Michael Boston, CEO
Michael Anthony Boston Sr. is the Retired Owner and CEO of Boston’s House of Jazz, LLC, Boston Realty Group, and Mike Boston Entertainment. In addition, Mr. Boston acts as Chairman of the Board of Boston Dynasty, LLC and is the Co-Founder of the Mike & Anita Boston Foundation and the Greater Greensboro Black Chamber of Commerce. He is also Senior Vice President of Boston Investments, Inc., Boston’s Mortuary, Cremation Society of Charlotte, Inc., Cremation Services of Atlanta, Inc., The Firehouse Lounge, Secret Society Cigar Bar, and former board member of Downtown Greensboro, Inc.
Mr. Boston received the acclaimed Esther Award as an Unsung Hero from WRLP (Welfare Reform Liaison Project) for his many humble contributions and countless hours as the President/CEO of the Nonprofit Greater Greensboro Black Chamber of Commerce.
Mr. Boston was raised in the small town of Reidsville, NC, with great influence from his maternal and paternal grandparents as well as his parents, all of which were entrepreneurs in their own right. Boston at the ripe old age of 18 opened the first African American business on the main street in Reidsville, which was only a few steps away from “The Block,” a two-block section of all African American business. This was a significant milestone for the community in a very new age of integration.Boston is married to Anita Chambers Boston and has three children: Michael Anthony Boston, Jr., Clarence Boston, and Aisha Melvine Boston, all highly successful entrepreneurs; in addition to six grandchildren. The entire Boston family, including the grandchildren, sit on each other’s Board of Directors. A family of entrepreneurs registered with the North Carolina Secretary of State as The Boston Dynasty, LLC.
Mr. Boston just celebrated the Tenth Anniversary of Boston’s House of Jazz and the commercial payoff of that property in January 2019. The Bostons are not just a family, but a Dynasty!
Valerie Benton Smith, PhD, Regional President for NC & Lobbyist
Valerie Benton Smith, PhD, CLC is an award-winning Sr. Executive Sales and Leasing Professional with Bill Black Chevrolet & Cadillac. As part of Bill Black Chevrolet & Cadillac, she also is a Commercial Sales and Leasing Consultant and can assist her clients with Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles. Her customer-focused approach has established her as a Top Performer both locally, nationally, and internationally.
Her diverse background includes Life Coach, Author, service to Crisis Unit at Monarch Behavior Health, Community Coordinator for the YMCA, Field Director for Girl Scouts, Teacher and Manager in Zimbabwe, Africa at Girls High School and National Theatre Organization, Teacher/Counselor in Westchester County, NY and Advertising, Promotions, and Retail Sales. Formally, had a career base established with Dudley Products, Inc. and was named the “Educational Consultant of the Year” and maintained #1 status for RECRUITING the most students while in the position.
Member associations have included Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.-Executive Board & National Pan Hellenic Council of Winston Salem/Forsyth County- (Marketing Chairperson) (Social Action Chairperson), Winston Salem Chamber of Commerce (Ambassador) (Government Affairs Board), Greater Greensboro Black Chamber of Commerce (Co-Founder/COO/Lobbyist), National Association of Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives and has been recently nominated for Leadership Winston-Salem, NC.
Valerie’s education includes Carver High School, North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University, New York University, General Motors Service Technical College and Colorado Technical University.
Valerie’s life partner of over two decades is Michael B. Smith, and they have 3 Adult Children: Xavier, Asante’ and Elisha, one grandson, Nigel, one granddaughter Nyla and furry son, D.J.
Contact: [email protected] (336) 997-1954
Barbara Silver, ESQ, CFO
Attorney Barbara Lorraine Silver is a Greensboro native. Formerly a child of public housing, she was reared in Sedalia North Carolina, just outside of Greensboro, where her family relocated when she was in fourth grade. Barbara graduated from Eastern Guilford High School where she was a cheerleader and continued when as a cheerleader at the North Carolina A & T State University Aggies. She graduated in 1987 with a degree in professional English and Journalism. The very next semester, became a first year law student at NC Central University School of Law in Durham, NC, where she graduated in 1990 with a Juris Doctor.
