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TrailblazHers: Marie Sutton

Marie Sutton, Public Information Officer for the City of Birmingham

Appointed by Mayor Randall L. Woodfin, veteran communicator Marie Sutton is the Public Information Officer for the City of Birmingham. As Public Information Officer, Marie serves as a senior communications official in the Office of Public Information, interacting with the public and news media.

Marie has accomplished an extensive career as a journalist, an author, and a public relations professional. She has worked as a freelance writer, reported for The Birmingham News, represented several organizations in public relations, and has been employed at the University of Alabama at Birmingham for more than 10 years. She most recently served as Director of Student Affairs Marketing and Communications at UAB. Sutton is the author of “The A.G. Gaston Motel: A Historic Landmark,” published in 2014. Sutton received her bachelor’s degree from Stillman College and a master’s degree from UAB.

Best Advice: The best advice I have received is “Do it afraid.” I am naturally an introvert and often battle the temptation to cower over into a quiet corner, to not act, speak or move. I have learned, however, to push past fear (of being out front, of speaking up, and of walking by faith). I understand that fear will come, but it will not win over me, my voice, my purpose and my destiny.

Greatest Influence: My late grandmother Jimmie Elliott is a major influence on me. She grew up in the historic Smithfield community and became a mother and widow at a very young age. She had to navigate life in Jim Crow South with mouths to feed and no husband by her side. Despite her thorny path, she achieved many professional successes and was a strong woman of faith. I am of the stock of Jimmie Elliott, which means for me, that no matter what comes my way, I can achieve and ultimately win.

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