Blog identity Montgomery Exchange Newsletter
May 23, 2019

Joe Kelly led the prayer today and kurt Ketler led us in the pledge.  Mayor Todd Strange was our speaker for today. He recounted how he came to be mayor after having served on the county commission where part of time there was spent as Chairman of the County Commission.  Before his venture into politics, he worked for South Central Ball, The Blount Corporation and the Stare of Alabama. When Bobby Bright decided to run for congress, Todd threw his hat in the ring for mayor and was elected. While with the state and after he was mayor, he played a major role in bring Hyundai to Montgomery.

May 16, 2019

Not all jobs at our sheriff's department involve solving crimes or apprehending law breakers. Today's speaker, Lt. Robert Irsik, is a jack of all trades and a master of all of them. Besides being the go to person at the sheriff's department for computer problems. He wears many other hats. He is responsible for all civil processing from state agencies, some 57,000 last year. Issuing pistol permits and handling evictions all fall under his department. Out of 2020 eviction notices last year, 1211 were served. Thirteen Thousand pistol permits were issued last year while there are 38,000 active permits in force in Montgomery County. His department is also responsible for handling extraditions to other states.

Tommy Holliman led the prayer and Rudy Ohme led the Pledge of Allegiance

May 2, 2019

To give back to one's community is an admirable thing to do Our speaker today is a person who does that. Willie Durham is Chairman of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce. In addition he serves or has served on various boards among them Child Protect. He is active in helping Hope Inspired Ministries and is a member of the Rotary Club.

Willie spent twenty years in the Marine Corp after graduating from Jeff Davis High School. He started his own State Farm Insurance Agency in Montgomery after moving back him with his wife and children after his stent in the Marines. Today Garner Perdue from a Wetumpka Boy Scout troup received a $1000 check from our club to replace their building which was destroyed by the tornado that leveled several buildings in Wetumpka. Gardner's dad, Howard, was president of our club back in the 1970s.

The result of our elections of officers was announced today. They are as follows:

President                                       Derrick Cunningham
Vice President/President Elect     Larry Ludwick
Secretary                                       Suzzane Dopp
Treasurer                                       Rudy Ohme
Immediate Past President             Wiley Cutts
       Board of Directors
    Two Year Term
  Tommy Holliman
  Kurt Hetler
   One Year Term
   Mike Deep
   Maureen Murphy

Today Maureen Murphy led the prayer and Larry Ludwick led the Pledge of Allegiance.

April 25, 2019

Dr. Maureen Murphy presented the Social Worker of the Year at our annual program honoring an outstanding social worker in the Montgomery area. This year the winner was Leslie Miles. Joe Kelly led the prayer and Tommy Holliman led the Pledge of Allegiance.

April 18, 2019

Safety and security of any city is very important. The city of Montgomery is fortunate to have in the person of Chief Ernest Finley who is dedicated to keeping the city safe. His department is attempting to get guns off the streets and with community partnerships and community relations is moving to bring the city together in helping the police do their job. Thanks Chief Finley.

Sheriff Derrick Cunningham led the prayer and Kurt Hetler led the pledge.

April 11, 2019

What a delightful and informative meeting we had today with Traci Herndon as our speaker. She is the Archibald Center Coordinator for the Montgomery Area Council on Aging. MACOA has been serving the aged in Montgomery for forty-nine years. Last year they served 122,487 meals with Meals on Wheels to 1084 clients. In addition to providing the meal, the deliverer does a check on each client everyday.

AT the Archibald Center, MACOA provides recreation in the form of quilting, line dancing, day trips and excursions to places in the country such as the Grand Canyon. Forty-eight hundred were served by the center last year.

Today Rudy Ohme led the prayer and Dr. Maureen Murphy led the pledge.

omplished. He has been at the job since 2010.

Wiley Cutts led the prayer and Joe Kelly led the Pledge of Allegiance.

February 28, 2019

Investing ones assets to gain a reasonable return is important to most every one. Financial Advisor for Edward Jones, gave us some good tips today. He said there are three things to look for in an advisor. They are: someone who is a good listener, someone who is competent to match you up with good products for you, someone who will partner with you for many years. He went on to tell us that two forces occurring in financial markets today are higher interest rates and a volatile stock market.

Joe kelly led the prayer and Curt Hetler led the pledge.

