Board of Trustees
JEROME C. HARRIS, JR., CHAIRMAN
Jerry is semi -retired and the Managing Director of the Harris Organization LLC. Mr. Harris is Vice Chairman of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice. He is the Co- founder and Chairman Emeritus of the New Jersey Black Issues Convention (NJBIC), a strategic alliance of organizations promoting the “Unity, Survival and Progress of Black People”. Jerry holds a MS in Urban Planning and Public Policy Analysis from Rutgers University. He has had over 45 years of professional experience in government, organization development, community and economic development, public policy analysis and advocacy. He has taught at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Mr. Harris is the former: Chief Operating Office of the Shiloh Community Development Corporation and Executive Director of Shiloh CDC Freedom School; Director of the Department of Housing and Economic Development for the City of Trenton, NJ; Executive Director of the Urban and Public Policy Institute at Rowan University of New Jersey; Assistant Secretary of State and Assistant State Treasurer for the State of New Jersey. He has also served as the Essex County NJ Administrator, City Administrator for the City of Plainfield NJ and the Vice President for Government Affairs for the Metro Newark Chamber of Commerce. He has held adjunct faculty positions in the Political Science Departments at Rutgers University and Rowan University teaching courses in government and public administration. He currently serves on the Curriculum Committee of the John Watson School of Public Service of the Thomas Edison State University. Since moving to Charleston in 2017 he has become active as a member of First Baptist Church of James Island, the Gamma Lambda Chapter of the Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity and a Charter Member of the International African American Museum. Jerry is married to Dr. Gwendolyn Long Harris and is the proud father of two sons Rahsaan Harris PhD and Jamal Harris (MD) and grandfather of Langton, Avery and Ellison.
CLARA GREGORY, VICE PRESIDENT
Clara Gregory served as Senior Warden and continues to serve as Chairperson of the Outreach Commission of Trinity Cathedral. She is also the Jubilee Officer for the Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey. In these capacities, she has and continues to broaden associations with local healthcare facilities, governments, colleges, and not-for-profit organizations; which have and will continue to mobilize a variety of services in the areas of healthcare, job development and social services to those most in need in Trenton and beyond. Through her dedication to food and nutrition ministries, Clara co-founded “The Healthier Heart Farmers’ Market at Trinity Cathedral” and the Trinity Cathedral Walking Trail.
She has been recognized for her service and contributions to the community through numerous awards, including a State of New Jersey Joint Legislative Community Champion “Shero” Award, a Molino Medicaid Community Champion Award and Phi Delta Kappa, Inc – Pi Chapter “2017 Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Recognition Award” in the area of service to the Community.
Clara is a founding board member of Urban Promise Trenton (UPT). UPT provides youth with a safe and structured environment, which affords them the opportunity to grow academically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually. She is currently a board member of the following organizations: Anti-Poverty Network of NJ, NJ Council of Churches, and Salvation and Social Justice. She served on the St. Francis Medical Center – Institutional Review Board (IRB) – representing the interests of the community for fourteen years. In 2013, Clara retired from the New Jersey Department of Health, Division of HIV/STD/TD services after 26 years of service. Her responsibilities included, Coordinator of Grants Management and Special Projects. These special projects included a statewide faith-based initiative and Project IMPACT. Project IMPACT (Intensive Mobilization to Promote AIDS Awareness through Community-based Technologies) is a city-by- city community mobilization initiative designed to galvanize and support African Americans leaders to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS in cities with the highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS. Clara holds a Master of Public Administration Degree from Rutgers University, and a Certificate in Public Management/Policy from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
FRANCES HARWELL, SECRETARY
Frances Harwell retired as an educator after 34 years. Ms. Harwell held positions in teaching, curriculum, building, district and Central Administration levels spanning from Pre-Kindergarten to 12th grade. Some of her areas of responsibilities also required her to serve as Affirmative Action Officer, supervise school nurses, assist collegiate and post graduate students. Ms. Harwell is a mother, member of the Deptford Township Foundation for Educational Excellence (DTFFEE), and a Lifetime member of the Deptford Township High School Alumni Association in Deptford, New Jersey. Along with academic honors, she has also received numerous inter-scholastic and collegiate athletic awards and held records. She still holds the Girl’s Deptford HS shot put record, to date. In the past, Ms. Harwell was recognized as being the “Most Versatile” in her class. In 2015, she began the Frances “Frannie” Harwell Most Versatile Award which is given to a male and female graduating senior at Deptford High School. Ms. Harwell coached and mentored local, young student athletes. After coaching, she began traveling (as far as Hawaii) and officiating youth to master athletes, including Olympians, as a New Jersey and United States Track & Field Official. In 2002, she became the first female and first African American woman USA Track & Field Referee in the Mid-Atlantic. Ms. Harwell has been officiating at the Penn Relays for 19 years. She is currently Ethics Committee Chair for the Southern Chapter of the New Jersey Track & Field Officials of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA). Other honors and awards received include a Martin Luther King Award; The Elliott G. Heard, Jr. Upstream Navigator Award; Educational Foundation Grant; Who’s Who in Religion; Teacher-Of-The-Year in two school districts in two different states; Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges; Black History Essay Contest Winner; Alpha Kappa Alpha Award; Leadership Award; Black belt in Tang Soo Doo; grants; Black Alumni and minority recognition awards.
