Oct. 19, 2023–Dr. Jim McClintock / Endowed University Professor of Polar & Marine Biology, UAB “From Penguins to Plankton – Impacts of Antarctic Climate Change and What it Means for Alabama”

James B. McClintock is the Endowed University Professor of Polar and Marine Biology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California at Santa Cruz (1978) and his doctoral degree from the University of South Florida (1984).  In 1987, after completing a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of California at Santa Cruz, he joined the faculty of the Department of Biology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  He became a Full Professor at UAB in 1997 and has also served as Dean of the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (1999-2003) and as Interim Dean of the Graduate School (2003-2005).  Dr. McClintock’s research has been funded continuously over the past 33 years by the National Science Foundation and focuses on aspects of marine invertebrate nutrition, reproduction, and primarily, Antarctic marine chemical ecology.  Over the past fifteen-years, his research has also encompassed studies of the impacts of rapid climate change and ocean acidification on Antarctic marine algae and invertebrates.  He has published 300 peer-reviewed scientific publications, edited and written books, is invited to make numerous scientific and popular science presentations, and his research has been featured in a variety of public media outlets including the NPR Diane Rehm Show, NPR’s “On Point” with Tom Ashbrook, NPR Morning Edition with David Green, National Geographic Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, Discover Magazine, Scientific American Magazine, CNN, the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and The Weather Channel.  He has been an invited speaker for ‘TEDx’ (Birmingham) and ‘The Moth’ (Lincoln Center, New York City) and has served on workshops sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences on Climate Change and Polar Ecosystems.  He recently returned from his 16th research expedition to Antarctica where over the past two decades he and his research collaborators have become among the world’s authorities on Antarctic marine chemical ecology and drug discovery and have developed an award winning interactive educational outreach web site (www.antarctica.uab.edu).  His expertise on the ecological impacts of climate change and ocean acidification on marine life of the Antarctic Peninsula has garnered numerous invited lectures and he writes in the popular literature on this timely topic.  His book Lost Antarctica: Adventures in a Disappearing Land (Palgrave/MacMillan) was released in September 2012 (paperback edition released in 2014 with a Foreward by Sylvia Earle) and has garnered considerable national and international praise (www.lostantarctica.com).  In June 2013, a video short based on his book was produced and released by the EO Wilson Biodiversity Foundation that featured narration by Harrison Ford.  His second book A Naturalist Goes Fishing (St. Martins/MacMillan), released in November 2015, combines fishing adventures with an overview of pressing needs for freshwater and marine conservation (http://us.macmillan.com/anaturalistgoesfishing/jamesmcclintock).  He has been the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions including the UAB Ellen Gregg Ingalls Recognition for Excellence in Teaching and the UAB Caroline P. and Charles W. Ireland Prize for Outstanding Scholarship.  In 2001, he was given the Wright A. Gardner Award for the most outstanding scientist in the state of Alabama and he was selected in 2012 to serve on the Advisory Board of the EO Wilson Biodiversity Foundation.  In June 2018, the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research (SCAR), represented by 43 member nations, awarded him their inaugural SCAR Medal for Education and Communication.  In December 2018, he became the national face of the Nature Conservancy’s ‘Can We Talk Climate’ campaign.  He is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, an elected Trustee of The Nature Conservancy (TNC), a board member of The Cahaba River Society and Alabama Forever Wild and is an elected Fellow of the Explorer’s Club. On March 16, 2019, in the company of eight former Apollo Astronauts, the Explorer’s Club presented Dr. James McClintock with the Finn Ronne Memorial Award for Advances in Antarctic Science and Education.  In October 1998, the United States Board on Geographic Names designated the geographic feature “McClintock Point” in honor of his contributions to Antarctic science.

