Bios Q-Z.

Sensible Living for a Lifetime . . .

Yvonne Queen currently works as a Regional Property Manager for Edmundson and Gallagher, one of the leading property management companies located in McLean, VA. In her role as a Regional Property Manager, it is her responsibility to mentor and support 7 Property Managers, 6 Asst. Property Managers, 2 Leasing Consultants, 5 Maintenance Supervisors, and 7 Maintenance Technicians.

She has spent the last 23 years of her life dedicating herself to providing affordable, safe, and sustainable homes for people in need with a focus on the vulnerable. She holds her CPM, COS, LIHTC and UPCS certifications. She is currently taking online classes to complete her Bachelors in Business Management with hopes of starting her own business.

Yvonne Queen, AA, BA

Regional Property Manager for Edmundson and Gallagher - McLean, Virginia, Asst. Director of Marketing

Amanda Stafford has functioned in many capacities during her decades of service to society. She currently serves as a Mental Health & Addiction Specialist, has been a former educational administrator and is a certified Christian Counselor.

As a Youth mentor during her teenage years and Student Leader in elementary school, she has always been passionate about her calling to help others in whatever capacity she could.

Amanda received her Undergraduate and Graduate degrees from Jersey City State College in the field of Education. She has also completed Post Graduate course work at William Paterson College and at Yale University with the nationally recognized Comer School Development Program. Amanda has recently embarked on a second career path in the Co-occurring Field (Mental Health & Addiction) and has most recently completed course work at Rutgers University in New Jersey. She considers herself a lifelong learner.

During her leisure time Amanda enjoys traveling; she has studied in Egypt with the late Dr. Ben Yosef Johanna from Cornell University. She has been a guest speaker in Brazil on Character Development in Schools. She has traveled extensively to Caribbean Islands and has been to Senegal, West Africa. She also enjoys reading, writing (particularly poems & words of wisdom), and socializing with family and close friends.

Amanda is divorced and has three adult children: Symone, married to Stephen with two children, (Summer & S J); plus Blair and Imani. She resides in Hillside, NJ.
Amanda Stafford, MS

Mental Health & Addiction Specialist - Bridgeway Rehabilitation Inc. - Elizabeth, New Jersey, Director of Scholarships

Tiffany Stewart is a New Haven native with a passion for education. Being motivated by various challenges she encountered in the New Haven Public School System as a student, she decided to make education her life’s purpose. After receiving a Master’s of Education from the esteemed Harvard University, Tiffany went on to become a school leader in New York City.

In 2013, she along with two of her colleagues helped build an extended day middle school for students in the Highbridge community, one of the most underperforming districts in New York City. An educator turned entrepreneur, Tiffany founded Aligning, a Management & Media consulting company. She now supports a wide variety of organizations in reaching their goals.

Tiffany Stewart, BS, MS

Founder of Aligning, a Management & Media Consulting Company - New Haven, Connecticut, Director of Grant Writing

Mikki Taylor is the quintessential authority on all matters regarding beauty and style. From A-list celebrities and world-renowned cover models, to women-in-the-know, Mikki influences all types of women with her vision of beauty and style. She has devoted a lifetime to helping women manage their inner and outer beauty and inspiring them to own their lives to the fullest.

For 30 years, Taylor served as ESSENCE Magazine’s groundbreaking Beauty & Cover Director, and is now Editor-at-Large for the publication. In addition, she is the Founder and President of Mikki Taylor Enterprises, LLC, which serves as a holding company for a number of vertical businesses, including Satin Doll Productions, a full-service image building and consulting division, and MT Communications, a strategic communications and branding company.

Taylor has offered beauty and style advice through all types of media, including broadcast, digital and of course, print outlets, which culminated in her wildly successful book, Self-Seduction: Your Ultimate Path to Inner and Outer Beauty (Ballantine Books/One World). This triumph left readers craving more, therefore the sequel, Commander-in-Chic: Every Woman’s Guide to Managing Her Style Like a First Lady (Atria Books/Simon & Schuster), hit store shelves on November 29, 2011.

