Executive Board Members
Brandon Woods earned a bachelor’s degree in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia in 2003. During his time at the University, he was active with the Black Student Alliance, Honor Diversity Advisory Board, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. He obtained a Master of International Affairs degree from Columbia University with a concentration in International Finance and Policy in 2009. Brandon is currently an Executive Director with General Electric’s global healthcare technology business where he helps to direct commercial strategy and deliver outcomes for healthcare systems. He is a graduate of a GE leadership development program. Prior to joining GE, he served as a Presidential Management Fellow with the International Trade Administration and designed trade promotion programs in support of President Obama’s National Export initiative. Brandon served for four years as an Army officer and is an Iraq War veteran. He resides in Falls Church, VA.
Hosea Mitchell ’81 | 1st Vice Chair
Hosea is the Vice President and General Manager for Varian Medical Systems. Previously, he was Vice President and General Manager of Varian, and the company’s Director of Sales and Service; and as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Multi-Media Medical Systems. In addition, he has served as an executive at IBM; and Director of Operations for the Information Systems division at the University of Virginia Health System.
Hosea graduated from the University of Virginia with a bachelor of arts degree in Sociology in 1981; and with a master’s degree in Architecture in 1983. He has also served in community and University leadership roles with the Monticello Community Action Agency, the Charlottesville Planning Commission, Charlottesville Community Development and Block Grant Commission, the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority; the UVA Health System Foundation; and has served previously on the Ridley Board of Directors. Hosea is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., and lives in Charlottesville.
Crystal Brown ’95 | 2nd Vice Chair
Crystal is the Chief Communications Officer at the University of Maryland, College Park. Previously, she served as the Senior Vice President for Widmeyer Communications; as Senior Vice President of Strategic Communications at the Eluminate Group; and as Vice President of the Public Relations, Education, and Healthcare Practice at Infotech Strategies. Crystal graduated from the University of Virginia with a bachelor of arts degree in Rhetoric and Communication Skills. She also holds a leadership certificate from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.
She is the immediate past board chair of the National Education Association Foundation’s Board of Directors; she serves on the steering committee of the Council of Strategic Communications for the Association of Public Land Grant Universities; and is a member of the Public Relations Society of America. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and Jack and Jill; and lives in Laurel, MD.
Bryan Myers, Jr. ’09 | Treasurer
Bryan is the Vice President of Strategy and Financial Planning for Sweetgreen. Previously, Bryan was a project leader, consultant, and associate with The Boston Consulting Group. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 2009 with a bachelor of science degree from the McIntire School of Commerce. His student honors include being a Lawn Resident, Joseph Miniotas Communications Scholar, and University Achievement Award recipient. He was also a Ridley-Gregory Ledford Scholar.
Bryan’s student participation included serving as a University Guide, and being a member of the Hoo Crew, marching band, and the James Madison Society. He now lives in Stafford, VA.
Doug Smith is originally from Long Branch, New Jersey. He is a 1987 graduate of the College (B.A. in Biology), a 1991 graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University (M.S. in Forensic Science), and a 2006 graduate of the Law School (J.D.), where he served on the editorial board of the Virginia Journal of Law and Technology. Doug currently serves as a Director, Assistant General Counsel in the legal department of Capital One, where he provides enterprise-wide guidance on a variety of state and federal laws and regulations. Prior to joining Capital One, Doug practiced law in the Richmond, Virginia office of McGuireWoods LLP. In addition to serving on the Ridley Board, Doug serves as the Vice President of the Greater Richmond Intellectual Property Law Association and is a board member of the Hill Tucker Bar Association. He also volunteers his time with 100 Black Men of Greater Richmond, Inc. and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Doug and his wife Kim (CLAS ’88) live in Richmond, Virginia with their daughters, Michaela and Kellye.
Thomas M. Baker has a long history of service to the University of Virginia. He grew up in Richmond, Virginia’s historic Fan District and attended St. Christopher’s School from kindergarten until he graduated in 1975. He majored in English at the University and graduated in 1979. While at Virginia, Tom was a three-year basketball manager for Terry Holland and served as a Student Assistant in the Sports Information Office. He later served as a Graduate Assistant in the Sports Information Office during the Ralph Sampson era (1982-1983), and as Assistant Director of the Virginia Student Aid Foundation (now VAF) from 1999-2002. He has also held leadership roles for the UVA Club of Richmond and the VAF.
