Don Rivers

Don Rivers - Executive DirectorDon Rivers – Executive Director

Don Rivers is Founder and President of Rivers Productions, Inc. (RPI); an entertainment production company based in Atlanta, Georgia, est. 1981. Don is also the Founder of The R.E.A.C.H. Complex, Inc. a nonprofit 501 C-3 organization to teach young people about the music entertainment business (www.TheREACHComplex.org). Don is responsible for soliciting, fundraising, and executing contracts, which provide a wide variety of entertainment production services. These services include producing concerts and production, booking and
management of National and International Artists, on-site event management, and event consulting services. Don is also Executive Director for the nonprofit 501 C-3 organization C.T. Vivian Leadership Institute (www.ctvli.org), our Vision is “To create a community where All people can thrive”. Don has coordinated events in various cities in both the U.S. and abroad, ranging from intimate receptions to large-scale conventions, festivals, and concerts. RPI has produced numerous noteworthy events. The State of Colorado Democratic Party Inaugural Ball for President Bill Clinton in Washington, D.C., Auburn Avenue Street Festival 100,000 in attendance for James Brown, City of Atlanta Musical Tribute to South African President Nelson Mandela at Bobby Dodd Stadium 54,000 in attendance, UNCF’S Mayor’s Masked Ball, Labor Day Classic Post Game Concert at the Georgia Dome 45,000 in attendance, Diner en Blanc (Atlanta), Organization of Black Airline Pilots, Dekalb County Government, the City of Atlanta, 100 Black Men of America, Inc., event management Super Bowl XXXIV Hospitality Village featuring the Doobie Brothers and more. Clients: Coca Cola, McDonald’s, UNCF, The Trumpet Awards, The City of Atlanta, Dekalb County, City of East Point, Morehouse College, Clark Atlanta University, Spelman College, The National Urban League, The Atlanta Hawks, 100 Black Men of America, 100 Black Women of Atlanta, Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, RJ Reynolds, and more. Don volunteers in the Atlanta community. He has donated his entertainment services for fundraising events of several non-profit organizations, the CT Vivian Leadership Institute, the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Prevent Child Abuse of Georgia, Center for the Visually Impaired, 100 Black Women of Atlanta, Breast Cancer Survivors, Mayors Seniors Ball, and UNCF, just to name a few. Don is a member of ASCAP, NATAS, NARAS, and High Museum of Art. Prior to establishing RPI, Don was employed as Marketing Manager for Purex Corporation. He worked as the Assistant Regional Manager for American Display, Director of Audio Education (SWW) at Shaw University, and a Producer for WBT Radio (Jefferson Pilot Broadcasting Company) Charlotte, NC. Rivers received a B.A. Degree in Radio, Television, and Film Production from Shaw University.

Constance Barkley-Lewis

Constance Barkley-Lewis - Marketing Strategist Content CreatorConstance Barkley-Lewis – Marketing Strategist Content Creator

Constance Barkley-Lewis has spent thirty years building businesses and brands in the corporate, non-profit, and civic sectors while creating award-winning creative content. The passion that links her corporate, civic, and creative pursuits is her desire to serve underserved communities. Constance serves as Director of Development for Georgia State University’s Creative Media Industries Institute, working to develop the next generation of digital content creators in an environment where compelling storytelling meets bleeding-edge technology. Prior to her current position, she spent over 15 years as the Founder and Managing Principal of SmartWork Strategy Partners, a marketing consulting practice. Her corporate experience included nine years at Turner Broadcasting where she rose to Senior Vice President of Marketing for TBS Superstation and head of marketing for the launch of the Turner South network. During her Turner tenure, she was selected as one of 25 women chosen nationally for participation in the 1997 Betsy Magness Leadership Program and was a member of the 1998 class of Leadership Atlanta. Prior to her corporate career, she spent five years in New Orleans where she wrote the national grant to establish the Metropolitan Area Committee Education Fund which became a successful model for education funds nationally. She rose to the position of Executive Director of the parent organization, the Metropolitan Area Committee, which works to build consensus among diverse constituencies in New Orleans around issues such as race relations, public education, local government finance, and leadership development. Constance attended the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill where she received her undergraduate degree in English and her Masters of Business Administration. She is a member of the Georgia State University’s Marketing Roundtable and an Advisory Board member for the Harvard Debate Council Diversity Project. In Atlanta, she served on the Board of Invest Atlanta from 2011-2018, including serving as Vice-Chair and as Chair of the Tax Allocation District Committee. She served as Contributing Editor to Motto Magazine and is the author of Fairy Garden: Fairies of the Four Seasons as well as two musicals and a one-act play. She lives in Atlanta with her husband, Dale Lewis.