February 21, 2019

Lobbyist play an important part in our legislative process. They are much more knowlegeable about bills before the legislature than many of the law makers themselves hence they are available to explain the bills. Cassandra Crosby is one of those lobbyist who spoke to us today. She explained that the three main areas of interest for this year's session are prisons, health care and the proposed gasoline tax,

Tommy Holliman led us in prayer and Suzy Dopp led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. A board meeting was held immediately after the regular meeting.

February 14, 2019

Did you ever wonder how your house tax bill is determined and who decided how much. Clay Henley , Chief Appraiser for Montgomery County told us today. Our ad valorum tax is based on the assessed valuation and taking 10% of its value. Then based on that 10% the county millage of 35.4 mill is applied to determine your bill. A house's value is influenced by the neighborhood and surrounding houses of similar square footage and building materials(wood of brick, etc.)  Hence a house with a value of $10000 would result in a tax bill of $350.

Rudy Ohme led us in prayer and Suzy Dopp led the Pledge of Allegience.

February 7, 2019

Wiley Cutts led the prayer and Maureen Murphy led the Pledge of Allegiance.

A very interesting program was presented today by Donald Mims, County Adminstrator. Mr. Mims has served 32 years with the County Commission, with the past 20 years as administrator. He is a graduate of Monroe Academy and has a Bachelor Science Degree in Accounting from the University of South Alabama, Receiving his Master of Public Administration Degree from AUM in 1999, finishing with a 4.0 GPA,.

One of his primary responsibilities is working with the county commission in formulating a  budget
each year. Much of his time is spent in solving problems especially in  answering phone inquiries.
As he said, "those little problems can become big problems if you don't attend to them."

January 31, 2019

Tommy Holliman led our prayer and Suzy Dopp led the Pledge of Allegiance.  Speaking today from the Sheriff's Department was Joshua Stewart who is in charge of the Criminal Investigative Unit for the county. His department is the one that collects DNA samples., takes fingerprints and in general collects evidence from a crime scene. He told us that it takes from a month to six weeks to get a return on DNA samples. Murder cases take precedence when DNA is involved. His department tries its best to return stolen items to their rightful owner; guns are one of the items most frequently stolen.

January 24, 2019

Our former member, Wanda Washington, just retired from the Sheriff's Department as head of the County Jail. Her assistant, Major Sonya Pritchett, is now directing the affairs of the jail on an interim basis until a replacement is made. Major Pritchett came from Mobile to go to school at Alabama State University and never went home. After working for Bill Chandler and the Montgomery YMCA, she ended up at the Sheriff's Department and worked her way upward to the position she holds today.

Sonya says the jail has the capabilty of housing 1200 inmates is at about half capacity.  As several of our speakers have indicated lately, she stated that dealing with prisoners with mental issues is one of there worst problems. Another big problem is keeping qualified workers for the jail because of low morale.

Today Wiley Cutts led the prayer and Kurt Hetler led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Januaru 17, 2019

Brenda Michell, born in the small town of Orrville, Alabama, made her way to Montgomery and
became the assistant to the police chief of Montgomery. After her career at the Montgomery Police Department, she became Police Chief of Auburn Montgomery responsible for the safety of students and faculty. Her staff works twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week to see that things go smoothly on campus. Chief Mitchell, received a Bachelors degree at Alabama State and later received a masters from AUM.

Joe Kelly led our prayer and Suzy Dopp led the Pledge of Allegiance.

January 10, 2019

Executive Director of Community Corrections told us today of the work they do in our community in conjunction with the criminal justice. They attempt, and are successful, in keeping people out of our  court systems and jails by intervening before the enter those entities. Often people are arrested for offenses that are minor but because of the bond amount are unable to pay. Community Corrections helps those people to post bail, stay out of jail so they can keep working to support their families.

They intervene in other ways by using charitable organizations and other resources to help those who do not really need to clog up our courts or populated our jails both of which are very expensive to operate. Mr. Brown says that forty percent of the people they deal with have mental health problems; he sees the lack of mental health resources as a major problem in our society.

December 20, 2018

Presenting us with a lot of facts and information, Steven Reed our Probate Judge enumerated the duties of the probate office, Of course in addition to issuing drivers licenses, tags and other licenses, his office is responsible for elections and committing the mentally ill for hospitalization often against their will. He said that the Office of Homeland Security has been very interested in vote security since the 2016 election.

Rudy Ohme led us in the pledge and Joe Kelly led the payer. Visiting with us today was Nancy Cutts. Following the regular meeting we had a board meeting.

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