Many years ago, AT&T began — what has become — a long-running practice of creating a calendar documenting the historical contributions Black Americans have made in our communities. AT&T has long recognized that strong and vibrant communities are good places to live, work and raise your families, and this project exemplifies our commitment.
With that tradition in mind, AT&T is pleased to connect you to the 29th edition of our Black History Month Digital Calendar. We are proud to salute these distinguished Black leaders who are exemplary role models for tomorrow’s generations.
For more information on AT&T’s other DE&I Initiatives, click here.
Check back throughout the month as we feature additional leaders:
- Jason Jenkins
- Melissa McGhie Proctor
- Ivory J. Strong
- Gale Nelson
- Ted Lucas
- Maurice Kemp
- Aletha Player
- Gerald Grant
- Bishop Thomas Scott
- Estrellita Berry
- Judge Perry Little
- Kevin B. Sneed
- Don Bowen
- Leroy Jones
- The Florida Sentinel Bulletin
Senior Vice President, Communications & Community Affairs, Miami Dolphins
Jason Jenkins is in his 14th season with the Miami Dolphins and was named Senior Vice President of Communications and Community Affairs in January 2015. Jenkins oversees the organization’s front-facing brands, including communications, social media, community affairs, foundation, cheer, and youth programs.
Jenkins previously served as the team’s Vice President of Communications, being named to that position in May 2013. Prior to joining the Dolphins, Jenkins worked in the media relations department for the San Francisco 49ers, as well as served as the Associate Athletic Director at Texas Southern University from 1999-2002 and as Athletic Sales
and Promotion Manager and Sports Communications Assistant at Lehigh University from 1997-99.
Jenkins grew up in Houston, Texas and earned his bachelor’s degree in 1997 in broadcast journalism from Texas Tech University. In 2017, Jenkins was selected by faculty and alumni as an Outstanding Alumni Award winner and served as commencement speaker for the 2018 Texas Tech graduating class. He is on the board of the Anti-Defamation League Florida, Breakthrough Miami, Dolphins Challenge Cancer, Pro Sports Assembly, Urban League of Broward County and Women of Tomorrow. In 2021, Jenkins was named to the Civil Society Fellowship: A Partnership of ADL and the Aspen Institute. This Fellowship, part of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, aims to prepare and engage the next generation of community and civic leaders, activists, and problem-solvers from across the political spectrum.
He resides in Parkland, Florida with his wife, Elizabeth, and their three children, Liya, Aiden and Sloane.
Melissa McGhie Proctor
Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Atlanta Hawks and State Farm Arena
Melissa McGhie Proctor is the Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of the Atlanta Hawks & State Farm Arena. In this role, Proctor oversees the day-to-day operations of the club’s marketing, Hawks Studios, live experience and production, brand merchandising, creative services, corporate social responsibility, brand communications and basketball development teams. She also works closely with executive leadership to provide strategy for the organization.
Proctor joined the organization in June 2014, when she was named Vice President of Brand Strategy.
In her former role, she was responsible for brand development and building marketing & business plans that propelled the organization’s long-term strategy. Throughout her tenure with the Hawks, she has played an instrumental role within the company, spearheading internal corporate employee initiatives and executive communication.
Beginning her career with the Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., Proctor served in brand development and strategy positions for Turner Entertainment Networks (including TNT, TBS, Turner Classic Movies (TCM), truTV and Peachtree TV), Cartoon Network and Turner Media Group. Additionally, she helped to create the first Corporate Social Responsibility division in Turner’s UK office. Among her accomplishments, she was responsible for managing the naming and identity for the rebranding of Court TV as truTV, and leading corporate culture initiatives to foster employee engagement, collaboration and innovation.
Part of the NBA since high school, Proctor was the first “team attendant”/ ball girl for the Miami Heat organization, and in later years, returned to work for the Heat in the basketball operations division.
Over her career, Proctor’s professional achievements have earned her accolades from a multitude of publications and organizations. She has been recognized with Leaders and Aspire Academy’s Leaders Under 40 Award; was selected as part of the Sports Business Journal/Daily’s 2020 class of Forty Under 40 and honored with the 2021 Adweek CMO Award. A published author, in 2020, Proctor released her first book titled From Ball Girl to CMO.
