Board of Directors

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Dexter Sullivan
Dexter Sullivan
President
Dexter Sullivan
President

For nearly two decades, Dexter has engaged hundreds of platforms around the world as a public speaker. To date, his career has afforded him the opportunity to canvas the majority of the United States, and more than 20 nations abroad. With a proven capacity to inspire and connect with people, his relatability is certain to make one think that he knows no strangers.

Originally a native of Detroit, Michigan, Dexter attended Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma where he completed a Bachelors of Science degree in Business Administration. He was elected Student Body President of ORU for two consecutive terms, representing their 4,000+ student constituency nationwide.

Dexter is the founder of DSE Enterprises, with subsidiary organizations including Forerunner Consulting, Dexter Sullivan Ministries, and The Man to Man Project. DSE Enterprises serves as a clearing house for his consulting services, ministries, innovative projects, and other profitable business endeavors. He is currently partnered with the Michigan Mobility Institute in Detroit where he is tasked with leading the Mobility On-Ramp Collaborative, a state funded initiative to create long-term talent solutions for the mobility and autonomy industry. The collaborative is comprised of partner companies including Ford Motor Company, Bosch North America, and May Mobility.

The broad scope of Dexter’s career-leadership has served numerous contexts. His work has measurably impacted communities globally with educational reform, government policy, leadership development, financial empowerment, and spiritual enrichment. His reputation has established him as a credible voice and thought leader, positioning him as a sought after advisor for global shapers around the world.

Today, Dexter speaks both locally and internationally, teaching principles that practically enhance the lives of everyday people. He frequently partners as a consultant with businesses and individuals for the purpose of adding value to their leadership, ethics, planning, and development.

Dexter is a proud resident of his hometown Detroit, where he Chairs the Black Legacy Advancement Coalition, a national policy think tank diversely comprised of leading African Americans and allies that are invested in creating systemic strategies that secure the future of black communities through reform. Dexter is an active member of his local church, and faithfully serves as a mentor, as well as a youth mentor-advocate in his community.

His life mission is simple: reach people, love people, build people.

David S. Walker
David S. Walker
Vice President
David S. Walker
Vice President

David S. Walker is a gifted communicator, brilliant visionary, and an incredible leader. An award winning speaker, David is committed to motivating families on the power of investing to take full control of your financial future and own your tomorrow.  As a Wealth Management Specialist, David works for one of the largest wealth management and advisory firms in the nation with over $4 Trillion in AUM. His responsibilities include supporting the overall business practice which includes, asset development, portfolio management, sales execution, operational effectiveness, and client experience.

Prior to working in Wealth Management, David spent over 7 years with Christians United for Israel (CUFI). During his tenure, he helped build out the campus division–CUFI on Campus–developing strong Christian student leaders on college campuses in the US. As the director of CUFI on Campus, David along with his team launched over 300 officially recognized CUFI on Campus Chapters at top universities across the nation. His efforts aided to change the narrative on college campuses regarding Israel and the conflict in the Middle East. David has also traveled extensively across the U.S. and internationally speaking at over 450 conferences, universities, churches, and synagogues as well as lobbying elected officials on Capital Hill on the importance of Christian Support for Israel.

Prior to working with CUFI, David worked on several local and national political campaigns as a Campaign Manager and Senior Advisor. His emphasis on developing strong economic opportunities in urban areas is a strategy he believes can reduce crime and uplift poverty stricken communities. He is also passionate about Education and Criminal Justice reform.

David graduated with a B.S. in Finance & Political Science from the University of Detroit Mercy.  He is a man devoted to his family and invested in his church and community of Austin, TX. David is married to Bri Walker and together they have three beautiful daughters. As a couple, they serve together as leaders at Celebration Church. They open their home to host and lead Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. In his free time, David volunteers at the Texas Food Bank and serves as a personal male mentor to many, helping young men successfully navigate the complexities of adulthood and leadership.

Tiffany Johnson
Tiffany Johnson
Chief of Staff
Tiffany Johnson
Chief of Staff

Tiffany Johnson commits her life and energy to the upliftment, connection and joy of Black folks. Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, her family instilled the values of legacy, ancestry and service in her from a very early age. She went on to graduate with a dual degree in Anthropology and African & African-American studies from Washington University in St. Louis. While pursuing her undergraduate studies, she had the opportunity to serve as both a mayoral and congressional intern, which provided her with her first experiences shaping and understanding public policy. Upon graduating, she joined Teach For America and taught middle school English while simultaneously pursuing her master’s degree in Education. This experience solidified a lifelong passion and commitment to educational equity, social justice and youth empowerment.

