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Our Board

Cindy Kostelecky – President

Cindy Kostelecky has been with Jim House & Associates for over 22 years, working with municipalities and industrial companies throughout the State of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. After graduating from the University of South Alabama, she helped build and run the satellite office in Fairhope, AL for 17 years. In 2010 she moved to Birmingham to help increase the aftermarket growth in both the municipal and industrial markets.

Jim House & Associates recently acquired ten acres in Irondale and has been in a year long process of renovating and building additional buildings to accommodate the growth in the sale of new equipment and repairs. Providing quality products and superior customer service is what Cindy feels are the most important aspects in a successful business.

Cindy is also a certified Pilate’s teacher and is currently studying for her personal trainer’s certification. She enjoys many activities including cooking, dancing, writing, traveling and photography. An avid reader she frequents her local library to help control the urge to buy every book that interests her.

Cindy has one son, Derek, who lives in Fairhope and works as a graphic designer with Budweiser. Her other “child” is a four pound Peek-A-Poo, who truly is the “most interesting dog in the world”.

Working in such a glamorous business as selling sewage pumps, Cindy’s philosophy in life is truly “one must be able to have a sense of humor and be able to laugh at oneself.

Dottie King – Past President & Special Events

Dottie King is the President of The King Consulting Group, Inc., a consulting firm that helps businesses prosper through enhanced efficiency and increased profitability.  Dottie’s twenty-five plus years of analytical experience include work with small and mid-size companies, attorneys, accountants and nonprofits as well as large, multi-national and Fortune 500 corporations.

Her projects have assisted her clients with a wide range of issues including accounting, auditing, billing accuracy, regulatory compliance, market research, product profitability, tax credits, litigation support, and funding. Most notably, Dottie has recently helped her clients to

  • 1Qualify for an $8.1 million tax credit
  • Validate assets critical to the sale of a $50 million company
  • Avoid refunding $1,500,000 of disputed insurance payments
  • Identify payment delays that led to an $85 million increase in revenues
  • Receive settlements in multiple lawsuits totaling more than $20 million
  • Attract and retain grant funding in excess of $4,000,000

From 1996 to 2006 Dottie was the President and Co-Owner of Three Sigma, Inc., a company that provided consulting services primarily to the telecommunications industry. In that role she saw the need for analytical services in other segments of the business community. That awareness led her to form The King Consulting Group. Prior to 1996, Dottie worked as a cost analyst and statistician at BellSouth. Dottie also taught in the math departments at Samford University, Jefferson State College, and Birmingham Southern College.

Dottie is involved in the Birmingham community. She serves on the boards of Children’s Aid Society, Positive Maturity, The Women’s Network, The Edie Hand Foundation, The Art in Avondale Park Alliance, and Samford University’s Paralegal Studies Advisory Council.

Her publications include:

“Roof Crush as a Source of Injury in Rollover Crashes”, March 2005, National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration FMVSS-216 (with Dr. Martha Bidez and Dr. John Cochran).

“A Method to Evaluate Dynamic vs. Residual Roof Rail Deformation in Dolly Rollover”, 19th International Technical Conference on the Enhanced Safety of Vehicles, March 2005 (with Dr. Martha Bidez and Dr. John Cochran).

Dottie holds Bachelor of Science degrees in Mathematics and Physics and a Master of Arts degree in Mathematics from Samford University.

Dottie lives in a ninety-five-year-old home in the historic Highland Park neighborhood. She devotes her leisure time to historic preservation, gardening, reading and writing. She enjoys her three adult children and her two dogs.

 Mary Ann Martin – Secretary/Treasurer

Mary Ann Martin is the owner of Martin Event Management, LLC, which helps companies grow business by providing meeting and event management services for national and international organizations. Areas of expertise include conferences, meetings, executive retreats, as well as client prospecting events and trade shows. Martin Event Management recognizes these functions, no matter the scale, are critical to your company’s growth and success.

