Finance and Investing is pleased to announce The Top 25 CFOs of Alabama for 2023. There’s no denying that Alabama is the true definition of Southern charm. Widely considered to be the anchor of America’s Deep South, Alabama's extensive collection of historic antebellum residences and idyllic downtown districts offer unparalleled experiences. Furthermore, aside from its renown as a tourist hotspot, the Yellowhammer State holds significant attraction for business leaders seeking to advance their companies.
Significantly, in 2022, economic development efforts in the state achieved a remarkable milestone by generating a record-breaking $10.1 billion in new capital investment, a clear sign of growing economic vitality. This year's award recipients hold a crucial position in propelling Alabama's thriving economy forward, as they are instrumental in executing sound financial strategies that promote both expansion and resilience.
Among this year’s awardees is Dawn Walton, the CFO for Children’s of Alabama, which is ranked among the best pediatric medical centers in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. An industry veteran, Walton oversees the financial operations for her organization, which maintains one of the largest pediatric medical facilities in the U.S. Additionally, this year we are honoring Jamie Gregory, an EVP and CFO for Synovus, a bank with over $57 billion in assets and $7.3 billion in capital. Lastly, we have 20-year veteran Terri Stella, the CFO, COO, and EVP of First Federal Bank, a community-based, mutual bank that serves over 60,000 customers.
Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The Top 25 CFOs of Alabama for 2023.
1. Stephanie Mullins
Chief Financial Officer, University of Alabama at Birmingham
At the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Stephanie Mullins has been CFO and Associate Vice President of Financial Affairs since September 2016. Notably, the University of Alabama System is an internationally renowned research university and academic medical center with over $700 million in research awards annually, as well as Alabama’s largest single employer, with some 26,000 employees, and has an annual economic impact exceeding $7.15 billion on the state. The pillars of UAB’s mission include education, research, innovation and economic development, community engagement, and patient care.
As CFO, Mullins manages the departments, systems, and delivery of communication and training related to UAB financial policies, guidelines, and procedures. The CFO also serves as the direct point of contact for the Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration to the University of Alabama System Office, UA System Office of Counsel, UA System and UA sister campuses – as well as other affiliated entities as it relates to the financial integrity and fiscal responsibility of UAB. Mullins graduated from the University of Alabama with an undergraduate degree in accounting.
2. Chris Falk
Chief Financial Officer, Shipt
As CFO for Shipt, Chris Falk is a strategic finance, accounting, and procurement leader who arrived at the company after 12 years at Target, where he held various leadership positions, with an emphasis on merchandising and capital. Most recently, he led Target’s strategic financial planning processes for near and long-term horizons. Before he joined the Target team, Falk worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP in Portland, Oregon. Falk is a graduate of the University of Oregon with a BS in accounting, and he holds an MBA from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. He is also a licensed CPA.
Shipt is a retail tech company that connects people to reliable, high-quality delivery with a personal touch. Through the power of technology, Shipt connects customers to the things they want from the stores they love, workers to new earning opportunities, and retail businesses to more satisfied customers. Headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, Shipt brings people the flexible solutions they need with the above-and-beyond service they expect. Shipt is an independently operated subsidiary of Target Corp. and available in more than 5,000 U.S. cities.
3. Jamie Gregory
Chief Financial Officer, Synovus
Jamie Gregory joined Synovus in June 2019 as EVP and CFO. Synovus is a full-service, top-performing mid-cap bank with over $57 billion in assets and $7.3 billion in capital and has been named one of Newsweek’s Most Trustworthy Companies. Their purpose is to enable people to reach their full potential, and they pursue that aspiration in all the communities they serve across the Southeast and beyond. Notably, Gregory directs the company’s financial operations, including accounting, financial planning and reporting, budgeting, treasury, tax, and corporate strategy. He is also responsible for Synovus’ overall financial plans and policies.
Furthermore, Gregory plays a key role in representing his company with the investment community, auditors, and investment bankers. Previously, he served as Executive Vice President and Head of Corporate Financial Strategy for Regions Financial Corporation, which he joined in 2009. Before joining Regions, Gregory was a Senior Vice President with Wachovia for 10 years, where he held a number of corporate investment and portfolio management positions. Gregory graduated from Duke University Fuqua School of Business with an MBA and from North Carolina State University with an undergraduate degree in economics.
