The Leading Voice for Black Business in the Greater Washington Area
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Our Board of Directors
Meet the proud Board of Directors for the Greater Washington Black Chamber of Commerce. We are all professionals committed to the progression of Black Owned Enterprises.
Tene Dolphin, Executive Director
Greater Washington Black Chamber of Commerce
Executive Director of Greater Washington Black Chamber of Commerce
Tene Dolphin serves as the first executive director for the Greater Washington Black Chamber of Commerce. She is tasked to lead and build the infrastructure for this critical organization whose mission is to grow and support Black-owned businesses in the District. Tene fundamentally believes that entrepreneurship is a critical component for creating jobs and building wealth in the Black community. Her private and public sector experience have uniquely prepared her to serve in this leadership capacity. With more than 15 years of public sector experience, Tene Dolphin, has served in both local and national positions with a primary focus on policies and programs that create opportunities for all.
Tene began her career of service as a teacher in the Prince George’s County Public Schools. Among a classroom full of third graders Tene helped her students see education as a means to provide economic opportunity.
After her brief but indelible teaching experience Tene was tapped to build the operations division for Information Engineering Services (IES). During her tenure with IES she established their headquarters in Virginia, created fundamental HR, training and accounting policies and oversaw the company’s government compliance.
It was the 2004 Presidential campaign that opened the door for Tene to put her operations skills to work and serve as the Director of Special Projects for the Democratic National Committee. Her success at the DNC caught the eye of the Adrian Fenty campaign and she was recruited to lead their canvass and GOTV efforts. She ultimately served as Mayor Fenty’s first Chief of Staff.
In 2008 Ms. Dolphin was appointed by President Barack Obama to a Senior Executive Service position with the U.S. Department of Commerce. She served first as the director of the Office of the Executive Secretariat, and then as the Chief of Staff for the Economic Development Administration (EDA).
After her stint in federal service Tene returned to local government to support Mayor Muriel Bowser’s local business initiatives, as the Senior Deputy Director for the Department of Small and Local Business Development.
She most recently served as the director for the newly constructed Office of Business Diversity and Opportunity for the City of Birmingham. In that role she established the Mayor’s Inaugural Small Business Council, developed the City’s inclusive procurement program, launched a disparity study and created essential local and national partnerships connecting resources to the City’s small business community.
Tene is a proud alumna of Howard University, a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. a volunteer for several local and national organizations, and a proud mom to an extraordinary son.
Corey Arnez Griffin
President and CEO, Global Government and Industry Partners, LLC
Corey Arnez Griffin has spent more than 20 years in international development, technology, management consulting and government. Griffin was appointed by President Obama to the Peace Corps as Associate Director of Strategic Partnerships in 2012, where he served until 2015. Prior, Griffin was appointed as Chief of Staff by Council Member Kenyan McDuffie in the District of Columbia, where he served as chief political advisor and strategist on the full range of municipal government operations and legislation. Griffin spent 14 plus years at Microsoft Corporation working in various roles and leadership positions, including roles in consulting, operations, and sales. As Director of International Development, Griffin had responsibility for Microsoft’s strategy for aid, trade and finance agencies. Griffin is noted for brokering a first-of-its-kind collaboration between Microsoft, USAID, PEPFAR and the MCC that facilitated broader, cross-agency ICT partnerships around the world.
He has served on the board of directors for the United States Global Leadership Campaign, the Society for International Development, and Greater Washington Urban League. In 2008 Griffin was appointed by the former USAID Administrator, Henrietta H. Fore, to serve on the Advisory Committee for Voluntary Foreign Aid. He currently serves on the board of the National Peace Corps Association, the Technology and Innovation Inclusion Council and the St Elizabeth East Advisory Board for the District of Columbia.
Griffin was named by the Washington Business Journal as one of the region’s top minority business leaders of the year for 2008 and one of the top 40 International Development professionals under 40 by the Devex Group in 2010. Griffin is a Leadership Greater Washington graduate of the class of 2007 and a fellow with the American Council for Technology – Industry Advisory Council.
Specialties: Public, Private Partnership, International Development, Sales, Management, Non Profit Leadership, Public Sector Engagement
Antwanye E. Ford, MBA
President & Chief Executive Officer, Enlightened, Inc.
Antwanye E. Ford is President & Chief Executive Officer of Enlightened, Inc., a leading Information Technology and Management Consulting firm founded in 1999. Enlightened serves federal, state, and local government agencies, and provides cyber security, software development and integration, management consulting and business process outsourcing services. In 2016, the Company expanded its service offerings to support the transportation and healthcare sectors. As co-founder of Enlightened, Antwanye has led the Company’s growth from a start-up business to a diverse organization with over 200 employees. He continually leads the Company’s corporate vision, strategic planning, and innovation efforts. As a thought leader with a keen eye on emerging trends, his passion is to develop and deliver business solutions to problems of global, national and local significance.
