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Alpha Rho Chapter Alumni Association's Mid-Summer 2022 Digest


Our Mid-Summer Digest features updates on 23 Alumni Brothers from the Alpha Rho Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., along with administrative updates on team-building for Centennial 2024, and a re-cap of the West Coast Summer Smoker.

 

Brother Richard Sterling Moultrie, Jr. (Spring 1986) Appointed First Assistant U.S. Attorney


www.justice.gov


Northern District of Georgia U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan announced on June 15, 2022 that Richard Moultrie, Jr. had been promoted to First Assistant United States Attorney. U.S. Attorney Buchanan wrote in his announcement that: “Richard is a trusted advisor, a talented leader, and a prosecutor’s prosecutor. He has amassed nearly 30 years of experience, beginning with the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office and continuing with the Department of Justice via the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia in 1996.


Richard joined our office family in 2007. He is a nationally-renowned expert on human trafficking prosecutions and he’s traveled the world giving trainings on human trafficking matters. He’s also a ‘must-see’ trial lawyer and a deserving member of the American College of Trial Lawyers.


Richard has received the Department’s highest honors, including the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award and the Director’s Award for Superior Performance.”

Pictured above: The Enigmatic 17 (Spring 1986) on the campus of Morehouse College during their pledge period. Brother Moultrie is shown at far left as the ACE of his line.

 

Washingtonian Magazine Recognizes Brother Frederick S. Humphries, Jr. (Fall 1980) On Their 2022 Roster Of Washington DC’s 500 Most Influential People Shaping Policy


www.washingtonian.com


For a long time, people have moved to Washington to change the world. Now more than ever, young people are eager to see improvements to our country, our climate, and our justice system. Unfortunately, polls have shown that many of those young advocates have little desire to serve in elected office. Well, there’s good news for them (and us): The nation’s capital is full of people who aren’t elected but who shape the laws that govern the country and ultimately affect the course of history. What follows is a list of 500 of those stalwarts.


Now with the company for two decades, Frederick Humphries, Microsoft's Corporate Vice President, US Government Affairs, has long-held relationships throughout Washington that give him muscle on digital infrastructure issues and how they’ll affect the future job market.

This year, we expanded the roster from 250. We sought out smart, innovative people who care about issues and spend a lot of time thinking about them. They have deep subject-matter expertise and significant understanding of how DC works, with the goal of getting action. They comprehend policy’s nuances and complexities. And yes, they’re all wonks in one way or another.

Most are not boldface names. They work on matters many of us don’t follow daily—from making government run better to civil-rights reform. We’ve chosen people across the ideological spectrum, avoiding big-name “hired guns” whose influence often derives from their communication skills and network. We also didn’t include elected officials and Hill or administration staff—the “influencees,” so to speak.


Some names or companies may strike you as having a harmful effect. We’re not passing judgment on whether every person’s influence is for the greater good. We want to showcase those who wield it.

Pictured above: Fred Humphries, board member of the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation and son of a college professor, works to get more students into computer science. (Washington Business Journal).


We tried to select policy areas that we felt the administration and the country are currently focusing on. For instance, we added two new categories: voting rights and trade policy. That gave us the chance to highlight people like CrowdStrike’s Dmitri Alperovitch, who’s bringing his global experience in security issues to a new policy think tank, and the National Urban League’s Joi O. Chaney, who’s leveraging her political expertise in the push for voting-rights protection.


Many of our choices have indeed served government in some capacity, like AEI’s Scott Gottlieb and Google’s Camille Stewart. We believe that the people we’ve included in this arena possess special insight into how to get an issue elevated. We also think some of the names here are likely to land in government in the future, either because of their ambition to serve or because they’ll be tapped for their expertise.


Every one of the influencers shares a drive to understand a policy issue and propel it forward. DC has always been a city of thinkers — we believe that’s a key attribute in making it such a special place.

 

For These Families, H.B.C.U.s Aren’t Just an Option. They’re a Tradition (Brother Tedd M. Alexander III -- Fall 1981)

America’s network of Black colleges were founded to provide essential opportunity. For many, they’ve come to offer something else: a link to a treasured legacy.


By Lise Funderburg www.nytimes.com


For Theodore “Tedd” Alexander III, 60, going to college was a given. For Mr. Alexander’s father, Theodore Alexander II, which college was also a done deal. “Son, you may go wherever you like,” Mr. Alexander remembers his father telling him. “But I’ll be sending the check to Morehouse.”


All-male Morehouse College, founded in 1867 in Atlanta, is one of the United States’ leading H.B.C.U.s, an acronym for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Morehouse is also where Mr. Alexander’s father and his father’s father had earned their degrees. Mr. Alexander followed suit, graduating in 1984, and has been an ardent supporter of the school ever since.


“It was the best decision I never made,” he joked.

Pictured above: Mr. Alexander’s grandfather (AP Fall 1929) and father (AP 1950) also graduated from Morehouse: T.M. Alexander Sr., left, class of 1923, and T.M. Alexander Jr., class of 1953. (Credit ... Larry Cook for The New York Times).


Now Mr. Alexander’s own sons — Theo (Class of ’17), Julian (’19) and Cameron (’23) — have kept the tradition going. They’ve been encouraged by both of their parents (their mother, Teri B. Alexander, graduated from Spelman College, an all-female H.B.C.U. across the street from Morehouse, in 1985), as well as by trips to Homecoming and, as needed, by repetitions of the family dictum on tuition destination. (That notion — that you can go where you like but the tuition will be sent to an H.B.C.U. — is not unique to the Alexanders.)


The H.B.C.U. designation, according to the federal government, requires that an institution be established before 1964 and that, in keeping with the Higher Education Act of 1965, its “principal mission” be the education of Black Americans. Among the 105 currently operating H.B.C.U.s there are a range of origin stories: Some were formed by missionary societies and farmers’ coalitions, others funded by land grants and Quaker philanthropists and oil barons.


