L.Ray Morris,Ph. D., L. Ray Morris, Ph. D., is the Chief Executive Officer of VentureSouth and has almost two decades of experience in the field of economic development with specialties in finance, portfolio management, and organizational leadership and management. Dr. Morris received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, his Master of Public Administration from Jacksonville State University, his Doctorate of Philosophy in Public Administration and Policy from Auburn University, and his Master of Science in Leadership from the Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Morris is a International City-County Management Association (ICMA) Credentialed Manager, a certified Economic Development Finance Professional, a graduate of the Brookings Institute’s Coach Development Program for executive coaching, a graduate of the Leadership ICMA Program, a graduate of the the Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government Executive Education Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government, and a Boy Scouts of America Eagle Scout. Dr. Morris also periodically serves as adjunct faculty for the University of Alabama at Birmingham in their Department of Government’s graduate program.
Fernando Valentin, President of Trinity Design Group, is an award winning supplier to several automotive OEM’s. Fernando manages a broad range of projects including design, repair, maintenance and recycling of packaging and dunnage within the automotive and consumer environment. The company also boasts a complete environmental solutions area handling the responsible disposal or reuse of materials from numerous industries. Valentin, is a veteran of the US Marine Corps and served in the Gulf War.
Chad Reynolds, Co-founder of Bangshift.com, is an unintentional fixture in the performance automotive community. Chad grew up with a family of enthusiasts and racers in Northern California and is a bridge between the old school and new for automotive enthusiasts. He is known for his involvement with Junkie TV, a variety of events, such as NHRA, Optima Ultimate Street Car, and more. He is also a very active spokesperson for the finest companies in the aftermarket.
Bill Kendrick became sole owner of BC Sales & Marketing in 1997. Bill has been building partnerships between aftermarket suppliers and distributors for over 30 years. Bill is affiliated with customers and clients such as Summit Racing, JEGS, Flaming Rivers and QuickTrick Products. BC Sales & Marketing is a certified SEMA MRN member.
Jonathan R. Geisen, is an attorney and a shareholder in the Birmingham office of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC, and concentrates his practices in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, business planning and general business and corporate matters. In addition, Mr. Geisen has extensive experience in the areas of commercial lending and finance, equipment leasing, commercial real estate and technology law. His practice has historically focused on representation of closely-held businesses, but he has also been counsel to public companies and venture capitalists.
Bobby Bragg currently serves as the Director of Practice Growth for JamisonMoneyFarmer, West Alabama’s largest and oldest CPA firm, where he is responsible for planning, strategy and new business development for the firm. Bobby has extensive start-up and entrepreneurial experience in three technology-driven companies and has held various ownership and executive management positions in marketing, business development, financial and accounting management, and operations.
To start his career after graduate school, Bobby was in public accounting was a manager in Arthur Andersen’s Assurance and Business Advisory Practice. In that capacity, he participated in the planning and coordination of three successful initial public offerings (IPOs).
Bobby is an Alabama and Texas CPA, holds a BBA and a Master’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin, is an active member of the Birmingham Venture Club and Central Alabama Angel Network, is an instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, is a Strategic Advisor to The Edge, and is West Alabama Chamber of Commerce ‘s Vice Chair for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.