Playing Above the Line is an entertaining and thought-provoking podcast that takes a peek into the daily lives of community and business leaders. The hosts of Playing Above the Line are hb&k shareholders, Allen Cave and Dennis Sherrin. As CPAs, they’ve had the unique opportunity to meet many different leaders through their years of partnering with entrepreneurs.

By sharing these stories, we’re uncovering different views of the path to growth, leadership, and achieving success.


Listen to our very 1st DOUBLE PERSON interview with the dynamic duo of John and Heidi Bellerjeau! An entrepreneurial couple, these two have always had a passion for trying new things and growing businesses. John, a former dentist has found his calling as a business coach.  Heidi is extremely successful as a business owner and coach in social commerce.

Dr. Joel Erdmann is the Director of Athletics at the University of South Alabama!! On this exciting episode, we take a dive into what’s made the Jaguar Athletic program so successful by focusing on ALL sports, character, and a no-quitting attitude.

Eric Nager is an Investment Adviser Representative with Southern Capital Services. In addition to his career, Eric creates time to volunteer on the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce Board,  teach a class at the University of South Alabama, AND write a book about his passion for teaching competitive chess at Bayside Academy!

Devin Ford is a trained photographer and the founder of Mobile’s Focus Women Conference.  Listen to learn of Devin’s passion is for telling others’ stories through her photography work and the story of how she developed a women’s conference that has seen tremendous growth and community support.

Our leadership segment on this episode is with Curtis Graves. He is the Commander for the Mobile Police Department Office of Strategic Initiatives and has served in the field of criminal justice and law enforcement for over 27 years. On the episode, you’ll get to hear about some incredible programs Curtis and his department have built to bridge police and community connections.

This week, we have guest host Rachel Godwin while Dennis is out on sabbatical. We were lucky to chat with Lucy Gafford, the Executive Director for the Mobile Arts Council. You’ll enjoy a fun episode learning about leadership from the perspective of a creative who is working to promote art in our community. See Lucy’s Shower Hair Art 

Gary Boomer is the Visionary and Lead Strategist of Boomer Consulting, Inc. He sat down to talk with us after finishing a day of strategic planning with our firm.  A leading consultant in the accounting profession, Gary shares his thoughts on the importance of focusing on unique abilities, accepting change, and moving the profession forward.

Johnny Gwin is the producer of this podcast and the owner of Deep Fried Studios  where we record.  We get him out of the editor’s chair and into the studio for an interview. On this episode, you’ll hear a candid discussion ranging from working on Playing Above The Line, what rock bands can teach us all about business, the power of being yourself, and the love of creating.

Ed Hammele is the Market Leader for SmartBank, managing their Coastal Region. Ed has worked in banking for over 31 years and is extremely involved in his community.  He shares about the importance of getting involved as well as some of his advice for future generations.

The Very Reverend Beverly Gibson is the Dean of Christ Church Cathedral in Mobile. On this episode, you’ll get to learn how Reverend Gibson got to where she is now and how she is working with her congregation to discern their purpose in the community.

Lynn Oldshue is a photographer and writer.  Lynn shares how she started the magazine “The Southern Rambler” as well as how she’s done over 1,300 interviews to share the voices of those she meets.

Terrance Smith is the Director of The Mobile Innovation Team. If you don’t know what an iTeam is, be sure to listen to this episode! Terrance and his team are working to bring YOUR voice into governmental processes and decisions by listening to your issues and bringing innovative solutions to to the decision-makers.

Our leadership is brought to you this week by Carol Hunter! Carol is the Communications Director for the Downtown Mobile Alliance. On this episode you’ll get to hear about the work that is going into creating living, eating, and shopping spaces to transform downtown Mobile!

Today we have Steve Novak on the show! Steve is the director for the strategic account channel at In this episode, you’ll get a look inside the major changes happening in the accounting industry in regards to technology and what exactly it’d going to take to survive in this climate of change.

Casi Callaway is the Executive Director for Mobile Baykeeper. Tune in to hear her undeniable passion for keeping Mobile Bay a safe & beautiful place. From filing lawsuits to protect it from sewage, to recruiting hundreds of volunteers, she is committed to educating the community on issues that affect public health, environment & quality of life.


