The List – November/December 2018
As an accountant for Newell Roadbuilders, Inc., executive district manager for Arbonne International, and accounting consultant, Anna Nichols Carter is nothing if not busy. “From building spreadsheets, keeping the books balanced and tax returns filed, to communicating between owners, banks, software providers, and state agencies, there is a never a dull day in the accounting world at Newell Roadbuilders. My appreciation for the roadbuilding community has grown since meeting the Newell family!” Along with her accounting career, Anna fell in love with Arbonne, which she tells us is the number one global brand for healthy living inside and out. In 2017, she started her own health and wellness business, teaching others about healthy living through Arbonne’s platform.
“In a world filled with label readers, it is important to know that everything you consume or put on your skin absorbs into your body, and ultimately results in how you feel. Becoming a part of Arbonne has been wonderful,” Anna shares. In addition to these responsibilities, Anna also runs a small accounting business out of her home. Anna was an involved member of Delta Zeta Sorority during her time at Auburn Montgomery and continues to advise for the chapter. She serves as the treasurer for several nonprofit organizations in central Alabama and enjoys staying involved in the growing community. She is married to Matt, and has three “bonus” daughters: Bari, Rylee, and Matti, as well as a 3-year-old American Bulldog named Bella. She and her family enjoy spending time on the water and cheering on Auburn/Alabama football.
Ashley Wright is not only the events coordinator for Alabama State University, but also owns two Montgomery businesses. Eventures by Ashley, LLC, specializes in entertainment and nonprofit fundraising while Ashley Wright Music, LLC, is an entertainment and music production company. “What I love the most about my professions are the people I get to interact with on a daily basis. No day is the same. I am always evolving and learning something new. I consider it a blessing to truly love what I do.” She thanks the Montgomery community for their continued support, particularly the mentors who taught her the value of balancing work and family. Her mother, Annettia Wright, has had the biggest impact on Ashley’s success. Annettia is a 36-year lupus survivor and retired registered nurse. She has always pushed Ashley and supported her in all of her achievements. Because of her family’s health history, Ashley finds it important to spread awareness about health concerns throughout the community. She is a supporter of Joy to Life and the American Cancer Society, and sponsors an annual lupus benefit gospel concert that benefits the Lupus Foundation of America. Ashley also serves on the worship team at the Church of the Highlands Montgomery Campus and enjoys strengthening her faith every day as a gospel recording artist.
Britt Barley, the vice president of commercial banking at Synovus Bank, is a graduate of the University of Alabama. Since completing his finance degree, Britt has worked in the banking industry for 15 years. His father-in-law, a retired banker, has served as a mentor for him, and Britt frequently seeks out his advice. After moving to Montgomery six years ago, Britt has made creating and maintaining relationships with his clients within the community a priority. “Being able to assist business owners in achieving financial success is one of my favorite parts of my job. I have cultivated great friendships with my clients and fellow Synovus bank employees,” he shares. Britt is committed to giving back to the community as well. In October, Britt and Synovus Bank wrapped up the 10th annual Capital City Clay Shoot, which benefits Magic Moments, and they once again had a huge turnout to help raise money for a great cause. Britt is married to Montgomery native Rachel, who he says is the biggest motivator in his life. The couple’s two young sons, Britt Jr. and Charles, keep them busy as they play sports and continue to grow. In his free time, Britt enjoys watching the University of Alabama athletics and hunting when he has the chance.
Dr. Nichole Thompson
Dr. C. Nichole Thompson serves as the assistant vice chancellor for diversity & inclusion at Auburn University at Montgomery. She is also the founder and co-owner of AdaChic Designs, a socially-conscious handbag company that uses high fashion handbags to create jobs and global skill sets for women in West Africa. While Nichole’s path certainly was not traditional, she is confident that her current diversity and inclusion position allows her to make a valuable difference within the River Region. “My faith, grit, and out of the box thinking has undoubtedly influenced my path to success,” she shares. “I firmly believe that God has ordained a path for each of us and it takes courage to blindly walk the path and explore everything that’s in store for us.” The launch of her company in Africa has yielded many bumps and detours, but Nichole reminds herself of the ultimate goal of ensuring global advancement for African women. Despite Nichole’s busy schedule, she always makes time for her family and community. She is married to attorney Robert S. Thompson and has three children: Bradley, Kennedy, and Kassidy. Nichole highlights travel as one of her favorite pastimes, something which gave her the opportunity to meet with a King of her ancestors’ tribe in Lagos, Nigeria, who bestowed a royalty title to her because of her great work in Africa.
Everyone loves a good cake. We gift and expect them whenever there’s a reason to celebrate, so having a talented baker and decorator in our city is more than welcome! After working in sales for several years, Fedelia “DeeDee" Crenshaw took a leap of faith and opened Cakeology LLC. The custom-cake shop and bakery creates the perfect cake for any occasion, and she has made several for us here at RSVP. “There is no greater reward than hearing the client tell me how much they loved the cake I created. I enjoy being a part of any special event because the cake is often the focal point of any event, whether it is a wedding, anniversary, or birthday.”
