Meet the Facilitators (Past & Present)

Ed Alston, MBA

Ed Alston is retired and spends time motivating youth of color to become financially literate by presenting his BIG FIVE OF MONEY seminar to national audiences. He is a National Financial Educators Council - Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI).

  • His professional and corporate executive experience include, CEO of union shop mechanical contracting company, telecom infrastructure consultant and trainer, broadband network executive, and Sr. VP of Computers and Networks for a Caribbean lottery company operating on 10 Caribbean islands. 

  • Has an undergrad mechanical engineering degree from Howard University and MBA from Vanderbilt’s OGSM business school.

  • Played college varsity basketball and tennis, is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., and life time member of NAACP. Before becoming a single digit handicap golfer, during 5 years as a USTA senior tennis player he was nationally ranked and won three national single championships.

  • Helps others learn to trade Options and been an investor and trader in the stock market for more than 30 years.

  • Proudly served his country as a USAF Captain receiving the Bronze Star.

Darrell R. Brown

Darrell, a native of Los Angeles, is a retired Senior Vice President for the Consumer Banking Group, leading the Greater Los Angeles Coastal Region of U.S. Bank the nations’ fifth largest commercial bank with over $361 billion in assets and 17.6 million customers. 

  • Over 37 years of extensive experience in diverse leadership and management roles within the banking world, he is an outspoken advocate for identifying new markets for individual customers with diverse financial needs.

  • Is an industry recognized personal finance expert.

  • Holds an undergraduate degree from UCLA and a Masters from the University of Minnesota.

Otho Day

Otho Day is a retired Manager with Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services

  • Earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from Tougaloo College and a Masters of Science degree in Education from Jackson State University. He also completed 2 years in American Sign Language from Marlton School.

  • Active member with Cease Fire Gang Intervention, California Youth Connection (and advocacy program for  Current and Former Foster Youth, Association of Black Social Workers, and National Association of Black Social Administrators

  • During tenure with LA County DCFS, managed several County-wide program, including:

    • Transitional Housing Program that including several programs and 10 HUD Grants.

    • Family Preservation Preservation Program ($33 million)

    • Independent Living Program ($18 million)

    • Co-developed the Veteran Intern Program (VIP) that hired and trained Veterans, Former and Current Foster Youth for employment with Los Angeles County.

Alphonso Graves

Alphonso D Graves is an Environmental Engineer for one of the largest producer of jet fuel, diesel fuel and gasoline. In his current position, he ensures that Phillips 66 remains in compliance with city, state and federal regulations, protecting air and water quality.

  • Has over 10 years’ experience working as an Environmental Engineer managing air and water programs, supervising monitoring technicians, overseeing sampling procedures and providing data reports to the governmental oversight agencies.

  • Serves as a member of the internal auditing committee where he is responsible for reviewing procedures and ensuring that each of the US refineries are in compliance with their city, state and federal rules and policies.

  • Prior to joining the environmental department, worked for over 20 years as a chemist and laboratory manager using analytical methods to evaluate soil, water and air samples.

  • Received a Bachelor of Science in Biology form Cal State University Long Beach

  • Is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

Patrick Hogg

Patrick Hogg is a Training Facilitator for The Community College Foundation (TCCF) in Los Angeles. A first-generation college graduate, Patrick has developed and facilitated programs focused on equipping high school and college age youth with the tools to successfully transition into life after graduation as well as live a life of purpose. 

  • Works with current and former foster youth and first-generation college students to ensure college and career readiness

  • Facilitates workshops from his signature program Life After Graduation to youth organizations in Los Angeles 

  • Voyage LA Magazine features Patrick Hogg in their Hidden Gem series in February 2020. 

  • Recognized by the State of California and the City of Los Angeles for developing young leaders.

  • Holds a Bachelors from degree from California State Northridge and Masters in Management from the University of Redlands

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Terrance Lark
Terrance Lark is Registered Nurse for one of the largest hospitals in the Los Angeles Metro area. He specializes and is certified in the area of Gastrointestinal Interventional procedures. Terrance also serves as a leader for research involving in improving the efficiency of his department.
  • 7+ years of nursing, supervising, and advancing in nursing skills and leadership.
  • Prior to becoming a nurse Terrance had several career paths which include film editing, professional photography, personal chauffeur/bodyguard, and home improvement sales leadership.
  • Earned a Masters Degree in Nursing Leadership and Management from Cal State University Dominguez Hills
  • Certification in Gastrointestinal Registered Nursing
  • 10+ years as a Marriage Mentor, along with his wife, for Faithful Central Bible Church
Jawell B. Samilton
Jawell Samilton is a tenured Professor of Counseling at Pierce College.
  • Assists students in planning immediate and long-range educational and career goals.

