opelika main street

Board Members

Valerie Smith

Valerie Smith

Born and raised in Headland, Alabama, Valerie moved to Auburn in 2013.  She graduated with a BS in Human Development and Family Studies from Auburn University in 1999.  Valerie and her husband, Mike, became owners of Southern Crossing retail gift store in March of 2015.  Southern Crossing has been a staple of Downtown Opelika for almost 25 years.  Valerie and Mike have one daughter, Maddy, who also works at Southern Crossing during school breaks.  The Smith’s are proud to be a part of Historic Downtown Opelika.

robert elliott

Robert grew up just up the road in LaFayette, AL. After earning a BS in Sociology at Jacksonville State University, he decided to travel the world. He married his wife, Megan, in 2006, and they have been to nearly every continent. Following two years living in Kathmandu, Nepal, they found a house in Opelika in 2012. He now works at his father's insurance agency, Elliott & Associates Insurance, where he is in charge of marketing and IT. Robert is proud of his city and is glad he and Megan get to raise their three kids in Opelika

ROBERT ELLIOTT

Robert grew up just up the road in LaFayette, AL. After earning a BS in Sociology at Jacksonville State University, he decided to travel the world. He married his wife, Megan, in 2006, and they have been to nearly every continent. Following two years living in Kathmandu, Nepal, they found a house in Opelika in 2012. He now works at his father's insurance agency, Elliott & Associates Insurance, where he is in charge of marketing and IT. Robert is proud of his city and is glad he and Megan get to raise their three kids in Opelika

graham hage

Raised in Houston, TX, Graham Hage came to Auburn in 1995 to attend Auburn University. Zazu first opened in August of 2007. Two moves later, in 2015, Zazu opened its doors to Opelika in a beautiful 1800’s building that had been meticulously renovated. Graham has two sons, Lodan (11) and Hudson (8). He also just recently moved just a couple of blocks from downtown into a beautiful home in the historic district

GRAHAM HAGE

Raised in Houston, TX, Graham Hage came to Auburn in 1995 to attend Auburn University. Zazu first opened in August of 2007. Two moves later, in 2015, Zazu opened its doors to Opelika in a beautiful 1800’s building that had been meticulously renovated. Graham has two sons, Lodan and Hudson. He also just recently moved just a couple of blocks from downtown into a beautiful home in the historic district

aaron bushey

Aaron Bushey is a graduate of Lee-Scott Academy and Auburn University and has been in the Opelika/Auburn area for 30 years.  He is the owner of Almost Anything which is located next the courthouse in downtown Opelika.  He and his wife, Wendy, and son, Mason, reside in Opelika where Mason attends Jeter Primary School.  The energy of the downtown community inspired Aaron to become involved with Opelika Main Street where he worked to help organize the member businesses to cooperate on projects and events.  He joined the Main Street board in 2017.

AARON BUSHEY


Aaron Bushey is a graduate of Lee-Scott Academy and Auburn University and has been in the Opelika/Auburn area for 30 years.  He is the owner of Almost Anything which is located next the courthouse in downtown Opelika.  He and his wife, Wendy, and son, Mason, reside in Opelika where Mason attends Jeter Primary School.  The energy of the downtown community inspired Aaron to become involved with Opelika Main Street where he worked to help organize the member businesses to cooperate on projects and events.  He joined the Main Street board in 2017.

Barbara Patton

Barbara Patton grew up in Pensacola, Florida and has lived in Opelika since 1973 with her husband Bob whom she married in 1963. They have 3 sons and 4 grandchildren. She has served as Mayor of the City of Opelika and President of the Chamber of Commerce. Barbara has operated a gift shop since 1993 and in 2004 located it, Heritage Gifts & Gourmet, in downtown Opelika. She also keep busy by volunteering with other organizations like Opelika Main Street, Envision Opelika, and the Community Foundation of East Alabama.

