We are delighted to announce that the inaugural Young Alumni Council has been selected. Below is a snapshot of the 2020 council’s composition. The council 25-member council represents a variety of colleges/schools, graduation years and geographic locations.
The council’s primary mission is to support the goals and mission of the Auburn Alumni Association specifically on matters pertaining to young alumni.
2001 – 2019
2020 Young Alumni Council Members
- Apollos Abercrombie ’16
- Rachel Anderson ’11
- Ryan Bell ’18
- Kelsey Bickett ’13
- Dane Block ’19
- Duriel Holley ’03
- Olivia Bradford ’12
- Jacqueline Chandler ’18
- Rodmesia Clarke ’08
- Brittani DeLoach ’12
- Eric Dunlap ’06
- Isaac “Jay” James ’15
- Trey Fields ’17
- Jennifer Geeker ’16
- Rebecca Harris ’12
- Davis “Brock” Hendon ’18
- Caitlin Holland ’08
- Adam Keeshan ’08
- Mark Porth ’11
- Justin Saia ’08
- Anne Sanford ’07
- Herman Turner Jr. ’04
- Natalie Walker ’16
- Natalie Kelly ’05
- Burgoyne McClendon ’13
Young Alumni Council Biographies
Apollos Abercrombie ’16
From humble, small town USA beginnings in Maplesville Alabama, to becoming the first person in his immediate family to graduate college, Apollos Abercrombie has met some amazing people along the way and looks forward to meeting many more.
While at Auburn, he had the privilege to be a Samford Scholar, serve the Harbert College of Business as an Executive Society Ambassador and was vice president of operations for Alpha Kappa Psi. Like many of his colleagues in the Young Alumni Council, Abercrombie is thankful and honored to be able to give back to an Auburn University that has given so much to him.
Brock Hendon ’18
Brock Hendon graduated from Auburn University’s Raymond J. Harbert College of Business in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in finance. During his time at Auburn, he served as a member of the War Eagle Girls and Plainsmen, was elected as an at-large senator for the Student Government Association, served as an officer in Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, mentored freshmen as an EMERGE Team Leader and was a member of Omicron Delta Kappa. He also volunteered with various charitable organizations, including the Jason Dufner Foundation, the Kappa Delta Shamrock Run and Campus Crusade.
Currently, Hendon is a candidate for juris doctorate at Cumberland School of Law as a member of the Class of 2021. He has been named a Judge Abraham Caruthers Fellow and selected as chair of the Cordell Hull Speakers Forum. Hendon, a native of Montgomery, Ala., is a Life Member of the Auburn Alumni Association and a supporter of the Tigers Unlimited Foundation.
Rachel Anderson ’11
Rachel Anderson is the corporate director of supply chain at Baptist Health in Montgomery, Ala. Anderson holds a bachelor’s degree in health services administration as well as a bachelor’s degree in supply chain management from Auburn University. She is currently serving on the Young Professionals Advisory Council for the Association for Health Care Resource & Materials Management (AHRMM), the leading membership group for health care supply chain professionals, and is the incoming President (2021) for the Alabama Society for Healthcare Materiel Management (ASHMM).
Anderson joined the Auburn Alumni Association’s Young Alumni Council because she is passionate about mentoring and student outreach programs and hopes to aid in the organization and promotion of young alumni programming for Auburn University.
Caitlin Holland ’08
Caitlin Holland has served as the President of the Shoals Chamber of Commerce since June 2017, having previously been its vice president of investor relations and public policy. Prior to accepting a position with the Shoals Chamber, she served as the director of resource development for United Way of Northwest Alabama and as a corporate attorney.
Holland is a member of the Business Council of Alabama Board of Directors, Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama Board of Directors and Sheffield Community Cooperative District Board. She is a member of the University of North Alabama’s Executive Business Council and College of Education & Human Sciences Advisory Board, the Florence Rotary Club and was selected to Alabama Leadership Initiative’s inaugural, expanded class. She is the former President of the Colbert County Bar Association and also served on the Sheffield Housing Authority Board.
