Board Of Directors
Dr. Sherry Rivers
Chairman of the Board
Dr. Sherry Rivers served 38 years as a teacher and administrator in South Carolina. She worked
in several school districts before retiring in 2022 from Richland County School District One as
the Principal at Heyward Career and Technology Center. She attended Lander University
(Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Education), Winthrop University (Master of Science
Degree in Business Education) and University of South Carolina (Ph.D. Degree in Educational
Administration). During her career, Dr. Rivers served in numerous roles that included mentoring
new teachers and administrators and preparing students for postsecondary endeavors
Dr. Rivers is passionate about helping young people to reach their potential and dreams. She
continues to use her skills by volunteering with the SC Association of Career and Technical
Educators and well as serving as the Board Chair for Lynn Brown Inspires: Young CEOs and
Leaders of Tomorrow. Additionally, she serves as Co-Director for the Young Women of
Excellence Ministry at Brookland Baptist Church in West Columbia, SC. She is a member of Zeta
Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and the Richland County Education Association.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Banneker Engineering Consultants, LLC (BEC). BEC is a premier engineering design and services firm with a high capacity for innovation, responsiveness, cost effective solutions and technical excellence. Utilizing the vast knowledge of experience of its multi-disciplined engineers and designers BEC is capable of tackling a variety of project designs development and implementation support.
BEC primarily support electrical power generation, transmission and distribution industry including nuclear, fossil and renewable energy. In addition BEC provides construction and project management services for utilities, municipalities, state and federal entities.
Banneker Engineering is certified by the SC Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation as a Professional Engineering Firm. Certificate of Authorization Number 4851. Banneker Engineering has two members that have Department of Energy clearance for the Savannah River Site in South Carolina.
Linda L. James Coulter
Board Administrative Assistant
Linda L. James Coulter’s career in education spanned over four decades. Her focus was on K-5 mathematics; however, she has held a plethora of positions within the education sector including elementary school educator, curriculum resource teacher, educational specialist, and elementary mathematics consultant. Most recently, Linda served as a supervisor for teacher interns at the university level.
Linda’s passion for helping young students develop a sound foundational understanding of mathematics led her to serve on various local and state committees to develop an elementary mathematics curriculum. Her work has touched the lives
of many students and teachers over the years. Throughout her career, Linda has been dedicated to helping teachers reach their full potential. She has presented and conducted workshops at several educational conferences for teachers at the local, state, and national levels.
Linda is a graduate of South Carolina State University. There she earned a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master in Education degree. She continued her studies at the University of SC and Columbia College. She is an active member of Brookland Baptist Church. Other affiliations include the Greater Columbia Chapter South Carolina State University National Alumni Association and The National Education Association. Since retirement, she spends her days supporting various groups of interest and involving herself in activities to help keep mentally, physically, and spiritually fit.
Program Director/Young Ceos and Leaders Co-Advisor
Vanessa Johnson, a Columbia, SC native, graduated magna cum laude from the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina in May 2022. She received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and Human Resource Management. During her time at the University of South Carolina, she served as a Moore School Student Ambassador, Marketing Director of the Black Business Student Association, Co-Director of the Student Alumni Board, and Committee Chair in the Theta Gamma Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.
She was a 2022 USC Outstanding Senior Award recipient to reward her major achievements in service, leadership, academics, and research.Currently, she is pursuing her law degree at North Carolina Central University School of Law. She also currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Young CEOs and Leaders of Tomorrow. She previously served as an Advisory Board Member and Co-Advisor for the Organization. She has a passion for assisting young people with their businesses and their pursuit of higher education.
Candace Shiver is an accomplished attorney with over 10 years of professional experience in law, business advocacy, policy and strategy. From representing corporations at a large national law firm in Columbia, to serving in key positions within the Legislative and Executive Branches of the Federal Government, Candace demonstrates a unique understanding of the intersection between Government Relations and Business Development.
In 2012, at the age of 30, Candace received a Presidential Appointment to serve in the Obama Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency, where as Senior Advisor to the National Director, she negotiated key strategic internal and external partnerships, and provided pertinent policy advice to enhance the growth and competitiveness of U.S. firms in the domestic and international marketplaces, resulting in increased contract opportunities and job creation. She helped to lead the agency on major internationally-focused, government-wide initiatives such as the Doing Business in Africa Campaign, the Look South Initiative, and collaborated on economic policies to build ties between U.S. minority and Indigenous communities abroad, which included the sharing of best practices with foreign nations under significant bilateral agreements.
Previously serving also in the Bush Administration at the U.S. Department of Justice; on Capitol Hill; and as a lawyer in South Carolina, where she was honored as one of the “top 20 under 40” rising business stars, Candace has successfully navigated a professional career building relationships and coalitions on both sides of the aisle. She offers a bipartisan approach to business advocacy and representation, and draws on her experiences and relationships to help clients navigate complex public and private landscapes, and reach their business goals.
