YWCA of Greater Charleston elects its Board of Directors from a diverse community that is representative of its membership. All Board members are eligible to serve for two 3-year terms. Elections are held annually, and the YWCA is always open to qualified individuals who are interested in serving the mission of eliminating racism and empowering women. For more information about becoming a Board member, please contact LaVanda Brown.
YWCA of Greater Charleston announces incoming board - click here to read the announcement on lowcountrybizSC.com
YWCA Greater Charleston Board of Directors
Elonda Fair O’Neill, Esquire, Board Chair
O’Neill & Fair, LLC
YWCA Board Member since 2010
Our incoming board director, Elonda Fair O’Neill, Esquire, obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in early childhood education from the University of South Carolina in 1992 and her Doctorate of Jurisprudence from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1997. She has been a partner in the law firm of O’Neill & Fair, LLC in Charleston since 2004, where her primary area of practice is family law including but not limited to dissolution of marriage, child custody, adoption, child support, visitation, DSS abuse and neglect, juvenile criminal defense and probate. She was admitted to the South Carolina Bar in 1998 and the State Bar of California in 2000. Prior to entering private practice, she volunteered at the Domestic Violence Clinic in Santa Monica, California. Upon returning to her hometown of Charleston, she was employed as the judicial law clerk to the Honorable Daniel E. Martin, Sr., and then employed by the Ninth Judicial Circuit Solicitor’s Office as an assistant solicitor in the Family Court Division prosecuting juvenile crimes.
In addition to the state courts of South Carolina and California, Attorney O’Neill is admitted to practice before the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, US District Court for the District of South Carolina, the US District Court-Central District of California and the United States Supreme Court. She is also a member of the Charleston County Bar Association, the Charleston County Family Court Bar, the American Bar Association, the South Carolina Women Lawyers Association, the South Carolina Black Lawyers Association (2nd Secretary 2009-2010) and the Thurgood Marshall Legal Society (Vice-President 2005-2007). She has held membership in several civic organizations including League of Women Voters, NAACP, Jack & Jill of America, Incorporated (editor/historian), Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and Charleston (SC) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated.
Elonda O’Neill was elected to the YWCA of Greater Charleston Board of Directors in 2010.
She has served on the Building Committee (chair) where she was instrumental in leading the association in the sale of the property for $8.25 million. Shel also chaired the Bylaws Committee and drafted the association bylaws, which were adopted in February 2014. She recently chaired the Governance Committee and served on the Personnel and the MLK Professional Business Breakfast Committees.
She is married to her law partner, Anthony B. O’Neill, Sr. They have two children, Brianna and Anthony, Jr. and a beagle named Thurgood “Goody” O’Neill.
Danielle Hardee-Richardson, Vice-Chair
Trident Technical College
Advanced Standing Coordinator
YWCA Board Member since 2010
Our board vice chair, Charleston native Danielle Hardee-Richardson, is passionate about improving her community in any way she can. Danielle is currently an advanced standing coordinator and adjunct faculty at Trident Technical College and an adjunct faculty member at Southern Wesleyan University as well; she uses these positions to promote educational opportunities for non-traditional students who may believe that an education is not a viable option. Additionally, she is in the final stages of completing her Doctorate of Education degree, specializing in higher education leadership. In addition to the board of directors of the YWCA of Greater Charleston, Danielle is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated; National Epicureans—Charleston chapter; the Trident United Way’s African-American Leadership Council; Charity Missionary Baptist Church; the American Association for Women in Community College-SC Chapter; and SC Technical Educators Association.
Danielle also serves on the YWCA of Greater Charleston Organizational Leadership Committee and the MLK-Riley Award Committee.
Belita M. Green, Board Treasurer
Heritage Trust Federal Credit Union
Consumer Loan Underwriter
YWCA Board Member since 2014
Our board treasurer, Belita M. Green, is a consumer loan underwriter with Heritage Trust Federal Credit Union. She has more than 20 years of corporate banking experience, which includes real estate lending, personal loans, dealer services, human resources, credit risk, and risk management.
Belita is a graduate of Charleston Southern University who holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.
