Percy Williamson is a Daytona Beach native with extensive Public / Private and Community Grass Roots experience who launched a new consulting firm in November 2019 called Summit Governmental Strategies, Inc. where he currently serves as the company’s Senior Principle. Mr. Williamson spent 15 years as Director of Leisure Services for The City of Daytona Beach, retiring in January 2018. During the height of his tenure, he directed a 120 member professional staff and managed a multi-million dollar annual budget for the city’s 3rd largest municipal department.
Prior to his public sector position with The City of Daytona Beach, Mr. Williamson had a 25-year career in the banking industry working for two of the nations largest banks in the country: Wells Fargo Bank where he served as Vice President and Regional Relationship Manager of its Community Development Division, and Bank of America, where he served as Vice President and State Manager of the Community Development Finance Group. Mr. Williamson oversaw community development projects throughout the State of Florida.
Mr. Williamson is a Graduate of Bethune Cookman University with a B.S. Degree in Business Administration. He is also a Graduate of Leadership Jacksonville, as well as a Graduate of Leadership Daytona Beach.
MR. THADDEUS COLLINS
Thaddeus L. Collins, entrepreneur/educator was educated in the public schools of Volusia County, graduating from Campbell High School in Daytona Beach, Florida. Further academic training led to a Bachelor’s Degree, Education/Psychology from University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida, and a Master’s Degree and Specialist Degree, Early Childhood Education from Jackson State University, Jackson, Mississippi.
Mr. Collins served as Director of Education/Special Services for Mississippi, the largest Head Start Program in the United States. He also served as an adjunct faculty member at: Delta State University, Cleveland, MS; Mississippi Valley State University, Itta Bena, MS; Jackson State University, Jackson, MS; Bethune Cookman College (University), Daytona Beach, FL; University Central Florida, Orlando, FL; and Daytona Beach Community College (Daytona State College), Daytona Beach, FL.
In November, 1975, Mr. Collins, founded the flagship company of T&J Collins Group LLC.; Thaddeus L. Collins & Associate (regional consulting firm) and in 1985 T. L. Collins Management & Investments. These two companies are still operational and viable. Tender Loving Care Maintenance, a national janitorial company, was included in the group for more than thirty years.
Additionally, Mr. Collins was Chairman/President of Twinkle Star Center, Inc. This company owned two (2) preschool child care facilities, an infant/toddler center, an after school program, and a transportation company on the West side of Volusia County.
MS. DONNA M. GRAY-BANKS
Chief Executive Officer
Donna M. Gray-Banks is the Founder and Director of the F.R.E.S.H. Book Festival (Fiction, Romance, Erotica, Spiritual and Health), one of the largest book festivals for minority self-published authors in Florida. The Festival began in 2011 and the City of Daytona Beach began sponsorship of the Festival in 2012. Gray-Banks is the author of a very successful suspense erotic trilogy, Ila’s Diamonds I, II, and III and is currently working on her IV novel The House That Jack Built. Donna is a guest columnist for Blackmeninamerica.com, the Daytona Times/Courier Newspaper and is a Book Broker.
Gray-Banks is the Executive Director of the Midtown Community Development Corporation in Daytona Beach, FL; Co-Chair of the Florida Brownfields Association Environmental Justice Committee' and is the host of a weekly zoom-cast “Zoom In On A F.R.E.S.H. Conversation” Monday nights from 8-9 PM.
Donna is the proud Mother of Gregory Taylor Banks and resides in the beautiful City of Palm Coast, FL.
MS. LAQUETTA MCGILL
Chief Financial Officer
LaQuetta McGill is the Vice President of VyStar Credit Union’s Daytona Beach Branch located in Daytona Beach, FL. LaQuetta graduated from Columbia Southern University with a Business Administration degree. With over 17 years of sales and financial experience, LaQuetta enjoys educating members on financial literacy and assisting them with their financial needs. She currently serves on the City of Daytona Beach’s Affordable Housing Committee and the Midtown Community Development Board. She’s the mother of two sons, and in her spare time she enjoys reading, fishing, and attending various sporting events.
MRS. AMINA MILAM
Amina Milam is the wife and mother of five. She has a Bachelor of Arts from Bethune-Cookman University and a Master’s in Educational Leadership specializing in 21st Century Learning from Ashford University. She has been an educator for 17 years. She is also the CEO and founder Young Stars Customs LLC, as well as, the co-founder of Lion’s Pride 8 LLC, Lion’s Den Mobile Cigar Lounge, and Play Time Game Rentals. She has a passion for the uplifting of her community, its children, and its people which led to her coming together with a group of her peers to start an investment group and a non-profit. She is the President of Fresh Kidz non-profit (filings pending) and co-owner of Fresh Kidz Cleaning LLC.