Taylor has joined forces with AMBI Skincare, a division of Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products Company, as the brand’s newly-appointed national spokesperson in an effort dedicated to empower, inspire, and celebrate women of color. AMBI Skincare’s 45-year heritage as the trusted brand for even-toned, beautiful skin perfectly complements Taylor’s 30-year career as a renowned beauty expert. This alliance will provide women with the tools and resources necessary to feel beautiful inside and out.

Taylor has been featured on many television outlets, including: The Oprah Winfrey Show, The View, TODAY, Weekend Today, The Early Show, NBC Nightly News, EXTRA, Inside Edition, E! Entertainment Television, CNN, TV Guide Channel, VH1, Style Network, Life & Style, WE-TV, CBS 2 Morning News, the Style Network, Pure Oxygen, BET, Mo’Nique’s Fat Chance and TV One. Viewers also received a weekly dose of Taylor’s positive influence on VH1’s highest rated debut series Flavor of Love Girls: Charm School, which premiered to more than five million viewers. Each week, Taylor served as the voice of reason and compassion as she imparted to the women honest, valuable information, insight and tips to help the contestants—and the women who watched the show—live a better, more productive, pride-filled life. She also served as the host of the TV One series Makeover Manor.

One of Taylor’s most treasured experiences was a trip to South Africa, at the special invitation of Oprah Winfrey, where she served as an instructor to 149 girls ages 12-14, at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls as part of its Arts Workshop 2007. Taylor taught a course called Celebrating Your Unique Beauty & Style, a three-part workshop that addressed practical and timeless elements of social graces and the essential basics of inner and outer beauty, and Your Best Shot, a session which taught the skills to insure a phenomenal photograph.

In 2007, the Black Retail Action Group (BRAG) honored Taylor at its 37th annual scholarship and awards dinner, acknowledging those who have penetrated and embraced the world of beauty in a significant way both in front and behind the scenes. She is also a four-time recipient of the CEBA Award, a former industry award acknowledging excellence in African-American media, as well as the winner of the Associated Black Charities Image Makers Award.

Another prized accomplishment of Taylor was organizing an annual beauty event where proceeds from the sale of products benefitted homeless and underprivileged women through the Cosmetic Executive Women’s (CEW) Women In Need, a nonprofit organization that services shelters in and around New York City. Taylor is also a member of the President’s Council of Fashion Group International, Inc., where she previously served as a member of its board of directors.

Mikki Taylor, BA, MFA

Essence Magazine Editor-at-Large - Founder and President of Mikki Taylor Enterprises, LLC - Roselle, New Jersey, Senior Advisor of Collaboration

Glenda Marie (Fleming) Thomas was born in Mount Pleasant, Texas, and raised in San Francisco and San Jose, California. She completed high school with high honors and went directly to Southwestern Christian College at age seventeen. Glenda also attended college at U. C. Berkeley and Oakland University in California where she majored in Ethnic Studies. She became a certified Life Coach.

​Glenda has been active in the teaching program of the churches she has attended for forty years (even as a teenager). She has taught all age groups in Sunday School and created curriculum. She has led women through to spiritual healing by using “12 Steps for Christians.” She is also a speaker and has spoken at women’s events in several states including California at Pepperdine University.
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Glenda founded the “Sister 2 Sister Newsletter” for fourteen years. This newsletter was sent to fourteen countries and served as a ministry of encouragement to women. She authored several books: The Change, Woman to Woman: Lessons on the Relationships of Bible Women, Fundamentals of an Effective Women’s Ministry, 7 Relationship Builders for Grandparents, and an audio CD and e-book entitled, Who Knew? God Still Heals.

In 2015, Glenda faced her most daunting challenge; she successfully went through brain aneurysm surgery! She wrote the book, The Next Chapter: Glenda’s Brain Aneurysm Journey, about her experience during her recuperating period and has since become an artist.

Currently, Glenda serves in ministry with her husband of thirty-eight years at Southside Church of Christ in Little Rock, Arkansas. She is the mother of three young adult children (J. C. III., Linnita, and Marie) and the grandmother of one grandson – J. C., IV.

Glenda Marie Thomas, CMC

Christian Speaker/Author, Teacher/Magazine Publisher, Little Rock, Arkansas, Director of Domestic Abuse

Marcia Thornton is a native of Guyana, South America. She holds professional degrees in both Business Management and Human Resources from the American Inter-Continental University. In 1997, top hospitality companies such as Starwood and Kimpton Hotels recruited Thornton and played an instrumental role in preparing her with a unique level of expertise in Management, Communications, and Data Systems.

