Celeste Hodge Growden
Prior to her current position of President of the newly established Alaska Black Caucus, Hodge Growden served as the Executive Director of Shiloh Community Development, Incorporated, a nonprofit organization that empowers youth, minorities and the disadvantaged through its Health, Education, Economics and Justice programs. Hodge Growden’s career includes a three -year stint as a legislative aide for the late Senator Bettye Davis and Community Liaison for U.S. Senator Mark Begich. Hodge Growden retired after 30.6 years with the Municipality of Anchorage, employed her last 6 years with the city as the Director of Office of Equal Opportunity under Mayor Mark Begich. As a person who cares deeply for her community, Hodge Growden also provided case management and family service counseling as a Family Service Counselor for the city’s Health Department. Her volunteer experience includes President of the Anchorage National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) for nearly a decade; Business and Professional Women North to the Future President for two terms, advocating for women and families; NeighborWorks Board Member, advocating for affordable housing and more. Hodge Growden is the recipient of many awards to include the 2019 National History Makers Award; Ford Motor Company “Freedom Sister’s Award; YWCA Women of Achievement Award; BPW – Woman of the Year; National Association of Social Workers State Social Worker of the Year and Social Worker of the Year (South-central Region); NAACP President’s Award; and Minority Community Police Relations Task Force Award.
Yolandus "Doyle" Williams
Yolandus “Doyle” Williams has been a community-involved Alaskan since 1978. Vice President of Team-sters Local 959 and State Coordinator for UPS in Alaska, member of American Legion Post 34, Prince Hall Masons of Alaska. Yolandous Williams was raised in West Covina, California and originally came to Alaska as a member of the US Air Force stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base in 1978 as a Household Goods Specialist.
Mr. Yolandous left Alaska in 1989 but always with a plan to return and was able to do so ten years later. He was employed as an Air Ramper with United Parcel Service (UPS) since 2005 and soon recognized the need to have a shop steward during his shift at UPS and became shop steward in 2008. Since that time Yolandous has been Alaska’s delegate to the Teamsters National Black Caucus and is a non-management representative on the UPS safety committee. He maintains membership in the American Legion, Post 34 and Prince Hall Masons of Alaska.
Leroy Williams is the Owner/Manager of Charisma Enterprises, which is a business that assist Clients in addressing formal or official paperwork, to include government forms, applications, documents, proposals, contracts, etc. Mr. Williams is well-versed in interpreting and relaying the terms of ‘legalese’ and government terms, conditions. He has helped with writing officials responses, compiling documents, papers etc. Very adept in conducting online research of most types. Mr. Williams currently serves on the board of the Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center and is very active in his community.
Nick Feronti graduated from Northwestern University School of Law in 2016. He graduated magna cum laude and Order of the Coif. Nick started his legal career practicing poverty law for low and mid-dle income Alaskan families. He joined Northern Justice Project (NJP) in 2019. His focus is on con-sumer rights, housing law, the rights of foster youth and equal rights and justice. Prior to his legal career, Nick taught middle school through Teach for America and also worked for an education non-profit. Nick is licensed in Texas. He also served as a staff attorney with Alaska Legal Services.
Brenda has been a resident of Anchorage Alaska since 1981. She has been employed with the federal government under the US Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service. Her work involved Human Resource (Human Resource Assistant), Equal Employment Oppor-tunity (EEO Counselor), and Contracting Services (Concessions Specialist). Brenda has been a longstand-ing member of the American Legion serving as Secretary and later, Executive Committee Member. She was a working member of Business and Professional Women’s organization (North to the Future and Forget-me-Nots) and recent member of the Alaska Women’s Educational & Charity Clubs. She attended Bishop State Junior College (pre-nursing) in Mobile Alabama and also University of Alaska/ACC (Business). She enjoys spending time with family in outdoor and other activities such as fishing, camping, and bowling. Brenda regularly assists with political campaigning (door-to-door canvassing, phone banking, fundraising, hosting). She is also a member of Cella’s Angels who conducts fundraising activities throughout the year to directly benefit the American Cancer Society.
Dr. Jocasta Gee Olp
Dr. Olp serves as the Assistant Secretary for the Alaska Black Caucus. She moved to Alaska in the summer of 2018 and has continued to her efforts of supporting women, encouraging health awareness, championing literacy, and empowering people of color in Anchorage. She is an accomplished healthcare leader, formally trained as a clinical pharmacist. She currently works as a Clinical Product Manager at CareSource. Additionally, she is a champion for Diversity, Inclusion, and Equality and is the Diversity Coordinator for the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two dogs. She is also on the Anchorage Library Foundation Board and is the host of the Alaska Y’all Book Club with the mission to encourage women in Anchorage to take time for themselves and read a great book monthly.