biographies, J-M

This is J-M. For the three other pages of bios, click:

Janice Bright, born in 1950 and a native of Chicago, has been living in Decatur, Georgia for 36 years. She received her Bachelor’s of Science in Education w/an emphasis in English at Chicago State University and taught in the Chicago school system for one year before transferring w/her husband Jethro to Syracuse NY. She taught in Liverpool, NY, a suburb of Syracuse, where she was the only Black teacher at the 5,000 student high school. She was one of two Black teachers in the entire county, and many of her students had never seen a Black person before except in the newspaper or on TV. After working in Liverpool for one year, Janice and her husband transferred to Decatur, Georgia where she received her Masters Degree at Georgia State University and taught at Redan High School in Stone Mountain, GA for 22 years. She retired in 1998.
Since then, she and her husband of 42 years (in June, 2013) have traveled the world: six continents and countless countries. Other than travel she enjoys dance, music, concerts, movies, and plays. She also enjoys dining out and stimulating conversations. She also enjoys spending time w/her children, grandchildren, and her first great-grandchild.

Her philanthropic activities include: the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), and the Circle of Joy. For fun she recently joined the Red Hat Society, and she does Zumba three times a week.

Joy Webb was born and raised in Decatur, GA. Her parents are educators, thus she has always been interested in promoting education and volunteerism. Volunteering has been an important aspect of Joy’s life since childhood. As a Brownie, our troop visited the elderly at senior citizen homes. In high school, I learned about non‐profit organizations in my sociology class. As a project, Joy and classmates tutored in the Hillcrest Church of Christ Tutoring Program. In college, she served as a volunteer Girl Scout leader and worked with both the local women’s shelters and a feed the hungry program as a member of the Fellowship for Christian Athletes. The United Way VIP Program taught Joy how to be a better volunteer and leader.

As a member of service organizations and in the consortium of Giving Circles, Joy has committed to learning as much as possible about non-‐profit structures and strategies. As a professional in the corporate world, Joy brings the success of her experiences to the CIN Board. She has participated in leadership conferences and worked closely with the directorate boards with planning, budgets, and communicating the organization’s mission. Participating in various non-profit and business conferences such as Chick-fil-A Leadership Conference and the HOPE Global Financial Dignity Summit has definitely sparked her interest in being prepared to accept a leadership role on a board and in her community.

Keith Shannon

Ken Perry

Kenny Ashe, philanthropist and social entrepreneur, has used his business leadership skills that he initially developed at his alma mater, Florida A&M University, and ultimately sharpened in the corporate arena, to make an impact in the nonprofit/philanthropic sector. He has also invested resources to improve the lives of families in economically disadvantaged communities. Kenny is the Vice Chair of Progress Investment Associates, commercial developer for the nation’s first African American owned shopping center located in Philadelphia, has a long history of corporate social responsibility and civic engagement. In addition, he was responsible for the marketing, community relations, and rebranding of the property redevelopment during its $22M renovation.

Kenny’s personal mandate to improve the lives of people in urban communities was influenced by the late Rev. Dr. Leon H. Sullivan, who bequeathed a legacy of self-help, global corporate social responsibility, and community investment.

Kerry D. Bird was born and raised in Robeson County. He is of Lumbee Indian tribal heritage and an enrolled member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate tribe of South Dakota. He earned a BA in Political Science from UNC Chapel Hill and holds a master’s degree in social work from Washington University in St. Louis, MO.

Kerry is the President of Triangle Native American and a past President of the National Indian Education Association in Washington, DC. He served on the board of directors for the National Native American AIDS Prevention Center and Native Americans in Philanthropy. He was a Kellogg Fellow with the American Indian Ambassadors Program coordinated by Americans for Indian Opportunity.

Kerry is a member of the External Advisory Committee for the American Indian Center at UNC-Chapel Hill, a member of the UNC Alumni Committee on Racial and Ethnic Diversity, and is Treasurer for the Carolina Native Alumni Club. He serves of the board of directors of the LGBT Center of Raleigh and is a member of the Network Alliance for the Center for Family and Community Engagement at N.C. State University. Kerry is the current Treasurer and past Co-President for United Tribes of North Carolina.

His career spans the fields of education, diversity awareness, public health, nonprofit management, and philanthropy, with an emphasis on American Indian programming. Most recently, I worked for the N.C. Commission of Indian Affairs as a program coordinator for a health education program.

Kerry loves playing favorite uncle to 25 nieces and nephews and enjoys international travel. He and his partner reside in Raleigh.

Kimberly Knox is the Founder|CEO of the Youth Education for Savings (YES) Consortium. YES is a purpose-driven mission that came to fruition after Knox spent 16 years maturing in the nonprofit industry. She established YES Consortium in 2011 to create a 360 degree youth enrichment program to orchestrate opportunities to educate, encourage and inspire youth -through collaborative partnerships- in the community to learn from the past, maximize present opportunities and aspire to achieve a healthy future. Her experience as a nonprofit professional includes work as a director of marketing, program development, strategic planning, fundraising and as a government relations. Kimberly has worked with the NC Association of CPAs, National Financial Educators Council, NC Institute for Minority Economic Development, Wake Technical Community College, and NC Minority Support Center.
Spare time…huh?!? When I have it, I find myself at a loss. I feel I should be working, emailing, updating, transcribing, coordinating, calling, and/or designing something regarding YES. When I do take a moment for myself, I love to read books that intertwine fact & fiction such as Dan Brown’s recent novel but I’m also a comic book enthusiast. Going to the movies is my all-time escapism. I dream of weekend excursions to NY to indulge in my delight for the theatre. Working out or vacuuming is my therapeutic method. Since I am a grandma’s girls, anytime I spend with her is a joy. I love Timmy and Muffit (my kitties) and I’d love to adopt a dog and a horse … if only I had 2-acres of land so I can enjoy and care for them all.
It’s an honor being “Auntie Kim”. Spending time with my 8 nieces and nephews and 3 goddaughters is a gift. I pray that they embrace the ‘fruit the Spirit”, and commit random acts of kindness.

