OUR LEADERSHIP

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Dr. Ammie Akin is a career educator with a background spanning all areas of education.  Dr. Akin began her career as a special education teacher and was an administrator at both the school and district level.  She has taught both undergraduate and graduate level courses at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Samford University.  After leaving a career in public education, Dr. Akin worked as an executive director for a local non-profit.  

 

Currently, Dr. Akin serves as the board president for both Rising Hope Academy, a trauma informed school and Unless U, a non-profit for adults with developmental disabilities.  Dr. Akin is an active member of Church of the Highlands where she and her husband lead a small group.   Dr. Akin lives in Mountain Brook with her husband Will, a commercial real estate broker,  and their three boys Jack (7), George (5), and Henry (1).

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Dr. Ammie Akin

Board President

John McNeil

Vice President

John McNeil earned a B.S. in Commerce from Washington & Lee University.  After more than 30 years in property management and real estate

development, John McNeil took his financial and corporate management expertise to Portraits, Inc., in 2010, taking on the role of President & COO.  He now acts as a consultant for the company.

John has served as past President of the Destin Rotary Club and was named Business Person of the Year by the Destin Chamber of Commerce. He is also a past Board Chairman of the John Guest Evangelistic Team. He currently serves on the board of Desire Street Ministries.

In early 2013, John joined the staff at The Lovelady Center as COO and Board Chairman. “I am

blessed to now be a full-time part of His work at The Lovelady Center, a place I plan to stay as

long as His grace will allow.”

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Shannon Weaver

Executive Director & Treasurer

Shannon Weaver began her career in education as a middle school teacher in Birmingham City Schools.  

Ms. Weaver was a fellow in the Urban Teaching Enhancement Program at The University of Alabama at Birmingham.  She served as a facilitator for seminars and professional developments for urban teaching and content areas. In addition, Ms. Weaver served as a mentor for first-year teachers, led building leadership committees as well as continuous improvement teams.  

 

Ms. Weaver left her role as a public school teacher to pursue a call combining her passion for ministry and education to serve the most at-risk population, children impacted by trauma, restructuring a small church school into Rising Hope Academy. Ms. Weaver is a member of Church of the Highlands.  She resides in Crestwood, has served as a foster parent and mentors former students.

Advisory Council 

Dr. Mandy Howard, Department of Psychology, Samford University

Kristine Milliron, OT/L, CHT, Founder, aKIDs organization

Dr. Rachel Copeland, LICSW, RPT-S Department of Social Work, Samford University