Holland is a 2008 graduate of Auburn University with a degree in Mass Communication and a 2011 graduate of Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law. She lives in Sheffield with her husband Tre’, son Fort and daughter Mary Maddox.
Ryan Bell ’18
Ryan Bell graduated from Auburn University with degrees in Finance and Business Analytics. During his time in school, he was involved with the War Eagle Girls and Plainsmen, Omicron Delta Kappa, Mortar Board and Student Government Association. Bell also served as Chapter President and on the National Board of Directors for his Greek organization, receiving honors as one of the top graduating students across the nation.
Currently, Bell works as a Risk Assurance Associate with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Atlanta. In his free time, he enjoys watching “Jeopardy,” “House Hunters,” and “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”
Kelsey Hayes Bickett ’13
Kelsey Hayes Bickett ’13, ’15 coordinates the NASA internships program for both the Marshall Space Flight Center and Stennis Space Center as an employee of the Universities Space Research Association. She previously held roles at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and Auburn University at Montgomery and has a Master of Education in adult education, a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology from Auburn University and is currently pursuing a doctorate in educational leadership and policy from Florida State University.In her free time, Bickett enjoys traveling, CrossFit, antiquing and cheering for the Tigers. She is married to Will Bickett (’16) and lives in Huntsville, Ala.
Dane W. Block, Jr. ’19
Born in Macon, Ga., Dane Block grew up in Huntsville, Ala. and graduated from Huntsville High School. During Block’s time at Auburn, he made the most of his experience both in the classroom and on-campus. Going into his senior year, he was elected to serve as Auburn University’s Student Body President.
Along with leading the Student Government Association, working with university stakeholders and serving on various university and city committees, Block worked with student leaders to set forth a wide variety of tangible projects and initiative for the betterment of Auburn. Graduating in May of 2019 with a degree in finance and marketing, Block currently resides in Little Rock, Arkansas where he works for Stephens Inc. as an investment banking analyst with a focus on mergers and acquisitions.
Duriel R. Holley ’03
A native of Hoover, Alabama, Duriel Holley is a lifelong fan of Auburn University and alumni. Holley and his wife have been blessed with a young son that keeps their hands full. When not chasing his son around, Holley is a private pilot and enjoys taking his family for weekend trips and adventures. An accomplished flight test engineering manager currently supporting the F-16, F-22 and F-35 aircraft programs at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas, he has previously held positions as integration and test associate manager and flight test engineer on the Lockheed Martin F-35 Integrated Test Force at Patuxent River, Maryland.
As the F-35C CF-01 Test Operations Lead, he has been involved in numerous unique test events for the United States Navy’s first stealth fighter. Before moving to Maryland, Holley was a flight test engineer on the tactical airlift workhorse of many nations, the C-130J. His work expertise has developed into a blooming career at Lockheed Martin, founded on the respect of his coworkers and strong values that make him an exceptional flight test leader.
He is an active life member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, in which he has held various roles to help service his community.
Olivia Bradford ’12
Olivia Bradford is married to husband Ben and they have two toddlers, Noah and Adelynn. They both graduated from Auburn University and return to campus as often as possible, ensuring that their children are constantly covered in orange and blue.
Bradford was born and raised in Nashville, Tenn., and returned there after graduation from Auburn University to work for five years in the music, entertainment and tourism industry. When they started their family, they decided to move to Muscle Shoals, Ala., to raise their kids and pursue Ben’s dream of owning a landscape design company.
“It is hard to believe I have been out of college for close to ten years, but from the Walt Disney Company to the Ryman Auditorium to now the University of North Alabama, I have learned so much about the world and met some of the greatest humans from all cultures and walks of life,” said Bradford. “Our family loves to travel, though our adventures often look more like trips to the zoo than trips to New York City right now. Life is so beautifully full with God’s provision, and I am beyond grateful for every moment each new day brings. Through it all, we believe in Auburn, love it and are so humbled to forever yell War Eagle!”
