Exploring leadership in Shelby County

Published 11:36 am Monday, January 21, 2013

By BETH CHAPMAN / Community Columnist

With the beginning of the new year I started a blog — 52 Weeks of Leadership. With that blog came the thought of great leaders, not just in the world, but at home.

I started asking myself about local leadership. Who are the people who have shaped our county and made it the stronghold it is today? Whose leadership has kept us out of debt and made us the repeated winner of the best place to raise a family award? What are their defining characteristics and traits? What makes them tick?

With those thoughts came an endless list of people who have paved the way for our county to prosper in the past, present and future.

There are people in our county who have accomplished great things. Some of them have benefited our county directly while others have represented us indirectly through their accomplishments.

Did you know that one of our citizens was the top student in their law class at the University of Alabama, another one played for Bear Bryant, another was an Auburn cheerleader.

Shelby County’s Conrad Fowler learned many of his leadership skills from Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. Read his entire story next week. (Contributed)

Another couple of gentlemen started a political party switch which would historically change our political makeup and the makeup of the entire state of Alabama?

Did you know that we were one of the leading school systems to champion a nationally recognized reading program?

Are you aware of the multi-million dollar youth detention facility and the award-winning teachers we have?

Did you know we had a national award winning judge and member of the Supreme Court?

We have had a Miss America from our county and the president and CEO of a national corporation. We have award-winning artists and a liberal arts university that boasts the oldest college tradition in the United States.

This is an introduction to a series of articles on leadership and the leaders in the Shelby County community. If you would like to recommend leaders to be featured, please contact me via email. If you would like to read my weekly leadership blog, please visit Blog.bethchapman.com.


Beth Chapman, Alabama’s secretary of state, is a Shelby County resident. You can reach her at bethchapman@bellsouth.net.