All these institutions, though, were founded with a common purpose: to educate a population that routinely had been denied even the most rudimentary level of literacy (for fear, as an 1830 North Carolina law put it, that “the teaching of slaves to read and write has a tendency to excite dissatisfaction in their minds and to produce insurrection and rebellion”).


Students at any college who are the descendants of alumni are considered “legacy admissions,” according to Jasmine Harris, an associate professor of African American studies at the University of Texas at San Antonio, whose research focuses on academic outcomes for underrepresented groups in higher education. But while the term “legacy admissions” is freighted by a history of cronyism and discrimination more generally, she said, that history does not apply to H.B.C.U.s.


The practice of giving formal or informal consideration to legacy applicants, Ms. Harris said, originated at elite, predominantly white schools as an instrument of ethnic exclusion. “While the policy is meant in its modern conception to support the familial connection that folks feel to these institutions, that wasn’t the initial premise,” she said. “Ivy Leagues were the first to institute legacy admission policies and that was specifically to keep out Jewish people and immigrants of all kinds.”

At Spelman College, while the application does ask about legacy connections, Chelsea Holley, the school’s director of admissions, said that no quantitative weight is attached to the answer. What legacy status can indicate, she said, is that the applicant is familiar with and drawn to the history and culture of Spelman. “When we talk about legacies in the African American community,” she said, “we’re still only one or two generations removed from people who only had access to a grade-school education. So this idea of privilege being passed down doesn’t ring the same for our schools.”


For these legacy families, an H.B.C.U. has become the school of choice for generations because these families believe the schools offer an essential, formative experience that will expand their children’s understanding of what it can mean to be Black in America.

Tedd Alexander III remembers feeling at home the moment he set foot on Morehouse’s campus as a freshman. “The entire spectrum of the Black experience was right there in front of me,” he said. His classmates hailed from various regional, social, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds but a collective identity transcended those differences.


His experience, he said, fortified him for life after college. “There’s no class called ‘How Do I Become a Successful Black Man in White America.’ That class isn’t taught,” he said. “And yet that is a part of what you leave with. I like to call it a coat of arms that allows me to go to a firm like T. Rowe Price and be very confident about what my capabilities are and why I’m there.”


Julian Alexander, 25, said that until he went to Morehouse he had never experienced a majority Black environment, other than in sports. “In my high school,” he said of the private, majority-white school he and his brothers attended, “you kind of felt like a number.” Morehouse, he said, invited him to thrive. “At Morehouse, when you get on campus, they say there’s a crown put over your head that you need to grow into. Morehouse definitely expects big things from us, and so we just try our best to grow into what we’re supposed to become.”

 

Brother Ralph M. Woolfolk IV (Spring 2007) Promoted to Captain of the Criminal Investigation Division (Special Enforcement Section) of the Atlanta Police Department

Always on call: Atlanta’s homicide detectives combat the city’s deadly surge.


By Shaddi Abusaid, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, www.ajc.com


It’s not even 6 a.m. and Lt. Ralph Woolfolk IV is headed out the door after being summoned to another deadly shooting. As the sun rises, cop cars line the street outside a southwest Atlanta fire station. Lying in the backseat of a white sedan parked out front is the body of a 19-year-old, his sneakers dangling outside the open door.


An hour earlier, he’d been shot multiple times at a nearby apartment complex and driven to the firehouse. Firefighters tried in vain to save the teen but there was nothing they could do.


One by one, the victim’s friends and family members arrive at the station — screaming, crying, consoling one another. Woolfolk eventually steps in front of the throng of news cameras gathered across the street to fill reporters in on another shooting that claimed a life too soon.

Pictured above: Homicide Commander Lt. Ralph Woolfolk works the deadly shooting of a 19-year-old man in southwest Atlanta. (john.spink@ajc.com)


“Your heart drops every time we’re called out to these scenes,” said Woolfolk, the Atlanta Police Department’s homicide commander. “That feeling never goes away. These families are hurt and they have to adjust their entire way of life as a result of this violence.” Over the past two years homicides have surged across the city. By mid-May, slayings are up more than 50% from this time last year.


At 36, Woolfolk heads a 26-member unit comprised of seasoned investigators, some of whom have been cops nearly as long as he’s been alive. He has always been drawn to police work, which he says is in his blood. His grandfather, Ralph Woolfolk Jr., was a homicide detective in Detroit and worked the deadly shooting of Aretha Franklin’s father. His grandmother scrapbooked newspaper articles about her husband’s cases over the years and Woolfolk knew at age 5 that he wanted to be a cop.


Always on call:

Investigating killings is a taxing job. It isn’t easy to unplug — especially when you can be called to a crime scene at any hour. Woolfolk had to reschedule Valentine’s Day dinner with his wife, and was recently back in the office during what was supposed to be some long-awaited time off. “You gotta go. It’s just the way that it is,” the father of three said. “If a homicide comes up on Christmas, you’re leaving.” He said he was once called to five separate scenes in a single day.


Then there’s the emotional aspect of the job — responding to a gruesome scene where a child is dead or hearing the distinct wail of a mother who just found out she’ll never hug her son again.


“One of the toughest sounds you will ever hear as a human being is the sound of a mother who is crying out in pain as the result of her child being gunned down in the street,” Woolfolk said. “That is something you never, ever get used to.” Those who work alongside him say it’s all part of the job. “My first three years in homicide I averaged eight or nine cases a year,” said veteran detective Al Hogan, who joined the department a decade ago but has been a cop since 1987. “The last two years I’ve had 13 cases a year.”


As of May 16, the department had investigated 65 killings in 2022, up from 44 this time last year, Woolfolk said.

Pictured above: Atlanta Police Department Homicide Commander Lt. Ralph Woolfolk goes over the timeline of an ongoing investigation with members of the homicide unit at Atlanta Public Safety Headquarters. (branden.camp@ajc.com)


Solving the puzzle:

For Detective Summer Benton, working a homicide is like piecing together a puzzle. Some killings are relatively straight-forward, like a 10-piece jigsaw. Others, she said, are more like 10,000-piece puzzles that can take months or even years to solve.


