Governor Appoints Three New Trustees, Two Others Reappointed


Posted on September 29, 2017 by Bob Lowry
Bob Lowry


Gov. Kay Ivey appointed three new members to the USA Board of Trustees. They are, from left, Lenus M. Perkins of Birmingham, director of programs for Bhate Environmental Associates; Margie Malone Tuckson of Sandy Springs, Ga., chief financial officer for Tuckson Health Connections; and William Ronald "Ron" Graham of Andalusia, vice president of power supply for PowerSouth Energy Cooperative. data-lightbox='featured'
Gov. Kay Ivey appointed three new members to the USA Board of Trustees. They are, from left, Lenus M. Perkins of Birmingham, director of programs for Bhate Environmental Associates; Margie Malone Tuckson of Sandy Springs, Ga., chief financial officer for Tuckson Health Connections; and William Ronald "Ron" Graham of Andalusia, vice president of power supply for PowerSouth Energy Cooperative.

Gov. Kay Ivey has appointed three new members to the University of South Alabama Board of Trustees. In addition, two trustees were reappointed. The changes will become official on Oct. 1.

The governor’s new appointments are William Ronald "Ron" Graham of Andalusia, vice president of power supply for PowerSouth Energy Cooperative; Lenus M. Perkins of Birmingham, director of programs for Bhate Environmental Associates; and Margie Malone Tuckson of Sandy Springs, Ga., chief financial officer for Tuckson Health Connections.

Reappointed to the Board by Gov. Ivey were Dr. Steven P. Furr of Jackson, Ala., a family practice physician; and Dr. Steven H. Stokes of Dothan, a radiation oncologist.

The new trustees succeed Bettye R. Maye of York, Ala., a retired educator; Bryant Mixon of Ozark, Ala., retired sheriff of Dale County, Ala., and John M. Peek of Andalusia, a practicing attorney. Each was named a trustee emeritus by unanimous vote of the Board at their Sept. 8 meeting.

“I want to thank Gov. Ivey for making these appointments. Each trustee brings a wealth of life, education and business experiences that will greatly benefit the University,” said Ken Simon, chair pro tempore of the Board of Trustees.

“I also want to recognize the important and lasting contributions of our departing trustees,” added Dr. Tony Waldrop, University president. “Together, they have been at the forefront of the evolution of our university and we owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude for their selfless and visionary service.”

Here is more information about the appointed and reappointed trustees:

William Ronald "Ron" Graham is a 1990 graduate of the University of South Alabama College of Engineering, with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, and has worked for PowerSouth Energy Cooperative for 27 years.

As vice president of power supply, Graham is responsible for overseeing and directing the staffing and operations of the cooperative’s fuel procurement, energy resources, energy control and planning functions including establishing, reviewing, approving and managing division budgets and operating procedures; overseeing fuel and transportation procurement, purchased power, dispatch of PowerSouth’s energy resources and non-member sales; negotiating and administering fuel, fuel transportation, power supply and transmission contracts; overseeing energy control functions and ensuring compliance with NERC (North American Electric Reliability Corporation) guidelines and directives; and planning for the future power supply of PowerSouth’s member systems.

Graham has served as president of the Andalusia Rotary Club; chairman of the human resource, transportation, and policies and procedures committees of Bethany Baptist Church; president of the Andalusia High School Diamond Club and membership chairman of the Andalusia High School Booster Club; and president of the Andalusia Youth Football League. He has also been honored as a Rotary Club Paul Harris Fellow and the Boss of the Year by the Andalusia Office Professionals Association. Graham is a member of the Warrior-Tombigbee Waterway Association board and secretary of the Southeastern Federal Power Customers board.

Graham and his wife, Carolyn, also a USA alumnus, have two sons.

Lenus M. Perkins, born in Liberia, West Africa, matriculated at the University of South Alabama following acceptance as an international student and graduated from the College of Engineering in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. He began his career as a staff engineer at Thompson Engineering in Mobile before joining Bhate Environmental Associates in 1992.

As director of programs for Bhate, he is the direct report for all federal and commercial program managers, responsible for domestic and overseas environmental remediation, demolition, fuels, compliance, and construction contracts with capacity totaling more than $5 billion. Perkins’ 26 years of environmental consulting include more than 20 years of project and program management experience in environmental, remediation, fuel storage tank system closures, removal, installation, repairs and upgrades, remedial investigations, remedial/corrective plan development, system installation/construction, site restoration and cleanup, compliance, pollution prevention, and other investigations and remedial activities under various federal and state regulatory programs.

