Signed in as:
Signed in as:
David G. Wilkins, Esq. retired from The Dow Chemical Company in March, 2014, after twenty-five years as a lawyer and human resource leader. In his last role for Dow, Wilkins served as an Associate General Counsel and as the company’s Director of Ethics and Compliance. Previous roles included Vice President and General Counsel of the Union Carbide Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dow, Director of Diversity for Dow, Division Counsel for Dow’s North American Operations, Assistant General Counsel and Assistant Secretary for Dow Agrosciences, and a variety of other legal and human resource roles across Dow’s U.S. Operations.
Wilkins also served as Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer for the American Red Cross from 2003 to 2005. Following his retirement from Dow, he served as Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer at SNC-Lavalin Group, Inc., in Montreal Canada, from April, 2014 until November, 2015.
Wilkins joined Dow in 1987 after ten years of private law practice in Chicago with the firm of Strauss, Sulzer, Shopiro and Wilkins. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, Magna Cum Laude, from Illinois Wesleyan University and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois School of Law. He attended the Babson College Executive Education program in 1991. He served on the Board of Trustees of Illinois Wesleyan University until January, 2018, and is a member of the Bar of the United States Supreme Court and an Emeritus member of the Michigan State Bar Association.
Wilkins and his wife, Lois Bright Wilkins, have four adult children and one granddaughter. David and Lois reside in Sarasota, Florida, where they both are active members of ASALH (Association for the Study of African-American Life and History) and Wilkins volunteers at the African-American Cultural Resource Center, located at the North Sarasota Library.
Harold D. Young has over thirty years of experience representing persons in legal matters,
including wills and estates, probate, family law, real estate, torts, elder law
government, and housing. Harold is admitted to practice in all courts in Maryland and the United States District Court.
Harold was legal advisor and advocate for a Baltimore City Public Housing community that found itself amid a multi-million-dollar super-block transit-oriented development.
While at the U.S. Department of housing and Urban Development (HUD) for thirty-one years, Harold was responsible for the delivery of national programs of the HUD. He was the single point of contact for all the Department’s efforts in the state of Maryland and led a staff of highly trained and qualified specialists and made them available to communities, non-profit organizations, businesses, government officials and citizens for consultation in areas as diverse as rural development, Brownfields, outreach, and community planning.
Harold advised Secretaries of HUD on specific housing and community development needs, convened community leaders, housing professionals, non-profit organizations, and elected officials to address important housing and community development issues. He was HUD’s spokesperson in Maryland for housing policy related to public and assisted housing, fair housing, and community-based initiatives.
Negotiated with the city of Baltimore and residents a fair and acceptable approach to valuing property in Baltimore’s Wagner’s Point and Fairfield communities whose resident’s exposure to emissions from chemical plants, required 100 families to be permanently relocated from their homes. Oversaw the use of HUD appropriated funds that led to the satisfactorily relocation of all families and affected businesses.
Harold has had extensive speaking engagements before local and national public housing resident boards, assisted housing organizations, and housing and community development professionals.
A graduate of the University of Baltimore School of Law and a member of the Maryland State Bar Association and received a Master of Arts in Urban Planning and Policy Analysis from Morgan State University. Harold also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Virginia State University.
Harold has served on boards of the Project 180 Sarasota, Inc., National Minority Health Association, Focus on Recovery, First Light Recovery Program, the Baltimore Marketing Association Baltimore, the Baltimore Regional Housing Partnership, and Penn North Plaza Senior Housing.
Harold is married to Carolyn Syphax-Young. They have two adult children and four grandchildren.
Harold D. Young
Rita B. Smith, has been a Realtor since 2000 with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, where she was ranked in top 30% worldwide. Her tagline is “Leading The Way Home.” She is a native of Manatee County. She attended schools in Manatee County, holding an AA, AS and Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of South Florida in Interdisciplinary Social Science. She also studied graduate courses in Educational Leadership at University of Florida in Gainesville. Prior to becoming a Realtor, she worked over 23 years in the public sector.
Professional affiliations include serving on the Housing Opportunity Committee and has served on the Diversity Committee of the National Association of Realtors; served on the Board of Directors of the Realtors Association of Sarasota and Manatee; served on the Board of Directors for Florida Realtors Association; Graduate of Florida Realtors Leadership Academy; Graduate of Leadership Manatee.
