The 2016 HBBA EXECUTIVE TEAM


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Vernard Alexander, President

Originally from the Hill District, Vernard has been an advocate for both the Hill District and Homewood communities. Owner of the Minority Network Exchange and involved with BMe, Vernard is dedicated to focusing on small minority businesses thrive.

 


Photo Credit: Mitya Ku

Photo Credit: Mitya Ku

Brittee Clay, Vice President

Brittee Clay is a twenty-two year inspiration to Jones Printing and knowledgeable in many aspects of graphic design and printing. Advising customers of printing options for their businesses over the years. She has built many relationships both inside and outside of Pennsylvania. Brittee is also a member of the United States Air Force with an eighteen year career in leadership and mental health with degrees in both Applied Science and Information Technology.

 Visit Jones Printing

 


hoto Credit: dimnikolov

hoto Credit: dimnikolov

Christian Hughes, Treasurer

Native to Detroit, Christian moved to Pittsburgh in 2014 with a Masters in green architecture from University of Hampton. His degree also led him to create Drafting Dreams, a program which educates children from grades k-12 in architecture and urban design. Christian has been a member of HBBA since 2014 and has held office since January 2016. He hopes HBBA will be able to expand Homewood businesses’ reach to a wider audience.

Visit Drafting Dreams


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Diane Turner, Secretary

Diane Turner  is an experienced management professional with a consistent track record of successfully employing best business practices that improve efficiency, reduce costs whilst increasing productivity, all on tight time scales and within budget. She has a professional attitude, an ability to be flexible and handle change in a positive manner.   She possess excellent communication, leadership and organizational skills.   In 1988, she joined the University of Pittsburgh academic employee community. Since coming to Pitt, she has served in several different positions within the School of Dental Medicine.  In her tenure at Pitt, she has managed many private and government research grants as well as facilitated their submissions. Besides her work at the University and seeing a need in her native Pittsburgh community, in 2001, she started a virtual office management home-based business designed to assist small business and entrepreneurs with their day-to-day operations. Her high school days at Peabody and her college days at Duquesne University afforded her many opportunities to organize all types of programs from meetings to talent shows. Currently, as a member of R.E.A.L. (Reading, Entertainment and Laughter) Book Club, she participates in the United Black Book Clubs of Pittsburgh and coordinates its Annual Celebration of Reading.

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The 2016 Executive Board of Director Members

LaToya Johnson-Rainey

 A Homewood native and a member of HBBA since 2015 Latoya graduated from Westmoreland High School. After participating in high school’s business program, LaToya then went on to receive her MBA in innovation and entrepreneurship from Carlow University. LaToya comes from a family of entrepreneurs and has always shown a talent for entrepreneurship. Her passion for teaching and working with others led her to create a small business mentoring program which helps guide small businesses through the process of owning a small business. She owns a hair boutique in Shadyside which provides wigs and styling for those in need.

Visit A Hair Boutique in Shadyside

Dana Lance Carter

Born and raised in Homewood, Dana went to the University of Chicago and majored in math and economics. Post-graduation, she continued her passion of helping those in need by signing on to CIGNA Group Insurance as a Long-Term Disability Consultant.  She found she had a talent for connecting people to resources and guidance that they need to advance their lives and situations. Dana has now started her own start-up company, Carter & Associates which is currently focusing on interior build-out: framing, dry walling, finishing, and painting. She joined HBBA to see and encourage economic growth and safety in her community.

Chantelle Long

Born and raised in Homewood, Dana went to the University of Chicago and majored in math and economics. Post-graduation, she continued her passion of helping those in need by signing on to CIGNA Group Insurance as a Long-Term Disability Consultant.  She found she had a talent for connecting people to resources and guidance that they need to advance their lives and situations. Dana has now started her own start-up company, Carter & Associates which is currently focusing on interior build-out: framing, dry walling, finishing, and painting. She joined HBBA to see and encourage economic growth and safety in her community.

    Visit LUXEOnLuxington

Dotun Obadina

Erika Turner

Native of Pittsburgh from the East End area. A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a dual bachelor degree in Accounting & Management, In 2010, she graduated from Chatham University with a Masters' of Accounting. Immediately following graduation, Erika became employed at BNY Mellon as an accounting analyst. Within two years of her employment she was promoted to senior accounting analyst. In June 2014, Erika left BNY Mellon after six wondrous years. She is a member of National Black MBA - Pittsburgh and the Center of Women's Entrepreneurship at Chatham. Throughout her adolescent years, her family instilled in her a love cultural arts from a wide array of genres including music, theater and visual arts. When she came of age, she gained an interest in the art of wine. These passions in her life gave life to Wine & Words Pittsburgh.

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Shimira Williams

A strong business woman, Shimira sits on the genral board for HBBA and also runs her two businesses Productivity LLC and TEKStart LLC. With her talent Shimira also works as a consultant to companies like Urban Innovation 21. She creates engaging and fresh strategies for businesses to build their digital presence from. TEKStart has evolved from a licensed group home early learning environment; to offer community outreach, organize youth S.T.E.M. initiatives and engage families.  

    Visit Productivity LLC and TEKStart LLC

 

Andre Young


Ex-Officio Members

Marteen Garay

Partnered with the Homewood-Brushton Business Association, Marteen is part of Urban Innovation 21 as the Director for Entrepreneurship Programming. Originally from New York, Marteen came to Pittsburgh to share the Harlem Children’s Zone with Homewood Children’s Village. 

Demi Kolke

Originally from North Dakota, Demi moved to Pittsburgh in 2009 to complete her Masters in social work from the University of Pittsburgh. She first discovered Homewood after her first year internship at the Homewood YMCA and fell in love with the neighborhood. Later she interned at Operation Better Block and was brought onto the team post-graduation. Now manager of Operation Better Block, Demi works with HBBA to lend a hand to the population of Homewood and encourage growth in small businesses. Demi has been a member of HBBA since 2015 and hopes to help HBBA become an established and stable resource center for businesses in Homewood.  

Visit Operation Better Block

Henry Pyatt

Henry Pyatt is the Small Business and Neighborhood Revitalization Manager in the mayor’s office. He has been a part of HBBA since the beginning and was recruited by one of HBBA’s founding members. As an ex-officio member, Henry participates in decision making and strategizing but does not take part in the voting process. Originally from rural northeast Pennsylvania, Pyatt moved to Pittsburgh for college and became involved in a community development corporation before becoming involved in HBBA.