A veteran journalist who retired in 2007 after a long career with Southern Progress Corporation, Mrs. Hurst has written extensively on a wide range of lifestyle topics and edited several specialty publications for Southern Progress. Memberships include the Editorial Board of Sanctuary, the literary journal of the UAB Honors Program, International Association of Culinary Professionals, Association of Food Journalists, Dole Family Advisory Board, UAB Alumni Association and many others.


Mrs. Hurst is a graduate of The University of Alabama at Birmingham, where she earned her degree in English in 1994. She also attended Howard University, Talladega College and Miles College. In 2009, Mrs. Hurst and her daughter Laura launched LaurAnn Handbags. They produce one-of-a-kind handmade purses of leather, tapestry and exotics that are available online and at regional art shows.