Prior to Enlightened, Antwanye served as Director of Applications Support for INTELSAT, leading the business unit’s development of applications, consulting projects and document management infrastructure. He served as a Development Project Manager at MCI where he was responsible for the design, build and delivery of systems that invoiced over $20M per month, and as Product Manager for the Company’s Flagship Friends and Family product.
Antwanye Ford is the Vice Chair of the US Black Chambers, Inc. a national organization which provides leadership and support for African American Chambers of Commerce and business organizations in their work of developing and growing Black enterprises. In January 2018, DC Mayor, Muriel Bowser, appointed Antwanye to Board Chair of the District of Columbia Workforce Investment Council (WIC). The WIC is a convener of local and regional workforce system partners assembled to enhance the capacity and performance of the workforce development system. In March 2019, Antwanye was appointed to the Board of the National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB), a national organization dedicated to the continuous improvement of work in the workforce development industry. Officially launched in July 2019, Antwanye serves as a founder and the President of The Greater Washington Black Chamber of Commerce, Inc. (“GWBCC”), the leading Voice for Black Business in the Greater Washington Area. Antwanye is Chair Emeritus for the District of Columbia Chamber of Commerce. He serves as the current Board Chair of On-Ramps to Careers, a non-profit business-education partnership that makes the educational on-ramps to technology jobs more attainable to youth in the Nation’s Capital
An advocate for community investment, youth mentorship and corporate philanthropy, Antwanye’s personal philosophy is “To whom much is given, much is required”. He spends much of his personal time mentoring youth and overseeing the management of a robust and award-winning internship program at Enlightened. He also serves on the Advisory Board for the Howard University School of Business, Information Systems.
A native Washingtonian, Antwanye earned his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Information Systems Technology from The George Washington University with honors. In June 2019, he obtained a MS., Divinity, Lancaster Bible College, June 2019 (Summa Cum Laude).
President and CEO, Industrial Bank
B. Doyle Mitchell Jr., President and CEO of Industrial Bank, leads the largest and oldest minority-owned commercial bank in the Washington Metropolitan area and the fourth largest African American owned financial institution in the country (recognized in Black Enterprise Magazine’s 2019 BE 100s).
Mr. Mitchell is the third generation president of Industrial Bank, which was founded by his grandfather Jesse H. Mitchell in 1934. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in economics from Rutgers University in 1984, he began a full-time career at Industrial. He was elected to the Board of Directors in 1990 and succeeded his father as president in 1993. Industrial Bank has remained strong because of its mission to promote the financial and economic empowerment of its diverse communities. The Bank provides a full range of quality banking and financial services including residential, commercial, small business and SBA loans. Industrial Bank has seven branches in Washington, DC and Prince George’s County, Maryland, two branches in New Jersey, and one branch in New York. Mr. Mitchell and Industrial Bank are dedicated to serving our communities through high quality financial services and employees that really care.
Mr. Mitchell serves on several boards, including the Greater Washington Black DC Chamber of Commerce; the National Bankers Association (NBA), which represents the nation’s minority banks and the Independent Community Bankers of America, Legislative Issues Committee. He has testified before several United States House of Representative Committees on a variety of community banking issues. Mr. Mitchell is passionately committed to communities less served by mainstream institutions, and he believes community-based banks provide great under-recognized value. Mr. Mitchell has received numerous awards from his peers and the community.
Principal, The Griffin Firm PLLC
The Griffin Firm is committed to supporting the creation, protection and transfer of wealth through Estate and Business Planning. The Griffin Firm works with individuals and families to create generational wealth retention strategies. The Firm’s core values are Faith, Excellence, Service and Relationships.
The Firm uses Trust and Estate planning to support families to build generational wealth using tools that minimize taxation and build equity for successive generations. With this mission in mind, Aimee has earned an LLM (Masters in Laws) in Elder Law and Estate Planning. Aimee is the founder of the Association of Black Estate Planning Professionals an organization committed to collaboratively bridging the racial wealth gap.
Aimee is committed to support community growth through education and speaks regularly in national, regional and local forums to education other attorneys and the community. Aimee is an adjunct professor at the Western New England University School of Law as well as a monthly contributor to the Washington Informer as to educate her community. She strongly believes “when we know better we can do better”.
Chief Executive Officer, Results One, LLC
Kim Greenfield Alfonso, MBA, is a co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Results One LLC, a training and IT minority, and certified women-owned business.
Results One LLC is committed to working with nonprofits, corporations, state and local governments to create a work environment that embraces diversity, inclusion, and accessibility. Results One offers diversity, equity & inclusion training (that includes unconscious bias training, focus group facilitation, climate/organizational assessment surveys as well as prevention of sexual harassment training) and digital accessibility testing for websites and PDFs to ensure digital content is accessible to People with Disabilities.
