Board of Directors

Carrie Jones

City of Detroit - Mayor’s Office, Deputy Chief of Staff
Carrie Jones

Senior Advisor to Mayor Mike Duggan

Carrie Jones serves as a Senior Advisor for Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. She advises on a number of programs and initiatives for the Mayor including project Clean Slate – an initiative by the City of Detroit Law Department which works to expunge the records of Detroiters in an effort to connect them with better jobs and opportunities.
Previously, Jones was the Executive Director of the Michigan Venture Capital Association, where she worked with more than 115 member organizations on educational, networking, and advocacy activities. She was especially focused on marketing Michigan’s growing role as a center of innovation and entrepreneurship and elevating Michigan’s voice in the national venture capital conversation. Jones spent part of her career as Director of the Michigan Film Office, where she successfully administered Michigan’s then-new film and digital media incentive and spearheaded an initiative connecting the state’s film industry with the popular Pure Michigan campaign. Prior to her role in the Michigan Film Office, Jones spent 11 years working for statewide elected officials including Governor Jennifer M. Granholm and U.S. Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow.
Raised in Michigan, Jones received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. She has been recognized as a Leader and Innovator by Lawrence Tech/WWJ, “30 in their 30s” by dBusiness, and “40 Under 40” by Crain’s Detroit Business.

Amy Peterson

Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer Rebel Nell
Rebel Nell

Co-Founder and CEO Rebel Nell

“Let your passion be your motivation”- Amy Peterson, Co-Founder, and CEO of Rebel Nell believes in those exact words. Amy’s entrepreneurial spirit and passion for helping others lead her to co-found one of her greatest accomplishments, Rebel Nell in 2013. Rebel Nell is a jewelry company with a purpose, that employs women with barriers to employment to help them transition from a life of dependence into one of self-reliance. As Co-Founder, Amy’s background in law and business has significantly contributed to the success of Rebel Nell in its early stages.

Living next to one of the city’s most well-known shelters gave Amy the unique opportunity to build relationships with many of the residents. The inspirational stories many of the women shared of overcoming emotional, physical, and financial abuse were the catalyst for creating Rebel Nell.  Amy was adamant about providing women in the shelters with an opportunity to lead an independent life.  She believed that employment paired with financial literacy, business education, and a focus on life wellness would help them regain the confidence they need to lead them on the path to success.

Prior to taking over as CEO of Rebel Nell, she served as Vice President of Special Projects and General Counsel for the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE).  RISE and as the Associate Counsel for the Detroit Tigers.  She achieved her Bachelor of Arts in History from Kenyon College, her Juris Doctorate from New England School of Law, and her Masters of Business Administration from Suffolk University.

Amy has been recognized for the impact she has had in the city of Detroit in Dbusiness Thirty in Their 30s Detroit’s Premier Business Journal, Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year: 2016 Michigan and Northwest Ohio

Tim Fisk

Fisk & Partners LCC, President, Treasurer
Tim Fisk

Tim and his family are proud supporters of and advocates for T.E.A.  Professionally, Tim has 25+ years of experience leading global organizations through transformation.  His experience spans multiple industries and has held leadership positions across a wide variety of functions – program management, supply chain/operations, sales, and business strategy.  Tim has lived and worked overseas beginning with Toyota in Japan and subsequently with McKinsey & Company in Singapore.  He has also held product development and enterprise transformation roles at Ford, ITT, and Delphi Automotive as well as executive positions in Program Management and Sales with SMW/Chassix Automotive.  He is a graduate of Texas A&M and holds Masters Degrees in Business and Engineering from the University of Michigan. He is married to his wonderful and accomplished wife, Kristin, and they have two children, Sam and Annabel, whom they cherish

Trish Dewald

Executive In Residence, EarlyWorks
Trish Dewald


Trish designs strategic approaches that connect people and organizations to the right audiences, resources, and funding; all with the goal of helping them grow and succeed. Trish’s knowledge, talent, and charisma have influenced the teams she has led to delivering proven, effective, revenue-generating solutions for organizations that are serving the community’s most critical needs – the nonprofit sector. Trish has raised millions of dollars for mission-driven organizations, helping them become more sustainable and resilient. And she walks her talk as a volunteer, raising money and enthusiasm. Trish’s heart-driven and strategic focus are her gifts. When not building sustainable revenue strategies for clients, Trish enjoys traveling the world with her family. She is a graduate of Michigan State University and is currently pursuing a Master's in NGO Management at Johns Hopkins University.

