Group of members after a year-end event

People Serving, Advocating, and Supporting

Why We Serve and Support


“My wife, Nancy, and I joined Life Leaders 20 years ago and got involved immediately with the seminars. My background in the U.S. Army emphasizing leadership and post-retirement career coaching fits our teaching on planning as well as professional and leadership development. After the “9-11” attacks on our country in 2001, we escalated our work to lead on Patriotism in Action to promote patriotism and honor veterans….”

Col. Bob Barefield (USA Ret)

Trustee and Chair, Patriotism in Action

“I have attended Life Leaders seminars for over 10 years, and have volunteered to host many of the monthly events because the organization helps people plan for the ‘7 Areas of Life’ and learn to be our ‘best-selves.’ Planning fits my passion for helping people with ‘Financial Fitness.’ Plus, I support the work of others focused on leadership and patriotism.”

Melvin Carrington Smith, Sr.

Trustee and co-author, Financial Fitness Planbook

“I started what has become Life Leaders Institute to fill a gap in what I wanted as a student and young professional, plus what I have learned as an executive coach with CEOs and other professionals wanting to improve themselves and others. Alumni of schools and parents want more preparation for planning and personal leadership.  With help of Johnny Johnson and others, we created an association we wanted to join and to provide opportunity for professionals after-work to learn and improve, some bringing spouses. Life Leaders supports education, communities, and organizations dedicated to developing people. We add principles of best-self leadership such as writing and internalizing Plans for School and the 7 Areas of Life, content I–and most alumni–wish we got in school, college, and professional training.”

Dr. David Dyson

Founder, Trustee, President

We remember trustees who died while serving:

“My wife, Joan, and I joined Life Leaders after attending the leadership conference David directed and emceed featuring Dr. Stephen Covey in 1993.  More Americans need to Plan and Lead their lives, so I support Life Leaders and the mission. After the ‘911’ attacks on America in 2001, David and I wrote two books—Professionalism Under Stress and Patriotism in Action. The Patriotism in Action program we started—now led by Col. Bob (USA Ret) and Nancy Barefield—expanded the vision of Life Leaders and serves veterans, students, and country….”

  • Col. Stretch Dunn (USA Ret) (1943-2017), trustee and co-author, Professionalism Under Stress and Patriotism in Action
  • Mr. Johnny A. Johnson, VP for Business and Finance, Birmingham-Southern College (co-founded, trustee, and VP for Finance) served 10 years before his death in 2001. The Loyalty Award is named for Johnny.
  • Mr. Hack Sain, Founder and CEO, Sain Associates (Hack began his involvement with Life Leaders at age 70 taking a team from his company to our seminar presenting Dr. Stephen Covey and the “7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” Soon after, Hack invited David to work with his company, Hack started attending monthly seminars, joined as a member, and led as a trustee.

Other Financial Partners

Financial Partners
and Servant Leaders Supporting The Mission

Advisors and Advocates 2019

(some of our friends who have advised, advocated, or assisted our mission)

