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2012 Honorees

 

Woman of Inspiration - Debrah Underwood

Debrah Underwood is Chief of the Mission Operations Business Resource Office, managing the Resource Office in the Mission Operations Laboratory of the Engineering Directorate at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. This office is responsible for the Laboratory's manpower, budget, contracts, personnel administration and management process development/documentation. Having worked at MSFC for 33 years, her responsibilities have continued to grow, primarily in the area of mission operations and support.

 

Mrs. Underwood was born in Oklahoma City in 1950 but spent much of her childhood in the San Francisco Bay area. She moved with her family to Huntsville, Alabama in 1963 when her father opened a branch office for United Technologies to develop partnerships with NASA. After graduating from Lee High School in 1968 she attended the University of Alabama Huntsville, met and married Daniel E. Underwood, gave birth to their first child, and graduated with a BS degree in Science Education from Memphis State University in 1973. After teaching high school and middle school science courses at private Baptist and Hebrew Academies in Memphis for several years, she was offered a science position at NASA in Huntsville, Alabama. This turned out to be her life-long career. During her 33 years with NASA, she gave birth to two more children and participated in some of NASA’s most interesting and scientifically fruitful missions. Mrs. Underwood currently resides in Madison, Alabama, with her husband and middle daughter, Leah. Her son, Major Nathan Underwood, resides in Richmond Hill, Georgia, with his wife and two children. Her youngest daughter, Rachel, resides in Atlanta, Georgia, and her father, Robert J. Brazil and wife Loretta, reside in New Hope, Alabama.

Woman of Impact - Margaret D. Tutwiler

Margaret D. Tutwiler is Executive Vice President and Head of Communications & Government Relations at CIT, a lending, leasing and advisory company for small- and medium-market businesses. She is responsible for overseeing internal and external communications activities, including employee communications; media and government relations; public affairs practices, including community affairs and philanthropy; and corporate brand initiatives, including advertising and marketing.

 

Margaret Tutwiler’s broad governmental affairs experience spans more than 20 years and included various senior level positions in the Reagan administration and both Bush administrations. Prior to CIT, she served as Senior Vice President and Head of Global Communications and Public Affairs of Merrill Lynch. Before this she was head of Global Communications and Government Relations of NYSE Euronext (NYSE: NYX) and its predecessor company NYSE Group, Inc.

 

During President George W. Bush’s presidency, she served as the U.S. Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs under Secretary of State Colin Powell and as U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Morocco. Prior to this, she served as president of a public relations firm and Senior Vice President for Public Affairs of the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association. During the administration of President George H. W. Bush, she held several positions in the James A. Baker III State Department including Spokesman and Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs. She also was Assistant to the President for Communications. During Ronald Reagan's presidency, her roles included Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Public Affairs under Secretary Baker and Deputy Assistant to the President for Political Affairs.

 

She received a BA from the University of Alabama.

Woman of Excellence in Health Care — Sandral Hullett

Dr. Sandral Hullett’s dedication to improving rural health care for Alabamians is apparent in her life-long commitment to working in public health care for under-served patients. She is described by her peers as a gifted clinician, effective administrator, and tireless humanitarian. A native of Birmingham, Dr. Hullett attended George Washington Carver High School and Alabama A&M. She earned her medical degree from the Medical College of Pennsylvania and her master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Her professional interests in rural healthcare have included an emphasis on healthcare delivery to the under-served, the under-insured, and the poor. For More than 22 years, she served as both a physician and director for the not-for-profit Family HealthCare of Alabama where she supervised the operation of 20 primary health care facilities serving rural counties.

She has extensive experience in research, clinical trials, community outreach, and teaching direct care delivery. She serves as project manager and principle investigator for grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Kellogg Foundation and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. On February 1, 2001, Dr. Hullett was appointed the Director of Cooper Green Hospital where she presently serves as CEO and Medical Director. The name of the hospital has since changed to Jefferson Health System/Cooper Green Mercy Hospital. Dr. Hullett’s mission is to give service to all who are of need of health care regardless of their ability to pay. She often quotes Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who said, “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and the most inhuman.” She is married to Charles Robinson and is the proud mother of 3, and grandmother of 5.

