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Alpha Rho Chapter Alumni's Winter 2023 Digest + 99th Charter Day Shots + Centennial Staffing Updates

This Edition of the APCAA Digest features updates on 24 Brothers from the Alpha Rho Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and their professional developments, artistic pursuits, industry projects, awards and recognitions.

Also — we announce several leadership enhancements for AP100, and drop in a re-cap of our 99th Charter Day around the nation.


Black-Led VC Firm Raises $58.1M To Help Low-Income Workers Become Business Owners (Bro. Philip D. Reeves Spring 2006)

By Jasmine Browley

It’s not easy transitioning from worker to founder. Fortunately, a Black founded investment fund is aiming to make the leap a smooth one. Apis & Heritage Capital Partners (A&H) recently announced the final close of its first investment fund at $58.1 million.

The investment fund was created to finance the conversion of companies with substantial Black and Brown workforces into 100% employee-owned businesses using a 100% employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) structure.

“The whole A&H team is humbled by the outpouring of interest and support from the investment community for our novel approach,” said Todd Leverette, A&H Founding Partner in a news release. “We are trying to create a better path for employees, especially workers of color, to gain from their own hard work and innovation, while also building great small companies into great bigger companies. We are deeply grateful to our institutional investors and individuals for believing in our team and our model, and are only sorry that we could not accommodate every investor who wanted to be a part of Legacy Fund I.”

Nearly half of all Americans surveyed by the Federal Reserve shared they don’t an extra $400 to spare on emergencies, while about 2/3 of Black and Latino workers retire with zero savings after a lifetime of work. Conversely, A&H says points out the average employee in an employee-owned business nearing retirement has $147,000 in his or her ESOP account, which they have not bought but rather earned from their hard work.

“Our value-proposition has been well received by business owners,” added Phil Reeves, A&H Founding Partner. “With two transactions under our belt, we have two founders/sellers who are proud of the legacy they are creating for their community and their workers by transitioning their companies into 100% employee-owned businesses through the auspices, capital and guidance of A&H. Since we focus on enterprises that have a large number of low income workers and workers of color, we know we are going to make capitalism start working for people who have been denied these opportunities for so long. You might say A&H aims to put the “equity” back in private equity.”


City of Boston Taps Brother John Matthew Borders IV (Spring 2007) as Director of Tourism, Sports and Entertainment

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu announced on January 24, 2023 that John Borders IV will serve as the new Director of Tourism, Sports and Entertainment for the City of Boston, a critical department within the Economic Opportunity and Inclusion Cabinet.

Borders IV most recently served as Principal of VTH & Madison, a consulting firm based in Boston, where he concentrated on implementing strategies focused on the growth and expansion of businesses owned by people of color like startups and celebrity boutique brands. Prior to his work at VTH & Madison, he served as an Account Executive at Everfi, a mission-driven company that addresses education inequities through data-driven software, and as Senior Manager of Community Engagement at the Boston Celtics.

“Boston is a city for everyone, with something special for every resident and every visitor to experience across our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “As Boston continues to grow and welcome people from around the globe, we look to center and highlight the vibrancy of our communities even more. I’m grateful to John for his commitment to serving our city and look forward to his leadership in ensuring that Boston is a welcoming and inclusive place for all."

“As Boston emerges from the pandemic, it is an exciting opportunity to bring residents and visitors together,” said Segun Idowu, Chief of Economic Opportunity and Inclusion. “With a vision of revitalizing our communities and turning our neighborhoods into destinations, I know that John, as a son of Boston, will enhance our standing on the local and global stage.”

In this role leading the Mayor’s Office of Tourism, Sports and Entertainment, Borders IV will help to advance the department’s new vision of creating a more welcoming City by proactively attracting the meetings, events, conventions, and festivals that amplify Boston’s rich cultural diversity and bring people together. This will be done through the planning, development, and implementation of special community-driven events and celebrations, and deeper collaboration with agencies like Meet Boston, the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, and the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, Borders IV will oversee the process of film and TV production in the City, ensuring a broader understanding of the City's diversity is highlighted and that all neighborhoods are cast in a positive light.