Tiffany later transitioned to New York City and developed her leadership and skillset in various teaching and leadership roles throughout the city, including some time as an Assistant Principal at one of the highest performing schools in the city. In 2014, Tiffany was appointed to one of Brooklyn’s Community Education Council’s by the Borough President, a role that involved partnerships with parents, school and community leaders to enhance students’ experiences. In addition to allowing her to build coalitions with numerous families and community organizations, Tiffany’s experiences in NYC schools caused her to question the role of school in shaping the identity and ideology of Black youth. She also recognized the importance of mental health and wellness practices for both students and teachers. She then began to hone her expertise in socioemotional learning and emotional resilience coaching in response to those needs. Eventually, she transitioned to KIPP in Newark, NJ, serving as a leader, teacher and equity strategist.

Tiffany currently works for Teach For America’s New York Region as a Director of Program Design & Implementation. In this role, she designs and execute diversity and inclusion programming while simultaneously partnering with school and network leaders to train and support teachers early in their careers. Here, she is exploring her loves of coaching and contributing to the personal and professional development of others. When not working, Tiffany loves to read, cook, dance, write and spend time with loved ones. One of the quotes that grounds her and helps her love and lead through her core values of love, freedom and authenticity is: “Transform yourself to transform the world” by late Detroit activist and heroine Grace Lee Boggs.

Colten Barnaby
Colten Barnaby
Treasurer
Colten Barnaby
Treasurer

Growing up as the child and grandchild of community leaders and activists in the Kensington section of north Philadelphia Colten had a white hot burning desire for justice imprinted on his heart at a young age. From as early as he can remember he would tag along from meeting to meeting with his father, Rev. Joel Barnaby. Rev Barnaby served on the board of directors for the Community and Police Interracial Taskforce, the Youth Violence Reduction Program, the Community for Mental Health (COHMAR), and also founded and ran Cross Connection Family Services, a day treatment facility for violent juvenile offenders to receive mentorship and rehabilitation. Sitting in meetings like these through his childhood and teenage years would inculcate in Colten a passion for civic justice that has stayed with him throughout his life.

Colten attended Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma where he received his B.S. in Historical Theological Studies and went on to pursue his M.A. in the History of Christian Theology. During his time in Tulsa he worked as a youth pastor at Sanctuary Tulsa and served as the Vice President of Racism Stinks, a local non-profit focused on fighting against systemic racism and healing racial divisions in the Tulsa community.

Today Colten lives in Chicago, IL with his wife Natalie who is in her final year at the Northwestern University School of Law. Colten is the Founder and CEO of Barnaby and Associates Financial and a Regional Vice President at Primerica Financial Services, a Publicly traded financial firm on the NYSE and recently added to the Fortune 1000. Colten and Natalie attend City Church Chicago where Colten serves as the Life Groups Director.

Colten is a Team builder, DREAM releaser, RELENTLESS believer in people, leadership and self development fanatic, lifelong learner and lover of freedom and opportunity.

Adam Arrington
Adam Arrington
Secretary
Adam Arrington
Secretary

Equipped with lessons from the past and plans for a better future, Adam Arrington, strives to serve his community, under God’s direction, by helping African Americans to gain empowerment through Government, Finance, and Human Rights. Preparing for his abilities in this role, Adam attended Oral Roberts University, where during his senior year, he was elected president of the student body. Gaining valued experience from this time, he went on to complete his studies at Oral Roberts University in 2008, earning a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Administration.

With his degree in tow, he gained the position of Southeast Territory Manager with his Alma mater. Following this position, he held several roles in the financial industry which included his time as an Insurance Adjuster, Banker, and Wealth Management Financial Advisor. Today, and utilizing these past experiences, he now serves as an Officer and Wealth Management Banker with Merrill Lynch Bank of America.

Alongside this and his previous roles, he has held several dedicated positions in the fields of politics and advocacy. Influenced by the work of leaders such as his grandfather, Dr. Richard Arrington Jr., the 1st African American Mayor of Birmingham, Alabama, Adam used his time outside of his work in finance to aid his community by serving as the Chairman of The Jefferson County Citizens Coalition. He has also served as a Lobbyist and Delegate for AIPAC, Vice-President for the Jefferson County Millennial Democrats, and was a member of The Committee to Save Jefferson County.

No matter where he is serving, Adam has stayed committed to allowing God to use his life to help others as he draws inspiration from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Barack Obama, Deval Patrick, Bishop Vanable H. Moody II, Dr. Cornel West, Senator Bernie Sanders, and many others. Just as he is focused on his mission to advance and advocate for policies that support and empower African Americans, Adam also commits the best parts of himself to his family. He and his wife of 11 years, Denise, are the proud parents of 7 year old, Leona Diane. When he is not spending his free time with his girls and the rest of his family, he enjoys serving in his church, reading and continuously increasing his knowledge in finance and politics.

