The List January/February 2014
Avery Ainsworth is a driven individual who knows how to overcome obstacles. Working as a site design engineer with a Birmingham firm, Avery was laid off a few years ago along with nearly every other company member due to a struggling economy. After taking on two other jobs where he was either bored sitting behind a desk all day or spending far too much time traveling, Avery decided to accept a position with Fleet Feet Sports in Jackson, Miss. He worked there in order to gain experience and when he felt the timing was right, he and his wife Erin jumped right in, opening a Fleet Feet Sports of their own here in Montgomery. Avery believes that Lesley Holleman, owner of Fleet Feet in Jackson, was extremely instrumental in helping Avery to achieve his current level of success. She hired Avery knowing he would work long enough to learn the business and eventually leave to open his own store, and she allowed him to run Jackson’s Fleet Feet as if it were his own. He also gives credit to his wife and each of their parents, who were all very supportive as they knew that running and staying active is one of Avery’s passions. He loves meeting new customers and helping them realize their potential as an athlete. Avery and Erin have a nine-month-old son Emory, and are growing to love Montgomery. As self-described “foodies,” they are particularly excited about the emerging restaurant scene in the city. Avery and Erin find ways to give back to the community through volunteering at races and hosting fun runs to raise money for charities. In addition to running, Avery also competes in triathlons. He loves to travel and running shoes are always a staple for his suitcase.
Dr. Carl Pettis
Dr. Carl Pettis measures his success on how many young men and women he can assist and help become successful in their own lives. As the chair and associate professor of mathematics and computer science at Alabama State University, he is in a unique position to do just that. Carl was born and raised in Thomson, Ga. After graduating high school, he went on to obtain both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in mathematics from Alabama State University, then continued his studies at Auburn University where he received his PhD in mathematics as well. Carl believes that the unwavering support he has always received from his parents, coupled with his own desire for achievement, is what has led him where he is today. His passion for helping others to accomplish their own goals is evident in his community involvement. Carl is a mentor at several local schools, the director of the Summer Kids Youth College Adventure Program, and the director of youth programs for the ASU Division of Continuing Education, where he oversees three federally-funded programs aimed at increasing interest in STEM disciplines for K-12 Alabama students. He is married to Cheryl Pettis, and together they enjoy the pace of life in Montgomery. In his spare time, Carl enjoys watching sports, working with fireworks shows, and racing his collection of remote-controlled cars and trucks.
For Chris Nolan, a mortgage loan originator, the best part of his job is meeting and becoming friends with clients and helping them close on their very first home. Chris grew up in the Montgomery area, and attended the University of Montevallo on a baseball scholarship where he graduated with a degree in business management in 2004. After graduating, he became a loan originator six months later with Covenant Mortgage. Chris credits John Herzog, his boss for the last seven years, as having the biggest impact on his career and success; he personally believes John knows the business better than anyone in the Southeast. Chris has worked hard to get to the position he is in now, and says that starting out in the mortgage business can be scary. He believes to conquer those fears you must learn to build trusting relationships with both your clients and real estate agents, and this is what he strives to do each day. An avid sports fan, Chris gives back to the community by coaching local football and baseball teams in his spare time. His favorite thing about Montgomery is baseball season in the spring and summer, and you can frequently find him at the Biscuits’ stadium, enjoying one of their games.
Dr. Porcia Bradford Love
Throughout Dr. Porcia Bradford Love’s life and career, she has always tried to live by the adage “to whom much is given, much is expected” from The Bible. Porcia, a board certified dermatologist with Montgomery Dermatology, P.C., grew up in Montgomery where she attended LAMP high school. Her first experience working in the medical field came when she was only in the ninth grade and worked in the office of her godfather, a general surgeon here in Montgomery. After high school, Porcia attended the University of Alabama and then continued her studies at Duke University’s Medical School. She went on to complete a general surgery internship at Vanderbilt Medical Center, then returned to Duke University Medical Center for a residency in dermatology, serving as Chief Resident. She also completed a clinical research fellowship at the National Institutes of Health, where she conducted population-based studies on skin cancer. Porcia recently moved back to Montgomery and practices medical, surgical and cosmetic dermatology. She enjoys the diversity her medical specialty provides, as one minute she may be treating an infantile skin condition and the next performing surgery on an elderly patient. She is married to JC Love, an attorney at Montgomery’s Rushton Stakely law firm. Despite her busy schedule, Porcia is an active member of the community and volunteers with Catholic Social Services, Hands on River Region, Medical Outreach Ministries and the Family Sunshine Center; she is also a member of EMERGE Montgomery. Porcia has been a life-long member of St. Jude Catholic Church, as well as a life-long avid fan of the Crimson Tide.
Over the past 29 years, Gina Mount, owner and master stylist at L’Esprit Salon Da’ Spa, has received extensive training worldwide from some of the biggest names in the salon industry. She has been educated by such well-known companies as Bumble and Bumble, Redken 5th Avenue, Color Worl, the Prive Academy in Atlanta, as well as other schools in California, Minnesota, Colorado and Texas. Although she was born in Colorado, Gina has spent the majority of her life living in Prattville. She says she has been “blessed beyond measure” by the clients and friends that sit in her salon chair. While Gina always had the heart and the vision to own and run her own salon, the business aspect was slightly more challenging as she feels she is a stylist at heart and not a “boss”. Clearly she rose to the occasion as L’Esprit continues to grow and is a well-known and respected establishment in the Montgomery community. Gina credits not only her clientele, but the amazing staff she says she works with day in and day out for her success. Gina and her husband Michael have two children, Bailey and Amber, as well as son-in-law Daniel Phillips. Gina is also a soon-to-be “Gigi” to Samantha Kay Phillips. In her spare time, Gina loves participating in and supporting the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts and the arts in general. She is actively involved as a member of the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce and the MMFA, a board member of Prattville Christian Academy, and works with fundraisers such as Footprints to the Finish Line, ASF Armchair Auction, Styles for Smiles, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Family Promise, Toys for Tots, Joy to Life and many others. After losing her own father to cancer, Gina also does whatever she can for the American Cancer Association. A member of Centerpoint Church, Gina loves spending time with her family, especially on the water.
