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 30th edition of our Black History Month Digital Calendar. We are proud to salute these distinguished Black leaders who serve as exemplary role models for present and future generations.
Check out these leaders and others we’ll be spotlighting throughout the month:
- Tony Jenkins
- Monica R. Richardson
- Russell Benford
- Dr. Germaine Smith-Baugh
- Dexter A. Bridgeman
- Thomas Eugene, Jr.
- Barbara J. Jordan
- Lucia Davis-Raiford, J.D.
- Jawan Strader
- Sonia W. Garcia
- Charles Davis
- Chloe J. Coney
- Justice Peggy A. Quince
- Dr. Ken Atwater
- Tina Brown
For more information on AT&T’s other DE&I Initiatives, click here.
Market President, Central Florida Region, Blue Cross Blue Shield
Tony Jenkins is the Market President for the Central Florida region where he provides strategic oversight and leads a team in developing business plans to increase and retain membership, enhance brand visibility and coordinate employee engagement
Jenkins was instrumental in establishing Florida Blue’s diversity efforts in 2001. Prior to joining Florida Blue, Jenkins served as Director of Diversity for CSX Corporation, the largest rail network in the eastern United States, and he spent 18 years with the Walt Disney World Company in various leadership roles, specializing in Hospitality Management and Human Resources.
Under Jenkins’ leadership in Central Florida, Florida Blue has been recognized as a Best Place to Work, an Outstanding Diverse Organization and a Corporate Philanthropy honoree.
Jenkins is an advocate for several causes throughout the Orlando Community. He is the past Chair for United Arts of Central Florida and the Florida Commission on Human Relations. He currently serves on the board of Florida Citrus Sports and is a Board Trustee at Stetson University. Jenkins is the current Chair for the Orlando Economic Partnership board, and also serves as Chair for their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force, engaging Orlando’s business leaders across varied industries.
Jenkins has been recognized by the Orlando Business Journal as one of Central Florida’s Top 10 Businessmen to Watch and as CEO of the Year. Most recently, he received the publication’s Diversity in Business Lifetime Achievement Award. He is also an i4 Business Magazine Business Leader of the Year recipient. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in hospitality management from Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Ga.
Monica R. Richardson
Vice President of News for Large Markets, McClatchy
Monica R. Richardson is the Vice President of Local News for the McClatchy digital media
publishing company. Richardson was promoted to this role in February 2023.
She oversees all news operations for McClatchy’s six large markets – in Florida, Missouri, California, North Carolina and Texas – ensuring that they achieve the highest ambitions of local journalism, extend their unmatched record of audience growth and establish the newsrooms as the preeminent local media brands.
The six markets she oversees include the Miami Herald, Sacramento Bee, Kansas City Star, Charlotte Observer, Raleigh News & Observer and Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Prior to this role, Richardson served for two years as the Executive Editor of the Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald, and Regional Florida Editor for McClatchy Newspapers, which included the Bradenton Herald and Florida Keys News online. She led these award-winning newsrooms focused on audience and digital subscription growth as well as engagement in diverse communities.
Richardson, a Pulitzer Prize winning-editor, made history when she was named the first African-American editor in the news organization’s 117-year history. Before Miami, she spent 15 years as an editor in various roles at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
She has and continues to serve on journalism industry boards, local nonprofit boards and as a community advocate and volunteer for various organizations. She has a passion for mentoring entry-level journalists and aspiring editors, journalists of color, and women in leadership. She is a passionate advocate for diversity, inclusion and equity initiatives that empower and inspire across generations.
Richardson grew up in the DC/VA area and is the single mother of a busy girl who she adopted from the Texas foster care system at age 2.
Recent Awards and Honors
- 2023 Sulzberger Executive Leadership Fellow-Columbia Journalism School
- Received the South Florida Most Influential African-American Award from Miami Legacy Magazine
- 2022 History Maker Award from the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project Foundation, founded by Congresswoman Frederica Wilson
- 2021 Congressional Record of Honor Recipient
- Listed among “The First, but Not the Last, Women Leaders of South Florida,” an inaugural award presented by the YWCA of South Florida
- Named among Editor and Publisher’s 2021 Top Ten Women to Watch
- 2021-22 Women Unlimited, Inc. LEAD (Learn, Engage, Achieve, Deliver) graduate
Recent Work History
Before joining McClatchy, Richardson was the Senior Managing Editor for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, part of Cox Enterprises Inc. She held various leadership roles over 14 years at the AJC and was promoted to the Senior ME role in February 2018. Before that she served as the AJC’s Digital Managing Editor, helping to shape and lead digital strategy in a newsroom that has produced award-winning journalism.