Chenelle A. Jones, Ph.D.
Chenelle A. Jones, Ph.D.
Chenelle A. Jones, Ph.D.

Dr. Jones is the Assistant Dean of Community Engagement, and Chair of the Public Safety Programs at Franklin University.  She also oversees the Center for Public Safety and Cybersecurity Education (CPSCE), and the Global Center for Healthcare Education (GCHE) at Franklin University.  Dr. Jones received her Ph.D. in the Administration of Justice from Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas.  Her research interests include race and crime, policing, and juvenile delinquency.  She is particularly interested in issues of police/community relations, disproportionate minority contact (DMC), mass incarceration, and the intersection of race and gender in the criminal justice system.

Dr. Jones currently serves as the National Director of Research for the Teen and Police Service (TAPS) Academy, a federally funded program designed to reduce social distance between police officers and youth.  As the Director, she is responsible for establishing the research agenda, analyzing data, and serving as a consultant for best practices in improving relations between teens and the police. She has written numerous articles and book chapters on public perceptions of the police, race, and the administration of justice.  She is also the co-editor of A Critical Analysis of Race and the Administration of Justice.

Dr. Jones is a highly sought-after speaker, and has conducted several presentations, keynotes, and media appearances on issues of race, police/community relations, and disproportionate minority contact.  She is a reviewer for the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), and several academic journals including the Journal of Juvenile Justice, the Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, and Race and Justice.  She is a crime analyst for TV One’s hit show “For My Man.”  She was appointed by Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther to serve on the Columbus Community Safety Advisory Commission. She is a member of the Juvenile Detention Facility Assessment Team for Franklin County.  She is an ambassador for the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services’ Change Starts Here campaign.  She is featured in “An Unfinished Documentary…Change Starts with You” which highlights law enforcement and community-wide efforts to improve police/community relations.  Dr. Jones founded Come Together Columbus, which is a loose collective of organizations and individuals committed to racial justice, community empowerment, and police reform in Columbus, Ohio.

Dr. Jones is the recipient of numerous awards including Franklin University’s Dean’s Award Recognizing Excellence, the Central Ohio Social Justice Award for Education Advocacy in Higher Education, Columbus Business First’s 40 Under 40 Award, the Conley Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Sankofa Award for Education, and the Visionary Award by Columbus City Council and the Create Columbus Commission.  Dr. Jones is the 2018 recipient of the Emerald Literati Award for Most Outstanding Author Contribution for her book chapter The New Jane Crow: Mass Incarceration and the Denied Maternity of Black Women.  She serves on the Board of the Grant Foundation for Grant Medical Center, the Columbus Impact and Inclusion Advisory Board for Columbus Young Professionals, and the Advisory Board for the Black Legacy Advancement Coalition (BLAC), which is a national policy think tank organization established to advance and defend African American interests for life and legacy.  Dr. Jones is also a member of several community and professional organizations including Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, the Create Columbus Commission, the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, the American Society of Criminology, the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice, and the Racial Democracy and Criminal Justice Network.

Dr. Timothy Bradford, Jr.
Dr. Timothy Bradford, Jr.
Dr. Timothy Bradford, Jr.

Dr. Timothy Bradford Jr. (T.J.) is the Lead Precision Agriculture Instructor in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences at Mississippi State University. He is responsible for teaching undergraduate courses in Precision Agriculture, as well as upper level & graduate courses in Precision Agriculture and Vegetable Production. He oversees the MSU Agronomy Club which seeks to disseminate agronomic knowledge and provide students with networking opportunities with industry leaders and professionals. He is also a committee member of the Mississippi Youth Institute for The World Food Prize where high school students engage with local leaders and experts on critical global challenges, participate in hands-on activities, and explore exciting ways to make a difference in Mississippi and around the world. Dr. Bradford is currently conducting research pertaining to the practical use of UAV’s and various remote sensors for agriculture production within specialty crops.

Before his current faculty appointment at Mississippi State University, Dr. Bradford was employed by the United States Department of Agriculture – Natural Resource Conservation Service as a Soil Scientist and Soil Scientist. His duties included mapping and classifying soils, utilizing GIS technologies to map and implement conservation practices, determining optimal recommendations for fertilizer, water, and seed for southern row crops, and conducting laboratory experiments assessing soil productivity. He has been stationed at various duty stations in Mississippi; as well as duty stations in Harrisburg, PA, Crestview, FL, & Saratoga, WY. Dr. Bradford is also the Owner & Senior Agronomist of Bradford Agricultural Consulting where they specialize in commercial and residential construction of greenhouses and high tunnels, as well as provide comprehensive consulting for specialty crop producers throughout the Southeastern United States. He also serves as the Chief Executive Officer for Bradford Farms, located in Isola, MS where he is involved in production operations for vendors such as Wal-Mart.