Sometimes that big break never comes. Atlanta’s cold case detectives have a separate room with filing cabinets full of typewritten notes from nearly 1,600 unsolved killings dating as far back as the 1940s and 50s. Included in those records are boxes of files dedicated solely to Atlanta’s infamous “missing and murdered children” from the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. Detectives began revisiting the case in 2019 under former Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.


The daughter of an APD detective, Benton has been with the police department since 2001 and with the homicide unit 13 years. The Douglasville native was once a professional ballet dancer. But for the past three years, she has worked on the unit’s cold and complex cases and is now one of two detectives reexamining the child murders.


“I like puzzles. And when you get to a scene it’s like you’re opening that box and pouring all those pieces out,” she said. Your job is to put all the pieces back together in the correct spot.”

Detective Calvin Thomas became a police officer several years after the murder of his aunt, whose body was found near a dumpster at an apartment complex off Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. Her killer, who lived in the complex and worked as its maintenance man, was later sentenced to life behind bars. “It’s a line of work that’s definitely not for everyone,” said Thomas, a 47-year-old with a wife and 12-year-old daughter.


“For me, the hardest part is seeing bodies every day. You try not to take it home with you, but you do.” Each night after work, he spends a few minutes decompressing in the car outside his home before going inside. And tries not to talk about the job around his family. Frustrated by the recent surge in homicides, Thomas thinks most of the city’s violence could be avoided if people learned to walk away from arguments. “I’ve never seen it as bad as it is right now,” he said.

Pictured above: Sgt. Raymond Layton, left. Lt. Ralph Woolfolk, center, and Sgt. April White discuss a case at Atlanta Public Safety Headquarters. (branden.camp@ajc.com)


Boosting morale:

Detectives praised the job Woolfolk has done since taking over last August, citing his hectic workload. (He previously headed the department’s robbery unit.) They say he goes to every murder scene, shows up at the office well before anyone else and is typically the last person out the door. In addition, he likes to keep the break room stocked with snacks and drinks he picks up from Costco.


As the face of the unit, Woolfolk is often asked to get in front of news cameras and provide updates on cases or ask the public for tips. But he’s no stranger to television. As a child actor, he starred in the Nickelodeon series “My Brother and Me.” He also recently took the lead on his own case to help the team with their workload. Lately, each detective is picking up a new case about every three weeks.


“They were getting hit left and right, just annihilated by homicides,” he said. “I try to hop in and help out where I can.” He said he prioritizes his team’s mental health and encourages them to take their time off when they can. He’s also a proponent of therapy to help cope with the trauma and workload. Thomas said in his eight years with the unit, Woolfolk is the first supervisor he’s had who emphasizes mental health. “He is phenomenal,” said Benton. “He cares about us and he shows he cares about us. And we know he’s got our back.”

Hogan also praised the work the young homicide commander has done since taking over the unit last summer, saying it’s evident that he cares not only about the cases, but the people trying to solve them. “He works his ass off,” he said, pointing toward Woolfolk’s third-floor office. “He’s supposed to be on vacation and he’s here today.”

 

Slutty Vegan Promotes Jason Crain (Spring 2007) to President



Slutty Vegan, an Atlanta-based vegan burger joint from Pinky Cole, announced the promotion of Jason Crain to president. A key player in the company’s scaling success throughout the pandemic, Jason served as the company’s chief revenue officer since 2020 and dually led the $25 million Series A fundraising round that resulted in Slutty Vegan’s impressive $100 million valuation that was announced in May 2022.

“I’m so excited to promote Jason to President of Slutty Vegan,” Cole says. “Since 2020, Jason has been an asset to the company through his implementation of our CPG Retail Division, negotiating our $25 million dollar Series A round and the hiring of our C-suite executive team, just to name a few. I’m confident that Jason will continue to elevate the Slutty brand with his brilliance in business, and I know for sure that Jason will work his hardest to make our organization a billion dollar brand.”


A seasoned restaurateur, startup founder, mentor, advisor and investor, Jason’s resume is stacked with over a decade of notable experience within some of the nation’s top heavy-hitter companies, including Amazon and Google. Before joining the Slutty Vegan family as Chief Revenue Officer in 2020, Jason worked as an entrepreneur in residence at Amazon where he built innovative visual search and augmented reality products for online shopping.


Prior to his formative years with the e-commerce giant, he served as the co-founder & COO of Partpic, Inc., a VC backed visual search and machine learning startup focused on the MRO/hardware industry, held various leadership roles at Shazam, a popular app used to identify music, movies, advertising and television shows, and spent his early career working as an account manager for Google where he consulted beauty, home and personal care brands on their digital strategies.


Jason is the founding chairman of ScholarMade Charter Schools, a charter management system aiming to bring innovation into the classroom by encouraging collaboration and unique but proven education fundamentals, which enrolls nearly 400 students in Little Rock, Arkansas.


Born and raised in Kansas City and now an Atlanta resident, Jason graduated with Phi Beta Kappa honors from Morehouse College in 2009 where he earned degrees in Spanish and Business & Marketing. In 2019, he received his MBA from Kellogg School of Management.

Slutty Vegan’s crave-worthy, indulgent menus and joyful customer interactions draw plant-based diners, the vegan-curious and even each city’s most passionate meat eaters to eagerly wait in now-famous lines down the block for a vegan burger, with sluttified fans including

celebrities like Snoop Dogg, Jermaine Dupri, Taraji P. Henson, Tyler Perry, Tiffany Haddish and Queen Latifah. Slutty Vegan has five brick-and-mortar locations including metro-Atlanta stores in the Edgewood, Jonesboro, Duluth and West View neighborhoods, plus an outpost in Athens, Georgia. Additional locations have been announced for Birmingham, Alabama and Brooklyn, New York.

