Our Executive Board
Shirley Richardson, President
Shirley is the co-founder of The M Ensemble Company and Artistic Director of its Creative Children’s Theatre. She received her training in Theatre and the Performing Arts at Florida A&M University and the University of Miami. She has served on the board as past President of the Diaspora Arts Coalition. Shirley has performed and directed many of the company’s seasonal productions. She has been the recipient of several awards for her artistic leadership such as the Pillars Award, NANBPWC, Inc. Champion of the Arts Award, Eckerd’s Community Service Award, and Miami-Dade County Employee Awards.
Nakai Woods, Secretary/Treasurer
Nakai Woods Kelly an American gospel, traditional, neo-soul, jazz, songwriter, poet, vocalist, and co-founder of the Unique Praise Musiq Group, Inc. or Unique Praise (duo), with the responsibility of marketing, managing social media, PR, and promotions. Nakai is also a member of the Florida Gospel Announcer’s Guild (FGAG), and has served as the assistant secretary over the past two years.
While raising four sons, Nakai continued her education at the University of Phoenix where she acquired her MBA in Business Administration in 2012. Nakai plans to further her education by pursuing a teaching degree. She works in banking and finance for a major US banking institution.
Nakai loves reading, writing, listening to and writing music, and spending time with family.
Nakai continues to encourage and motivate other artist throughout the music industry by helping them understand, “If you don’t invest in yourself, no one else will.”
Shamele Jenkins, Parliamentarian
Shamele is also an internationally recognized touring poet/spoken word artist, storyteller and author who brings her gift of gossip and gab to the masses. She has performed and lectured throughout Africa's Benin, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Togo, through Australia, Europe's England, France, Germany and Ireland, South America's Brazil, Chile, and Dominican Republic, to the Caribbean Islands of Jamaica, Haiti, in Canada and most of the states in the USA. Shamele is the founder and artistic director of “Lip Tongue & Ear Poetry Productions” which is a 29-year-old multi cultural poetry/spoken word/storytelling/ theatrical guild with over 300 members. She is the author of five books of poetry and short stories and her work has appeared in numerous periodicals and anthologies. Shamele is also the recipient of many literary awards including the “International Storyteller’s Liar Contest – 1990, 2005 and 2008”. Shamele has been noted as “poet laureate” in many cities where she has tenured throughout her career.
Shamele Jenkins is the Executive Director & Immediate Past President of Miami Dade County Foster & Adoptive Parent Association (“MDCFAPA”). Ms. Jenkins served as President for almost 11 years before resigning that post in 2019 to go work on contract in California. Working in California, she created foster & adoptive support groups and social events thru Project Foster & California (primarily all-over Southern California). That California contract which should have been 2 to 3 weeks lasted well into 2023 making her bi-coastal! Ms. Jenkins fundraises, creates special events, and training workshops where foster, adoptive and relative caregivers can hone their parenting skills while being kept up to date on Florida laws that directly impact their families. She seeks & creates educational & arts scholarship opportunities and takes both the youth and caregivers to conferences in and outside of Miami and the State of Florida. Shamele is a single parent who was a foster parent for over 32 years licensed in New York and Florida. She adopted 5 youth and has raised more than 300 – many of which remain in contact with her even in their adult lives. She has received numerous awards and recognitions but most noteworthy are - Volunteer Award from Florida Department of Juvenile Justice 2020; United States Congressional Angels in Adoptions Recipient 2017; Florida Governor’s Volunteer Award 2015. Shamele is also a professional public speaker with an emphasis on foster care, time management, domestic violence, and personal care! During the pandemic Shamele solicited and received in 2019 more than 3,000 face masks which were distributed to all of Miami’s youth and families in care. She also provided school uniforms for more than 200 adopted youth in 2020 and 2021; Easter baskets for more than 1400 each year and thousands of toys and school supplies. Shamele is also a liaison for the foster care system in the State of California serving foster & adoptive families from El Centro, San Diego, Los Angeles, etc.
Shamele is the Founder & President of The Nubian Sistahood (TNS) which is a 13-year-old women’s organization. Their primary mission is to empower women and children. They do community work with foster youth, women in transition, women in prison, & girls in juvenile detention. They also travel locally, nationally, & internationally hosting workshops on women’ empowerment. To their credit they have conducted workshops and events in Fiji, Australia, Jamaica, The Bahamas, and all over the USA. TNS also hosts bi-annual conferences in Miami on a host of subjects to empower not only women but the entire community.
Executive Director & Program Administrator
Johnny Sanders is a young man filled with excitement and energy, which surface when he is electrifying audiences with his powerful, melodic voice. He is best known for his beloved song, “I Trust God” from his debut CD “Lifetime” which landed him on the ballets for both the Grammy and Stellar Gospel Music Awards. His sophomore project “God Said” further established him as a force in the music scene. He followed this project up with a duet CD with Gospel Recording Artist Francine Ealey Murphy entitled “The Gospel Choir Experience” which was released in December 2009 and in 2010 He and Ms. Murphy released “The Gospel Choir Experience” PART II both released in Europe. Not just an exceptional singer, Johnny holds an Associate of Arts Degree in Mass Communications and Journalism from Miami Dade College; a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Humanities & Public Relations /Communications from Florida International University and a Certificate in Theology from The Interdenominational Theology Center of Atlanta, Georgia; and a Master of Science Degree in Organizational Leadership from Union Institute & University and is currently pursuing a doctorate degree in Organizational Leadership from Southeastern University. In addition to that, he has done graduate work in Marketing, Advertising and Broadcast Journalism. Johnny has worked in the field of entertainment programming, marketing and advertising for more than 25 years. He has served as host and/or guest host on a number of local, national and international radio & TV shows; in addition to hosting his own Performing Arts Variety show, Center Stage with Johnny Sanders which aired on the Urban Television Network and currently host Gospel USA Magazine's Top 30 Countdown TV Show. Johnny is also a published, syndicated columnist. His column “Johnny on the Spot” currently appears in three national and two international publications.
Desmond Alufohai, Consultant
Desmond Alufohai is the President & CEO of Alufy International Inc., a Human Development and Capacity Building Company based in Miami, Florida, USA. Mr. Alufohai has worked as a leader in the international business community for more than 20 years. He served as the Executive Director and head of the membership services and training department for Junior Chamber Inc (JCI) from 1991 – 2002. He travels extensively throughout the world conducting trade missions, essential business development training, workshops, organizational fieldwork, professional and business seminars. He made notable contributions as the former JCI Executive Director as the liaison to the following organizations - United Nations Agencies (UNICEF & UNESCO), World Health Organization [WHO], and the African Union.
He is a founding member of the Mayors African Trade Task Force and a member of the Community Affairs Taskforce – Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. He was co-chair of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce Pan-African Trade Committee, founding chairperson of the African Reconnect Inc., and former chair of Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce - International Trade Committee.
He has a Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Anna Maria University in Paxton, Massachusetts. He communicates effectively in French. He is a Certified Meeting Professional [CMP], International Trade Specialist, International Training Fellow [ITF], Management Consultant, Instructor, and Adjunct Professor.