Mr. William Jackson “Jack” Fite ʼ85
President, Auburn Alumni Association
What a great honor it is to serve as president of your Auburn Alumni Association. It is also a great time for me to serve because it gives my wife, Laura (Pharmacy ’86), and me more opportunities to see our three children, all students at Auburn!
While Auburn has changed since my own college days, that’s to be expected. The only constant in higher education is change. How we educate, where we educate, who we educate and what degrees we offer are certainly changing, and the landscape of education at Auburn University is no exception. Today, an incoming freshman can choose not to attend calculus class and participate online. State-of-the-art labs and technology are common on our tradition-rich campus. The average ACT score of incoming freshmen is over 27. The demand for an Auburn education has never been higher.
How we fund public education is also changing. I invite you to develop a more meaningful relationship to Auburn by donating money for scholarships so a young student can enjoy the great education and experiences we remember. One way to help is by joining the Circle of Excellence. Please visit aualum.org/scholarships or call (334) 844-2586 for information.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your alumni association president. I am honored and humbled.
If you ever have a question or a concern regarding the association, please do not hesitate to contact me at [email protected].
Jack Fite ʼ85
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Board of Directors
Dion M. Aviki ʼ04
Member, Communications & Marketing and Member/Alumni Services Committees
Aviki graduated from AU in 2004 with a bachelor of chemical engineering degree. Dion currently serves as Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Taxman & Associates, a commercial HVAC firm in Houston, TX. Her professional experience includes leadership roles in sales, business development, technical marketing, and product development. At AU, Dion is a member of the Circle of Excellence Society. Dion is an inaugural member of the Auburn Engineering Young Alumni Council and is the current President of the Greater Houston Auburn Club.
Susan K. Black ʼ77
Member, Finance & Operations and Scholarship Committees
Black graduated from AU in 1977 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and from Georgia State University in 1984 with a masters of professional accountancy. Susan is currently President of J. K. Boatwright & Co., P.C., a public accounting firm with offices in LaGrange and Newnan. She is a member of the West Georgia Auburn Club, where she has served as President. At AU, Susan is a member of the Foy Society, the Circle of Excellence Society, the Samford Society, and Shareholders Club. She is married to Bill and they have two children, one who graduated from AU.
I. Ripon “Rip” Britton ’82
Vice Chair, Membership Development Committee
Member, Finance & Operations Committee
Britton obtained a bachelor’s degree in business from AU in 1982 followed by a degree from Cumberland School of Law in 1985. Rip is a Partner of Hand, Arendall, LLC in Birmingham, AL and has served as past president of the Greater Birmingham Auburn Club. He is a member of the Foy Society, the Samford Society and the Circle of Excellence Society. He is married to Vera ’82 and they have three children.
William C. “Beau” Byrd, II ʼ89
Chair, Membership Development Committee
Member, Finance & Operations and Executive Committees
Byrd graduated from AU in 1989 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a degree from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University, in 1992. He has extensive experience representing developers, owners, and financial institutions in a wide variety of commercial real estate transactions, including NMTC, Senior Housing, Retail, Office and Multi-Family. Byrd is past Chair of the Real Property, Probate, and Estate Section of the Alabama State Bar, and is an adjunct professor at Cumberland School of Law. He is the immediate past President of NAIOP-Alabama Chapter (an international commercial real estate development group), and serves as a member of the Professional Advisory Board of Auburn University’s Masters of Real Estate Development Program. At AU, Beau is a member of the Foy Society, Circle of Excellence Society, the Samford Society, and the George Petrie Society. He is married to Kathy ᾽89 and they have two sons.
Deborah H. Carter ’72
St. Simons Island, Georgia
Chair, Member/Alumni Services
Member, Membership Development and Executive Committees
Carter graduated from Auburn University in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in education. Deborah serves as vice president of Toledo Manufacturing Company in Folkston, GA. She is a member of the Golden Isles Auburn Club where she has served as President. At AU, she is a member of the Samford Society, the George Petrie Society and the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Woodlands and Wildlife Society. Deborah also serves as a board member of the Humane Society of South Coastal Georgia and Board Member Emeritus of the Waycross College Foundation, where she served as President for three years. She is married to Chuck and they have one daughter who is an Auburn graduate.
