By Ingrid Schnader
On Sept. 10, Southern Research launched its “Change Campaign” — an opportunity to build awareness and raise funds for cancer, green chemistry and neuroscience research.
“Our passion at Southern Research is driven by hope: hope for a cure, for a cleaner, greener Earth and for lives to be changed – and ultimately saved,” said Art Tipton, Southern Research president and CEO. “Donations to the Change Campaign will allow us to continue to explore important scientific breakthroughs within high-risk, high-reward endeavors that are many times difficult to fund through traditional government grants.”
Fundraising will be generated by 30 community leaders, nicknamed “change agents,” from across Birmingham and Over the Mountain communities.
Virginia Markstein, a Mountain Brook native and real estate agent for ARC Realty, said being a part of this campaign was an easy decision to make. Her great grandfather was one of the founding members of Southern Research, and a long line of her family members served on the board after him. Additionally, many of her family members have been affected by cancer.
“Southern Research is such an amazing organization,” she said. “The fact that they founded seven FDA-approved anti-cancer drugs is pretty amazing, and I can assure you most people in Birmingham don’t know that.”
Marcus Chatterton is a Bluff Park resident and a lawyer at Balch and Bingham. He also is one of Southern Research’s change agents and said that a love for science and technology first drew him to the campaign.
“There’s so many cool things going on in Birmingham,” he said. “And, of course, Over the Mountain, we benefit from all those good things that are going on.”
Once he started learning more about the projects that Southern Research funded, his interest grew.
“I’m just so enthused about the things we might be able to accomplish,” he said.
For India Vincent, a lawyer at Burr & Forman, it was a combination of things that drew her to the Southern Research Change Campaign.
“Each of the causes within the change campaign – the mind, the body and earth – are all things that affect almost everybody in some way,” she said. “But it’s also the presence of Southern Research in Birmingham and the ability to showcase our community and the strengths of our community, hopefully a little bit outside of the local area.”
Other change agents are Turner Burton of Hoar Construction; Bart Crawford of The Title Group; James Childs of Maynard Cooper; Jonathan Geisen of Baker Donelson; William Culpepper of Chester’s International; Key Foster of McWane, Inc.; Miller Girvin of Alabama Capital Network; Lynn Darty of Milo’s Tea Company; Raymond Harbert Jr. of Harbert Management Company; Natalie Kelly of Brasfield & Gorrie; John Fallis of Drummond; Rosa Hooper of Medical Properties Trust; Beeland Nielsen of Coca Cola Bottling Company United; David Perry of Protective Life; Blair King of Alabama Power; Elizabeth Scribner of Regions; David Powell of LogicMonitor; Robert Maddox of Bradley; Michael Stone of Porter White & Company; Mitesh Shah of Maynard Cooper; Will Wright of Protective Life; Chris McCauley of Markstein; Jon Vogel of Wealth Designs, LLC; Shon Thurman of Wells Fargo; and Taylor Peake Wyatt of MotionMobs.
Southern Research is a Birmingham-based research organization that specializes in drug discovery, drug development, engineering, energy and the environment. The Southern Research Change Campaign will culminate in an event Oct. 11.
Donations can be made and tickets to the event can be purchased online at changecampaign.swell.gives.