The Alabama Family Trust staff is comprised of dedicated professionals who commit their time and energy to supporting the mission of Alabama Family Trust and the families we serve.
Their goal is to provide you peace of mind when you need assistance with special needs trusts and to provide that assistance with the most accurate knowledge of the current law. When you refer trust matters to us, you can be confident that our staff has the knowledge and experience to handle your situation.
Learn more about the professionals who support our cause and provide support through special needs disability trusts for our state’s most vulnerable citizens.
Melanie Bradford Holliman – Executive Director
Attorney Melanie B. Holliman was appointed to serve as the Executive Director in 2014. She served as an advisory board member from 2011-2013 and as a board member for a short time in 2014. For the past 12 years, Mrs. Holliman has practiced elder law and estate planning law in Northeast and Central Alabama.
She frequently gives presentations to groups regarding long-term care planning and Alabama Family Trust. She also speaks to families with disabled family members on estate planning and the use of special needs trusts. In addition to talking to the public, she speaks to members of the legal and healthcare professions on identifying and assisting clients with disabilities through the use of special needs trusts. Continuing legal education credits are available for professional talks.
Mrs. Holliman is a founding partner in Bradford & Holliman LLC and was recently named a Top Elder Law Attorney and a Top Probate Attorney in Birmingham Magazine by her peers. In 2016, she was named a Top Trust Attorney and a Top Elder Law Attorney. Also, B METRO magazine recently named her as one 0f the Top Women Attorneys for 2017.
Melanie B. Holliman is a member of these organizations:
- Huntsville Financial and Estate Planning Council (past board member)
- Caregiver Task Force appointed by the Alabama Senate
- Elder Law Section of the Alabama State Bar (past president)
- Planning committee for the annual Alabama Elder Law Conference
- Planning committee for the Annual National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys conference (2015)
- Alabama State Bar and the Tennessee Bar Association
- National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
- American Bar Association
Mrs. Holliman provides care for her aging mother and enjoys working to socialize rescue dogs.
Doug Marshall – CFO and Director of Community Relations
Doug Marshall is CFO and Director of Community Relations for Alabama Family Trust which he joined in 2014. Mr. Marshall is a Certified Public Accountant and is responsible for the financial and accounting functions and banking relationships for the Alabama Family Trust in addition to having oversight for Human Relations. He is also responsible for community relations with nursing homes, assisted living facilities, non-profit organizations, agencies, and professionals directly serving individuals with disabilities. He previously served as Chief Taxation Officer for Alabama Family Trust.
Mr. Marshall was chosen by Positive Maturity, Inc. as one of the 2017 Top 50 Over 50 individuals in central Alabama, recognized for their success and/or lifetime achievements in business, personal life and civic engagement.
He served previously as CFO of United Ability (formerly United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Birmingham) and United Ability Foundation where he played a pivotal leadership role with his financial background and overall heart, beginning his journey of serving children and adults with disabilities after a successful career in the corporate world. He served as Executive for the United Way of Central Alabama Pacesetter Campaigns in 2013 and 2014 and previously served on the Boards of Workshops, Inc. and The Hope Foundation.
Mr. Marshall enjoyed 25 years with Energen Corporation, where he played a key role as VP/Controller of Alagasco with direct responsibility over a substantial part of Operations and Director of Tax for Energen. While at Energen, he was long-time Chair of both the Tax & Fiscal Policy Committee for the Business Council of Alabama and the Advisory Council for the School of Business and Accounting for Miles College in Birmingham and was named Manager of the Year by Gas Utility and Pipeline Industries Magazine with a national circulation. Marshall also worked in the Tax Department for Ernst & Young, LLP.