Mary Ann is a graduate of Mississippi State University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Ms. Martin enjoys serving her community and building partnerships through membership and participation on the board of Alabama Women In Business.


Jana Branch – VP of Technology & Social Media

Jana Branch has been the Business Manager for the Birmingham Business Journal for 15 years and in the newspaper industry for the last 20 years. Prior to entering the newspaper industry, Jana was the business manager for two different startup businesses in the Birmingham area which allowed her to learn how businesses grow from the ground up.

Jana is passionate about helping small businesses not just grow but also thrive and become an important part of the Birmingham business community. She feels the combination of successful businesses, both small and large, help make our city a better place to live and work. Jana grew up in the Birmingham area and graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in Communications.

Beth Nigri – VP Sponsorship

Beth Nigri is Marketing Director and Co Owner with her husband Vic of The Fitness Center, a one on one Personal Training facility located in the Crestline area of Mtn. Brook.  Beth is a graduate of the University of Alabama and was a teacher of Special Needs Children first in Baton Rouge, La. and then Birmingham.  She retired in 2003 and has been working at The Fitness Center since June of that year.

In 2010 Beth’s husband Vic, started MEDCREST, a health screening company and Beth is the Event Coordinator and Marketing Consultant.

Beth is active in several local organizations including the Birmingham Business Alliance, Executive Women’s International, Network Birmingham, Inc. where she has served as President and is currently serving on the board as Awards and Membership Directory Chairman and the Mtn. Brook Chamber of Commerce where she is Race Director for the Annual Village to Village 10k run and 1 Mile Fun Run.

She is very involved in her church Southside Baptist Church as a Sunday School Teacher and Deacon.  Beth and Vic believe in giving back to the community and The Fitness Center helps by donating to many local charitable organizations.


Kathryne Brugge – VP of Programs

Kathryne Brugge is an independent associate with Southern Financial Consulting. Kathryne has been in the insurance industry for 13 years consulting with clients in the areas of Worksite Benefits, Life Insurance, Annuities, Long Term Care, Disability and Retirement Planning.

Her focus is working with women business owners providing service for both their business and personal insurance to ensure that their assets are protected.  As an Independent Insurance Broker, she can provide a wide range of insurance programs designed to meet her clients’ needs. Her clients include individuals, families, groups, businesses, and public & private employees.

The combination of evaluation, planning, designing, and implementation assures individually tailored programs that are comprehensive and competitive in today’s market and represent the highest quality of companies and services. She is a graduate of Auburn University with a BS in Industrial Engineering. Kathryne also serves on the Advisory Committee for Positive Maturity.


Melva Tate – Assistant VP Programs

Melva Tate is a Human Capital Strategist and serves as the owner of Tate & Associates, LLC, managing three unique divisions: Strategic HR PartnershipsCareer Touchdown and Melva Tate Speaks – firms offering specialized services in executive talent search, human resource consulting, training & development and career coaching to top companies, universities and nonprofit organizations.  She is a best-selling author, radio co-host, credible activist, serial entrepreneur and networking “Diva”.   She spends quality time “Building Relationships where Relationships Matter!!

With 20+ years of solid industry experience, Melva has established creative ways to infuse her enthusiasm for the field of human resources and career development with her desire to help organizations succeed and employees to land and enjoy the Job of their Dreams.   Prior to launching her company, she served as the Director of HR & Administration for two start-up organizations:  Nexcel Synthetics (manufacturing) and Kelly Construction Company (road construction).  These evolving environments put her B.S. degree in Human Resource Management, Executive MBA, Certified Life Coach (CLC) and Professional in Human Resources Certification (PHR) to the test daily while offering challenging and rewarding experiences.

