NEW: Rotary, Rotaract + Kiwanis Clubs all have female presidents for the first time in Birmingham history

Presidents of Rotary, Rotaract and Kiwanis Club of Birmingham
Meet the presidents—Leigh Davis/Kiwanis Club of Birmingham, Brenda Hackney/Rotary Club of Birmingham and Cameron Shevlin/Rotaract Club of Birmingham. (Bham Now)

Birmingham is full of organizations and clubs with dedicated members who set their sights on improving the city—including the Rotary Club of Birmingham, the Rotaract Club of Birmingham and the Kiwanis Club of Birmingham. For the first time in Birmingham’s history, all three service clubs are led by women. Keep reading to see why it matters and meet the women in charge.

First—a bit about the Rotary Club, Rotaract Club + Kiwanis Club of Birmingham 🌟

Rotary Club of Birmingham meeting
Today, the Honorable Elaine Chao spoke at a joint meeting for the Rotary Club and the Kiwanis Club of Birmingham. (Bham Now)

Rotary Club of Birmingham

Rotary Trail in the Magic City sign
You may recognize this Rotary project in Birmingham. (Matthew Niblett / Bham Now)

Rotary International is a worldwide service organization that was established in 1905 to bring together business and professional leaders in their communities. The Rotary Club of Birmingham was founded in 1913 and is one of the largest Rotary clubs in the world with over 600 members. In Birmingham, their largest (and most recognizable) impact project is the Rotary Trail.

Rotaract Club of Birmingham

Another service club in Birmingham that’s making waves worldwide: the Rotaract Club of Birmingham. The Magic City has one of the largest Rotaract Clubs in the world with 300 members, all under 35 years old.

Kiwanis Club of Birmingham

Vulcan statue
The Kiwanis Club of Birmingham plays a major role in projects at Vulcan.(Lauren Bedford / Bham Now)

The Kiwanis Club of Birmingham has been in service for over a century, and it’s led to impactful projects like contributing to Birmingham’s park systems in the 1920s. The Birmingham chapter of the Kiwanis Club is the largest chapter in the world! One of their major recent projects was raising over $5 million for the expansion of Vulcan.

Meet the women leading these influential clubs 👏

Presidents of Rotary, Rotaract and Kiwanis Club of Birmingham
Three cheers for an important milestone. (Bham Now)

Let’s meet the women who are making history in Birmingham, shall we?

“For the first time in history, women are simultaneously at the helm of three of our city’s great civic clubs: Rotary, Kiwanis, and Rotaract. These women stand as a testament to the importance of diversity in leadership. We thank each of them for their service and for providing inspiration to women in our community and beyond.”

Dr. Eric Jack, Dean of UAB’s Collat School + former President of Rotary

Brenda Hackney, a Samford graduate, serves as the fourth female president of the Rotary Club of Birmingham and President of the Hackney Foundation. Hackney joined the Rotary Club in 1998 and has served it extensively since then.

Leigh Davis, a native of Birmingham with degrees from the University of Alabama and Samford University, is the Kiwanis Club of Birmingham’s fourth female president and she serves as Vice President of Economic and Community Development at Alabama Power Company.

“We are excited to celebrate Women’s History Month and our Kiwanian women who build by serving. Women became eligible to join the Kiwanis Club of Birmingham 35 years ago. Since then, almost 25% of the membership is female. I am proud to follow in the footsteps of all of the former Kiwanian women in leadership roles over the years who have positively influenced our club. They have paved the way to building a strong female presence to help inspire and serve in the Birmingham area.” 

Leigh Davis, President, Kiwanis Club of Birmingham

Cameron Shevlin, a University of Alabama grad, is the seventh president of the Rotaract Club of Birmingham and serves as the Director of Annual Campaign for United Way of Central Alabama. She’s been a member of the Rotaract Club since 2015 and has served in various roles.

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Cecilia Wood
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