President & Founder

Cassidy M. Dear has become an extreme advocate for stillbirth awareness ever since her own personal loss of her daughter Courtney in 2014. Cassidy strives to dedicate her time by uplifting parents in the community who have also been affected by stillbirth. In 2015 she founded Born Into Heaven Foundation as a financial resource for families. Cassidy is a graduate of Auburn University with a bachelors in Social Work, as well as a graduate of Northern Illinois University with a bachelors in Theatre and Dance Performance. Cassidy lives in Opelika, Alabama with her family. She enjoys dancing and journaling and chasing after the heart of Jesus.


Joyce A. Hughley has been blessed with the spiritual gift of Administration for as long as she can remember.  She has worked for the past fourteen years for East Alabama Mental Health Center as a Human Resource Specialist.  Prior to her employment with Mental Health, she worked for eighteen years at the Department of Human Resources in Cincinnati, Ohio as a Team Leader. 
Joyce attended the University of Cincinnati majoring in Business Administration. She currently lives in Opelika, Alabama with her husband. 

Vice President

Alfred J. Finley is business co-owner of Barker-Finley Masonry located mainly in the Opelika  and Auburn area. He has had a love for brick and masonry work since the early 1980’s. He is a 1986 graduate of Opelika Technical College (currently Southern Union State College) masonry program. Alfred has a passion for youth and has sponsored several little league baseball teams in the past. Being involved with the Born Into Heaven Foundation as a board member is one of the greatest honors and this foundation has grown tremendously since it was established in 2015. Alfred currently resides in Camp Hill, Alabama with his beautiful daughter.

Our Board Members have a heart for serving families effected by stillbirth. We believe that in order to serve effectively it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline and effort. Collectively we are touching lives one bereaved family in our community at a time.


Mallory A. Dear serves with the foundation because she knows how a family feels when they lose a loved one to stillbirth. Mallory has been involved since the very beginning in July 2015 and she stays because she loves to see families positively impacted by our services and to watch how God moves in their lives. 
In her spear time, Mallory is a couch potato. She likes to spend time with family and friends and watch Alabama football! "Thank you so much for loving on the family's that we have reached and will reach. You are my heroes!" Mallory is a graduate of Auburn University and currently lives in Newnan, Georgia.

Born Into Heaven Foundation


Valarie F. Thomas was born and raised in Camp Hill, Alabama. She is a registered nurse, nurse educator and evangelist. Valarie is also a writer. She enjoys writing and teaching about the Power of Prayer and Christian values.
She has a love for people and endeavors to make a difference in lives of those whom she meets on a daily basis. It is through the Born Into Heaven Foundation that she is able to touch the lives of families by providing financial support to families of Angel Babies. She currently resides in Opelika, Alabama with her husband.