Vitreoretinal Surgeon, Atlanta Eye Consultants, PC
President Pivotal Wealth Management, LLC
Principal, VAAS Professionals, LLC
CEO and Founder MTW Enterprises & Publisher of South Fulton Magazine
Associate General Counsel of Baptist Memorial Healthcare Corporation
Interim Executive Director Managing Partner, Reed Thomas Law Group, LLC
Interim President of Morris Brown College
Senior Pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church & Vice-Chairman of MBC Board of Trustees
CEO & Founder
Black Bird Consulting Group
Director, Public and Affordable Housing,
General Counsel Foundation
Partner, Alston & Bird, LLP
Dr. Wilkes graduated in three years from Alcorn State University with a B.S. degree in biology, summa cum laude. He received his M.D. degree from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and performed his internship-residency year in Surgery at the University of Rochester School of Medicine.
Dr. Wilkes is a vitreoretinal surgeon who specializes in treating diseases and surgery of the retina and vitreous including diabetic retinopathy. He has published numerous articles in scientific ophthalmology journals, given numerous presentations locally, nationally, and internationally on retinal diseases including surgery, including Paris, France, and Montreal, Canada.
He received his MBA degree from the Coles College of Business, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Georgia, in 1998. He has been inducted into the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society in and Dr. Wilkes is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honors Society in Business. He has been listed in Marquis' of Who's Who in Finance and Industry.
Dr. Wilkes serves as a Deacon at Zion Hill Baptist Church, is a member of the Coles College of Business Advisory Board, Kennesaw State University. He is a member of the Advisory Board (and currently, the chairman of the Audit Committee and Vice-chairman of the Board of Directors) at Capitol City Bank. He is member of the Dean’s Council, Rollins School of Public Health, of Emory University; and assistant Clinical Professors of Surgery and Ophthalmology, Morehouse School of Medicine and Emory University School of Medicine, respectively.
Andre Williams has been a financial advisor for over 17 years providing retirement, wealth management, insurance, and estate planning consultative services to his clients. He began his career with AXA Advisors, a global investment and insurance company, as a member of the Retirement Benefits Group where he advised employees in the higher education, non-profit 501c(3), and medical sectors for more than a decade.
He became an independent financial advisor and founded Pivotal Wealth Management in 2012 with an eye toward creating an enhanced, more customized client experience.
A 2001 graduate of Morris Brown College, Andre resides in Atlanta, GA and holds his series 7, 66, and life & health licenses. He also earned his designation as a Certified Funds Specialist (CFS) from the Institute of Business Finance and is currently completing coursework to obtain his Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP) designation from the American College of Financial Services in December 2019.
Steve S. Julal is the Principal and founder of VAAS Professionals LLC. Julal has consulted with small to large sized businesses and federal agencies with respect to their financial, management and business needs.
Julal received his B.S. in Accounting and MBA in Finance from Oral Roberts University. Serving as board member on several councils, Julal remains an active member of local professional organizations such as The National Black MBA Association, 100 Black Men of Atlanta and the Nationals Contract Management Association.
Michelle Taylor Willis is a successful business owner, award-winning publisher, and speaker, and she is a wife and mother of four boys. Willis is the CEO and founder of MTW Enterprises, which aids in the personal and professional development skills of entrepreneurs, and she is the Publisher of South Fulton Lifestyle Magazine.
Michelle has had experience in the following industries: insurance, construction, plumbing, appliances, telecom, pharmaceutical, medical devices, cuisine, medical consulting, human resources, and publishing. Michelle serves as an avid community volunteer and sits (chairs) on several boards of directors and advisory boards, including the United Way of Greater Atlanta and the Atlanta Area Boy Scouts, and she serves as VP of Film and Entertainment on the Board of Directors for the South Fulton Chamber of Commerce. With her platform as Publisher of South Fulton Lifestyle™ Magazine, Michelle established relationships with key business, entertainment, and political leaders to build the South Fulton County community as a vital, economic contributor to the Greater Atlanta Area. She fashioned the “Best of South Fulton” awards to honor businesses that were chosen by the community to be the best.
