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NELP Class I (2009 - 2010)

Mark Adams

General Manager, AHI Construction, Inc.


Mark Adams works as the General Manager of AHI Construction Inc. in Sacramento, California. In 2009, AHI Construction won an award from the Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce as one of the fastest growing minority owned companies in the region. Prior to starting AHI Construction, Mr. Adams held various positions at the Hewlett-Packard Company in Roseville, California as Supply Chain Buyer, Customer Support Agreement Specialist and Data Conversion Support Agreement Specialist. He served as Senator for the Associated Students of the University of California, Davis where he developed and administered an $8.5 million dollar budget and authored legislation to be voted on by Senate members. Mr. Adams won both the African Continuum Leadership Award and the Outstanding African American Leadership Award from the University of California, Davis. AHI Construction was recently selected to receive the 2009 Small Business of the Year award by the Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology, and a Construction Management Certificate from the University of California, Davis.

Naomi Amaha

Legislative Associate, Stateside Associates


Naomi Amaha is a Legislative Associate at Stateside Associates, based in Arlington, Virginia. Previously, she served as a Legislative Assistant to California State Assembly Member Joe Coto. Ms. Amaha was the past President of the Young Professionals Committee of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Sacramento where she raised funds and awareness for the organization. She also served as a Yolo County Court Appointed Special Advocate for a youth in the foster care system. As a board member of the University of California Alumni Association, Ms. Amaha provided a voice for recent African and African American Alumni, as well as assists in scholarships and resource support for African American students. She also served as an Advisor for the YMCA Youth and Government El Dorado Hills Delegation and volunteered for the Sacramento Area Emergency Housing Center Women's Refuge. Ms. Amaha holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology and Communications from the University of California, Davis, and hopes to pursue a Masters in Public Policy and Administration or Public Affairs.

Jose Bodipo-Memba

Environmental Project Manager, Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD)


Jose Bodipo-Memba is currently an Environmental Project Manager for the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD). Mr. Bodipo-Memba has spent the last 10 years of technical experience managing projects associated with California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) on both the private and public side. Mr. Bodipo-Memba has capitalized on his strong understanding of environmental regulatory issues, as well as his excellent communication skills and leadership abilities, serving as SMUD's environmental compliance coordinator for the Solano Wind Project Phase III just outside of Rio Vista, CA. Mr. Bodipo-Memba's projects have covered a range of technical areas including specific plan development, infill development, school and facilities planning, historical research, site feasibility analysis, wind energy, and community relations. Some of his more notable projects include the Lincoln High School Complex (San Diego) EIR, San Diego State Medical Health Center MND, the Sacramento Railyards Specific Plan EIR and the California Lottery MND. With direct project experience in San Diego, Imperial, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Solano, Yolo, Sacramento, Sonoma, San Francisco, Yuba, Sutter, Merced, and Placer Counties, Mr. Bodipo-Memba has shown the versatility to address a variety of environmental and planning issues in an informed and objective manner. Mr. Bodipo-Memba is active in the Sacramento community, serving as a member of the Sacramento Area Emergency Housing Center Board of Directors, the Urban Land Institute Young Leaders Group advisory committee, the Drexel University Graduate Student Association and Civic Involvement Committee, Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce Metro Edge, and as a camp counselor for the Chris Johnson Basketball Academy. Mr. Bodipo-Memba was a 2010 recipient of the Sacramento Business Journal 40 under 40 award. Mr. Bodipo-Memba holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of California at Berkeley and is currently pursuing his Masters Degree in Business Administration from Drexel University.

Kiyana Davis Kiel

Attorney, Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD)


Kiyana Davis Kiel is an Attorney at the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD). Her areas of responsibility include Real Estate, Land Use, and Environmental law; Distribution Services; Customer Services; and Record Requests. She was previously the Director of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law Education Pipeline Initiative, as well as an Academic Advisor and Adjunct Faculty member of Paralegal Studies at National University where she taught Legal Research and Writing, and Real Estate law. Mrs. Davis Kiel has served as the Assistant Director for the University of California, Berkeley Graduate Assembly where she planned events to provide graduate school information to low-income and minority students. She earned a Vice Provost Award for Academic Excellence and Vice Provost Award for Outstanding Community Service from the University of California, Los Angeles. Mrs. Davis Kiel currently serves as a Board Member for Capitol Collegiate Academy and the Coro Center for Civic Leadership in San Francisco. She is also a member of Closing the Gap; American Association of Blacks in Energy; Nehemiah Emerging Leaders Alumni Association (NELAA); and Operation Protect and Defend. Mrs. Davis Kiel has a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley and a Bachelor degree in American Literature and Cultures with College Honors from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Anthony Daye

