Board Member Profile: Melinda Helveston

Melinda Helveston-84-RecoveredAs Melinda Helveston serves her community, she goes about it in a variety of ways.

One of the organizations to which she lends a helping hand is The Foundry, a local rescue and recovery center for men and women suffering from addiction and often homelessness. Melinda personally mentors some women served by The Foundry.

Another of Melinda's focuses is being a board mem­ber of Cornerstone, which tackles poverty through quality education and faith-based character building.

In her home city of Vestavia Hills, her interests include her church, Vestavia Hills United Methodist, and Vestavia Hills Garden Club.

She's also a strong cheerleader for her husband, Ron (known to family and friends as Bubba), who has taken time from his busy life as president of CRC Insur­ance Company to visit and support an orphanage in the faraway land of Tibet, a plateau region of the People's Republic of China.

In 2010, Melinda accepted an opportunity to join the Board of Visitors of the UAB School of Nursing. "Mem­bers of this Board are such extraordinary people!" she said. As for the cause, Melinda said supporting nursing is close to her heart because she once considered becoming a nurse. That was before she opted instead to earn a Univer­sity of Alabama degree in journalism, public relations, and English and entered a career that included a nine-year public relations stint with The Southern Company.

Melinda's appreciation for the health field has never lessened since that period when she considered becoming a nurse. "Since I grew up in Birmingham, I have been very aware of how UAB's wonderful health operations have grown. To me, that has been so impressive, such a gift," she said, noting that the UAB School of Nurs­ing is very much a part of that gift.

When Melinda talked of what embarked her on the road to more community service, she recalled increas­ing her church work and immersing herself in PTA after leaving behind her career to devote more time to her personal life, which would include being a mother of four. Those four, now young adults, are 32-year-old son Blake, who is in the insurance business and, with wife Laura, on July 2 welcomed newborn son Charlie; 29-year-old social worker son Drew, married to Leigh – parents of son Mac, who will turn 2 in March; and twin daughters Emily and Haley, 22, University of Alabama seniors and roommates, both majoring in fashion merchandising.

Melinda smiled as she spoke of her children, who've grown up to make her proud. She beamed, too, of initia­tives she supports that make her proud. Of the UAB School of Nursing, there's a particular aspect she admires.

"I admire that, even though the UAB School of Nursing already is ranked among the top in the United States, the dean and faculty aren't comfortable to allow the school to stand still," she said. "The school's leaders always are searching for ways to make the school better and better. I love that!"