Oct. 12, 2023–John V. Marymont, M.D., M.B.A. / Dean of College of Medical Affairs & Owen Bailey, M.S.H.A., FACHE / CEO, USA Health

About John Marymont

Dr. John V. Marymont is vice president for medical affairs and dean of the College of Medicine at the University of South Alabama. In these positions, he oversees USA Health, which includes the USA College of Medicine, University Hospital, Children’s & Women’s Hospital, the Mitchell Cancer Institute, the academic clinical practice plan and the USA Healthcare Authority.

Dr. Marymont came to USA in 2016. Dr. Marymont has led a number of major initiatives. These include restructuring the University’s health system, developing the USA Healthcare Authority and expanding the clinical enterprise. He provided leadership on the construction of the new Fanny Meisler Level I trauma center and the expansion of University Hospital. With his direction, USA Health has increased its development program, developed a new website and initiated a new branding campaign.

During his tenure as dean of the USA College of Medicine, student performance continues to excel. The Class of 2018 scored among the top 10 percent of all medical students on their Step 2-CK exam. Dr. Marymont, in collaboration with the Mitchell College of Business, started a M.B.A. program with a concentration in health care. In addition, in collaboration with the College of Education, he started a Master of Education program with a concentration in healthcare education. In 2018, the College of Medicine received the full eight-year accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education.

An orthopedic surgeon by trade, Dr. Marymont has close to 25 years of broad-based executive experience in major academic medical centers. Starting in 1995, he began a 15-year career with the Baylor College of Medicine and later moved to the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center at Shreveport. At LSU, he served on numerous senior leadership team and was chairman of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery and interim dean of the College of Medicine, where he helped lead the largest health care transition in Louisiana’s history with the privatization of the state run hospital system.

Dr. Marymont graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Northwestern University and obtained his medical degree from Vanderbilt University. He completed an orthopedic surgery residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, a sports medicine fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic, and a foot and ankle fellowship at the New England Baptist Hospital in Boston. Dr. Marymont earned a certificate in medical and healthcare management as well as a Master of Business Administration from the Jones School of Business at Rice University, where he was selected by the MBA faculty to receive the distinction of a “Jones Scholar” for his accomplishments.

In addition, he has received the Fulbright and Jaworski Faculty Excellence Award from Baylor College of Medicine for his outstanding educational leadership and development of enduring educational materials. At USA, he was inducted as a faculty member into the Alpha Omega Alpha honor society.

Dr. Marymont serves on the Jones Health Care Advisory Board at Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business and as the Council of Deans Liaison to the Association of American Medical Colleges’ (AAMC) Group on Business Affairs (GBA). He holds an adjunct appointment in the USA Mitchell College of Business.

About Owen Bailey

Owen Bailey serves as chief executive officer and senior associate vice president for medical affairs of USA Health. His leadership responsibilities include University Hospital, Children’s & Women’s Hospital, Mitchell Cancer Institute and USA Health Physicians Group. He previously served as administrator of Children’s & Women’s Hospital, president and chief executive officer of Thomas Hospital in Fairhope, and as an executive vice president for Infirmary Health System.

A fellow with the American College of Healthcare Executives, he has served on the boards of the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce and the University of Mobile. He is past chairman of the Southwest Council for the Alabama Hospital Association, Mobile Area Education Foundation, Southwest Alabama Workforce Development Council and the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce. He currently serves on several boards including the Business Council of Alabama, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, Hancock Whitney Bank Alabama Market Advisory Board, America’s Essential Hospitals Membership Committee, and LifeSouth Community Blood Centers. He also serves as the state delegate to the American Hospital Association’s Regional Policy Board and is past chairman of the Alabama Hospital Association Board of Directors.

Bailey has received numerous awards, including the Up and Comer Award from ModernHealthcare magazine, the Young Healthcare Executive of the Year and the Regent’s Award from the Alabama Chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in health administration from Auburn University, where he served as drum major of the Auburn University Marching Band. He earned a master’s degree in health administration from UAB. He is an active member of First Baptist Church of Fairhope, and he and his wife, Genie, have four children.