Proctor is on the board for The High Museum of Art, The Children’s Museum of Atlanta, Atlanta BeltLine Partnership and 48 in 48 in addition to serving in an advisory capacity for The Dagger Agency. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communication from Wake Forest University and a master’s degree in design studies/branding from Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design at The London Institute. A native of Miami, FL, she now resides in the City of Atlanta.
Committed to entertaining and uniting the city of Atlanta since 1968, the Atlanta Hawks & State Farm Arena, under the leadership of Principal Owners Tony Ressler and Jami Gertz, continue to build bridges through basketball by following its True to Atlanta mantra. On the court, the Hawks’ exciting young core is led by All-Star point guard Trae Young as the organization received the NBA’s top ranking in overall in-game experience for the last two seasons. Off the court, the Hawks organization focuses on positively impacting the lives of Atlantans through providing access to youth basketball, fighting food insecurity, and the transformation of State Farm Arena into Georgia’s largest-ever voting precinct for the 2020 elections. The Hawks family also includes the College Park Skyhawks (NBA G League) and Hawks Talon Gaming Club (NBA 2K League). Atlanta Hawks Membership, which includes your seat for every home game for the 2021-22 regular season, is on sale now at www.hawks.com/membership or by calling 866-715-1500. For more information on the Hawks, log on to www.hawks.com or follow us on social media @ATLHawks.
Ivory J. Strong
First Woman Telephone Installer, Southern Bell
“Live life to the fullest,” is the motto that I have always lived by.
I am the youngest of four daughters born to George and Irene Ford. My parents always instilled in me the value of hard work and independent thinking. These values led me to begin my career at the age of 17 as an operator for Southern Bell, currently BellSouth. This career path eventually provided me with the opportunity to become the first woman telephone installer in the Southern Bell south operating area.
As a young woman, I was an acclaimed athlete, exceling at tennis, basketball, volleyball, and softball. In fact, I was offered a college scholarship in tennis, but marriage and becoming a new mother put those dreams on hold. In achieving this accomplishment at Southern Bell, I faced many challenges from racism to gender bias. With my family’s support, I never allowed any of these challenges to prevent me from taking advantage of opportunities for promotion—from operator, to frame attendant, to telephone home installation and repair. I decided that I wanted to go further and so I applied to become a Customer System Engineer. The initial opportunity was given to a male, but with persistence, I was eventually given the chance. I attended hundreds of hours of training sessions to many cities across the country to gain the knowledge and certifications to be proficient in my job. As a Black woman in a male-dominated career, business and residential customers watched me work to ensure that I knew how to complete the installations properly. I have received many accolades for this achievement, including being featured in the September 1972 issue of Ebony magazine, appearing in the Miami Herald, and being interviewed by the reporter Molly Turner for Channel 10 News.
I ended my career at Southern Bell with over 32 years of service. I am very proud of this vocation and feel blessed to have provided the South Florida community with quality telephone service.
Currently, I am retired and enjoy spending time with my family of three children, eleven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
President & CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami
Gale Nelson was born in Lincoln, Nebraska and grew up in Toledo, Ohio where he began his pursuit of personal and professional success. Gale has worked his way up the ladder the hard way—always confident, determined and focused on his goals and building strong personal relationships. Gale earned his Bachelor of Business Administration in Corporate Finance from the University of Toledo (Toledo, OH) and his Master of Science in Management and Administration of Educational Programs from Nova Southeastern University (Davie, FL). Gale has earned eight doctoral hours in Non-Profit Leadership at Colorado Technical University (Colorado Springs, CO).
Some of Gale’s accomplishments include:
- December 2021: Children’s Trust David Lawrence “Champions for Children” Award (Ceremony to be held June 2022)
- April 2021: SFBJ 2021 South Florida Ultimate CEO Honoree
- February 2021: Power 250 List-South Florida Business Journal
- October 2018: Selected by Big Brothers Big Sisters of America for the Nonprofit Leadership program at Boston College.
