94.1 WHRP Celebrates Women’s History Month – “Strength And Leadership Of A Woman”

94.1 WHRP is celebrating Women’s History Month in March, and this year’s theme is “The Strength And leadership of A Woman”. We’ll explore the many women who through struggles, discrimination and discouragement have persevered and those who have achieved great strides with hard work, determination and leadership!

Follow us here throughout the month of March as we recognize and celebrate these women who have demonstrated their Strength and Leadership throughout all parts of our society and culture.


Today we acknowledge Huntsville native, Kim Tibbs, who is an extremely gifted singer, songwriter and musician. She had back to back #1 hits on the UK Soul Charts with her internationally released singles, “I Need You For Your Love” and “Soul.” Her efforts won her Best International Artist for 2017 in the Bright Star Awards held in London. Kim is so humble and so thankful for all of her success, and credits her late father, Pastor Robert L. Tibbs for her musical ability. She has worked with some of the greats in music like Billy Ray Cyrus, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Lalah Hathaway, and Dr. Lonnie Liston Smith just to name a few. Kim is always looking for ways to give back, and does so as a Council Member on the Board of Advisers in the College of Arts for Calhoun Community College. Her new album “FOR!” was released earlier this year, and is performing quite well on the Smooth Jazz Charts. She is a caring and talented young lady who never hesitates to give advice to aspiring musicians.
Today we proudly acknowledge her for being a positive force in the to community.



Today we recognize Dr. Ruth Jones, who is one of only a few Mishap Investigators for NASA. Dr. Jones is only the second African-American woman in Alabama to graduate with a Ph.D. in physics. A graduate of the Historically Black College & University (HBCU), Arkansas-Pine Bluff, she said the best advice should could give young women in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) field is to, “…discover your passion”. Dr. Jones says her passion has been a powerful motivator, and she believes that is the reason she has succeeded. An advocate for young people and HBCU’s, we salute Dr. Ruth Jones for her achievement, accomplishments and triumphs at NASA. She is a champion, and a role model to those who aspire to advance in their chosen fields. Today we proudly acknowledge her for being a positive force in the community.



Today we recognize Edna Fails, who is the founder, and current Vice President of the Kimberly Fails Jones Foundation, Inc. Mrs. Fails is a breast cancer survivor herself, and founded the KJF Foundation in order to help provide financial assistance to women seeking medical care for breast cancer, to encourage preventive measures by emphasizing regular medical visits, to give information on services such as counseling, and to provide information to the community on Breast Cancer Awareness. A retired teacher, Mrs. Fails keeps the memory of her daughter alive in-part by promoting awareness and self-examinations. Edna Fails is a determined, hard working woman on a mission to help others who may be dealing with cancer. We are so blessed to have her in our midst to inspire others. Today we proudly acknowledge her for being a positive force in the community.



Today we recognize Lillian Kotey Owens MDiv who graduated from Alabama A&M University. She is a classically trained singer, as well as a preacher of the Gospel. She sensed a call to ministry at the age of ten years old, and accepted the call almost ten years later. She is Pastor at Transformation Church in Conyers, GA; and a 2014 graduate of the Gammon Theological Seminary at The Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta. Lillian is also an entrepreneur and the owner of NaaDei’s Boutique. The mother of three wonderful children, she is married to E Chip Owenswho is a native of Decatur, AL. She seeks to transform the lives of other people by spreading and sharing the word of God, as well as exhibiting integrity, excellence, and passion. She seeks to empower the lives of everyone she engages to live the best life they can in service to God, themselves, and others. She works towards social justice and social uplifting. Today we proudly acknowledge her for being a positive force in the community.



Today we recognize J’Que Ellis a personal trainer/wellness coach, who has served in the capacity of Regional Director at Sun-Shyne Enterprises Inc., professional fitness trainer at IDEA Health & Fitness Association and professional fitness trainer at Fitness DEFY’d. She prides herself on being able to help people achieve their fitness and wellness goals, and also helps them through the process of working towards a healthy lifestyle by providing exercise programming, nutritional guidance, support, encouragement, and education. She encourages others to live healthier, and to be successful at living their dreams. Many in Huntsville/Madison County know of her kind and generous spirit. J’Que believes that lifestyle habits can be changed to help you fully achieve loving your body, and making emotional changes are just as important. She is truly an inspiration and a blessing. Today we proudly acknowledge her for being a positive force in the community.



