Home Wisconsin Wisconsin’s 48 Most Influential Black Leaders, Part 5

Wisconsin’s 48 Most Influential Black Leaders, Part 5


This is the fifth of a five-part series. Part One is here , Part Two is here, Part Three is here and Part Four is here. Members of The Fam got this list last night — you can join now at Madison365.org/TheFam!

Fiesha Lynn Bell is associate director of major gifts at Greater Milwaukee Foundation, the first to hold that position.  Through her work in managing strategic initiatives within the Foundation’s comprehensive campaign, she not only seeks to grow assets but bring people closer to ultimately achieve an inclusive and equitable Milwaukee region. Fiesha Lynn is originally from Indianapolis, earning a bachelor’s degree in Business and Cross Linguistics from Indiana University. She received her Certification for Leadership Training from the African American Leadership Program, an alumnus of the Forward48 Civic Leadership Program, and 2021 Milwaukee Business Journal 40 Under 40 recipient.

Dr. Shon F. Barnes was named Madison Police Department’s Chief of Police in February of 2021. Chief Barnes is a nationally recognized leader in crime reduction and community-police relations. He was previously the Director of Training and Professional Development for the Civilian Office of Police Accountability in Chicago, Illinois. Chief Barnes was the Deputy Chief of Police in Salisbury, North Carolina (2017-2020) and a Captain with the Greensboro Police Department (NC) where he began his career as a patrol officer in the fall of 2000. Chief Barnes was honored as a National Institute of Justice, LEADS Scholar, for using innovative technology to reduce crime and is a council member on the National Police Foundation’s Council on Policing Reforms and Race. The council is a nonpartisan initiative which uses research and evidence to consider and offer recommendations to resolve some of the most pressing issues regarding police reform. Throughout his career Chief Barnes has implemented Neighborhood Oriented Policing which focuses on smaller police beat response, police neighborhood ownership, and community engagement at levels within the organization. Chief Barnes attended Elizabeth City State University (Elizabeth City, North Carolina) where he received a B.A. Degree in History/Pre-Law, and the University of Cincinnati (Cincinnati, Ohio) where he received a master’s degree in Criminal Justice. He has earned a Ph.D. in Leadership Studies from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (Greensboro, North Carolina).

Jacquelyn L. Boggess, J.D., is executive director of the Center for Family Policy and Practice, where she has worked since its inception in 1995. She is also a member of the Nina Collective Consulting Cooperative, offering racial equity consulting to businesses and organizations. Her work as a policy analyst involves the investigation of the welfare system, the family law courts, and the child support system. Her particular interest lies in the interrelations among these systems, and how the social welfare policy and practice that result from this relationship affect low-income fathers, mothers, and children. Additionally, Ms. Boggess has concentrated on the question of the impact of government initiated “family formation” and father involvement policy on the safety and well-being of women and children. Ms. Boggess has a particular interest in the impact of non-resident father involvement on mothers and children. Her work in this regard has resulted in connections and collaborations with domestic violence organizations and progressive advocacy groups working on poverty reduction, violence prevention, and economic justice for parents and children. Ms. Boggess is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School.

Dr. Elton J. Crim, Jr. is a clinical professor of higher education in the Department of Educational Leadership at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a member of the Madison College District Board since July 2017. Crim resides in Fitchburg. He has served on many university committees and is currently an advisor for the Black Graduate and Professional Student Association, the Returning Adult Student Award Committee, and the Department of Education Leadership and Policy Program Review Committee. Crim earned a doctorate in higher education and policy from Pennsylvania State University, a master of science in public service management from DePaul University, and a bachelor of science in biology from DePaul.

