Jennifer Anderson is the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) Director at The University of Alabama. She developed and implemented the OLLI at UA program thirteen years ago with the advice, experience, and direction of an advisory board. She has also managed over 1000 events and conferences during her 16-year tenure at UA which included overseeing the Bryant Conference Center. She has been looked upon as an “out of the box” thinker and idea generator in the industry of lifelong learning and small businesses known to many as the “gig” industry.
Her previous work experience includes teaching Secondary Education Language Arts, Managing Store operations for the Limited Corporation, Retail and Food Service Director for the launch of Visionland Theme Park and Director of Bama Dining Food Service at The University of Alabama. Jennifer received her B.A. in Education from The University of Alabama along with her Masters in in Human and Environmental Sciences from the University of Alabama with a concentration in conflict resolution. Jennifer serves the community as a board member on the Police Athletic League, Shelton State Community College Foundation, and the Holy Spirit Athletic Association. Jennifer has made an impact through her work and service. She was chosen by The University of Alabama as the Professional Staff Employee of the Year for 2015. She was also awarded in 2016 from the Circle K organization as the community leader and partner of the year. Jennifer’s family which consists of six children is known as the modern day Brady Bunch. She and her husband Steve reside in Tuscaloosa, AL.
Michele Coley, is the only African American female Allstate Agent in the state of Alabama. She holds a Business Administration degree from Stillman College. She serves on the West Alabama Chamber Board of Directors, the city of Tuscaloosa Framework Steering Committee and Elevate Advisory Council. Michele also is a member of the University of Alabama College of Continuing Studies Board of Visitors. Recently she was appointed to the City of Tuscaloosa Zoning Board of Adjustments as a Supernumerary. Michele is very passionate about young people and their education. She mentors and sponsors reading/positive behavior initiatives at several city and county schools. Michele is a business owner, wife of 25 years and devoted mother.
Pamela Harvey received a bachelor in Health Care Management from The University of Alabama and a Master of Business Administration from the University of North Alabama. She is a graduate of Leadership Tuscaloosa, the Project Management Certificate Program, and a Six Sigma Green Belt. Pamela has over 19 years of health care management experience. Seven of which was in the non-profit industry where she managed primary care medical practices for numerous Federally Qualified Health Centers throughout the state of Alabama. The remaining years, she managed a Plastic Surgeon’s office. For the past 8 years, she has been working at The University of Alabama in Conference Services within the College of Continuing Studies utilizing her event planning and continuing education experience. She is currently a Certified Program Planner where she solicits, designs, and implements non-credit programs and conferences. Pamela is married and has two sons.
Daphne Boswell, earned her Dental Hygiene License in 1993, and her Associates of Science degree in 2007. She began her Mary Kay business in 2000 while working full time as a Dental Hygienist. After nearly 10 years in dentistry she decided to pursue her Mary Kay Business full time. Her first year in Mary Kay full time she earned the use of a career car, her first diamond ring and more income with less hours than the previous year as a Dental Hygienist. Since then she’s earned 2 more diamond rings and is currently working on her 2nd Mary Kay career car. Daphne has been a member of BNI over 5 years & has served as a Director Consultant working with local business owners in 2 chapters for 3 years.
She is the co founder of Simply Stunning were she and her partner are makeup artists for weddings and other special events. She says,” Making women feel beautiful gives them confidence. A confident woman can take on the world.” Daphne is also a makeup artist for the University of Alabama working with guests for the local TV station WVUA. Daphne has been married 12 years to Bryan Boswell. She has two adult children, Lauren Elliott & Chase Elliott. In her spare time, Daphne loves to draw, paint & play with her 4 dogs & 2 cats.
Renee Skelton, a retired former educator with numerous years of classroom and administrative experience. She owned and operated Condos Made Easy, a Destin located interior decorating business and currently manages rental property in Destin. She recently became Certified as an Aroma Freedom Technique Practitioner. In her spare time she enjoys reading, traveling, movies, and getting together with friends and family. She looks forward to meeting each of you and working to Empowering Women Locally.
Gina Simpson is a native of Alabama and a multiple graduate of The University of Alabama. She has spent her career as a serial entrepreneur founding, managing and growing several companies. Mrs. Simpson, a certified professional coach, enjoys using her entrepreneurial experience to grow and foster businesses. Currently, she is the President of Regina Holdings, LLC, a consulting and investment firm, and Soluna Strategies, a professional coaching firm. In addition to a business owner, consultant, and coach, Mrs. Simpson is a Professor at The University of Alabama in Entrepreneurship. Gina and her husband, Mark, began their entrepreneurial journey in the field of construction and have founded six businesses over the last 18 years. She was awarded the Rising Star Entrepreneurship Award by the West Alabama Chamber of Commerce and the Roots and Wings Award by the Women in Business Council. She is very active in the community serving on several boards. Mrs. Simpson holds a B.S. in Management with a concentration in Small Company Management and Entrepreneurship and an M.S. in Marketing. She has been married for 19 years and has two daughters, which she hails as her greatest accomplishments.
