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Our Leadership

Radically Resident Driven

Aisha Nyandoro

Chief Executive Officer

Aisha Nyandoro is the Chief Executive Officer of Springboard To Opportunities. Springboard provides strategic, direct support to residents of affordable housing. The organization’s service delivery model uses a “radically resident-driven” approach designed to improve quality of life and end the generational poverty trajectory. Nyandoro has more than a decade of experience developing, implementing, and evaluating programs aimed at improving the quality of life for individuals with limited resources.

She has worked in various capacities—as an academic, evaluator, philanthropist, and nonprofit executive. These varied experiences have allowed her to better understand systems and policies that impact vulnerable communities. Prior to serving with Springboard, Aisha served as a Program Officer with the Foundation for the Mid South. During her tenure, she strengthened the Foundation’s community development portfolio by executing a plan focused on five specific strategies aimed at transforming communities. Additionally, she led the Foundation’s place based initiative – Community of Opportunities. Under her leadership, community leaders were able to leverage more than $20 million in federal and private funding. In addition, she established statewide, regional, and national public-private partnerships to create resources and assist the Foundation in achieving its mission and goals.

She holds a B.A. in Psychology from Tennessee State University, a M.A. in Community Psychology and Urban Affairs and a Ph.D. in Community Psychology from Michigan State University. Aisha shares her commitment to community with the various boards of directors and advisory councils to which she lends her expertise and service. She has received multiple honors, including recognition as a fellow of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Leadership Network and Ascend at the Aspen Institute. Aisha’s life mission is to holistically and compassionately lift families out of cycles of poverty. When not working to transform impoverished communities, she is a wife and Mommy to two best little boys in the world.

Aisha’s email address is aisha@springboardto.org

Parthenia Fields

Program Director

Parthenia Fields, Program Director for Springboard To Opportunities, is a firm believer in the concept of lifelong learning. Much of her career has been dedicated to educating and assisting others while gaining knowledge and wisdom through that work. After joining the Springboard team in 2014, Parthenia’s experience came in handy when she jumped feet first into working alongside families-who reside in affordable housing complexes-to help them achieve success in school, work, and life. In this intricate and strategic work, her duties are to form and sustain partnerships and research and design programs that embolden women to dream, set goals, and implement action steps for achievement, while providing tools for self-advocacy.

However, Parthenia is more than the sum of her work. She is foremost a mother. Additionally, she is a writer, editor for indie authors, and is trying her hand at theatre. Her hobby is knitting.

Sarah Stripp

Senior Community Specialist- Northwood Village

Sarah Stripp is a native of Michigan, but has been happy to now call Jackson, MS home. An experienced strategist and program coordinator, Sarah has worked for the past five years in community development based non-profits taking on a variety of roles from providing direct services to coordinating and building local and national partnerships. She has been at Springboard To Opportunities since the beginning of 2016, providing on-the-ground supportive services for families as well as serving in administrative roles including the development of grant initiatives, managing communications, and coordinating program evaluation for the organization. Sarah is currently a W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Leadership Network fellow.

Lynette Barmer

Community Specialist- Windsor Valley

Lynette, a recent graduate of Towson University with a B.S. in psychology, has worked at Windsor Valley for the past seven years. An Army Veteran and former Para-Educator, she currently sits on the steering committee for early intervention for Harford County Public School’s Judy Program.

Robin Edwards

Community Specialist- Timbercroft Townhomes

Robin is a native New Yorker, who has made Maryland her home. Robin has worked in the Human Services/Non-Profit field for more than 20 years. She had the pleasure in working with low-income families assisting them to reach self-sufficiency by providing project development/management, grant writing/management and direct services such as, rental assistance, job training, education (GED) and Life skills. Her goal is to assist as many low-income individuals by Listening to their concerns, Opening her heart and mind to their life experiences, being Vulnerable by sharing my life failures and successes with them and by Evolving, helping them to elevate themselves out of poverty to self-sufficient (LOVE). Robin is committed to engaging her residents with honesty, love and an outlook on life that they can be anyone they choose to be if they want it.

Victoria Peters

Community Specialist- Overlook

Victoria has worked for the past 30 years with churches and non-profit organizations in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Having received training in community organizing, Victoria is an advocate for organizing parents and community members toward improving quality public schools. When not advocating for quality education for all children, Victoria is a Kingdom Health coach working with children and families to maintain healthy lifestyles. She is one of the founders that established a city initiative entitled, “Get Healthy Hattiesburg” and started the Fit2Empower Fitness Ministry with a mission to be a life-giving ministry for all people that provides holistic tools and resources for healthy Kingdom living and personal empowerment.

Valeria Haley

Community Specialist- Commonwealth Village

Val is deeply in love with her three children, her job, and the Springboard team. She is excited to embrace a new and interesting role with Springboard as a Community Specialist. She values her family and has big goals for herself and her family.

LaVettea Davis

Community Specialist- Madonna Manor

Danny Seymour

Community Specialist- Dauphin Gates

Daniel Seymour joined Springboard To Opportunities in 2017 as the new Community Specialist in Mobile, AL. Previously, Daniel was the Coordinated Entry Data Specialist for Housing First, Inc.,and Education Coordinator for AIDS Alabama South providing HIV prevention information and testing services in a 12 county service area of southwest Alabama. Born in Buffalo, NY, Daniel grew up in a military family moving from place to place. He graduated from high school in Honolulu, HI and served four years in the United States Air Force. In December 2003, he graduated from the University of South Alabama with a B.S. in Elementary Education.