Rita is passionate about her community and it shows in her daily community service. Rita spends countless hours volunteering in her community in numerous capacities and has received numerous awards and accolades. Some of which include the Community Service Award from the Realtors Association for her tireless community work; recipient of the Realtist of the Year Award from the National Association of Real Estate Brokers; recipient of the Mover and Shaker of the Year Award from Manasota Black Chamber of Commerce; recipient of the Rookie of the Year Award from Donate Life Florida (organ donations), a cause she is very passionate about; recipient of the Greater Good Award from Biz941 in Community Service; finalist of the Manatee County Chamber Champion Award.
Community affiliations include serving as Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness; served on the Board of Directors for Bradenton Kiwanis, served on the Executive Committee for the Florida State NAACP Conference; served on the Manatee Boys and Girls Club Corporate Board, serve on Executive Committee of the Manatee NAACP Branch; serve on the Board of Directors of Eternity Temple Washington Park CDC; past Board Chairperson of the Manatee Community Action Agency, founding member of the United Way Women’s Leadership Initiative, lifelong member of the Mt. Carmel MB Church. She has been a Senior Correspondent with Tempo News for the past 24 years.
Travels abroad include trips to Dubai, Europe, London, Paris, Hawaii, Jamaica, Mexico, Belize, Honduras and others.
Designations include GRI (Graduate Realtor Institute); CIPS (Certified International Property Specialist); TRC (Transactional Realtor Certification); AHWD (At Home With Diversity Designation); RSPS (Resort and Second Home Specialist), SRES (Seniors Real Estate Specialists), and SSRS (Short Sale Residential Specialist).
Rita is the 7th child of the late Rev. Moses and Rosalee Newsome. She has three children, 11 grands and 1 great grand.
Rita B. Smith
Originally from New York, Ms. Toler holds an MBA and BBA in Accounting from Adelphi University and a Continuing Education Diploma in Human Resource Management from New York University. She worked in the corporate world in Manhattan, New York for 15 years with various companies as an auditor in various financial-related areas, and in human resource management.
Upon relocating to Florida in 2002, Ms. Toler began her Florida career in real estate sales and community management. After working in community management as a portfolio manager for a couple of years, she started her own association management company in 2006, providing financial, administrative, and maintenance services to community associations. With a successful 12-year expansion period, she sold the company in 2018 to another association management company. After working as the Chief Financial Officer for that management company, she left to open an accounting and bookkeeping company at the end of 2019 to use her 3O+ years of experience in the financial field.
Ms. Toler is a Community Association Management and Real Estate Sales license holder. She is a member of various organizations such as Community Association Institute (West Coast Chapter), Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority (Financial Secretary), Ivy Foundation (Treasurer), Literacy Council of Sarasota (Treasurer), Manasota ASALH (Treasurer), Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance (Member), New York University Alumni Club, and Adelphi University Alumni Club.
Ms. Toler has one adult son.
Edna Sherrell is an educator at Booker High School, teaching American Government, Multicultural Studies and Reading to grades 10-12. She also serves as BHS media liaison, and advisor to the Key Club and freshman class.
Ms. Sherrell’s community involvement includes ASALH, the Westcoast Black Theater Troupe’s community advisory board and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Ms. Sherrell was selected by the Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation as a recipient of the inaugural TIME Fellowship.
A native of Louisville, Kentucky, David M. Harralson, Ph.D. retired from Utica College, Syracuse University, in 2003 after thirty-four years of service. His last role was Director of the Libraries and Information Services. Previous roles included Dean of the Humanities faculty, professor of English Renaissance Literature, and Coordinator of Asian faculty exchanges. He also conducted the January London Theater Tour for twenty-five years. He taught at Xiamen University, one of China’s Key Universities, and later conducted tours of China.
In the library world, Harralson was president of the Central New York Library Resources Council and served on the boards of the New York State Library Association, a collaborative of New York State’s academic, public, and special libraries, and NYLINK, a resource-sharing consortium of 300 libraries.
Harralson was an officer of Literacy Volunteers of New York State, an adult literacy organization that tutored adults in adult basic literacy and English as a second language. He served on the boards of the Utica Broadway Theater League (president), Sculpture Space (offering national and international sculptors working space, honorariums, and lodging), and the Girl Scouts.