Barbara Patton

Barbara Patton grew up in Pensacola, Florida and has lived in Opelika since 1973 with her husband Bob whom she married in 1963. They have 3 sons and 4 grandchildren. She has served as Mayor of the City of Opelika and President of the Chamber of Commerce. Barbara has operated a gift shop since 1993 and in 2004 located it, Heritage Gifts & Gourmet, in downtown Opelika. She also keep busy by volunteering with other organizations like Opelika Main Street, Envision Opelika, and the Community Foundation of East Alabama.

nathan kastner | Treasurer

Nathan Kastner is managing partner of Smith-Kastner Wealth Management, a local financial planning firm he joined after graduating from Auburn University in December 2004. He holds Bachelors degrees in both Economics and Business Administration. After graduating, Nathan enrolled in the Certified Financial Planning™ program at the University of Georgia. In 2009, he was awarded the CFP® designation after completing the 2-day, 10-hour examination in the fields of financial planning, risk management, investments, tax planning and management, retirement and employee benefits, and estate planning. The CFP® designation is the most widely recognized designation in the financial industry.

NATHAN KASTNER

TREASURER

Nathan Kastner is managing partner of Smith-Kastner WealthManagement, a local financial planning firm he joined after (finally)graduating from Auburn University in December 2004. He holds Bachelors degreesin both Economics and Business Administration. After graduating, Nathanenrolled in the Certified Financial Planning™ program at the University ofGeorgia. In 2009, he was awarded the CFP® designation after completing the2-day, 10-hour examination in the fields of financial planning, riskmanagement, investments, tax planning and management, retirement and employeebenefits, and estate planning. The CFP® designation is the most widelyrecognized designation in the financial industry.

brad waites

Brad is a native of Birmingham and has lived in Opelika for four years. He is a 1999 graduate of UAB and has worked in business development in the real estate and healthcare fields since graduation. As a realtor with Berkshire Hathaway and resident of the Northside Historic District, Brad is dedicated to preserving the character and history of our community. 'I’m really fortunate that my career and work with Main Street really do go hand in hand.' Brad is passionate about urban revitalization and is really excited about the momentum downtown has developed over the last decade. 'One of the coolest parts of living in our historic district is the ability to walk downtown to shop, have dinner or to grab a drink.

BRAD WAITES

Brad is a native of Birmingham and has lived in Opelika for four years. He is a 1999 graduate of UAB and has worked in business development in the real estate and healthcare fields since graduation. As a realtor with Berkshire Hathaway and resident of the Northside Historic District, Brad is dedicated to preserving the character and history of our community. 'I’m really fortunate that my career and work with Main Street really do go hand in hand.' Brad is passionate about urban revitalization and is really excited about the momentum downtown has developed over the last decade. 'One of the coolest parts of living in our historic district is the ability to walk downtown to shop, have dinner or to grab a drink.

kris bailey | Vice president

Originally from Opelika, Kris is a 2003 graduate of Opelika High School. He received dual Bachelor degrees in Health Services Administration and Finance from Auburn University in 2008. After graduating, Kris worked in healthcare consulting in Birmingham, Alabama for several years until moving back to Opelika. Currently, Kris works as a Manager at PNC Bank, where he has been employed since 2020. Kris recently bought a house near downtown which allows him to spend most of his spare time eating and socializing at our local restaurants.

KRIS BAILEY

VICE PRESIDENT

Originally from Opelika, Kris is a 2003 graduate of Opelika High School. He received dual Bachelor degrees in Health Services Administration and Finance from Auburn University in 2008. After graduating, Kris worked in healthcare consulting in Birmingham, Alabama for several years until moving back to Opelika. Currently, Kris works as a  Manager at PNC Bank. Kris recently bought a house near downtown which allows him to spend most of his spare time eating and socializing at our local restaurants.

JOHN CORBIN

John, originally from Opelika, spent most of his life in Daphne, AL, but enjoyed returning often during summers and holidays to visit with family. He has also resided in Guntersville, AL as well as Douglasville, GA. After Graduating Culinary School, he attended Auburn University, where he acquired a BS in Hospitality Management.  John went on to manage several restaurants and hotels across the South East before moving back to Opelika almost 5 years ago.  Currently he is a co-owner of Red Clay Brewing Company, in Downtown Opelika. He is also a co-owner of Long Pine Hospitality, which manages the food service on Southern Union’s Opelika Campus, in addition to outside catering to the area. John, and his wife Mandy, have a 5-year-old daughter Emma. They enjoy traveling and being outdoors.