- June 2018: Selected by the Harvard Business School to participate in the Strategic Perspectives in Non-Profit Management for CEO’s from around the world.
- March 2016: Recognized as one of the 12 Good Men of South Florida by the Ronald McDonald House
- February 2014: Recognized as one of South Florida’s Most Powerful Professionals in Business and Industry by Legacy Miami Magazine.
Gale’s professional career includes over 27 years of non-profit management and leadership experience. Currently, he is the President & CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami, and since joining the team in July 2006, he has played a significant role in the growth and development of the agency’s mentoring and fund development programs. In December 2021, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami was awarded the Pinnacle award and the Large Agency of the Year from Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. Prior to joining Big Brothers Big Sisters, he served as Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer at a moderate risk residential school for court adjudicated boys for twelve years.
Gale is a highly effective public speaker and the consummate strategist who provides solution-focused leadership. His faith and his family continue to keep him grounded in helping youth and families.
Chairman & CEO, Slip-N-Slide Records/Technolij
Ted Lucas, our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, born and raised in Miami Gardens, Florida is a 25-year veteran of the music business, and a true example of an ambitious entrepreneur. As the founder of legendary independent music label Slip-N-Slide Records, Mr. Lucas has been responsible for selling over 30 million records by discovering, signing, and developing Platinum-selling artists such as Trick Daddy, Trina, Rick Ross, Plies, and Jagged Edge. He has maintained long-term successful partnerships with entertainment conglomerates such as Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, and Sony Music Entertainment, generating sales of over 40 million albums and over 6 billion digital audio and video streams. Slip-N-Slide Records has also been spotlighted numerous times including Billboard recognizing Slip-N-Slide as the #1 Independent Record Label. Mr. Lucas is also the founder of First-N-Gold Publishing, a music publishing company with a catalog of 300+ music compositions, and the founder of Boss Man Management, an independent music management company.
Ted Lucas has also focused on endeavors that he felt would reflect positively on his hometown and community. Aside from his musical success as one of the most successful independent record label executives in the United States, Lucas is heavily involved with charitable organizations focusing on children’s education. The Ted Lucas Foundation is a non-profit organization aimed at helping youth in Miami’s inner cities improve their academic skills and to empower them to pursue manifesting their dreams into reality. Mr. Lucas believes in strong civic engagement and is always on-call to support forward-thinking leaders in Miami-Dade County for community enhancement projects. The Florida Bar Association’s Entertainment & Sports Law panel presented Lucas with the prestigious Tom Dowd Lifetime Achievement Award. Additionally, for his business and civic work, Mr. Lucas has been awarded The Keys to the City, to both Miami-Dade County declaring September 4th Ted Lucas Day, and The City of Miami Beach declared Ted Lucas Day December 13th.
Ted Lucas looks forward to expanding his brand across different platforms including television and film. When asked about the longevity of his company, Lucas states “One thing in the world besides God that will never run out of possibilities or exhaust its energy is entertainment and I plan to keep my concentration and faith focused on both of them.” If God brings you to it, he will bring you through it. Happy moments, Praise God. Difficult moments, Seek God. Quiet moments, Worship God. Painful moments, Trust God. Every moment, Thank God.
Former Deputy Mayor, Miami-Dade County
Maurice Kemp served as Deputy Mayor of Miami-Dade County, the largest county in the State of Florida and the eighth largest in the United States under the former Mayor Carlos M. Gimenez’s administration until his retirement on November 16, 2020.
Before he joined the Miami-Dade County, Mr. Kemp served as the Fire Chief for the City of Miami. He was the first ever African American to hold that position. Mr. Kemp joined the fire department in 1985 and worked diligently and with devotion to the community for over 30 years. In addition to being a firefighter, he is a certified paramedic and emergency medical technician.
As Deputy Mayor, Mr. Kemp used his knowledge of strategic and capital planning, human services, community planning and development, fire services, public administration, and budgeting to provide direct oversight to the Police, Fire, Corrections, Medical Examiner, Community Action and Human Services, Juvenile Services, and Public Housing and Community Development departments.
In addition to his public servant duties, Mr. Kemp is currently a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association, 5,000 Role Models of South Florida, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), to name a few.
