The Heartbeat

The Heartbeat

Welcome to The Heartbeat, where you can hear the “pulse” of what’s happening with the Heart of Birmingham Chapter of ABWA!


Veronica Wallace (Left), Carol Skelton, Bell Rogers and Peggy West

This newsletter is a combination of meetings and information since the last post in May 2016.  Moving forward newsletters will be posted monthly.   Members gathered for planning of incoming officers.  There were several agenda items.   Members reviewed secretary, treasurer and committee reports.  The hour and half meeting closed with members collecting orders from the last Boston Butt fundraiser.  “There was great participation from the public,” replied Veronica Wallace.

Newly elected leaders scheduled time to meet and develop a business plan, goals and budget to guide them in creating a Best Practices community.  The new term began on August 1 and new committee chairs were forwarded to national.  September kicked-off the nationally sponsored Fall New Membership Recruitment campaign.


ABW Day Celebration at John’s City Diner

Members met to organize the best methods to raise awareness and recruitment of new members.  Many of Heart of Birmingham (HOB)  chapter members met to celebrate ABW Day on September 22nd at John’s City Diner and to honor one of it’s oldest members, Sara Cooley.  The public was encouraged to join HOB for dinner.


JpegCongratulations, Sara Cooley.

Sara Cooley has been a part of the league since November 4, 1968 when she joined at a membership drive while employed with Southern Bell, better known as BellSouth.  Since then she has attended regional and national conferences and held all titles from recording secretary to president.  She was selected as Woman of the Year and received her certificate from the late Stephen M. Bufton.  Ms. Cooley is still an active and vocal member.






penny-blackmon-presentationHeart of Birmingham would like to thank our speakers, Penny and Cranford Blackmon, owners of LABCAF (Legs and Brains Claws and Fangs) who provides self-protection classes.  They offer four classes geared for women and their protection.  “Remember, we are the First Responders,” Cranford Blackmon explained.  She and her husband gave illustrations to members.

women's self defense

Penny and Cranford Blackmon of LABCAF

Training ranges from adapting your surroundings to use as self protection to dealing with an active shooter. Attendees learn to set boundaries between you and a would-be attacker.  You are coached on securing your home or yourself while traveling.  Child safety training is offered as well as how to deal with fear if you are confronted.  There are more classes offered. Their classes last from 2 – 8 hours.

LABCAF is located in the Birmingham area and offers classes in several locations throughout the city.


Gwendolyn Shores


Gwen Suttles and Gwendolyn Shores

Members met another special guest, Gwendolyn Shores of Minds Above Matter who is a motivational speaker.  Shores attended the September meeting with her protege’ Gwen Suttles.











Heart of Birmingham next chapter meeting is scheduled Tuesday, October 18, 2016.

About the Author

Kristie Curtis

Kristie CurtisKristie Curtis will serve as ABWA Heart of Birmingham's Vice President for 2016-17. She graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a degree in Public Relations and has worked for the Birmingham Water Works Board and for the past 6 years. Find her on path with new and exciting endeavors.View all posts by Kristie Curtis »