Robert “Rob” M. Crabtree ʼ86
Member, Finance & Operations and Membership Development Committees
Crabtree graduated from AU in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in health services administration. Rob’s professional career experience includes healthcare leadership roles at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Alabama Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center in Birmingham and he currently serves as the Administrative Director of Orthopaedics for the University of Alabama Health Services Foundation at UAB. Rob has served on advisory boards or on committees for UAB, BlueCross BlueShield, the Alabama Arthritis Foundation, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Medical Group Management Association (Alabama Chapter), and BONES Orthopaedic Administrators Society. He served as president of the Greater Birmingham Auburn Club in 2012. At AU, Rob is a member of the Foy Society and the Circle of Excellence Society. He is married to Andi and they have one child.
William Jackson “Jack” Fite ʼ85
Chair, Executive Committee
Fite graduated from AU in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in building science and is President and CEO of Fite Building Company, Inc. Fite Building Company is a diverse general contracting and construction management firm building medical, institutional, church, financial, retail and industrial projects as well as maintenance for large industrial clients. Jack served as President of the North Alabama Associated Builders and Contractors, as well as President of the Morgan County Auburn Club. Jack served on the Board of Directors of the Decatur General Hospital Foundation and First American Bank. At AU, Jack is a member of the Foy Society, the Circle of Excellence Society, the Samford Society, and the George Petrie Society. He is married to Laura ᾽86 and they have three children, one who is an Auburn graduate.
Armstead L. “Les” Hayes ’80
Member, Scholarship, Communications & Marketing and Nominating Committees
Hayes graduated from AU in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and later graduated with a J.D. from the University of Alabama School of Law in 1983. Les has served the City of Montgomery, AL as the Presiding Judge of the Municipal Court System. He is the former General Counsel for the Medical Association of the State of Alabama. At AU, Les is a member of the Foy Society and the Circle of Excellence Society. He is also a former President of the Montgomery Auburn Club. Les has three children, one who is an Auburn graduate. He is married to Jennifer.
M. Van Henley ʼ80
Chair, Finance & Operations Committee
Member, Executive and Membership Development Committees
Henley received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from AU in 1980. Van is a tax partner with Ernst & Young, LLP and serves his clients as Tax Account Leader, coordinating all aspects of their tax compliance and tax planning needs. As part of the Federal Tax Practice, Van has more than 32 years of experience. He is a certified public accountant, is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants, and is licensed to practice in Texas. Van currently serves as Treasurer of the Auburn Alumni Association. He served on the AU School of Accountancy Advisory Council for over 20 years. At AU, Van is a member of the Foy Society, the Circle of Excellence Society, Shareholders Club and the 1856 Society. Van is married to Suzanne and they have three children.
Robert R. “Bob” Jones ʼ74
Chair, Communications & Marketing Committee
Member, Finance & Operations, Nominating and Executive Committees
Jones is a 1974 graduate of AU with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s in business in 1980. He is President, CEO of United Bank which serves three counties in southwest Alabama and an area in the Florida panhandle. Prior to entering banking, he served in senior financial and operational management positions in the transportation and agricultural industries. Jones was in the Navy ROTC while at Auburn and was a former member of the School of Accounting Advisory Council. At AU, Bob is a member of the Foy Society and the Circle of Excellence Society. He is married to Meg ᾽74 and they have two children, both Auburn graduates.
Timothy A. Martin ʼ78
Vice Chair, Scholarship Committee
Member, Communications & Marketing and Nominating Committees
Martin graduated from AU in 1978 with a bachelor’s degree in pharmacal science and received his doctorate in 1982. Tim currently is the Director of Pharmacy at the DCH Regional Medical Center in Tuscaloosa, AL. He has been appointed as a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice at Auburn and is the chair-elect of the Dean’s Advisory Council. He was appointed by Alabama Governor Robert Bentley to the Alabama State Board of Pharmacy to serve a five-year term as the institutional pharmacy representative. His professional achievements have been recognized by the Phi Lambda Sigma Pharmacy Leadership Society, the AU Harrison School of Pharmacy, and the Alabama Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists. At AU, Tim is a member of the Foy Society, the Circle of Excellence Society, the George Petrie Society, and the Samford Society. He is married to Angie and they have two children, one who is an Auburn graduate.
Angela S. Mitchell ʼ85
Member, Membership Development and Member/Alumni Services Committees
Mitchell graduated from AU in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in business management. Angela is an active community volunteer and civic leader in her hometown of Guntersville, AL. At AU, Angela is a member of the Foy Society and the 1856 Society. Angela is married to David and they have three children, one who is an Auburn graduate.
