At every stage of my life, I have had the good fortune of being surrounded by gracious, accomplished women who meant the world to me. I was raised in was raised in New York City by two great parents and in Savannah, Georgia by two doting maternal grandparents. I was also influenced by my paternal grandparents who lived in Denmark, South Carolina. From them I gained a deep respect for the men and women who shaped my world.
As I matured, many of the women whose mannerisms and accomplishments I held in high regard became my personal heroines. I recognized their accomplishments could meet – and in most cases exceed – those of many “celebrated” community leaders. As an only child I loved watching people as I was always curious and longed to know more about who they were, why they did what they did and what would come next. Even today, I can still hear my maternal grandmother say, “Baby, what what others say and do. Also, watch how they behave so you can form a real opinion.”
I knew early on that my ability to make keen observations would be my portal to the world – my key to who I would emulate and what I would accomplish. Armed with these words of encouragement, I navigated the complex world of Catholic school from 1st grade through college.
My professional career has been centered in the non-profit world. I have 20+ years experience working with some of New York City’s premier organizations as a special event fundraiser; advancing the work of the American Folk Art Museum, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Central Park Conservancy and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. In these roles I have produced events designed to attract prospects and engage donors, create strategic alliances with corporations and stakeholders and further position each organization in within the philanthropic community.
Today, through the creation of my new company Event Strategies For Success, I focus my strengths on working with organization leaders, Presidents and CEOs who are committed to adding fundraising events to their portfolio, growing an existing event to expand their reach or hosting their first 6 or 7-figure signature event. I believe events, in addition to raising much-needed funds, provide organizations with an opportunity to build and leverage relationships and share their philanthropy story.
I believe in The Power of Philanthropy and the importance of building strong communities. Equally important, I have had a front-row seat as the women in my life gave back to others in various ways. For many years, I have provided leadership support for some very worthy causes both located in Brooklyn: the Community Leadership Council at Kingsbrook Medical Center and Crown Heights Service Center. Kingsbrook Medical Center is recognized for its role in creating One Brooklyn Health – a new health care system that will include an extensive primary and ambulatory care network and programs to address social determinants of health. Crown Heights Service Center (CHSC) has been a leading out-of-school provide for Brooklyn residents for more than 40 years. CHSC is also the home of the Crown Heights Institute for Leadership Development (CHILD); a newly created initiative to address the social-academic needs of a growing community.
Last, but certainly not least, I am a member of Brooklyn Metropolis Lions Club, which operations under the auspices of Lions Clubs International, and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, having pledged during my senior year in college.
I have been a Brooklyn resident for 30 years. My journey began during my last two years of college when my mother decided to give the borough a try! We were warmly received by her personal friends and nursing colleagues. Our introduction to Brooklyn was encouraging and filled with excitement.
During college, I also met Stan E. Walker and we have been married for 31 years. He is a career educator and principal with the NYC Department of Education for 32 years. We live in Brooklyn and would not take anything for the experience.