 

Black Investment Firm Raising up to $50 Million to Acquire Companies and Help Close Racial Wealth Gap (Brother Philip Reeves -- Spring 2006)

Pictured above: The Apis & Heritage team, from left to right Michael Brownrigg, Natalie Edwards, founding partners Todd Leverette, Phil Reeves, and Jason Ollison, and Kyle Chin-how (Credit: Apis & Heritage Capital Partners)



An emerging Black-led investment fund, Apis & Heritage Capital Partners (A&H), intends to raise $50 million to build its pipeline of acquired companies to help close the nation’s racial wealth gap.


Started on Juneteenth 2021 by founding partners and Morehouse College graduates Todd Leverette and Phil Reeves, they hope to compile the money this year. Plans call for prioritizing the potential purchase of Black-owned businesses with a workforce of at least 40% Black or brown employees. The Washington, DC-based social impact private equity firm raised $30 million last June, the first close of its flagship Legacy Fund I. The firm’s business model focuses on buying closely-held businesses “seeking a return on their life’s work” and cherishing their legacy. A&H converts the companies into 100% employee-owned businesses.


Leverette explained employee stock ownership plans have been building wealth for workers for over 40 years, but mostly for white workers. He says A&H is taking something old and directing it where it hasn’t been deployed before, but where there is the greatest opportunity and the greatest need.


This month, A&H used an undisclosed amount of the $30 million to convert Denver-based Apex Plumbing Co. and El Paso, Texas-based Accent Landscape Contractors Inc., making them the first companies to use its concept. Leverette expects A&H to do eight to nine transactions by 2025, turning 500 or more workers into employee-owners and creating long-term savings and wealth for them and their families.


The company hopes to raise $35 million to $50 million. Leverette expects the round to be closed to new investors as of Juneteenth 2022. He added the firm is now finalizing its last tranche of that investment and hopes to complete it later this year. “While we’ve been excited about the level of investor interest in our strategy and vision, it has truly pained us to have to turn some investors away.”

He explained once A&H completes its employee-led buyout, the acquired companies’ workers

become the new owners, and the previous owners retire. A&H then transfers the ownership of Black-owned businesses to their employees, and when the workforce is predominantly minority, the businesses stay minority-owned. A&H, Leverette says, looks for companies with $1million to $6 million in profit and at least $10 million in revenue. It also pursues companies that have been profitable for several years. It seeks firms where 50% of the employees are low income, making under 80% of the Area Median Income where they work.


“As such, we are able to achieve our desired impact of attacking the racial wealth gap regardless of who owns the company,” Leverette says. “Statistics show that Black and brown business owners tend to employ more Black and brown workers, and we want those owners to know that this model can work for them.”

 

Brother Darren E. Wethers (Fall 1982) Joins ATRIO Health Plans As Chief Medical Officer



Darren Wethers, MD, CPE, is the new chief medical officer for Atrio Health Plans. He oversees the plan's utilization management, care management and pharmacy services and is the clinical liaison to the provider community. Prior to joining Atrio, Dr. Wethers served as Vice President, Clinical Operations at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona for 3 years and was the chief medical officer for BCBS Arizona Medicare Advantage plan for the preceding 4 years; he entered the payer space in 2011 as a Medical Director at Coventry Health Care and Aetna.


Dr. Wethers practiced internal medicine in the Midwest for more than 20 years, focused on HIV/AIDS and chemical dependency care; it was during this time that he became interested in administrative medicine as a career path. He earned his B.S in Biology at Morehouse College, Doctor of Medicine degree at Northwestern University in 1988, and completed internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Emory University. He is board certified in internal medicine. He and his wife, Cheryl, enjoy hiking, biking, and visiting historic native communities.

ATRIO Health Plans was established by Oregon physicians in 2004. Since then, ATRIO has grown to serve thousands of members in Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, Marion and Polk counties. We offer Medicare Advantage health insurance, and are proud to have achieved our membership growth through financially sound underwriting practices that result in competitively priced plans with comprehensive coverage. Our company works closely with local, quality providers of care to improve health outcomes for our members and the communities we serve. We’re part of your community and are committed to delivering a responsible and sustainable approach to achieving member satisfaction, cost savings and long term market growth.

 

30 Companies That Are Using Software To Change The World (Brother Alfred C. Dunn II -- Spring 1999)


www.fastcompany.com


The software category of Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas Awards honors projects whose main feature is a software component, in any discipline. Brother Alfred Dunn is a Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer for NXTLAB by Gauge.


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Allen Edmonds 100 Presents Portraits In Style And Culture: Meet Craig Woolridge (Fall 1982) Lifelong Golfer



Founded in 1922, Allen Edmonds Shoe Corporation is a U.S. based manufacturer of premium men’s footwear and accessories. They have been creating timeless, custom-made men's dress shoes and casual shoes since 1922.


Craig Arthur Woolridge: Lifelong Golfer

A visionary leader, I have established myself as a sales and marketing expert with tremendous success enhancing organizational value. Spanning work across all functions of sales and account management, my career comprises expertise across the financial sector in comprehensive relationship building and management, as well as long-term business strategy and cutting-edge client solutions.

My skillset is also inclusive of operations management and sales strategy development. Within every professional capacity, I demonstrate a proven, customer-centric approach to all business endeavors. An excellent communicator, I thrive in opportunities to collaborate with stakeholders, identifying, and driving opportunities for business growth and innovation.


An accomplished professional, I have earned numerous distinctions for exceptional performance and leadership. As I’ve advanced through numerous organizational levels and assumed progressive responsibilities, I’ve sustained a personal commitment to integrity, dependability, and high standards of excellence. Leveraging a robust background, I am poised to thrive and challenge, leading-edge pioneer solutions, and drive continued success with each opportunity.

