Our Team

Our Board Members

John L. Scott, CRP, CEcD, CNSA

John L. Scott, CRP, CEcD, CNSA

Chairman and Founder

STUDIED: AAS,BBA ACCOUNUNG, NORTH CAROLINA A & T COLLEGE, GREENSBORO, N,C., NEW YORK CITY COLLEGE OF TECHNOLOGY, ADELPHI UNIVERSITY GARDEN CITY, NEW YORK.

NEW YORK STATE LICENSED: INSURANCE/REAL ESTATE/NOTARY.

John L. Scott is the Founder and Chairman of Long Island African American Chamber of Commerce, Inc. He is also the President of John L. Scott Agency, LLC. D/B/A Your Asset Protection Provider in insurance and is licensed in New York State. He also manages the John L. Scott Agency, LLC. His agency offers all forms of insurance such as Home, Auto, Business, Health/Life, and Retirement. Mr. Scott is a member of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of New York, Inc. and a Trusted Choice Agent. He is also a producer for the New York State Automobile Insurance Plan. He is a New York State Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with Charles Rutenberg Realty as a buyer and/or seller representative. He is a member is the Long Island Board of Realtors, New York State Association of Realtors, National Association of Realtors Economic Developers. Mr. Scott served the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation as Financial Director navigating its Capital Access and Capital Access Express loans to small businesses. This business loan program created jobs in the Southeast Queens, New York under the U.S. Department of Commerce EDA, Revolving Loan Fund Program. He help business owners obtain multi-millions dollar loans which created and retained over 1000 jobs.

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In addition, GJDC was certified as a CDFI & CDE, by the US Treasury. In his banking career, Mr. Scott served as an Auditor, Bank Branch Manager, and commercial Lender. He is a member of The Risk Management Association as a Financial Consultant. He served as a consultant to The Roosevelt Long Island Federal Credit Union, First Funding Mortgage Bankers, the Roosevelt Hardware Lawn and Garden Supplies, Inc., and was the Financial Advisor to the pastor of Bethel A. M. E. Church of Freeport, New York. Visit website @ http://www.yourassetprotectionprovider.com// to learn more about Mr. Scott’s current business venture.

Phil Andrews

Phil Andrews

President

Phil Andrews is the current President of the Long Island African American Chamber of Commerce, Inc. and the Past President of the 100 Black Men of Long Island. Founded in 1974, “The 100″ serves as an international coalition focused on creating educational opportunities, promoting economic empowerment, addressing health disparities and creating positive mentoring relationships. As founder of of P.A. Public Relations Company, Phil has been afforded the privilege to serve as Public Relations Director for a myriad of companies, community initiatives and professional organizations. Andrews’ business acumen is often sought after by organizations that host major events, benefits and fundraisers.

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He has served on the Public Relations Committee for the Harlem Book Fair on Long Island {which attracted over 2000 participants in 2003), as Public Relations Committee Member of the New York Metro Black MBA Association and the 100 Black Men of Long Island.  Phil Andrews has led a successful PR Campaign for the Long Island African American Chamber of Commerce, Inc. and help to foster growth of many small business owner’s PR Campaigns in the region.

In 1995 and 1998, Mr. Andrews’ excellence in his field garnered the Small Business Person of the Year award by two branches of the Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce (Roosevelt and West Indian Chambers, respectively). He has also received a number of proclamations and citations from notable political officials including former Nassau County Executive Thomas S. Gullotta, former Town of Hempstead Supervisor Richard Guardino and Assembly-woman Earlene Hooper Hill, 18th Assembly District of Long Island NY.  In 2012, Phil Andrews was honored by the Korean American Association of Greater New York with the “Good Neighbor Award.  Mr. Andrews was also inducted as one of the Kings of Queens Honorees in 2014.

Phil’s work has been featured in multi-platform publications including Black Star News, The New York Beacon, Amsterdam News, Minority Business Review, The Network Journal and more. He is also featured in “15 Years of Minority Business Development” a book published by Mr. Robert Adams. Mr. Andrews is listed in Who’s Who in Black America and International Who’s Who.

Prior to beginning his career in Public Relations, Phil was the Vice President and Marketing Director of the Haircut Hut franchise for more than ten years.

Phil learned early on the importance of community and education. He was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York’s Marcy Housing Development and attended Brooklyn Technical High School (one of the country’s most recognized schools for academic excellence). After serving several years in the US Navy and Army Reserves, attending York College ( Jamaica, Queens, NY) and John Jay College, (New York, NY), he graduated from paralegal school and began a nearly twenty year career in law enforcement. Community, Service and Education have been constant themes in his life.

