The Legacy of Leaders Alumni Luncheon is a gathering of very active alumni of HBCU’s where they can reconnect and also be rewarded for their efforts throughout the year. Awards such as National Alumni Association of the Year are given out to commend alumni on their hardworking efforts. This event is held during Hall of Fame Weekend on Friday morning.

Awards are given in the following categories:

National Alumni Director of the Year

Distinguished Alumnus

National Alumni President of the Year

Small Chapter of the Year

Large Chapter of the Year

National Alumni Association of the Year

Emerging Leader

Chairman’s Award

2018 Legacy of Leaders Honorees

NATIONAL ALUMNI DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR

Derrick V. Warren

Southern University

Growing up in a small, close-knit community in Bastrop, Louisiana, taught Derrick Warren the importance of relationships and results.

From a young age, his parents, Calvin and Idell Warren, instilled in him the reality that a quality education was very important to success. They also ensured that he knew he could learn something from everyone he met in life.  Now, this self-described “Global Life Learner” drives positive transformation for the Southern University System as Director of Alumni Affairs and Executive Director of the Southern University Alumni Federation. He performs these critical tasks by utilizing social/digital engagement, technology transformation, strong communication strategies and innovation.

Warren advises alumni on the Southern University System, targeted initiatives, new ways of working, speed to market concepts and creative strategies that can differentiate them in today’s highly competitive marketplace. This results in accelerated alumni membership value and growth. He feels that analytic research, which is grounded in technology and Big Data, unlocks new possibilities that will help the Southern University System rapidly succeed. His specialty areas are stakeholder engagement, services productization, technology transformation and helping Southern alumni, administration, faculty, staff, students and stakeholders tap into leading practices, techniques and talent.

Over the course of his 32 year plus corporate career at IBM, Derrick was responsible for the overall client satisfaction, financials, and delivery execution of large accounts ranging in size from several hundred million to over a billion dollars in total contract value. He developed compelling value propositions, created innovative tactical/strategic plans, executed roadmaps for effective execution, resolved complex escalated issues/disputes as well as guided the participation of all IBM Lines of Business. He also served as a member of the IBM Technical Leadership Team and was featured in the company’s’ “On Demand” Thinker Ad Campaign. This campaign appeared globally in business publications that included Time Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Business Week, The Economist, Money Magazine, Barron’s, CIO, CFO as well as other international business publications.

In recent years, Warren achieved success living abroad leading teams that provided complex technology solutions for corporations in Asia Pacific and Africa. The countries included Australia, Brunei, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, South Africa, Nigeria and other countries across Africa and The Middle East. While overseas, he established IBM’s Project Executive Competency which improved certifications by more than 300%, rapidly drove positive double digit grew C-Suite references and engineered a marked enhancement to client satisfaction year to year. He has also published articles in industry magazines and is an accomplished speaker at business symposiums, conferences, and universities around the world.

Warren is a cum laude honor graduate of The Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA, with a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science. While on campus, he served as Student Government Association President, Junior Class President and a member of the University’s Famed “Human Jukebox” Marching Band. He is a life member of the Southern University Alumni Federation, life member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Kappa Kappa Psi Honorary Band Fraternity, Kappa Phi Kappa Fraternity and a Charter member of the John G. Lewis Masonic Lodge.

Derrick was also honored to deliver Southern’s fall 2011 Commencement Address. He earned an MBA from the University of South Florida in Tampa as part of the school’s Executive MBA Program. Derrick is currently pursuing an Executive Doctorate in Business at Georgia State University – Atlanta, Georgia. He and his wife, Anita, currently reside in Roswell, Georgia and are transitioning to Baton Rouge, La. They are the proud parents of two sons, Derrick II and Dillon, daughter, Dhalyn, and granddaughter Emersyn.

DISTINGUISHED ALUMNUS

Dennis L. Boyden

West Virginia State University

Dennis L. Boyden is the (retired) Regional Director, External Affairs, AT&T Georgia.

He had more than 39 years of service (combined) with Southern Bell, BellSouth and AT&T Georgia. During his career he worked in numerous departments before working in the External Affairs department for his last 17 years of service.

In his position, Dennis was a registered lobbyist for AT&T and within the Atlanta community served on a number of boards which included The Atlanta Business League, Greater North Fulton Chamber, the Metro Atlanta Chamber and Leadership Atlanta.  He currently serves on the Atlanta Business League Board.

Dennis is a native of West Virginia and a proud graduate of West Virginia State University (HBCU) and a very active member in the Atlanta Alumni Chapter.

