Our Founder and President, Dr. Ansel Johnson is an Optometrist and a 30+ year veteran in the eye care industry.
He has been featured in several publications including Black Enterprise Magazine, where he is recognized as being among the top 101 leading Black Doctors in the United States. He represented as the only optometrist listed in this elite group. Dr. Johnson is a pillar of the Blue Island community who promotes positive leadership and a leader in primary health care.
Carl Byrd is a seasoned management executive. He has served in a leadership capacity for 32 years in city and county government. Lauded as a tenacious and unflinching advocate for problem solving initiatives, it has been through his unwavering drive and commitment to "getting it done" achieved through relationship building and hard work.
He oversees the day-to -day operations of the DOB and has developed operational strategies, and a focus on
commitment to excellence.
Shanelle Brandon received her Undergraduate Degree from DePaul University in Business Administration and her Master’s in Health Care Administration/Education. She has worked in Healthcare Organizations over the past 25 years including University of Chicago Medical Center, Rush University Medical Center and currently as Senior Administrator at UI Health. She is passionate about community health.
Raised on the southside of Chicago, born to Barbara & Elwain Parks, Toni Graduated from Chicago Public Schools and continued her education at Cornell College. Graduating from Rush University College of Nursing in 1982, Toni has a collective career history of 40 years experience as a Registered Nurse. Starting her career in Labor & Delivery transitioning into Nursing Management, Nursing Administration, Quality Improvement, Employee Health Services, and Infection Prevention.
Dr. Thompson is interested in serving people with allergic and non-allergic respiratory problems as well as other allergy related ailments. He is also interested in cultivating initiatives for healthy living as it relates to diet, exercise, and spiritual enhancement. Dr. Thompson is board certified in immunology and is an expert on COVID 19 vaccine. He has additional certifications in nutritional medicine. He is passionate about educating the community about the benefits of plant-based diets or moving more towards plant-based food consumption.
Colleen Knight brings over 30 years’ experience in nonprofit management to the volunteer Foundation Coordinator role. She earned a Bachelor's Degree in English from Northern Michigan University in Marquette. She has provided leadership to nonprofits in many areas including economic development and grant making. She also provides consulting services to nonprofit organizations. Colleen is passionate about helping people with a special interest in increasing communities’ overall physical, mental, financial, human, social, and environmental health. She is looking forward to serving the board in advancing our mission.
Dr. Wheeler is a Primary Care Physician with Porter Physician Group in Chesterton Indiana. She has served as Past Medical Director and Primary Care Physician at Steel Family Health Care Center in Indiana. She is a Diplomat of American Board of Family Medicine and holds a certificate in primary care sports medicine. Dr. Wheeler is extremely interested in care for patients living with diabetes and health disparities with chronic health care conditions.
As of 2020, Sherie Yvette Withers-Banks is a 22 year Lupus Survivor and 14 year Kidney transplant recipient. (Her brother, Jihad was her donor) She is a nutritionist at a medical center and provides nutrition care for patients within the centers five sites. Sherie is also a professional model and Whitney Houston look-a-like Tribute Artist as well. Ms. Yvette Withers-Banks utilizes her entertainment platform to bring awareness to Lupus and Diabetes care.
COO of International CyberBanque, Ltd., Allison DeBonnett has performed admirably in a number of professional leadership capacities. He has more than 30 years of financial services and information technology experience. Most notably, Mr. DeBonnett developed the architecture for an Internet payment innovation called CyberMoney®, first introduced at Harvard University.
Mastering in social work, Dian M. Powell has led a 15 year contribution as Executive Director and presenter in demand on topics such as diversity and education. Collectively, Dian M. Powell is an expert in her profession. A brilliant strategist, with the ability to develop and foster development of long - term fruitful partnerships. Strategic growth, innovation, program coordination, budget planning, team building, and organization development, Dian M. Powell has driven success.
Currently, as Vice President of Government Affairs with Addus Homecare, Ms. James advocates, lobby, and educate Illinois Legislators on the importance of continuing federal funding for Home & Community Base Services for the elderly population. Ms. James continue her advocacy by meeting with Congressional members at the White House, State Representative, State Senators, and local officials across the State of Illinois for legislation and policy changes for continued homecare services for seniors and improved wages for homecare workers.
Pastor Barry has joined our organization adding value as an entrepreneur with 20 years of dedicated service as the Executive Director of Community Engagement, Strategy and Innovation for Project Simeon. As a leader in this field, Pastor Barry has developed programmatic changes and implemented best practice approaches, methods, products, and processes to enhance competitiveness and improve organizational efficiencies for underserved communities. He identifies, strategizes, develops, and drives transformative initiatives and champions the role of innovation by aligning overall business strategy with innovative thinking.
Ms. Hurston is a Certified Association Executive (CAE) who brings the latest knowledge and expertise to managing the overall operations of associations. Her background offers a unique perspective in association management that is based on experience in managing various aspects of large and small organizations. Her skills bring strategic planning & implementation, program management and project development, in addition to financial management, legislative advocacy and marketing strategy.
Jamillah Pointer is a Senior Relationship manager in corporate banking at Associated Bank. She has more than 20 years of experience in commercial banking, organizational leadership, commercial lending, and "financial/credit analysis for companies of all sizes including Fortune Global 500 companies. She has a proven record of success in managing multi-million-dollar accounts (up to $150 million). She is skilled at understanding diverse clientele and providing solutions to meet their complex needs. Jamillah devises strategies that strengthen client relationships, new business development, and loan management. She is a graduated from DePaul University with a Bachelor of Science in Finance, and she is currently an MBA candidate at Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, expected to graduate in fall 2023. Jamillah is invested in community and advocacy—over the last two decades, she has spent time in Chicago Public Schools, helping students meet their full potential. She has a passion for helping others advance themselves through her role as a mentor. And she is fond of collecting art and spending time with families and friends.
Volunteering as a social media consultant and Digital Marketing Partner lends her expertise and strategic planning building community engagement. Keisha is a passionate mental health advocate and currently works as a finance professional within one of the largest advertising firms
in Chicago. She offers insight within her presentations regarding social media.