After graduating Law School, Barbara moved to New York where she worked for two years at a non-profit center for law and justice, before moving back to her home state of North Carolina, where she became a licensed by the NC Bar in 1995. During that time, Barbara started a family and began working as an Assistant District Attorney for the Rockingham County District Attorney’s Office. She became licensed by the State Bar of New York in 1996 and in that same year was appointed by the late Bishop J. Delano Ellis to the position of General Counsel of the United Pentecostal Churches of Christ which lead to her becoming licensed by the state bar of Ohio in 1998.
Barbara went on to become an Assistant Public Defender before launching her private practice, The B. Silver Law Group in 2010. She now works as an Attorney Advisor for the United States Small Business Administration. Barbara is a loving and supportive mother to two sons, Tyler and Jordan, and nanna to twin granddaughters, Milaysia and Milan.
Sunny Gravely Foushee, Membership Chairperson
Sunny Gravely Foushee is the Co-Owner of The Artist Bloc, LLC, a Fine Arts venue located at 1020 W. Gate City Blvd., Greensboro, NC. Sunny and Co-Owners, Darlene J. McClinton, and Watricia Shuler are artists and educators within their respective fields. They opened the doors to what has been affectionately nicknamed “The Bloc” in August of 2014. Their primary goal was to be a “home” for local artists and a place that highlights their talents.
Sunny, Darlene and Watricia also founded TAB Arts Center Non Profit in 2016 to bring quality art education and art therapy to the community. Presently, she is the Executive Director of the organization. They have several successful programs, including the Annual All Arts Summer Camp, Alzheimer and Senior Art therapy program, M.E.S.H.A(Math Engineering Science History Art) an after school program, and community beautification projects, just to name a few.
Mrs. Gravely Foushee is also a nationally recognized Fine Artists, who has exhibited her work all over the country. Her inspiration comes fromnature, different cultures and politics. She is extremely intrigued by stereotypes, injustice and the hypocrisy of human beings. Her artwork speaks volumes in its intent to reflect and expose the injustices of humanity, social, economic and moral circumstances. She believes art catapults greater thoughts and ideas.
Passionately pursuing her purpose in her various roles is a dream come true for Sunny. Another component that her passion is to create an open dialogue of healing and overall beautification through the arts.
Ms. Gravely is a graduate of the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York where she received an MA in Art and Design education and Howard University in Washington, D.C. where she received a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree.
Contact: [email protected]
Joseph Benjamin-Owen Pridgen Pridgen, Chaplain, and Membership Chairperson
Joseph Benjamin-Owen Pridgen is an Author, Pastor, Power Coach, Counselor, Preacher, Teacher, Entrepreneur, Mentor, Actor, Singer/Songwriter, and workshop facilitator. These words don’t even begin to describe the ministry of Joseph Benjamin-Owen Pridgen along with the MANY business gifts he brings to the GGBCC! Prior to officially becoming the GGBCC Chaplain, he was ALWAYS eager to start our IMPACTFUL gatherings with prayer. He is also supportive of local businesses and keeps you in his prayers.
The best way to describe the ministry of Joseph Pridgen is energetic! In every arena, he brings a spiritual energy and excitement that can be both seen and felt!
Joseph Benjamin-Owen Pridgen was born on July 2, 1979 in Wilmington, N.C. to Rev. Dr. Conrad and Helen Pridgen. He received his high school diploma in June of 1997 from South Mecklenburg High School in Charlotte, N. C. He then matriculated at Shaw University in Raleigh, N.C. and there received a Bachelor’s of Arts in Religion and Philosophy in May of 2004. Joseph then traveled to Wilberforce, Ohio and for the next three years attended Payne Theological Seminary where he received numerous awards and was elected Student Government Association President. After three long years of rigorous academic preparation, Joseph received his Master’s of Divinity Degree on May 18, 2007.
Joseph was called to preach on February 4, 2001 and preached his initial sermon on March 25, 2001. He was ordained an Itinerant Deacon in the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 2004 and was ordained an Itinerant Elder in 2007. Shortly after receiving the ordination of Elder, Joseph was assigned to the glorious task of pastoring the anointed and God-fearing members of Union Hill A.M.E. Church.
During his 7 year tenure, the attendance and membership increased, and there were over 200 conversions.
In February of 2014 The Lord released Joseph to start the POWER Church and to create Power Coaching 101.
He is married to the lovely and anointed Kenya J. Pridgen and together they have one son, Christopher Alexander Pridgen.