Andrews’ drive is a profound concern for his community. This has led him to serve on several Boards of Directors including—the Roosevelt Chamber of Commerce, Roosevelt Kiwanis and the West Indian Chamber of Commerce as the Public Relations Director. Mr. Andrews owns the Power Networking Business Seminar Series, a business network that builds viable connections between community and business.

He continues to build networks in and across many an industry; but, none more important than that of the education and mentorship of young people. As a Certified Mentor, Phil Andrews’ goals involve encouraging as many promising young men as possible by compelling them to serve with the very best of their minds and talents.

Sharon Davis-Edwards

Sharon Davis-Edwards

Vice President

Sharon Davis-Edwards has over 30 years of experience in Insurance, Employee Benefits and the Financial Services Industry.  She began her career with John Hancock Life Insurance Co. and E.G. Bowman Insurance Co. in the early 1980’s.  Since 1988, Ms. Davis has held numerous sales, recruiting and management positions with Aetna (now ING Financial Partners).  She has successfully overseen the negotiation, development and implementation on 401(k), 403(b) plans and voluntary benefits for more than 100 organizations.

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As Regional Manager for Aetna’s Annuity Division, Sharon worked closely with the National V.P. of ALIAC in securing the NYSUT endorsement of the ALIAC 403(b) Tax Deferred Annuity Plan.  The union has 20,000 members in the Nassau-Suffolk area and 110 school districts.  She was responsible for monitoring the enrollment process, coordinating group meetings, and recruiting and training field representatives.

In 1994, she became the Senior Vice President of Benefits Planning Corporation.  Her responsibilities included:

  • Supervising the enrollment process for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens 403(b) Retirement Plan (9,000 employees at over 300 locations).
  • Supervising the enrollment process and scheduling Catholic Medical Center’s 403(b) and 457 plans (5,000 employees at 40 locations).
  • Enrolling and supervising the North Shore Health System’s ALIAC 403(b) Retirement Plan.
  • Maintaining client relationships.

In 2007, she became a Benefit Specialist offering voluntary benefits through the Allstate Workplace Division.  Then in 2010 she accepted an offer from Colonial Voluntary Benefits to manage and coordinate the voluntary benefits program for the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) in the New York and New Jersey territory

Sharon’s success with individuals and employer sponsored plans can be attributed to her ability to work closely with employers and design plans that meet the specific needs of the company and its employees.

.   Miscellaneous:

  • 2015 Recipient of Star Network Long Island Power Women in Business
  • November 8th, 2015 Featured guest on Channel 7 “Here and Now” with Sandra Bookman
  • 2015 Recipient of the Long Island Business News “Top 50 Most Influential Business Women Award
  • 2014 Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce Outstanding Small Businessperson Of the Year
  • 2013 Recipient of the Long Island Business News “Top 50 Most Influential Business Women” Award
  • Vice President of the Long Island African American Chamber of Commerce
  • Women’s Business Enterprise
  • Minority Business Enterprise
  • Certified for (SHOP) Small Business Health Options Plan and Affordable Care Act enrollments
  • “Business On The Menu” Newsday article February 21, 2014
  • “People On The Move” Newsday July 31, 2014
  • “Small Businesses Face Difficult Choices When It Comes To Health Insurance” Newsday article

January 23, 2015

  • February 22,2012 Recipient of TD Bank and 100 Black Men of Long Island award for Leadership in Small Business

 

Ms. Davis holds licenses in Life Insurance, Health Insurance and has successfully completed the FINRA Series 6, 7 and 63 examinations

Valerie Anderson-Campbell

Valerie Anderson-Campbell

Director Nassau County

Valerie Anderson Campbell serves as the Nassau Director of The Long Island African American Chamber of Commerce. Nassau County has a significant number of African Americans under her service territory as Director of Nassau County.  As such, she is responsible for creating innovative solutions to increase presence, knowledge, and education for small business owners with the Chamber.

Prior joining Long Island African American Chamber of Commerce, Mrs. Anderson Campbell was a Financial Professional with New York Life, providing her community with solutions to planning for financial stability.  She also serves as VP, Membership for the Uniondale Community Land Trust, where she advocates for sustaining affordable housing in the community.  Before committing to community outreach, Mrs. Anderson Campbell founded Anderson Campbell Recruiting Firm, providing human capital and consulting services to companies and individuals.