After moving to Sarasota in 2003, Harralson served as a grant evaluator for the Arts and Cultural Alliance. He has volunteered at Mote Marine Laboratory for over fifteen years. He also worked actively in Sarasota Sister Cities as a board member and officer, a group that creates and sponsors educational, business, and tourist exchanges with some ten cities around the world.
Harralson and his wife, Chloe Ellen Harralson, have two adult daughters, three grandchildren, and one great grandchild who live in New York State. They were the first husband/wife members of Utica’s Rotary International after women were admitted to Rotary. They were avid scuba divers and have supported Diving with a Purpose, an organization which provides diving skills and equipment to minority youth. Harralson is also member of ASALH, volunteers at the African American Cultural Resource Center, and serves on the board of the Friends of the Betty J. Johnson North Sarasota Library.
--“And gladlie wold he [Dave] lerne and gladlie teache” The clerk from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales
Felecia is the daughter of Willie and Yvonne Jett. Born in Brookhaven, MS where she resided until graduation from Brookhaven High School, Class of 77.
She is a graduate of Northwestern University, Evanston, IL achieving a B.S. in Industrial Engineering, and a B.S. in Urban and Regional Planning in 1981. She achieved her MBA from Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL in 1997 and her Doctor of Management degree from University of Phoenix in 2010.
Felecia retired from Tropicana Products, Inc. after 38 years in Corporate America. She began her career with Personal Products Company (Johnson & Johnson, Inc.) in 1981 where she worked as an Industrial Engineer, Project Manager, and entered production management. She moved to Mead Johnson Nutritionals, Inc. (Bristol-Myers Squibb, Inc.) in Evansville, IN in 1986, followed by Nutrilite, Inc. (Amway Corporation) in Buena Park, CA in 1999. She moved to Bradenton in 2007 to begin what turned out to be 11.5 years with Tropicana Products, Inc. (PepsiCo, Inc.) working as a Manager in Packaging, Logistics and various other assignment and projects.
Felecia has always been involved in church and community service during her career – from singing in community choirs and leadership teams to serving as a mentor in various groups and sitting on various Boards such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Inc., and Leadership Evansville. She also has acted and modeled.
Currently, Felecia continues to be involved in the community. She is a lifetime and active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. where she currently serves as Treasurer, Co-Chair of the Social Action, and participates on the Membership Committee. She is also a Board Member of the League of Women Voters – Manatee County where she serves as Membership Co-Chair and active with Voter Services, Social Issues, and Education Committees. She also serves on the League of Women Voters Florida Board as Membership Chair, and Co-Chair of Voter Services. She serves on the Board of Trustees at Wiley College – Home of the Great Debaters, Marshall, TX and is a Guardian ad Litem in Manatee County. In addition, she also attends Bayside Community Church and is a member the Association of the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), Leadership Manatee (2014 graduate), and a life-time member of the NAACP and serves on the NAACP Education Committee.
Felecia is an avid reader and is a member of several book clubs and serves as Treasurer with the Butterflies and Dreams Book Club. In addition, she is an avid runner and has finished 12 marathons, numerous half-marathons, 10Ks, and 5Ks. She has achieved a certificate as Integrative Nutrition Coach and is certified through the Dave Ramsey program as a Financial Coach.
Felecia has three furry kids, Beau, Bleu, and Missy Gurl and is an advocate for assisting in Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) programs for cats. Felecia’s other hobbies include cross-stitch, genealogical research, and occasional travel.
“Live life to the fullest and bring others with you.”
Felecia Diane Jett
Originally from Rockville, Maryland and after a long career in the Federal Government retired to the Bradenton/Sarasota, Florida area in 2001.
Served as Staff Assistant in the Executive Office of the President during the Kennedy Administration. Director of Single Family Programs in the Washington, D.C. Field Office of the Department of Housing & Urban Development. A graduate of the Executive Program in Public Affairs, University of Maryland.
A long-time member of the Jazz Club of Sarasota, an ardent supporter of the West Coast Black Theater Troupe, and a member of Manasota ASALH’s Scholarship Committee for the past four years. A Jazz enthusiast and look forward to continuing to travel. I have a son and am a proud grandmother of a granddaughter living in Massachusetts.
