Providing civic education programs & live experiences that improve child, community & country. With your help, we donate groundbreaking resources, train teachers, mobilize volunteers & orchestrate emotionally charged events to teach, inspire & empower our Next Great Americans.
1 school = $5,000 • 100% of donation goes directly to programs.
Board of Directors
Board of Directors admin
Andrea Elrod, CPA, Director of Accounting
Andrea Elrod’s experience ranges from large firms like Ernst & Young and BAE Systems focusing on government defense contract accounting to a small-town 11 year (and counting) commitment with the Arab Mothers’ Club where she focuses on giving back to local schools.
I’m committed to sharing the message that “Freedom isn’t Free,” and I love the Liberty Learning Foundation for empowering students to build character and a passion for become outstanding citizens!
Patti Yancey, President and Co-Founder
A CFO by trade, Patti birthed the Liberty Learning Foundation after first volunteering to help Liberty’s Legacy implement a civic program in local schools. She recognized the profound impact cutting-edge programs could have when coupled with passionate teachers, generous donors and a team of people to bring the programs to life. She put together that team in 2010 and wears her accounting hat to assure donated dollars are maximized to teach, inspire and empower our Next Great Americans. Patti runs the roads, personally attending events, day and night, living and breathing the mission of helping teachers raise outstanding citizens.
It is not a simple mission to develop a process that ensures students learn these lessons despite time and budget constraints. But I am driven by the crucial need to make sure our next generation has this knowledge. I’m proud to be part of the team and the communities who band together to make that happen every day.
Ralph Bellamy, Customer Service Center Director, Alabama Power Company
Ralph Bellamy has worked for almost 39 years serving in communities both large and small across the state of Alabama as an employee of Alabama Power Company. This frontline experience in many of the same communities that we are seeking to reach through the Liberty Learning Foundation is an invaluable asset to our board. Ralph has served on numerous boards throughout his career including: Boys and Girls Club; Girl Scouts of America, Boy Scouts of America; United Way; Leadership Mobile; Leadership Montgomery; Barbour County Children’s Policy Council; Voices for Alabama’s Children; American Red Cross; American Cancer Society. Ralph has also served as Director of Community and Volunteer Services for Alabama Power Foundation.
I believe in the three F’s: “Faith, Family and Flag.” My love of God, my love of my family and my love for my country are at the very core of who I am. I am very excited to be a part of this movement, which inspires both children and adults with a new or renewed love of country.
Larry Blakeney, Retired Football Coach, Troy University
Larry Blakeney retired as a football coach in 2015 following 45 years on the sideline with stops at Troy University, Auburn University and several high schools across the state of Alabama. He was inducted into the Troy University Sports Hall of Fame with the inaugural induction class in 2012 and was enshrined in the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2009. Blakeney ran a program at Troy that was based on integrity and was regularly recognized by the American Football Coaches Association for high graduation rates. All told, he has been named to four different Halls of Fame and received numerous Coach of the Year awards.
During the summer of 2000, he was honored with the Johnny Vaught Lifetime Achievement Award by the All-American Football Foundation. Auburn had a 110-50-3 record during his time with the program, including four SEC championships and nine bowl appearances (6-2-1). In 1990, he was honored by the Chilton County Auburn Club with its “Unsung Hero Award.”
The Liberty Learning Foundation is teaching things like character and civics that aren’t being emphasized today. Kids today need this message now more than ever. I’m glad to be apart of this organization.
Kate H. Cotton, Vice President, Community Relations, Protective Life Corporation & Executive Director, Protective Life Foundation
Kate H. Cotton is responsible for all aspects related to Protective Life Foundation’s philanthropy and community involvement. In addition to overseeing the Foundation’s financial commitments and funding considerations, she also selects all community service projects and spearheads the Company’s participation in each. Kate personally volunteers with many community organizations. She currently serves on the boards of Birmingham Education Foundation, Jones Valley Teaching Farm, the Kiwanis Club of Birmingham and Leadership Alabama, is the co-chairman of The Campaign for Woodlawn – Woodlawn Foundation and serves on the advisory board of PreSchool Partners. She is a member of UAB’s Leadership Cabinet, the Linly Heflin Unit, the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and the Women’s Committee of 100 for Birmingham.
I am honored to be associated with the Liberty Learning Foundation and its mission of teaching Alabama’s students about patriotism, civics and character development.
Sean Kelly, Executive Vice President, North Alabama Commercial Banking Executive, Regions Bank
Sean Kelly serves as Executive Vice President and Commercial Banking Executive for the North Alabama Area of Regions Bank. Sean started his career with Regions 21 years ago in their Management Training Program. He has served in several different capacities for the company including a leadership role in Risk Management in the Birmingham office as well as lead the company’s Middle Tennessee Commercial Banking team out of Nashville comprised of over $2 billion in assets and one of the largest banks in the Regions footprint. Mr. Kelly is a graduate of Auburn University and attended the Georgia State School of Banking. He currently serves on the following boards: Huntsville Hospital Foundation, Broadway Theatre League and Downtown Huntsville Inc.
Regions Bank is committed to helping prepare young people for their financial future. The Financial Literacy portion of the Liberty Legacy Program prepares our future community leaders to not only be more financially aware, but teaches the students the importance of setting financial goals in all life stages, from preparing for college all the way to retirement.