Woman of Leadership - Catherine Randall

Dr. Cathy Randall is the Chairman of the Board of Pettus Randall Holdings, LLC, the former Chairman of the Board of Randall Publishing Company and the former Director of the University Honors Program at The University of Alabama. She earned two Ph.D. degrees from the University of Alabama and has been named one of the top 31 women graduates of the century. Chairman of the Alabama Academy of Honor (the 100 most outstanding living Alabamians), Dr. Randall has served as National President of Mortar Board, Inc., president of the Board of Directors of the Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame, Director of Alabama Girls State, and a director on the boards of Mercedes Benz USI, the American Village, the National Collegiate Honors Council, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, the Alabama Law Foundation, the Alabama Archives and History Foundation, and the Alabama Center for Civic Life, as well as the Transition Team for Alabama Governor Robert Bentley and the Governor’s Tornado Recovery Action Council. She has been honored with Tuscaloosa’s 2005 Lifetime Achievement Award for Women of Distinction, the 2002 E. Roger Sayers Award as the outstanding University of Alabama faculty/staff member, and UA’s Living Legend Award in 2007.

 

She is the widow of H. Pettus Randall, III, and the mother of Jaynie Rogers Randall, A.B. Princeton 1999, M.B.A. Harvard Business School 2003, J.D. Yale Law School 2006; Kate Randall, B.A. Vanderbilt 2001, M. Phil. University of Cambridge 2002, Harvard Business School 2008; and H. Pettus Randall IV, A.B. Princeton 2004, M. St. University of Oxford 2005, and Stanford Business School 2011.

 

Woman of Courage - Lilly Ledbetter

Lilly Ledbetter served as a manager at the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. plant in Gadsden, Alabama for almost 20 years. During that time she received the top performance award and was one of four area managers, and the only woman, selected to initiate the light truck production at the Gadsden plant. After learning she had been paid significantly less than her male colleagues over the course of her career, Ms. Ledbetter filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission. In 2007, Ledbetter's legal battle came to an end with the Supreme Court's ruling in Ledbetter v. Goodyear, which overturned her original jury award due to a statute of limitations issue. Although she saw no monetary awards for her fight against pay discrimination, her story led to the introduction of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2007, which  passed the House and Senate in January 2009. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was the first bill signed by President Obama. Mrs. Ledbetter testified before Congress in support of the legislation and continues to be an advocate for pay equity.

 

Prior to her tenure at Goodyear, Lilly worked as a District Manager for H & R Block, Inc. and as an assistant Financial Aid Director at Jacksonville State University. She was the first female president of the Anniston Area Management Association, is a past Director of District Two of the Alabama Federation of Women's Clubs, served a six-year term on the Alabama Board for Licensure of Private Schools, is active in her church and community, and is a national ballroom dancing champion. A life-long resident of Alabama, she and her late husband of fifty-three years have two children and four grand-children.

Woman of Vision - Marian Loftin

Marian Loftin served six years as Director of the State of Alabama Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention, overseeing the Children's Fund of Alabama, which funds 200 community-based prevention programs statewide. After 17 years as an elementary classroom teacher, Mrs. Loftin worked in external affairs and government relations for the University of Alabama for 15 years. Prior to her appointment to CTF, she was Executive Director of the Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce.

 

Mrs. Loftin has long been actively involved in child and family advocacy. She served on the founding board of the Alfred Saliba Family Services Center of Dothan, the first “one-stop shop” for human services in the state. She was co-founder of the Southeast Alabama Child Advocacy Center. In 2004, Alabama Governor Bob Riley appointed her to his Task Force to Strengthen Alabama Families.

 

Mrs. Loftin, a Rotarian (first woman inducted into the Dothan-Houston County Rotary Club) and a Paul Harris Fellow, has served on numerous community, state and national boards such as those for VOICES for Alabama’s Children; the Alabama Partnership for Children; the A+ Education Foundation; the Children First Alliance of Alabama; the Alabama Network of Family Resource Centers; Alabama Citizens for Constitution Reform; the Alabama Civil Justice Foundation and the National Alliance of Children’s Trust and Prevention Funds.

 

Due to her civic involvement, Mrs. Loftin was selected to run as Olympic Torchbearer in the 1996 Olympics when the route of the Torch passed through her hometown of Dothan. She was named to Leadership Alabama in 2002.

 

Mrs. Loftin received the National Health and Human Services Commissioner's Award in 2007 for her work in Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention for the State of Alabama. In 2009, she was the first recipient of the Alabama Child Champion Lifetime Achievement Award. The Award, which is given annually, now bears her name. She is a recipient of the Distinguished Achievement Award from the University of Alabama Council on Community-Based Partnerships and serves on the College of Education Board of Advisors as well as the Capstone College of Education Society Board. She is a member of the University of Alabama Women of the Capstone.

 

An Alabama native, she holds a BS in Education from the University of Alabama (named the Distinguished Alumna in 1988) and a MA in Education/Reading from Troy University Dothan (named the Outstanding Alumna in 1993). She is a graduate of John Carroll High School in Birmingham (recognized as Outstanding Alumna 2002).

 

Marian Loftin and her late husband, Jim Loftin, Sr., have four children and six grandchildren.