 

Morehouse College Houston Alumni Association (HMAA) Honors GeJuan K. Cole (Fall 1998) as Father of The Year

Celebrating Black Fatherhood Excellence Houston Morehouse Alumni 10th Annual Father’s Day Brunch


By Crystal LaShan, www.aframnews.com


For ten years, the Houston Morehouse Alumni Association (HMAA) has produced first-class celebrations of Black Fatherhood. Young black boys need to see successful Black Male Role Models. Living in a country that often expects young Black Men to be troublemakers, low achievers, or rebellious, it is our responsibility as African Americans to provide examples of Black Fatherhood Excellence. Our young Black men need to know that there are alternatives to what society believes most young Black men are.


In 2012, Morehouse Houston Alumni Association President Malaki Sims started the tradition of a Father’s Day Brunch, which is also a tradition in the Morehouse Atlanta Alumni Association. The Father’s Day Brunch’s purpose is to strengthen fatherhood’s bonds and showcase outstanding African American fathers within the Houston area.

During this year’s Father’s Day Brunch, the HMAA presented awards to distinguished men of color for leadership, mentorship, and service. They also recognized distinguished alumnus Ray Shackelford (class of 2008) and Maroon Tiger “Father of the Year” Mr. Gejuan Cole class of 2001). Every award was created to acknowledge community leaders, fellow Morehouse men, and everyday fathers who commit to being active, present, and involved in their children’s lives.

It is fitting for Morehouse men to lead this effort since they are blessed to be graduates of the only institution designed to educate men of African Descent to be exceptional leaders in their community, country, and the world. The brunch was hosted by Master of Ceremonies, Jonathan Martin, and Fox 26 Anchor. Dr. Timothy W. Sloan (class of 94) delivered the Invocation.


The Father’s Day Brunch keynote speaker was Bishop James Dixon of Community Faith Church. He is highly respected in the Houston community and in the nation as a man of vision whose leadership gifts and skills have proven to be beneficial to scores of religious, civic, and business organizations. His address was an inspiring call for African American men to fill in the balance for those who don’t have father figures and for us to celebrate the strong Black men who do the job very well.

The Dezra White, MD (Alpha Rho Fall 1960) Leadership Award was named after one of the founding members of HMAA. Dr. White was committed to supporting the organization through leadership, financial support, and his time. Thomas Jones Jr. received the Dezra White, MD Leadership Award. He is a founding and recently retired partner of McConnell & Jones, a public accounting firm recognized by Accounting Today as one of the largest CPA practices in the Southwestern United States.


Sterling and Stephen Carter were awarded the Alvin Wardlaw Mentorship Award. Alvin Wardlaw was an exceptional Morehouse man committed to the growth and success of HMAA. Dr. Sterling Carter has practiced as a physical therapist for over 20 years. A graduate of Langston University, he obtained a bachelor’s degree in Biology (1993) and Physical Therapy (1997). He received his Master of Science in Physical Therapy, with a focus in Orthopedics from Texas Women’s University (2007) and a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Simmons College (2013). He is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and an esteemed Fort Bend Leadership Forum graduate.


Stephen Carter has served as the Director of Finance for a large IT Consulting Firm, Sr. Managing Consultant at KPMG LLP, and Sr. Accounting Manager at Pride/ Ensco. He is currently Sr. Project Controls Manager at Gulf Interstate Engineering. Stephen has over 21 years of finance and management experience and continues to be heavily involved in his community, church, and family life.

Pictured above: At center, the Honorable Mayor Sylvester Turner (Alpha Eta Lambda, Fall 1987) .


This dynamic brother duo is both active members of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. and members of 100 Black men of Houston, Inc, where they mentor young men from the ages of 7 – 17 years old monthly. They also launched their first book under Forbes Books in Fall 2018, titled “Double Your Success,” which made it to the Amazon Best Sellers List.


One of the most touching moments of the brunch was when Alexandria Cole, along with Don Taylor (class of 2008) presented her father, GeJuan Cole (class of 2001) with the Maroon Tiger “Father of the Year” Award. She delivered a very emotional and touching speech that she wrote in honor of her father. Every year HMAA has a Maroon Tiger Father’s Day Essay Contest where 9th – 12th-grade students are allowed to submit an essay about their father. The winner receives $500 and two complimentary tickets to the brunch where they read their essay, and their father is presented with the Maroon Tiger Father of the Year Award.


GeJuan Cole is an Engineering Dual Degree graduate of Morehouse College in Mathematics and Georgia Institute of Technology in Mechanical Engineering. He later earned his MBA in Global Leadership from the University of Houston and is a licensed Professional Engineer certified by the Texas Board of Professional Engineers. Mr. Cole is the Director of Tactical Projects for the Transmission-Gulf of Mexico operating area. In this role, he leads the engineering and project management efforts to ensure the safe and compliant operation of Williams’ natural gas pipeline infrastructure. Congratulations, Mr. Cole, on being an extraordinary example of Black Fatherhood Excellence.

Pictured above: The Cole family.


My favorite part of the brunch was when presenting chair, Dr. Matthew W. Plummer, Jr., D.D.S. (Alpha Rho Fall 1962) delivered his amazing original poem – “A Message to Morehouse Men.” It was full of vivid imagery, heart-wrenching truth, and admiration for the struggle of Black men to survive and thrive in America throughout their lives. It was a refreshing display of passion and love for the Black male Experience in America. Dr. Plummer has consistently contributed to the HMAA Father’s Day Brunch contributing $5,000 to $10,000 yearly for scholarships for students in STEM Fields.

The HMAA Father’s Day Brunch was a great success thanks to the hard work of the Brunch Chairman Et’Chane Towers (class of 1999), HMAA President Derek Garrett (class of 2003), and the entire HMAA brotherhood who work tirelessly to make this event a great success every year. A special thank you to the HMAA Sponsors and Community Partners Comcast, The Luke Church, Etch and Market, Kevin Riles Commercial, Albemarle Foundation, and Vernonville Asset Management for supporting this worthy cause and investing in the promotion of celebrating Black Fatherhood Excellence.

