2021 Hot Dogs & Heroes Honorees
Bryan Stevenson is an American lawyer, social justice activist, founder/executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, and a law professor at New York University School of Law. Based in Montgomery, Alabama, Stevenson has challenged bias against the poor and minorities in the criminal justice system, especially children. He has helped achieve United States Supreme Court decisions that prohibit sentencing children under 18 to death or to life imprisonment without parole. Stevenson has assisted in cases that have saved dozens of prisoners from the death penalty, advocated for the poor, and developed community-based reform litigation aimed at improving the administration of criminal justice. He was depicted in the legal drama Just Mercy which is based on his memoir Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, which tells the story of Walter McMillian. He initiated the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, which honors the names of each of more than 4,000 African Americans lynched in the 12 states of the South from 1877 to 1950.
Cubie Rae Hayes has been the Parent Liaison at Lanier High School for the past five years, where she founded the Poets Super Grands (Grandparents becoming active in their high school students education) and chair the Poet Nation PTSA Angel Project that served 84 families with 176 children with toys for Christmas which also included a partnership the Montgomery Fire and Rescue that played Santa to a deserving family. She is also a public relations consultant who has a diverse background in education, politics, and media. After graduating from Alabama State University, she began her career as an executive secretary/instructor with Central Alabama Opportunities Industrialization Center beforebecoming the first black instructor at Massey-Draughon Business College. She was also the first
Public Information Specialist for the Montgomery County Commission, a former radio/television personality, and currently a youth and community advocate. She was the editor of the Montgomery Westside Weekly News Tabloid for 10 years. Her political expertise has been instrumental in the election of several City Councilmen, Commissioners, District and Circuit Judges, Board of Education Members, Mayors and others.
She provides special event management for many organizations to include the Montgomery Tuskegee Times Newspaper Black History Awards Banquet, the Annual Martin Luther King Birthday Celebration March and Rally at the State Capitol sponsored by the Montgomery Improvement Association (1999-2019), coordinator of the Greg Calhoun Foundation Celebrity Golf Tournament and others. Mrs. Hayes is a member of Montgomery Parks & Recreation Board, Co-chair of Publicity at Hutchinson Missionary Baptist Church, and volunteers for Have A Heart For Special Children, K.E.E.P. Productions, RESTOR Homeless Shelter for Homeless Veterans, Divas and Gents Youth Club, Triple J Initiative, That’s My Child and other service organizations. She hosts and is the director of the television presentation of the Turkey Day Parade, and many
other community programs. She has recently founded the “Citizens That Care, Inc.,” a non-profit community service organization. She is the coordinator of the Annual Wreath Laying in memory of families of MPD Fallen Officers Program. Mrs. Hayes received the City of Montgomery Police Department’s 2013 Citizen Service Medal. In her spare time, she enjoys playing golf with her Driving Force Women’s Golf Club League and proudly holds a membership in the Hole ‘N One Club. She has coordinated the Tee It Up Fore Kids Free Golf Clinic for the last three years. She is a certified Coach with the Alabama Athletic Association and is Coach for the new Girls Golf Team at Lanier High School. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. , and Women Of W.I.L.L. (Women Inspiring Lifting Lives). Mrs. Hayes is married to Eugene G. Hayes, a 28 year retired teacher of history and economics, with the Montgomery County Board of Education, and they have two sons, Byron and LeBarron, three grands and one great grand.
Jeff Rains serves as the CEO of Baptist Medical Center East, a 176 bed acute care hospital in Montgomery, Alabama. Rains came to Baptist East in July 2013, having served as CEO of DeKalb Regional Medical Center in Fort Payne, Alabama since 2009. His previous healthcare leadership roles include CEO of Hartselle Medical Center (Hartselle, AL), Interim CEO of Williamson Memorial Hospital (Williamson, WV), and COO of Riverview Regional Medical Center (Gadsden, AL). During his tenure as CEO, the Baptist East team has been recognized for numerous awards and national recognitions including: CMS “5 Star” Rating, Women’s Choice Awards for Patient Safety and America’s Best Hospitals for Obstetrics, CareChex quality awards for Overall Hospital Care and GI Care, LeapFrog Group “A” rating for Patient Safety, and the Consumer Choice Award from the National Research Council for 8 straight years. Rains is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, is an active participate in the Alabama Hospital Association, and serves on numerous Boards and other leadership roles with local schools and non-profit agencies. Agraduate of the University of Alabama, Rains holds a BS in Finance and an MBA from Middle Tennessee State University. He and his wife Leigh Ann have a daughter (Hannah) and twin sons (Zach and Noah).
