2015 Candidates for Economic Empowerment Chair

2015 Executive Board
2015 Candidate for
Jason Ross
I am interested in running for President of
ULGDYP because I have a deep passion
for the need of parity amongst African
American and other minorities in in the
country and more specifically DFW.
I have served as a member of ULGDYP
since 2009 in a multitude of different roles,
including but not limited to Vice-President.
I would like to run on the following
• Impact Change
• Wealth Development (Financial,
physical, Professional and spiritual)
• Learn and Support local Black Business
• Build and Develop Partnerships with
other Organization
Jason Ross
2015 Candidate for Vice
Travon Talley
For the past six years, I have been a member of the
Urban League of Greater Dallas Young
Professionals. During that time I have served as a
member on the professional development
committee, been professional development chair
and served as treasurer. I have attended
numerous national and local Urban League
Conferences. Therefore, I am both knowledgeable
and passionate about this movement.
I am running for vice-president of the ULGDYP
because I grew up in the movement in this
chapter, seen tremendous growth, and I am very
passionate about who we are, what we do and
the impact we have in the Dallas community. I
have worked on the executive committee as
treasurer so I’m fully aware of the duties and
responsibilities of the members of the executive
committee and vice-president in particular. I am
positive that I can enhance this position and help
set this organization to be more efficient and
structured moving into the future.
Travon Talley
2015 Candidates for
Brittany Steward
Michelle Williams
The ULGDYP organization is an amazing young professionals group that I am proud to be a part of. I
have been an active member for roughly one year now and have both contributed my skills and
talents to the benefit of the organization as well as received and been positively impacted by the
people I have met and events I have attended. I am a native of the DFW metroplex and until now have
not found a group/organization like YP that has such an amazing concentration of young professional
minority talent coming together towards positive goals and personal growth.
Upon joining YP I immediately got involved- I joined the HQL committee where I helped to plan and
execute the successful Fit in the City event. I also had the opportunity to share my professional
knowledge and expertise as an HR professional during one of the General Body Meetings in which I
presented on the subject of tips and advice for job seekers. Furthermore I recently spoke and lead the
women’s lounge workshop at the September YP Leadership Conference in which we dialogued on the
subject of women in the workplace. I mention all of this to say that I love to be involved! When I am a
part of something that I am passionate about like YP I believe in going all in! For me the next step of
involvement, dedication and commitment to the organization would be to serve on the Executive
Board. I would be honored to serve in the role of Secretary and believe my talents and commitment to
the YP mission would be a perfect fit.
My goals as Secretary would be to ensure that YP maintains a high standard of excellence in regards to
the structure of meetings, communication to the Executive Board and membership as well as the
proper maintenance of any documents and information that would fall under the responsibility of the
Secretary. I consider myself a leader and as such want to use my leadership to both contribute and
execute valuable ideas as well as support the missions and visions of our committees and membership
as a whole.
I have great organizational skills and am experienced holding leadership positions within other
professional organizations. During my collegiate years I was involved in the following:
Delta Sigma Pi (Co-Ed Business Fraternity)- Former Fraternity Vice President and Social Chair of Pledge
Class- Baylor University
Hankamer Student Organization- Former President of this student lead organization of the Baylor
University Hankamer School of Business
I look forward to this upcoming election and hopefully being selected to serve as the upcoming
Secretary for the ULGDYP.
Brittany Steward
During my elected term there are a few things that I would change,
specifically surrounding the flow and structure of the General Body
Meetings. The first change that I would implement is ensuring that we
regularly have “working” meetings. I believe that the best time to get
people involved in the movement is to engage them when we have
their attention. Our GBM are our first impression… our “salesman” that
should close the deal on visitors making a commitment to our
organization. Quite often, our GBM speakers are hit and/or miss which
does not allow new/prospective members the pleasure of seeing the
depth of our organization. Also, many people simply don’t know how to
get plugged in, and are not driven (or convinced) enough to put forth
the effort to find out. In order to facilitate this restructuring, I will provide
our committee chairs with a flexible template of what should get done
in that meeting. This will prevent circular, unproductive talk and ensure
that every committee chair leaves with concrete commitments.
