 14, became a cadet at New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI) where he graduated from high school four years later.  Between his junior and senior years, in July, 1983 he became a Christian and began his walk with Christ.

He continued at NMMI on a boxing scholarship and earned a junior college diploma and a commission as an officer in the United States Army, he then completed Airborne School.  Following his military service, John earned a Masters of Business Administration degree from New Mexico State University in 1994, the same year he married his wife, Dolores, who served as a public school teacher.

They moved to San Antonio, TX where he earned a Masters in Hospital Administration from Trinity University and from 1998 through 2007, he served as Chief Executive Officer in two different hospitals for the Infirmary Health System.  In 2005, he was awarded the Distinguished Early Career Healthcare Executive award for the state of Alabama.

From 1997 to 2001, John and his wife, Dolores, served with Prison Fellowship Ministries and conducted in-prison seminars in prisons throughout Alabama.  They established Prison Fellowship seminars in the State’s juvenile facilities in 1998 and continued to serve inside both adult and juvenile correctional facilities until 2001.

In 2001, John and his wife founded Light of the Village, an inner-city Christian ministry in Prichard’s Alabama Village and served there part-time while pursuing their careers.  This community is one of Alabama’s most impoverished and violent.

In 2007, John decided to leave the healthcare field to devote full time to his work as Executive Director at Light of the Village. John traveled to East Los Angeles and learned about gang intervention at Homeboy Industries, considered to be the nation’s Best Practice for gang intervention.  Additionally, he and his wife traveled to Camden, New Jersey to learn about youth programs from Urban Promise.

In 2007, John began to serve as an adjunct lecturer at Spring Hill College for the Business Division.  He was hired as a regular part-time lecturer for Spring Hill College in 2016.

Currently, the Light of the Village offers a six day a week presence inside the Alabama Village and surrounding communities.  It serves children, teenagers, and adults.  Since 2014, the ministry has expanded to five summer camp sites, and five after-school programs.  We serve over 400 inner-city children a day for eight weeks during the summer and over 100 a day during our after-school programs.  Additionally, we offer job placement, ACT College prep tutoring and a variety of other programs to meet the needs of our community.

The Light of the Village was the topic of the National PBS documentary, “The Good Road” in 2020 and is the subject of several upcoming books discussing urban community Christian ministry.