Jefferson County businessman joins ADRS board
A prominent member of the Birmingham business community has been appointed to represent Congressional District 6 on the Alabama Board of Rehabilitation Services.
Charles Wilkinson, the founder and chief executive officer of Human Resource Management Inc. (HRM), a consulting firm specializing in human resource management compliance, will represent business and industry on the seven-member board. He was appointed by Gov. Kay Ivey and confirmed by the Alabama Senate.
Wilkinson is a founding member and current president of the Alabama Industry Liaison Group (ALIG), a coalition of federal contractors committed to equal employment opportunity and affirmative action.
Prior to founding HRM in 1999, Wilkinson served as vice president and director of human resources for Colonial Bank.
Throughout his business career, Mr. Wilkinson has been a vocal and tireless advocate for workers with disabilities.
His compliance work with Colonial Bank to implement requirements of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) – done in tandem with ADRS – became a personal passion and resulted in the creation of his consulting practice and of ALIG, both of which assist other companies with similar interests and compliance goals.
ADRS Commissioner Jane Elizabeth Burdeshaw said she is pleased with Gov. Ivey’s choice.
“Mr. Wilkinson’s extensive experience as a human resources professional has given him valuable insight for disability-related issues, and he has already proven himself to be a vocal and tireless advocate for workers with disabilities,” Burdeshaw said. “He’s a great person who has impeccable business credentials, who also happens to be the parent of a child with a disability.”
Wilkinson’s 11-year-old daughter, Bergen, has Down syndrome. She has been served through an array of services from ADRS as well as the Bell Center and United Ability (formerly UCP of Birmingham).
“I feel like all of the advocacy work I have done throughout my career was preparing me for the birth of my daughter,” said Wilkinson. “In turn, Bergen has helped me broaden my own relationship with ADRS to forge new and exciting partnerships to further recruitment and retention of persons with disabilities.”
In 2013, Wilkinson joined the Board of Directors of the Alabama Business Leadership Network (ABLN), whose mission is to maintain a network of business with a commitment to disability issues. He was elected vice chairman in 2015 and chairman in 2016. As chairman, he collaborates with other Alabama business leaders to provide resources, information links, and qualified job candidates to employers throughout the state. Through his work with ABLN, he is actively involved in the United States Business Leadership Network, which connects him with business leaders from around the country.
Wilkinson will be sworn in at the March 16 meeting. He fills the seat vacated by Roger McCullough, who rolled off the board last fall. He joins board members Stephen Kayes, District 1; Board Chairman Jimmie Varnado, District 2; Penny Foster, District 3; Eddie Williams, District 5; and Mitch Strickland, District 7. Andrea Collett, the representative for District 4, resigned in December. The appointment of her successor is pending.
About the Alabama Board of Rehabilitation Services
The Alabama Board of Rehabilitation Services consists of seven members, one from each U.S. Congressional District. Board members are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Alabama Senate. Alabama law requires that three members be individuals with a disability, selected from consumer disability organizations; one member be the parent of a child with a disability; and three members be from organizations of business and industry within the state.
The board oversees the department’s operations and is the governing authority of programs administered by ADRS. Duties carried out by the board range from appointing the ADRS commissioner to establishing rules and regulations for the provision of its services. The board directs and supervises legislative appropriations, shares information that concerns and promotes interest in disability and rehabilitation issues, and takes action to guarantee the rights of and services to people with disabilities.