The Shelby County Arts Council fuels a rich arts environment for the region as an advocate and resource for individual artists and arts organizations which are employers, producers, consumers and major promoters of their cities and regions. The Arts Council serves the entire community, reaching all economic levels, every age and all cultural backgrounds embracing the activities of all arts and cultural organizations in Shelby County.

Click any Board Member to view a brief bio.

Jennifer Maier
Secretary of the Board

David Nolen

Richard Williams
Vice President

Stancil Handley
Mayor of Columbiana
Jennifer Maier
Secretary of the Board

Jennifer Maier is the Executive Director of the Shelby County Museum & Archives.  She grew up in Mountain Brook, AL and is a graduate of Auburn University.  She and her husband, Craft, moved to Columbiana in 2013.  Jennifer is a graduate of Leadership Shelby County and serves as the Columbiana Community Columnist for the Shelby County Reporter.  Jennifer serves on the board of directors of both the Shelby County Historical Society and Columbiana Main Street.   She also serves on the Beautification Board for the City of Columbiana and is a member of the Vignette Club.  She and her husband attend Columbiana United Methodist Church. 

David Nolen

 David Nolen is a graduate of the University of Alabama.  Recently retired from Renasant Bank, David serves on the board of the Shelby County Musuem and Archives and the Shelby County Arts Council.  

Mary Jean Sanspree

Mary Jean Sanspree, PhD is a retired professor from UAB where she administered grants for education, research and training.  She is the co-founder of the Helen Keller Art Show of Alabama in partnership with the Helen Keller Birthplace Foundation where she served a board member for 10 years.  She served on the board as well as 5 years as State Executive Director of Very Special Arts Alabama.  She has served as President of the International Division on Visual Impairments of the Council for Exceptional Children as well as the Iowa Board of Regents for Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School and Alabama School for the Blind advisory board.  She has served as Rotary District Governor in 2008-2009 and is currently the District Interact Chair.  She serves on the United Methodist United Counseling board, the Advisory Board for West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind, UAB School of Optometry Dean’s Community Advisory Committee and Auburn University School of Education Development Leadership Team.    She has degrees from Auburn University and UAB.  She and her husband, Danny, live in North Shelby County and enjoy their children and grandchildren as often as possible.

Richard Williams
Vice President

Owner of Henderson Williams, LLC, a science & engineering contract consulting/staffing company and Owner of Zen Properties, LLC. Served six years in the U.S. Navy in Nuclear Power and studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Nebraska. Lives in Columbiana with his wife, Leigh, a State Certified Social Worker and daughter, Kaili, a student at Elvin Hill Elementary. 

Slade Blackwell

State Senator; Owner, Inkana Development; B.S. University of Montevallo, Member of   Covenant Presbyterian Church, Member of Birmingham Business Alliance.  He and his wife, Sally  have three children: Colby and Grant, 7 year old twins, and Hagen, age 5.

Lisa Davis

Lisa McLeroy Davis lives in Columbiana and is a graduate of Auburn University.  She is married to Jim Davis, Jr. of Davis Drug and they have three children and one grandchild.  Lisa is an active member of Columbiana United Methodist Church where she serves as chairman of the Circle of Friendship, Bereavement  Committee, Olive Branch Ministry and enjoys playing in the praise band.  Lisa loves Columbiana and her heart lies in serving others.


Jim Day

Jim Day is Professor of History at the University of Montevallo.  He holds a B.S. in engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point, an M.A. in history from the University of Georgia, and a Ph.D. in history from AuburnUniversity.  His monograph—Diamonds in the Rough:  A History of Alabama’s Cahaba Coal Field—combines technological and social history to examine the industrial development of central Alabama.  The book won the Alabama Historical Association’s 2014 Clinton Jackson Coley Award for the best work on local history, and Jim was named UM’s University Scholar for Academic Year 2014-2015.

Since retiring from the Army in 1995, Jim has taught history at Marion Military Institute, Judson College, Auburn University Montgomery, and the University of Montevallo.  At UM, he teaches courses in Colonial America, Revolutionary America, Jeffersonian and Jacksonian America, the Gilded Age, U.S. History since 1945, the Korean and Vietnam Wars, and the History of Alabama’s Constitutions.  He also has developed Staff Ride/Terrain Walk courses on the Civil War battles of Shiloh and Chickamauga. 

Jim resides in Alabaster with his wife, Rene’.  They have two daughters:  Abby and Mary Afton.

Dave Farish

Dave is in the Non-Destructive Examination field and is the Technical Director at the University of Ultrasonics.  He is married to Connie who is a Jewelry Designer and has her own line of Artist Designed Handmade Jewelry.  Dave has lived in Shelby County for 20 years and his family has been active in the performing arts for that same period.  His kids have been involved in dance, cheering, sports, singing and other community services throughout those years.  Dave is also involved in coaching a travel ball baseball team and speaks at many local events in the Columbiana area.

Hank Fillingim

 Hank and his wife, Karen, have lived in Alabaster for the past twelve years. They have three sons, with two attending college, and one leaving soon to begin serving in the US Navy. Hank works as a sales manager with a biotech company, and Karen is the Executive Assistant for Mayor Marty Handlon in Alabaster.        