Mike Vinson is President/Owner Adams Drugs and was born and raised in Montgomery, AL. He graduated Robert E. Lee in 1972 and recieved his post-secondary education at Auburn University in 1976. He is married to Lee Scott Vinson with 2 Children-Blakey and Scott (daughter-in-law Hope) and 2 Grandchildren-Sawyer and Mary Elizabeth. He is a member of Vaughn Park Church of Christ and is currently serving on Boards of MACOA and Hope Inspired Ministries.
Dr. John Ed Mathison served as Senior Minister of Frazer Memorial United Methodist Church in Montgomery, Alabama for 36 years. Frazer grew from 400 members to 9,000 and had the largest Sunday School attendance for United Methodist churches in America. In 2006, The Church Reporter magazine recognized Frazer as the 25th most influential church in America. Dr. Mathison has degrees from Opelika High School, Young Harris Junior College, Huntingdon College, Candler School of Theology, and Princeton Seminary. John Ed was an All-State basketball player for 3 years in high school and a leading scorer at Young Harris Junior College and Huntingdon College. He was consistently ranked #1 in his age division in tennis in Alabama and #3 in the South. In 2014 he was inducted into the Alabama Tennis Hall of Fame. He has won 7 state racquetball championships. Upon his retirement, the John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries was formed for preaching/teaching opportunities. He has trained more than 11,000 Pastors. He records a daily one-minute audio devotional for several radio stations, a weekly blog for newspapers and e-mail subscribers, and a weekly Got a Minute video that is available on YouTube and social media. He has written 12 books. He has been a platform speaker for multiple National Conferences of Fellowship of Christian Athletes and seminar speaker at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove. He received the National Clergyman of the Year Award in 1994. He was elected to serve at 6 General and Jurisdictional Conferences. He and his wife, Lynn, have three daughters, one son, and ten grandchildren.
Derrick Cunningham was born in Tacoma, Washington and moved to Tuscaloosa, Alabama with his family when he was 12 years old. He graduated from Tuscaloosa County High School and later moved to Montgomery, Alabama where he began his law enforcement career. On Friday, January 16, 2015, Derrick Cunningham was sworn in as the current Sheriff of Montgomery County as well as the first African-American Sheriff of Montgomery County. Cunningham always knew law enforcement was his calling in life. He was appointed by Sheriff D.T. Marshall in 1999 to the position of Chief Deputy of the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office. His responsibilities included overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Sheriff’s Office as well as the Mac Sim Butler Detention Facility or as it is commonly called, the “County Jail”. Furthermore, he was in charge of the budget for the Sheriff’s Office which operates on an annual income of 27 million dollars. Before his appointment, Cunningham was employed by the Montgomery Police Department. He started his law enforcement career in 1989 as a patrol officer. He finished his tenure with the Montgomery Police Department in the Detective Division where he was assigned to the homicide unit and was a member of the International Homicide Investigators Association. Cunningham has a Bachelor of Science Degree from Troy University and a Master of Science Degree from the University of Phoenix. He has attended numerous schools and seminars throughout the United States since the start of his law enforcement career. He graduated from the F.B.I. National Academy Class 231, December 2007. He is retired from the Alabama National Guard with over twenty-four years of service. Sheriff Cunningham is the point of contact for Homeland Security for Montgomery County, overseeing funding for the county. He also graduated from the 108th National Sheriff’s Institute in Aurora, Colorado in September 2015. He was sworn in as Sergeant of Arms with the Alabama Sheriff’s Association in January 2017. He was given the Sheriff of the Year award for 2018. Cunningham was sworn in as Vice President of the Alabama Sheriff’s Association in February 2019. On January 21, 2020, Cunningham was sworn in as President of the Alabama Sheriff’s Association. On December 7, 2020, Cunningham was named YMCA Man of the Year.