Min. Folasade “Ms. Fola” Scott, MAT – Chaplain, Public Relations and Membership Committee Member
Folasade Scott is a native of California and has resided in Winston-Salem since 2012. She is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, having received her Bachelor’s in American Studies with a concentration in Social Psychology, the Arts, and Education, with a Minor in Music. She received her Master of Arts in Teaching with a concentration in Special Education from Winston-Salem State University (WSSU). Not long after graduating from WSSU, she took the courageous step to resign from working for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, after teaching in the school system in the field of Special Education for approximately four years and entered full entrepreneurship. She would say “entrepreneurship is in my blood”, as both her parents modeled self-employment during her childhood and into her adulthood. For 15+ years, she worked for various companies and usually worked her own business on the side, either providing mentoring/education, massage therapy (certified in 2002), or administrative service to individuals, or contracting with a company. After having operated a sole proprietorship since 2013, in 2017 she established an LLC to build a greater vision of a multifaceted business, a parent company offering various services she’s passionate about, such that she had been planning for years. Consequently, for the past four years, Folasade has served individuals and/or families as an educational specialist, a business consultant, a family and community advocate, and an artist under the company name FolaSun LLC. (folasun.com)
Along with being an established professional, Folasade is an established minister of 15+ years, this being, indeed, a life-long vocation; her relationship with Christ and Biblical principles inform every aspect of her life personally and professionally. She has served locally and internationally (Jamaica and Haiti) as a minister and community liaison and leads a 501(c)(3) nonprofit she founded in 2009 called Violent Faith Ministries International, Inc. (vfmintl.org)
As a mother-teacher and “villager” at heart, and one with a “story”, Folasade delights in using her gifts/talents, skills, and experience to help others dis-cover (uncover) their worth, develop their potential, and shine in every way God has gifted them to, inevitably impacting and improving life around them, FolaSun’s slogan being “Maximize your life shine. Realize the wealth in you.” As she is a community-minded/centered person, she believes in learning from and building with others, inter-generationally, interculturally, and interdependently, earnestly believing that collaboration and complement make effectiveness and prosperity possible.
Contact: [email protected]
Maxine Hylton, Director of Business Mentorship Program
Maxine Hylton is a published author, business owner, and licensed insurance broker. She acquired a BA from the University of Phoenix, and an MBA with concentration in Global Business Management from Nova Southeastern University. She is a Jamaican native who began her career as a Jamaican a police. This shaped her work and moral ethic towards serving and helping others.
Maxine wears many hats. She is owner of Myradex Business Consulting and helps small businesses with planning, operation, customer focused skills, human resource management, and marketing. She is also a financial adviser, primarily serving the senior market. Maxine provides various mechanisms to help seniors protect their assets such as, IRA and 401k. She provides insurances for life, health, and long-term care.
With a solution-oriented approach that focuses on possibilities, Maxine looks forward to guiding you and your business along the streams of success.
Maxine has been instrumental in assisting the Greater Greensboro Black Chamber of Commerce with Surveys from its members and business plans upon requests to better serve as the voice.
Contact: [email protected]
Wrenchel W. Stokes, Business Development Chairperson
Businessman and Entrepreneur. Owner and Broker in Charge of Legacy Foundation Realty, LLC servicing Greensboro and surrounding areas, with over 20 years of experience selling real estate. Part owner of Fat Tuesday Greensboro franchise located in the heart of Downtown Greensboro. He is a Property stake holder in both commercial and residential properties.
Wrenchel brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to any project or community endeavor. He has successfully mastered his network by bridging individuals together to strategically solve business and community needs. He has a love and commitment to North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University that is known and admired by the community. The University is what originally brought him to Greensboro from his hometown of Georgetown, SC 28 years ago.
Wrenchel has been married for 22 years to his lovely wife, LaMonica and together they have 3 beautiful daughters, Sinai, Saige and Sydney (twins). They have also welcomed a boxer, “Justice” into their family and he has stolen the hearts of the “Stokes 5”!
Ambitious / Committed / Hard Working / Experienced / Honest / Lover of Family and Community
Bryan Savage, Legal and Business Benefit Services Committee
Mr. Bryan Savage is an experienced Independent Associate with Legal Shield, providing a portfolio of legal service and identity theft protection plans. He specializes in the small business and employee benefits division, helping small businesses affordably protect and grow their business and offer a voluntary employee benefit to their employees at no out of pocket expense to the employer.
