2020 M.I.C Honorees
Dr. David Kwabena Wilson
10th President of Morgan State University
Dr David K. Wilson, Ed.D., is the 10th president of Morgan State University, Maryland’s Preeminent Public Urban Research University. Under his leadership, Morgan has experienced tremendous gains and progress, included among the most recent highlights are:
The elevation of Morgan from a moderate research classification of R3 (a ranking it has held since 2006), to an elevated classification of R2, a status reserved for doctoral universities with high research activity;
A second-year retention rate of above 70 percent for the past eight consecutive years;
An alumni participation-in-giving rate of 17 percent, a rate higher than most private HBCUs and higher than many public regional universities nationwide;
The highest graduation rate in 10 years at 43 percent, trending toward achieving a 50 percent graduation rate by the year 2025;
The historic completion of the University's $250 Million Anniversary Campaign, the largest development effort in Morgan's history;
Procurement of $35 million in research grant awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the world’s largest public funder of biomedical research;
The expansion of academic programs including bringing online 11 new degree programs, and the proposed addition of a Bachelor Science Degree in Cloud Computing and College of Osteopathic Medicine; The construction and planned construction of multiple state-of-the-art facilities including Tyler Hall Student Service Building, Martin D. Jenkins Hall, Morgan Business Center, Northwood Commons, a new health and human services building; a new science complex and new on- campus residential housing for students; and The continuation of Morgan's status as the No. 1 HBCU in production of Fulbright scholars and grantees, with 149 awarded in 44 countries around the world. Dr. Wilson has more than 30 years of experience in higher education administration and holds four academic degrees: a B.S. in political science and an M.S. in education from Tuskegee University; an Ed.M. in educational planning and administration and an Ed.D. in administration, planning and social
policy, both from Harvard University.
Dr. Wilson has authored two books and more than 20 articles published in scholarly journals. He was named one of the nation’s top 100 leaders in higher education by the American Association of Higher Education in 1998, was selected as one of The Daily Record newspaper’s Influential Marylanders for 2011, and was honored by the University of Alabama with an award for outstanding leadership in engaged scholarship in April 2011.
In April 2019, Dr. Wilson was appointed to serve on the NCAA Board of Governors and Division I Board of Directors, and in 2018, the Lumina Foundation elected Dr. Wilson to serve on its Board of Directors.
Prior to this election, the U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology appointed him to serve a three-year term as a member of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST’s) Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology. He is a former chairman of the HBCU/China Network, a member of the Maryland Cybersecurity Council and the Maryland Longitudinal Data System
Governing Board and serves on the Boards of Directors of the Greater Baltimore Committee, the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities, and the Association of American Colleges and Universities. In 2010, former President Barack Obama appointed him to his 11-member Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Dr. Wilson’s educational philosophy is to put the students’ experience first. As a leader, he is a consensus builder and a strong believer in transparency of process. His goal is to make Morgan a leader in producing the next wave of innovators in the U.S.
Walter Mandela Lomax
Parole Reform & Criminal ‘Just-Us’ System Advocate
Distinguished Philanthropy Honoree
Walter Mandela Lomax was imprisoned for a crime that he did not commit. He spent 39 years in Jail before being exonerated in 2006. Walter used his time in prison to develop his skills as an author and social justice ally. Since his release, Walter has been committed to fighting for social justice. He launched the Maryland Restorative Justice Initiative, a Non-Profit dedicated towards working with the state to develop policies that help shift the prison system from its current policies rooted in systemic issues to a system that looks towards social justice as a guiding principle.
Caden Harris - 10 year old CEO
Caden Teaches Finance
Rising Star Honoree
Caden Harris is a 10 year old CEO, author, speaker, and money teacher. He specializes in equipping kids with financial tools to earn, save, budget, and grasp money rules. His business is unique because it is for kids.
His financial literacy course, books, flashcards, and other products help teach kids financial principles early in life. Caden's goal is to train 5,000 through his products and workshops. His business has been featured on Fox 5, NBC, and several other publications.
If you would like more information on how this brand, created by a real change-maker who is on the rise and preparing to help learners worldwide, please visit any of his social media handles and websites.