Other firsts attributed to Ms. Harwell include being the first principal of Fellowship Christian Academy in Dallas, TX (A ministry of Dr. Tony Evans at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship Church). She is the first and only District Elementary Vice-Principal in Deptford Township Schools, to date. The first African American principal of a school for students with special needs. The first person assigned the title of Supervisor of Special Areas and Special Programs. She assisted in opening the first Spartan School of Business. She was instrumental in Deptford Twp. School District being recognized by the NAMM Foundation (National Association of Music Merchants) and the Governor of New Jersey as “Best Communities for Music Education”. Ms. Harwell’s mission is to assist in developing individuals socially, emotionally, academically, physically, spiritually and economically. She is devoted to her family, church, business and the community. She is in the process of expanding her mentorship in the areas of education; entrepreneurship; economic development; the arts; diversity; equity and social justice. The associations and mentorship received from these interactions reinforce her values and beliefs. Other affiliations and involvements include Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and Impact 100 South Jersey (Collective Philanthropy Powered by Women). This spirit of assisting those in need has expanded today through being a Silver Life Member, At Large Board Member, and Co-Economic Development Chair of the Gloucester County NAACP.
WILLIE MOORER, CHAPLAIN
Willie Moorer was born in Orangeburg, SC, and raised in Philadelphia, PA. In 1978 he was accepted into the Local 19 Sheet Metal trade union apprenticeship, from which he graduated in 1982. He retired in 2010. After retirement, he started a home repair business (Moorer Home Maintenance). Willie is married to the Reverend Anita Moorer. He is the proud father of Allison Ellis and Bradley Moorer, and the beaming grandfather of four granddaughters and three grandsons. Willie has been a member of the African Methodist Episcopal Church since his baptism as an infant. He worships at Bethel AME Church in Woodbury, NJ.
Loretta Winters is an excellent advocate for those who don’t have a voice. She is the President of the New Jersey Gloucester County NAACP and the former 2nd Vice President for the NAACP NJ State Conference. She is a Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors for South Jersey Federal Credit Union and is employed by the Deptford Township School District as the District’s Registrar Publication Writer, and former Homeless Liaison. She is known for her positive approach of building bridges and tearing down walls that separate communities. A consummate volunteer in service to others, Winters provides servant leadership to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race and ethnic-based discrimination. Loretta is a former Advisory Board Member on the State Human Relations Council, a graduate of the FBI Citizens Academy, and former Councilwoman and Vice President of Council for Monroe Township (Williamstown), NJ. Loretta has assisted many churches and organizations throughout her life and has been honored by having an 8 ½ acre park named after her “Winters’ Cove”. In addition, Congressman Robert Andrews named December 14th, Loretta Winters’ Daythroughout the 1st Congressional District as an honor to her for her commitment to community. Senator Menendez honored her by having an American Flag flown over the Capital Building in Washington DC in her honor for her community leadership during Black history Month, 2019. Loretta has also served on Governor’s Murphy’s Transition Team and was appointed as a Presidential Elector in the 2016 Presidential elections. She has been named by the Gloucester County Times as one of the ten most Influential Minority Leaders; was given the South Jersey Courier Post Newspaper’s Champion of Diversity Award; KYW Philly 3 name her one of the ten “Game Changers” for 2014 Black History Month; in 2015, the Philadelphia Eagles bestowed her with the Eagles Community Quarterback Award; and South Jersey Magazine named her 2015 Superwoman of the year. She has been honored by the Alice Paul Institute and has been named one of the 25 most influential African American Leaders in the state of New Jersey for 3 years in a row 2016-2018 by South Jersey Journal. She gives God all the glory because without him there would be no us.At the local level, her efforts have resulted in the formation of a diversity recruitment initiative made up of the county prosecutor, chiefs of police and diverse community groups looking to have police departments reflect the populations served. She is also one of the founding members of the Gloucester County’s School Superintendent’s Equity committee that aims to build a culturally competence learning environment. She organizes a series of repeated fundraising events to provide scholarships, laptop computers to students in need, and organizes efforts in the fight for voting rights, an end to gun violence, women’s equality, and more diversity in state government. She is married to Sonny Winters and shares a blended family of 7 children and 14 grandchildren.
Kimberly Wellons has worked at ExxonMobil Research & Engineering Company for more than 34 years and is currently an Assistant to the Vice President of Fuels, Process and Optimization Technology in Houston, Texas.
TRACEY D. SYPHAX
Tracey Syphax is the President and CEO of Capitol City Contracting, Inc., a construction company specializing in roofing, siding, windows, and doors and, The Phax Group, LLC. is a real estate development company. Tracey Syphax also serves as Co-Chair for Trenton New Jersey's Mayor's Office of Employment and Training (MOET), and Co-Chair of Union Baptist Church Trustee Ministry.
