As you learn more about our City, you will soon understand why Vestavia Hills is frequently recognized as one of the best places to live in the United States of America. Our City has a top rated school system, one of the lowest crime rates in the country, informed and engaged citizens, and a breath-taking natural beauty.
The City Council’s primary objective is to shepherd an environment that builds a strong economic base, a superior school system, an unsurpassed quality of life, and a moral character beyond reproach.
– Ashley C. Curry, Vestavia Hills Mayor and Council President.
Ashley Curry, Mayor
Ashley Curry is a 30 year resident of Vestavia Hills. He finished high school in Montgomery, Alabama and attended college at the University of Alabama. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Industrial Management and worked in production supervision, sales and accounting with Milliken & Company of Spartanburg, SC.
After obtaining an MBA degree from the University of South Carolina, he joined the FBI as a Special Agent in 1978 and was assigned to the Tampa field office. In 1980 he was transferred to Birmingham where he remained until his retirement in 2003. During his tenure with the FBI, he worked a myriad of criminal investigations to include, white collar crime, organized crime, public corruption, drugs, personal crimes and property crimes. Prior to his retirement, he worked as the FBI Police Training Coordinator where he handled the training of state and local police officers.
After the Bureau, he became the Assistant Federal Security Director for Law Enforcement with the newly-created U.S. Department of Homeland Security, specifically the Transportation Security Administration and was assigned to the Birmingham International Airport. In 2005, he left law enforcement and moved back into the corporate arena as the corporate recruiter for EBSCO Industries. In this capacity, he handled the recruitment of executive level positions within the company’s 30 different business units. He retired from EBSCO in 2014.
He and his wife, Marga, are active members of Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church. Their son, Stuart, is a dentist and resides in Vestavia Hills with his wife, Christy, and their two children. Anna Curry Gualano, their daughter, is an attorney and also resides in Vestavia Hills with her husband, Mark, and their two children.
Pursuant to Act 2010-544, the Mayor acts as the President of the Vestavia Hills City Council and is a voting member of the Council.
Rusty Weaver, City Council, Place No. 1 (Mayor Pro Tempore)
Rusty attended Vestavia Hills Elementary East, Pizitz Middle School and graduated from Vestavia Hills High School in 1988. Following high school, Rusty graduated from the University of Alabama, Summa Cum Laude in Business Administration in 1992, and the University of Alabama School of Law, earning a Juris Doctor in 1995. He is an attorney/partner with the law firm of Weaver Tidmore and operator of a working farm in Etowah County, Alabama. He and his wife, Michelle, have two sons, Michael and Major. The Weaver family attends Church of the Highlands.
His belief in the importance of a strong family, community, local values and team work inspired Rusty to coach a variety of sports in the Vestavia Hills Parks and Recreation system over the last 10+ years, including soccer, baseball and JSYFL football. That same dedication to his fellow Vestavia Hills residents and families was the basis for extending his involvement to City Council.
Kimberly Cook, City Council, Place No. 2
Born in Virginia and a graduate of the College of William and Mary, Kimberly and her husband, Greg, settled in the Birmingham area in 1991. In 2002, Kimberly and Greg moved to the Liberty Park neighborhood of Vestavia Hills. Since then, she has been an active volunteer in our schools and community.
As a city councilor, Kimberly’s focus is to improve transparency and bring a higher level of community engagement to Vestavia Hills. She looks forward to supporting our city’s upward-trending economic development so our city can provide the community services and facilities our citizens expect and deserve.
Shortly before moving to Vestavia Hills, Kimberly left her career as a senior software engineer with SouthTrust Data Services so she could devote more time to her family and community volunteerism. Kimberly helped develop and maintain systems in multiple industries, including military defense, car manufacturing and banking. As a volunteer, Kimberly helps students through her work as a Boy Scout leader and Education Liaison for our City schools.
Ever since her oldest son entered Scouting as a Cub, Kimberly has been a volunteer Scout leader. Having held many positions, she is currently a Commissioner for the Vulcan District Boy Scouts, serving two units. Kimberly completed the Wood Badge training course and has received the Vulcan District Award of Merit as well as the Silver Beaver award from the Greater Alabama Council.
In the past, Kimberly has served in a variety of leadership roles for Christian charitable organizations – on the board of Grace House Christian Home for Girls and Brother Bryan Mission – and is active in her church, having taught youth Sunday School for over 20 years at Dawson Family of Faith. She is the pianist in the Dawson church orchestra.
Kimberly has developed many connections over the years through her work with PTOs at four of our city schools – holding a variety of positions, such as online registration chair, Partners in Education chair, corporate fundraising chair, newsletter editor at LPMS/VHHS and member of the Cash for Classrooms committee.
Kimberly’s husband, Greg, is a partner in the law firm of Balch & Bingham, LLP. Kimberly and Greg serve on the Executive Committee for the Jefferson County Republican Party and Greg is a deacon for the Dawson Family of Faith. Greg is the General Counsel for the Alabama Republican Party.
Kimberly and Greg have three children, all of whom graduated from Vestavia Hills High School – Geoffrey (2010), Mary Catherine (2014) and Will (2019). Geoffrey, a graduate of the University of Alabama and an Eagle Scout, works as a software developer in Northern Virginia. Mary Catherine completed her undergraduate at Vanderbilt and is now working on the Senate Education Committee as the Lead Research Assistant, with plans to attend law school in fall 2020.
Paul Head, City Council, Place No. 3
Paul has lived in Vestavia Hills for over 35 years and has been involved in youth sports for the past 10 years. He attended Vestavia Elementary East, Pizitiz Middle School and is a 1992 graduate of Vestavia Hills High School. Paul was a three-sport athlete, having earned eight varsity letters in football, baseball and basketball.