A native of Lawrence, Massachusetts, Robert J. Catineau and his wife and partner Carole Jackson Catineau have lived in Florida for 20 years after retirement from county and federal governments in the Washington, D.C area. Bob and Carole have a son and granddaughter living in Massachusetts. Mr. Catineau graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a Bachelor of Science degree in Landscape Architecture and received the degree Master of Public Administration from Northeastern University in Boston, Ma. Bob has a long and varied career in park design, urban and regional planning and economic development. During his career, he designed inner block parks in Harlem Park, Baltimore, Maryland, developed plans for the reconstruction of areas damaged during the 1968 rebellion in Washington, D.C., acted as Regional Policy Officer for the Metropolitan Area Planning Council in Boston, Ma., and as founding partner of Connery Associates, consulting planners, wrote zoning by-laws and fair housing plans for a number of Massachusetts cities and towns. Living in Florida, Bob enjoys playing golf with the “Bobby Jones group” and being a keen member of ASALH.
Robert J. Catineau
Herman retired from the U.S. Army as a Lt. Colonel after 23 years of military service. He traveled extensively in Latin America and Southeast Asia. During his military career, he served 16 years in Special Forces as a Team commander and Deputy Director, Training & Development of the Army Infantry Center/School. His training and development responsibilities impacted over 1.3 million military personnel. Following his retirement from the military, Herman embarked on a second career as a successful insurance sales executive with Lincoln National Life.
Herman earned a B. S. in Biology from Florida A & M University in Tallahassee, Florida. He also received an M. ED in Education Administration from Georgia State University and completed additional graduate studies at Purdue University.
Herman was inducted into Gamma Xi Boule of Sarasota, FL, on December 6, 2002. He has served as Sire Archon, and Chair of the Program Committee, Chair of the Membership Council, and is currently Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Gamma Xi Boulé Foundation.
Herman is a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and Past President of the Alpha Phi Alpha Foundation of Manasota, Inc., and a Life Member of the Retired Officers Assn., American Legion, Rotary International, and VFW.
Herman and his wife, Geneth, have four sons, a daughter, sixteen grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren. They reside in Lakewood Ranch, Florida.
Herman “Bo” Bell
Linda was born in New York City and is the middle child of 7 children. She retired to Venice FL in December 2018 from Lincoln NE. She has a B.S. in Biology from City College of New York (1970) and a J.D. from the University of Nebraska (UNL) College of Law (1990).
Linda started her post B.S. career as a high school teacher at Lincoln High School where she taught Biology, General Science and Physics. Upon graduation for the College of Law Linda clerked for U.S. Federal Judge Warren K. Urbom. Linda retired from her position as the Director of the UNL Office of Equity, Access & Diversity Programs before moving to Florida.
She was involved in many professional and community activities while living in Lincoln NE. Here in Florida, she has been involved with the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) and currently serves as the co-chair of their education committee. In addition, she is working with the Manasota Remembers Essay Contest program coordinated by the Equal Justice Initiative to bring a monument to Sarasota/Manatee County to honor our past community members that were lynched.
Linda fills her heart with joy when she has time to work on her many quilting projects or when she has her nose stuck in a book.
Gene Crump is a retired Attorney. Gene was licensed to practice law for 45 years in Lincoln, Nebraska. Gene grew up in the Bronx, New York.
Gene and his wife, Linda moved to Sarasota, Florida in 2018 and now live in Venice Florida. Gene is involved in Manasota ASALH, Boxser Diversity Initiative, Sarasota Democratic Party, Manasota Remembers, and Empowering Our Differences to name some of the activities he is involved with.
Gene is a proud husband, a devoted father of two married children, and a beloved grandfather to three grandsons.
Walls should not divide us, but with education, compassion, empathy, and a heartfelt thirst for the Golden Rule, we can all grow taller than the wall and be the change we want to see.
Born in New Orleans, LA and raised in Queens, NY, I left in my late teens to become an Air Force Lieutenant’s wife subsequently residing in several states across the country. During this time, I was able to finish college, earning my BS and Master’s degree in Education and Behavioral Sciences. While living in Los Angeles, CA, I secured a teaching position and served on the L A School Board Advisory Council. Finally moving back to New York with my two daughters, I worked for New York Blood Services as a donor recruiter, becoming educated on the importance of donating blood and plasma and continuing my volunteer work with the South Shore Child Guidance Center in Long Island. Years following, I returned to teaching and mentoring teachers until my husband, Wallace and I decided to move to Sarasota, FL. in 1993 where I continued teaching for the Sarasota County School Board for 15 years. Now that I am fully retired and a widow, I have become involved with a variety of community organizations, volunteering with the Literacy Council, Boys and Girls After School Tutoring Program, Masala Giving Circle and The Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Manasota ASALH, Inc. In my free time, I have been able to pursue my love of playing tennis, Mah Jongg, traveling the world, and best of all, visiting my family in Atlanta.