Board of Advisors

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Dr. Mary Toni Flowers
Dr. Mary Toni Flowers
Chair
Dr. Mary Toni Flowers
Chair

Dr. Flowers serves as the inaugural Chief Diversity and Social Responsibility Officer for LCMC Health, leading a comprehensive diversity, equity and inclusion strategy for the organization and its member hospitals. She served in a similar capacity for the St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital in Pontiac, Michigan. In 2018 and 2019, Becker’s Hospital Review named Flowers one of its 50 “Great African American Health Administrators to Know.” Dr. Flowers also formerly served at Roper St. Francis Health, a health system is comprised of four hospitals, 125 outpatient facilities and a workforce of 5,000; as the organization’s Inaugural Vice President and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer.

Dr. Flowers is the President & CEO of Maritime Executive Consulting LLC a consulting, leadership development and coaching firm. The consultancy specializes in Strategic Change Management. It assists clients with various strategies to navigate through the processes of organizational or professional change.

Flowers is a Registered Nurse, medical anthropologist and executive coach. She is the co- chair, a member of the Executive Committee and faculty of the American Hospital Association’s, Institute for Diversity and Health Equity’s: American Leadership Council for Diversity in Healthcare. This Award-winning Diversity Professional also serves as faculty and lecturer with the Institute for Diversity Certification in Diversity Management Program. In this capacity, she serves health care executives across the country in the creation of organizational diversity/disparities strategic action plans.

Toni has a passion for learning and teaching. This passion drives her to continuously hone and expand her skill set and to share her knowledge with others. She fulfills the role of recurring guest lecturer, trainer and keynote speaker to national audiences. She has dedicated nearly 25 years in service by teaching adults at an Institute for Women in Ministry as Associate Provost and Instructor. Toni has been an exclusive member of the Human Capital Executive Research Board of Talent Management and Diversity Executive.

In addition, Toni served on the American Medical Association Foundation’s Health Literacy Advisory Council. She is a former research-fellow with the National Institutes of Mental Health: Career Opportunities in Research and has traveled as a medical missionary and trainer for over twenty-five years, working in many countries throughout Africa, South America, and the West Indies. She has been a licensed minister for over 30 years. Toni’s global perspective of diversity & Inclusion, health & health care inequities and her experiences as a cultural specialist enables her to provide training sessions that are both enlightening and educational. Toni received cultural competency training from the National Multicultural Institute, health literacy training from the American Medical Association Foundation and diversity training and certification from Georgetown and Cornell Universities as well as the New Detroit’s Multicultural Leadership Series. Additionally, she is a Crucial Conversations® Trainer, Just Culture® Facilitator and an Executive Coach. She is recognized both locally and nationally as leader in the work to reduce health and health care inequities among underserved populations. In her previous role, she was a member of the health system’s senior leadership team working to ensure quality, safety and health equity for all patients and implementing diversity and inclusion strategies with the end result of a highly qualified, effective and efficient talent bank reflective of their service community.

Toni has addressed the issue of inclusion from various perspectives including talent management strategies such as, creating pipeline programs to develop interest in careers in healthcare for high school students and career advancement and growth opportunities for entry-level healthcare workers.

In previous roles, by collaboration with community partners, Toni created the organization’s first Student Co-Op Program. These students participate in a comprehensive training, development, coaching and mentoring program. The organization is hosting its second cohort of this 8-month pipeline program to provide low-income high school juniors and seniors exposure to careers opportunities in healthcare. She built upon the success of this program and designed and implemented The Workforce Enhancement (WE) Program, an adult – workforce development/enhancement program for unemployed or under-employed individuals.

She also implemented and designed other city-wide projects with a focus on faith – based delivery and community education. Her interests are in the areas of women’s health, mental health, equity, health and health care disparities, policy, racial & social justice, organizational culture change and leadership and workforce development.

She holds doctorates in education and humane letters and a master's degree in business administration from Christian University of Southern Indiana, as well as a Bachelors in Anthropology from Wayne State University.

Mary E. Banks, M.S. M/SPHR
Mary E. Banks, M.S. M/SPHR
Mary E. Banks, M.S. M/SPHR

Mary Banks is the founder and president of WOW Consulting Group, a firm that specializes  in executive coaching and leadership development training. Mary has a passion for  "connecting people to purpose" and building strong leaders. 

For over twenty years, Mary developed expertise in leadership development, organizational  design, employee relations, and teambuilding. Her background includes coaching executive  management teams on the people agenda for mergers and acquisitions, transition planning and  change management. She has comprehensive experience in leading teams through national  change initiatives resulting in organizational and job redesigns.  

