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The conference features several speakers having a wealth of experience in entrepreneurship, leadership, economic development and education innovation.

Keynote Speakers

2012 Speakers List


Linda Washington-Douglas

Linda Washington-Douglas

Linda has worked with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) since 1996. Currently, she is a Minority and Women Outreach Program (MWOP) Specialist in the FDIC’s Office of Minority and Women Inclusion. In this capacity, she advocates for minority and women-owned businesses (MWOB) that have interest in providing contractual services to the FDIC.

As an MWOB advocate, Linda provides firms with technical guidance to help them compete for FDIC opportunities. She serves on the FDIC’s Technical Evaluation Panels (where she evaluates multimillion dollar bids) predominately in the information technology and financial arenas. Her participation on the panels ensures fairness and integrity in the corporation’s contracting process. She also represents the FDIC at national outreach events which focus on procurement, banker, and consumer interests.

Prior to her position with the FDIC, Linda was a Legislative Specialist with the Resolution Trust Corporation’s (RTC) Office of Governmental Relations.

She attended Virginia Union University and is a certified Mediator in Conflict Resolution.

Elaine Flowers Duncan

Elaine Flowers Duncan

Ms. Elaine Flowers Duncan, a native of Montgomery, Alabama, is an engineer serving at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. She received a B.S. Degree in Mathematics/ Computer Science from Alabama State University and a Masters of Science in Systems Engineering from Howard University.

Ms. Duncan’s NASA career began in 1980 as a Systems Engineer where she developed computer simulators used to train astronauts in the Payload Crew Training Complex (PTC) on the Spacelab Program. She served as the PTC Configuration Manager and as Lead Spacelab Experiment Engineer and was responsible for on orbit real time operations planning and execution. From 1984-1986 Ms. Duncan served as a Lead System Engineer with TRW, Space Defense Systems in Huntsville; returning to NASA in 1986 as a Lead Project Engineer on the Space Station Program. She served at NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C. from 1988-1989, leading the definition of payload operations and utilization concepts for the International Space Station Program. Upon return to MSFC, she served as a Project Manager of payload operations/utilization and training concept definitions for the space station. Ms. Duncan also served as Project Manager of external carrier projects, successfully integrating and delivering cargoes in the Space Shuttle’s payload bay to the International Space Station. From 2002 -2006 Ms. Duncan served as the Safety and Mission Assurance Independent Assessment Manager, leading a team engineers performing evaluations of the technical health, and risk management, of NASA Programs/ Projects, such as the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station. The results of these evaluations were provided as inputs to NASA flight readiness decisions.

Ms. Duncan received Level III Project Management Certification from NASA in March 2006. In August, 2008 she was selected to participate in the NASA Administrator’s Fellowship Program (NAFP), an agency program designed for a select group of NASA engineers to serve up to two years as a professor or researcher at a Minority University, supporting higher education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. Under the NAFP, she served as Technical Assistant to the Alabama A&M University - College of Engineering and Technology’s Dean where she developed curriculum, taught a new graduate course in Project Life Cycle Engineering, and defined an Engineering Students Retention Program. Ms. Duncan spent a rotational assignment with the Department of Army’s Aviation Engineering Directorate (AED) in support of a NASA and the Department of Army memorandum of understanding that conducted collaborative research enabling the design of advanced rotorcrafts systems. She provided systems engineering support to the “airworthiness” of the Army's cargo helicopter and led the research on the state- of-art in science and technology capabilities required for new designs, upgrades, operations and sustainment of heritage military aircrafts supporting our military forces.

Ms. Duncan is presently serving as a Technical Assistant/ Lead Systems Engineer in the MSFC Engineering Directorate, Mission Operations Laboratory where she supports the design and development of the new Space Launch System (SLS) Program. She resides in Madison, AL with her husband Donald, and their two children, Wesley and Jasmine.

Cynthia D. Dunn

Cynthia D. Dunn

Cynthia D. Dunn joined the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Headquarters (HQ), Tax Exempt and Government Entities (TE/GE) division, Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in Washington, DC as the EDI Director on July 25, 2004.  Prior to TE/GE, Cynthia served as the Senior EEO Specialist for the IRS, Large and Mid-Size Business (LMSB) division, December 2000 – July 2004.  Cynthia also served as the Acting EEO Director for LMSB (several occasions) and the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Services (TAS), March – June 2003.  Cynthia started her Federal government career in 1980 as a GS-01 Clerk Typist in the Stay-in-School Program and began her career in the EEO and Diversity field in 1992. 

Before joining IRS, she spent two and one half years with the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) where she performed duties as the Special Emphasis Program Manager for the Agency under the office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Programs.  Prior to Ex-Im Bank, she worked for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), in the office of Civil Rights Enforcement and Compliance for over eight years.  For nearly eight years, Cynthia worked for the Department of Defense (Department of the Army) in their Germany, Virginia, and Kentucky offices. 

Cynthia attended the University of Maryland-College Park and the European Division, Nurnberg, West Germany.  Cynthia is a faithful member of Ebenezer United Methodist Church in Lanham, MD and resides in Waldorf, MD.  She has two sons, Kevin and Jamahl, and three grandchildren.

Eku G. Faux

Captain Ekundayo (Eku) G. Faux

Captain Faux assumed the duties of the Coast Guard Liaison to the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO) & Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU) in June 2011.    He emigrated from Sierra Leone in 1972 and enlisted in the Coast Guard in 1976. He served his enlisted tours as an apprentice at the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore, MD, a Pollution Investigator at the Marine Safety Detachment in Davenport, IA, and a Machinery Technician on board USCGC WESTWIND (WAGB-281) in Milwaukee, WI. He advanced to the rank of First Class Machinery Technician (MK1) before attending Officer Candidate School (OCS) in 1981.

Upon graduation from OCS, he was assigned to the Marine Inspection Office in Houston, TX as a Marine Inspector and Investigator. Captain Faux returned to the Naval Engineering field by completing the Student Engineering program on board USCGC DURABLE (WMEC-628) in Brownsville, TX, and served as the cutter’s Damage Control Assistant. He capped off his engineering afloat tours as the Engineer Officer on board USCGCs UTE (WMEC-69) in Key West, FL and CONFIDENCE (WMEC-619) in Cape Canaveral, FL. He also served an operations afloat tour as the Executive Officer on board USCGC SENECA (WMEC-906) in Boston, MA. His staff assignments include tours at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, DC as the Ordnance Section Chief, Naval Engineering Division;  Resource Chief in the Office of Finance and Procurement;  Executive Assistant to the Assistant Commandant for Systems;  Chief, Office of Financial Transformation and Compliance, and Deputy Director of Civil Rights. Captain Faux also served as the Comptroller at Integrated Support Commands (ISC) Portsmouth, VA and Miami, FL, and Commanding Officer of Integrated Support Command Miami, FL.