Today we recognize Jessica Fortune Barker a Huntsville native, and J.O. Johnson High School alum. She is focused on positively impacting the trajectory of politics for disadvantaged minorities and youth nationwide.Mrs. Barker established and runs a successful business management and consulting firm where she serves as Principal Consultant, and leads a team that provides executive level administrative services. Never one to speak softly or without purpose, she is a passionate advocate for equitable education for minority students and fair business standards for women. Jessica has served as past President of the Parent Council for the former Barbara Drive Head Start Center, Community Education Advisor on the Board of Advisors to the Madison County Community Action Agency, Fundraising Coordinator of Julius Scruggs Academy PTO Board, and is currently serving as President of the Alabama New South, Madison County chapter and is Co-Chair of the national Lift Our Vote 2020 campaign. She is a devoted wife, and is driven by the love of her four children. We are pleased to give her the recognition that she deserves. Today we proudly acknowledge her for being a positive force in the community.



Today we acknowledge Dimeccia Blake, co-founder of BSW Cleaning, LLC, for her interaction and community involvement, particularly with the less-fortunate among us. Ms. Blake is a careerist with the Aviation and Missile Command, and has been recognized by leadership for her efficiency, superior work-ethic and selfless support of the soldier. Her benevolence reaches the community in so many ways. As a volunteer with ‘First Stop’ a non-profit organization, she helps to feed and clothe the homeless throughout Huntsville. She is on the front-lines contributing her time and resources to those in need. She has also partnered with organizations and businesses in the area to donate backpacks for children, and supplies for local schools. A supportive and loving mother, DImeccia is so proud of her daughter who attends Alabama A&M University. Those who know her can tell you that Dimeccia always greets you with a huge smile. Additionally, Dimeccia is an active member of Progressive Union Missionary Baptist Church where she serves as a Bible study teacher. She empowers others with her strong-will to succeed, and by inspiring through her positive outlook on life. Today we proudly acknowledge her for being a positive force in the community.



Today we recognize the accomplishments of Donnisia Tibbs, a native of Huntsville. She is the owner of Heavenly Engagements Event Planning and Decor LLC, which has been featured on Huffpost.com and in the Tennessee Valley Brides magazine. Donnisia is also the creative force behind the exclusive dinner series, “The Little Black Dress”. Through her efforts she expresses creativity, encourages diversity and cultivates innovative concepts for social events. The Little Black Dress event was such a success it was featured in the May 2018 issue of 256 Magazine. Donnisia displays leadership in the community through her philanthropic support of local charities. Proceeds from her events have benefited the J’Isaiahs Butterfly home for homeless and pregnant teens, and the Jarrod M. Lockett foundation for mentoring young boys and teens. She gives of her time volunteering with the North Alabama Heart Walk, and serves as a community panelist for the Women EMpower broadcast. Donnisia’s strong faith, solid family support and work ethic are the keys to her success. Today we proudly acknowledge her for being a positive force in the community.



Today we recognize Dr. Ollye Conley, who is known as the Huntsville’s first black female principal after integration. Dr. Conley is also the first director of the Alabama State Black Archives. She maintains a shrine dedicated to family and black history in her home. There are family stories on the walls and life-size likenesses of famous black historical figures. Dr. Conley even has works from former students at the Academy of Sciences and Foreign Languages in her exhibit. According to a 2011 newspaper article, she said their projects, were among the first attempts in Huntsville to chronicle the city’s black history. Dr. Conley is history, not only in Huntsville, but she is recognized throughout the state of Alabama for her many significant contributions. An amazing lady who has had an influence of a great number of people through the years, we thank Dr. Ollye Conley for being a beacon of light in the Tennessee Valley. Today we proudly acknowledge her for being a positive force in the community.