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Mrs. Anderson Campbell continues to be inspired by lending her time, talent, and treasures to various causes in her role at the Chamber.

Elizabeth Wellington

Elizabeth Wellington

Deputy Director Nassau County

Mrs. Elizabeth Wellington serves as the Deputy Director of Nassau County for the Long Island African American Chamber of Commerce and as such, one of her key elements and desire to move ahead has been a drive for improvement with the ability to define problems, develop alternatives and implement solutions. As the Deputy Director, she is responsible for helping to provide creative innovation by uplifting community involvement through a grassroots effort of knowledge, and education for small business owners with the Chamber.

Prior to joining Long Island African American Chamber of Commerce, for the past 5 years, she had supported the Brooklyn community as a Coordinator for the New York City Board of Elections, as well as, by attending various political events given by Borough President Eric Adams, Mayor De Blasio, and the New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer.

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Mrs. Wellington graduated from Nassau Community College and John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Criminal Justice and Master’s degree in Public Administration with specialization in Human Resources/Management & Operations. She is married to Antonio Wellington, CEO/President of Wellie the Transporter, LLC; and has one son Stephen Wellington, who also graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

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Ms. Donaphin currently serves as a consultant with New Hour – Long Island Women and Children Services, which provides services and support to incarcerated women and their children during and following incarceration.  In addition to building her business, Ms. Donaphin serves the community in her appointed role as Suffolk County Director for the Long Island African American Chamber of Commerce (LIAACC). In this role, Ms. Donaphin is responsible for encouraging business and community prosperity by promoting economic programs designed to strengthen and enhance financial opportunities for all businesses within Suffolk County. Prior to this appointment, Ms. Donaphin served as the MWBE Coordinator for LIAACC, where she was responsible for the education and training of small business owners in becoming certified to do business with New York State government agencies. In March 2017, Ms. Donaphin was the recipient of the National Women’s History Month award by the Suffolk County Executive’s office.

Using finely honed skills, training and experience – the tenets of Ms. Donaphin’s training and coaching, are based on helping clients develop a purposeful life, and enhance personal and career growth through a lens of building life skills. These skills are adaptive and positive behaviors and thinking that enable women to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of life setbacks, ambitious career aspirations, and everyday life.

Ms. Donaphin’s work also emphasizes the importance of developing a focused plan regarding education and career choices and what path the client would like to take and working from their decision to beginning the process of outlining each step to take and milestones to achieve.

Further, enhancing life skills leads to qualities that build self-esteem, sociability and leadership skills that enable clients to take action and become change agents – all of which are highly valued competencies and skillsets. Ms. Donaphin’s work also focuses on helping clients develop capabilities and broadened perspectives to recognize and utilize the freedom to take action and believe in themselves and their ability to create their own success in life.

Erna Blackman

Erna Blackman

Director Queens County

Erna Jones-Blackman is the Founder of Butterflies By Blaq, Inc. Butterflies BBI is a 501c3 non-profit organization which provides FREE hair replacements and solutions to children experiencing hair loss due to medical conditions. The organization has a special interest in inner city children as they are a group that is often overlooked due to the special needs of their hair.

Bestowed with a passion for cosmetology most of her life, Erna created Butterflies BBI after recognizing a need for services while volunteering with the American Cancer Society where she served as a stylist in their wig program. While serving with ACS, Erna was inspired by the smiles she would bring to the faces of her clients as she helped them while they dealt with their personal illnesses. She then decided to bring her services to children, in attempts to help brighten their days and quite possibly their futures.

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Mrs. Blackman graduated from Delaware State University, where she received a BA in Journalism.

Erna Blackman is also the Queens County Director of The Long Island African American Chamber of Commerce and has been featured on WABC’s Here And Now, and in The Queens Courier as The Star of Queens, The Queens Press, Long Island Business News (Movers and Shakers column), Newsday’s (People On The Move column), Harlem Community Newspaper, Long Island.com and The New York Trend Newspaper.

For more information about Butterflies BBI please visit the website at www.ButterfliesBBI.org.

Danielle Donpahin

Danielle Donpahin

Director Suffolk County

Danielle M. Donaphin is a trained and certified Career Enrichment Strategist, Coach, and Trainer with a focused specialty in developing social and emotional intelligence and essential life skills. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from St. John’s University and is a Certified Professional & Career Coach from Coach Training Alliance. In addition, she holds an advanced Coaching Certificate from the Institute of Social & Emotional Intelligence.

