News & Stories

December 16, 2020

Hall of Honor

Distinguished Alumni

The 2020 winners of Berry’s Distinguished Alumni Awards include a trailblazing alumna, a servant with a heart for the abused and underserved, an accomplished entrepreneur, and a rising nonprofit star. They are:

 

image_alumni_BEV_SM.jpg

Distinguished Achievement Award

DR. BEVERLY PHILPOT SMITH (69C, FFS)
An educator and active civic leader whose passion for inspiring others and strong belief in fair play and respect led her to excel in 38 years of multifaceted leadership roles for Floyd County public schools before joining her alma mater – where she was one of the first two African American graduates – as director of the Pathways to Teaching program; sits on multiple community boards, including the Floyd Polk Health Foundation.

 
image_alumni_MEL_SM.jpgDistinguished service Award


DR. MELANIE PETERSON BLISS 
(96C)
A clinical psychologist who has dedicated her life to promoting awareness of violence against women and children and serving the underserved; actively seeks to create systemic societal change through public speaking and writing, training police officers, educating juries, and testifying in courtroom cases and depositions; works in private practice at the THRIVE Center for Psychological Health in Decatur, Ga.

 

image_alumni_KAR_SM.jpgEntrepreneurial Spirit Award


KAREN HOUGHTON 
(01C)
An entrepreneur who has founded both a nonprofit and a software company and currently impacts thousands of lives as vice president of Atlanta Tech Village – America’s fourth-largest technology startup hub with more than 7,500 jobs created and $1 billion+ in funds raised in its first seven years; also serves as a venture partner with software-startup capital investment firm Atlanta Ventures and was named Women in Technology’s 2019 Woman of the Year.

 
image_alumni_CHAD_SM.jpgOutstanding Young Alumni Award


CHAD MICHAEL NASH 
(13C, FFS)
A creative nonprofit professional who first was the engine behind Berry’s Save a Student Scholarship and Young Alumni Partnership Program and then raised direct-mail revenues 200% for EARTH University, a school based in Costa Rica dedicated to educating young leaders from developing nations about sustainable agriculture and entrepreneurship; now works as manager of corporate relations and individual giving for Park Pride, helping Atlanta communities activate the power of neighborhood parks.

 

Visit 

Alwaysberry.com/awards

to read more about this year’s winners or to nominate a deserving classmate for future recognition.
 
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