Blog identity Montgomery Exchange Newsletter
December 13, 2018

Four members showed up today: Rudy Ohme, Wiley Cutts, Mike Deep and  Suzy Dopp. Wiley led the prayer and  Suzy led the pledge of allegiance. Our speaker did not show up so we had some lively conversation after which we adjourned.

December 6, 2018

What a delightful speaker we had today when Jalea Brooks spoke to us. She is a reporter for  the Alabama News Network working the morning shift. Her alarm goes off at 2:30 a.m. ; she gets to work between 3:30 and 3:45 a.m. Jalea puts in long hours to get maybe 30 or 45 seconds of air time. She shared with us the intricacies of putting a newscast together. She has been with the station about two and a half years and came to us from Atlanta where she earned a degree in Broadcast Journalism from Howard University.

The prayer was led by Rudy Ohme and the pledge was led by Joe Kelly.

November 29, 2108

There is more going in at the sheriff's department than the general public knows about. Deputy Sheriff, Gayle Atkinson, gave us some insight into what happens in her division. They are responsible for delivering all the warrants in the county and city. In addition her people have the duty of guarding the courts,  four buildings, for the county. The probate vehicle is under her jurisdiction as it picks up those who are designated for involuntary confinement due to mental health issues.

Today's prayer was led by Lisa Crenshaw; the pledge led by Larry Ludwick.

November 15, 2018

Cremations was not a  topic I was expecting to hear about today but our speaker gave us some very interesting information about them. CEO of Magnolia Cremations and Funeral Service, Brady McKinnon spoke to us today about the services they render. He said they cremate about fifteen bodies each day many coming from the surrounding counties. They also serve the VA hospital for indigent veterans giving them a funeral with full military honors.

Before cremating anyone he insists that someone from the family is there to identify the body before the procedure occurs. Often loved ones do want to witness the cremation. Maureen Murphy led the prayer with Joe Kelly leading the pledge.

November 8, 2018
On Highway 110 going home from work on August 22, 2017,  Donnie Davis was hit head on by a speeding drunk driver. The accident almost took his life but resulted in his severed left leg being amputated. Donnie has started an organization called "Mile Marker 13" to tell his story about drunk driving to schools, churches and clubs; how it can change someone's life in an instant not to mention taking someone's life. Contact him at if you are interested in having your group hear him speak.

Today our prayer was led by Derrick Cunnngham and the pledge was led by Gayle Atchinson.

November 1, 2018

Speaking to us today from the City-County Personnel Department was Cami Hacker, Senior Personnel Analyst. The department was established by legislative action. Their job is to write job descriptions, decide the pay for the job, screen the applicants and send no more than five candidates to the department requesting the personnel.

Leading the prayer today was Joe Kelly and Rudy Ohme led us in the Pledge of Allegiance.

October 25, 2018

The Mayor of Pike Road, Gordon Stone, spoke to us today. After being  led in prayer by Rudy Ohme and being lead in the Pledge of Allegiance by Suzy Dopp, one of our visitors, Liza DeShazo made a few remarks. As Presiden-Elect of the District, she was in town to arrange the mid-winter conference that will be held on the last weekend in January at the Drury Inn in Montgomery. She also told us that the annual convention will be held at Lake Guntersville in May, 2018.

Gordon told us of the phenomenal growth of Pike Road since its inception. They now have a population of 10,000 citizens with a school system of 1800 students. By becoming partners with the sheriff's department they have no police force hence no huge expense for protection. The fire department is manned by volunteers with a few full time personnel to keep things in shape. Mayor Stones feels that the town has prospered because of good planning. It was suggested that we might want to start an exchange club there in the near future

October 18, 2018

Johnny Williams has been a high school coach. Athletic director at Troy University, assistant athletic director ate the University of Alabama, and now he is the Executive Director of the Camellia Bowl. The Camellia Bowl is owned by ESPN and has given Montgomery national exposure by broadcasting the game each year of its existence. It has received good ratings on TV having exceeded the rating for the Yankee-Boston season opener one year with a rating of .9. (900,000)

Johnny had two door prizes consisting of  bags of goodies including two tickets to the next game. Rudy won his for being the oldest and David Kelly won one for being the youngest member.

September 27, 2018

As Associate Director of the Alabama Electronic Security Board of Licensure, Janet Robinson has an interesting job. She told us today of their task of licensing and regulating security companies in Alabama. This is important because there are many scam artists who are selling home security systems and some of them are using those systems to get into homes. The board’s worst problems are unlicensed companies and door-to-door salesmen. Our own Sheriff Derrick Cunningham is on the board of directors.

September 20, 2018

Sheriff Cunningham led our prayer and David Carter led the Pledge of Allegiance. President Cutts introduced Joyce Franklin, Alabama District Exchange President, who was visiting with us today. Joyce outlined her agenda for the year:  recruiting new members and starting new clubs.
Lisa Crenshaw introduced our guest speaker who was Dr. Felicia Bell, the Director of The Rosa Parks Museum. She told of the programs that are presented during the year at the museum most of which are educational programs for our youth. She said the attendance at the museum had increased since the other civil rights museums in Montgomery had opened since the first of the
year. Dr. Bell has a Ph. D in  History from Howard University.