He is a life member of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and long-time member of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church.  He resides in Decatur, GA, and is the proud parent of one son, Jared, who is in college.

DISTINGUISHED ALUMNUS

Senator Gladys A. Robinson, Ph.D.

North Carolina A&T State University

Senator Gladys Ashe Robinson, Deputy Minority Leader of the North Carolina Senate, has been elected to her fourth term in the Senate. She is Vice Chair of the Guilford County Delegation and is a dedicated advocate for the people of North Carolina, specifically Guilford County. Senator Robinson serves on the following Legislative Committees: Appropriations on Health and Human Services, Appropriations/Base Budget, Education/Higher Education, Finance, Health Care and Select Committee on Nominations. Non-Standing Committees: Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services, Joint Legislative Administrative Procedure Oversight Committee, Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Medicaid and NC Health Choice and Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee. Senator Robinson also serves as the North Carolina/South Carolina Co-Chair of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators Region Vand the Governors State Health Coordinating Council.

Senator Robinson has served in executive leadership capacities for 45 years in health and human services, a graduate of the UCLA/Johnson and Johnson Health Care Executives Program. Recently retired, Senator Robinson has served as Executive Director for Piedmont Health Services and Sickle Cell Agency ( a community based organization that addresses health disparities in minority communities, as sickle cell, HIV/AIDS and STDs, infant mortality, etc.) since 1982. She served as an Executive in Aging for 10 years. Senator Robinson is also a Sickle Cell Disease Association of America Inc., Board Member.

Senator Robinson is a graduate of Bennett College. She has earned both a Masters in Education and Counseling and a Ph.D in Leadership Studies from North Carolina A&T State University. She has certifications in Nonprofit Management.

As the senior woman and member of the Senate, Senator Robinson is a strong advocate for education, small businesses, jobs, women’s rights and ensuring health and quality of life for low income, minority, disabled and elderly populations. Senator Robinson was one of the originators of the “Breast Cancer Density Legislation”, she introduced legislation on Lupus, which passed the Senate; and she has worked on issues of domestic violence and homelessness; and was co-sponsor of the Statewide Standing Order/Opioid, S734, that also passed the Senate. Having served on the UNC Board of Governors for almost 10 years, she is the greatest proponent of higher education, historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and the public education system in our state.

 

Locally, she is on the Triad Adult & Pediatrics Medicine Board, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Chair of the Bennett College Board of Trustees, Democratic Women of Guilford County, Lillian’s List, Metropolitan Council of Negro Women and a life member of the PTA and NAACP. She was a founder of the Guilford Community AIDS Partnership, chaired the High Point AIDS Coalition and the first Guilford Coalition on Homelessness Committee. Senator Robinson has received many awards throughout her professional career, including: 2016 Public Service Award; 2015 Legislator of the Year Award, NC Association of Local Health Directors; 2015 Defenders of Justice Award for Legislative & Administrative Advocacy; 2015 Recipient of the Luther “Nick” Jerald’s Advocacy Award; 2015 Southern Health Association Outstanding Legislator Award; 2015 HBCU Living Legends Award; 2012 UNCF Alumni Hall of Fame Award; 2012 Trailblazer Award for Beautiful Butterflies Lupus Foundation; 2010 Sojourner Truth Award; 2009 Leadership Greensboro Community Award; 2006 McDonald’s Rhythms of Triumph Award; 2005 Moses Cone Wesley Long Community Health Award; 2000 Woman of Achievement in Health; 1994 NAACP Woman of the Year.

Senator Robinson has 2 adult daughters and 3 grandchildren; and is Asst. Church Clerk and a Sunday School Teacher at Providence Baptist Church.

NATIONAL ALUMNI PRESIDENT OF THE YEAR

Marshall J. Taggart, Jr.

Clark Atlanta University

Marshall J. Taggart, Jr., C.M. serves as the Deputy Airport Director at DeKalb Peachtree Airport located in Chamblee, GA. He serve as senior airport management at the premier executive general aviation airport located in the Metro North Atlanta. Co-lead responsibilities include: the safe and efficient operations, security, facilities/maintenance, construction, noise, environmental, and technology for the enterprise. Manage 3-direct reports responsible for operations, maintenance, and security. He more recently served as as the National Director of Airport Business Development for MediaShift (formerly AdVantage Networks) located in Glendale, CA.