Today we recognize the philanthropy and benevolence of Tiffany D Jordan, who is the founder and owner of Driven Solutions, a Business Development firm that helps clients build and maintain long lasting relationships throughout the Southeast Region. Tiffany is very active in the community and is on a monthly panel that empowers women, she has been active as a regular volunteer for the United Way of Madison County and the role most dear to her heart is that of being a full-time mother. Tiffany is quite ambitious, dedicated and loyal in handling her business interests. Her amazing work ethic was noticed by 256 Magazine…the publication honored her as one of the top 40 young professionals under the age of 40. Motivational and inspiring, we recognize Tiffany as a leader who is able to get things done. Today we proudly acknowledge her for being a positive force in the community.



Today we recognize the accomplishments of Dorothy Huston. The President/CEO of Technology Management Training Group, Inc., Dr. Huston has been honored for her significant contributions and dedication in support of educational opportunities for students in the Huntsville community. Her resume is impeccable; she has served as the chairperson of the Redstone Federal Credit Union Board of Directors, the Board of Directors of The Hargrove Foundation, the Rosetta James Foundation and the Huntsville Utilities Board. She is truly a pillar to the community. Dr. Huston has amassed years of experience in organizational change and leadership, program planning and execution, training, student development, research administration, and educational program outreach. A graduate of Alabama A&M University, she continues to support her Alma Mater in any way she can. Today we proudly acknowledge her for being a positive force in the community.



Today we recognize Tara Pickens the CEO and Founder of Vision Board, Inc., which is a non-profit organization seeking to help with focusing on goals and shifting mindsets. Vision Board, Inc. is dedicated to mapping out ideal outcomes in each area of your life, and it allows participants to gain clarity for goal setting. A retried Army veteran who served this country for more than 30 years, Tara created Vision Board, Inc. to help others remove distractions and mental barriers that prevent them form reaching their full potential. Tara has partnered with the Downtown Rescue Mission, Fresh Start Recovery and Transition Program, and Mary Magdalene Ministry. She has assisted women in a 21-month recovery program, women of domestic violence, and survivors of human trafficking. She has consistently helped women in our community excel in mind, body and spirit. A quintessential example of a servant leader, Tara Pickens is able to motivate and encourage individuals to reach their full potential by equipping them with the proper tools to help them maintain a positive mindset and attitude. Today we proudly acknowledge her for being a positive force in the community.



Today we recognize the philanthropy and benevolence of Valerie Robinson-Burwell, who serves as the President of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Greater Huntsville Area Chapter (NCBW-GHC). A retired Navy veteran, she is noticed for her selfless acts and work with veterans in the Tennessee Valley. In conjunction with the non-profit Wrestling the Odds Foundation of Huntsville, she is at the forefront and leads the effort for planning logistics for a monthly feeding of over 200 homeless veterans. Additionally, Valerie collects toiletries, clothing and other items that are needed for the homeless veterans. She is very personable and quite passionate about serving mankind never asking for anything in return. Her service to these veterans has propelled her to being a leader in the community, and we are proud to acknowledge her for the contribution she is making by serving those that served our country. Today we proudly acknowledge her for being a positive force in the community.



Today we recognize the accomplishments of our very own Toni Terrell. Known to the Huntsville community as “Your Best Girlfriend”, she is identified as the first African-American woman to be Program Director of a commercial radio station conglomerate in the Huntsville area. Her vision and experience have allowed WHRP to become a leader in the Huntsville radio market. Always involved in the community Toni spearheads the “Toni’s Coats for Kids” coat drive every fall, and she is also very passionate about raising awareness to childhood cancers and diseases by facilitating the St. Jude Radiothon. Toni is involved in so many other things too numerous to name. One of the most personable people you will ever come across, she never meets a stranger. It is a pleasure to recognize our very own Program Director, Toni Terrell for Women’s History Month. Today we proudly acknowledge her for being a positive force in the community.



