Blair Durham President & Co-Founder of Black BRAND
Blair Durham is Co-Founder/President and current B-Force Program Director at Black BRAND.
Blair Durham is Co-Founder and President of Black BRAND, a 501c3 organization founded in 2016, whose acronym encompasses business, research and analytics, networking, and the development of black commerce. Beginning in Hampton Roads and now also operating in the Dan River Region, Black BRAND serves as a regional black chamber of commerce organizing programming to support emerging and existing black business owners. Blair is a Hampton Roads native, a graduate of Virginia Tech, the host of Black Wall Street Today, and a proud board member of The Virginia Zoological Park and Volunteer Hampton Roads. Most proudly, Blair resides in Portsmouth with her husband and three children. Darius Davenport Managing Partner at Crenshaw, Ware, & Martin, PLC
Darius is Managing Partner of Crenshaw, Ware & Martin and Chairman of the Government and Public Sector and Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Practice Groups.
His Government and Public Sector practice focuses on providing counsel to political subdivisions and other governmental entities on a wide variety of topics relating to the governance and administration of public agencies to include procurement, economic development, real estate transactions, ethics, freedom of information, and public housing. Darius’ Cybersecurity and Data privacy practice focuses on assisting clients navigate the rapidly evolving landscape of data privacy laws and mitigating cyber risk. Darius’ practice also includes complex litigation in state and federal courts. Lauren DeSimone Community Innovation Advisor at Virginia Community Capital Lauren DeSimone Community Innovation Advisor at Virginia Community Capital
Lauren DeSimone is a Community Innovation Advisor with Viginia Community Capital in Richmond, VA. She brings expertise in healthy food access, business development, and creative community engagement. In her professional past she has led non-profit teams, supported business development for startups, and mentored entrepreneurs.
Stephanie Gorham CEO of Volunteer Hampton Roads Chandra Hurst VP, Economic Equity Small Business Loan Officer at Virginia Community Capital, Inc. Chandra Hurst VP, Economic Equity Small Business Loan Officer at Virginia Community Capital, Inc.
Chandra Hurst, Vice President and Economic Equity Small Business Loan Officer Chandra Hurst is Vice President and Economic Equity Small Business Loan Officer with Virginia Community Capital based in Richmond, VA. In her current role, Chandra is responsible for providing Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) small businesses access to capital and low-cost financing solutions including term loans, owner occupied real estate loans and refinances, working capital lines of credit, SBA loans, and debt consolidation loans. Prior to joining VCC, Chandra served as Vice President and Central/Eastern Virginia Community Relations Consultant at Wells Fargo Bank, where she was responsible for Community Relations initiatives, ensuring Wells Fargo met its Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) requirements as well as managing relationships with key government, community, non-profit and business stakeholders. Chandra began her banking career with Jefferson National Bank, now Wells Fargo, in 1992 and has held various roles to include Branch Manager, Licensed Personal Banker, Licensed Business Specialist, Business Development Officer, and forementioned Community Relations Consultant. Chandra earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Fisk University and pursued post-graduate studies in Forensics Science from Virginia Commonwealth University. Chanda is actively involved in the Richmond community and serves on the boards of Homeward; Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Virginia Local Advisory Committee (as Governance Committee Chair); and Richmond American Heart Association (memberof Advocacy and Community Impact Committees and 2021 recipient of the American Heart Association Health Equity Award. Chandra is President of Henrico County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Chandra also serves as a member of the Financial Empowerment Center (FEC) Funding Advisory Group for the City of Richmond Treasurer’s Office, and External Affairs Committee for Better Housing Coalition. Chandra is past member of the National Kidney Foundation Walk and Honors Committees Class and former facilitator for City of Richmond Minority Development Money Smart Program.
JR Locke Vice President of Community Development at EdLogics LLC JR Locke Vice President of Community Development at EdLogics LLC
EdLogics is a digital health communications company which was founded in 2012 in Virginia Beach to help employers improve the lives of their employees and reduce their healthcare costs by engaging and motivating them to learn about important health issues and become better informed healthcare decision makers. Through interactive health games, multimedia educational programs, innovative gamification strategies, and rewards for educational achievement, EdLogics delivers a personalized user experience that uniquely educates employees and their family members on common and costly health conditions and the challenges of interacting with the healthcare system.
Worked with Corporate CEO's in providing talented professionals for organizational success. Served on numerous board of directors to include gubernatorial appointment by Governors Mark Warner and Tim Kaine to the Virginia Board of Physical Therapy, American Lung Association of Virginia, President South East Junior Golf Academy, President Eastside Community Development Corporation, Friends of The Norfolk Juvenille Court Board, American RedCross Blood Donor Task Force, and United Way of South Hampton Roads. Professional areas of expertise include; Executive recruitment, Director Leadership Development, Healthcare Account Executive, Regional Sales Director, Sales Manager, and Management Trainee Specialties: Recruitment, management and organization, strategic planning, fundraising, non-profit management, sales and marketing, organizational restructuring, non-profit 501(c) 3 start up, board development training, diversity consulting, leadership training and development Kim Painter CPA Kim Painter CPA
Kim Painter, CPA, is a native of the Hampton Roads area, she graduated with a business administration/accounting degree from Old Dominion University in 1987. Kim’s vast experience combined with her inherent business sense allows her to serve a wide range of clientele, including small business, professional practices contractors and not-for-profit organizations to name a few.