Mr. Kemp has been recognized by the Belafonte Tacolcy Center (Honoring our Men Award, 2016), Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association (Fire Chief of the Year, 2016; and President’s Award for Distinction, 2015), and was inducted into the Miami Dade College Alumni Hall of Fame (2010).
He earned a Bachelor of Science degree with a concentration in biology from Allen University in South Carolina, and a master’s degree in Public Administration from Nova Southeastern University. Mr. Kemp also attended a program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at Harvard University in 2002.
Retired Area Manager, External Affairs, Florida Power & Light
Aletha Player exemplifies the adage: “So long as we love, we serve.” There is no greater testimony to Ms. Player’s love for this community than her unselfish service on various social, civic, and business boards.
Aletha Player served as an Area Manager in External Affairs at Florida Power & Light Company, the principal subsidiary of NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE). Florida Power & Light Company, is one of the largest investor-owned utilities in the U.S., serving approximately 11 million residents in Florida. NextEra Energy, Inc. is the parent company of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, which together with its affiliated entities, is the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from wind and sun and a world leader in battery storage?
Her responsibilities included managing strategic issues and relationships with cities and governmental and agencies in Miami Beach, Golden Beach, Sunny Isles Beach, Surfside, Aventura, Bal Harbour, Indian Creek, Miami Shores, Miami Gardens, North Bay Village, El Portal, Biscayne Park, Bay Harbor Islands, and parts of unincorporated Miami-Dade County.
Ms. Player’s civic involvement is extensive having served on many boards and committees for non-profit organizations such as Barry University’s Board of Trustees, and the Florida State Conference of the NAACP Board of Advisors. She also served as Vice Chair of the Aventura Marketing Council and was on the Chamber of Commerce Boards of Miami Beach, North Dade Regional, Vice Chair of the Miami-Dade, as well as the Women’s Fund of Miami. In addition, she was a member of the South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Ms. Player completed a two-year term as Chair of the Board of the North Dade Regional Chamber of Commerce. Formerly, she served on the Board of Aventura Hospital and Medical Center, Board of Directors of Community Crusade against Drugs, the Carrie Meek Foundation, Greater North Miami Chamber of Commerce. She completed a three-year term on the Florida Bar Grievance Committee. She is an active member of the Greater Miami Chapter of the Links and Diamond Life Member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.
She has the distinguished honor of being listed in the United States Congressional Record by United States Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson for her corporate involvement and community service to the South Florida Community. Ms. Player has also received several awards including recognition by ICABA’s editorial staff as one of the most accomplished black executives in South Florida, a Commendation from Miami-Dade County Office of the Mayor and Board of County Commissioners, and the Humanitarian Award from Florida Memorial University. She has been recognized for her dedication to the community from the Cities of Aventura, Miami, Miami Beach, North Miami, North Bay Village, Lotus House, and the South Florida Hispanic Chamber. She has also been recognized by both Bethune Cookman University and Florida Memorial University during their capital campaign fundraising efforts.
During her 45-year career with FPL, she held numerous positions including managing a Regional Customer Care Center and directing a highly trained technical staff in Sales & Marketing. As Area Manager of External Affairs, she was responsible for managing strategic corporate issues and relationships with governmental agencies and community-based organizations which could impact FPL, its customers, and shareholders.
Ms. Player holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Bethune Cookman University and master’s in business administration from the University of Miami. Ms. Player has completed Management Programs at the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University, Harvard Business School, Brookings Institute, and The Levinson Institute. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with family and friends.
Currently, Ms. Player serves as the Business Manager for the Miami Dade Chapter of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Alumni Association, and she is a volunteer on the Aventura Police department Community Ambassador Panel.
President, G Financial Group
Gerald holds an A.A. degree from Miami Dade College and both bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Business Administration from Florida International University. He also holds FINRA Series 7, 63, 65, 24, and 26 Securities Registrations and is insurance licensed. His experience and knowledge are now used to focus on providing estate planning strategies, wealth accumulation and protection strategies, life insurance, retirement planning, college funding strategies, and other financial services.
