Atkinson-Payne Pro Bono Award

2023 Winner: Kerri Burke Goodman and Bo Heath and Vice President Dylan Reel in Raleigh, North Carolina

For their pro bono work with Military Missions in Action

Senior Vice Presidents Kerri Burke Goodman and Bo Heath and Vice President Dylan Reel were awarded MWC’s 2023 Atkinson-Payne Pro Bono Award for their work on behalf of Military Missions in Action.

Military Missions in Action requested help in providing veterans living in suburban and rural areas with transportation to and from Veterans Administration healthcare centers for their appointments. Veterans, especially those facing mental health difficulties, frequently are unable to afford the cost of housing in the more expensive metropolitan areas. The result is that they are not able to make their healthcare appointments and receive the care they need.

Reel spearheaded the project and ensured that organization members met with legislators who had influence over funding decisions. Goodman and Heath helped facilitate conversations with Senate and House budget committee members and made sure the funding requests made it through each chamber’s budget process.

Military Missions in Action asked for $1.5 million to fund their transportation initiative. Reel, Heath and Goodman secured this amount in the House budget and got twice as much — $3 million in funding — for this program in the Senate budget. The line item from the North Carolina legislature will provide transportation for veterans in the greater Raleigh area for their medical appointments.