Sensible Living for a Lifetime . . .
Professionally, Mary Davis McNeil is a realtor and a member of the National Association of Realtors, South Carolina Association of Realtors, Greater Columbia Association of Realtors, and Columbia Multiple Listings Service.
Mary was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She has been a member of the Lord’s Church for 40 years. Mary has been married to Jack McNeil for 42 years. Jack McNeil is minister of the Sunset Blvd. Church of Christ in West Columbia, South Carolina. They have four children Nicole (Darnell), Avery, Jack Jr, Danyel (Horace) and 10 Grandchildren.
Some of her activities at the Sunset Blvd. congregation include the following: She has taught from the cradle roll class to the adult ladies class. Mary has served on the Education Committee, Youth Coordinators Committee, and she chairs the Ladies Weekend Program Committee. Mary has spoken on numerous Ladies Day Programs, Retreats, has served as a guest speaker on the Ministers Institute Conference Ladies Sessions in Fort Lauderdale Fl. Southeastern Lectureship Ladies Programs, and the National Ministers’ Wives Conferences.
Mary presently serves on the National Minister’s Wives Advisory Committee, and she is the Executive Chairperson of the Santee Retreat Board.
Princess E. Parker received her MA in Marriage and Family Therapy from Amberton University in Garland, Texas. She is currently working for Effective School Solutions as the Program Coordinator and Clinician at John Hill School in Boonton, New Jersey. She has 14 years of experience counseling children, youth, and families within various communities including psychiatric facilities, military populations, youth centers, and educational environments.
Her motivation in working in this field is to provide the individual client with support and tools needed to navigate life’s challenges successfully. Mrs. Parker committed to improving the quality of life of each individual client through improved mental health and better interpersonal skills and relationships.
Denise West has been working in the health and social service community for thirty years. She entered the social service field, starting as a clinical counselor for the Addiction Research and Treatment Corp., a multi-faceted citywide substance abuse agency. She was part of a specialized therapeutic team, serving as the primary therapist to a caseload of 50 multi-substance abusing clients.
In 1984, she accepted the position of Clinical Director at the citywide agency Community Health Care Network, Inc., formerly known as Community Family Planning Council. She worked at their United Parents Clinic, located in Brooklyn, for the next 6 years. As part of senior management, she was responsible for directing, managing, and analyzing all clinical activities including program development and implementation, clinical services, community health education, and outreach programs. Under her direction, the program expanded their services to include: on-site WIC enrollment, anonymous and confidential HIV testing, prenatal care services, and a male involvement program. It also became the agency’s training site for new nurses.
It was while she was working at the Community Health Care Network that she became one of the founding members of the Brooklyn Comprehensive Perinatal Taskforce. She was the group leader for the Brownsville workgroup which developed and administered a community needs assessment. In 1988, when the Taskforce became incorporated, she too was voted in on the Council (which served as the Board of Directors) and elected chairperson of the Finance Committee. In 1990, she resigned her position at the Community Health Care Network and joined the staff of Brooklyn Perinatal Network as Assistant Director.
Ms. West has remained with Brooklyn Perinatal Network, Inc. since 1990, working in various management capacities within the organization. She has served as Deputy Executive Director since 2004, responsible for the administration of all program development and administration, contract negotiations, proposal writing, evaluation and needs analysis, marketing and public promotion activities, and community collaborations. She directed the NYS Facilitated Enrollment Program for the last 12 years and directs the new Affordable Care Act / NYSOH program. She ensures that this program coordinates with the other BPN programs and other community based organizations.
Shani C. Mitchell was born and raised in southwest Rochester, NY. She matriculated through the Rochester Public Schools. In 1991, she graduated from Joseph C. Wilson Magnet High School. In 1995, she graduated from Spelman College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics. She continued her education, after college, by obtaining her law degree from Florida State University College of Law, in Tallahassee, Florida. After graduating from law school, she joined the Office of the Fulton County District Attorney in Atlanta, Georgia, where she prosecuted felony crimes for seven years. While in this office, she was awarded the Ahmed Dabarran Community Service Award for her commitment to serving the community.
After leaving the District Attorney’s Office, she opened her own law practice. Her law practice included the practice of criminal defense, family law, and personal injury. While in private practice, she obtained her Master’s in Criminal Justice from Boston University. After two and a half years of private practice, she realized that her heart lied with prosecution. Thus, she returned to prosecution by joining the Office of the Clayton County Solicitor General, in Jonesboro, Georgia (southern suburb of Atlanta).
While in private practice, she began teaching part-time. When an opportunity arose, she decided to try her hand at teaching full-time. She taught for Atlanta Technical College and SUNY Canton. She taught paralegal and criminal justice students, respectively.
Her desire to return to her hometown of Rochester, NY, led her back to her first love of prosecution. Currently, she is an Assistant District Attorney for the Office of the Monroe County District Attorney.
Shani is married and is the mother of a twelve-year-old son, and a step-mother to four wonderful girls. She is President of the Rochester Black Bar Association, an organization that supports the efforts of African-American and other minority attorneys in Monroe County. Her family are members of First Genesis Baptist Church.
Lovely Warren is the two-term Mayor of Rochester, New York. In 2014, she was sworn in as the first female and second African-American Mayor for the City of Rochester (NY). In her bid for a second term as mayor, she defeated her challengers by obtaining a 60% advantage (November 2017).
Warren was born and raised in Rochester and graduated from Wilson Magnet High School. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a Juris Doctorate from Albany Law School of Union University. In 2004, she was admitted to the bar and later became a Past President of the local Black Bar Association.
Her entry into politics began in 2007, when she became a member of the Rochester City Council. Within three years, she was voted President of the City Council, carving a place in Rochester history as its youngest City Council President ever.
Warren is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and has received numerous recognitions and awards during her professional life. She is married to Timothy Granison, and they have a young daughter. The family resides in the Northeast section of Rochester (NY).
Iris Polk-Kuku is a native of Houston, Texas, but has lived on the North East Coast for over 35 years – she has worked in Corporate America since making the transition to the North East. She currently serves as the Assistant Vice President of Corporate Administrative Services with Arch Insurance Group Inc, leading a team of 23.
In 2015, she received the highest corporate honor the organization offers, the Arch Achieve Award, which recognizes the company’s most valuable players that exercise excellence and commitment to working hard and smart, teamwork, innovation and improvement, integrity and having a positive impact on the organization and their clients.
Ms. Polk-Kuku received a BA in Communications and has an Executive MBA in business. She currently serves as the New Jersey State National Dinner Day Coordinator for SwCC, which is purposed to create fund raising projects in support of Christian education. She volunteered for seven years at Raphael Life House, assisting homeless expecting mothers between the ages of 13 to 21, with personal and professional development. She is a public speaker having spoken at various ladies seminars and lectureships.
Ms. Polk-Kuku, being a woman of great faith, has a passion for being a servant. It is her belief that we are placed here to serve. She is driven to motivate, encourage, and elevate others to be all that they are purposed to be; helping to unleash and unlock the powers within.
She is so honored to be considered a member of the SWI purpose of making a positive impact on young ladies, helping them to grow and develop into the full knowledge of their purpose in life, and having them to strive and thrive achieving levels of success that could otherwise only be imagined.