Gerald is an active member of the South Florida community and serves on the Board of Trustees for Florida International University (FIU). He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Adrienne Arscht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, and the Orange Bowl Foundation. He is also a member of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.-Theta Rho Sigma Chapter. Gerald is a past-President of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA), Miami-Dade Chapter, and a past- President of the Florida International University Alumni Association. He is also a past-Board Member of the United Way of Miami-Dade, Everglades Foundation, and the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce.
- Gerald is the author of the book BOLD MOVES to Creating Financial Wealth.
- He has been awarded the title of Retirement Planning Specialist by Equitable Advisors, after receiving a Certificate in Retirement Planning from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
- Gerald was the recipient of the 2018 Non-Profit Business Innovative Excellence for Outstanding Board Leader for Florida International University by the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce.
- In March 2014, Gerald was selected when FIU named its first ever “Alumnus of the Year” since inception of the university in 1972.
- Gerald was the recipient of the 2012 Darwin Davis Award for Community Service for his extraordinary contributions in public service, community development, community service, and volunteerism.
- He was AXA Advisors “2011 National Honor Associate” – The First African American to win this prestigious award since its institution over seventy years ago.
- In March 2011, he was inducted to the FIU’s – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Hall of Fame and was inducted, on May 10, 2011, to the Miami Dade College (MDC) Hall of Fame.
Gerald lives in Palmetto Bay, Florida, with his wife, Jennifer.
Bishop Thomas Scott
22nd Street Church of God, Tampa, Florida
Bishop Thomas Scott born to the late William Scott and the late Jessie Lee Scott is a native of Macon, Georgia. Bishop Scott was called to the ministry in August 1971 under the ministry of Rev. G. H. Williams at the Community Church of God in Macon, Georgia. He is a graduate of The University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida where he earned a B.A. in Criminal Justice and a Minor in Sociology. He attended the Assembly of God Theological Seminary with a M.A. in Biblical Studies. He is also a recipient of a Doctor of Divinity degree conferred upon him by the Southern California School of Ministry in 1995, and a Doctor of Humane Letters conferred July 29, 2006, from Florida Metropolitan University.
In November 1996, Bishop Scott was elected to the Hillsborough County
Commission and was re-elected two additional terms. He served as the Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners from November 1997 through November 1998. He was re-elected as chairman for two additional terms in November 2002 and 2003.
He was elected to the Tampa City Council where he was sworn in on April 1, 2007.
Bishop Scott is a man who cares deeply for the community as is reflected in his service on the: Aviation Authority, Hillsborough County Hospital Authority, Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority, Florida State Fair Authority, Metropolitan Planning Organization, Tampa Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau, Public Transportation Commission, Emergency Policy Board and many more boards and agencies.
Bishop Scott became the Pastor of the 22nd Street Church of God in April 1980 and led the church in building a new edifice, which is now named the Thirty-Fourth Street Church of God where he has served as senior pastor for 42 years. Bishop Thomas Scott was elevated to the Bishopric and consecrated, November 13, 2015 as a Bishop in the Berean Fellowship where His Grace Bishop Timothy J. Clarke is the Presiding Prelate.
The church has grown from 50 members to over 800 members. His vision includes the opening of King’s Kids Christian Academy, which is one of the premier schools in Tampa, Florida, the Tampa Bay Family & Community Development Corporation, The SHARE ministry and many other ministries that are reaching and touching lives. He also serves as the Chairman of the Florida State Association of the Church of God.
Bishop Scott has been married to his lovely wife Marva for 46 years. They have two sons (Marcus and Marlon), one daughter (Marla), and 12 grandchildren.
Estrellita “Lo” Berry
Estrellita “Lo” Berry, M.A, serves as President and CEO of REACHUP, Inc., a non-profit whose mission is to advocate for and mobilize resources to help communities achieve equality in healthcare and positive health for families. Lo is Affiliate Faculty, University of South Florida, College of Public Health, Department of Community and Family Health. She is Project Director and Principal Investigator for Central Hillsborough (Federal) Healthy Start and oversees 10 social service programs at REACHUP, Inc. Lo serves on the Boards of Hillsborough County Healthy Start Coalition, March of Dimes, Florida Bay Division, FL Maternal Mortality Review Committee, and the Florida Perinatal Quality Collaborative Steering Committee.
