BOARD OF

DIRECTORS

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WALI MUHAMMAD

President

Wali Muhammad is a husband, father, coach, poet, singer, and entrepreneur. He has a diverse background having worked in many different industries, from Electronics, Information Technology and Merchandise Planning/Logistics to Project Management, Human Services and Real Estate. Prior to becoming a licensed real estate agent for YellowBrick Real Estate, Wali was the Founder/Executive Director of Happy Family Clinical Services and its not for profit sister company Happy Family Community Services. At Happy Family Wali built a brand of services that were both memorable and effective. 

 

Wali has a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and a Master of Business Administration. Wali also serves on the board of Citywide Youth Coalition as its treasurer. Wali has been a member of the arts community since high school. Whether it be singing, dancing or acting, on stage, in the theater or on camera. He has a passion to enable the arts to flourish.

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HUWERL THORNTON, JR.

Vice President

Huwerl is no stranger to the stage. Picking up the bass guitar in 8th grade, he has played electric bass and upright bass all throughout New England in jazz festivals and band competitions in junior high school and high school.

 

Huwerl was also in a gospel band that sang for God’s glory all over the East Coast.

 

As a junior in college he took the stage in a different way as he performed in Little Shop of Horrors. The acting bug bit hard and he has been on the stage as an actor and a musician ever since. The arts are so important in the development in children and Huwerl is a staunch supporter.

 

He has been married for 26 years. He has one talented daughter and 3 beautiful granddaughters ages 5, 2 and 8 months who have also begun their journey into the arts.

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THERESE ALEXANDER

Treasurer

Terese is an experienced professional with over seventeen years of experience in the financial services industry, with an extensive background in financial management, including expertise in strategy sourcing. She is committed to making a positive difference in the lives of families and individuals striving for personal and professional growth. Terese has successfully led and supported company-wide and project-specific initiatives to align service strategies, financial management and operational systems to help organizations fulfill their missions and satisfy contractual requirements. Her experience includes, but is not limited to, finance and accounting, program management and governance, risk management, budgeting and accounting, operational quality and improvement, contract and compliance implementation for non-profit, public and private sector organizations.

 

Terese is also the owner and CEO of Fierce Financial Services. Fierce Financial Services is a financial literacy and services organization that elevates individuals and small businesses financial mindset from rich to wealthy.

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DIEDRE THOMAS

Secretary

Deirdre holds a B.S. degree in Liberal Studies from the University of Bridgeport. 

 

She has worked for 30 years for two Fortune 500 companies in Banking & Finance and Engineering. 

 

Deirdre currently works full time as an office manager for a non-profit, in Milford.

 

She brings a life-long passion for theatre arts and a desire to work towards advancing Arts in CT programs to the public.

Diedre’s other positions include: Vice President – Hollow Neighborhood Revitalization (Bridgeport); Connecticut Ambassador (CT Office of Tourism); Volunteer (Sacred Heart University Alumni Events); Member of CT Line Dancers.

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RHONDA SAMUELS

Sergeant at Arms

Rhonda Mitchell Samuel, an Executive Director who incorporated Seeds 4 Harvest, Inc a non-profit 501(c) (3) in 2009 to implement and carry out a Community Youth Team Mentoring Program throughout the United States. The program conducted several seminars and workshops in Louisiana and Alabama such as Journey to Manhood/Womanhood; Sassy Meets Classy; Unlocking the Dreams Within; Rotary Youth Club Teen Program; Choosing Your Future; Rain Tea in Paris.

 

Rhonda’s experience of working with youth includes After School Director at Kennesaw Elementary School in GA; Created and facilitated a school club, Paving the Way at North Cobb High School in GA; Prepared and presented the 4-H science Curriculum to 5th grade students in Cobb County Georgia School system, judged competitions, coordinated youth activities as a 4-H Program Assistant for the Cobb County Extension/University of Georgia collaboration program in Cobb County Georgia.

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SAMANTHA WILLIAMS

Member at Large

Samantha (Sammi) Williams, M.S., is a content strategist with over twenty years of writing experience. She founded the content development firm, Sam’s Word, LLC in 2015, with the goal of alleviating the writing burden of others. Writing has been a natural passion for Sammi, and she leverages those skills through the facilitation of business development, social media, marketing, and communication workshops. When Sammi is not providing training to other businesses, she assists businesses with content development, editing, proofreading, copywriting, and more. She is also the current Entrepreneur-In-Resident (EIR) at the New Haven Free Public Library.

 

Sammi earned a Master’s in Health Care Administration from the University of New Haven and a Bachelor’s in Business Administration / Human Resource Management from York College – CUNY. Sammi is also a certified Six Sigma Green Belt and Notary Public.

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(203) 936-8567

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64 Ridge Street, Milford, CT 06460

157 Church Street, New Haven, CT 06510