Young Advisory Council Leadership Committee

(L to R): John Cutts, Ashley Robinson, Sumpter McGown, Breck Pappas, Brent Keith, Laura Byrne, Jep Hill, and Elizabeth Maynard. Not pictured: Jessica Callahan, Laura Curtis, Nick Lawkis, and Sands Stimpson. 

(L to R): John Cutts, Ashley Robinson, Sumpter McGown, Breck Pappas, Brent Keith, Laura Byrne, Jep Hill, and Elizabeth Maynard. Not pictured: Jessica Callahan, Laura Curtis, Nick Lawkis, and Sands Stimpson. 


Laura Byrne, President

Laura graduated cum laude from Tulane University with a dual degree in Communications and English. She now lives and works in Mobile as the Deputy Director of Communications for the City of Mobile's Mayor's office. She loves running, kayaking in Mobile Bay and spending time with her nephew MacGuire. 




Brent Keith, Vice President

Brent is a native of Mobile and a graduate of UMS-Wright and the University of Alabama. He currently serves as the Vice President of Keith Air Conditioning and is actively involved in Ducks Unlimited. In his free time, Brent enjoys spending time with his wife Julie and their son, Hawkins. He also enjoys spending time in the outdoors hunting and fishing. 




Jep Hill, Secretary

Jep was born and raised in Mobile and attended the University of Alabama. After completing his degree, he returned to Mobile to work at a local public accounting firm and complete his CPA exam. After a brief stint in public accounting, Jep switched his focus to private industry and began working at Graham Holding Company, where he performs accounting and supplemental administration support for our offshore supply business. In his spare time, he enjoys hunting, fishing, exercising, and spending time with his wife Corinna. He also volunteers and raises money for the St. Mary's Home. 


Jessica Callahan

Jessica was born and raised in Indiana but is happy to call Mobile her home. She is currently a social media and content manager for Optera Creative, after previously working in higher education and non-profit fundraising. Jessica and her husband, Andy, enjoy kayaking, paddle boarding and spending time outdoors with their sweet dog. 


Laura Curtis

A Mobile native, Laura graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School in 2007 before receiving her undergraduate degree from the University of Alabama. She currently works for the Mobile County Public School System as a fourth grade teacher at Castlen Elementary School. In her free time, Laura enjoys spending time with her nieces Penny and Charlotte. She also enjoys running, spending time at Dauphin Island, and serves as an active volunteer for the St. Mary's Home. 



John Cutts

John is a lifelong Mobilian who is a graduate from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He is currently finishing up a Mechanical Engineering degree at the University of South Alabama. John works at American Tank & Vessel, Inc. in estimating and sales. In his free time, he enjoys working on engines, sailing, biking, all things Mardi Gras, and helping his family restore and preserve historic homes in Mobile. 




Nick Lawkis

Nick serves as the Associate Director of Governmental Relations for the University of South Alabama (USA), covering all aspects of local, state and federal government relations. Nick earned his B.S. in Marketing and Real Estate and later earned a Master's degree in Public Administration from USA. Prior to working at USA, Nick began his career in banking in 2002, following a five-year path the led him through several fortune 500 companies including Washington Mutual, Bank of America and Countrywide Home Loans. Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Nick spent several years in Dallas Texas, and now resides in Mobile. Nick and his wife Kim enjoy boating and spending time with their three dogs. 

Elizabeth Maynard

Elizabeth is a native Mobilian and graduated from Murphy High School in 2007. She initially served on the Development Committee for Baykeeper before transitioning to the Leadership Committee of the Young Advisory Council. She currently serves as the Administrative Coordinator at United Way of Southwest Alabama. She is an active volunteer at St. Mary's home, and enjoys hot yoga, listening to music, and spending time outdoors and at the beach with her fiance Seth and their lab. 


Sumpter McGowin

Sumpter is a native of Greenville, Alabama and has lived in Mobile with his wife and three small children since 2014. He is an attorney currently practicing in the areas of tax and estate planning, healthcare, and general business law at Phelps Dunbar, LLP. He graduated from Ole Miss in 2004 with a degree in Economics, before earning a law degree from the University of Alabama in 2008, and obtaining his LL.M. in Taxation from Georgetown University Law School in 2009. When not working or spending time with family, Sumpter loves being on and around the water and enjoying Mobile's unique natural resources.

Breck Pappas

Breck is a lifelong Mobilian and proud graduate of St. Paul's Episcopal School and the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. After graduating from Sewanee with an English degree, Breck worked for a year in Mobile at Red Square Agency before moving to New Zealand to work on a kiwi farm. Following his adventure back home, he began writing for Mobile Bay Magazine. Breck loves the water, Mobile history, tacos and playing the guitar and cello. 



Ashley Robinson

Ashley is a native Mobilian who received her undergraduate degree from the University of South Alabama, before receiving a law degree the University of Alabama. After law school, she spent four years working for the federal government in Washington, DC. She has practiced law with Cunningham Bounds since August 2012, where she has primarily spent her time working on the BP Oil Spill settlements. In her spare time, Ashley enjoys listening to live music, watching college football, and spending time at the beach. 




Sands Stimpson

Sands is a Land Resource Manager for Truland Homes. He is responsible for overseeing their portfolio of homesites and communities. He works closely with community associations, local governments, and community stakeholders regarding Truland's homebuilding operation. Sands served in the United States Marine Corps from 2003-2007 and earned his Bachelor's Degree from the University of Alabama in Human and Environmental Sciences. Sands enjoys spending time with his wife, Christina, and his son Jim.