Women of Auburn: Tiffany Welch ’94

Women of Auburn: Tiffany Welch ’94

Tiffany Welch ’94, exemplifies Women’s History Month with her dedication to community and successful business ventures.

As Women’s History Month draws to a close, we are proud to celebrate the remarkable achievements of Tiffany Welch, a highly accomplished Auburn University alumna. Tiffany has spent over 25 years in the insurance industry and is now a prominent resident of West Point, GA, where she resides with her husband Jamie Welch ’94.

Tiffany’s passion for community building is reflected in her work and business ventures. Her latest venture, SIP Café and Wine Room, is an upscale casual restaurant that has created employment opportunities for 20 people in the area. She also expanded into off-premises catering and opened REUNION, a private event space located just two doors down from SIP Café.

Tiffany’s commitment to her community has not gone unnoticed. She has been recognized in local newspapers, magazines, and radio shows, and is an active member of several organizations, including the Troup County Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Valley Area Chamber of Commerce.

As a devoted Auburn alumna, Tiffany is a life member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the Auburn University Alumni Association. She serves on the Liberal Arts Advisory Council and is a member of the Foy Society and George Petrie Society. Her impressive accomplishments and dedication to her community serve as an inspiration to future generations of women.

Beyond her professional success, Tiffany is a loving mother to two children, one of whom is currently attending law school while the other plans to pursue physical therapy after graduating high school. The family recently welcomed a two-year-old Goldendoodle named Kobe.

As we reflect on Women’s History Month, we celebrate women like Tiffany Welch, who have made significant contributions to their communities and paved the way for future generations. Her unwavering commitment to community building, her entrepreneurial spirit, and her devotion to her family are a true reflection of the strength and resilience of women throughout history. We are proud to call Tiffany Welch an Auburn alumna and eagerly anticipate the positive impact she will continue to make in her community.

The Big Question

The Big Question

Who was your favorite professor or staff member when you were a student at Auburn?

Sorry, but I had four favorites: U.S. Army Captain (later Colonel) John Warren, Mrs. Rosemary McGhar, both in Army ROTC, Dr. Harry Philpott, Auburn’s president when I started, and most importantly, his secretary (my mother): Mary McCarty.

Bob McCarty ’82
College of Architecture, Design and Construction

Dr. Kicklighter. I loved his class. I remember one quarter during finals all of campus lost power due to a squirrel getting in the main transformer. Instead of rescheduling our final, Dr. Kicklighter marched all of us out of Haley Center and into the stadium to take our final. We took our final in the bleachers with the grounds crew mowing the field and “Brown Eyed Girl” playing somewhere on campus for all to hear.

Beth Carson Sydell ’99
Harbert College of Business

Jack Simms and Mickey Logue

Jack Simms, journalism department. Believed in me as a female sportswriter in 1978 (I graduated in March that year) and provided encouragement and constructive criticism during my rookie years at the Opelika-Auburn News. Mickey Logue is a close second as a journalism mentor.

Pat McArthur Booker ’78
College of Liberal Arts

Dr. James Brown, a.k.a. “Mr. Pop Quiz Man.” No one will ever forget sitting in Langdon Hall for his classes!

Mandy C. Speirs ’05
College of Liberal Arts

Hands down, Dr. Hardy, Ag Law! What other professor takes their students to a Braves game and to get a hotdog at The Varsity? He was amazing!!

Brandi Jones ’99
College of Agriculture

Dr. Mary Ann Potter in the College of Human Sciences. She focused on what life would be like once we were working in the field of interior design, she encouraged us to join professional societies and she kept up with us after we graduated.

Susan Bell Pendleton ’76
College of Human Sciences

Dr. Kicklighter. I loved his class. I remember one quarter during finals all of campus lost power due to a squirrel getting in the main transformer. Instead of rescheduling our final, Dr. Kicklighter marched all of us out of Haley Center and into the stadium to take our final. We took our final in the bleachers with the grounds crew mowing the field and “Brown Eyed Girl” playing somewhere on campus for all to hear.

Beth Carson Sydell ’99
Harbert College of Business

Captain Callan, aviation management courses, an ace Navy pilot and a man that cared that you understood and learned and that your life turned out well. I was also his work-study student helping him organize lectures. A good man.

Andrea Crawford ’86
Samuel Ginn College of Engineering

Bodie Hinton, AU band director and head of the music department. He loved his band members and students and memorized their names. He taught more than music and marching through his encouragement for us to be our best. I always remember how he believed in me.

