Founder & President
Alexis Wilson is a social entrepreneur, brand builder and advocate for women's empowerment. With a background in communications and entrepreneurship from the University of Michigan, she has used her skills to successfully launch her brand management agency, Exalt Management, through which "The Menternship Program" runs. Wilson has been immersed in the branding and marketing field for several years working with reputable brands such as SheaMoisture, The Lip Bar, The University of Michigan. She shares her knowledge and experience across the nation as a sought after keynote speaker. Adamant about making impact, Alexis strives to fervently live out her purpose and moves with the mission to be something she has never seen and inspire others while doing it.
Alexa Abbott is a Community Development Consultant with Purpose Built Communities where she helps communities in cities across the country improve life outcomes for residents via holistic, responsible revitalization. Alexa's vision to create environments that enable all people (regardless of income, race, or gender) to reach their full potential is what motivates her. This vision is fueled by her belief that God has created all people with unique talents and potential that communities have a responsibility to cultivate, encourage, and nurture. Her work requires she think with an equity lens - as failure to do so can create unintended consequences and harm neighborhoods which has happened all too often. Prior to joining Purpose Built Communities, Alexa worked as a consultant in Chicago with Pricewaterhouse Coopers in their Public Sector State and Local Government Group. Alexa graduated from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business with a Bachelor in Business Administration and is a proud Wolverine. Alexa is passionate about remaining centered and uses daily time outdoors, exercise, yoga, and meditation to do so. She also enjoys helping others grow in their faith, so she serves as a Young Adult Ministry small group leader as well as a Sunday School teacher for her favorite age group - 3 year olds!
Dani Averill is an experienced writer and data analyst with a sincere enthusiasm for corporate culture, internal communications, and brand stewardship. With a B.A. in Communications and Psychology from the University of Michigan, Dani now works as a business analyst for a dominant EdTech company in the D.C. Metro Area. In her role, she is placed on a range of 4-6 strategic teams at any given time, requiring project management skills and organizational discipline, as well as strong interpersonal expertise. Her biggest strengths include understanding people's motivations and assessing the strengths and weaknesses of individuals and groups. In her professional history, she has consistently employed these skills to drive strategic communication initiatives, build and optimize work relationships, and generate opportunities for influence.
Personally, Dani is driven by the faithful pursuit of joy, hope, and growth in every area of her life. She feeds her creativity with the creation and consumption of music and poetry, and is refreshed by spending time with her family and closest friends. Dani is currently exploring the wellness benefits of veganism, mindful breath practice, and yoga.
Lauren McCree is an MBA candidate with a concentration in Sport and Entertainment Management at Wayne State University, and currently serves as an intern with the Detroit Tigers. She discovered her passion for sports as an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, where she received her Bachelor’s in Sport Management. While at U-M, she served as a recruiting intern for Michigan Football under the leadership of Brady Hoke and later Jim Harbaugh. With her significant professional skill in engaging with families and communities in meaningful ways, Lauren was instrumental in improving the team’s recruiting class from 37th to 5th in the country in just three seasons. Upon graduating from the University of Michigan, Lauren previously served as a recruiting assistant for the University of Virginia Football team, where she developed and implemented strategic recruitment efforts that ultimately improved their recruiting class to top 10 in the Atlantic Coastal Conference. Lauren also is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, through which she has organized over 50 hours of community service implementing forums regarding Mental Health in the African American community throughout not only the University of Michigan campus, but also Washtenaw County and beyond. Her collective experiences have inspired her deep commitment to leveraging her talents in sports marketing and recruitment to both widen educational opportunities and improve outcomes for college-bound student athletes.
Alyssa is an external communications specialist with a passion for digital storytelling. The core of her skills lie in leveraging social media, tight and persuasive writing, and multimedia communications to translate and share key messages in ways that reach and engage institutions and communities everywhere. She’s cultivated her skills as a former student communication associate for Innovate Blue, public relations intern for Comcast NBCUniversal, and Managing News Editor and Senior Editor for both The Michigan Daily and Michigan in Color magazine, respectively. With a passion for advancing education that disrupts cycles of injustice and oppression in schools, Alyssa currently serves as the director of communications for TeachingWorks, a teaching and teacher education advocacy and reform center housed in the University of Michigan School of Education.
Alyssa holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from the University of Michigan, and is pursuing a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Policy from the University of Michigan School of Education.
Christopher is an investor, youth advocate, strong businessman, and TIME magazine's 2006 “Person of the Year”. A recent graduate of Michigan State University with a degree in Finance, Chris has worked within the top 10% of Fortune 50 companies. He has finance experience in Valuation, Investment Banking, and Asset Management. His most recent accomplishment has been contributing to a fund carrying $1.5B Assets under Management that grew by 12% during his first year as an analyst. In addition to his corporate achievements, he was the FIRST African-American placekicker for Michigan State’s Men’s Football team, and second in the history of the Big Ten conference. During his tenure at MSU, the Spartans claimed 2 Big Ten Championships, a Cotton Bowl Championship, and an appearance in the NCAA College Football Playoffs. Other than business, Christopher is an active member at his church, Word In Action Christian Center International, an international traveler, a devoted reader, an avid pizza eater, and most importantly, a family man. He believes in living intentionally and pursuing your purpose every day you’re blessed to have breath in your body.
Lauryn Thomas is a student at the University of Michigan, studying Economics with an interest for market research and strategy. Lauryn is currently a Student Ambassador, a member of the Black Business Undergraduate Society, and serves on the Office of Enrollment Management Student Advisory Board.
Devoted to serving her community, she volunteers and conducts research for the Community Action Network of Ann Arbor and is a member of the Corporate Sponsorship Committee for Habitat for Humanity- University of Michigan Campus Chapter.
Founder and CEO of The Yunion (pronounced union), Jason Wilson has over 14 years of experience in training and developing young black men. Under his leadership, The Yunion has effectively reached more than 10,000 youth and young adults in Metro Detroit. An expert in Emotional Stability Training®, Wilson also created The Cave of Adullam Transformational Training Academy (CATTA).
Having demonstrated powerful results in improving the life outcomes of black boys and men, Wilson has been frequently celebrated for catalyzing local and national systemic change. In 2015, he received the Campaign for Black Male Achievement Innovation Accelerator Award. In 2016, Wilson received the President's Volunteer Service Award in Washington D.C. Wilson has also been a guest on The Dr. Oz Show where he discussed his Emotional Stability Training® approach. In 2016, Wilson was a presenter at the White House for the My Brother's Keeper Showcase presented by then-President Barack Obama. Most recently, The Cave of Adullam Transformational Training Academy was awarded the Chick Fil-A's True Inspiration Award for its innovative approach to emotional and mental health for males.
Jason has taken his life experience to create a transformational memoir, Cry Like A Man, which ranks as a best seller on Amazon.
Nicole Wilson has served as the Executive Director of The Yunion, a 501c3 non profit organization that serves Detroit youth, since its’ inception and has more than 20 years of management experience and an additional eight years of programmatic experience working with at-risk youth and families. Mrs. Wilson is a Registered Nurse with a Bachelors Degree from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor and a Masters of Business Administration in Health Care Management from the University of Phoenix. She is also a state certified HIV Prevention Test Counselor and trainer.
Natalie M. King, Esq. is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Dunamis Clean Energy Partners, LLC, an OEM LED lighting manufacturer and renewable energy consulting firm specializing in project development, management and financing of renewable energy, and energy efficiency projects for municipal, commercial and industrial clients. The Detroit native received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and her Juris Doctorate degree from Wayne State University before becoming a licensed corporate and real estate attorney. During her 17 years of legal experience, Natalie has operated The Law Offices of Natalie M. King, PLC, represented clients in a broad range of public and private industries, and counseled clients on a variety of corporate matters. Natalie is active with the State Bar of Michigan, Business Law Section; and serves as Board Vice President for the Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce. She is also a founding committee member of the Women of Color Entrepreneurial Circle.
Jazmine Wells graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in Sociology and Psychology in 2016, and has a strong interest in the intersection of psychology and the law. During her time in undergrad, Jazmine spent two years participating in a program called Project Community, where she volunteered at several correctional facilities all over Southeast Michigan. During this time, Jazmine also worked as a Behavior Therapist at Henry Ford Health System, providing one on one and group therapy to children with autism and other behavioral/developmental disabilities. Jazmine currently works as a Clinical Subjects Coordinator at the University of Michigan’s Psychiatry Department, on a project funded by the United States Department of Defense, where she performs clinical interviews and suicide risk assessments on military veterans undergoing substance use and mental health treatment. She will begin graduate school this upcoming fall (2019) at the University of Michigan’s School of Social Work to earn an MSW with a focus on mental health and interpersonal practice. In the future, Jazmine also plans to pursue a law degree, and will use both her MSW and JD to provide support for people of color in their transition back into society after being incarcerated. Jazmine is committed to giving back to her community, inspiring others, and providing support/opportunities for people of color.
Raymond McCants is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of R3M Marketing Group, LLC, a marketing agency specializing in customer acquisition through social media marketing, mass marketing and hand to hand marketing for businesses, organizations, and interest groups.
Raymond, a native of Detroit, has exiled using his background in marketing and management to grow his career and influence. With having held the positions of Interim Executive Director of his Community Center and being the Marketing Director of one of his areas top radio stations, McCants is well-versed in both marketing and community work. Along with these positions, he has also benefited from business creation and has helped develop youth through the creation of a fun and educational program. Raymond works hard to able to position himself to build platforms for other to grow from.
Rachael has earned her Bachelors of Business Administration from Tarleton State University. There, she was involved with the Tarleton Serves and the Lions Club, two organizations passionate about helping the community of Stephenville. She is also a member of Delta Mu Delta, a distinguished honor society that only invites the top 20% of students in the College of Business to join. Rachael is currently a graduate student at the University of North Texas and will graduate this upcoming December with her Master of Science in Business Analytics. There, she is a part of two IT societies that help connect students to employers. Rachael is experienced with a slew of business intelligence softwares such as SAS Enterprise Miner, R, and Minitab. She is self-taught in SQL and is currently taking a course in order to acquire an AWS Certified Solutions Architect Certification. Rachael is currently working as a Data Entry Specialist at Unity Search in North Dallas. Alongside her love for data she loves to paint in her spare time and is an avid gym goer.
Communications and Management
Kaysia Booze is an execution expert in the fields of talent relations, event management and production. She has used her innate abilities to manage operations to produce event and content for companies like ESPN, LeBron James’ UNINTERRUPTED and the Memphis Grizzlies. Recently, Booze has interrupted the music and entertainment space executing album release parties, award shows, podcasts and branded experiences. While Kaysia has worked with legends like Serena Williams, Drake, Ariana Grande, Kelly Rowland, Odell Beckham Jr. and LeBron James, she does not allow the social perspective to impact the work she does. As she continues to grow and expand in her expertise and experiences, she is adamant about walking as God guides her, so she will always be in a space where her gifts and abilities are apparent and in demand.