He served as Deputy Aviation Director for Tallahassee Regional Airport (TLH) from 2011 to 2013. He co-managed a $10.5 million operating budget and 43 full-time employees. Marshall has secured nonstop air service from Tallahassee to Washington, D.C. (DCA), as well as a second flight; a second flight to Dallas Fort-Worth (DFW); new “through service” to West Palm Beach (WPB); launched a new carrier-Silver Airways (former Gulfstream), has implemented and introduced the TLH “Thanks Again” passenger loyalty program; launched a successful marketing and communications plan to partner with local North Florida chambers to market the airport as the “Gateway to the Gulf Coast”; launched the first annual Airport Funfest & BBQ Challenge (2011) and Airport Fun Fest (2012); rolled out a new 30-space cell phone lot, introduced valet parking, new bins for the security check point funded through advertising; implemented airline electronic check-in for passengers; introduced a new ambassador program to improve customer service; launched a new web portal; introduced new LED technology for a new information boards; served as a speaker for the Wakulla and Jefferson Counties; and the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce’s monthly lunch forum; launched social media for TLH (including a face book, foursquare, & twitter accounts); and instituted new flight information display systems (FIDS). In addition,the airport has received: “no noted discrepencies” awards for its annual FAA Airport Certification Inspection & a Safety Management System (SMS) Award in November 2011 and 2012 respectfully.

He previously served as Concessions Manager responsible for new business development & marketing for the World’s Busiest Airport managing over 225 locations at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta (ATL) International Airport. In 2008, due in part to his leadership, the Concessions Program was awarded as the “Best Concessions Team Large Airport Category” Award per Airport Revenue News magazine (ARN), “Best Real Estate Deal” by Atlanta Business Chronicle newspaper; “Best Concessions Management Team”; and “Best Airport Concessions Program” in the country both awarded by ARN.

In this role, he was responsible for the day-to-day management of tenant relations and overseeing marketing for food and beverage, news and gifts, duty free, retail, spa, baggage, services, business services, rental car, as well as advertising. He initiated client contacts for new product and services that will enhance the customer experience. He also prepared, reviewed, and negotiated concession contracts worth over $15 million in gross revenue; as well as lead airport terminal development for business & entertainment, banking, currency exchange, shoe shine, pay phone, indoor advertisements & airport sponsorships, wireless-fidelity (WI-FI), wireless tenant connectivity, distributed wireless antenna cell phone access, the U.S. Postal Store, and the Airport’s Executive Conference Center. Prior to this appointment, Marshall also managed the Contracts and Procurement business unit which oversaw annual solicitations totaling $500 million, including ATL’s Fifth Runway (The Most Important Runway in North America); a new Consolidated Rental-Car facility; and Air Traffic Control Tower for ATL. All contracts fully met their DBE/ACDBE participation goals as set by the City of Atlanta’s Office of Contract Compliance.

In 2000, Marshall began his aviation career as Director of Airport Concessions for Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW) where he developed and managed over 55,000 square feet of new retail, news and gifts, food & beverage, and business/personal services space. In addition, he also served as Planning & Real Estate Manager responsible for successfully negotiating the new Chicago O’Hare International Airport’s (ORD) Consolidated Rental Car Facility customer facility charge. After it’s implementation, ORD realized roughly $3 million additional in rent revenue to the airport’s non-aeronautical revenue coffers over a 5-year period.

SMALL CHAPTER OF THE YEAR

Colleton County Alumni Chapter

Claflin University

This year the Colleton County Chapter of the Claflin University International Alumni Association demonstrated a measure of persistence against extenuating circumstances in support of its alma mater. When the University’s Board of Visitors decided to launch the public phase of its Special Gifts Campaign to raise $1 million to fund Claflin University Students (FOCUS 100) Scholarships, the chapter stepped forward in a big way.

On April 26 in Walterboro, S.C., the Board of Visitors, chaired by Mrs. Thelma Hudson, hosted the first of a series of regional campaign receptions in communities around the state and throughout the region. With a goal of raising at least $200,000 through the special “Claflin Comes to Town” series, these committed leaders knew this kick-off event could make all the difference to the ultimate success of the campaign. Tragically, however, less than a week before the event, and completely unexpectantly, Mrs. Hudson’s husband and the brother of the event co-chair, passed away.

Bowed but not bent, the event committee of a half-dozen people made calls to friends and alumni across the county, joining hands in the effort to make the event a success. One anonymous supporter made a $5,000 gift in Mr. Hudson’s memory and the Tyler Perry Foundation stepped forward with a generous gift just a day before the event.

When the dust settled, and the fellowship hall of the New Life United Methodist Church was cleaned up to be ready for the following Sunday morning, alumni, friends and neighbors in the “The Front Porch of the Low Country” (a community of less than 6,000) had raised $24,420 in a single evening! It is an amazing accomplishment for a chapter with only 10 members!