She is a radio personality and a feature writer and contributor to leading newspapers and magazines including, HR Magazine, Black Enterprise Magazine, The Birmingham News, and the Birmingham Business Journal on issues related to careers, leadership, diversity, workforce development and human resources.  In addition, Melva serves as an Adjunct Career Management Consultant for Warren Averett Workplace… A CPI Partner.   An entertaining presenter and workshop speaker, Melva uses audience engagement techniques that keep participants on the edge of their seat.  After each presentation, she gladly accepts each handshake, hug and Facebook friend request with a final appeal –  “Let’s Stay Connected”.

Although serving her clients across the US is Melva’s 1st priority, serving the community is her passion!  She serves as the Past Chair – Board of Directors for the United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Birmingham, Executive Committee Region 4 Alabama Workforce Development Council, Jefferson County Workforce Development Board, Alabama Women In Business Board of Directors, and The Birmingham Women’s Network – Speakers Committee.  Melva is also a past 2-Term President and current Senior Advisor for the Birmingham Society for Human Resource Management (BSHRM) one of SHRM’s leading chapters with 700+ members.

A snapshot of clients include:  United Way of Central Alabama, YWCA of Central Alabama, Girls Scouts North Central Alabama, REV Birmingham, Birmingham Business Alliance, Miles College, Railroad Park, McWane, Inc., Birmingham Education Foundation, City of Irondale, City of Tuscaloosa, City of Jasper, ADRS, Tazikis Café, Alabama Public Television, Bevill State Community College and other amazing organizations.

Melva’s enthusiasm & eagerness to serve others through her time, talents and resources earned her the BSHRM Leadership Excellence Award, recognition as one of Birmingham’s “Top 40 Under 40” Professionals (BBJ), Best Minority Business Honoree (BBJ), Alabama Rose Honoree(CAWBC), and Best in Minority Business Winner (Cox Media / Wells Fargo).


Linda Levin – VP of Membership

Linda Levin, President of Achieve Change Today, is a Professional Certified Coach, specializing in executive and life coaching. She has been successfully coaching individual and corporate clients for over ten years.

Linda’s twenty five plus years of clinical experience as a licensed clinical social worker lends additional depth to her coaching skills. Women professionals who work with Linda tap into their strengths with more power and confidence.


Dr. Jacqueline Dillon DeMarco – Assistant VP Membership

Dr. Jacqueline Dillon DeMarco is a Clinical Psychologist whose private practice is located in the Mountain Brook Office Park. Offering both individual and couple therapy to adult clients (ages 18+), she treats many presenting problems including trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder, mood disorders, anxiety disorders and phobias, marital/relationship problems, grief, and stress.

Dr. DeMarco graduated with her Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Clinical Psychology from Auburn University.  While at Auburn, Dr. DeMarco completed an internship at the Atlanta Veterans Administration (V.A.) hospital in Decatur, Georgia.

After graduating from Auburn, Dr. DeMarco completed a two year postdoctoral fellowship in Clinical Psychology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Dr. DeMarco is licensed to practice in the state of Alabama. Her research has been published in the JournalsAnxiety, Stress, and CopingApplied Psychology in Criminal Justice, and Community Mental Health Journal.  Dr. DeMarco is a member of the Alabama Psychological Association, the American Psychological Association, the International Society of Traumatic Stress Studies, and the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies.


Annette Springer – At Large Member

Annette Springer is the Chief Executive Officer for Springer Equipment Company in Birmingham.  Springer Equipment Company is a certified WBENC business providing comprehensive forklift sales, service, rentals, parts leasing and fleet maintenance related to the material handling equipment industry.  After 38 combined years working in the material handling industry, Annette and her husband, Ted decided it was time to start Springer Equipment Company. 

Their business began in the basement of their home in 1992.  The company has since grown to 52 full time employees with annual revenues that exceeded $16,000,000 during their operation. 

Springer Equipment Company is now one of the leaders in the material handling industry both regionally and nationally receiving numerous awards for outstanding forklift parts and equipment sales records.  As CEO of Springer Equipment Company, Annette is one of the first women to hold such a significant and prominent position. 

