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Ian Bridgeforth, Founder/Creative Director, Georgia Shift
Raised in Augusta, Georgia, Ian Bridgeforth’s interest in politics was sparked at Georgia College & State University during an internship with Congressman John Barrow. After graduating with a degree in Mass Communication with concentrations in Broadcast & Electronic Media and Public Relations, he went on to work at the award-winning Cookerly PR in Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to trying his hand at entrepreneurship, Ian worked in the nonprofit industry and in local Democratic politics in New York City.
He was inspired to create Georgia Shift when he moved back to Georgia and saw a significant disconnect between political campaigns/organizations and young voters. Ian saw a need to empower young people to make progressive change in the state. “Georgia has one of the largest populations of young people in the entire country. We have the fourth largest public university system in the country, and a majority of students in that system are young people, ages 18 to 24. You also have to factor in community colleges, private colleges, and non-college youth,” Ian explains. “There is a real opportunity to empower young people and give them a voice for their issues, but it’s not happening in a consistent, comprehensive way.” Through Georgia Shift, his goal is to give young people across the state a platform and voice for their issues. Ian strives to show them that they don’t have to wait on anyone or get permission to become active in their communities. “Whether it be issue advocacy or running for office, young people have the power to make change right now. I want to empower them to do that through training and being a supportive infrastructure for them, long-term.” Ian believes an organization such as Georgia Shift is important because it gives a critical part of our electorate a voice and platform to advocate for their issues. It gives them the power to take control and fight for what they believe in. He says: “This will not only give us a more informed public, but hopefully build a new generation of leaders who will make progressive change wherever their paths lead them."
Darrien Brown, Senior Quality Surveillance Engineer, Southern Nuclear Company
Darrien Brown is a Senior Quality Surveillance Engineer for Southern Nuclear Company, one of America’s largest producers of electricity, located in Waynesboro, GA. In this role, he is responsible for providing oversight of the consortium’s work activities to ensure safe, quality and compliant construction of components and commodities for installation at the Vogtle 3 and 4 sites. Brown joined Southern Nuclear Company in July 2012 as a Senior Quality Assurance Engineer at Vogtle 3 and 4 and later became a Senior Quality Surveillance Engineer. Prior to joining Southern Nuclear Company, Brown began his career at Raytheon in El Segundo, CA. as a Test Engineer. After two years with Raytheon, he moved across the country to work at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, VA., where he held a number of leadership positions in engineering and project management and specialized in the repairing, overhauling and modernizing of aircraft carriers and submarines. In 2010, Brown was selected as the Lead Engineer for the Material Condition Assessment Process (MCAP), where he was responsible for the successful execution of correcting propulsion plant maintenance deficiencies on nuclear vessels.
A native of Zachary, LA., Brown holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, LA. A resident of Augusta, GA., Brown has demonstrated an on-going commitment to servant leadership. The various external leadership positions that he has held include serving as the Vogtle 3 and 4 Construction Site Lead on the UNITED WAY of the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA) Fundraising Campaign, Chairman of the Professional Development and Networking Committee for the INROADS Alumni Association - Atlanta and Vice President of the INROADS Alumni Association - Atlanta. He also serves as a mentor for the INROADS of Atlanta Interns. After spending as much time as he can with his family and friends, any remaining time is devoted to community service, golf, mentoring, reading and exercising.
Shellie Clinkscales, Community Activist
Shellie Clinkscales Volunteer~Mentor~Philanthropist~Advocate “Follow your passion. The rest will attend to itself. If I can do it, anybody can do it. It's possible. And it's your turn. So go for it. It's never too late to become what you always wanted to be in the first place.”- J. Micheal Stracynski
Shellie Clinkscales was born and raised in Norfolk, Virginia. She became a transplant of Georgia ten years ago. Shellie is married to Keith Clinkscales and they currently reside in Evans, Georgia with three of their five children. Upon arriving to Georgia in 2004, Shellie became fully immersed in the education of her young children and was a fixture at every school function. Because of her passion for education, teachers, and the betterment of all students, Shellie became a permanent parent volunteer in a number of schools with several schools requesting her to stay long after her children left. She has held multiple positions and titles in many different schools. Shellie continues to be a very active parent in the Columbia County School system. Most recently, Shellie is a full-time parent volunteer at Evans High School. She also sits on the school council board and is a member of the band, football and basketball booster clubs. In addition to the many volunteer roles she holds and has held in both the Columbia and Richmond County Public schools, Shellie is also heavily involved in her community. She is constantly participating in local coat drives, homeless feedings, beautification projects, school supply drives, and Operation Christmas Child.
