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Gwendolyn Garnett  Program Director for the Center for Financial Advancement™ with

HomeFree-USA in Riverdale, MD. 


Gwen's  focus is on providing social, professional and financial skills training for students at HBCU’s. Gwen also owns Mamalu Travel. She is the former Neighborhood Lending executive for the Consumer Real Estate division of Bank of America. In this capacity she was responsible for driving multicultural and low-to-moderate income lending sales, education and counseling across the country.   Garnett retired from Bank of America in 2005 after 24 years where she served as the

Consumer Real Estate Multicultural executive, National Loan Center executive, and held many other diverse leadership roles in the company. She is passionate about using her years of experience to help others be successful.


Senior Program Officer

James Gore joined the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation in February 2009. Prior to joining the Foundation, James served as a program director with One Economy Corporation, a Washington, DC based multi-national nonprofit that focused on efforts to bring broadband access, online content, and technology resources to low-income families. James also spent eight years with the Winston-Salem Foundation as a program officer and donor services officer. James has been active with numerous philanthropic efforts throughout his career. He currently serves as co-chair of Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees and is on the board of North Carolina Network of Grantmakers. James now lives in Charlotte with his wife, Tamara Dial, and two young children, Dial Jean and Ellington “Duke”. James received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Yale University. 


Co-Founder of Equitable Communities CLT

Mary Kelly is a retired Senior Technology Manager from Bank of America. She managed production support and process design in Technology & Operations. As a community advocate for Affordable Housing in Charlotte, she is focusing on educating the Community on the issue of Affordable Housing, economic disparities and what we may do to help address the issues. She is actively involved with City Council and County Commissioners to develop a plan and create ideas to create more affordable housing thru NOAH rehabs, New Development and Vouchers. She is the Co-Chair the Myers Park United Methodist Church Affordable Housing Group, a member of the Alternative Compliance Committee and the LISC Grass Roots Committee.


Co Founder of Equitable Communities CLT

Peter Kelly is a retired Executive from Bank of America and First Union Bank. He specialized in Technology and Financial investments. Since Retirement Peter has dedicated his time as an advocate for Affordable Housing. He is working with Charlotte City Staff and City Council to improve the Housing Charlotte Framework and locational policy. In addition, creating a community advocacy group to review city Bond Deals and is developing standards for Affordable Housing Transactions. He co-chairs the Myers Park United Methodist Affordable housing group, is a member of the Housing justice Coalition and a member of the OneMeck Affordable Housing Group.


Federico Rios is the International Business and

Immigrant Integration Manager for the City of Charlotte.

His work focuses on community outreach and improving systems to help immigrant newcomers. Previously, Federico was program director for the Northeast Learning Community and Newcomer Services for Communities in Schools in Charlotte. He has several years experience serving as a mental health professional in Charlotte and in New York City. Federico is a board member of the Leading on Opportunity Council and Communities in Schools in Charlotte. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in English from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.  


Co Founder of Equitable Communities CLT

Senior Minister of First Baptist Church-West, 1995 to present.

Dr Woods has served the community as a beacon of social justice. He served on the Leading Opportunity Taskforce, Past Chairman of the Steering Committee for the Economic Development Partnership between First Union Bank and the National Congress of Black Churches, and Vice Moderator of the New Hope Missionary Baptist Association. He was a member of the Task Force Committee of 33 for Charlotte-Mecklenburg School’s Pupil Reassignment Plan, and a board member of Charlotte Advocates for Education, the United Way, HELP and the Minister’s Conference. He passionate about educating the public about affordable housing and economic disparities to prevent repeating mistakes
from our past.

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