In September 2014, Annette and her husband Ted opened another new full-service forklift dealership – Southfork Lift Truck Inc. – in Nashville, Tennessee in which Annette serves as Chief Executive Officer.

Annette Springer is a member of the Irondale Chamber of Commerce, Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association and Alabama Women in Business.  Springer Equipment Company has been featured in Birmingham Business Journal articles as well as recognition with “Top 25 Women-Owned Businesses,” and “Top 100 Privately Owned Businesses” categories in the Journal’s annual “Book of Lists.”


Renee Carter – At Large Member

Renee Carter is principal of The Carter Group, LLC, which provides consulting services to direct and administer programs and projects for various clients. Renee provides services such as executive administration, issue advocacy, governmental affairs, public relations, program management, education programs, and other services as defined by the needs and goals of the program or project.

An Alabama native, Renee returned to her home state from Washington, D.C., in 2006 to serve as chief of staff for Jefferson County Commissioner Jim Carns. Prior to joining Commissioner Carns, Renee was executive director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s national advocacy program dedicated to building grassroots support for pro-business trade policies in the U.S. Congress. In that position, she educated business leaders across the U.S. about the benefits and opportunities of international business, developed strategic partnerships, built a national coalition, and spoke on pro-business trade policy to hundreds of groups in the U.S. and abroad.

Renee served as liaison to governors, members of Congress, federal agencies, embassies, international chambers of commerce, ambassadors, U.S. Trade Representative, White House and other high level government officials to grow the network necessary to support and advance the U.S. trade agenda.

Prior to joining the Chamber, Renee worked in marketing and business development for NBC, ABC, and Univision in New York City. At NBC, she advanced business development projects using signature products to secure highly competitive business. In her role at ABC, Renee managed joint new business efforts and integrated projects with other ABC divisions. As an account executive at Univision, the #1 Hispanic network station in the nation’s #1 television market, she was responsible for development of top accounts by educating prospective clients on the Hispanic community and its value to them.

Renee is originally from Troy, Alabama. She earned her bachelor’s degree with a major in finance at Auburn University and attended Troy University for a master’s degree in international relations. Renee has traveled the U.S. extensively and visited twenty countries on five continents. She is an active citizen in the Birmingham area and currently serves as a board member for the Red Mountain Park Commission and for the Alabama Center for Insurance Information & Research at the University of Alabama. She is an active member of Alabama Women in Business.

Sandra Cleveland – 2016/2017 President

At Berk Cleveland Rathmell Wealth Strategies, we recognize that every client has a unique financial situation with its own set of strengths and challenges.  We assist our clients to understand their financial goals and develop a plan to achieve whatever they may wish.  Once our client’s goals and dreams are established, we create, implement and monitor an investment strategy that complements their plan.

Sandra joined Berk Cleveland Rathmell Wealth Strategies after a long-term career in the telecommunications industry. Sandra obtained the first Certified College Planning Specialist designation in the state of Alabama. As a college planning specialist, Sandra helps families save and pay for college the most efficient way. She also holds the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER designation.

Sandra earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Alabama in Birmingham and her Masters of Public and Private Management degree from Birmingham-Southern College.

Sandra has held leadership positions in numerous local and state community service organizations, including State President of the Telephone Pioneers; President of Leadership Vestavia Hills; and Vice-President Internal Affairs and Education, Vestavia Hills Chamber of Commerce.

She has worked as a volunteer in the Alabama Reading Initiative as a reading tutor at Hemphill School (Birmingham City Schools), a grant reader for the Alabama Reading Initiative, moderator of the Vestavia Hills Community Roundtable, and PTA board member for years in Vestavia Hills. She has previously served on the board of Camp ASCCA.

Sandra and her husband, Mastin, have two daughters; Adrienne, a CPA who lives in Fairbanks, Alaska with her husband who is in the Air Force, and Ashley who is in graduate school at the University of Montevallo.