McWane, Rane, Stitt among 6 new inductees in the Alabama Business Hall of Fame

Alabama Business Hall Of Fame
These six inductees have made a significant impact on the state of Alabama. (University of Alabama)

What do Highlands Bar + Grill, YellaWood and Ernst & Young have in common? They’re all a part of the Alabama Business Hall of Fame’s growing story. Meet the Hall of Fame’s six inductees of 2023. These individuals will be inducted at Haven in Birmingham, Alabama, on November 9, 2023.

Rane, Stitt + McWane

James W. Rane

  • Where’s he from? Abbeville, AL (between Dothan + Eufaula)
  • What school did he go to? Auburn University (business administration), Samford University (J.D.), Harvard University Owner Management Program
  • What’s he known for? Rane is the founder + CEO of Great Southern Wood Preserving, Inc. (which owns YellaWood). Who hasn’t seen his lighthearted YellaWood commercials on TV?

Frank Stitt III

Phillip McWane

  • Where’s he from? Mountain Brook, AL
  • What school did he go to? Auburn University (industrial management)
  • What’s he known for? McWane is the chairman (and fourth-generation leader) of McWane, Inc., and he serves on several boards including the McWane Science Center—named after his family.

Hough, Thompson + Bulls

Thomas Hough

  • Where’s he from? Atlanta, GA
  • What school did he go to? The University of Alabama (bachelor’s and master’s in accounting)
  • What’s he known for? Hough served on Ernst & Young’s Executive Board (along with many other boards) and was a Sunrise Rotary Club of Birmingham founding member and President.

Michael Thompson

  • Where’s he from? Birmingham, AL
  • What school did he go to? University of Alabama (general business)
  • What’s he known for? Thompson is Thompson Tractor Co.’s chairman of the board, as well as president and CEO of Fairway Investments. He is involved in many boards in Birmingham, including United Way, the Salvation Army, the UAB Health System and many others.

Herman Bulls

  • Where’s he from? McLean, VA (born in Florence, AL)
  • What school did he go to? United States Military Academy at West Point (engineering, Army’s Airborne and Ranger Courses ) + Harvard University (MBA)
  • What’s he known for? Bulls served in the military (with active-duty assignment in Fort Dix and Korea, among others) and retired in 2008 as a Colonel. He developed and managed a $800 million portfolio at JLL and is the founder, president and CEO of Bulls Advisory Group. Serving on many boards and participating in charitable efforts, Bulls has made a significant impact in Alabama.

You can read more about these inductees’ impressive achievements, too. If you’re interested in attending their induction ceremony, contact Lottie Pearce at or (205) 348-2944 to sponsor a table or purchase an individual ticket.

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Sarah Gronberg
Sarah Gronberg
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