Leadership

Brendon Riley

  • Co-Founder & Advisor (2013-present)

Strategic finance executive with more than 15 years of combined experience as a leader of high profile financial transactions and advisory situations. Deep experience in integrating business and legal thought processes to solve problems, lead and motivate people, build consensus, and orchestrate the necessary resources to fulfill strategic objectives. Interested in opportunities to leverage financial and legal skill set, including financial management, strategic planning, and legal analysis in a corporate finance or fiduciary role.

Professor Tonya M. Evans, Esq.

Tonya M. Evans is a Professor of Law at the University of New Hampshire’s Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property with expertise in the areas of intellectual property, entertainment law, and trusts & estates. Prior to her recent appointment at UNH Law, served as Associate Dean of Inclusion & Equity and Associate Professor of Law at Widener Law Commonwealth. Professor Evans joined the Widener Law faculty as a visiting professor in 2007 and tenure-track professor in 2008. She received tenure in Spring 2014. Professor Evans has also served as Adjunct Professor of copyright, publishing and licensing at York College of Pennsylvania.

Professor Evans attended Northwestern University on a four-year tennis scholarship, and thereafter she competed on the women’s professional tennis circuit and played most notably in the US Open, Virginia Slims of Philadelphia, and Lipton in 1993. After retiring from the tennis circuit in 1995, she attended Howard University on an academic scholarship. After graduating with honors, Professor Evans clerked for the Honorable Theodore A. McKee in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit for one year and thereafter worked at two national firms in Philadelphia until establishing her own firm in 2002. During that time, she also founded an independent publishing company now known as Legal Write Publications.

Carla Banks Waddles

Detroit native Carla Banks Waddles has been working as a television comedy writer for the past 17 years.  She has written for and produced such shows as For Your Love (Warner Bros.), That’s So Raven (Disney), Half & Half (UPN), The Bill Engvall Show (TBS), the Fresh Beat Band (Nickelodeon), Sonny With A Chance (Disney), Let’s Stay Together (BET), Lab Rats (Disney XD), The Soul Man (TV Land), Truth Be Told (NBC), and Hit The Floor (BET).  She was showrunner on her own comedy series, One Love, starring Mark Curry, Sheryl Lee Ralph, and the late Sherman Hemsley.  It premiered on Bounce TV in April 2014, reaching more than one million viewers, making it the network’s most-watched original series ever.

A graduate of Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, she also earned an MFA in Screenwriting from the University of Southern California.  Looking to mentor other writers and share her craft, she has taught at Northwestern as a lecturer in the Radio Television Film Department. She founded Babycakes Productions, Inc. as a vehicle for her creative projects.  She resides in Los Angeles with her husband and two children.  For more on Carla’s projects, visit her website at BabycakesProductionsInc.com.

Crystal Houston

  • Member, Secretary and Senior Vice President of Communications & Brand Strategy (Life in the Cancer Lane Director) (2013-present)

Currently being updated

Leslie M. Gray

  • Member,Treasurer, and Senior VP of Logistics and Strategic Planning (2015-present)
Ms. Gray is a Senior Director at Microsoft.  She currently owns business readiness and support for Microsoft’s corporate finance, business intelligence applications and reports.  As a marketing operations executive, Ms. Gray has been responsible for everything from documenting requirements for big data marketing systems and owning marketing automation solutions to delivering business intelligence capabilities and designing seamless electronic user experiences.
Prior to joining Microsoft, Ms. Gray spent over 12 years at Accenture in the Customer Relationship Management, Marketing Operations consulting practice.  During this tenure, she worked with several Fortune 100 companies in Financial Services, Automotive, and Telecommunications, helping them transform their marketing organizations to a more sustainable, data-centric function.
In addition to her corporate career, Ms. Gray was CEO of a small business specializing in owning and managing medical facilities.  During her 12 year tenure, Ms. Gray procured real estate, developed and managed the business strategy, opened a CMS approved dialysis facility, and brokered acquisition deals.
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