W. Larry Hunt ’70
Harbert College of Business

Dr. A. J. Hill in accounting and Jude Robinson in math. This was in the early ’60s. Mr. Robinson wrote on the board with his right hand and erased with his left as he wrote. Note taking was fun! Dr. Hill was just a fabulous teacher in every way. Those were the days of accounting with machines with handles.

Kitty Fairleigh Allen ’63
College of Education

Dr. Donald Graves. He absolutely loved teaching and it showed. Every day. As a first-year teacher, I tried to model my teaching persona after him.

Jeanne Lazzari ’88
College of Education

Dr. Bridgett A. King

Dr. Bridgett A. King taught each of her students to be in command of every room they enter. She reminded us that our history is also our present moment, so to live every day to make an impact.

Bre’a Felise Hilliard ’15
College of Liberal Arts

Dr. David Dyer

Dr. Dyer, he taught us that mechanical engineering could be hot, dirty and dangerous.

Scott Worley ’91
Samuel Ginn College of Engineering

Dr. Frank Arant

Dr. Arant, head of the zoology department. I had worked for three years for the department when he pulled me out of class in the spring of ’72. I was petrified I had done something wrong.

Dr. Arant: Reames, why haven’t you applied to graduate school?
Me: I don’t have the money.
Dr. Arant: Today is the last day to apply to take the GRE. Take it and we’ll see about the money.
Me: But Dr. Arrant, I don’t have the $45 for the application.

Dr. Arant gave me the $45 and I left a Miss Alabama preliminary to take the test. Won the pageant and received a full fellowship for graduate school due to my scores. Thank you Dr. Arant from a snake-handling, bug-catching, mammal-loving beauty queen.

Eugenia Reames Hale ’72
College of Agriculture


What was the most memorable or unusual thing that happened to you when you were a student recruiter (or Camp War Eagle Counselor)?

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Stirring Up Success

Stirring Up Success

A chicken salad entrepreneur invests in start-up opportunities for Auburn students.

Stacy Brown serving food
With more than 180 restaurants in 17 states, and one or two new locations opening each week, it’s safe to say Chicken Salad Chick is no longer just an Auburn hometown favorite. It has become a nationwide sensation, well on the way to reaching the company’s goal of being America’s favorite place for chicken salad.

Georgia native Stacy Brown, a 1999 communication graduate, cofounded Chicken Salad Chick in Auburn in 2008 with her late business partner, Kevin Brown. Although he would later become her husband, in the beginning Kevin played the role of analytic counterpoint to her creative focus and drive. She credits their opposite perspectives, talents and passions with their early success. But there were also countless setbacks and failures—and she wouldn’t trade a single one of them.

“I know this sounds crazy, but I have to say that every painstaking step we took was so important for the development of our company. As challenging as things were, I would not want to do anything differently,” Brown said. “Those early closed doors, failures and missteps absolutely shaped what came to be. We had no idea what we were doing, and I really think the greatest part of the adventure was found in that process of learning everything for ourselves. What we lacked in experience and capital we made up for in dreams, drive and a will to succeed.”

During the early days of making chicken salad in her kitchen, selling it door-to-door and then the setback of having her home-based enterprise shut down by the health department, the newly divorced mother of three found her motivation in a desire to stay home with her children. Twelve years later, Brown is recognized as a model of entrepreneurship and Chicken Salad Chick is successful beyond her wildest imagination.

The Chicken Salad Chick Incubator

Today, Brown’s motivation is a bit different, steeped in a desire to help others realize their entrepreneurial dreams. That philosophy is woven into every area of her professional life— from training employees to developing new business ventures and speaking to audiences of would-be entrepreneurs around the nation, as well as to Auburn students in communications and franchising classes.

But nowhere is her vision more evident than in her recent gift to support the new Tony and Libba Rane Culinary Science Center. Slated to open in 2022, the Rane Center will provide immersive educational opportunities for hospitality management students in the College of Human Sciences, as well as extraordinary guest experiences for the community.

One of the most unique features of the center is the Hey Day Market, an innovative addition to Auburn’s culinary scene, featuring a food hall for established restaurant concepts and two incubator spaces. These incubators will be hands-on learning spaces where new hospitality management graduates can implement their entrepreneurial business plans, learning how to run a food business with the help they need to test their ideas. Logistical support from commercial kitchens and restaurant space, as well as marketing, safety guidance and oversight from trained faculty will give participants the resources they need to succeed as they develop their business concepts— resources many entrepreneurs like Brown didn’t have as they painstakingly developed their own businesses.

