Huntsville leaders named to new tornado council - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Huntsville leaders named to new tornado council


Governor Robert Bentley appointed 19 community, corporate and non-profit leaders from across the state to the newly formed Tornado Recovery Action Council of Alabama (TRAC).  TRAC will gather insight from residents, business leaders, non-profit groups and state agencies in order to form collaborative solutions for a stronger, more prepared Alabama.

The council will develop a report that will document the tornado outbreak on April 27, 2011 and make strategic recommendations for the future. The report, which will be presented to the Governor by mid-January 2012, will help guide state and regional leaders and may include legislative recommendations, action steps for state agencies, and ideas for both public and private organizations involved in disaster preparedness, warning, response and recovery.

"Alabamians responded to the tornadoes with incredible resolve to rebuild and recover. Our state, and local officials were instrumental in the quick and thorough response following the storms," said Governor Robert Bentley. "Now, I've asked the private sector to compliment our long term recovery efforts already in place to reach out to Alabamians to learn how we can build an even stronger Alabama."

The Governor named Johnny Johns, President and CEO of Protective Life Corporation, and Pam Siddall, President and Publisher of The Birmingham News Multimedia, co-chairs of TRAC. Johns and Siddall will lead the council's composition of recommendations based on comprehensive research into the disaster.  Ron Gray, a recently retired aerospace executive from the Huntsville area, has been tapped as TRAC Executive Director. Gray will oversee a team of researchers and writers who will gather input from experts to gain broad perspective on the storms and the response that followed.

In addition to extensive research, TRAC will hold community forums during the month of September in seven of the communities most affected by the storms.  These forums will serve as an opportunity for residents to tell their stories from the storms and make recommendations for the future. TRAC will also accept input and ideas through its website,

TRAC is an independent non-profit organization, funded through donations from Alabama's corporate community. Johns and Siddall said the council's work will take a parallel path to work being done by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs' Long-Term Community Recovery (LTCR) task force, and the LTCR's research will inform recommendations made by TRAC. TRAC's recommendations, however, will be influenced first and foremost by insights gained from Alabamians touched by the storms.

Members of the Tornado Recovery Action Council (TRAC)

  • Suzanne Durham, CEO, YWCA of Central Alabama, Birmingham
  • Dallas Fanning, retired Director of Urban Development, Huntsville
  • Grayson Hall, President and CEO, Regions Financial Corporation, Birmingham
  • David Hannah, business owner, Crossville
  • Evelyn Mauldin, Vice President, Bank Independent, Sheffield
  • Dr. Max Michael, Dean, UAB School of Public Health, Birmingham
  • Dr. Keith Morrow, Physician, Hackleburg Medical Clinic, Hackleburg
  • Brenda Parker, Principal, Alberta Elementary School, Tuscaloosa
  • Dr. Malcolm Portera, Chancellor, University of Alabama System, Tuscaloosa
  • Dr. Cathy Randall, Chairman, Pettus Randall Holdings, Tuscaloosa
  • Isabel Rubio, Executive Director, Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama, Birmingham
  • Guice Slawson, Senior President, Southeast Wood Treating, Montgomery
  • Zeke Smith, Executive Vice President of External Affairs, Alabama Power Company, Birmingham
  • Finis St. John, IV, Partner, St. John and St. John, Cullman
  • Rex Vaughn, Vaughn Farms, Huntsville
  • W. Michael Warren, President and CEO, Children's Health System, Birmingham
  • Randall Woodfin, Assistant City Attorney, Pratt City
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