Xernona Clayton is the founder, president, and CEO of Trumpet Awards Foundation, Inc., as well as the creator and executive director of the foundation’s Trumpet Awards, which has celebrated African American achievements and contributions since 1993, and is televised in more than 185 countries worldwide. In 1965, she accepted a position in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, where she worked closely with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King. Dedicated to promoting racial understanding, Xernona Clayton is responsible for the desegregation of Atlanta hospital facilities, and for years served as a liaison between Turner Broadcasting and civic groups across the country. She has received numerous awards for her activism in both education and human rights, including the 1996 Distinguished Leadership Award, the Coretta Scott Kind Award, and the Madam C.J. Walker Award from EBONY magazine, among others.
Curley M. Dossman, Jr. has been president of Georgia-Pacific Foundation since 1994, responsible for the company’s philanthropic strategies. His lifelong involvement in national and community arts, education, and cultural initiatives is demonstrated by his impressive dossier: serving on the boards of Great Schools Atlanta, the High Museum of Art, the National Black Arts Festival, and 100 Black Men of America, among many others.
Julius H. Hollis is the chairman and founder of the Alliance for Digital Equality (ADE), a national, Atlanta-based nonprofit that ensures equal access to technology in underserved communities. Formerly the CEO of Hollis & Company, Hollis has spent the last few years bridging the gap between policymakers and minority individuals, developing programs that encourage America’s underserved populations, and that help the public understand how legislation regarding new technologies can impact and empower daily lives. He has served in numerous public-sector leadership positions, including on the board of directors for the Jamaica Public Service Company and as trade representative in South Africa.
Keisha Carter Noel is a Chicago native now making her home in the city of Atlanta, where she is actively involved in multiple community and arts organizations. She and her husband, Daniel, continue a tradition of cultural philanthropy, consistently giving back to education and the arts. As both donors and volunteers, they offer support to various community projects and organizations, and to this day, Keisha Carter Noel remains a major advocate of Columbia College Chicago.
As president of H.J. Russell & Company, H. Jerome Russell has been part of some of Atlanta’s largest construction projects, including the Georgia Dome, 191 Peachtree, and the expansion of Atlanta’s Hartsfield International Airport. Like his father, Herman Russell, who founded the company in 1952, H. Jerome Russell has demonstrated passionate dedication to his community, serving on the boards of Metro Atlanta YMCA and Central Atlanta Progress, as well as being an active member of the Urban Land Institute, Atlanta Rotary, Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, and the 100 Black Men of Atlanta.
Stephanie Russell is an active community member and volunteer, her commitments extending halfway across the United States, from Atlanta to Chicago. She is a longtime supporter of Columbia College Chicago, and has served on several boards throughout her lifetime, including the National Black Arts Festival, for which she was also a presenter. Together with her husband, Stephanie Russell has become iconic in Atlanta for her leadership and philanthropy.
James Reynolds, Jr. is the chairman and CEO of Loop Capital Markets, a company that has grown under his leadership to become the largest minority-owned financial services firm in the country, as well as one of the nation’s leading privately-held investment banks. As a resident of Chicago’s Hyde Park, Reynolds consistently gives back to his community, participating on the boards of the Chicago Alliance to End Homelessness, the Chicago History Museum, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Scholarship Chicago, the Chicago Urban League, Chicago United, and the University of Chicago Hospitals, among others. He believes that successful executives have a responsibility to their neighbors and their roots, and James Reynolds has honored this belief throughout his lifetime.