TJ Lee, President of Grace Life Development, LLC
TJ brings with him more than 30 years of experience working in non-profit, educational and entrepreneurial arenas. He is a graduate of Auburn University and is the Founder/Board Chairman of Hampton Cove Christian Academy. TJ is regarded for his ongoing leadership and philanthropic involvement in his church, the entrepreneurial community, and with educational and non-profit advocacy organizations in Huntsville and beyond. He donates his time in numerous organizations in our community including Huntsville Rotary Club, The Alabama Child Care Commission, Alabama Education Reform Task Force and also is an Advisory Board Member of Huntsville.
Gen. George Washington, the 1st President of the United States, built a foundation for a young nation that would come to shine the ‘light of liberty’ to an entire world. He firmly believed that the primary object of the education of our youth should be in the science of government; in civic duty, understanding and responsibility! “[W]hat duty [is] more pressing” he says, “than communicating it to those who are to be the future guardians of the liberties of the country?
Amanda Maze, Retired Educator, Arab City Schools
Amanda Maze retired in 2015 from Arab City Schools. Amanda has over 35 years experience of teaching first through fifth grade students and college reading. Amanda received her Master’s in Education from the University of Alabama. Now a farmer in Union Grove, Alabama, she continues a legacy of agriculture and patriotism she learned from her father, a WWII veteran. “Amanda was one of the folks, who in the beginning stages of the development of the program,” says Liberty Learning Foundation President Patti Yancey, “was so instrumental in fueling the importance of these lessons being taught in the classrooms!”
Children have to learn how to become responsible productive citizens while building character. With the Liberty Learning Foundation, teachers can change mirrors into windows.
William H Sullins OD, Optometrist, Eyecare Associates
Bill Sullins has had an active role in his profession, where he has served in numerous leadership positions and was president of the Alabama Optometric Association in 2010. He also served on the State Board of Optometry from 1994 until 2004. He was appointed by three separate governors and was president from 1996 until 2004. Bill has always been active in his local community serving on The Board of Control at The City of Huntsville Benton H Wilcoxon Municipal Ice Complex for twenty years. He has served on the board at The Huntsville Madison County Convention and Visitors Bureau for 26 years and The Von Braun Center for the past eight years. He also serves on the board of directors for the Huntsville Committee of 100 as well as his church Administrative Council. Bill is a2012 graduate of Leadership Alabama.
Liberty Learning Foundation has been my realization that we can make a difference in young people’s hearts regarding those things we all find that are pivotal in leadership, relationship building as well as personal behavior. Liberty Learning Foundation has always been a favorite of mine and I love to ask: “What does Freedom mean to you?” I still get excited to see and to be a part of the enthusiasm that come to students involved in learning about the passion for our country and how we are privileged to live here.
Kathi Tew, Development Director, Greengate School for Dyslexia
Kathi Tew has over 30 years experience in various management, marketing, and sales positions. She loves being involved in the community and has chaired many events and projects. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls Cub, Board of Directors of the Huntsville Botanical Gardens, Board of Directors of the Huntsville Symphony, the Foundation Board of the Huntsville Museum of Art, alongside the Liberty Learning Foundation. As an artist herself, she also volunteers her time serving as the President Elect for the Huntsville Museum of Art Guild. She is a graduate of Huntsville/Madison County Leadership and has served as Day Chair of the Flagship Program as well as volunteering with other programs. She also volunteers with the Community Foundation, with NonProfit University, and the track Non Profit 101 which provides training for new and developing non profits, new board members, and those new to the non profit world.
Liberty Learning Foundation is teaching children the values that made this country great in a way they can understand and remember. I tear up each time when I hear them sing about liberty and freedom in the USA and it reminds me of the gift we all have as Americans. This is a program that every child needs to be a part of.
Dana Trulock, Director of Guest Service, Asbury Church, Madison AL
Dana Trulock is the wife of a retired Army Officer and current Mayor of Madison. She is a former employee of the Military Child Education Coalition and is an active community volunteer donating her time on the Women’s Economic Development Council, Jean Wessel Templeton Community Health Initiative Board, Madison County-Alabama Bicentennial Committee, and the Madison Hospital Women’s Council. Dana has a passion for education and is very involved in the Madison City Schools serving on the Madison City Schools Military Appreciation Committee, PTA Nominating Committee, Committee Chair for the 15th Anniversary Celebration of the Madison City School District, and serves on multiple PTA boards at the elementary, middle, high school and district levels.
The future of our great country is dependent on the values and character that we teach our children. The Foundation is not only teaching our next generation what it means to be an American they are inspiring them to be great. The love for country and character education that is so often missing in the classrooms is taught in an engaging and dynamic way that leaves true impact on the young hearts and minds of the children they reach. I am incredibly passionate about the mission of the LLF and proud to serve alongside this team.
Amanda Stricklin, Business Relationship Manager, Wells Fargo
Amanda Stricklin brings 20 years experience in the banking sector to the Liberty Learning Foundation Board. Her focus on meaningful relationship development helps others succeed in finance – and is helping Liberty Learning Foundation accomplish great things! Her caring, personal approach carries over in her role as a Board Member for the Lake Guntersville Chamber of Commerce where community betterment is top priority.
I love the Liberty Learning Foundation’s hands on approach to letting children experience what being a good citizen means. What better way to help children build strong character than by focusing on heroes in their own communities? I believe in Liberty Learning’s message and I’m passionate about passing it along to the next generation!