Keynote Speakers & Moderator
Veteran, Purple Heart Recipient
Author, Double Amputee
featured on Dancing with the Stars
Noah Galloway is a husband, father and veteran, native to Birmingham, Alabama. His story is a shining example that with determination and the right amount of perspective, you can tackle anything. Noah served in Iraq, where he was severely injured in combat, losing his left arm and leg. Noah is here with us today to share his story of struggles and triumphs, where’s he’s been, what he’s doing and where he’s going in hopes of motivating and inspiring us all to live with no excuses!
Executive Director – ASPARC
Suicide Prevention Advocate
Certified QPR Gatekeeper Trainer
featured in S-Town podcast
Cheryl Dodson, ASPARC Executive Director, lost a friend to suicide in 2015 whose end-of-life story was featured in the highly successful S-Town podcast. She is now an advocate for suicide prevention and is a Certified QPR Gatekeeper Trainer, hosting over 150 trainings since 2017. Cheryl founded the Annual Wildflower Walk and Wellness Fair in Woodstock, AL in 2018 to help raise mental-health awareness and provide suicide loss survivors with a public event to honor their loss. Cheryl is proud to be a part of 7,000 people knowing how to help someone experiencing a mental-health crisis.
Karen Cook Thomas
Funeral Director, Cremationist, Chaplain
Board Member – ASPARC
Founder – Cook Ministries
Certified QPR Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper
Karen Cook Thomas, a licensed Alabama Funeral Director/Cremationist and an ordained Chaplain who holds a B.A. in Ministry, has been serving families for over 20 years in the funeral industry. Since 2010 she has served in the Christian Street Ministry atmosphere serving the homeless, trafficked, physically abused, and those in addiction. An ASPARC Board Member, Karen is also a QPR Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper. It was after her brother’s suicide death in 2015 that she founded, Cook Ministries, a 501c3 nonprofit in his memory, where she serves as Leader with their various programs, including Suicide Prevention.
Co-host – Good Day Alabama, WBRC Fox 6
Board Member – Community Grief Support
Multiple Loss Survivor
Janice Rogers has been living her dream for 28 years at FOX6. She started as an Intern while in college at UAB earning her degree in Broadcast Journalism. She also interned at the local NBC affiliate. It was there Janice began her on-air career. Channel 13 hired Janice her senior year in college to be a videotape editor and eventually general assignment reporter. She was then later promoted to East Alabama Bureau Chief then moved to midday anchor and finally weekend prime time anchor. But in August of 1994, Janice was asked to come back to her first love, Channel 6, not knowing the station was being bought by FOX New Corp. Janice had no idea she was about to begin a brand-new morning show – eventually called “Good Day Alabama.” But as Janice says, “What a blessing it has been.” Currently Janice and the Good Day crew do six hours of television in the morning. Originally from Jacksonville, Florida, Janice moved to the Birmingham area as a young teen. She graduated from Mcadory High school and UAB. But her pride and joy is her son Noah. Janice and her husband have a close family and family time is the most important to them. Janice’s commitment to work and family have endeared her to thousands of loyal viewers. Janice feels blessed to be in viewers homes every day.
Clinicians & Educators
Judith Harrington, PhD, LPC-S, LMFT
University of Montevallo
Judith served for 5 years on the Standards, Training & Practices Committee of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and was a founding member of the Alabama Suicide Prevention Resources Coalition (ASPARC). Since 2008, she has taught graduate counseling classes on suicide at UAB and the University of Montevallo. She has published four textbook chapters on suicide in Crisis Assessment, Intervention, and Prevention and Orientation to the Counseling Profession: Advocacy, Ethics and Essential Foundations. Her inspiration for suicide prevention has been the stories of suicide-loss survivors who attended the support group she co-facilitated for 14 years.
Steve Sweatt, LPC-S, LMFT
Clinical Director – Community Grief Support
Steve has served as the Clinical Director of Community Grief Support since 2009 where he provides individual, couples, family, and group counseling; facilitates community education programs and grief-in-the-workplace interventions; and supervises counseling staff, interns, and volunteers. He has completed bereavement counseling post-graduate training with grief and loss specialists Dr. Alan Wolfelt and Dr. Robert A. Neimeyer. He is an ordained Baptist minister with a Master of Education (Community and Agency Counseling) and a Master of Divinity (Psychology of Religion and Pastoral Counseling) degrees.