Thanks to Brown’s generosity, one of those spaces will be the Chicken Salad Chick Incubator.

“Many restaurants fail because people take what they think is a good idea and pour every penny they have or can borrow into it. Making a huge investment in what is basically a gut instinct, with no measured feedback, is not a smart business decision,” she said. “We were forced to do that in the beginning because there was no way to test ideas back then, which is why I was cooking from home. But with these incubator spaces, Auburn graduates can safely and legally test their ideas, get feedback and determine what they need to change. It’s just a wonderful opportunity to help develop real businesses and I’m thrilled to be part of it.”

“Those early closed doors, failures and missteps absolutely shaped what came to be….What we lacked in experience and capital we made up for in dreams, drive and a will to succeed.”

As an alumna, parent of an Auburn student and a donor, Brown’s love for Auburn runs deep. It’s not just about Auburn tradition, although she loves to host a gameday party. For her, it’s always about connection.

“I believe we have something so special at Auburn. In all of my travels, I have not seen or felt it anywhere else,” Brown said. “I believe this unique family feeling we have stems from the Auburn Creed. It’s extremely inspirational and bonding for all the people who have put in the hard work to become an Auburn graduate. So, to be an alumna and to contribute to the community that helped me experience some professional success is an honor.”

The Essential Ingredients

It’s no surprise that two of the most influential people in her professional life are also proud members of the Auburn Family. Brown describes Earlon ’68 and Betty McWhorter, who partnered with her as she launched the Chicken Salad Chick brand nationally, as business partners, mentors, friends and so much more.

“They are such wonderful philanthropists to Auburn and are just the picture of giving and doing things for the right reasons. They have been an example to me of bringing your faith, family and core values into all you do.”

Her entrepreneurial journey has taught Brown to know her strengths and weaknesses—and to be OK with them. The mantra “develop your passion” has guided her in the years since she graduated from Auburn.

“It’s not a simple thing—finding your passion,” she said. “Chicken salad was never my passion. I just knew I wanted to create experiences and serve others. I have been able to do that through Chicken Salad Chick. Chicken salad is just the conduit.”

Brown is committed to that concept. “I think people may not understand that when they look at their careers. They might think, ‘How can I be passionate about selling a product or service?’” she added. “I would challenge them to look deeper. It’s not about the product or position, it’s about what motivates you. That’s the key to finding your passion.”

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Nomads with a Purpose

Nomads with a Purpose

In 2018, Grant ’18 and Jama ’94 Singley sold their cars, their house and their possessions to begin their RV life on the run…in a good way.

Grant Singley walked out of his final, final exam in May of 2018, joined his wife, Jama, in their RV and hit the road to travel as nomads, giving up the luxuries of home for a minimalist life on the road. That was four years and more than 110,000 miles ago with stops in the United States, Canada, Baja, Mexico and Europe–and they have no plans to slow down.

How did you meet?

Jama: Motorcycles brought us together in 2003. I grew up riding dirt bikes and 3-wheelers and I was eager to learn to ride on the streets; Grant was an excellent instructor.

What made you decide to sell everything and become “nomads with a purpose”?

Jama: Grant was offered a position on a motorcycle race team in Bergamo, Italy. We answered yes immediately. We moved just a few weeks later. We were only allowed four suitcases and we were provided a furnished apartment. “Furnished” in Italy meant a sofa, a dining table, four chairs and a bed. That’s it. No knick-knacks. No shelves or decorative items. Just the basics.

Moving into that apartment changed our lives forever. With nothing to dust, repair, organize, remodel, we were free to use that time to explore western Europe. The year and a half we lived in Italy, we didn’t have a car, but we each had a motorcycle so we spent our days riding around the Alps. We knew the minimalist lifestyle was for us and we knew the traveling lifestyle was for us. We just had to figure out how it could work when we got back to the states at the end of the race season. That’s when the concept of nomadic travel became our goal in life. Live small, live with less, live to explore. So for past the four and a half years, we have been living in a small RV and traveling full-time throughout the USA, Canada, Mexico and 17 countries in Europe. We have visited over 42 countries since 2013.

What makes for a good destination?

