UNA Alumni Speak At Shoals Business Forum

Sep. 9, 2009


FLORENCE, Ala. – Two University of North Alabama College of Business alumni will be among the speakers at this fall’s Shoals Business Forum. Speakers include James Bennett, chairman of the board for Protom International Inc.; Bill Carter, a management consultant with Business Consultations; and Joel Kimbrough, former chief financial officer of Accredo Health Systems. Bennett is a 1979 graduate of UNA, with degrees in marketing and accounting, and Kimbrough is a 1980 graduate of UNA, with a degree in accounting.

The Shoals Business Forum is sponsored by the UNA College of Business and Division of Continuing Education, the Muscle Shoals Chapter of the Institute of Management Accountants, the Shoals Chamber of Commerce and the North Alabama Chapter of the Alabama Society of CPAs.

The forum will include three sessions:

Sept. 21 at 5:45 p.m. – Bennett speaks on “STARTing/Refinancing Your Business: Avoiding the #1 Reason New Ventures Fail.”

Oct. 19 at 5:45 p.m. – Carter speaks on “SUSTAINing Your Business: Knowing When and How to Change Your Business to Insure Its Long Term Success.”

Nov. 16 at 5:45 p.m. – Kimbrough speaks on “SELLing a Successful Business: Doing It Right.”

All sessions will be at the Marriott Shoals Conference Center.

For more information on the Shoals Business Forum, contact the Shoals Chamber of Commerce at www.shoalschamber.com or 256-764-4661. Preregistration is required.


Speaker bios:


James Bennett

Bennett is a founder and member of B&W LLC, a private investment group, which is a founding stockholder of Pro Tom International Inc., as is Bennett. Bennett is an experienced healthcare executive with more than 30 years of financial and operational experience with publicly traded and privately held healthcare institutions.

Since 1987, he has served in executive and board capacities of the following companies: privately held Whitby Pharmaceuticals Inc. (formerly Russ Pharmaceuticals Inc.) as chief financial officer and board member; publicly held HealthSouth Corporation as president, chief operating officer and board member; privately held Pathology Partners Inc. (now Caris Diagnostics) as founding board member and chairman; privately held Medical Properties Trust LLC (predecessor and founding company of publicly held Medical Properties Trust Inc.) as founder and chairman; and privately held Sensys Medical Inc. as board member.

From 1979 until 1987, Bennett was a practicing CPA in the audit division of Ernst and Young advising individual hospitals, hospital chains and other healthcare entities on financial, organizational, reimbursement and tax matters. He graduated from UNA in 1979, having majored in marketing and accounting.


Bill Carter

Carter is a management consultant in Nashville, where he provides strategy related consulting services to owners and CEOs of start-up and small to medium size businesses. Prior to establishing his consulting practice in 2004, Carter had a wide-ranging business career, which he served as: executive assistant to the president and vice president of operations for the University of South Carolina; director of the Office of Management and Budget for Charleston, S.C.; vice president of marketing and sales for Synercom Inc., a 1984 start-up that pioneered the software technology now used in the retail pharmacy industry; and vice president of marketing and business development for BTi, a 1998 start-up in Franklin, Tenn., that pioneered the development of news content automation technology used by commercial television stations and networks across the country.

In 1994, C. Davis Fogg, a nationally known expert and best-selling author in strategic planning, invited Carter to join his management consulting practice. It was at this time that Carter gained a deep understanding and passion for the critical role that a permanent, team-based strategic planning process plays in not only diagnosing and addressing short-term business issues but, more importantly, how it sustains and even enhances a business’s long-term success and overall value.

Carter holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees from the University of South Carolina and is an adjunct instructor and lecturer in the business program at Aquinas College in Nashville.


Joel R. Kimbrough

Following college, Kimbrough spent nine years at Ernst and Young as a senior audit manager before joining the management team that would form and grow Accredo Health Group Inc., the nation’s largest specialty pharmacy provider, as chief financial officer. Accredo became a public company in 1999 and grew to 2,500 employees and about $2 billion in annual revenue before being sold to Medco Health Solutions in 2005 for $2.3 billion.

Kimbrough is currently a partner in The Barnett Group, a benefits consulting group. He is also chairman of the board of Trust One Bank in Memphis; lead director for Bostwick Laboratories; and chairman of the Audit Committee for Aldagen Inc. He also serves as chairman of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Mid-South and is chairman of the Finance and Audit Committee for The Regional Medical Center at Memphis.

Kimbrough is a 1980 graduate of UNA, where he was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting.