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Whitney Austin


Impassioned after surviving the Sept. 6, 2018, shooting in Cincinnati, Ohio, Whitney created the Whitney/Strong to promote responsible gun ownership with the ultimate goal of reducing gun violence.

Whitney has been employed by Fifth Third Bank for 15 years; her current role as Vice President, Digital Lending Product Manager.  In 2018, Whitney and her team launched one of the first omnichannel digital lending applications in the banking industry.

A wife and a mother of two, Whitney resides in Louisville, Kentucky where she earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Louisville. She enjoys cooking, family trips to Chicago and camping, college basketball, musical theatre, and the Cincinnati Bengals.

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Sara Hayden

director of operations

Sara Hayden is a Strategic Sourcing Manager with Bunge North America, a global leader in agribusiness. With over 12 years in procurement, she collaborates globally to ensure material supply while also driving savings to the business. She also leads Bunge's Women of Bunge employee resource group. Sara holds an MBA in Entrepreneurship from the University of Louisville.

While a native of Louisville, she currently resides in St. Louis, MO with her husband and two daughters. She has been friends with Whitney since attending Louisville Male High School together.


Brooke Edge

Director of market research

Brooke Edge has a PhD in Media Studies and Communication from the University of Colorado and currently serves as Director of Research and Strategy for PriceWeber, an advertising and marketing agency based in Louisville, KY. She also taught media studies and theory at the University of Denver and University of Colorado, Boulder, and was a features reporter for a number of publications, including The Prague Post and Creative Loafing.

Brooke’s academic research focused on healthcare messaging in popular media, qualitative analysis of audience response, and strategic communications to underserved populations. Brooke has conducted media and communications research and strategy efforts for clients in the arts, automotive, beverage, entertainment, financial services and packaged goods industries.


Megan Gardner

Director of marketing

Megan Gardner serves as Director of Marketing for Whitney/Strong. She has over 12 years’ experience as a strategic marketer and communicator in healthcare, consumer goods, tourism and non-profit sectors. She is excited to bring her expertise to develop the overall marketing strategy for Whitney/Strong. As Whitney’s younger sister and with three young children of her own, she is dedicated to ensuring the future is safer for our children. She has been married to her husband, Lonnie for 10 years, and lives in Louisville, Kentucky.


Liz Andrews-Bock

Director of information technology

Liz Andrews-Bock serves as a Director in the Enterprise Data Office at Fifth Third Bank. She has over 20 years experience in Financial Services, which is where she met Whitney over 9 years ago. In addition to being a close friend to Whitney, she was also in the Fifth Third Center on September 6, 2018, and is committed to help drive the mission of Whitney/Strong.

Liz holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the University of Cincinnati and currently resides in Liberty Township, Ohio with her husband Dave, and 2 daughters.


Deanna Atchley

Director oF equity and inclusion

Deanna Atchley is committed to taking action about the issues she strongly believes in and is thrilled to bring her skills to Whitney/Strong to be a part of the solution surrounding gun violence. Deanna holds both a J.D. and a M.S.W. from Washington University. She has an extensive background in coalition building, planning and implementing community initiatives, public speaking, and legal analysis. Deanna also has more than 15 years of experiences as a performer, choreographer, and coach in the cheer and dance industry.

Deanna’s personal connection to two mass shooting victims—Whitney Austin and Maurice Stallard—motivated her to join Whitney/Strong. Deanna is also passionate about working with youth, supporting diversity and inclusion efforts, suicide prevention, and raising awareness of the National Bone Marrow Registry in honor of her mother.


Jeff Hadley

Director of finance

Jeff has over 20 years of leadership experience designing, developing and administering services within the non-profit, behavioral and mental health treatment field.

He created a Community-Based Treatment Services Division for the Home of the Innocents, and established one of Kentucky’s largest in-home treatment programs for child victims of abuse and those with developmental disabilities.

For eight years he served as the Chief Executive Officer for Boys and Girls Haven, one of the Kentucky’s premier providers of mental health treatment services for children in the child welfare system. During that time, Jeff became a public policy advocate and change agent for issues affecting funding for health care services for Kentucky’s most vulnerable children.

Jeff is now parlaying the management and new initiative creation skills that he developed in the social service arena with a move into the entrepreneurial ecosystem.  As Entrepreneur-In-Residence at Venture First, a leading financial services group, Jeff is adapting innovative strategies and business solutions to tackle complex problems within social impact groups. Jeff is leveraging his executive leadership skills and the business management principles he developed with his Entrepreneurship MBA from the University of Louisville, as he helps to affect lasting change via innovative companies and organizations.

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Farrah Alexander

Director oF communications and public relations

Farrah Alexander is a writer whose work often focuses on parenting, politics, social justice, and current events. Her work has been featured in HuffPost, Scary Mommy, and BUST. She's been quoted on topical issues for Scientific American, Buzzfeed, Refinery 29, Hello Giggles, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Daily Mail, and the BBC. She is a regular source on American political issues for the newspaper Expresso, in which her interviews are translated in Portuguese. She is currently at work on a book. 

Farrah is extremely passionate about reducing gun violence and is honored to serve on the board of Whitney/Strong. She lives in a suburb of Louisville, Ky. with her husband, son, and daughter. 

Please join with Whitney/Strong today by making a donation. Together we’ll be working with politicians to drive conversations related to gun violence as well as gathering data and leveraging findings to drive education and advocacy. We can prevent these situations from happening and I’m excited to take advantage of my second chance in life to make a meaningful difference. I can’t do it alone… but we can do it together.

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