Jay James ’15
Jay James graduated from Auburn University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in information systems management, with opportunities to be involved with various organizations, become a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and receive the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award.
After Auburn, he received his master’s degree in IT cybersecurity from the Florida Institute of Technology. He began his career as an IT Specialist for the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in Auburn, and now works as the Security Operation Center Lead at Auburn University.
Currently with Auburn, he is a member of the Shareholder’s Club in the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business, engaged in alumni initiatives such as Black Alumni Weekend, represents Auburn University in the Black Alumni Summit and serves as an advisor for the Harold A. Franklin student organization on campus.
Jacqueline Chandler ’18
Jacqueline Chandler is a native of Guntersville, Ala. and was a first-generation Auburn student when she came to the Plains in 2014. During her time at Auburn, she served as the Student Government Association President, a senator for the College of Liberal Arts, as a member of War Eagle Girls and Plainsmen and Alpha Omicron Pi.
After receiving a Bachelor of Science in economics in 2018, Chandler chose to make Auburn, Ala. her home and currently works for the City of Auburn’s Economic Development Department as the Director of Industrial Development.
Adam Keeshan ’08
Adam Keeshan received his Bachelor of Arts degree in public relations from Auburn University in 2008 and is the managing partner, food & beverage for Ithaka Hospitality Partners, where he oversees the entire food and beverage operation for all hotels. Keeshan is originally from Montgomery, Ala. and currently resides in Auburn with his wife Beth, son Parker and daughter Moseley.
When not working, Keeshan enjoy soaking up and cherishing the time with his kids and wife, but also golfing and playing tennis.
Rodmesia Clarke ’08
Rodmesia Clarke is a 2008 Auburn University chemical engineering graduate from Mobile, Ala. who currently resides in Nashville, Tenn. In 2012, she earned her MBA from Texas A&M University and began her career working for BP America as a process engineer supporting Gulf of Mexico assets. Since graduating from Auburn, she has held various roles as an engineer and project/program management professional.
She currently works for Enbridge, Inc. where she is the manager of programs for US Gas Transmission and Midstream. Clarke is a founding member of the Auburn Engineering Young Alumni Council and supporter of the Auburn University 100+ Women Strong Program. She also serves as a member of the Auburn Chemical Engineering Alumni Council. Outside of work, Clarke enjoys traveling and exploring, as well as training in the gym.
Burgoyne McClendon ’13
Burgoyne Fite McClendon graduated from Auburn University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in business administration (marketing) and received a Master of Business Administration (finance) in 2015 from Auburn University Raymond J. Harbert College of Business.
McClendon is currently marketing manager for Daniel Corporation, one of the largest commercial real estate development and investment companies in the southeast. In her role, she is responsible for implementing innovative brand strategies for urban mixed-use and multi-family development projects. McClendon is a life-long, passionate Auburn fan and married to fellow Auburn alumnus Fuller McClendon. She is a Life Member of the Auburn Alumni Association.
Brittani DeLoach ’12
Brittani Edwards DeLoach is a program manager II at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Department of Medicine in Birmingham, Alabama. The Department of Medicine is the largest department within the UAB School of Medicine, with 11 divisions and over 400 faculty members. DeLoach serves as the administrative point of contact for the Department of Medicine’s research programs and initiatives. She works closely with faculty, staff and trainees to support and advance the research mission within the department. A native of Montgomery, Ala., she attended Booker T. Washington Magnet High School and is a two-time graduate of Auburn University with both a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in industrial and systems engineering.
DeLoach has worked in the healthcare field for over five years, previously serving at The Kirklin Clinic of UAB Hospital for several years as a performance excellence engineer. She currently holds certifications in healthcare management, healthcare safety and quality and Lean Six Sigma Green Belt. As a healthcare administrator, she always strives to make an impact on society. With a strong passion for helping others, it is her goal to improve the overall efficiency of healthcare operations. One of the most rewarding parts of her job is being able to incorporate her engineering background to drive change and innovation through process improvement.
