The List - March/April 2018
Andrew Fitch currently works as a financial advisor at First Command Financial Services. After Andrew’s enlistment in the Air Force ended, he completed his bachelor’s degree in finance and is now diligently working to complete his MBA. His family fuels his motivation for success. He says, “My wife and two children are 99.9% my reason for any success. Transitioning out of the military was terrifying and a career as a financial advisor is incredibly difficult when starting out. If it wasn’t for the support of my family, I would have quit then.” He and wife, Ashley, have two children - Nolan and Rylee. His wife’s current Air Force enlistment brought the couple to Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery. He was nervous about starting out in a new city, but notes Montgomery’s community as one of the most supportiveand helpful he has seen. He has sponsored many military-based seminars on finances and retirement. He also hosts an event called Stocks and Scotch at Capital City Club each month. Most of his free time is spent supporting his children in their extracurricular activities and holding the honor of being the youngest member of the Montgomery Bridge Club.
A longtime lover of comics, Brent Moeshlin decided to translate his passion into a business over eighteen years ago. Quality Comix is a comic business that serves theRiver Region by providing high-quality collectables. As with any business owner, Brent has seen his fair share of adversity in the marketplace. Luckily for him, he hashad many examples to look to for advice throughout the years. “My dad has always owned his own business so growing up and watching him has been the biggest influence on my success and what's possible in the business world,” he says. Brent’s passion for finding rare collectibles and sharing them with Montgomery is apparent in his work. He highlights the community’s extreme support of Quality Comix. They have participated in dress-up events and featured the business in their podcasts. Brent is married to Megan Moeshlin and has two children, Daylon and Olivia. He enjoys contributing to reading programs and listening to live music in downtown Montgomery. Brent is a competitive swimmer who stay active through basketball and other sports.
Daniel Taylor works diligently as the assistant principal at Coosooda Elementary School in Elmore County. He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree from Troy University before going on to complete two master’s degrees from Troy University Montgomery and Auburn University Montgomery, as well as an education specialist degree from AUM. He is currently pursuing a doctorate degree from the University ofAlabama Birmingham. Daniel is in his thirteenth year in education, and his favorite part of his job is the children and the opportunity to make a difference in young lives each day. Daniel’s family plays an important role in his daily happiness and attributes God as his guide. He says, “God placed me with parents who valued and pushed for me to obtain an education.Then God place my wife and numerous friends in my life who motivate me daily.” He and his wife, Jessie, have a three-year-old daughter named Harper Claire. When Daniel is not serving his school, he is contributing to the Millbrook Men’s Club, an organization striving to better the Millbrook community. He is a member of the First United Methodist Church of Prattville and enjoys the outdoors and fishing
Jenny Enslen Stubbs, owner of Frios Gourmet Pops, knows the significance of owning a business downtown. She describes Dexter Avenue as full of history and excitement—the perfect place for the newest addition to the Frios' chain. "When it comes to downtowns, they're typically the epicenter of a community's history and are places that cannot be replicated," she says.Also serving as executive director of Main Street Wetumpka and being a member of area Chambers of Commerce, Jenny has a hand in many aspects of the River Region's business world. Jenny is a River Region native and is a graduate of The University of Alabama; since her education, she has lived throughout the Southeastern United States and worked in the publishing industry, primarily with health magazines. Jenny credits her husband for motivating her to use challenges in life, such as dealing with her mother’s illness, to make her stronger. She says, "When my mother died of pancreatic cancer three years ago, it was very difficult but helped me to embrace life and make the most of the moments we're given."Jenny and husband, Troy Stubbs, are the proud parents of four children: Isaac, Elsa, Lucas and Bennett.
Jeri Sharpe Groce, CPA, is a senior manager in the Audit & Attestation Group at Warren Averett, LLC. Jeri graduated from the University of Alabama in 2003 and attained her Masters of Accountancy in 2004. As a certified public accountant, Jeri serves nonprofit organizations, universities, foundations and other municipalities. She says, “I love being in our client’s offices and interacting with those who so passionately serve their mission. I get to be a small part of that by helping our clients thrive and building the public’s trust.” Montgomery has always been home for Jeri - it is where her father flew F-16s in the Air Force, where she went on her firstdate with her husband and where she sends her children to school at St. James School, the same school she attended kindergarten through senior year. Jeri is married to Hunter Groce, and the couple shares two sons, Davis and Miller. She is currently the president of the board of directors of the Family Sunshine Center. She is also a Torchbearer’s Class V graduate and on the Committee for the Future for Children’s of Alabama.
Jonathan Avant, a Montgomery native, has an infectious enthusiasm about life that spills over into his work and volunteerism. He is currently the assistant vice president and businessbanking officer for BBVA Compass Bank and is also a jazztrumpeter. Ten years in the banking industry have served Jonathan Michael Avant well. He says, "The biggest obstacle that I had to overcome was my fear of being too young to be taken seriously. However, I quickly found out that my age allowedfor a fresh, innovative approach towards helping my clients run their businesses more safely and efficiently in today's economy." His creativity has given him the vision for a better community filled with a productive economy and contributing consumers. Jonathan volunteers as an ambassador of the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce and on the boards of The Family Guidance’s Success by Six program and Music Education on Wheels. A trumpet player since childhood, Jonathan now coowns a local livemusic studio and plans to release his first Jazz and Funk album soon. He plans to fulfill his dream of going on tour as a musician in 2019. He and his wife, Jessica, have two daughters, Jazz and Juliana, as well as two dogs named Rocky and Chex.