As a passionate writer and decorator, Layla Palmer loves her job as a designer and lifestyle blogger at TheLetteredCottage.net. There, she documents everything from her cottage-style design projects to her travels and family recipes. As someone who is self-employed, Layla says one of her biggest obstacles has been figuring out how to “make it all fit”. When your career involves creating online content, you are never really done with your work. “Faith, family, fun, photography, posts, projects- it all has to fit,” she explains. “Pacing myself and making time for everything that's important to me is something I've become really intentional about,” she continues. Of course, what Layla loves most about her job is the opportunity to do something different every day. She is enthusiastic about exchanging inspiration with others, so it's not surprising that Layla credits social media with her ability to do so effectively. She has made many new friends in the local community through her blog; and sites like Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook help her connect with them each day. Layla says that helping local people create inspiring spaces in their homes has been a real blessing to her. Whether through her church (Centerpoint Fellowship Church) or through her blog, she loves collaborating with people in such a way. Layla is married to musician Kevin Palmer, and they are in the process of adopting a little boy from Haiti. To them, Montgomery is the best of both worlds: Southern town meets big city.
Leslie Gaither Robertson
Leslie Gaither Robertson’s career choices have been as varied as the Alabama cities she has lived in. Born and raised in Eufaula, Leslie graduated from Auburn University, where she majored in corporate journalism. After graduation, she took a job in the communication department of EBSCO International Services in Birmingham, where she traveled both nationally and internationally to manage the company’s library conferences and exhibits. In 2003, Leslie married her husband Bill and moved to Montgomery, where they currently reside. Leslie initially started working in pharmaceutical sales with OBGYN offices in the Montgomery area, but after five years and the birth of her son, Leslie switched fields and obtained her real estate license. Currently, Leslie works as both a three and four-year-old teacher at First United Methodist Preschool and continues her work in real estate with Beringer Realty, LLC. She has been pursuing and will finish her master’s degree in education this spring. Working at Beringer has allowed Leslie to indulge in one of her passions, which is her appreciation for the skill that is found in both architecture and design. She also genuinely enjoys helping individuals find their perfect home. Leslie’s husband Bill is a shareholder at Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis and Miles P.C.; and the couple has two children, Henry and Lucille. Leslie serves on the Board of Directors for Montgomery’s Junior League as well as the Children’s Council at First United Methodist Church, where she teaches Sunday school as well. To Leslie, Montgomery feels like home – she has experienced small town Alabama as well as the state’s largest city, and finds Montgomery to be the perfect mix.
If you have recently been in the vicinity of the Vaughn and Taylor Road area, you have probably noticed there’s a new spot in Montgomery to grab a meal at – Newk’s. Matt Collins, owner of Newk’s, grew up in Jackson, Miss.; in a family involved in the restaurant business. After graduating college, Matt started out as an assistant manager at one of the local Wendy’s owned by his family. Since then, he has moved up from assistant manager to general manager to district manager; and is now branching out into bigger brands here in Montgomery, as well as the Auburn/Opelika area, with Newk’s. Matt enjoys the opportunity to bring a different culinary experience to Montgomery while also meeting new faces each day. Although new to Montgomery, Matt has quickly become involved in community service. Newk’s partnered with WSFA and the Salvation Army at Christmas to provide an Angel Tree, they were the primary sponsors for the NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship here in Montgomery, and they have recently started working with local universities. Matt is married to Amberly Collins, and they have two sons, Wil Franklin and Henry. An avid golf fan, Matt has been playing since childhood and continued playing in college for Delta State University. He also spent five years as the head golf coach at Belhaven University. When he’s not busy attending to his customers at Newk’s, you can usually find Matt on a golf course or camping in the woods.
Boutique shopping in Montgomery is a lot better than it was as recently as a few years ago, and that is in part due to the hard work and perseverance of people like Pam Jordan, the owner of Pamala’s Boutique on Vaughn Rd. Pam never had any intention of owning her own business, and says when she first started out she was absolutely clueless but feels it was a path God led her to. She credits God, along with the support of her husband Duane and the rest of her family for her success. Pam’s daughter Whittney has done a tremendous job, working as the store manager as well as running the website and handling the shipping. Pam considered the individuals she has met through her store to be the most rewarding part of her job. In the three and a half years Pamala’s has been open, the staff is still excited to help its customers find and put together the perfect look. Pam believes that without the customers she has come to know as friends, she would not be enjoying her current success. In addition to her husband and daughter, Pam has two sons, Jared and Shay. She also has a son-in-law, Cory, daughter-in-law Peyton, and soon to be daughter-in-law Catherine. The latest addition to the family is newborn grandson Jace, who Pam “can’t wait to spoil rotten”. Her family is actively involved at Frazer United Methodist Church, and in her spare time Pam enjoys exercising, gardening, and traveling to the beach. Pamala’s Boutique is constantly receiving new shipments, so if you’ve never had the opportunity to check it out before, here is your chance!