Her philanthropic work and community collaborations has lead Shellie to a number of volunteer opportunities and leadership roles. During Senator Harold Jones tenure as Solicitor of the Richmond County Courts, Shellie did an internship with his office. She also served as a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate for the juvenile courts that serves abused and neglected children in the Richmond, Columbia, and Burke county foster care system. When she is not participating in a volunteer project, Shellie enjoys spending time with her family, reading, writing and learning. Shellie is looking to fulfill one of her life’s wishes: to achieve a law degree and use it to fight against injustice and for civil rights and equality. This year it is Shellie's hope to forge a different path that will challenge her intellectual, creatively, and spiritual. Shellie received her Bachelors of Science degree in Sociology at Paine College.
Ala'Torya Cranford, Director of Student Activities, Paine College
Ala'Torya V. Cranford is the lovely daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Larry & Lisa Bess. She is the oldest of her siblings and oldest grandchild. She is a native of Hartsville, South Carolina and a Mayo High School for Math, Science and Technology for Math, Science and Technology Alumnus in Darlington, South Carolina. Ala'Torya Cranford, a graduate of Paine College with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology and Master of Science Degree with emphasis in College Teaching and Learning from Walden University in Minnesota currently serves as the Director of Student Activities for Paine College where she advises, lead, guides and provide students with the ultimate teaching-learning college experience through on campus and community engaging events that are either, educational, informational or social.
While presently working on her doctorate she is striving to have an impact on every student she crosses hoping that something she has done or said has pushed them to want to do better, live and help the next. She’s a member of the Augusta Chamber of Commerce Women in Business Committee, Young Professionals of Augusta, UNCF - National Alumni Council Board and member of the Historic Tabernacle Baptist Church in Augusta, Georgia. Ala'Torya has been nominated for a SHERO Award for the area of Education by Cher Best Sisters Only Club for 2013 and Top 10 in 10 Young Professionals to Watch in 2012 by the Augusta Chamber of Commerce. Recently, she has received the honor of being listed as Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Top 30 Under 30 by HBCU Buzz for her impact and achievements in life thus far. In February 2014 she was acknowledged as an Outstanding Young Alumnus by United Negro College Fund (UNCF) National Alumni Council (NAC) for her commitment and support of her Alma Mater. The National Society of Collegiate Scholars acknowledged Ms. Cranford as a distinguished member for her commitment to the ideals of scholarship, leadership and service the past September. AlaTorya is a young lady of many accolades: academically, athletically, within the community and church. She enjoys music, laughter, family, motivating young people and traveling. She strongly believes, she may not have gone where she intended to go, but she thinks she has ended up where she intended to be with her faith and trust in GOD.
Yvette Foster, Principal, Columbia County Board of Education
Ms. Yvette Foster is currently the Principal of Riverside Middle School in Evans, Georgia. Ms. Foster earned her Bachelor's of Arts degree in English from Augusta College, her Master's of Education degree from Lesley University and her Educational Specialist degree from Cambridge College. She has been a public educator for 18 years in both urban and rural settings.
Percival Galloway, Jr., Social Services Assistant , United States Government
Percival Galloway is a native of Tampa, Florida and he has been residing in Augusta, Georgia for the last eleven years by way of the military. He graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Africana Studies. He served in the United States Army as a Military Police Officer for five year. During his military career, he has had the opportunity to travel to Korea and Okinawa, Japan. He received numerous training while serving in the military to include Primary Leadership Development Course, Domestic Violence Intervention Training, and the Drug Abuse Resistance Education Instructor Course. Upon being honorably discharged, Percival worked for the State of Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice for nine years as a juvenile probation parole specialist. He has had the opportunity to work in several court service offices in Georgia to include Jefferson County, Richmond County, and McDuffie County. He has attended numerous trainings to include Offender Employment Specialist Training, Basic Facilitation and Basic Group Counseling Skills Training, Wise Guys- Male Responsibility Curriculum Instructor Training, and the Department of Juvenile Justice Management Development Program. He is a Certified Life Coach, a Certified Juvenile Sexual Offender Counselor and a Certified Anger Management Specialist.