LegalShield: Top choice 2019, 2020
• LegalShield Launch for Businesses “Top 5 online legal services for small businesses” • RocketLawyer: Powerful legal assistance online • LegalZoom: Fast and effective online legal assistance • Incfile.com: Great for starting out • UpCounsel: An alternative online legal service (Source: https://www.chamberofcommerce.org/best-online-legal-services)
He has a demonstrated history of working in the legal services industry and is skilled in sales, organizational leadership, business planning, customer relationship management, team building, and is a strong entrepreneurship professional.
In Greensboro, NC Bryan Savage Co-Presented the Greater Greensboro Black Chamber of Commerce, Business Series Workshop “Business Basics: The Legal Framework – Should you be an LLC, S-Corp, C-Corp or Partnership” on September 26, 2019 and Co-Hosted the launch of “Ladies of Justice” to
empower a new Generation of Female entrepreneurs to build their own business, increase affordable access to justice for all on January 9, 2020.
GGBCC Growth Series is designed to meet businesses and individuals where they are today and equip them for a stronger future. Whether the goal is to stay local or go global, this series will help business owners determine where they want to go and how to get there. In addition, this series will provide educational workshops, training and enhanced procurement opportunities.
He is an active member of Alpha Phi Alpha and serves as a mentor to middle school and high school students, through Alpha Academy, an initiative through his local chapter.
Marviette A. Usher, COO
Marviette A. Usher is an empowering speaker, author and conscientious consultant from Houston, Texas whonow resides in North Carolina with her husband, pastor Dr. Patrick L. Usher, Sr. and their son Patrick L. Usher, II., an amazing drummer. She passionately inspires, equips and supports women in discovering who they are in order to push past “life-happening” and transform themselves from the inside out.
After receiving a Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in Computer Information Systems from the University of Houston-Downtown, Marviette spent 21 years as an Independent Application Software Developer Consultant for her client Chevron Corporation of Houston. During her tenure, she was a detail-oriented application developer with over 20 years in the application development life-cycle. From gathering user requirements to analysis, design, development and deployment of enterprisewide solutions, Marviette prided herself in being a strong developer with mentoring, application and database modeling skills. Her proven interpersonal skills also allowed her to successfully serve as a liaison between customers and the technical staff as the Director of Technical Support.
Because of her dedication to empower, inspire and impact women, Marviette made a conscious decision to LEAP: leaving her corporate consulting career to help those women who mute their desires, muffle their success and neglect their longings. This LEAP resulted in Marviette A. Usher: Developing Phenomenal Women Inside & Out. Usher’s work with the organization she founded, Phenomenal Woman and with her entrepreneurial mentorship program King’s Daughters has impacted the lives of more than 1000 women both directly and indirectly. From providing services at the local homeless shelter to working with business owners and ministry leaders, she mentors formal and informal leaders ready to embrace their greatness. Marviette’s ultimate desire is to see strong, independent women experience an abundantly fulfilled life and unveil any hidden talents, gifts and abilities to create their own wealth. Marviette’s clients lovingly refer to her as going from an I.T. Consultant to being the “IT” Consultant for women.
Marviette is the author of “Phenomenal Woman? OH, YES YOU ARE!” — a book written to speak to the heart of powerful, educated, talented, and beautiful women that others may think has it all together; however, “life happens” and they are left wondering God why me and how do I push past this and come out on the
other side “super bad” in spite of it all. She knows without a shadow of doubt God has invested something great in her and she is on a mission to give God a return on His investment, NO MATTER WHAT!!!!
As an Image Consultant, Fashion Designer and car driving Mary Kay Sales Director, Marviette uses her keen insight to help individuals and groups present their best outward appearance as they strive for greater confidence in transforming their inner existence. As an expert event coordinator, Marviette has organized and facilitated more than 150 conferences connecting with more than a million people over the course of 10 years. Her work includes orchestrating the success of religious conventions including the South Carolina State Council of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World for Bishop Richard E. Young, Sr. and Bishop Charles H. Ellis, III.
Marviette is the recipient of numerous honors and awards for her extensive work with women and contributions to the community including the North Carolina Outstanding Women Leaders Award. She is a mentor at the Forsyth Tech Small Business Center, has served on community boards and is a member of several professional women’s organizations as well as a founding member of a city-wide movement to support and educate women.
TO BOOK MARVIETTE – Marviette can be scheduled for your next Conference, Convention, Retreat and Consulting by contacting: [email protected] or by calling 281.808.1704.
