About Us

Meet Our Team


Tricia Kirk

President & CEO

Tricia Kirk has worked with individuals with special needs for over 40 years and has served as the Executive Director of The Exceptional Foundation since 2001. Under her leadership, The Exceptional Foundation has grown from serving 18 participants to serving over 700 individuals annually. Tricia has been instrumental in the expansion of The Exceptional Foundation to Baldwin County, Alabama; Auburn, Alabama; Atlanta, Georgia; and Charlotte, North Carolina, and continues to do consulting work for non-profits across the country.

Prior to her tenure at The Exceptional Foundation, Tricia served as a special education teacher in the Mountain Brook School System for 4 years. After taking some time to raise her three children, Tricia returned to Mountain Brook Schools to develop a specific inclusion program for a child with autism. In 1997, she was hired by Glenwood to develop inclusion programs for children with autism. 

Actively involved in the community for more than 30 years, Tricia has served on numerous local boards. She served on the board of The Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Kappa Delta Advisory Board. She was a member of the Leadership Birmingham Class of 2011 as well as the Momentum Leadership Training Class of 2008 and currently serves on the Momentum Leadership Board of Directors. Tricia received the National Kappa Delta Awe-Inspiring Women Over 50 Award, the 2004 Quality of Life award from the Mayor of Homewood, and was recognized by the Birmingham Junior League for her service and leadership. 

A native of Birmingham, Tricia received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama specializing in behavior management.


“The hard work, dedication, and passion of our staff creates an environment where our participants can be themselves and feel motivated to reach their unique potential. We are so thankful for our staff and their commitment to making The Exceptional Foundation the thriving organization that it is today.”

-Tricia Kirk


Ginny Bastar

Vice President of Operations

Ginny was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. Her passion for people with special needs led her to begin volunteering at The Exceptional Foundation at the age of 15.  In the summer of 2001, she was hired to work for The Foundation’s summer camp and continued to work part-time after school throughout the remainder of her high school years. Ginny enrolled at The University of Alabama after high school graduation but returned each summer to work at The Exceptional Foundation. After completing her bachelor of science degree in Collaborative Special Education in 2006, Ginny was hired to work full-time at The Exceptional Foundation coordinating daily participant activities. Ginny currently holds the position of Vice President of Operations. 

In August 2008, Ginny married high school sweetheart, John Bastar, who proposed at The Exceptional Foundation in front of a crowd of cheering participants. They now have a daughter, Mary Patton, who was born in 2011 and a son, Charlie, born in 2015.


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