MILDRED BLACK HOOKS
Mildred Black Hooks is the Founder and Principal Consultant of People Optimum Consulting, LLC. She and her team partner with leaders, teams, and organizations to advance their goals through HR consulting, professional coaching and training services.
Her leadership experience spans the technology, healthcare, retail, service, and government industries. She has been deemed “The People Optimizer.” In addition to launching People Optimum, LLC, Mildred is an author and national speaker.
Mildred is a native of West Alabama and graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in Financial Management. After graduation, she moved to Atlanta and advanced her career in the fields of human resources, technology integration and business development. After completing her Executive MBA from Georgia State University, Mildred returned to West Alabama to lead HR Operations the largest health system and the second largest employer in West Alabama. For nearly a decade, Mildred oversaw HR legal and TJC regulatory compliance, employee relations, employee appreciation, HR policy, and the HR shared services center for a workforce of over 5,000 employees and contract staff working across multiple facilities and multiple states in the United States.
Mildred has held key HR and Operations leadership roles in the public and private sectors, helping organizations strengthen people, systems, and structures to realize exceptional outcomes. Mildred holds an Executive MBA and two Senior Professional HR certifications, SHRM-SCP, and SPHR.
Mildred is a sought-after, national speaker, entrepreneur, consultant, and author with a passion for optimizing to unlock potential. In her career, she has delivered effective, impactful presentations on key leadership and industry topics for over 20 years in healthcare, business development, and technology.
Mildred loves spending time with her husband, Edward, five beautiful children, and extended family. Mildred finds fulfillment in serving through her outreach ministry.
Jessica Neill is part owner and operator of Tuscaloosa Chiropractic where she specializes in office management and insurance billing. She has an Associates Degree as a Chiropractic Technologist from Palmer College of Chiropractic as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts and Sciences from The University of Alabama. Jessica’s former work experience includes stay- at-home mom, Assistant Catering and Event Coordinator at The Cypress Inn, Social Media Manager at Empowering Pumps, and Production Manager at Bama Dining of The University of Alabama. Jessica and her husband, Corey, also serve as the Youth Pastors of their church. She also enjoys spending time with her two daughters, Ella and Vera, and her dog, Rocket.
Heather Falls serves as the Fractional Practice Manager for Simplified Medical Management. She is a licensed Radiographer with ten years of patient care and medical experience. She has a passion for helping physicians provide the best medical care for every patient by simplifying medical management. She is involved in several community organizations, including the United Way of West Alabama and the Young Leader’s Society, and she is an avid supporter of local theater and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Heather is also a local blogger and personal stylist with a passion for inspiring women to love their style and their life. Her positive energy and kind heart make her a joy to work with. Heather loves spending time with her husband of three years and their three fur babies.
Kristi Eiland is a motivated and driven medical esthetician. She holds a Managing Cosmetologist degree, a Medical Aesthetics certification, and a myriad of other certifications, as well as thirty years of experience in the field. Kristi is a businesswoman and owner of Elements Skincare by Kristi. Her desire to help others stems from having cystic acne as a teenager and young adult. In her search for an answer to her own skin condition, Kristi discovered her passion is to help others by offering professional services, effective medical-grade products, and creating her own non-toxic line of makeup. It is that passion that still drives her today. At fifty-years-old, Kristi remains just as dedicated and passionate about helping other women overcome troubling skin conditions, battle the effects of aging, and help others to increase their self-image and self-esteem, empowering women to be the best version of themselves. Kristi is a woman who knows effective skincare procedures, protocols, and products from training and experience and truly cares about each client’s specific needs.
Kathy Sharp serves our community as a Registered Nurse at DCH Medical Center. She is also a graduate from the University of Alabama where she received her Bachelor's degree in Health and Physical Education. She received her A-club membership for playing on the first Alabama Women's basketball team. She also played Volleyball for Alabama and is a proud alumnus at all times. She is a proud Nana of 11 grandchildren and gets to use her passion for photography to support her children... especially our leader, Charli. She is an honorary part of the Empowering Brands team and inspires us daily!
Stephanie Charboneau is a wife, mom and entrepreneur. She met her husband in 1997 while waiting tables at Outback Steakhouse. They were part of the Dothan, AL opening team and spent many hours working together before they finally starting dating. They moved to Tuscaloosa in 2000 to run the Outback Steakhouse here. She quit her restaurant career to be a stay at home mom to her two boys. Well, more accurately, her husband fired her for yelling at the kitchen staff for not doing their job (she claims it was the pregnancy hormones). After being a stay at home mom for several years, she was asked to be the Co-Director of Children’s Ministries at First United Methodist Church Tuscaloosa. Since then, she has been a manager at Palm Beach Tan and most recently started her own travel business. She has been a travel advisor for over three years and has recently bought her own travel franchise. Naturally, she loves to travel and help people. She has finally discovered her passion where she can combine her love of travel and helping people.