4. Dawn Walton
Chief Financial Officer, Children's of Alabama
Dawn Walton is the CFO of Children’s of Alabama. Since 1911, Children’s of Alabama has provided specialized medical care for ill and injured children. Ranked among the best pediatric medical centers in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, Children’s provided care for youngsters from every county in Alabama and 42 other states, representing more than 684,000 outpatient visits and more than 15,000 inpatient admissions. With more than 3.5 million square feet, it is one of the largest pediatric medical facilities in the United States. Walton, notably, is responsible for all financial activities of the Hospital and its subsidiaries.
Walton has been in the financial profession for more than 25 years. She previously served as Children’s of Alabama’s VP, Controller, and Interim CFO. She earned degrees in Accounting and Business from Troy University and is a Certified Public Accountant. After graduation, she joined the healthcare audit practice of Ernst & Young. After a brief tenure with Disney, she moved back to Birmingham where she returned to Ernst & Young specializing in tax-exempt organizations. She joined Children’s in 1999. In addition to her CFO duties, Walton is a member of the Advisory Council for the Sorrell College of Business at Troy University and was the 2016 inductee into their Accounting Hall of Honor. She also currently serves on the board of Grace House Ministries as its Chairperson.
5. Clinton Carter
Chief Financial Officer, Huntsville Hospital
Clinton Carter is the CFO for Huntsville Hospital, which was established in 1895 and operates as a community-based, not-for-profit hospital located in Madison County, Alabama. It has always been volunteer-led and community-owned. The hospital is governed by the eleven-member Health Care Authority of the City of Huntsville. A native of Madison County, Carter comes to Huntsville from the University of North Carolina System, where he served as SVP for Finance & Administration and CFO of the University of North Carolina System, which includes all 16 public universities in North Carolina, the UNC Hospital, and two medical schools.
Carter’s career has been highlighted by financial leadership roles in education, state government, and private industry. Prior to joining the UNC System, he served the State of Alabama as the State Finance Director and as a cabinet member for Governor Kay Ivey and Governor Robert Bentley. Previously, he served as CFO of the University of North Alabama in Florence. His experience in private industry also includes key roles in investment banking and with Intergraph Corporation of Huntsville. A Certified Public Accountant, Carter holds an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s from the University of North Alabama.
6. Matt Chambless
Chief Financial Officer, CPSI
Matt Chambless has been with CPSI since March 2012 as a CFO. CPSI is a leading provider of healthcare solutions and services for community hospitals, their clinics, and post-acute care facilities. Founded in 1979, CPSI is the parent of six companies: Evident, LLC, American HealthTech, Inc., TruBridge, LLC, iNetXperts, Corp. d/b/a Get Real Health, TruCode LLC, and Healthcare Resource Group, Inc.
Chambless previously served as Director of Financial Reporting. Prior to joining CPSI, he was the Accounting Manager for an over 800-bed hospital system based in Atlanta, Georgia; and an Audit Manager in the Atlanta offices of Grant Thornton, LLP. Chambless graduated from Georgia Southern University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and Accounting and received his Master of Accountancy from the University of Georgia. He is also a CPA.
7. Nicole Gorman
Chief Financial Officer of Missile Systems and GMD Finance Director, Boeing
Nicole Gorman is the CFO at Missile Systems and GMD Finance Director of Boeing. She first joined the company in 2000 as a financial analyst. As a leading global aerospace company, Boeing develops, manufactures, and services commercial airplanes, defense products, and space systems for customers in more than 150 countries. As a top U.S. exporter, the company leverages the talents of a global supplier base to advance economic opportunity, sustainability, and community impact.
Notably, Boeing's diverse team is committed to innovating for the future, leading with sustainability, and cultivating a culture based on the company's core values of safety, quality, and integrity. Gorman earned an MBA in leadership from the University of Washington Bothell School of Business and an undergraduate degree in social sciences from UC Irvine.
8. Susan Hayes
Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, University of Montevallo
Susan Hayes began her professional career 27 years ago. Today, she is the CFO and Treasurer for the University of Montevallo. Founded in 1896, the University of Montevallo is nestled in the heart of Alabama, approximately 35 miles south of Birmingham. Through their accreditations, scholarships, and faculty resources, they’ve cultivated a reputation for producing bright minds. Students choose from more than thirty degree programs and more than 70 majors and concentrations.
Hayes first got her start in 1996 as an accounting director at Baptist Health Systems, her most recent position prior to joining the University of Montevallo. She graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham with an MBA in accounting, business, and management, and an undergraduate degree in accounting.
