SGZ Team

Marissa M. Jennings – Chief Executive Officer
Ms. Jennings is an agent for change. She has more than seven years of experience working in the private and public sector as a project manager and public affairs specialist where she has handled federal government relations, national media campaigns and community outreach projects. Additionally, she has demonstrated experience in program and policy management with national nonprofits. As a result of her experiences, Ms. Jennings has become even more committed to fulfilling her passion and life mission – to improve and provide positive differences in everyone’s life – especially those in poverty and living in urban communities. She has worked with various national girls organizations including Girls Inc., Girl Scouts of America and the BET Foundation, where she organized youth camps as well as coordinated and spurred initiatives to educate girls on healthy lifestyles. Ms. Jennings also served as the publicist for the book “Go, Tell Michelle: African American Women Write To The New First Lady.” She not only possesses the expertise but also has a proven track record in developing financial budgets, fundraising, program development and implementation, and working successfully with high-level, well-established executives. Ms. Jennings, a graduate of Bennett College for Women, is a visionary leader with the ability to maximize resources, exceed organizational goals and objectives and mobilize youth. Ms. Jennings also received her Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate from Georgetown University.

 

Elenore Williams Vaughn – Chief Operations Officer

A dynamic and highly respected executive with nearly two decades of functional and transferable business expertise. She has demonstrated experience in management of corporate, nonprofit, small business, and government organizations. Her career includes high-level successes as a nonprofit executive implementing business practices and initiatives which turned around an agency and gave it better local and national recognition. Ms. Vaughn developed additional business acumen as an entrepreneur, implementing effective strategies and utilizing political and community contacts to assist clients with organizational success. She has senior management and executive-level experience managing staff, developing financial budgets, fundraising, program development, implementing operating policies and strategic planning. Her business acumen tripled revenue and doubled production for Habitat for Humanity in Los Angeles; saved a billion-dollar government agency, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, from receivership, and currently provides business development, operations and leadership development expertise for consulting clients. Ms. Vaughn earned her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from California State University, Long Beach and an MBA from Ashford University. She also has a Certificate of Executive Management from Harvard University.

Lenford Smith – Chief Financial Officer and Chief Technology Officer

Mr. Smith is a Certified Public Accountant and Software Engineering Administrator with more than 20 progressive years of accounting and information technology experience. Mr. Smith has provided the following solutions to various organizations: financial accounting, corporate strategy, business intelligence, IT evaluation, risk analysis, software integration, corporate taxation, revenue management, data warehouse design and configuration, business process re-engineering, program management and project management. While a student at Howard University, PriceWaterhouseCoopers recruited Mr. Smith. He was subsequently trained to become an auditor and certified systems integrator. He later worked for Arthur Anderson Business Consulting on several financial systems and internal control projects. Mr. Smith has a successful record of achieving required results in a timely manner, and within budget.

 

Bryant Bryson – Chief of Marketing Technology
Mr. Bryson is a results-oriented marketing technology leader with a proven track record of increasing revenue, improving client retention and achieving dynamic results. His experience includes working with some of the most recognizable companies in the world. They include Johnson & Johnson, Liberty Mutual, and Apple. While at Apple, he generated more than 3 million in sales and increased their market share by 15 percent in measured product lines. He utilized his experience creating digital and print communications to develop a larger account base which yielded 10 percent growth in revenue for four consecutive quarters while with Apple. Mr. Bryson is a graduate of Florida A & M University.

Natalie Jordan – Communication Director
Ms. Jordan is a creative and analytical journalist with more than eight years of experience in writing feature articles, short stories, biographies, essays, editorial pieces,press releases and creative copy. Ms. Jordan is well versed in identifying news angles, copyediting, transcription/editing of interviews and proofreading. She possesses a strong technical command of the English language, familiarity with various writing styles and a serious commitment to excellence in the printed word. She is a competent researcher, interviewer and reporter. A graduate of Bennett College for Women, Ms. Jordan completed internships with The New York Times Journalism Institute, The High Point Enterprise, and The Rocky Mount Telegram. Additionally, she has experience as a reporter for the Rocky Mount Telegram in Rocky Mount, N.C., the Park City Daily News in Bowling Green, Ky., and Comprint Military Publications, a subsidiary of Post-Newsweek Media, Inc.