Throughout her career and personal life, Ms. Donaphin has nurtured a personal passion for helping others realize their own potential through sharing her own learning and growth experiences. After spending almost twenty years in corporate and business environments, Ms. Donaphin decided to follow her passion for helping others, particularly women. Her work includes helping women in a variety of capacities to discover their own inner strengths, their passion for overcoming challenges and setbacks; with the ultimate goal of proactively creating their own success. By using approaches that include self- discoveries and addressing self-defeating mindsets and behaviors, people discover and take action towards eliminating those forces that are holding them back from experiencing and living life with a spirit of authenticity and personal freedom.

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Ms. Donaphin currently serves as a consultant with New Hour – Long Island Women and Children Services, which provides services and support to incarcerated women and their children during and following incarceration.  In addition to building her business, Ms. Donaphin serves the community in her appointed role as Suffolk County Director for the Long Island African American Chamber of Commerce (LIAACC). In this role, Ms. Donaphin is responsible for encouraging business and community prosperity by promoting economic programs designed to strengthen and enhance financial opportunities for all businesses within Suffolk County. Prior to this appointment, Ms. Donaphin served as the MWBE Coordinator for LIAACC, where she was responsible for the education and training of small business owners in becoming certified to do business with New York State government agencies. In March 2017, Ms. Donaphin was the recipient of the National Women’s History Month award by the Suffolk County Executive’s office.

Using finely honed skills, training and experience – the tenets of Ms. Donaphin’s training and coaching, are based on helping clients develop a purposeful life, and enhance personal and career growth through a lens of building life skills. These skills are adaptive and positive behaviors and thinking that enable women to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of life setbacks, ambitious career aspirations, and everyday life.

Ms. Donaphin’s work also emphasizes the importance of developing a focused plan regarding education and career choices and what path the client would like to take and working from their decision to beginning the process of outlining each step to take and milestones to achieve.

Further, enhancing life skills leads to qualities that build self-esteem, sociability and leadership skills that enable clients to take action and become change agents – all of which are highly valued competencies and skillsets. Ms. Donaphin’s work also focuses on helping clients develop capabilities and broadened perspectives to recognize and utilize the freedom to take action and believe in themselves and their ability to create their own success in life.

La'Shawn Allen-Muhammed

La'Shawn Allen-Muhammed

Director Kings County

For nearly two decades, ENY President La’Shawn Allen-Muhammad, has worked as a New York City public servant and has established herself as a champion of economic empowerment and change.  Ms. Muhammad has been responsible for a multitude of success stories through her work in healthcare.  From a visionary concept of what can happen when organizations invest in their workforce, Ms. Muhammad developed a program for low-income New Yorkers that earned high regard from Mayor Bloomberg’s Center for Economic Opportunity and the federal government.

A native of the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, Ms. Muhammad is committed to revitalize her home town and similar communities throughout the country.  During the late nineties, Ms. Muhammad co-founded a not-for-profit organization, the Brownsville Youth Association (BYA).  The organization offered free job training and employment for many community residents.  In early 2000, she was appointed by former Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz to serve on the newly established Community Education Council, where she served as Vice President in School District 23.  During her tenure, she received the Shero Community Service award and many other accolades in recognition of her work and dedication.

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Since then, Ms. Muhammad has been on a fast track, building alliances and strategic partnerships, for the purposes of gaining momentum to transform the place she holds dear to her heart.  Last year, she was installed as the Brooklyn Director of the Long Island African American Chamber of Commerce and appointed as Executive Director of Central Brooklyn Economic Development Corporation.

Focused on economic and business development, Ms. Muhammad founded the Entrepreneurs of New York in 2010, with the goal of developing innovative strategies for small businesses and those seeking to become business owners.  Using social media as a platform to engage, the ENY face book group has grown to nearly 10,000 members.  Ms. Muhammad also hosts a weekly blog talk radio show “Black Reconstruction”.  Each week individuals or groups are interviewed to discuss issues surrounding community growth and development.

Over the years, Ms. Muhammad has gained vast knowledge within various industries and is regularly called upon for advice and guidance.  She has served as Mistress of Ceremonies, tour guide, event host, etc. for several organizations.

Ms. Muhammad feels that it is a blessing to be able to serve, however; she is most thankful for her most important job – being a wife and mother.  She is married to Student Minister Henry Muhammad and is Mom-in-Chief to four children, ages 3-9.