9. Sherry Jones
Chief Financial Officer, Crestwood Medical Center
Sherry Jones is the CFO of Crestwood Medical Center. She first joined the company in 2010 as assistant CFO. Crestwood Medical Center is a community healthcare provider that offers various services.
Their wide range of services includes acute care for the elderly, bariatric weight loss services, cancer care, diabetes care, diagnostic imaging, digestive health, emergency services, heart care, joint replacement, laboratory services, maternity care, nutrition services, occupational health services, orthopedic services, pain management, plastic surgery, pulmonology care, rehabilitation services, robotic surgery, sleep medicine, stroke care, vein care, women's health, wound care, and more.
10. Terri Stella
Chief Financial Officer, COO, & EVP, First Federal Bank
Terri Stella is the CFO, COO, and EVP of First Federal Bank, which has been serving customers since 1962. Today, First Federal is a community-based, mutual bank that serves over 60,000 customers from 26 retail branches and several lending centers in Florida, Georgia, and Wisconsin. The company offers customers diversified financial services, including personal and commercial banking, lending, mortgages, investments, and more.
From the start, First Federal Bank has been equally committed to exceptional service and value. Their customers depend on their expertise and experience. They are continually augmenting and improving their products and services to make banking as easy and beneficial as possible. Stella has 20 years of experience. She began her career in 2003. Stella graduated from Mississippi State University.
11. Houston Cook
Chief Financial Officer, Milo's Tea Company
Houston Cook began his professional career a number of years ago. Today, he is the CFO of Milo's Tea Company, a family-owned, certified Women’s Business Enterprise that manufactures, distributes, markets, and sells fresh-brewed teas and all-natural lemonade throughout the country. Milo’s was founded as a hamburger shop in 1946.
Cook got his start in 1987 as an analyst in investment banking at Prudential Securities. From there, he went on to BRUNO'S SUPERMARKETS, before eventually rising to EVP in strategic planning at Regions Financial Corporation, his most recent position prior to joining Milo's Tea Company. Cook graduated from Harvard Business School with an MBA and from Georgetown University with an undergraduate degree in business administration.
12. Bradley Boggus
Chief Financial Officer, ScionHealth
Bradley Boggus is the CFO of ScionHealth. He first joined the company in 2021. ScionHealth strives to deliver on its promise of high-quality, patient-centered hospital care by empowering the hands that heal to do what they do best. Based in Louisville, ScionHealth operates 94 hospital campuses and eight senior living locations in 28 states.
Previously, Boggus was a COO at LifePoint Health. Before that, he served as a CFO at RCCH HealthCare Partners. Earlier in his career, he worked with Regions Bank as a staff auditor. Boggus earned an undergraduate degree in business administration in finance from the University of North Georgia.
13. Matt Fisher
Chief Financial Officer, Russell Medical Center
Matt Fisher is the CFO of Russell Medical Center, a progressive, not-for-profit, acute care facility serving the needs of east central Alabama since 1923. Inside their doors, you will find cutting-edge technology, professionals of the highest caliber, and leadership committed to utilizing all of their resources to improve the quality of every life they touch. Russell Medical has been accredited by The Joint Commission since 1959. Russell Medical became a part of UAB Health System in January 2020.
Fisher has 21 years of experience. He began his career in 2002. Before joining Russell Medical Center, Fisher was a VP of finance at Mid South Rehab Services. Before that, he served as a VP of finance at St. Dominic Hospital. Earlier in his career, he worked with Flowers Hospital as an assistant CFO. Fisher graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham with an MBA and an MS in health administration, and from Louisiana Tech University with an undergraduate degree.
14. Jon Elsea
Chief Financial Officer, Doster Construction Company
Jon Elsea began his professional career 29 years ago. Today, he is the CFO of Doster Construction Company. In 1969, entrepreneur Thomas E. Doster, III started a construction company in his hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. 53 years later, Doster Construction Company has built over 4,300 projects that span 33 states for some of the nation’s leading companies.
Elsea got his start in 1994 as a senior audit manager at PwC, his most recent position prior to joining Doster Construction Company. Elsea graduated from the University of Montevallo with an undergraduate degree in business administration.
15. Tina Bolt
Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, City of Hoover
Tina Bolt is the CFO and Treasurer at the City of Hoover. She first joined the company in 2019 as finance director. The City of Hoover employs over 750 people in many areas including but not limited to the following: Public Works, Fire, Police, Library, and Parks & Recreation. As the employer of the 6th largest city in Alabama, they place a strong emphasis on superior customer service and providing excellent employee benefits to their employees who are second to none.
