The Community Advisory Board consists of prominent community leaders, nominated and elected by the Junior League of Montgomery Board of Directors. The members are selected from diverse vocations in the River Region and offer the Board expertise and counsel in areas such as non-profit work, accounting, finance, communication, and the law.
BOWDY J. “BO” BROWN
Bo Brown is a 1988 graduate of Thomas Goode Jones School of Law at Faulkner University and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Business Management at Huntingdon College in 1983. Brown currently serves as President and is a shareholder with the law firm of Sasser, Sefton & Brown, P.C. Prior to joining Sasser, he was a shareholder with Rushton, Stakely, Johnston, & Garrett, P.A. Brown has extensive experience in mortgage banking and was formerly Vice President, Senior Legal Officer and Assistant Secretary for Regions Mortgage and Regions Financial Corporation. Brown’s law practice focuses on real estate transactions and creditor rights issues, as well as, title, banking, and mortgage related litigation. The Alabama State Bar’s publication, Alabama Lawyer, published “Defining the Homebuyer’s Legal Rights,” authored by Brown in a March 2000 issue. Since 2011, he has been named a Super Lawyer in the area of Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights and holds and AV rating. Brown has previously served on the Steering Committee for March of Dimes Walk-A-Thon, Section Leader for the Greater Montgomery United Way, Huntingdon College National Alumni Association Board, Advisory Board for Wynlakes Golf and Country Club, and attends Grace Episcopal Church. Brown and his wife, Nancy Jo, a former Junior League of Montgomery Member, have been married for 32 years and have two daughters, Christina, a Junior League of Montgomery Member, and Helen.
In 1989, Larson was recruited to be the first executive director of Leadership Alabama. Working with an outstanding board, she created an organization that would bring together each year a class of 50-60 established leaders, representing a broad spectrum of Alabama citizens, to participate in a series of issues-oriented forums focusing on the challenges and opportunities that exist in our state. She credits Leadership Alabama for the heightened awareness of important issues which have resulted in the formation of several successful statewide organizations. With other Leadership Alabama graduates, Larson was a founding member of Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform (ACCR). Twenty-eight years after Leadership Alabama was founded, Larson continues to lead the organization that has now brought together more than 1,500 men and women to reflect on big issues facing Alabama and become more engaged in efforts to make life in Alabama richer, more equitable, and more fulfilling.
Larson has also served on the board and the executive committee of the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama (PARCA) for the last sixteen years, frequently bringing PARCA and Leadership Alabama together to present research findings to both Alabama citizens and the Alabama Legislature. She was a founding director of the A+ Education Foundation, and she continues to serve on the board and executive committee of the A+ Education Partnership.
Larson, a lifelong member of the First United Methodist Church of Montgomery, has three children and six grandchildren.
Kathy Sawyer is a modern-day pioneer. She is best known in Junior League circles as the first African-American member of our Junior League of Montgomery in the late 1980’s. After graduating from Sidney Lanier High School in the early 70’s, Kathy attended the University of Alabama where she graduated Cum Laude with a B.S. degree in Social Welfare and then a Master’s degree in Social Work. Ms. Sawyer currently works as the Independent Compliance Administrator, appointed by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, to guide and oversee the Department on Disability Services’ compliance with exit criteria in the Evans v Gray Class Action Lawsuit. Ms. Sawyer has also spent the last seven years working as an independent consultant, providing technical assistance to clients in strategic planning, resource development, litigation management and community organization, primarily in government areas of health, mental health and human services. A few of her clients included the State of Alabama Governor’s Finance Office, Governor’s Office and Department of Mental Health, as well as the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama, the Department on Disability Services in the District of Columbia and the United States Justice Department.
In 2005, the Kathy Sawyer Leadership and Advocacy Award was established by Minority Mental Health Consumers, and is awarded annually at the Alabama Mental Health Consumers Conference. Kathy’s other professional affiliations include the Alabama Department of Human Resources Board of Trustees, former Trustee of Alabama State University, Co-Chair for Envision’s Mental Health Advisory Committee, and Assistant Director for Camp Sunshine for Girls.
Leslie Sanders is Vice President of Alabama Power’s Southern Division. She is responsible for providing service to customers in south central Alabama, including the Montgomery area. A 31-year veteran of Alabama Power, Leslie previously served as Vice President of Governmental Relations, where she was responsible for overseeing all aspects of governmental affairs for the company at the state level. She has been in her current role since August 2011. A graduate of the University of Alabama, Leslie joined Alabama Power in 1986 and has since worked in staff and management positions including Constituency Relations director, Public Information representative for the company’s Southern Division, and as a Marketing representative in Montgomery.
Among her civic and professional activities, Leslie served as the chairman of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce for 2014 and currently serves as chair of the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts and the Montgomery Riverfront Development Foundation. She continues to serve on the boards for the Alabama Archives and History, Alabama Children’s First Foundation, Alabama Department of Human Resources, Alabama State University Board of Trustees Nominating Committee, BBVA Compass, Marion Military Institute, Metro YMCA, Montgomery Area Committee of 100, Montgomery County Public Library Board of Trustees, and the UAB Montgomery Regional Medical Campus. Leslie has completed the International Women’s Foundation Fellowship. She served as the coordinator of the 45th anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott with the City of Montgomery and the Montgomery Improvement Association. Leslie is also the recipient of the 2017 Montgomery Sunrise Rotary Club Commitment to Service Award.
Leslie and her husband, David, live in Montgomery with their two children, Brittany Leigh and Blake David, and a son-in-law, Ralph Norman.
With 20 years of experience in strategic marketing and advertising, Tommy McKinnon serves as the System Director of Marketing and Communications for Baptist Health. He oversees the establishment of integrated strategies, plans and programs designed to ensure that all communication, marketing and public relations efforts are cohesive, consistent and effective in supporting Baptist Health’s mission and advancement goals. Tommy has been an integral part of promoting Baptist Health’s faith-based mission by spearheading the introduction and proliferation of the organization’s Sacred Work initiative. His career has included employment with Brookwood Medical Center, HealthSouth Corporation, Miller Communications and Source Medical, all located in Birmingham. Tommy believes in giving back to the community through active service on several local and regional boards, including Centerpoint Fellowship Church, the Mayoral Leadership Montgomery Advisory Council, Kid One Transport, the Governor-appointed Board of Examiners for Assisted Living Administrators, Girl Scouts of Alabama and the Montgomery Public Schools CareerTech Advisory Council.
Tommy graduated from Birmingham-Southern College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. He is a published novelist, avid sailor, golfer, and enjoys taking Taekwondo classes 3-4 days each week with his children. Tommy resides in Montgomery with his wife, Sandy, three children—Kendall, Connor and Stinson—and Harley, the family’s killer five pound Chihuahua.