MS. PAULA REED
Government Liaison, Ex-Officio
Paula R. Reed is beginning her third 4 year term serving as City of Daytona Beach Commissioner for Zone 6. The Zone 6 Midtown area is where MCDC will spend its greatest concentration. Ms. Reed desires to have a significant impact on her community, enhancing the lives of her constituency.
Paula is native of Daytona Beach, educated in the local public school system, and a graduate of Bethune-Cookman College, University of Akron, and Bethune-Cookman University. With 30 years of employment in higher education, Ms. Reed has spent 25 of the years at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Responsible for coordinating the engagement activities, training and development of employees is her current role. Engaging the citizens, business development and affordable housing of the Zone 6 community are imperative initiatives she leads.
MR. BYRON COGDELL
Byron Cogdell is a Christian pastor and creative in the Daytona Beach community. He spends a lot of his time ministering to the needs of people in the Daytona, leading his team of ministers at Identity Church and helping individuals with creative ways to market and brand their businesses, non-profits and initiatives.
Byron holds a Bachelors of Arts in Public Relations and is completing his Masters of Biblical and Theological Studies from Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. He is happily married to his wife, Kimyatta, and is the father to two children, Parker and Robyn.
DR. AUBREY LONG
Dr. Aubrey E. Long, has served Bethune-Cookman University in several different capacities (Vice President for the Division of Business and Community Development, Dean of the School of Business, Professorship of the College of Business) Dr. Long earned a B.S. degree from Lane College, Jackson, Tennessee, a M.S. degree from the University of Tennessee, and a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio. He has been listed in Who’s Who Among Young Professionals, Black Professionals in Business and served as a consultant for various organizations and groups. He was appointed State Coordinator for Entrepreneurial Development Institute (EDI) by the Federal Highway Administration.
Among his corporate professional experiences, Dr. Long has worked as an Analytical Technician with Proctor and Gamble; Research Specialist with Corning Glass Works and as a Marketing/Software Support Specialist with UNISYS Corporation. His illustrious career in higher education spans an amazing 40+ years of accomplishments. Dr. Long has served as Assistant Dean of the School of Business and Industry at Florida A & M University, Department Chair at Bishop College, and has taught business and business related courses at the University of Tennessee, St. Augustine’s College and King’s College. He recently retired from BCU after serving 30 ½ years, the majority of that time was spent as the Dean of The School of Business. Having a gift for conducting and heading research Dr. Long has worked with the National Center for Research in Vocational-Technical Education, NASA in Greenbelt, Maryland, and the Atomic Energy Commission in Livermore, California.
In addition to his professional accomplishments and obligations, Dr. Long is civically engaged in the Daytona Beach, Volusia County, FL community. He has made the time throughout his career to serve on several community boards and organizations which included the Board of Directors for PACE Center for Girls (Chaired), the Board of Directors for the Daytona Beach/Halifax area Chamber of Commerce, the Easter Seal Society of Volusia and Flagler Counties, the Volusia/Halifax Junior Achievement Board of Directors, Mid-Florida Housing Partnership, Inc. (Chaired), Halifax Medical Center Foundation Board, United Way Board of Directors, FHCP Advisory Board, Checkered Flag Committee, Children Advocacy Center Board, (Chaired), CareerSource Volusia/Flagler Board (Exe. Board) Co-Chair the Business Development Committee (BDC), Kiwanis, Volusia Volunteers in Medicine Board, Daytona Beach YMCA Corporate Board and liaison for the National Urban League Black Executive Exchange Program (BEEP) of New York.
Dr. Long is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc and Ancient City Prince Hall Shriners. Dr. Long is married to Cheryl Grimes Long with three (3) children Aubrey II, Aleia, and Aushawn and his greatest accomplishments to date are four loving granddaughters Kiyah, Brieylle, Arieyah, Liela and one handsome grandson Callen.
MS. EDITH SHELLEY
Edith Shelley believes in serving her community. From tutoring students in local schools to Chairing the Daytona Beach Vision Steering Committee, she has enthusiastically worked to improve the lives of the citizens of Volusia County.
She was appointed to the Daytona Beach Planning Board in 1992, serving as Chairman for 10 of those years and also served on the Daytona Beach Downtown Redevelopment Board. In 2010 Edith was elected to the Daytona Beach City Commission by the residents of Zone 1. After serving for two years she resigned her commission seat to run for Mayor of Daytona Beach.
When Mike Chitwood was elected Sheriff of Volusia County he asked Edith to set up a Foundation to support the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office. That Foundation was established as a 501c3 and she was elected Chairman by her fellow Board members. She also serves as a member of the Daytona Beach Police Foundation Board, Halifax Health Foundation Board, the Volusia County Planning Commission, the Volusia County UCF Business Incubator Board and Habitat for Humanity Family Selection Committee.
