Board of Directors

Alabama Humanities Foundation’s Board of Directors is a body of 25 individuals who jointly oversee the activities of the organization. Nineteen members are elected by the board and six members are appointed by the Governor of Alabama.

*Governor’s Appointee

Trey Granger*, Pike Road, Chair

Trey Granger, of Pike Road, serves as deputy clerk of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. He is a graduate of University of Alabama School of Law and a Cum Laude graduate of Birmingham-Southern College.

Before his appointment as deputy clerk, he served as general counsel for the Alabama Secretary of State’s Office. Trey created the nationally acclaimed Art of Democracy project.

He serves on the Alabama Historical Commission, the Board of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, the Administrative Board of the First United Methodist Church of Montgomery and previously served on the Board of Leadership Montgomery, as a community advisor to the Junior League of Montgomery, the Board of Landmarks Foundation, and as an advisor to the PEW Charitable Trust.

Trey and his wife of 28 years, Lilla Cousins Granger, have one daughter Lilla Bea, currently a graduate student. The Grangers enjoy gardening and collecting Alabama-made antiques and works of the Dixie Art Colony.

During his tenure on the Alabama Humanities Foundation, he and other board members have streamlined the Foundation’s annual signature event, now billed as The Colloquium, into a statewide day to honor the impact of the Humanities in our state, region and nation.

Headliners have included: CNN’s Kamau Bell, District Judge Myron Thompson, MSNBC correspondent Joyce Vance, architect and designer Bobby McAlpine, the artist, Nall, and Samford University President Andrew Westmoreland, among others.

The Colloquium is a project that Granger intends to help grow into an nationally recognized event that underscores the meaningful impact of the humanities upon every individual.

Darren L. Hicks, Birmingham, Vice Chair

Dr. Joseph Aistrup, Auburn, Treasurer

Joseph Aistrup, Treasurer, of Auburn, joined Auburn University as dean of College of Liberal Arts in 2013. He previously served as associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Kansas State University. Aistrup earned his bachelor’s degree from Fort Hays State University, master’s from Virginia Polytechnical Institute and State University and Ph.D. from Indiana University.

Sally Greenhaw, Birmingham, Secretary

Sally Greenhaw, Secretary, of Birmingham, is a retired Circuit Judge and served on the bench in Montgomery County for over 20 years. She is a graduate of the University of Alabama and Cumberland School of Law. Over the years, Judge Greenhaw has been an active community volunteer and was in Leadership Alabama Class IV and Leadership Montgomery Class V. She has also been involved with the Alabama Council on Substance Abuse, Family Guidance Center and the Department of Human Resources Board.

Ann Florie, Birmingham, Executive Committee-At-Large

Ann Florie, Executive Committee-At-Large, of Birmingham, received a B.A. in Political Science from Newcomb College of Tulane University. She is the Executive Director of Leadership Birmingham. Florie also serves on the board of trustees for Brookwood Medical Center, serves on the Executive Committee of the Birmingham Business Alliance, and sits on the Board of Directors for the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama. She was previously the founding Executive Director of Region 2020; Florie is a founding board member of the Children First Foundation, First Look, Inc., Leading Edge Institute and the Women’s Fund.

Brett Shaffer, Birmingham, Executive Committee-At-Large

Bob Barnett, Pell City

Bob Barnett, of Pell City, founded the structural engineering firm which is now Barnett*Jones*Wilson, LLC. He is an adjunct professor in the University of Alabama School of Civil Engineering. He serves as chairman of the Pell City Industrial Development Board, is past chairman of St. Vincent’s Health System Board of Directors and is a member of Pell City Center for Education and Performing Arts board of directors. At his alma mater, University of Alabama, he has been honored as Keith-Woodman Fellow, Distinguished Fellow, School of Civil Engineering, Distinguished Fellow of College of Engineering and College of Engineering Outstanding Alumni.

Dr. Michael Burger, Montgomery

Michael Burger, of Montgomery, is Professor of History at Auburn University at Montgomery. He holds a Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a B.A. from Michigan State University. Burger is a member of The Historical Society, Medieval Academy of America, Lincoln Record Society, Canterbury and York Society. He served as Dean of Arts & Sciences and Dean, School of Liberal Arts at Auburn University at Montgomery.