Today we recognize Cynthia McCrary, who is the Director of the Aviation Support Directorate at the Aviation and Missile Command Logistics Center – Redstone Arsenal, AL. Cynthia is a graduate of Alabama A&M University, and also completed studies at the Defense Acquisition University in the Senior Service College Fellowship program. A leader with exceptional people skills, she furthered her education at Cornell and Webster Universities. Mrs. McCrary is an advocate of servant leadership, which she has shown countless times in the young people she cares so much about. Her mentorship spans decades, and contributes to her impeccable leadership skills. Cynthia is an Associate Minister of the Fletcher’s Chapel Primitive Baptist Church in Madison. A member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People(NAACP), she has served on educational and voter advocacy committees in the Local Chapter. The McCrary family has personally given merit based scholarships to enable young deserving college attendees to supplement tuition; and they are also supporters of the Huntsville Baptist College as well as St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Cynthia and her husband Stanley have three daughters, and 2 grandchildren.

Today we proudly acknowledge her for being a positive force in the community.



Today we recognize Daphne Henry who is employed by the U.S. Aviation Missile Command. When she is away from her career, Daphne believes in making a difference volunteering as a math tutor. Ms. Henry has a goal of helping her students reach their potential in the classroom, as well as in their lives. She has tutored since she was a student at the University of Alabama. Daphne knows what it is like to make a difference through the educational realm with tutoring and mentoring. She said, “…my mom and grandmother and great-aunt were all teachers. I come from a legacy of educators and, even though I was an electrical engineering technology major, I hope to also make a contribution in the area of education.” She has helped as an education ambassador in the classroom, and she has tutored students from all walks of life. Daphne Henry is committed and passionate about working with children in our the Tennessee Valley. Today we proudly acknowledge her for being a positive force in the community.



Today we recognize the accomplishments of evening News Anchor, Clarissa McClain. After 11+ years at WHNT News 19, Clarissa is changing careers. She will be embarking on a new journey at Randolph School as the Director of Marketing and Communications. Education has and will always be a passion of Clarissa’s, and she is looking forward to taking on her new role with enthusiasm. Clarissa said the reason for the change is simple, yet significant, ” I want to spend more time with my family. I love them immensely!” She went on to say that,”…it will be nice to be able to come home together, and eat dinner together,” with her husband DeMarco and son Dylan. Clarissa McClainwill give her final newscast later this evening, and she wants you to know that she is not leaving North Alabama. We were thankful for having her come into our homes every evening, and we wish her the best in her new career. Today we proudly acknowledge her for being a positive force in the community.



Today we recognize the accomplishments of Mary Caudle – Mayor Town of Triana, Alabama. Under Mayor Caudle’s leadership Triana continues its growth, and is one of the best kept secrets in North Alabama. Prior to becoming Mayor, Mary Caudle served on the Triana Town Council. Mayor Caudle is devoted to the overall well-being of the community and strives to be a positive impact through her service and efforts to improve the quality of life for her citizens. Mary is also owner of ASSIST Practice Management Services, LLC. Family is her motivation and the driving force behind her achieved and continued success and ultimate happiness. A stalwart in our community, we are so proud to recognize Mary today.

Today we proudly acknowledge her for being a positive force in the community.



Today we recognize Michelle Lanier Watkins, a lifelong resident of Huntsville who represents District 1 on the Huntsville City School Board. Michelle previously taught at J.O. Johnson High School and Drake State Technical College. She has been actively involved in an array of community organizations and activities in the area. Michelle presided as PTSA President for Johnson High School during its last school year, and worked with the Junior League of Huntsville, the United Way of Madison County, the City of Huntsville Community Development Citizens Advisory Council, and the Alabama A&M University Youth Motivational Task Force. In addition to her duties on the Huntsville City School Board, she is a civil service employess for the United States Army Garrison at Redstone Arsenal.

Today we proudly acknowledge her for being a positive force in the community.



Today we recognize LaToya Eggleston, who is an Engineer for the Army & Missile Research Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC) at Redstone Arsenal, AL. LaToya is on the AMRDEC Strategic Diversity Advisory Group, and she is an Ambassador for the AMRDEC STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)-Education Outreach Herald. Also an Adjunct Professor LaToya is an advocate of education, and speaks regularly at local schools. Her 2 beautiful daughters keep her busy, but LaToya wouldn’t have it any other way. She believes in giving back,in particular to the many young people that she mentors. Ms. Eggleston has been recognized for her great work with a number of awards, and is active in organizations that are community driven such as the National Coalition of 100 Black Woman, National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. LaToya Eggleston is an Engineer who has ascended to the top by virtue of a hard work ethic. Her willingness to help others in not overlooked, and we thank her for a pillar in the community.

