Rachel Blackmon Bryars grew up in Birmingham, graduated from Briarwood High School, and began her career as a television reporter for the ABC affiliate in Richmond, Virginia.
She holds a master’s degree in communication with a political focus from the Johns Hopkins University, where she earned an honors distinction on her experiment-based research into political polling. She has contributed news, features, sports and opinion articles in publications such as the Washington Post, Washington Examiner and various other D.C. area and Alabama newspapers and online outlets, and she is the former managing editor of Yellowhammer News.
Rachel owns a communication training business that has served a range of individual, small business, non-profit, and corporate clients such as Clearview Cancer Institute and she has taught communication and public speaking college courses at several universities including the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) in Naples, Italy.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in communication with a journalism focus from Palm Beach Atlantic University where she was an All-Conference, All-Region, All-American (hon. mention) varsity soccer player, editor-in-chief of the university newspaper, and a freelance reporter for the Palm Beach Post. While at PBA, Rachel received numerous academic and athletic awards and distinctions, including the Most Outstanding Communication Graduate award, the Women of Distinction scholarship, and various academic All-American lists.
Rachel is the mother of five children and is active in their many athletic and civic activities in the Huntsville area. She is the former mothers ministry leader at her church, she serves on the advisory board for the largest YMCA in the state, and she is a frequent speaker.
Rachel has twice worn a tiara: in her wedding (it was the unfortunate style) and when she won the Miss Alabama Junior National Teenager title.
She was nearly a contestant on Survivor, receiving an invitation to join top finalists for challenges in Los Angeles, but had the good judgment to pass on going hungry and fighting with complete strangers on reality TV.
She once tried out for women’s full contact football and made the D.C. Divas team as the kicker, ultimately choosing to let her competitive streak lie low to focus on her then-newborn.