Press Release

BBLI Celebrates Graduation of Second Leadership Class Paving the Way for Black Leaders

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Orlando, Florida — The Black Boardroom Leadership Institute (BBLI) proudly announces the successful graduation of its second Black Leadership cohort, a milestone marked by the transformative experiences of 20 Black leaders. Recognized with the 2023 Excellence in Innovation Award from the Association of Leadership Programs and the Florida Economic Development Council Innovation in Marketing Pivot & Persist 2023 Award, BBLI remains committed to advancing inclusion on nonprofit boards and nurturing Orlando’s diverse talent pipeline.

Reflecting on his experience, Brandon Johnson, Government Affairs and Public Policy Manager – Florida Non-Profit Alliance, said the experience was nothing like he imagined.

I expected to learn about the compliance components, fundraising components of being on the board. I had no idea I would learn so much about myself throughout this process.

Brandon Johnson, Government Affairs and Public Policy Manager,
Florida Non Profit Alliance

Johnson said participating in the program taught him “so much about myself and how to interact with others and really broke down some of the shells and barriers that we put on ourselves before we go out and apply for service. This is something that everybody should want to be a part of. It is for us, it is by us, it is for the betterment of us. I will tell you, apply knowing that you will leave for change, encouraged and motivated to go do more.”

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Meltrice Boglin, Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resource System Project Manager said she found out about the program online. “For me, BBLI was a validation of what I was feeling. It also gave me the support and guidance that I needed to take my career to the next level.”

We learn not only about us as professionals but also about us personally and how our past trauma has come in and impacted us as leaders. We learned about grace and forgiveness. So I’ve learned so many things, and I feel I’m more well-rounded not just as a professional but as a person as well. I’m ready to serve.

Meltrice Boglin, Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resource System Project Manager

The program, divided into two tracks, focuses on training Black leaders to position them on local nonprofit board of directors and increase diversity.

LaJon Dantzler, Individual Giving Manager for The Center Orlando, shared his unexpected gains describing BBLI as “life-changing.” Dantzler applied to the program after his CEO, Dr. George A. Wallace, and Marc Espeso, who’s on the board of directors, went through the Nonprofit track. He recalled how Wallace told him how great of an opportunity it would be for him.

I applied with no expectation. And out of this experience, I’ve gained a family, I’ve gained even more clarity on direction. And I feel more empowered as a Black leader.

LaJon Dantzler, Individual Giving Manager,
The Center Orlando

BBLI’s mission revolves around advancing inclusion on nonprofit boards and growing Orlando’s talent pipeline. In a recent survey of nonprofit data, only 17% of members serving on Central Florida nonprofit boards are represented by Black leaders, compared to 68% being non-Hispanic white members. BBLI aims to rectify this disparity by creating a transformative space where minority leaders not only have a seat at the table but also a meaningful voice.

The Black Boardroom Leadership Institute is playing a pivotal role in fostering diversity and inclusion in Orlando’s nonprofit sector.

Tim Giuliani,
President and CEO,
Orlando Economic Partnership

By graduating its second Black Leadership Cohort, BBLI is actively contributing to the cultivation of a more representative leadership landscape, which is essential for the prosperity and well-being of our entire community.

As the Black Boardroom Leadership Institute celebrates the graduation of its second Black Leadership Cohort, it remains dedicated to fostering an inclusive atmosphere, driving culture change, and ensuring that Orlando’s boards reflect the diversity of our vibrant community.

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BBLI owes much of its success to the generous contributions from esteemed partners, including the Wells Fargo Foundation, Central Florida Foundation, and the Helios Education Foundation. These partnerships have been instrumental in bringing about positive change in Orlando’s nonprofit leadership landscape.

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2023 BBLI Leadership Graduates:

  1. Traci D Blue, Bright Community Trust, Director of Strategic Community Initiatives
  2. Meltrice Boglin, Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resource System, Project Manager- Suncoast Region
  3. Tyechia Brown, Be Empowered Career Consulting, Principal
  4. Reginald Caldwell, FMS Consultants, Director of Operations
  5. DeShawn Chapman, University of Central Florida, Manager of the Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships
  6. La Jon Dantzler, The Center Orlando, Volunteer Coordinator
  7. Kirsten Elliot, Client Enterprise Executive, NetApp
  8. Ileana Guzmán, California-Florida Cancer Research Education & Engagement Health Equity Center, Community Health Educator
  9. Malika Harrison, MASH Consulting, President
  10. Briyanna Jenkins, Seminole State College of Florida, Director of Student Conduct
  11. Brandon U. Johnson, Apartment Association of Greater Orlando, Director, Government Affairs
  12. Chad Jones, Harvard Jolly Architects, Vice President / Director
  13. Kaitlynn Joplin, Mission Partners, Communications Coordinator
  14. Anna Kinchens, Lift Orlando, Early Childhood Education Specialist
  15. Eze Nnadi, Nadic Engineering Services, Director
  16. Crystal Priester, United Arts of Central Florida, Corporate Development & Public Funding Manager
  17. Anthony Roach , Harmony Healthcare, Orlando Office Manager
  18. Fabiana Serat, Hope Partnership, Development Associate
  19. Sonya Vance-Brown, Revature, Director, Recruitment Services
  20. Dorian M. Williams, Orange County Government, Utilities Section Manager

For more information on how local nonprofits can get involved with the program, visit the Black Boardroom Leadership Institute webpage


For media inquiries, please contact:

Jennifer A. Marcial Ocasio | | 407-902-0221


About Leadership Orlando

With over 7,000 graduates, Leadership Orlando is Central Florida’s only community leadership program that spans across the entire seven-county region and is the largest program in America, offering multiple classes each year. For more, visit

About Central Florida Foundation

Central Florida Foundation stewards philanthropic dollars on behalf of individuals, families, and nonprofits. We partner with people who are determined to make a difference in their community. Knowing that true change demands more than dollars and cents, we foster collaboration, fuel ideas, and spearhead the innovation that will transform our region for good. Learn more at