YouTube: Caden teaches finance
Fb: Caden Teaches
Amari Abolarin - Governor Hogan Honoree
Movie Actor of “The Other”
Rising Star Honoree
Amari is a 16 year old junior in North Hagerstown high school. He has been on honor roll 4 years in a row, been featured in a film “The Other”. This film was shown at the Washington county movie festival. He was then honored by Governor Hogan for his role in the film. When he grows up, he hopes to help eradicate drugs as well as racism. He is also looking forward to majoring in engineering and becoming an author one day.
Co-Founder: Kenya USA Diaspora Sacco Entrepreneurship Honoree Ralph, an entrepreneur at heart, has, for the last 20 years, been a successful Businessman in the US. Whereby he has strategically engaged in businesses ranging from transportation, real estate, investing, and banking. With a background in Engineering and Business Management, he is a founder and Board member of several professional and network organizations based in Atlanta, Georgia, and different parts of Africa. As a Co-founder, he sits on the Board of the Kenya USA Diaspora Sacco, as a member of the Executive Team, and is the institution’s Honorary Secretary. He is based in Atlanta, Georgia, and he is also the President and CEO of Alpha Couriers of Atlanta Group of Companies and Crest Ace Assets (K) Ltd, among others. Ralph is an altruistic philanthropist who has helped see more than 300 students from disadvantaged homes receive scholarships, for high school and university placements, in Kenya. Additionally, in 2016 Ralph, helped coordinate free medical camps with Doctors from the US and Kenya through the assistance of Kenyan Medical Institutions, and was instrumental in having more than 5000 patients ailing from all manner of tropical and life threatening diseases, such as cancer, receive free medical treatment within a single trip to Kenya. He has received several awards over the years, including the Association of Kenyan Professionals in Atlanta (AKPA) 2003 Person of the Year Award, the Mashujaa 2019 Business & Entrepreneurship Award in Houston Texas, and several awards from diverse institutions, including the Kenya Scholars & Studies Association. Besides being a doting family man, Ralph loves serving and empowering the community through diverse investment ventures and privately loves to farm when away from his business ventures.
Sadiq Ali, MBA
Executive Director, Maryland Mentor; CEO, Millionaire Manners
"When adults run out of answers, they start blaming children.” As a staunch yet empathetic youth advocate, Sadiq is a natural-born teacher whose work revolves around making sure we never blame children. He has created many programs for schools, youth detention centers, non-profit and community organizations to engage more young people. He’s also a TV/Radio host and commentator, social entrepreneur, best-selling author, award-winning keynote speaker, trainer, and professor. Through his organizations, Maryland MENTOR and Millionaire Manners, Sadiq every year works with thousands of young people, their parents, and youth practitioners worldwide to connect better with their passions and build long-lasting confidence. Follow along @TheSadiqAliShow or @MarylandMENTOR!
Eric Yaone is the Founder of KinKultur, a platform promoting Congolese and, more broadly, African entrepreneurship around the world through various web services, networking activities, and events.
Born and raised in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eric worked as a marketing and sales director and a consultant in several renowned advertising agencies: Great white, Public Inter, LN Communication, and others. He studied Interior Design at the Congo Academy of Fine Arts and later pursued his studies in IT Management at the Higher Institute of Management. He spent most of his time mentoring young artist-entrepreneurs to promote their talents. He developed several activities that continue to help many talents emerge.
Eric moved to the USA 🇺🇸 in 2018. Upon his arrival, he got involved in the community as a volunteer at the African Women Council, where he is currently involved with outreach. He is very active in the Congolese community as an active member of CCWM (Congolese Community of Washington Metropolitan.) He serves as a communication advisor to the organization's President. Eric is also involved with TUDITURI, a platform regrouping Congolese entrepreneurs in the USA 🇺🇸. He is also a Member of K7BC, a Congolese business club Congolese, AFDC (Federation of the Congolese Diaspora).
To support women entrepreneurs, Eric created the Slide2lafemme, a forum where he coaches and promotes female networking.
He is married to Doctor Gisèle Dunia, a senior advisor for capacity strengthening at The Demographic and Health Surveys Program or The DHS Program. They both live in Germantown, Maryland.
