Meka Sales is a compassionate advocate and activist dedicating herself to enhancing the quality of life of those she encounters. Through the example of her community that nurtured her as a young child, Meka developed a sense of responsibility to use her talents and gifts to serve the community by looking back to give back. She founded the philanthropic organization, Be A Blessing, a giving circle which seeks to develop, nurture, and unleash donors to give of their time, talent, and treasure to serve their communities through strategic and collective giving.
Trained as a health educator, Meka’s professional career is a testament to her calling where she currently serves as a Health Care Program Officer for The Duke Endowment, a private foundation in Charlotte, NC. Meka’s programmatic and strategic oversight aids the development of initiatives that help communities improve conditions so that residents can live healthier lives. This includes supporting efforts and community residents at the grassroots level and working with stakeholders to affect statewide policy. Meka serves as chair of the board of Youth Empowered Solutions, is a member of the New Generation of African-American Philanthropists and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. In 2011, she was nominated to serve on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Southeastern Health Equity Council as a founding council member and leads the Data and Evaluation committee.
Meka earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communications from Syracuse University and a Master of Science degree in Health Fitness Management from American University. She currently resides in Charlotte, NC with her husband Michael.
Elyse Leeds Acanda, MBA, E-RYT, is an experienced, bilingual software sales professional with polished skills in business development, presentation and proposal delivery, and client management. She is a tenacious, independent, and resourceful leader. As VP of Business Development for Technomedia, she is part of a global team dedicated to helping clients improve their talent acquisition and management processes.
Elyse began practicing Yoga in 1996 with the simple goal of maintaining flexibility and health…and discovered her true love. Teaching since 2000, she loves sharing the practice and witnessing how yoga opens hearts and changes lives. As an active member of Off the Mat, Into the World, a yoga/activism initiative that aims to get yogis to take their practice outside of the yoga studio and touch the lives of others, she has participated in OTM’s Global Seva Challenge twice, raising $6,000 in 2008 for the Cambodian Children’s Fund and $22,000 in 2012 for organizations supporting the rehabilitation of victims of sex trafficking in India. Being a part of OTM has expanded her self-confidence and fearlessness beyond measure.
Elyse earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from George Mason University and her Master of Business Administration degree (MBA) in International Business from Thunderbird School of Global Management. She is a member of Chi Omega Fraternity and Hadassah. She lives in the Fishhawk Ranch community of Lithia, FL with her beloved son and daughter.
Shawn Purvis is Vice President of the Integrated Intelligence Systems (IIS) business unit for Northrop Grumman’s Intelligence Systems division. In this role, Ms. Purvis is responsible for all aspects of the IIS business, including strategy, growth, customer relationships, and program execution. IIS is a $500-million business with broad capabilities centered on the successful delivery of IT solutions to solve key customers' PED requirements. IIS has a broad depth of technical expertise and continues to expand its market position in the Open Source intelligence, geospatial intelligence, enterprise IT solutions, national intelligence, defense intelligence applications, and irregular warfare/counter narco-terrorism business areas.
Prior to joining Northrop Grumman, Ms. Purvis held positions of increasing scope and responsibility with SAIC. Most recently, Ms. Purvis served as Senior Vice President of SAIC’s Processing Exploitation and Dissemination Operation in the Intelligence Systems business unit, where she was responsible for managing all aspects of this $300-million, 800-person business. During her tenor at SAIC, Ms. Purvis demonstrated successful leadership of major, complex software and system programs. She has proven program experience with intelligence systems development and sustainment, integrated intelligence collection and analysis, information management, dissemination and provisioning of timely and relevant information, and direct operational support of national and defense integrated intelligence requirements.
Previous to her career at SAIC, Ms. Purvis worked at Lockheed Martin as Senior Systems Engineer, supporting infrastructure, web, and systems development. She graduated from Lockheed’s Engineer Leadership Development Program (ELDP).
Ms. Purvis has significant experience in the intelligence industry and a deep technical background in delivering intelligence IT solutions to key customers such as DIA, NGA, and DoD. Ms. Purvis maintains a proven track record of sustained business growth with large government intelligence programs across a broad range of customers and contract vehicles
Ms. Purvis earned a Bachelor in Computer Science degree from Hampton University and her Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS) degree from George Mason University. She earned her program management certification and successfully graduated from The Executive Program at UVA’s Darden Business School. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Northern Virginia Family Services.
Maya Matthews Minter is Vice President for Editorial and Production at Cox, Matthews & Associates, Inc. (CMA), a firm specializing in publishing, multimedia, training, and consulting with offices in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. As an executive manager, Maya is involved with editorial development, business development, and strategic planning for Diverse: Issues In Higher Education, CMA’s award-winning, national news magazine serving higher education and the public since 1984.
Veronica Rosario was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, but considers herself a citizen of the world. Her mission in life is to empower, educate, and uplift youth through her work. She's a graduate of the prestigious Newhouse School of Public Communication at Syracuse University where she earned her Bachelor and Master Degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Television, Radio, and Film.
Ms. Rosario left her mark on campus and in the community by organizing programs focused on youth empowerment, education, and community service as a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. She was among a pioneering group of students that helped to establish a study abroad program between Syracuse University and Africa. The first group of students traveled to Zimbabwe in 1993.
Ms. Rosario began her career in the television industry in 1995 working for major networks across New York and Florida. As a TV News Producer, Ms. Rosario was responsible for designing and executing morning, afternoon, and evening newscasts. She oversaw the story selection, reporter assignments, and entertainment feature remotes—along with a team of writers, directors, graphic artists, and editors—often being the only Latina in the newsroom to serve in this capacity.
In 2014, Ms. Rosario launched her own production company, Victory Productions, LLC.
In her spare time, Ms. Rosario enjoys international travel, bike riding, and volunteering with non-profit organizations focused on youth. She took several trips to Thailand following the 2004 tsunami to help rebuild homes for dozens of residents in affected areas. She also continues to work closely with youth programs that serve to educate and uplift teens through the arts.
As Che Guevara says, "A true revolutionary is guided by great feelings of love." Ms. Rosario loves her community and her countries (Dominican by ancestry, American by birth). Her goal is to give a voice to all of the stories that exist in these communities.