Chairperson Bill Hubbard, Treasurer and Fund Development
For over 48 years, William “Bill” Hubbard has been a noteworthy leader in the Financial Services Industry! You may know him from his work as the CEO/President of First Merchants Financial Services, but Bill can also be credited with contributions to Businesses, Education, and Community.
William “Bill” Hubbard has been honored with the BBB (Better Business Bureau) Marketplace Ethics Award which is the highest Award displayed for his contributions to integrity. He holds a Bachelors Degree from N.C. A & T State University and currently resides in Winston-Salem, NC.
While at N.C. A & T he met his wife Brenda of 46 years, and they have 5 children and eight grandchildren. While at A & T, Bill was very active in various organizations such as SGA, Treasurer, served with Rev. Nelson Johnson, who was Vice-President. He also became a member of Alpha Phi Omega Fraternity, YMCA, taught Math at Upward Bound, Editor-In-Chief N.C. A & T Yearbook and Newspaper. Upon graduation, moved to Durham, NC and became the 2nd Black Loan Officer for SBA and provided the largest loan for a minority business at that time to Sam Dillard of Sam Dillard’s Bar B-Que of $50,000 (a record for black business). After that he worked on nearly $500,000 in loans for Black Contractors all across the state of NC.
Bill is a Charter Member of the NC Black Chamber of Commerce (2001), Charter Member of WS Black Chamber (2004), NAACP Lifetime Member, Owned and Operated Hubbard Enterprises
(Residential and Commercial Cleaning Firm for 30 years) in Durham, High Point and Winston-Salem. He also made History while in Graduate School by becoming the First Black Editor of a major newspaper in NC, Greensboro News & Record.
At Jerry Watkins (Black Owned Automotive Dealership) Cadillac-GMC in Winston-Salem, NC, Bill was one of the Top 50 Sales Agents in the USA landing a contract with Blue Cross/Blue Shield to supply them with a fleet of vehicles. He graduated #1 from General Motors University and was offered his own Cadillac Dealership in Kansas.
As the Owner and Operator with his wife Brenda and son Wynton of First Merchants Financial Services they provide small business loans, lines of credit and merchant accounts.
Feel Free to Contact Bill Hubbard concerning Commercial, Church, or Small Business Loans directly at 336.768.0933 and Wynton Hubbard concerning Residential Home Services at 336.768.0936.
Cynthia Jeffries, MBA, Asst. Treasurer
Cynthia Jeffries, Co-Owner of Jeff’s Shared Treasures Over 5 years ago these children of Winston-Salem started on the next journey of their lives. Both raised by families of educators that encouraged them to be lifelong learners and be a part of the community – one went to Fisk University and the other attended Wellesley College and Columbia University. Then they got married (30 years ago) and after living in Connecticut for a while returned to Winston-Salem and have three children and three grandchildren.
Marshall formerly owned Marshall’s Crystal Forms with partner Victoria in the Pavillions Shopping Center and Cynthia started vending at bridge conventions and Delta Sigma Theta national and regional conventions. Retail is in their DNA.
Five years ago, however, upon the passing of Marshall’s Mom, Eva Jeffries, the idea for a consignment shop began. Cynthia says she was an organized hoarder and had really, really good stuff but old. But both Cynthia and Marshall have been collectors of antiques for years and this was a perfect combination. They have been blessed to have had many consigners since that has helped their store to grow – cooperative economics – returning money to our community.
Jeff’s Shared Treasures, their brick and mortar store is located on New Walkertown Road but they quickly started an online Ebay store to reach a larger audience. They have shipped all over the US and the world (China, England, and Germany). Two years ago, on trips to visit family in Sanford, NC they discovered Countryside Antiques and Collectibles in Siler City a 50,000 square facility with multiple vendors and now they have two booths there.
The store has lots of items – books by and about African-Americans, hats, clothing – men’s and women’s, shoes, dolls, china, jewelry, artwork, lots of items – new and vintage. And on Saturday’s weather permitting – furniture on their parking lot.
Being in East Winston is not easy, they say. We are so accustomed to traveling to West side for goods but they wanted their store to be in their neighborhood. They want to demonstrate to future generations that we can own our own businesses right where we live.