Lo has co-authored numerous peer-reviewed publications including Healthy Start Program and feto-infant morbidity outcomes: Evaluation of program effectiveness and Community-Academic partnerships to reduce black-white disparities in infant mortality in Florida. Committed to increasing health equity, reducing infant mortality and eliminating disparities, most recently, Lo received The 2021 Lawton Chiles Advocacy and Service Award, Children’s Week and The Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation Community Hero Award in 2021.
Lo is a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Gamma Theta Omega Chapter. Lo received her undergraduate degree in Clinical Psychology and Master’s in Education and Community Counseling at the University of Evansville, Evansville Indiana. Lo is the proud grandmother of Bryson Samuel Berry and Aaron Ellis Berry, whose parents are her son Aaron and daughter-in law Tiffany Berry. She has been married 44 years to Rev. Dr. George E. Berry.
Judge Perry Little
Through his work spanning more than 40 years and as the second African American appointed to the bench in Hillsborough County, which is the longest tenure for an African American judge in the county’s history, Judge Perry A. Little has helped shape our community forever. Judge Little is husband to Sonjia Latson Little and father of three: Matthew (Nandie), Marissa and Josie. He is also the proud grandfather of four girls, Reigan, Ivy, Gabrielle and Eden, and a member of Beulah Baptist Church.
Judge Little was born and educated in Georgia. He received his undergraduate degree from Morehouse College and his law degree from Emory University. After completing law school, he took a position at a legal clinic where he could have a larger community impact over a federal position he was offered in Washington, D.C.
At a time when windows and doors were just beginning to open for African Americans in the legal profession, Judge Little was appointed to the bench in Hillsborough County in 1977 by Governor Rubin Askew, where he presided for more than 12 years. He was the second African American in the county’s history to be appointed, standing on the shoulders of Judge George Edgecomb, who only served three years as a county judge due to illness, but set the highest of standards for his colleagues to follow. The 1970s were a transformative time for communities as desegregation orders blanketed the nation while raising the profile of diversity at all levels of government. With the vital role our courts play in our democracy, economy and daily lives, a more diverse judiciary brings greater confidence in our justice system and is an important step toward a more just and equal America. In 1993, Governor Lawton Chiles appointed Judge Little to the Circuit Court where he served in the Juvenile and Circuit Civil Divisions until his retirement in 2007.
Much of Judge Little’s Circuit experience was dedicated to positively impacting the lives of juveniles and young adults through his legal decisions, who he continues to serve as an inspiration. Judge Little retired to care for his aging father in Georgia but continues to lend his judicial expertise as a Senior Judge for the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit and assists other judges to ensure each case is given the time and care it deserves. He has been recognized for his extensive commitment to service through various awards, including the 2018 Distinguished Leadership Award from the Black Law Students Association at WMU-Cooley Law School’s Tampa Bay campus.
Madam Speaker, on behalf of the Tampa Bay community, it gives me immense pride to honor a great public servant this Black History Month. Judge Little is a man faithful to his family and community and is unparalleled in service to his neighbors.
Kevin B. Sneed, Pharm.D., FNPHA, FNAP
Senior Associate Vice President, USF Health
Dean and Professor, University of South Florida Taneja College of Pharmacy
Dr. Sneed is a tenured Professor and the founding Dean of the University of South Florida/ USF Health Taneja College of Pharmacy. He also serves as Senior Associate Vice-President for USF Health. His educational background includes a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology with a concentration in Microbiology from the University of Central Florida. Dr. Sneed received his Doctor of Pharmacy Degree from Xavier University of Louisiana College of Pharmacy, where he received numerous clinical and leadership awards. He completed an Ambulatory Care/ Primary Care Pharmacy Practice Specialty Residency at Bay Pines Veteran’s Administration Medical Center. Dr. Sneed remains clinically engaged as a clinical pharmacist focused on metabolic syndrome disorders, community infectious processes, and clinical health inequities. His interprofessional clinical activities occur in the USF Health Department of Family Medicine, where he serves as a primary care clinical pharmacotherapist treating patients with chronic cardiovascular disorders. He is also a member of the USF Athletics Sports Medicine team. He has earned the distinction of Distinguished Fellow of the National Academies of Practice, and Fellow of the National Pharmaceutical Association.