Richardson’s experience has included leadership over teams responsible for digital platforms (website, mobile, newsletters) and social media platforms as well as large teams of daily and breaking news reporters, digital audience specialists and senior editors. She has also overseen audience engagement and assisted in facilitating new content tools through artificial intelligence and content partnerships.
She has led newsrooms through challenging strategic shifts with content and business strategy, aimed at supporting strong journalism brands through audience growth. She is a people and collaborative leader who has built new teams and throughout her career focused as much on people and teams as she has on the bottom-line business needs. She also fosters a culture of innovation and experimentation in her leadership.
Her experience has included work on building strategic business and vendor partnerships, as well as non-profit and grant partnerships with newsrooms.
In addition to daily duties related to content and overall newsroom management, she collaborates across business units including Technology, Consumer Revenue, Marketing and Advertising.
In addition to Florida and Georgia, Richardson has worked at newspapers in Kentucky and Virginia. She has been a member of various journalism industry associations. She has been named among the Atlanta Business League’s Top 100 Women of Vision for 5 consecutive years and has served as an esteemed juror to the national Pulitzer Prize board.
Vice President, Government Relations, Americas, Royal Caribbean Group
Russell Benford currently serves as Vice President of Government Relations, Americas for Royal Caribbean Group. Russell is responsible for the Group’s government relations throughout North, Central and South America and the Caribbean. Russell’s professional experience includes more than 20 years in government. Most recently, he served as Deputy Mayor of Miami- Dade County. During his six-year tenure, he had direct oversight of Police, Fire Rescue, Corrections and Rehabilitation, Medical Examiner, Public Housing and Community Development, Community Action and Human Services and Juvenile Services. Prior to his role at Miami-Dade County, Russell held several leadership roles within Florida, including City Manager of the City of North Miami and City Administrator of the City of West Park. Mr. Benford also served as Village Manager of Hawthorn Woods, Illinois. Russell is actively involved in community organizations, serving on the Board of Directors of the Jessie Trice Community Health System Foundation, FIU Center for Leadership, Achieve Miami and The Orange Bowl Committee. He is also a member of the 100 Black Men of South Florida and the 5,000 Role Models of Excellence Project. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oberlin College, and a Master’s degree in Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin, where he concentrated in Public Administration and Management and was named a Woodrow Wilson Public Policy and International Studies Fellow.
Dr. Germaine Smith-Baugh
President & CEO, Urban League of Broward County
Dr. Germaine Smith-Baugh has dedicated more than two decades of service to the Urban League Movement and is currently the only female CEO to lead a National Urban League affiliate in Florida.
Since being named President and CEO in 2006, Dr. Baugh has elevated the profile of the Urban League of Broward County (ULBC)to a premier nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting social and economic advancement in underserved communities.
The ULBC now boasts more than $21 million in assets while also governing state appropriated funds for seven other Urban League affiliates. During her tenure, Dr. Baugh not only spearheaded the opening of an iconic $9 million Community Empowerment Center located in the Historic Sistrunk neighborhood of Fort Lauderdale, she was instrumental in securing Greater Fort Lauderdale as the destination for the National Urban League Conference, which attracted over 13,000 attendees and generated an estimated economic impact of $10 million for the region.
A champion for economic empowerment, with a depth of expertise in organizational leadership and enhancing equity and inclusion within the business community, she also led the development of the Entrepreneurship Center and Small Business Loan Fund to expand access to capital and opportunities for minority business owners.
Notably, the Central County Development Corporation, the ULBC subsidiary which supports economic development efforts of the Entrepreneurship Center and The Small Loan Fund, was designated as a Certified Development Financial Corporation (CDFI) by the US Treasury Department.
Dr. Baugh’s philanthropic leadership, which has always been rooted in service, extends well beyond her work with ULBC. She currently serves on local, statewide, and national boards including Florida Community Loan Fund, The Commonwealth Institute of South Florida, and Grounded Solutions Network Board of Directors. She is also the founding member of the Florida State University Chapter of SISTUHS, an organization established to foster the personal growth and development of African American women which has now expanded to multiple chapters across the East Coast.