Their tagline is “Reduce (everyone has too much stuff), Reuse (change it, paint it, move to a different space), Recycle (one’s man’s trash is another man’s treasure) and Restore (sometimes all an item needs is elbow grease to make it shine again)”
Jeff’s Shared Treasures co-owners Marshall and Cynthia Jeffries has earned many Awards and recently honored at Kwanzaa for making a huge difference in the community.
Alizá Diggs-Bailey, Director of Grants and Fundraising
Alizá Diggs-Bailey has a diverse background in corporate, non-profit and community engagement. For the last twelve years, she has worked in the capacity of fund development for various small and large organizations, including the arts (National Black Theatre Festival, River International Film Festival, Delta Arts Center, Arts Council of Winston-Salem & Forsyth County) and workforce development (Winston-Salem Urban League and NC Department of Commerce). Aliza’s roles have been inclusive of grant writing, workplace and capital campaigns, sponsorships and individual donor recruitment. In addition to working in non-profit, her career was grounded with 17 years of corporate experience in Sales, Marketing, Merchandising, Design and Product Development.
Alizá was Director of Merchandising and Design for Hanesbrands, Inc., serving in various roles there for twenty years, coupled with her most recent assignments as a consultant, she brings a wealth of expertise. Personally, Alizá has an unwavering passion for the arts and humanities as an artist designing handbags and apparel for her company, d3 Designs and d3 Adorned, with a degree from NC State University in Textiles and Apparel Design and Management. During her global travels, both domestic and international, her interests have focused on art, culture, fashion, history, and textiles. In addition to her professional endeavors, she spends her time with her two amazing children Jaylen Maxwell; her son, majoring in Business/Entrepreneurship and Design at NC State University (her alma mater) and Jayda Alizá, her daughter, a high school honor student & competitive dancer at East Forsyth High School. Both are seniors with a love and passion for the arts and entrepreneurship. Ms. Diggs-Bailey is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Celeste Leeper, Event Coordinator Chairperson
Celeste Leeper is a 20 year Senior Property Manager in Multifamily Real Estate. The portfolio includes Affordable, LIHTC, Conventional & HUD Housing. Mrs. Leeper is the Greater Greensboro’s sought after Travel Event Planner of SR Productions for over 10 years specializing in Group-Travel. Tours include: MIami, Las Vegas, Bahamas, Hollywood just to name a few. Her Signature is the CEO/Owner of RedZ Fashions, a Mobile Boutique. As the Founder of “I am a BOSSCHIC,” she has assisted thousands of women nationally, and holds a Women’s Empowerment Forum. She also serves as the premiere Event Promoter for Triad Old School new owner’s of the acclaimed Boston’s House of Jazz and Blues.
Mrs. Leeper, while networking with GGBCC Member Bryan Savage, has recently launched legal services, another busines brand “Ladies of Justice” to help improve lives with services and to provide women the OPPORTUNITY & ENVIRONMENT to build their BELIEF & CONFIDENCE, step into their GREATNESS & POWER, control their lives, CREATE CHOICES, and live a PURPOSEFUL LIFE. She believes that bigger things happen when we work together.
Celeste Leeper, Ladies of Justice business launch has been featured on: FOX 8 WGHP, Greensboro News & Record, WS Journal, WXII, Piedmont Local Magazine, 336 Events, Jefferson Post, Elkin Tribune, Red Springs Citizen, Laurinburg Exchange, 704 Events, Anson Record, Identity Talent Management Group Northeast, Yadkin Ripple, Pilot Mountain News, SpinGo Greensboro, YES! Weekly, and Mount Airy News.
Happily Married for 26 years to the Legendary Lawrence Leeper, Mother of three (2 daughters and 1 son), and Grandmother of four!
Darlene J. McClinton, Event Coordinator Chairperson
Darlene J. McClinton is the C.E.O of The Artist Bloc, LLC Arts Venue “Where Creative Minds Meet; the “New” Grants Manager for Arts Greensboro, NC, an Adjunct Professor at North Carolina A&T State University and Lead Arts Integration Facilitator for Guilford County Schools; and professional muralist. Through public art, she develops collaborations and community engagement that fosters research and strategic partnerships between communities and students.
Darlene is an accomplished visual artist, art educator, scholar, and a “rising star” in the Greensboro area. Darlene received her undergraduate degree in visual art & design from N.C. A&T State University and her Masters of Fine Arts from Howard University in Washington, D.C. She is currently a fourth-year doctoral candidate at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Darlene is best known for her paintings, digital photography, and murals, which are displayed all over the Greensboro. She has exhibited locally, nationally and has created over six historical murals in North Carolina.
