Introducing Our New Board President, Shirley Powell

As Open Hand Atlanta’s new board president, I’m excited to help us on our journey to create even more positive impact in the communities we serve. It seems like everywhere I’ve turned in my life Open Hand Atlanta was there, so I knew I had to get involved.  

My brother battled with AIDS up until a few years ago, and was able to live a good, long life before dying of complications. But his diagnosis is what first drew me to Open Hand when I moved to Atlanta in 1992, back when the organization was focused on supporting those living with HIV/AIDS.  

Eventually I moved to Los Angeles, but when I came back to Atlanta in 2001, I found that my employer, Turner Broadcasting, was involved with Open Hand and was able to continue my support. Later, my family would join Buckhead Church—another wonderful partner of Open Hand’s– and together, my family and I would volunteer. 

Currently I’m the Senior Vice President of Communications for Cox Automotive, who, coincidentally, is another big supporter of Open Hand’s mission. Personally, I’ve been married to Will Powell for nearly 28 years, and we have two college-aged children– Grace and Ben—and two fur-children, Bentley and Enzo.  

There are a lot of exciting things ahead of Open Hand Atlanta, and I’m excited to channel my passion for the organization and play a role in that. Together with the rest of the board of directors and Open Hand staff, we’ll ensure we can continue to best serve our at-risk neighbors with the nutrition and nutrition education they need to live healthier, more empowered lives. 

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