She has served as a member of the Volusia County Schools Impact Fee Committee, Bethune Cookman University Performing Arts Center Board, Volusia County Cultural Council and the Mary Baldwin University Executive Board in Staunton, Virginia.
Edith has received numerous awards for her community and public service including:
-The Garden Clubs of America Civic Improvement Award
-NAACP Volusia Daytona Beach Chapter Trail Blazer Award
-Surfcoast Chapter of the Florida Planning and Zoning Association Focus Award -
-Captain “Tiger” Mayberry Marine Corps L:eagle Detachment 658 – Honorary Member
-Viet Nam Veterans of America Chapter 1048 – outstanding support and commitment to veterans
-Juneteenth Hometown Hero
Edith is the Owner/Manager of The Shelley Company LLC. Originally from San Antonio, Edith graduated from the University of Texas McCombs School of Business with a degree in Business Administration.
MS. CYNTHIA SLATER
Cynthia Slater is a life-long resident of Daytona Beach, Florida. She graduated from Mainland Senior High School in Daytona Beach in the Class of 1974. Cynthia was accepted into Bethune-Cookman College in January 1975, where she majored in Physical Education. She received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Education in 1979 and graduated Cum Laude.
Upon graduation, Cynthia worked for the Volusia County Public School System as a Jr. High School Physical Education teacher and coach. Cynthia taught and coached Jr. High PE for 3 years and became employed with the State Department of Education-Daytona Beach Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired as a Recreation Therapist. Cynthia retired from the Rehabilitation Center in February 2019 (36 years) as a Senior Human Services Program Manager where she supervised instructional staff for the past 15 years.
In addition to receiving a BS in Physical Education, Cynthia received a M.S.Ed. in Special Education: Visual Disabilities in 1992, from Florida State University, a Master of Science Degree in Teacher Leadership in 2010 from Walden University, and completed coursework in the Doctoral program at Walden University-Higher Education and Adult Learning (HEAL).
Cynthia is a member of the Allen Chapel AME Church Board of Stewards, member of the Daytona Beach Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and president of the Volusia County Daytona Beach NAACP (20 years). She was former Vice President for the Florida State Conference NAACP, Board Member/Board of Directors-Conklin Center for the Multi-Handicapped Blind; Bethune Cookman University Community Roundtable; Bethune Cookman College (University) Advisory Board; Co-Chair, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Committee; and the City of Daytona Beach Mayor’s Alliance Board under former Mayor Glenn Ritchey (to name a few).
Awards and recognition include Bethune-Cookman College (University) Breaking the Glass Ceiling Award, Centennial Luminary Award - The Bethune-Cookman College Bronze Statue Project, Distinguished Alumni of Bethune-Cookman College (University), Branch President of the Year for the Florida State Conference NAACP, and the Outstanding Community Leadership Award to name a few. Cynthia was also recognized in April 2011 as one of the top 30 Power People listed in the April addition of the Floridian View magazine. She has one adult daughter, Keona Slater-Barnwell and son-n-law, Sean.
MS. GINA M. STAFFORD
Gina M. Stafford is a native Floridian. She attended the Volusia County School system then completed her Associate of Arts degree at Daytona Beach Community College. She continued to earn a Bachelor's degree from the University of Central Florida and a Master's degree from Webster University.
Gina has been employed with Daytona Beach Community College/Daytona State College for 25 years, where she is currently the Associate Director of Academic Services. In that role, she serves as the project director for three state and federal grants. Her community involvement includes the Co-Chair of the "Dream It Be It" Committee of Soroptimist International of the Greater Daytona Beach Area, past Scholarship Chair for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration for Florida, and a member of the Midtown Community Development Corporation committee.
MR. MYKAL TAIRU
Born and raised in the Washington DC metropolitan area, Mykal Tairu started his professional career as a Community Organizer, leading a statewide project with the Society of St Vincent de Paul Orlando. The project, sought to address the policy barriers to reentry for formerly incarcerated individuals. Through the project Mykal has lead several successful ‘Ban the Box’ campaigns across the state of Florida including in his resident city of Daytona Beach. Mykal Tairu earned his bachelors at Bethune-Cookman University. In 2014, Tairu completed a Masters of Religion at Yale Divinity School. Currently, Mykal is the owner of Midtown Laundry Services, a social enterprise in Daytona Beach that specializes in commercial/residential laundry and providing jobs to returning citizens.
Mykal is married to Shanicka Tairu, a teacher at Westside Elementary and they are parents to three girls Jordyn, Imani, and Myla.