Captain Faux holds an MBA from George Mason University, an MS degree in National Resource Strategy from the National Defense University’s Industrial College of the Armed Forces, a BS in Computer Information Systems from Strayer College, an AAS degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology from New Mexico State University, and a Graduate Certificate in Project Management from the University of Maryland University College.

Captain Faux’s military awards include the Meritorious Service Medal (four awards), the Coast Guard Commendation Medal (five awards), the Coast Guard Achievement Medal, and the Commandant’s Letter of Commendation.

Zillah Mataré Fluker

Zillah Mataré Fluker

Fluker is the Associate Vice-President of Development at Alabama State University, where she is responsible for the university donor relations, fundraising and partnership development strategies.   From 1998 to 2010, she was in the corporate sector holding global positions of increasing responsibilities in Human Resources with Motorola Inc., United Technologies Corporation, and Honeywell International.

Zillah is the Founder and Principle of the Mataré Group, LLC an executive search firm that services Fortune 100 firms.  In 2005, Zillah co-founded OneWorldEpic, LLC an event production company.

Zillah served as President of the Urban League of Greater Hartford Young Professionals, Vice President of the National Black MBA Association - Hartford Chapter, Officer of Multicultural and Community Relations for the National Society of Hispanic MBAs - Connecticut Chapter, and Member of the Board of Trustees for the Boys and Girls Club Greater Hartford.  In 2009, Zillah was named one of Hartford, CT's Forty Under 40 by the Hartford Business Journal.  She was recently elected member-at-large for the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce Young Professional Organization. She is also a lifetime member of the National Black MBA Association and a member of the Montgomery Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Originally from Zimbabwe and raised in London, England and Birmingham, Alabama, Zillah holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree (Cum Laude) in History from Alabama State University, and two Masters Degrees from Purdue University, an M.A. in History and an MBA from the Purdue’s Krannert School of Management.

She is married to her best friend and college sweetheart, Kwame A. Fluker and they are the proud parents of Edward Coleman Fluker, III and are expecting their second son in April 2012.

Bea Forniss

Bea Forniss

Bea Forniss serves as the Division Chief for the Community and Economic Development Division at the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs. Specifically, she supervises the Renewal Communities Program, The Enterprise Zone Community Program, The Appalachian Region Program and The Delta Regional Authority Program, The Minority Business Program, (HOPWA) Housing Opportunities for persons with AIDS, Recreation and Conservation, The Community Services Block Grant Program (CSBG), The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and the Emergency Shelter Grants Program. Bea also supervises the “new” Broad Initiative for the State.

Bea is a native of Mobile, Alabama. She graduated in 1968 from Blount High School in Prichard, Alabama. She attended Mobile State Junior College (now Bishop State Jr. College) before transferring to Alabama State University where she graduated in 1972 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Library Science. She completed her Master’s Degree in Counseling from ASU in 1974.

Bea taught public school for several years and served as a School Counselor in the Lowndes County and Montgomery Public School system before leaving to work with the State of Alabama at the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs as a Planning and Economic Development Specialist.

She is a member of several professional and community organizations. Some of which include the Alabama State Employees Association, Civil Justice Foundation, the Volunteer and Information Board, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Leadership Montgomery, Alabama State University’s Foundation and the Montgomery Area United Way Board of Directors, just to name a few. She has received recognition with Economic Development components for the State of Alabama and has received many other awards.

Bea spends the majority of her free time serving her Alma Mater as the Chairman of the ASU Foundation Board and as a member of the Montgomery Alumni Chapter; in addition to serving as past President, past Secretary, and past Treasurer. She serves on the NAA’s National Board as the NAA President for 2012, and is a member of the ASU Women’s Council.

She still finds time to volunteer within her community. For her extensive community efforts, she has received numerous awards that include the Bishop Barron State Employee Public Service Award, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy Community Service Award, the Outstanding Women Award, Montgomery Advertiser Journal and the Commerce Young Woman Leadership Award. Bea takes pride in being a member of First Congregational Christian Church where she serves as Church Moderator, Sunday school teacher, and choir member.

She is married to Leon Forniss, Warden III at the Staton Correctional Facility, and has two daughters, Dana F. Holmes and Taryn Forniss, and two grandchildren.

Ronald G. Forsythe, Jr.

Ron Forsythe, Jr.

Dr. Ronald Forsythe serves the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) community as the Vice President for Technology & Commercialization. With almost 12 years of experience as a senior executive, he has made substantial contributions towards raising the profile of the University as a regional economic powerhouse. He is regularly called upon to champion the cause for uplifting underserved student populations and to help prepare the University’s graduates for inclusion in emerging corporate opportunities. His innovative approaches to leveraging faculty and staff expertise to harness technology advancements have put UMES in the position to drive regional economic development and business creation.

Forsythe’s academic leadership philosophy is rooted in the belief that it is essential for a campus to have a commitment to shared governance, and to be responsive to the needs of faculty, staff, student and alumni constituencies. To this end, Forsythe has played an integral role in expanding campus facilities and research capacity in support of both on-campus demands and corporate interests. Implementing projects such as a 17-acre solar facility (which doubled the solar production in the State of Maryland); establishing programs such as the UMES Professional Golf Management Program (the only program at an HBCU accredited by the Professional Golfer’s Association of America); and forging partnerships with businesses such as AviHome, LLC (the results of which have attracted international attention), are only a few of the ways Dr. Forsythe has demonstrated his dedication to the growth and development of UMES in a manner that shows a commitment to cutting costs and generating revenue to support the academic enterprise.

Having recognized early on that it is essential for a university to have a blueprint to diversify funding streams, Forsythe has taken a leadership role in securing large endowment gifts, including one for $1.5 million (which was subsequently matched with an additional $1.5 million) that ranks among the largest solicited gifts by a non-alumnus at an HBCU. He has broadened the scope of potential sources of monetary support by supporting faculty efforts to increase grant funding to the campus, securing revenue, generating contracts, playing a pivotal role in the creation of the Maryland Hawk Corporation (a university-affiliated economic development and research foundation), and successfully advocating for increased funding for UMES’ undergraduate and graduate programs.

Forsythe makes it a priority to keep his finger on the pulse of current practices in the civic, business, and educational realms. He stays engaged with the community and has served on corporate boards including: the Higher Education Advisory Councils for Gateway Computers, Sprint Corporation, and Rave Wireless; the Microsoft Business Intelligence Advisory Council; the Regional Advisory Board for BB&T bank; and the Boards of Directors for Quality Health Strategies, the Quality Health Foundation, and Horizons® at the Salisbury School.

