Staff Directory

Beverly McNeil

Executive Partner

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 adjacent to Portraits, Inc. in Birmingham.

Julia Baughman

Executive Partner

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 Reeves

Executive Partner
Government Contracts


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.”

Bebe Barnard


Bebe Barnard has been a Portraits, Inc. sales associate in California, Oklahoma, and most recently Mobile, Alabama. Originally from Birmingham, she and her husband and their three children moved back to the city in the summer of 2013. She served as Commissions Manager for the company, overseeing all current commissions from start to delivery, until 2017 when she was appointed President.

Jennifer Gray

Director of Communications

Jennifer Gray began her career in the arts in 2005.  She graduated summa cum laude from Vanderbilt University with a bachelor’s degree in art history and French before attending graduate school at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts. She worked in several prominent galleries and museums in the Southeast before joining the Portraits, Inc. staff in 2007.

Lillian Laughlin


Lillian Laughlin graduated with a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the University of Mississippi and has had a successful career in bookkeeping for more than 25 years. She lived in Jackson, Mississippi, before returning to her hometown of Birmingham in 2009. She joined the Portraits, Inc. staff as Bookkeeper in 2014.

JoAnne Merrill

Gallery Manager
Flat Rock Gallery


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.

Margaret Whiteside

Gallery Manager and Associate Liaison
Birmingham Gallery


A Birmingham native, Margaret Whiteside comes from a family of artists and art lovers. She studied Art History at Sewanee: The University of the South, and went on to receive an Advanced Certificate in American Fine and Decorative Arts from the Sotheby's Institute of Art in New York. She worked for Sotheby's in New York for two years before returning home to Birmingham. For the past 10 years, Margaret worked in the Advancement Department at Altamont School, her alma mater. She is thrilled to be returning to the art world.