La’Shawn Allen-Muhammad was born in Brooklyn, NY  is the President of the Entrepreneurs of New York (E.N.Y), a New York based, nationally operated, Entrepreneurial Service Agency.  E.N.Y is designed to increase productivity for small businesses in urban communities.  Founded in December 2010, the Entrepreneurs of New York strives to identify smart solutions for small businesses by fostering strategic partnerships, alliances and creating investment opportunities.

As C.E.O, La’Shawn has over 14 years experience with identifying and establishing strategic alliances, restructuring business model concepts, and providing sustainability and quality growth to organizations.  Her extensive experience includes serving as Director of Training with the New York Health and Hospitals Corporation and program director of the CEO-HHC Nurse Career Ladder Program.  The CEO program is an anti-poverty initiative funded by New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg.  Under La’Shawn’s leadership this program has excelled and currently operates nursing schools at two hospital sites and provides scholarships to low income New Yorkers.  Individuals are supported through nursing school and upon successful completion are offered a position at the hospital.

Professional and Industry Experience

La’Shawn co-founded a not-for-profit organization, Brownsville Youth Association (BYA), located in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn in 1998.  Without any formal training, she managed to incorporate, obtain tax-exempt status, and receive funding to run the organization.  What initially began as a youth mentoring organization evolved to include career training and workforce development services.

In 2005, La’Shawn became interested in forming a New York City Chapter of the National Black Chamber of Commerce (N.B.B.C).  After a five year long sabbatical from her entrepreneurial endeavors to start a family, La’Shawn revisited the idea of starting a New York City Chapter of the N.B.B.C. and as a result decided to launch Entrepreneurs of New York, Inc.

E.N.Y. Objectives

  • Small business owners will have an opportunity to develop and/or acquire businesses for their mutual benefit.
  • Through a partnership with Global Business Incubation (GBI), businesses will become a part the Quanza Collaborative. An incubation program made up of 200 virtual businesses supported by 10 Smart Teams.
  • Business owners will develop opportunities to share best practices and successful business models with emerging Entrepreneurs.
  • The N.Y Virtual University is a learner-centered model designed to enrich and enhance knowledge needed to grow and develop successful businesses.

Other Activities

  • Host of NYC based blog talk show – Black Reconstruction
  • Served as a member of the Brooklyn Perinatal Network’s Infant Mortality Task force
  • Served as Brooklyn Borough President appointee on School District 23 Community Education Council

La’Shawn is married to Henry Allen-Muhammad and is the Mom-in-Chief of 4 children ages – 2 to 8.

Dr. Teresa Taylor-Williams

Dr. Teresa Taylor-Williams

Board Member

Dr. Teresa Taylor Williams is owner and publisher of New York Trend newspaper and CEO of TTW Associates, Inc. Great Neck, NY, a publishing and international consulting firm.

Since 1989, New York Trend has earned recognition as a politically influential and socially progressive urban publication that covers the issues affecting the vast ethnic neighborhoods throughout New York City, Nassau and Suffolk counties of Long Island. Dr. Taylor Williams has now expanded the audience to include Internet browsers with a fully interactive web site @ http://newyorktrendnyc.com/.

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Dr. Taylor Williams has provided a free internship program through New York Trend for over 20 years to college students, serving as a mentor and providing hands on training and experience for future leaders in the media industry. New York Trend has also underwritten charitable tickets over the years, providing free tickets to many concerts and events to community members. She has also been at the helm of numerous community events.

Dr. Taylor Williams is a graduate of Columbia University and has held management and counseling positions in the corporate sector. Dr. Williams earned two master’s degrees in psychology and management and a doctoral degree before the age of 30. This year will make 30 years of entrepreneurship for Dr. Williams, who incorporated her first business at the age of 22 with her late husband, Eric S. Williams.

Dr.Taylor Williams has served as a professor in the SUNY, CUNY and LIU systems. Dr. Taylor Williams is currently a counseling professor at CUNY. As an advocate for social justice, Dr. Williams has lectured and appeared on both radio and television. Dr. Taylor Williams has received high acclaim by recognized local and national publications and was featured in the Great Neck Record, Sister 2 Sister Magazine, the New York Beacon, Economic Times and Networking Woman. New York Newsday has profiled Dr. Taylor Williams.

Dr. Taylor Williams is the recipient of numerous awards including:

  • 100 Black Men of Long Island & TD Bank Business Award- 2012
  • The Network Journal’s 25 Influential Women in Business- 2010
  • Phenomenal Women in Media -Herbert Von King Cultural Arts Center-2010
  • “Woman of Distinction” from the March of Dimes-2005
  • Entrepreneur of the Year from Black Women in Publishing,
  • Entrepreneur of the Year from the U.S. Small Business Administration,
    Woman of the Year from the National Action Network-2001
  • Editorial Writer of the Year from the Independent Press Association-2002
  • Fifty of Fifty, Most Influential Woman on Long Island, 2003.

