Janell Ahnert and David Odenwelder

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Janell Ahnert was brought up in a family focused on community service.  She is a Shareholder in Littler Mendelson’s Birmingham office.  Her law practice encompasses all facets of employment law. Janell loves working in the Birmingham community and was named Volunteer of the Quarter by Littler in June 2020.  Janell and her family and friends volunteer regularly at First Light cooking and serving meals, and have done so for the last 15 years.  She has also supported the shelter through sponsorship of tables at the gala fundraiser and by spearheading other fundraising opportunities.  Janell also serves as Chair of the Board of Directors at the Elizabeth Perry Rushton Child Development Center and she is passionate about providing working families in downtown Birmingham access to quality childcare.  A Ruling Elder and chair of the personnel team at First Presbyterian Church, Janell also volunteers with the Distinguished Young Woman Program as a judge for local programs and as an interview coach. Janell and husband Craig have two wonderful children, Grace, a freshman at Auburn, and Rush, a sophomore at Vestavia Hills High School.   She and Craig have worked to try to instill those same values in their children and time spent working at First Light together has been an amazing way to pass down that tradition.

David Odenwelder is excited to return again to Dancing with the Stars of the Magic City to support First Light because "this wonderful organization gives support to women and children who have become homeless, helping them in a safe environment reach their potential. We need to promote their endeavors for continued success of the organization."  Originally from Massachusetts, David is a ballet dancer with the Alabama Ballet and an adjunct teacher at Samford University. Deeply committed to dance, David created an outreach program with the Alabama Ballet called Dance Discovery which seeks to captivate the minds of children to grow a love for and better understanding of the art of ballet.


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