Rolling Out named Michelle as one of the Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Atlanta and a Sister with a Superpower in 2019, and Women Works Media listed her on their Georgia’s Most Powerful and Influential Women list for 2019. ICABA saluted Michelle as an Atlanta Leading Influencer in 2019. Michelle was named Top 100 Most Influential Women in Georgia by the Global Women Wealth Warriors, Top 100 Women of Influence in Atlanta and Woman of the Year Finalist by the Atlanta Business League 2018.
Michelle has been recognized in several publications for her entrepreneurial successes and work she’s done in the South Fulton County area and in the business arena. She recently launched the “According to Michelle” brand, a web series and radio show that highlights businesses and movers and shakers around the metro Atlanta area, and she is the creator of the Moms All In®️ Conference, a two-day conference centered around a well-balanced life for female entrepreneurs.
Attorney Sharon Bridges serves as Associate General Counsel of Baptist Memorial Healthcare Corporation. She received a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from Morris Brown College and a Juris Doctorate from Loyola University School of Law, New Orleans, LA. Attorney Bridges is a native of Las Vegas, Nevada and resides in Jackson, Mississippi.
Laurie M. Thomas is a successful business owner, mentor, speaker, advocate, mediator, arbitrator. She is the mother of four young women. She is a native of Savannah, Georgia. She attended Savannah State University and obtained a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a focus on biotechnology. She then continued to Florida Coastal School of Law for her Juris Doctor. While in law school she was a public high school teacher and it was there she realized the need for strong HBCU's to support our youth. In 2006, she returned home to Savannah, Georgia after passing the bar to start the Law Office of Laurie M. Thomas, LLC. In 2019, she joined with her law school classmate, JaWand Joi Reed to form Reed Thomas Law Group, LLC.
She currently sits on the ward-winning Child Protection Section board of the State Bar of Georgia and has been on several government and nonprofit boards. For years she worked with nonprofits on establishment, programming, compliance, tax exempt status, and fundraising. For years she work with children and families in the foster care system and even became a foster parent herself. She is excited to join Morris Brown College Foundation as Interim Executive Director in August 2019.
Dr. Kevin James serves as the Interim President of Morris Brown College, a historically Black college located in Atlanta, Georgia. In this role he leads as CEO and is responsible for leadership and management of all aspects of college operations and responsible for the development and execution of the vision and strategic direction for the college in concert with the Board of Trustees.
In his nearly 20-year career as a higher education administrator, executive business leader, and motivational speaker, Dr. Kevin James is committed to improving his community through education and empowerment. He has served in various executive-level roles in both for-profit and non-profit colleges. Additionally, he teaches doctoral courses and serves as a Senior Dissertation Chair at the largest Christian school in the country, Grand Canyon University.
Furthermore, his non-profit leadership experience includes serving on the 100 Black Men of Atlanta, Inc. Board of Directors, Chair of Mentoring, and Vice Chair for New Member Training. He also served on the Board of Directors of Girls Inc., located in Columbus, Ga., and was a career-readiness speaker for college students with the United Negro College Fund. Additionally, he has numerous leadership experiences in international associations and fraternal organizations as an advisor and regional director. Moreover, he serves on the National Board of Directors (Executive Committee) for the Safe America Foundation Inc. and the University of South Florida Advisory Board, Muma College of Business. In fall 2018, he was a nominee for the Turknett Leadership Character Award recognizing outstanding leaders of character across Georgia in the business, nonprofit and education sectors.
Prior to his current post as Interim President, Dr. James was Interim CEO of the 100 Black Men of America, Inc. (The 100), internationally headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The mission of 100 Black Men of America is to improve the quality of life and enhance educational and economic opportunities for all African Americans. 100 Black Men of America has more than 125,000 students enrolled in its mentoring and outreach programs. In his role as CEO, Dr. James oversaw the day to day operations, strategic planning, and external relations for the non-profit organization of 10,000+ members who volunteer through a host of mentorship and community service initiatives across the country and internationally.