Percival is a 2009 graduate of the Leadership McDuffie Program and a current member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is currently pursuing his Master of Science Degree in Christian Counseling with the Mount Olivet Certified Academic Institution/ Logos University in Augusta, Georgia. Percival is currently the owner of Infinite Potential Consulting Services, LLC. , a leadership development and coaching company. Percival has also participated as a guest speaker at numerous civic and church events across the Augusta, Georgia area to include being a speaker at a D.A.R.E. graduation at one local elementary school, a presenter at the Troy University Mental Health Conference, and a youth group facilitator for the McCormick Community Development & Enrichment Center in McCormick, South Carolina. He provides consultation and training to various agencies in the following areas: Life Coaching, Anger Management, Leadership Development, Team Building, Goal Setting, Mentoring, Young Male Responsibility, Juvenile Sex Offender In-Service Training, and Juvenile Delinquency Prevention.
Kimberly Hayes, Training Specialist, Georgia Regents University
Kimberly Hayes is a native of Augusta, GA. She holds a Master of Public Administration and a Master of Business from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia. She is currently pursuing her Doctorate of Educational Leadership with an emphasis on Organizational Leadership and Behavior at Valdosta State University in Valdosta. At the present, she is employed with Georgia Regents University where she serves as a Human Resources Training Specialist. Previously, she was the Supplier Diversity Coordinator at GRU for over 7 years within Materials/ Supply Chain Management.
For over 6 years, Kimberly has been an adjunct faculty member for Strayer University where she teaches business courses to undergraduate students. In this role she has been a recipient of the Provost Circle Award for showing excellence in education and service to students. Kimberly is a member of the United Way Citizens Review Panel. She is also an active member of the Parents of Jessye Norman School of the Arts. She is a member of Beulah Grove Baptist Church where she is a member of the Beulah Grove Mass Choir. Her interests include reading and spending time with family and friends.
Debra McDaniel, IT Project Manager, Georgia Regents University
Currently employed as an Information Technology Project Manager at Georgia Regents University, Debra McDaniel is a skilled, experienced, well-organized and meticulous information technology professional who possesses over 20 years of technical and project management experience. In her current position at Georgia Regents University she is responsible for managing information technology projects for the local school campuses and the medical/hospital organization. She is regarded as a leader within her organization and look for ways to contribute to the overall strategy for delivering solid IT solutions to her customers. Debra strives to be an active part of the solution for the Augusta community. Whenever possible she has taken opportunities to work behind the scenes in various activities and support efforts that will help to advance the city of Augusta. It is her desire to ensure a solid and sustainable infrastructure for the city of Augusta for generations to come.
Debra B. McDaniel is also a Principal Partner, Consultant, and Event Strategist for Global Vision Strategies Group, LLC a strategic meeting management company dedicated to assisting its clients in delivering meetings that align with their organization’s goals. She is also the Special Projects Director for Restoration Ministries International of Augusta, Georgia and has her own coaching practice, Focused2Finish Coaching, specializing in transition and personal change management. Debra was educated at Clark-Atlanta University for three years, and subsequently received a Bachelor of Science degree from Paine College in Management Information Systems. She also holds a Master of Science degree from George Washington University in Project Management and is certified as a Project Management Professional from the Project Management Institute. Debra is a recent graduate of the June 2014 Coach Training Intensive program with the CaPP (Coaching and Positive Psychology) Institute of Atlanta, Georgia. She is a native of Augusta, GA and has been married to 1SG (RET) Robert McDaniel, Sr. for 31 years. They have two sons Robert, II and Marcus McDaniel.
Anna Reeves, Owner, Paws and Claws Pet Bakery,LLC
Anna Reeves began her career when she was 15 years old by baking and selling cakes and sweet treats in her local community. She developed a love for operating a small business and coupled with an entrepreneurial spirit she owned and operated Anna's Bakery Boutique for 6 years. During that time she was active in local government affairs by initiating a plan to restore an old building to be utilized as a library for the City Of Blythe as well as serving as an ambassador for the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce. Anna also worked on a city counsel campaign for a local candidate that would eventually be elected for a seat.
After closing Anna's Bakery Boutique, she continued to explore other fields of employment which eventually lead her back to her love for baking. She currently owns and operates Paws and Claws Pet Bakery which combines her love for animals and baking. Anna currently has over 21 stores that carry her dog and cat treats in both Georgia and South Carolina. Anna currently is serving on the board for the Young Professionals of Augusta and was a 2014 finalist for the Georgia Occupational Award for Leadership at Augusta Technical College. She has a passion for service and lends her hand to many local nonprofits in the community as well as an active member of her church. She is married to Jesus Ayala and currently resides in Blythe, GA. with her three, 4-legged dog babies Lucy, Frankie, and Ellie.