Mr. Syphax is a history making path breaking figure in the African American community with an incomparable record of accomplishment both personally, professionally and philanthropically. Once identified in his youth as inmate #226926 today he is known as the first African American to receive the Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the Princeton Chamber of Commerce.
Mr. Syphax tirelessly continues to give back with passion and vigor to his New Jersey community. His mission: to encourage the next generation of entrepreneurs. Embracing entrepreneurialism on many levels Tracey is one of the founding board members of the highly successful Minding Our Business (MOB). Founded in 1997 MOB is a community outreach program of Rider University College of Business Administration. The purpose of MOB is to advance the personal and vocational development of Trenton youth through entrepreneurship education and mentoring. Since inception, MOB has trained and mentored more than 1300 Trenton middle school students, ages 11-14, in starting and running their own businesses. The skills needed to run a business successfully are also important life skills.
Tracey Syphax is a board member of the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey (AACCNJ). He is also a former founding Chair of the Board for Fathers & Men United for a Better Trenton. In his autobiography, From the Block to the Boardroom, Tracey shares with author Detric “Qadiriyyah” Goss his powerfully uplifting story of the success that comes from faith, love and the second chances given to those who were formerly incarcerated.
Debra Jennings is the executive co-director of the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network, a non-profit organization committed to working with parents and professionals to attain the educational rights of all children, thereby enabling them to become fully participating and contributing members of our communities and society. A graduate of Northwestern University, Ms. Jennings is completing further graduate study as the Kellogg Foundation Nonprofit Management Opportunity Fellow of the Seton Hall University Center for Public Service master’s in public administration program.
Ms. Jennings has more than 15 years’ experience working with schools, parents, and communities in school improvement and other initiatives benefiting children and families. Ms. Jennings chaired Governor’s Family Involvement Committee in New Jersey and participates on the NJ Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect, NJ Teacher Quality Enhancement Consortium Advisory Board, the National Center on Special Education Monitoring & Accountability Advisory Board, the NJ Association of Partners in Education Board, the NJ State Improvement Grant Management Team, the Child Behavioral Health/Children’s System of Care Implementation Advisory Committee, the Board of the NJ Parents’ Caucus, and the Improving Minority Achievement Network Initiative. She is the founder of Concerned African American Parents and has served as a School Board member. Jennings directs SPAN’s START (Statewide Technical Assistance Resources Team), funded by the NJ Department of Education in part through NJ’s State Improvement which provides technical assistance and support to parents in local communities to develop and/or strengthen parent support groups.
At SPAN, she has developed numerous informational materials, including Parent Involvement, Choice and Notice under NCLB and Other Federal Laws; Parent’s Guide to No Child Left Behind; the Family Guide to Selecting Supplemental Service Providers (2003). She has also developed numerous trainings, including No Child Left Behind & IDEA: Tools for Student Achievement; Choosing and Using Supplemental Service Providers; Parent-Professional Partnership in Developing your School’s Parent Involvement Policy; The Parent’s Role in Teaching and Learning; and Using Data to Make Decisions for School Improvement.
In addition to organizing people and projects, her professional background also includes economic development, real estate finance and construction.
Hosea Johnson is the Founder and President of Johnson Associates Systems Inc. Johnson Associates Systems is an Orthotic and Prosthetic Company that provides support to our nations’ military veterans within the Department of Veterans Affairs. Mr. Johnson is also the owner of WSI - We Simplify the Internet, a professional and innovative information technology company dedicated to providing quality products and services in internet marketing, systems design and development, systems engineering, network and data communications and project management. Mr. Johnson graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Morehead State University, Morehead, Kentucky. Mr. Johnson began employment with International Business Machines as a computer programmer and worked as a system engineer.
Johnson Associates Systems and the Department of Veterans Affairs has developed a partnership for the recruitment and provision of professional staff (certified Orthotists and Prosthetists) to operate the Automated Fabrication of Mobility Aids. This initiative allows the VA to; facilitate accessibility; improve the timeliness of service; reduce travel and production time; decrease cost; and serve to facilitate revenue generation for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Hosea Johnson is actively involved in the community of Southern New Jersey. Mr. Johnson serves and has participated in the following organizations:
• New Jersey State Employment and Training Commission-Governance Committee
• 2002 Garden State Employment and Training Public Service Award
• Gloucester County Workforce Investment Board, Chairman- Executive Committee, Chairman- Coordination Committee, Chairman
• Washington Township Board of Economic Development, Chairman
• Washington Township Planning Board- Development Review Committee- Redevelopment Committee, Chairman
• Gloucester County Special Task Force for Employment Opportunities at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard
• Gloucester County One Easy Link Executive Committee
• Gloucester County College Advisory Committee
• Camden County College Advisory Committee
• Freeholder; Task Force for Evaluation of Education Academy Status
• Courier-Post Summit on the Future of South Jersey, Member
• Gloucester County Minority Coalition, Chairman
• St. Matthews Baptist Church, Trustee
• Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity
Mr. Johnson is a consummate professional committed to providing quality service and performance in all his endeavors. He is dedicated to the continued development of his community and businesses.