Garry Neil Drummond, CEO of Drummond Company, dies at 78

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Garry Drummond

Garry Neil Drummond, chairman and chief executive officer of Drummond Company Inc. for more than 50 years, has died. He was 78.

Drummond died Tuesday in Birmingham, the Drummond Company announced in a statement. The cause of death was not disclosed.

Drummond was considered an iconic leader and entrepreneur in the coal and mining industry in the United States and in Central America.

“Drummond Company has lost an exemplary leader and our industry a great visionary. Without his foresight and dedication, our company would not have grown to be one of the world’s premiere producers of energy that is it today,” said Mike Tracy, president of mining at Drummond Company, Inc.

Long active in leading state and national professional organizations, Drummond was a founder of the American Coal Foundation and in 1978 served as the first chairman of the Mining and Reclamation Council of America, which later merged with the National Coal Association. He also served on the boards of the National Mining Association and the Alabama Coal Association.

Drummond was a long-time member of the University of Alabama Board of Trustees and served as president pro tem of the board. He was the University of Alabama College of Engineering Distinguished Alumni Lecturer in 1987-1988 and was the University’s Outstanding Alumnus for 1987-1988.

Drummond was inducted into the Alabama Academy of Honor in 1989, the Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame in 1997, the Alabama Business Hall of Fame in 2003, and the Birmingham Business Hall of Fame in 2010.

The wealthiest resident of Alabama for years until this May, Drummond was also a member of numerous civic and business organizations and served on many prominent boards across the state, including the Big Oak Ranch, Inc., Boy Scouts of America Greater Alabama Council, the Business Council of Alabama, the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, the Rotary Club of Birmingham and Glenwood, Inc.

“Garry Neil Drummond was a dedicated member of our board of directors and was a giant in the business and education arenas,” said BCA Chairman Tommy Lee, president and CEO of Vulcan Inc., in Foley. “There is a great loss today in Alabama of a dynamic leader who leaves his mark not only in the energy field but also the University of Alabama.”

BCA President and CEO William J. Canary said Drummond was a great advocate for business and for the state of Alabama.

“Garry had a deep love for business and for the state and his family,” Canary said. “He was respected in the national and international business arena and was a leader on many fronts. He taught that an individual can make a profound difference. Our prayers are for his family at this difficult time.”

Drummond is survived by his wife, Peggy, four children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, a brother, and nephews and nieces. He was preceded in death by a son, three brothers and two sisters.

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