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Montgomery’s Downtown Business Association is a 501 (c)3, formed in 2010 by Downtown business leaders to give business owners a “voice” and “vision” for Downtown Montgomery.


Our mission is to inform, connect, advance, and advocate for stakeholders and shareholders in Downtown Montgomery. Our city has seen exciting retail, residential, and commercial growth in recent years, and improving the quality of life and business confidence is essential in maintaining the growth and momentum for years to come. 


Join us, as we all try to improve our hometown and our downtown!

Clay McInnis

Clay was born and raised in Montgomery and was the first at Auburn to graduate in Sustainable Entrepreneurship. Today he owns Commerce Consulting, a company that manages small political and trade associations. He also is a commercial real estate agent and real estate investor and developer. He is married to Melissa, a former WSFA reporter and they have two sons, Anderson and Edwin.

Meg Lewis

Meg is the Director of Tourism & Special Projects at the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Convention and Visitor Bureau. Previously she worked with the Alabama Shakespeare Festival for ten years, three of which as the Director of Marketing and Communications. She is also the president-elect of Montgomery’s newest Rotary Chapter, the Montgomery Sunset Club and a co-founder of the #revolutionMGM tech and creative culture movement. A life-long Montgomerian, Meg is also an advocate of downtown loft-living and makes her home in one of Montgomery’s renovated buildings along with her cat, Miss Kitty.

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Jonathan Avant

Jonathan Avant is a Montgomery native who currently holds the position of Assistant Vice President/Business Banking Officer with BBVA Compass Bank and also is an accomplished trumpeter, producer and Co-owner of a local live music studio. Jonathan graduated with an Accounting degree from Auburn University at Montgomery and has ten years of banking experience. His career has been fueled by establishing impactful relationships and helping small to medium size business owners strengthen the cash flow of their business which in turn transforms that business into an active contributor for the local economy. Through his passion for his community, Jonathan actively volunteers and serves as an Ambassador for Montgomery’s Chamber of Commerce and also on the boards of Clefworks, MEOW Cares and Vice President of The Alabama Jazz & Blues Federation. If not working or performing, he enjoys spending time with his wife Jessica, two daughters Jazz & Juliana and their two dogs Rocky and Chex. 

Darlene Dixon

Darlene is on the board for the DBA and is a Senior Advertising Specialist with Cumulus Radio in Downtown Montgomery.  After 25+ years as an air personality on WLWI, she moved to sales to help small businesses grow through advertising. Cumulus has 7 radio stations that serve the tri-county area. Because of her work location in the downtown area, Darlene feels a sense of pride in helping this area grow.

Electra Henry

Electra serves on our board and is the CEO of Theraquatics, a fitness and wellness equipment company in Downtown's warehouse district. An Aussie who came here to play tennis for AUM, she graduated a 
couple of times and never left. Electra thinks Montgomery is one of the South's best kept secrets (along with honey buns and fried okra) and looks forward to what the DBA and its members can bring to the table in order to get the secret out.

Josie Russell
Ashley Rhodes

Ashley is the Communications Manager for the Downtown Business Association. Ashley was born and raised in Montgomery. After beginning her undergraduate studies at Auburn University, she returned to Montgomery with her husband and earned her B.S. in Psychology from AUM. In addition to being the Communications Manager for the DBA, she also works with Clay McInnis as his Executive Assistant and Communications Manager for their clients at Commerce Consulting. She also has two little girls that keep her very busy!

Josie Russell Young was born and raised in Montgomery, attended Troy University where she attained her Bachelor of Science in Human Services. After graduation, she returned to Montgomery and got married to my husband, Heath Young. They have two amazing pups - Champ and Cooper.  

Josie is the Sales and Marketing Director for Russell Construction of Alabama, a General Contractor that has been based out of Montgomery for 36 years. She feels strongly that being connected in the River Region is important and it shows! She is currently a Loaned Executive for the United Way, a Board Member for the Camp Chandler YMCA, Montgomery Chamber Ambassador, Prattville Chamber Ambassador, Member of the National Association of Women in Construction, and a REALTOR at New Waters Realty. She’s also one of our newest board members, which is important to Josie because of the vast potential that the downtown area of Montgomery has and will continue to have for many years to come as the economy and the city grows. We’re glad to have her on our board!

Randall Culp

Randall sits on our DBA Board and was one of the charter members that restarted the organization 5 years ago. He started his in furniture business in Montgomery in June of l971, and is the third generation in the piano business located on Madison Ave. He is vice president of the Capitol Heights Civic Association, Assistant Lay Leader of the Central Alabama Emmaus Walk community, and is very active in his church.  Randall is married to Lydia and they have 2 boys and 6 grandchildren.

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Kristen Gillis

Attorney Kristen Gillis is a Montgomery, Alabama native and is currently an Associate Attorney at Means Gillis Law, P.C. in Montgomery, Alabama. Her practice areas include personal

injury, wrongful death, premises liability, government law, and

complex civil litigation. Attorney Gillis obtained her bachelor’s degree in Economics in 2007 from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2012, Gillis obtained her Juris Doctorate

from Thomas Goode Jones School of Law and was admitted to the Alabama Bar, the United States District Court for the Northern and Middle Districts of Alabama.

Attorney Gillis is a member of the Alabama Lawyers Association, Capital City Bar Association, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, The Links, Incorporated (Chaplain), and National Spelman Alumnae Association (Vice President). She also serves on the Citizens

Advisory Committee for the Montgomery Metropolitan Planning Organization in addition to being one of our newest board members! We are thankful to have her as a part of our DBA board.

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Tara Elise

Tara is one of our newest board members! You've probably seen her pouring her heart and soul into your delicious meal at Cahawba House - she co-owns the downtown dining favorite with her brother! Tara offers the DBA board insight and passion as a small business owner in downtown Montgomery. 

Michael Shaw

Michael is our Treasurer and is a partner with MST CPAs & Advisors located in downtown Montgomery. He graduated from Auburn Montgomery in 2007 and obtained his CPA shortly thereafter. In addition to the small business consulting, tax and work, Michael serves as a board member for the Urban Seed Xchange, volunteers for the United Way on the Budget and Allocations Committee and is a member of the YMCA Boys Work Committee. Michael is married to Tesa and they have one son and one daughter.

Contact us!

photo by Joshua Whitman

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P.O. 1807

Montgomery, AL 36102

Tel: 334.850.1101

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