Lastly, I think it is imperative to ensure we continue to foster regular
communication between the organization and the General Body. This
includes stepping up and ensuring there is clear communication
surrounding key events that YP may be throwing regardless if I am
officially helping with that event or not. In my opinion, it is the secretary’s
responsibility, with the support of the communications chair, to make
sure that our body has all of the information they need to become
involved and serving members. This means that if there are upcoming
events, the information should be drafted and presented (ideally) by the
specific committee chairs but followed up by the Secretary. Sometimes,
we have events where the committee chair is not present to make
presentation and the President has the scramble to find someone else to
make the announcement. However, if the secretary takes ownership of
this, that scramble is eliminated.
Michelle Williams
2015 Candidate for
Michael Brown
My interest in the Treasurer position with UGLDYP
stems from my overall commitment to the
organization and its success. I want to use skills that
I’ve developed in the Corporate realm in order to
drive the goals and objectives established by the
incoming President.
I believe that good accounting and financial controls
are key contributors to good decision making and
overall success for most organizations.
In my role as Treasurer I plan to achieve the following:
• Monthly Flash Reports
• Financial Controls that protect current and future
• Bring more technology resources to the table
• Help drive positive cash flow to the organization
Michael Brown
2015 Candidate for
Community Outreach Chair
Kobla Tetey
Community is the lifeblood of growth.
With strong community comes strong minds, and strong bodies. It is through
community that we can reach the ultimate heights in progression of our interests.
Too often we make the assumption, form a 50,000ft view, that our community
needs “this” and our community needs “that.”
Ultimately the best way to build the community is to go into the community and
ask them what their needs are. The next step is to follow through and appeal to
those needs. How do we help build character of a child if we have never met the
children? How do we provide outlets for growth beyond what kids see on the
streets if we are not there to show them the path?
It is my wish to get directly into the community and begin with the friendships that
allow other to see the young professionals of urban league in a positive light.
Everyone will not be won over but if we move one, two, or three people to
change and progression we have done our part.
As the Chair of The community outreach Committee I will make it and obligation
to not only engage the African American community but also engage other
young professionals groups to reach all facets of the community. Through a
collective front, of all minority young professional groups, the Urban League can
make a major impact that resonates throughout the Dallas Metroplex. This will be
my goal as chair.
Kobla Tetey
2015 Candidate for Civic
Engagement Chair
Melissa “Nikki” Hearon
I spent the first half of my life as an Air Force dependent and
During that time, I lived both in the U.S. and internationally.
The singular commonality for every base in which I lived was
the awareness of the military community and how this
community affected the city, or country, in which we lived.
The biggest concern was always to represent the military and
U.S. well. My family did this by getting involved in the
communities—being active on the local level and becoming
familiar with the culture and concerns of surrounding citizens.
This practice is one I carried into my adult life from college
until now. How am I representing my community well? Am I
involved? Have I tried to understand the culture in which I
find myself? What is important to the communities around
I am a relatively new transplant to Dallas, having just moved
here two years ago. But Dallas, and its surrounding
communities, are now my home. I want roots here. I do not
want to be on the sidelines watching and hoping that an
impact can be made by my casting a vote during mid-term
elections or national elections. Civic engagement is a grass
roots effort that begins with knowing how my community is
affected even from just a ten-mile radius from my own home.
I want to impart the importance of “local.” I want to take
what I’ve learned as a military dependent—understanding
diverse communities and adapting to the needs—and give it
to my new and permanent home of Dallas, Texas.
Melissa “Nikki” Hearon
2015 Candidates for Economic
Empowerment Chair
• Devin Guinn
• Quinton Thompson
• Roshea Roussell
As elected Economic Empowerment Chair I would
encourage young professionals to take a leap of
faith and explore entrepreneurship based on my
experience in starting a design build company at
the age of 22. I would like to use my knowledge
and skills to help our organization and community
expand on topics such as capital funding, taxes,
business planning, marketing, and financial
Devin Guinn
My interest for developing others to achieve financial
independence has led me to my career as Financial
professional. I believe through sound advice, education,
time, and persistence anyone can achieve this beloved
dream. Financial Independence is more than just
having a lot of money; it is about achieving a “lifestyle”
that makes you and your family happy. As a young
professional, I have dedicated my career to helping
others attain their goals and objectives through sound
financial advice.
As a candidate for the Economic Empowerment Chair, I
look to expound on my calling by providing our
members and community with the resources and
education needed to help them make better financial
decisions. My plan is to build a team of members to
position The Urban League of Greater Dallas Young
Professional as a go to resource in helping others
achieve financial success. As the visionary/leader, I vow
to commit my time and talent into making The Urban
League of Greater Dallas Young Professionals a
valuable resource not only to its members, but also to
those in the community.