Dr. Sneed’s clinical and research interests include the advanced pharmacological treatment of patients with Cardio-Metabolic Disorders, examining Health Care Disparities, and Emerging Health Technologies. He is a national lecturer on these topics. Recent research interests include the application of mobile health technologies, digital health applications, cardio-metabolic disorders, and applied clinical pharmacogenomics. Dr. Sneed created USF Health Pharmacy Plus, which he touts as “The Pharmacy of the Future!” Dr. Sneed was a Co-Investigator/ Co-Director in a NIH-funded Center of Excellence known as the Center for Equal Health (CEH), a partnership between USF Health and the Moffitt Cancer Center. He remains active in numerous community healthcare-focused activities. Dr. Sneed directs an innovative community initiative known as WE-CARE (Workgroup Enhancing Community Advocacy and Research Engagement) to improve underserved communities’ participation in clinical research. WE-CARE focused its activities on providing numerous virtual Covid-19 virus, therapeutics, and vaccine educational sessions to people from diverse communities. He also directed a program known as IN-SHAPE (Inter-professional Student Health Assessment Project and Evaluation), which addressed cardiovascular disparities in Tampa, FL. Dr. Sneed has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters, abstracts, and poster presentations. He has participated in many federal, state, and industry grant projects, and as a Co-Principal Investigator in multiple medication clinical trials.
Dr. Sneed serves on the American Heart Association Tampa Metro Board, Board of Directors (2017-present; President 2017-2019), Association of Black Cardiologists, Board of Directors (2017-present, Secretary 2020-present); American Heart Association -Council of Clinical Cardiology (Vice-Chair); Area Health Education Center- USF (Gulfcoast North), Board of Directors (2007-present); is a past Chairman of the Health Equity Committee for the American Heart Association- Greater Southeast Affiliate- (Board of Directors)
He participates in many community endeavors on an annual basis. Dr. Sneed is very active in national and state organizations, among which include AHA, ABC, NPHA, AACP, FPA, FSHP, ASHP, Sigma Pi Phi, and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
Senior Advisor to the President, National Urban League
Don Bowen is a servant leader, team and organization builder, and an expert in helping not for profit organizations achieve greater impact and financial empowerment.
Known for his integrity, candor, willingness to help, and driven by an intense sense of fair play, Don is recognized as a courageous champion of racial and economic justice and equity. He has helped develop innovative solutions that have helped thousands of people achieve better quality of life outcomes and realize more of their full potential.
Don currently serves as a Senior Advisor to National Urban League President and CEO, Marc H. Morial. Prior to this role, Don had a stellar and unique Urban League career spanning over thirty-five years which included holding senior leadership positions on both the local and national levels. From 1991-2006, Don served as the President and CEO of the Urban League of Broward County. Under his innovative and tenacious leadership, this affiliate became one of the leading, most effective, and financial empowered affiliates in the country and since his departure it has continued to grow and enhance its position as a leading affiliate and premier not for profit organization. In September 2005 Don first joined the National Urban League as an executive on loan responsible for the League’s Hurricane Katrina Relief efforts. In 2006 Don became the Chief Program Officer of the National Urban League and was responsible for managing all the League’s programming on a national basis. In 2013, Don co-founded and became the President of the Urban Empowerment Fund, a subsidiary of the National Urban League and a CDFI designed to help minority businesses gain access to capital, grow, and build individual and community wealth.
A New Jersey native, Bowen holds a master’s degree in Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University. He and his wife currently reside outside of Charlotte and in addition to playing tennis and trying to play golf, Don enjoys spending time with his family which includes three adult children, one bonus son, their spouses and five grandchildren.
