Annual awards recognize outstanding families in the community

birchfield and portis families selected as families of the year Birchfield and Portis families selected as Families of the Year

pictured from left to right: The Birchfield family and the Portis family. Photo at right courtesy of Grace Photography.

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA – (November 14, 2010) The families of Beasley Allen attorneys J. Cole Portis, head of the firm’s Product Liability and Personal Injury Section, and Andy Birchfield, head of the firm’s Mass Torts Section, were selected by the Family Guidance Center of Alabama as winners of the 22nd annual Families of the Year Awards. The awards recognize outstanding families in the community who pull together when times are tough, work toward a common goal, celebrate accomplishments, and most importantly, love unconditionally.

Cole and his wife, Joy, have four daughters and three sons – Kathryn (16), Zoe (11), Elizabeth (9), Emme (4), John Cole (8), Samuel (8), and Eli (2). Cole and Joy are strong advocates for adoption. They have adopted four of their seven children, Samuel, from China; Zoe and Emme from Ethiopia, and Eli, who has Downs syndrome.

“My family is humbled to be recognized as a Family of the Year nominee,” Mr. Portis says. “I have a great wife and wonderful kids. However, we are far from perfect. Joy and I realize that we are weak, but God isn’t. Therefore, we rely on Him for guidance. Hopefully, He will help us to continue to teach the hearts of our children. Further, Joy and I are hopeful that any recognition we receive as a Family of the Year will open the eyes of families to the wonderful world of adopting and fostering children.”

Andy and his wife, Tanya, have three children, a son, Dow, and two daughters, Beth and Hope.

The awards program was created in 1989 to recognize families in central and south Alabama communities. The awards are open to all area families, including traditional, blended, single-parent and adoptive. Winners are based on family teamwork, individual growth and family involvement in community activities.

In addition to the Portises and the Birchfields, other Families of the Year were the Robert and Jannah Bailey family, the John and Deborah Ellis family, the Charlie and Grayson Hill family, and the John and Tracy Neal family.

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