Paul attended the University of Mississippi on a football scholarship and graduated with a Masters in Accounting in 1997. He was a multiple SEC academic honor roll designee.
Currently, he is the chief financial officer at Myrick Gurosky & Associates, where he is responsible for all accounting and finance functions, along with risk management and safety issues. In 2003, Paul was the recipient of the Regions Bank “Small Business Salute” award.
Paul is married to Leigh Anne (Smith) Head, a 1992 graduate of Vestavia Hills High School. Leigh Anne is a former teacher at Vestavia Elementary Central. They are the parents of three children, Ryanne, John Paul and Chance Stephenson, and are members of Shades Mountain Baptist Church.
George Pierce, City Council, Place No. 4
George Pierce was first elected to the Vestavia Hills City Council in 2008 and is currently serving his fourth term. He is the council liaison to the Vestavia Hills Chamber of Commerce and is the chairman of the City’s Standing Annexation Committee. He previously served on the Mayor’s Strategic Planning Committee and chaired the Feral Cat and Ordinance Revision Committees.
Prior to his election to the City Council, George served on the Vestavia Hills Board of Zoning Adjustment for 12 years and was the chair of that board for six years. He has been a member of the Vestavia Hills Chamber of Commerce since 2002 and was named Board Member of the Year in 2007. He previously served as vice president of the Chamber’s Business Development Committee and is currently serving as the City Council liaison to the Chamber. George is a graduate of Leadership Vestavia Hills and is an active participant in numerous community organizations and initiatives.
George and his wife, Kacy, have lived in Vestavia Hills since 1986. They have three children – Ali, Amy, and Adam – who graduated from Vestavia Hills High School and Auburn University. They also have nine grandchildren, all of whom reside in Vestavia Hills. George and his family are members of Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church, where he has served as an usher since 2001. Kacy is retired from the Vestavia Hills School System, where she served as the first principal of Liberty Park Middle School and as a teacher and assistant principal at Pizitz Middle School. George is a graduate of Auburn University and recently retired.
Jeff Downes, City Manager
Jeff Downes became the city manager for Vestavia Hills in July 2013 after retiring from the City of Montgomery, Alabama, where he spent the last decade of his 26-year career there as an executive level leader and carried the title of deputy mayor. He possesses a wealth of experience and understanding of municipal government and is especially adept at connecting people to promote community and economic growth. He espouses New Urbanist philosophy for creating quality living spaces in urban development, and economic development is a primary focus of his efforts in Vestavia Hills.
From early in his career in Montgomery, Alabama, where he served as the city’s first risk manager and later as its first deputy mayor, Mr. Downes has kept a continuous eye for improving operations. Under his direction, the Risk Management Division began numerous innovative initiatives designed to control the costs of certain risk exposures, which included the creation of a workers’ compensation management system, a fully integrated employee assistance program; drug testing program; international drug importation program; self-insured liability program; and flexible spending account program. As deputy mayor, he led a number of successful projects that earned him widespread respect among government, agencies and the residents of Montgomery. Among his Montgomery successes was facilitating the establishment of the non-profit organization Eat South, whose mission is to support urban agriculture and healthy eating, similar to the Jones Valley Farm in Birmingham. He sought to improve aesthetics through infrastructure projects whenever possible and was an advocate for preserving historical architecture and promoting culture. An award from the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce for his work with The Alley entertainment district (2013) described him as “Courageous, Visionary, Rebellious. For vision and leadership that has forever changed the Quality of Place of the Capital of Dreams.”
Upon engagement as Vestavia Hills’ city manager in 2013, Mr. Downes quickly established a dynamic of cooperation that lead to movement on a number of projects that had been slow to progress. His leadership and facilitation have overcome challenging obstacles and have gained critical support for many efforts including the Community Spaces Plan and preceding recreational facilities improvements, development projects in areas throughout the city’s geography, and investments in infrastructure improvements. Within the City of Vestavia Hills organization, he has overseen the restructuring of several departments and strengthened the value of its vendor relationships through increased partnership and innovative programs. He has embraced technology and social media as tools to build consensus in the community and enhance City services to the public.
Since relocating to Vestavia Hills in 2013, Jeff Downes has become a sought-after member for several boards on the local, state and national level. His current list of board memberships are as follows:
- Alabama City/County Managers Association, Vice President
- Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham, Secretary
- Local Government Health Insurance Board (Alabama), Vice President
- Cahaba Solid Waste Disposal Authority, Vice President
- United Way of Central Alabama, municipal division lead for 2017 and 2016 campaigns
- States Risk Retention Group,* Chairman of the Board of Trustees
Jeff Downes graduated with honors from Auburn University with a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration and from AUM with a Master of Public Administration. He has served in many community groups: Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Weed and Seed Program, St. Bede Child Development Center Board of Directors, Health Services Inc., Hampstead Institute and Catholic Social Services. He is a graduate of Leadership Montgomery and Leadership Alabama. He also is proud to share that he earned the rank of Eagle Scout in his youth. Since moving to Vestavia Hills, he has joined the Vestavia Hills Sunrise Rotary Club and graduated with the Leadership Vestavia Hills Class of 2015. Jeff is married to the love of his life, Penny Downes. Jeff and Penny, along with their four children – Chad, Sydney, Harrison and Alex – live in the Liberty Park area of Vestavia Hills and are parishioners at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church.
*States Risk Retention Group is a nationwide captive insurance company domiciled in Vermont. Jeff Downes is a certified workers’ compensation claims adjuster.