Working within the human resources realm, Learning and Development Specialist Katherine Mallini serves the employees of Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama, LLC. She says, “I have the ability to make someone’s life a little better. That’s the benefit of being in human resources. People place their trust in you with the expectation that you will offer them the best possible outcome.” Her liberal arts education at Huntingdon College gave her the tools and connections necessary to become the employee she is today. She is very involved in the community and enjoys serving as a member of St. Peter’s Catholic Church, a Conference Advisory Committee member of Troy University Continuing Education and Outreach Leadership, a team captain for the Montgomery Area Food Bank Drive, and a Distinguished Young Women State Committee member. She is an avid animal rescuer and enjoys running in local 5K and half-marathon events. When Katherine is not working or volunteering, she loves spending time with her two “fur babies,” Obie and Penny.
Sara Darby Smith
Sara Darby Smith holds many titles, including clinical mental health counselor, somatic psychotherapist, and yoga instructor. Her passion for helping those with chronic health problems is obvious in the work she does at Grace Point Behavioral. The owner of Grace Point Behavioral, Caroline Abolade, has been a tremendous asset in her career. “It was extremely important for me to specialize in somatic psychotherapy due to my passion for helping those with chronic health problems and trauma histories, both ofwhich I have experienced myself,” Sara Darby explains. Her extensive education background includes degrees from Auburn and Troy Universities. She also received a specialization in somatic psychotherapy from the Mountain Area Health Education Center in Asheville, North Carolina, while simultaneously training to be a certified yoga instructor. The city of Montgomery has been instrumental in her success so far; the city’s character reflected in its ability to accept such an important service. She cites her husband and parents as her biggest support systems. They helped her achieve things she never considered possible. Sara Darby and husband, Elliott Smith, enjoy traveling, exercising and spending time with 13yearold Weimaraner, Jazzy, in their free time.
As a first-generation college graduate, Sharon Silverman had many obstacles to overcome. “I had to overcome the fear that I could not succeed. I guess you can sayI found my inner strength and proved myself and some others wrong,” she says. Sharon certainly did just that as she worked diligently to attain a degree from Auburn University Montgomery in nursing and an eventual master’s degree in science from UAB. She is a nurse practitioner that is Neuro-Vascular Board-Certified and has over 16 years of experience with the neuroscience field. Sharon loves making a difference in people’s lives- giving them comfort in their time of need. Sharon is married to Jeff Silverman and has six children- Grant, Jack, Josh, Libby, Gabriel and Emilee. As a native of Montgomery, Sharon is excited about the continuous growth of the city. What little free time she gets in her high-demand job she spends traveling, attending sporting games and exercising at NShape Fitness.
Dr. Steven Sirmon
Dr. Steven Sirmon, a native of Montgomery and graduate of Auburn University, serves the River Region as a dedicated veterinarian. His love for helping people translates through the care he gives their furry friends. He says, “Although I work with dogs and cats, I really love the relationships I have developed over the years with clients and fellow employees.” With over eight years of experience under his belt, Steven just recently opened a new veterinary hospital, Partners for Pets. He owes his success to his family, thanking them for the sacrifices they make through the unpredictable hours he works. Steven and wife Kellie have four children - Hadley, Harper, Josie and Jace. When Steven has time off from his demanding jobs as a veterinarian and father, he can be seen playing golf, watching Auburn sporting events and attending weekly Bible study. He is an involved member of Landmark Church of Christ. Steven serves as a sponsor of Montgomery American Girls Softball,treasurer of Central Alabama Veterinary Medical Association and member of the Jimmy Hitchcock Award Committee.
Susan Rainey’s career as a Rodan + Fields consultant has skyrocketed over the past few years. After attaining two master’s degrees from Auburn University and working as a kindergarten teacher, Susan elected to begin a new career as the owner of a global dermatological skincare business. She has already earned the honor of becoming an RFx Circle Achiever and Lexus Achiever. She says, “Montgomery’s community comes together to support small businesses and to aid in networking with other professionals. I have been in awe of the support and celebration from people in this town.” In addition to Montgomery’s extreme support of her business, Susan is also very grateful for encouragement from her parents. Her father, an entrepreneur as well, taught her the importance of hard work and integrity. Despite her busy career, Susan finds time to enjoy spending time with loved ones and taking advantage of all Montgomery offers. Susan has an English Pointer named Ruby Windsor and a Boykin Spaniel named Angus. She is an avid equestrian, bird hunter and plays the violin and piano. In her spare time,she enjoys bill fishing, volunteering at MANE and traveling abroad
Working as a REALTOR and serving as an Air Force Reservist keeps Zac Chames, a Montgomery local, very busy. He is a Marine Corps veteran who currently works for Keller Williams Realty. A graduate of John Patterson Technical School and Troy University, Zac knows the value of hard work. After working as a mortgage loan officer, Zac found his niche for real estate. He says, "What I love most about what I do is helping others accomplish their financial goals through the purchase and sale of real estate. It really is a confidence booster for them." The loss of his parents- his biggest role models and supporters- has driven him to retain the values they instilled in him. Zac's free time is spent kayaking, tailgating and spending time with his son, Zaylon. He also volunteersas a team coach with Sonshine Soccer, is an involved member of Maxwell AFB 56ers and is a contributor with YoungLife Montgomery.