Rev. Dr. JoAnn Watson

Rev. Dr. JoAnn Watson - CommunityRev. Dr. JoAnn Watson – Community

JoAnn Watson is a native Detroiter and has been honored as a “Distinguished Alumnus” of the University of Michigan. She is the Senior Pastor of West Side Unity Church & is the host of the Radio/TV show: “Wake Up Detroit” via Watkins Broadcasting. Rev. Watson was formerly: Detroit City Council President Pro Temp, Detroit NAACP Executive Director, Detroit YWCA Executive Director, YWCA of the USA Assistant Executive Director; and Public Liaison, U. S. Congress. She holds an Honorary Doctorate, is a College Professor at Wayne County Community College District, and a Professor at The Unity Urban Ministerial School. She is founding President of the National Association of Black Talk Show Hosts, & serves on an Advisory Board for American Girl, where they modeled a doll and several books about a 9-year old Detroit girl during the ’60’s Civil Rights Era, mirroring Watson’s life story. Dr. Watson was a delegate to the 2001 U. N. World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa & the 1989 Women for A Meaningful Summit in the USSR. Dr. Watson was recognized by The Nation Magazine in 2009 as “the most valuable local elected official in the USA.” As a workaholic legislator, Watson sponsored thousands of laws, including: “Water Affordability Plan” to help low-income citizens avoid water shut-offs; laws banning texting and talking while driving; ban on smoking in public places; resolution to mandate summer jobs for youth; “Bank on Detroit” program to promote financial health; AfricanTown/Paradise Valley Business District to promote the economic well-being of Detroit’s Black Businesses; Cost-Recovery Ordinance to recoup millions from utilities whose power lines are monitored by Detroit Police & Fire Fighters; 15 points added to job applications of City residents, and a “Marshall Plan” to fund the economic restructuring of the City; among other initiatives. Watson is a member of the National African American Reparations Commission and is a contributing author to “Should America Pay?”, the landmark book on Reparations, published in 2003. She has served as chair of the Detroit chapter of the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (NCOBRA) & is a long-time member of N’COBRA’s national board. She is featured in the 2002 scholarly publication, “Eight Women who are National Leaders on Reparations”. Watson was a featured speaker at Sept. 16, 2016, Congressional Black Caucus Judiciary Hearing in Washington, DC, and she addressed Dr. Maulana Karenga’s NGUZO SABA Conference, celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Kwanzaa in Los Angeles, on Sept. 25, 2015. Dr. Watson received the highest award of The Institute of The Black World-21st Century, November 19, 2016, in Newark, NJ. Rev. Dr. JoAnn Watson is the daughter of an African Methodist Episcopal Minister & is the eldest of 10 born to Jefferson Nichols, Sr. and Rev. Lestine Kent Nichols. She is the mother of 4 (Damon, Nefertari, Stephen B., Maya); grandmother of 4 (Jendayi, Troy, Damon Jr., Carolyn Marie), & God Mother of 40. She has counted among her mentors: Mother Rosa Parks, Rev. Dr. C.T. Vivian, Hon. John Conyers, Dr. Dorothy I. Height, Dr. Imari Obadele (aka Richard Henry), Gaidi Obadele (aka Rev. Milton Henry), Hon. Claudia House Morcom, Aretha Franklin, Dick Gregory, Dr. Charles H. Wright, “Reparations” Ray Jenkins, and others. Rev. Dr. JoAnn Watson labors in the vineyard with Dr. Ron Daniels, Dr. Claud Anderson, Michael Simianga, Dr. Julianne Malveaux, Hon. Dorothy Tilman, Dr. Ray Winbush, Dr. Gloria House, Dr. Iva Carruthers, Dr. Maulana Karenga, Atty. Derrick Humphries, Judge Greg Mathis, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, & Martha Reeves.

Michael Julian Bond

Michael Julian Bond – CommunityMichael Julian Bond – Community

Councilmember Michael Julian Bond has served Atlanta citywide, representing more than 450,000 local residents, since his election to the Atlanta City Council Post 1 At-Large seat in November of 2009. He is a member of the Committee on Council and the Community Development/Human Resources and Public Safety committees. From 1994 to 2001, Michael served on the council as the District 3 representative for portions of the city’s south and northwest quadrants. During that time, he served as the city council’s President Pro Tempore and as chair of both the Public Safety and Community Development committees. Outside of his council duties, Michael served as the Deputy Director and Chief Programs Officer for the Atlanta branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He has volunteered with the American Diabetes Association for more than 20 years, serving on its national board from 2011 to 2013. Born and raised in Atlanta, Michael is the son of the late civil rights leader Julian Bond and his wife, Alice. He attended Frederick Douglass High School, Morehouse College, and Georgia State University. In 2011, Michael received his certification for the Senior Executives in State and Local Government from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He is an active member at Antioch Baptist Church North in Atlanta.

