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Birmingham Sister Cities announces new roster of board members

Their appointments began Jan. 1, 2022, and will continue through January 2025.

A view of downtown Birmingham near Railroad Park. (STOCK)

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin has appointed two new board members to the Birmingham Sister Cities Commission.

Sonja Smith serves as a board member of the Birmingham City Schools serving District 8 and program manager for UAB’s Lifespan Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center. Damon Treadwell is owner of Mobile Luxury and Auto Broker. Their appointments began Jan. 1, 2022, and will continue through January 2025, with an option to be considered for a second term.

“For nearly 40 years, the Birmingham Sister Cities Commission has served an important role as a liaison between the city of Birmingham and the world,” Woodfin said. “It is important to have strong servant leaders to continue our legacy of being global citizens and as we proudly welcome the World Games in July. Sonja and Damon will serve us well.”

Smith and Treadwell join a roster of nine other new board members who include community leaders, educators, artists, and business leaders. They include the following:

  • Karim Shamsi-Basha, Author, Photographer, and Journalist
  • Jennifer Gowers, President of GoPro Event Solutions
  • Shia Hendricks, Category Management Manager for the Kellogg Company
  • Drew Jackson, Founder and CEO of StreetMetrics
  • Karla Khodanian, Investor Relations for Birmingham Business Alliance
  • Montiqua Mathers, People Leader at Waste Management
  • Blair Minyard, Mechanical Engineer at B.L. Harbert International, LLC
  • Byron Perkins, Attorney and Managing Partner at Perkins-Law, LLC
  • Majd Zayzafoon, Associate Provost for International Education and Assistant Dean for International Medical Education

“This is an exciting time for Birmingham Sister Cities,” said Corlette Stewart Burns, who serves as executive director. “Currently, we are partnering with The World Games, where I serve as Cultural Competency Community Engagement Chair. We have delegations visiting Birmingham in 2022 from Ghana, Hungary, Ukraine, and Wales. Additionally, we are strengthening local partnerships to develop scholarships for our future young leaders, investing further in their leadership abilities. The scholarships will allow Birmingham’s young leaders to travel globally to give them the experience to compete in the global economy.”

Birmingham Sister Cities is dedicated to cultivating and promoting global cooperation, encouraging cultural understanding, and facilitating economic development between the Birmingham metropolitan community and cities around the world. BSC was established in 1982, creating a sister city partnership between Hitachi, Japan, and Birmingham, Alabama, USA. Through its national organization, Birmingham Sister Cities have access to over 2,000 communities in 145 countries.

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The Alabama Political Reporter is a daily political news site devoted to Alabama politics. We provide accurate, reliable coverage of policy, elections and government.

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"Exhibition driving is out of control in the city of Birmingham," Woodfin said Sunday.

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The World Police and Fire Games are scheduled to take place in Birmingham June 27 to July 6, 2025.

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The plan will be funded through a city bond refinancing.