Kevin King is a native of Mobile, Alabama. He, his wife Nicole and their daughter Kaiya currently reside in Montgomery, Alabama. Kevin and his family moved to the Washington Park neighborhood in 2007. Their passion is to love, serve, and share life with others for the purpose of transformation and. In June 2013, Kevin's wife and daughter gifted him art supplies for Father's Day. Nicole's statement to Kevin boldly suggested that they were taking away his excuses for not creating. A month later Nicole broke her wrist and Kevin played nurse for a week after her surgery. As boredom struck during the recovery time, Kevin decided to put those paint supplies to use. After re-engaging in the arts after sixteen years, he found a new place of freedom and peace in using his creative talents. Kevin desires for all creatives to experience the joy, freedom and other benefits that he receives when he creates. Kevin realized though that many local artists did not have the same opportunities afforded to others in the city at the time. In 2017 Kevin founded The King’s Canvas Gallery and Studio. The King’s Canvas is a creative space that provides opportunity and access to an underdeveloped and underexposed art community in West Montgomery, as well as other marginalized areas in our city. The King’s Canvas uses art as a means develop neighborhoods aesthetically and economically as also develop artists in the areas of entrepreneurship and life-skill development.
Mr. Selman joined Baptist Health in June 2009 and currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of Baptist Medical Center South. He served as Chief Executive Officer of Baptist Medical Center East from 2009-2013. He has 27 years of health care management experience concentrated in hospital operations and strategic planning. Mr. Selman received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Alabama and a Master of Science in Health Administration from UAB. Prior to joining Baptist Health, he served as Chief Executive Officer of DeKalb Regional Medical Center in Fort Payne, Alabama and Cherokee Medical Center in Centre, Alabama. He also served as Chief Executive Officer of Appling Healthcare System in Baxley, Georgia. From 1994-2002, Mr. Selman worked for the Baptist Health System headquartered in Birmingham culminating as Vice President of Operations at Coosa Valley Baptist Medical Center in Sylacauga, Alabama. Mr. Selman is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and has served in a variety of community leadership roles includes board appointments with local chambers of commerce, economic development authorities and the Alabama Department of Public Health. He currently serves on the boards of multiple organizations including Montgomery Academy and is the Chair-Elect of the Alabama Hospital Association.
The Big Cedar Education Foundation is a private foundation supported by the Stephan S. and Joyce M. Turnipseed family. We have been richly blessed and we believe that God has called us to turn His blessing into praise through support for education of children of all races, genders, faiths, ethnicity and socio economic circumstance. We do this by seed grants, access to resources such as activities and curriculum, connection to organizations providing such content and by direct outreach through our programs. We are governed by a seven member board of directors including family members and professionals linked to the foundation mission. Our Foundation was formed in November of 2013 as part of a dream for a better world by empowering children through learning. Stephan and Joyce Turnipseed have been lifelong advocates of learning and education. Coming from humble roots in the agrarian south they travelled the world in their work and saw firsthand the power of education is lifting people, all people, out of poverty and challenged circumstances. Joyce, a Master Naturalist, saw the opportunity to share the natural world with children and give them a connection to the heritage of the created order. Stephan, an engineer, has worked the past 23 years in education and helped change the face of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, (STEM) education through the use of robotics as a learning tool. Ian, their son, with a Ph.D. in Mass Communications and as a nationally recognized Speech and Debate coach, has personally transformed the lives of children through the art of communication. Through these diverse skills and background the Foundation became the next step in combining the disciplines of STEM, the environment and communication into a meaningful learning experience for all children.
James H. Anderson, a Montgomery native, is now serving as a Circuit Judge in the Fifteenth Judicial
Circuit. Before his appointment and later election to the Bench in 2016, Anderson was in private practice
for over 37 years. His practice primarily consisted of litigation, trying cases in courts throughout the
entire state of Alabama. He has also represented clients and tried cases in all three Alabama Federal
Districts. Anderson has also resolved hundreds of cases as a certified mediator and arbitrator.
Anderson has been Montgomery County Young Lawyers President, State Law Day Chairman, and
President of the State Young Lawyers Section. He was a founding member of the Hugh Maddox Inn of
Court and has been its president. He was elected to three terms by his fellow lawyers of the Fifteenth
Judicial Circuit to serve on the Board of Bar Commissioners, and while a member, he was elected Vice
President of the State Bar. Today, he is a Life Fellow of the American Bar and the Alabama Bar