Economic Mobility Forum Panelists
Rodney Foxworth is a cross-sector leader and entrepreneur with experience in philanthropy, social enterprise business development and economic inclusion. He is deputy director of the Warnock Foundation and advisor to BMe, an organization that funds, promotes and networks enterprising black men in a growing number of U.S. cities. Rodney is also co-founder of SocEnt Baltimore, a growing network of emerging social entrepreneurs in Baltimore City.
Janel Black is a Baltimore City resident who has lived without a car for three years. She is a mother who has difficulties getting back and forth to work for her 3AM to 11AM shift without a vehicle. Jenel will be receiving a car from VFC at the forum.
Gloria Estrada is a mother of six children from Montgomery County. She received a car from VFC in January 2014. Gloria manages her own photography business, making reliable transportation important for her family and her company. You can find out more about Gloria Estrada photography here. Since receiving a vehicles, Gloria has served as VFC's special events photographer, including the Economic Mobility Forum. We appreciate her help and talent.
Economic Impact on the Region and Employers
Donald C. Fry is president and CEO of the Greater Baltimore Committee (GBC), the region’s most prominent organization of business and civic leaders. He has been the chief executive of the GBC since Nov. 1, 2002. Since that time, he has crafted a vision for the GBC that is taking shape in the form of bold initiatives designed to strengthen the area’s business climate. Prior to being named GBC president and CEO, Fry served as the GBC’s executive vice president and general counsel.
Tom Hirsch is the President of Hirsch Electric. Mr. Hirsch provides extensive business and financial expertise to the company. He served as a Chief Financial Officer in the construction material distribution business before acquiring Hirsch Electric with his brother, Joe. He is a CPA and has obtained his MBA from Loyola College of Baltimore’s XMBA Program with an undergraduate degree from Mount Saint Mary College.
Michael B. Kelly handles legal matters for the Baltimore Metropolitan Council and coordinates cooperative efforts among the Baltimore region’s jurisdictions. Currently, Mike serves as the Director of the Opportunity Collaborative – the consortium developing Baltimore’s Regional Plan for Sustainable Development through a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development.
Wendy Ness has worked for Genesis HealthCare since January of 2010. She started out at Brightwood Center before serving as the Administrator at Homewood Center in Baltimore and Gettyburg Center in Pennsylvania. Wendy has been working in healthcare for over 15 years in Acute Rehabilitation, Assisted/ Senior Living and Long-Term Care setting in Maryland and Pennsylvania. She has a Bachelor Science degree with an emphasis on Therapeutic Recreation and an MBA with an emphasis on HealthCare Administration from York College of Pennsylvania.
Transportation’s Impact on Healthy Living & Family Structure
Diane L. Bell McKoy is the President and CEO of Associated Black Charities (ABC), Maryland’s leading African-American philanthropic organization, where she leads a team of “change agents” focused on closing the health and wealth gaps in the State of Maryland through strategic partnerships and investments for the development of healthier and wealthier communities. Their signature economic strategy is entitled More in the Middle focusing on a wealthier region by strengthening the assets of people of color specifically African Americans, low income, the working poor and the fragile middle class.
Ashyrra C. Dotson has been a positive advocate for Minority Health and Health disparities for the past 8 years. Ms. Dotson has made great strides during her 8 year tenure with Associated Black Charities as the Program Coordinator for Dorchester County and has established lasting partnerships within the community at large as well as developing strong inroads with the Faith based organizations of Dorchester County.
Maritha Gay is Executive Director of External Affairs and Community Benefit for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States, Inc. As a member of Kaiser Permanente’s executive team, Ms. Gay leads the community benefit initiatives and investments that support the organization’s mission to provide high quality, affordable health care and to improve the health of its communities.
Dr. Michelle A. Gourdine is a physician and CEO of Michelle Gourdine and Associates LLC, an award-winning W/MBE-certified consulting firm dedicated to empowering people to make healthier choices for themselves and their families. She is also a nationally-sought-after speaker and author of the book, Reclaiming Our Health: A Guide to African American Wellness (Yale University Press). She is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Departments of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and a Senior Associate in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.