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Staff

Meet the LGH team. Have a question about a program? Want to grab coffee and learn more about LGH? Connect with us!

staff pictures on website

Shannon Drake
L-25, MA-11

President & CEO

Shannon, a Huntsville native and graduate of Leadership Flagship Class 25, comes to LGH from IronMountain Solutions where she served as Corporate Community Relations Coordinator. She brings experience in the nonprofit sector with a significant tenure at Still Serving Veterans and the Women’s Business Center of North Alabama.

Her contribution to our community in both roles was seen far and wide across our region. In addition to her time working in the nonprofit sector, Shannon also brings a wealth of marketing experience and additional technical experience from her service at ADTRAN and Intergraph.

A graduate of Birmingham-Southern College, Shannon has shared that her heart is with giving back through community service.

Shannon currently lives in Brownsboro with her husband James. She has a daughter, Alexandra, who is married to Jon Roberts, and they are expecting their second child. When Shannon isn’t working, she enjoys working out, hiking, and farming.

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Kevin Walker
F-40

Operations Director

Kevin is a native of Brea, California, but now calls Madison County home. A graduate of UCLA, he returned to the Bruin campus for graduate school and completed his MBA at the UCLA Anderson School of Business. As a member of the UCLA Men's Basketball Team, Kevin played in three NCAA tournaments and continued his post-graduate playing career in Japan and Argentina.

Kevin came to Alabama to work as the Senior Manager of Business Operations for the Huntsville Flight of the NBA's G-League. After two years of working with the Flight, Kevin moved to hockey and served as president of the Huntsville Channel Cats and Huntsville Havoc until 2014. He joins our team after serving as the Executive Director of the Downtown Express YMCA at Big Spring Park East.

Kevin is a single father to his teen son, Simon. In his spare time he does his best to stay in shape and is active in his son's athletic career.

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Shannon Neblett
L-23

Flagship Program Director

Shannon has been involved in public relations and development for over 20 years in the local community. Originally from Mobile, Shannon earned a BA from Agnes Scott College, an MEd from Kennesaw University, an MBA from Liberty University, and an MA in Mass Communications and Journalism from Kent State University.

Shannon has a passion for nonprofit work and has participated in numerous community nonprofit organizations both as a volunteer and a board member as well as a regional position on the Board of Directors for the Lupus Foundation. Shannon has facilitated development efforts for organizations in Huntsville as an SGWA grant writer.
She is a graduate of Flagship Class 23.

Shannon enjoys spending time with her husband Mike, her two daughters, Katie An and Ivey Beth, and her animals.

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Julia Cherry

Connect Program Director

Julia moved to Huntsville from Macon, GA in 2012 to attend the University of Alabama in Huntsville. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts in 2016. Upon graduation, Julia took a long vacation and moved to the Outer Banks to work as a Vacation Planning Specialist. After working through the summer, Julia realized her love for the Rocket City was undeniable and made the move back to Huntsville.

In April 2017, Julia accepted the Communication Coordinator position with the Better Business Bureau of North Alabama, serving 13-counties. After two years with the BBB, Julia was promoted to Director of Communications, Marketing & Events.

Julia is actively involved in the Ambassador Program at the Huntsville/Madison Chamber and Rotaract Club of Huntsville.

When the weather is nice, Julia enjoys taking her ten year-old rescue, Hindley, on walks around Five Points & Monte Sano.

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Taralyn Caudle
I-3

Management Academy Program Director

Taralyn Caudle’s introduction to Leadership Greater Huntsville began as a graduate of the former LGH program, Impact (2011-2012). She currently serves as the Program Director for Management Academy.

A native of Huntsville, Taralyn is a program management professional with over 15 years of experience in the non-profit sector, having worked with diverse populations across a variety of service organizations. But it is her affinity for volunteers that has taken her from the campaign trail to the halls of higher education, and back to the non-profit world once again.

Taralyn has worked as an AmeriCorps Member, helping to establish the first Youth Volunteer Corps- a program devoted to offering young people meaningful volunteer experiences in the state of Alabama.

From there, she began her tenure at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), holding progressively responsible positions, including Service Learning & Volunteer Services Coordinator, Programs Coordinator for the Office of Diversity and culminating as the Assistant Director of Alumni Relations, where she worked to expand alumni engagement and develop an alumni mentorship program.

A proud graduate of Spelman College, holding a B.A. in Philosophy as well as a Master’s Degree in Public Affairs and a Graduate Certificate in Technical Communication, both from UAH.

Taralyn is an even prouder mother, though, of her budding artist and activist, Gabby. She spends her free time as a freelance writer. And when she’s not writing, she’s usually on the hunt for good food, good music, or a good deal on a pair of shoes.  

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Katelyn Sides Baker
C-19

Alumni, Focus & Spark Program Director

Katelyn moved to Huntsville in 2014 after graduating Auburn University with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations. Her first role was with Downtown Huntsville, Inc. This was when Katelyn fell in love with the Rocket City. She has also worked with local government contractor Radiance Technologies, Inc. and global tech leader Google Fiber. Most recently, Katelyn was the Workforce Recruitment Director at the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber.

Katelyn has over seven years of experience in the events, PR, marketing and communications industries. Katelyn loves helping "move the needle" in our community. She is heavily involved in the Women's Economic Development Council, and she is also a part of Hudson Alpha's Connections Group.

Her introduction to Leadership Greater Huntsville was back in 2016. She completed the Connect program, C-19 (Best Class Ever!). She has since then volunteered for almost every Connect class following her graduation.

In her spare time, you can find Katelyn hiking at a local trail with her two dogs that she adopted from A New Leash on Life, or you can find her planning her next trip with her favorite travel partner, her husband!