I am a lifelong Alabamian. I am a devoted husband and father, and a person of deep conviction. Between us, my wife Kerry and I have 4 children, ages 16 to 24. I went to work for the City of Huntsville in the Office of the City Attorney in March, 1987 and retired as City Attorney on December 31, 2015. Service to the community is at the heart of my identity and core values.
As Huntsville City Attorney, I was responsible for advising the City, the Mayor, all Council members, and employees within the scope of their employment. I participated in a considerable number of public/private economic development projects for the City of Huntsville involving participation from local, state, and federal governments. These projects resulted in the creation of thousands of new and diverse jobs for the local community. I was also involved in the pioneering use of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Districts in the State of Alabama, which has contributed greatly to the success of Huntsville’s economic development initiatives over the past twenty years.
I like to say that I learned what service was before I was born. My father was an Episcopal priest. My parents moved to Huntsville when my father was called to serve at the Episcopal Church of the Nativity in 1957, when my mother was pregnant with me. My mother was a high school English teacher and Guidance Counselor. I attended East Clinton Elementary School; Huntsville Junior High School; and Huntsville High School - class of ‘76. I graduated from Vanderbilt University in May, 1980, and went straight to law school. I graduated from The University of Alabama School of Law in 1983.
I clerked for Judge John D. Snodgrass, and spent three years in private practice before taking a position with the City. I was appointed City Attorney in May of 1993, and served in that capacity until my retirement. Overall, I worked for the City Attorney’s Office for 28 years and 9 months. I served as City Attorney for 22 years and 7 months. I managed a staff of 10 attorneys, a support staff of 6 others, and directed outside legal counsel who represented the City in litigation and specialty areas.
My organizational service experience is not limited to the public arena. I served on the Vestry (the governing board) of the Episcopal Church of the Nativity three separate times from the late 1980’s through 2004. I served on two search committees for Rectors at the church, and chaired one of those committees. In the early 1990’s I served on the Diocesan Council for the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama, which is the governing body for the Episcopal Church in the State of Alabama (from Montgomery north to the Tennessee state line).
I have always been, and still am, active in service outside the City and the Church. My wife Kerry, through her company, Turning Point Group, Inc. (formerly Turning Point Consultants, LLC) organized and co-sponsored the “9/11 Honor Walk” at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. This annual event honors first responders, active duty military, and military Veterans. I have joined with her in helping to organize this event every year since its inception, providing considerable logistical and organizational assistance, including the painting of the temporary Honor Walk underneath the Pathfinder Space Shuttle each year the event has been held.
Along with my work with Turning Point Group, Inc., I currently provide legal services for the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. I enjoy serving the entire community, but one group is very important to me: young people, the future of our city, state, and country. For the past ten years, Kerry and I have served as youth advisors at the Monte Sano United Methodist Church (where our children attended church youth group), and I also help maintain a portion of the church grounds.
I volunteer, regularly, at the James A. Lane Boys and Girls Club in Huntsville as a tutor and mentor. James A. Lane is Huntsville’s largest Boys and Girls Club, serving over 200 children daily. I helped coach my son’s baseball teams, and my daughter’s softball teams, for as many years as they would let me, and I spent three years as an active theater parent while our son was in the Magnet Program at Lee High School.
As long as I am able, I intend to serve the community, in or out of office. I especially look forward to serving you as your Democratic House Representative.