Black Power 2017: Wisconsin’s 35 Most Influential Black Leaders, Part 2


    This is the second of a five-part series. Read Part One here.

    Randy Bryant is president and CEO of Ten Chimneys, the historic home of Broadway legends Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontaine in Genesee Depot, just outside Waukesha. Bryant leads the Foundation’s philanthropic efforts and works to create opportunities to expand the historic significance of Ten Chimneys, a world-class house museum and national resource for theatre and arts education. It is a National Historic Landmark, “Save America’s Treasures” project site, and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Randy previously served as President of the Board of Directors and Interim Executive Director for the Milwaukee County Historical Society, where he oversaw the completion of a $9 million dollar restoration and capital campaign, along with facilitating its designation as a Smithsonian affiliate. He also held a variety of senior level positions in Brazil, Spain, and England for Motorola.

    Ajamou Butler, affectionately known as Brother Heal the Hood, is a staple in the Milwaukee community as the founder of Heal the Hood, a community organization. Each summer, through events, mentorship and public gatherings, Heal the Hood encourages neighbors to come together and promote peace and safety in Milwaukee. Butler hosts block parties, youth events, and community dialogues. Butler is also an educator, business owner and spoken word artist using his artistry to propel his mission. Butler grew up in several underserved neighborhoods in Milwaukee and considers himself to be from every corner of the city.

    Angela Davis, development director for Madison Community Foundation, came to Madison just for a visit and “fell in love with the place,” she told Madison365 in October. After several years with the Wisconsin Historical Foundation, she joined Madison Community Foundation, where she leads fundraising efforts for Madison’s leading charitable fund management organization. She serves as MCF’s staff liaison to A Fund For Women, which works for the economic and social empowerment of women and girls. She also works on a daily basis with communities across South Central Wisconsin, helping those small-town charitable foundations that are doing the work in their communities. Angela plays an important role in literally millions of charitable dollars improving the lives of women, children, families and communities.

    Dr. Jerlando Jackson is one of the nation’s foremost authorities on education and educational policy, especially as relates to diversity and inclusion in education. He is the founder, director and chief research scientist at the Wisconsin Equity and Inclusion Laboratory, where he manages the Innovation Incubator, National Study of Intercollegiate Athletics and the International Colloquium on Black Males in Education. Prior to establishing the Wei LAB in 2010, he served as founding Executive Director for the Center for African American Research and Policy (CAARP), which is a nonpartisan, independent, nonprofit research organization. CAARP was founded in 2005 as part of his faculty work and professional service obligations, and was spun-out in 2007 as an independent nonprofit. He’s had more than 100 articles published in high-impact academic journals. His recent awards include the 2014 Brown Award for Excellence in Higher Education and Community Service (Charles Hamilton Houston Institute, 2012 Outstanding Young Professional (Iowa State University), 2012 Carlos J. Vallejo Memorial Award for Exemplary Scholarship (American Educational Research Association), and 2011 Distinguished Scholar Award (Committee on Scholars of Color, American Educational Research Association).

    Karen Nelson is a recent addition to the Fox Valley’s growing African American community, but is already making waves. She holds an Executive Masters in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and was named the City of Appleton’s Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator earlier this year. Previously, Nelson owned her own diversity consulting firm, NelStar Enterprises, which is still operating in Milwaukee and Dalton, Georgia. As a champion for change, Nelson continues to bring diversity action plans to large entities while producing effective results.

    Derek Tyus has a portfolio worth $2 billion — billion with a b — under this management as vice president and chief investment officer for West Bend Mutual. With an accounting degree from Marquette and an MBA from the University of Michigan, Derek worked his way up at Northwestern Mutual before joining West Bend. Derek also serves on the Board of Directors of the Zoological Society of Milwaukee, which works for the preservation of the environment and endangered species and supports the Milwaukee County Zoo.

    Amber Walker joined The Capital Times in 2016 after getting her start in journalism as a technical and editorial intern at Madison365. With the Capital Times, she covers K-12 Education writing very powerful feature stories and bringing an important and much-needed person-of-color perspective to Madison’s mainstream media. Amber is in touch with the pulse of the Madison community like few other journalists in the city. Before turning to journalism, Walker taught high school English in Miami and worked as a project manager at Epic Systems in Verona.

    Watch for Part Three tomorrow!