"What an opportunity to join the Administration in this role at such a critical time in the history of our city,” said John Borders IV, Director of Tourism, Sports, and Entertainment. “As the narrative of Boston continues to shift we get to shape the next chapter of what that means locally, domestically, and internationally. I am excited to leverage Boston’s greatest resource - its people - to enhance the great work already being done by so many and to amplify what's to come. The possibilities are endless and the best of Boston’s communities will be showcased like never before."

A son of the City, John Borders IV is a graduate of Morehouse College and proudly hails from Dorchester, MA. With a career focused on leveraging brands for impact, his skill sets have shown forth through focused work in the areas of corporate social responsibility, community engagement, relationship management, and business development. Some of the organizations Borders IV has worked with include Goalsetter, Everfi, CUME, Morning Star Baptist Church, the Boston Celtics, as well as the Patrick administration for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.


Brother Alzay F. Calhoun (Spring 2000) + Gordon D. Greenwood (Spring 1984) + Jason L. Miles (Fall 2002) + Andre C. Ellis (Spring 2009) Round Out APCAA Leadership Enhancements

By BMaynard Scarborough, APCAA President

Just as we began the 365-day countdown to Centennial Charter Day, we also initiated a series of Thursday lunch sessions in Morehouse's Chivers Dining Hall that focused on strengthening the administrative flow between the APCAA Administrative team and the 32 AP100 Caucus Leaders spread throughout the nation. To that end, we've enhanced the existing structure to include project management-minded Brothers who can help drive home a successful Centennial Week.

from: ESOTERIC 13, SPRING 2000

An excellent example of these enhancements is Brother Alzay F. Calhoun, who first landed on my radar when I stumbled across one of the recent homecoming step-show rehearsals. It never registered with me just how much energy, dedication, and attention goes into this annual tradition, and Alzay's leadership amongst that group triggered an outline of exactly where we need to be organizationally in these final 11 months.

Brother Alzay F. Calhoun (Spring 2000) APCAA General Manager

As APCAA's new General Manager, Alzay is tasked with bringing some of that same precise planning and execution energy into the work of the 12 Caucus groups, or literally, keeping all of the Alpha Trains running on-time. Brother Calhoun, a Houston, Texas native, is a 2001 graduate of Morehouse College.

Alzay runs a business coaching company that advises small businesses on sales and marketing strategy. He has been helping his clients create standard operating procedures (SOPs) and sales systems since 2012. He runs a successful YouTube channel (Coveted Consultant) with case studies, video tutorials, and behind-the scenes insights.

According to Alzay, "My goal is to help APCAA apply the necessary structure and cadence to lift and deliver its fundraising efforts."


A perennial supporter of everything Alpha Rho, Brother Gordon D. Greenwood has stepped forward to serve as the Director for our essential APCAA AP100 Town Hall. If you know Greenwood's fraternal backstory, then you also know why he's the ideal Brother to direct this closing bookend to our 10-year campaign. While AP100's Saturday, January 6th evening gala & show will feature all of the bells & whistles you'd expect at an black-tie affair, the Saturday afternoon gathering will be essential in many other ways.

Specifically, this is when and where we'll recognize milestone initiates, top-grossing donors and fundraisers, walk-thru the definitive mission of APCAA, provide an annotated timeline between 2014 — 2024, and properly acknowledge the men who responded to the call to lead in 2014, and in the past few years.

Bro. Gordon D. Greenwood (Spring 1984) Program Director for APCAA Town Hall

Professionally, Brother Greenwood is a law Partner at Oakland, California-based Kazan, McClain, Satterley & Greenwood. He has made a career of representing real people. For more than 18 years, he has represented hundreds of persons who either worked with or around asbestos containing products, or whose families worked with these toxins. He has represented clients located throughout the United States, and who worked in various industries, including commercial construction, residential construction, auto maintenance and repair, military service, oil refineries and power plants.

Gordon lectures throughout the United States on subjects related to his practice and also maintains a caseload of pro bono cases. These cases are primarily focused on defending and prosecuting claims related to elder financial abuse. He is also active in fundraising for numerous Democratic political candidates and participates extensively in the community.

from: INEXORABLE 14, FALL 2002