Professor D. Watkins
Editor at Large for Salon
D. Watkins is Editor at Large for Salon. His work has been published in the New York Times, New York Times Magazine, The Guardian, Rolling Stone, and other publications. He holds a Master’s in Education from Johns Hopkins University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Baltimore.
He is a college lecturer at the University of Baltimore and founder of the BMORE Writers Project. He has also been the recipient of numerous awards, including the BME Genius Grant, One Book one Baltimore, and Ford’s Men of Courage. Watkins was also a finalist for the Hurston Wright Legacy Award and Books for A Better Life. He has lectured at countless universities and events around the world. Watkins has been a consultant for Overbrook films and featured as a guest and commentator on NBC’s Meet the Press, The Breakfast Club, CNN’s The Erin Burnett Show, Democracy Now, and NPR’s Monday Morning, among other shows.
Watkins is from and lives in Baltimore. He is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Beast Side: Living (and Dying) While Black in America and The Cook Up: A Crack Rock Memoir and We Speak for Ourselves: A Word from Forgotten Black America.
Kevin Wayne Johnson
CEO, The Johnson Leadership Group, LLC,
Because he says, “God uses ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things,” Kevin Wayne
Johnson has taken up the task of developing individual and organizational operating excellence as his life’s ministry. He trains, mentors, and coaches to coax audiences to live out their gifts, and in the words of his national best-selling book series, to then “Give God the Glory!” This series of eight books have
earned the current radio and television co-host some 19 literary awards since 2001. Gayle King, an editor-at-large for O, The Oprah Magazine, praised his work, writing to him that “Your book, Kevin, touched me.”
Johnson is the Founder, Chief Visionary, and CEO of The Johnson Leadership Group, LLC, and an independent certified coach, teacher, and speaker. With the internationally recognized John Maxwell Team, he leads learning experiences tailored to meet the specific needs of the audience to help maximize efficiency, growth, awareness, and effectiveness. He provides organizations and the people who work within tools to forge effective personal and interpersonal communication and delivers training on the elements
of dynamic relationships, to equip teams with the attitudes and attributes needed to develop individuals
into leaders. Through motivation by shops, seminars, insightful keynote speeches, and compassionate coaching, all to encourage personal and professional growth.
Johnson enjoyed a 34-year career (retired) in government and private industry as a middle-to-senior level leader. He led workforce development, training, organizational change, acquisition/procurement, customer service, client relationships, budget, security, records management, property administration, facilities, and human resources organizations during his tenure. He was a key leader on the National Performance Review for Procurement and Customer Service Reform, under the first Clinton Administration, has testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Small Business Committee on Procurement Reform and wrote testimony that was presented before the District of Columbia’s Committee for Government Operations.
A native of Richmond, Virginia, Johnson earned a B.S. in Business Administration and Management from
Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Business and completed course work towards an M.B.A. at both
Marymount University and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
He is an ordained Church of God Ministries, Inc. (Anderson, IN) minister and has served in a myriad of
leadership positions over the past 20 years in the local church, to include Senior Pastor, as well as regionally,
nationally, and internationally in Kenya Africa, St Lucia, Turks and Caicos, and London England. His latest book –
Leadership with a Servant’s Heart – is an Amazon.com best-seller in two categories and winner of six literary
awards in 2020. Johnson is currently serving a 4-year team as Faith Community Commissioner for Suicide
Prevention under Maryland Governor Larry Hogan.
He lives in Clarksville, Maryland, with his wife of 27 years, Gail, and three sons, Kevin, Christopher, and
Cameron, ages 24, 23, and 22. He has one God’s daughter, Heather, age 33, and one God granddaughter, Marley,
Founder & CEO, WiseTek Enterprises
Being in love with personal development and reading, it was only natural that Darren
became a motivational speaker and published author. His speaking passion led him
to Toastmasters, where he became the President of his club in less than a year. During
his tenure as president, Darren competed in the National Speech Contest and
won first place in the district.
Professionally, Darren holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in finance, as well as holds
numerous certifications in Information Technology that include PMI Agile Certified
Practitioner and Certified Scrum Master. Wanting to take his professional career to the
next level, Darren started his own IT contracting firm, WiseTek Enterprises, which is now
a certified Minority Business through the city of Baltimore and the state of Maryland.
