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Women Who Shape the State Honors WIT President & CEO Adeyela Bennett

Updated: Apr 15

Photos by 2B Photography

Adeyela Bennett receiving her Women Who Shape the State award from Kathy Cowart, Vice President of Sales, Alabama Media Group (in the black dress) and Elizabeth Whitmire, Vice President of Audience, Alabama Media Group.

For the past 11 years, This is Alabama asked Alabama residents to tell them about women who have made a difference in the community. The honorees have included a broad range of women from every corner of the state, including business leaders, educators, artists, activists, CEOs, astronauts, engineers, nonprofit leaders, volunteers and more.

This year, Attorney Charlanna Skaggs nominated Women in Training, Inc. President and Chief Engagement Officer Adeyela Albury Bennett, for the prestigous award. This is Alabama named Ms. Bennett as one of the 25 Women Who Shape the State Honorees on March 7, 2024, to coincide with International Day of the Woman.

"I nominated Adeyela because she is deserving of this recognition," Ms. Skaggs said. "Adeyela does so much work behind the scenes and does not seek attention. But the organization her daughters founded, and which she quietly helms, has made a huge impact in the lives of young women in Alabama. To identify a need, seek a solution, and then tirelessly execute it for the good of others is exactly the sort of thing for which this award was intended. I am proud that Adeyela and her family are part of our community and our state."

Here is the complete list of Women Who Shape the State honorees for 2024:

  • Tracy Bell, Director of Equity Investments Strategies, First Horizon Bank

  • Adeyela Bennett, President and Chief Engagement Officer, Women in Training, Inc.

  • Alka Bhargav, Founder and Executive Director, Aum Foundation

  • Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb (Ret.), Pro Bono Executive Director, Redemption Earned

  • Tametria Conner Dantzler, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Disability as an Ability Toward Success: Moms on the Move (D.A.T.S.M.O.M.)

  • Judy Darwin, Cybersecurity RMF Analyst, Colsa Corporation

  • Elizabeth N. Dawson, MD FAAP, Pediatrician, Troy Pediatric Clinic and Collegiate Health & President/Founder, Troy Resilience Project

  • Kesshia Davis, Communications Lead, Outokumpu BA Americas

  • Jill V. Deer, Chief Administrative Officer,Brasfield & Gorrie

  • Jenice Fountain, Executive Director, The Yellowhammer Fund

  • Devon Frazier, Founder/CEO, I See Me, Inc.

  • Candace Grice, Lighting Specialist and Showroom Purchaser, Inline Lighting

  • Judy Haner, Coastal Programs Director, The Nature Conservancy

  • Linda J. M. Holloway, EdD, Associate Professor, Instructional Support Programs — Counseling Education, Alabama State University

  • Jacqueline Campos Johnson, Mental Health Services Coordinator, Sheffield City Schools

  • Andi M. Kent, Executive Vice President and Provost, University of South Alabama

  • T. Marie King, Director of Youth Pathways & Experiences, Jones Valley Teaching Farm

  • Bridget T. McCaleb, Catalyst/CEO, Sentar, Inc.

  • Stephanie Mitchell, Midwife, Executive Director, Birth Sanctuary Gainesville

  • Dr. Valda Harris Montgomery, Retired Associate Professor of Physical Therapy & Civil Rights Activist, Alabama State University

  • Summer Patterson, Acting Manager/Supervisor and WIOA Youth and Dislocated Worker Specialist at the Gadsden Career Center, Alabama Department of Labor

  • Susan Yvette Price, Sr. Vice Chancellor for System Development & Chief of Staff,The Alabama Community College System

  • Michelle McClinton Smart, Vice President, Director of Marketing and Communications, Bryant Bank

  • Tangee S. Souders, Senior Vice President of Finance & Administration, All In Credit Union

  • Lori Madison Stinson, Attorney General/Chief Legal Officer, Poarch Band of Creek Indians

The article announcing the honorees, said this about Ms. Bennett:

Adeyela Bennett is the president and chief engagement officer for Women In Training, Inc., a nonprofit organization based in Montgomery working to end poverty and empower girls and young women throughout the state. The organization, which advocates for menstrual education, equality and social justice, spearheaded the passage of legislation in Alabama that allocates $200,000 to providing period products to all girls in Alabama public schools to reduce absenteeism and address the lack of adequate menstrual supplies for underprivileged girls. In addition, the organization also provides leadership classes, a mentorship program and STEM initiatives for girls. 

“I want my legacy to be that I helped the world be a more joyful place for girls and women,” said Bennett. “I want us to feel healthy, safe and happy in our homes, schools, workplaces and the playground.”

Please view PHOTOS from the Women Who Shape the State Reception and Luncheon, sponsored by Inline Lighting, at The Club in Birmingham.

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