Recognized for breakthrough leadership by both the nonprofit industry and her peers, Dr. Baugh is a graduate of Leadership Florida Class XXXIV and was inducted into The Jim Moran’s Institute of South Florida Fellows and Broward County Women’s Hall of Fame.
Dr. Baugh was also named as Broward County’s 100 Outstanding Women; featured as one of the South Florida Business Journal’s Ultimate CEOs; and awarded distinguished leadership and service honors from Broward Black Elected Officials, Delta Sigma Theta, and United Way of Broward County.
In 2018, she received the African American Achiever Award in Community Service by JM Family Enterprises. In 2020, Dr. Baugh received the Making Our Community Stronger by Be Strong International.
Despite all her professional and rewarding philanthropic achievements, Dr. Baugh points to her role as proud wife to Paul and loving mother to Allan and Victoria as her greatest accomplishments.
Born in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, Dr. Baugh credits her success to a strong commitment to her faith and family, and the demonstration of strong work ethics by her parents. Dr. Baugh holds a doctorate in Organizational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University, a bachelor’s degree in Business Communications and a Master of Social Work from Florida State University.
Dexter A. Bridgeman
Founder & CEO, M•I•A Media Group LLC
Dexter A. Bridgeman is CEO and founder of M•I•A Media Group LLC, which maintains the largest distribution of media content that editorializes the success and achievement of the Black community in South Florida. Established in 2004, the company produces content on three media platforms: print, online, and digital media.
In print, he publishes Legacy Miami, Legacy South Florida, and M•I•A magazines. Legacy Miami and Legacy South Florida are business and news publications serving South Florida’s Black community with insightful articles and information about business, careers, politics, education, culture and social commentary. M•I•A magazine is a luxury, lifestyle and entertainment publication serving South Florida’s Black community. It is the official publication of Jazz in the Gardens, the American Black Film Festival, the Greater Miami Conventions and Visitors Bureau’s Art of Black, the Miami Book Festival, and the Orange Blossom Classic. The publications are distributed bi-monthly as inserts in the Miami Herald and the Sun-Sentinel newspapers, which reach more than one million readers.
M•I•A Media Group’s robust digital presence includes an informative online newsletter that is distributed three times per week. On Monday, its “Success Profiles” highlights Black achievers based on their success and contributions to the community. It recognizes a Black luminary, Black business, Black entrepreneur, a young Black professional and more. Wednesday’s “Calendar of Events,” is a comprehensive listing of Black events in South Florida. Friday’s “About Town” is a weekly wrap up of its publications, video programs, information and news that has taken place in the Black community.
In digital media, M•I•A Media Group produces six weekly video programs streamed on social media platforms. “The Business of Black Business”, streamed Monday at 1 p.m., features live interviews with successful Black entrepreneurs and advocates of Black business who share their inspirational stories about starting from the bottom and reaching their apex of success.
On Tuesday, “My Money Your Money” is streamed at 7 p.m. The show discusses topics such as how to build generational wealth, wealth management and securing and growing personal finances in the Black community. “SOUL,” streamed Wednesday at 7 p.m., is an entertainment show featuring topics including: fashion, culture, culinary arts, relationships, and mental health. On Thursday at noon, “Lunch with Legacy Leaders,” invites national and local thought leaders to discuss issues impacting South Florida’s Black community. “The Flavor of South Florida,” streamed Thursday at 7 p.m., is a review of South Florida’s best Black restaurants. Lastly, “Black Health,” streamed Friday at 2 p.m., discusses medical issues afflicting the Black community.
Bridgeman has served on a variety of civic boards. He is an active board member of the YWCA and the Miami Music Project. He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the: 2020 Miami-Dade County Black Affairs Advisory Board Black History Month “Triumphant Spirits” honoree; 2019 Dexter Foster Small Business of the Year Award presented by the Miami Dade Chamber of Commerce; and 2018 NAACP Miami-Dade Branch Media & Communications Award. Bridgeman, a native of New York City, is a graduate of Hofstra University located in Long Island, NY and is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated. He and his wife Michelle are inspired by cultural arts and are avid collectors of African/Black Art.