MiVida Burress

Senior Director of Development for Avalon Healing Center

MiVida Burrus has held key roles in fund development, grant writing and donor cultivation for area nonprofit organizations, municipalities and colleges. In her currently role as Senior Director of Development for Avalon Healing Center in Detroit she is working to ensure that funding is available to serve the community and survivors which is a continued commitment in her role at HAVEN where she served as the Development Director. In this role she was able to create partnerships for community awareness and support that lead to better lives and empowerment for women, men, and children.

Her love and passion for people led her into the world of fundraising. In this role, she strives to connect people to their passions through philanthropy. However, MiVida's passion isn’t limited to fundraising.  She serves as the former committee and current member of IDEA - Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access - Greater Detroit chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals as well as a member of the board. She had learned to merge IDEA with philanthropy to help more people gain access to great organizations that allow them to make an impact through their support. Community connections help to move the needle. Her number one takeaway is, Philanthropy is all about love.

An active member of several boards, Genisys Credit Union, City of Troy’s Global Troy Committee, Encourage Me I’m Young and the Detroit Public Television Community Advisory Panel, MiVida uses her time and talent to help her community. In addition, she was selected by the Oakland County Commission to serve as a member of the Detroit Regional Conference and Facility Authority.

Burrus received both her Bachelor of Arts degree in marketing and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Walsh College.

Carl Bentley

Retired: Strategic Staffing Solutions, Executive Vice President
Carl Bentley

People promotor,
Tech guru,
Globe-trotting golfer

Carl Bentley is attracted to all aspects of the S3 culture, particularly its entrepreneurial spirit. As an executive vice president, Carl is the executive lead for operations at several branches. But what really excites Carl is how S3’s culture encourages people to stretch and grow into new roles.

Carl embodies that. Although he spent nearly 30 years of his career in the IT business, Carl is a natural at building strong relationships within S3 and with its customers. Today, that’s a huge part of his role and he does it with a great deal of expertise and charisma. His attention to customer service and marketing has been central to the company’s continued growth and success.

While Carl is clearly motivated by daily hire statistics and weekly benchmarks, he is even more passionate about people. He appreciates the human aspect of his work – the opportunity to impact individual lives by providing jobs that buy groceries, pay mortgages, or put a child through college.
He also readily welcomes a good challenge, seeing it as a hidden opportunity or yet-unleashed success that others haven’t figured out. Nothing is impossible in Carl’s eyes; the glass is always half full.
A Detroiter, through and through, Carl attended Wayne State University. He served as vice president of the Telecommunication Services Division at Comerica Inc. and as director of the Information Technology Services department for the City of Detroit before joining S3 in 1999.

Outside of work, Carl is buoyed by helping the underserved. He volunteers his time and leadership skills to help nonprofit organizations, especially those that create a platform for success for people with high odds of failure or debilitation. He serves on the trustee board for Mariners Inn, a Detroit shelter and substance abuse treatment center for homeless men. He also serves on the board of Junior Achievement of Southeastern Michigan, and on the board of trustees for T.E.A. which teaches women to empower themselves and to achieve through jewelry crafting. Carl is also a member of the Detroit Athletic Club’s Cigars for Veterans Committee, Detroit Receiving Hospital, and Harper-Hutzel Board of Trustees.

John A. Simon

Partner Foley & Lardner LLP
High Jsimon (3)

John A. Simon focuses his practice on national corporate restructuring, insolvency, bankruptcy, mergers
and acquisitions, and commercial contract matters. He frequently represents buyers and sellers of
companies, borrowers, debtors-in-possession, creditors’ committees, shareholders, customers, suppliers,
landlords, and other constituents in complex, high-stakes, troubled-company situations.

Representative Experience
John has helped many clients achieve success in transactional and litigation matters in the restructuring
and insolvency arena as well as in their strategic acquisitions and customer and supplier relationships.


Angie Kelly

EY Detroit, Office Managing Partner
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Angie Kelly is an Assurance Partner and is the EY Detroit Office Managing Partner, responsible for leading client and community engagement and managing the Detroit office practice of over 750 professionals. She previously served as the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® Program Director for the Michigan and Northwest Ohio region, recognizing outstanding business leaders and family businesses in the community. Angie currently serves on the Board of Directors of Teach. Empower. Achieve. (T.E.A.), the Detroit Regional Chamber, the Detroit Economic Club, and Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve, and previously served on Michigan State University’s External Advisory Board for the Department of Accounting and Information Systems.

