Voices of HOPE: ‘Who’s Who’ at Heroes for HOPE 2022
HOPE Atlanta’s largest annual event, Heroes for HOPE, is a month away. Meet this year’s honorees, co-chairs, and sponsors.
Each year at the Heroes for HOPE event, HOPE Atlanta honors community leaders making an impact in the fight to end homelessness and hunger. When Heroes for HOPE returns on November 17th, marking the first in-person event since 2019, there will be no shortage of people and milestones to celebrate. You can read the official press release here.
Let’s get to know this year’s honorees and the dedicated supporters who make the event — and our mission — possible.
Individual Hero: Bentina Terry, Senior Vice President of Customer Strategy & Solutions at Georgia Power
When Bentina Terry was growing up, her mother would take her to the hospital on Christmas Eve to hand out cards to those who were spending the holidays alone.
“I still see those dark rooms with faces that lit up when we came by with a small gesture,” she recalled.
Thus began a lifelong commitment to giving back to her community, with a particular passion for addressing homelessness and hunger.
“It’s hard to be in our city and not see the blight of those who are unhoused or who have food insecurity,” she says. “The ramifications for our citizens and society are deep and oftentimes — like with poverty — are the foundational reasons for other issues. If we can help people with basic needs like food and housing, we can begin to help them with other needs.”
Besides leading efforts to evolve and lead Georgia Power’s strategy to best serve its 2.7 million customers — with a special focus on underserved communities — Terry has established herself as an influential leader in Metro Atlanta and across the state. Among other awards and recognitions, she has been selected as one of Atlanta Magazine’s 500 Most Influential Atlantans, one of the National Diversity Council’s 100 Most Influential Women in Energy, one of the Greater Atlanta YWCA’s Women of Achievement, and one of Atlanta Business League’s 100 Most Influential Women for several consecutive years.
Terry is also a prominent nonprofit leader, serving on the board of directors for the International Women’s Forum — Georgia, the Atlanta Police Foundation, Leadership Atlanta, the Grove Park Foundation, the Atlanta Beltline, Inc. and the Atlanta Beltline Partnership (where she serves as the 2021–2023 Chair).
Corporate Hero: Chick-fil-A, Inc.
CEO Andrew T. Cathy will accept the Corporate Hero award on behalf of Chick-fil-A, Inc., which is also supporting Heroes for HOPE as a Champion Sponsor.
“At Chick-fil-A, our franchise operators, team members and staff are committed to serving our neighbors and strengthening our local communities,” said Carol Waddy, Director of Community Affairs for Chick-fil-A. “We’re honored to support HOPE Atlanta’s invaluable efforts to alleviate hunger and homelessness in our home state. Thank you for making a lasting difference in the lives of people in very tough circumstances!”
Believing that “kindness is a higher calling,” Chick-fil-A has long been committed to giving back to local communities. Besides empowering individual restaurant operators to support causes that are meaningful to them and their communities, Chick-fil-A has awarded more than $17 million in True Inspiration Awards grants to nonprofits since 2012, including those focused on homelessness or hunger. Chick-fil-A has also donated more than 15 million meals through its Shared Table program, which helps fight hunger in local communities.
Heroes for HOPE Co-Chair: Ashley Northcutt, Tax Partner at Tidwell Group
For Ashley Northcutt, it was Ann Cone — one of last year’s Heroes for HOPE honorees — who inspired her to get involved with the cause. After participating in last year’s virtual celebration, Northcutt learned that HOPE Atlanta’s work aligned closely with her values.
“One of my core beliefs is that everyone is entitled to stable, healthy, and safe housing,” she says. “If this dream ever comes true, the world and its people will be in a better place.”
During her time volunteering with a homeless shelter, Northcutt developed a passion for serving the unsheltered.
“The people sleeping on the street, under the bridge, in a MARTA station, or at the airport are human beings who want attention, love, and to be heard,” she says. “They are often very pleasant to talk to and have a story that will touch your heart.”
In both her full-time job and other endeavors, Ashley works to advance affordable housing opportunities in our community. At Tidwell Group, an accounting firm with a heavy focus on the Affordable Housing Tax Credit industry, she works to support local affordable housing projects.
Ashley also recently earned the coveted title of President of the Women’s Affordable Housing Network in Georgia.
Heroes for HOPE Co-Chair: Chris Sizemore, CEO of Incisive
As Co-Chair of Heroes for HOPE, Chris Sizemore continues a long legacy of philanthropy in pursuit of societal change.
Sizemore is the founder of the strategic branding and communications agency INCISIVE and a founding member of Unite.Us — an initiative that aims to “fulfill the promise of America through stories, solutions, and skills that bring us closer together, not farther apart.”
He has provided strategic leadership for a range of local organizations, serving as a board member for the Emory Center for Ethics, Atlanta Fire Rescue Foundation, and United Way of Greater Atlanta, among others.
Recognizing that there are many long-held misconceptions about homelessness and hunger, Chris strives to challenge the community to see the issues through a different lens.
“Homelessness is not only about what you see, but what you don’t see,” he says. “Often as a society, we look at individuals and families living on the street. However, homelessness is much broader than that.”
He also emphasizes the importance of taking action.
“We have to look at hunger as a 365-day-per-year issue and realize that someone is not choosing to be hungry or choosing to live in poverty. It’s an unfortunate circumstance in life, and we have a responsibility to speak up and do something.”
Heroes for HOPE Sponsors
In its 9th year partnering with HOPE Atlanta, Northside Hospital will return as Title Sponsor. Northside has long been committed to enhancing the quality of our community and the families it serves, partnering with organizations like HOPE Atlanta that reinforce the principles of social justice: access to resources, equity, diversity, participation and human rights.
Other top event sponsors include CARROLL, Chick-fil-A, Georgia Power, Berckmans Spirits, LLC, Creative Realities, EY, Georgia Affordable Housing Coalition, J.P. Morgan, Perennial Properties, PPD Holdings, The Home Depot Foundation, Tidwell Group and Wells Fargo Foundation.
“With economic inequality worsening throughout Georgia, collaboration is crucial to staving off homelessness and hunger,” said Julio Carrillo, CEO of HOPE Atlanta. “We are grateful for our partners’ passion, dedication, and generosity. I’m confident we will be able to improve lives at scale and build a more HOPEful future together.”
Interested in getting involved with Heroes for HOPE?
HOPE Atlanta depends on community donations and sponsorships to make its mission possible year-round and provide HOPE for those in need. There are several ways to get involved with Heroes for HOPE and HOPE Atlanta’s mission to end homelessness and hunger!
- Become a sponsor. Individual and corporate sponsorship opportunities are still available. Learn more about sponsor levels and benefits.
- Join the Host Committee. With your $1,000, you’ll change lives and be recognized at the event. Sign up today!
- Donate. Can’t make it to the event? Consider making a gift to show your support. Donate now.
And please join us in celebrating “100 Days of HOPE” leading up to the event! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn as we celebrate the many “Voices of HOPE” among us.