In her spare time, DeLoach enjoys event planning, cooking, volunteering with her sorority and spending time with her family, especially her three-year-old son Beau. Her mantra is, “The best is yet to be.”
Mark Porth ’11
Currently residing in Kansas City, Mo. and working as a project manager for Architect One, Mark Porth has a passion for utilizing his degrees in architecture and community facilitation to help grow and blend communities together around art and architecture in sustainable, purposeful ways. When not at work, Porth can be found playing hockey, spending time at his local CrossFit gym and reminiscing about his days spent at Momma G’s.
Porth continues to maintain a strong commitment to Auburn University and the surrounding community by supporting and helping lead the Kansas City Auburn Club. He can always be found wearing Auburn apparel and still gets excited to greet another Auburn fan in passing with a resounding “War Eagle.” He takes pride that he’s converted his wife, Amanda, into a Tiger fan and together they enjoy spending most of their time experiencing new outdoor adventures.
Eric Dunlap ’06
Eric Dunlap grew up in Prattville, Ala. and works as a Los Angeles-based civil engineer, where he coordinates Los Angeles County’s Vision Zero initiative, a traffic safety initiative to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries. He has spent his career working with community members and partner agencies towards solving transportation concerns in the region.
While at Auburn, Dunlap served as a Camp War Eagle counselor, student recruiter and played trombone in the Auburn University Marching Band. Eric is an avid Auburn Basketball fan; when he isn’t cheering on the Tigers, Dunlap enjoys volunteering with foster youth, working on his acting dream, and serving the community alongside his church.
Dunlap serves as president of the Los Angeles Auburn Club and tirelessly fosters the Auburn Spirit in Southern California. He is a Sustaining Life Member of the Auburn Alumni Association and a member of the Circle of Excellence Society.
Justin Saia ’08
Justin P. Saia leads global communications for Bloom Energy, the world’s leading provider of stationary fuel cells, and serves as an adjunct professor at the Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University and as an instructor, continuing studies at Stanford University.
Saia is a brand strategist with demonstrated success influencing stakeholders, shaping public opinion and building compelling brand narratives for both public and private companies. He’s spent his career partnering with management teams and boards of directors guiding them through crises, navigating market disruptions, articulating their brand and preserving their permission to operate.
Previous experience includes service as vice president, corporate communications for the world’s leading cyber security company, Symantec. In New York City, Saia served as chief operating officer at Matrix and as senior director at FTI Consulting, where he provided counsel to clients around critical issues impacting their enterprise value and reputation.
Saia holds a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Auburn University, a MBA in finance from the Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University, and a PGDip in strategy and innovation from the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford. He was recognized in 2014 by the Nashville Business Journal as a 40 Under 40 honoree and again in 2016 by the Public Relations Society of America – New York (PRSA – NY) as a 15 Under 35 honoree.
Trey Fields ’17
Trey Fields is an international development and strategy consultant at Washington Business Dynamics (WBD). He supports federal government and commercial clients in strategic planning, communications, data analytics, process improvement, and organizational transformation. Prior to joining WBD, he served as a research associate at Business Executives for National Security (BENS), working on a range of projects in support of clients in the national security and foreign policy space, including the Air Force, the FBI, the Department of Defense, the United States Coast Guard and the State Department.
Fields graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Auburn University in May 2017. At Auburn, he served in the Student Government Association for four years and was a Camp War Eagle Counselor in 2015. In August 2019, he graduated from Penn State University with his Master of International Affairs degree, with concentrations in Middle Eastern studies and international security. He lives in Washington D.C.
In his free time, he enjoys reading biographies and history, running, playing tennis and spoiling his corgi, George.
Anne Sanford ’07
Anne Sanford is originally from Mountain Brook, Ala. and she graduated from Auburn in 2007 with a degree in history, then moved to Washington, D.C. where she worked for three years on Capitol Hill. Following her time in D.C., she earned a Master of Education degree in higher education from the University of Virginia, then worked in development for Hampden-Sydney College and the Mountain Brook City Schools Foundation.