Julian D. Butler, Huntsville

Julian Butler, of Huntsville, is a senior partner at Sirote & Permutt and is listed in The Best Lawyers in America and Alabama Super Lawyers in commercial litigation. Former chair of Leadership Huntsville/Madison County and a graduate of Leadership Alabama, Butler served as president of the Arts Council, was vice president of the General Joe Wheeler Home Foundation, President of Huntsville/Madison County Chapter of the University of Alabama Alumni Association and twice as chair of the Creek District of Boy Scouts of America. He is a trustee of the Alabama Department of Archives and History, a fellow of the Alabama Law Foundation, trustee of the Eleventh Circuit Historical Society, advisory board member of Village of Promise and trustee of Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform.

Janice Hawkins*, Troy

Janice Hawkins* of Troy, is a gubernatorial appointee, with her latest reappointment in 2003, represents Troy University. She received an M.A. in special education from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). She has served as a consultant with the State Department of Education. Her civic involvement includes serving on boards of the Alabama Transliterates for the Deaf, the Pike County Child Advocacy Center and the Alabama Historical Commission, for which she is a past chair.

Dr. Kern M. Jackson, Mobile

Kern Jackson, of Mobile, is director of the African-American Studies program at the University of South Alabama and distinguished tenured faculty member in the Department of English. A nationally recognized expert in folklore and ethnomusicology, Jackson earned his Ph.D. from Indiana University. In addition, Jackson earned a B.A. in English and African American Studies from the University of Virginia and a Masters of Arts in African American Studies from the University of Wisconsin. Jackson is the former curator of minority history for the Museum of Mobile and is a pre-eminent expert of Gulf Coast Carnival and Mardi Gras, serving as historian for the seminal documentary, Order of Myths, as well as appearing in multiple episodes of Alabama Public Television Series, Alabama Journey Proud.

Dr. Elliot A. Knight*, Montgomery

Dr. John Kvach, Brownsboro

John Kvach, of Brownsboro, serves as Vice President of the Liberty Learning Foundation. Kvach has written numerous articles, conference papers and book chapters on the antebellum and postbellum South. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from West Virginia University and his Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee. Kvach serves on several regional and statewide boards, including Alabama Bicentennial Commission.

Sheryl Threadgill-Matthews, Camden

Sheryl Threadgill-Matthews, of Camden, is the director of BAMA Kids, Inc. that provides an array of educational and recreational opportunities for young people. She is a community activist, working on get-out-the-vote efforts and serving on boards promoting community development and improvement. Threadgill-Matthews chairs the Alabama State Planning Committee of the Southern Rural Black Women’s Initiative of which Federation of Child Care Centers of Alabama is the lead organization.

Ed Mizzell, Birmingham

Dr. Mark D. Nelson, Tuscaloosa

David Rains, Ft. Payne

David A. Rains, of Fort Payne, is a retired Circuit Court Judge for the Ninth Judicial Circuit, having served for 32 years. A graduate of The University of Alabama and The University of Alabama School of Law, he was selected by the Alabama Circuit Judges’ Association to serve on the Alabama Court of the Judiciary, a nine-member court established by the Alabama Constitution to hear and decide charges of judicial misconduct. Rains has served on the Board of Directors of the Friends of Alabama Archives and the Fort Payne Depot Museum. The Dekalb County Chamber of Commerce recently recognized him for his professional and civic contributions by honoring him with the 2017 V.I. Prewett Lifetime Achievement Award.

R.B. Walker*, Birmingham

R.B. Walker*, of Birmingham, a 2016 gubernatorial appointee, now serves as Director of Legislative Affairs for Alabama Power Company. Walker formerly served as Director of Government Relations at The University of Alabama. Receiving his degree from the University, he also studied at the University of Oxford.

Andy Weil, Montgomery

W. Edgar Welden, Birmingham

Edgar Welden, of Birmingham, a civic-community leader and retired business executive, serves as Chairman of the board of directors of The Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. Inducted into the Alabama Academy of Honor, Welden has also served as a board member for the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, Alabama National Bancorporation and Troy University Foundation Board. A graduate of The University of Alabama, Welden has remained committed to his alma mater where he served on numerous committees and promotions supporting athletic, as well as, academic programs and scholarships. He was awarded the 2010 Distinguished Alumnus Award by the University.

AHF is accepting board nominations:

Any resident of the state of Alabama may submit nominations for Alabama Humanities Foundation’s Board of Directors.

If you are interested in joining AHF’s Board of Directors, email your résumé and contact information to the Nominations Committee at

To nominate someone you know, email a letter of recommendation to the Nominations Committee at

Or mail to: Nomination Committee
c/o Alabama Humanities Foundation
1100 Ireland Way, Suite 202
Birmingham, AL 35205