Oct. 5, 2023–Tonie Ann Torrans / Executive Director, Penelope House

Tonie Ann Coumanis Torrans

Tonie Ann served in the United States Peace Corps in Kingston, Jamaica where she helped set up a Social Work Department in the Bustamante Hospital for Children (the only children-specific hospital in the Caribbean)- 1989-1991

Tonie Ann worked as a Medical Social Worker for nearly 15 years at Providence Hospital before coming to Penelope House in March 2007

Tonie Ann received her Masters in Social Work at the University of Southern Mississippi and her undergraduate degree in Sociology with a Social Work Emphasis at the University of Southern Mississippi where she played Varsity Volleyball for four years and was a member of the Delta Delta Delta Sorority

Currently, Tonie Ann is the Executive Director of Penelope House, attends the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, and is a member of the Junior League of Mobile, Daughters of Penelope, and NASW (National Association of Social Workers)

Tonie Ann is the proud mother of two sons: ages 19 and 16


Sept. 28, 23–Dr. Leida Javier / HABAGC (Hispanic American Business Association of the Gulf Coast)

Dr. Leida Javier- Ferrell, is a 27 year resident of Mobile and native from Puerto Rico. She has helped, showcased, represented and empower the Latino community in our region

Leida worked at Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce as Director of the Center for Workforce Development. She was VP of Youth and Adult Programs at Mobile Works, the Workforce investment consortia, where she managed an assistance grant after Katrina and lead to achieve above performance records. In addition, Dr. Javier-Ferrell worked as Assistant to the President of Airbus Military and as Community and Business developer for a German IT company. She has also taught at the University of South Alabama, Springhill and Bishop State Community College.

Before coming to Mobile, Dr, Javier was Dean and VP of Student Affairs in 2 large private universities in Puerto Rico. She stressed the development of leadership and community service.

After retiring in 2020, Dr. Javier-Ferrell established a project management and workforce development consultant company, Javier-Calametti, LLC,  Still has dedicated most of her time in volunteer service, including providing  leadership in the organization of the Mobile Latin Fest,  raising funds for scholarships and assistance to the Hispanic Community.

In 2021 Javier Calametti  LLC was awarded funds from Mobile United to train, certify and license Hispanic women to start food businesses. The certification classes in Spanish have served over 40 participants through BSCC and Coastal Alabama Community College. To complete this business incubator project, the Hispanic Association received a Grant from the American Recovery Act to establish a Shared kitchen Commissary Kitchen. The Continental Kitchen will open in late September. Leida has been the construction and project manager as a volunteer.

She holds a BA in Political Science from The Inter American University of Puerto Rico; an MA in Sociology from the University of Northern Iowa; and a PHD in Higher Education Administrations from Illinois State University.


Recent recognitions

2023- 25 Women that Shape the State of Alabama, Alabama Media Group

2022- Alabama Power-  Power Moves Magazine recognition

2021 40 over 40 Focus Women Award  recognition in Mobile

First group of Herstory Award- Museum of History of Mobile

Seven Seals Award from the Armed Forces -For bringing the Hiring our Heroes Program to Mobile

Leadership Mobile Class of 2012


Involvement in the Community:

Chair- DHR Board

Member of the Board of the United Way of Southwest Alabama

President and Founding member of the Hispanic American Business Association of the Gulf Coast

Advisory Board of BBVA Bank

Member of several working committees of the city of Mobile, workforce development and education programs

Board of the American Red Cros, MASS, the Homeless Coalition, The Interfaith Coalition, and of Professional Women International.


At 71, Leida still thrives as a disruptive leader!

