Sensible Living for a Lifetime . . .
SWI VOLUNTARY PERSONNEL (A-G)
Ruby Belton-White was born in Kershaw County, South Carolina, but raised in New Haven, Connecticut. She grew up during the height of the sixties, the Civil Rights Era, and the cry of Black Power. She honors the year 1965 because that is the year the official Voting Rights Act passed. This act allowed her parents to vote although their inability to read well had previously been used as a reason to stop them from voting.
Ms. Belton-White became a single parent at the age of twenty-one, giving birth to her son, Ashante Lemuel Warner. She credits the love and sacrifice of her now deceased mother, Elizabeth Kibler Belton, with her ability to complete college. In 1977, Ms Belton-White graduated from Southern Connecticut State College in New Haven, Connecticut, where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology.
Years later, Ms. Belton-White, who has remained unmarried, returned to school “with the help and love of God” and in 2010 earned an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education from Gateway Community College in New Haven, Connecticut. Currently, she is employed by the New Haven City School District.
In reference to the Sensible Women Initiative, Ms. Belton-White made the following statements: “I’m honored to lend my talent to help this project lean forward. The Sensible Women’s Initiative will engage, enrich, and empower girls growing into womanhood; it’ll support their greatness for this nation.”
Mrs. Kathy Bones was born and raised in Rochester, New York. She comes from a family of six in which she is the third child in a family of all female children. During her early schooling, she attended School No. 4 (officially named George Mather Forbes) in the Rochester City School District. At School No. 4, she participated in the drum and tambourine group, foreshadowing how skillful she would become in using her hands during her career.
For high school, Mrs. Bones attended and graduated from Madison High School, which is also in the Rochester City School District. During her high school years (at age 14), she got her first taste of what it is like to hold down a job. She began working for Action for a Better Community (ABC), an agency that aids low-income community members. Her work ethic followed her, and she has been working ever since. Her various jobs include, but are not limited to, working as a sales clerk, a hostess, and a cashier.
Graduating from high school in 1972, Mrs. Bones set about preparing herself through higher education to pursue a career as a beautician, running a beauty shop in her home; a realtor, selling houses for Century 21 (a notable Rochester Real Estate Agency); and later, a driver, working for the Rochester Transit Service (RTS), the city’s main bus line.
In her various work opportunities, Mrs. Bones sharpened her personal and professional skills. As a salesperson, hostess, and casher, she gained experience in working well with the public and doing a skillful job for her employers. As an entrepreneur and beauty shop owner, she excelled in developing sound business practices and cultivating a stable clientele. At RTS, she was a member of the RTS Women’s Group and served as a mentor to new drivers. During her career at the RTS (1982-2020), she was awarded both a One-Million and Two-Million Mile Safe Driving Award.
Mrs. Bones is the mother of four adult children (three sons and one daughter) and Step Grandmother to several others. In her retirement, she would like to share her career experiences with young people and help them to make wise choices about their own careers.
Dr. Priscilla (Ann) Brown is an Associate Professor of English at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas, where she also served as Director of the McNair Scholars Program (2017-18) and is the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship advisor.
Dr. Ann completed teaching appointments in Arkansas public schools and at the Sheridan School in Washington, DC. Her work in the United Arab Emirates, where she taught for six-and-a-half years, included teaching at both a private secondary school and on the university level. As a faculty member at CERT-Higher Colleges, Dr. Ann conducted workshops for public sector entities, including the National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, and the military’s English language program. Her ability to communicate effectively in different settings bears witness to her philosophy of meeting people where they are.
As evidence of her belief that the best way to navigate today’s global changes successfully is to engage in face-to-face dialog and hands-on ventures with people from various groups, Dr. Ann has visited nearly twenty countries as a matter of personal travel. In addition, she completed a Senecorps work-study program in Senegal, a Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher Program, and a Korean American Teacher Workshop. These experiences continue to enhance her understanding of “broad sympathy” and her commitment to equipping US citizens to thrive in a global marketplace.
A native of Augusta, Arkansas, Dr. Ann earned degrees in English education from Arkansas State University (B.S.E.) and Harding University (M.S.E.). She completed her doctorate in Literatures in English at Howard University.
Presently and professionally, Maureen D. Campbell is employed as a Senior Technical Support Specialist in the Marketing and Sales Division at UIL Holding Corporation in Orange, Connecticut. In addition, she has been a licensed Insurance Producer since 1991 and a licensed registered representative since 1995. She successfully completed and received a certificate in the Fundamentals of Marketing in 2006 from the American Management Association and also a certificate in Strategic Marketing Advanced Course in 2007 from the American Management Association.
