Category Archives: Guest blogger

UAB the biggest and best hope for Birmingham

Mike Warren
Mike Warren, CEO Children’s of Alabama

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is Mike Warren.  If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

My name is Mike Warren.

I grew up in Auburn, attended schools there, and graduated from Auburn University.  I received my law degree from Duke and I’ve joyfully lived in Birmingham ever since.

My first Birmingham job was with a major law firm and then I joined one of its largest clients, Alabama Gas.  I eventually became Chairman and CEO of Energen, Alabama Gas’ parent company.

When I retired from Energen at the end of 2007, I became the CEO of Children’s of Alabama.

I tell you this to give you a sense of how long I’ve worked in our business community.   I’ve witnessed first-hand Birmingham’s wins and some of our biggest disappointments.  And though I love Birmingham, I join many others who feel Birmingham has never reached its full potential. Continue reading UAB the biggest and best hope for Birmingham

I send my daughter to Birmingham Schools—and love it

Laura Gallitz
Laura Gallitz

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is Laura Gallitz.  If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

David Sher’s provocative title “I’ll do anything to help B’ham schools except send my kids there,” appeared in my Facebook feed. It worked. I clicked. I read. I started reading comments, and I was compelled to comment as well. Sher wrote, “If people are serious about helping our inner city children, then they should invite those children into their school systems…Or they should send their children to Birmingham schools and then fight like hell to make them better.”

I wanted to take a moment to say that some of us are doing exactly that. Continue reading I send my daughter to Birmingham Schools—and love it

Why do we apologize for Birmingham?

David Dionne
David Dionne, Executive Director of Red Mountain Park

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is David Dionne.  If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

I moved to Birmingham in 2008, coming from a great job in Maryland where I was building and operating parks and trails.  I was lured to Birmingham after receiving a phone call about an opportunity at Red Mountain Park in Birmingham.  My knowledge of Birmingham was pitiful so I began to confirm the information provided by the recruiter.  First, I was astounded to learn that Birmingham was in the mountains.  Then I was delighted to find a city filled with outstanding restaurants, world-class hospitals, six universities, art museums, an excellent orchestra and an overall great quality of life. Continue reading Why do we apologize for Birmingham?

Single father sees Birmingham through rose colored glasses

Shariff Simmons
Sharrif Simmons

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is Sharrif Simmons.  If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

I’m not originally from Birmingham. I was born on Long Island, New York, raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, studied at Ealing College in West London, had a  brief stay in Atlanta, even lived in Tampa Bay for a while, but when I moved to Birmingham in 2004, I decided to stay. Making Birmingham my new home was motivated by several factors, the most important of which, being a single father to a preternaturally gifted child, was to pursue a course of action that would nurture his talents and provide him, at the very least, a competitive education in a developing community. I use the word developing here, because when I arrived 10 years ago, Birmingham was not the city it is today. Continue reading Single father sees Birmingham through rose colored glasses

Birmingham represents family, love, strength, diversity

Avani Patel
Avani Patel

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is Avani Patel .  We love to hear from young professionals.   If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

Who am I?

People ask themselves this vital question from childhood until old age.  What does this question really mean, and why do we continue to ask ourselves this question?

Let us start with our childhood.  As a child I was a little Indian girl with an American accent with a twinge of southern slang.  I moved to Birmingham, AL at the young age of one and been in love with Birmingham ever since.  I attended school with other children who were very similar to me in personality and age group but not so much in appearance.  When I asked myself – who am I? Continue reading Birmingham represents family, love, strength, diversity

Insanity: Couples getting married in downtown underpass

Wedding 18th Street underpass downtown Birmingham
Jemia & Adrian (Photo by Timothy L. Jones

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is Atticus Rominger. If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

Birmingham has many fine wedding venues:  Couples and their guests can take in grand views at Vulcan Park or The Club, have a fancy affair at the Historic Tutwiler Hotel – or snap a bridal photo under a downtown underpass. That’s right – an underpass.

If I’d told you a year ago the brides would drag their white dresses through a railroad underpass Continue reading Insanity: Couples getting married in downtown underpass

Before I die I want to…

Matthew Hamilton
Matthew Hamilton

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is Matthew Hamilton.  We love to hear from young professionals.   If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

Last month was bittersweet for me.  First, the bitter: I had to destroy something I created.

For the last three months, I had supervised an interactive, community art project downtown.  It was a 60 foot blackboard wall on the side of a building across the street from Regions Field, with 135 spaces stenciled in white with the prompt “Before I die I want to…”  Any passerby was invited to pick up a piece of chalk and share their hopes and aspirations with the community. Continue reading Before I die I want to…

Birmingham and the Detached Millennials

Steve Boswell
Steve Boswell

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is Steve Boswell.  We love to hear from young professionals.   If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

“Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability. It comes through the tireless efforts and persistent work of men willing to be co-workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation.”

-Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail

This year marked the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement’s commencement in Birmingham. A movement whose impact would serve to pave the path of minority progress far beyond the streets of downtown Birmingham. When I reflect on what happened fifty years ago in Birmingham, there are four people who immediately come to mind. Four people, separated in pairs, and pitted against one another as implacable foes. On the one side were Continue reading Birmingham and the Detached Millennials

Jack Schaeffer has a clear “vision” for Birmingham

Jack Schaeffer
Jack Schaeffer

ComebackTown is published by David Sher & Phyllis Neill to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is Jack Schaeffer who has some great ideas for Birmingham.  If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please  click here

I would like to discuss some of the great things that are happening in Birmingham right now, and also propose a few of my own ideas that I feel will help Birmingham progress as an amazing and special place to live.

First and foremost, the current governing administration Continue reading Jack Schaeffer has a clear “vision” for Birmingham

We moved to downtown Birmingham and LOVE it

Sue Johnson
Sue Johnson

ComebackTown is published by David Sher & Phyllis Neill to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is Sue Johnson.  Sue has some great experiences to share.  If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please  click here

I took a walk this afternoon with my dog.  It’s been three years since my husband, Jimmy, and I moved downtown to live and to start a new venture by opening Dog Days of Birmingham.  As I walked, I reflected on our journey.

In 2009 we purchased the Hunter Furniture Store building Continue reading We moved to downtown Birmingham and LOVE it