After looking back on the many trials and setbacks, he has experienced in his life,
Darren wanted to share the knowledge and wisdom he has gained and pass it down to
the next generation. This led Darren to join the Youth Advocate Program, which
serves high-risk youth by becoming a mentor and advocate for them.
Darren is an avid reader in his spare time and has hundreds of books in his home
library. When he is not reading and writing, he focuses on health and wellness and
living a healthy lifestyle.
Brian K Oliver
CEO, Beyond Bmore
Brian K. Oliver was born and raised on the westside of Baltimore, Maryland, by his parents, Robin and Garry. He is a proud graduate of Baltimore City College High School and Towson University with a B.S. in Political Science. Surrounded by a hard-working family of local leaders and entrepreneurs, education, public service, and outreach have always been priorities.
Brian is a member of the Howell family, the owners, and operators of Howell Funeral Homes. He is also a well-respected travel blogger, influencer, and public speaker. He has served as a keynote speaker at many local and nationwide events, encouraging others to pursue their passion and goals.
Brian’s love for travel and empowerment began as a young boy. Many days were spent following behind and riding in the car with his grandfather on various local and domestic journeys, as he carried out his duties as a minister. The excitement of seeing new places, meeting new people, and observing the cultural differences that existed right in his local neighborhoods and the nation continued to grow stronger.
While many may use travel to escape from their cities’ realities, he has found it to be a source of inspiration, motivation, and encouragement. Brian knows that travel privilege must not be taken for granted, but most importantly, shared with others.
In 2019 he founded BMore See More, a nonprofit organization empowering minority male students in Baltimore City through education, mentorship, and travel.
Brian believes that everyone, regardless of class or circumstance, should have the opportunity to experience and witness life outside of their respective communities. Travel not only serves as an essential tool of education but also plays a significant part in appreciating what we have, where we’re from, and where we are going in life.
He looks forward to fulfilling his purpose in life as we navigate challenging and unfamiliar times.
Founder & CEO, INC Education
Jay Veal is the CEO of INC Education, the #1 AA owned private tutoring and education company in the Southern US as well as the top online tutoring company for BIPOC in the nation. He is also Founder/CEO of The Jay Veal Brand which is a Dallas-based premier consulting brand that deploys education, business, and credit consulting. He has been a Black Enterprise contributor for education and credit.
He also founded Black Tutors of Social Media, a Dallas and Atlanta based edtech NPO. During the pandemic, Jay pivoted to see what else he could offer the world outside of the highly decorated tutoring company. He wanted to give black-owned private tutoring companies a platform and public directory to convene and offer services and resources so the public could find them as they support families and students during this time and beyond. In addition to the platform, BTSM aims to close achievement gaps, belief gaps, and opportunity gaps with 6 nonprofit community programs for all students at large. With the minority family in mind, BTSM was created to be a safe haven where families could find resources that looked and operated like them for their educational and social needs.
Jay is also CEO of Dallas-based INC Beauty, where they provide a seamless and world-class cosmetic and esthetics education experience.
He has been featured in major media outlets including Black Enterprise, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, NBC, Exceptional People Magazine, and more. He serves on the board of Rae’s Hope and Big Thought.
Business Growth Strategist
Arguably one of the best when it comes to revenue growth for coaches and consultants, Marquel Russell is a multimillion-dollar revenue generator, bestselling author, Rapid Business Growth Strategist, and coach who has earned the title, “King of Client Attraction.” His genius lies in his innate talent of drenching clients in a downpour of qualified leads that convert into more clients and increased profits. His sharp-shooting approach to lead generation has helped coaches and consultants pull in more than $20 million in revenue, billions of ad impressions, millions of high-quality leads, and 10’s of thousands of clients. From high school dropout and former drug dealer to multimillion-dollar Rapid Business Growth Strategist and coach, Marquel is a walking billboard for the lyrics “started from the bottom now I’m here.” Visit PaidAdPlaybook.com to see for yourself why so many have crowned him the King of Client Attraction.