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Advisory Board

Advisory Board

Diane Brown

– CHAIR – 

Sharon Jackson

– VICE-CHAIR – 

Sylvia Johnson

– SECRETARY – 

Jeffery Miles

Joanne Jackson

Jamar Creech

J. Steward Smith

Gwen Mcall

Denise G. Smith

Joye Sistrunk

Linda H. Thatcher

Vennard Wright

 

Dawn P. Jackson

Advisory Board Bios

Diane Brown – Chair

Diane Brown

As Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Prince George’s Community Federal Credit Union, Diane Brown’s passion is in assisting the residents & businesses of the county to grow and excel financially. Over her career, she has helped many individuals and businesses achieve success and fulfill their dreams through her work as a leader in the banking industry.

 

She started her banking career in the management training program with M & T Bank, formerly Citizens Savings Bank. She has also held leadership positions at SunTrust, Citibank & PNC Bank.

 

Diane is committed to helping & serving her community. She holds a seat on several professional boards including MidAtlantic Financial Partners, FSC First and Metropolitan Area Credit Union Management Association. She is a former Board Member of PDG Rehabilitation Services, Inc. – Rise Program, Women of Prince George’s and Greater Beltsville Business Association. Diane is also active with many other business organizations including Bi-County Business Roundtable, Women Business Owners of Prince George’s County, Prince George’s County Chamber of Commerce and Greater Bowie Chamber of Commerce.

 

Diane is the President and Founder of the Women of PRIDE (Purpose, Responsibility, Integrity, Determination & Empowerment), a literacy program that motivates and encourages women to grow and learn through reading. She was formerly on the board of Dance Society, a competitive performing arts group specializing in the various disciplines of dance.

 

She was honored with the 2018 Community Leader Award from Women of Prince George’s and was a 2015 finalist for Smart CEO Money Manager. She was also selected as a two time guest on HUR Voices – Howard University Radio – SiriusXM Radio.  In 2012 and 2013, she was honored to be a Prince George’s County Business Leader of the Year Finalist and also recognized in the April 2012 issue of SmartCEO magazine as one of the region’s top bankers – Best of Banking.

 

Diane is a lifelong resident of Prince George’s County, an alumnus of the University of Maryland, enjoys reading & spending time with her family and friends. Her motto – ‘Be Kind, Be Smart, Be Your Best’ has served her and those that know her well.

Sharon Jackson – Vice-Chair

Sharon Moore Jackson

Sharon Moore Jackson is an award winning small, minority and woman-owned business professional and advocate with over 30 years of real and substantial supplier diversity,  inclusion, compliance and community engagement experience.  Her experience includes, but is not limited to, Prince George’s County Supplier Development and Diversity Division (SDDD), the State of Maryland Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs (GOMA), the Prince George’s County Board of Education MBE Program and the Maryland Department of Human Resources Office of Employment & Program Equity.  Sharon is a graduate of Leadership Prince George’s Class of 2012, a published contributing writer for MEA & Leading Women’s USA Magazines, Advisory Board Member for the Hospice of the Chesapeake and Howard County Chamber of Commerce GovConnects, and is a member of the Women Business Owners of Prince George’s County (WBO-PGC) and the Prince George’s Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee.  

Currently, Sharon serves as the MBE Compliance and Community Engagement Consultant to Clark Construction on the construction of the University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Center in Largo, Maryland. Sharon launched S.M. Jackson Government Business Solutions, LLC in February 2017 with a focus on Supplier Diversity, Inclusion,  B2B/B2G Training, Community Outreach Engagement, Certification, MBE Compliance and Communications and is MBE certified by MDOT (State of  Maryland) and SDDD (Prince George’s County).  S.M. Jackson Government Business Solutions, LLC’s mission is to ensure that diverse and women-owned businesses have fair and equal access to resources and opportunities because access matters!  

Sharon is happily married to Joseph Moore and the mother of 2 adult daughters, Kelli and Lesli. Sharon is the Founder of Sisters Led by the S.P.I.R.I.T., a spiritual networking organization that inspires and empowers women through food, fellowship and information, and she also leads the Christian Education Ministry at Shiloh Baptist Church in Landover, Maryland, helping disciples put their faith into action through teachings, workshops and collaborating with other strategic community partners to change lives, make a difference.

