Board of Directors

Willard Beale

Board Member

Willard Beale is the CEO of Professional Development Facilitators (PDF). For over 10 years, he has provided a composite of professional development trainings to organizations working with the criminal justice population throughout the City of New York.

In 2009, Mr. Beale began his work in the non-profit sector as a Substance Abuse Counselor for the Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services (CASES) where be obtained his CASAC-T. Throughout his professional career, he has held many positions and has dedicated his efforts to improving the lives of those impacted by the criminal justice system and individuals from low income, urban communities. Mr. Beale does this primarily, through education and community advocacy.

Currently, Mr. Beale serves as Associate Vice President of Programs and Training at the Fortune Society. In this role, he oversees Alternative to Incarceration programming, Family Services, Admissions, Creative Arts programs, and the Crisis Response Team. Mr. Beale is also responsible for agency-wide staff and client training. Mr. Beale is dedicated to empowering individuals and creating opportunities that will propel them to reach their full potential.

Mr. Beale is also an Executive Board Member for the Central Brooklyn Economic Development Corporation (CBEDC) where he works to improve conditions in low-income urban communities, to prevent incarceration.

Latashia Agelink

Board Member

Latashia Agelink is a Vice President within the Global Markets Research Business Management Division at Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from South Carolina State University and started her career with a nonprofit organization in Brownsville Brooklyn, helping at risk youth, pregnant and parenting teenagers, and homeless families. During this time, she attended Audrey Cohen College, now Metropolitan College of NY and received a Master of Science Degree in Administration.  After spending over 10 years in nonprofit, she transitioned to corporate, with an international technology consulting firm as a corporate recruiter, later joining Deutsche Bank, where she has been for many years.

Within Deutsche Bank Latashia is a member of the Black Leadership Forum and dB Pride which are Employee Resource Groups focused on connecting, developing, and empowering Black employees and LGBTQI respectively, to advance equity and inclusion. As a Co-Chair of IB People’s Strategy Inclusion Pillar, she supports the divisional leads with the design, delivery, and execution of initiatives. She is a board member of CBEDC (Central Brooklyn Economic Development Corporation), a not-for-profit agency in Brownsville, Brooklyn whose mission is to create community economic growth opportunities.

Lorette Farris

Board Member

Lorette has transformed her Wall Street experience to benefit Main Street businesses through training, coaching, and consulting services. Specializing in developing investor and lender pipelines for startups, development stage projects, and buy/sell strategies.

The convergence of new securities regulations, technology, and access to a broader pool of capital resources has created vehicles for companies to source capital iBOSSinc provides the roadmap to get you there.

Jacobie Ricard

Board Member

Jacobie Ricard is the Senior Director of Construction within the Mount Sinai Health System in New York City. His team delivers critical care facilities and campus infrastructure improvement projects. Jacobie has 19 years of architecture and construction management experience with a focus on public projects not limited to but including community centers, public housing, schools, and most recently new patient beds to battle the Covid 19 crisis.

As a graduate of the University of Florida, Jacobie studied architecture with an interest in business geography. His educational background established a love for quality aesthetics with the ability to deliver sound construction. Mr. Ricard believes that active listening and collaboration are critical components to successful project management and team building. This approach to problem solving combined has resulted in his successful transition across various municipal agencies and public institutions.

Jacobie is also a real estate professional with an extensive background in multi-family real estate investing. His ventures in real estate were modeled by Dr. Grant Thrall’s “Business Geography” allowing him to successfully navigate the 2009 downturn and he is looking forward to new investment opportunities in the coming years.

Herman D. Smith

Board Member

Herman D. Smith is Founder, President, and CEO of the Management consulting firm; Global Village Interpreters Management Incorporated (GVIMI). Mr. Smith has spent his professional life as a missionary in the public health, non-profit, education, and community service sectors. He is the retired Vice President for Human Resources at the Wildlife Conservation Society. The society’s mission saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, and global conservation. It is based at the Bronx Zoo, and covers all NYC Zoos and the Aquarium.

Among his many activities, Mr. Smith is a current and original board of trustee’s member of the Carlos Lezama Archive and Cultural Center (CLACC-C). He is an advisory board member of the Center for the Women of New York and a recipient of their prestigious 2002 Good Guy Award for his support of their mission in aiding distressed women and victims of domestic violence. Mr. Smith was selected by HHC as a National Association of Public Hospitals Management Fellow in the year 2000. He is a certified Spanish teacher having received his Bachelor of Arts in Spanish, Liberal Arts, and Business from the University of Northern Iowa. He took post Graduate studies in International Comparative Education, and Law. Smith holds multiple professional certificates, and received his Masters degree in International Economic Policy and Advanced Management from Columbia University.


LaShawn Muhammad

Executive Director

William Franklin

Director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation

William Franklin is from Brownsville, Brooklyn, a US Navy veteran, and economic justice advocate with occupational goals of shaping anti-poverty policy in the language of cooperative sustainability. William Franklin is a three-time CUNY alumnus holding diplomas in Economics and Public Administration and Ph.D. candidate for Urban Education. He currently holds three intersecting positions that allow him to live out his goals.

Professor Franklin is an Adjunct Lecturer of cooperative education, teaching community and social entrepreneurship at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, he is also the Director of Equitunity, a not-for-profit organization he founded to confront poverty in the bottom 14 communities of New York City. Director Franklin is also responsible for designing curriculum and creating community investments as the Director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Central Brooklyn Economic Development Corporation.

Additionally, William substitutes as a special education paraprofessional between professing and directing. He is also a tried and tested Digital Coach, People Leader, and Community Organizer. William Franklin’s life-guiding quote is, “Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for love of it”—Henry David Thoreau.