 

Washingtonian Magazines's 2022 “100 Best Agents” and “Elite Producers” in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC. (Aty T. Biswese --Spring 2001)


www.washingtonian.com


The Morehouse grad was enjoying his work as a management consultant in Chicago, with his first nice apartment in the South Loop area, when divine intervention altered his path.


“There was a gas leak in my apartment building in November, and all the tenants were evacuated to a nearby hotel until the problem was resolved,” he says. “But the leak never got fixed. Everyone received their money back, and I found myself with nowhere to live. I felt homeless during the holiday season.”

That’s when he realized the power of real estate and the importance of home ownership. As a Christmas gift, he purchased his first condo and never looked back. “I wanted to harness that overwhelming feeling of joy and relief at having a home into something more, towards a passion,” he says. “That experience taught me that the business of real estate is very emotional. And for me, it’s a personal calling that became a business.”


Aty is a consummate girls’ dad, an avid art collector and self taught master griller. He lives in Shepherd Park with his wife and two young daughters.

 

With Eyes Firmly Focused on Centennial 2024 -- The APCAA Further Cements Administrative Structure with 6 New Appointments


By APCAA Staff


It's true -- as an association with more than 800 Brothers, we can do three progressive things at the same time: plan for Centennial; plan for post-Centennial; and plan for scholarships. And that's exactly what's underway as we align the entire Brotherhood in our countdown to January, 2024.


Joining the leadership team this month are six accomplished individuals who have what it takes to help us deliver on all three counts:


Vice President: Brother Armstrong is a committed strategy and operations professional with extensive experience in both public and private sectors, and is based in Atlanta, Georgia. He serves as a Board Member, and Director of General Oversight at Prodigious Academy: Advanced Learning & Character Development, Inc. He received his Master of Business Administration (MBA) in 2012 from the Vanderbilt University - Owen Graduate School of Management in Nashville, Tennessee. As he has done over the past few years, Brother Armstrong will strengthen engagement with the Brotherhood during our Charter Day, Founder's Day, and Summer Smoker experiences, nationwide.


Executive Secretary: This key new role will serve as the liaison between APCAA's administrative arm and all other programming. Professionally, Brother Boyd is currently serving as a Booking Analyst -- Booking Path Team at Chicago-based United Airlines where he Work with developers, user experience, and marketing teams to capture business requirements, create user stories, and shepherd features from ideation to launch and production. In 2020, he launched My Brother And Me Gaming LLC, a trivia card game based on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Bother Boyd, whose Brother Randy C. Boyd his also an Alpha Rho initiate (Inimitable 24 -- Spring 2017), served as President of the Chapter in 2013.


Chief Scholastic Officer: In May, 2021, Brother Williams was promoted to Principal of the M. Agnes Jones Elementary School in the Atlanta Public School System following 12 years of progressive service to the organization. He earned his M.Ed in Education Leadership in 2007 from the Teacher's College at Columbia University, and prior to that, he earned his Master of Arts/Master of Science for Teachers in Elementary Education from Pace University (2004). In his role, Brother Williams will help constitute the next phase of our scholastic efforts as defined by our 501(c)(3) foundation.

Chief Protocol Officer: A former Chapter Dean (Anastasis 25 -- Fall 1998) and longtime leader in engagement/mentorship with the undergraduate Brotherhood, Brother Brown is currently the Constituent Services Specialist in the Executive Offices of Andre Dickens, the 61st Mayor of Atlanta, Georgia. As a direct result of his professional experience, Brother Brown leads the APCAA's response to benevolent engagement with the association.


Historian: Brother Ward is currently a Graduate Research Fellow at New Visions for Public Schools in New York City. New Vision operates ten public charter schools in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens and, as a trusted partner of the NYC Department of Education, where they enable 1,600 public district schools plan for the success of over a million students citywide. He earned his Master of Arts in Education Policy Analysis in 2020 from the Teachers College at Columbia University.


Assistant Vice President: The new role of Assistant Vice President was developed earlier this summer in an effort to create a leadership pipeline from an AP undergrad appointment as "Guardian of The Obelisk" to the AP Alumni ranks. The first Brother to transition from Guardian to this new AVP position is Theodore Colbert IV, who enters the D.D.S. program at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts this month. He joined the fraternity as a member of the Anomalous 11 in Spring 2020, and served as the 6th "Guardian of The Obelisk" in 2021-22.


 

Dreadhead Films Wins Webby Award (Brother Julien Turner -- Spring 2019)



The Webby Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet. Established in 1996 during the Web’s infancy, The Webbys is presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS)—a 2000+ member judging body. The Academy is comprised of Executive Members—leading Internet experts, business figures, luminaries, visionaries and creative celebrities—and Associate Members who are former Webby Winners, Nominees and other Internet professionals.


The Turner Brother's personal five-word Webby speech: “Your stories matter. Tell them.” They continued, “Since the birth of @DreadheadFilms, we have been on a mission to tell stories similar to those that entertained, inspired, and uplifted us growing up. Thank you, @TheWebbyAwards and the people who voted “Free Lunch” for Best Video Campaign. Thank you, @James.Whitner, for trusting our abilities. Thank you, Mom and Dad, for continuing to believe in us in the moments we feel no one else does. Shout out to our amazing team and cast. We hope this award serves as a reminder that our stories matter. We will continue to tell them."


Since the age of eleven, 19-yr. old filmmaker Justen Turner has been producing and directing short film projects. At the encouragement and urging of his older brother Julien, Justen formally created Dreadhead Films in 2014 (when he was 12), and in that same year, two of his films -- iWitness Christmas and Giving Gives Back were honored and recognized at national film festivals. Justen quickly became noticed in his community for his filmmaking skills and was hired to provide videography services for the varsity football and basketball programs at his local high school. In 2016, Justen and his brother Julien decided to join forces and serve as partners at Dreadhead Films.