A native of Columbia, S.C., Dr. James attended South Carolina State University and earned his bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders and Social Sciences from Winthrop University; a master’s degree in Business Management, Leadership, and Organizational Effectiveness from Troy State University; and a Doctor of Education degree in Higher Education Leadership from Nova Southeastern University. He is also a graduate of the Higher Education Institute at Harvard University.
Among his memberships are Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education and Golden Key International Honor Society. Committed to community service, Dr. James holds memberships in several organizations including Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity, the Prince Hall Masonic Fraternity, and 100 Black Men of Atlanta, Inc.
Dr. Perry Simmons, Jr., serves as Senior Pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church in Albany, GA.
Dr. Simmons is a visionary leader and was called by God to teach and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is cherished for his powerful spiritual truths in messages that are focused on scripture and winning souls for Christ. He is an activist, a author, a counselor, a founder, a supporter, and a friend to all.
Dr. Simmons received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia. While at Morris Brown College he excelled in athletics, later being inducted into the College Athletic Hall of Fame.
Dr. Simmons prepared himself for ministry by attending Caldwell College (now Caldwell University), in Caldwell, New Jersey where he graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Masters of Arts Degree in Pastoral Ministry and Counseling, and Newburgh Theological Seminary in Newburgh, Indiana with a Doctorate of Ministry. In May 2008, Morris Brown College conferred upon Dr. Simmons the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.
Dr. Simmons is devoted to family and seeks to strengthen the spiritual foundation of families in our communities. A native of Cairo, GA, he is the son of Mrs. Pinkie Norwood Simmons and the late Reverend Perry Simmons, Sr. He is a third-generation minister. Dr. Simmons was married to the late Emma Pinkney Simmons. He is a father and a grandfather.
Jan Blackmon Adams brings over 20 years of experience in commercial real estate and affordable housing finance to the board, with previous work tenure in both large national as well as regional financial institutions. Currently, she owns her own consulting firm, Black Bird Consulting Group, specializing in commercial real estate underwriting and management consulting. In addition to her work experience, she previously served for 6 years as Treasurer of The GABWA Foundation, a non-profit organization affiliated with the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys, that works to support African-American women in Georgia law schools and at-risk female youth. While on The GABWA Foundation board, she also served as Chairperson for both the Fund Development and Social Media Committees. Ms. Adams is mother to a teenage daughter with whom she enjoys traveling and, in her free time, she reads and cooks.
Dr. White is the Director of Public and Affordable Housing at Aprio. He has over 25 years of experience including working at several Housing Authorities, County Government and the private sector. Dr. White has managed funding in excess of $300 million and overseen more than 350 employees. He brings expertise in affordable housing development, finance, human services, economic development, compliance, community engagement, risk management, community development and facilities management. In his role at Aprio, Dr. White is instrumental in the expansion of Aprio’s Public and Affordable Housing group nationally.
Dr. White earned his Doctor of Public Administration with distinction from Capella University, his Master of Business Administration in Finance from the University of Connecticut, and his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Southern Connecticut State University.
Liz Broadway Brown is a business and commercial litigator who concentrates her practice on the defense of high-stakes class action and privacy litigation matters, primarily in the health care, technology, and financial services industries. Liz has significant experience litigating complex disputes in trial and appellate courts across the county. She has defended matters involving the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Electronic Communications Privacy Act, ERISA, RICO, and numerous state consumer protection and deceptive trade practices act claims. Liz also represents attorneys and law firms in matters involving issues of professional liability, defamation, and malpractice.
Liz served as the president of the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys (GABWA) in 2019-2020, an award-winning voluntary bar organization with nearly 600 members across the state of Georgia. Liz was named to the Georgia Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” list in 2018 and named one of The National Black Lawyers “Top 40 Under 40” in Georgia in 2015 and 2016.
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