Maureen served as a Board member for several years for the New Haven Preservation Trust. The NHPT is an organization that honors and preserves New Haven’s architectural heritage-historic buildings and neighborhoods – through advocacy, education, and collaboration. In addition, she was also an active Board member for Fair Haven Community Management Team, where she served as a secretary for several years. The Fair Haven Community Management Teams helps residents have a voice in neighborhood improvement and revitalization efforts and are an important link to the police and to other city and social service agencies.
She served on the Board of Directors for The Fair Haven Community Health Center for six years. The Fair Haven Community Health Center is a not-for-profit primary health care organization that has been serving the greater Fair Haven Community since 1971. The Center provides comprehensive health care – from prenatal to pediatric, adolescent to adult, and geriatric. Maureen, who is also a patient, played a key role in being one of the neighborhood’s most vocal advocates for the residents in making their concerns known to the Board of Directors in order to address them.
Maureen holds an Associate Degree in Business Administration from Norwalk Community College. After dedicating her life to her family and encouraging and helping to support her husband and two adult children through college, she decided to return to college after thirty-two years to get her degree. She worked more than 40 hours per week, due to her perseverance and determination; and finally, in May 2014, Maureen graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management from Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, CT. She is also a new member of Kappa Gamma Pi National Catholic Honor Society.
She is the daughter of the late Lascelles A. Burke, Sr. and Gwendolyn Burke and has five siblings. Maureen is married to Earl Campbell and has a son, Earl Campbell, Jr.; a daughter, Leah Campbell; and a wonderful grandson, Blake Andrew Campbell.
Mrs. Lois Carter is a current employee of the Urban League of Hudson County, Inc. in Jersey City, New Jersey. She works as an FCC Manager/Lead Trainer for the league and has been in their employ since 1997. Over the years, she has held other positions of employment such as Educational Director for James Street Academy (Newark, NJ) and Director of Day Care for Faith Temple New Hope Christian School East Orange, NJ.
In preparation for her professional career, Mrs. Carter earned an AA Degree in Elementary Education from Essex County College, a BA Degree in History from Upsala College, and an MA Degree in Early Childhood Education from New Jersey City University. She participates in several professional organizations and has received noteworthy certificates and awards from various sources.
She has spent years supporting young women, middle-age women, and elderly women in the field of early childhood education. Her contributions have included: Teaching preschool through 2nd grade for twenty years and working as an education administrator for approximately six years.
Around 1993, she decided to venture out in the area of training. She soon discovered that this was her passion. After consulting for approximately two years, she accepted a position with the Urban League of Hudson as their lead early childhood trainer. Her experience as an early childhood trainer for the past twenty-two years has been positive and rewarding. She says the greatest reward for her has been to motivate individuals to develop goals and objectives for their profession in order to improve their lives, as well as the lives of the children and families that are served.
As a member of SWI, she hopes to make tremendous contributions to working with girls, young ladies, and families.
Maya Angelou once said: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Therefore, Ms. Alexis Davis loves to focus on creating a strong brand message that tells a story. She invests most of her time into studying writing, editing and public speaking. She is a storyteller.
Ms. Davis graduated from McKinley Technology High School in the District of Columbia in 2007, where her concentration was broadcast technology. In this program, she learned to operate a digital camcorder and edit video footage. At McKinley, she also participated in the theater program for three consecutive years and the first annual Miss McKinley Pageant, placing as 2nd Runner Up.
In 2013, Ms. Davis moved to the Midwest to complete her undergraduate studies at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. It was in the spring of 2015 that she earned two Bachelor of Science degrees in both fashion design and merchandising and speech communication. At this university, she achieved the Dean’s List and was inducted into the Delta Epsilon Iota Academic Honor Society and Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity. The student organization Black Women’s Task Force had her as Vice President her senior year. She was also an Assistant Director and Committee Head for one year for a student-run public relations firm at the university and an active member of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA.) In addition to all things academic, she was a proud member of the Charming Majorettes dance team and a contestant in Alpha Phi Alpha’s Miss Eboness Pageant. Ms. Davis enjoyed being active on campus, networking with her peers and serving her community.
After completing undergrad, Ms. Davis moved back to the DC-Maryland-Virginia area and ran for Miss DC USA 2018, where she advanced to Top 16 and won the People’s Choice Award. Simultaneously, she was pursuing a graduate degree at the George Washington University. She studied strategic public relations and completed her master’s program in 2018. She concluded her graduate program with a Brazil residency, which was her first time outside of U.S. territory.