Thomas Eugene Jr.
DEI Executive, Florida Panthers
Thomas helps lead the DEI & Multicultural efforts for the Florida Panthers and FLA LIVE Arena. As a DEI Executive, he focuses on the three pillars that support shapes the areas of opportunity: Workforce, Workplace, and Marketplace. Before his position, Thomas helped lead the group sales efforts for the Panthers. Before joining the Panthers in Feb 2020, Thomas spent 12 seasons with the Miami Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium as the Senior Account Executive in Group Sales, generating over 9 million dollars in tickets sales. During his 12 seasons, Thomas led the group sales team in revenue and units sold during his tenure in the NFL. Thomas most notable moment was going on a mission trip with the Miami Dolphins to Haiti after Hurricane Matthew in 2016
Thomas currently serves on the Board of Directors for Sant-La Haitian Neighborhood Center of South Florida, is a former Board Member of CHARLEE Program of Dade County, Life-member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc, and 5000 Role Model of Excellence Project
Thomas enjoys traveling, volunteering time with children, and camping. He is a proud graduate of The University of Florida in Gainesville, where he received an undergraduate degree in Psychology and later obtained an MBA from American Intercontinental University.
Barbara J. Jordan
Miami-Dade County, Former District 1 County Commissioner
Barbara J. Jordan was born in New York City but grew up in South Miami-Dade, where she learned the value of hard work – sometimes working in the bean fields with her family. She attended a segregated public school system and subsequently graduated from Arthur and Polly Mays High School in Goulds. In 1965, she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a minor in Psychology from Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia. In 1986, she received a Master of Science degree in Human Services from Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Florida.
Over the next 34 years, Jordan would enjoy an illustrious career with Miami-Dade County, starting with Head Start. As a Public Administrator, she was responsible for the creation of a number of programs and organizations, which helped to empower young people and prepare them for future economic independence through employment opportunities. One of her most proud professional achievements was the formation of the Greater Miami Service Corps, a program that helps troubled youth to realize their potential, return to education, secure employment, and achieve self-reliance.
In 1997, Jordan was appointed Assistant County Manager, serving in that capacity for seven years. In that role, she oversaw county departments that promoted social and economic independence and addressed complex social issues. Some of those departments included Miami-Dade Housing Agency, Office of Community and Economic Development, Department of Business Development, Metro-Miami Action Plan, Consumer Services, Human Resources, Community Action Agency and the Department of Human Services.
In 2004, she was tapped by outgoing Commissioner Betty Ferguson to run for the Board of County Commissioners. In spite of being virtually unknown communitywide, Jordan was able to defeat a former Mayor and State Legislator by more than 20 percent of the electoral vote.
As Commissioner for District 1, she represents the Cities of Opa-Locka and Miami Gardens, as well as unincorporated communities that include California Club, Ives Estates and Country Club Lakes.
In 2007, Jordan was elected by her colleagues to serve as Vice-Chairperson of the County Commission and Chair of the Transit Committee for a two-year term. Her current committee assignments include Transportation and Finance, and she is the Chairwoman of Infrastructure and Capital Improvements. She is also a member of the Transportation Planning Organization, Youth Crime Taskforce and CareerSource Florida.
Commissioner Jordan was elected unopposed for a fourth and final term in 2016. During that span, Jordan has championed several issues facing minorities and the underprivileged. She has been a leader in the areas of affordable housing, small business development, children and senior programs, while fostering continuous economic development within her district. Since taking office, she has directed the infusion of more than $70 million in construction and infrastructure projects including road resurfacing, drainage improvements, sidewalk installation, speed calming devices, road beautification, affordable and elderly housing and home rehabilitation and beautification programs. She has also provided resources for the creation and development of the Opa-locka Branch Library, the restoration of the historic Opa-locka City Hall and a $5 million allocation to Florida Memorial University for the construction of a Multi-Purpose Arena. Her leadership has also fostered more than $500 million in public and private investments at Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport; including the $150 million Carrie Meek International Business Park, which is home to the new Amazon Fulfillment Center. As commissioner, she also sponsors numerous community events that celebrate the rich culture and diversity of District 1 including the Black Heritage Festival and Hispanic Heritage Festival. Other events that she sponsors are Foster, Adoptive, Kinship & Independent Living Commemorative Ceremony, Valentine’s Day Dance for Seniors, Music in the Park jazz concert series, Summer Youth Internship Initiative (SYII), Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway, Holiday Toy Giveaway, and Small-Business workshops.
