Leadership Shelby County Class of 2017 graduates

HOOVER – The Leadership Shelby County Class of 2017 is already helping its community.

At the program’s graduation ceremony on Tuesday, May 16, at Jefferson State Community College’s Shelby-Hoover Campus, four groups of graduates presented community service projects they have already initiated.

The projects included Polly’s Hope, which will provide material items to children placed in emergency care; The Children of Domestic Violence to benefit youth who have been exposed to domestic violence; Discover Shelby Volunteer Network, which is a social media platform to connect volunteers to service opportunities; and BackPack Buddies, which provides food to children in the county who are going hungry or who are food insecure.

Prior to the class project presentations Youth Leadership Scholarship Awards were presented to Trey Hamilton of Chelsea High School, Mary Elizabeth Laatsch of Helena High School and Shai Partridge of Vincent High School.

Hamilton plans to attend the University of Alabama, Laatsch plans to attend the University of Montevallo and Partridge plans to attend Jefferson State.

The invocation was given by Calvin Gunn, LSC Class of 1997.

After the class project presentations, diplomas and alumni pins were presented by Bridgette Jordan Smith, president; and Tom Sanders, president-elect.

Then, the gavel was passed from Smith to Sanders, signaling the end of Smith’s two-year tenure.

“It has been totally amazing,” Smith said.

“I will try to follow along in your worthy footsteps,” Sanders said. “I want to thank all of you for your willingness to be a leader.”

Graduates included: Lara Alvis, Shelby County Circuit Court Judge; Kevin Bentley, Hoover Fire Department; Seth Berry, Shannon Waltcheck; Resia Brooks, Shelby County Board of Education; Ashley Cole-Tyson, Shelby Baptist Medical Center; John Collier, Regions Bank; Bill Connor, America’s First Federal Credit Union; Audrey Crawford, University of Montevallo; David Darby, Trustmark National Bank; Karen Fillingim, city of Alabaster; Chris Fulmer, C&G Fulmer Enterprises Inc.; Steve Gilbert, Montevallo Chamber of Commerce; Jenni Goolsby, Shelby County Board of Education; Karon Grubbs, Easter Seals of the Birmingham Area; Bart Hall, Computer Technology Solutions; Clay Hammac, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office; Derek Henderson, Alabaster City Schools Board; Christie Hester, Shelby County Development Services; Becky King, Liberty Baptist Church; Sophie Martin, Blue Cross Blue Shield; Brian Massey, St. Vincent’s Health System; Jeff McDowell, McDowell Security Services LLC; Howie McNeill III, I.H. McNeill III PC; Stovie Moore, Grandbridge Real Estate Capital; Valencia Albright Moss, SafeHouse of Shelby County; Connie Payton, city of Calera; Steve Peters, University of Montevallo; Jamie Purvis, A.C. Legg Inc.; Loren Russell, Shelby County Commission, Tommy Sizemore, Hoover Fire Department; Elizabeth Smith, city of Columbiana; Emily Sparacino, Shelby County Reporter; Chris Taylor, Bridgework/Liberty University; Lannette Thomas, Realty South; Brent Todd, BBVA Compass; Maria Urech, American Red Cross; John W. Wilder II, city of Helena; and Randy Wilson, Alagasco.

The program began in September 2016 and included an opening retreat, Shelby County Day, Education Day, Justice System Day, Economic Development Day, Healthcare Day, Government Day and Quality of Life Day.