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The Kiwanis Club of Birmingham virtually inducted eight Magic City leaders into the Birmingham Business Hall of Fame. Keep reading to learn how these remarkable leaders brought their own magic to our city.
World’s Largest Kiwanis Club
Birmingham Business Hall of Fame inductees are chosen for their strong leadership and contributions to the Birmingham community. Inductees can be living or deceased.
The Kiwanis Club of Birmingham has inducted Magic City leaders into its hall of fame since 1997. This year’s event was a private dinner at the Harbert Center for the honorees and their families.
The Hall of Fame inductees
This year’s group includes leaders and entrepreneurs in banking, healthcare, marketing and advertising and real estate. The 2020-21 honorees are:
1. Grayson Hall Jr.
Hall has recently retired as Chairman and CEO of Regions Financial Corp. in 2018. His 38-year career in banking began with AmSouth as a management trainee. Through his leadership, Regions has become a stronger, long-term success bank.
2. John A. Hand
Hand was a leader of the Alabama banking financial community for more than 40 years. As the comptroller at First National Bank of Birmingham, the money deposit doubled.
3. Elmer B. Harris
Harris’ career at Alabama Power progressed from a co-op student to chairman and CEO. He joined other corporations to build Elmer and Glenda Harris Early Learning Center.
4. Dr. Basil I. Hirschowitz
Hirschowitz created the first fully flexible endoscope while on the medical school faculty at the University of Michigan. His invention changed the medical field and how physicians diagnose their patients.
5. Billy Charles Martin
Martin started Martin & Associates in 1959 and founded Martin Advertising. He had a guiding hand in developing and growing much of the advertising industry in the Birmingham area.
6. Williams R. Pettiford
Pettiford was a minister at the 16th Street Baptist Church and founder of Alabama Penny Savings Bank, the first Black-owned and operated financial institution. He also established the Christian Aid Society to help sick members of the 16th Street Baptist Church and bury its dead.
7. Dr. Shelley Stewart
Living legend, Stewart was first known as a radio personality in the 50s and 60s. He was on air for 55 years becoming the longest-running radio talent in the country. He expanded to marketing as the President and CEO of o2ideas, one of America’s largest privately held corporate communication companies.
8. W. Edgar Welden, Sr.
Welden is the founder of and business partner in various successful real estate companies, like Weldenfield. He founded the Birmingham Athletic Partnership nonprofit and served as first chairman of The World Games 2022.