With over three collective years of customer service experience and having performed a myriad of administrative duties, Ms. Davis still feels that one of her biggest achievements is maintaining honor roll from first grade to twelfth grade because it demonstrates consistency. She has also held various retail, marketing and hospitality positions that have allowed her to experience working directly with the public. Aside from spoken word performances, winning essay contests, and awards for best art direction while in school, the greatest pleasure comes from simply having the honor to craft a brand message for a startup business.
Belvenia Davis was born in the Bronx, New York and later moved to Farmingdale, New York when she was 7 years old. She relocated to Newark, New Jersey in 2012 and reside there today.
She developed her strong since of family by growing up in a home with two younger siblings and parents who embody faith, grace and hope. Holding on to these simply truths has enable her to have the foundation needed to walk through life’s journey.
Belvenia Davis has over 20 years of experience working in the financial and accounting industry. She currently works for Arch Insurance as a finance supervisor. She has been with Arch for over 12 years. She worked her way through the finance department, starting in accounts payable, next a financial analysts, then senior financial analysts and now she has resided in her current position since 2019.
Belvenia started her college education at the State University of New York, the Westbury Campus, in 1989. She took a break in 1992 to gain some real life working experience and returned to school in 1997 to finish her in degree in Accounting in 2003. She went on to receive her MBA in business administration from the University of Phoenix in 2009. She believes that knowledge is power and you should never stop learning.
Brianna Marie Fair was born July 22, 1991, in Cleveland, Ohio, to her parents Ben and Donna Fair. Brianna beat the odds at birth by being born although her mother had her “tubes tied.” Brianna Fair’s birth went down in the obstetrician’s journal as being an “Act of God” because the tubes were never untied. It was a miraculous birth. Brianna is meant to be here!!!
She is the youngest of four siblings. She graduated high school at the top of her class at the age of 15. She was given the Who’s Who Among American Students Award throughout high school, along with being a member of the National Honor Society and serving as a founding member of Student Council. Brianna moved to Atlanta where she earned her Associates Degree in Business and her Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology. Brianna has experience as an Information Technology Manager (the youngest person ever in the history of her employer General Parts Company to have a leadership position). She is a life coach for her own company named Green Pastures LLC. Brianna was the I.T. and Media Director for Way of Life Ministries and currently the Media Engineer for Cutting Edge Ministries.
A noteworthy mention about Brianna is that she worked tirelessly for Sweet Delights Food Service Company as a food assembly worker after school during her junior high school years. She also was as a teacher’s aide at a daycare center after school during her high school years. She definitely had a positive impact and was a role model for several children.
Brianna continues to better herself by attending management, leadership, and networking events. She is an undeniable philanthropist who dedicates her time, resources, and skills to volunteer for United Way, Junior Achievement Discovery Center, City of Refuge, and Habitat for Humanity to name a few.
She is a committee member of non-profit organizations, African American Partnership, and Young Professional Leaders. These individuals dedicate their time to engage the next generation of leaders in Greater Atlanta by cultivating and growing the spirit of philanthropy, community advocacy, volunteerism, and leadership.
Brianna helps the less fortunate and homeless by giving them food and donations. She gave an elderly woman shelter for 3 months when the elderly woman had no family available and no place to go during the Thanksgiving and Christmas Season of 2019. She would make sure the elderly woman had more than her enough adequate basic needs met.
Brianna is a mother of a gifted son named Cameron who is 6 years old. She manages to master multi-tasking her time and ability to home school her son and excel in successfully completing her job deadlines, with a proven track record of reaching over and beyond her job responsibilities and goals.
Needless to say, Brianna demonstrates exceptionally strong leadership skills along with a passion for enhancing individuals experiencing the struggles of life. She believes that everyone deserves at least a chance to succeed in life.
Ms. Lakesha Fowler is a graduate of Saint Augustine’s University, located in Raleigh, NC, where she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Liberal Studies in 2013. During college, she received several commendations and participated in several activities including, but not limited to, making the Dean’s List, NC State’s EXCITE Program Participant, Brain Muscle Participant, Focus on Children, Inc. Member, and Peace College Racial Discussion Participant. She served as a student representative for Judicial Affairs as well as president of the Modeling Troupe. Academically, she maintained a 3.3 GPA and received a 4.0 her last semester in undergrad.
Ms. Fowler is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Information Systems Management via DeVry, Keller Graduate School of Management. She expects to receive her graduate degree in January 2019.