She is currently a member of the Charleston Chapter of Jack and Jill of America and the Charleston (SC) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated.
Belita and her husband Leonard, owner of ABC Medical, LLC and Angels Among Us, LLC are the proud parents of two daughters, Kirsten and Kayla.
Kendra Snipe, Board Secretary
Ken Snipe Enterprise, LLC
YWCA Board Member since 2015
Our board secretary, Kendra Snipe, is a native of Johns Island. She attended the public schools on Johns Island and graduated from St. Johns High School in 2003.
Kendra went on to attend Columbia College in Columbia, SC where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology with minors in communications and Spanish. She went on to Atlanta for graduate studies in community counseling at Georgia School of Professional Psychology, receiving a Masters of Arts degree and becoming a national certified counselor. After relocating to Charleston in August 2012, Kendra obtained degrees in human resources development and management & leadership from Webster University.
In 2014 Kendra officially launched her company, Ken Snipe Enterprises, LLC, which houses her two businesses: (1) Organizational Development by Design and (2) MaggiE & Me.
With a love for people and a desire to help others reach their maximum potential, Kendra entered the first African-American sorority in the history of the United States, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, where she carries out community service initiatives near and far.
Kendra has served on the YWCA of Greater Charleston Governance Committee and the Organizational Leadership Committee as its chair.
Katie Catalon, DPC
National Beauty Culturists’ League, Inc.
YWCA Board Member since 2010
A board member since 2010, Katie B. Catalan, DPC is a retired cosmetology teacher who taught for 30 enjoyable years with the Charleston County School District. She is the fourteenth president of the National Beauty Culturists’ League Incorporated, located in Washington, DC. She served many years as the first vice president of the South Carolina State Cosmetologists Association (SCSCA) and is a a member of the Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary of Our Lady of Guadalupe Court 110 of Charleston, SC. She has been the recipient of the NAACP Sheroos Award, and also a recipient of the TWIN Women Award from the YWCA of Greater Charleston. She is a lifetime member of Gamma XI Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Theta Nu Sigma National Sorority and of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW). She is also a member of the North Area Justice Ministry (CAJM), the Southern Poverty Law Center, the National Action Network NAN), and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History.
Katie enjoys being a member of the Charleston County Women Democrats as well as a recipient of many awards for community service. A member of Saint John Catholic Church in North Charleston, she is a widow, the mother of two daughters, Regenia and Sharmina (deceased), the grandmother of six, and the great grandmother of three.
Katie is the author of four published books. CROSS TOWN ROUTE 1995, DOWN HOME 1999, THREE 2008, and JOHN ‘L’ THE TALL MAN 2014. Most of all, she is delighted to serve as president of the National Beauty Culturists’ League Incorporated, and is most appreciative of all courtesies extended by members from 2004 to the present.
In humility and constant prayer, she states that her life will always be to serve and assist others in ways that will always be pleasing to Jesus Christ. She always places emphasis on the fact that she signs all correspondence with the words “Love & Peace.”
Charleston Development Academy
YWCA Board Member since 2016
A board member since 2016, Ardmease Cunningham is a parent advocate and outreach professional with Charleston Development Academy, a public charter school in downtown Charleston. She serves as a liaison between the school and home, encourages parental involvement and participation in school programs, and provides assistance to students’ families in areas of school-related concerns in CDA, 4th-8th Grade.
Ardmease holds Master of Arts degrees in both human resource development and counseling from Webster University. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, the Charleston Chapter of Jack & Jill of America, and the Charleston Chapter of the Links, Inc.
The Honorable Tamara C. Curry
Charleston County Associate Probate Judge
YWCA Board Member since 2015
A board member since 2015, the Honorable Tamara C. Curry was appointed associate probate judge for Charleston County in August of 1998, and is a native Charlestonian. She is a graduate of South Carolina State University where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in political science in 1985 and graduated cum laude. In 1988, Judge Curry received her Doctorate of Jurisprudence degree from the University Of Tennessee College Of Law.
