Meet The Scholarship Foundation Board

Chair 
Richard E. Anthony

Richard E. Anthony, a member of the Andalusia High School Class of 1964, is a 2013 recipient of the W. Robert Brown Outstanding Graduate and is the current Chair of the Andalusia High School Scholarship Foundation. After graduation from Andalusia High School, Richard earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from the University of Alabama in 1968. He continued his education at the University of Virginia, earning his Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) in 1971.

He also graduated from the management and banking programs at Duke University and Louisiana State University. Richard began his career in the financial services industry with AmSouth Bank N.A. in Birmingham, Alabama. In 1985, he left his Executive Vice President position with AmSouth Bank and co-founded First Commercial Bancshares Inc. Richard served as President, Chairman of the Board, and Chief Executive Officer (C.E.O.) of First Commercial Bank in Birmingham. Richard was President of First Commercial Bancshares when it merged with Synovus Financial Corp. in 1992.

 

Richard served as President of Synovus Financial Corp. of Alabama from 1993 until 1995, when he was elected Vice Chairman of the holding company overseeing banking operations Synovus offices in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Florida, and Tennessee. In that capacity, Richard was responsible for managing all of the company’s affiliate banks and mortgage company.

Synovus also offered electronic payment processing through an eighty-one percent stake in Total System Services, Inc. (TSYS), one of the world’s largest companies for outsourced payment services, and he led Synovus through two major capital raises, a dramatic restructuring, and a successful spinoff of TSYS. In 2003, Richard was elected President and Chief Operating Officer (C.O.O.) of Synovus and served in that role until being named Chief Executive Officer (C.E.O.) and President in July 2005. 

 

His visionary leadership earned him recognition on the “Who’s Who” list in Banking and Financial Services in Metro Atlanta by Atlanta Business Chronicle. In 2006, Richard was named Chairman and C.E.O. of Synovus. Under his leadership, Synovus ascended to the No. 1 ranking on Fortune Magazine’s list of the best places to work in America. Richard retired in 2012 after a stellar banking and financial industry career.
 

While Richard is no longer working in the banking and financial industry, he maintains current affiliations on the board of directors for many major corporations as well as active memberships in various capacities with the following:
 

Director Synovus Financial Corp.
Director Total System Services Inc.
Director The Financial Services Roundtable
Director American Bankers Association
Director, Chairman, and Member of Executive Committee Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce
Member of The University of Alabama President’s Cabinet
Member of the Board of Directors for the School of Fine Arts
Member of The University of Alabama School of Commerce and Business Administration Board of Visitors
Member Commission For A New Georgia
Chairman 2006 United Way Campaign.
Richard has also participated in many community and civic activities throughout his career through leadership roles which include the following:
Director of The Economic Development Partnership of Alabama 1995 - 2005;
Director Business Council of Alabama 1995 - 2005;
President Birmingham Kiwanis Club 1996-1997;
Captain Monday Morning Quarterback Club 1993;
President Country Club of Birmingham 1991;
Alumnus Leadership Alabama 1998;
Past Chairman Capital Campaign Boys & Girls Club of Central Alabama 1996-1998;
Co-Chairman Capital Campaign University of Alabama 1992-1997;
Past Chairman North Central Region American Lung Association 1995;
Alumnus Leadership Birmingham 1992;
President Alabama Golf Association 1985;
Chairman Lakeshore Hospital 1982.
 
Richard and his wife, Ginny, have been married for forty-five years and have two children and six grandchildren. He is still an avid golfer, played competitively in his early years, and won several events, including the Alabama State Junior Championship, The Future Masters Tournament, and the Alabama State Amateur Tournament. He currently resides in Birmingham, AL.

Vice Chair 
Harvey "Pete" Donaldson

Harvey “Pete” Donaldson, a 1961 graduate of Andalusia High School, is the current Vice-Chair of the Andalusia High School Scholarship Foundation, a member of the Board of Trustees, a member of the Scholarship Selection Committee, and a member of the W. Robert Brown Outstanding Graduate Award Committee. In 2017, he was recognized as a W. Robert Brown Outstanding Graduate.
 
He attended the University of Alabama and earned a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering and a Master of Science in Industrial Engineering (Operations Research) in 1966 and 1967, respectively.
 
Upon graduation from the University of Alabama, Mr. Donaldson spent sixteen years with the United States Postal Service. At Postal Service Headquarters in Washington, D.C., he served in various executive positions, including Assistant to the Senior Vice President of Operations Support, Director of Operations Research and Technology Planning, and General Manager of Postal Distribution Networks. In 1986, he served on the transition team for incoming Postmaster General Albert Casey and received an executive achievement award for his work restructuring the Postal Service’s technology acquisition strategy.
 
Mr. Donaldson was a consultant at Computer Sciences Corporation and an International Paper Company engineer. He earned a Master of Science degree in Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School, where he was a Sloan Fellow from 1986-87.
 
Mr. Donaldson joined the Georgia Tech general faculty in 1998. From 1998 to 2010, he served as Managing Director of the Georgia Tech Supply Chain and Logistics Institute (SCL). Mr. Donaldson also served as Associate Chair for International and Industry Programs for the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering from 2006 to 2010. During this period, the Stewart School had active education and research partnerships in China, Chile, Costa Rica, Germany, Panama, Singapore, South Africa, and the United Arab Emirates.
 