Previously, Bolt was a CFO at Hoover City Schools. Before that, she was a CFO at Jackson County Board of Education. Earlier in her career, she worked with the Jackson County Board of Education as a business education teacher. Bolt earned a master’s in business education from Alabama A&M University Graduate School and an undergraduate degree in accounting and computer science from Jacksonville State University.
16. Timothy Burke
Chief Financial Officer, Apex Roofing & Restoration
Timothy Burke is the CFO of Apex Roofing & Restoration, a company that serves as a general contractor on residential, multi-family, and commercial projects across the southeast of Alabama – and often an immediate responder to weather events. Apex teams are trained for rapid response and accurate documentation and analysis of property lost. Apex is also one of only a handful of companies in the country to boast the highest level of certifications from the top manufacturers in the United States.
Burke began his career in 2000. Before joining Apex Roofing & Restoration, Burke was an EVP and CFO at BLOX. Before that, he served as an executive board director and CFO at Viverant. Earlier in his career, he worked with Ernst & Young Corporate Finance as an analyst in Life Sciences and Healthcare Investment Banking. Burke graduated from UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School with an MBA in accounting and from the University of North Carolina Wilmington with an undergraduate degree in finance and marketing.
17. Jenifer Kimbrough
Chief Financial Officer, Oakworth Capital Bank
Jenifer Kimbrough serves as CFO at Oakworth Capital Bank. Headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, Oakworth Capital, via its wholly-owned subsidiary Oakworth Capital Bank (“Oakworth”), provides commercial and private banking, wealth management and advisory services to clients across the U.S. Notably, Kimbrough has over 20 years of financial services experience including serving banking, broker/dealer, and insurance clients with Ernst & Young, serving as the director of investor relations at Regions Financial Corporation and serving on the Board of Directors and as chair of the Audit Committee for a publicly traded insurance company.
Additionally, Kimbrough has significant experience as head of the internal audit and regulatory compliance for a publicly traded healthcare company. She has also served as the national president of the American Woman’s Society of CPAs and on the AICPA’s Women’s Initiatives Executive Committee in the past and is a graduate of Momentum. Furthermore, she serves on the University of Alabama Culverhouse Board of Visitors and the Professional Advisory Board for the School of Accountancy. Kimbrough graduated from The University of Alabama with an undergraduate degree in commerce and business administration.
18. Jana Wyatt
Chief Financial Officer, Mizell Memorial Hospital
Jana Wyatt is the CFO at Mizell Memorial Hospital, which first opened its doors almost 70 years ago. From a 29-bed facility in 1949, the hospital added a wing in 1957, followed by a new surgical wing in 1963. Growing vertically in 1969 from one to three stories, a new three-bed intensive care unit was also established. Changes throughout the years have included the addition of in-house nuclear medical services, a Certified Sleep Center, a Senior Behavioral Care Unit, and various renovation projects in different areas.
Wyatt was born in Opp, AL in 1969 and is a graduate of Opp High School. Wyatt and her husband, Tim, have two daughters, Anna and Ashlyn. She is a graduate of Auburn University in Montgomery, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Accounting. Wyatt also received her MBA from Troy University. She has more than 25 years of experience in healthcare accounting and finance.
19. Melodie Mastro
Chief Financial Officer, Precision Engineering
Melodie Mastro began her professional career 28 years ago. Today, she is the CFO at Precision Engineering, a dynamic engineering company that is dedicated to providing quality engineering services. They are a full-service multi-discipline engineering firm specializing in Control System, Instrumentation, and Electrical design services. Precision Engineering has registered Professional Engineers in the states of Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina.
Notably, Precision Engineering has extensive experience in the engineering design business for specialty chemicals, refining, oil, gas, automotive, pharmaceutical, marine, water, wastewater, transportation, discrete manufacturing, and pulp and paper industries. All of their team members have actual "hands-on" project and plant experience. Their vision is to identify the needs of their customer and to fill those needs by providing the best solution.
20. Alicia Gilley
Chief Financial Officer, Piedmont City Schools
Alicia Gilley is the CFO at Piedmont City Schools, which are known for their innovation. In 2009, for example, the school board approved an initiative called “MPower Piedmont”, that had a goal of community transformation. “MPower Piedmont” placed a laptop computer in the hands of every student in grades 4-12. Funding was later secured to build a citywide wireless network to provide constant Internet access to students.