Dr. Taylor Williams is a member of the, American Counselors Association, The Links, Inc.The Princeton Club of New York, Alpha Phi Alpha, The Independent Press Association, Columbia University’s Alumni Association and The Long Island African American Chamber of Commerce.

Committee Chairpersons

Charlene Thompson

Charlene Thompson

MWBE Chairperson

Charlene Jackson Thompson received her primary education in Roosevelt and graduated from Uniondale High School. Ms. Thompson attended the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, receiving a Bachelor of Science in Psychology in 1988. She was also selected as the College’s first African American Homecoming Queen. Following graduation, Ms. Thompson was accepted into the Coro Foundation’s Fellowship Program for leadership in public affairs. Upon completing her fellowship, Ms. Thompson became program director of the Youth Civic Education Campaign for the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG). She was also part of the successful team to lobby in Albany and Washington, D.C. for the passage of the Motor-Voter Bill. In 1991, she was appointed to the New York State Voting Rights Commission.

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Ms. Thompson attended Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C., graduating cum laude in 1994 and was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1995. Ms. Thompson has been a member of the Nassau County Bar Association for more than 20 years and currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors. Ms. Thompson has also been an active member of the Amistad Long Island Black Bar Association where she served as Vice President of Programs and Commissioner on the 10th Judicial District’s Independent Judicial Election Qualification Committee.

From 2006-2010 Ms. Thompson also served as an Adjunct Professor in the Politics, Economics and Law Department at SUNY Old Westbury. Her coursework included Constitutional Law and Civil Rights, the Politics of Race and Class in America, Introduction to U.S. Politics and Introduction to Law. She also served as a pre-law advisor and administrator of the Pre-Law Center for the Department.

In 2011, Ms. Thompson launched her consulting firm, Thompson Economic Development Services, LLC, focusing on revitalization and economic empowerment of Long Island’s neediest communities. She serves as co-chair of the Law and Government Committee of the Long Island Housing Crisis Task Force which focuses on bringing much needed information and housing resources to residents of Nassau and Suffolk counties. She also serves as chair of the M/W/DBE Committee for the Long Island African American Chamber of Commerce which works with underrepresented business owners to build capacity to successfully participate in government contracting opportunities.

Ms. Thompson remains active in her local community and has she served on the Executive Committee of the Freeport-Roosevelt branch of the N.A.A.C.P., the Central Nassau Chapter of the League of Women Voters, the Roosevelt Alumni Association; the Baldwin Oaks Civic Association; the advisory committee for the Division of Continuing Education for the Baldwin Union Free School District and the Courting Justice Program run by the Hempstead Cultural Advisory Board. Ms. Thompson is a certified adult educator and lectures regularly on voter empowerment and participation in local government. She is a member of Memorial Presbyterian Church in Roosevelt, New York where participates in the Living Word Ministry and serves as the Ministry Leader for the Community Outreach Ministry which focuses on Civic, Voter and Economic Education, Engagement and Empowerment. She has received numerous awards for her leadership and contributions to the community. Ms. Thompson currently resides in Baldwin with her three children, Justina, Trevor and Jada.

Darren A. Wallace

Darren A. Wallace

Technology Chairperson

Vanguard Technical Solutions, LLC is a Long Island-based company dedicated to providing business solutions using the latest technology to advance and enhance a corporation or businesses bottom line profits by creating comprehensive, robust technology solutions, which result in an increase in the efficiency and effectiveness of daily business operations.  Based in Elmont, Long Island since 2013, Vanguard Technical Solutions, LLC has provided software development services within the Greater New York area and clients across the Eastern seaboard.

Darren A. Wallace, the President, and CEO has a solid business background spanning 30 years in technology positions.  Having started his career after attending the New York Institute of Technology.  He began working as a Trainer for GLTN Computer Consultants, Inc. on Long Island in the mid-1980’s.  He quickly moved up to the position of Training Manager where he developed the company’s Consulting Division creating various Microsoft Access-based applications for companies.  During his tenure with the company, he attained Certifications, where he taught various Microsoft Certified Courses in Visual Basic and VB.net technologies as well as SQL Server database design and implementation.