Executive Director, Neighbors and Neighbors Association Incorporated
Executive Director, Black Economic Development Coalition (Tools for Change)
Lead Organizer, Circle of Brotherhood
Mr. Leroy Jones was born in Savannah, Georgia. At the early age of nine, his family moved to Miami Dade County, Florida. After arrival in Miami Dade County, Leroy attended Fredrick Douglas Elementary School in Overtown. The new environment in which Leroy found himself was not too encouraging and promoting the kind of productive life a young person would typically pursue. Like many of his peers and the social prospects of that time, Leroy became attracted to limited goals and hopes. He dropped out of school and seemingly took the road to nowhere. To Mr. Jones’ credit, he paid his debt to society, and above all, he never lost the inner urge to prove to himself, his family, and others he was somebody. Leroy decided to return to school and completed his high school credits and beyond as a seasoned adult. He graduated from Dr. D. A. Dorsey Education Center. Leroy takes great pride in saying and putting into practice that he earned his “Master’s Degree” from the streets of Overtown, Liberty City, Larchmont Project, and life. While his formal education has helped, his life experiences have taught him the value of humility, human understanding, and helping others.
Despite the many obstacles he faced, Mr. Jones never lost sight of his goal and deepened his craving to become a redemptive and positive force within his community. As a result, Mr. Jones has gained more than thirty years of experience providing aid to others. He has devoted his time, knowledge, and business acumen to giving technical assistance to the small business community throughout Miami Dade County. To make his dream a reality, Leroy created and organized the Miami-Dade County Mom and Pop Small Business Program, the City of Miami Ex-Offender Revolving Loan Program, currently known as the Micro-Enterprise Business Assistance Grant Program. As well as manage the Employ Miami Dade Initiative Program for the Mayor of Miami Dade County. One of Mr. Jones’ most awarding achievements is the creation of the non-profit organization Neighbors and Neighbors Association (NANA) Incorporation, which oversees five business incubators throughout Miami-Dade County. Through NANA, Mr. Jones offers business workshops, training on business start-ups, obtaining licenses, preparing grants and other financial assistance, and general operations of a successful business. Over the year’s small businesses have received more than $35,000,000 in grants and loans thanks to Mr. Leroy Jones.
Mr. Jones is exceptionally proud of his latest venture, building affordable housing for low to moderate-income Miami-Dade County residents.
In 1998 Mr. Jones received the distinctive Medal of Merit Award from Miami-Dade County for his service to the county’s residents. In 2010 he received the African American Achievers Award from JM Family for entrepreneurs.
Presently, Mr. Leroy Jones is the Executive Director of Neighbors and Neighbors Association Incorporated, the Executive Director of the Black Economic Development Coalition (Tools for Change), and the Lead Organizer of the Circle of Brotherhood.
The Florida Sentinel Bulletin
In December 1945, C. Blythe Andrews re-opened the doors of the Florida Sentinel newspaper at 1511 Central Avenue. The original Florida Sentinel was founded in 1919, In Jacksonville, Florida by Mr. Andrews’ father, General William W. Andrews. The newspaper folded during the Great Depression.
In 1959, Mr. Andrews bought the Tampa Bulletin, merging the two papers, becoming the Tampa Florida Sentinel Bulletin. With a staff of seven, consisting of his wife, John, two sons, C. Blythe, Jr. and W.W. (now a physician) and 3 others, the one-time weekly began publishing twice weekly.
In 1962, due to Urban Renewal, The Sentinel office was moved to its present location, 2207 C. Blythe Andrews Road. Mr. Andrews remained the publisher until his health failed in 1976. His son, C. Blythe Andrews, Jr., became editor-in-chief after his father’s death on April 2, 1977.
In December 1996, Mr. Andrews Jr., turned over the reins of publisher to his daughter, S Kay Andrews and his son C. Blythe lll, became president and comptroller, Mrs. Gwendolyn Hayes was named editor.
The Sentinel has been serving the Tampa community for 70 plus years. It is the only African-American publication a in Florida that prints twice weekly and owns all its own printing equipment. The Sentinel distributes throughout the U.S. through subscriptions and has door-to-door and news rack sales in Hillsborough, Pasco, Polk and Pinellas counties.