Stancil Handley
Mayor of Columbiana

Dr. Stancil Handley is the Mayor of Columibana, AL and a practicing Optometrist in the local community.He and his wife and family are active in the community with organizations such as Cattleman Association, Vignette Club and the Merchants and Professionals Organzation.

Carol Hill

Carol Hill, a founding board member, is a retired educator with 25 years of experience currently serving as Chairman of the Shelby County Board of Registrars.  She is an active board member of Leadership Shelby County and a member and past President of several clubs including the Alabama Legislative Club, Southern Women’s Committee of Fifty, and the Columbiana Vignette Club.  Carol is a Sunday School teacher at Columbiana First Baptist and has been married to State Representative Mike Hill for 38 years.  Carol and her husband have three children and three grandchildren.


Brandi Kellis

 Originally from the Atlanta area, Brandi Kellis moved to Columbiana in 2004.  She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and the University of Georgia School of Law.  As the mother of students in the Shelby County Arts Council's children's art classes, private guitar lessons, and annual Missoula Chidren's Theatre, Brandi is especially appreciative of the creative learning opportunities the Arts Council provides to the people of South Shelby County.  She has five children with her husband, Zack Kellis of Kellis Vegetation Management, Inc.

Bill Lewis

William (Bill) R. Lewis is an attorney in Birmingham, AL.  He and his Bonnie and family are the Owners of Lewis Lakes Vineyard located just outside Columbiana, Alabama in Shelby County. 

Kyle Mims

Kyle Mims is a Financial Advisor for Edward Jones, where his office is located in downtown Columbiana, AL. Kyle is from Clanton, AL where he and his wife Kristin and son Kelton still call home today. He is passionate about his family and helping his clients achieve their long-term financial goals by understanding their needs and implementing tailored solutions.

Phillip Pritchard

 Phillip Pritchard is the founder and President of Video Visions based in the Birmingham, Alabama area.  Mr. Pritchard is a gradudate of the University of Montevallo.  He and his wife, Judy, along with their two children live in Alabaster, Alabama.

Elizabeth Smith

 Elizabeth Moody Smith was adopted from Seoul, Korea.  She considers her hometown to be Greenville, AL but has lived all over the state.  She began taking dance at the age of 5 and has studied ballet with the Alabama Ballet, Birmingham Southern Conservatory of Dance, Montgomery Ballet, Andalusia Ballet, and the Paris Opera Ballet.  She attended the Alabama School of Fine Arts where she trained extensively in ballet.  She graduated from McKenzie High School as Valedictorian of her class.  She received her BA in Business Administration with a minor in Business Management from the University of West Alabama where she was President of Phi Mu social sorority Kappa Xi Chapter, Miss University of West Alabama and later went on and competed in Miss Alabama where she promoted her platform on Adoption.  She married her high school sweet heart, Chris, in 1997.  In 2003 she opened Calera Dance Academy where she was the executive director/owner for 10 years.  She and her husband welcomed their son, Branson, in 2005 and their daughter, Berkeley, in 2009.  Her family has resided in Columbiana since 2007. 

 In 2016 Elizabeth began working with the City of Columbiana where she serves as the Marketing Director and Executive Assistant to the Mayor.  Her goal as Marketing Director is to make as many people aware of what Columbiana has to offer.  From the fantastic Shelby County Arts Council, to the neat shopping, museums, winery, 4-H center, Lay Lake and let’s not forget our own Trolley to take us wherever we want to go.  The Arts have been such a huge part of Elizabeth’s life from the age of 5 years and she is thrilled to be a part of the Shelby County Arts Council and serve on the board. 

Constance Specht

 Constance M. Specht, CPA was born and raised in East Central Illinois and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Eastern Illinois University.  She has over 30 years of combined accounting and auditing experience in agriculture, food processing, manufacturing, publishing, and healthcare administration.   Since  moving to the Birmingham area in 2000, she has held positions as a volunteer at the Birmingham Museum of Art and as a Tutor for Better Basics in Birmingham.  Connie currently lives in Chelsea, Alabama and is a Financial Accountant at Healthcare Business Solutions in Birmingham, Alabama.  

Joe Sullivan

 Joe Sullivan is a Graduate of Auburn University and a lifelong resident of Shelby County.  Joe is the father of two sons, Trey and Trent. 

Ellen Tweiten

Ellen Tweiten received Bachelor and Masters degrees in piano performance  at the University of Michigan.  She did post graduate work at The Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore  and the University of Texas at Austin. She has held several college teaching positions including that of Adjunct Professor of Piano at Birmingham Southern College.  She was the pianist for the Alabama Symphony for sixteen years and and has performed in numerous solo and chamber music recitals.  In her spare time she enjoys training horses and gardening.

Cam Ward

Cam Ward is the State Senator for District 49 which includes parts of Alabaster, Helena and Pelham.  He and his wife Julie have one daughter named Riley. Cam is an attorney who specializes in economic development for the City of Alabaster.


Teresa Whiting

Teresa Whiting lives in Columbiana with her husband, Leslie D. Whiting.  She has a B.S. in Communications Studies from the University of Montevallo and is passionate about enriching the lives of others.