and then this happened…

Written by Carolanne Roberts

HOME & SCHOOL   

The countryside near Hartselle; Auburn for a degree in math, magna cum laude; master’s from Clemson University.

EXPECTATIONS  

“None. I made good grades so thought I’d go to college and see what would happen.”

WHAT HAPPENED  

Married Sandy in his senior Auburn year; the master’s; first job with Shell Oil, Houston, in the research division; and answering a blind ad for Progressive Farmer landing him back in Alabama.

THE NEXT THREE+ DECADES  

Progressive Farmer led to Oxmoor House, followed by the role of President and CEO of Southern Progress (Southern Living,  Cooking Light and more)—all before the move to New York.

ESCAPE  

“I’d go down to the lake property we bought between Phenix City and Auburn. I wasn’t getting away from New York pressure. I just like to fish.”

LAST STOP  

Four years as Chairman of Time Warner Inc.’s Media and Communications Group (America Online, Time Inc., Time Warner Cable, and the book group).

RETURNING HOME   

With sons Jeff and Stan, bought Seek Publishing, the Birmingham Barons, and B.A.S.S. (the largest membership organization for bass anglers). Re-purchased their pre-New York house in Mountain Brook.

GAME CHANGER    

“The trend in baseball is urban locations. I give my sons credit for the decision to move downtown from Hoover. Right off the bat we were getting half a million people.

REAWAKENING    

“The property cycle started next. Apartments, growth. It gained momentum. I do think our coming down there played a huge role.”

LIFE TODAY     

Travel for business, travel for fishing (his record: 12 pound bass); about 50 of the 70 annual Barons games; “enjoying the moment as I’ve always done.”

BRIGHT OUTLOOK   

“If you can go into your supposed retirement years and have a hard time figuring out whether you’re working or playing, that’s a good thing.”