JOHN CORBIN

John, originally from Opelika, spent most of his life in Daphne, AL, but enjoyed returning often during summers and holidays to visit with family. He has also resided in Guntersville, AL as well as Douglasville, GA. After Graduating Culinary School, he attended Auburn University, where he acquired a BS in Hospitality Management.  John went on to manage several restaurants and hotels across the South East before moving back to Opelika almost 5 years ago.  Currently he is a co-owner of Red Clay Brewing Company, in Downtown Opelika. He is also a co-owner of Long Pine Hospitality, which manages the food service on Southern Union’s Opelika Campus, in addition to outside catering to the area. John, and his wife Mandy, have a 5-year-old daughter Emma. They enjoy traveling and being outdoors.

MELISSA MUNFORD | president

Melissa is a native of Camp Hill, Alabama and has lived in Opelika for over 12 years. She is a licensed insurance sales manager for Allstate Insurance Company, The Tate Agency and has worked in the insurance field for the past 15 years. She is also a dedicated member of Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church where she serves with the youth and preside over the women’s choir ministry. As a dedicated insurance agent and a resident of Ward 2 Melissa loves to help her fellow citizens in any way possible to improve the lives and livelihood of all those around her. Melissa is the proud mother of 3. She believes there is no better place to live and to raise a family than in Opelika, Alabama.

MELISSA MUNFORD

 PRESIDENT

Melissa is a native of Camp Hill, Alabama and has lived in Opelika for 12 years. She is a licensedinsurance sales manager for Allstate Insurance Company, The Tate Agency and has worked in the insurance field for over 15 years. She is also a dedicated member of Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church where she serves with the youth and preside over the women’s choir ministry. As a dedicated insurance agent and a resident of Ward 2 Melissa loves to help her fellow citizens in any way possible to improve the lives and livelihood of all those around her. Melissa is the proud mother of 3 Eric, Morgan, and Makayla. She believes there is no better place to live and to raise a family than in Opelika, Alabama.

JONATHAN SAVAGE

Jonathan moved to Opelika 10 years ago. His path to the Railroad Town took him through Destin, Birmingham, and Auburn University. A 2001 graduate of Auburn, Jonathan has worked in Wholesale/Light Manufacturing, IT, Continuing Education, Non-Profit, Event Production, Marketing, and Federal Construction Contracting. He, his wife Sarah, and their 1.5 year old daughter Chaney, reside in Ward 2. In addition to Main Street, Jonathan also serves on the board of Rebuilding Lee County. He is also a 2013 graduate of Leadership Lee County.

JONATHAN SAVAGE

Jonathan moved to Opelika 10 years ago. His path to the Railroad Town took him through Destin, Birmingham, and Auburn University. A 2001 graduate of Auburn, Jonathan has worked in Wholesale/Light Manufacturing, IT, Continuing Education, Non-Profit, Event Production, Marketing, and Federal Construction Contracting. He, his wife Sarah reside in Ward 2. He is also a 2013 graduate of Leadership Lee County.

Amy Grilliot | SECRETARY

Though Amy is a native of Montgomery, she spent a significant amount of time visiting family in Opelika.  Rides on the Rocky Brook Rocket and tossing treats to the monkeys in the park are some of her earliest childhood memories.  She and her husband Matt moved to Opelika permanently while in graduate school at Auburn University.  They have three children attending Opelika City Schools, and live in the Northside Historic District.  Amy and her family love the growth that is happening in Downtown Opelika, and she is extremely excited to be a part of the Main Street board.

Amy Grilliot

SECRETARY

Though Amy is a native of Montgomery, she spent a significant amount of time visiting family in Opelika.  Rides on the Rocky Brook Rocket and tossing treats to the monkeys in the park are some of her earliest childhood memories.  She and her husband Matt moved to Opelika permanently while in graduate school at Auburn University.  They have three children attending Opelika City Schools, and live in the Northside Historic District.  Amy and her family love the growth that is happening in Downtown Opelika, and she is extremely excited to be a part of the Main Street board.