A native of Salisbury, Maryland, Dr. Forsythe understands the unique advantages and challenges of operating a University on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. He was named as an “Heir Apparent” in the millennium edition of Baltimore Magazine, and chose very early in his career to dedicate himself to higher education, wishing one day to create an infrastructure and atmosphere that inspires and benefits an entire campus community.

“I applaud all of the individuals at UMES who strive to uplift this campus and treat it as the precious resource that is was founded to become,” he says. “Ultimately, we must have an unwavering dedication to serve our students. As we do our best to lay a foundation that supports and nurtures their dreams and aspirations, we then launch them into the world with confidence and a road map to be productive and successful citizens.”

Forsythe earned his Bachelor of Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Delaware then earned both his M.S and Ph.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering from the University of Maryland College Park. His continuing education experiences have included the Harvard Institute of Higher Education, Institute for Education Management (IEM) Class of 2006, and the Leadership Maryland Class of 2001.

Dr. Forsythe and his wife Erika Forsythe reside with their two sons in Salisbury, Maryland.

George T. French, Jr.

George T. French, Jr.

George T. French, Jr. is proficient in the disciplines of Political Science, Law, and Higher Education.  He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with an emphasis in Policy Analysis from the University of Louisville.  He was accepted into the University of Richmond Law School where he matriculated on an academic scholarship for two years before being recruited by then Miles College President, Albert Sloan, to reposition Miles College as the Director of Development.  He completed his final year of law school at Miles School of Law, earning his Juris Doctorate.  He is currently at Jackson State University where he is completing his dissertation on the topic of 21st century challenges in higher education and the use of transformational and transactional leadership styles as solutions.

He has co-authored the book Miles College: The First Hundred Years which chronicles the history of the College, and has authored the article Historically Black Colleges and Universities:  Cultivating Global Citizenship in the landmark book, The State of America’s Black Colleges.

As President of Miles College, Dr. French recently completed the $30 million “Miles Ahead” Campaign, with gifts and pledges exceeding $32.4 million, as well as the acquisition of the former Lloyd Noland Hospital Campus. This acquisition more than doubled the land size of the college.  A $100 million new North campus is in the planning to include a new student center, health and wellness center, a school of International Studies and Public Policy, and a state of the art Performing Arts Center.

French is proud to note that within the last year, despite the worst economic climate in decades, Miles College was fortunate to have liquidated all debt on the North Campus purchase and the $1.5 million demolition costs for site preparation while retaining AAA credit ratings from Moody’s and Dunn and Bradstreet.  With aggressive fund-raising and other revenue-generating initiatives, French has witnessed the operating budget grow from $30 million in 2006 to nearly $50 million today.

With over 1700 students, 300 faculty and staff and over 6,000 alumni, Miles is stronger than at any point since its founding in 1898.  The Board of Trustees acknowledged this position and recently extended a five-year contract to Dr. French to assure leadership continuity and resolve of the college’s vision.

Samira B. Cook-Gaines

Samira Cook-Gaines

Samira B. Cook-Gaines serves as the Founding Director of the Washington, DC Women’s Business Center (DC WBC).  The DC WBC supports woman entrepreneurs with training, individual consultation, mentoring, and business growth through government procurement opportunities and exporting. Mrs. Cook-Gaines is responsible for providing women with the knowledge to create stable business foundations and growth through training and technical assistance. The DC WBC has assisted over 900 women in achieving their business goals.

Throughout her public service career, Mrs. Cook-Gaines has worked to enhance community economic development in several states and local governments including the state of New Jersey, and the cities of St. Louis, and San Francisco.  Her interest in community economic development has also taken her to several countries in Europe and Africa to assist in local business development.  She has served the residents of the District of Columbia as a Community Planner where she assisted Business Improvement Districts and Business Associations. In addition, she was the Assistant Director for Training and Education for the Department of Small and Local Business Development.

Mrs. Cook-Gaines received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts and her Master of Public Administration degree from George Washington University located in Washington, DC.  Mrs. Cook-Gaines is an active member of her Fort Lincoln neighborhood and volunteers on the Board of the Brandywine Street Association.

Lynn Garrison

Lynn Garrison

Lynn Garrison has worked at NASA more than 26 years. Currently, she is the Marshall Space Flight Center Technology Infusion Manager for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. These program help the agency meet federal research and development needs and increase private-sector commercialization of innovations derived from federal R&D. Ms. Garrison is also presently serving as Marshall’s Small Business Technical Advisor. She was previously the resource manager for the Propulsion Laboratory and the Materials and Processes Laboratory. Having attended both Auburn University and the University of Alabama in Huntsville, she has a degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering.








Wanda Gibson

Timothy Goodrich

Timothy Goodrich

Mr. Goodrich is the President and CEO of Timitron Corporation with offices in Chesapeake, Virginia. He is a vested entrepreneur; devoted husband; and proud father. He is a highly decorated retired U.S. Army Military Intelligence officer with experience and command service in Psychological Operations, Special Operations, Information Operations, and Counter Intelligence units.

Mr. Goodrich has a B.S. in Applied Mathematics with a minor in Engineering. He also holds an Executive MBA from Virginia Tech’s Pamplin School of Business. He is currently working on his Masters of Science degree in Electrical & Computer Engineering from Virginia Tech with aspirations of achieving a PhD in Engineering & Computational Sciences.

He has over 20 years of Intelligence, Enterprise & Information Architecture, and Systems Engineering experience extending across multiple vendors, hardware platforms, and OS versions. He has worked for Fortune 100 and 500 companies such Booz Allen Hamilton, Lockheed Martin, and Harris Corporation to name a few. In April of 2009, Mr. Goodrich took on the role of Director of Engineering for an up-and-coming, women-owned, small Systems Engineering Firm.  In his position, he directly led efforts that resulted in growing the Engineering & Technical Services Division from 1 to 11 employees and with greater than $2 million in revenue. He was promoted to Vice President of the company the following year.

In May 2011, after taking time off for reflecting on his goals, Mr. Goodrich set out to grow his own company, Timitron Corporation. By re-affirming the strengths and values he has brought to other organizations, he quickly gained momentum in building strategic relationships, partnerships, and potential opportunities. He postures himself on client service, entrepreneurship, diversity, respect, trust, and professionalism.

Mr. Goodrich's business core values are first rate. He demonstrates genuine dedication to the client and teaming partners, bringing deep subject matter expertise matched with high-quality and innovative solutions. He sets a high standard for himself and his company. Mr. Goodrich is always looking to pioneer new markets that provide opportunities to grow strategically and develop new partnerships. His colleagues and teaming partners have great respect for his business savvy, professionalism, and client knowledge. Mr. Goodrich has a reputation for being friendly, approachable and a pleasure to have leading teaming efforts.

Willie J. Gripper, Jr.

Willie J. Gripper, Jr.

