Heather Milam won the Democratic nomination for the office of Secretary of State in the June 5 primary, but now that the primaries are over and the real battle begins.
Milam will face incumbent Secretary of State, Republican John Merrill in the November 6 general election, and the two candidate’s backgrounds could not be any more different from each other.
With that in mind, here are five things you need to know about Heather Milam:
1. She has a 15 year career in publishing and marketing.
After graduating from Auburn University with two Bachelors of Arts degrees, Milam began her career at EBSCO Industries. Milam has also worked for a travel magazine and Network Communications Inc. the largest real estate publisher in the country at the time.
At Network Communications Inc. Milam increased her markets’ revenues by 30 percent each year on average “by increasing not only print ad sales, but also digital sales including new services solely devoted to social media,” according to her bio on Weld’s website.
2. She was the General Manager and one of the founding members of the Weld for Birmingham magazine.
In 2009, Milam joined the group that would eventually become Weld for Birmingham — a free community newspaper for the city of Birmingham which published weekly newspapers for six years. When the newspaper was created, Milam became the Chief Operations Officer, and General Manager for the paper.
3. She’s an entrepreneur and teaches classes at the University of Montevallo.
Milam’s classifies her position at Weld as an entrepreneurial one because she joined the paper at its founding. She decided to share her experience in the classroom at the University of Montevallo’s Stephens College of Business where she teaches business management, and is the MBA program director. Milam also promotes entrepreneurial training with an innovation training program called Co.Starters.
4. She and her husband met while volunteering on a non-profit board.
Milam has served in several capacities in non-profits in and around Birmingham including as a board member of the Alabama Environmental Council’s, social chair of the Birmingham Track Club, a host committee member for Growing Kings, and several other non-profit boards focusing on healthcare, education and the arts. She and her husband, Kris met while serving together on the Environmental Council’s board.
5. Her campaign’s largest donations have come from individuals, and she received a $500 in-kind contribution from the Good People Brewing company in Birmingham.
Milam’s largest donations have been from individuals contributing to her campaign.
In Milam’s bio on Weld’s website, she lists one of the things she likes as Good People’s IPA, a very popular beer in Birmingham, and across the state. The Birmingham Watch reported the Good People Brewing company was one of Milam’s highest campaign donors, although the donation was an in-kind one after she held her campaign kick-off event at the brewery in March.