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GLTN Computer Consultants was eventually sold to Mentortech, Inc. and Darren was offered the position of Training Manager over the combined Training Departments of the now merged companies with responsibilities overseeing Technical and Application training for organizations like the United Nations, Pfizer and Manufacturers Hanover Trust.  Darren later accepted a position at New Horizons Computer Learning Center in Commack, Long Island as the Director of Training.  There he managed and oversaw a staff over 40+ technical Trainers and trained a plethora of employees and executives in the latest Programming, Application and Web Based platforms.  After working with the world’s leading Training company of the time, he decided to focus his career aspirations on systems design, development, implementation and database administration.

Darren accepted a position with Viacom, Inc., one of the world’s leading telecommunications businesses, as a Technical Manager of the Financial Application Development team, where he developed and supported various Visual Basic/ SQL Server and Sybase applications.  He and his team developed and supported systems for the combined subsidiary businesses of Viacom, BET and Showtime during his employment with this company.

After the tragedy of 9-11, Darren left Viacom to accept a position with Merrill Lynch, Inc., as an Assistant Vice President in charge of system design and development for the various financial business units internal to the Merrill Lynch.  He enjoyed 10 years of employment and during this period, he was promoted several times, finally becoming the Vice President of Application Development for the Greater New York Region.  He and his team developed and supported well over 100 business applications which streamlined various business processes, mitigated financial risks/exposure and improved efficiency, accuracy and enhance bottom line profits.

Immediately after the financial collapse of the housing market, which resulted in the purchase of Merrill Lynch by Bank of America, there was a downsizing of Darren’s team ultimately leaving him with increased responsibilities. Because of his personal and professional creed of being solution driven and goal oriented, he was offered a promotion to Vice President of Global Markets and Research Technology responsible for application development for the integrating the various Merrill Lynch Systems with Bank of Americas worldwide.  After a few more years of service with the now newly designated Bank of America-Merrill Lynch organization, In 2013, Darren decided to pursue his lifelong ambition to establish his own technology company and provide leading edge development and support to small and medium size businesses, with the same dedication and professionalism he has afforded many fortune 500 companies throughout his career.

In January 2016, Darren accepted the position of Chair of Technology for the Long Island African American Chamber of Commerce where he oversees the Chamber’s technology initiatives and provides technology assistance, and services to its growing membership.  Originally from Queens, New York, Darren is currently a resident of Elmont, Long Island where he bought a home in October 2011 and lives happily with his wife Tisha S. Hart-Wallace whom he married in July 2015.

Deidre Helberg

Deidre Helberg

Membership Chairperson

Under Deidre Helberg’s visionary leadership, Helberg Electrical Supply LLC has grown from an East-coast-centered firm into a leading national provider of technology-based electrical solutions, with project capability across the US. During her time as President of Helberg Electrical Supply, Deidre has won city, state and federal contracts throughout the country, added power generation, smart grid products and services, while conserving natural resources through Helberg Electrical Supply’s renewable energy products and enhanced the firm’s product and service offerings. She has over 20 years of experience in design and management of diverse electrical project types including government, LEED certified projects.

 

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Ms. Helberg founded Helberg Electrical Supply in May of 2003. As Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Helberg Electrical Supply LLC (HES), she leads the firm’s development and implementation of long range programs and policies. Prior to that, she held corporate positions in the banking industry.

Deidre’s strengths are: strong entrepreneurial skills, a passion for learning and building outstanding organizations, leveraging her superior networking skills, innovative approaches to her thinking-outside-of-the-box attitude, Lean Leadership and a sharp eye for quality products and future market trends.

A nationally recognized expert in electrical supply aimed at improving infrastructure, Deidre shook up the industry by transitioning HES from an electrical product supplier to a specialty electrical wholesaler focused on power generation equipment, smart grid solutions, energy efficient lighting. She has built close relationships with quality manufactures in the firm’s new niche market. Today, HES carries a full array of energy grid solutions, power which include power generation, LED lighting, fixtures, and renewable energy products that provide solar and wind energy. Ever faithful to Freeport, Deidre recently expanded to a larger facility in a (Hurricane Storm) Sandy recovery zone area.

Over the course of her career, Deidre has received numerous honors and awards and served on numerous industry committees on the state and national level, including a citation from Nassau County Legislatures, 2016 Business Person of the Year 2016 Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce. She has also received the North-East MBE achievement award from the U.S. Department of Commerce Business Center. She believes in giving back through mentoring and providing opportunities aimed at addressing issues related to diversity in the electrical industry. Deidre is on the Advisory Board of Strive International, an organization that promotes community through political and social problem solving.

