Lonnie McMillian inducted into Alabama Business Hall of Fame


Posted on November 18th, 2019

HudsonAlpha Co-Founder Lonnie McMillian was recognized for his innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership at the Alabama Business Hall of Fame inductee ceremony on Nov. 7, 2019.

2019 Inductees of the Alabama Business Hall of Fame from L-R: Sue Whitehead (daughter of inductee Lonnie S. McMillian), Charles A. Collat, Sr., Gary P. Fayard, Marillyn A. Hewson, Joe W. Forehand, Jr., and Michael Reilly

His daughter, Sue Whitehead discussed his legacy and impact in Alabama. “These people, the inventors and scientists daddy mentored, are his best accolade,” she said.

The Alabama Business Hall of Fame recognizes those who have brought fame and honor to the state of Alabama through not only their achievements as business leaders and entrepreneurs, but their ardent commitment to civic leadership, philanthropy and humanitarianism.

The 2019 inductees included the following people, all of whom have deep connections to the state of Alabama:

Charles A. Collat Sr., chairman emeritus of Mayer, one of the largest electrical product distributors in the country. He is also a committed supporter of the University of Alabama at Birmingham and its business school, now named the Collat School of Business.

Gary P. Fayard, as former chief financial officer and executive vice president of The Coca-Cola Co., he helped the company double its revenues to $47 billion.The $12 billion acquisition of the company’s North American bottling and distribution operations is noted among his greatest accomplishments.

Joe W. Forehand Jr., former chairman and chief executive officer of Accenture. While CEO, the firm’s revenue grew from $9.6 billion to $13.7 billion. He is a dedicated alum of Auburn University, where he was co-chair of its recent $1.2 billion capital campaign.

Marillyn A. Hewson, currentchairman, president and CEO of Lockheed Martin Corp. In 2019, TIME magazine identified Hewson as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.” She and husband James recently made a substantial gift to The University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Business to help construct a new building named Hewson Hall.

Lonnie S. McMillian, a visionary serial entrepreneur who led the development of innovative companies aligned with telecommunications and biotech. In 2005, he co-founded the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology. He passed away in 2018.

Michael Reilly, chairman emeritus of Randall-Reilly, a strategic data, media and marketing services company that services a wide number of industries. He is an ardent supporter of organizations that serve the Tuscaloosa, Alabama community, especially those that benefit youth.