In November 2017, the Turner brothers were thrust into the national spotlight when two major events took place simultaneously -- brother Julien's biology rap video went viral and the brothers were recognized as the youngest filmmakers (15 & 19) to be commissioned to produce a short film for Sesame Street for its 2018-2019 season. As a result, they were featured on CNN, in The NY Times, and on numerous other national platforms.

Since then, he and his brother have made nearly a dozen short films, of which eight (8) are public. Their short films (including two award-winning) have screened at reputed film festivals from the Pan African Film Festival and the Martha's Vineyard African American Film Festival, to the HollyShorts Film Monthly Screening Series. Their short film that accompanied the release of the Social Status x Nike collaboration on the Nike Dunk sneaker garnered them a Webby People's Voice Award for Best Video Campaign in 2022.

Justen grew up playing the piano and acoustic bass. He also enjoys playing basketball. He graduated in May 2020 with a 4.2 gpa and the highest honors from Pickerington North High School (Pickerington, OH). Justen is currently a junior marketing student who is in the honors program and on a full academic ride at The Ohio State University. Justen's greatest pride and joy is being able to transform ideas into reality via film, art, and music.

Pictured above: The Turner Brothers deliver a TEDx Talk hosted by Morehouse College in 2018.


The Turner brothers are the sons of Kevin Turner, a professional jazz guitarist and Ohio State jazz professor, and Dr. Cynthia Turner, an Ohio State accounting professor and ordained Christian minister.

 

Brother Kraig Lamont Golden (Spring 1985) Receives Presidential Alpha Vanguard Award from Mu Sigma Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Pictured above: Brother Kraig Golden at far right.



Brother Kraig Lamont Golden was recently recognized for his service & leadership with the 2022 Presidential Alpha Vanguard Award from his alumni chapter, Mu Sigma Lambda. Dr. Golden, a resident physician with Kaiser Permanente in La Habra, California, has been active at the graduate level for more than 30 years.


Mu Sigma Lambda was established in Baldwin Hills/Culver City, California on September 23, 1977, by 14 Honorable Black Men of the Greater Los Angeles area, affectionately known as The Audacious 14. Today, they are famously known as “The Baldwin Hills Alphas” – serving a community overlooking the Los Angeles Basin and the lower plain immediately to the north. Baldwin Hills is bordered on the southeast by Los Angeles’ Leimert Park neighborhood, on the south by View Park – Windsor Hills, on the west by Culver City, on the north by the Los Angeles Mid-City district, and the east by the Crenshaw district.

Pictured above: The Mu Sigma Lambda Brotherhood at their awards ceremony on June 18, 2022.

 

Brother Cameron D. Hawkins (Fall 2003) Delivers Spring 2022 Commencement Address at Herzing University Atlanta


By APCAA Staff


Edwards & Hawkins LLC partner Cameron Hawkins recently delivered the commencement address for the spring 2022 graduates of Herzing University Atlanta. Herzing is a popular destination for international students from throughout the metro-Atlanta market, offering access to a thriving, diverse educational community as well as quality programs for career advancement.


Conveniently located in downtown Atlanta on the 4th floor of the Hurt Building, Herzing Atlanta provides industry-current facilities, experienced instructors and career-focused education for thousands of area students.


Mr. Cameron D. Hawkins is a trial lawyer who specializes in civil litigation with an emphasis on wrongful death, catastrophic injury, premises liability, transportation, and trucking law. Mr. Hawkins is passionate about the law and fervently advocates for each of his clients.


A Des Moines, Iowa native, Mr. Hawkins has established deep roots in Georgia. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Morehouse College and later earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Georgia School of Law.

Prior to founding Edwards & Hawkins LLC, Mr. Hawkins enjoyed a multi-dimensional professional legal career, where he practiced civil litigation for several well-respected law firms in the metro Atlanta area. Mr. Hawkins’ experience also includes immigration law for the federal government and criminal defense; he now uses that experience to the benefit of his clients.

 

Brother John M. Williams (Spring 1985) Named New CEO for Habitat for Humanity of Michigan

www.habitatmichigan.org


Lansing, Michigan – Habitat for Humanity of Michigan (HFHM) announced today that John Michael Williams has been selected as their incoming President and CEO, succeeding Sandra Pearson who has led the organization since 2010.


The Board of Directors for the organization launched a CEO search in February after Pearson announced her plans for departure. Habitat Michigan hired Koya Partners to assist with the recruitment and interview process for new candidates.


Williams most recently served as Interim Executive Director with Summit Education Initiative prior to joining Habitat Michigan. His corporate career includes Deputy Executive Director Chief Operating Officer with Alpha Phi Alpha Homes, a non-profit housing corporation, Ford Motor Company, and Nissan North America, where he served as the Infiniti Division’s only Black Dealer Operations Manager (DOM).

He is a recognized local, regional, and national collaborative community leader sharing expertise in justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion; community and economic development; organizational development and transformation; fiscal management, strategic planning, and plan implementation; parliamentary procedure and protocol; creating organization governance documents; and Christian leadership, education, and church structures.


“It is my personal and professional privilege to serve the people of Michigan in this capacity. To be able to incorporate my Christian values and beliefs with my passion and expertise in affordable housing while positively transforming lives is truly an honor,” said John Williams.


“On behalf of the team at Habitat Michigan, I am thrilled to welcome John to Habitat Michigan and I look forward to watching the growth and impact of the organization under his leadership,” Pearson stated. “I have cherished my time with Habitat for Humanity and could not be happier with the efforts of our Board, staff, and selection committee in appointing John as my successor. It is a gift to be able to transition a strong, impactful organization to our next leader.”

Pictured above: A meet-up of Alpha Rho Men at the National Fraternity's reception during the 2019 Congressional Black Caucus in Washington, DC. (l-r -- Brothers Henry Stewart, Spring 1999, Gregory T. Burrell, Spring 1987, Williams, Kelvin J. Taylor, Sr., Spring 1985, and George B. Walker, Fall 1989.


