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Board Members

Shawanna T. Watts

Born and raised in the city of Detroit, Michigan, Shawanna comes from a family of educated and
independent hard workers. Her high school and collegiate academic career prepared her for her
current success. As a graduate of Redford High School with a bachelor’s degree in accounting
from Wayne State University, Shawanna was destined to excel in money management and
business assistance. In 2008, she became the owner and primary operator of Tax Station LLC.
Because of her commitment and perseverance, within 5 years her company went from home
based to a storefront office in Lathrup Village, MI serving hundreds of clients annually. For over
14 years, she has been a resident of Lathrup Village, Michigan and has been an active leader in
her community for the duration of her stay.

As a board member of McIntyre Elementary School’s PTO, Shawanna was exceptional. She
served 5 years on the PTO however, 3 of those 5 years, she served as president. Subsequently,
she went on to serve on multiple boards for organizations such as Next Gen Idlewilders, Boys 2
Men Youth Mentoring, Idlewild Sportsplex, and the Lathrup Village Community Foundation. As
a result, her planning and event management skills improved allowing her to execute community
events such as cooking competitions, fundraisers, and youth activities to name a few. The
Solomon’s Fundraiser for Youth is one of many church programs supported by Shawanna’s
efforts. She takes pride in raising money for the church’s annual women’s conference, holiday
giveaways and initiatives to help the homeless.

Shawanna has made a major impact in Metro-Detroit with the support of her husband and 3 sons.
As a family, they have committed to working together to provide resources and opportunities for
those in need. Investing time with the youth and within the community is a Watts priority.
Shawanna strongly believes in giving back, building relationships and networking in order to
thrive as a society. She has a strong following of supporters in Idlewild, MI as well as Southfield,
Detroit, and Lathrup Village. Her professionalism and kind spirit continue to make an impact in
the lives of those given the opportunity to work with her.


Mark O. Watts, CEO and Founder of Boys 2 Men Youth Mentoring has

proudly worked in the community for over 20 years. He was born and raised in Detroit, MI

and learned early on how to be financially independent whist helping others do the same.

As a graduate of Cooley High School and A. Phillip Randolph Vocational Technical Center,

obtaining his diploma as well as a certification in carpentry was just the beginning of Mark’s

journey to success. After 10 years of working for companies such as The Detroit Zoo, FedEx,

and General Motors, he decided to become an entrepreneur and purchase property in the

city of Detroit. He now successfully owns and manages several businesses and properties in


With the help of his wife and 3 sons, Mark currently owns and operates Trash Out LLC, Quality
Auto Sales & Repair, and has several rental properties in the Detroit area. He sat on the DDA
Board of Directors for the city of Lathrup Village for 4 years and currently sits on the Next
Generation Idlewilders Board of Directors for the city of Idlewild. Mark purchased property in
the historical town of Idlewild and is grateful to be able to contribute to and enjoy the lake access
and outdoor experiences available to residents and visitors. He takes great pride in giving back as
well as leaving a legacy for his children.

In 2018, Mark Watts created the Boys 2 Men Youth Mentoring program. He has since been
committed to building the program and helping our youth in their transition from boys to young
men. Inspired by his pastors’ prayers and the love and support from his wife, mother and father,
Mark continues to inspire. Boys 2 Men has partnered up with several schools, churches, and
other community organizations including the Detroit Pistons and Detroit Tigers. The
organization promotes and provides interactive activities and opportunities for young men as
well as their families sometimes resulting in hundreds of Boys 2 Men attendees.

In 2021, Mark spearheaded and broke ground on the development of the Idlewild Sportsplex, an
outdoor activity area with pickleball, basketball, volleyball as well as a gaga pit and picnic area.
He also was one of the creators of a “Cooking in the Wild” series allowing the Idlewild
community to come together for a friendly cooking competition to help raise funds to tackle the
blight in the community. In 2022, Mark developed a youth workforce development program for
the City of Lathrup village to help the seniors in the community. He is committed to hosting
several annual events and activities for the community such as mental health awareness
seminars, cooking classes, workforce programs, holiday giveaways and more. Mark is a valued
and highly respected philanthropist, community leader and entrepreneur who continues to
positively change lives and provide jobs and opportunities for those trying to be the best version
of themselves.

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DeAngelo Malcolm is a licensed and ordained minister of The Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of The Apostolic Faith Inc. with over 20 years of ministerial experience. Malcolm was the former Youth Pastor and currently serves as the Executive Assistant to The Bishop at his local church, Solomon's Cathedral in Detroit , Michigan. Malcolm has been responsible for the development and programming of several components of Youth Ministry, including the current curriculum for the Children and Young Adult Youth Enrichment and Empowerment classes at Solomon's Cathedral. Malcolm is the former At Risk Liaison for the Methodist Children's Home Society and the Redford Union Public Schools for over 12 years. While at the Society , which is a Residential Treatment Program for young men who have experienced abuse and or neglect, he assisted in the developed and implementation of the on site school center program. The on site program afforded residents who were unable to attend traditional schools educational