  • Conducts student orientations, career workshops, and other career related events, e.g. job-prep, resume writing, and mock interviews.

  • Teaches Personal Development/Counseling courses to include: academic, personal, or career planning and decision-making skills.

  • Coordinates the probation program for students in Extended Opportunity Program and Services (EOP&S)

  • Served as Academic Athletic Counselor and Interim Athletic Director at West Los Angeles College.

  • Taught History/Social Sciences, coached football and track & field at Inglewood High School.  Served as an Academic Counselor and assistant football coach at Grover Cleveland High School.

  • Completed his Associate degree at Los Angeles Southwest College, where he lettered in both football as well as track & field, and was also a Junior College Grid Wire All-American.

  • Earned an athletic scholarship to Arizona State University, where he completed his undergraduate degree in Interdisciplinary Studies.

  • Holds a Masters in Educational Counseling and has completed post-graduate coursework at University of California, San Diego

  • Member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

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Warren Starks

Warren Starks is an Associate Product Manager in Los-Angeles currently working at Jobar International.

  • Originally from Cleveland Ohio, Warren graduated from John Carroll University in 2018 from the Boler School of Business receiving a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing.

  • He is looking to further his career within international sectors with a focus in consumer products. His previous experience includes international brand management, e-commerce design and product procurement. 

  • Played collegiate basketball at John Carroll University

  • Assistant Basketball Coach at Cathedral High School in Los Angeles

  • CRCC Shanghai Alumnus 

  • Conducts freelance web design and e-commerce solutions

Wayne E. Bragg, CLU
​​Wayne Bragg is a retired Managing Partner of the Los Angeles General Office of the New York Life, one of the premier life insurance companies in the United States.  
  • Began career with The New York Life in 1974 as an agent. Entered management after 6 years of success in sales, working in the fields of estate planning and business continuation.  

  • The only African American Sales Manager in the company west of the Mississippi, Wayne won numerous production awards for recruiting and developing a successful sales team.  In recognition of that effort he was promoted to Senior Partner.  

  • Achieved the professional designation of Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU).  

  • Promoted to Managing Partner of the Los Angeles Office in 1994, one of the largest offices in the life insurance industry.

  • Served on the Board of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors and the General Agents And Managers Association in Los Angeles.

  • Also involved in the community as a board member of the Urban League, Arthritis Foundation of Los Angeles as well as the Salvation Army Board of Compton.  ​​

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Albert F. Council

Albert Council is the founder, CEO and former President of Council Technical Services, Inc. (CTS) a manufacturing representative company. CTS, established in 2001 and incorporated in 2003, markets and sells large industrial machinery into the oil, gas and power industries.  He has extensive international experience having worked and travelled for business in Asia, Europe, Mexico, Canada and South America.

  • Albert has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Howard University

  • Albert ran varsity track in both high school and college. Plays competitive tennis on the senior USTA tour.

  • Has coached high school basketball for 15 years, helping to develop one of the most successful high school basketball programs during that time.

  • Presently is on the Board of Directors of the Pete Brown Junior Tennis Program working with youngsters helping to direct them and earn a pathway to college.

Joseph Ellick

Joe Ellick is a native of Oakland, CA and is a Global IT Manager for Sony.  

  • Previously held various mid to senior level IT leadership roles within healthcare, higher education, silicon valley and energy industries. 

  • Has been entrepreneur with his own IT consulting firms specializing in managed services, project/program management, infrastructure and operations modeling, and risk management.    

  • Is a Life Member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., where he has been a national committee chair, held several local, regional leadership roles and has served on several non-profit boards in the SoCal region.  

  • Obtained an BBA from Sam Houston State University in Economics, MBA from the University of Redlands, is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and is currently pursuing an MS in Quantitative Economics at California Lutheran University.

Dr. Ollie B. Hadley
Ollie B. Hadley is a Professor of Management at El Camino College.  
  • Earned a Bachelor of Science in Business from the University of Southern California, an MBA in Management, and an Ed.D. in higher Education Administration from Nova University.

