Honorees

To make a donation or buy tickets in honor of an individual honoree, click their name below:

April Aaron-Brush
Beth Beaube
Katherine Simmons Berdy
Sarah Blair
Dr. Henna Budhwani
Barbara Burton
Bebe Goodrich
Steele Marcoux
Dr. Ty Moody
Barbara Royal
Katie Wiatrak

 

Meet the Honorees

April Aaron-Brush

Birmingham Gay and Lesbian Parents Association • Co-Founder | Social Security Administration • Project Manager

April is the co-founder of the Birmingham Gay and Lesbian Parent group and advocates for safe and welcoming schools, peer support networks, and family advocacy. This parent support group, a network of approximately 300 members in the Birmingham area, meets regularly for support and fellowship. As chair of the Southern Advisory Board of the Family Equality Council she helps lead and organize parent groups, anti-bullying seminars, and awareness efforts in 13 states, including the annual Birmingham Barons 'Out at the Field' night honoring LGBT families in the Birmingham Area. Through her endeavors, April is bringing knowledge, giving a voice, and empowering the LGBTQ community in grass-root measures.

April also works for the Social Security Administration. As a project manager for the state director’s office she coordinates, organizes, and executes unique assignments throughout the state and southern region. April lives in Vestavia Hills with her wife and their 10-year-old daughter.

To make a donation or buy a ticket in April's honor, click here.

 

Elizabeth “Beth” G. Beaube

Maynard Cooper & Gale, P.C. • Chief Administrative Officer & Shareholder

Beth is a distinguished executive leader of a 400+ law firm and growing business, wife, and mother of three children. She recently became the Chair of Maynard Cooper & Gale’s Corporate Section, and she has been the leader of the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Practice for a number of years. Beth has served on the firm’s Executive Committee for over three years, and has served as the firm’s Chief Administrative Officer.

Beth has earned recognition in The Best Lawyers in America© as the area’s Employee Benefits “Lawyer of the Year,” as well as being included in the Super Lawyers listing of “Top 25 Women Lawyers in Alabama” and “Top 50 Alabama Lawyers.” Beth and her legal skills are well-known within Alabama’s business community as she represents many of the state’s largest and most prominent companies and their executives.

Beth received her J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Alabama School of Law, and holds a B.S. in Mathematics, cum laude, from Birmingham-Southern College. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Children’s Aid Society.

To make a donation or buy a ticket in Beth's honor, click here.

 

Katherine Simmons Berdy

The Altamont School • Director of The C. Kyser Miree Center for Ethical Leadership

As the Director of The C. Kyser Miree Ethical Leadership Center at The Altamont School, Katherine helps students find their passions, stare down systemic societal problems, develop innovative solutions, and become change-makers. After receiving her degree in Communication Studies from Vanderbilt University, Katherine moved west to work with teens in outdoor education where Grit and Resilience were students’ proverbial textbooks. She later received an M.Ed. from the University of Montevallo so that she could work to bring experiential education into the traditional school setting. Though the Miree Center is a fulfillment of The Altamont School’s mission, the work and relationships extend well beyond Altamont’s walls. This unique program has made a significant impact on our community through various “Miree Projects,” which range from advocating changes to the estate tax to creating a knitting program to provide hats to the homeless. When she’s not working with the 103 students in The Miree Center, Katherine enjoys reading, traveling to cooler climates with her family, knitting, and connecting with friends old and new.

To make a donation or buy a ticket in Katherine's honor, click here.

 

Sarah Blair

Children's of Alabama • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Sarah is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who has dedicated over 9 years of her career to caring for children with heart defects throughout Alabama. She is an invaluable member of the cardiac team at the Bruno Heart Center at Children's of Alabama. Sarah serves as the coordinator of the Hearts at Home program which provides one-on-one assistance, guidance, and follow up for the patients with the most severe forms of congenital heart disease after they are discharged from Children’s. These babies are very fragile and it can be very overwhelming for parents to take their baby home as they have been in the hospital since birth, sometimes for several months. Sarah works closely with parents and family and the program has reduced the mortality and morbidity by recognizing warning signs early. In 2016, Hearts at Home started sending patients home with tablets which Sarah teaches parents how to use. Now parents can upload information daily, such as heart rate, oxygen saturation, and weight, which allows staff to access the information immediately. The parents can also contact the hospital for a virtual visit via FaceTime.

Sarah received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from Auburn University and a Master of Science in Nursing from University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).