She was admitted into the practice law in Ohio in 1988 and South Carolina in 1992. She served as a law clerk/constable for the Honorable Jack Sherman in the Court of Common Pleas in Cincinnati, Ohio. She later joined Northern Kentucky University to serve as its affirmative action coordinator.
Judge Curry returned to the Charleston area to work as an associate with the Law Offices of Armand Derfner. She was the managing partner with Curry, Curry and Counts, P.A., where she practiced in the areas of probate/wills and estates; personal injury; family law and general litigation prior to her appointment as associate probate judge. In addition to that appointment, in 1988 Judge Curry was appointed as one of the presiding judges for the Charleston County Adult Drug Court.
In 2003, she started the first Mental Health Court in the state of South Carolina. In June of 2010, she was appointed to serve as one of the presiding judges for the Charleston County Juvenile Drug Court.
She is married to Reverend Eduardo K. Curry, Esquire, the managing partner of The Curry Law Firm, LLC. She is also the proud mother of three children, Eduardo II, Morgan, and Xavier. She is a faithful member of Grace Metropolitan at Adams Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, where she is a young adult Sunday school teacher and advisor of the Young People’s Division, Missionary Society, and Church Outreach Ministry.
Judge Curry is involved in the following activities and organizations: Board of Trustees Allen University; National Probate Judges Association - Executive Board Member; Editor of the National College of Probate Judges Journal, 2013; Task Force on the revision of The National Probate Court Standards, 2013; South Carolina Association of Probate Judges - Former Secretary/Treasurer; Charleston Mental Health Center-Advisory Board Mental Health for Heroes; Center for Heirs Property Preservation-Advisory Board Member; Charleston County Bar Association; National Bar Association; South Carolina Black Lawyers Association; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated; Charleston (SC) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated –President; former member of Charleston Chapter of Jack and Jill, Incorporated, South Carolina Women Lawyers Association; Judges Criminal Justice/Mental Health Leadership Initiative–Former Advisory Board Member; and Sustainer-The Junior League of Charleston, Inc. Judge Curry is the Chairperson of the Personnel Committee. She has also served on the Bylaws Committee (chair), Governance Committee, and Building Committee.
Her motto is, "If I can help somebody, then my living will not be in vain."
Internal Audit and Business Assurance Director Blackbaud
YWCA Board Member since 2015
A board member since 2015, Stacy Davis is the head of Reporting, Consolidation and Compliance for Blackbaud, the world’s leading cloud software company powering social good. She is a certified public accountant (CPA) and certified internal auditor, and has 20 years of experience in internal audit and publicly traded companies, as well as external audit experience at a former Big Six firm.
She is a graduate of both the University of Kentucky and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She serves on the Finance Committee for the YWCA of Greater Charleston and was the recording secretary for the Eliza Lucas Pinckney Chapter of the DAR.
Elise Davis-McFarland PhD
Retired, Trident Technical College
Board Member since 2009
A board member since 2009, Elise Davis-McFarland, PhD has devoted her professional life to the empowerment and education of young adults who wish to use higher education to enrich their lives and futures. She has extensive experience in program development, administration and evaluation, staff administration and evaluation, college teaching, curriculum development, and clinical research.
Dr. Davis-McFarland has held leadership positions in colleges with diverse missions. She served as director of institutional research at a public, liberal arts undergraduate military college. She was an associate professor and director of the graduate communication sciences and disorders program at the Medical University of South Carolina, where she received the Health Science Foundation Teaching Award. She also received a Rotary International Foundation fellowship and taught at the Medical University of Southern Africa (South Africa).
She has conducted funded research and authored publications on communication development and disorders in children with HIV/AIDS. She developed the nation’s first interdisciplinary graduate communication sciences and disorders curriculum. She has developed outcomes assessment measures and coordinated strategic planning initiatives. She was a senior staff member for a municipal chamber of commerce where she managed public policy initiatives and served as liaison between the chamber and the state legislature.
Dr. Davis-McFarland recently retired as the vice president for student services at Trident Technical College She served as a member of the College’s executive cabinet and was responsible for enrollment management, student development, and educational opportunity programs.
