Chuck Holmes, Director
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Chuck Holmes is executive director of Alabama Humanities Alliance, joining the organization in January 2021.
Prior to AHA, Holmes spent much of his career in journalism and it informs his passion for leading Alabama Humanities. He believes in the power of the storytelling and civic engagement to reflect the reality of our lives, provide essential truth-telling context, and propel change for the better. The humanities provide us with the vital ingredients that tell us who we are, where we’ve been and where we’re going, Holmes says.
He previously served as executive director and GM of WBHM, Birmingham’s National Public Radio affiliate. During Holmes’ tenure at WBHM, the station rebranded as Public Radio for the Heart of Alabama and expanded its newsroom and programming.
WBHM hosted national NPR shows in Birmingham, and it pioneered partnerships in groundbreaking journalism and storytelling collaborations. It widened its reach by engaging audiences in new and innovative ways through live and virtual events.
Beginning his career in newspapers, he was an award-winning journalist, serving as foreign editor of Cox Newspapers and its flagship publication, Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Earlier, he served as a foreign correspondent posted in Jerusalem and Moscow and as national correspondent for the Atlanta-based newspaper chain.
Throughout his career, Holmes earned national honors. He won industry awards for his reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the war in Kosovo and the Rwanda genocide and civil war.
He left the print world for broadcast in 2009 as NPR’s digital editor in the nation’s capital. He later became managing editor of Morning Edition and from there, he would be tapped as one of two deputy managers leading the entire newsroom for NPR.
While at NPR, he shared an Edward R. Murrow Award for coverage of the war in Afghanistan and a Peabody Award in 2013 for The Race Card Project, a storytelling initiative in which people shared their personal stories about their backgrounds and perceptions from their own perspectives of race and ethnicity.
Holmes, a native of Tennessee, is a graduate from The George Washington University and completed an executive education program for nonprofit leaders at Harvard Business School. Holmes was part of the 2018 class of Leadership Birmingham and the 2020 class of Leadership Alabama. He is a board member of the Kiwanis Club of Birmingham and the Birmingham Committee on Foreign Relations.
Alma Anthony, Operations Manager
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A vital part of AHF staff since 2001, Alma provides the highest quality of administrative service to the daily operation and administration of AHF. She did her undergraduate work in business administration at Samford University and has more than 25 years of office management and nonprofit experience. Alma has served in many capacities to assure AHF operates effectively.
Melanie Bouyer, Programs Director
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Melanie Bouyer is a community-minded professional who has worked in diverse settings to assist organizations to expand their initiatives to meet the communities’ growing needs.
Melanie has significant experience in educating and guiding nonprofit and government organizations, including service for a term as Mayor of Lipscomb. Melanie previously worked for the Jefferson County School System as a special education teacher at Gardendale and Clay-Chalkville High schools.
An alumna of the University of Montevallo, Melanie has also earned post-graduate degrees from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a Juris Doctor degree from Miles Law School.
Laura Anderson, Special Projects Coordinator
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A graduate of the Seminar for Historical Administration, Jekyll Island Management Institute and Getty NextGen Leadership Institute, Laura has significant museum, public history and non-profit experience, including past service as president of the Society of Alabama Archivists and current service on the board of the Alabama Historical Association. Laura came to AHF from the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) where she served for fifteen years, including as Archivist, Oral History Project Director and Director of Special Projects.
Laura’s publications include chapter and article contributions to MUSEUMS IN A GLOBAL CONTEXT: NATIONAL IDENTITY, INTERNATIONAL UNDERSTANDING, Eds. Dickey, El Azhar and Lewis (AAM Press, 2013), FOSTERING EMPATHY THROUGH MUSEUMS, Ed. Gokcigdem (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016) and AASLH’s HISTORY NEWS magazine, as well as CIVIL RIGHTS IN BIRMINGHAM (Arcadia, 2013), an edited collection of photographs on behalf of BCRI.
An alumna of the University of Montevallo, Laura completed graduate degrees in American Studies and History at The University of Alabama and University of West Georgia, respectively.
Jerald Crook, Program Coordinator
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Alabama History Day and PRIME TIME Family Reading Time
Jerald hails from Bay Minette, the county seat of Baldwin County, Alabama. He
attended Auburn University where he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and a minor in Sustainability. He also holds a Master of Public Administration degree with a focus in non-profit management and community development from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He began his professional career working in public and academic libraries before joining the Alabama Bicentennial Commission staff as community relations specialist. There he served as liaison between the commission and local organizations and bicentennial committees. Jerald is an avid arts and humanities enthusiast and community development advocate who enjoys finding ways to leverage his skills and experiences to help realize AHF’s goals.
Graydon Rust, Grants Director
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A longtime resident of Prattville, Graydon previously worked as operations specialist for the Alabama Bicentennial Commission, where he oversaw the commission’s grant program, managed the Alabama Bicentennial PastPort project, and served as webmaster. He is a graduate of Auburn University at Montgomery with a bachelor’s degree in history and is completing a Master of Library and Information Studies degree at the University of Alabama.