Samantha Edison-Howell - Board President
Samantha is the Sales Advisor for the Sales & Marketing Division of Amway Corporation. She has expertise in developing materials that effectively promote marketing campaigns and extensively analyzes business performance data for trends in support Sales & Marketing Planning. She has extensive experience presenting ideas around vision and mission to external organizations, as well as process and continuous improvement. Samantha has conducted market research and analysis through interviews and surveys. She has designed customized performance interventions and training. An additional strength is her background in training and facilitation of corporate training programs. Samantha has her Bachelor of Science, Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI and a MBA from Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Ashanti Bryant – Vice President
Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Ashanti Bryant currently serves as principal of Grand Rapids Christian Middle School. He is an adjunct instructor in education and social work undergraduate and graduate schools programs across the state and online. Ashanti is a passionate educator with particular passion for leadership, new school development, early childhood education, school reform, and racial reconciliation. Ashanti and his wife live in Grand Rapids and are the proud parents of two daughters.
“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”
St. Catherine of Siena
Evette Pittman is the Director of Development Events and Community Engagement for the Grand Rapids Symphony. Previously, she was the Director of Public Relations and Marketing for 91.3, WCSG Radio at Cornerstone University. At the Symphony, Evette conceives and plans fund-raising events, develops event marketing strategies and engages Symphony donors as well as the greater West Michigan community. In her role with Community Engagement, Evette strives to broaden the reach of the Symphony to be seen as an inclusive and diverse arts organization. Evette serves on the board of Autism Support of Kent County, the Downtown Development Authority Taskforce for Experience, the Grand Rapids Symphony Strategic Planning Committee, GREAAT Schools Inc. Events Committee and is a member of Multiracial Association of Professionals and Women in Development. Evette has been married to James Pittman Jr. (JR) for 21 years and has two sons, Joshua and Noah. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcast Communications and Mass Media from Cedarville University as well as an Associate of Biblical Studies degree from Moody Bible Institute. Evette can be reached at email@example.com.
Ingrid Scott-Weekley - Board Secretary
Ingrid is the Managing Director of Administrative Services for the City of Grand Rapids and is responsible for all human resource functions, customer service, diversity and inclusion, and related training. She also has oversight responsibility for collective bargaining. Ingrid served as Equal Opportunity Director for the City for over 20 years. Ingrid has served on numerous boards and commissions, including the Floyd Skinner Bar Association, The Legal Assistance Center, and the State Bar of Michigan’s Open Justice Commission’s Task Force on Racial and Ethnic Bias in the Courts. She is an adjunct professor of political science at Grand Rapids Community College. Ingrid has volunteered as a tutor for GRPS and is a current participant /supporter of the “I Believe I Become” initiative. Ingrid received her Bachelor and Masters degrees from the University of California, Irvine, and Juris Doctorate from the University of California, Hasting College of Law in San Francisco, California.
Dr. Damon F. Arnold – Board Trustee
Dr. Arnold is an author, consultant and motivational speaker. Dr. Arnold provides training in leadership and motivation across the United States. Dr. Arnold understands the psychology of success and failure and how to motivate others to achieve their dreams. After getting kicked-out of two different high schools and ultimately graduating from a continuation school, his message is simple: “It’s not how you start, but how you finish that counts.” He has been a facilitator at the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) leadership conferences. He has served on panels to discuss the state of public schools and is the author of The African American Student Athlete Experience at a Predominately White Institution. It is his goal to inspire his clients to confidence in all situations. Dr. Arnold holds an A.A. in Behavioral Science from Citrus Community College, a B.A. and an M.A. from Chico State University, as well as an M.S. in Sports Psychology from the University of Idaho. Dr. Arnold received his Ph.D. in Education Administration from Washington State University.