Kim’s involvement in the community is demonstrated by her participation in civic and business organizations. Her affiliations include serving in various board capacities including President from 2003-2004 of the Great Bridge Rotary Club. Currently Treasurer of the club. She was selected Rotarian of the year in 2001-2002. She was awarded in 1999 Inside Business Top 40 Under 40. In 2011 she received the “Women in Business” achievement award from Inside Business in recognition of both her business and community volunteer accomplishments. Additional business organizations of which she is a member include Lefcoe Leadership class of 2012 and Leadership Hampton Roads Class of 1999. She is also a member of several professional organizations including the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants. Kate Powell Executive Director of Tidewater Arts Outreach
Kate is an arts administrator through and through. She started her career as the Business Manager for the Catoctin School of Music in Leesburg, Virginia. In 2014, she moved back to Hampton Roads to be the Woodwind Teaching Artist with Soundscapes in Newport News – until she discovered fundraising. Since then, she has served as the Development Manager at the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Director of Fundraising and Grants at PORTCO, Inc., and as Director of Development for Tidewater Arts Outreach. She took over as Executive Director in November 2020.
Kate received her Bachelor of Music in Music Industry from James Madison University (Go Dukes!) and her Master of Public Administration from South University. She earned her Certified Fund Raising Executive credential in June of 2019. Kate is a board member of the Hampton Roads Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and a 2020 Lefcoe Leadership Class Alumnus. She still keeps up her music with her husband Marc. When not playing music together, she and her husband are adopting senior pugs or hiking a new trail. David Proffitt Corporate Development Officer at Sentara Foundation David Proffitt Corporate Development Officer at Sentara Foundation
Accomplished innovative executive, leader in diversified and progressive marketing management, business development specializing in higher education, corporate relations, training and development, strategic marketing & advertising, sales, product development, institutional fundraising and corporate communications. Builder of high performance, cross-functional teams, driven to exceed customer service excellence and product delivery. A strategic problem solver and adept in penetrating new markets, transforming business operations and building top line growth. Experienced at relationship management to C-Suite executives and non-profit, private agencies. Driven toward superior business results and performance targets by creating and executing integrated sales, marketing and operational plans. Flexible, self-motivated with recognized ability to work effectively with diverse levels of management.
Dr. Linda Rice Vice President for Grantmaking at Hampton Roads Community Foundation Dr. Linda Rice Vice President for Grantmaking at Hampton Roads Community Foundation
Linda M. Rice, Ph.D., is vice president for grantmaking. Prior to joining the staff in 2012, she was provost of the Chesapeake Campus of Tidewater Community College. She previously was the founding vice president for workforce development at TCC and served as the inaugural dean of health professions at the college’s Virginia Beach Campus. She also served as special assistant to the president for military affairs and community outreach at TCC. She earned an undergraduate degree in biology/psychology from Randolph Macon Woman’s College and both a master’s degree in education and a doctoral degree in urban studies from Old Dominion University.
Hope Sinclair Executive Director of Communities In Schools of Hampton Roads
Over 15 years of combined personnel management and supervision, youth counseling, and administrative experience. Working knowledge of counseling theories and practices and budget management. Exceptional analytical, problem-solving, written and verbal communication, interpersonal, and collaboration skills. Ability to handle simultaneous projects and meet deadlines effectively. Strong documentation and reporting skills
Doug Smith PRESIDENT & CEO of The Hampton Roads Alliance Doug Smith PRESIDENT & CEO of The Hampton Roads Alliance
Doug Smith joined the Hampton Roads Alliance as President & CEO in September of 2019. He oversees the staff of business development, business intelligence and marketing professionals and leads the operations of the region’s economic development organization that represents 11 municipalities and over 70 private sector investors. Doug and the entire Alliance staff work closely with the state and local governments and the private sector to assist international and domestic companies with investment projects, expansions and relocations.