Mary enjoyed a successful 25 year career in both the financial services and energy industries prior to launching her own firm. She was the Senior Vice President and National Director of  ER Compliance & Leadership Training at JP Morgan Chase. Prior to that she was the Senior  Vice President of Employee Relations at Bank One. 

Mary enthusiastically serves others and has demonstrated this by her involvement in the  leadership of several non-profit and civic organizations including serving on the boards of the  Holocaust Museum Houston, Leadership Houston, Spaulding for Children, and on the Board  of Trustees for ORU in Tulsa Oklahoma. She was one of the founding directors of the Bible  Museum in Washington D.C. and served on the Board of Directors for nine years. Presently  she serves on the American Bible Society Board of Directors in Philadelphia. Mary served as  President of the Houston Human Resource Management Association, one of the largest HR  associations in the nation with over 2400 members. She was also appointed to the Texas  Commission on Human Rights by the governor of Texas where she served a six year term as  chairman of the Commission. 

Mary is the author of The Multi-Faceted Woman, Living by Faith 9 to 5, and 52 Weeks of  WOW Faith and a frequent speaker on topics such as Increasing Your Personal Effectiveness  and Discovering Your Purpose.  

Ms. Banks is married to her college sweetheart Melvin, they have one daughter and reside in  Houston, Texas.

Bishop Mark Chironna
Bishop Mark Chironna
Bishop Mark Chironna

Mark J. Chironna has been in the people-helping business for more than four decades. With a media presence spanning almost 175 nations, his message of wholeness through the integration of the spiritual and psychological is heard across the globe. He has a father’s heart for emerging generations and serves as the Presiding Bishop of Legacy Edge Alliance, a worldwide fellowship of senior apostolic leaders and churches. Bishop Chironna is regarded as an influential leader whose global reach, clarion voice, and prophetic insight are respected by leaders and followers alike. As an avid student, Dr. Chironna is a Theo-Semiotician, holding a Doctorate of Ministry in Future Studies as well as an MA in Psych. He is also an author, BCC Certified Coach, and is currently seeking a Ph.D. as Postgraduate Researcher at the University Of Birmingham, UK and is the founder and senior pastor of Church on the Living Edge in Orlando, Florida.

Bob Dickerson
Bob Dickerson
Bob Dickerson

Bob Dickerson has spent his career finding ways to get money into the hands of people. For years, he did it as both a commercial and consumer lending officer, working at several large financial institutions. Today, he does it as the Executive Director of the Birmingham Business Resource Center and Chief Executive Officer of Foundation Capital, a Small Business Administration Certified Development Company.

Bob founded the BBRC in 1996 after realizing no program in Birmingham combined loan programs with capacity building and advocacy – three things every business needs to succeed. Bob secured the support of Birmingham elected officials, and various development companies and boards to start the BBRC. What he ended up with was an organization that has become a “one-stop” for small business financing and related technical assistance. The programs the BBRC manages have produced over $1 billion in loans to small businesses since 1996.

 Bob graduated from Tuskegee Institute in 1973 with a degree in business administration. He has worked at several financial institutions but said that working for Birmingham business icon, A. G. Gaston may have been the greatest moment in his career. Gaston made such an impression on Bob, that he and others started the A.G. Gaston Economic Empowerment Conference in 2005. The annual conference focuses on the challenges and achievements of black and other minority businesses and discusses ways to strengthen them. The conference is held in February in Birmingham, Alabama.  Recently, Bob founded Building Alabama Reinvestment (BAR), a statewide coalition of non-profit organizations that works to make sure that banks’ efforts under the Community Reinvestment Act pay dividends to the community.

 Bob is a member of several foundations, boards, and civic organizations.  He serves as Chairman of the Board of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) and he also serves on the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute’s Board of Directors. In addition to those, he serves on the boards of the Birmingham Business Alliance, the A. G. Gaston Boys & Girls Club, the Talladega (Alabama) College Board of Trustees, the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama, the city of Birmingham’s Commercial Development Authority,  Community Capital Trust Board of Trustees, and the Fair Housing Center of Northern Alabama.

 His efforts in helping people have recently earned him the NAACP Medgar Evers Award and the Tri-County Links President’s Award. In addition to these, Bob is a past recipient of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce’s Jesse J. Lewis Jr. Community Service Award and the Birmingham Business Journal’s Minority Business Executive of the Year. Bob and the BBRC received the National “Access to Capital” Award from the Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency in 2009, and in 2013, Dickerson received recognition as “Executive of the Year” from the Birmingham Business Alliance.

 Bob currently serves on community advisory boards for several financial institutions including BBVA, IBERIABANK, Valley Bank, Truist Bank, and Cadence Bank where he helps guide executives with support in creating more successful high impact community development programs. Bob was honored as the 2018 recipient of the Keeper of the Dream Award presented by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference for his work to achieve economic justice for all.