Willie J. Gripper, Jr. is the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Director for the Joint Security and Hazardous Materials Safety Office –East. He oversees the east coast offices that have primary responsibility for FAA’s critical infrastructure protection and the safe transportation of Hazardous Materials. This includes the United States and its territories as well as U.S. Air Carriers operating internationally.

Mr. Gripper has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice and Public Administration and a Master’s of Science degree in Management. During his 26 year tenure with the FAA, Mr. Gripper served in various positions including the Deputy Director of the Civil Aviation Security Operations and the Director of Field Operations for the FAAs Office of Security and Hazardous Materials while living in Washington, DC. During his career, Mr. Gripper has received numerous awards for his outstanding contributions in aviation safety and leadership.

Mr. Gripper currently resides and works in the Atlanta, Georgia metropolitan area with his wife and two beautiful daughters. He has a passion for Aviation Education and seeks to expose many of our young people to the world of aviation. When he arrived in Atlanta in 2005, he spearheaded his organization’s aviation education efforts, adopted two middle schools in the Fulton County School District, and supported the development of two Aviation Clubs in two of the county’s high schools. The purpose of the Aviation Club is to continue the exposure of young men and women to the aviation industry. Mr. Gripper also remains active in his community and church. He has served as the President of the Girls Softball Association and President of the Parents Booster for the local high school track team.

John F. Gross

Mr. John Gross is the Director of the Office of Policy, Integration and Communication, directly supporting the Assistant Secretary of Nuclear Energy.  He oversees corporate level policy and strategic development, intra-office program integration, public affairs, and stakeholder outreach. Mr. Gross began his career with the Department of Energy as the Acting Associate Director of Advanced Nuclear Research where he was responsible for managing Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems, the Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative, the Nuclear Hydrogen Initiative, and participated in development of the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership. He was also the DOE Headquarters Program Manager for the Advanced Test Reactor located at the Idaho National Laboratory.

Mr. Gross has over 35 years of private and public sector engineering and project management experience in both nuclear and non-nuclear fields. Prior to joining the Department of Energy, he consulted for eight years in the areas of technology development and commercialization.

Previously, he was Manager of Technology Development for the Environmental Services Division of Westinghouse Electric Corporation where he coordinated technology development and commercialization projects among the Division’s various sectors and their domestic and international partners. From 1979 to 1990, Mr. Gross performed safety analyses for several reactor projects including the Clinch River Breeder Reactor. He participated in the West Valley Waste Vitrification Project, and decommissioning studies for several nuclear facilities. Preceding this he was employed at the Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory performing thermal hydraulic and mechanical analyses of reactor components for the Light Water Breeder Reactor Project and the U.S. Naval Fleet.  His work experience also included a role as a Project Manager for design, construction, and initial operation of a hazardous waste processing facility in South America. 

Mr. Gross holds a Master of Public and International Affairs in Global Political Economy with a minor in Security and Intelligence Studies, and a Bachelor of Science in Physics and Mathematics, both from the University of Pittsburgh.

Glenn E. Hames

Glenn E. Hames

Glenn E. Hames is the Director of Strategic Partnerships at the United Negro College Fund Special Programs (UNCFSP) Corporation in Falls Church, VA. At UNCFSP, Mr. Hames is responsible for leading corporate-wide business development initiatives, building strategic partnerships and securing new business opportunities and funded programs that are aimed at building capacity and eliminating disparity that exists in Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). Mr. Hames has addressed the capacity building issue by recruiting over 40 of the nation’s leading HBCUs/MSIs with science, technology and engineering capabilities to collaborate with small and small disadvantage businesses in a multi-million dollar research and development consortium. On a day-to-day basis, Mr. Hames develops and launches strategic initiatives that are in the best interest of the company and work with key organizational personnel in various strategy efforts to help drive integration of synergistic relationships and acquisitions. He has lobbied for millions in appropriations to members of Congress to achieve support of this initiative and has established partnerships with the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Minority Business Development Agency to build sustainability within minority-owned small businesses and create partnerships with his constituents.

Prior to working at UNCFSP, Mr. Hames managed various projects as a Senior Market Research Analyst for QSS Group, Inc. His ability to analyze the federal IT market yielded $500 million of new revenue for the company. He led efforts in negotiating the divestiture of a NASA subcontract and managed the recruitment process of over 100 management and technical positions to be performed on various IT projects. Mr. Hames attributes his success at QSS to his ability to manage relationships and inspire others in making smart choices.

Recently, Mr. Hames was honored by The Network Journal Magazine as one of their “40 Under Forty Achievers” who demonstrates a commitment to the development of their communities and exceptional performance in their work profession.  Mr. Hames has spoken at various educational conferences including the William & Mary-Mason School of Business Leadership Development Symposium, the Department of Defense and Commerce HBCU/MSI Technical Assistance Conferences and the Congressional Black Caucus Emerging Leaders Roundtable.  He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, North Carolina and a MBA in General Management from The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia where he served as the Speakers Committee Chair for his class.

CharaieCelia Hamilton

CharaieCelia Hamilton

CharaieCelia K. Hamilton is the daughter of Celia and Nathaniel Hamilton, of Montgomery, Alabama.  She attends People’s Baptist Missionary Church.  At People’s Baptist, she participates in the young adult choir, mass choir, and praise dance team and in the very near future she will be starting the People’s Baptist Church Dramatic Ministry.

 CharaieCelia came to the Alabama State University where she is a Theatre Arts major.  She has been involved in all of the plays at Alabama State University since her arrival and even played the role of Queen Eurydice’s in the theatre’s 2009 fall performance of Antigone and the role of Helen in A Song For Coretta

CharaieCelia Hamilton was also ASU’s Ms. Junior from 2010-2011.  She participates in numerous organizations on campus such as the International Student Association (ISA), Dramatic Guild, Alpha Kappa Mu Honor Society, the Student Government Association (SGA) senate, and the Students Taking Action Today Implementing Change (S.T.A.T.I.C).  She even held the title of Ms. S.T.A.T.I.C from 2009-2010.  She is an active member of the Order of the Eastern Star, Mattie L. Baker Chapter #1. CharaieCelia was also a facilitator for K.E.E.P Productions children models and volunteered with Making of a Lady, a nonprofit organization created to train the young women of Houston Hill Middle School on how to be a lady.  Her newest programs are QUEENS and TEAM MISS ASU. Both programs are designed to teach young women in the surrounding area their true worth and that all girls are QUEENS.

Upon graduating from ASU, Ms. CharaieCelia Hamilton aspires to become a politician and role model for youth in Alabama.

Cromwell A. Handy

Cromwell A. Handy

Cromwell Handy is currently the Director of Alumni Relations at Alabama State University following a career with the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations (CI). An Honor Band and All-State Alternate trumpet player in high school, Handy was recruited on a music scholarship and attended ASU as a music major and a Mighty Marching Hornet. He changed his major to accounting and graduated with a BS Degree in Accounting in 1980. He has extensive training and acumen in Executive Leadership, Team Leadership and Media/ Business experience.

