TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The University of Alabama College of Communication and Information Sciences (C&IS) announces the 2019-2020 Board of Visitors Executive Committee. These three executive members will create vision and provide leadership for the Board.
Debra Nelson, President of Elevate Communications, LLC, will serve as chairwoman. Barry Copeland, President of The Copeland Strategies Group, LLC, and Robin DeMonia, Executive Vice President of Direct Communications, will serve as Vice Chairman and Secretary-Treasurer.
“We are humbled and excited to have such an accomplished and driven group of industry leaders on our executive committee this year,” said Dr. Mark Nelson, Dean of C&IS. “I have known Debra, Barry and Robin for many years and am confident they will serve our College well.”
Debra Nelson is recognized among the leading public relations and diversity and inclusion practitioners in the U.S. She has held executive positions at industries spanning media, higher education, automotive manufacturing, construction, and gaming and hospitality. Today Nelson leads Elevate Communications, LLC, a firm dedicated to delivering professional development and communication services. Her clients include large and small companies located throughout the U.S. Prior to founding Elevate, Nelson was Corporate Director and Head of Communications for Brasfield & Gorrie, a leading construction firm based in Birmingham, Alabama. Her prior executive appointment was Vice President at MGM Resorts International where she steered the diversity initiative to national prominence and helped the company increase revenue and profitability.
Barry Copeland is a retired business executive who spent most of his 42-year career in business in the Birmingham area. Today, he is president of The Copeland Strategies Group LLC, a company he founded in July of 2014 to help non-profit organizations’ boards of directors develop and implement strategic plans and targets. Copeland spent 13 years at the Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA), where he was a part of the senior management team that created the BBA in 2009 from a merger of the former Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and the Metropolitan Development Board.
Robin DeMonia is executive vice president of Direct Communications, a public relations firm based in Birmingham. Her previous experience includes 25 years as a journalist in Alabama, including seven years as a state government reporter and 10 years as a member of the editorial board of The Birmingham News.
About the Board of Visitors:
The University of Alabama College of Communication and Information Sciences Board of Visitors serves as an advisory group for C&IS. Our Board of Visitors are established communication professionals and industry leaders who work closely with senior administration to effect positive change in the College’s curriculum, experiential learning opportunities and advancement activities.