opportunities for advancement. While at the Society he also mentored the residents and demonstrated appropriate adult male interactions. Malcolm is also a Certified Human Behavior Consultant, with over 15 years experience in Leadership Development. As Executive Assistant to the Bishop, Malcolm is primarily responsible for the spiritual and leadership development of the Ministerial Board and other auxiliaries within his Local Church. Malcolm currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Power 2 Become Ministries, Inc. which assists churches in developing and maintaining healthy church growth. Malcolm is employed as a Full Service Staff with Michigan AFSCME Council 25. His primary responsibilities include negotiating and the enforcement of labor contracts as well as mediating and arbitrating grievances for more than 5,000 employees within his caseload statewide. Malcolm most notably was responsible for assisting in mediating over 700 grievances with the City of Detroit during the largest municipal bankruptcy in history. In his spare time he enjoys playing chess, card games, fishing and spending quality time with his family and friends. Malcolm currently resides in Redford Michigan with his wife of 22 years Peggy and they have 4 children.

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Kwame Simmons Sr. is the founder and CEO of The Simmons Advantage; a consulting firm that supports full service organizational strategic planning, leadership development and workforce development for students with disabilities. Mr. Simmons has used over 20 years of his educational experience to revolutionize urban education. He is a dynamic educator who uses an innovative approach to revolutionize urban education. He has dedicated his career to educating students in the urban centers of Detroit, Michigan, Saint Louis, Missouri and in the District of Columbia. His enthusiasm and depth of knowledge regarding current research in school and central office leadership, technology integration and assessment makes him a rarity in education.


Mr. Simmons has worked tirelessly within each of his roles as an educator to turn urban schools into national models of success.He has managed to do this while creating an atmosphere that is motivating and designed to raise student achievement. While in St. Louis, his efforts led his school to receive national recognition for several awards, including Most Improved School of the Year. Additionally, after Mr. Simmons first year to an appointment of a persistently low performing school in Washington, DC, the school made a 12% increase in mathematics and a 15% increase with Special Education students. Mr. Simmons went on to transform this school into the first Blended Learning School in Washington, DC. He has been recognized in the Washington Post, by U.S. Department of Education for school turnaround and most recently received the 2015 BET Honors Award for Excellence in Education.

Mr. Simmons is a product of the Detroit Public School System. He received his undergraduate degree from Hampton University in History and graduate degrees from Teachers College, Columbia University in Organizational Development and Leadership and Macdonough School of Business, Georgetown University in Executive Masters in Education. He currently serves as founder and lead educational consultant for The
Simmons Advantage.

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Dr. Tosha Padgett Brown has over 25years of working within her field. Currently an Executive
Manager over the data applications and technology for Canton Township. She is also an adjunct
faculty member of Northwood University where she teaches business management and
technology. Her education began in Detroit Public Schools and she is a graduate of Cass
Technical High School. She earned her Bachelor of Business Administration from Wayne State
University in Information Systems Management in 1999 and her MBA from Oakland University
in Management Information Systems. Tosha holds a Doctoral degree in Executive Leadership
Management from Colorado Technical University.

Dr. Brown is a first-generation college graduate. She has demonstrated professional excellence
as a woman in the STEM field. Her education began in Detroit Public Schools graduating from
Cass Technical High School with her diploma in Computer Programming. She earned her
Bachelor of Business Administration from Wayne State University in Computer Science, MBA
from Oakland University in Management Information Systems, and a Doctoral degree in
Executive Leadership Management from Colorado Technical University. She recently received
the award for Women of Color Stem All Star Award in 2021. She is currently a full-time
professor in Business and Technology for Cleary University and a Senior Consultant for the CIO
Advisory Group, an international consulting firm.

Dr. Brown has a passion for mentoring the youth and working in her community. She currently
holds the position of President of the Wayne State Alumni Board and Vice President of
Operations for the Detroit Chapter of The National Black MBA Association. She is a lifetime
member of Girls Scouts of America and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She is currently a
board member for Jazzy Kat Urban Fit Kids and Boys 2 Men. Dr. Brown also sists on the
Advisory Board for the Wayne State University, Black Alumni. She lives by “to whom much is
given, much will be required”. As a product of being raised in Detroit by a single mother, she
understands how someone’s entire life can be changed by the right opportunity and environment.
She has made a mission to give back and she looks forward to pouring more into others by
mentoring. Dr. Brown resides in Detroit, MI, with her husband, Damon, where they spend their time
supporting their three athletic daughters, Kennedy, Angel and Lindsay. When the opportunity is
created, she finds time to enjoy sewing and crafting.

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Raya Danielle York is a Labor Relations Specialist with 9+ years experience enhancing relationships between employees, unions and organizations. As a current healthcare labor relations advisor and former Teamsters union steward, she utilizes a multifaceted approach to contract negotiation, interpretation and administration. Raya enjoys solving complex problems and mediating conflict. Her signature skill is developing and implementing Dispute Systems Designs in the workplace.


Raya was raised in Detroit, MI and is a graduate of Renaissance High School. She holds a Bachelor's degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Michigan and a Master's degree in Communications from Wayne State University. She currently serves as the Communications Director for the Detroit Area Labor Employment Relations Association and as a board member for Boys 2 Men Youth Mentoring. Raya volunteers her spare time to beautify communities as a MSU Extension Master Gardener. 


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