When she’s not at work, Sarah enjoys cooking, gardening, traveling, and spending time with her husband, Jason, and their black lab, Josie. They are members of Community Presbyterian Church in Moody, AL and currently are renovating a house in historic downtown Trussville.

To make a donation or buy a ticket in Sarah's honor, click here.

 

Dr. Henna Budhwani

UAB School of Public Health • Assistant Professor, Dept. of Health Care Organization and Policy

Dr. Henna Budhwani is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Care Organization and Policy in the UAB School of Public Health and holds a secondary appointment in the UAB College of Arts and Science’s African American Studies program. Henna works nationally and internationally to improve health outcomes within vulnerable populations through research and public health practice. Specifically, Henna’s research agenda focuses on health disparities with an emphasis on immigrants and minorities in the United States, and women and youth abroad. She has active projects across the Caribbean and locally in HIV reduction. Over the past decade, Henna supported research and implementation endeavors in eighteen countries.

Additionally, Henna is heavily engaged in the local community. She has served as a panelist during Birmingham’s Empowerment Week in on the topic of persistent discrimination against racial and ethnic minorities and has spoken on the experience of American-born ethnic minorities at the White House-sponsored Asian American Pacific Islander Youth Summit. Henna is a member of the March of Dimes Chapter NICU Action Committee, was on the Board of Trustees for the Alabama Waldorf School, was a patron of the Birmingham Museum of Art Indian Cultural Society, worked as a crisis-helpline volunteer navigating victims of violence to safe harbor and independence, and is a contributor to The Huffington Post. Henna is a resident of Vestavia Hills and mother to six-year old twins.

To make a donation or buy a ticket in Henna's honor, click here.

 

Barbara Lovelace Burton

Chalker Group • President/Founder

With her civic mind and love of Birmingham, Barbara Burton founded and is the President of Chalker Group, a start-up with the mission of being innovative and bringing the best and brightest to Birmingham. Barbara created a new way of thinking about recruiting that helps candidates and their families identify points of connection to our community and develop a deep and personal understanding of the many resources our city has to offer. Under Barbara’s leadership, Chalker Group has been vital to numerous, successful leadership searches at UAB, including but not limited to: Director, Comprehensive Cancer Center; Vice President, Research and Economic Development; Chair, Chief of Surgery; Vice President, Information Technology and Chief Information Officer; Director, Informatics Institute; Director, Personalized Medicine Institute; Chair, Department of Pathology; Chair, Department of Pediatrics.

In addition to serving UAB, Barbara and her team have expanded Chalker Group to the private business sector. Barbara is Class of 2015 Leadership Birmingham and Class of 2016 Leadership Alabama. She is an active member of the Rotary Club of Birmingham; the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center Board; and Fundraising Committee for Dynamite Hill-Smithfield Community Land Trust. Barbara served on the selection committee for The Women’s Fund’s Collaboration Institute 2.0 in 2016. In addition, she is a former Board member of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens and past Chair of Antiques in the Garden.

To make a donation or buy a ticket in Barbara's honor, click here.

 

Bebe Goodrich

Royal Cup • Director of Liquid Innovation

In 2012, Bebe left her job in Birmingham’s nonprofit sector to start her own coffee company.

With a bag of coffee and a five-gallon bucket, she set up shop in her garage and set out to bring the bold, cold-brewed coffee she grew up drinking in New Orleans to the Magic City. After a few Saturdays at the Pepper Place farmer’s market, Bebe’s brew amassed a loyal following and Icebox Coffee was born. 

Icebox Coffee rapidly grew its customer base outside of Birmingham, thanks to Bebe’s leadership, ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit, and through early distribution agreements with major retailers, including Whole Foods and Central Market. The cold-brew coffee market itself grew 580 percent from 2011 through 2016, and insatiable consumer demand helped propel Bebe’s company into the national spotlight. Today, Icebox Coffee is sold nationwide. In August 2017, Bebe joined the Royal Cup team as Director of Liquid Innovation following Royal Cup’s acquisition of Icebox Coffee.

Bebe enjoys cooking, great food, and 90s country music. She has two children.

To make a donation or buy a ticket in Bebe's honor, click here.

 

Steele Thomas Marcoux

Coastal Living • Editor-in-Chief

Steele Marcoux has been editor of Coastal Living since April 2015 and co-lead for the Time Inc. digital home desk since January 2017. Under her leadership, the brand has been awarded numerous accolades for editorial excellence, and has experienced significant audience growth.