Michael Finley
Michael Finley
Michael Finley

Michael Finley moved to Johannesburg, South Africa in 1995 and served as a volunteer basketball coach for a year in South Africa’s notorious Alexandra township.  After sending South Africa’s 1st black student to the USA on a basketball scholarship then sending the 1st delegation of African players to an NBA camp his vision was formed. Michael knew his life’s mission was to contribute to helping improve young people’s lives through the sport of basketball and to developing the industry of basketball on the continent of Africa.  Michael founded Miles & Associates International in 1996 and led a team that built hundreds of basketball courts, trained thousands of coaches and hundreds of thousands of African basketball players in more than 15 countries over the next two decades. Continuing his mission, Michael joined the NBA in 2018 and currently heads Basketball Business Development for NBA Africa. NBA Africa recently announced the launch of their first league outside of North America and Michael will be working with a dedicated team to establish this as one of the world’s top basketball leagues.

Dr. Ray Johnson
Dr. Ray Johnson
Dr. Ray Johnson

Dr. Ray Johnson has earned the distinction of being one of the country’s top educational consultants and specializes in cross-sector collaboration and partnership building. Dr. Johnson has founded and assisted in the development of schools across the country.  He has been a pioneer in the realm of character education, accelerated learning, and multicultural curriculum through his groundbreaking, site-based management. He has elevated parental and community involvement to record-breaking levels.

As the former Chair of the Neighborhood Service Organizations Board of Directors, he worked closely with community stakeholders, governmental agencies, and investors to restore the historic Michigan Bell Building on Oakman Blvd. in Detroit.  This $50 million community investment is providing 155 safe, fully furnished, one bedroom apartments for formerly homeless adults.

Ervin Lee
Ervin Lee
Ervin Lee

Ervin Lee stands at the forefront of the fastest moving on the go retail space and innovative brand product development. He’s spent the past five years evangelizing an industry-wide shift to private label brands, technology, and internal ecosystem development. This has helped position his retail stores and products as a leader in brand incubation, retail sales solutions and consumer delivery services.

A calculated risk-taker with deep brand, distribution and retail industry knowledge, Ervin has grown his retail stores to impressive growth over the last five years with a hyper focus on the “intimacy of the sale”, being customer involved and driving consumer engagement through real time feedback.

Throughout his 23-year tenure with Bacardi USA, Pepsi, MIllerCoors and Gillette, Ervin has built a reputation for developing business strategies, incubating new innovative brands, and building out channel programs.

Ervin holds a Bachelor of Science from Brigham Young University and is currently enrolled at The King’s University pursing a Master of Theology. He is also a member of The Board of Directors for the Texas Package Store Association, which is made up of 3,000 plus liquor stores and owners. Additionally, he is a founding member of Hampton Ministries that helps those who suffer from drug and alcohol addiction.

Dr. Hubert Massey
Dr. Hubert Massey
Dr. Hubert Massey

His bold, vibrant images can be spotted throughout the Detroit metropolitan region. Chances are if you’ve visited Mexicantown, Greektown, the Cultural Center, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit Athletic Club or any number of other landmark community attractions, you’ve encountered the remarkable work of master artist Hubert Massey.

An award-winning Kresge Fine Arts Fellow, his distinctive fresco murals grace the halls of such visible Michigan destinations as the Flint Institute of the Arts, Detroit Athletic Club, and his alma mater, Grand Valley State University, where he earned an honorary doctorate of fine arts in 2012. In 2014 the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority commissioned Hubert to create the first large-scale mural completed for Cobo Center since 1987. A fresco painting, the mural will feature images and tell stories of Detroit community pride.

Hubert studied at the University of London’s Slade Institute of Fine Arts and later learned the centuries-old fresco technique from former assistants of legendary artist Diego Rivera. Today Hubert is the only known, African American commissioned fresco artist in America.

“Public art begins with the community it will serve. In fact, after nearly 20 years of creating large-scale public works of art for various cities, communities and neighborhoods throughout the Midwest, it is my belief that public art should be, first and foremost, meaningful to those who surround it.” – Dr. Hubert Massey

Pastor Tyran Meredith
Pastor Tyran Meredith
Pastor Tyran Meredith

Pastor Meredith has been a Senior Pastor for 18 years. He was Ordained Chairman Deacon at the age of 22. After years of devoted and faithful service, he was ordained an Elder at the Dunamis Outreach Ministries Worldwide, Inc. Tyran served as Pastor over The Helps Department as well as Pastor of the Integrity Campus Ministry.