Since May 2017, Ms. Fowler has been an employee of Acosta Sales & Marketing as a Claims Resolution Analyst. Prior employment for her includes working in the Student Affairs Department at St. Augustine’s University, serving as a YMCA counselor and tutor, and working as teacher assistant for several NC Public Schools.
Ms. Fowler has been a member of the Sensible Women Initiative since 2015, at which time she served as Assistant Chapter Coordinator for Towson University’s Beta Chapter in Towson, MD. Currently, she serves as SWI Director of Mentoring. She prides herself in assisting young ladies ages 5-25 in making more sensible choices. Mentorship, leadership, education, professionalism, and service are several key terms around which Ms. Fowler revolves her life. More importantly, she is a living testimony of the value of making better choices.
She has relocated to the Charlotte, NC area where she volunteers with the Charlotte Alumni Chapter of Saint Augustine’s University. However, she still manages to find time to help with Girl Scout Troop 2311 in Washington, DC and SWI’s Beta and Gamma Chapters at Towson University and Delaware State University, respectively.
Ms. Fowler’s goals are to aid in the development of SWI’s Mentoring Curriculum as well as furthering her own entrepreneurial endeavors after graduate school. More importantly, Ms. Fowler wants to maintain her sensibleness, always be mindful of her choices, and grow spiritually. She is always willing to help and be an avid listener.
She is inspired by a quote from Marian Anderson which states: ” If you have a purpose in which you can believe, there is no end to the number of things you can accomplish.”
Born in Canada, Wandah Gibbs travelled to every single European Country before she was 15 years of age. She and her family lived in the South of France and Scotland where she attended grade school. In fact, a native English speaker, she started 1st Grade in a French school, even though at the time, she spoke no French at all. She had to adapt and did. Upon her return to Canada, she attended an all-French school where she excelled in French and English and was placed in Advanced Placement classes in both subjects.
Wandah married an American Air Force airman and moved to the US into a completely different culture. She had to adapt and did. She moved to California and started a family then on to Germany for seven years. She had to adapt again and did. In fact, she was living in Germany when the Berlin Wall came down and the Cold War was over.
She and her husband, decided to volunteer to exit the Air Force, and for a number of good reasons, moved to a city they had never visited before. She had to adapt and did. Meanwhile her young family was growing up when tragedy struck, and her husband of 20 years was killed in a motorcycle accident. Suddenly, head of household and needing to provide for her family, Ms. Gibbs worked full-time and attended college in the evenings part-time where she excelled and earned a scholarship to Syracuse University at the prestigious Newhouse School of Public Communications.
Within three years, she completed a dual-major, Bachelor’s in Public Relations and International Relations. Though going back to school as an adult was tough, she had to adapt and did. Soon after that, she completed a Master’s in Television/Radio and Film Production and was named Newhouse Scholar, an award bestowed upon few.
She became Director of Operations for a large Educational Company managing contracts under the No Child Left Behind era. She spent several more years both as Director and Director of Operations of student-centered programs both in the for-profit and not-for-profit worlds.
In 2016, Wandah Gibbs earned her Doctorate in Executive Leadership from St. John Fisher College. In October of 2017, Dr. Gibbs and her business partner launched a publishing company: WGW Publishing Inc. Being an entrepreneur has had its challenges. Again, she had to adapt and did . . . To date, they have published 14 books with several more on the way.
Though life has its challenges and she’s had to adapt . . . , she did.
Dr. Cheryl R. Grice is a university strategic partner for community engagement and regional workforce development focused on attracting, retaining, training, and employment. She has made contributions towards: Diversity awareness and inclusiveness in the workplace; community engagement; talent acquisition and retention; leadership and staff development; retention and professional development of transitioning soldiers, veterans, and family members; strategic planning and mentoring students.
Dr. Grice has over 25 years of human resource experience in management, talent acquisition and retention, training, hiring managers, dual career partnerships, developing and facilitating supervisory training, workforce development, and communication initiatives.
Her research and interests include the adult learner and workforce development, diversity awareness perceptions in the workplace, and assisting transitioning veterans and their family members with career path and educational or professional development opportunities.
She has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with emphasis in Human Resource Management from Upper Iowa University, a Master of Science in Adult and Continuing Education and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Administration, both from Kansas State University.
She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., a graduate of Leadership Manhattan and the Coffman Leadership Institute. Dr. Grice is also a founding member of the Fairy Godmother Fund, Greater Manhattan Community Foundation Volunteer of the Year, and 2018 Manhattan Chamber of Commerce C. Clyde Jones Volunteer of the Year recipient.