Chapman received her B.S. degree from the University of Montevallo and her Master’s degree (magna cum laude) from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She also completed post-graduate work with a 4.0 grade-point average. She graduated from the Executives in State Government Management Institute at Princeton University.
Chapman was the first woman in Alabama to serve as a Cabinet Member in the capacity of Appointments Secretary for a Governor and later as Press Secretary for a Lieutenant Governor. In addition, she and her family have owned a successful public-relations business for many years.
Upon being elected as State Auditor in 2002, Chapman was responsible for $1.6 billion in property assets. Under her leadership, the State Auditor’s office produced a record-breaking 96 percent perfect audit rate among state agencies, holding them to the highest level of accountability.
As Secretary of State, Chapman streamlined the business services division of that office and brought it into the 21st century with electronic online business filings. Chapman also created the Secretary of State’s first Voter Fraud Task Force to receive complaints from citizens about voting irregularities. She championed the fight against voter fraud, which was highlighted nationally on Fox News. She is also known as a national leader in the valiant effort to develop military internet voting to better serve members of our military who serve abroad.
Under Chapman’s leadership as Secretary of State, the number of Alabama voters increased by approximately 200,000 in two years and she and the staff successfully conducted the largest presidential election in Alabama’s history. She also provided guidance to candidates and county elections officials regarding a gubernatorial recount and run off.
Chapman was elected to serve on the Executive Board for the Standards Board of the United States Elections Assistance Commission. She is a member of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) and served as its president in 2012. She has also served on The Pew Charitable Trust’s Alliance for Military and Overseas Voting Rights. Chapman has travelled to Taiwan as a NASS delegate and to Munich, Germany as a special guest of the Overseas Vote Foundation’s International Summit. She has been called as an expert witness to testify before Congress regarding the need and potential solutions to the voting problems faced by our military members serving overseas.
Chapman has received numerous military commendations for her advancement of the patriotic spirit in America: the Seven Seals Award by the Employer Support for the Guard and Reserves (ESGR) and three appointments by Alabama’s Governor and Adjutant General to participate in the Partnership for Peace Program, where she represented Alabama in Romania, Belgium and Germany. Chapman was honored by the United States Selective Service Board, received an award of support from the Alabama National Guard and was chosen to represent Alabama at the National Security Forum at the nationally renowned Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base. She has been invited to speak and represent Alabama at numerous military events throughout the United States.
Chapman has served as a member of the Governor’s Committee on Accountability and was elected unanimously as a member of Alabama’s Electoral College in 2004 after being elected statewide as a delegate to the 2000 and 2004 National Republican Conventions. She has received numerous personal and professional honors and awards including two congressional appointments to the Women’s Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C., the Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award from the University of Montevallo and was chosen internationally as a Distinguished Citizen by Alpha Gamma Delta Fraternity. She was also selected to the nationally prestigious Toll Fellows program and is a member of ODK Leadership Fraternity. She has been honored by the Southern Women in Leadership Program sponsored by the Stennis Center for Public Service.
Chapman has worked with the Developing Alabama Youth Program, Family Connections, Shelby County Child Advocacy Center and has served on the boards of the Shelby County Family Resource Center, the Children’s Policy Council, the Crisis Center, the Court Appointed Special Advocates, Lifeline Ministries and Turning Point Foundation. She has been named a Champion for Youth by the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and won the Walker County Community Service Award.
Chapman is the author of six books. The Power of Patriotism received the distinguished George Washington Honor Medal from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge. She has also written two patriotic speeches, which have been entered into the Congressional Record by Senator Jeff Sessions and Congressman Jo Bonner.
In addition to her service on the University of Montevallo Board of Trustees, Chapman also serves as a board member for St. Vincent’s Hospital, Lyman Ward Military Academy, Community Grief Support Services and the Alabama’s Children’s Trust Fund.
Chapman is a highly sought-after motivational speaker in the business, church and political arenas. She is widowed and has two sons and one grandson.