Jeff Hilimire

Jeff Hilimire - CEO / AuthorJeff Hilimire – CEO & Author

Jeff Hilimire is an accomplished entrepreneur who has launched multiple successful for-profit and nonprofit organizations, and who has successfully sold two companies. His current business, Dragon Army, is one of the fastest-growing digital agencies in the nation. Over the course of 20 years, Jeff has applied his knowledge of entrepreneurship and innovation to help guide leaders from some of the most well-known global brands to mobilize growth using an entrepreneurial mentality. He is also the co-founder of 48in48, a global nonprofit that produces hackathon events to build 48 nonprofit websites in 48 hours. When Jeff isn’t running Dragon Army, mentoring, or volunteering at 48in48, he is working hard as the founder of Ripples of Hope, a collection of for-profit and nonprofit organizations focused on business as a force for good in the world. Jeff is also an accomplished author, and his book, The 5-Day Turnaround, is a reflection of his drive and personal purpose to have an outsized, positive impact on the world. Jeff lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his lovely wife, Emily, and their five children. See the many other ways he’s worked to help leaders increase their satisfaction and success via his personal blog, jeffhilimire.com.

Justine Boyd

Justine Boyd – FundraisingJustine Boyd – Fundraising

Justine Boyd has a long and exemplary record of service, leadership, and advocacy. She is currently the Regional Development Director for the Atlanta Region of UNCF where she oversees the development initiatives of five states which support 20 Historically Black Colleges and Universities. UNCF is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. Since its founding in 1944, UNCF has raised more than $3.6 billion to help more than 400,000 students receive college degrees at colleges and universities throughout the country including its 37- member institutions. She was President of JNB Strategies, LLC, a consulting firm specializing in the delivery of a full range of services to market and promote non-profit organizations. In 2014 she was instrumental in leading the, “Save the ITC” campaign. Justine served as the Chief Executive Officer of the YWCA of Greater Atlanta and has more than 15 years of Executive Leadership experience in nonprofit management, government administration, and external affairs. Under her leadership, the YWCA (a premier women’s serving agency) operated a Woman in Transition shelter; Early Learning Academy facility; and 10 after-school programs to include Teen Girls in Technology, wellness, racial justice, and education. Justine has distinguished herself as a stellar community leader currently serving as Vice-Chair of the Atlanta Housing Authority. She served as Chair of Fulton County Board of Registration and Elections during the 2008 Presidential Campaign which yielded a significant increase in voter turnout. Justine is Past President of the Atlanta Fulton County League of Women’s Voters. Among her achievements as president, she created and co-sponsored the renowned Fireside Chats with WSB-TV, and in 2002 formatted one of her innovations: Atlanta Women Speaks an exciting book that encompasses a collection of speeches by some of Atlanta’s most prominent women. Justine was also responsible for the resurgence of the organization by diversifying and doubling membership, increasing funding resources, and implementing new programs through public/private partnerships. Justine was appointed by Secretary of State, Cathy Cox to the Georgia Voting Commission. She is a former Chair of the UGA College of Agriculture & Environmental Sciences Advisory Board, a former member of the Georgia 4-H Foundation, the Boy Scouts of America Atlanta Area Council, the Coalition of 100 Black Women Advisory Board (Chair), the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the DeKalb Convention and Visitors Bureau. Justine is a lifetime member of the NAACP, the APEX Museum, the Atlanta Business League, and a Junior League sustainer. She has received numerous leadership accolades including the: 2011 Atlanta Dream Inspiring Woman Award presented by SunTrust and one of Business to Business Woman of Excellence; 2011 High Heels in High Places from The Trumpet Wards Foundation; 2009 Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys (GABWA) Foundation Zenith Award for Distinction in the Profession (Individual); and 2008 Chayil, Inc. Butterflies and Allies honoree. In 2007, Atlanta Woman Magazine named her Woman of the Year applauding her commitment to the empowerment of women and girls. Who’s Who In Black Atlanta identified Justine as one of the Female Atlanta Powerhouses. Described by the Atlanta Tribune Magazine as a “bold, dynamic, and powerful woman in corporate America,” Justine has been named
one of the 10 Most Outstanding Young People in Atlanta (1999) and one of Georgia Trend Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 (2001). The Atlanta Business League has recognized her as a tenured member of 100 Most Influential African American Women. Women Looking Ahead Magazine named her one of Georgia’s Most Powerful Women and Rolling Out Magazine’s 25 Most Influential Women. In 2003, Justine was selected in a nationwide search to be one of the 63 emerging U.S. Leaders to participate in the German Marshall Memorial Fellowship in
Europe studying transatlantic economic, political, and social issues. Justine is a graduate of Leadership Georgia, Leadership Atlanta, and the Regional Leadership Institute. Justine formerly served as Assistant General Manager for External Affairs for the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) and County Clerk for the Fulton County Board of Commissioners. She received a bachelor of arts degree in English from Georgia State University and is a member of Zion Hill Baptist Church in Atlanta. She loves photography, calligraphy, traveling the world, and meeting new people.