Today we proudly acknowledge her for being a positive force in the community.



Today we recognize Sharron Cole White, founder at Share-On, LLC. She has collaborated with students on ACT prep, producing an average test score of a 30 out of 35. Sharron is the conduit between students and goals, helping them to find the subject and medium that best fits their unique identity. She creates high-quality scholars and stretches them beyond their expectations. Many of the scholars she works with have gotten perfect scores on the ACT. Because of her ability to grow the student, she has a track record of helping them not only become Presidential Scholars, but enter the doors of some of the most prestigious colleges in the country. Sharron is a Certified Life Coach who is cross-certified in Acquisitions Management, Information Technology, Systems Acquisition, and Logistics. A graduate of Alabama A&M University, her work with our high school aged children is being noticed.

Today we proudly acknowledge her for being a positive force in the community.



Today we recognize Alice Sams a highly-respected community activist. She has served faithfully on the Madison County Commission, and as president of the Huntsville-Madison County NAACP. Alice received the William Hooper Council Distinguished Alumni Award for her body of work in Huntsville. Ms. Sams has served as a member of a number of civic and community organizations, including the North Huntsville Community United for Action, Department of Human Resources (DHR) and the local Chapter of Selective Service Board. The Director of Project FOCUS, she works with ex-offenders to help them secure their GED’s, offering job training and providing employment opportunities, . Her involvement in the community has been noticed by receipt of a number of awards such as; the Ruby Hurley Award, Medgar Evers Award and Alabama State NAACP President’s Award, Huntsville Alumni Chapter Humanitarian Award, and XI Omicron Chapter Citizen of the Year Award. Resolution No. 16-357 was drafted in her honor by the Huntsville City Council in 2016 for all that she has done. Alice Sams, we appreciate your contribution to mankind, and we thank you for all that you continue to do.

Today we proudly acknowledge her for being a positive force in the community.



Today we remember the accomplishments of Dr. Bessie Washington Jones. She was a professor of English, and Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Alabama A&M University. A graduate of Spelman College, Dr. Jones contributed mightily to the Huntsville community. Her students and church family absolutely adored her. Her commitment to excellence was evident in everything that she did. Her works earned her awards for Outstanding Educator, the “She Knows Where She’s Going Award” and the Merit Award of the National Alumnae Association of Spelman College. Today we proudly acknowledge her for being a positive force in the community. We remember this pioneering trailblazer who paved the way for so many others



Today we recognize Kisha Freed, founder and CEO of Word-Xpress, LLC. Kisha has galvanized a movement to help others get in touch with their creativity. A woman of many talents, she is co-author and editor of the Wealthy Child Workbook, served as an advisor to the board for the Kimberly Fails Jones Foundation, and was a member of Art N Soul spoken word. Kisha recently created the WX Hiphop Poetry (HHP) Workshop, which brings Millennials and the Generation X demographic together to discuss social and life issues through film and hip hop music reviews, as well as encourage confidence, character development and self-expression through Hip-Hop and poetry writing. The mother of two sons, Kisha knows the importance of interacting with young people. Through Word-Xpress, she has partnered with Real Fathers Making a Difference, and with the North Alabama Boys & Girls Clubs. Kisha is doing phenomenal work, and we are thankful for her contributions. Today we proudly acknowledge her for being a positive force in the community.



Today we recognize Kim Essex, who is a familiar face in the Tennessee Valley. She is one of the longest tenured News Anchors in the area. Her community involvement is quite impressive and undeniable. Kim has served on the Board of Directors for the American Red Cross, American Diabetes Association and Girl Scouts of America.Named as the AP Best News Anchor from 1987-1990, she has received a number of awards for her work in the community. She is founder of Sole Sisters Huntsville, a group of women who believe in a healthy lifestyle by implementing running, walking, biking and cycling to their fitness plans. She has excelled for over two decades here in North Alabama, and we appreciate Kim for all she has done. Today we proudly acknowledge her for being a positive force in the community.