Perkins has received the Patriot Award from the Office of the Secretary of Defense Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve for his contribution to national security and protecting liberty and freedom by supporting employee participation in America's National Guard and Reserve Force. He is on the executive committee of the Bong Education Center Alumni Association, which serves to meet the needs of students in Liberia, West Africa; a board member of the Birmingham Zoning Board of Adjustment; a member of the Highlands School Foundation board of trustees; and a member of the board of directors of Navigate Affordable Housing Partners in Birmingham.

Perkins and his wife, Michelle, reside in Birmingham with their two children and their niece from Liberia.

Margie Malone Tuckson is a 1973 graduate of the University of South Alabama Mitchell College of Business and has served as the chief financial officer for Tuckson Health Connections since 2013.

Upon graduating from South Alabama, her career began with IBM in Mobile, where she was responsible for market analysis, product placement, internal and external executive training and product development. She retired from IBM with more than 18 years of experience. Her management training skills took her throughout the United States to cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Minneapolis and Atlanta. One of her most successful installations was the automation of the State of Georgia’s Department of Human Services - Child Support Services Program. She also worked as a consultant with Northup Grumman in Los Angeles and was the program manager for the city of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs.

Tuckson is a member of the University of South Alabama National Alumni Association board of directors, serving on the finance committee. She is active with Hope Chest for Breast Cancer, Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science, Penumbra Theater, Morehouse School of Medicine, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, National Council of Negro Women, Georgia CHARLEE, United Negro College Fund, a founding member of the Iota Nu Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority in Mobile, The LINKS, Hank and Billye Aaron Scholarship Fund, Leadership Mobile, Pre-School for the Deaf, Daniel Freeman Hospital, American Cancer Society and Tuckson Health Connections Community Outreach Programs.

She is married to Reed Tuckson, M.D., a retired executive vice president and chief medical officer for UnitedHealth Group, Minneapolis, Minn. Together, they manage Tuckson Health Connections in Atlanta. They have three children.

Dr. Steven P. Furr, who was first appointed to the Board in 2006 and has served as chair pro tempore, is a graduate of the University of South Alabama, earning a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1976 and a medical degree in 1981. He is a family medicine physician based in Jackson, Ala. 

Furr served as founding chair of the USA Children's & Women's Hospital Development Council and on the USA 50th Anniversary Annual Fund Alumni Leadership Council. He was honored by the USA National Alumni Association in 2014 with a Distinguished Alumni Award.  That same year, he spearheaded the creation of the USA Board of Trustees Endowed Scholarship Fund, which provides a scholarship to each incoming freshman class’s top academic performer. 

A member of the Alabama Healthcare Hall of Fame, Furr has served on numerous hospital committees and as president of the Clarke County Medical Society.  Additionally, he has served on the board of directors of the Alabama State Committee of Public Health and the Alabama State Board of Medical Examiners. He is the current president of the Alabama Medical Directors Association as well as a Certified Medical Director. A past chairman of the board and president of the Alabama Academy of Family Physicians, he was the first USA College of Medicine graduate to serve as president of the Medical Association of the State of Alabama. Furr continues to serve as a delegate to the American Academy of Family Physicians Congress of Delegates as well as the American Medical Association House of Delegates.

In addition to his involvement in medical professional societies, he previously served as the conference lay leader for the Alabama-West Florida conference of the United Methodist Church. He is married to Lisa Furr.

Dr. Steven H. Stokes, a radiation oncologist, earned his medical degree at the University of South Alabama in 1980. He returned to his hometown of Dothan several years later to establish his medical practice and currently is medical director of the Southeast Cancer Care Network. He was appointed to the Board in 1993 and reappointed in 2005. He has served the Board as vice chair and as chair pro tempore.

Stokes received a bachelor’s degree from Auburn University, working his way through college on an ROTC scholarship, before leading a platoon in Vietnam in the early 1970s. His military service took him to Arlington National Cemetery, where he coordinated funerals and accommodations for grieving families.

In honor of his contributions to USA, the Board has named Stokes chair pro tempore emeritus, and Stokes Hall was named in honor of Stokes and his wife, Angelia, making them the first alumni to receive such an honor.  He has been presented USA’s highest alumni honor, the USA National Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award.  Their contributions to the University also include establishment of the Angelia and Steven H. Stokes Center for Creative Writing.

His public service includes elected office as chairman of the Dothan Board of Education and two terms on the Dothan City Commission. Central to his life of service is a medical mission trip he leads each year to Panama.  Stokes has received many civic honors, including being named Dothan’s Man of the Year by the Hawk-Houston Boys Club. He and his wife have three children.

The University of South Alabama Board of Trustees has 16 members, including the governor, who serves in an ex officio capacity. The appointed and reappointed trustees will serve six-year terms.


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