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Grace Anthony Harrelson
Grace
is a Director of Business Development at Brasfield & Gorrie supporting the Birmingham-based healthcare and commercial divisions as well as the Huntsville and Mississippi divisions. Her responsibility includes maintaining the company’s historic relationships as well as building new relationships and prospecting new work alongside operations and preconstruction teams.

Her career in business development began as Auburn’s College of Architecture, Design, and Construction’s associate development officer. She moved to New York to pursue her master’s and worked for New York Magazine’s online fashion brand TheCut.com in business development running the company’s affiliate marketing program.

She serves as vice president of The Birmingham Zoo junior board, is a member of Junior League of Birmingham, and is active in BirminghamCREW, Commercial Real Estate for Women. She attends Covenant Presbyterian Church. One of the highlights of her personal and professional lives was serving as Brasfield & Gorrie’s Loaned Executive with the United Way of Central Alabama. She’s a volunteer and former junior board member with The Crisis Center, Inc.

She lives in Homewood with her husband Keith and two children Barnes (3) and Marilyn (1). In her spare time, she wrote a children’s book and has a few more on the bench!

Why have you decided to serve as a Torchbearer for the JLB?
I’m one of the unfortunate sexual assault statistics. When I moved back to Birmingham, I found The Crisis Center and began volunteering as a rape response advocate in order to help others in their darkest moment. I didn’t understand that through the act of showing up for other survivors alongside the incredible Crisis Center staff, a part of myself I’d deemed broken beyond repair would be restored. I’ll never be able to thank the staff, SANE nurses, survivors, and countless others enough, but I can carry this torch to raise awareness and funds for an organization that will continue to help so many directly and indirectly.

I know firsthand the transformative work One Place brings to survivors. The collaboration between these entities on behalf of survivors is a testament to our community’s strength, empathy, collaboration, and progressive thinking and problem solving.

It’s an honor to be asked and to take the torch from Wilson Nash to support for One Place Metro Alabama Family Justice Center. The lineage of this torch is strong, and I’m proud of the work they did thus far!

What/who inspires you to be a Light in our community?
If this came with a mirror, I’d insert it here because I’m inspired by anyone reading this! I’m inspired by our entire community and the collective human spirit this past year. I’m inspired by the world waking up to racial injustice and the active listening and striving for change. I’m inspired by healthcare and essential workers showing up daily to serve their brothers and sisters at the risk of their own safety. I’m inspired by teachers schooling a generation virtually and through face shields to work hard to learn and grow. I’m inspired by children facing emotional and physical barriers for growth thriving amidst adversity. I’m inspired by parents juggling being parents, teachers, chefs, advisors, employees, and more. 2020 and now 2021 came with challenges and opportunities for growth no one foresaw, and while there is plenty of division and hardship, there is hope and light. We’re all lights whether we hold a torch or not, and I’m proud of us.

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