This week we enjoyed a conversation with Brad Israel, the Chief Leadership Officer at 68 Ventures! A Green Beret who spent 12 years in the military following 9/11, Brad shares some incredible stories of his experience in leading different kinds of teams in battle. His passion for leadership is unending – listen to learn more about his newest project, Warrior 360, a leadership consulting service.

This episode is with a fellow Deep-Frier! Bradley Flowers is the owner of PORTAL Insurance and co-host of The Insurance Guys Podcast that is produced here at Deep Fried Studios!! In this episode, you’ll get a chance to learn about a very cool interview his podcast did in NYC with Gary Vanyerchuk, and you’ll also learn how PORTAL Insurance is making waves with innovative solutions in their industry.

Brooks Conkle is a true entrepreneur and innovator. In this episode, Brooks explains his mission to think of life and business as one giant adventure – and he wants to push us all to live with that attitude!! You’ll hear his passion while learning more about his company, The Mobile Rundown, and how it’s expanded to events (like Gulf Coast BizCon) & magazine publications.

Molly Schemm recently made her way down to Mobile, Alabama and started a career as the Assistant Director of CAMP SMILE. Molly’s enthusiasm is contagious.  On this episode, you’ll learn about the incredible programs provided by Camp Smile and how Molly believes the best way to be a good leader is to do your research and learn from others.


Rebecca Byrne is the President & CEO of The Community Foundation of South Alabama. Learn how you can amplify your giving by creating a legacy to support your interests for years to come.


Bobby Purvis is the Operations Manager for Daphne Utilities, which means he is responsible for facilities that supply drinking water, treat wastewater and a natural gas distribution to the cities of Daphne, Spanish Fort, Malbis and Montrose. His experiences in leadership lead him to starting not one, but TWO leadership programs within Daphne Utilities which you’ll hear all about through the episode.

Headshot of Bobby Purvis

Owen Milligan is the owner of Milligan’s Hurri-Clean, which is an emergency service provider for clean up after disasters. On the episode today, you’ll learn more about adapting to working in the unknown, dealing with extremely stressful situations, and the importance of having a network of contacts.

Headshot of Owen Milligan

Our guest this week is C.J. Ezell! A business owner for over 21years, his entrepreneurial spirit continues to push him to start new ventures and inspire others to do the same. A frequent speaker at technology events throughout North America, he has a proven track record of industry success. In 2005, he was named one of the top 40 business leaders under 40 by the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce.

Headshot of C.J. Ezell

Melissa McNichol is the Executive Director of Camp Rap-A-Hope. In this role, Melissa has the opportunity to work with the many volunteers, donors, camp staff members who have made Camp-Rap-A-Hope a 32-year success. Camp Rap-A-Hope is a non-profit organization that offers free fun through year-round programs for families with children who have been diagnosed with cancer. In this episode, you’ll learn about the incredible work Camp Rap-A-Hope does for our community & how Melissa is excited for the future programs they are preparing to offer.

Marissa Thetford is a Mobile Bay native who grew up in Fairhope, Alabama. She runs her own marketing firm called Marissa Thetford Marketing. For more than 10 years, she has worked with both big brands and small companies to create award-winning campaigns. Listen to hear Marissa’s path to solo-preneurship, guarding your yes’s, and how knowing when to ask for help is a sign of good leadership.

Contina Woods serves as Vice President and Treasury Management Officer at Regions Bank. She is responsible for delivering the bank’s full treasury management services to commercial clients throughout the South Alabama and Pensacola markets. In this episode, you’ll get to hear how a journalism major ended up in banking and explore the idea that if you’re not growing, you’re going to become irrelevant.

Frank Shepard is the Business Development Officer for Community Bank in Fairhope, Alabama. Originally hailing from Montgomery, Frank moved to the Eastern Shore over 10 years ago and is enjoying the high quality of life, incredible public schools, and proximity to the water. On this episode, you’ll hear him talk about the importance of networking and how leadership is about doing what’s right, even when no one is looking.

Brad Pitt is the Chief Administrative Officer at Riviera Utilities. In his role, he has spent a lot of time developing the leadership program to allow employees the opportunity to grow. Raised in a blue-collar, working-class family, Brad began his career right out of high school as a construction laborer working at a local investor-owned utility and attended college later in life. Over the course of a 39-year career, he believes that starting at the bottom and working hard to get to the top has been a huge contributing factor in his success. Stay up-to-date with Riviera Utilities on Facebook and Instagram!!