Handy began his IRS career as a Special Agent Coop Student in Mobile, Alabama and upon graduation was assigned as a Special Agent in Birmingham, Alabama.  His management career began in Birmingham, AL as a Group Manager from August 1990 until June 1995. From 1978 to 2007, he was promoted to ever increasing responsibilities including Senior Analyst, Southeast Region, Atlanta, Georgia; Branch Chief, (Assistant Special Agent in Charge) North Florida District, Jacksonville, Florida; and Special Agent in Charge (SAC), Cincinnati Field Office where, in 2002,  he was nominated for the Special Agent of the Year Award.

Handy retired in Washington, DC as the Director of Review & Program Evaluation (RPE). This National Office position has supervisory and management responsibility for the independent review of CI administrative and investigative operations including effective usage of  Information  Technology (IT) in all CI Field Offices nationwide. He led review teams of Criminal Investigation operations in the Boston, Charlotte, New Orleans, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, and Detroit Field Offices. He was a recipient of the Albert Galatin Award (2007) which is named after the 4th United States Secretary of the Treasury and is the highest career service award given by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Throughout his career, Handy has been known as a coalition builder who specializes in transition, project coordination, problem solving through quality improvement processes, and motivational speaking. His achievements and servant-leadership activities include being the recipient of a Certificate of Proclamation from the Cincinnati, OH Mayor’s Office proclaiming October 22, 2003 as Cromwell A. Handy Day”.  He held officer roles in the Association for the Improvement of Minorities (AIM-IRS) in several city chapters; was a Keynote speaker for the “George F. Calloway Distinguished MLK Lecture Series” for Black History Month in 2005; Member in N.O.B.L.E (National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives) and the NAACP; Community Representative of Mason City Schools Race Consortium and Diversity Council, Mason, OH ; and an Ordained Minister.

Handy is married to Cynthia J. Handy, a Tuskegee University and ASU graduate, with two daughters,  Candice, a 2008 ASU graduate, and Casey, a 2010 ASU graduate.

Charlie E. Hardy

Charlie E. Hardy

Charlie E. Hardy is the President & CEO of the Center for Excellence, LLC.  His career has spanned a number of different positions including a Management/Marketing Professor at Alabama State University (ASU); a Sam Walton Fellow Students in Free Enterprise at ASU; MetLife Senior Account Executive and a Band Director in the Macon County Public School System.

Mr. Hardy received his BS in secondary education from ASU and his MA in organizational management from the University of Phoenix. He is also a registered Securities Dealer and a Life Underwriters Training Council Fellow. He has been Vice-Chair of the Faculty Senate at ASU and been recognized as a top producer during his time with MetLife.  Mr. Hardy is an accomplished lecturer, trainer and motivational speaker and is a member of the American Society for Training and Development. In addition, he received an Exceptional Public Service Award-Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2007.

Mr. Hardy’s community service work includes Life Membership in the NAACP, Macon County Economic Development Authority, Past President, CEO, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Tuskegee Area Chamber of Commerce and life member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.  He is active in his church and has held roles as a music worship leader, choir director and Sunday school teacher among other positions.   

Mr Hardy is married to the former Lillie Curry a retired Media Specialist and they have two children. Their son, Randall Charles Hardy is a US Navy Commander and their daughter, Christa Valencia Hardy, holds a Ph.D. They are also proud grandparents of Sydney Alexandria age 10, Grandson, and John Randall age 6, and the grandchildren’s mother Johnita Michele Hardy.

Alvin Hartley

Alvin Hartley

Alvin Hartley has extensive background in strategic planning and marketing include over 25 years of dedicated leadership to Tri-Masters International (TMI). He has assisted many organizations in creating marketing plans, budgets, strategy, and concepts as well as developing customer service, leadership, marketing, and sales training sessions.  He is adept at aligning corporate vision with strategic actions in order to achieve business objectives. His “In Your Face”, grassroots marketing style has helped increase brand awareness and sales for his clients.

Mr. Hartley successfully blended the support of Time Warner Cable, Calvin Klein (CK) Jeans and Black Entertainment Television (BET) together as major sponsors of the New York City Inner City Games (A national community youth program co-chaired by Arnold Schwarzenegger). He also obtained support for major projects from Coca Cola, Reebok, Pepsi, Verizon, Burger King, AT&T, Coors, Gatorade, KFC, and many more.  Mr. Hartley reenergized major clients marketing efforts by effectively developing promotional campaigns using print, electronic media, brochures, direct mail, special events, community programs, internet, cable TV, national networks, CD presentations and grassroots one-on-one marketing teams.

Mr. Hartley was the 2000 - 2001 President of the New York Chapter of the National Association of Market Developers (NAMD).  In addition, he pioneered the first African American and Hispanic Triathlon Club in America and created several successful innovative corporate opportunities such as The New York City Duathlon Series, Negril Sprint Triathlon (Jamaica), The Nutrament New Harlem 10K Foot Race (New York City), Black College Reunion (Florida), and 165th Street Mall Holiday Events and the National Historical Black College Bus Tours.

He attended Hunter College where he studied Communications and Norfolk State University where he majored in Medicine.

Janel Bell Haynes

Janel Bell Haynes

Janel Bell Haynes is a twenty year, marketing and communications veteran with unique skills in project management, sales, and fundraising. A collegiate adjunct instructor for more than ten years she has held senior level management positions in the education, government, corporate and private sectors. Her most recent professional experience includes strategic communications and media planning for a comprehensive regional university. Currently she is a doctoral student and full-time instructor of marketing and acting chair for the Business Administration Department in the College of Business at Alabama State University.










Michael J. Hester

Michael J. Hester

Michael J. Hester was named by the United Negro College Fund Special Programs Corporation (UNCFSP) Board of Directors as the Interim President & CEO in early April 2011 after serving as Vice President & COO since August 2004.

Mr. Hester is a seasoned, visionary leader and analytical business strategist with over 18 years of experience in managing large-scale programs for nonprofits and educational institutions. In addition to having expertise in strategic change management and organizational processes, Mr. Hester has demonstrated expertise in connecting minority institutions of higher education to contracting opportunities in the federal marketplace.

In the early phase of his career, Mr. Hester gained invaluable experience in all facets and levels of education administration ranging from K-12, community college, four-year institution and STEM educational policy at the federal level. He has held a number of administrative positions in higher education from Special Assistant to the Vice President of Academic Affairs and Assessment Coordinator at Saint Augustine’s College; Program Evaluator for the Wake County Public School System in Raleigh, NC; and Director of Institutional Research and Planning for Guilford Technical Community College in Greensboro, NC.

