Board of Directors
Warrick Dunn, Founder
Warrick Dunn was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on January 5, 1975. He played cornerback, running back and quarterback at Catholic (Baton Rouge, LA) High School and was heavily recruited as a high school senior before committing to Florida State University (FSU).
At FSU, Dunn was a three-time first-team All-ACC performer where he became the first back in the school's history to record three 1,000-yard rushing seasons. He finished as the Seminoles' career leader in rushing yards, gaining 3,959 to surpass Greg Allen's 3,769 (1981-84). He averaged 6.9 yards per carry as a collegian, setting a Seminole record and the top mark by a NCAA Division 1-A player (minimum 300 carries) in 50 years (Army's Glenn Davis, 8.3 average, 1943 – 46). He was also considered one of the nation's top pass-catching backs, snaring 132 career receptions for 1,314 yards and scored 47 touchdowns in four FSU seasons, 37 rushing and 10 receiving, to break Allen's previous school record of 46.
He had 21 100-yard rushing games, the most in Seminole history and as a senior earned second-team All-America accolades from Associated Press and was a first-team choice of the Football News. He was selected to the All-ACC first team for three consecutive years and was presented with the conference's Commissioner's Award.
His freshman year, he led the team with 10 touchdowns (four rushing, six receiving), a rare feat by any standard. Warrick graduated in 1997 with a bachelor's degree in Information Studies.
Warrick Dunn was originally drafted in the first round (12th pick overall) of the 1997 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In 1997 he was named NFL Rookie of the Year by Football News, Pro Football Weekly and Sports Illustrated, and designated Offensive Rookie of the Year by the Associated Press, Football Digest and College and Pro Football Newsweekly.
After playing five years with the Buccaneers he signed with the Atlanta Falcons as an unrestricted free agent on March 15, 2002. During his first season in Atlanta (2002) he produced four 100-yard rushing games after playing through a painful toe injury and hamstring problems in 2001. Dunn rushed for 5,979 yards with the Falcons, ranking third in the team's history.
In 2007, Dunn became the 22nd player in NFL history to reach 10,000 rushing yards and 4,000 yards receiving. He ranks seventh all-time in the category.
After six seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, Dunn returned to Tampa, Florida and signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on March 10, 2008 as an unrestricted free agent.
Warrick is a three-time Pro Bowl selection, having played in the 1997, 2000 and 2005 Pro Bowls.
Over the years Warrick has received numerous honors in recognition of his work on and off the field. Those honors include:
- 2011 Jefferson Awards Outstanding Athlete in Service & Philanthropy
- 009 Bart Starr Award
- 2008 World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame
- 2008 42nd annual Byron "Whizzer" White Award recipient
- 2008 JB Award through the NFL Player's Association
- 2007 Inaugural The Home Depot NFL Neighborhood MVP Award
- 2007 Florida State University Alumni Association's Circle of Gold
- 2007 American Youth Football's Giving Back Pro of the Year Award
- 2004 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year
- 2004 Jessie Tuggle Humanitarian Award
- 2002 Inducted into Florida State University's Hall of Fame
- 1997 NFL Rookie of Year
- 1997, 2000 and 2005 NFL Pro Bowl
- 2003 Atlanta Falcons' Man of the Year
- 2003 The Henry P. Iba Citizen Athlete Award
- 2003 The National Center on Black Philanthropy
- 2003 The Frank Ski Kids Foundation Athlete of the Year
- May 5, 2003 issue Sports Illustrated's 101 Most Influential Minorities in Sports
- 2003 The Boy Scouts of America; Atlanta's Peach of an Athlete Award
- 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004 Sporting News' 75 Good Guys in Sports
- Sporting News' Top 100 Most Powerful Sports Personalities
Dunn is as well known for his philanthropic endeavors as he is for his success as a professional football player. The Warrick Dunn Foundation, established in 2002, is dedicated to providing opportunities for economically disadvantaged single parents and children who have demonstrated a commitment to achieve financial independence and stability. Warrick started Homes for the Holidays, a program of the Foundation, in 1997 during his rookie year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The program is a tribute to his mother, Betty Smothers, a Baton Rouge police officer, who as a single-mother of six, worked tirelessly to achieve the American dream of owning her own home. While working a second job as a security guard, she was killed in the line of duty and was never able to realize that dream.