Wow factor.

Cheap. We love free.

Can we hike, bicycle,
kayak there?

Is it crowded
with tourists?

If we go early or late, can we avoid the crowds?

What is the significance of the hashtag #nomadswithapurpose?

Jama: We didn’t want our lives wandering the earth to just be fun. That’s not who we are so we made a commitment to have a purpose while we travel. Help people, donate, share our faith, volunteer, encourage the minimalist lifestyle, teach people how to RV full-time. Grant can fix anything so he helps people with his skill set.

Grant: We wanted to make a positive contribution to the world with our travels by sharing our experiences with others.

How do you decide where to go, what you’ll do/see and how long you’ll stay?

Jama: We hit the road for this epic adventure the afternoon Grant took his final exam at Auburn University. When we left on this great adventure, in 2018, we loaded up our RV with three dogs, a couple of bags of clothes and headed up the east coast. We traveled way too fast. We would get to a destination, wake up at 5 am., hike, bicycle, visit a historical site and visit the local towns to meet people then get up and do something adventurous the next day. Then we would move to the next destination. We started out following the “Two Rule”. Travel 200 miles, arrived by 2 pm and stay for two days. That was exhausting but we felt we needed some kind of plan. We both had “FOMO” (The Fear of Missing Out), like we must see everything. By the time we arrived in Maine we knew we were in the lifestyle for the long haul, so we decided to just choose a destination and stay until we felt it was time to move. We slowed down. We make no reservations and most days we don’t even know where we will spend that night. We wake up and say- where do you want to go today?

Grant: Jama uses Google maps, Atlas Obscura and other online resources to find interesting places for us to visit. We always say the great thing about this lifestyle is if you don’t like where you are you can just leave and if you like where you are you can stay.


What is it like being together in a tiny space 24/7/365?

Jama: Fortunately, we have individual hobbies to keep us busy and give us a way to take a break from each other. Grant will go for a mountain bike ride and I will randomly move things around in the bins and crates. I like shoes and I always need more shoe space. Living small means everything needs a place and it needs to be in that place. Headphones are also a lifesaver.

“Go outside, go down the street, go around the
world, because you can and you should.”

What did you do during COVID?

Jama: In January 2020, Grant and I, along with two dogs, landed in Amsterdam and bought an RV for a year-long road trip throughout Eastern Europe. As soon as we landed, we began to worry about how difficult it was going to be to find campgrounds without having reservations, waiting in long lines for tourist attractions and holiday traffic. Then the world shut down and the borders closed. We found ourselves with just a handful of other foreigners traveling in Europe. It was an amazing year as we wandered through 17 countries, most of them in the Balkans and eastern Europe. We were the only campers allowed in campgrounds that required reservations three years in advance and are normally packed. We could park at castle gates and walked right in for free and no waiting lines. We visited 12 national parks and in most of them, never saw another person. It was weird and wonderful at the same time. That type of travel freedom will likely never happen again.

Where is your favorite place you have been and why?

Grant: We are asked this question often and it becomes more difficult to answer as we explore new places. My favorite place in the US is the state of Utah, because it offers five national parks and seemingly endless land to explore on a mountain bike, motorcycle, or kayak–sometimes all in the same day. My favorite place outside of the US is Baja, Mexico. Baja offers almost endless beaches where we could camp at the water’s edge while snorkeling, diving, and kayaking.

When you travel abroad, do you sell a motor home here and buy one there, store your motor home or what?

Jama: We sold our USA travel trailer before we flew overseas and bought an RV through a European buy-back program. We bought it, lived in it for a year and sold it back to the company before flying home. When we returned to the states, we bought our current travel trailer. This is our fifth mobile, tiny home since 2018.

What made you choose this lifestyle?

Jama: This nomadic RV traveling lifestyle is NOT easy. Or cheap. Or luxurious. It is however peaceful, awe-inspiring, and truly a blessing. I need to learn to slow down, take care of my health and I had a bad case of wanderlust. Once you see a little of the world, you want to see more.

Grant: We both love exploring and experiencing new places. We chose to do it now so that we were physically able to do all the activities.

Do you plan to do it forever?

Jama: We will travel until we can’t physically do it anymore. We also have notions of living in an off-grid cabin in the woods, owning a disabled veterans only campground, living on a boat or being park rangers.

Do you miss being settled down somewhere and/or having a home?