Commissioner Jordan’s presence in the community garners many requests for speaking engagements. In 2012 she delivered the Spring Commencement address to Florida Memorial University’s largest graduating class. President Henry Lewis III presented Commissioner Jordan an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters.
Throughout her exemplary career, Commissioner Jordan has been able to balance her life with strong family support. She was married to her husband, Eddie, who passed away in 2017, for over 50 years. She has two adult daughters; Gidget and Winnie; six grandchildren – Neffeteria, Elijah, Jeremiah, Gabrielle, Jamie, and Kerri; and four great grandbabies, Naima Amy, Tray-von Jr., Nova and Tahj.
Lucia Davis-Raiford, J.D.
President & CEO, The Carrie Meek Foundation, Inc.
Lucia is president and CEO of The Carrie Meek Foundation, the private foundation advancing Congresswoman Carrie P. Meek’s legacy to improve life in South Florida through Education, Housing, Health and Economic Development, focused on historically underserved communities. Lucia had a noted career in public administration. She served as founding director of New York City Police Department’s Domestic Violence Unit, becoming the highest-ranking operations civilian at NYPD. She then joined Miami-Dade County as division director of Human Rights and Fair Employment Practices, eventually serving as director of Community Action and Human Services, where she empowered residents through the provision of comprehensive social services.
Raised in Miami, Florida, Lucia attended Bennett College and earned her Juris Doctor from Antioch School of Law in Washington, D.C. A champion for women’s rights and giving back to her community, she is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., The Links, Incorporated, and has volunteered with The Women’s Fund and a host of local and national organizations.
Journalist, NBC 6 South Florida
Jawan Strader is an Emmy award-winning journalist and one of South Florida’s most recognizable news figures. Strader co-anchors NBC 6 news, weeknights at 5, 6 and 11 p.m. with Jackie Nespral. And he’s also host of Voices with Jawan Strader, a community affairs show, dedicated to the black community and the disenfranchised.
Strader brings more than 20 years of experience in journalism to the anchor desk, covering some of the biggest and most impactful stories that have touched South Florida and the country.
He is known to go to the heart of breaking news stories especially those that impact South Florida. In 2018, Jawan Strader received an Emmy Award for his anchoring of the heartbreaking Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting and the Hollywood Hills nursing home tragedy where 12 seniors died after Hurricane Irma. He was the only South Florida anchor in the field covering the church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina. The day after the terrorist shooting inside Pulse nightclub, Strader was there in Orlando speaking with the victims and sharing their stories with viewers. He was in Havana, Cuba to cover former president Obama’s historic trip.
Strader is originally from Indianapolis, Indiana, but has called South Florida home for over a decade. His career has taken him from South Bend, Indiana, to Tulsa, Austin, Washington D.C., Cleveland, and Miami.
The Indiana university journalism and speech communications graduate joined WTVJ/NBC 6 in 2012. Before joining WTVJ, he worked at the local CBS affiliate where he was a weekend anchor, 10 p.m. anchor and morning anchor and hosted a community affairs show.
Jawan has won a number of Emmy awards including two for Anchoring. And in 2018 the Miami New Times recognized Strader as the Best News Anchor. In 2016 he received the Media Excellence award from CCNN Live for Best News Anchor.
Aside from his journalism skills, Strader is known for the hard work he does in the community. Strader received the award of distinction for Media Coverage of Public Education by the education fund of Miami-Dade. And legacy magazine named Strader one of South Florida’s most powerful and influential black people.
Strader is a mentor to a number of young journalists and a role model mentor for 5000 role models of excellence, member of the National Association of Black journalists, 100 Black Men of South Florida and Kappa Alpha PSI Fraternity, Inc.
Strader is also a motivational speaker who has inspired students and employees from different businesses across South Florida to believe in themselves and overcome obstacles. He is a strong believer in mentoring and helping others. Strader credits his mother with laying a strong foundation as a single-parent to make sure he overcame obstacles.
Most importantly, Strader is a proud father and husband. He loves spending time with his family and wife, Yolanda.
