Ashley Ferry, Executive Director

Ashley Belcher Ferry is a native of Leeds, Alabama and is married to Daniel Ferry. They have called Tuscaloosa home for over 25 years. She is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis and the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. After practicing law with Watson, deGraffenried and serving as the Executive Director of Christmas In April/Rebuilding Together, she retired to be a full time mother to her four children, Walker, Caroline, Thomas Elliot, and Dorothy. 

Ashley has volunteered and served as a board member of many organizations, including The Shelton State Foundation, Foster Grandparents, Theatre Tuscaloosa, Arts and Autism, The Autism Society of Alabama, Cornerstone Schools of Alabama, Verner Elementary PTA, Christ Church ECW, and The Episcopal Diocese of Alabama’s Sawyerville Department. She is an active member of Christ Episcopal Church where she serves on the Altar Flower Guild and the Tuscaloosa Multi-Church Committee. She is also a graduate of Leadership Tuscaloosa. Ashley is a member of The Women’s Foundation of Alabama’s Women’s Policy Institute Fellowship Class of 2024. 

From 2022-23, Ashley worked with The Tuscaloosa City Schools to help open New Heights Community Resource Center, Alabama’s first school-based wraparound service center. She is thrilled to have transitioned from Board President of The Hank Poore Foundation to Executive Director and can’t wait to work with Hank to increase opportunities for those living with disabilities in Alabama. 

Board of Directors

Hank Poore, Director/Founder

Hank is a 21 year old from Tuscaloosa, with a killer smile, great sense of humor, extreme motivation, and cerebral palsy. He is the youngest of 4 children — 2 older brothers and a sister- who have treated him like every other sibling treats their baby brother — with lots of rough housing, teasing, slight torture, and of course, lots of love.

From an early age, Hank has been motivated to overcome his many obstacles, and has always been eager to try new things, and very rarely says "no", or "i can't/won't do that".

He has snow skied and water skied on a regular basis, attended weeklong overnight camp since he was 7, and started cycling when he was 15.

He has cycled 10 half marathons, and 4 full marathons- including the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington DC, and the New York City Marathon.

Most recently, in 2019, he and a friend cycled 158 miles in western Colorado to raise awareness and funds for athletes with disabilities.

In 2016, he began working at Urban Cookhouse, where he delivers food to customers on a specially made tray , and he also volunteers as a camper buddy at Camp Mcdowell during a camp for children with and without disabilities.

He has also spoken to many groups, including classes at UA and local elementary schools, and a state conference for high schoolers with disabilities. He also was a highlighted speaker at United Ability's annual fundraiser in Birmingham in 2019.

He is the recipient of many awards, including Camp Ascca Camper of the Year, Alabama Department of Rehab Services Consumer of the Year, Delegate at The Alabama Youth Leadership Conference, Tuscaloosa City School Outstanding Secondary Special Education student, Speech and Hearing Association of Alabama Distinguished AAC User Award 2021and perhaps the most important, Homecoming King of Northridge High School in 2019.

During his senior year in high school, he, his mom and a longtime friend began discussing the need for an organization to provide opportunities to persons with disabilities in our community and beyond. Here the idea of the Hank Poore Foundation was born, and Hank along with many others is excited about this next phase- and are looking forward to giving back to the community that has been so giving to him.

Kathy Poore, President

Kathy Poore is an Alabama native who has called Tuscaloosa home for 22 years. She attended Auburn University and graduated with a BSN in Nursing from UAB School of Nursing in 1991, before working in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at UAB for four years. Following this, she worked as a cancer nurse at the Wake Forest Comprehensive Cancer Center before deciding to stay home to raise her four children.

When Hank was born in 2000, she began educating herself about disability rights, inclusion, and adaptive opportunities for Hank, becoming his biggest advocate. Her biggest desire was that Hank would live a vibrant and full life—whatever that might look like for him. It turns out that a full life for Hank is a very busy one: on any given day, she is cheering him on at races, boarding a flight with Hank so that he can participate in his next major marathon, driving him to work at Urban Cookhouse, buttoning his shirts for weddings and parties, or driving him to one of the many summer camps he attends and works at. She, along with Hank’s father, Raymond, and three older siblings, have been working since 2000 to give Hank a life full of experiences, community, and opportunities.

In 2015, Kathy began her current position at Heritage House Coffee & Tea as a pastry chef. In her free time, she enjoys running, long walks, reading, and spending time with her grown children: Whitt (Lorin), Will, Katie, and Hank.

The seed for the Hank Poore Foundation was planted shortly after Hank cycled 158 miles with a close friend through the mountains of southwest Colorado. It was the adventure of a lifetime for Hank, and representative of that which the Hank Poore Foundation seeks to bring to other individuals with disabilities: inclusive communities and relationships, access to adaptive activities, and a greater sense of what is possible for those with disabilities. She is thrilled to see this vision finally coming to life.