Sharon is a servant leader, striving daily to lead by example, believing that “to much is given, much is required.”

Jeffery Miles

Jeffery L. Miles

Jeffery L. Miles, Sr. is a Vice President with BB&T Bank.  He has over twenty five years of financial experience with an impressive record of top performance and the ability to achieve solid sales growth. His experience includes strong analytical skills in personal and small business lending, budgeting, financial advisement, and long-term relationship building and market sales.  He excels at partnering with all core business operations to increase the company’s footprint, expand market share, and generate sustainable revenue gains.

 

Prior to working with BB&T, Jeffery worked as a licensed financial specialist for Wachovia Bank/Wachovia Securities.  He successfully provided oversight, guidance and direction to ensure financial growth to businesses and private clients.  He has also worked as a credit manager, assisting clients and helping to analyze, strengthen, and build credit worthiness.

 

Jeffery is very passionate about financial literacy programs and has served as a panelist on financial matters at several community events and has facilitated financial workshops on behalf of BB&T Bank for many organizations to include Operation Hope, Junior Achievement, Prince George’s County Supplier Development and Diversity Division, Prince George’s Economic Development Corporation, and for Prince George’s CASH Campaign.  He is especially passionate about educating youth about financial matters that focus on educating, empowering, mentoring and offering tools that foster financial health and well-being.

 

Mr. Miles is an alumnus of University of Maryland, where he received a B.S. in Finance. He is currently a candidate for graduate studies towards a dual Masters in Finance and Financial Information Systems. He is a member of the Prince George’s County Chamber of Commerce, where he also sat on the board of directors.  He is also a board member of the Prince George’s CASH Campaign, a member of the Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce, the Chair of BB&T’s Greater Washington Multicultural Committee, and a committee member and partner of other local non-profits.

 

Jeffery is a native of Washington, DC and was raised in Prince George’s County. He enjoys tennis, golfing, traveling, and serving as a community service volunteer through his church and many other organizations in which he is involved.  He also enjoys spending time with his family.

Joanne Jackson

<b>Joanne Jackson</b>

Joanne Jackson served as the Minority/Small Business Enterprise Coordinator for Anne Arundel County, MD, a position housed in the Office of Central Services for the past 30 years. Born & raised in Albany, New York, she earned a BA degree in Business Administration from Howard University and a Master’s Degree in Urban/Regional Planning from the University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public & International Affairs.  Joanne is a longtime resident of Prince George’s County & serves on the County’s Commission on Common Ownership Communities under appointment from Council Chair Dannielle Glaros.

Throughout her career, Joanne has provided technical assistance to community groups and business organizations as an urban planner with the City of Albany & New York State Department of Housing & Community Renewal and as a business development specialist with the Arlington County Department of Community Planning & Housing Development.  As an Economic Development Consultant, Joanne worked with local officials in New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Tennessee, Missouri and Florida.

One of her greatest accomplishments has been the creation of the Christmas-in-April program in Anne Arundel County in 1991.  Serving in a voluntary capacity as Vice President for 10 years, Joanne organized the program’s Board of Directors, recruited homeowners, contractors & volunteers, and solicited corporate sponsors who contributed over $350,000 annually to repair hundreds of homes owned by senior citizens & the disabled in Anne Arundel County.

During her tenure at Anne Arundel County, Joanne was a Community Partner/Member of the Women Presidents’ Educational Organization-DC which certifies women business owners for opportunities in Corporate America. WPEO is an advocate for women business enterprises & helps to foster relationships between WBEs, major corporations & government. She currently conducts site visits for WPEO Certification Review Committee in the Baltimore/DC metro area & upstate New York.