Mr. Hester continued his work in minority education grants and contracts administration during his tenure with NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC. While there, he managed multiple projects valued at over $12M for the NASA Minority University Research and Education Division and supervised a 37-member team of analysts.

Since assuming the role of UNCFSP Interim President & CEO, Mr. Hester is eager to apply his experience in education administration, business management, strategic planning and federal contracting to chart new enriching paths for UNCFSP that ensure the continued viability of the minority education community.

Mr. Hester graduated from Duke University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and received the Master of Public Administration degree from North Carolina Central University. He has served as an adjunct faculty member at Southeastern University, Guilford Technical Community College, and Saint Augustine’s College.

Michael Hubbard

Michael Hubbard ORAU

Michael Hubbard is a group manager for the Science Education Programs (SEP) of the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE).

Hubbard oversees the recruitment, selection, placement and daily operations of science education programs for ORISE sponsors including the US Departments of Commerce and Energy, National Institutes of Health, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  He is also responsible for activities involving Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other Minority Educational Institutions (MEIs). 

SEP develops, implements and operates programs that encourage faculty, students and recent graduates to study, conduct research, or pursue careers in science, engineering, mathematics and other technical fields. SEP also conducts complementary research and analysis including workforce studies, labor market analyses, program evaluations, and studies of employment and degree trends in science, engineering and other technical fields.

Hubbard formerly worked at ORISE as a project manager in the Training and Development Systems Division from 1991-95. Between his current ORISE work and that of his early ‘90s position, Hubbard served as associate director of the Mississippi Delta Project, director of community services and outreach of the Minority Health Professional Foundation, senior manager of corporate and community initiatives at Dollar General Corporation, assistant professor in the Department of Communications at Austin Peay State University and, most recently, as director of the South Central Adventist Book & Nutrition Center.

Hubbard earned a Master’s degree in media technology from the University of Wisconsin-Stout and a Bachelor of General Studies in communication, art-photography and electrical engineering technology from Oakwood College and Alabama A&M University in Huntsville, Alabama.

ORISE is managed by Oak Ridge Associated Universities. ORISE is a U.S. Department of Energy facility focusing on scientific initiatives to research health risks from occupational hazards, assess environmental cleanup, respond to radiation medical emergencies, support national security and emergency preparedness, and educate the next generation of scientists.

Michael Hudson

Michael Hudson

Michael Hudson is a Motivational Speaker, Financial Coach, Entrepreneurial Coach, Executive Business Coach, Sales Coach, Speaking Coach and CEO of Money Talks International.

He spent his youth growing up in Indianapolis, Indiana. This is where he received his first taste of being an entrepreneur, while working for his father’s waste removal business. He attended Kentucky State University from 1988 to 1992, where he was an Academic All- American and President of his fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha, Inc.

After graduating from college, he started his career in corporate America in Indiana. After the company downsized two years later, he started to realize the importance of having a “Plan B”. He went to work for one of the top pharmaceutical companies in the world. In 2005, he was awarded the Presidential Council Award for the Top Sales Representative of the Year.

After a promotion that moved him to Atlanta, he decided to share his experiences and started speaking to various civic and community organizations in Metro Atlanta such as the Georgia Department of Labor, Metro Atlanta YMCA, and the Boys and Girls Club of Atlanta. With his accomplishments, Michael had developed a wide range of leadership skills, financial knowledge, and the drive and passion to succeed.

In 1997, Michael’s mother decided to attend Miles College in Birmingham, Alabama at age 53. She lived the “college life” on campus and stayed in the dormitory. This changed Michael’s life and made him decide to implement his “Plan B.” In 1999, he purchased his first rental property and designated all the profits to his mother’s education.

As he developed his real estate portfolio, Michael saw an opportunity to share his experiences with others. This experience gave him the motivation to start Money Talks International and Michael Hudson CEO. Money Talks International is the driving force behind Michael’s Financial Literacy Programs, Job Readiness Programs, Real Estate Investing Series, Budget and Credit Counseling, The GreenPrint Series and Investing in Your Future for youth and adults. Michael Hudson CEO is his vehicle for dynamic motivational and empowering presentations, brilliant coaching sessions and workshops, and educational and entertaining training.

“My mission is to motivate individuals on life essential qualities, such as leadership and self -empowerment that will allow them to have a clear and solid vision. The vision is to teach others the power of effectively utilizing knowledge and resources with the ability to obtain definitive goals and reach greatness.”


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Brenda Brown Hunter

Brenda Brown Hunter

Brenda Brown Hunter is the Science Advisor in the Office of Defense Programs at the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).  She assists the Deputy Administrator in directing the Stockpile Stewardship Program (SSP) which is responsible for maintaining the safety, security, and reliability of the Nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile.  The NNSA’s nuclear weapons complex includes three national research laboratories, the Nevada Test Site, and four production plants.  Ms. Hunter is the representative on the Science Council for all of the production plants.  NNSA approximately $5.2 billion program, with over 25,000 people around the country, encompasses operations associated with manufacturing, maintaining, refurbishing, and dismantling the nuclear weapons stockpile.  Defense Programs also provides oversight and direction of the research, development, and engineering support to maintain the safety and reliability of the nuclear weapons stockpile in the absence of underground testing, and assures the capability for maintaining the readiness to test and develop new warheads, if required.

Prior to her current duties at NNSA, Ms. Hunter served as the NNSA Headquarter Liaison for Y-12 where she coordinated all flow of information regarding Y-12 nuclear operations to NNSA and Department of Defense officials and to the United States Congress. 

Ms. Hunter has held prior positions as Director of Internal Audit at Y-12 in Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Vice President of Internal Audit and Ethics on the Yucca Mountain Project in Las Vegas, Nevada; Project Manager and Auditor in the Office of the Inspector General at the Tennessee Valley Authority in Knoxville, Tennessee; and Auditor/Evaluator of the United States General Accounting Office in Huntsville, Alabama.  In addition, Ms. Hunter has been a successful entrepreneur by owning her own travel agency. 

Ms. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Alabama State University and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Tennessee.  Among numerous other awards, she is most proud to have received the Levi Watkins President’s Award while attending Alabama State University.  She is the recipient of the 2008 YWCA Tribute to Women in Business and Government award.  Her talents and drive are visible within the organizations she serves.  She expends her energy and leverages her network of contacts to raise funds to support the mission of organizations such as the American Cancer Society and United Way.  Brenda Brown Hunter can be summarized as a real person of compassion and deep desire to effect positive impacts on her community and its citizens.

Ms. Hunter takes great pride in her relationship with her lifelong partner and friend, James Hunter and her children James Jr. (Jay) and Dana Lynn.  Jay is in the United States Navy and Dana works for the NNSA as a Site Office Liaison in Washington, DC.