Jeff Phillips is an entrepreneur and business leader. He is currently a Co-Founder and CEO of Accountingfly, an online recruitment platform that matches accountants and bookkeepers with full time, remote and freelance jobs. He is also a partner and advisor to Elefant, a practice management and technology training company for modern accounting firms. He was named among the Top 100 Most Influential People by Accounting Today for 3 consecutive years.  Check out his  Going Concern blog for accounting industry news!

Dr. Aaron Milner is currently serving as the Superintendent of Saraland City Schools. He has worked in the education system in Alabama through his entire career as a coach, teacher, assistant principal, principal, and Superintendent. He has also served on various educational boards focused on leadership and has provided professional development to school systems in the areas of crisis management and classroom management. To keep up with Saraland City Schools, follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Jeannine Birmingham is the President and CEO of the Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants (ASCPA). Jeannine wears many hats in this position and leads the team that serves over 6,500 members. The mission of the ASCPA is to enhance Alabama’s accounting profession through advocacy, education and member engagement. Right now, in 2019, they are celebrating their 100th year!

Follow ASPCA on Facebook & Instagram

Spinks Megginson is the executive director of RedZone Group, LLC and serves as its meteorologist for Alabama and northwest Florida. He lives and works in his hometown of Brewton, Alabama. Before starting RedZone Weather in March 2015, Spinks was a youth pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Brewton, Alabama.

RedZone Weather provides real-time weather updates for 12 counties in southern Alabama and norwest Florida. Follow @rzweather on Instagram and Twitter for specialized  daily updates!


Tim Wills is the Chief Executive Officer of the Boys & Girls Club of South Alabama. In college, Tim worked for the WSIU Television & Radio Stations as on-air talent doing human interest stories. It was during this time that he was introduced to Boys & Girls Clubs sharing stories on Boys & Girls Club members who were in foster care. Impressed with the organization, Tim became a Club Volunteer and later a Board Member. Upon graduating, he started working for Boys & Girls Clubs. He was named the 4th CEO of Boys & Girls Club of South Alabama in 2016.


Dr. Don Moseley is the Executive Director of the Melton Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (MCEI) at the University of South Alabama. MCEI’s vision is to educate, engage, develop, and impact our entrepreneurial community. The Center actively seeks to build strategic collaboration opportunities to promote the growth and development of the Central Gulf Coast region.  He also has extensive experience as a consultant/facilitator for organizations in the public and private sectors and is the co-author of the successful Supervisory Management: Inspiring, Developing, and Leading People (10th ed.) and Management for the Twenty-First Century (1st ed.).

Gia Wiggins is a career Human Resources Professional. After having worked with companies like AT&T, Sears, and Target Corp, she founded her company in 2015 called Morale Resource LLC. Morale Resource LLC helps businesses take care of their most important asset – its people. Offering employee engagement packages and traditional HR services, Moral Resource can help you take care of a range of employee satisfaction and compliance services.  Additionally, Gia will receive a Doctorate of Business Administration at the University of South Alabama with a concentration in Management in May, where she currently serves as an Adjunct Instructor.


Mark Kellerman has been in the corrugated box business since 1993 with my current employer Gulf Packaging since 2006. His territory is from east of Tallahassee to the Louisiana state line. Mark has been Involved with Kiwanis since 2001. Previously, he’s served as a Club Secretary, President, Division Lt Governor and Mark is now currently Alabama District Vice Governor. Additionally, he shares time time by serving on the Board for United Cerebral Palsy of Mobile.

To learn more about Mark, please visit his website, Facebook or Twitter!


Casey Gay Williams has been serving as the President of the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce since 2016. After spending 35 years in the banking industry, she brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, enthusiasm, and passion to her role at the Chamber. Casey has dedicated countless hours to service – including some of her current roles serving as Chairman of the National Auburn MBA Advisory Board and President of the Baldwin Humane Society.

To learn more about everything the Chamber does for our community follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@easternshorecc)!


Tune in to listen to the one and only, William Stitt, better known as Bill-E the bacon man! He is the owner of Bill-e’s (recently changed from Old 27 Grill), which a casual dining restaurant and grocery store that makes its own house-cured bacon. If you’re ever on the Eastern Shore of Baldwin County in Fairhope, Alabama, be sure to check it out! In this episode, you’ll learn the story of how Bill-e’s Bacon started as a class project and developed into the best bacon there is around.