Dr. Shelia Tutwieler-Dawkins
Shelia is an experienced Enrolled Agent that offers more than tax preparation. She believes that no one should be surprised with the tax reporting results because of strategic planning, governance, and accountability measures put in place throughout the year.
Her firm, Tutwieler Dawkins LLC, strives to provide financial insights, tax Strategies, available technologies and alliance relationships that promote professionalism, responsiveness, and quality. Shelia advises clients on a variety of financial issues and to ensure sustainability, accountability, and profitability. Shelia served as an international tax subject matter expert and team lead for one of the "Big 4" accounting firms. Shelia is a graduate of Liberty University, where she received her bachelors and MBA degree, and Doctoral of Strategic Leadership.
Aysia Randall, PMP
Aysia Randall serves as our website designer with more than 12 years experience in website, graphics, and Social Media. She received her Project Management Certification in 2018 and has since been focusing on Social Media and Marketing Consulting in her ALR Projects business.
Anita B. Dantzler has owned a number of businesses. She has over 30 years of experience as a
professional photographer. As the publisher of a South Carolina bridal magazine Jumping the
Broom, she distributed the magazines to five counties in South Carolina for five years. Anita was
also the founder of the state's first multi-cultural bridal show.
Anita has worked with a number of organizations specializing in public relations.
Jona’ L. Hodges is an alumna of South Carolina State University, a historically black university in Orangeburg, South Carolina. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, and a Master of Arts in Teaching English degree. She is a 2020 Alissa Fountain Burse Scholarship for Public School Teachers awardee. Jona’ is a member of Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society, Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education, and Golden Key International Honour Society. Jona’ is a native of the South Carolina Lowcountry, where she lived her formative years in Colleton and Charleston counties.
She has also lived in Dorchester County. Jona’ is the proud mother of two sons. Currently, Jona’ resides in Irmo, South Carolina, where she has served the residents of the midlands for many years as a former award-winning realtor and insurance agency owner. Jona’ is presently employed as office manager of The Law Firm of Carl B. Grant, P.A.. She is also a member of Brookland Baptist Church in West Columbia, South Carolina, where she serves as a member of the Senior Ushers Ministry.
Jona’ is a member of the Columbia (SC) Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc., The Junior League of Columbia, where she serves on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. She also serves as a Guardian ad Litem for Richland County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and South Carolina Department of Aging-Vulnerable Adult Program. Having a heart to help others, Jona’ serves her community as a member of The Rotary Club of Lake Murray-Irmo, National Association of University Women, Greater Columbia Chapter of SCSU National Alumni Association, and South Carolina Capital Unit Parliamentarians.
Dr. Sandra Grant
Summer Camp Instructor- Grades 4-6
Dr. Sandra Grant and she is a counselor at Paul Knox Middle School. She has twenty-eight years of experience in the field of education, eleven years as a secondary teacher, and sixteen years as a school counselor. She thoroughly enjoys her work with students and finds the time to spend with them very rewarding! She is always looking forward to getting to know middle schoolers and their parents/guardians. She has been a part of the Young CEOs and Leaders from the beginning in 2018. She started as an assistant for Mrs. Brown and now she is the Advisor for grades 4-7 for the BE Inspired Young Entrepreneurship Summer Camp. She is a member of Brookland Baptist Church and is a member of the Steering Committee for the Young Women of Excellence. She is married to Sammie Grant and has one son Mr. Samuel Grant at Southern University and has a daughter, Tamia, who is a nurse for the state of South Carolina.
Sharon G. Lynn
IT and Engineering Business Pod
Sharon Grundy Lynn is a Key Account Manager in the Customer Service & Strategic Partnerships group at Dominion Energy South Carolina (formerly South Carolina Electric & Gas Company). She is responsible for maintaining good customer relationships by conducting annual account reviews, performing energy market analysis, leading rate discussion, reviewing and negotiating contracts and agreements for electric/natural gas service and managing customer expansion and other construction projects with the company’s largest industrial customers. In the nearly 16 years with SCE&G, she has worked as a Power Systems Reliability Engineer in System Control and a Planning Engineer in Transmission Planning.
Mrs. Lynn holds a B. S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of South Carolina, an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of South Carolina. She has worked for DuPont at the Savannah River Nuclear Station; IBM in Large Systems Field Engineering, Networking Hardware and Software Support Engineering and Global Services Networking and e-Business Consulting; and the North Carolina Department of Transportation. In addition, she has spent time as an independent consultant and entrepreneur, most recently with Banneker Engineering Consultants.
Her Father was in the Air Force so she was born in Arkansas and has lived in Utah, Germany and South Carolina. Her Mother is a retired educator but always encouraged her to do her best and strive to achieve greatness. She is married to Barry Lynn, formerly of Hartsville, SC and they reside in Irmo.
