Alabaster is excited to announce a change in leadership for the Alabaster Connection. Barry Wise Smith and Lee Hurley will be taking over editorial and publishing duties respectively beginning with the next issue, which will be published with a new look in September. 

Smith and Hurley both have decades of experience in publishing. “I have been actively working in publishing since I completed my master’s degree in journalism at the University of Alabama in 1994,” Smith shared. “I fell in love with magazines during my first year of graduate school when I took a magazine publishing class. I knew then that I wanted to write and edit magazines. I did an internship at Southern Progress that spring, and the rest is history. I’ve worked as an assistant editor for a B2B magazine, a managing editor for a monthly lifestyle magazine, copyeditor for numerous publications, executive editor for a hometown magazine, writer/editor for Chamber of Commerce magazines, and much more. I also do freelance work for numerous companies writing, editing, and copyediting all varieties of material.”

Hurley caught the zeal for publishing early as well. “A friend and I started a music magazine called Leak CD Magazine in 1994. Every issue came with a CD of upcoming artists. We made every mistake it is possible to make in publishing. But I caught the magazine bug,” he said with a smile and laugh. 

Alabaster Connection will be redesigned and refreshed with the city’s new branding, as well as a sturdy binding. But what remains the same is the great stories about our city. “I’m excited to continue the fantastic magazine that already exists with a focus on the many interesting people, places, and events happening in Alabaster. I hope we can continue to make people feel proud of their community while learning things they might not have otherwise known,” Smith shared. 

Along with the changes to look and feel, there will also be some changes to delivery.“ I think the biggest change will be the frequency of the magazine, publishing every other month and increasing the page count which will allow us to include more stories for the readers,” Smith stated. 

Hurley is most looking forward to telling great stories. “Meeting new people and digging deeper into all of the great institutions: government, churches, schools, businesses, restaurants, health and wellness, retail, charities. We love telling all sorts of stories that paint the mural of a thriving community,” he said. 

Smith echoes that sentiment. “I’m so excited to learn about the fantastic things that are happening in Alabaster. I’m looking forward to meeting people and establishing relationships with the people we feature and work with in the city. I serve on the City Council in Homewood, so I’m excited to see and learn what other municipalities in the metro area are doing that I can learn from,” she said. 

The Alabaster Connection will still be mailed to every home and business in the City of Alabaster. It reaches over 33,000 people each edition and serves as one part of the city’s communication strategy. 

With story ideas, please reach out to: 

Barry Smith at

For advertising inquiries, contact: 

Lee Hurley at