Quinton Thompson
My overall goal for the Economic
Empowerment Committee is to capitalize
on our network and have a group of
motivated individuals with different
perspectives working together towards the
common goal of wealth creation by
understanding and actively practicing
investing in Equities, Real Estate &
Roshea Rousell
2015 Candidate for Professional
Development Chair
Courtney Sanders
My interest for developing others to achieve financial
independence has led me to my career as Financial
professional. I believe through sound advice,
education, time, and persistence anyone can achieve
this beloved dream. Financial Independence is more
than just having a lot of money; it is about achieving a
“lifestyle” that makes you and your family happy. As a
young professional, I have dedicated my career to
helping others attain their goals and objectives through
sound financial advice.
As a candidate for the Economic Empowerment Chair,
I look to expound on my calling by providing our
members and community with the resources and
education needed to help them make better financial
decisions. My plan is to build a team of members to
position The Urban League of Greater Dallas Young
Professional as a go to resource in helping others
achieve financial success. As the visionary/leader, I
vow to commit my time and talent into making The
Urban League of Greater Dallas Young Professionals a
valuable resource not only to its members, but also to
those in the community.
Courtney Sanders
2015 Candidates for
Communications Chair
• Gabby Rosemond
• Lydia Redic
When we think about communications we should
think about relationships. Telling stories. Creating
lasting impressions. At its core communications is
about using effective storytelling to motivate and
inspire people to action. Our story is one of civil rights
and economic empowerment. As Communications
Chair I will lead the way in providing clarity in our
brand message. A message that is familiar but
different. Familiar enough to be recognizable yet
different enough to stand out and win share of heart,
mind, and wallet from our members, advocates, and
potential supporters.
Gabby Rosemond
Since joining YP, I have had the opportunity to serve
under the leadership of Tracsean Hamilton
communications chair. Being active in the group really
shows you how much passion and determination this
organization and people have for their community. While
serving, I was able to produce the weekly newsletter and
take photos at he monthly general body meetings. Being
appointed those task, displayed my willing to serve the
YP and desire to promote the mission of the organization.
My goal will be to continue and enhance the
communication the organization, also, to make our line
of communication more engaging for new and current
members. By implementing new ideas to engage YP will
keep the BUZZ going about our amazing organization.
Lydia Redic
2015 Candidate for Social
& Cultural Chair
Herbert Smith
The Social & Cultural Committee Chair
position interests me because of the
possibilities in it. In the Social & Cultural
committee I see the potential to aid and
support various other committees in turn
strengthening YP as a whole.
By providing engaging social/cultural events
I believe we can see a growth in
membership and member retention. Also in
organizing events that are not only
engaging but profitable we would be able
to aid the Fundraising committee in their
mission to raise funds for the organization. In
all I think I can steer this committee to new
plateaus, which will benefit the YP chapter.
Herbert Smith
2015 Candidate for
Freddie Harris
Hi, my name is Freddie D. Harris, and I have been a member of ULGDYP for
the past 4 years. Unfortunately I have only been an “active member” for 2
of those years.
The above statement is the reason I want to be the chair of the ULGDYP
Membership Committee for the 2015-2016 term. Using the experience
gained over the years from holding
several leadership positions with numerous organizations, I know I can
reduce the number of non-active members and convert those young
professionals to ACTIVE MEMBERS. Below
you’ll find five points extracted from a plan of action, showing how we
can do just that:
Create an easy and efficient way to become an Active Member of
ULGDYP by maximizing the resources the organization already has
Show the Value in becoming an Active Member; Let them see their
$75 at work
Provide Exclusive benefits/discounts/event-access to Active Members
Have more of a presence at ULGDYP sponsored events and other
events in the Dallas YP community
Provide Discounts/Incentives for becoming an Active Member with in a
Timely Fashion
Freddie Harris
2015 Candidate for Public
Relations Chair
Sabrina Jackson
2015 Candidate for
Development Chair
Erin Cross
It is my desire to further advance the work of
ULGDYP in the areas of donor relations and
corporate partnerships. I would like to create a
plan to increase the affinity of young adults in
the North Texas region to help extend the reach
of programs and services.
This plan would include friend-raisers and
fundraisers within the realms of economic
empowerment and professional development.