Pastor Meredith has been very instrumental in the planning of many churches and organizations. He was blessed to be the recipient of numerous awards honoring his demonstration of effective leadership. Pastor Meredith has a passion for ministering love and support to those who are homeless and hungry all over the world. He was ordained an Apostle on August 31, 2018 by Kingdom Global Ministries, Inc.

Pastor Meredith has been blessed with a beautiful family. He is a devoted husband and father to his sons, Tyran, II and Aaron. His former Pastor said, “If I had 50 men like Tyran Meredith, I could take the world for Jesus”.

Joseph “Joey” P. W. Odom
Joseph “Joey” P. W. Odom
Joseph “Joey” P. W. Odom

Joey Odom is a commercial real estate professional who has has been  with Stan Johnson Company since 2006. He leads and manages the  company’s Southeast region, which has a major presence in the net lease market. In 2015, his team was honored with the Stan Johnson  Company award for the fastest-growing team within the company, based on transaction volume. Joey has participated in the sale of in excess of $2 billion of retail transactions in his career. He has been a recipient of Stan Johnson Company’s Sales Excellence Award in each year since its inception and is a multi-year recipient of the company’s Core Values Award.  

From 2015 to 2020, Joey served on the board for Covenant House Georgia (CHGA), which exists to eradicate youth homelessness and to support youth who have experienced homelessness. Through his involvement with CHGA, he helped to raise $100,000 towards the organization's fight to end the epidemic of youth homelessness. His participation centered largely  around the annual Covenant House Sleep Out for which he recruited many other real estate  professionals and raised funds toward the event. In addition, he initiated an internship program for  Covenant House youth at Stan Johnson Company.  

Though originally from Oklahoma, Joey and his wife Cristin currently live in Marietta, Georgia with their two children, Harrison and Gianna. The family are actively involved at Buckhead Church, serving as  volunteers and as small group leaders. In addition to his previous board involvement at Covenant  House Georgia, he has also served on the board of advisors for the Metro Atlanta Chamber of  Commerce, as well as the alumni board for his alma mater, Oral Roberts University. He is an avid  Chicago Cubs, Oklahoma City Thunder, and most recently, Atlanta Braves fan. 

Stephan Ricardo Reeves
Stephan Ricardo Reeves
Stephan Ricardo Reeves

Stephan Ricardo Reeves is a Jamaican-born entrepreneur with over 18 years in diversity &  inclusion (HR & Procurement), education and technology consulting. His journey led him from  Jamaica in 1987 where he attended New Canaan Country School followed by Westminster  School and ultimately Lehigh University where he achieved a BA/BS in International Business/  International Careers with minors in Asian Studies and Social Psychology in 1998. Following Lehigh where Stephan was a recipient of the ACE Entrepreneurship award, he moved  to Philadelphia, PA and started a successful sales and consulting career in the software and  telecommunications industries. Stephan founded Montage Diversity Consultants, LLC in 2001 to  empower organizations to leverage diversity and inclusion to increase competitive advantage and to create economic impact in underserved communities. The venture led to a multi-year  initiative with the School District of Philadelphia, resulting in the creation of the district's  (W/MBE)) compliance program. Stephan and his team recognized the inequity that existed for  certain student populations in the education arena (predominantly those of color and those  relegated to certain zip codes). Montage Education was born to help address that inequity  through the delivery of professional development and training as well as online, personalized and blended learning solutions. 

Always committed to personal and organizational development, Stephan’s focus continues to be, helping individuals, organizations and boards leverage diversity & inclusion and supplier  diversity to drive economic impact; where they live, where they work and where they play!  Montage Diversity Consultants, LLC calls Philadelphia home, but growth has led to the  enterprise expanding nationally. Through this expansion, Montage Diversity Consultants, LLC  was awarded the honor of ‘MBE of the year in Palm Beach County- 2015. The award was presented again to Montage in 2018! With sights set on achieving the distinction of (one of) Philadelphia’s fastest growing and largest minority owned businesses, Montage is poised to  achieving it goals. 

Stephan previously sat on the board of the African Caribbean Business Council (Philadelphia) and is currently a board member of the Young Caribbean Professional Network (Philadelphia). Looking ahead, Stephan is in process of launching real estate ventures aimed at providing  equitable access to affordable housing in Philadelphia.

Kenisha Robnett
Kenisha Robnett
Kenisha Robnett

Kenisha has been in the Commercial Real Estate Industry since 2006 with various roles and experiences within her tenure. She has an undergraduate degree in Chemistry and Spanish, and a Master's Degree in Real Estate Development.

