Board of Directors

bio_picTiffany Nelson & Quashan McCord

Executive Director and Founders

Tiffany Nelson is the older of two children and is married to the co-founder of Build A Bridge Foundation, Quashan McCord. Together they have four children, all of which attend Savannah-Chatham County public school system. Ms. Nelson is an educator and has taught in the Savannah-Chatham County school system for 13 years before leaving and starting Build A Bridge Foundation. She has extensive experience in education and social services to include, but not limited to, special education teacher, adjunct professor at Savannah State University, as well as Education Support Specialist of the Department of Human Services/DFCS. In addition to her experience in the education field, Ms. Nelson also has experience in social services to include her work as Service Coordinator with Babies Can’t Wait, Counselor with Treutlen House, a group home for children in foster care, as well as Case Manager at SAFE Shelter. Ms. Nelson is a graduate of Savannah State University, receiving both her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the area’s historically black institution. Ms. Nelson also holds a teaching certificate in Special Education, specializing in Behavior Disorders. She also received her Reading Endorsement from Armstrong Atlantic State University and her Educational Leadership Certification from Georgia Southern University.

Quashan McCord is a native of Passaic, New Jersey and has lived in Savannah for six years. He is married to the co-founder of Build A Bridge Foundation, Tiffany Nelson and together they have four children, all of whom attend the Savannah-Chatham County public school system. Mr. McCord is the third oldest of five children. All of whom continue to reside in New Jersey. He currently works for Savannah Tire and was previously a store manager at an area Jiffy Lube for four years. Mr. McCord is a member of Sanctuary of Praise Christian Assembly where he holds the position of church deacon.

Vice President

Caroline Gordon-Jelks

Bio not available

Professional_Photo2NewKareem Hill

Board Treasurer

Kareem Hill, a native of Savannah, Georgia, is an aggressive, ambitious, and agile young entrepreneur. Prior to establishing his entrepreneur spirit, he has worked as a Project Consultant with Edison Learning;Corporate Education Liaison (University of Phoenix); Credit Analyst (Ikon Business Solutions); and Banking Officer (Carver State Bank). Currently, he is an Adjunct Faculty member at Saint Leo University; and serves as Management Consultant for Flauge Entertainment, LLC.

Kareem is a 1994 graduate of Georgia Southern University (BBA, Finance); 1998 graduate of Savannah State University (MPA); and a 2010 graduate of University of Phoenix (MBA). Kareem is on the Board of Directors for Big Kidz Foundation, and currently serves as the Savannah Liaison and Advisory Board Chair. Also, he has served as a Board member for the American Diabetes Association, and the Savannah Development Renewal Authority (SDRA).

Over the years, Kareem has acquired the educational/professional fortitude to advocate career success for other individual(s) and businesses. In addition, he credits much of his success on the morals and values his parents instilled in him; and the beliefs of Benjamin E. Mayes, who said “the tragedy of life does not lie in not reaching your goals, but having no goals to reach.”

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as is if you were to live forever.” — Mahatma Gandhi

2014_Publicity-croppedJackie Gilbert-Grant

Board Member

Jackie Gilbert-Grant is a native of Savannah, Georgia. She is the youngest of four siblings. She is married to Martin Grant and together they have one son. She is the pastor of Sanctuary of Praise Christian Assembly located on west 45th street. She has been pastoring for three years and has been in ministry for over thirty. Ms. Gilbert-Grant is a graduate of Savannah State University, earning both a bachelor’s and master’s degree. She is active in the community and has an extensive background in non-profit work to include, but not limited to, former board member for SAFE Shelter, Savannah, Georgia and earlier director of Turning Point, located in Savannah as well. She has also worked with the Homeless Authority and began the United Christian Women Fellowship a decade ago. She has recently started L.A.D.I.E.S. Inc., (Ladies Acting Dignified In Every Situation), a non-profit organization that works with women between the ages of 20-35 years of age. L.A.D.I.E.S. Inc. provides coaching, instruction, and modeling for women, on how to behave as ladies, no matter the circumstance, event or situation that may present itself. This is not just a ministry, but a movement that is sweeping the nation.

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Bill Gilbert

Bill Gilbert is the Founder and CEO of the Faith Hope Charity In Christ Evangelistic Association. He is also the presiding Prelate of the Bound By The Covenant Connection, a joining together of Christian leaders afor the purpose of strength, unity, love, and fellowship. Mr. Gilbert has preached, taught and sang througout the United States, Europe, and the Holy Land for the last 35 years. He has been listed in the journal of Outstanding Young Men in America. Mr. Gilbert is the founder of the Penecostal Ministerial Alliance in Savannah, Georgia, which has been in existance and successful operation for 30 years. He is the author of numerous books and is a recording artist and has 6 CDs to his credit. Dr. Bill Gilbert passed away on December 18, 2014. He will be missed.

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Troy A. Brown, EdD

Dr. Troy A. Brown received his BS in Psychology from the University of South Carolina, his MEd from the College of Charleston, a second MEd from the University of Charleston, a leadership certificate from Georgia Southern University, his EdD in Curriculum andInstruction from the University of South Carolina, a second EdD in Educational Administration from Georgia Southern University, and a MA in History from Armstrong Atlantic State University. He is passionate about education and encourages others to be lifelong learners as well. Dr. Brown is presently a principal in the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System at Rice Creek School. Prior to education leadership, Dr. Brown taught mathematics and science in middle school and high school and served as an assistant principal at various school levels. Prior to being appointed as the principal at Rice Creek School, he served as the principal of West Chatham Middle School for a few years. As an educator for over 25 years, Dr. Brown dedicates his time to improving education, parent and community involvement, and positive school relationships in order to yield academic success.