Cheryl Arnold, Secretary

Cheryl Arnold was born and raised in Valley Center, KS, graduating from Wichita State University (BS, Physical Therapy) and Central Michigan University (MSA, Health Services Administration). She worked as a Physical Therapist and Rehabilitation Services Manager/Director at St. Francis Hospital and the Kansas Rehabilitation Hospital in Topeka, KS before relocating to Tuscaloosa, AL in 1994. She served as the DCH Health System Rehabilitation Services Director until 2018 and retired from Physical Therapy in 2020. Cheryl is credentialed as a Geriatric Clinical Specialist PT and a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Cheryl is married and enjoys community involvement, biking, reading, traveling, visits home, and time on Lake Tuscaloosa with her wife, Beth.

Whitt Poore, Treasurer

Whitt Poore was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and raised in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. After graduating from Northridge High School in 2011, Whitt attended Auburn University where he majored in accounting and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Whitt is an active Certified Public Accountant and member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Alabama Society of CPAs and Construction Financial Management Association. Whitt is an Assurance Manager at RSM US LLP in Birmingham, Alabama.

Whitt has over eight years of experience providing audit services to both private entities and publicly traded companies. He primarily focuses on providing audit services to entities operating in the government contracting, construction and real estate industries, including general-, sub- and specialty contractors; real estate developers; and home builders. 

Cynthia Almond

Cynthia was born and raised in Tuscaloosa. She graduated from Central High School and then attended Vanderbilt University. She received a Bachelor of Arts from The University of Alabama, majoring in History and minoring in Spanish, and she also received her Juris Doctor from The University of Alabama School of Law. Cynthia is an attorney in the private practice of law where she concentrates in estate planning and probate, business law, and real estate. She also owns a title company, Capitol Park Title.

In 2021, Cynthia was elected to the State of Alabama House of Representatives for District 63 in Tuscaloosa. She currently serves as Chair of the Tuscaloosa County Local Legislative Delegation and as a member of the Ways and Means Education Committee, the Judiciary Committee, Rules Committee, and serves as Vice-Chair of Ethics and Campaign Finance Committee. Previously, she served four terms on the Tuscaloosa City Council where she was elected by her peers as President Pro Tem of the council and served as Chair of the Finance committee. She is a graduate of Leadership Alabama and was Co-Chair for its West Alabama Regional Council; she serves on the Capstone Health Services Foundation and on its Finance Committee, the Hank Poore Foundation, Immediate Past Chair of the State Bar Association’s Real Property/Probate/Trust section, the Alabama Women’s Commission, and the BankFirst Advisory Board; and she is a member of and serves as a Sunday School teacher at First United Methodist Church. She previously served on and Chaired the West Alabama Regional Commission, and she also served on the Tuscaloosa County Tax Board. Cynthia has two children, Lee and Miller. In her spare time, Cynthia enjoys playing the piano, tennis, walking, running, mountain bike riding, kayaking, and most any other outdoor activity!

Babs Anderson

Babs was born in Jasper, Alabama. She is a 1988 graduate of Auburn University where she earned a Bachelors degree in Communication and a Masters degree in Journalism. She currently serves as Vice President and Treasurer of Auburn University Tigers Unlimited Foundation Board and a member of Auburn University Foundation Audit Committee. She is also a member of Auburn’s Women Philanthropy Board.

Babs serves as secretary of the Counseling Ministry Professionals Board which offers Christian counseling to families of the Tuscaloosa Community.

Babs is the owner of Momentum Fitness Gym and is a member of First Methodist Church and enjoys serving on mission trips to Honduras.

Babs has been married to her husband, Michael Anderson for thirty- one years. They have 2 children Logan Strickland (Wesley) and Liza. They also have one grandchild Ruby Strickland. Babs enjoys time with her family, traveling, golf, tennis and anything that involves Auburn University.

Jamie Barnett

Jamie Barnett was born and raised in Fairhope, Alabama. After graduating from high school she attended Auburn University where she obtained a degree in Rehabilitation and Special Education for students with Behavioral Disorders. She then moved to Tuscaloosa where she began her teaching career. She worked at Tuscaloosa Middle School, University Place Elementary School, and First Presbyterian Preschool. After her children were older she returned to teaching at Northridge High School. She worked there for over fifteen years and was even Hank’s case manager while there! Jamie currently works with ELL students in the Tuscaloosa City School system. 

Jamie has been married to her husband, Matt, for nearly 34 years. They have three children Hannah Haas Burkhalter (David), Matthew and Lucy. They have one grandchild, Wallace Burkhalter. Jamie enjoys time with her family, walking her dogs, reading and tailgating in Auburn.