After stepping down from both positions in 2010, Mr. Donaldson spent his last two years at Georgia Tech leading the development and startup of a new M.S. degree program in supply chain engineering. This initiative included curriculum design, student recruitment, industry sponsorship recruitment, and degree approval by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents.
 
From 1988-92, he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Capstone Engineering Society at the University of Alabama; in 1989, he was selected as a Distinguished Engineering Fellow.
 
Still professionally active after leaving Georgia Tech, Mr. Donaldson currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Scientific Logistics Inc. In addition, as a consultant to the Postal Service from 2012 -18, he was an expert witness in a delivery work standards labor arbitration case and participated in developing a new performance management system for last-mile delivery operations.

President 
Dr. Mike Wells

A native of Andalusia and a member of the Andalusia High School Class of 1968, Dr. Mike Wells is a 2015 recipient of the W. Robert Brown Outstanding Graduate and is the Co-Chair of the Andalusia High School Scholarship Foundation Scholarship Committee.

After graduating from Andalusia High School, Dr. Wells attended the University of Alabama and earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering in 1972. He was accepted into the University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB) School of Medicine and awarded the Doctor of Medicine in 1975. 

Dr. Wells then completed his Family Practice Residency (1975-1978) at the University of Alabama College of Community Health Sciences in Tuscaloosa. He has held his Medical Licensure since 1976 and began his medical career as a family practitioner with the United States Navy (1978 - 1980) at the Long Beach Navy Regional Medical Center. After the Navy, he returned to Alabama to continue work as a family practitioner (1980-1984).

Dr. Wells then pursued additional studies specializing in Obstetrics and Gynecology and completed a residency at the University of South Alabama in Mobile (1984-1987). He then returned home to Andalusia to open Covington Obstetrics & Gynecology. Leading professionals noted his outstanding work at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. He accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology (2007 – 2008) before returning to Andalusia to finish his career. 

Dr. Wells has been bestowed numerous certifications, including Diplomate of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. In addition, he holds current memberships with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Surgeons, the Medical Association of the State of Alabama, and the Covington County Medical Society, where he was elected President in 1994 and 2004. In total, Dr. Wells' professional career in Family Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynecology spans over 45 years, retiring in 2021.

Dr. Wells is a very active member of the First United Methodist Church. He has served in many capacities, including Missions Coordinator, Sunday School Teacher, Finance Committee, and the Board of Trustees and Administrative Board. He has been a member of several Boards of Directors, including the Andalusia Area Chamber of Commerce, The Colonial Bank, and The Bank. Dr. Wells was also a member of the Andalusia City Board of Education (1998-2006) and served as President (2002-2004). In addition to being an Eagle Scout, he also served as Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 46 (1992-1995). He and his wife Maria Jane have been married 48 years and have four children and eight grandchildren.

Vice President 
Cara Russell 

Communications Officer
Darrell Thomas

Darrell Thomas is a 1983 graduate of Andalusia High School, the first African American valedictorian ever in Covington County. After graduating, he attended Auburn University and earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering in the Fall of1986.

 

For the past twenty-five years, Darrell’s career has been focused mainly on managing asset infrastructure for utilities. In addition, he was responsible for optimizing business operations developing and implementing asset management solutions to provide water, wastewater, public works, transportation, parks, forestry, and recreation. During the past twenty years, Darrell has worked for many consulting firms, including the most prominent African-American engineering firm in Atlanta (Williams-Russell & Johnson, Inc.) and the largest consulting firm in the southeast, Jacobs Engineering (formerly CH2M HILL and then CH2M before being purchased). Darrell also had a long tenure with IBM and then as a Principal Consultant with EMA, Inc. before devoting his commitment to the pharmaceutical industry. 

 

Darrell developed the asset infrastructure management program for the following utilities:
 

  • DC Water (Washington, DC);

  • Detroit Water & Sewer Division (Detroit, MI);

  • Greater Cincinnati Water Works (Cincinnati, OH);

  • Seattle Public Utilities (Seattle, WA);

  • Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority (Albuquerque, NM);

  • San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (San Francisco, CA);

  • City of Toronto (Toronto, Ontario, Canada); and

  • Ontario Clean Water Agency - OCWA (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)

 

Darrell works to make a difference every day. Although he lives and works in Atlanta, he often works remotely, allowing him to work with the youth of First Baptist Church, Whatley Street, and participate in many community activities at home. As an active member of First Baptist Church Whatley Street (FBC Whatley), Darrell is devoted to improving and advancing the vision of the FBC leadership by introducing programs and technology to expose the community to many of the same opportunities he uses during both domestic and international travels. 

 

He works to inspire the youth by overseeing various education programs, which often include notable guest speakers. He also organizes numerous adult education programs to promote financial management, political awareness, community involvement, and activism to facilitate social justice.

 

Darrell is currently a Senior Manager for Projects for Cognizant Technology Solutions, Incorporated, where he is presently the lead business systems analyst managing the global database platform consolidation.

 

Darrell was selected as a W. Robert Brown Outstanding Graduate and inducted into the distinguished membership in 2019. In 2021, he was nominated and selected as a member of the Andalusia High School Scholarship Foundation Executive Committee. Later that year, he was appointed and elected to his current position as Communications Officer.

Wherever he is, Darrell usually wears his blue and orange for his beloved Auburn Tigers and adheres to the Auburn Creed’s lessons. He also lives by this motto: to whom much is given, much is required! War Eagle!

Member 
Anna Copeland