Samford’s Brock School of Business Adds New Members to the Dean’s Advisory Board


Birmingham, Ala. –  Samford’s Brock School of Business adds three new board members to its Dean’s Advisory Board: Harlan C. Parrish, Chief Executive Officer of Alliant Bank, Mike Baker,  Managing Partner of Dent Baker and John Gunderson, Senior Vice President of the Daniel Corporation.  


Harlan Parrish, Chief Executive Officer Alliant Bank Birmingham, Ala: Harlan currently serves as Chief Executive Officer for Alliant Bank where he is the senior banking officer responsible for the management and growth of the institution in the state of Alabama. Alliant Bank, established back in 1900, is a privately held company with 15 Financial Centers serving 7 Alabama counties. He joined Alliant Bank following his role as Senior Executive Vice President of Retail Banking at Bank United, an $11 billion in asset privately held company based in Miami Lakes, Florida. Parrish managed BankUnited’s 80 branch network throughout the state of Florida. He joined BankUnited following a 26-year career with Colonial Bank/BB&T.  


Prior to BB&T’s acquisition of Colonial Bank in August 2009, Harlan was Senior Executive Vice President and Retail Line of Business Director for the $27 billion company. He was responsible for the strategic growth for all Retail development, including sales, deposits, branch development, and products and services for over 350 branches across Colonial Bank’s five-state footprint. The Retail Lines of Business associated with his overall responsibility included Wealth Management and Brokerage Services, Association Services and Residential Mortgage Lending.   


He joined Colonial Bank as its first management trainee in April 1984 and served in numerous regional and executive positions in Retail Banking. Prior to his appointment to the Retail Line of Business Director in early 2009, he served Colonial Bank as President and CEO of Retail Banking for the Florida West Coast Region, which was comprised of 75 banking offices from Naples to Tampa, Florida, managing $4.4 billion in assets. Prior to moving to Florida in 1999, Parrish spent the first 15 years of his banking career in Alabama.  


Harlan received his Bachelor of Science degree with honors from Auburn University at Montgomery. He is a 1997 honors graduate from the Bank Administration Institute (BAI) Graduate School of Retail Banking.  Parrish also has been active in numerous civic and community organizations in south Florida including serving on the board and the Executive Committee of the United Way of Lee, Hendry and Glades Counties and serving on the board for the Foundation for Lee County Public Schools where he is the past Chairman. He currently serves on the Advisory Board for the Brock School of Business at Samford University and he was recently appointed to the Board of Directors of the Birmingham Business Alliance.  


Mike Baker,  Managing Partner, Dent Baker, Birmingham, Ala: Mike joined Dent, Baker & Company in 1989, earned his CPA designation in 1990 and became partner in 1997. His practice is concentrated in the area of taxation and general business consulting. Baker heads the firm’s international practice assisting American companies seeking to conduct business abroad and foreign companies operating in the U.S. He is also a Certified Financial Planner, holding the Series 7 and 63 licenses from the National Association of Securities Dealers.  


He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants, the Financial Planning Association and a chairman of the UAB Accounting Advisory Council. He is also a member of the International Business Development Committee for the PKF North American Network consisting of more than 430 accounting firms in more than 100 countries.   


A native of Birmingham, he received a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Auburn University and an accounting equivalency from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  



John Gunderson, Senior Vice President, The Daniel Corporation, Birmingham, Ala: John oversees the company's residential operations and community development. Prior to joining Daniel, John held executive and partnership positions in both private and publicly held real estate corporations in Florida, New York and California. These positions provided John with experience in Master-Planned Communities, Resort and Golf Development, Commercial, Office and Mixed-Use Properties, Specialty Theme Properties and Historic Preservation, Medical and Educational Facilities, Senior and Student Housing, and High-Rise Condominiums and Apartments.

John holds several advanced industry designations and has served as consultant, lecturer and instructor to trade groups, national builders and corporations. He has over a decade of additional expertise in Innovation & Strategic Planning Management with clients as diverse as the World Trade Center Association, Mercycare Health Systems, U.S. Council of Mayors, the University of Rochester, Sony USA, Lexus and the PGA TOUR. John holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Duke University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan.

His professional and civic associations include: American Red Cross Board Member, Habitat for Humanity Board Member, and Rotary International.


Extending our footprint in corporate and community is one of our strategic goals here at the Brock School of Business,” said, Howard Finch, Dean.  “We are achieving this goal by developing partnerships with the diverse corporate and civic community in the areas around the country we serve.”  




The renaming of the Samford School of Business to the Brock School of Business in December 2007 is the latest in a long history of achievements for business education at Samford, which has offered degrees in business and commerce since 1922.  In 1965, the School of Business was established to offer both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business.  Alabama’s first part-time master of business administration degree program was established at Samford, and the first MBA degrees were awarded in 1967.  The master of accountancy degree was approved in 1995.  The business school was fully accredited by AACSB International in 1999, a recognition earned by less than 10 percent of business schools worldwide. The Brock School entrepreneurship program was chosen as the best new entrepreneurship in the U.S. in 2010 by the U.S. Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship.