Who We Are

Our board of directors for 2022-2023:

Front row (l-r): Tom Tippett, Barbara Patton, Lisa Thrift,
Susan Brinson, Doc Dorsey, Shealy Langley.
Middle row (l-r): Deke Hillyer, Cathy Newkirk, DeDe Jackson, George Allen, Colleen Alsobrook, Brandon McCurdy, Shane Healey

Back row (l-r): Derika Griffin, Tabatha White, Jason Flowers, Sutricia Johnson. Not shown: Farrell Seymore.

Barbara Patton: (Executive Secretary/Treasurer) Barbara has lived in Opelika since 1973 with her husband Bob. She was Mayor of Opelika (1996-2004), President of the Chamber of Commerce (2010-2017), and currently is President of the Community Foundation of East Alabama. She currently leads three task forces of Envision Opelika: Downtown Development, Southside Center for the Arts, and the First Class Pre-K Program.

Brandon McCurdy: Brandon is a Consumer Mortgage Loan Officer at Auburn University Credit Union.

Catherine Newkirk: Cathy is a native Opelikan and retired Business Education teacher. She joined Envision Opelika in 2018 and is primarily interested in serving Circles of Opelika.

Colleen Alsobrook: Colleen moved to Opelika 26 years ago with her husband and their three sons. She is a Registered Nurse and retired from EAMC where she worked for over 40 years. Colleen serves on the EAMC Foundation Board, is a member of First United Methodist Church Opelika and has served on several committees in the community.

DeDe Jackson: DeDe is a lifelong resident of Opelika and Executive Vice-President of Four Seasons Credit Union.

Deke Hilyer: Deke is a lifelong resident of Opelika. He started his career by opening retail stores, but now his passion is restoring historic buildings in downtown Opelika.

Derika Griffin: Derika has worked to serve youth and young adults in Opelika for the past two decades. She worked as a program coordinator and unit director for the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Lee County (currently the Boys & Girls Club of East Alabama) before joining the staff at Southern Union State Community College. Derika has served as a recruiter and academic advisor, Director of the Adult Education Program, and currently the Associate Dean of Student Affairs at Southern Union.

Doc Dorsey: (Vice-Chair) Doc currently leads the Neighborhood Development and Housing task force of Envision Opelika.

Farrell Seymore: Farrell was a teacher and principal in Opelika schools before his appointment as the Superintendent of Opelika City Schools in 2022.

George Allen: George has lived in Opelika his entire life, and currently serves as the City Council representative for Ward 1.

Jason Flowers: Jason is currently the Director of the Fatherhood Initiative  (Dad’s League)  for the Child Care Resource Center.  Flowers looks to bring a hard work ethic and a fresh outlook on the Opelika community to the Board of Directors. With a passion to work with the entire family, Flowers will look to head several family related initiatives on the board.

Lisa Thrift: (Recording Secretary) Lisa is the Community Development Administrator and Historic Preservation Coordinator for the City of Opelika. She has been a real estate agent and Associate Broker for the past 23 years and currently works with The Denson Group. Lisa is a lifelong resident of Opelika and loves her home town.

Shane Healey: Shane serves as the Chief of Police for the City of Opelika, Alabama. He is a proud Opelika resident and has spent the last thirty years working his way up through the ranks of the Opelika Police Department.

Shealy Langley: (Treasurer) Shealy is an Opelika native and works as the office manager for R&R Landscaping, Shealy and her husband Rocky co-founded Creekline Trails of Opelika. She currently serves as chair of the Recreation, Health, Wellness, and Greenspace Task Force of Envision Opelika Foundation. 

Susan Brinson: (Chair) Susan retired from Auburn University where she was a professor of Communication for 27 years. She moved to Opelika in 2018 and currently serves as chair of the Public Relations/Communications task force of Envision Opelika.

Sutricia Johnson: Sutricia is a native of Opelika. She serves on several community boards and has been employed at East Alabama Medical Center for 29 years as Registered Nurse. Her current role is the Director of Case Management.

Tabatha White: Tabatha is a lifelong resident of Opelika and a graduate of Auburn University.  Tabatha is employed with Alabama Power Company as a Manager of the Auburn and Union Springs Business offices.

Tom Tippett: (Executive Director) Tom and his family moved to Opelika in 1987 to be a pastor-teacher in the church, a position in which he continues to serve.  He became involved in the Envision Opelika process when he joined the Race Relations Task Force in 2002.  Tom currently chairs two task forces of Envision Opelika: the Character Council and Education/Family/Youth Development.