About Our Name
About Our Name
What’s in a name? In our case, quite a lot! Read on to find out why.
The original impetus for the name was the biblical account in Acts 3 where the disciples stopped what they were doing and showed mercy, compassion and kindness to a disabled person outside the “Beautiful Gate” of the temple. While Beautiful Gate Center is not religiously affiliated and is not a religious non-profit, BGC founders Dave and Angela Muirhead, who are members of East Cooper Baptist Church, started from the position that all people – including all people with disabilities – are made in the image of God and are therefore worthy of respect, dignity, compassion and our investment in their lives. We believe that people with disabilities are indispensable members of our families, churches, businesses and community and should be afforded as many opportunities to flourish as any other person.
A second motivation for our name comes from the famous wrought iron gates that are found in the Charleston area. If you’ve never spent a day wandering the streets of the peninsula taking in the amazing iron work, gardens and homes of the historic district, you are truly missing out! Photographers from across the world come to photograph these amazing gates, including a few that reportedly date from before the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. Many of the newer gates were built by one incredible blacksmith named Philip Simmons who is referred to as “the poet of ironwork” (see http://www.philipsimmons.us/).
Photo Credit: Spencer Means
Third, in history, gates have often been used as symbols. For us, the Beautiful Gate symbolize two things – protection and transition. We desire for BGC to be a place where children and youth who are vulnerable in many ways are protected and given an opportunity to learn and flourish. For some children, BGC may be a transition from a learning environment that did not produce developmentally meaningful progress, let alone happiness and flourishing. And we hope that, for some children, BGC will build the skills that eventually allow for a productive and successful transition to less restrictive, traditional learning environments.
Finally, if you look closely at our logo, you’ll notice that the fun and colorful confetti blowing through the gates is made up of an array of logos, symbols and artwork currently used within the disability and educational communities, as well as references to the beautiful weather, foliage and environment in the South Carolina region.
Beautiful Gate Center
Angela M. Muirhead was elected Chair, and Executive Director, of the Beautiful Gate Center in September, 2015. As an accomplished business professional, she presents a thirty year foundation and proven track record of achievements in business within the real estate, banking and legal industries. Her family recently moved to the Charleston area in the summer of 2014.
Angela was President and Co-Founder of Emerald Mortgagee Assistance Company, a private company providing support services to the secondary mortgage market for mortgage-backed securities sold on Wall Street and led the company to become a multi-million dollar company providing collateral supports to the largest banks, mortgage servicers and federal servicing agencies in the country. She sold the company 5 years later to a $6 billion dollar publicly traded company based in California. After the sale in 2000, she founded her second company, Paragon Property Services, a private Colorado real estate brokerage and consulting firm for clients in both the commercial and residential markets.
Director, Center for Behavior Analysis
Billy has been directly involved in service delivery to persons with
disabilities for over 20 years. He has practiced as a Board Certified
Behavior Analyst since 2000 and is an active member of The Association
for Behavior Analysis International and The Texas Association for
Behavior Analysis (TxABA). Following his tenure as President he assumed
the role of Annual Conference Coordinator and Chairman.
During his tenure as Executive Director of Behavioral Innovations, the company expanded it's operations to include seven service locations throughout Texas and it became widely regarded as an industry leader as a result of its services and efforts to work with insurance companies and families throughout the state of Texas. Billy is now the Director of the Clemson University Youth Learning Institute Center for Behavior Analysis where he is creating an online educational program in Behavior Analysis, an International Outreach program in Behavior Analysis, and working with multiple state organizations to improve the quality of services for those with Developmental Disabilities.
Assoc. Professor of Finance
School of Business Administration
Dr. Michael Barth is an Associate Professor of Finance in The Citadel’s School of Business Administration.
Prior to joining the faculty in 2007, he spent nine years in the Department of Finance and Quantitative Analysis at Georgia Southern University, including two years as the acting department chair. Before beginning his career as a college educator, he spent five years as a Senior Research Associate with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners where he was the primary staff specialist on risk-based capital issues. He has been a program director for the Associate in Underwriting program of the American Institute for Chartered Property-Casualty Underwriters/Insurance Information Institute and was a product manager with an auto insurance group for several years. He served nine years on active duty with the U.S. Army and another six years as a reservist.
He received his Ph.D. in Risk Management & Insurance from Georgia State University in 1993. He also holds the Chartered Property-Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) professional designation and the Associate in Underwriting (AU) professional designation.
Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician Professor of Pediatrics
Medical University of South Carolina
Dr Jane Charles is a Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC.
She is an active clinician, researcher, and educator. Her areas of specialization are in the fields of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), intellectual disabilities, and genetic disorders. She provides developmental follow up and medication management for comorbid behavioral disorders for children into adulthood.
Dr. Charles has received research funding as the principal investigator, or co-Investigator for a variety of grants exploring issues related to developmental disabilities including investigating the prevalence of ASD and Fragile X as part of the CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network.