Sept. 21, 23–LTC William E. Counts Sr. (USA-Retired) / Deputy Executive Director, USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park

Ebb Counts has been employed as Deputy Executive Director at USS
Alabama Battleship Memorial Park for close to 7 years. Ebb provides
oversight on all operations of Battleship Memorial Park. His latest and
current project is overseeing the replacement of the battleship’s teak
deck. This is a 36 month, 8.5 million dollar project.
After 32 years of service, Ebb is a retired Lieutenant Colonel from the
United States Army, Alabama Army National Guard and US Army
Reserves. Ebb is Special Forces Qualified “Green Beret”. In 2009 Ebb
deployed to Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. His
awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal,
and Meritorious Service Medal.
One of the highlights of Ebb’s distinguished military career is his service
as a Military Intelligence Officer and his work for Lieutenant General
Russell Honore’ – Joint Force Headquarters Homeland Security.
Ebb has attended University Military School, Marion Military Institute,
Auburn University and the University of South Alabama. He has a BS in
Business Administration with a concentration in Finance.
Ebb is married with two children, one attending Auburn University, the
other The University of Alabama.
Ebb has a passion for historical military preservation. He is committed
to maintaining USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park to honor
Alabama veterans of all services who participated so valiantly in all
armed conflicts of the United States

Sept. 14, 23–Greg Wagner / CEO, Alabama Shipyard

Mr. Wagner is a graduate from the State University of New York Maritime College and has held various management and executive positions in marine operations, business development, and project and asset management. Over the course of his career, Wagner, successfully led several Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Installation (EPCI) projects, built strong organizational capabilities, and was a key component in companies like, J. Ray McDermott, GL Noble Denton and Subsea 7, among others.

Sept. 7, 23–Col. Jeremy Chapman / COL Jeremy J. Chapman, P.E., Mobile District Commander, South Atlantic Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Colonel Jeremy Jiggs Chapman graduated and received his commission from the United States Military Academy in 1998.  He’s an avid fan of Army Football, as he played offensive line while at the academy – Beat Navy!  After graduating from the Engineer Officer Basic Course at Ft Leonard Wood, MO, he led a mechanized combat PLT in A/299th EN BN, 1st BDE, 4th ID, Ft Hood, TX.  He later became the B/299th EN BN Company XO and the BN S1 before heading to the Captains’ Career Course (CCC).

After CCC, COL Chapman was a G3 Battle Captain in the XVIII ABN Corps, Ft Bragg, NC, in 2001/02 where he supported the initial deployments of units to contingency operations after 9/11.  He subsequently deployed with the 37th EN BN (CBT) (ABN) to Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) supporting the 101st ABN DIV as the Deputy BN S3 in Mosul, Iraq, in 2003/04.  Following redeployment, he commanded B/37th EN Company (CBT) (ABN).  Following command, he received a MS degree in Civil & Environmental Engineering from Stanford University.  He then joined the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in New Orleans as a Senior PM after Hurricane Katrina, 2006-2009.  His project (IHNC Barrier) was the largest Civil Works Design Build project in the history of the Corps at $1.1 billion.

COL Chapman’s follow-on assignment was the J3 Operations Officer for the Afghanistan Engineer District supporting USFOR-A during Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), 2009/10.  He managed daily operations and led a joint security force that protected servicemen and civilians across all regions of Afghanistan. Upon redeployment, he attended Intermediate Leadership Education (ILE) at the Command & General Staff College (CGSC), Ft Leavenworth, KS.  After ILE in May 2011, he joined the 10th MTN DIV in OEF Regional Command – South as the G3 Deputy Division Engineer supporting basing across the region.  Upon redeployment, he held various positions in the Division G3 including the Deputy DIVENG and DIV Training/Exercises Chief.

In June 2012, COL Chapman became BN S3 of the 2nd BDE Special Troops BN, 2nd BCT, where he trained and deployed his unit to OEF, Paktika, Afghanistan, with the 2nd Security Force Assistance BDE.  Next, he assumed the BN XO duty downrange and redeployed the unit back to Ft Drum.  Then he moved to serve as the 1st AD and Fort Bliss Command Inspector General 2014/15.

