Board of Directors
Advisory Council
Junior Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Matt Johnson
Matt JohnsonChairman
Principal (Partner)
KPMG

“Investing in people, and particularly young people, is one of the most worthwhile endeavors in life! We have an amazing board and fantastic staff, and I’m tremendously excited to help continue the mission of 21CL as the board chair. 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.”

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 Accountant
Southern Company

“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.”

Chris Caldwell
Chris Caldwell
Distribution General Manager
Georgia Power Company

“I was exposed to the great work that 21st Century Leaders does for our communities through our Company’s involvement and support. I was excited about the programs and how impactful these can be to those involved. I have always worked to give back and especially enjoy investing in our youth to watch them grow. 21st Century Leaders is a great place to get involved and do both.”

Steve Cave
Steve Cave
Senior Vice President and Global Treasurer
Exide Technologies

“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. “

Dr. Corey Dortch
Dr. Corey Dortch
Associate Dean, Evening 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 21st Century Leaders 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
President and COO
Atlanta Formula E-Prix

“Over 10 years 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
HR/People Development Professional

“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 21CL offers to real-world careers and leaders is an absolute game-changer for students who may not otherwise have access.”

JP James
JP James
Chairman
Libreum International

“Almost 20 years ago through a friend and alumna of the program, I was invited to help lead a 21CL summer institute in Savannah, GA. Through these decades of amazing leadership and impact in the greater Georgia community. Seeing all the letters and follow up internships with these kids has been amazing to see the lasting impact in their lives. Excited to serve on the board as it continues in the tradition of teaching the principles of life and business.”

Yolanda Lewis
Yolanda Lewis
Senior Director, Safety & Justice, State Governments
The Pew Charitable Trusts

“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.”

Jon Neff
Jon Neff

COO
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.”

DeRetta Cole Rhodes, PhD
DeRetta Cole Rhodes, PhD

SVP of Human Resources/ Head of HR
Atlanta Braves 

“It has been a personal passion of mine to always lift, support and influence young adults. As a mother of three young men, I have been focused on education and guiding them on living your dream and becoming a leader in all that you do. With that said, I am honored and humbled to be a part of 21st Century Leaders that does just that in their mission and all that they provide to the community. This is heart work for me and I am excited!”

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.”

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.”

Steven Staes
Steven Staes
COO & General Counsel
K&G Fashion Superstore

“I choose to serve 21st Century Leaders because my own children have participated in and benefited greatly from 21CL’s programs and network, and because each time I volunteer for or attend a 21CL event, I am so inspired by the optimism, ambition and generosity of the young people participating.”

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