Andrew Crowell

Andrew was born and raised in Colorado. Soon after graduating from BIOLA University in Southern California, he worked as the Operations Manager for an investment brokerage in Durango, CO. Through a series of divine events and great friends, Andrew married his wife, Jessica, in 2013. Four years later, they moved to her hometown of Tuscaloosa to help run the family business. This business, Heritage House Coffee & Tea, is where Andrew developed a friendship with Kathy Poore and soon after with Hank. Andrew and Jess are blessed (and busy) with 3 children. When he’s not serving coffee and brunch, you can find Andrew on the golf course. 

Susan Daria

Susan Daria has been teaching in UA’s Department of Advertising and Public Relations since 2002. She specializes in branding, public relations and community engaged learning. Daria uses every opportunity to foster community service and other experiential opportunities for her students. Her classes have provided work for various local nonprofit organizations such as Tuscaloosa Angels, Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter and the Actor’s Charitable Theater. Over the last ten years, her class partnership to support Alabama Credit Union’s Secret Meals For Hungry Children program has raised over $280,000 which has provided weekend food packs for an entire school year to more than 2500 West Alabama children.

She is faculty adviser to the Department of Advertising + Public Relations’ Student Initiative Board. She served for ten years as adviser to the Capstone Student Advertising Federation and was the National Student Advertising Team coach for four years. Daria also serves on the board of directors for the Secret Meals For Hungry Children Foundation. She lives in Tuscaloosa with her husband, Mike. They have two sons, Nicholas and Tyler.

Jason Gray

Jason Gray is an owner of Keller Williams Realty Tuscaloosa and The Gray Group. A Tuscaloosa native, it’s Jason’s drive, experience, and knowledge of his hometown that make him a top-producing agent in the Tuscaloosa market. Never one to meet a stranger, Jason is passionate about people and real estate.

Jason and The Gray Group employ traditional and new marketing methods to make sure their listings receive maximum exposure. His goal is to sell your property quickly, for top dollar, while providing the best customer service. He is also committed to helping buyers find the perfect property for their needs.
In addition to being a top producing agent for Tuscaloosa home sales, Jason and fellow Gray Group agent John Randall are recognized as leaders in the condo market. Known to many as “the condo guys,” they sold over 266 condos in 2023 alone. Prior to becoming a REALTOR®, Jason worked in property management leasing some of the area’s most popular complexes. He is uniquely qualified to help buyers and investors find the perfect student housing or game day property.
Jason and his wife Tricia have two children, Ryley and Brooks. Jason has a passion for running and has completed many races including five TCS New York City Marathons, The Boston Marathon, Chicago Marathon, several 50 mile ultra marathons, and has run in a 100 mile ultra marathon. He serves on the board of directors for Phoenix House, The Hank Poore Foundation, and True Vine Foundation, on the North River Yacht Club golf steering committee, and is an avid supporter of JH Outback, The Thomas Plott Foundation and Team Boomer.

North Patterson

North Patterson was born and raised in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. North graduated from the University of Alabama with a bachelor’s degree in education in 2020. He graduated from the University of Alabama School of Law with the Juris Doctorate degree in December of 2022. During law school, North worked for United States Senator Richard Shelby as his State Representative. After law school, North spent 9 months in the Tuscaloosa County District Attorney’s office as an Assistant District Attorney. Currently, North is a Public Defender for the 24th Circuit Public Defender’s office in Fayette, Pickens, and Lamar counties. North and his family go to Capstone Church in Tuscaloosa. He is married to his wife, Madison, and they have one daughter, Rosemary. 

Mary Turner Roberts

Graduate of Capstone College of Nursing, University of Alabama, May 1986
Graduate of the University of Alabama School of Law, May 1989
Assistant Public Defender at the Tuscaloosa County Public Defender’s Office from 1989-2001
Practicing Attorney with Turner Law Group in Tuscaloosa, 2001-present
Adjunct Faculty Member, University of Alabama School of Law, 1995-2019
City of Tuscaloosa Personnel Board, Chairperson, 2004-2021 
Mary served on the Board of Directors of the Alabama Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention from 2012-2021.
Mary served on the Board of Directors of the Kristen Amerson Youth Foundation 2017-2023.
Mary serves on the Advisory Board of the Kristen Amerson Youth Foundation (January 2024- present)
Mary serves on the Board of Directors of the Hank Poore Foundation.
After losing several family members to suicide, Mary became involved with suicide support groups and suicide prevention (2004).
Mary is a frequent speaker on depression and suicide and recently wrote an article for the Alabama Lawyer talking about her struggles and survival.

Elizabeth Stewart

Elizabeth Stewart serves as an assistive technology specialist for United Ability and Accessing Potential Through Assistive Technology (APT AT), Alabama's AT Act program. Her passion for education extends to her roles as an adjunct instructor at both the University of West Georgia and the University of Alabama, where she shares her knowledge in special education and assistive technology. Elizabeth has also contributed to her field as a solutions consultant for Tobii Dynavox and as a special education teacher for Homewood City Schools.