Thornton has a diverse professional portfolio which strongly empowers her career and immediately makes her an asset to any advisory team. Currently, she consults as a Program Analyst for the Federal Government at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. In this role, her primary focus is on data collection, statistical analysis, and training for Military personnel.

On a personal level, Marcia Thornton is the loving wife of Marcus Thornton and the mother of two great children – Xavier and Mia. She is the daughter of Wycliffe Leitch and the late Ursula Johnson. Her siblings include one sister, one brother, and three step sisters.
Marcia Thornton, AA, BA

Human Resource Specialist - Walter Reed Medical Center - Fort Washington, Maryland, Deputy CFO / Director of Recognition

As an individual who is sincerely committed to the growth and development of women, Bernadine dedicated ten years to creating nurturing and inviting gatherings wherein women were encouraged to share, be open to gaining greater knowledge of self, others, and the world around them and to embrace one another. These gatherings eventually led Bernadine to organize successful, weekend retreats for women, at which she gave insightful presentations, brought in amazing guest speakers, and hosted various games and activities. Bernadine also advocates “giving back” not only in words, but in deeds. Thus, throughout the years, she has volunteered her time and talents to the New Jersey Community Food Bank, Roselle Public Library, YMWCA of Newark, A Greater Purpose, Sisters of Shechinah, Georgia Regional Hospital, and a host of various churches throughout New Jersey and Georgia.

In her professional career, Bernadine’s innate desire to set the bar high in accomplishing milestones and achieving steadily progressive steps, in whatever industry she may work, has motivated her to work her way up the corporate ladder from a Human Resources Clerk to her current role as a Human Resources Generalist. Furthermore, her insurmountable drive to take on new and exciting challenges has led Bernadine up a career path that includes working as a receptionist, truck loader, fit model, tutor, child-care provider, public safety officer, and IT professional.

Evidence of Bernadine’s determination to give her best and her highest to each endeavor is also exhibited through her education, as she maintained a 4.00/4.00 grade point average throughout her undergraduate and graduate studies. She holds a Master of Science Degree in Project Management and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Information Systems. Upon completing her undergraduate studies, she was named the graduating class’s Valedictorian.

Bernadine Vaughan, BS, MS

Human Resources Generalist - The Arc Mercer County - Ewing, New Jersey, Director of Executive Administration

​Ms. Naomi Wright is a native of Newark, New Jersey. She was reared in private schools and holds a degree in Early Childhood/ Elementary Education.

After completing her Bachelor of Art degree from Kean University, Ms. Wright became Director of a Daycare Center in Jersey City, New Jersey. A year later she received a full presidential scholarship and decided to go back to school to obtain her Masters Degree in Urban Education and Business Administration. Her first professional career was in 1977 where she worked as an Administrative Academic Advisor for the Opportunity Scholarship Program at New Jersey City University. She loved this calling to work in higher education. So for the past 37 years, Naomi has held the following positions at the University: Assistant Director, Evening Coordinator, Summer Dormitory Director, Veteran’s Coordinator, Adjunct Professor, Teacher Internship Supervisor, Student Probationary Coordinator, Student Union Advisor, and President of the Black Administrators, Alumni, Faculty, Student, and Staff organization among other roles and titles.

Ms. Wright is devoted to the field of education. To date she has also secured her Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) and qualifies as a Drug and Substance Abuse Administrator. She has secured three Master Degrees. She considers herself to be a lifelong learner. Her greatest passion is working with people at risk. For several years, she worked as a Supervisor Mentor and taught drug and alcohol classes at Integrity House Inc. in Newark, and worked with male inmates at Mountainview Correctional Facility in New Jersey. She is certified with the Essex County Superior Court where she mediates in the tenant/landlord courts and applies her conciliation training skills with troubled juveniles.

In her spare time, she has enjoyed working as a Field Representative for the Department of Commerce in New York City. You will always find Ms. Wright reading or singing with the Newark Adult Chorus at nursing homes, hospitals, and prisons. Through the effort of shared cooperation, she started a “Feed the Homeless Program” at the Montclair Church of Christ three years ago which to date has fed nearly 500 individuals.

