Message from the President
Dear Educational Partners and Community Donors,
This week we had plans to celebrate at the Torch Awards and honor our distinguished leaders and our scholarship recipients, but our major concern during this pandemic is our community. For safety reasons we will commemorate the Torch Awards at a later date. We wish all of you a safe passage through this difficult period of COVID19.
The Coronavirus may have put the world on pause, but Legacy Ladies continues in our mission of serving the disenfranchised. Please don’t let the Coronavirus stop you from doing your part as we move forward. The spirit of the Torch Awards lives on! We still have much to celebrate. Please give today!
We are carving a new path in the history books. There is a QUOTE by Max Depree that goes like this, “It is important to remember that We can not become what we NEED to be… remaining what we are.” Because of your financial support in 2019, we expanded our leadership academy, “From the School House to The White House Leadership Academy,” from three to five schools this year. We are now serving Crenshaw High School, Washington Preparatory High School, King Drew Magnet High School, Dorsey High School, and Middle College High School. Because of your contributions, we were able to send six graduating seniors to college and we gave them $30,000 collectively in scholarships. Because of your contributions we were also able to provide ipad’s to make them efficient while at college.
Even though the schools have closed for the year, our Leadership Academy continues! For the remainder of the school year, we are conducting our workshops for the girls via Zoom. The disruption has not stopped them. They are doing their part in preparing for their next grade level and their post-secondary education, and your financial support is critical to help our young girls get to the finish line. Please give today!
As an organization we continue to evolve. Please visit our website for additional details at www.legacyladiesinc.com. There is much work to be done, but we cannot do it by ourselves, so we established a Junior Executive Board to provide us with new perspectives and ideas to reach our goals. We will highlight them in a later edition of the newsletter. We also established an Executive Board to help us meet the needs of our students and focus on making good, better. We thank them for their leadership and guidance. Please welcome our new team and we welcome your donations!
Stay healthy, stay safe, and stay positive.
President & CEO
Meet the Executive Board
Darrell Brown Darrell Brown is a recently retired Senior Vice President for the Consumer Banking Group, leading the Greater Los Angeles Coastal Region of U.S. Bank, the nations’ fifth largest commercial bank with over $459 billion in assets and 18.7 million customers. With over 40 years of leadership and management roles within the banking industry, he was responsible for strategic, tactical and profit and loss management for close to one hundred retail branch facilities and was the highest ranking African American in Retail Banking. Darrell Brown is a recently retired Senior Vice President for the Consumer Banking Group, leading the Greater Los Angeles Coastal Region of U.S. Bank, the nations’ fifth largest commercial bank with over $459 billion in assets and 18.7 million customers. With over 40 years of leadership and management roles within the banking industry, he was responsible for strategic, tactical and profit and loss management for close to one hundred retail branch facilities and was the highest ranking African American in Retail Banking. Additionally, Darrell was a key liaison for Government Relations at the Federal, State and Local levels, and was appointed as one of three Executive Sponsors for Diversity and Inclusion overseeing the design and implementation of D&I strategies for all of U.S. Bank. A recognized leader known for crafting strategic vision to achieve business goals, Darrell offers a unique blend of executive acumen, team building and service delivery. Darrell was an effective mentor and coach who believes that “high achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation”. Darrell is an alumnus of UCLA Extension and The Carlson School of Executive Management at the University of Minnesota. He has received many honors and awards including the Luis Lainer Founder’s Award presented by Bet Tzedek, the Leadership Award presented by the California Legislative Black Caucus and the “Outstanding Corporate Citizen” award presented by West Angeles Community Development Corporation. Darrell continues to be actively involved in the community and sits on the board of the African American Board Leadership Institute, Junior Achievement, Legacy Ladies, Bet Tzedek and the Music Center to name a few. Darrell has dedicated his time for the children and youth of our community and works unceasingly to assist in providing brighter possibilities for their future.
Dr. Dechele Byrd
Dr. Dechele Byrd has been a successful educator for over 20 years in Los Angeles County serving in various roles including a teacher, Dean of Students, Assistant Principal and Principal. She is currently serving as Principal of her high school alma mater. Her loving teenaged parents taught her the meaning of hard work and perseverance while living in South Central Los Angeles. As principal, Dr. Byrd was named Principal of the Year by Legacy Ladies Inc. in 2016.
Dechele is the author of "Class of Two Thousand Something," a self-help guide to graduating high school. The anniversary edition is coming soon and includes exerts from the new experiences in education, an enhance section on parent involvement, and chronicles the life of a senior who followed the steps to achieve college acceptances of their choice.
