The Ireland Family




Faith and Hope


Frank Fleming

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In 1916, Charles L. Ireland of Ohio purchased Birmingham Slag, the predecessor of Vulcan Materials Company and sent sons Glenn, Eugene and Barney Ireland to Birmingham to manage the business. Since that time, the involvement of the Ireland Family saw Vulcan grow from a small family business to one of America's major corporations. The Irelands contributed to the growth of our nation by being a major supplier for Tennessee Valley Authority projects as well as providing construction materials for World War II efforts including Oak Ridge and Redstone Arsenal. In 1956, Birmingham Slag was renamed Vulcan Materials Company, which became the nation's leading supplier of construction aggregate and instrumental in the improvement of our country's highway systems, dams and other infrastructure projects. Vulcan Materials Company is also a leading manufacturer of chemicals serving water management and pulp and paper industries.

The Irelands are truly a family of vision, and their exceptional leadership has set a wonderful example for many. Throughout the years, the Ireland Family has been committed to their industry and to the betterment of the community through safety, health, environmental stewardship and social responsibility. This family's civic engagement has benefited the people of Alabama tremendously. Community service has always been a priority for the Ireland Family with many members supporting countless philanthropic endeavors throughout the years. The Irelands are truly a family of vision, and their exceptional leadership has set an example for many.


Fleming was born in Bear Creek, Alabama in 1940, growing up on a cotton and corn farm in an isolated part of the state. His speech impediment and academic ability opened the door for him to attend Florence State College, now the University of North Alabama, for speech therapy. He took an art course on a whim, discovered he had a talent for drawing, and became an art major. He graduated hoping to teach, but positions in the school system were few, and instead he worked for six years at Boeing and NASA as a draftsman, eventually returning to school, receiving MA and MFA degrees from the University of Alabama.

Frank's work spoke to people beyond the South, and is included in numerous public and private collections, including all of the major art museums in Alabama, as well at the Smithsonian's American Art Museum, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MFA Houston, and Palm Springs Museum, to name but a few. He received and completed numerous commissions for public art, was represented by galleries across the United States, and had over 40 solo exhibitions in his career.