Some of her other accomplishments in Anne Arundel County include:

  • Assisted staff at the Anne Arundel Community Action Agency in obtaining its first County contract for senior nutrition services from the Office on Aging
  • Ensured utilization of minority contractors during renovation/adaptive reuse of the historic Wiley H. Bates High School
  • Assisted minority contractors in obtaining work in the construction of the Bay Forest Senior apartment complex
  • Enlisted participation of over 60 minority & women-owned businesses in developing policy & programs as members of the County’s Minority Business Enterprise Committee
  • Increased participation of minority & women-owned businesses in the County’s procurement process from $1.5M in 1987 to over $47M in 2017 without benefit of local legislative mandates
  • Hosted a Contractors’ Forum in honor of Norman Cully, one of the region’s premiere minority contractors and a highly respected member of the Annapolis/Anne Arundel County community
  • Received the prestigious 2003 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drum Major Award from the MLK Dinner Awards Committee-Anne Arundel County
  • Received the 2003 Women in Government Service Award from Maryland Women for Responsive Government
  • Received the 2007 Carroll H. Hynson, Jr. Public Service Award from the Black Chamber of Commerce-Anne Arundel County.
  • Served on the 2007 Governor O’Malley Transition team for Minority Business Enterprise
  • Received the prestigious Parren J. Mitchell Gladiator Award during the Top 100 MBE ceremony from the City of Baltimore Mayor’s Office of Minority & Women Business Development (2014)
  • Received 2015 Black History Heroes Award during the Black History Month ceremony sponsored by Maryland Live Casino & MWMCA of Baltimore

In addition, as a Board Member/Arundel Habitat for Humanity, Joanne organized a volunteer “kick-off” of the organization’s first Women Build campaign in Edgewater. In conjunction with the Anne Arundel Medical Center and the Baltimore Washington Medical Center, Joanne hosted a Minority Healthcare Forum designed to expand opportunities for minority/women-owned business and giving special tribute to notable healthcare professionals, Dr. Faye Allen and Dr. Donald Roane for their life-long achievements and service to the Anne Arundel County Community

Jamar Creech

Jamar Creech

Jamar Creech is the Founder and Managing Partner of Diversified Law Group, LLC. The law firm concentrates on private equity and venture capital, estates, trusts, mergers, and acquisitions. After graduating from North Carolina Central University School of Law, Jamar clerked for United States Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia from 2010 to 2012. 

 

Before law school, Mr. Creech received his Bachelor of Science degree in Information Sciences and Systems from Morgan State University. He then worked for IBM as an Information Technology Specialist for three years.  

 

In 2016, Jamar began serving as General Counsel for Market Fresh Gourmet, a majority Black-owned community grocery store. He assisted in its initial capital raise of $10 million to operate two stores in Maryland beginning in 2021. 

 

Mr. Creech is a member of Prince George’s County Food Truck Hub Oversight Committee. 

 

He has been recognized as Forty Under 40 by the Prince George’s Social Innovation Fund in addition to being recognized as Top 40 Under 40 by The National Black Lawyers Association.

 

In 2018, Mr. Creech was also acknowledged by Black Enterprise as a Modern Man of Distinction.

 

Jamar enjoys reading, watching sports, and community volunteering.

Steward Smith

Steward Smith

Steward Smith has over 35 years of leadership experience in the financial services industry.  In 1981, his career began with Comerica Bank in Detroit Michigan. In 1986, he relocated to Washington, DC to manage several branch offices for Perpetual Savings Bank.  After its acquisition initially by Crestar Bank and subsequently SunTrust Bank, he demonstrated skills and consistent business development results leading to his promotion to the executive leadership team of SunTrust Bank as Senior Vice President and Area Manager.

 

In 2008 he was an honor graduate of the CBA Graduate Retail School of Retail Bank Management.  Mr. Smith received his undergraduate degree from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA in 1980. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated.

 

Mr. Smith consistently serves business and retail communities in Maryland’s Prince Georges County and Washington, DC with distinguished recognition for providing excellent customer service, strategic financial analysis, and client solutions.

 

From 2011 through 2013, Mr. Smith served as the Director of Investor Services at ICMA-RC in Washington, DC.

 

In 2014, Mr. Smith joined FSC First as its Business Development Manager. In addition to servicing the business communities of Prince George’s County, he provides Access To Capital to the entire State of Maryland for small businesses. 

Gwen McCall

Gwen McCall

Gwen McCall became a private consultant on May 2, 2015, contracting directly with Prince George’s County on Major initiatives to include: Storm Water Management, MGM, Business Development for major developers, and the Counties Branding Campaign. Mrs. McCall created a development corporation in 2018 called 9620, LLC that’s currently building a 5 story medical office building in downtown Prince Georges’ along with establishing a Medical Cannabis company (MediGrow, LLC) to go after Grower and ProcessorLicenses. She’s also working with a team of highly astute individuals to create a new company called Vision Worldwide to create solutions in the areas of traffic and waste management.

