Alumni Fellows 2021
The Alumni Fellow Program formally recognizes Mitchell College of Business alumni whose personal lives, professional achievements, and contributions to society exemplify the highest ideals of the College and the University. The program encourages Fellows to interact with students and faculty. Fellows engage students by sharing their professional knowledge and experience to enhance career development. Fellows also demonstrate the application of business concepts, enriching faculty instruction. Each Alumni Fellow receives a commemorative award designed and hand-cast by Jeanne Stevens-Sollman, a nationally known sculptor and medalist, and a ceramic sculptured jaguar created by alumnus and nationally recognized representational sculptor Sam Nettles.
The President of Ingalls Shipbuilding, one of the largest private employers on the Gulf Coast, Brian Cuccias graduated from the University of South Alabama in 1979.
Cuccias, who studied accounting at South, started out as a financial analyst on Navy shipbuilding programs based in Pascagoula, Mississippi. He became a manager and executive who has led the construction of Coast Guard vessels, amphibious-assault ships and Kidd-class destroyers.
Under his leadership, Ingalls has been awarded ship contracts worth more than $16 billion. It has invested more than $3 million in facilities and equipment to train employees in Alabama and Mississippi.
The Governor of Mississippi, Phil Bryant, praised Cuccias as “a people-first leader fiercely loyal to his fellow shipbuilders and tirelessly supporting the communities in which those employees live, work and play. In doing so, Brian brings great honor and recognition to the State of Alabama and to his alma mater, the University of South Alabama.”
In 2018, Cuccias was honored as one of the “Top CEOs in Mississippi” by The Mississippi Business Journal.
“The people of Ingalls are the reason for our success,” Cuccias told The Mississippi Business Journal. “I’m really fortunate to lead the finest workforce in the world that builds the best warships the world has ever known.”
Cuccias lives in Mobile with his wife, Helen, who graduated from South in 1982. She is a leader in the AGLOW ministry. He is a longtime supporter of the Salvation Army, Coastal Alabama and Camille’s Place (a shelter for young women).
William “Happy” Fulford
William “Happy” Fulford, the University of South Alabama’s longtime Executive Director of Governmental Relations, earned two degrees from South.
In 1972, the Mobile native graduated with a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the
Mitchell College of Business. In 1993, he was awarded a master’s degree in educational
leadership from the College of Education and Professional Studies. In 1981, he returned
to South as Director of Alumni Affairs, then became Director of Development and Alumni
Affairs and, finally, he was named Executive Director of Governmental Relations, a
position he held until his retirement in 2019. That same year, the Alabama House and
Senate passed a resolution recognizing Fulford as an exceptional administrator who
served others and distinguished himself through his professional contributions. Fulford
served in the Army Reserve for 30 years, commanding units at the company, battalion
and group levels. He also served in the Middle East during Operation Desert Storm
before retiring from the reserve in 2002 with the rank of colonel.
Fulford currently serves on the USS Alabama Battleship Commission and is a past-president of the USA National Alumni Association.
In 2019, Fulford spoke to more than 2,100 South graduates at the spring commencement ceremony. He challenged them to face challenges, embrace opportunities and protect their integrity.
“Integrity,” he said, “is the gateway to all other virtues, such as compassion, empathy and hard work.”
William J. “Bill” Hayes, M.D
Dr. William J. “Bill” Hayes serves as Chief Medical Officer at CPSI, Inc., a leading
provider of healthcare IT solutions and services. Prior to joining CPSI, he was Physician
Executive with Cerner Corporation, served as Medical Director of Cardiovascular Diagnostic
Services at the Internal Medical Center, and was in private clinical cardiology practice
for many years.
An MBA alumnus of the Mitchell College, he earned his undergraduate degree, with honors, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his doctor of medicine at the Robert Johnson Medical School (Rutgers). He has been a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology, the American Board of Cardiovascular Medicine and the American Board of Internal Medicine.
In his vision/mission to improve the quality and delivery of healthcare, he has used his experiences as an independent medical consultant, chief resident and fellow in areas such as: peer reviews, graduate medical education/state medical societies, university health curriculum committees, pharmaceutical R & D, scientific grants, and medical publications.
An Investment Counselor at Leavell Investment Management, Inc. (LIM), Hayes works closely with high-net-worth individuals to analyze needs, set objectives, develop investment strategies and manage their relationship with Leavell. She also serves as an advisor for company retirement plans, coordinating with plan sponsors and investment committees to provide education to their participants.
In addition, Hayes serves as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Marketing Officer for Leavell and is a shareholder and member of the firm’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors.
Prior to joining LIM in 2004, Hayes served as Sr. Vice President and Regional Manager for Compass Bank’s Private Client Services Group in Alabama and Florida. Janet served in a similar capacity with Bank of America in Nashville, Houston and Charlotte. She holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Hayes is the recent past President of the Ronald McDonald House and continues to serve on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors. She also serves on the national Charles Schwab Advisor Services Board, First Community Bank Board of Directors and the University of South Alabama’s Mitchell College of Business Executive Council. Hayes has served on the Board of Directors for the Junior League of Mobile, the American Heart Association, the Medical Alliance of Mobile County, the Development Committee of The Community Foundation of South Alabama and the Planned Giving Advisory Council for both Mercy Medical and Spring Hill College. Hayes is a graduate of Leadership Mobile.
Hayes enjoys playing golf and traveling internationally with her son, David, a junior at UMS-Wright, and her husband, Bill, an interventional cardiologist.
Tommy Zoghby retired as CFO from Volkert Inc., where he was an integral part of the senior leadership during more than 30 years of company growth. Volkert is a $150 million, 1,000-employee firm which ranks in the top one percent of all engineering firms in the United States and is headquartered in Mobile. He was involved in strategic planning, corporate acquisitions and mergers. During his tenure with Volkert, he had oversight responsibility for the financial, accounting, human resources, legal and IT functions.
Throughout his career, Zoghby served with numerous business, civic and charitable organizations such as the Mobile Chamber of Commerce, the Business Council of Alabama, American Red Cross, the Rotary Club, and Solid Waste Authority of Mobile. He currently serves on the Mobile Area Water and Sewer Board. He is a graduate of both Leadership Mobile and Leadership Alabama.
Maintaining involvement with the University, Zoghby currently serves on the Executive Advisory Council for the Mitchell College of Business. He has served as President of South’s National Alumni Board of Directors and served on the Board of the University of South Alabama Foundation. Zoghby was a recipient of South’s National Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service award in 2013 and named one of the IMPACT award recipients for the Mitchell College of Business in 2017. Zoghby received both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the Mitchell College of Business.
Zoghby and his wife, Kathy, spend time in Mobile, on the beaches of Florida and in the mountains of North Carolina. They most enjoy spending time with their three children and five granddaughters.