. . . .


June 7

Bob Haver  
Retired Ford Motor Company Engineer

June 14

Kevin Coleman   

EW Motion Therapy


June 21

Rep. Bill Poole
Member of the Alabama State House and Attorney






The Nerve

July 26th

John Merrill - Secretary of State, Alabama.

August 2nd

YMCA Downtown Off-Site Visit







Read Past Issues of the Tuscaloosa Rotary Nerve


John Merrill – Secretary of State, Alabama – July 26th, 2016

john-merrill-newJohn Harold Merrill is the son of Horace and Mary Merrill of Heflin, Alabama (Cleburne County). He was born on November 12, 1963 in Wedowee, Alabama (Randolph County). He grew up in Heflin and is an Eagle Scout from Heflin Troop 206. He is a graduate of Cleburne County High School and The University of Alabama where he served as President of the Student Government Association in 1986-1987.

While attending The University, John served as a Congressional Intern for Congressman Bill Nichols (1983) and Senator Howell Heflin (1984). After his term as SGA President, John became the governmental affairs intern at The Chamber of
Commerce of West Alabama in 1987-88; National Advertising Account Executive and Manager for Randall Publishing Company (now Randall-Reilly); Assistant Director for the Tuscaloosa County Industrial Development Authority from 1990-93 where he assisted in the recruitment of Mercedes-Benz; Director of Business Development for The Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama in 1987-88; National Advertising Account Executive and Manager for Randall Publishing Company (now Randall-Reilly); Assistant Director for the Tuscaloosa County Industrial Development Authority from 1990-93 where he assisted in the recruitment of Mercedes-Benz; Director of Business Development for The Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama in 1993-94; and was the Director of Community Relations and Community Education for the Tuscaloosa County Board of Education from 1994-2010; and served as Business Development Officer for 1st Federal Bank in Tuscaloosa from 2011-2015.

John has been married to the former Cindy Benford of Phil Campbell for thirty years. She is a career educator and the former principal at Westwood Elementary School in Coker. The couple has two children, Brooks (25), is an Event Coordinator Manager for The University of South Florida Department of Athletics, and Allie Grace (22), who is an International Flight Attendant with American Airlines.

Full Bio – http://www.sos.alabama.gov/officeofsos/Biography.aspx

Dr. Steve Katsinas – Director of the Education Policy Center, UA – July 19th, 2016

Steve KatsinasStephen (Steve) Gregory Katsinas is Director of the Education Policy Center (EPC) at The University of Alabama, where he also serves as a Professor of Higher Education and Political Science. The Center is UA’s oldest center or institute.

Katsinas earned his bachelor’s in History from the University of Illinois, and his Master’s in History and doctorate in Higher Education from Southern Illinois University. He worked for House Postsecondary Education Subcommittee Chairman Paul Simon, and wrote the background report for the first hearings on Hispanic Access to Higher Education. He also worked for Clyde Choate, a Congressional Medal of Honor winner, representing SIU in the Illinois Legislature.

From 1985 to 1987, Katsinas directed UA’s Institute of Higher Education, and visited all 41 of Alabama’s community, junior, and technical colleges. He worked at Miami-Dade Community College, and taught at Oklahoma State University, and the Universities of Toledo and North Texas, where he was the youngest endowed chair in his field.

In 2005, Rotarian Jim McLean invited Katsinas to return to the Capstone to direct the Education Policy Center. The Center has hosted UA’s Superintendent’s Academy that provides finance, law, and leadership training. He heads EPC’s higher education research portfolio, which has produced 32 issue briefs and reports on access, finance, and governance issues. He has also authored or coauthored 7 books and monographs, and 28 articles since 2005 on access, finance, and governance issues. Katsinas sees higher education as the linchpin to Alabama’s long term economic and civic future.
He is married to the other “Dr. Katsinas,” Rene’. They are the parents of Steven, General
Manager and Chef at Effina’s Restaurant in Jacksonville, Alabama, and Elena, who
lives in Anniston, Alabama. They have three grandchildren.

Jo Bonner – Vice Chancellor for Economic Development, UA – July 12th, 2016

130937, 09-05-13, Jo Bonner

130937, 09-05-13, Jo Bonner

Josiah (Jo) Robins Bonner, Jr. is the Vice Chancellor for Economic Development for The University of Alabama System.

He joined the UA System in August 2013, initially holding a joint appointment for both Economic Development and Government Relations. In September 2015, Bonner was given sole responsibility for Economic Development. In making the announcement, UA System Chancellor Robert Witt said, “This is a critically important time in the history of our state, and the UA System is extremely mindful of our leadership role in job creation, industrial recruitment and business retention. We are fully committed to doing everything we can to help Alabama continue to grow.”

As Vice Chancellor, Bonner works the Vice Presidents for Research and Economic Development on the three campuses that make up the UA System – The University of Alabama, The University of Alabama at Birmingham and The University of Alabama in Huntsville. Additionally, Bonner works on a daily basis with state, local and national leaders to advance the System’s strategic mission, building on existing relationships and developing new ones that will enhance the mission of the state’s largest enterprise of higher education and help grow Alabama’s economy. The UA System has a total enrollment in excess of 60,000 students and an annual economic impact of over $8 billion.

Bonner earned a B.A. degree in Journalism from The University of Alabama in 1982. He is married to the former Janée Lambert, and they are parents of a daughter, Lee, a sophomore at The University of Alabama, and a son, Robins, a senior in high school. The Bonners make their home in Tuscaloosa.

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