September 13, 2018

Representing the Southern Poverty Law Center was its President, Richard Cohen. He gave us a brief history of the center telling us that Morris Dees and Joe Levin were the founders. It started out small but now has 300 employees with 85 lawyers and 150 support staff. In addition to the main office in Montgomery, there are offices in Miami, Atlanta, Tallahassee and other southern cities with several other satellite offices in other cities. Some of their major areas of concern are children’s rights, criminal justice reforms, fighting hate, and teaching tolerance.
They have been heavily involved in teaching tolerance in schools. One of the ways has been producing a book on tolerance giving one to each school in America. They have also produced several videos on tolerance. The SPLC was responsible for bankrupting the Ku Klux Klan in America.
September 6, 2018

Speaking to us today about a program on Grief Counseling for School personnel, was Lisa Ann Williamson from New York Life. The program is funded by NYL is designed for K - 12 teachers and administrators who have students who have experienced deaths in their immediate families. Many students lose parents, grandparents, children of other family members and even students in their own school. This program is designed to train school personnel to help them through the grief process.
The training is not very long and would serve as a good professional development program for a school. New York Life gives $500 to any school that hosts the program. Ms. Williamson is well qualified to lead the program as she has been a journalist and a college professor. She is originally from Chicago.
August 30, 2018

Housed just off the Northern Bypass on Forbes Road is facility that most Montgomerians do not know exits. Montgomery Children’s Specialty Center cares for children who have been abused  and neglected to the point of being disabled. Some have been born disabled but many are there because they have been abused. Our speaker, Shajuana Wayne, said that they provide provide pediatric long care for children 18 and under.
Most of the children attend the Children’s Center in the Montgomery School System during the day. Field trips other activities are planned for the children to make their lives as normal as possible. Ms. Wayne said the condition most often diagnosed for the children is Multiple Sclerosis.
Our prayer was led by Wiley Cutts and the Pledge of Allegiance was led by Tommy Holliman. Those in attendance were: Suzy Dopp, Joe Kelly, Rudy Ohme and Wiley Cutts.
August 23, 2018

President Cutts called the meeting to order. Tommy Holliman led the prayer and Dr. Maureen Murphy led the Pledge of Allegiance. A board meeting was held at the end of the regular meeting. Minutes of the last board meeting was approved. Rudy presented the budget for fiscal year 1918-19 along with the financial report for the month of July. Both were approved unanimously. Board members in attendance were: Joe Kelly, Rudy Ohme, Tommy Holliman, Wiley Cutts, Lisa Crenshaw, and Maureen Murphy.  Dr. Mureen Murphy was presented with a plaque designating her as the Outstanding District Director for the Alabama District.

Radio Talk Show Host Kevin Elkins was our guest speaker today. Kevin was a paratrooper in the 82nd Air Born Division and has lived in Montgomery since 1996. He gave a very informative and entertaining speech about his work as a talk show host. If you want to interest people in Montgomery, he says bring up one of three topics-sex, religion or education. Being a black man from South Bend, Indiana, he said he never had a conversation about race until he moved to Montgomery.
Kevin is an avowed conservative and believes that people prefer to stand on their own two feet without help from others, and he, like many, does not want the government taking all his money knowing that at times some need help. He attends the Vaughn Park Church of Christ with his wife and daughter.

August 16, 2018

Dina Pregno from the Driver’s License Division or the Alabama State Troopers was our speaker today.
August 9, 2018
Lisa Harris lead the prayer and David Kelly  lead the Pledge of Allegiance
Our speaker today was Kelly Emerson, Executive Director of the local NAMA, National Alliance for Mental Illness .
The mission statement/purpose of NAMI Alabama is to provide support, education, and advocacy for persons with mental illnesses, their families, and others whose lives are affected by these brain disorders.  This is accomplished by:
• Educating the people of Alabama about mental illness thereby reducing stigma
• Providing support for individuals with mental illness to grow and contribute to their community
• Developing, nurturing and coordinating a statewide network of local affiliates
• Promoting public policies which expand services and improve treatment for all persons living with a mental illness


hank williams
October 11, 2018

Today was our Fire Fighter of the Year Program when we honor fire fighters from The Montgomery Fire Department and Maxwell/Gunter Fire Department. Joe Kelly lead us in prayer and Larry Ludwick led the Pledge of Allegiance. After President Wiley Cutts introduced our guests, Tommy Holliman, Chairman of the event presented a program where members of each fire department intr.oduced their honorees.

Javakiel Brighman for Maxwell/Gunter and Woody Bozeman from The Montgomery Fire Department were the recepients of the awards.

October 4, 2018

Speaking to us today was Janet Buskey, County Tax Collector.
she informed us of the classifications of properties and how much each was taxed. Explaining what happens with property owners who are delinquent. She gave the process for eventually selling the property on the court house steps after all other procedures have been followed. :homestead exemption and tax breaks for those beyond a certain age were explained. Ms. Buskey is a consummate professional and is to be commended for doing an exemplary job.