Ms. Wright is married to her best friend, Brother Ray Wright – Minister of the Montclair Church of Christ.

Naomi K. Wright, BA, MA, SAC

Professional Services Specialist I - L.E.A.P Coordinator - Newark, New Jersey, Vice President of Advancement

Avis Yates Rivers is the President and CEO of Technology Concepts Group International, LLC. (TCGi), a global asset, expense and procurement management firm. She possesses more than 35 years of general management experience in the information technology industry and has been a successful tech entrepreneur for over 30 years.

At a young age, Avis demonstrated the unique ability to envision possibilities and recognize opportunities. She credits growing up with five siblings in New York City as an important period in her life that prepared her well for the challenges that lie ahead. Her mother and father were both blue-collar, hard-working parents that instilled the benefits of learning and caring about their community. Avis remembers how her father always took classes to expand his mind and improving his station in life, encouraging and inspiring Avis to do the same. Every family lesson paid off.

Prior to establishing her first company in 1985, Ms. Yates Rivers enjoyed an 11-year career at Exxon Corporation and its subsidiaries. She rose to the rank of Account Executive as a result of successfully marketing a line of early technology products from Exxon Office Systems Company in New York City. When Exxon sold the Office Systems Division, Avis decided to branch out on her own, which led to the founding of her first company. She went on to found several firms over the years, culminating with Technology Concepts Group International, LLC (TCGi). With its innovative supply chain solutions, TCGi specializes in reducing the cost of IT Asset Management, IT Procurement Management and Tail Spend Management. Through its Equipment Financing Division, TCGi delivers flexible payment options to its valuable customers. January 2015 marked her 30th anniversary of business ownership.

A strong believer in the late Shirley Chisholm’s ideal that “service is the rent you pay for the privilege of living on this earth,” Avis subscribes to both the principles and the practice of being “in service.” She is a long-time advocate for the increased utilization of minority and women-owned businesses and has served in many leadership positions in national organizations such as NMSDC and WBENC. She is also a change agent for increasing the meaningful participation of women and people of color in technology as a member of the Board of Directors and “Sit With Me” Spokesperson of the National Center for Women and Information Technology.

Her many accolades include Entrepreneur of the Year, Woman of Distinction, the Shirley Chisholm Award for Business, Top 10 Women in Technology and Top 25 Leading Women Entrepreneurs & Business Owners, along with her White House Champion of Change in STEM honor awarded by President Barack Obama.

She is a nationally recognized thought-leader and in-demand global speaker. Her first book, Necessary Inclusion: Embracing the Changing Faces of Technology, was launched in December 2016.

Avis Yates-Rivers, BBA

CEO of Technology Concepts Group International, LLC. (TCGi) - New York City, New York, Senior Advisor of Longevity

Mrs. Zandra Young is a remote (from home) Compliance and Quality Audit Coordinator with Himagine Solutions, where she is responsible for conducting prebill and retrospective reviews of selected medical records (accounts) to include diagnoses and procedures on accounts that are finalized by the coding staff. These audits are performed to ensure that compliance with current coding guidelines and regulatory standards are being met. She also coordinates with Coding Managers to schedule these audits, secure record lists and prepare trackers for individual audits.

She currently holds three certifications in the Health information management (HIM) field to include her Coding Certified Specialist (CCS) certification with the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), and her Certified Professional Coder (CPC) and Certified Risk Adjustment Coder (CRC) both with American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC).

Prior employment includes Program Director of Medical Billing and Coding/Healthcare Reimbursement at Virginia College of Savannah, Allied Health Adjunct Instructor of Savannah Technical College, various other medical office positions, as well as serving in the United States Army as a Combat Medic. She has over 12 years of experience in Health Information Management as well as 16 years in the Healthcare field as a whole.

With the support of her husband and the desire to show her children that she can win, Zandra graduated from Colorado Technical University Online where she received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Healthcare Management (Summa Cum Laude) in 2014.
Zandra firmly believes in the common quote, “Life is hard, but it is fair,” but with that, draws strength from her faith which is the driving force of her life.

Zandra S. Young, BSHM, CCS, CPC, CRC

Compliance and Quality Audit Coordinator, Himagine Solutions, Savannah, Georgia, Director of Health Finance