JaiDei Jackson

JaiDei Jackson – TreasurerJaiDei Jackson – Treasurer

JaiDei Jackson is the managing member of The CPA Firm, LLC. She has more than 25 years of experience working with small business owners from startup through growth modes. She has experience in all aspects of financial forecasting, accounting, and income tax preparation. Visit her website  www.TheCPAFirmllc.com to schedule your Free One-hour consultation. Additionally, she is the Founder & Clinical Director of You Are Worthy, Inc., which is a coaching and counseling agency whose focus is teaching men & women how to create their version of Happily Ever After. JaiDei Jackson utilizes her expertise is in the areas of money and communication to help men & women transform their relationships with each other by impacting the conversations they are having. If you are interested in creating healthy relationships in all areas of your life or are dealing with the problems of Trust, Respect & Intimacy contact her online at www.YouAreWorthy.org Jaidei Jackson holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Pace University & a Masters of Art from Argosy University. JaiDei Jackson is a Certified Public Accountant, a Licensed Professional Counselor, a National Certified Counselor & a Prepare-Enrich Facilitator. JaiDei Jackson is highly skilled & trained to help you!

Henrietta Antoinin

Henrietta Antonin – ChairHenrietta Antoinin – Chair

Henrietta Antoinin served as Vice President of Public Relations for Atlanta Life Financial Group and was a member of the senior management team. In this position, she managed and evaluated advertising and promotion programs for compatibility with the Company’s public relations efforts. She also observed social, economic, and political trends that might have ultimately had an effect upon Atlanta Life, and made recommendations to enhance the Company’s image based on those trends. Henrietta was listed in Who’s is Who in Atlanta as well as Dollars and Sense magazine who honored her as one of America’s top 100 Black business and professional women. Ebony magazine has also listed Henrietta as one of the 100 most promising Black Corporate Women in America. In 2004, she was inducted into the Hall of Fame for Women by the Atlanta Business League who also named her Atlanta’s 2005 Top Black Women of Influence. She was appointed by Governor Zell Miller as Lieutenant Colonel De Camp Governor’s staff and honored by Governor Roy Barnes with an appointment as Commissioner of the Martin Luther King Jr. State Holiday. She also served as a member of Governor Barnes’ Inaugural Committee. Henrietta was an active member of the Public Relations Professionals organization and had been appointed Vice-Chair of the Democratic Party Coordinating Committee. As a very powerful member of the Board of Directors for the Atlanta Chapter NAACP where she was second Vice President, Henrietta was responsible for positive change in the Atlanta community. In 2001, she received the highest Atlanta NAACP honor, the Jondelle Johnson Leadership Award. She has chaired the membership drive and served as chair for the Freedom Fund Dinners. The Butler Street YMCA benefited from Henrietta’s leadership where she served as Chair of the Board of Directors for 3 years. She has also served on the Board of Directors for the American Association of Insurance Professionals. As a Trustee of the Gate City Day Nursery Foundation, she brought many positive changes while serving as the Curator/Coordinator of the Atlanta Life National African-American Art Competition and Exhibition, which involved hundreds of African-American artists throughout the United States. Today Atlanta Life owns one of the largest and finest collections of African-American art in the nation. This formed the foundation for the birth of the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta, GA. Henrietta was the founding president of the Atlanta Political Congress of Black Women where the national chair was Dr. Shirley Chisholm. Henrietta is a member of the Georgia Coalition of Black women and was on the Board for the Atlanta Rainbow PUSH Coalition Wall Street Project. She is currently the Chairman of the Board of the Americolor Opera; the only African-American opera company in the world. Henrietta is a fifth-generation member of Friendship Baptist Church which she attends with her daughter, Letrease, and two grandchildren Amber and Terry Lynn and enjoys singing in the Senior choir as a contralto soloist. Atlanta Life Financial Group saluted Henrietta Antoinin in 2008; the only former employee who has had the privilege of serving under 6 of the 7 presidents at Atlanta Life and celebrated her 46 years of service. Her commitment and dedication will live in Atlanta Life’s memory and in the Atlanta community.