Meet Our Leadership

Our Board of Trustees and Our Staff

Our Leaders

We have a diverse and highly committed leadership team.

Our goal is to help find the appropriate grants or scholarship to match with those individuals that are in need of financial assistance to further their education or help in developing their business objectives. We work diligently with our donors and grantees to make the proper connection.

People | Power | POISE

MEET OUR STAFF

BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Greg Spencer is a native of Washington, PA. He attended Wilberforce University, graduated From University of Pittsburgh and earned a Masters at St. Francis University. Spencer served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War.

Ron was born in Gulfport, Mississippi and attended segregated elementary, middle and high school there. He began college in the Fall of 1964 at HBCU Xavier University of New Orleans, Louisiana. 

DALE C. PERDUE, ESQ.

Dale retired from Alcoa where he was elected in September of 2000 by Alcoa’s Board of Directors as Assistant General Counsel and Assistant Officer of Alcoa. 

Treasurer

DARRELL E. SMALLEY

Darrell received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from LaSalle University in 1994 and is a Certified Member of the Institute for Professionals in Taxation.

Executive Director of Program to Aid Citizen Enterprise

LUCILLE ‘LUCI’ DABNEY

Luci has experience and a national reputation in the field of nonprofit organizational capacity building. Before moving to Pittsburgh, Luci ran her own consulting firm; Dabney and Associates.

Volunteer Secretary

ANNETTE CUFFEE GILLCRESE

Mrs. Annette Cuffee Gilllcrese, has been a member of the Board since November, 1999. For approximately a year and a half before becoming a member of the Board, she served as Volunteer Secretary.

CORNELL JONES

Rev. Cornell Jones is a pastor, activist, mentor, father and husband. He is currently the Group Violence Intervention Coordinator for the City of Pittsburgh where he brings outreach teams and law enforcement together to counteract and prevent violence in the Community. 

RHONDA FISCHER

Rhonda has dedicated nearly 20 years of her career to serving mission-based organizations committed to addressing societal challenges and is a committed civic leader. 

SAMANTHA CLANCY

Samantha currently works as VP, Human Resources at GNC Holdings, LLC (“GNC”).  Prior to transitioning to the HR leadership role, she worked as VP, Assistant General Counsel at GNC where she was responsible for, among other things, overseeing the company litigation portfolio and supporting the Human Resources function. 

CURRENT STAFF

President & Chief Executive Officer

MARK S. LEWIS

He is a native of Pittsburgh, and graduate of Michigan State University. Mark spent 13 years working for Price Waterhouse and Ernst & Young LLP providing auditing and consulting services. He became a Certified Public Accountant in 1991. He joined POISE in 2002 as its second President.

Chief Operating Officer

KARRIS M. JACKSON

Karris M. Jackson is currently Chief Operating Officer at POISE Foundation, a community foundation focused exclusively on supporting the African American community. Ms. Jackson’s responsibilities include managing the Foundation’s grant making portfolio…

Hiram graduated from Bloomsburg University and received his bachelors degree in political science.  He also received his master of public administration degree with a graduate certificate in public sector human resources management from Penn State.

As the Director of Programming & Grantmaking, Damion has oversight and ownership of POISE’s fiscal sponsor partnerships including managing the application process, recommending and selecting partners, end-to-end program administration.

Senior Controller

CHRISTOPHER PIERCE​

He is a finance and accounting professional with over 20 years of diverse corporate and non-profit experience. His non-profit roles have included Director of Administration, Finance for a USAID project in Rwanda, CFO of a medical research start-up, as well as work for social justice…

Assistant Development Director

SYLVIA V. REID

Sylvia has a lifetime of service to the ministry and community. She earned her degree in Organizational Leadership and Development from Azusa Pacific University and as an ordained minister, is currently pursuing a Master of Theology degree through Anderson University.

Managing Director of the Black Equity Coalition (BEC)

SHEMARIAH E. WAGGONER

 Prior to assuming her role at the BEC, Ms. Waggoner served as the President of Emery Consulting Services, LLC. (ECS) a Minority- Owned Operational Consulting Services firm located in Collier Township, PA.

Program Officer

SHAQUI SCOTT

As program officer, Shaqui Scott works with key staff and stakeholders to develop and implement grant programs rooted in the fulfillment of the Poise Foundation’s vision and mission.

Administrative Assistant

CANDIS DORSEY

Candis Dorsey is a seasoned Executive Administrative Assistant with over 15 years in the field. She has extensive experience with all administrative duties.

Staff Accountant

HUNTER MINFORD

Hunter is a recent college graduate from Robert Morris’s Rockwell School of business. He graduated with a Business Administration degree with a concentration in accounting. 

Donor Services Associate

MUNGEREZA MAYENDE-ARITA

Mungereza has a background in Humanitarian Interventions in both East Africa and the Middle East. She has a Masters in International Humanitarian Affairs from Fordham University, and a BA in Psychology and Literature from Kenyatta University.

POISE_TEAM_PRINCE

Communications Manager - Black Equity Coalition

PRINCE MATTHEWS

Prince has been heavily involved in his home community and other communities across America for 15 years. In the past, he has worked on presidential campaigns, a national political convention, within state government, local government, higher education, and for various community organizations…

FOUNDING MEMBER CIRCLE

Here are some of the founding members of the POISE Foundation, thank you for vision and belief in creating this organization.

Lennie Henry
Daisy Wilson
Edward E. Guy, Jr.

Members Emeritus

Bernard H. Jones, Sr., Founder and President *DECEASED*

Paul G. Patton, Col USAF Chair *DECEASED*

Followus on social media

Stay connected with POISE

We help businesses and individuals that want to help themselves in our community.

– Mark Lewis | President & CEO