Sonia W. Garcia
Former Library Administrator, University of South Florida
Sonja W. Garcia is a former University of South Florida Library Administrator and a former member of the USF Board of Trustees. Sonja broke barriers as the first Black person hired on the educational staff at the University of South Florida. She was the first African American woman to be appointed to the University’s Board of Trustees.
Mrs. Garcia earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University and a Master of Arts degree in Library and Information Science from USF. Mrs. Garcia is the recipient of the Jean Key Gates Distinguished Alumni Award, presented by the USF School of Library and Information Science. She is also a recipient of the Kente Award presented by the President’s African American Advisory Committee.
In 2012, St. Peter Claver Catholic School named her as their Volunteer of the Year. She also started the Sonja W. Garcia Leader Scholarship that is awarded annually to college-bound graduates of North Hillsborough and Pasco Counties.
A proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (1968), an international women’s organization, historically committed to leadership and to serving communities and families throughout the nation and beyond, Sonja has served as President of the Gamma Theta Omega Chapter, (1972-73; 1982-83); South Atlantic Regional Director, (Florida, Georgia, South Carolina) (1998-2002) and the Organizer and First President of the Alpha Alpha Theta Omega Chapter.
Sonja is a distinguished member of the Tampa, Florida Chapter of The Links, Incorporated and has received keys to four cities for her community building in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.
She is married to Rigoberto M. Garcia, Sr. and together they have two sons; two daughters-in-laws; six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Superintendent of the Greater Tampa District, College Hill Church of God in Christ
Superintendent Charles Davis, the ninth of ten children born to the Holy Union of Willie and Doretha Davis in St. Petersburg, FL. The family moved to Tampa, FL, December 1949. He met Deloris Longworth and after a short courtship, they were married on December 17, 1966. Their family consists of four daughters, Charlotte, LaTonia and her husband Brian, Karin and her husband Ron, and Amber and her husband William; also seven grandchildren, Trimonte, LaRon, Jordan, Charles, Avery, Ja’lyn, and Charli and 4 great grandchildren. He credits God’s guidance and his wife’s dedication to the home and their children for the success of his family for many years.
The rich COGIC background privileged to Superintendent Davis, by his parents Bishop W.E. Davis & Mother Doretha Davis, motivated him to surrender his life to Christ at the age of twenty-five after which he began to build, by the help of the Lord, a positive biography as a Christian. He credits his strong faith in God to the teachings of his father, mother, and Grandmother Ross. Further, he believes a faithful allegiance to the Sunshine Band, Sunday School, and a respect for parental authority are sure ingredients for a blessed life. Mother Mary Conage has a profound effect on his spiritual life as Sunshine Band (Youth Group) Leader and Sunday School Teacher.
Superintendent Charles Davis has worked in nearly every level of the church with ordinations to include Deacon and Elder. He has served as Assistant Pastor – College Hill COGIC, Trustee, Sunday School/YPWW teacher, Jurisdiction YPWW President (Youth
Department), Finance Chairman, First Administrative Assistant to his father Bishop W.E. Davis, deceased, and as chairman of the Administrative Board. The most enjoyable office held in the church without a doubt for Superintendent Davis was Jurisdiction YPWW President (Youth Department). He has also served as the Chairman of the Elders Council of the Jurisdiction of Southwestern Florida. He has recently been appointed Superintendent of the Greater Tampa District. Elder Davis attended the Public Schools of Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties. He graduated from H.W. Blake High School in 1959, Gibbs Junior College in 1961 with an Associate in Arts, Florida A&M University in 1963 with a Bachelor of Science in Education, and Golden Gate University in 1979 with a Master of Public Administration. He has also received an Honorary Doctorate from Saint Thomas Christian College in 2012 with a Doctorate in Divinity.
Work/Civic and Religious affiliations over the years include:
Elementary School Teacher for 3 years, Coordinator of Childcare/Head start in Hillsborough County, West Tampa Neighborhood Service Center Manager, Hillsborough County Community Action Agency Director, State Supervisor for the Florida Census Bureau, Tampa/Hillsborough County Ministerial Association, Martin Luther King Scholarship Fund Board of Directors, NAACP Tampa Branch, Tampa Urban League member, Police Athletic League Board of Directors/President, Member of Big Brother/Big Sister Organization, Life Path Hospice Foundation Board of Directors, Community & Law Enforcement Workshops & Services Board of Directors, President of Pastors on Patrol, Family Enrichment Center Board of Directors/CEO (current)
Special Appointments: Presidential Appointment Local Board Twenty-Seven (27) Selective Service System, Mayor’s Community Awareness Task Force, Florida Bar Grievance Committee, Thirteenth Judicial and State Board Member of One Church One Child, Appointed by the Governor
Superintendent Davis considers himself blessed to have enriched civic and religious life experience.