Fedelia thanks her family and friends, who have been an instrumental part of her success, pushing her to take the first steps toward her dream. She is married to Ledrick Crenshaw, the associate vice president of business operations for CareHere, and has five daughters: Mia, Gabby, Kiersten, McKinley, and Jordyn. Fedelia is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and serves as a youth mentor for the YMCA Rising Achievers program. When Fedelia is not decorating cakes, she is testing her wilder side as she enjoys skydiving, riding ATVs, and deep-sea fishing. Try Cakeology on Atlanta Highway for your next cake… Fedelia will exceed your expectations!
As co-owner of Jackie+Luke, a professional photography business, co-owner of MADE. Cookies, lab manager at Indie Film Lab, and a group exercise instructor at the YMCA of greater Montgomery, Jackie Lucas certainly keeps busy. Her husband Luke, the other half to Jackie+Luke, serves not only as a fellow talented photographer but also a support system and cheerleader. He continued his support when Jackie and co-founder Jessica Drosyk began their venture, MADE. Cookies. Despite the overwhelming success her two companies have seen, Jackie admits that she was not always sure her ideas would work.
“Before starting my photography business I didn’t believe that I could run a business based on my skill alone. Over the past ten years as a small-business owner I’ve learned to trust myself more and ask for help when I need it,” she explains. She loves the joy of bringing a smile to people’s faces, something she gets to do with each of her professions. Jackie and Luke have two children, Rosemary and Jimmy. Jackie is a member of First United Methodist Church and frequently volunteers at Bear Exploration Center, her daughter’s school.
If you think a chef's life is just cooking, think again. While his culinary skills are in full force as the executive chef for Montgomery’s popular restaurant Central, Jason McGarry also has responsibilities with inventory, staff, and planning, which makes his chef’s hat not the only one he wears. Jason graduated from the Green Brier Chef’s Apprenticeship in West Virginia and has been working as a chef ever since. Jason went deaf in his right ear one week before graduating, a disability that might have caused some chefs to move on from their dreams. But Jason persevered and competed to win silver medals in all three categories of his final cooking school. “I love that I have the ability to reach people’s feelings through food,” he shares.
Jason and his team at Central often find new ways to push the envelope with cuisine in Montgomery. When they aren’t in the kitchen, the Central staff often donates time and resources to help raise money for various charities around the city. He recently had the opportunities to cook for Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, and The Dos Equis “Most Interesting Man in the World” (Jonathon Goldsmith), who have all dined at Central. Jason is married to Marie and has two children, Jasmine and Jaxon. He enjoys bass fishing, circuit training, and watching the Georgia bulldogs play football. If you are looking for an excellent dining experience, visit Central. Your palate will be pleased.
Julian Petty has never met a stranger and his energy is contagious. A Mobile, Ala. native, Julian graduated from Auburn University as a wireless engineer and married his college sweetheart, Carla, who works as a nurse practitioner. After graduation, Julian departed for an active duty Army career and began obtaining his master’s degree in cyber systems. After ten years of moving, Julian and Carla returned to Montgomery with their son Elijah and daughter Avery. Concerned by the extreme lack of play among today’s youth, Julian was inspired to start a business that would get kids and adults to interact with one another and be less sedentary.
LAF Game Co. (Learn Active Fun) has been a roaring success. Just a few of their oversized-games include Legos, checkers, dominos, playing cards, twister, Jenga, and giant corn hole with oversized pillows. The games are a great alternative to the ordinary for events, weddings, birthdays and are a hit with assisted-living communities and early childhood development. Montgomery has been very supportive of Julian and his business. When Julian and his wife are not keeping up with the demands of working, running a household, and a game rental company, they enjoy attending Church of the Highlands and spending time with their children in the Hampstead Living community.
When you meet Matthew Wallace you will instantly be attracted to his energetic, fun-loving personality. His community connections and desire to help others led him to open Wallace & Moody Realty with co-owner and friend Jimmy Moody. Matthew has been a licensed realtor for 15 years, and the team of agents that has joined their team describes him as outgoing and motivating, and others in the community rave about his integrity. Making the decision to start a real estate company wasn’t easy for him. “I went from the security of a steady paycheck to not knowing how I would make ends meet if I didn’t sell enough,” he tells us.
Matthew says that this fear did not hold him back, as he was taught that you fight for what you are passionate about. Matthew loves the challenge of finding his client’s dream home, and highlights their excitement of buying a home as one of the best parts of his job. Matthew is married to Larra and they have three boys that keep them busy, Luke, Cade, and Gray, but he makes it a priority to carve out time for date nights with his wife. In his spare time, Matthew teaches tennis lessons and is an active member of Century Church. If you need help buying or selling a home, Matthew is your guy!