COL Chapman uncased the colors and took command of the 2nd BDE EN BN (BEB) on 10 Jun 2015, after the unit moved from White Sands Missile Range, NM.  The unit rapidly reorganized and conducted a gated training strategy from individual skills to collective events like Sapper Forge, Bulldog/Iron Focus, and NTC 16-05 prior to deployment in support of OPN Spartan Shield supporting ARCENT missions across the Middle East Region.  After command, he was the senior maneuver support trainer at NTC, Sidewinder 07, training brigades for deployments worldwide in decisive action operations.  After attending the Army War College, he served as the Deputy Division Engineer for Mississippi Valley Division and Secretary of the Mississippi River Commission, USACE.

COL Chapman’s awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal (2 OLC), Meritorious Service Medal (6 OLC), Army Commendation Medal (3 OLC), GWOT Expeditionary and Service Medals, Afghanistan Campaign Medal (3 CS), Humanitarian Service Medal, NATO Medal, Combat Action Badge, Senior Parachutist Badge, and Ranger Tab.  LTC Chapman is a certified Professional Engineer in the State of Missouri.  He is married to Renee with three boys (16-20 yrs old).

Aug. 31, 23–Sara Johnson / Alabama Coastal Foundation, Share the Beach Director

Sara has lived in Mobile, AL since 2004, following her studies in Animal Bioscience at the Pennsylvania State University. She has been an active volunteer and team leader with Share the Beach since 2010 and became the director for the program in 2020. Living and promoting sustainability in everyday life flows perfectly with her love of the beach and sea turtles. Her husband Shane, daughter Audrey (11), son Oliver (8) and dog Luna keep her running! When she’s not elbow-deep in a turtle nest, Sara can be found camping with the cub scouts, helping at the community theater where her daughter performs, taking trips in the family camper, biking, swimming, and reading a good book.

Aug. 24, 23–Shonnda Smith / Deputy Executive Director Public Works Senior Director, Parks and Recreation

Shonnda Smith has been serving in dual capacity as the Deputy Executive Director of Public Works and Senior Director of Parks and Recreation for the past year. As Deputy Executive Director, Shonnda is responsible for ensuring smooth operational delivery of department initiatives, spanning the Public Works Directorate, including Build Mobile, Engineering, Parks and Recreation, Programs and Project Management, Public Services, Real Estate and Asset Management, and the Resilience Office. She serves as liaison and facilitator between staff and the Executive Director. In her role as Senior Director of Parks and Recreation, Shonnda is responsible for Athletics, Azalea City Golf Course, Community Centers, Events, Operations, Parks Maintenance, Recreation Administration, SAIL, Seniors & Therapeutics, and the Mobile Tennis Center.

Shonnda joined the City of Mobile’s Parks and Recreation division as its leader in 2019 and has quickly developed a reputation for being a visionary and an agent of change. Through her transformational leadership, Shonnda has revamped programming, reporting structures, and policies, all with an eye on the future for a Mobile we can be proud to call home.

Prior to her arrival at the City of Mobile,  Shonnda served as Chief Programming Officer for the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission. Previous professional roles include Executive Staff Officer for the Louisiana Department of Education, Center Manager for Embassy Summer Study Group in Northridge, California, Program Manager for Miami Dade College, and Director of Community Programs for Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) in Pasadena.

Shonnda’s diverse educational background includes Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership & Human Services, Nova Southeastern University, ABD; Master of Arts in Kinesiology/Sport Management, California State University; Bachelor of Arts in Kinesiology/Secondary Physical Education, California State University; and Exchange Program, University of Wales in Cardiff, United Kingdom. She holds professional certifications in Human Resources (SHRM), National Recreation and Park Association Directors, Certified Parks and Recreation Professional (CPRP), and Certified Aquatics Facility Operator (AFO).

Shonnda is a current resident of Mobile where she serves as a board member on the Mobile Arts Council and maintains membership in the Alabama Recreation Parks Association (ARPA) and Learning Resource Network (LERN). She serves on the Program Committee and Magazine Editorial Board for National Recreation Parks Association (NRPA), is a past Regional Board Member for the Louisiana Recreation Parks Association (LRPA) and a former Southeast Region Board Member for the NRPA Ethnic Minority Society.