LaDawn Sullivan is the Program Officer for The Denver Foundation’s Strengthening Neighborhoods Program. LaDawn joined The Denver Foundation in 1997. She previously served in key staff positions within the Hunt Alternatives Fund, a private foundation, and former Colorado Governor Roy Romer’s Administration in the Office of Policy and Initiatives. She currently staffs the Pipeline Sub-committee (supporting emerging leaders of color) of The Denver Foundation’s Inclusiveness Program, Chair of Colorado Blacks in Philanthropy, a local chapter of the Association of Black Foundation Executives and is immediate past Board Chair of Shadow Theatre Company Advisory Board.

As a member Denver Chapter of Links, Inc. – a national women’s organization promoting friendship and service to community, LaDawn serves as a Chair of the National Trends and Strategic Planning and Implementation Committees. She serves in various capacities in her community and has worked on campaigns that promote literacy and efforts that encourage the preservation of African American history and culture in Denver. She has also served as Youth Director of her church for over 13 years. She is the mother of two sons – Dallas, 17 and Darius, 13. In her off hours, LaDawn is an accomplished singer and has appeared in theatre productions, and other music venues. She enjoys reading and bargain hunting.

Lyord Watson Jr. is a preacher and a philanthropist who lives out his faith in the pulpit as well as in the public square.

His background is a marriage of management and ministry. He received a business management degree from Samford University and a master of divinity from Beeson Divinity School. He is the owner of Watson Philanthropic Solutions, an associate minister at Greater St. John Missionary Baptist Church, and founder of Ekklesia, a ministry devoted to helping people live out their faith in every aspect of their lives.

Recently, Watson was named as an Association of Black Foundation Executives 2011-2012 Connecting Leaders Fellow. He is a founding member, immediate past president and currently VP of Education and Grants for the Birmingham Change Fund. He is a member of Emerging Professionals in Philanthropy and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

A native of Brewton, AL, Lyord and his wife Katrina reside in Birmingham, AL.

Mark Lewis is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in accounting. He became a Certified Public Accountant in 1991 while working at Price Waterhouse. He left Price Waterhouse LLP after 8 years and joined Ernst &Young LLP where he worked for over five years reaching the level of Senior Manager. Mr. Lewis joined the board of the POISE Foundation in 1996 as its Treasurer and Chair of the Finance and Investment committee. He resigned from the Board in 2002 to become the second President and CEO of POISE Foundation. Mr. Lewis also serves on the board of directors of the August Wilson Center, Program to Aid Citizen Enterprise, Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management Advisory Board, and is Chair of The Heinz Endowments African American Male Initiative Advisory Board. Mark is a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh XXII. He also serves as an Elder and Trustee of Deliverance Baptist Church of Wilkinsburg. Mr. Lewis is also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity.

Marsha Morgan was raised in Birmingham, Alabama, where she graduated from Ramsay High School. She obtained a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Tennessee State University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Marsha has gained numerous experiences while working at the Southern Company. She has worked as Engineer with Alabama Power Company, where she worked in the areas of Distribution and Transmission. She also gained Generation experience while working for Southern Company Services. Currently, she works as a Project Coordinator in Bulk Power Operations.

Marsha is involved in a number of community and professional organizations. She is a Founding Member and, currently, serves as the Chairperson of the Birmingham Change Fund. She also holds leadership positions in the local chapters of the National Society of Black Engineers and the Tennessee State University Alumni Chapter. She is involved with the Leadership UAB Alumni Council, Society of Women’s Engineers, Williams Rogers Community Development Board, and the Birmingham Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She also is a member of the Worship Center Christian Church and serves on the Prayer Team.

Marsha resides in the greater Birmingham area with her husband, Jerome Morgan, Jr. She enjoys reading, traveling, philanthropy education, and making a difference in her community. She is inspired by a quote by Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Maurice Smalls

Melandee Jones lives in Charlotte, NC. She holds a MBA and works in the Information Technology field. Melandee sits on the boards of Arts For Life and Citizen Schools, is a member of the Junior League, and a proud member of the New Generation of African American Philanthropists. She is a member of Chappell Memorial Baptist Church, and in her free time enjoys traveling, reading, and community engagement. The primary causes Melandee supports are Equal Access initiatives, the Special Olympics and Arts Advocacy. Her guilty pleasures include chocolate, mysteries, and daydreaming.

Melanie Allen is a graduate of Columbia University, where she studied History and African American Studies. A Greensboro native, Melanie loves to explore the unique treasures that North Carolina has to offer by visiting local businesses, festivals, vineyards and farms. Melanie began her career as a youth organizer for The Children’s Defense Fund’s New York Office (CDF-NY). For three years, she honed her skills as an organizer by leading voter registration drives, planning and hosting forums that allowed young people to discuss policy issues with elected officials, and organizing CDF’s National Young Adult Leadership Training. Melanie served as a field organizer for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. She has worked as a program coordinator and community engagement consultant for the City of Kansas City, Missouri and several nonprofit organizations.

Melanie joined the Conservation Trust for North Carolina in January of 2011 to work with local land trusts and other partners to ensure that their conservation efforts represent and reflect North Carolina’s diverse population. In addition to facilitating regional partnerships and community engagement initiatives, Melanie works with boards and coalitions to ensure that all stakeholders are a part of the decision making process. Melanie serves on the board of directors for The Black Belt Justice Center.

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