Additionally, I would analyze the current
donor/partner relationships to discover new ways
to reconnect lapsed members, donors and
Erin Cross
2015 Candidate for Health
& Quality of Life Chair
• Ashley Wells
• Mesia Davis
As the Health/Quality of Life Chairperson my goal is to focus the
organization’s efforts to achieving its principals by driving
awareness and providing education to Dallas residents surrounding
the importance of total wellness including: preventive health
measures, mental health awareness and spiritual growth. During my
candidacy, emphasis will be placed on mental health as it aids in
the management of the other two areas. Despite growing suicide
rates, prevalence of depression and anxiety, mental illness and
stress management is not widely discussed due to the sensitivity of
the topic. Continued success of organizations such as the Urban
League is dependent on total wellness, especially mental health to
achieve its goal to drive community empowerment.
My first plan of action is to educate members on the importance of
mental health through forums with health professionals, greatly
because the demographic of ULGDYP experience various changes
as young professionals that require strong mental health. “The more
anxiety we face, the more we deplete our water-soluble vitamins.
Essential fatty acids, high levels of Vitamin B Complex and adrenal
support can help in fortifying the body’s ability to work under
increased stress” (Center for Disease Control). In addition to
creating community events such as various health screenings, I also
plan to connect individuals and families experiencing hardships
with counseling services by partnering with mental health facilities
and professionals.
If selected as the Health/Quality of Life Chair of ULGDYP, I am
committed to supporting members and the Dallas community in
continual effort in becoming a healthier version of themselves
through education and resources to enhance quality of life and
foster total wellness.
Ashley Wells
To begin, and ultimately complete, any task, you have to make up your mind that you can. This
requires a healthy mindset and belief in oneself. It also requires the ability to reflect on past
experiences, the triumphs and failures, and the ability to reconcile these experiences toward
future success. I see the decline of mental health as an issue that many communities are facing;
however, the African-American community, as well as other minority communities, do not
acknowledge nor seek help to overcome these issues. I would like us to engage the community in
conversations about knowing the signs of and understanding these issues, as well as presenting
methods of treating them.
Once we get our minds together, we have to put our bodies in action to implement the plans. For
African-Americans, our bodies are preset to face several issues that can delay our plans: asthma,
cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, HIV/AIDS, lupus, and strokes, to name a few. Many of these
are genetically based, and knowing our family history would shine light on “what things may
come”. Though we are not able to change our genetics, we can make lifestyle changes that will
alter our likelihood of expressing many of these traits, and possibly change the genes that we pass
on to future generations. I would like to see us host community events that feature specialist in
various areas of health, including preventatives, nutrition, exercise, and treatment, that are
tailored to the individual.
Lastly, as many of our members move to the Dallas/Fort Worth area for school and/or work, they
are coming into an unfamiliar place where they may not have family or friends they can engage
with. To that end, in the “spirit” of friendship, which is one of the greatest bonds in the quality of life,
I would like us to spend time getting to know each other as people, so that we may offer each of
us our very best. This would be accomplished through attending and participating in various
member & community efforts: walk/runs, religious activities, network functions, supporting each
others non-profits, book clubs, potlucks, date nights, etc.
Here are just a few of the monthly events/topics I have in mind: Goal setting (nutritionist/trainer);
time setting (planning); recipe share in YP monthly email; healthy cooking demos; doctor referrals
for annual checkups; detox/fast; family tree biology; importance of blood type for diet/exercise;
chiropractic adjustment; breathing training; gardening techniques for city living; bike ride at White
Rock Lake; walk the Arboretum; monthly visit to a member referred religious gathering; and annual
spa date!
Mesia Davis
2015 Proposed Bylaw
Change the name of ULGDYP
Decrease Committee Chair Terms
Establish vetting process for
Committee Chairs
Proposition #1:
The ULGDYP membership proposes to change the
name of Urban League of Greater Dallas Young
Professionals (ULGDYP) to a name that is more
marketable and easier to brand.
Amendment to change the
name of ULGDYP
Proposition #2:
The ULGDYP membership proposes to change the
length of leadership terms for committee chairs from
two years to one year. In addition, the membership
proposes to have annual elections for each committee
chair role, opening the position to another member. The
chair currently serving the role will also have the
opportunity to run for another term if they wish.
Amendment to decrease the
duration of Committee Chair Terms
Proposition #3:
The ULGDYP membership proposes ULGDYP Officers
to establish a vetting and/or interview process for
approving committee chairs before placement on
the ballot for elections.
Establish vetting process for
Committee Chairs