Mr. Marshall received his Bachelors of Arts in Accounting from the University of West Florida and was named Distinguished Alumni in 2012. After work, Mr. Marshall enjoys serving as a career coach with Grace Ministries where he works with people and enjoys watching their lives change positively through setting and achieving goals. He is Treasurer-Elect and a Member of the Board of the Alabama Gerontological Society and serves on the Advisory Board for Easter Seals of the Birmingham Area. Mr. Marshall and his wife live in Alabaster and care for his mother-in-law with Alzheimer’s / dementia.
Shannon Brubaker – Chief Administrative Officer
Shannon Brubaker is our Chief Administrative Officer and joined Alabama Family Trust in 2014. Mrs. Brubaker worked for nearly ten years with the Jackson County (Alabama) Department of Human Resources as a Child Welfare Worker and, was later promoted to a Child Welfare Supervisor. Mrs. Brubaker worked with many families whose lives were positively transformed as a result of her experience and management services through DHR.
Through her diligence and resolve, she also helped foster children find their forever homes through adoption. Additionally, Mrs. Brubaker became very familiar and experienced with Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income, a benefit some foster children receive. Mrs. Brubaker served as a Care Transitions Coach with TARCOG in Huntsville, Alabama, providing services to Medicare recipients.
Mrs. Brubaker has a Bachelor’s Degree in Behavioral Science and is a lifelong resident of Jackson County where she lives with her husband and two children.
Laura Cross Jenkins – Staff Attorney and Trust Specialist
Laura Cross Jenkins is our Staff Attorney and Trust Specialist. Mrs. Jenkins is responsible for providing support to the Executive Director in representing Alabama Family Trust on legal issues and marketing to legal communities, representing Alabama Family Trust before various state Medicaid agencies, and providing general education to the legal community and public about Alabama Family Trust.
Mrs. Jenkins has extensive governmental and regulatory legal experience form serving as a Regulatory Manager and Corporate Counsel for EarthLink, Inc. (formerly DeltaCom, Inc.) and as a law clerk for Alabama Supreme Court Justices Thomas A. Woodall and Patricia M. Smith. She also has impressive public relations experience having served as the Campaign Coordinator for three successful Alabama Supreme Court candidates. She received her Bachelor’s degree in the Arts in English from the University of Montevallo and her JD from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University.
Mrs. Jenkins and her husband have two daughters and reside in Scottsboro, Alabama. They are passionate adoption advocates.
Lesley Byars – Chief Taxation Officer
Lesley Byars, a Certified Public Accountant recently jointed Alabama Family Trust as Chief Taxation Officer. She is responsible for the preparation and filing of trust returns and is the primary contact for questions related to tax reporting, software, IRS and ADOR correspondence, and research of complex tax issues.
Ms. Byars has a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from the University of Alabama and worked as an auditor for PriceWaterhouse Coopers in New York City.
After returning to Alabama, she was a vice president and trust tax manager first for the trust tax department of BBVA Compass in Birmingham (formerly Central Bank of the South) and later for Wells Fargo (formerly SouthTrust Bank). In recent years, she has contracted with several public accounting firms in Alabama and other states to review complex corporate, partnership, trust, and individual returns. She also has expertise in the area of multi-state taxation for all types of returns.
She is a resident of Florence, Alabama where she enjoys living on the farm, gardening, and caring for her horses and dogs. Horseback riding is her lifelong passion, and she spends many of her weekends trail-riding and camping. Ms. Byars is a pianist who plays for social and church events on occasion.
Kalandria Morris – Administrative Assistant
Ms. Kalandria Morris is a recent graduate of Miles College. She earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting with a GPA of 3.89. While at Miles College, she made the President”s Honors list three times and Dean”s list once. She was also a member of the Honors Curriculum, Phi Beta Lamda, and the Accounting Club.
Ms. Morris has diverse experience from working in the Miles College Financial Aid office, tutoring, leading study sessions, being an Office Clerk at Piggly Wiggly, and serving as secretary of her class during her sophomore year. Ms. Morris is pursing a Bachelor’s of Science in Mathematics. She plans to pursue her Educator certification, start her own non-profit business, and open up a charter school.