David Oberman ᾽80
Vice Chair, Finance & Operations Committee
Member, Scholarship Committee
Oberman graduated from AU in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in communications. David currently is a Director with Merrill Lynch in Birmingham, AL. He covers most of the state of Alabama and parts of Mississipi for Merrill Lynch. He is a former member of the AU Business Advisory Council. At AU, David is a member of the Foy Society and the Circle of Excellence Society. He is married to Barbara Haskins Oberman ᾽81 and they have three children, one who is an Auburn graduate.
Regenia Sanders ’95
Member, Scholarship, Nominating and Member/Alumni Services Committees
Sanders is a 1995 graduate of AU with a bachelor’s degree in engineering. Regenia is currently a Senior Director at Six Sigma Academy & Company in their Business Technology Practice. She is an executive with over 14 years of business transformation, management consulting and information technology experience for Fortune 500 companies across multiple industries, including Communications & High Tech, Public Service, Retail, Industrial Manufacturing, and Utilities at Accenture. She serves on the board of directors for ToolBankUSA and the National Advisory Board for the National Society of Black Engineers. Regenia is also a member of AU’s Alumni Engineering Council and the Leadership Council for the university’s Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs. At AU, Regenia is a member of the Circle of Excellence Society, and the George Petrie Society.
Paula D. Steigerwald ʼ76
Vice Chair, Member/Alumni Services Committee
Member, Communications & Marketing and Nominating Committees
Steigerwald is a 1976 graduate of AU with a bachelor’s degree in fashion merchandising. Upon graduation, Paula began working for Parisian benefiting from their extensive management training programs. From 1997-2002 she served as the Vice President, Regional Director of Stores for North Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan. In 2002 she left Parisian to join the Huntsville Botanical Garden as CEO. The Garden has been named the Southeast Tourism Society’s Shining Example, The State of Alabama’s Attraction of the Year, and the Chamber of Commerce’s Non-Profit of the Year. At AU, Paula is a member of the Foy Society and the Circle of Excellence Society. She is married to Tim ̓ 76 and they have two children who are both Auburn graduates.
William B. “Bill” Stone, II ʼ85
Rainbow City, Alabama
Chair, Nominating Committee
Ex-Officio Member, Executive Committee
Stone is a 1985 graduate of AU with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. Bill’s professional career includes sales, marketing and leadership roles with Siemens, United Technologies, Schneider Electric, Border States Industries, and currently serves as Vice President, Mayer Electric Supply Company, Birmingham, AL. Bill has served AU on the College of Engineering Campaign Committee; is an Engineering Eagle; as a member of the Auburn Athletic Advisory Council and a member of the Trustee Selection Committee. He has been a member of the Auburn Alumni Association Board of Directors since 2007, previously serving as President. Bill is a former president of the Greater Nashville Auburn Club. At AU, Bill is a member of the Foy Society, the Circle of Excellence Society, and the Samford Society. Bill has one child and is married to Marian.
E. Gaines Thomas ʼ72
Chair, Scholarship Committee
Member, Executive and Member/Alumni Services Committees
Thomas is a 1972 graduate of AU with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. Gaines is also a 1976 graduate of the University of Alabama School of Dentistry and completed post graduate residency at the University of Alabama School of Dentistry/Children’s Hospital Pediatric Dentistry in 1978. He is a former President of both the Mobile Area Dental Society (1999) and the Alabama Dental Association (2009-10), and is currently President of the Southeastern Society of Pediatric Dentistry. At AU, Gaines is a member of the Foy Society, the Circle of Excellence Society and the George Petrie Society. He is married to Linda ̓ 72 and they have three children, two are Auburn graduates.
Mark H. Thomas ’95
Bluffton, South Carolina
Co-Vice Chair, Communications & Marketing Committee
Member, Membership Development Committee
Thomas graduated from Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics, cooperative education in 1995 and a master’s in applied mathematics, numerical analysis in 1998. In addition, he holds a Master’s degree in business administration from the University of South Alabama. Mark began his career with TRW as a software engineer on the National Missile Defense project. He moved to Radiance Technologies, Inc. to lead a team of developers on a classified project and was eventually named Vice President of Gulf Coast Operations. Mr. Thomas left Radiance to help establish a startup company in the Defense Industry as the Senior Vice President at Integration Innovation, Inc. (i3), with responsibility for the Security and Environmental Solutions (SES) division operations, business development, program management, personnel management, budget planning and execution along with profit and loss and growth direction responsibility. Mr. Thomas currently serves as VP, Strategic development for CareCore National, LLC where he directly supports the CTO in developing strategic technology objectives, IP strategy, plans for new market development along with developing R&D budget and resources necessary to meet strategic objectives. He is responsible for leading new technology initiatives; developing and managing the Innovation Life Cycle including SDLC, and managing cross functional (internal and external) R&D project teams along with the strategic technology handoff process. He and his wife Kelly ̓ 99 have one child.