Darlene works are designed to bridge the G.A.P. through education, to remind and influence generations to understand the past, present and the future. Recognizing the role that art can play in wellness, Darlene contributed her time and talent to assist with set up an art exhibit in the Sickle Unit at Moses Cone Hospital, where two of her paintings are prominently displayed. Darlene describes herself as a “woman of integrity who lives a life of service”. In this regard, she has created Holiday cards for Habitat for Humanity; begun a $1000.00 Visual Arts Scholarship for students of NC A&T; and initiated an Alumni & Friends Art Organization at A&T to raise scholarship funds for students and raised over $10,000.00.
As a creative community leader, Darlene is continually providing creative spaces and platforms for all artists to create and gain revenue from what they love. She also serves on various boards and committees that support her community service oriented values.
These include DGI Downtown Cornerstone Art Committee, Downtown Greenway Public Arts Committee, President of T.A.B Arts Center, Board member of African American Atelier, and NC A&T Alumni & Friends Visual Art Organization.
Darlene J. McClinton future goals include a successful career in public art as well as a lifelong commitment to education and entrepreneurship
Stephen Charles, Website Administrator
Stephen Charles is a native of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. After high school he entered enlisted service in the Army and was deployed in various Military Intelligence units. Upon completion of service he returned to Fayetteville North Carolina and enrolled at Fayetteville State University where he earned a BS Degree in Computer Science and minors in Mathematics and Visual Art.
Professionally he has performed in various Information Technology roles at various corporations. Programmer/Analyst at the former Wachovia Bank, Web Content Developer at Oakwood Homes, and Website Administrator at North Carolina A&T State University.
Stephen also is the owner of Small Biz Host where he advises clients on branding, website hosting, content strategy. search engine optimization and website design.
Meche Hall, Administrative Management and Social Action Committee Chairperson
Demetria (Meche) Hall is Guilford County’s newest sworn in Magistrate. With more than two decades of working in the judicial sector (both government and private), as a deputy clerk, paralegal and IT software manager, Meche has dedicated herself to listening to clients’ needs and frustrations and to come up with the best possible solution for the situation. Meche has experienced first-hand life’s twists and turns and has a personal understanding of how the law impacts real people of all ages in court proceedings. And now in her new role as Magistrate Hall, it is her daily goal to fairly and effectively administer justice for those who come before her.
Meche is also a Jewelry Diva and she believes every woman is a Glam Rocks Diva!!! If you are having a blah day, you feel frumpy or a bad hair day, adding the right bling can make us feel sexy and beautiful! So let your jewelry tell your story!! So remember, jewelry is not just another pretty frivolous thing – it has Power to renew and uplift you!! Meche would love for you to visit www.myjbloom.com/mechehall in which you will find customized pieces, along with styles that range from monograms and pearls to boho chic, from classic designs to a mix of delicate and bold!!!
Meche resides in Greensboro and is married to Will Hall.
Joy Cook, Marketing/Brand Consultant
Joy Cook is an experienced professional in making and fostering relationships through digital engagement. This has placed her among top professionals in managing the online community. Affectionately, titled “Ms. Twitter” by the front page of a popular publication, Joy has positioned herself as one of the nation’s top authorities on Twitter (@JoyCookPR).
Joy took her Twitter talents to the White House when she was selected as one of the influential invitees by the President of the United States, Barack Obama, to attend the arrival ceremony of the Prime Minister of Great Britain as a White House Tweetup participant. Most recently Joy was one of the few Inaugural Democratic National Convention Tweetup participants.
Joy serves on the Board of Directors for the Black Child Development Institute and on the Alumni Association Board of Directors for the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Joy, is an advocate for education and Chairs the Spartan Legislative Network. Also, she is a graduate of the Institute of Political Leadership and VP of the Public Relations Society of America- Triad Chapter. She’s a hands-on leader with extensive experience working across diverse industries who is able to keep focus and be productive. This Innovative strategic thinker, global volunteer and experienced publicist is well versed in why trends really do matter.
Joy Cook is the owner and lead strategist of Joy Cook Public Relations Group and a graduate degree candidate at High Point University.
Joy has been featured on: HLN, CSPAN, BBC, FOX, CBS, ABC, NBC affiliates, ESSENCE Magazine Online, NPR and other local, national, and international platforms.