 

The Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation’s Board of Directors appointed Gwen S. McCall President and CEO of the EDC in September 2011.

 

Ms. McCall had previously served as Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker’s Chief of Staff. Mr. Baker chose McCall to head the Economic Development Corporation, citing economic development as one of the major initiatives of his Administration. During her tenure at the Economic Development Corporation, Mrs. McCall led a team of 100 economic and workforce development professionals to grow and expand business opportunities in Prince George’s County.

 

Ms. McCall has more than 20 years of experience in government and the private sector. Before joining the Baker Administration, she served as Director of Operations in the Office of Planning for the District of Columbia, where her duties included: executive-level networking; agency cabinet meeting liaison, overall logistics; Risk Management; HR, budget development, and day to day administrative management.

 

Previously, Ms. McCall was Business Development Director for F&L Construction, Inc., responsibilities included creating the companies corporate structure that resulted in over 100 million in contracts and managing day-to-day operations, including planning and managing a payroll budget and ensuring compliance with applicable federal laws. Prior to that, she was Area Operations Manager for American Radiology Services, working with developers and architects to design a state-of-the-art diagnostic facility, and managing more than 150 employees in three medical imaging facilities, and meeting revenue projections annually. She also served as Center Administrator for HealthSouth Corporation, in charge of overall operations and business growth.

 

Ms. McCall holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Benedict College in Columbia South Carolina and is a certified public manager.

 

In addition, Ms. McCall is a member of the Metropolitan DC Chapter of The Links Incorporated and a member of the Bowie Marc Station board.

Denise G. Smith

Denise G. Smith

Denise G. Smith is a Small Business Advocate, Communications Expert, and TV Host

A true public servant at heart and public relations guru, Denise Smith is a media, communications, and outreach professional with more than 22 years of experience working for local government and nonprofit organizations, with a main focus to connect with and advance people, businesses and community.

Denise Smith took political leadership by storm in Prince George’s County, Maryland when she won the hearts and minds of over voters in a first time run for political office, coming in second place, within a three-point margin. She ran an awe-inspiring, three-month campaign in a last minute vie for Clerk of the Circuit Court in the June 2018 primary election. 

Denise Smith is TV Host of “Level Up,” a business show dedicated to helping the small business community in the DMV and her Facebook & Instagram Live show, “All Things Small Business.” Denise brings together influential names in business, finance and politics for discussions on key issues shaping our world today, and specifically in tuned with issues affecting small business. 

Currently, Denise is the Communications Director for the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office where she serves as spokesperson and oversees the entire communications operations for the office. 

Prior to the State’s Attorney’s Office, Denise was the communications and outreach manager for the Prince George’s County Supplier Development & Diversity Division where she was responsible for all communications, outreach activities and education and training for local, small and minority firms. Prior to that, Denise served, for four years, as press information officer (PIO) for the Prince George’s County Executive.  In this role, she worked with local, national and international news media on behalf of the Office of the County Executive. She was the lead PIO for business, economic development and government operations. 

Denise currently sits on the Women of Prince George’s Advisory Board and the Economic Development and Women in Business Development Committees for the Prince George’s Chamber of Commerce.  She is a Certified Government Meeting Planner, and a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, Professional Photographers of America, the National Press Photographers Association, Public Relations Society of America and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Denise holds a bachelor’s degree from Howard University in radio, television and film and a master’s degree in public communication from American University of Washington, D.C. She, and her husband Chris, currently reside in Maryland and is the proud mother of two children, Khalil and Taylor.

Joye Sistrunk

Joye Sistrunk

Joye Sistrunk is the Founder and Principal of Premier Group Services Inc., a Certified Public Accounting and Management Consulting firm founded in 2005 and located in Lanham, Maryland. Through Premier Group Services, Joye provides personalized accounting and financial management services to Government contractors and professional services firms. 

Joye’s passion for serving others and learning led to her impressive resume, including time served in the United States Air Force Reserves, an Accounting degree from Loyola College of Maryland and a Master’s in International Business from the University of Baltimore. Joye has provided excellent financial services to clients for over 20 years and earned herself a reputation for providing personalized, practical approaches to support her clients in reaching their financial goals.