Mr. Toliver has served as the Vice Chair of the Manasota ASALH Arts and Culture Committee from its inception. He has served as the co-chair of the last ASALH Black Muse Art Exhibition in 2019 at Art Center Sarasota prior to the exhibition coming under the umbrella of the Suncoast Black Arts Collaborative (SBAC). Mr. Toliver is a past Board Member of the Suncoast Black Arts Collaborative and is currently a volunteer with the SBAC. Mr. Toliver also served as the Committee Chair of the 2022 SBAC “Visions in Black” Art Exhibition at Arts Center Sarasota.
Paul has also served from its 2019 beginning on Sarasota’s “Visions of the Black experience” Film Festival Committee and is currently a judge for the 2023 International “Embracing Our Differences” Art Competition. He is a passionate advocate for all of the arts of the African Diaspora.
Dr. Mike Weddle is the Director of Wellness at the Multicultural Health Institute in Sarasota Florida. He has an MD from the University of Miami and a PhD in engineering from the University of Michigan. He completed his medical residency at the George Washington and Georgetown University Hospitals in Washington DC.
Before moving to Florida in 2021, Mike was an addiction physician and Medical Director of Catholic Charities of Orange, Sullivan and Ulster Counties in New York. He had a 30-year career in Emergency Medicine and was Director of Emergency Medicine at the Conemaugh Health System campus in Meyersdale PA. Mike has also worked as a public health planner and as a training supervisor for the Center for Mind Body Medicine.
Mike was the US Medical Director of the Herbert Valentine Medical Clinic in Chimaltenango, Guatemala, between 1999 and 2012, Group Leader of the Adult Self-Care Group at the North Branch Correctional Institute, Maryland Department of Prisons, between 2015 and 2019 and the Education Chair of the Allegany County MD Branch 7007 of the NAACP between 2016 and April 2019.
Mike now lives in Venice Florida with his wife Sandi Rowland. They have two sons, both great young men, Christopher age 29 and Stephen age 30.
Born in Cleveland, OH. A resident of Lakewood Ranch, FL since 2015; married to Phyllis White; Three Children, Four Grandchildren; Member, Jones United Methodist Church, San Francisco, CA.
B.A., Columbia College, New York, NY.
J.D., Columbia University School of Law, New York, NY.
Associate Attorney, Public Law Department, law firm of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey, Cleveland, OH(now Squire, Patton Boggs), 1973-78; Professor of Law, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH,1978-2004; Dean & Professor of Law, Golden Gate University School of Law, San Francisco, CA, 2004-2009; Dean & Professor of Law, Texas Wesleyan University School of Law, Fort Worth, TX, 2009-2014; Professor of Law, Texas A & M University School of Law, Fort Worth, TX, 2014-2015.
Foreign Service Selection Board, United States Department of State; Grand Jury Foreman, Cuyahoga County, OH; Acting Judge, Shaker Heights, Ohio Municipal Court; Board of Trustees, Law School Admission Council (LSAC); Accreditation Committee, American Bar Association; President, Cleveland State University Black Faculty and Staff Organization; Vice President, Cleveland State University Faculty Senate; Ohio State Bar Association Real Property Specialty Board; Board of Visitors, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law; President, Norman S. Minor Bar Association, Cleveland, Ohio
“Distinguished Columbian in Teaching” Award, Columbia University School of Law; “Frederic White Scholarship Award”, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law; Hall of Fame Inductee, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law; Stapleton Award for Faculty Excellence, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law; Legal Trailblazer Award, Norman S. Minor Bar Association; Legal Pioneer Award, Wiley Manual Law Foundation.
Three law review articles; four books: Tenure Blues, Law School Follies, Your Neighbors Did What?, and Ohio Landlord Tenant Law (published annually since 1995).
First African American in the state of California to serve as dean of an American Bar Association Accredited law school. Member, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Archon, Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Inc. (Boulé).
Manasota ASALH is the largest branch in the national ASALH network, and one of the most active. Join our branch and get involved!
Membership benefits include a digital subscription to The Journal of African American History and The Black History Bulletin.