Doug, a native of Portsmouth, has lived and worked in Hampton Roads for the majority of his life. He was appointed as City Manager in the City of Norfolk in June 2017 after serving in the position for seven months as interim. His previous public sector experiences include serving as Deputy City Manager in the City of Virginia Beach and as Deputy City Manager, Chief Plans and Policy Officer, and Economic Development Director in the City of Portsmouth. In 2006, he was elected to Portsmouth City Council where he served four years and gained regional experience as commissioner for the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization and the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission. In the private sector, Doug served as President & CEO of Kaufman & Canoles Consulting, where he counseled national and local developers, municipalities, higher education institutions and corporations. Doug began his career in 1985 as a banker at First Union Bank (now part of Wells Fargo) where he worked for 12 years and in his last role there, he managed 31 offices across Hampton Roads. Smith is a graduate of Norfolk Academy and earned a B.A. in History from the University of Virginia. He held previous positions as Vice Chair on the Alliance’s Board of Directors, Chair of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) of Hampton Roads and Chair of Future of Hampton Roads. He and his wife Linda reside in Norfolk with their two children. Christin Thorpe Engagement Leader at Thrivent Christin Thorpe Engagement Leader at Thrivent
Christin Thorpe is a doting mother and community-centric professional. She is a proud alumna of Hampton University where she received her B.A. in Community and Social Services. She subsequently earned a MSW degree with a concentration in Community Organizing and Social Administration from the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work. During her graduate program she was awarded a Fellowship from the University of Pittsburgh Center for Race and Social Problems and lead community-based research on minority maternal health disparities. Christin faced many challenges navigating academia as a young student-mother. Yet, she managed to excel personally and academically. As a result of her experiences, Christin developed a heart for young mothers and went on to establish The Ozzie and Me Scholarship Foundation. The Ozzie and Me Scholarship Foundation’s mission is to inspire young mothers to overcome the stigmas and obstacles of young motherhood and reach their academic goals. Throughout her experiences in graduate school, Christin received divine opportunities to merge her faith and passion for social impact. Christin is now the Community Engagement Leader for Thrivent, a not-for-profit holistic financial services company. In her role she works with churches and non-profits to help individuals make the most of all they’ve been given, enabling them to live lives full of meaning and gratitude. Christin has always been passionate about serving others and has been a consistent advocate for those historically disenfranchised. Christin has served two stints as an AmeriCorps member as well as a variety of other social justice and advocacy positions. She is a graduate of the Coro Women in Leadership Program, and previously served on the Board of Directors of Northside Institutional Church and the Policy Committee for the Day One Project. Kelli Webb CEO of The KBD Group
Kelli B. Davis, Principal and Founder
With an extensive background in public relations spanning ten years, Kelli develops and executes integrated marketing campaigns across the non-profit, sports, entertainment, and and hospitality industries. As the visionary of the KBD Group, LLC, Kelli oversees the public relations activities for all agency accounts – ensuring that her team effectively meets client goals and objectives. Kelli’s strength lies in her innate ability to build trusted client relationships, and develop and maintain strong connections with print, broadcast and digital media. She leverages her journalism background to define and present stories to the media, resulting in noteworthy placements. Kelli launched her career as the public relations specialist for one of the oldest non-profit organizations in the District of Columbia. She later transitioned to an Alexandria-based agency before relocating back to her hometown in Hampton Roads, where she continued to manage media relations for technology giants, such as Oracle, Unisys, Axway, Blackberry, and Tandberg. Kelli is a member of the Hampton Roads Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). She serves as a Board Member and the Communications Committee Chair for the YWCA of South Hampton Roads. She also serves on the Executive Advisory Board for Still Hope Foundation and Teens with a Purpose, and is a 2014 honoree of Inside Business's Top Forty Under Forty. Kelli is a graduate of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, College Park. Natisha Wilson Executive Director of Village Family
Natisha Wilson is the Executive Director of Village Family, a non profit hunger relief organization that was founded in 2014. The nonprofit aims to to provide outreach resources to those experiencing financial hardship and food insecurity. As a valuable community resource that feeds, clothes and educates, Village Family distributes quality resources from a donated pantry space every 4th Sunday at First Calvary Baptist Church, 813 Henry Street in Norfolk Virginia. With the help of volunteers and community partners, the Village Family committee serves as an empire of great people making huge impact in the community through unity, service, legacy, kindness and commitment”. Village Family is seeking to “continue the legacy our ancestors started through love and the gift of giving.
Jennifer Yarbrough Non Profit Expert / Grant Guru
Bio of Jennifer Yarbrough
Jennifer Yarbrough has spent over 30 years working in the areas of grant writing, major fundraising, strategic planning, program development and organizational assessment for some of the largest nonprofit organizations in the country. Jennifer has trained thousands of nonprofit executives, board members and fundraising staff both naturally and internally and has raised $600 million in funding throughout her career. She has developed introductory and advanced trainings to support brand new nonprofit starting with a sustainability plan to follow. Her work as a trainer and coach has afforded her many platforms to speak at conferences, on the radio and organizational retreats. Jennifer is affectionately referred to as “The Grant Guru” and “The Nonprofit Guru”. A graduate of Tuskegee University, Jennifer received a Bachelor of Science in Political Science. She began her career writing her first grant proposal as a class assignment in college. The grant was awarded $250,000 from HUD for Drug & Alcohol elimination in the public housing community of Kingsport, TN. From there she has grown to hold every single job in a nonprofit and expertly shows leaders how program, finance and fund development must work together for organizational sustainability. Currently, Jennifer is the Pastor of Good Ground Christian Assembly and works full time as a consultant, master coach, trainer and public speaker. She likes to say that Paul built tents to support him in ministry and she build nonprofits. She provides coaching to board members, nonprofit leaders, fundraisers and entrepreneurs. Jennifer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.jdyarbrough.com.