Steele has 15 years of editorial experience across all platforms. Prior to returning to Time Inc and Coastal Living in 2015, she served as Executive Editor at Country Living. Before that, she was the Design Editor at Southern Living in 2013 and held similar positions at Coastal Living and Cottage Living from 2006-2012. She has worked as a freelance writer, editor and producer for a number of other titles, including HGTV Magazine, Better Homes & Gardens, Hamptons Cottages & Gardens and more.

Steele is from Atlanta, where she attended the Westminster Schools. After graduating from Williams College, where she studied art history and played on the varsity women’s tennis team, she worked as a reporter in Washington, DC for three years before returning to the south to pursue a master’s degree in American History at the University of Alabama. Steele lives with her husband, two sons, and her dog. 

To make a donation or buy a ticket in Steele's honor, click here.

 

Dr. Ty Moody

Einstein's Playground • Executive Director

Ty's dedication to education is relentless. She has worked tirelessly with others to develop strategic plans for school success, create initiatives for school-wide reading awareness, and chaired forums to encourage stakeholders to work together for continuous school and process improvement. Since moving to Birmingham, Ty assists her husband, Pastor Vanable H. Moody, II, with many facets of their ministry, including but not limited to, ministry development and management. As leader of The Worship Center Christian Church’s Women’s Ministry, Ty teaches classes, and annually hosts The Worship Center’s Women’s Empowerment Weekend. Most recently, Ty established Einstein’s Playground, a children’s learning and development center that stresses a curriculum that results in holistic development of every child. 

In addition to her full-time responsibilities as the wife of the Senior Pastor and Founder of The Worship Center Christian Church, her greatest joy is the having the ability to nurture and care for their two children, Eden Sydney and Ethan Isaiah. Ty has both a Bachelor and Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Florida. In 2008, she achieved her Doctorate of Education in Organizational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University. 

To make a donation or buy a ticket in Ty's honor, click here.

 

Barbara Royal

Momentum • Founder and Consultant

Barbara has been CEO of Momentum for the past 15 years. She is beginning her new role as Momentum special projects consultant in September 2017. During her time with Momentum, Barbara served as Executive Director of Discovery Place and Discovery 2000 and developed the groundwork for McWane Science Center. She is a graduate of Leadership Birmingham and Leadership America.

Barbara serves as a Robert Wood Johnson Fellows mentor, on the National Advisory Forum of the Women’s Museum, a Smithsonian affiliate, in Dallas, Texas, on the Board of the National Association of Children’s Healthcare Quality in Boston, MA, on the UAB President’s Advisory Council and President of Harbert Center Management Inc. She was named a Top Ten Birmingham Businesswomen by Birmingham Business Journal in 1990, one of 25 Intriguing People to Watch in 2003 by Birmingham magazine, a 2004 Women of Distinction by Cahaba Girl Scouts, and has served extensively on civic boards and endeavors.

Barbara and Stuart have two children, five grandchildren and a fanciful dog, Izzie.

To make a donation or buy a ticket in Barbara's honor, click here.

 

Katie Wiatrak (Next Gen Honoree)

Indian Springs School • Student and Founder of the Gender Equality Club

Katie is the founder of the Gender Equality Club at Indian Springs School, where she is a senior. She founded the club alongside Springs’ first female Head of School, Dr. Sharon Howell, and a fierce friend and classmate, Delaney Porter. Since 2016, the club has gained over seventy members, becoming the largest club at the school. The club hosts movie screenings and after-school discussions and circulates articles and other media about gender equality issues to remind club members of this movement in the midst of their busy lives. In May 2017, the club organized a Mother's Day fundraiser for women at domestic violence centers.

Katie’s dream is to join the next generation of women in medicine and to travel the world on her academic journey. She volunteers in the emergency room at Children’s Hospital of Alabama where she is the only female volunteer. Katie also recently completed a four-week medical course at the University of Oxford through the Oxford & Cambridge Summer Academy (OCSA) for which she received a scholarship from Indian Springs School's Andy Abroms Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Katie also serves as choir officer for the contemporary music ensemble at Indian Springs, plays on the school’s golf team, teaches at her synagogue, and volunteers with Anytown Alabama and Peace Birmingham. She enjoys singing, playing the piano and guitar, and writing.

To make a donation or buy a ticket in Katie's honor, click here.

 

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