Danielle Bly is vice president of supplier diversity at WEC Energy Group, where she is responsible for fostering corporate relationships with suppliers and contractors, area businesses, and local government. In addition to this Danielle works in the community facilitating proactive, mutually-beneficial relationships with business advocacy groups and women- and minority-owned and – operated businesses. Prior to this she was director of credit and collections where she was responsible for the overall strategy and operations of credit and collections functions for WEC Energy Group which included remittance processing, revenue protection, field services, and low income/medical condition. Danielle has been with We Energies/WEC Energy Group for 20 years and has held a variety of positions in customer service, human resources, supply chain, and wholesale energy and fuels. The positions she has held have included management trainee, training and development consultant, senior settlement analyst, commodity portfolio manager, and manager of customer care centers. She serves on the boards of directors of the Milwaukee Urban League, the Wisconsin Energy Workforce Consortium, and Black Arts MKE and on the advisory council for Milwaukee Film-Black Lens. In 2014, Danielle was acknowledged as a Woman of InfluenceCommunity Supporter by the Milwaukee Business Journal and in  February 2020 was honored with the Bridge BuildHer award from The PowHer Network. A native of Milwaukee, Danielle received a B.B.A. with emphasis in human resources from the University of WisconsinWhitewater.

Bobbie Kelsey is Commissioner of Academics and Athletics at Milwaukee Public Schools, a role she has held for two years. She was previously an assistant coach with the LA Sparks in the WNBA and head coach of the Wisconsin Badgers women’s basketball team. During her basketball playing career, Kelsey’s Stanford Cardinal squad captured the 1992 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship. A two-time co-captain at Stanford, she played in 105 games – earning 15 starts – despite bookending her college career with devastating ACL injuries. Kelsey was named the team’s Most Inspirational Player in 1992 and 1996, and captured the Most Improved Player award in 1993. Following her playing days, Kelsey immediately launched her coaching career, and worked as an assistant coach from 1996-2011 for Boise State, Vanderbilt, Florida, Evansville, Western Carolina, Virginia Tech, and her alma mater Stanford before taking the helm at Wisconsin, where she spent five seasons. 

Jenise Terrell is vice president of programs at Public Allies, Inc, in Miwaukee, where she has worked for more than 24 years, first as director of resource development and later as senior director of strategy and development before being promoted to VP in 2016. She has played a central role in developing two groundbreaking national programs with funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service’s (CNCS’) VISTA Program: DREAMCorps, the first national service program to welcome DREAMers (undocumented young adults with deferred immigration status), and a collaborative, multi-city venture with the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance that will build career and education pathways for Men of Color. In both cases, Jenise’s expertise and vision have enabled Public Allies to quickly execute critical national partnerships and to move stakeholders from concept to product to upcoming program launch. Jenise is a native Milwaukeean, proud Public Allies alumna, and a working mother of two beautiful children. She regularly volunteers grant-writing support to small Milwaukee community-based organizations. Jenise holds a Bachelor’s degree in business administration from Marquette University, and has published urban history research on Milwaukee’s African American community. 

Dr. Tremayne Clardy is Superintendent of Schools for the Verona Area School District. Dr. Clardy comes to VASD with 22 years of experience in K-12 education. Leading up to his previous stint overseeing the operation of 32 elementary schools in the Madison Metropolitan School District, he served at varying levels of school administration and teaching. Dr. Clardy received his Ed.D. and MA from Aurora University and his MS and BS in Education from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

Dr. David Pate is an associate professor and chair of the social work department at UW-Milwaukee. He is an expert on low income African-American men, fatherhood, and child support. Dr. Pate studies how black men are affected by the social welfare system and the challenges that impede their ability to attain economic security. His research projects involve the use of qualitative research methods to examine life course events of African-American men and boys. He earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Detroit in 1980, a master’s degree from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a doctoral degree in social welfare from UW-Madison in 2003.

Donnel Thompson is director of national accounts at Direct Supply’s Skilled Nursing Corporate Division. Based in Milwaukee, Donnel leads the company’s efforts to maintain and expand relationships with large, multi-location customers in the senior living industry. Donnel recruits, develops and leads a team of top National Account Managers and Corporate Account Managers. He got into the sales business after three seasons in the NFL – one with the Indianapolis Colts and two with the Pittsburgh Steelers – and four years as a Badger with the University of Wisconsin, where he earned a degree in 2000.

Who did we miss? Send us your suggestions for next year’s list at [email protected]!