State Transportation Director to Deliver Mills Lecture at UA

  • February 8th, 2008
Joe McInnes

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Joe McInnes, director of the Alabama Department of Transportation and an alumnus of The University of Alabama College of Arts and Sciences, will present a Helen Crow Mills and John Carroll Mills Lecture Feb. 29 at 1:30 p.m. in the auditorium of Morgan Hall on the UA campus.

In his lecture, titled “How I Got Here >From There: The Reinvention of One’s Life and Career,” McInnes will talk about leadership and the evolution of his career from being a chemistry major at The University of Alabama and a law student at Jones School of Law, to working at an international construction company and, now, in the state government.

Before working at the Alabama DOT, McInnes worked as an executive with Blount International Inc. for 25 years, eventually serving as the company’s executive vice president and chief administrative officer. During his time with Blount, he played a key role in transforming the company from specializing in construction to being a multi-industry conglomerate. He also assisted the Winton Blount family in founding the Montgomery-based Alabama Shakespeare Festival, the sixth largest Shakespeare festival in the world.

Since 1998, he has served as chairman, chief executive officer and director of the Blount Cultural Park. He also has served as president and director of the Blount Foundation since 1981 and chairman and director of The Roberts and Mildred Blount Foundation since 1992. McInnes also has served on The University of Alabama’s National Advisory Board and President’s Cabinet.

The 64-year-old Wetumpka native has a long history of civic and community involvement. His past service includes being president of the Montgomery Area United Way, president of the Tukabatchee Area Council Boy Scouts of America, director of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce, director of the Alabama Humanities Foundation and trustee of the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, to name a few.

McInnes received his bachelor’s degree from The University of Alabama in 1966 and received a law degree from Jones School of Law in 1975.

Helen Crow Mills and her late husband, Dr. John Mills, of Birmingham established the Helen Crow Mills and John Carroll Mills Lecture Series Endowed Support Fund in the College of Arts and Sciences with a $100,000 commitment to bring successful and distinguished alumni and citizens to campus to speak as a way to motivate and inspire students.

Helen Mills received a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Human and Environmental Sciences at The University of Alabama in 1959. She is president of Crow Real Estate and Insurance Company in Birmingham.

John Mills received his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-dental studies from the College of Arts and Sciences in 1955 and a dentistry degree from The University of Alabama School of Dentistry in Birmingham in 1958. He practiced endodontics for 29 years and was a diplomat of the American Board of Endodontics. Mills was a pioneer in endodontics in Alabama and the only board certified endodontist in private practice in Alabama for many years. After leaving private practice, Mills became director of the endodontic program at The University of Alabama School of Dentistry in Birmingham. He died Jan. 19, 2007, in Birmingham.

The College of Arts and Sciences is the University’s largest division and the largest liberal arts college in the state. Students from the College have won numerous national awards including Rhodes Scholarships, Goldwater Scholarships and memberships on the USA Today Academic All-American Teams.


Sarah Colwell, College of Arts and Sciences, 205/348-8539,

The University of Alabama, part of The University of Alabama System, is the state’s flagship university. UA shapes a better world through its teaching, research and service. With a global reputation for excellence, UA provides an inclusive, forward-thinking environment and nearly 200 degree programs on a beautiful, student-centered campus. A leader in cutting-edge research, UA advances discovery, creative inquiry and knowledge through more than 30 research centers. As the state’s largest higher education institution, UA drives economic growth in Alabama and beyond.