Meet the Board

Ann Allen

I first became acquainted with Clute’s foundation through my work with the Athens Area Cancer Auxiliary and have been a board member for more than 20 years. It’s been a privilege to work with an organization that provides critical financial assistance to families of children with cancer in a manner that is both heartfelt and compassionate.  

–Ann Allen

Cathy Padgett

I am the Community Relations Specialist with Athens-Clarke County Leisure Services. Years ago, I got involved when Don, Clute’s father, asked me to serve.  My father knew the Nelsons and Clute was especially dear to him.  What a great mission – helping families with children battling cancer.  I am proud of this organization and the difference it makes in so many lives.

– Cathy Padgett

Heidi Davison

I am a Clute Barrow Nelson Life Foundation founding board member. My husband, Al, and I were part of a cadre of friends who helped the Nelson family during Clute’s illness. We observed, first-hand, the hard work it takes to care for a sick child in addition to another child who is well and thriving. The generosity of time and money provided to the family, by so many, made it possible for them to give Clute their full attention but, we know not every family is this fortunate. My time with the family and the outpouring of community support provided the inspiration for me to continue giving to others in similar circumstances in hopes of easing their burdens so they, too, can worry less and give more to their child in need. Serving on this board has been a true privilege and a blessing to me, too.

– Heidi Davison

Phyllis Barrow Nelson


I am Clute’s mother.  As treasurer of Clute’s foundation it has been my honor to work directly with the Pediatric Oncology Social Workers and other professionals who have referred their patients to our foundation.  In our 20-plus years we have been able to reach out and help well over 800 different families with financial help.  We have made mortgage and rent payments, utility payments, car payments and repairs, provided help with general expenses and sadly with funeral costs when some of these children’s fight was over.  

The foundation is indeed a legacy of love.  The love that Clute showed to all in his short life, the love that so many friends and strangers extended to us while Clute was battling cancer, the love that makes the generosity of so many individuals possible for us to continue with our mission and the love that we are able to – in Clute’s memory – extend to others.  Through the foundation our little boy lives on.   

– Phyllis Barrow Nelson

Don Nelson

Chairman, The Clute Barrow Nelson Life Foundation

I am Clute Barrow Nelson’s father and worked 40-plus years as a journalist in Athens. During Clute’s 16-month battle with cancer, the compassion, kindness, and generosity showered on Clute and our family by so many different people really touched my heart. That inspiration led us to establish Clute’s Foundation in 1999, a year after Clute’s death. By providing crucial financial assistance to other families of children fighting cancer, I believe Clute’s Foundation has turned our personal tragedy into and meaningful mission, and, in turn, has helped eased our deep sense of loss.

– Don Nelson

Kimberly Liebowitz

Kimberly Liebowitz, Owner of Connect & Grow Consulting, LLC, has 15 years of successful leadership experience in the nonprofit sector. Kimberly has a passion for nonprofits and oncology, which is why when Don and Phyllis invited her to serve on the Board of Directors for The Clute Barrow Nelson Life Foundation, she said yes! She is passionate about helping families struggling financially due to their child’s cancer diagnosis. She believes no one should have to choose between keeping a roof of their head or their child’s health. Kimberly is excited to use her professional skills and heart for cancer patients while serving on the Board of Directors.   She calls Athens, Georgia, home and her beloved husband, 6-year-old twins, a 13-year-old golden retriever.  

– Kimberly Liebowitz

Rachel Joiner

I have been a Clute Barrow Nelson Life Foundation board member for 10 years. I got involved when Don, Clute’s father, called me at work about a sponsorship. Clute’s story tugged at my heart in a way a can’t begin to describe. Now, as a mother of two, our mission of providing relief to families dealing with a child’s cancer diagnosis is even more important to me. The impact we have on families to give them breathing room is vital. I am very proud to serve our community and beyond. 

– Rachel Joiner

Rob Trevena

Rob has over 35 years of experience in housing and community development program management and economic development technical assistance specializing in in organizational capacity building and strategic planning. He has served on a variety of boards and commissions in Athens-Clarke County and the NE Georgia region. Rob is an avid sportsman, community volunteer, and a talented graphic artist.

Rob’s work with the Clute Foundation is in honor of the memory of Michael J. Hyatt, an early board member and friend whose work was essential in establishing the long-term success of the Clute Barrow Nelson Life Foundation.

– Rob Trevena