Linda H. Thatcher

Linda H. Thatcher

Linda H. Thatcher is an accomplished employment litigator and mediator who has been consistently named one of “Washington’s Top Employment Lawyers” by Washingtonian Magazine since 2007. 

Linda has earned accolades from judges, peers, and clients. A grateful client said of her: “Linda’s legal acumen, years of experience, and deep understanding of human nature combine to make her an effective advocate. She is equal parts grit and compassion, a great listener who cuts to the heart of the matter, and she was ALWAYS available to me.” Another client wrote that “Linda is-quite literally—the best in the business. If you’re looking for the very best to fight for you—no matter how complicated the issue might be, Linda and her team are the only option.” 

Her practice includes all aspects of employment law, including corporate counseling, EEO training, and litigation on behalf of employers and employees. Linda successfully represented women golfers in their sex discrimination complaints against country clubs, and she has appeared on NBC and Working Women television. 

She has served as a faculty member for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) Skills Program at Georgetown University Law Center and she is a frequent panel member and speaker for numerous CLE programs and conferences. She served as co-counsel with the Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs in employment discrimination cases. 

Linda is a permanent member of the Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference, a past President of the Board of Governors of the Federal Bar Association of Maryland, and an active member in the Women’s Bar Associations of both Maryland and the District of Columbia. 

Linda attended Longwood University in Virginia on a full gymnastic scholarship. She is a graduate of St. Mary’s University Law School, San Antonio, Texas, where she served as an associate editor of the Law Review. 

In her spare time, Linda is an avid golfer and swimmer. She also loves to paint and listen to classical music. She has two adult sons (J. Michael and Luke) who along with her husband, are the joy of her life. 

Click here to read Linda’s Interview with Women & Co.

Vennard Wright

Vennard Wright

Vennard Wright (PMP, ITIL v3 Practitioner) provides the leadership and strategic direction for all corporate initiatives.  In this capacity, it is his responsibility to provide management for business development and client services to Wave Welcome’s operations by ensuring that service delivery is in full alignment with both short and long-term goals and objectives.

Mr. Wright’s professional IT experience was comprised of multiple senior leadership roles which included serving as CIO/VP of Operations for Iron Bow Technologies, CIO for the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC Water), CIO for Prince George’s County Government (MD), Director of Technology for Hillary Clinton during her successful United States Senate re-election campaign and subsequent 2008 Presidential Campaign, as well as serving as Director of Technology of Technology during Rushern L. Baker III’s successful run for County Executive of Prince George’s County, MD in 2010.  He was also Chief Technology Officer and Technical Organization Delivery Manager for Electronic Data Systems (EDS), which was subsequently acquired by Hewlett Packard (HP).

Mr. Wright has also served as a volunteer and participated in numerous fundraisers and philanthropic efforts for various worthy causes. In addition to more than two decades of IT management experience, Vennard brings an equal amount of hands-on experience in working with young people through myriad avenues.  His experience includes mentoring students in multiple settings. As a USA Track & Field (USATF) Level-One certified coach and USATF certified official, he has coached many young athletes into NCAA scholarships.

Because of his work in the technology industry, he has received numerous awards, authored multiple articles and spoken publicly on many topics, ranging from the importance of experiential learning in our educational systems to the changing role that emerging technology plays in future career prospects.

Mr. Wright also serves on a number of boards that help to widen his perspective on the latest methods for effectively applying digital technologies and best practices to solve common enterprise level problems.  He is applying those same principles to solve some of the most vexing IT challenges in the Washington DC Metropolitan region.

Vennard Wright resides in Clinton, MD with his wife, Janelle, with whom he shares four amazing children.

Dawn P. Jackson

Dawn P. Jackson

Dawn P. Jackson is an excellent leader with keen insight to effectively align strategies and tactics to  satisfy objectives and ultimate goals. Strategic mastery of brand architecture, development, and management, Strategic understanding of brand architecture, development, and

management, consumer/ industry insights and marketing processes Ability to build strong, collaborative relationships with a diverse range of

Partnership Experience successfully managing multiple, parallel projects and campaigns Astute decision-making and practical solutions abilities Exceptional writing and editing skills