Emma Jackson

Emma Jackson

Headquartered in Chantilly, Virginia, Emma Jackson and her son, Kendall Jackson, founded Integrated Vu, Inc.. They provide Engineering and Business consulting primarily to State and Federal agencies by solving technical challenges, spanning Satellite, Information Technology (IT), and Healthcare Systems.  Their core competencies include Systems Architect, Management & Business Intelligence Systems Support, and Systems Engineering & Integration.

Emma Jackson, a native of Montgomery, Alabama, has over 25 years in the corporate sector. Ms. Jackson earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Maryland, College Park in 1985 and she earned a Master of Science degree in the Management of Information Systems from George Mason University in 2009.

Ms. Jackson has had an enjoyable career supporting mission critical satellite system development projects for the Department of Defense (DOD) and Intelligence Community. She began her career as an Electrical Engineer with Martin Marietta (now Lockheed Martin), and then moved to various technical positions with the “Big Three” System Integrators. As an Antenna Engineer with Martin Marietta, Ms. Jackson researched and developed stealth technologies, including frequency selective surfaces and phased array antennas. She was recruited by Hughes Space & Communication (now Boeing) to join a team of subject matter experts to work on state of the art low observable radar systems. For the next 13 years, she led integrated product teams (IPTs) to design, develop, test and launch numerous satellites including A/EHF, PANAMSAT, MILSTAR, ASTRA C/D/E, GPS Block II, B-SAT, THURYA, and DirectTV 702. Many of these satellites are still in orbit today delivering telecommunication services for commercial and military agencies. During the start up years of DirecTV, she oversaw the requirements definitions, acceptance testing, and manufacturing of numerous DTV's satellite receiver systems. Additionally, she held the position of Director of Integration at Northrop Grumman while managing all aspects of integrated program management including, budget/cost, schedule, performance and risk management. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Capture, Bid and Proposal at Siemens Government Services. Ms. Jackson has led and managed successful classified government projects in excess of $200 million and has managed a pipeline in excess of $2.2 billion.   

Ms. Jackson has also enjoyed her role as CEO of Emerging Childcare Resource, LLC a California online childcare referral service which successfully funded over $10 million to Elementary Educators and developed grants and funding for over $3 million to a network of childcare providers and administrators across Los Angeles County. In addition, she was very active mentoring high school students across South Central Los Angeles and in the Chantilly (VA) High School Academy’s “Girls in Engineering” mentoring program.

While her parents demonstrated the importance of solid work ethics during her formative years, she believes that success is the culmination of opportunity, preparation, and a lot of answered prayers.  She now lives in Chantilly, VA with her husband and three children.

Lamont Jackson

Lamont Jackson

Lamont Jackson has a varied background with the United States Government.  He has over 21 years of specialized experience in power marketing, federal budgeting, tribal affairs, public policy, and natural resource management.  He is currently a Senior Program Analyst with the Department of Energy (DOE) in Washington, DC, where he serves as the Tribal Affairs Case Manager in the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability. In this capacity, he works closely with the Office of Indian Energy and the Power Marketing Administrations on the coordination and management of tribal issues.  He also manages presidential permit proceedings for new international electric transmission lines, and budget formulation.  Before coming to DOE, he worked with the Departments of Commerce, Interior and Agriculture. 

Lamont received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff, and a Masters of Public Policy from American University.



Latonia Jones

Latonia Jones

Mrs. Latonia Jones serves as Co-Executive Director of Alabama A&M Research Institute located on the Huntsville campus of Alabama A&M University.  She has spent over 17 years administering and managing Government contracts.  As a consultant, Mrs. Jones has assisted large prime contractors with compliance and management of their contract and procurement divisions.  Mrs. Jones’ ability to guide these organizations through their Contractors Purchasing System Reviews (CPSRs) has enabled her to achieve a 100% success records with no clients failing any audits.  

Mrs. Jones’ excellence and true dedication was recognized when she received the “Outstanding Navy Civilian Award” from the Southeast Regional Maintenance Command (SERMC) in Mayport, Florida.

Mrs. Jones is a proud graduate of Alabama A&M University and received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management with a concentration in Logistics/Procurement.  She also has an Advanced Certification in Contract Acquisition Management from the University of Alabama in Huntsville and a Master of Science Degree in Contract Acquisition Management from the Florida Institute of Technology.

Mrs. Jones’ focus is to ensure HBCU’s receive the proper training and opportunities to receive awards from the Department of Defense Community.

Mrs. Jones is married with two children. She is a member of the National Contract Management Association and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated.

Dr. Anthony V. Junior

Dr. Junior

Dr. Junior serves as the Department of the Navy’s (DON) Historically Black Colleges and Universities/Minority Institutions (HBCU/MI) Program Office Director. Dr. Junior issues program guidance and administrative instructions and monitors their implementation. He has the responsibility to encourage, develop, implement, manage, evaluate and report on activities and programs that strengthen and support the capabilities of HBCU/MIs to participate in Naval science and technology research programs, education programs, and contracting opportunities. Dr. Junior is the principal advisor to the Chief of Naval Research, Director of the Navy’s Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization Program, the Director of Research, and the Technical Director of the Office of Naval Research (ONR) on issues related to HBCU/MIs.

In addition, Dr. Junior manages the education, outreach, and workforce development program portfolio for ONR. In this capacity, he develops, implements, and manages programs and activities that enhance the quality and increase the quantity of US scientists and engineers trained to pursue DoD technical requirements.

Prior to his current position, Dr. Junior served as Deputy Director, ONR Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization and Deputy Director, Systems Engineering Division at the Office of Naval Research. He has also served as Director of Computer Security, as a systems engineer, and as a systems programmer at the ONR.

Dr. Junior earned his Ph.D in urban higher education administration from Jackson State University in Jackson, MS. Dr. Junior attended Assumption College in Worcester, MA and Strayer University in Arlington, VA where he earned a B.S. in Business Administration and a Masters in Business Administration. He also earned a professional certificate in finance for managers from the Harvard University Business School. Dr. Junior is a DoD certified Acquisition Professional and an industry certified systems engineer/systems programmer.

Reginald King

Reginald King

Mr. Reginald King is a native of New Orleans, LA and now resides in Alexandria, VA where he has lived for nearly 20 years. Currently, he is the Deputy Chief of the Assessments Group in CIA’s Crime and Narcotics Center, overseeing an office which analyzes global narcotics flows, drug trafficking organizations, and international organized crime groups.  He has held numerous positions in his professional life, including an economist for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), a senior liaison officer for the CIA’s Office of Congressional Affairs, and an editor of the President’s Daily Brief. As a manager, he served as Chief of the National Counterterrorism Center’s (NCTC) International Partnerships Branch, which has responsibility for building partnerships with key US allies in the global war on terrorism, and Chief of the NCTC’s Middle East Branch, overseeing a group of analysts and contractors who examine terrorist groups in the Middle East. Over his career, Reginald has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East, Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, as well as Europe, and Australia. During these trips, he briefed several heads of state and cabinet-level officials and participated in countless intelligence exchanges with foreign intelligence, national security, and military organizations.

