On the surface, Regina Robinson is quiet and reserved, yet has managed multi-million dollar portfolios for the past twenty-five years. She would consider herself a “portfolio surgeon mastermind” who takes an unhealthy portfolio and will RESTORE it and makes a trained Olympic Winner out of it. As such, she has managed and turned million-dollar budget shortfalls from red to into the black. She is an accomplished financial professional with a career spanning more than 25 years with varied experiences in financial management, business leadership, and corporate strategy in the private and public sector, where she represented some of the top Fortune 500 industry leaders. Prior to entering the public sector, she was last responsible for managing a $450MM portfolio.
Currently, she serves as the Chief Financial Officer of one of the largest educational systems in the State of New Jersey and is responsible for the business and operational affairs of an $810MM entity. She has day to day management and oversight of all financial and operational affairs including, but not limited to managing an in-depth financial accounting software, compliance, payroll and fringe benefits for +4,500 teachers and staff, contract and collective bargaining negotiations, procurement of millions in goods and services annually, and the infrastructure of the district which includes more than 50 buildings and over five million square feet of usable classroom space. She has overseen major projects that include environmental remediation, natural gas conversions, structural assessments, and repairs, of more than five million square feet of instructional space.
Ms. Robinson holds a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership, with a concentration in School Business Administration from Kean University, Nathan Weiss Graduate College. In addition, she holds a Master of Science in Accounting. She is a licensed School Business Administrator, recognized by the New Jersey Association of School Business Officials (NJASBO) as a Registered School Business Official. She holds the prestigious International School of Finance and Operations designation by Association of School Business Officials International; she is licensed as a New Jersey Qualified Purchasing Agent and a member of the State of New Jersey Notary Public Commission.
Regina shows her gratitude to her community; she serves as Founder and President of Crossroads Community Resource Development Center, a local nonprofit dedicated to developing and implementing culturally appropriate supportive services that promote and sustain the education, social and economic well-being of children, families and communities within risk producing environments. Regina also serves on the Board of Directors of Superior Arts Institute, a Camden City based nonprofit dedicated to advocacy through artistic opportunities. Most recently, Superior Arts Institute was featured on Good Morning America for shining the spotlight on environmental racism in a play titled ‘Town Hall: Resolution 50. She also is dedicated and committed to breast cancer care serving on the Board of Directors of The Chrysalis Initiative which provides Black women and other disparate groups tools to address racism in their cancer care, with the purpose of erasing the line of inequality in breast cancer care.
“Whatever you choose to do, leave tracks. That means don’t do it just for yourself. You will want to leave the world a little better for your having lived.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Bernice Johnson is a reticent person by nature and prefers to BUILD a company behind the scenes given the opportunity. Ms. Johnson has been involved in real estate in various property sectors for almost 20 years. She has played a key role in numerous real estate acquisitions and dispositions, property management, and oversight of construction projects totaling in the multi-millions. Ms. Johnson has a real estate license in two states and an insurance license for life, property and casualty. She has served as a COO to a financial advisory firm and has an extensive history of supporting small businesses. Ms. Johnson has dedicated herself to tackling problems with transformative solutions. She has held a variety of positions in marketing, sales, procurement, public safety, risk mitigation, business development, operations, compliance, and social media,
Ms. Johnson currently works in the construction industry for a general contractor and specialty trades such as HVAC, Plumbing, and Electric. Depending on the project her role can vary from being a construction manager to a project manager, expediter, or estimator. Ms. Johnson serves at Tisdale Legal Group, PLLC which is a real estate and labor & employment law firm. She serves as a VP for a national & international engineering firm, a Director of Business Development for Eazy Do It, Inc., which is the number 1 turnkey opportunity zone fund development company in the nation, and as an advisor to a couple of nonprofits. All while being an advocate for her son with autism.