Tom joined BB&T in 2010 and is a Certified Wealth Advisor for the Central Virginia Region and Charlottesville. Tom has nearly 30 years of experience in investments, insurance, personal planning, estate analysis, and charitable gift planning. He earned his Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation from the American College in 2002 and holds FINRA securities licenses for Series 6 and 7, along with the Virginia Life and Health Insurance license. Tom is a member of the Virginia Gift Planning Council, the Charitable Advisors Council at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and is an active volunteer for St. Christopher’s School, St. James’ Episcopal Church, and the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. Tom and his wife Catherine reside in Richmond and Ditchley, Virginia, and they have two children – Richard, and Lissie (CLAS ’15).
A native of Richmond, Virginia, Javona Braxton has dedicated her life to service in both her career and personal life. She double majored in Sociology and African-American Studies at the University of Virginia and graduated in 1999. While at Virginia, she was a leader across Grounds with Student Council, Black Student Alliance, Black Student Admissions Committee, Phi Alpha Delta, Inc., and The Women’s Center.
Javona is currently the Senior Advisor, National Partnerships and Pipeline Programs in Talent Management with The American Red Cross Headquarters in Washington, DC. She leads efforts in establishing the American Red Cross workforce diversity, inclusion, and university based pipeline programs in partnership with the Office of Diversity & Inclusion. Outside of her full time work with The American Red Cross, Javona also supports Avail Marketing in managing various client relations and event/logistics projects to help their non profits clients reach their fundraising and programming goals.
She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and has been actively engaged across UVA grounds as an alum. She has served as a member of the Jefferson Scholars Regional Selection Committee, chair for The University of Virginia’s Black Alumni Weekend and the Class of 1999 Reunion. She has also been a member of the UVA Club of Richmond where she sat on the Walter Ridley Scholarship and Richmond Schools Committee. Currently, she serves as Chair for the Richmond Region Ridley Scholarship Committee and as member of President Sullivan’s Alumni Advisory Group. She also recently served on a committee established to address and strategize around Black alumni engagement. Javona was also an initial area leader for the VAAN Program and still supports recruitment efforts for the Richmond area. Ms. Braxton also received The University of Virginia Alumni Association’s Alumni Service Award in 2013.
William Chichester, III is the head of Small Business Talent Acquisition for Capital One. In this newly created role, William partners with senior leadership to build a unified Small Business Credit Card and Bank recruiting strategy, coordinate efforts across campus, experienced hire and executive recruiting teams and execute on the delivery of the division’s growth initiative. Prior to leading Small Business recruiting, William enjoyed a successful thirteen-year career in university relations & diversity recruiting for some of the nation’s largest financial firms including a seven-year run with Capital One’s Campus team. During that time, he played several roles as a recruiter, first-ever diversity & inclusion lead, and talent acquisition manager for five of Capital One’s 10 rotational programs. A proven, results-driven HR innovator, William elevated Capital One’s talent brand by building strategic relationships with over 10 national diversity professional associations and 40 colleges during his tenure. Through those relationships, he’s hired over 500 students and boosted the firm’s diversity results year over year for women & underrepresented minorities. Outside of work, William offers career & college admissions coaching to students, parents & professionals. Active in the community, William led the Ron Brown Scholar Alumni Association and serves on several non-profit boards committed to college & career readiness. He is also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., 100 Black Men of America and an alumni spokesman of the Sallie Mae Fund’s Kids2College Program.
A proud first-generation college graduate, William earned his BA in Foreign Affairs with a concentration in Arabic & Middle East Studies in 2005 in addition to earning close to $100,000 in scholarships and grants including Ron Brown, Gates Millennium, Paul Mellon, and the University Achievement Award. During his undergraduate career, William was an Echols Scholar, O.A.A.A. Peer Advisor, Career Peer Educator (CPE) at the University Career Center, Resident Assistant at Copeley & Faulkner Dorms, President (Polemarch) of the Eta Sigma Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Madison House volunteer and Phonathon student fundraiser. As a result of his academic achievements and leadership on Grounds, William was selected to live on the Lawn in his 4th year (34 East) and inducted into several honor societies including Omicron Delta Kappa, Order of Omega and the IMP Society. Today, William resides in Richmond, VA with his wife Ivy, also a fellow ‘Hoo (CLAS ’08).
KC graduated with a BA in Psychology from the University of Virginia in 1979. While at the University, KC was involved with a number of organizations: Judiciary Committee, Bad Check Committee, Lawn Selection and Easters Planning. She was also President of the Squash Club.