Chloe J. Coney
Former District Director, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL)
Chloe Coney is known as a leader and community developer – as well as a woman who wears many hats – but she is most assuredly a change agent. Just a few years after a federal court found Hillsborough County was illegally operating a segregated school system, Chloe helped to integrate the system and graduated from Hillsborough High School with honors in 1968. Her determination continued on as she attained her bachelor’s degree in Sociology/Corrections from Florida A & M University in Tallahassee, Fla. and a master’s degree in Biblical Counseling from Florida Beacon Bible College in Largo, Fla. She has also completed courses on Community, Housing and Economic Development from Development Training Institute (DTI), Neighborhood Leadership Development Institute (NCCED), NeighborWorks of America, and Bank of America Leadership Academy. She received her Honorary Doctorate Degree from Blessed Hope Bible College, Tampa, Fla.
Chloe’s passion for justice and building strong communities was evident since she was very young, but took hold when she began her professional career as the first Black female probation and parole officer in Hillsborough County in 1972. She would then become an intake counselor/mediator with the 13th Judicial Circuit Court of Hillsborough County and marketing representative for Florida Power, Inc. in Clearwater, Fla. Later, Chloe was hired as the center manager of the Lee Davis Neighborhood Service Center, the largest (36,000 square feet) “One Stop Social and Medical Center” in Hillsborough County. As center manager, Chloe led the effort to restore a sense of pride, ownership and community in Tampa’s Eastside neighborhoods. She helped to start the East Tampa Community School Partnership and the Back to School Kick-off Fair. She has served as the Tampa’s coordinator for the Department of Justice Weed and Seed Program. Chloe’s passion inspired her to found and become the first President/CEO of the Corporation to Develop Communities of Tampa (CDC of Tampa). The CDC of Tampa Nehemiah Project Community Building “Brick by Brick” has since enjoyed 25 years of community building through strategic initiatives such as providing job training, promoting entrepreneurship, developing youth leadership programs, revitalizing commercial areas, and building affordable housing. In 2006, Chloe retired as the Founder/President of the CDC of Tampa to become a candidate in a very close race for Hillsborough County Commission District 3. She found a new way to serve the community as District Director for U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, who represents the 14th District of Florida and includes most of Hillsborough County. In this capacity, she assisted U.S. Rep. Castor by addressing an array of constituent concerns, soliciting citizen input, and performing community outreach activities, such as foreclosure prevention workshops during the economic downturn to help families stay in their homes and job fairs during the economic recovery to connect neighbors with local jobs. She served in this capacity for 10 years. In March 2017, Chloe started a new assignment with HNTB Corporation, an infrastructure and transportation company, as a public involvement specialist in the Tampa office.
With nearly 40 years of advocating for community building and revitalizing neighborhoods, she conducts workshops across the country. She is also the recipient of numerous awards and accolades: the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce’s H.L. Culbreath Jr. Award of Leadership; TOBA’s Dr. Ike Tribble Leadership Award; Tampa Bay Business Hall of Fame; White House President Volunteer of the Year; Tampa Bay Business Journal’s Who’s Who; University of South Florida President’s Distinguished Citizen Award; and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc Community Service Award. In 2017, she received the Francisco Rodriguez Award from the George Edgecomb Bar Association. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Tampa Metropolitan Alumnae Chapter, Tampa Leadership Alumni, and Christian Community Development Association.
Chloe is married to Pastor Ernest Coney Sr. and they have three children and three grandchildren. Chloe and her husband founded the Spirit of Truth Ministries. Today, Chloe is the President and CEO of Community Enterprise Group, LLC (CEG), a leading provider of community-development solutions that specializes in providing public involvement, community engagement and workforce development services.