She spent 5-years as a Tenant Rep with UGL-Equis, a company who has since merged with Cushman & Wakefield. It was there that she became known as a tenacious negotiator for end-users of space, as she represented clients such as: the General Service Administration, DaVita, Sodexo, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and more. Kenisha later transitioned to Corporate Real Estate at Walmart headquarters, where she was responsible for an $8 Billion portfolio and conducted: lease negotiations, excess land sells, she generated revenue from carve-outs, curb-cuts, easements, and helped develop new stores. She managed well over 44 million sf of real estate within her portfolio.

In 2017, Kenisha returned to full-time brokerage and joined RE/MAX Commercial in Atlanta, Georgia representing companies such as the WinShape Foundation (a subsidiary of Chick-fil-A), H.J. Russell Development and many other corporate users, private clients and even international companies establishing a United States presence in Atlanta. Kenisha holds the prestigious CCIM designation, and in 2019 became one of the first black female CCIM Course Instructors in the institute’s history. She currently serves on the Georgia CCIM Chapter Board as the President-elect, and previously served as Treasurer and chaired the University Outreach & Scholarship Committee. She is passionate about paving the way for others, and has been a mentor with the Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors for over 2 years. She is on the REAP Atlanta Advisory Council and was influential in establishing the CCIM/ REAP Mentorship program to promote diversity within commercial real estate, and assist new C.R.E professionals within their first few years in the business.

Kenisha is an educator, and very active within her community. Annually she teaches in the Georgia State University’s real estate class, and also gives back to share valuable information in an Atlanta Public high school. She even makes it her mission to educate her clients throughout the entire process of their real estate transaction. Therefore, due to her industry proficiency, and community service, she was named “Broker of the Year” and a 2020 Commercial Real Estate Woman of Influence by GlobeStreet; and in 2019 she was a recipient of the Connect Media’s "Women in Commercial Real Estate Award;" recognized as a Regional and National Leader in the Industry.

Dezi Santiago
Dezi Santiago
Dezi Santiago

Dezi Santiago is a purpose-driven Christian, mother, serial entrepreneur, and orator. As host and co-creator of the nationally syndicated television show “Ask Anything Dezi” on The Word Network and founder of both Sway’d Style Lounge and Virtuoso Home Healthcare, Dezi has not only built a life she loves, she is also sharing her knowledge with the world.

With a servant’s heart and a myriad of life experiences to teach from, Dezi shares the raw truth of her life’s journey with God. From lost to found, her testimony can only be summed up in one phrase - “Nothing, but God”. From that center, Dezi has chosen to share her story and steer others to a more fulfilling and God-centered life.

Cheryl Thompson
Cheryl Thompson
Cheryl Thompson

Cheryl Thompson is the founder of the Center for Automotive Diversity, Inclusion & Advancement (CADIA).  CADIA is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that supports Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the Automotive Industry by providing professional development for individuals, along with resources, programs and tools that drive organizational evolution.

A veteran of the automotive industry, Cheryl has over 30 years of experience at Ford Motor Company and American Axle and Manufacturing in positions ranging from tool and die, operations, manufacturing engineering and global leadership. 

She is a Certified Diversity Professional through the National Diversity Council, a Certified Six Sigma Black Belt and is trained in Leadership Coaching. She received her undergraduate degree in Manufacturing at Siena Heights University, and her MBA from Michigan State University.

Cheryl has been recognized as a 2019 Influential Women in Manufacturing Honoree, a 2019 Corp Magazine Salute to Diversity award winner, Marketing and Sales Executives of Detroit Platinum Award, and is the recipient of two Diversity and Inclusion Awards from Ford Motor Company. 

A sought-after voice and speaker in the automotive, manufacturing and aerospace & defense industries, Cheryl has performed keynote addresses, workshops and breakout sessions for a number of companies and events, including TEDx Windsor, Women in Manufacturing (WiM), the American Automotive Summit, Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and CADIA’s annual Rev Up 2030 event.  

Derene Turner
Derene Turner
Derene Turner

Derene Turner is a Software Engineering consultant.  In this position, Ms. Turner serves as a Senior Integration Engineer where she directs, manages and leads project staff to administer the design, development, coordination, and implementation of systems software, devices, conversions and integration initiatives for healthcare information technology systems.

A native of Detroit, Turner holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Wayne State University.  She is a Certified Integration Engineer. Derene is married to her husband Robert and has two adult children, Troy & Portia. 

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Help us in our vision to:

  1. Close disproportionate disparities for African American communities through policy reform advocacy.
  2. Foster realized equality for African American communities by centralizing solutions to those areas.
  3. Secure the African-American human right to life by partnering in solidarity with champion organizations already engaged in the fight.
  4. Craft and lobby local, state, and federal policies that protect African American rights that better serve black values.

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Commission Members are those individuals that commit to partner with one or more of the sector initiatives to research and develop policies that will accomplish our goal of protecting and enriching the will of African American communities nationally.

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