Barbara Wallace-Edwards ’79
Member, Membership, Communications & Marketing and Member/Alumni Services Committees
Wallace-Edwards graduated from AU in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in accountancy. Barbara retired from Cahaba Government Benefit Administrators in Birmingham, AL. She remains active in her church community. She currently serves on the board of directors for Children's Village Inc., as an Arts Ambassador for the Alys Stephens Center, was the Top Company Fundraiser 2002-2006 for JDRF in Birmingham, and received the Birmingham Management Roundtable Member of the Year Award 1994-1995. At AU, Barbara is a member of the Circle of Excellence Society.
Gretchen VanValkenburg ’86
Vice President for Alumni Affairs & Executive Director and Secretary, Auburn Alumni Association
Gretchen VanValkenburg serves as Vice President for Alumni Affairs and Executive Director of the Auburn Alumni Association for Auburn University. She is responsible for providing strategic leadership, direction and support of the mission of the Auburn Alumni Association and Auburn University.
VanValkenburg, a 1986 Auburn business graduate, has a distinguished career as a university advancement professional. Prior to returning to Auburn, she served as executive director of development and alumni engagement at the University of West Florida where she provided direction for all development and alumni-related activities and operations. Over a seventeen year period, she held various leadership positions with increasing areas of responsibility including alumni event planning, alumni board management, donor relations, fiscal management, volunteer recruitment and public speaking. She also served as a major gifts officer and led capital campaign planning efforts.
VanValkenburg is a native of Montevallo and attended the University of Montevallo from 1982-1984. She is married to Craig VanValkenburg, a ’82 Auburn alumnus and they have one daughter, Heidi. She and her husband are proud life members of the Auburn Alumni Association.
Auburn Alumni Association President
Auburn Alumni Association Vice President
Auburn Alumni Association Treasurer
Ex-Officio Board Members
Mr. William Jackson “Jack” Fite ’85
Mr. William B. Stone, II ’85
Mr. Bobby Poundstone ’95
Mrs/ Nancy Young Fortner ’71
Mr. James (Ralph) Jordan, Jr. ’70
Mr. Andrew P. Hornsby, Jr. ’68
Mr. L. Owen Brown ’64
Mr. Robert J. Kloeti ’70
Ms. Golda Ann McDaniel ’72
Mr. William Earl Porter ’57
Mr. Richard F. Mitchell ’55
Mr. Paul J. Spina, Jr. ’63
Mr. J. Patrick Galloway ’5 1- DECEASED
Mr. Russell E. Allman, Sr. ’69
Dr. Ruel Russell, Jr. ’48
Mr. Batey M. Gresham, Jr. ’57
Mr. Robert D. Word, Jr. ’55
Dr. Earl H. Weaver ’62 - DECEASED
Mr. L. J. Kirkland ’49
Mr. Robert E. Lowder ’64
Dr. Walter L. Martin ’53 - DECEASED
Dr. C. Lloyd Nix ’59
Mr. Duncan P. Liles, Jr. ’43 - DECEASED
Mr. Morris Savage ’59
Mr. James M. Brown, Jr. ’46 - DECEASED
Mr. J. Gilmer Blackburn ’50 - DECEASED
Mr. Ken Lott, Jr. ’41 - DECEASED
Dr. W. Kelly Mosley ’21 - DECEASED
Dr. Ben S. Gilmer ’26 - DECEASED
Mr. Roy B. Sewell ’22 - DECEASED
Mr. Frank M. Malone ’21 - DECEASED
Mr. William F. Byrd ’21 - DECEASED
Past Executive Directors
Dr. Deborah L. Shaw '84
Mrs. Betty DeMent '71
Dr. Joe Busta '69
Mr. Jerry F. Smith '64
Mr. George L. (Buck) Bradberry
Dr. Joseph B. Sarver '37
(honorary doctorate, bestowed 1994)
Mr. Harry M. (Happy) Davis '32