He volunteers for several community organizations, facilitating parent workshops, mentoring others, and teaches post secondary educational courses at USC. Dr. Brown’s passion for public education does not stop with the students. As an instructional leader, he recognizes that education is a partnership with parents, students, educators, and all school stakeholders. In order to ensure parents and community members have a fully loaded educational toolbox, he often arranges academic training for them, including basic literacy skills, strategies for learning reading and math, and more. His desire to support others is inspiring.

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Lisa J. Roberson

Lisa J. Roberson was born and raised in Savannah, Georgia. She attended Savannah Christian Prep and is a graduate of Tompkins High School. She received certification in floral design and horticulture from Abraham Baldwin. Her work experience includes floral designer & decorator, manager for Richmond Hill Library, assistant for the Savannah law firm of Calhoun, Hubbard, Riddle, and Cox, and for the past 10 years has been employed by the Savannah Chatham County Board of Education. Lisa has volunteered at several community organizations to include, American Cancer Society/ Past President, Dodge County Unit Chamber of Commerce /Tourism Chair, Red Carpet Tour, & Magnolia Midlands, Habitat for Humanity /Board member & Chair, Nurturing Committee, American Red Cross /Dollars for Disaster Chair and Gala Committee, Telfair Museum, Lucas Theatre / Volunteer, and People to People to People Student Ambassador Program/ Primary Leader. She is an active member of Savannah Christian Church where she serves on the drama team and as a greeter. She has been married to Joe Roberson for 31 years. Together they have three children and two grandchildren. Lisa’s hobbies include painting with watercolor, making jewelry, and traveling the world.

John W. Voner

John Voner was born in Manhattan, New York. He spent his elementary years in Omaha, NE, and later moved to San Jose, California where he attended high school and college and received his degree in Business/Administration. At the end of 1996 John Voner moved back to Omaha, Nebraska. He worked for various major corporations, such as Sitel Marketing Inc. and World Com, in lead management positions. After leaving the corporate world, due to a strong spirit of entrepreneurship, John Voner started his quest to make his mark in his community.
In 2002 he started the Voner Group, a business consulting firm. The Voner Group specialized in working with nonprofit organizations, and startups. Later in 2005 John founded World Fellowship Christian Ministries Inc., a nonprofit community development organization that served the Greater Omaha Metropolitan area through many initiatives ranging from poverty to recidivism. He is also the founder of the Community Action organization EIE, Enough Is Enough, which gained national recognition for its efforts in violence prevention and intervention.
After 15 years of impacting the Omaha Metro area, John Voner and his family decided to move to Atlanta, Georgia to expand his desire to help others succeed. He established The Voner Group LLC, a business and marketing consulting firm, formally based in the Atlanta Metro area. His firm worked with all aspects of business entities, focusing on nonprofits and startups. Through a major contract, John and his family moved to the Savannah Metro area, where he established Urban Savannah Group LLC, an empowering networking organization for Urban Entrepreneurs and Professionals. Urban Savannah is a fast growing movement that is igniting synergy amongst African American and minority professionals and entrepreneurs. Urban Savannah has now developed and organized as Savannah’s African American & Minority Chamber of Commerce, a Georgia non-profit corporation focusing on Economic Development and advocacy for the African American and minority community of the Greater Savannah Metro and surrounding areas.
John Voner is known as a coach and mentor to many nationwide, and has been called a leader of leaders. His work with entities from Major Corporations, and Governmental Systems, to Small Start Ups, and individual coaching has impacted the lives of many, always helping those he serve, to succeed. John is the proud husband to the love of his life Carmen M. Voner, and the father of five sons, John Wesley, James William, Jaden Washington, Jackson West, and Jordan Wylde Voner.

Jessica Chaplin is a native of Savannah, GA, She was educated in the Savannah-Chatham Public School System where she graduated from Alfred Ely Beach High School. Jessica obtained her B.S. in Biology from Savannah State University. She also has a MAT in Secondary Science from Armstrong State University. After graduating from Savannah State, Jessica taught abroad in China during an 8 week summer program. Upon returning to the States she started as a long term substitute at Alfred Ely Beach High School for one school year. Jessica is currently the Department Chair for the Science department at Savannah Early College High School. She has been teaching for 4 years and enjoys the world of science. Teaching to her is not just a career it’s an experience. Teaching is a way of life and as an educator she believes that she has a front row seat to the best show on Earth. Actively working in the community not only assists the people who are on the receiving end, it builds character and confidence in the volunteers. Jessica believes that helping others is her way to create new experiences and bonds between someone new.

Crystal ThomasCrystal T. Thomas, a native of Savannah Georgia, is Christian business owner currently pursuing her PhD in Organizational Leadership with a concentration in Organizational Development. She holds a Masters Degree in Addictions Counseling and a B.A. in Psychology. She has a strong background in web and graphic design, executive level adminstration, work force development, and community outreach. She has an innate passion for the people  especially women with children, the homeless, and at-risks of homelessness. She aspires to help this organization create a greatest impact within the community.