The chapter meets the first Monday of each month at the New Life United Methodist Church and, according to Mrs. Priscilla McClellan, the chapter president, “Prayer is always first on the agenda where they lift up all concerns of the group, other alumni, students and the University.”

The chapter continues to show its Panther Pride and has a presence at the annual Presidential Scholarship Gala and other Homecoming activities splendidly dressed in the University’s orange and maroon colors.

Colleton County, S.C. has a population of 37,884 people with a median age of 42.2 and median household income of $33,918.

LARGE CHAPTER OF THE YEAR

Texas Southern University National Alumni Association – Dallas Chapter

The Texas Southern University Dallas Alumni Chapter has been in existence for close to 40 years. This chapter is one of the largest for Texas Southern University. The TSU Dallas Chapter Alumni serves as ambassadors for Texas Southern University. They have participated in countless college fairs and school career fairs. They have instituted a reading program in which they give books to children to encourage reading and at the same time introduce them to Texas Southern University. The chapter has donated time and money to the Martin Luther King Jr. Center. Through their annual Christmas party and toy drive, items collected are given to children in need.

The chapter’s civic involvement includes members who are registrars in Dallas County who participated in voter registration drives.

Throughout the years the chapter has honored influential alumni in the Dallas area including, lawyers, physicians, dentists, pharmacists, business leaders, educators, and elected officials at their Annual Scholarship Luncheon which is in its 14th year. The event has increased in participation over the years, with over 250 attendees each year. The event includes recognizing the Future Texas Southern University King and Queen and always has an outstanding keynote speaker. Last year’s speaker was Attorney Harry E. Johnson, Sr., President and CEO, The King Memorial Foundation, Inc. Over the years the chapter has provided scholarships to area students ranging from $500 book scholarships to more than $2,000 in tuition assistance.

Last year the chapter awarded over $10,000 in scholarships. The chapter has awarded more than 30 scholarships since 2009 including the Presidential Scholarship Award initiated by TSU President John Rudley.

The chapter has provided support to the Office of Admissions and attends recruitment events and provides coverage when University staff cannot attend. The chapter supports the University any way it can and has always appreciated the special support it receives from the Office of Alumni Relations as well as the University administration.

Texas Southern University via the Dallas Chapter was the only HBCU to personally be invited to participate in Bishop T.D. Jakes Mega Fest College Fair.

NATIONAL ALUMNI ASSOCIATION OF THE YEAR

Florida A&M University National Alumni Association

Government Advocacy:

The FAMU National Alumni Association Government Advocacy Lead To The University Securing 6 Million In Recurring Funding Per Year From The State Of Florida.

Fundraising:

The FAMU National Alumni Association Raised More Than 2 Million Dollars Over The Last Year In Support Of FAMU To Include $614,000 Raised At The 2018 National Convention.

Student Recruitment:

The FAMU National Alumni Association Recruited More Than Half Of The 2800 Freshman Admitted To FAMU For The Fall Of 2018.

EMERGING LEADER

Brannon T. Jones

Albany State University

Brannon Jones is the Executive Director of Next Step Education Foundation, Inc. and author of the College Readiness 101 Workbook Series. He is dedicated to assisting high school students with strategically preparing for college acceptance. Brannon attended Albany State University where he received his Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice. He was a very active member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., and a member of the 4-Year SIAC Championship Albany State Golden Rams Football Team.
Upon graduation, Brannon started a career in education. He holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, concentrating in Adult Education. Professionally, He has over 10 years of higher education professional experience in college admissions, recruiting, retention, student services, and Title IX. Through his professional and volunteer work, Brannon has worked with thousands of students to reach their educational goals.

CHAIRMAN’S AWARD

Melanie L. Campbell

Clark Atlanta University

Melanie L. Campbell, president and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and convener of the Black Women’s Roundtable Public Policy Network.  Melanie has fought for civil, youth and women’s rights for over 20 years. She is a veteran at leading, planning and managing highly successful multi-million dollar civic engagement, census, and issue-based campaigns and is recognized as one of the hardest working leaders in the social justice movement. Her leadership played a pivotal role in the 2012 election where Black people turned out at a higher rate than Whites and Black women surpassed everyone for the first time in history. In her role as convener of Black Women’s Roundtable, Campbell brings together coalitions of women from diverse races, ethnicity’s and backgrounds to advocate for policies to advance women. Melanie is a nationally recognized expert in civic engagement, election reform and coalition building.