Through Homes for the Holidays, Warrick has been able to honor her memory. In 2007 Homes for the Holidays expanded to include single-fathers. To date, the program has assisted 91 single parents and 246 children and dependents to achieve first-time homeownership in Tampa and Tallahassee, Florida, Atlanta, Georgia, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
For his outstanding role as a community leader, Dunn was invited in April 2005, along with Patriots LB Larry Izzo, to visit U.S. troops in Kuwait, Qatar and Iraq, and to dedicate a new USO building — The Pat Tillman Center — in Afghanistan. In 2004, he was selected by the NFL, along with Falcons LB Keith Brooking and Ravens TE Todd Heap, to travel with former-NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue to visit U.S. military troops stationed in Germany. He captured the "No. 1 Good Guy" Award from Sporting News' annual list of Good Guys in Pro Sports in June, 2005.
In 2007, Dunn, along with Andre Agassi, Muhammad Ali, Lance Armstrong, Jeff Gordon, Mia Hamm, Tony Hawk, Andrea Jaeger, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Mario Lemieux, Alonzo Mourning and Cal Ripken, Jr., founded Athletes for Hope, a non-profit organization which helps professional athletes and the community develop their passion for philanthropy.
In December, 2009, Dunn realized his long-time goal of expanding his knowledge and experience in the area of NFL team management, branding and operations by being unanimously approved by NFL owners to become a limited partner of the Atlanta Falcons. The purchase of his minority ownership position in the club was completed in March 2010.
Buy Warrick's autobiography, Running for My Life,here,
Visit Warrick Dunn's official website
Andre Kirwan is currently a Commercial Banking Officer for The Bank of Tampa where he provides large commercial real estate business loans for corporations and business owners. Andre currently serves as the President-Elect for the Board of Directors for Warrick Dunn Charities where he will contribute positive energy as well as immense philanthropic knowledge.
Andre is a proud graduate of Stanford University where he received a bachelor's of science degree in Biology. While in school, he was a standout athlete, playing wide receiver from 1992-1996. Andre was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers and later played eight years in the Canadian Football League for both the Toronto Argonauts and the Ottawa Renegades. One of Andre's proudest accomplishments during his football career was winning the Grey Cup in 1997 with the Toronto Argonauts. After retirement in 2004, Andre pursed his dream in the financial sector.
Andre enjoys assisting business professionals in maximizing the potential of their organization and believes that his mission is to make a positive impact on their business and personal lives. As a Commercial Banking Officer, Andre prides himself on providing the highest level of customer service, trust, and helping clients achieve their goals. Andre was awarded the "Community Involvement Award" by the Bank of Tampa for his involvement and positive endeavors in the Tampa community.
Born in Winnipeg Manitoba, Canada but raised in Florida, Andre currently resides in Tampa, Florida. In addition to working for the Bank of Tampa and representing Warrick Dunn Charities, Andre is also a youth pastor at Morning Star Church. He Founded "No Strings Attached," homeless ministry in 2007 with aspirations of aiding the homeless in his community. Andre also mentors young men in Tampa as a wide receiver coach at Berkeley Prep High School. He will receive his Executive MBA degree at the University of South Florida in September 2013.
LaMonte Jones gets things done and drives desired results—through collaboration, partnerships, and relationships—as a 15 year employee/executive within the Pepsi Beverages Company. With an enthusiastic and genuinely friendly attitude, LaMonte radiates a sincere passion for delivering value and benefits to his customers and network of colleagues.
An Accountant & Marketer by vocation, LaMonte earned his B.S. & MBA in Business Administration at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville. After graduating, he spent 11 years at Household Finance Corporation (HFC) in various management roles leading up to the Assistant Vice President, Assistant to the President; where he led several key projects across the U.S. and Sydney, Australia.
After being aggressively recruited by the Pepsi Cola Company to help launch a centralized “Inside Sales Team”, to support its U.S. based On-Premise business, he then made the decision to change industries and make a larger, positive impact on more people. Upon arrival, LaMonte quickly began making a difference by developing best-in-class processes for improved customer service and growing volume, revenue and profits for the Pepsi Cola Company. His first promotion came four months into the job as leader of the sales department where he managed a team of over 300 managers and front-line employees. After three consecutive years of +3% volume & revenue growth, LaMonte was tapped on the shoulders again to start-up the marketing department for his business segment. As Director of Marketing, LaMonte’s contributions centered on creating brand awareness, trial and repeat business. But more importantly, he focused on building long-lasting, loyal relationships within the on-premise business, on developing programs to deepen market penetration, and on coordinating teams of sales representatives, supply chain experts, strategic business partners, and field partners to deliver programs, services, and tailored customer solutions.
