“Changing the way people talk can change the way they relate to each other and their problems – and that can eventually change the community.”
– David Mathews
DMC Co-Founder and Chair EmeritusBio & Contact
DMC Co-Founder and Chair Emerita; Director Emerita, Randall Research Scholars Program, University of AlabamaBio & Contact
Dr. Cathy Randall is Chair of the Board of Pettus Randall Holdings, LLC. She also serves as Chair of the Alabama Academy of Honor.
Randall served as Chair of the Board of Randall Publishing Company and the Director of the University Honors Programs at the University of Alabama. She also served as the National President of Mortar Board, Inc., President of the Board of Directors of the Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame, and Director of Alabama’s Girls State. Randall has been a member of the Board of Directors of Mercedes-Benz USI, the American Village, the Alabama Law Foundation, the Alabama Archives and History Foundation, and the Tuscaloosa City Schools Education Foundation.
DMC Co-Founder and Chair Emeritus; Program Officer at the Kettering FoundationBio & Contact
Dr. Ray Minor is Chairman of the Mathews Center. He served as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Issues Forums Institute. Minor was appointed Vice President of Advancement for United Methodist Homes of New Jersey, which provides quality and caring services to senior men and women in 10 Christian communities across the state of New Jersey.
Minor served as President of the Alabama Center for Civic Life, Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Wiley College, Executive Director of National and Community Service for the State of Alabama, Alabama area Development Director of The College Fund/UNCF, and as Development Director at Miles College.
DMC Chair Emeritus; Lawyer, Murphy & MurphyBio & Contact
Stan Murphy is Chair Emeritus of the Mathews Center Board of Directors. He is a partner at the law firm of Murphy & Murphy, LLC. Murphy also serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Alabama Law School, as well as a researcher for both the University of Alabama’s Office of Academic Affairs and the Kettering Foundation.
Murphy was Senior Counsel in the Office of Counsel for the University of Alabama System, Senior Counsel for International and Strategic Initiatives at the University of Alabama, and was the Academic Coordinator for the University of Alabama Cooper Cuba Initiative. He was also a special assistant to the Secretary of the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (1975-1977).
Chair, Mathews Center Executive Committee; Former First Lady of AlabamaBio & Contact
CEO and Co-Founder of Resource Fiber/Alabama, a company dedicated to the growing and manufacturing of bamboo and its myriad products in the Black Belt Region of Alabama (resource-fiber.com).
Mrs. Folsom has been recognized for her advocacy and support for improving the lives of Alabama’s children through better services and improved educational opportunities. As Alabama’s First Lady, she convened the state’s first Summit for Children, which was dedicated to finding ways to improve the future for Alabama’s children. She is a graduate of the University of Alabama’s School of Human Environmental Sciences. She and her husband are the proud parents of two children.
DMC Board Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair; Lawyer, Shields & GunterBio & Contact
Sandy Gunter is Treasurer of the Mathews Center. He is a partner in the law firm of Shields & Gunter, Attorneys.
Previously, Gunter was a partner in the law firm of Stephens, Shields & Gunter, Attorneys. From 1981 to 1987, he was a partner in the law firm of Stephens & Gunter, Attorneys. Gunter served as Assistant to the President of the University of Alabama (1977-1980) and was an administrative assistant to the Secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (1975-1977). He is the former President of the Family Counseling Service Board of Directors and the Alabama Boychoir, Inc.
Executive Director Emeritus, Auburn University Government & Economic Development InstituteBio & Contact
Dr. Joe A. Sumners is Executive Director Emeritus of Auburn University’s Government & Economic Development Institute. He also is a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Alabama Communities of Excellence (ACE) Program.
Dr. Sumners has conducted over 200 workshops and courses for Alabama state and local elected officials, economic developers, and community leaders. He is an experienced consultant with over 20 years of experience working to improve the civic and economic health in Alabama communities. He was Technical Advisor to Governor Bob Riley’s Black Belt Action Commission and Alabama Rural Action Commission.
Mathews Center Board Chair; Professor, New College, University of AlabamaBio & Contact
A native of Louisiana, Natalie Adams is the Director of New College at The University of Alabama. She served as the Assistant Dean of UA’s Graduate School for seven years. Natalie earned a PhD at Louisiana State University in 1994. Prior to her tenure at the University of Alabama, Natalie was a professor at Georgia Southern University and Oklahoma State University, and a middle school teacher in South Louisiana. Natalie is the co-author of three books, including Geographies of Girlhood and Learning to Teach.
She currently serves on the Executive Council of the American Educational Studies Association. She and her husband, Jim Adams (a professor at Mississippi State University), are conducting an oral history project of the desegregation of public schools in Mississippi from 1967-1971. She and her husband are the proud parents of three children – two of whom are University of Alabama graduates.
President, Joffre T. Whisenton and AssociatesBio & Contact
Dr. Joffre T. Whisenton is currently serving as President of Joffre T. Whisenton and Associates, Inc.
Whisenton was President of the Southern University System and Associate Executive Director with the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Whisenton also held a joint appointment as professor and Chairman of the Division of Education and Psychology at Stillman College, and as a program associate in the Office for Student Development at the University of Alabama. He served as Special Assistant for Educational Policy to the Secretary of the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (1975-1977).
Communication Director, Alabama League of MunicipalitiesBio & Contact
Executive Director, Alabama Coastal FoundationBio & Contact
Mark Berte earned his BA in English with minors in Political Science and Philosophy at Birmingham Southern College and his Masters of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. Mark is a 2006 graduate of the Leadership Mobile program and 2007 graduate of Leadership Alabama.
