Who We Are

Our board of directors for 2020-2021:

Front row (l-r): Tom Tippett, Barbara Patton, JArthur Grubbs,
Susan Brinson, Doc Dorsey, Shealy Langley.
Back row (l-r): Deke Hillyer, Tabatha White, DeDe Jackson, Cathy Newkirk, Lynne Hammond,

Lisa Thrift, Robert Noles, Colleen Alsobrook.

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.

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.

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

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

JArthur Grubbs: (President) JArthur is CEO/CoFounder of Cybersecurity Solutions, LLC and Senior Technology Consultant for Cryptography, Global Payments, Inc.  He also is Associate Pastor of Greater Peace Missionary Baptist Church. He earned a Bachelor of Computer Engineering from Auburn University, an MBA from Columbus State University, and a Master of Christian Religious Studies from Luther Rice Theological Seminary.

Lisa Thrift: 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.

Lynne Hammond: Lynne is the President of the East Alabama Arts Association.  She’s been involved in the local arts community for many years and also served as the first Director of Opelika Main Street, a program dedicated to the revitalization of Opelika’s downtown.  Lynne retired from her position as Associate Vice President for Human Resources at Auburn University in 2015, and currently chairs the Arts and Entertainment task force of Envision Opelika.

Robert Noles: Robert and Alice moved to Opelika 36 years ago and raised their 3 children here. He graduated from Alabama Christian College and Auburn University, and retired from the Information Technologies Department of the City of Opelika in 2018. He is owner of Noles Photography and a photojournalist at the Opelika Observer

Sally Phillips: Sally Phillips attended Auburn University and now is a retired speech-language pathologist. She presently serves as President of the Envision Board. In addition, she is an active participant in Envision’s Circles Program. 

Shealy Langley: 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: (Vice-President) 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.

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.