In 2021, Angie was recognized by Crain’s Detroit Business as one of the 100 Most Influential Women in Michigan, and in 2020, was recognized by Crain's as a Notable Woman in Finance. She was also recognized by DBusiness in the 2021 Detroit 500 as one of the Most Powerful Business Leaders in Metro Detroit and was the recipient of the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants 2019 Women to Watch Experienced Leader Award.

Gail Perry-Mason

Senior Director-Investments at Oppenheimer & Co. Inc.
Gail Perry Mason Updated Photo 08 14 2020 (1)

Gail Perry-Mason, of Detroit, Michigan, has come a long way, from foster care to caring for others. A respected authority in the financial industry, Gail is also a bestselling author. Her years of experience coupled with her “down-to-earth” but also “down-to-business” style has made her a sought-after speaker and presenter. Regularly addressing capacity crowds, she educates people on financial literacy conducting financial training sessions and workshops for companies such as Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, MGM, CBS News, Comcast, Blue Cross Wells Fargo, Comerica, and many more.

Her regular national speaking engagements include keynote addresses at the University of Notre Dame, All-Star Game, the NAACP Image Awards Women’s Reception, NBA Wives, the University of Hawaii, and the Allstate Purple Purse Movement, to name a few. Gail was a featured financial speaker at the Essence Women’s Festival, and keynote speaker for Harvard University Black History Month

Gail is also an ambassador for The Walker’s Legacy & Walker’s Legacy Foundation. She has been keynote speaker for Stocks & Stilettos Society and has been a diversity and inclusion speaker for CBS News and many other corporations. In July, 2020 Gail spearheaded the first-ever Virtual Money Camp for Money Matters For Youth, which reached across the globe from Detroit to Canada to Africa. Continuing her community involvement, she founded the original Money Camp for Teens and the first youth investment club, now known as the Money Matters for Youth Camp. Since 1996, Gail has instructed thousands of young people throughout Metropolitan Detroit, Denver and Jamaica. Money Matters has taught the core values of financial awareness and literacy development of diverse, positive relationships, and entrepreneurship while emphasizing a message of giving back through service and philanthropy. Its ultimate goal is to provide a program that is committed to fostering the social, emotional, and cognitive growth of young people while preparing them for professional and personal success.

Gail’s program has received national recognition, with Money Matters receiving an invitation from Warren Buffett to be the first youth group to attend the Berkshire-Hathaway Shareholder Meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, and was featured in a national documentary on Mr. Buffett, in 2017.

Gail is a mother of three terrific sons. Her mottos are “Success Benefits Others First” and “OpportUNITY Doesn’t Happen Without UNITY.”


Donovan Neal

Donovan Neal

Executive Director

Donovan Neal became the Executive Director of T.E.A. on September 1, 2021, and holds his graduate degree in Nonprofit Management from Walden University and his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Donovan has served as an Adjunct Professor at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor.

Donovan has spent his entire 35-year career, helping underprivileged and disempowered populations ranging from abused and neglected children, and adults with disabilities, to survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault. He has worked in a variety of nonprofit organizations overseeing multimillion-dollar budgets and personnel.

Prior to coming to T.E.A. Donovan served eight years as the Executive Director of one of the largest food pantries in South East Michigan, the Hospitality House Food Pantry in Commerce, MI where he grew that organization's programs, resources, and physical space.

Serving the food insecure and distributing over 40,000lbs of food monthly to over 450 families each month. Donovan was selected to assist T.E.A. in taking it forward in its next step of growth and development. Donovan is currently a resident of Commerce Township, Michigan.

In his spare time, he is an Amazon bestselling independently-published author and when he is not writing enjoys, video games, epic fantasy movies, and sci-fi. Donovan’s professional background and personal endeavors can be found on LinkedIn and on his personal website.

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Margaret Kowal

Program Manager
Margaret Kowal holds a Master's in Social Work from Wayne State University with a focus on macro practice in the City of Detroit.  Margaret is certified in Financial Social Work through the NASW-accredited Reeta Wolfsohn Center for Financial Social Work. Margaret was part of a team out of the Wayne State University Mike Ilitch School of Business that developed a financial capability pilot program for Wayne State University. She conducted field work as Financial Literacy Advocate at the Build Institute in Detroit, co-designing a financial wellness pilot program including co-developing curriculum and facilitating sessions for an 8-week pilot program to serve under-resourced women residing in Detroit.
Margaret believes strongly in the value of providing equal access to education and training to help others connect with desired employment opportunities as a means to financial independence.