Jama: I don’t miss being settled down or having a house, but I do miss family and friend. Video chatting is great, but nothing compares to hugging and seeing faces. We’ve missed births, birthday parties, graduation and even a couple of Christmases. We try to get back to Alabama for Thanksgiving and Christmas; it’s not always possible, but it’s always important.

Has your definition of “home” changed?

Jama: My definition of home has changed. When people ask where we live, we say “everywhere.” It opens the door to discussions about this lifestyle, reminds us of where we have been and refreshes the reason we are doing this. Go outside, go down the street, go around the world, because you can and you should.

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The Big Question

The Big Question

What is your earliest memory of attending an Auburn football game?

Big Question header

“Nov. 18, 1978, Auburn/UGA game in Jordan-Hare. Auburn tied a top-10 UGA team 22-22 while wearing orange jerseys. It was an awesome game and had me hooked on Auburn. War Eagle!!”
James Martin ’89

“I attended my first Auburn football game at Jordan-Hare
Stadium in 1986 with my grandfather Deryl Seifried.”
Jonathan Seifried ’04

“It was 1987, Auburn vs. Florida at Jordan- Hare. Emmitt Smith was a freshman at Florida. Auburn won and Emmitt was in tears under the Auburn goalpost. Fireworks were everywhere. I was sold all in on Auburn. I enrolled
at Auburn the next fall.”

Mark Sobel-Sorrell ’91

“My dad took me to Athens to see Pat Sullivan and the Tigers beat the damn Dawgs, and that performance sealed the Heisman trophy!”
Wade Moore ’80

“In 2000, celebrating a victory over Georgia at Toomer’s Corner with (left) Amity Neighbors ’04 and (right) Melanie Russell ’01.”
Erin Sloan ’04

bowl of tortellini

“I started going to Auburn football games when I was little. We went to every home game as well as a couple away games. Early memories of going out on the field to watch the majorettes after the game come out and twirl (I went on to be a 4-year member of the AUMB but on an instrument instead of as a majorette).”
Traci Ash ’83

“In ninth grade, I moved to Alabama from Washington State so my first football game was my freshman year as a student and the energy of the student section was unlike anything I had ever been a part of. I stood the entire game and now when I go to the games with my family, I always remember my days in the student section.”
Jeffrey Ioimo ’08

AU Gingerbread house graphic

“Tailgating as a young boy with my dad out of the trunk of his car beside Thach Hall. In the mid to late ’70s. Throwing a football, eating sandwiches and walking around campus. And watching Joe Cribbs, James Brooks and William Andrews play in the same backfield.”
Art Guin ’92

“Auburn vs. Florida, 1969. I sat on the front row in the north end zone. Got a chin strap from an AU player after the game!”
Bill Stone ’85

“LSU at Auburn, 1972. Very cold. Pouring rain! We stepped into 32-gallon trash bags to keep the rain out of our shoes and to help keep us warm.”
Katherine Thrasher ’79

“The first Auburn- Alabama game attended was in Birmingham. Auburn won! 17 to 16! Need I say more?”
Theresa Dunn ’80

4 women kneeling around a yellow table

“My first in-person Auburn football game was in an Auburn band uniform. I was never really interested in football. I just loved playing in the band. That game changed my feelings about football forever. Being at Jordan-Hare with all the excitement of being a part of the Auburn Family and playing in the stands and the field made me realize how fun being a football fan could be.”
Nanette Arata ’86

“Justin Davis was my favorite Camp War Eagle counselor, and he used to always check on me when school started. I ran into him waiting for the gates to open for the season opener that year. My first football game at Auburn is an experience I will never forget!” 
Gabrielle Brundidge ’13

drawing of a RV


“1982 Iron Bowl played on Legion Field. Auburn beat Bama 23-22. Bear Bryant’s last Iron Bowl game. Crowd rushed the field and tore down the goalpost. WAR EAGLE!”
Lisa Tolar ’93

“At age three, sitting in my dad’s lap at a game when Travis Tidwell was the quarterback, circa 1949!”
Patricia Gleason ’74

bowl of tortellini

Chad Jones ’99, L-R Elizabeth, Grayson, Harrison, Benjamin

“Earliest for me was when I was a freshman at Auburn. It was the late ’80s and the tailgate was like nothing I had ever experienced. People were beyond welcoming and friendly; it was like one huge family reunion where everyone welcomed you!”
Richard Miller ’94