Reginald enjoys speaking to students at various universities, particularly at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). In February 2007, his recruiting efforts were highlighted in the Southern Digest. In September 2009, he was selected as CIA’s liaison officer to Miles College in Birmingham, AL, whereby he cultivates Miles’ participation in the Director of National Intelligence’s Centers for Academic Excellence (CAE) Program and facilitates employment opportunities for students at the Agency. As a result of these efforts, Reginald’s work at Miles was featured in the October 2010 issue of Birmingham News. He regularly lectures at dozens of professional, civic, and academic functions including the annual Blacks in Government National Training Conference, CAE National Security Colloquiums at Miles College and Florida A&M University, and for Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. In the fall of 2012, he will begin teaching a class at the University of Alabama-Birmingham entitled The Psychology of Intelligence.

Reginald takes pride in the fact that he graduated from two HBCUs. He attended Southern University (S.U.) in Baton Rouge, LA and received a Bachelor of Science in Economics. He received a Master’s of Arts in Economics from Howard University in Washington, DC. He was awarded a Master’s of Divinity from Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA. He is currently completing a doctoral program at Regent. Reginald is also a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Donald G. Knezek

Donald G. Knezek

Donald G. Knezek, Chief Executive Officer of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), is a leader of innovation for transforming education with technology and recognized globally for his leadership in collaboration, planning, and standards development. Dr. Knezek  is a CAE and holds degrees from Dartmouth College, the University of Hawaii, and the University of Texas at Austin.

In 28 years as a professional educator, he worked in a variety of academic and administrative settings, including K–12 classroom, district office, university, regional service center, state department of education, and national and international organizations. Dr. Knezek provides leadership around the world, recently working in Brazil, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, Costa Rica, France, Germany, India, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Qatar, Singapore, Switzerland, and United Arab Emirates. He is providing consulting services to ministries of education, sharing his valued expertise in preparing education leaders and teachers to thrive in an increasingly digital world.




Darryl D. Lassiter

Darryl D. Lassiter

Pay The Price, Darryl's first full-length feature as writer/producer/director with his company DDL Entertainment, won him the first-place "Best Family Drama" prize at the New York International Film Festival. He has written and produced many television scripts, screenplays and documentaries.

Darryl’s film career began in 1991 when working on the set of CBS’ In The Heat Of The Night. He began his career in television and radio in 1985 when he worked at the CBS and ABC network affiliates in Montgomery, AL and the CBS network affiliate in Atlanta, GA. He was also an announcer and program director at radio stations in Montgomery and Atlanta. The award-winning producer/director still loves juggling his versatile career between radio, television, video, film, newspaper, and music. With that versatility, he has produced and directed nearly 70 music videos.

Born in Fairfield, AL and raised in New York City and Bessemer, AL, Darryl’s best advice came from his 8th grade teacher, “A reading person is a knowing person, a knowing person is a reading person.” Darryl has been an avid reader ever since. His busy schedule keeps him developing projects and a book is in the works soon.

As a musician since 1975, Darryl has played nearly every instrument in the brass family, including trombone, baritone, and French horn but it is the trumpet with which he is most familiar. As a student at Alabama State University; the 1986 grad concentrated on music, television, radio, and print media and began laying the foundation for the story that would become Pay The Price. Darryl played first chair in every band at ASU including the marching, jazz, symphonic, brass ensemble, and trumpet quartet. He won every major award in the ‘school of music.’ He wrote the entire band a cappella songs in the movie as well as composed and performed on three of the songs on the soundtrack.

Using his experiences in the marching band and speaking with former band members, he decided to tell the never-before-told story of the price one pays to be in a Black College Marching Band. Working tirelessly on this project since August 1, 1991, Darryl used his connections as a newspaper editor, magazine writer, television and video producer, radio programmer and filmmaker to get the word out that he needed funds to make his movie dream come true. In the end, the project was a success and won acclaim at the New York International Film Festival.

He was recently given a proclamation from the mayor of his hometown, inducted into the National Black College Alumni Distinction Hall Of Fame, received a Lifetime Achievement Literacy Classic Award 2003 and the coveted Stellar Award 2004 for “Video Of The Year”. In addition, he is a voter for the Emmy and Grammy Awards.

Darryl gets a lot of inspiration from his wife Krystyn and together they have two daughters and two sons.

Links to Mr. Lassiter's work: http://www.imdb.com/video/demo_reel/vi1492885017/, http://www.imdb.com/video/demo_reel/vi670801433/

Roosevelt Lenard, Jr.

Roosevelt Lenard, Jr.

Roosevelt Lenard, Jr. is the National President of the National Black Coalition of Federal Aviation Employees (NBCFAE). He oversees the responsibilities of this growing employee association group of the Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration (DOT/FAA).  The NBCFAE began in 1976 and has a membership of more than 1,000 aviation/aerospace members as well as corporate members. Mr. Lenard has served in various NBCFAE Executive Board positions over the last 15 years. As the corporate officer and longtime member of the Executive Board, he addresses systemic problems affecting minority employees in the DOT/FAA.  Under his executive leadership NBCFAE provides more than $120,000 per year in educational student scholarships as well as grants to HBCU schools. In addition, his executive leadership assures that more than 2,000 students (middle school through high school) receive aviation career education (ACE) at NBCFAE’s ACE Academy conducted nationwide.

Prior to Mr. Lenard's current position as Program Manager in the DOT/FAA’s Air Traffic Organization, he worked 28 years as an Air Traffic Control with 18 of those years as a Front Line Manager in a high level Air Traffic Control Center (EnRoute). As Program Manager, one of Mr. Lenard’s responsibilities is to the FAA’s NextGen (Next Generation Aviation Systems) program that provides career opportunities in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) occupations. Other responsibilities include his active program management participation in the recruitment of minorities into the FAA’s aviation, aerospace, and STEM career positions.

Roosevelt Lenard, Jr. was born in Mound Bayou, Mississippi and graduated from the Alabama State University where he majored in Computer Information Systems. As a student of ASU, he was also a co-operative education student in the FAA. Among Mr. Lenard’s national memberships, he is also an active member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Mr. Lenard consistently dedicates his time and expertise to the community, equal employment opportunity/affirmative employment, and the sustainment of a professional result-oriented organization.


For more information: NBCFAE and RPC meet with Secretary Lahood and FAA Officials to urge fairness in aviation jobs and contracts. (.pdf)





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