Name (city): a key area of interest and service

  1. Col. Bob Barefield (USA Retired): Patriotism in Action
  2. Mrs. Nancy Barefield (Clay): Patriotism in Action
  3. Mr. Steve Bryant (Vestavia): Farm and Ranch Programs
  4. Dr. (Retired Colonel) Mike Burkett (Vestavia): Plan for School and Life, Veterans Day Education, Veterans Making Comebacks
  5. Mr. Kyle Crider (Helena): Webmaster, Tech Consultant
  6. Mrs. Joan Dunn (Hoover): member events, Social area of Life Plans
  7. Dr. David Dyson (Calera): Programs, Partner and Volunteer Support
  8. Mr. Don Hodges (Dallas, Texas): Plan for College and Life
  9. Mr. John Hornsby (Mtn. Brook): Freedom Lives/Freedom to Flourish
  10. Mr. Tim King (Clanton): Education, Youth, Programs
  11. SGM Mike Oakley (USA Retired): Character Traits, Plan, Veterans Day
  12. Mrs. Barbara Weeks Minor (daughter of Veterans Day Founder, with  Kyle Minor, Hoover): Veterans Day History Education
  13. Bishop Dr. Bernard Omukubah (Kenya & USA: Leadership & Ministry
  14. Mr. Terry Schrimscher (Birmingham): Citizenship
  15. Mr. Melvin Carrington Smith, Sr.: Financial Fitness, Plan for Life
  16. Mr. Terry Slaughter (Vestavia): Students, Life Leadership, Freedom
  17. Mr. Bryan Stickney (Atlanta): Professional Development
  18. Ms. Patty Thompson (Daphne): Events
  19. Mr. Lou Vickery (Atmore & Fairhope): Plan for School & Life
BSC students at seminar on Goals, Resolutions, and Personal Leadership with Life Leaders

Advocacy from Students

Plan for Life Workshop

“…I have been tremendously busy since I decided to get my life on track at the Life Leaders workshop. Frankly, your workshop changed my life. By writing my goals, it made me realize how much I had to change to complete them. I made the President’s List for spring and summer (straight A’s)!”

-Amanda Shields-

University of Alabama student [now an alumna and law school graduate]

 Life Planning & Leadership Course at BSC

“I learned more about myself in one month than I had in 18 years.”  

 Lindsay Roten, in the first offering of this course at a college

“This course was extremely effective. He teaches you the basics of how you can get better motivated about life and school. I would recommend this class to all students.”

– Hellen Tiema, healthcare major

“I learned how to balance my life as well as give it some structure. I also learned about how to utilize my stress, and also eliminated some of my “bad” stress. This class offers great insight into how to better lead your life.”

– Jacob Breen, student-athlete, baseball

“I organized my thoughts into resolutions and plans. Please take this course with an open and disciplined mind.”

– Art Richey, freshman business major, preparing for political life

“I have become more proactive, a better time manager and leader, and have a higher outlook on life. I recommend this course to those who need a push in the right direction.”

– Tina Ross, student-athlete, soccer

“This class taught me how to work on things in advance to reduce stress and how to be more organized and efficient.”

– David Miller, business major/pre-law

“…. It was truly a life changing class!   P.S. My Introduction to Education class asked for us to submit a Professional Portfolio…I am excited to already have one!!!”

– Megan Blalock, student-athlete, education and soccer

After a lecture by Dr. Dyson for a student leadership group hosted by Dr. Byron Chew and the Business Division of Birmingham-Southern College on why students should write Plans for School & 7 Areas of Life plus learn Best-Self Leadership and Professional Development, the students used their leadership. Because of students, who took action to request Life Planning and Leadership, it was approved even though some faculty thought writing a plan and learning best practices was “too practical” for a liberal arts college. In the course, students drafted a professional plan to inspire their preparation, questions to answer, and priorities in school. Students attended an evening seminar on Personal Leadership and a Saturday morning workshop on writing Plans for 7 Areas of Life and Resolutions with members of Life Leaders Association.

If you believe students and others would do better with plans and personal leadership, your advocacy may influence a school expanding their methods to help students prepare.

Dr. Dyson and Melvin Smith at Life Leaders at Lunch, briefing, discussion, workshop

Life Leaders Seminars and Programs

“…You must continue these programs. I take these lessons with me as I minister to people in the U.S. and share the most profound ones with my organization f pastors in Kenya serving orphanages, schools, and villages.”

– Bishop Dr. Bernard Omukubah, minister in the USA and Kenya –

“We have a crisis…it starts in the home and manifests itself  in the public schools of America!  Your work is very important.  Stay the course.”

Semper Fidelis,
Dr. Jack Hawkins, Chancellor, Troy University
Board of Directors, Daniel Foundation of Alabama

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