Tia Mills

Community Specialist- Skyview

Tia is a native if Aurora, CO, but has resided in Mississippi for past 12 years. She is a mother of three, two boys and a girl. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from the University of Southern Mississippi. Previously, she has worked as an Assisted Housing Specialist with the Mississippi Regional Housing Authority District 8 in Gulfport, Mississippi.

Cheryl Bowden-Walker

Community Specialist - Commonwealth Village

Cheryl is a native of Jackson, MS. She is a product of Jackson Public School District, a graduate of Jim Hill High School, earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Belhaven University, and a Master’s Degree in Education Media Design & Technology from Full Sail University, all while being a working mother of four children. She has a diverse career in non-profit, business development, education, and retail management and has a passion for advancing others through her life experiences and formal training. Cheryl believes that developing opportunities for growth and expansion creates a bridge from the island of poverty to the world of career success.

Board of Directors

Michelle Whetten

President – Board of Directors

Michelle Whetten is vice president and Gulf Coast market leader for Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. Michelle leads Enterprise’s work to create and support effective systems and tools for high quality affordable housing production, attract private-sector capital and strengthen the affordable housing industry. Prior to her assignment in the Gulf Coast, Michelle was deputy director for Enterprise’s New York office, where she led neighborhood initiatives and public policy efforts. In that role, Michelle managed organizational development, resident services-related technical assistance and grant making programs, and directed advocacy and outreach to local, state and federal officials on housing and community development issues. Michelle serves as chair of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas Advisory Council and on the boards of Reconcile New Orleans, Louisiana Housing Alliance, Gulf Coast Renaissance Corporation and the Mississippi Association of Affordable Housing Providers. She is past president and current executive committee member of the board of the Louisiana Association of Affordable Housing Providers.

Carol Wishcamper

Board of Directors

Carol Wishcamper has three decades of experience as a leader in the education and non-profit sectors. She has developed an organizational development consulting practice focused on capacity building offering services in strategic planning, leadership development, executive coaching, conflict management and communication skills (www.carolwishcamper.com). She lives in Freeport, Maine with her husband Joe, a developer of affordable housing. They have two grown sons and two grandchildren.

Phil Eide

Treasurer – Board of Directors

Phil Eide joined Hope Enterprise Corporation in September 2000. He helped to create and manage a mortgage department for the company, coordinated HOPE’S efforts to rebuild the coastal areas devastated by Katrina and works on New Market and Housing Tax Credit developments for Hope. He obtained an undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s degree from Jackson State University. He served on the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas Advisory Board, served on the Governor’s Task Force for Affordable Housing after Hurricane Katrina and is a board member of the Gulf Coast Renaissance Corporation and Springboard To Opportunities.

Carol Burger

Board of Directors

Carol Johnson-Burger was named president and CEO of United Way of the Capital Area in July, 1995. She has been with United Way since 1984. Under her leadership, United Way implemented a Community Impact model for measurable accountability in programs addressing education, income and health. Carol presently serves on the following local boards: Mission Mississippi, Greater Jackson Arts Council, JOBS for Mississippi Graduates, Entergy’s Advisory Board, the Better Business Bureau and Springboard To Opportunities.

Jonathan Lee

Board of Directors

Jonathan Lee is a businessman in Jackson, MS. From serving on the boards of several city non-profits to helping host a weekly community discussion in West Jackson (Friday Forum at Koinonia Coffee House), Jonathan is invested in seeing our communities strengthen and flourish. A few of Jonathan’s Community Involvement and Recognitions include: Past Chairman, Jackson Chamber of Commerce, Executive Board of Directors, Operation Shoestring, Board of Directors, Midtown Partners and Past Board Member, I.S. Sanders Farish Street YMCA to name a few.

Jody E. Owens

Board of Directors

Jody E. Owens, II is the Director of the Mississippi office of the Southern Poverty Law Center (“SPLC”). He leads SPLC’s Mississippi efforts to reform the state’s juvenile justice, education and mental health systems. His practice focuses on the representation of vulnerable children and to increase investments in communities and schools. His work has brought to light horrific and unconstitutional conditions forced upon children and youth in many for-profit and public juvenile detention facilities in Mississippi. He is a summa cum laude graduate of Jackson State University and received his law degree from Howard University School of Law where he was a member of the Social Justice Law Review and the Huver I. Brown Trial Advocacy Moot Court Team. Jody is also a United States Naval Officer.

Marjorie Sims

Board of Directors

Marjorie has more than 20 years of experience in advancing the status of women and families at local, state, national, and international levels. She formerly served as program officer at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation with a specific focus on family economic security programs and managed a $65M grant portfolio. Prior to joining the Kellogg Foundation, Sims held the positions of chief operating officer, interim president, and vice president of programs and operations at the Washington Area Women’s Foundation. During her tenure in Washington, Sims helped launch Stepping Stones, a $5 million, multi-year, regional initiative to increase the income and assets of women-headed families. Stepping Stones received national recognition as a model public-private partnership. In addition, Sims served as the executive director of the California Women’s Law Center and as a policy analyst with the International Center for Research on Women. She is a co-founder of Women’s Policy, Inc., an organization that emerged from the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues to provide unbiased analyses and educational briefings about federal legislation affecting women and families. Sims has additional expertise in expanding women’s philanthropy and managing leadership transitions.