She also serves as the Chair of the membership committee of the Long Island African American Chamber of Commerce, Inc., a regional chamber of commerce serving the four counties: Kings, Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk. Deidre was recently appointed as a General Electric Grid Solutions Channel Advisory Board Member.

Kevin Byrd

Kevin Byrd

Health Chairperson

KEVIN BYRD, 36, is a God Fearing, Multiple Award Winning Entertainer, and Global Prostate Cancer Health Advocate, who’s celebrating his 25th year in entertainment. Since 1989, Byrd stands at the threshold of superstardom. Kevin Byrd is a Prostate Cancer Health Advocate and CEO of his own non-for- profit foundation called the BrownByrd Foundation, located on 30 Wall Street, Manhattan, New York. On November 7, 2011, Kevin Byrd was appointed as the new and youngest Health & Wellness Chairman on behalf the 100 Black Men of Long Island. Kevin Byrd is also the youngest male prostate cancer health advocate in the United States. Kevin was inspired to start the foundation at the age of 23 when his grandfather, C. J Thomas, died of Prostate Cancer.

Media Accomplishments Kevin Byrd’s work has received National and International Media attention in over one hundred publications circulating to thousands of people worldwide such as Epoch International Times, USA.com Special Media Placement, Newsday, Amsterdam Newspaper, Vibe Magazine, IFlow Magazine, King Magazine, Essence.com, Hush Magazine, Rolling Out, Urban Buzz Magazine, Parle Magazine, New York Beacon, Caribbean Life, New York Times, Hempstead Times, Blackstar News and BET.

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The Utica City Common Council Legislation passed a Law/Resolution and designated an Honorary Street in Kevin Byrd’s honor called the BROWN/BYRD LANE on Tuesday, June 5, 2012, in Utica, New York. It was televised live to over 100,000 Utica citizens. Kevin Byrd is the youngest African American male to have an Honorary Street in New York State.
Niagara Falls illuminated its waterfall in blue on February 2, 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017 honoring the Brown Byrd Prostate Cancer Observance Day established by Kevin Byrd.

On February 2, 2012, Kevin Byrd’s work was honored and entered into the Congressional Record (Library of Congress) for Black History Month by the House of Representatives Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke and recognized his annual Prostate Cancer Awareness Observance Day globally. Kevin Byrd has been honored by over 100 International Mayors, Government officials across the world, Nancy Pelosi, the United States President Barack Obama and even Queen Elizabeth of Buckingham Palace. He has earned more than 150 proclamation awards, the city-state highest awards. Kevin Byrd’s hometown in Utica, New York, designated a KEVIN BYRD’S DAY that’s honored every year on October 1st and a KEVIN BYRD’S DAY was declared in DeKalb County, Georgia on November 2nd.

Kevin Byrd is nationally known for his portrayal as Lieutenant John R. Fox in the 2006 History/HBO movie “Honor Deferred” produced by Al Roker, starring Samuel L. Jackson and Bernie Mac. Lieutenant John R. Fox, a World War II hero, who killed 100 German soldiers in the War, died in action and was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor five decades after his heroic acts by President Clinton. The documentary picked up an Emmy/NAMIC Vision Award Nomination and garnered great reviews. The likeness of Lieutenant John R. Fox was transformed into a G.I Joe Action Figure by Hasbro the summer of 2008.
In July 2008, Kevin Byrd starred in the Hit Bollywood Movie premiered on the big screen in India and selected city-states in America by Award Winning movie producer/director Manan Kathora called “When Kiran Meets Karen” and Byrd was the only African American Male Actor who starred in the movie, which garnered great national media reviews.

In addition, Kevin Byrd starred as the Cover Model for the Best Selling Paperback Novel “Things In Between” by Nathanial Portis distributed in bookstores nationwide including Barnes and Nobles and sold over 100,000 copies World Wide.

Byrd wrote and starred in his own One Man Show called “RELEASE” and DVD Recording of the show was released on April 15, 2012, at the Legendary Nuyorian Poets Cafe Hosted by BET Comic View’s Comedian Ardie Fuqua. The show depicts the six stages of development of men from the ages of 18 to 65 years old.

BLACKSTAR NEWS, states, “Kevin Byrd gives an Oscar Award-Worthy Performance of “RELEASE– A MUST SEE SHOW.”

To get more information and to join Kevin Byrd’s Fan Club log on to www.brownbyrdfoundation.org and visit the Brown Byrd Foundation store where there are over 100 products for purchase at http://www.cafepress.com/brownbyrdfoundation.