Following graduation, KC worked in the thoroughbred horse industry for a number of years, living in NYC and then KY and Australia. Upon returning to VA, she began working with and serving on the board of various organizations which included local community work (Middleburg Community Center), affordable housing (Windy Hill Foundation), education (both K-8 and high school, the Hill School and Tabor Academy), and health (Less Cancer). Additionally, she and her husband Ben, helped found a performance based music therapy center called A Place to Be, originally for children with disabilities but now for anyone having trouble handling any of life’s issues.
KC has served on the board of the UVA (now named) College Foundation and currently serves on the Advisory board of the UVA School of Nursing. KC also serves on the board of three family foundations. In the corporate world, KC is a member of the Board of Directors of Dover Corporation, a Fortune 500 manufacturing conglomerate.
Married with two kids (one in the UVA Class of 2020), she is an avid tennis player and has even won a National Championship (4.0 Seniors). KC is from Middleburg, Virginia.
Bryon Grant is a native Washingtonian. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 1993 with a Bachelor of Arts in Rhetoric and Communication Studies. While attending the University Bryon was active in many organizations, serving as Co-Chair of the University Union Diversity Committee, First-Year Focus Multicultural education facilitator, Co-President of Street Academics, On-Target Leadership Committee, and member of the I.M.P. Society. Since graduating Bryon has spent his career in marketing and technology positions. He is currently a Product Consultant at IBM under their Experience One division.
Consuelo A. Kendall graduated from the University of Virginia in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Bachelor of Arts in African and African-American Studies. While at the University, she was active in the Kappa Rho Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the Black Student Alliance, the Black Fraternal Council, and the Madison House tutoring program, as well as served as a peer advisor for the Office of African-American Affairs’ Peer Advisor program. After graduating from the University, Consuelo received her Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center.
Consuelo currently serves as corporate counsel for Videology, Inc., one of the world’s largest video advertising software platforms. In this role, she advises business teams on technology-related transactions, digital advertising and privacy regulations, and corporate governance matters. Prior to Videology, Consuelo was a commercial litigation associate at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, where her practice focused on advising international companies on complex contractual disputes and federal antitrust merger reviews.
Consuelo currently resides in Silver Spring, Maryland. In her spare time, she operates a baking company, Sway’s Sweets, which specializes in gourmet cupcakes and miniature confections.
John L. Newby II serves as Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Veterans Services. John served in Iraq as an aviator aboard the Boeing B-1B Lancer strategic bomber and commanded an Air Force special operations forward air control unit supporting the U.S. Army’s 3rd and 7th Special Forces Groups (Airborne). Following his military service, he served as an attorney at private sector law firms and an international defense contractor. He also serves as a member of Senator Tim Kaine’s Service Academy Selection Board. Commissioner Newby received his commission and Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Air Force Academy, and earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law. He, his wife Reba and daughter Jillian reside in Richmond, Virginia.
Simone Pollard is a dynamic leader who leverages her lively personality, critical thinking and business acumen to make an impact. As the Executive Director of Recruitment at Urban Teachers, she is responsible for developing and implementing a data driven national and regional recruitment strategy with the goal of bringing in high caliber participants to join Urban Teachers’ four-year teacher residency program, offered in partnership with Johns Hopkins University. Ms. Pollard oversees the development, execution, and monitoring of the organization’s overall recruitment strategy, including developing and instituting evaluative and metrics-based reporting tools. Additionally, she manages the hiring, training, professional development and supervision of a growing and nationally dispersed recruitment team. See full bio for Simone here.
Warren Prescott is a native New Yorker and graduate of the University of Virginia (Col ’93) where he was an active member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. After graduation, he received a Masters’ degree in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University. He later returned to the University to earn a Masters’ degree in the Management of Information Technology (M.S. in MIT ‘09) from the McIntire School of Commerce and went on to serve on the Advisory Board in various leadership positions. Warren has spent much of his career as a management consultant advising clients across a range of industries and currently provides counsel on strategic change management for enterprise-wide initiatives and transformation programs.
Warren resides in Richmond, Virginia with his wife and two children. Locally he has been active in the Richmond Chamber of Commerce working to develop Young Professionals and served for many years on the Richmond Region Ridley Scholarship Committee. He enjoys sports photography, reading, and fine dining in the spare time he has in between his kids’ many extracurricular activities.