MEET OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS
|Gwen Allen-Carston||Executive Director|
|Charles Carston||Board Member|
|Willie Wright||Board Member|
|Richard Johnson||Marketing & Media Relations|
|Linda Sweezer in Memoriam||Event Coordination Team Member|
|Azalea Johnson||Secretary/Vendor Lead|
|Charmaine Boston||Food Services Coordinator|
Gwendolyn Cynthia Allen was born and raised in Leesburg, Florida by her parents, family-members, neighbors and friends in 1952. She attended Dabney Elementary for 6 years. She went on to the only Black/Negro High School in town, Carver Heights High from 1965-68. In 1968-1970 Gwen was forced, by the new system of integration, to attend Leesburg Senior High School, and was required, by law, to leave all thoughts and customs from the Negro school behind and take on all the “white” traditions, symbols, activities, teachers and everything that belong to the “white High School” and just get along. Well, you can imagine, if you know Gwen at all, that this mindset did not sit well with her and still doesn’t to this day. The hurt and the utter lack of caring to uproot the students from everything familiar, without any preparation or awareness of the forced agendas which she and her classmates had to endure, in order to “get along” in the city during the times of change in the country. Tensions caused by the unfamiliar were the challenge to overcome them and help find a “happy medium”. She graduated in 1970 and went on to Southern University in Baton Rouge and reclaimed her identity as a strong, beautiful, creative, caring and successful Black woman. Ready to meet the new opportunities head on!
Richard Johnson B.S., A.S., Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt
Richard Johnson (RJ) is currently retired after thirty four years at Xerox Corporation and six years of military service in the US Army. Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Richard and his wife Azalea moved to the Pacific Northwest in 1994 from Southern California. They reside in Kent, Washington. Azalea is a Certified Project Assistant at AECOM Corporation and Richard is a part-time indoor-cycling instructor. Richard has four grown children residing in Texas, California, and North Pole Alaska.
Previously, Richard held numerous management positions at Xerox Corporation including Field Service Manager, District Service Support Manager, Business Operations Manager, District Manager of Customer Services, Global Accounts Manager of Customer Services and Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.
Richard has worked on Lean Six Sigma projects at General Motors (Detroit), Washington Mutual (Seattle), Xerox (Hawaii), and Washington State Printer. He is a six year Army vet as a Nike Hercules missile fire distribution systems repairman and a crew chief on Chaparral Mobile-missile launcher. He has also worked as a certified personal-trainer and is currently an indoor-cycling instructor at LA Fitness.
Richard served on the Board of Trustees for the Veterans’ Cemetery at Evergreen Washelli in Seattle, Washington for seven years and served for two years as a Parks Commissioner in Kent, WA. He is currently a member of the Police Community Taskforce and a after school mentor at Glover Empower Mentoring (GEM).
Richard has a Bachelor of Science degree from The University of Phoenix in Business Information Systems. He has an Associate of Science degree in Electronics Technology from Compton College. Richard also has various certificates of completion in courses such as intro to Project management, Service Driven Organizations, Work group development, Leadership through Quality, and Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award auditor training.
LINDA SWEEZER (In Memoriam)