Dr. Byrd earned her Bachelor’s degree in business administration from Loyola Marymount University, a Master’s degree in public administration and her Doctorate in Organizational Leadership at Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology. When not at work, she is active volunteering at her church in various capacities. She also enjoys spending quality time with loving family, friends and especially her daughter, a college bound scholar athlete in a high school in the greater Los Angeles area currently affected by the COVID-19 school closures..
Shiressa (Reese) Johnson
Reese is a Vice President at MUFG Union Bank where she has responsibility for overseeing the data quality of Audit Issues Management, Audit Report Issuance and influencing Audit Methodology and Committee Reporting.
Reese holds an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from Prairie View A&M University and holds multiple Graduate Certificates from Cornell University in the areas of Change Management and Talent Acquisition. She is a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) and one of the first graduates of the Multicultural Women Executive Leadership Program (MWELP) sponsored by the University of Southern California (USC).
Her professional career began as an Information Security Analyst for Eastman Kodak Company in Rochester, New York where she helped to implement and maintain the organizations first Enterprise Network Intrusion Detection System and Public Key Encryption Software. While working at Kodak Reese began what would become a long career in Internal Audit. She has since traveled across the globe performing audits in Brazil, Germany, Japan, Paris and the United Kingdom as well as the United States.
Since moving back to her home state of California Reese has continued in the field of Internal Audit leading audit teams of professionals across the Continental United States. Reese has a passion for coaching and development and an undeniable love for music.
She enjoys spending her leisure time with her husband and two young sons as well as volunteering at her local church. Her favorite hobbies include traveling, singing, and composing music.
As a top producing real estate agent, Erik has continued to redefine the industry through an unparalleled standard of customer service and his effective win-win approach that’s built on trust, transparency, and incredible results.
Utilizing his national network in a wide variety of industries and social circles throughout sports, entertainment, and hospitality, Erik strives to connect people from all walks of life and ultimately enhance their lifestyle. In 2015, Erik took Los Angeles by storm after a successful 10 years in Chicago as a licensed real estate attorney. Now, as an agent, he’s made a name for himself as the preferred choice for both buyers and sellers. Erik can be seen making deals on the small screen as a cast member on VH1's Love and Listings.
Anne D. McCallion
Anne D. McCallion has been a member of the Board of Directors of PennyMac Financial Services, Inc. (NYSE: PFSI), a leading company specializing in the U.S. residential mortgage market, since February 2018. Ms. McCallion retired from PFSI in June 2019; prior to her retirement, she was the company’s Senior Managing Director and Chief Enterprise Operations Officer since January 2017.
In that role, she had management responsibilities for divisions including corporate administration, enterprise operations, legal and human resources. Ms. McCallion served as the Chief Financial Officer of the company and related and predecessor entities from 2009 through 2016, where she was instrumental in the successful launch of a publicly traded Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) and the IPO of PFSI.
Anne D. McCallion has been a member of the Board of Directors of PennyMac Financial Services, Inc. (NYSE: PFSI), a leading company specializing in the U.S. residential mortgage market, since February 2018. Ms. McCallion retired from PFSI in June 2019; prior to her retirement, she was the company’s Senior Managing Director and Chief Enterprise Operations Officer since January 2017. In that role, she had management responsibilities for divisions including corporate administration, enterprise operations, legal and human resources. Ms. McCallion served as the Chief Financial Officer of the company and related and predecessor entities from 2009 through 2016, where she was instrumental in the successful launch of a publicly traded Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) and the IPO of PFSI.
Prior to joining PFSI, Ms. McCallion worked in various financial and operational executive positions at other companies in the mortgage industry. She previously worked in auditing at a national accounting firm and was on the technical staff of the Financial Accounting Standards Board.
Ms. McCallion earned a B.S. from Gannon University in Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. from Ashland University in Ohio.
Trina Norman, who has worked at UPS in the field of Sales and Operations for more than 29 years. She currently is the Vice President of Transportation Operation Manager with UPS, the largest transportation company in the nation. During her 29 years of employment with UPS, she earned tenured status as a staff member and served as division manager for the Transportation Team.
Norman has proven to be a well-rounded leader and a global citizen. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, where she has served as an activity member for 22 years. Her service included mentoring and coaching for college girls. She served as Orange County United Way Board member in 2013. She served as the United Way co-chair in the 2011 campaign and as the campaign chair in 2012. Under her leadership and direction, the South Cal. District was recognized as the first district in the country to exceed its United Way goal which raised more than $1.4 million in less than 10 days. Norman has attended UPS Executive Perspectives and Community Internship program where she gained global awareness of the economic, societal and political factors that impact business and communities. She is an Executive Director and certified John Maxwell Executive Coach, Teacher, Speaker and Mentor. She became an Executive Board member of Legacy Ladies in January of 2020.
On a global level, Norman lends her leadership to global community change. On August 23, 2019, Norman help lead the charge and was instrumental in charting the first Women in Operations business resource group in South Cal district. True to her desire to empower and propel women, she has provided leadership at the district and global level as a sponsor of a corporate initiative to attract, retain and develop more women in operations.
