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Executive Committee Members

Beth and her wife Emily
Concrete Wall



Beth is an accountant who specializes in personal tax and debt resolution. She is married to her college roommate with whom she shares a beautiful, gifted and loving daughter and equally awesome son in law. Years after moving away from Lawrence County, Alabama for their education and careers, Beth and Emily chose to move back to the area, motivated to serve the underrepresented community. They are both passionate advocates for human rights and believe that inclusion starts with a willingness to belong. In her free time Beth enjoys reading, writing, golfing, hiking, traveling, collecting rare bourbons and enjoying any and all of those things with a fine cigar and a friend.

Executive Board Members


Kristina Beard

Kristina was born in Germany and moved to the U.S. at the age of 22. She has three children, ages 15, 13, and 11. As a former exchange student and then a military spouse, she has lived in Minnesota, Guam, Washington, and now calls north Alabama her home. She cares deeply about social justice issues and returned to college at the age of 36 to obtain her BSW with a graduation date of May 2022. In her limited free time, Kristina enjoys cross stitching and being a Girl Scout troop leader. Active in Girl Scouts for over eight years, she enjoys teaching a new generation of strong girls how to be independent and live their most authentic lives.


Kimberly Fasking

Kimberly is an Alabama-based immigration attorney who focuses on helping families in danger of separation or other harms. She and her husband, Greg, have six children and one grandchild, and the family recently relocated to Decatur from Mountain Brook, where they resided 16 years after leaving the Chicago area, where she was born and raised.  Kim earned her B.Phil in anthropology from Northwestern University and her JD from Cumberland School of Law. In her work as an attorney, Kim has devoted extensive pro-bono hours to helping asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border, and she has been engaged to speak on immigration and border issues for various organizations, as well as for purposes of Continuing Legal Education credits for her colleagues.  Kim helped found and was the chair of the Mountain Brook Democrats. Her youngest three children currently attend the first LGBTQ+ affirming school in Alabama as members of its inaugural class, and where she serves as president of the parent-teacher ally organization. Kim continues to advocate every single day for human and civil rights and to pursue justice for all.


Laurie Fraser

Laurie lives in Madison, Alabama and is a mother of two sons. She recently retired after more than 38 years of Army civilian service. Her most recent experience was as the Associate Director of Guidance, Sensors, and Electronics for Army missile development, but she also spent many years as a technology leader in virtual battlefield prototyping and experimentation. Her eldest son, Dr. Kyle Fraser, is a neuroscience researcher in the areas of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Her youngest son, Evan, lost his battle to the disease of addiction at the age of 23 in 2017. Ms. Fraser is a charter member and vice president of Bacchus by the River. She is active in her neighborhood book club, bunco clubs, and in Pilot Club International. The mission of Pilot is to influence positive change in communities throughout the world. The focus is on serving those with brain-related diseases, disorders, and disabilities. In this coming year, Laurie will be installed as the President of the Pilot Luncheon Club of Morgan County.


Maria Hernandez

Maria was born in the Dominican Republic and moved to the US in 1999. She joined the US Navy and served on active duty as a hospital corpsman from 1999 to 2009, and she served in the US Navy reserves until her retirement in 2021. Maria's commitment to health care and public health has always been top priority. She completed a Bachelor's degree in molecular biology with a minor in chemistry and psychology. She continued work to complete a Dual Master's program at UAB in public health and public administration concentrating on policy development, research, health administration, and disaster response. Research completed in grad school included an internship in the Be-Heard project in Birmingham, AL. The project involved a needs assessment of the LGBTQ2+ of a five-county area surrounding Birmingham. This project helped establish services in the BAO that serve the needs of the community, as well as laid the groundwork for the new charter school, Magic City Acceptance Academy where her daughter attends. Maria’s experience covers everything from in-patient care, out-patient care, biotech and chemical industries, military health care, and project management. Currently, Maria works as a Payload Specialist at MSFC in Huntsville, AL. Volunteer work has always been an integral part of her life as well. She volunteered as a teenager with the Red Cross in the Dominican Republic. While in the military she was involved as an athlete mentor for Special Olympics for military dependents. Here in Huntsville, Maria is a Military/NASA Docent at the Space and Rocket Center. Maria’s broad experience in the public health industry, as well as with the members of the disabled community is a timely asset, as Southeastern Diversity Project strives to celebrate people of all capacities with “the power to transform lives.” Please welcome Maria to our Southeastern Diversity Project family.

Oky Hernandez.jpg

Okaeri (Oky) Hernandez

Oky is an Optometry student at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. He is heavily involved in politics in north Alabama, serving as the secretary of the Morgan County Democrats for the past two years. He was recently elected to the Alabama Democratic Executive Committee. Oky, who is gay, is working to form an LGBTQ+ club (Spectrum Club) at UABSO. The goal is to educate future optometrists as well as provide ocular health outreach to the LGBTQ+ community.


Robin Higdon

Robin is a native of Morgan County. Married to her high school sweetheart for 41 years, they have three grown children. Robin graduated UAB with a B.S. in education and English. She has worked for Children's Hospital of Alabama, Calhoun College, Parents and Children Together, Cultural Care Au Pair, and is currently regional advisor for International Student Exchange. She is also co-owner of CQuest Scientific. Robin has been active with PTA at Eastwood Elementary and St. Ann Catholic School. She has been a member of Junior League of Morgan County for 31 years, where she served on the board for several years. She is a member of Krewe of Cleopatra, charter member of Krewe of Themis (New Orleans social justice), co-founder and secretary of Bacchus by the River crewe, and coordinator for Carnegie Carnival Prince and Princess candidates at the Carnegie Visual Arts Center. Robin is also a volunteer writer for Moms Rising, Sunrise Movement, and Vote Forward. Currently, she is training to be a volunteer crisis counselor with the Trevor Project. Her family has hosted high school exchange students from Germany, Switzerland, Serbia, and Turkey. She enjoys international travel, whale watching, and theater. Her greatest passions are international relations, cultural diplomacy, human rights, and social justice.


Mila Riehl, MD

Mila is a Decatur resident and is an Internal/Geriatric physician in Columbus, Georgia. She graduated from the University of Alabama and UAB School of Medicine. Mila began in private practice in Guntersville, and later was attending physician at Decatur-Morgan Hospital ER department, as well as various other medical facilities in Alabama and South Dakota. With over 35 years of Emergency Department practice, she has also worked as director of an accredited Vascular and Non-Invasive Cardiology lab. She is board certified in both Internal and Geriatric medicine. Mila has one son, Russell, who is a cardiologist, and one daughter, Cayla, a recent graduate of nursing school. Mila enjoys healthy cooking, Japanese gardening, cycling, archery, reading, traveling, and working with several locum tenens agencies.


Jennifer Amoroso

Jennifer is an amazing photographer, Ambassador for Visit Decatur Alabama and devotes much of her time to caring for local veterans. She is an ally and advocate for every marginalized neighbor.

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