In 2015, she married her husband, Will, and moved to Prattville, Ala. where she took a position with the Prattville Area Chamber of Commerce and currently serves as the director of operations. Anne and Will have a son, Mack (2) and another child due in June of 2020.
Rebecca Hart Harris ’12
Rebecca Hart Harris graduated from Auburn University in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in communication disorders. She went on to receive her master’s degree in speech language pathology from the University of Montevallo in 2014. She has worked as a speech language pathologist in early intervention and pediatric outpatient settings. She has a primary area of interest for serving children with complex communication needs through implementation of Augmentative Alternative Communication.
While at Auburn, Harris was involved in several activities across campus, including War Eagle Girls and Plainsmen, Cater Society, Student Government Association and Kappa Delta sorority. Since her time at Auburn, she has been involved through the Auburn Alumni Association as a Life Member, board member of the Greater Birmingham Auburn Club and officer in the Oklahoma City Auburn Club. She currently resides in Oklahoma City, Okla., with her husband, David Harris (’13) and daughter, Dorothy Anne.
Herman Turner Jr. ’04
Dr. Herman Turner Jr., born and raised in Selma, Ala., and earned a biomedical sciences degree from Auburn University. While at Auburn, Turner was actively involved in a variety of organizations, namely as an ambassador for the College of Science and Mathematics, a student assistant for the Auburn University Men’s Basketball team and as an active member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc.
After Auburn, Turner earned a Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Alabama State University. At ASU, he was awarded the American Physical Therapy Association’s Minority Award for Academic Excellence and presented a research study titled, “Stroke and Cardiovascular Disease in College-Aged Males.”
Today, Turner lives in Birmingham, Ala., working as a physical therapist and is CEO of Turner Physical Therapy Consultants, LLC. He enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, running marathons, world travel and working with Selma’s youth through Selma Bridge Builders Inc., his local non-profit.
Jennifer R. Geeker ’16
Jennifer Geeker graduated from Auburn University in 2016 with a degree in business administration and a minor in philanthropy and nonprofit studies. She currently works at Washington and Lee University in the Development Office as the assistant director of student and young alumni philanthropy.
While at Auburn, Geeker was involved with the Student Philanthropy Board, Sigma Kappa Sorority and the Auburn Women’s Club Soccer team. Outside of work, Geeker is a member of the Auburn University Women’s Philanthropy Board and the JCI Rockbridge Chapter, and enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, and going to concerts with her husband.
Natalie Walker ’16
Natalie Walker is originally from Marietta, Ga., and graduated from Auburn’s Harbert College of Business in 2016 with a degree in supply chain management. In her time at Auburn she was engaged in a variety of student organizations, from Air Force ROTC to serving on leadership teams for the Women’s Leadership Conference, Black Student Union & the Office of Diversity & Inclusion.
Walker has a true passion for connecting with & helping others to find potential in themselves and to achieve their goals. As an Auburn student, Walker worked as an Operations Supervisor for Auburn Campus Recreation and as a student worker in HCOB Office of Professional & Career Development.
As her time on the plains was coming to an end, Walker completed an internship within the finance organization at Cox Enterprises in Atlanta, Ga. where she is now a Sr. Sourcing Analyst. Her day-to-day encompasses contract and pricing negotiations with IT category suppliers. Walker enjoys spending time cycling and competing in CrossFit, but also giving time back to her local community as a mentor for Women in Technology, as a youth girls basketball coach and through many endeavors of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
As an ‘engaged alumni,’ Walker enjoys meeting and being able to host the Auburn family in her own back yard at Cox Enterprises and HCOB young alumni networking events, as well as out in other cities as she travels to neighboring cities to always take advantage of cheering on Auburn tigers across the globe.
Young Alumni Stories
Read profiles of Auburn’s young alumni and professionals below
Young Alumni Resources