For bacon, swag, and pictures that will make you drool, check out Bille’s Facebook page and follow him on Twitter.


Michelle Hodges is the President of SH Enterprises – which holds Meyer Vacation Rentals, Meyer Services, Starr Textile Services and Century 21 Meyer Real Estate. Along with a fantastic story of how George Meyer created the tourism industry in Gulf Shores, you’ll hear Michelle’s explain about how she landed back in her hometown doing the exact job she never planned to do – working in the family business. She shares how she built trust in her co-workers and expertise in the business by starting at the front desk and working up to her current position and explains her current success is due to the talents of her team.

Sandra Wiley  is the President of Boomer Consulting, Inc. In this episode, Sandra shares her views on leadership saying it’s not something you can just “get” from a class. In her view, you need to internalize leadership lessons and act what you’ve learned. She explains that leadership is not a stagnant personality trait – it’s something you must develop, and when you make a mistake, you learn and change.

Angela Weil is an entrepreneur, CFO and business owner. She is passionate about teaching business development, management, finance, and entrepreneurship. Currently, Angela owns and operates Stone Interiors, a regional countertop manufacturing company with her husband, Dustin. They’ve also developed and own a franchised hospitality enterprise and other real estate development & investments. On this episode of Playing Above the Line, Angela shares more about her successful business model and how as a leader, the way to get yourself out of the weeds is to empower your team.

In this episode, we’re talking to Rick Miller! Rick has over 30 years experience working in both public and private companies in financial operational and administrative roles. Rick is the founder of Pro365 Consulting, LLC, which provides Executive Coaching and helps organizations improve productivity and increase profitability. Most recently, Rick helped open Hatch in Fairhope, Alabama, which is a resource hub for technology-based entrepreneurs in Baldwin County. Today, Rick talks to us about how through his path, how his methodology and leadership style has done a 180 and now he focuses on PEOPLE – building relationships and focusing on their strengths.

Danny Corte is the Executive Director for Mobile Sports Authority, which is responsible for attracting, assisting, and/or managing visiting sporting events which utilize the sports facilities in Mobile County, Alabama. Today you’ll hear how he believes relying on “Blocking & Tackling” basics are really what a leader needs to be successful. Some of those basics Danny relies on are – listening, focusing on small details to create the best overall results, and being accountable to yourself.

Dr. Kenneth Varner is the superintendent of Brewton City Schools. He has a long history of service, beginning with his service to our county in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. He holds numerous leadership roles in civic clubs, community organizations, college advisory boards, statewide education committees, and as a church Deacon. Our interview with Dr. Varner is an engaging look into the lessons he’s learned about leadership through his career. Today you’ll hear his views on getting people on board with your plan, how to balance relationships versus tasks, and how success is achievable as long as you have the two qualities of likability & credibility.

Donna Watts is the President of the South Baldwin Chamber of Commerce.  She has a long history in being involved in community boards.  Donna’s views on leadership focus on the importance of being selfless and listening so you are able to have a true dialogue.  She believes one of the most important pieces of reaching success with a team or project is getting the right training.  In this episode of Playing Above the Line, you will learn how Donna practices what she preaches in her leadership of the South Baldwin Chamber of Commerce and its current initiatives.  Check out their Facebook page here.

Vanessa Reyner is the co-founder of Full & Well, a weekly Christian newsletter subscription.  In this episode, she describes how an influential shift in her career path happened when she changed her mindset from “a job is something I DO” to “my job is something I do for OTHERS”.  She believes being purposeful in her career choices has lead her to greater success and fulfillment.  At the end of the episode, Vanessa mentions participating in a Tedx Talk at Spring Hill College – you can now watch that Tedx Talk by clicking here.


Playing Above The Line

We kicked off with episode 1 on November 27, 2018 and have released a new episode every Tuesday since.  This podcast is meant to provide a space for community leaders and entrepreneurs share their experiences and stories.  And for each listener, we hope you learn something new.

For feedback, or if you’d like to join us as a guest, please email our producer, Kari Wolfe –

Deep Fried Studios
This is where we record & produce our show. Thanks to Johnny Gwin for creating this innovative space where we care share these stories.