Daniel Page-Wood, Board Chair for HFHM, helped lead the interview and selection process. “Sandy has brought so much innovation and change to the organization in order to serve more Michiganders and help them achieve their dreams of homeownership,” Page-Wood stated. “John brings a great deal of valuable experience and knowledge with him as he joins our team, and I know he will continue the work Sandy started in ensuring that anyone can have access to safe, decent, affordable housing.”


Williams officially took over leadership of the organization on July 1, 2022.

 

VoyageATL Community Highlights: Meet Justin Hill (Spring 2018) of The JHill Firm



Today, we’d like to introduce you to Justin Hill.


Hi Justin, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory. I am originally from Montgomery, Alabama. I went to Morehouse for college, then Case Western – in Cleveland – for law school, and now I’m back in Atlanta. I always wanted to have my own law firm one day, but I decided to start my own law firm right out of law school during my last year of law school. I worked at one of the top criminal defense law firms in Ohio during law school, and I saved a lot of my money, so I graduated with a nice savings. Immediately after graduation, I focused all my attention on the bar exam. After taking the bar exam, I started putting things into motion like establishing my LLC, branding myself, developing marketing strategies, and

building my network. I also got a job at a criminal defense law firm in Atlanta to continue developing my legal skills and save more money. Once I found out I passed the bar exam, I got office space, set up my phone and website, and officially opened for business. Six months later, I have just over 40 clients, and I’m still growing.


Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?

My journey can best be described as a roller coaster. It has ups and downs, but ultimately, I’m having fun and I enjoy what I do. A big challenge is balancing between developing myself as a lawyer and as a business owner at the same time. This includes running the law firm as a business (i.e. accounting, marketing, administrative tasks, etc.) in addition to providing the legal services. It definitely keeps me busy, but I like busy. Another challenge is being a young solo lawyer going up against lawyers who have been practicing for 10, 15, 20+ years. It was a little intimidating at first, but then I realized we all have the same license. Now, I just make sure to always come prepared and stay on my P’s and Q’s. Overall, the challenges make what I do interesting. When I get over one challenge and things seem to be going too smooth, I find myself wondering what’s next.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know? My law firm focuses on criminal defense and personal injury law. I have represented numerous clients in criminal cases across the State of Georgia. I handle felonies and misdemeanors. Some cases I have handled include Aggravated Assault, Marijuana Trafficking, DUI, Theft, weapons charges, probation violations, traffic citations, and more. One thing I really take pride in, along with providing top-tier legal services, is customer service. What really sets me apart from other lawyers is that I empathize with each and every one of my clients. Empathy is huge to me. I try to put myself in each of my clients’ shoes and handle every case the way I would want someone to handle my own. One of my major accomplishments as a businessman is the release of my first major marketing scheme and debut EP, When It Gets Real. The EP is a compilation of rhythms and melodies written and performed by myself to advertise the preeminent legal services offered by The JHill Firm. When It Gets Real is available on all streaming platforms.


We’d be interested to hear your thoughts on luck and what role, if any, you feel it’s played for you? I don’t believe in luck, but I do believe in the power of prayer and reaping what you sow. Prayer, faith, and hard work have gotten me places that I could have never imagined. I also believe that you receive the same energy you put out. If you put out good energy, then that’s what you’ll receive. So, I always try to treat people the way I want to be treated and put out positive energy.

 

Ari Wright-Thompson (Fall 20211) Co-Authors Inspirational Book "Dreamer's Big Dreams!"



Dreamer's big DREAMS! is the first in a series of books that encourage you to honor the gifts

and DREAMS God has played in your heart, creating a plan to make those dreams real, and following through! Written by the dynamic and talented brother and sister duo, Ari & Aryn Wright-Thompson, these 2 have had their share of dreams and setbacks.


This series will encourage you to dream, set goals, and keep going even through tough times. Believe in what God has put in your heart, and trust in your abilities to make your dreams come true.


About the authors:

Ari is senior Political Science major, Sports Journalism minor at Morehouse College where he has proudly served in many leadership roles including student government. He served as a Freshman Senator, Executive Director & the 85th Vice President of the SGA. Ari is proud member of the Alpha Rho Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Ari's DREAM is to attend law school and to work for a professional sports league.


Aryn is a sophomore English major, political science minor at Spelman College. She is an actress, writer, activist and so much more! Aryn loves to express creativity while empowering young women in many ways. She has served her school and community by serving on the E-Board of the Brains and Beauty Project, and working as an intern for the Miss Spelman Advisory Board. You also may recognize her from the box office hit "Overcome" released in 2019, where she played Hannah Scott.


Aryn's DREAM is to continue acting and writing, as well as owning her own publishing company.

 

Southern California Alpha Rho Alums Gather for Annual Summer Smoker in Los Angeles

Pictured above: Southern California-based Alpha Rho Alums: Seth Pickens, Brian Baytop, Kraig Golden, David Helem, Mike P. Cox, Ibert Schultz, Audley Mackel IV, Jordan Lindsay, Garrett Howard, Robert Cole, Sean Reaves, Maurice Hale, Stanley Onuoha, Brian Buchanan, Jr., Erick Guillory, Kerrington Munson, Keith Davies, and Albert Sanders.


By APCAA Staff


A multi-generational team of Brothers pulled together to deliver yet another impressive summer smoker for the West Coast crew. The outing was spearheaded by Brothers Erick Guillory (Spr 85), Robert Cole (Spr 85), Brian Baytop (Fa 98), Almuhtada Smith (Fa 04), Kraig Golden (Spr 85), and Albert Sanders (Fa 98). While it looked like special guest Mike Cox made it to the set from Houston in time to take part in a Spades Master Course ... Brothers who joined but missed the group photo include Leon Chitman, Cameron Finley, Almuhtada Smith, and Camron Yarber.


Also on hand was AP Centennial Chairman Earl N. Caldwell (Fall 1982), who provided an update on the development of the 12 Caucuses leading programming for our January 5-7, 2024 weekend in Atlanta, Georgia.