10 Women Of Spirit

"What I enjoy doing as far as community service work is giving back to the community," Howell said. "I think it is very important to take time out of your schedule, despite how busy it is, and be a mentor. For me, when I was younger, I had different people who were mentors in my life, whether it was my family, my parents, or my friends."

Howell, who has had a hearing impairment since the age of 5, said having mentors in the early stages of her life taught her to give back to others "because there was so much I learned from that situation. I'm always doing something for the youth, which is always fun for me, because I like to see when they have their 'a-ha' moments, or when they come back and tell me what they have accomplished.

"Because for a lot of them, they started out with no self-esteem, or no confidence, and I just love being able to work with them and let them know that anything is possible."

Other notable items: Howell oversees: Tie and Doll Inc. founder, www.tieanddoll.org The All TIEd Up Project www.alltiedupproject.org The All DOLLed Up Project www.alldolledupproject.org She also is involved in the Stuff the Bus School Supply Campaign at The Shoppes at EastChase (organizer), River Region United Way Community Council (vice chair) and the River Region United Way Budget and Allocation Committee.

Bringing reality to the (business) classroom Rhea Ingram, 45, education, collegiate Ingram, dean of the College of Business at Auburn Montgomery, doesn't hesitate when asked what her passion is in the education field. "My passion is definitely the students," she said. "So with higher education, in-particular management education changing, because the business world is changing, I'm passionate about bringing reality to the classroom.

"What I mean by that is, 'Are we teaching students what they need to learn both in knowledge and in skills to be able to go out into the workforce and become a true business leader from the day they get hired?' (It's wonderful) being able to watch students come in as freshman and transform into these business leaders when they walk across the stage.

"And I get to be the privileged one to shake their hands ... it's awesome that we -- we, being the faculty members and the administration -- assist in this transition. So not only do we impact the students' lives, but we impact the business community by providing them with business leaders as we do."

In the community, Ingram's most recent contributions include: Judge, Alabama Retail Association 2011 Retailer of the Year Awards (2015) Diversity Summit, Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce, panel coordinator Women's First Conference, panelist AAF Montgomery, Executive Committee,educational chair (2012-2013) Governmental Affairs Committee, Montgomery Chamber of Commerce (2013) Small Business Advisory Council, Montgomery Chamber of Commerce (2012 -- 2013) And, professionally: Society for Marketing Advances (1998 -- Present): President (2009 -- 2010) Program Chair/President-Elect (2008 -- 2009), vice president of member services (2007 -- 2008), secretary (2005 -- 2007), executive director (2010 -- 2013) Southern Business Administrators Association (2011-Present) Alabama Hospitality Association (2009 -- 2011) Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (2009-2011) EMERGE Montgomery (AL) (2009 -- 2010) "I like to think we're really changing the world"

Angela Kornegay James, 44, education, K-12 James believes what she does is a calling. That you can't just walk into education, but that you are called to do the job. As principal at MacMillan International Baccalaureate Academy, she said every day she walks through the front doors of the school, "it means so much to me.

"No matter what is going on at home, I can just come in and see the children, and everything is OK. I think we're making a difference here at MacMillan because we have children who come here every year from all over the world. Not only are we making an impact on the children that are here in this community, but the children who come from other countries and go back to their schools."

James is a product of the Montgomery public school system, and received a degree in elementary education from Alabama State University, and a master's in education from Troy University Montgomery.

Of the MacMillan students, she says, "We share so much with them, and they take all of that back to their countries. I like to think that we're really changing the world. My passion comes from just always having the desire to help and make a difference. I think no matter what I can do to help someone or help a child, I do."

After graduating high school at age 17, James joined the Alabama Army National Guard, where she served on active duty during Desert Storm/Shield from 1990-1991. She later earned a degree in elementary education at Alabama State University and graduated cum laude in 1995.

She taught at Southlawn Elementary School, where she attended as a student, and later taught fifth grade at Carver Arts Magnet Elementary School. In the fall of 2002, she became the assistant principal at Highland Gardens Elementary, where she and her staff received rewards from the State of Alabama for academic acheivement as a "Gap Closer School."

In July 2011, James was named principal of MacMillan, and after three years, received word the school was officially authorized by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IB) to become an IB World School offering the Primary Years Program (PYP); making it the first elementary school in Montgomery County to achieve that distinction.

James lives and works by a favorite quote: "I hope that my achievements in life shall be these -- that I will have fought for what was right and fair, that I will have risked for that which mattered, and that I will have given help to those who were in need that I will have left the earth a better place for what I've done and who I've been." -- C. Hoppe

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