Justice Peggy A. Quince
Supreme Court of Florida, Former Chief Justice
Justice Peggy A. Quince was born in Norfolk, Virginia, in 1948. She graduated in 1970 from Howard University with a B.S. Degree in Zoology; she received her J.D. Degree from the Catholic University of America in 1975.
Justice Peggy Quince practiced general civil law in Virginia and Florida from 1975 to 1980. She practiced in the areas of domestic relations, real estate, and criminal law. In 1980 she began her 13-year tenure in the Criminal Division of the Florida Attorney General’s office. She served as the Tampa Bureau Chief for five years and handled death penalty appeals and postconviction matters exclusively for three years. She argued numerous cases before the Virginia Supreme Court, the Florida Second District Court of Appeal, the Florida Supreme Court and the Federal Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
In 1993, Justice Quince was appointed to the Second District Court of Appeals making her the first African American woman to serve on a Florida appellate court. She was appointed by Governor Chiles and Governor-elect Jed Bush to the Florida Supreme Court in 1998. She became the first African American woman to head any branch of Florida government when she became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Florida in 2008.
As one of the seven justices serving on the State Supreme Court, Justice Quince has many responsibilities that ultimately affect the lives of over 16 million Floridians. As a justice she must review final judgments imposing sentences of death, cases involving the constitutionality of laws passed by the Florida Legislature, and other matters as delineated in the Florida Constitution. She also lectures on various legal topics including the need for a fair and impartial court system, search and seizure, probation and parole, use of peremptory challenges, postconviction relief, professionalism and ethics, and the independence of the judiciary.
She has received numerous awards and honors including:
- 2017 inducted into the National Bar Association Hall of Fame
- 2017 Women Lawyers Division Jurist of the Year Award
- 2017 Sharon Press Excellence in ADR Award
- 2016 inducted into the Stetson University College of Law Hall of Fame
- Lifetime Achievement Award by The Florida Bar’s Government Lawyer Section; Florida Commission on the Status of Women
- 2007 Florida Women’s Hall of Fame Award
- 2006 Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award
Dr. Ken Atwater
President, Hillsborough Community College
Dr. Ken Atwater became the seventh president of Hillsborough Community College (HCC) on July 1, 2010. Founded in 1968, HCC is currently the fourth largest state college (FTE) in the Florida College System, serving more than 44,000 students each year at its five campuses and three centers. HCC offers more than 200 academic options, has an annual budget of over $290 million and employs more than 2,200. Over 84 percent of HCC graduates stay in the local community, and, together, HCC and its former students contribute more than $1.3 billion in added income and economic impact to Hillsborough County.
Dr. Atwater is the Chair of the Foundation of the Tampa-Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation and serves on the Board of Directors of Zoo Tampa and the Jameis Winston Dream Forever Foundation.
Dr. Atwater earned his Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University, and Master and Bachelor of Science degrees from Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky.
Daughter of Miami and Powerhouse Leader
Tina Brown is a daughter of Miami – Historic Overtown to be exact – and the powerhouse leader who has dedicated her life to improving the lives of those who live, work, and play in the community of her birth. Armed with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Accounting from Savannah State University; a master’s degree in accounting and almost two decades of experience in the field of accounting and business management for both corporate and non-profit entities; as well as unbridled drive, dedication and passion, Tina is well equipped to impact her community for good. Currently, Tina serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Overtown Youth Center; a 501c organization whose mission is to bridge educational, emotional, health, and economic gaps for youth and families residing in marginalized communities. Tina is responsible for the oversight of an annual organizational budget of $6.7 million and a $22 million dollar Capital Campaign Project. Thus far, raising $18M of the total project’s cost. Be it through executive leadership, mentoring, tutoring, or volunteering; Tina’s personal life experiences and passion drives her desire to have a positive impact on the lives of young people and their families in the same community she was raised in. Tina’s legacy goal is to change the lives of young people and their families for generations to come by providing opportunities for youth and families that aid in maximizing their full potential.
- June 2022 – Honor for Exemplary Leadership and Service in South Florida, Black Professionals Network & Center for Black Innovation
- June 2022 – M. Athalie Range Pioneer Progress Award, Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce
- May 2022 – OYC Miami Program of the Year, The Children’s Trust
- 2021 – Honored as an Inspiring Women of Health, Health Foundation of South Florida
- 2021 – Honored as a Distinguished Black Leader & Role Model, AT&T