She is a fellow of the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association, and is the association’s president-elect. She will assume the presidency in 2018. Dr. Davis-McFarland’s professional and community memberships are numerous and varied. She has served on the boards of directors of the South Carolina Aquarium, Trident United Way, Our Lady of Mercy Outreach Program, the Father-to-Father Program, Drayton Hall Site Council, and on the Advisory Committee for the Charleston Junior League.
She has traveled extensively in the United States, Europe, Africa, and Australia.
Jennifer Dunlap, Esquire
Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein, LLP
YWCA Board Member since 2017
A board member since 2017, Jennifer Dunlap is a partner at the law office of Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein, LLP where she practices in the areas of employment, labor and class action defense.
Jenni is a 1997 graduate of Southern Methodist University and 2000 graduate of Vanderbilt University School of Law. She represents clients in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) proceedings and federal and state court cases involving all aspects arising out of an employment relationship.
Jenni was selected as one of the Charleston Regional Business Journal’s Forty under 40 in 2013 and a South Carolina Super Lawyers Rising Star in Employment Litigation: Defense, 2012-2015. She has served the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry and the Junior League. She has also participated as a speaker in the YWCA of Greater Charleston's Backpacks to Briefcases program.
Diversity and EEO Officer
YWCA Board Member since 2017
A board member since 2017, Shawn S. Edwards is the chief diversity officer for The Citadel, the military college of South Carolina where she is responsible for the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Council, diversity and inclusion program, activities and training, community engagement policy development and enforcement, diversity recruiting for employees and students, and creating and advising on an environment of inclusivity.
Additionally, Shawn serves as adjunct faculty at The Citadel, Trident Technical College, and the College of Charleston.
In addition to her service on the YWCA of Greater Charleston, Shawn serves as a board member for the South Carolina Society for Human Resources Management, Palmetto Warrior Connection, and the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce Diversity Council.
Shawn has earned two human resources certification designations, the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and the Society for Human Resources Senor Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP). She is also a facilitator with the Charleston Illumination Project and a 2013 fellow of Furman University’s Riley Institute Diversity Leaders Initiative.
She was recognized as one of the Charleston Regional Business Journal’s 2015 Forty Under 40, and is a 2006 graduate of Leadership Charleston and a 2016 graduate of Leadership South Carolina.
She has earned an MBA degree with a human resource management concentration from Walden University, a Bachelor of Arts degree in management from Webster University, and an Associate of Arts degree in fashion merchandising from Bauder College. She will begin doctoral studies in the fall of 2017.
Shawn is the wife of Derrick J. Edwards; together they have five children and one grandchild. She is a member of Christian Praise & Worship Center Church, where she serves on the ministerial staff.
Gaylord & Dorothy Donelley Foundation
Director, Lowcountry Program
YWCA Board Member since 2011
Our immediate past chair and a current board member, Kerri Forrest joined the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation in February 2015 and directs its arts, land conservation and collections programs in the Lowcountry region. She returned to the Charleston in 2010 after a 16-year career covering politics with national broadcast outlets MSNBC, NBC News and CBS News.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Kerri was the Director of Institutional Advancement with the American College of the Building Arts, the only institution of higher education in the US offering a liberal arts degree in traditional building crafts. There she was responsible for all fundraising, marketing and alumni relations for the College as well as creating community partnerships.
Kerri is heavily involved in the arts and civic communities and has served a number of local and regional organizations: as a board member of the YWCA of Greater Charleston and the Friends of the Lowcountry Lowline; past chair of the speaker selection committee for TEDxCharleston; advisory board member of the South Carolina Arts Commission Leo Twigg Scholars, and volunteer for Charleston Carifest. In addition, she has been an adjunct professor of professional communications and public speaking at the Art Institute of Charleston and of fundraising at the College of Charleston.
Kerri graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in biological sciences from Clemson University, and a Masters of Arts degree in interactive journalism from American University. She was named a Riley Fellow in 2013 and is a member of the 2018 class of Liberty Fellows.