“We need to develop courage, and we need to develop it in small ways first….. You develop a little courage, so that if you decide, “I will not stay in rooms where women are belittled; I will not stay in company where races, no matter who they are, are belittled; I will not take it; I will not sit around and accept dehumanising other human beings: – if you decide to do that in small ways, and you continue to do it – finally you realize you’ve got so much courage. Imagine it – you’ve got so much courage that people want to be around you. They get a feeling that they will be protected in your company.” – Maya Angelou
GWENDOLYN “GWEN” SAMUEL
Ms. Gwen Samuel is a mom, education and economic freedom activist, and a community relations consultant with a national reach. Ms. Samuel has founded three Connecticut community-based organizations on her decades-long advocacy to help GROW communities and has championed two historical parent empowerment bills that became law in Connecticut.
Ms. Samuel has presented workshops at various educational conferences and colleges throughout the country, including the U.S. Department of Education; as well as testifying before Congress at the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education. The hearing examined state and local efforts to increase parental engagement and educational opportunities. In recognition of her work, Parenting Magazine selected Ms. Samuel as one of fifty-one moms, representing their state, at the inaugural Mom Congress on Education and Learning in D.C. She was featured in Parade Magazine, Mother’s Day edition, “Moms We Love: Four Women Doing Amazing Work to Help Others.” Also, Ms. Samuel was featured in the book about public education entitled “Waiting for Superman” and was a panelist for NBC’s Education Nation.
Ms. Samuel launched an “Urban Experience in Family and Community Engagement (F.A.C.E.)—helping Teachers Transition into Diverse Classrooms and Community” workshop series. This parent-led “Urban Experience in Family and Community Engagement Workshop Series” provides educators, administrators, and lead school support staff with solution-oriented strategies critically needed to build sustainable relationships with parents, families, and communities who are marginalized within the educational system.
Ms. Samuel participated in the Denver Colorado Leadership Program of the Rockies (LPR) with a focus area on training emerging leaders in America’s founding principles while teaching and fine-tuning the leadership skills necessary to impact public policy. In addition, she co-founded the Connecticut Charter Oak Leadership Program which focuses on teaching and fine-tuning the leadership skills necessary to impact public policy.
Her golden rule for parenting: “Taking responsibility for our children’s K12 academic journey is something we must do as parents, not something that is done for us – but with us.” – Gwen Samuel, Founder of the Connecticut Parents Union
Ms. Robin N. Barnes is the Principal Associate Broker/Owner/CEO of Latitude Commercial & Development Company, Latitude OZ Consulting & Private Equity & Latitude Foundation. In addition to being a full-service Commercial Broker, she is also the new 4th member and Fund Advisor-Manager of Novogradac’s Top 10 all female Opportunity Fund, Restore Build Grow Opportunity Zone Fund (RBGOz.Fund). Robin has a Bachelor’s Science Degree from the University Of Michigan and also has a Master’s Degree in Global Marketing from University of Phoenix.
As a native of Flint, Michigan, Robin understands the challenges faced by communities that lack simple everyday necessities like affordable housing, access to quality food, education, and job stability. Through her love for real estate development and urban planning, she became COZA-Certified in Opportunity Zones, an IRS policy educational program, in which she constellates government entities and Qualified Investors via Capital Gains to fight lack across the country using the Opportunity Zones Policy Platform.
Robin’s prestigious national policy affiliations and service are second to none. She recently spoke this year on a panel at Yale University with her mentor & CEO of Eazy OZ Opportunity Funds, David Sillaman. She currently is an Ambassador for Project 21 with the National Center for Public Policy Research-DC, an Advisor for the Black Conservative Federation, a member of the Heritage Foundation and the Frederick Douglass Foundation. Robin continues to collab and assist local and national developers and projects within her wonderful city of Detroit, Michigan and throughout the State of Michigan. On the community level she works with local policy seminars like the Detroit Economic Club, MEDC and MSHDA along with several successful State and Federal candidates’ campaigns.
Robin has logged multiple tv appearances on Newsmax, WXYZ Local Channel 7 and several radio & national podcast shows.
Currently she travels to US States and Municipalities educating and consulting Governors, Mayors, developers, and qualified investors about the necessity of affordable housing and workforce development and how the American Dream can be achieved for everyone.
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