She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems from Grambling State University in 1990 and a Master of Business Administration/Technology from University of Phoenix in 2003. Norman is a proud mother of two adult sons, Eric and Tredant, one daughter Nia and 2 grandsons Damari and Jaxsen. The wife of Ronnie Norman. She resides in Los Angeles with her family.
Toni Counts Rose
Toni Counts Rose is multi-faceted Corporate Auditor for Southern California Edison. She has over 25 years of accounting and finance experience. She has managed and directed companies, and non-profit organizations financial reporting function including income statements, balance sheets, future earnings and expense analysis, and financial forecasts.
Toni has 10 years of internal audit experience with extensive experience leading audit projects to provide assurance on controls and governance and suggests business process improvements.
Toni Counts Rose is multi-faceted Corporate Auditor for Southern California Edison. She has over 25 years of accounting and finance experience. She has managed and directed companies, and non-profit organizations financial reporting function including income statements, balance sheets, future earnings and expense analysis, and financial forecasts. Toni has 10 years of internal audit experience with extensive experience leading audit projects to provide assurance on controls and governance and suggests business process improvements.
Toni is a board member for the Los Angeles Diversity Council, Youth Chair; Earthshare California - Audit Committee; and Legacy Ladies, Inc., Treasurer. Toni also is a licensed spiritual coach. In her spare time, Toni mentors at risk teen age girls and is an avid reader.
Toni obtained her BA and MBA from University of Phoenix.
“Prototypical business innovator,” Vin Vera has literally built his successful entire 25+ year leadership career on that definition. A highly strategic, fiscally conscious, and goal-driven technology leader, he approaches each endeavor with his intrinsic flair for innovation, measured risk-taking to drive consistent bottom-line improvements and shareholder returns. He currently serves in a leadership role at Wells Fargo in Information Cyber Security & Technology working out of the Atlanta and Charlotte areas. He has served in various leadership roles at Bank of America and AT&T in Product Management, Program Management, Business Support Systems Integration and Information Security Policy Compliance.
Mr. Vera was raised by a single mom, the late Ms. Mary Vera, in Zimbabwe where he attended private schools before coming to the United States. He earned his Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree (ALB) from Harvard University (DCE Extension School) and was sponsored by AT&T (then Cingular Wireless) to attend Harvard Business School’s (HBS) Executive Education Certificate Program “The General Manager Program” (whose benefits earned him alumni status) and “Delivery Information Services”. He has been serving as a mentor for HBS students for over a decade.
His passion for supporting and getting involved in community services for the less fortunate was something he learnt from his mother. Getting involved with Legacy Ladies, is not only a privilege, but is well aligned with his appetite for supporting disenfranchised communities.
When not at work, He and his wife Esther, enjoy raising their 2 children, Vince and Valora. He also enjoys listening to traditional jazz, working in his garden and staying plugged into political affairs.
Jacqueline Castillo is a philanthropist, visionary, author, advocate, life coach and businesswoman. She is the founder, and President and CEO of Legacy Ladies, Inc. Her professional experience ranges from capacity building at the University of North Florida, to Regional Sales Manager for Nicholas Earth Printing to on air television talent. Her professional experience in broadcasting included, founder and CEO of Brown Eyed Productions, a multimedia production company, based in Los Angeles, and numerous positions in broadcasting such as an on air personality for WAWS/Fox, and the PBS station in Omaha, NE, TV production, sales and marketing positions for stations WJXT/CBS, and KMTV3/NBC. In addition to producing quality television programs, Jacqueline has also produced and directed commercials. She has performed in many commercials and is a member of the Screen Actors Guild.
Jacqueline is a strong advocate of community service and has served on many boards. She is a member of the National Association of Multi-Ethnicity in Communications, SAG-AFTRA, The Ebell, Los Angeles Chapter of the Links, Inc., Women in Film, President of The Castillo Charitable Foundation. She is an alumna of the Pacific Council on International Policy, the Southern California Leadership Network, and the African American Board Leadership Institute, in addition to the Wells Fargo Executive Directors Leadership Institute. Jacqueline also organized and spearheaded a grass roots task force, African American Citizens for Change, designed specifically to create awareness of political and social consequences.
As a result of her leadership, she has received numerous community service awards: Women of the Year, Women Making a Difference, Bernard and Shirley Kinsey Award, the Meritorious Award, Public Service Award, Golden Glow Award, We See You Awards, and the Faith Awards.
Jacqueline holds a B.S. degree in Business Management from the University of Phoenix. She is married to James, and they have a son, Justin, and two grandsons, Joseph Evan, and Mason Alexander, who is their pride and joy.