Leadership

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Kevin Sessions
Kevin SessionsBoard Chair
President
TalentQuest

“My first exposure to 21st Century Leaders was as a panelist at one of their events. While I had no clue what to expect going into the event, I walked away completely amazed by the quality of the students. Their maturity, passion, willingness to lead and desire to learn was truly inspiring. These students are our future leaders and it is absolutely critical that they have access the types of resources that 21st Century Leaders provides.”

Kate Hewitt
Kate HewittExecutive Director
Kate Hewitt became Executive Director in 2018 following the retirement of the organization’s founding director of 29 years. Kate served in nearly every position within the organization from marketing to program to fundraising and operations. In her role as Executive Director she is instrumental in working with the Board of Directors to develop strong, outcome-based programmatic initiatives, generate resources and create long-term strategy in support of the organization’s mission.

“Every year I’m overwhelmed with the amount of highly engaged and passionate professionals working with our organization and our students. It’s inspiring to see our students emerge into forward-thinking and ambitious leaders and to know our mission is being fulfilled. 21st Century Leaders is truly a special organization and I’m proud to be a part of it.”

Board of Directors

Katelyn Fredericks
Katelyn FredericksSecretary
Partner
Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP

“21st Century Leaders provides the critical tools young Georgians need to assume leadership positions in their communities. It is clear to me what a difference this organization has made in the personal growth and development of its students and I am motivated by the positive future that the 21st Century Leaders programs represent for our youth, our businesses and our communities. Working with 21st Century Leaders is an investment in the future of our youth and my own. One of the greatest impacts we can make is to encourage younger generations to serve the ongoing wellbeing and sustainability of our community.”

Maria Flores-Blackburn, CPA
Maria Flores-Blackburn, CPATreasurer
Tax Senior
Smith & Howard

“I became involved with 21st Century Leaders as a high school student. The organization changed my life. It gave me the tools to set goals and find a clear path to obtain them. Without the support of this organization, I would not be where I am today. I am so excited to be in a position where it’s my turn to give back and help build the future leaders of our community.”

Steve Cave
Steve Cave
Former Senior Vice President and Treasurer
AGL Resources

“I became involved with 21st Century Leaders after attending the annual Georgia Youth Leadership Awards dinner a couple of years ago. It was an incredibly inspiring event, and after speaking with several of the students, it was clear what a difference this organization has made in their personal growth and development. I immediately wanted to be involved in supporting 21st Century, as I believe it is important that we invest in these future leaders, particularly during this formative time in their lives. “

D'Andre Davis
D'Andre Davis
Head of Corporate Strategy and M&A
Select Interior Concepts

“I got involved with 21st Century Leaders organization because I got to witness first-hand the extraordinary talent the organization cultivates at a recent event they held and I was inspired to help in their mission to develop the next generation of leaders. I have a long history with youth development and enrichment programs and this was a great opportunity to work with friends toward the common goal of bettering our youth. Having two kids of my own, I know the importance of arming them with leadership skills to best position them to excel in the future. I am very excited to be a part of the team!”

Dr. Corey Dortch
Dr. Corey Dortch
Senior Director of MBA Program
Emory University, Goizueta Business School

“As an alumnus of the program, it’s a blessing to have been part of the organization as a participant, volunteer, and now as a board member. My continued involvement with 21CL reminds me that it ‘takes a village’ for the continued success of our youth.”

Jordan Edwards
Jordan Edwards

Attorney at Law
Alston & Bird

21st Century Leaders is the organization that I wish I could have joined when I was in high school.  21CL provides our high school student leaders with a clear path for becoming lifelong leaders in their communities, and I am thrilled to be involved.

Martin Fleishmann
Martin Fleishmann
Chief Operations Officer
GridQuire Labs

“Six years ago I was looking for an organization that the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 40 Under 40 Alumni Group could work with to help kids, so I attended a Winter Leadership Retreat. Right away the fit was pretty clear, and we forged a partnership. Since then members of the Alumni Group have served as panelists, speakers, and mentors, helped develop/staff G5!@Goizueta, now known as SYLI @Goizueta, and create and present the Georgia Youth Leadership Awards. We all feel inspired by the energy and enthusiasm the kids bring, and hope to help them in the same way that we were helped by leaders before us.”

Hector Gallardo
Hector Gallardo
Vice President, National Account Sales
The Coca-Cola Company

“I believe we have an obligation to give back to our high school students the value of our knowledge & experiences as professional leaders to ensure we help make our community a better place for tomorrow. A few years ago I had an opportunity to experience firsthand this organization and the impact it has with these amazing students from around the state of Georgia. 21st Century Leaders is a terrific platform and incubator of harnessing the raw talent and incredible passion these students possess, and provides the critical tools, resources, mentorship, and disciplines to truly develop the next generation of professional and community leaders. I’m honored, inspired and proud to be associated with a fantastic organization that is truly needed to help our students in their leadership development.”

Bridges Holmes
Bridges Holmes
Senior Manager, Diversity & Inclusion
MarketSource

“My first experience to 21CL was attending the Georgia Youth Leadership Awards and remember being awestruck by the amazing talent I witnessed receiving such incredible accolades. Being the product of a career educator, I have been exposed to and actively involved with mentoring and devoting time with the generation behind me. My mom, who taught elementary school for 30 years, taught me the priceless value of serving as a model and guide to those who are following our path. 21CL allows me to further my journey of servanthood and giving, and I’m honored to contribute towards their mission of developing Georgia’s brightest talent.”