Charleston Promise Neighborhood
Community Engagement Program Manager
YWCA Board Member since 2016
A board member since 2016, Radia Heyward is the community engagement program manager for Charleston Promise Neighborhood. She is responsible for the creation and execution of an overall plan for community outreach and engagement, including raising awareness about the organization, and the development of engagement and partnership pathways for individuals and organizations that align with our mission and vision.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration from the College of Charleston.
Radia is also a board member of the Royal Foundation, Neighbors Helping Neighbors, and Project Man Up, as well as and first vice chair of the Charleston County Democratic Party.
Radia also serves as chair of the YWCA of Greater Charleston Program Committee.
Saillant Language Consulting, LLC
YWCA Board Member since 2016
A board member since 2016, Diana Saillant is vice president of the Hispanic Business Association and CEO of Saillant Language Consulting, LLC, creating and implementing programs and language services that create greater cross-cultural awareness and understanding in the community and the business sector.
She holds an MBA and a Bachelors of Management Arts degree from Charleston Southern University.
She volunteers as a translator/interpreter for Crisis Ministries, Dorchester Habitat for Humanity, and the Charleston County Employee Relations and Human Resources Department.
Diana has served as the co-chair of the Organizational Leadership Committee of the YWCA of Greater Charleston.
Berkeley County First Steps
Board Member since 2015
A board member since 2015, Adrienne Troy-Frazier is the executive director of Berkeley County First Steps, a nonprofit organization that prepares young children for learning. She has served the field of early childhood for more than 20 years in various positions, including preschool teacher, education coordinator, director, mentor, trainer, and a non-federal reviewer for various federal agencies, including the Office of Head Start.
Before joining Berkeley County First Steps, she was the program administrator for more than a decade at Easter Seals Metropolitan Chicago. During her tenure, her programs gained dual accreditation from NAEYC and CARF.
Concurrently, Ms. Troy-Frazier was as a professional mentor and trainer for National Louis University, McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership in Chicago, where she provided support to early care and nonprofit directors and staff in the area of leadership development.
Prior to relocating to South Carolina in 2012, she served as chair of the Chicago Foundation for Women and African American Leadership Council, and she co-chaired the Chicago ADORE (A Day of Recognition for Parents of Children with Disabilities) Committee.
In 2010, Illinois Secretary of State Michelle Sadler appointed Ms. Troy-Frazer as co-chair of the Illinois Department of Human Services, Child Care Collaboration Committee.
She was also a certified domestic violence crisis line volunteer and a HIV-AIDS respite volunteer. In 2011, she was a progressive leadership and advocacy fellow with the National Women’s Law Center in Washington, DC.
Since moving to Charleston, she has become a volunteer with My Sister’s House and The Junior League of Charleston.
As a foster child who was diagnosed early in life with cerebral palsy, Ms. Troy-Frazier commits much of her personal time to serving children with special needs.
She is driven by a passion to provide affordable and high-quality childcare to at risk-communities, address workforce development issues in early childhood education, secure freedom from violence for women and children, and serve individuals with special needs.
She has also served as chair of the YWCA of Greater Charleston Program Committee.
YWCA Executive Director
Our executive director, LaVanda Brown, brings more than 20 years of on-the-ground experience in social services, including an early career in social work, to our team. She has led and advised several Savannah-area nonprofit organizations, including Family Promise of Greater Savannah, Union Mission, and Greenbriar Children’s Center, as well as others in the behavioral health, employment, and community services arenas. A passionate advocate for causes including the promotion of gender equality and diversity and helping at-risk teens and homeless populations, she envisions a world where differences are not just tolerated but celebrated.
During her time in the nonprofit field, LaVanda has developed strategic plans resulting in more positive community interventions; created a homeless case management system, life skills curriculum, and after-care program to help the homeless transition to independence; instituted permanent housing for the mentally ill homeless population; and obtained more than $3 million in federal, state, and local grants. Her work has garnered awards including the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Best Practices Award for Transitional Housing and Case Management, and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs Magnolia Award for Excellence in Housing. She holds a bachelor's degree in psychology and sociology from Wesleyan College and a master's degree in counselor education from Georgia Southern University.
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