Wealth Building: Investing in Community Change - 12:15 pm
Will Jawando started his career crafted by a unique combination of grit, compassion, and integrity. Born to a Nigerian father and white Kansan mother in Silver Spring, Md., Will’s bi-racial identity gave him an appreciation for the varied experiences life in America can bring. Raised in a low-income household, he was determined to secure a successful future for himself through the pathway of education. When he was a teenager, however, tragedy struck when one of his best friends was killed in a senseless act of gun violence.The aftermath of this ordeal would be the catalyst that would solidify Will’s commitment to becoming an agent of change through public service. With unwavering dedication, he earned a B.A. in Sociology from Catholic University of America (CUA) and completed his J.D. from the prestigious CUA Columbus School of Law. While attending CUA, he started the first NAACP chapter on their campus – a move that would chart the course for his burgeoning career in law and politics. Described as “the progressive leader we need” by revered civil rights activist and Congressman, John Lewis, Will has worked with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senator Sherrod Brown, and then-Senator Barack Obama. During the 8-year Obama Administration, Will had the honor of serving as Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, followed by a position as an advisor to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in the U.S. Department of Education. He has worked tirelessly to ensure a quality education, opportunities for prosperity and guaranteed civil rights are available to every American.
Judy Dlamini is the founder and executive Chairman of the Mbekani Group. She is
the former Chairman of Aspen Pharmacare Limited (Aspen) a JSE-listed South African
pharmaceutical manufacturer with more than 60 established business operations in
more than 50 countries and product distribution in more than 150 countries. Mbekani
Group celebrated 20 years in business in 2016. The group has operations and investments in different sectors, including pharmaceuticals, facilities and property management, tourism, surgical instruments management, and luxury fashion retail.
Judy qualified as a medical doctor in 1985 from the University of Natal. She practised
as a family practitioner for many years before consulting in Occupational Health for
various companies in Durban and Johannesburg. After completing her MBA at Wits (University of Witwatersrand, Business School), having majored in Corporate Finance & Leadership, she joined HSBC Investment Bank, Johannesburg division, in Corporate Finance. She obtained Doctorate in Business Leadership from UNISA where she
investigated the intersection of race, gender and social class in women CEOs’ career
progression and strategies for gender transformation at leadership level. One of the
academic contributions from her research is the WHEEL Theoretical Model.
She converted her thesis to a book, titled ‘’Equal but Different”, which was published in
December 2016. The book was selected to the Exclusive Books’’ Homebru 2017 list
under the business category.
She is the recipient of the African Economy Builder Lifetime Achiever Award for 2016
from African Economy Builder Forum; The Global CEO’s 2016 Africa’s Most Influential
Women in Business and Government SADC South award for the Business and
Professional Services sector at regional and national level.
In August 2016 she stepped down from the Anglo American plc board to focus on her
business. Previous board engagements include Discovery Holdings, a JSE listed financial
services company where she chaired the Remuneration and Transformation Committees,
and Woolworths Holdings (JSE listed Retail Company). She and her husband are the founders of Future Nation Schools, a private schools group which offers futuristic, technology enabled and epitomises excellence in Africa!. They are also Founders and
trustees of Mkhiwa trust, a family public benefit organisation with a focus in rural development and education. She is a wife, mother and grandmother.
Monty Cooper is a lawyer with Crowell &Moring, LLP, an international law firm of more than
500 attorneys with offices in the U.S. and Europe. He works in its Washington, D.C. office and is
a member of its Product Liability Litigation and the Environment & Natural Resources practice groups. His law practice focuses on environmental, product liability, and complex civil litigation.
Monty also provides strategic counseling and legal advice on environmental regulatory issues
for clients. A member of the District of Columbia, Maryland, and South Carolina bars, for several years, he has been selected as a Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers "Rising Star."
Monty is also chair of the board of directors for the Redevelopment Authority (RDA) of Prince
George’s County. The RDA is the county’s principal development and redevelopment agency. Its
mission is to develop mixed-income housing and mixed-use development in the county’s urban communities and transit centers. Since becoming chair in 2012, the RDA has selected more than a half-dozen development partners for projects with a total development cost of over $500
million and has closed on more than 750 loans worth more than $8 million for down-payment
and closing-cost assistance to first-time homebuyers. The RDA’s efforts have been highlighted
in both print (e.g., The Washington Post) and television media (e.g., WJLA-ABC News 7 –
Monty is a graduate of Georgetown University and the William & Mary School of Law, where he served as an editor of the William & Mary Law Review. A member of Reid Temple A.M.E. Church in Glenn Dale, Monty lives with his wife and twin girls in Mitchellville, MD.
Gary L. Rozier is Senior Vice President of Institutional Marketing & Client Services. Gary joined the firm in 2006 and is responsible for institutional business development and client services with a special focus on registered investment advisors. Prior to joining Ariel, Gary spent more than five years with Rydex Investments. At Rydex, he held multiple positions in shareholder services and financial advisor sales before being promoted to regional vice president where he oversaw product development and distribution across nine states in the Midwest Region. Gary is on the board of directors for American Red Cross Chicago, a trustee for the Francis Xavier Warde School, and serves on the Investment Committee of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School. Additionally, he is a 2011 Leadership Greater Chicago fellow. Gary earned a BA in Economics from the University of Maryland, where he serves on the Board of Visitors and was a captain of the rugby team.
Tonia Wellons is a Vice President at the Greater Washington Community Foundation and leads the
Community Investment function, which includes grant-making, community engagement, and
strategic partnerships. She has over 20 years of experience spanning senior leadership roles at the Peace Corps and the World Bank Group to social entrepreneurship for a community-based fund that
Prior to joining the Foundation in July 2016, she served as a political appointee for the Obama
Administration as head of global partnerships at the Peace Corps. Tonia was responsible for leading
the agency’s partnerships with government, the private sector, international NGOs, and donors. This included bold cause-marketing partnerships for Let Girls Learn (an initiative of First Lady Michelle Obama) with the likes of Land’s End and Alex and Ani; and a service exchange relationship with IBM. Tonia previously served as fund manager for CGAP, a multi-donor initiative focused on extending financial access and inclusion, housed at the World Bank Group. She also spent a significant part of her career working on USAID-funded capacity development initiatives during the immediate post-apartheid era in South Africa and the broader region. In 2010, Tonia founded The Prince George’s County Social Innovation Fund (PGCSIF) and its flagship initiative, Forty UNDER
40 Prince George’s County.
Tonia has a master’s degree in Public Administration and International Development Policy from the University of Delaware, and a BA in Political Science from North Carolina A&T State University. She, her husband, and three children live in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.