Today we recognize Willette Battle Wv Daze, who is the owner/operator at Willete’s Prism located in the Lowe Mill area of Huntsville. A graduate of the historic Howard University, she is a brilliant lady with a double Masters Degree. Willette has so many talents…an artist who has the ability to translate experiences from her life into visuals, and transform those personal stories into something universal. And, Mrs. Battle is also a Fashion Designer, who was recently blessed to have her work featured in Paris. She has also had her work showcased in New York, L.A. and right here in Huntsville. She is a mentor, motivator and creator. Willette never meets a stranger, and is always willing to lend a helping hand to those around her in their time of need. Willette is a lovely artist making fun but serious work. She has been an exceptional host for fashion events in the Huntsville area, and very few can match her zeal.

Today we proudly acknowledge her for being a positive force in the community.



Today we recognize Alabama State Representative Laura Hall. Ms.Hall who won re-election in 2018 with 86.04% of the vote, is the first African-American woman elected to represent house District 19 in Montgomery. She has chaired the Governor’s commission on A.I.D.S, and served as chairperson of the Alabama House of Representatives Black Caucus. She spent over 30 years in education with 25 of those served at J.O. Johnson High School in Huntsville. She is compassionate, and she works hard for her constituents.

Today we proudly acknowledge her for being a positive force in the community.



Today we recognize Dr. Tilantine Benjamin. She is a career professional for the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) at Redstone Arsenal, AL, and serves as the agency expert/advisor to Senior Executives on the successful integration of the workforce (civilian, military and contractor) throughout the continental United States. Dr. Benjamin is the first African-American female to be certified as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt (method that improves business processes) by MDA, and her work in managing programs has netted a $2.5M cost savings annually because of the processes she has instituted.

An Associate Minister, Dr. Benjamin is also active in mentoring youth and colleagues. She is a Diamond Life Member of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc.serving as that organizations International Director of Recommendations, and is also a member of the Interfaith Ecumenical Team. Dr. Benjamin is the past president of the Pan-Hellenic Council of North Alabama, she leads the Redstone Arsenal Civilian Welfare Fund Council (CWFC), and she served as the Chair of the Missile Defense Agency’s Diversity, Wellness, and Morale Advisory Council.

Today we proudly acknowledge her for being a positive force in the community.



Today we recognize Melody Holt, the business woman and national celebrity who resides here in Huntsville. She has combined both her resilient work ethic, communication, and leadership skills to making Holt & Holt a regional empire. She has grown Holt & Holt from a local company to providing services throughout the southeast. Melody has worked faithfully and continuously to ensure that the company is delivering both quality and quantity to its clients. A graduate of Alabama A&M University in, she resigned from her teaching career to fully focus on growing Holt & Holt. Her goal is to demonstrate to young entrepreneurs that failure should never be an option. In her spare time, she enjoys motivational speaking and spending time with her family. You can see Melody every Saturday night on the hit TV show Love and Marriage Huntsville, broadcast on OWN 10 eastern/9 central.

Today we proudly acknowledge her for being a positive force in the community.



Today we recognize a brilliant business woman and friend Kim Caudle Lewis the CEO of PROJECTXYZ, Inc. Kim started PROJECTXYZ Inc. in 2002, and two years ago they were named the US Chamber of Commerce Women-Owned Business of the Year. She has received a number of awards for her community involvement. Kim has served as Board President of Health Establishment at Local Schools (HEALS, Inc.), selected to the board of the National Children’s Advocacy Center, and recently became the first African-American Female Chair of the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce. She has also held a number of other volunteer leadership roles, including seats on the boards of the Chamber Foundation, Public Affairs Research Council of North Alabama, Huntsville Botanical Garden, the Huntsville Hospital Foundation, Huntsville Committee of 100, and Calhoun Community College. Kim Caudle-Lewis deserves all the accolades, and more.

Today we proudly acknowledge her for being a positive force in the community.



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