Danette Johnson
Danette Johnson
Vice President – Organization Development, Diversity & Inclusion, HR – Turner People Development, Turner

“I remember being blown away by my experience with 75 highly diverse 21st Century Leaders about 10 years ago during an immersive media experience the group was having at Turner Broadcasting. I was asked to act as a judge for small group business presentations and later to help facilitate some leadership and learning efforts for the students. To say I have been impressed and inspired all these years would not give it justice. I have no doubt that the visibility and exposure 21st CL offers to real-world careers and leaders is an absolute game-changer for students who may not otherwise have access.”

Matt Johnson
Matt Johnson
Principal
KPMG

“21CL represents an opportunity to reinvest in the next generation of leaders some of what others invested in me. I helped develop and lead one of the 21CL programs several years ago and came away impressed by the enthusiasm and caliber of the students. I continue to be excited about its mission, the quality of its programs and students, and the commitment of the leadership team.”

Tyrone Johnson
Tyrone Johnson
C.E.O.
Select Interior Concepts

“My involvement with 21st Century Leaders stems from my long-standing passion of participating in the enrichment of our youth. I had the pleasure of participating in a G5 (now known as SYLI) 21st Century Leadership panel and was greatly impressed with the organization, as well as the caliber of the students. I am happy to be a part of the advancement of this wonderful organization.”

Yolanda Lewis
Yolanda Lewis
Court Administrator
Superior Court of Fulton County

“After volunteering as a coach for the Georgia Youth Leadership Awards, helping conduct interviews for 21st Century Leaders summer institutes, and speaking as a dinner panelist at the summer institute at Emory, I knew it was the right place to invest time and energy. I strive to support and give back to the students by providing them with courthouse opportunities, access to talk with officials, and mentorship connections.”

Danny Lindsey
Danny Lindsey
Senior Vice President for Power Delivery
Georgia Power Company

“My involvement with 21st Century Leaders started with my appointment as an officer for Georgia Power and my predecessor asking me to consider taking his position on the board. After just the first meeting, I saw the value that the organization brings in the effort to develop our youth for the 21st century workforce. It is this value and the commitment to our youths’ success that brought me to be actively involved with the 21st Century Leaders organization.”

Jon Neff
Jon Neff

Chief Financial Officer
Hire Dynamics 

“I am honored and thrilled to join 21st Century Leaders and the rest of the Board of such an impactful and forward-thinking organization. Being the parent of grade-school kids, the spouse of an educator, and co-founder of an employment agency, 21st Century Leaders fulfills my admiration and passion for educating and developing future leaders in the workplace.”

Melissa Proctor
Melissa Proctor

Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer
Atlanta Hawks and State Farm Arena 

“Years ago as a high school student I proactively sought out opportunities to get real world experiences and internships that truly shaped my life and now my career as an executive. I am proud to be a part of an organization like 21st Century Leaders that creates opportunities for high school students to get exposure to businesses and professional leaders that sets a strong foundation for their future success. I’m a firm believer in helping others and passing along knowledge so that the next generation can be even better. 21st Century Leaders embodies this belief as an organization and I am excited to help inspire students as they plan for their future.”

Scott Riggs
Scott Riggs
Vice President
HD Supply

“My first interaction was at a social gathering where I had the opportunity to hear from current and past students. I was blown away and left incredibly inspired and energized from those interactions.  It is always important to consider those people who have enriched your life by teaching you how to achieve the opportunities before you. Paying it forward is the greatest way to improve our own lives, while improving the lives of the people around us.  I can’t think of a better way to do so than 21st Century Leaders.”

Tunstall Rushton
Tunstall Rushton
President & CEO
Benevolink

“I was inspired to get involved with 21st Century Leaders after Benevolink, at the request of one of its senior officers, hosted a day with a large group of 21CL students. Never had I seen such poised and confident high school students and I found myself wishing I had been exposed to the opportunity myself. Through my involvement over the last 10 years, I have seen how the organization transforms youth to young adults who are prepared for the challenges of life and anxious to take on even the toughest of societal problems. This is an organization with a winning mission for the youth of Georgia.”

Patrick Solomon
Patrick Solomon
CEO
Unravel, LLC

“It sounds like a cliché but it is true that our children are our future. It didn’t take long for me to realize that by being involved with 21st Century Leaders, I not only had a mechanism to give back to my community but also would be working with a fantastic organization that allowed me to contribute to the development of young people to become our leaders for tomorrow and that is exciting.”

Steve Stone
Steve Stone
CEO
CoastalStates Bank

“I am proud to serve as a Board Member for 21st Century Leaders. This organization shares many of the core values of CoastalStates Bank, where I serve as the CEO. Developing business and community leadership skills in high school students is a mission that we passionately support.”

Michael White
Michael White
Director, Human Resource
Cox Communications, Inc.

“The opportunity to serve as a board member for 21st Century Leaders will be a privilege. My life experiences mirror the effort and impact the board and organization are trying to make in the lives of young adults. I can attest influencing students during their high school years can be highly impactful in altering the trajectory of their future. Based on my own journey and as the father of two daughters, I know firsthand these positive influences can come from both within and/or outside the family, having similar long term results. I can’t think of anything more rewarding than working to ensure the mission of 21st Century Leaders remains successful for another 30 years.”

Advisory Council

Kathy Solley, ChairPartner, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough
Dennis AdamovichCEO, College Football Hall of Fame
Art EvansDirector, Culture & Talent Development, Atlanta Hawks
Ellen LindermannExecutive Director, Lekotek GA
Rosalynne PriceFmr. Sr. Manager of Diversity, Cox Enterprises
Steven StaesCOO & Counsel, K&G Fashion Superstore
Mike SzalkowskiFamily Office Manager, S Partners, LP