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Elizabeth Burgess
Elizabeth is a native of Auburn, Alabama and a proud graduate of Auburn University with a degree in Business Administration, Management Information Systems.  In 1996, she started her career in Birmingham with American Management Systems (AMS) as a Programmer Analyst and served in many capacities prior to the acquisition of AMS by CGI Inc., 16+ years ago.  She is a Manager with CGI and for the past 15 years, Elizabeth has served in a Quality Management or Operations capacity, where she works with projects and business units across the U.S. to ensure process compliance and efficiency.

She joined the Junior League of Birmingham in 2009 and served as its President during the 2018-2019 League year.  Throughout her time in the JLB, Elizabeth served as Fund Development Vice President, Planning Vice President, Bargain Carousel Chair, Project Yummy Chair, the JLB Beeson Community Fund Chair, as well as a member of the JLB Investment Committee and various other Committees.  She is enjoying her new role as a Sustainer and enjoys seeing all of the incredible work being accomplished, especially during this unprecedented time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Elizabeth volunteers with several organizations in the Birmingham area and also co-leads a Girl Scout Daisy Troop for twelve First Graders.  She enjoys spending time with her family and friends (belly-laughing and reminiscing), traveling, attending concerts (all genres) and sporting events (War Eagle!!!), antiquing, and watching all things Bravo. 

Why have you decided to serve as a Torchbearer for the JLB?
As Assistant Planning VP during the 2015-2016 League year, I was fortunate enough to be involved in the decision to choose One Place as the recipient of funds being raised through the JLB Community of Lights Centennial Campaign.  As the research process began, an opportunity to visit One Place of the Shoals, in Florence, Alabama, was presented, and I jumped at the chance to attend the field trip.  In addition to other JLB members, employees of the YWCA and the Crisis Center also joined, where we gained a better understanding of the services One Place provides and how the space was configured to maximize the important assistance the housed organizations provide to those in need.  After the trip, it became clearly evident that expanding One Place in Birmingham was a necessity and that the JLB must be involved in that expansion.  Shortly thereafter, the JLB Executive Board voted to make One Place the recipient of a minimum gift of $1.25 million dollars to open a larger, more functional, permanent space to provide support to survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault.

Having the opportunity to be involved in various capacities throughout the past 5 years has been a tremendous experience, and I am honored and thrilled to serve as a Torchbearer for the final year of the JLB Community of Lights Centennial Campaign.  Carrying the torch of the 80 community leaders that came before us is a daunting task and one not to be taken lightly.  Their efforts have blown this Campaign out of the water already, and it is up to us to continue their hard work.  Knowing that the 2021 COL Torchbearer class will help provide opportunities for those whose voices have been silenced is of great importance, and I am extremely humbled to have the chance to bring these significant issues to the forefront of our community and beyond.

What/who inspires you to be a Light in our community?
When thinking of someone that inspires me in the non-profit space, Allison Dearing, the Executive Director of One Place provides a great deal of inspiration.  Allison was on the field trip in November 2015 when the JLB visited One Place in Florence.  At that time, she was working for the YWCA and soon after, she was announced as the Executive Director of One Place.  Allison has been a relentless advocate and change-maker in the fight against domestic violence and sexual assault.  She has brought to light the importance of One Place, has raised funds to continue the vital work One Place does, has championed the cause with community leaders, and has held the hands of countless survivors.  She is the constant that has been needed to continue the charge to ensure needs are met and survivors have a voice.  One specific person from the JLB that has inspired me is Lindsey Tanner.  She has Chaired the JLB COL Centennial Campaign throughout its entirety and has provided invaluable support to every Torchbearer as a counselor, communicator and cheerleader.  Without her tenacity and willingness to spearhead these efforts, I do not believe we would be in the position we are in now for Year 5.  In addition to Allison and Lindsey, each survivor that has been brave enough to tell their story, all of the past COL Torchbearers, every donor that has given to the JLB COL Centennial Campaign, and the leadership and members of the JLB have been incredible sources of inspiration to me personally.  They are all a bright light and have brought hope to those that needed it most.  "Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness."

 

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