Kim brings over 30 years of experience and knowledge in working with public, private, state, and local governments in the Washington, DC Region. Kim obtained both a Bachelor’s in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Northwestern University’s J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management.
A strong proponent of the disability community, she was selected as one of the “Women Who Mean Business” by the Washington Business Journal in 2014 and received the Mayor’s Washington Women of Excellence Award in Leadership in 2015. She is a member of Leadership Greater Washington and Leadership Montgomery. Born and raised in Washington, DC, Ms. Alfonso is a fourth-generation Washingtonian.
Jason Henderson, MBA
CEO, Ergo Solutions LLC and Ergo Home Health
Jason Henderson DPT, MBA is the CEO of Ergo Solutions LLC, and Ergo Home Health, providers of rehabilitation services in Washington DC. Jason is a 1995 graduate of Florida A&M University where he earned a B.S.in Physical Therapy.
Jason earned his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Alabama State University. He has been practicing physical therapy for 25 years.
Jason received his Master of Business Administration from the University of Maryland University College. He provides educational programs, training and consulting for education providers and businesses. In addition, he has over 15 years of Health Care project management and business.
Jason loves to play the saxophone, screenwriting and practicing martial arts. He is a black belt in Taekwando. He has authored his latest business book “A Complete 180” in 2018.
Corporate Development Manager, Enlightened, Inc.
Over the years, Jean has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Tavis Smiley Radio Show, USA Today, Associated Press Articles, Jet Magazine, Essence Magazine and on the cover of ARETE Magazine and a plethora of online articles for his work in education with minority males and community service. More recently, Jean was featured in Black Enterprise Magazine online as the man of the month where he shares insight on becoming successful in a global society for males of color. Jean regularly travels across the US speaking to youth groups, professionals, parents and related members in the areas of student development, teacher training, community development and self-empowerment.
Jean has served as Executive Director of the Call Me MISTER program at Cheyney University of Pennsylvania. The MISTER program (Mentors Instructing Students Towards Effective Role Models) is a leadership development program for pre-service teachers designed to encourage and support African American males to dedicate their lives to becoming role models in the field of education. As a product and partner with the program for the past 11 years, Jean created a pilot and complimentary program for women interested in teaching Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). The program is entitled Teach STEM Scholarship Project (TS2 Project) and is in its 5th year of programming. In 2012, Jean served as the Executive Director of Communities In Schools of Augusta Richmond County where he participated in decreasing the graduation rates of high school students utilizing “Race To The Top” Funding.
Howard R. Jean holds Bachelors of Science degree in Elementary Education from Claflin University and Masters of Science degree in Education in Social and Philosophical Foundations. Jean has served various roles in the field of education as a teacher, coordinator, consultant, curriculum developer and on-air personality discovering and finding solutions to issues that plague the corners of society. As a mentor and public speaker, Jean has influenced students across the nation with his message of “Embracing your own celebrity, celebrating your own identity” and empowering them to make a deliberate decision to be great and rise above mediocrity.
Jean currently resides in Washington, DC where he volunteers with educational programs for youth, mentors the next generation of classroom educators and serves on various boards that allow him to give back, empower others and increase entrepreneurship amongst young people and minorities.
Founder and Principal, Apis & Heritage Capital Partners
Philip Reeves is founder and Principal of Apis & Heritage Capital Partners, an impact firm that transitions small businesses from closely held to employee-owned. Philip has experience in the private, public and non-profit sectors and is a proven leader in small business development and funding.
In addition to A&H, Philip is the founder and principal of an investment and business advisory firm that works with global alternative investors. He also partners with 1863 Ventures, where he leads an industry-agnostic program focused on scaling businesses through operational improvements, sustainable sales processes, human capital best practices and financial management.
Philip’s background includes serving as the Manager of Small Business Technology and Innovation for the Government of the District of Columbia and working in corporate development for a growing government contractor where he was responsible for mergers and acquisitions, strategic partnerships and business development. Philip began his career on Wall Street in private equity at Lehman Brothers.
Philip is the former President (Curator) of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shaper’s Washington, DC Hub. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Morehouse College.
LaKeshia Grant Shephard
CEO, Virtual Enterprise Architects
Mrs. LaKeshia Grant-Shephard holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from Morgan State University. She is also a Certified Enterprise Architect (CEA) from Carnegie Mellon University, IBM and the Open Group. She is a graduate of the Smith College/Society for Women Engineers Excellence Program for Women in Science, Technology and Engineering. She is a certified Lean Six Sigma Professional (LSSP), Change Management Specialist (CMS), AWS Business Professional and is also certified in Information Technology (IT) Infrastructure Library (ITIL).