Promoted again in 2006, LaMonte spent one year at Pepsi’s corporate headquarter in Somers, NY, where he was Director of Multicultural Marketing, for its U.S. operations before moving to Atlanta, GA, as Director of Multicultural Marketing for the Southeast Business Unit. In 2008, faced with a negative trend in its Georgia Foodservice business, LaMonte was requested to lead this division back to a profitable state, where in 2009, the Georgia Foodservice team led the Southeast Business Unit in total foodservice performance. With the 2010 merger of PepsiCo & Pepsi Bottling Group, LaMonte now leads the Recreation & Retail teams for Georgia, Tennessee, and North & South Carolina.
Throughout it all, LaMonte has repeatedly proved his ability to lead through diverse and challenging situations. Trained by industry expert Michael Hammer in re-engineering, he is an excellent agent of change and has a documented track record of accomplishments that include the turnaround of struggling operations; start-up and management of best-in-class facilities; creation and launch of new and improved sales, marketing, and operational programs; and growth and expansion of mature, established businesses. Among many internal accolades, LaMonte’s recent recognition includes 2008, Who’s Who in Black Atlanta, 2009 Atlanta’s 100 Most Influential Men, and 2010 Top 40 Emerging Young Leaders.
Today, LaMonte resides in Marietta, Georgia, with his wife Sophia and sons Jejuan and Julian. He is an active member of Word of Faith Family Cathedral Church where Bishop Dale C. Bronner is the presiding minister.
Theophilus Sai, M.D. is currently Medical Director for Senior Products in North and Central Florida for Humana, Inc. He is also an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of South Florida. Prior to his current position at Humana, he was Medical Director at Tampa Family Health Centers, a group of Federally Qualified Community Health Centers that serve the Tampa metropolitan area. There, he maintained an Internal Medicine practice and provided clinical leadership to more than twenty medical providers.
In 2004, Theophilus helped found and served as Medical Director of Centro de Salud Esperanza, a federally funded health center in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago, where he practiced and provided instruction to residents and medical students. He served as an attending physician at Chicago-based St. Anthony Hospital, Rush University Medical Center and John H. Stroger Hospital of Cook County, where he gave weekly lectures to Internal Medicine residents. Theophilus also served as an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Rush University.
Theophilus received his Bachelors degree in General Science from Andrei Grechko Pre-University Institute, located on the Isle of Youth in Cuba. In 1996, he received a degree in Medicine from the Instituto Superior de Ciencia Medicas de la Habana in Cuba, graduating with honors. He then spent the next four years practicing Obstetrics and Gynecology at Princess Margaret Hospital in Nassau, in the Bahamas. In 2000, Theophilus moved to the United Sates and completed his residency in Internal Medicine at John H. Stroger Hospital of Cook County and Rush University Medical Center of Chicago. After completing his residency, Theophilus served as chief medical resident in Internal Medicine at John H. Stroger Hospital of Cook County and Rush University Medical Center, where he assumed administrative and teaching responsibilities.
Theophilus has made numerous presentations and written articles about urban public health and other medical issues. He was named the John H. Stroger Hospital of Cook County Primary Care Residency Teacher of the Year in 2004 and in 2006. He has also been featured on the Oprah Winfrey television program and has made several appearances as a medical expert on local media in the Chicago and Tampa Bay metropolitan areas.
Theophilus is fluent in Spanish and in the African dialects of Ga and Twi. He lives in Tampa, Florida with his wife and three daughters.
For the past decade, Constance Bessler has served as the Chief Executive Officer at Greystone Healthcare Management Corporation where she has demonstrated the ability to blend business, clinical and financial initiatives into cohesive, driven, and focused operations.
Constance’s expertise in areas such as executive leadership and supervision, team building and training, business operations management and cost containment, has led her to become a recognized leader in operations management of health care businesses. Her other skills include, budget and sales forecasting, strategic planning/corporate vision, acquisitions and divestitures, program leadership, business development, P&L Management, new product/service development, brand and design. Constance has engineered a company growth to $200M per annum revenue.
At the University of Wyoming, Constance studied Communications at the undergraduate level and received her Masters in Speech Language Pathology. From there she went on to become the Director of Outpatient Services at Health South Rehabilitation Hospital. Some of her key contributions include an exceeded budgeted revenue and gross margin within three months of operation, brought outpatient revenue up to 17% of total revenue during the first year of operation, managed a growth in outpatient visits from 200 to 1200 in nine months, expanded provision of services to include four new comprehensive programs, and recruited, oriented, trained, and supervised 12 FTE.