Lora Cubbage: Honorary Executive Board Member
Lora Cubbage was born and raised in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. She moved to Greensboro, NC in 1992 to join her twin sister. Lora completed Winston-Salem Barber College to become a master barber and practiced her craft for over 17 years.
During the same time Lora attended and graduated from NC A & T State University earning a Bachelor of Sciences degree and went on to University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law. From law school Lora joined the Guilford County District Attorney’s office until 2011, when she joined the NC Attorney General’s office as Assistant Attorney General.
After 6 years, Lora ran for judge in her county of residence and successfully defeated an incumbent for the District Court Judge seat. After less than 2 years, in October 2018 Governor Roy Cooper appointed Lora to the Superior Court Judge’s bench and she went on to secure the election for the seat in November 2018.
Lora’s judicial philosophy is to ensure that there is equal and fair access to the justice system while holding people accountable for their actions.
Lora mentors young men and women and is a strong advocate for our youth having an opportunity to higher education or trade schools to ensure a successful future after high school.
Eunice Mosley Dudley, Honorary Board Member
Businesswoman, Entrepreneur and Humanitarian
Eunice M. Dudley, Co-Founder of the DudleyQ+ brand, is one of the world’s most sought after African-American female business leaders. She currently serves as the Executive Director for the Dudley Beauty School System.
Eunice Mosley was born in Selma, Alabama. She is the seventh of nine children born to Andrew M. Mosley, Sr. and Eva O. Murdoch Mosley. At a very early age she exhibited a “reative spirit” and a deep desire to learn.
Began Selling as a Teenager
She got her start in the Beauty Industry selling Fuller Products door-to-door in Brooklyn, New York while a student at Talladega College. It was at this Fuller branch in the summer of 1960 that she met Joe L. Dudley, Sr. Both were selling Fuller Products during the summer to earn their college tuition money. They
married in 1961 and both began working for Fuller Products full-time in 1962.
Early Success in the Beauty Industry
By 1976, Joe L. Dudley, Sr. & Eunice Dudley had helped developed a sales force of more than 400, a beauty school, and a chain of beauty supply stores located throughout the Southeast. Dudley Products was deemed an entrepreneurial success.
Award Winning Building Designer
The design, planning and building of Dudley Products, Inc.’s new manufacturing and home office facility in
Kernersville, North Carolina were personally supervised by Dr. Dudley. These efforts earned her The Energy
Efficient Building Award presented by Energy User News and the ASHRAE Technology Award, an International Award given for second place in recognizing outstanding achievements in design and operation of energy-efficient buildings.
Transition to Second Generation Leadership
Over the past 40 years through dedication, hard work and persistence, she has helped take the DudleyQ+
Brand from very humble beginnings to a respected and world renowned position in the Beauty Industry. In 2009, Joe L. Dudley, Sr & Eunice Dudley were featured in a national movie, Good Hair, a Chris Rock documentary about the hair care industry. In June 2008, Joe & Eunice Dudley restructured the Dudley conglomerate and turned over all day to day responsibilities over to their daughter, Ursula Dudley Oglesby who began Dudley Beauty Corp, LLC.
Dedicated Community Involvement
Eunice Dudley strongly believes in giving back to the community. She frequently volunteers her time, money, and resources to various boards and organizations. Some of her community service includes:
- Board Member for the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro ( Gate City Housing board)
- Financial Secretary for Greater Greensboro/Reidsville club of NANPBW
- United Negro College Fund contributor
- Former member of Bennett College Board of Trustees, N.C. A&T State University Board of Trustees
- Former member of Providence Baptist Church Board of Trustees & Co
- Direct Selling Education Foundation Board
Recipient of Numerous Awards
Dr. Dudley’s humanitarian efforts have not gone unnoticed or unappreciated. In 1991, she was awarded the Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree from Bennett College for her business success and for being a role model for young women in the community.
- NAAWLI Legacy of Leadership awardee in 2008
- The Athena Award from the Greensboro Area Chamber of Commerce.
- The Crystal Award from the NANBPW Clubs, Inc.
- Co-Winner of The Kernersville First Citizens of The Year Award in 1993
OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS
On behalf of our membership, Board of Directors, and staff, it is with great pleasure that I thank you for your interest in membership with the North Carolina Black Chamber of Commerce.