Mrs. Shephard is the CEO of Virtual Enterprise Architects (VEA), an award-winning and nationally recognized, small disadvantaged, woman and minority owned Information Technology (IT) company with a track record of delivering high quality business management and IT related services to public and private clients. Her experience includes leadership at American Management Systems, Booz Allen Hamilton and Hewlett Packard.
Mrs. Shephard was the 2014 Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Small Business Person of the Year for DC. She was recognized as a 2015 top 100 minority business leader by MEA Magazine. She is also a 2014 SmartCEO Brava! winner. She was recognized as the 2013 Corporate Heroine in Technology of the Year by the March of Dimes and AFCEA NOVA. She was also nominated for the 2013 Women in Technology (WIT) Entrepreneur award. She was recognized as the 2012 Women in Business Champion of the Year by the DC Chamber of Commerce and received the Morgan State University President’s Appreciation Award for Distinguished Alumni. She was also awarded the Morgan MBA Alumni of the Year award and has a MBA service award named in her honor for graduating MBA students.
Kola A. Isiaq, CPA, CISA
Managing Partner, Williams Adley & Company, LLP
As Managing Partner, Kola Isiaq provides strategic leadership and oversees the day-to-day management of Williams Adley – a DC based mid-size minority owned CPA and management consulting firm. Founded in 1982, Williams Adley provides auditing and financial management services to government agencies seeking accountability, transparency, efficiency, and regulatory compliance. Kola obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Alabama A&M University, a Master of Business Administration degree in Finance from Tennessee State University, and earned certification from Harvard University’s Executive Leadership Program. He is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in the District of Columbia and a Certified Information Systems Auditor. Kola served on the American Institute of Certified Public Accountant’s Subcommittee on Federal Auditing and Accounting Standards, the Greater Washington Society of CPAs’ Committee on Federal Auditing and Accounting Issues, and currently seats on the board of the International Consortium of Government Financial Managers. He was awarded SmartCEO’s CPA Industry Practice Leader Award in 2015. He is a current or recent past member of the Association of Government Accountants, the American Society of Military Comptrollers, the Information Systems Audit and Control Association, and the National Association of Black Accountants. In his spare time, Kola enjoys running, reading, and travelling which has taken him to more than 40 countries in 6 continents.
Denise Rolark Barnes
Publisher, The Washington Informer
Denise Rolark Barnes is the publisher of The Washington Informer, the award-winning weekly newspaper serving the African American community in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. She is a second-generation publisher, succeeding her father, Dr. Calvin W. Rolark, who published the first issue on October 16, 1964.
Under Rolark Barnes’ leadership, The Washington Informer has expanded to an online publication, including a weekly e-newsletter, and a broad social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Additionally, she oversees a staff of nearly 25 full and part-time employees, as well as freelancers who produce monthly issue-oriented special editions on topics including Homeownership, Financial Literacy, Sustainability and the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference issue. Most recently, she launched WI Bridge, a monthly publication targeting millennials, and WIN-TV, a weekly video broadcast on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram covering local and national topics and conversations with officials along with everyday people.
Rolark-Barnes also maintains The Washington Informer Charities, a non-profit organization that promotes literacy and sponsors internship opportunities, writing competitions and scholarships for students interested in pursuing careers in journalism. The Washington Informer Charities is the official sponsor of the annual D.C. City-Wide Spelling Bee, and the Prince George’s Spelling Bee. Winners from both represent their respective jurisdictions in the annual Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Rolark Barnes is a dedicated community servant who has launched a variety of local initiatives serving underserved youths in the DC, Maryland and Virginia areas. She coordinated an effort to erect an anti-gang mural project in Southeast, D.C.; as well as a day of social and personal development for girls at Ballou Senior High School called Girl Talk. She re-established the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Peace Walk and Parade in Ward 8 now in its 14th year. She also established the Annual Washington Informer African American Heritage Tour that attracts nearly 300 participants each year.
Rolark Barnes is chair emeritus of the National Newspaper Publishers Association – the Black Press of America. She serves on the boards of several local non-profit, community and municipal organizations, including the Washington Convention and Sports Authority (Events DC), the DC Martin Luther King Holiday Commission, the Maryland, Delaware, DC Press Association (MDDC), the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), and Leadership Greater Washington. Most recently she joined the board of the Greater Washington Black Chamber. She is an inductee in the D.C. Hall of Fame, and a recipient of numerous awards including the Generous Heart Award presented by the Jack H. Olender Foundation.
Rolark-Barnes is a graduate of Howard University where she received a BA degree in journalism and a JD degree from Howard University School of Law. She lives in the District of Columbia with her husband, Lafayette Barnes. They have two adult sons.