Berte, who serves on several local and state boards, has a public policy background and uses a collaborative approach to his work. Mark joined the Alabama Coastal Foundation as the Executive Director in October 2011. In his free time, Mark enjoys playing tennis and pool, camping, and spending time with his wife and two daughters.
DMC Board Secretary; Elba's Restoration 154Bio & Contact
Associate Dean of First Year Studies at Troy UniversityBio & Contact
Associate Dean of First Year Studies at Troy University
Alabama Cooperative Extension Coordinator for Dallas CountyBio & Contact
Callie Nelson has been employed with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System since 1993 and has been in her current position as County Coordinator for Dallas County since 2004. She has responsibilities as Office Coordinator where she is responsible for staff supervision, budget, and facilities. Her program areas include 4-H and Youth Development; Nutrition, Diet and Health; and Community Resource Development.
She received her Bachelor of Science Degree from Alabama A&M University and her Masters of Arts Degree from the University of Montevallo. She is a member of Alabama Association of Extension 4H Agent, Alabama Cooperative Extension Service Employees Organization, Epsilon Sigma Phi, serves on the Executive Board of Leadership Selma-Dallas County, the Quality Assurance Committee for DHR, the Human Rights Committee for Cahaba Center for Mental Health and Mental Retardation, the Dallas County Family Resources Center, Head Start, and numerous other boards and committees.
Some of the her current programs and projects include Turning the Tide on Youth Violence, the Diabetes Support Group, Worksite Wellness at Honda Locks American. She presently serves as the Director for Leadership Selma-Dallas County.
Her hobbies include home improvement projects, gardening, photography, and reading. She has been married for 30 years to Michael J. Nelson and has one stepson, Cameron Nelson and their first grandson Camdon Nelson. She is very active in her church where she teaches the Adult Sunday School class.
Executive Director, S.A.F.E. SylacaugaBio & Contact
Director, Markstein Strategic CommunicationsBio & Contact
Chris McCauley is a Director at Markstein Strategic Communications in Birmingham, Alabama. He has a B.A. in Political Science and a Master’s in Public Administration from Auburn University. Prior to joining Markstein, Chris was executive director of the David Mathews Center for Civic Life where he implemented statewide programs focused on civic and community engagement. Specifically, he developed a collaborative public engagement strategy on Alabama’s prison system and moderated discussions on the dropout situation, youth development, and economic development. During his time at the Center, he formed collaborative partnerships with a variety of nonprofits and institutions of higher education, and actively communicated impact using innovative social media strategies and large-scale summits. Chris has authored articles for newspapers across the state of Alabama, presented at numerous national conferences, and facilitated hundreds of public meetings. He is an advocate for social justice and enjoys listening to music.
Former Alabama State SenatorBio & Contact
Executive DirectorBio & Contact
Cristin Brawner is the Executive Director of the David Mathews Center for Civic Life in Montevallo, Alabama. Cristin coordinates Mathews Center signature programming aimed at increasing active citizenship, community collaboration, and effective decision making across Alabama. Through her work at the Mathews Center, Cristin moderates deliberative community forums, conducts workshops on civic engagement, and collaborates with K – 12 schools, higher education partners, and community organizations to facilitate active civic learning for young Alabamians.
Cristin serves on the Board of Directors of the National Issues Forums Institute and Alabama Communities of Excellence (ACE). She also serves on the Junior Board of WorkFaith Birmingham and on the Advisory Board for Auburn University’s Government & Economic Development Institute (GEDI). A graduate of the University of Montevallo, Cristin has worked for the Mathews Center since 2011.
Cristin can be reached at email@example.com.
Creative DirectorBio & Contact
Justin Lutz is a native of Montevallo, Alabama and received his Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies from Sarah Lawrence College in New York, and recently completed his Master of Arts in Communication Studies with a focus in Women’s and Gender Studies from McGill University in Montréal, Canada. Justin’s experience in the nonprofit sector working with organizations like G.L.A.A.D. and The Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute have propelled him into the Mathews Center with a penchant for economic research and media outreach through a range of digital technologies.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Education DirectorBio & Contact
Gabrielle Lamplugh was born and raised in Fairhope, Alabama. After high school she attended Auburn University where she was a University Honors Scholar, earning her undergraduate degree in English Literature with a minor in Community and Civic Engagement. During her undergraduate studies she was awarded a fellowship in Community and Civic Engagement, participated in the Appalachian Teaching Project, served as a resident assistant, and helped charter a sorority on campus. She loved Auburn so much she returned to complete her graduate degree in Communication, during which she taught public speaking to undergraduates. Prior to beginning her position at The David Mathews Center, Gabrielle completed her graduate internship at The Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia.
She can be reached at email@example.com
Operations CoordinatorBio & Contact
Haley Pascal is a native of Montgomery and graduate of Auburn University. Previously, she served as Program Assistant for the Alabama Bicentennial Commission’s education initiatives, working with K-12 educators all across the state while managing the Bicentennial’s Summer Institutes. Most recently, she served as the Education Curator at the Alabama Department of Archives and History, where she managed the pilot sessions of the Department’s Alabama History Institutes. Haley is essential to managing DMC partnerships and managing day-to-day operations.
She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
DMC 2020-21 AmeriCorps MemberBio & Contact
Abby was born and raised in Alabaster, Alabama. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Communications with a double emphasis in Public Relations and Marketing from Mississippi College. While there, she chartered a nonpartisan club to facilitate productive dialogue with students on campus about local issues. She also worked with the First Lady of Mississippi on a campaign to improve literacy across the state. After graduation, Abby worked for an organization that does professional fundraising for elementary schools; she traveled to schools across the state for two years teaching character and fitness lessons to students. Abby is serving as the DMC AmeriCorps member for 2020-21.
Want to know more?Contact Us