Constance has also served as the Director of Rehabilitation Services at CMS Therapies where she was able to maintain 85% productivity levels when the rehab department grew from 6 to 18 FTE. Constance moved to Tampa, Florida where she became the Regional Director of Marketing of Arbor Healthcare and later became the Vice President of Sales and Marketing of Mariner Health Group. At Mariner, Constance directed and managed operational aspects of 65 long-term care and assisted living facilities in four states, Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado, and Arizona. She also developed a Sales and Marketing Force of 79 FTE, grew overall census by 125 ADC, resulting in $12M growth in revenue and grew HMO and Medicare Revenue to 31% of total revenue.
Currently, Constance is a member of the American Health Care Association, Florida Multi-facility Task Force, Florida Health Care Association, and serves as a board member for LTC-100.
Dwayne Holt is the Regional Office Operations Manager for CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) in the Southeast Region. He is responsible for managing all aspects of the business operations in the Southeast Region with primary responsibilities including Personnel Management, Finance and Accounting, Information Technologies, Facilities Management, Marketing and Human Resources.
Before joining CBRE, Mr. Holt was Director of Operations with Teradata Corporation in San Diego, California, where he developed global service support strategies and delivered over $1M in operating improvements in his first year with the firm. Mr. Holt specialized in the areas of operations management, business integration, profit optimization and customer service management.
Mr. Holt started his career as a Financial Analyst with NCR Corporation, and advanced on to numerous management roles in sales support, operations and finance. He has more than 20 years of management experience with a proven track record for consistently delivering revenue and profit growth and building high performance teams.
He has earned numerous awards in areas such as sales leadership, business management and diversity management. Some of Mr. Holt's distinctions include being the recipient of the City of Atlanta Phoenix Award for community outreach, Collaboration Award, and Think Big Award. He has also served as National President for The Alliance. Mr. Holt holds a Six Sigma Green Belt Certification, and has been selected to the Board of Directors for Warrick Dunn Charities.
Mr. Holt, a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, earned a degree in Accounting from Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia.
In 2005, Dr. Jason Miller opened Miller Chiropractic & Wellness located in Saint Petersburg, Florida. Jason has been a licensed Chiropractor since 2000 and practicing since 2001.
Jason received his Bachelors of Science Degree in Biology from the University of Central Florida and his Doctor of Chiropractic from Life University, College of Chiropractic. Jason resides in Saint Petersburg, Florida, where he is involved with Optimist International. Jason has been a Board Member of the Pinellas County Chiropractic Society since 2002 and served as the President-Elect for term 2007-2008 and as President for the 2008-2009 term.
Jason is also a member of the American Society of Laser Therapy and the Florida Chiropractic Association. He has been a WDC volunteer since 2009.
David D Mobley Jr. is a partner in the public accounting firm of Mobley & Company, the firm he founded in 1995 to provide tax and financial services to individuals and closely held businesses.
Before forming his own firm, David was Controller and Treasurer for M.G. Patton Construction Company 1989-1995. Prior to that, he was a member of the accounting and audit staff of Halligan Gilbert & Company CPAs, Smith & Radigan, P.C. CPAs and Metcalf, Frix & Company, P.C. CPAs.
David is a graduate of Florida State University 1983 and a certified public accountant for the states of Georgia and Florida. He is a member of the American Institute of CPAs, Georgia Society of CPAs and the Florida Institute of CPAs.
David served on the Florida State University Alumni Association National Board of Directors as the North Georgia Vice President for term 1999-2002 and Executive Vice President 2002-2005 and Chair 2005-2006. He has also held the roles of President 2000-2002 and Treasurer of the Atlanta Seminole Club, Inc 1992-2000 and 2002-present. He currently serves as President on the Warrick Dunn Charities Board of Directors and as Treasurer of Cobb Christmas, Inc 2008-present.
Originally from Pelham, Georgia, David has resided in Atlanta since 1983 and currently attends Mount Zion United Methodist Church in East Cobb County Georgia.
Chad Strickland is the Vice President of Associate Resources for Aaron’s, Inc.
Joining Aaron’s in 2002, Chad initially served as Senior Legal Counsel, Employment. In 2006, he was promoted into the role of Vice President, Employee Relations where he was responsible for creating a new employment counseling, policy and legal function.
During that time, Aaron’s was on an aggressive growth plan and quickly on its way to becoming the market dominant specialty retailer in the industry. In 2010, Chad was selected to develop and implement a major HR transformation project for the 12,000+ associate organization, which previously had no centralized HR function.
Seeded with a foundation in employment law, Chad brings a unique perspective to the world of Human Resources and innovates against HR norms. His vision for associate purpose and engagement has become a catalyst for change within the Aaron’s organization. His determination to engage associates and his team on how their work impacts not only the organization, but the community they serve is his driving ethos. Also, his interest in technology’s influence on today’s job seekers and employees is laying the foundation for the company’s next era of talent acquisition and engagement.
