Gordon Stone has served as the Executive Director of the Higher Education Partnership since its inception in 1997. Under his leadership, the Partnership has grown from a fledgling organization fighting for a voice into a strong, member-rich association. Since the formation of the Partnership, Alabama has seen many improvements in higher ed. Gordon has used enthusiasm and passion to help successfully build the Partnership. He was raised on a cattle farm in Pine Apple, Alabama and graduated from Fort Dale Academy. Stone has a bachelors degree from Auburn University and a masters degree from Auburn University at Montgomery. While an undergraduate student, Stone was elected president of the student body for the College of Agriculture. In 1985, Stone was awarded a varsity letter as a player on the Auburn University football team. Stone is married to Ellen Mosley Stone, formerly of Ozark. They have two daughters, Sarah Grace and Emily. The family resides in Pike Road, AL and are members of First Baptist Church of Montgomery where he serves as a deacon and leads a mission team to New York and Miami. Gordon and his family live in the town of Pike Road, where he currently serves as the mayor of the Town of Pike Road. Stone also serves as chief administrator for the Higher Education Leadership PAC and director of the Foundation.
Diane Causey joined the Higher Education Partnership in 1997. As one of the first employees, her job has included everything from membership database to event planning. As the Director of Administrations, Communications and Events, her responsibilities include day to day office operations plus the Annual Report magazine, designing communications pieces, event planning and a host of other responsibilities. She grew up in Calera, Alabama and attended Jemison High School. She received a bachelors degree in Home Economics Retail Merchandising with a minor in Business Administration from the University of Montevallo. Diane is married to Don Causey of Prattville. They have three grown children, Danny, Leigh Ann (Mrs. Ray Womack) and Leslie (Mrs. Mike Whaley). They have 5 grandchildren: Noah(9), Maddie(5) and Jacob(2) Whaley and Ace(3) and Harper(9 mo) Womack. Don and Diane currently reside in Prattville and attend Glynwood Baptist Church where Don is a deacon and Diane is actively involved in the music program. She also leads mission trips across the United States and Puerto Rico for her church and the local Baptist Association. Diane also serves as secretary/treasurer for the Higher Education Partnership Foundation, Inc.
Whitney Wood has been with the Higher Education Partnership since May of 2003. She is the Membership Development Director working with the universities to recruit regular and affiliate members for the Higher Education Partnership. She is also a collaborator with the STARS (Student Teams Achieving Realistic Solutions) and the Black Belt Service Project committees. Whitney is from Wetumpka, Alabama were she attended Wetumpka High School. During her senior year in high school, she served as the Alabama State FFA Association State President representing the state of Alabama and the Alabama State FFA Association around the country at various events. After high school, Whitney attended Auburn University where she served as an Ag Ambassador and the Alabama Beef Ambassador with the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association. She graduated in 2002 with her bachelors in Agriscience Technology Education. She currently resides in Montgomery, Alabama where she is pursuing her Juris Doctorate at Jones School of Law.
Karli Jeter Creech joined the Partnership staff in July 2013. She is the Director of Campus membership and Student Activities and is responsible for developing membership recruitment programs. She also works closely with university students through the STARS program. Karli graduated Magna Cum Laude from Troy University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science (International Politics). She also earned minors in both Business Administration and Leadership Studies. While at TROY, she was actively involved in the STARS program and also served as the STARS Coordinator for the Higher Education Partnership. During her tenure at Troy, Karli was a Millennium scholar, an initiate of four distinguished honor societies (including Phi Kappa Phi and Mortar Board), an active member of the Student Government Association, and a sister of Chi Omega Fraternity. In high school, Karli learned the importance of giving back during her year of service as a Dogwood Trail Maid; she continued her community service efforts at Troy by volunteering at the local high school and raising money for various Greek philathropies. Karli and her husband, Jacob were married in June 2012 and currently reside in Boaz, Alabama. She is a native of Fairhope, Alabama.