Black Power 2019: The 49 Most Influential Black Leaders in Wisconsin, Part 2

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    This is the second of a five-part series. Part one is available here.

    Adam Barr is Director of Public Policy at Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce, a position he assumed earlier this year after two years at Epic Systems. He worked as Wisconsin Deputy Political Director for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and as regional director of Democracy Builders. He serves on the Board of Directors of REAP Food Group and is cofounder and president of the Grassroots Education Project.

    Nafessa Burdine is known as a strategic business partner who holds the role as ManpowerGroup’s Community Investment Manager. Highly collaborative, she is a high influencer who has created strategic alliances and partnerships with internal and external stakeholders, community groups and leaders, government and corporate executives. She is passionately committed to connecting individuals to meaningful work, the mission of ManpowerGroup. She serves on the Boards of Directors of Easter Seals of Southeastern Wisconsin and Milwaukee Urban League, as well as the United Way of Milwaukee and Waukesha County Volunteer Engagement Committee.

    Dr. Sarah Ghee is the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County. Ghee leads the operations of the $6 million organization and will oversee human resources, finance, legal, facility management, and programs for more than 7,500 young people across Dane and Walworth counties. She has led the effort to build the new McKenzie Family Boys and Girls Club in Sun Prairie, set to open in January. Prior to her arrival in Madison, Dr. Ghee had been a long-time executive of the United Way of Greater Cincinnati, working with the organization since 2010. As the Director for the Eastern Region service area, she led operations and reports to an Action Council that serves as the Area Board of Directors comprised of more than 20 business and community leaders.

    Alvin Dupree is the first Black member of the Appleton Area School District Board of Education and senior pastor at Family First Church of God in Christ, which he founded in 2012 after serving more than 20 years in the United States Marines. Shortly after being elected in 2017, he led the charge to end Appleton’s truancy court, which disproportionately affected students of color. The school district suspended its relationship with the court earlier this year. 

    TeKema Balentine, a Madison native, was recently crowned Miss Black USA 2019 after winning the title Miss Black Wisconsin in April. She competed against 32 other contestants in multiple categories, including personal interviews, talent and personal fitness. Balentine is currently pursuing a nursing degree at Madison College. In addition, Balentine is a Madison East Track and Field coach and works part time as a caregiver for BrightStar Home Care.

    Darrell “DJ” Hines II is chief operations officer of Christian Faith Fellowship Church, a role he’s held for 13 years. It is the largest Black church in Wisconsin, with more than 6,000 members and over 40 different ministries and departments, including two schools: the Darrell Lynn Hines Academy of Excellence, a 4K-8 school serving 300 students, and Destiny High School, serving 300 more. He also co-founded Shine Management, founded his own interactive design and marketing firm, Creative Spurts, and is considered a leader in Milwaukee’s wider Christian community.Milwaukee Business Journal wrote, “whether it’s helping a singer get a recording contract or ensuring that his church reaches people in need, Darrel ‘DJ’ Hines II wants to have a positive impact on others.” 

    Frederic “Ric” Ransom serves as Vice President and President, UW Hospitals, Madison Region, where he provides overall direction for American Family Children’s Hospital, UW Health at the American Center and University Hospital. Previously he served as Chief Operating Officer at Greenville Memorial Hospital, a part of Prisma Health, the largest integrated health system in South Carolina. Ransom provides primary oversight for the Joint Operating Agreement with UnityPoint Health – Meriter and multiple clinical programs and services.

    Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr. is director of The Privilege Institute and The National White Privilege Conference, both organizations he founded. Dr. Moore is also co-editor of Everyday White People Confront Racial and Social Injustice: 15 Stories, and the forthcoming online workbook, The White Women’s Guide to Teaching Black Males. He is also recognized as one of the nation’s top motivational speakers and educators, especially for his work with students from kindergarten through college. In 2015, his interview with Wisconsin Public Radio won the 2015 Wisconsin Broadcasters Association’s Best Interview in Medium Market Radio.

    Carolyn Stanford Taylor was named Wisconsin State Superintendent of Public Instruction in January when former Superintendent Tony Evers was inaugurated as governor. She has decades of experience in public education including 17 years as the Assistant State Superintendent for the Division for Learning Support. As a child, she and her family were among the first to integrate the schools in Marks, Mississippi. Taylor was also the first female African American appointed to serve as an assistant state superintendent and is one of Wisconsin’s longest-serving assistant state superintendents. 

    Dr. Dwight C. Watson is the first Black chancellor of the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater, a position he has held since August. He brought more than 35 years of experience to that position. Before Watson served as provost and vice president of academic and student affairs at Southwest Minnesota State University. He focuses on achievement, access, attention, and affordability. Previously, Watson served as dean of the College of Education at the University of Northern Iowa, associate dean of the Teacher Education Program at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire, and chair of the Department of Education at Hamline University.

    Anthony Hudson is vice president and managing director–southwest region of BMO Wealth Management, which has over $50 billion in assets under management. He earned his BSBA in Finance from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. He also graduated from Consumer Bankers Association Executive Banking School with a focus in Retail Banking. He currently serves as an Executive Board Member with City Year Milwaukee. He was previously a Board Member of the Milwaukee YMCA Urban Campus board, and a past member of the Leadership Cabinet at the United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County. Anthony was a 2017 recipient of the Milwaukee Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, and a recipient of Who’s Who in Black Charlotte in both 2011 and 2012.

    Part 3 coming tomorrow!