  • Served as the Dean of Business for eleven years at El Camino college.

  • Was President of the Management Consulting Firm of Ollie Hadley and Associates, serving clients both nationally and internationally.

  • Has over 20 years of practical experience from General Motors, where he held various management positions.

  • Author of several publications including "A Study of Leadership Syles of Administrators at the Community College Level" and "A Correlation Between Locus of Control and Learning Disabilities of Community College Students".

Larry Johnson
Larry Johnson is a commercial real estate appraiser and performs valuation analysis and consulting assignments for estate tax planning, financing, bankruptcy, ad valorem, litigation support and internal decision making. 
  • Worked in staff and management positions with “Big Four” and regional accounting firms specializing in financial reporting valuation, appraisal review, impairment testing, and purchase price allocation analysis.

  • Has worked as a fee appraiser preparing real estate valuation and consulting assignments across the U.S.

  • Holds a Certified General Appraisal license in California, Colorado, and Florida as well as a Real Estate Broker's license in California.

  • Graduated from  the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor earning a Bachelor's of Arts degree in Community and Societal Land Development with an emphasis in Real Estate Finance, Urban Planning, and Property Valuation 

  • Is an MAI Designated Member of the Appraisal Institute and is affiliated with the California Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors

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Emeka Orjiakor

 Emeka Orjiakor is an attorney for the University of Southern California.

  • Provides legal support, including contract drafting, review and negotiation, for various institutes, and centers, as well as a number of administrative departments at USC.

  • Prior to joining USC, worked for Sidley Austin LLP where he primarily represented financial institutions and investment funds in a broad range of commercial real estate transactions. In addition to working for Sidley Austin, Emeka previously worked as a Staff Attorney for the Los Angeles Center for Law & Justice and a Law Clerk in the USC Office of the General Counsel.

  • Is a co-founder of a startup technology company, launching its first mobile application in 2014.

  • Graduated with a B.A. from UC Santa Barbara with in 2005 and earned his law degree from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law in 2008.

William R. Smith

William R. Smith is a retired Human Resources Executive.

  • Received his undergraduate degree in Business Administration from North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro. Upon graduation he received a commission into the United States Air Force rising to the rank of Captain. While in the Air Force, served as a Race Relations Officer, investigating allegations of discrimination and leading groups of military and civilian personnel through Race Relations training.

  • Following his military service, embarked on a 35-year career in Human Resources management in the following capacities:

    • Training Consultant Alexander Proudfoot Inc.

    • Human Resources Manager Container Corporation of America

    • Regional Personnel Administrator General Telephone of the Southwest Dallas, TX

    • University Relations -Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

    • Human Resources Manager Reynolds Metals

    • Employee Relations Consultant to management and employees with several Fortune 500 companies including the Aerospace Corporation, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Computer Sciences Corporation, Northrop Grumman and the Raytheon Company

  • Since retiring in 2011, has had consulting assignments in banking with Union Bank and Wells Fargo

  • Has served as a community volunteer in several capacities including: Member of Greater Los Angeles Big Brother Program, Elite Athlete Coordinator for 25 years for The Los Angeles Marathon, Goodwill Ambassador representing the LA Marathon at 1992 London Marathon, Volunteer Disaster Action Team Los Angeles Red Cross

Robert Taylor, CPA

Robert Taylor, CPA, is a financial consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Los Angeles, California.

  • Provides accounting and financial advice for potential acquisitions / divestitures. Has worked on business deals ranging from $10 million to over $5 billion.

  • A Boston, MA native, Robert graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Trinity College in Hartford, CT and later attended Northeastern University in Boston, MA in order to obtain his CPA accreditation.

  • Prior to joining PwC, worked in a variety of roles, including serving as Treasurer for a successful campaign for the current Boston City Councilmen.

  • Played professional basketball in Europe and was a team scout for the National Basketball Association’s Orlando Magic where he worked closely with players and coaches on team strategy and initiatives.

Henry Williams

Henry Williams is a Senior Manager at Google.

  • Provides advertising consultation for google partners, guidance on investment and ensures that their advertising strategy and media plans are sound

  • Prior to joining Google, Henry worked as a Digital Analyst in the                E commerce division at Disney

  • Graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from UC Santa Barbara.

  • Previously volunteered and led the teen program at the Watts Boys and Girls Club. Mentored teen boys who were currently or had previously been in the foster care system.