A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Beverly Blount McNeil brings more than 30 years of experience in the arts to her role as Executive Partner of Portraits, Inc. Beverly founded Portrait Brokers of America in 1986, which quickly became one of the leading portrait art firms in the country. In 2008, she and Julia G. Baughman acquired Portraits, Inc., a New York-based portrait company founded in 1942. ThePortraitSource, a portrait company located in North Carolina, joined with Portraits, Inc. in 2010. Today, the combined companies operate under the name Portraits, Inc.
Beverly has served on the Board of Trustees of the Children’s Hospital of Alabama since 2007. She has also served on the board of Vanguard Bank, and was a founding board member of the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation (Destin, FL) and Art on the Lake (Lake Martin, AL). Since 2000, she has owned the Beverly McNeil Gallery, located in Signature Studios in Destin, Florida.
Julia G. Baughman purchased Portraits, Inc., with Beverly McNeil in January 2008 and serves as an Executive Partner. Prior to the purchase of Portraits, Inc., Julia was Director of Sales for Portrait Brokers of America, having joined them in 1992. With nearly 20 years in the portrait business, Julia specializes in assisting our institutional clients with their portrait needs. She also enjoys working with many families throughout the country.
Julia is a native of North Carolina and graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1972. She currently resides in Columbus, Ohio.
Ruth Joiner Reeves comes from a military family and finally settled in Northern California after growing up in Japan and Germany. Ruth attended Napa College and San Francisco State University. After college, she spent five years as a stewardess for American Airlines and was based in New York City and San Francisco. In 1982, Ruth began representing portrait painters and formally established ThePortraitSource in 1992. ThePortraitSource merged with Portraits, Inc., in 2010 and Ruth took on the position of Executive Partner.
Ruth has been involved in arts organizations and has served on civic boards in Charlotte, Hendersonville, and Flat Rock, NC, her adopted home of twenty years. Of her career, Ruth reflects, “I’m not an artist – so it’s a wonderful feeling to help talented people make a living with their art.”
John McNeil earned a B.S. in Commerce from Washington & Lee University. After more than 30 years in property management and real estate development, John McNeil took his financial and corporate management expertise to Portraits, Inc., in 2010, taking on the role of President & COO.
John has served as past President of the Destin Rotary Club and was named Business Person of the Year by the Destin Chamber of Commerce. John is also a past board chairman of the John Guest Evangelistic Team. He currently serves on the board of Desire Street Ministries.
Jane Arendall, a Birmingham native and graduate of the University of Alabama, joined Portrait Brokers of America in 1996. She served the company in several different capacities, including Artist Liaison and Bookkeeper. Since the merger with Portraits, Inc., she has served as Contract Manager, overseeing all current commissions for the company.
Janette Gray adds over 30 years of accounting experience to Portraits, Inc. A native of Birmingham, AL, Janette joined the staff as Bookkeeper in 2007. She was previously employed with Jefferson Warrior Railroad, Lincoln Properties (New Orleans, LA), and Loretta Goodwin Gallery. Janette continues to expand her bookkeeping skills through seminars and classes.
Jennifer Gray began her career in the arts six years ago after graduating summa cum laude from Vanderbilt University with a dual bachelor’s degree in art history and French. Jennifer went on to earn her MA degree from New York University’s prestigious Institute of Fine Arts. Prior to joining the company, Jennifer worked as Assistant Curator of Auburn University’s Jule Collins Smith Museum of Art and as Gallery Director of a prominent gallery. She joined the Portraits, Inc. staff in 2007.
JoAnne Merrill attended The University of Vermont. After graduating, she joined Vista, for which she was sent to North Carolina for one year of service, and has lived there for almost 40 years. After teaching at a private school for several years, she began working with Ruth Reeves and ThePortraitSource in 1992, where she has served in many capacities, including Office Manager and Artist Liaison. Since ThePortraitSource joined with Portraits, Inc., JoAnne has continued to work in the Flat Rock gallery as Gallery Manager.
A Birmingham native, Leigh Smith began her career in the arts nine years ago after graduating summa cum laude with a BFA in graphic design from Mississippi State University. She worked as a graphic designer in Grayton Beach, FL, before returning to Birmingham in 2007 to serve as Senior Art Director of Style Advertising. She joined the Portraits, Inc. staff as Director of Marketing in 2011.
Margie Walker attended Gulf Park College for Women and Hendrix College. She honed her sales skills working in retail before joining Beverly McNeil and the newly-established Portrait Brokers of America in 1986. For more than 20 years, Margie served as Vice President of Portrait Brokers and was involved with nearly every aspect of the company. Since the merger with Portraits, Inc., Margie has served as Gallery Manager for the Birmingham, AL, location.