Chad’s innate competitive nature has served him well professionally and personally. He once held the honor of being the youngest lawyer in Florida after passing the bar in 1999. And on the weekends you can typically find Chad pursuing his passion for cycling and competing in races.
Prior to joining Aaron’s, Chad worked for Celotex Corporation from 1998-2000 and the law firm of Masterman, Culbert and Tully from 2000-2002. A native of Tallahassee, Chad received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Florida State University, and his Juris Doctor degree from Stetson University. He is an inactive member of both the Florida and Georgia Bar Associations.
Cheryl Lomax is Senior Vice President, Global Marketing and Corporate Affairs at Bank of America.
Lomax is charged with helping to drive Bank of America’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy and delivering the full capabilities of Bank of America to individuals, companies and institutional investors in Georgia.
Prior to Bank of America, Lomax, a certified public accountant (CPA), gained the majority of her professional experience at The Coca-Cola Company serving in various leadership positions in the areas of finance, and national sales and marketing. Lomax also worked five years for Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLC as the Director of Marketing and Director of Community Affairs, Pro Bono and Diversity.
Cheryl has been recognized by the Atlanta Business Chronicle as one of Atlanta’s Top 100 Who’s Who in Banking and Finance, by the Atlanta Business League as one of Atlanta’s Top Black Women of Influence, and by the YWCA through induction into its Academy of Women of Achievers.
Currently serving on the Board of Directors of The East Lake Foundation, True Colors Theatre, Atlanta Public Golf Conservancy and Warrick Dunn Charities, Lomax also serves on the Advisory Board of The Bryan School of Business and Economics at The University of North Carolina Greensboro. Lomax, a graduate of Leadership Atlanta, is a member of Delta Sigma Theta, The Links Incorporated, and Jack & Jill of America.
Paul McRae leads an overlay team of healthcare specialists that provide technology support to AT&Ts core account teams. In his most recent role Paul was the RVP responsible for the healthcare core account team vertical in the southeast. Currently, he leads the Healthcare Emerging Technologies organization with business development responsibilities across all segments of AT&T inclusive of both public and commercial sector clients.
The primary initiative for the HET organization is to drive clinical integration and collaboration across the entire healthcare ecosystem through the use of cloud based and mobile technologies. By addressing the business needs and challenges in healthcare with technology, AT&T intends to assist in the overhaul of the Healthcare ecosystem by reducing costs, improving efficiencies and driving better patient outcomes.
Prior to joining the healthcare organization, McRae was Direct of sales for AT&T’s Navy and Marine Corp practice, where responsible for solution development efforts and oversight of tactical and strategic business revenue. Paul has over 15 years providing IT and business outsourced solutions.
Having spent a portion of his career in both Finance and IT outsourcing, Paul brings to the organization a strong background in both technology as well as business application.
He has received numerous honors during his tenure with AT&T Originally from the mid-west he spent his childhood on the west coast of Florida, and has lived/worked in many of the major metropolitan cities across the US.
Paul is a graduate of Cornell University, Ithaca, NY with a Bachelor of Science, Economics and Finance. Additional graduate studies at Univ Texas. He and his wife, have a daughter Juliet. He is also a member of Omega Psi Phi, Inc.
John Charles Thomas is the Director of Policy and Political Affairs for the Florida League of Cities. He represents the interests of over 412 municipalities. As the League's policy and political affairs director, he helps shape the League’s public policy directives at the state and national levels. He also develops and implements the League’s political agenda.
Before joining the League, he was Senior Vice President of Public Private Partnership, Inc., a government and corporate affairs consulting firm based in Tallahassee, Florida. John also served in the administration of Florida Gov. Lawton Chiles. John was the Director of Cabinet Affairs and served as the Senior Legislative Director to the Governor, where he had the responsibility of guiding the Governor's legislative agenda through the Florida Legislature.
Prior to joining the Governor's office in 1994, he was the Government Relations Director for the University of South Florida.
John was a Political Legislative Specialist for the Florida Education Association/United, now the Florida Education Association (FEA). He lobbied the Legislature for school funding and education issues. He worked in numerous political campaigns, for federal and statewide candidates.
John also spent several years in the Florida House of Representatives as a committee staff member and legislative assistant.
John is a Class IX graduate of Leadership Florida and served as the Chair of its Board of Directors. He is the former Chair of the University of South Florida (USF) National Alumni Association Board of Directors and a former member of the Board of Trustees for Florida TaxWatch. John is currently a board member of Warrick Dunn Charities. He is a life member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. He graduated from USF in 1981 with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications. He is married and is the father of four daughters.