Today, every student in the Piedmont City School District has a device. Students in grades K-3 use an iPod, iPad, and Macbook. Students in grades 4-12 are issued a personal Macbook Air.
Gilley first joined PCS in 2000. Previously, she was a bookkeeper and payroll clerk for the City of Piedmont.
21. Elizabeth Livesay
Chief Financial Officer, Christ Health Center
Elizabeth Livesay is the CFO at Christ Health Center. They are committed to the physical, mental, and spiritual health and well-being of each of their patients. More than simply seeing the sick made well, at Christ Health Center they strive to see the well made whole and to see each patient living life abundantly. Their patients have access to the very best in primary care, dental services, and professional counseling as well as medication therapy management through their on-site pharmacy.
CHC accepts all forms of insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid. They also offer a generous sliding scale fee-for-service option to their self-pay patients. Livesay has 12 years of experience. She began his career in 2011. Before joining Christ Health Center, Livesay was a senior accountant at Kassouf & CoKassouf. Before that, she served as a senior accountant at Surgical Care Affiliates.
22. Ruth Vollmer
CFO & EVP of Finance and Administration, Gulf Regional Early Childhood Services, Inc.
Ruth Vollmer is the CFO and EVP of Finance and Administration at Gulf Regional Early Childhood Services (GRECS.) The organization provides training and resources to educators and child care providers that support and promote the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development of infants and toddlers and administers local, state and federally-funded programs that provide child care services and support for families in the communities they serve.
Vollmer brings over 25 years of experience and a hybrid combination of expertise in fiscal oversight, program administration, procurement, grant and proposal development, and government contracts. She has a proven track record of securing and managing federal and state funding for community-based educational and social programs; interfacing with C-Level executives to develop additional agency resources & opportunities; overseeing overall operations & accounting controls; and in developing efficient fiscal processes and effective procedures resulting in unblemished A-133 audits and program monitoring reviews for 18 consecutive years at multiple organizations. Vollmer graduated from Spring Hill College with an MBA in management and operations and from Rutgers University with an undergraduate degree in business administration.
23. Phillip Johns
Chief Financial Officer, Alabama Farmers Federation
Phillip Johns is the CFO of the Alabama Farmers Federation, which first emerged from Alabama soil in 1921. Its mission is to promote the economic, social, and educational interests of rural Alabamians. By holding fast to the simple idea of strength through unity, the Alabama Farmers Federation has grown from 30,000 members just 50 years ago to become the state's largest, most active, and most diversified farm organization. With more than 460,000 members statewide, the Federation's "one voice."
Johns joined the AFF in 2015 as an accounting manager. He is also a graduate of the Alfa Leadership Academy, the company’s in-house leadership training program. Previously, Johns worked five years with Jackson Thornton, where he served on the team auditing the Federation and progressed from associate to senior associate to supervisor. A native of Monroeville, Johns graduated from Monroe Academy before earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Alabama. He is a CPA and Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE).
24. Jamie Elliott
Chief Financial Officer, Heritage South Credit Union
Jamie Elliott began his professional career 13 years ago. Today, he is the CFO of Heritage South Credit Union, a full-service financial institution with locations in Sylacauga, Childersburg, and Moody, Alabama. Recently, they have expanded their charter to include the following counties: Talladega, Shelby, Jefferson, Tallapoosa, Coosa, Lee, Calhoun, Clay, St. Clair, Chambers, Elmore, Randolph, Cleburne, and Chilton.
Elliott got his start in 2010 as a team leader at Asset Management Specialist. From there, he went on to M & N Alloy, before eventually rising to accounting manager at Coosa Pines Federal Credit Union, his most recent position prior to joining Heritage South Credit Union. Elliott graduated from Jacksonville State University with an undergraduate degree in accounting and from Auburn University with an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering and mathematics.
25. David Duffee
Chief Financial Officer, World Reach, Inc.
David Duffee is the CFO of World Reach. He first joined the company in 2018. World Reach is a nondenominational foreign mission organization serving fields in East Africa, Central and South America, and Europe. Its thrust is the establishment and nurturing of churches among unreached people while training national pastors and lay leaders. World Reach is incorporated in the state of Alabama and is recognized by the IRS as a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization.
Previously, Duffee was a partner at Murray Upton. Before that, he served as a VP at Greater Birmingham AMBUCS. Earlier in his career, he worked with Medical Data Systems as a VP of hardware services. Duffee earned an undergraduate degree in religion and business from Auburn University.