Dr. Latanya Wright
Latanya Wright is a Cost Accountant at Shakespeare and the owner of Gift Baskets & More. She believes in setting goals and working diligently and being persistent until your goals are achieved. Furthermore, she believes the best way to get something done is to do it. Latanya puts God first and knows that with God all things are possible. She encourages herself by acknowledging that you never know what will happen until you try. She encourages you to go for it!
She enjoys helping and serving others through the various mission projects of the Young Woman’s Auxiliary. Latanya holds a BS in Industrial Engineering from Clemson University, a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Webster University, and a DBA in Business Administration from California Intercontinental University. When she can, she likes to spend time with family and travel.
Young CEOs and Leaders Tax/Credit Consultant
Kadenia Javis is the Founder & CFO of Javis Financial Services, LLC. She has been a Degreed & Licensed Accountant for almost two decades and is a true Entrepreneur at heart. She once worked for the IRS where she gained a passion for tax law.. Her specialties rely in helping small business owners and individuals optimize their taxes and achieve financial success.
Kadenia believes in educating her community about their tax liabilities and she is also an advocate for financial literacy In 2014, she began her non-profit organization “FBLA Jr. Scholarship Foundation" to employ interns and introduce them to the facets of business and give them one-on-one on the job training, the organization also awards scholarships to graduating High School students to assist with other essentials other than tuition and books. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Word of God International Church & Ministries and serves on various community boards. Kadenia is married to Christopher L. Javis and they are the proud parents of four children.
The scripture that resonates the most with her is “For much is given, much MORE is required!’ Luke 12:48.
Dr. Shirley Watson
Shirley Dendy Watson is a retired educator. She has served as teacher, guidance counselor, assistant administrator, and principal. She also served as grant reader and evaluator for the State Department of Education.
Servant leadership has marked Dr Watson's career. She served as a role model, mentor and leader in RSD2, RSD1, and Sumter 17 school districts. She received Principal of the Year Award at Conder Arts Integrated Magnet School, and Outstanding Service Award as Vacation Bible school Director at Morris Chapel Baptist Church in Greenwood, SC. She also served as Chairperson for Brookland Academy Board of Directors.
Watson earned a Bachelor’s Science Degree in Elementary Education from Lander College, now Lander University, Master of Personnel Services from Clemson University, Doctorate of Education Administration from South Carolina State University.
It is Watson’s love for people, especially young people, and education that inspires her to join the Young CEOs. Her goal is to support young students in becoming successful leaders in their chosen career through mentoring and coaching.
Watson is married to Dr. Joseph A. Watson and is a long time member of Brookland Baptist Church. Her motto is: “If I can help someone along the way, then my living is not be in vain.
Dr. Akil Ross
Dr. Akil Ross is currently an Adjunct Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of South Carolina and is author of the book, Empowering the Heart: Reviving & Renewing Today’s Education . He started HeartEd LLC to share strategies to further his vison of a future where every community Empowers every child.
Dr. Gail Gallman
Dr. Gail Gallman
Antiwan is equipped with years of experience serving education, faith-based, government, and the non-profit sector with a quaint ability in the areas of youth development, and community engagement.
After years of service incorporating a plethora of initiatives Antiwan launched the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance of South Carolina a community based organization that serves youth and families from all backgrounds and socio-cultures through recreation, character education, coaching, evidence based curriculums, and mentorship.
As an active leader in the community, Antiwan serves on various boards and initiatives advocating for youth and a better community. Antiwan has been recognized throughout the state and nation for various youth development, professional, and leadership achievements.
Motto: “Well Done Is Better Than Well Said"!!!
Quinn Hayes is Development Manager for Harvest Hope Food Bank and her and her family moved here to South Carolina from West Palm Beach, Florida three years ago. Mrs. Hayes has an extensive background in donor relations, events, health education, chronic disease prevention and management. By means her work, she’s led and been instrumental in getting policies, systems, and environmental changes adopted to help build and foster healthier communities.
Though new to South Carolina, Quinn Hayes was named an innovative leader and Community Leadership Corp member by the Obama Foundation in 2018. Since then she has remained an integral part of her community by working with My Brother’s Keeper Alliance of South Carolina (Spartanburg), she serves as the Leadership Director for Lynn Brown Inspires summer camp, serves as North Columbia Youth Empowerment Initiative (NCYEI) committee member, works alongside community stakeholders on the Rise Up Richland committee to address social determinants of health and so much more collectively, as well as, serves on many other boards as a subject expert, is well-known internationally as an educator, master trainer, advocate, and motivational speaker.
In her spare time, she empowers those trying to regain power, she works with underprivileged youth and young advocates who are passionate about changing health outcomes in her community as well. You would also never guess that she’s been married for 20 years, has a freshman in high school, writes poetry, and lived in Japan; where she climbed Mt. Fuji (which by the way takes 7hrs. to climb up and 4 hrs. to climb down the mountain) and can even speak Japanese.