FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 25, 2016
Contact: Nancy Wall Hewston or Dana Beyerle (334) 834-6000
MONTGOMERY, Alabama – The Business Council of Alabama today issued a statement on the death today of BCA board of directors’ member Garry Neil Drummond, the chairman and CEO of Drummond Company Inc., in Birmingham. He was 78.
Drummond was chairman and CEO of the Alabama-based Drummond Company Inc. for more than 50 years and was considered an iconic leader and entrepreneur in the international coal and mining business, with operations in Alabama and Colombia.
“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 where he served as a board of trustee member and president pro tem of the board.”
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.
Mike Tracy is president-mining for Drummond Company Inc.
“Drummond Company has lost an exemplary leader and our industry a great visionary,” Tracy said in a statement. “With his foresight and dedication, our company has grown to be one of the world’s premier energy producers.”
He graduated from the University of Alabama in 1961 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and became the first engineer hired by the company that was started by his father, H.E. Drummond, in Sipsey, in 1935, providing coal to households and farms. He was named Drummond CEO in 1973.
Drummond was the University of Alabama’s Outstanding Alumnus for 1987-88 and served on the university’s board and as president pro tem. He 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.
Drummond was a founder of the American Coal Foundation and served as first chairman of the Mining and Reclamation Council of America, which later merged with the National Coal Association. He served on the boards of the National Mining Association and the Alabama Coal Association.
He was a philanthropist. In addition to serving on the BCA board, he served on the boards of Big Oak Ranch Inc., Boy Scouts of America, Greater Alabama Council, the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, the Rotary Club of Birmingham, and Glenwood Inc.
Drummond Company includes large coal mines in Alabama and Colombia, a worldwide coal sales organization, ABC Coke, the largest merchant foundry coke producer in the United States, and a real estate division with developments in Lakeland, Fla., Palm Springs, Calif., and Birmingham.