Attorney, Weintraub Genshlea Chediak Law Firm


Anthony Daye is an Attorney at Weintraub Genshlea Chediak Law Firm in Sacramento, California. He was a Mediator and Employee Representative for the University of San Francisco School of Law Mediation Clinic where he managed dispute mediation at the Superior Court. Mr. Daye participated in the Black Law Student outreach program and was Attorney Coach for the High School Moot Court Competition. He was named Rising Young Attorney by Super Lawyers of America. He mentors high school students for the University of San Francisco School of Law Student Association and is a regular volunteer with St. John's Shelter Program for Women and Children. He holds a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of San Francisco and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

Courtney Frieh



Courtney Frieh is currently practicing land use, environmental and property law as a solo practitioner. Recently, Courtney successfully led a class action lawsuit against the County of Marin on behalf of low-income citizens seeking equal access to the coast. Prior to starting her own practice, Courtney was an Associate at the law firms of Diepenbrock Harrison and Remy, Thomas, Moose and Manley, both in Sacramento, California. Courtney currently serves as Interim Executive Director of the Legal Center for Elderly and Disabled, a not-for-profit legal aid firm serving Sacramento's poor, elderly and disabled. Courtney also volunteers for the Whole Life Foundation that provides housing, meals and support services for the homeless. While attending the University of California, Davis, Courtney served as the California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG) Environmental Outreach Coordinator where she conducted investigative research for new laws and other protections for the public. Courtney earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with High Honors in Classical Civilizations from the UC Davis and a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.

Parrish Geary

Student Personnel Assistant, Matriculation Department, Sacramento City College


Parrish Geary is a Student Personnel Assistant in the Matriculation Department at Sacramento City College where he develops, coordinates and delivers new student orientations and counseling support. He was a Residential Counselor and Supervisor for the Sacramento Children's Home for four years responsible for establishing lesson plans, instructing multiple subjects and providing a safe environment for students. Mr. Geary is the President of the Classified Senate at Sacramento City College where he leads classified staff members in the governance process, encourages membership attendance and involvement with campus management. He was the Executive Vice President of the Graduate Education Student Association at California State University, Sacramento where he organized minority graduates into workshops and mentorship programs. He received both a Master of Arts degree in Higher Education and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Natural Science from California State University, Sacramento.

Nicole Howard
Manager, Customer Operations
Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD)
MPA, CSU Dominguez Hills
BA, Legal Studies- University of California, Berkeley


Nicole Howard is among the Sr. Management team of SMUD, where she leads over 250 employees, and oversees an annual budget of $46 Million. Nicole is responsible for the delivery of critical, core services to SMUD’s community-owners. Departments within her organization include Contact Center Operations, Billing Operations, Credit and Collections Services.


Nicole has worked with SMUD for over 10 years. Prior to her current role, she held several leadership roles, which include the Procurement and Contract Services organization within Supply Chain; Systems and Performance Analysis team of General Services and served as a Senior Supplier Diversity Advocate, for SMUD’s SEED Program. As an individual contributor, she served as an analyst in the Grid Operations and Planning Business Unit responsible for monitoring the performance metrics for new construction projects. She has also served on SMUD's Inclusion Action Council. She is active in her community serving as a mentor for young women, tutor and youth advocate. Nicole is passionate social justice advocate and served two years as the President of the Bay Area Advisory Board for the California Diversity Council. Ms. Howard currently represents SMUD on the Consumnes River College Foundation Board.

Lourdes Jimenez-Price
Senior Attorney
Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD)
B.A. in Political Science, University of California, Berkeley
J.D., University of California, Hastings College of the Law


Over the course of her 11 year tenure at SMUD, Ms. Jimenez-Price has successfully negotiated several multi-million dollar contracts, advised clients on the California Environmental Quality Act and represented clients in administrative proceedings before regulatory agencies in areas of license compliance, hazardous materials and air quality. Ms. Jimenez-Price volunteered at WOMAN, Inc. for three years assisting domestic violence clients in obtaining temporary restraining orders and serving as a Spanish translator for court hearings and mediations. She is a Board Member of the River Oak Center for Children, President of the SCUSD District Advisory Council, Secretary for the Phoebe Hearst Gate and Basic Elementary School, and an active member of the SCUSD Superintendent Parent and Community Advisory Committee, Facility Consolidation and Re-use Committee, Sacramento Chapter of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Citizens' Academy Alumni Association (CAAA) and the Nehemiah Emerging Leaders Alumni Association (2010 Fellow). Ms. Jimenez-Price is the 2011 recipient of the Sacramento Business Journal's 40 under 40 award, honoring 40 of Sacramento's most dynamic business leaders for their business success and community contributions.

Christopher Johnson

Inventor, Rapid Ramen 

President & CEO, The Johnson Group, Inc.

President of Basketball Operations, Chris Johnson Basketball Academy (CJBA)

Christopher Johnson is the President and CEO of The Johnson Group, Inc. a staffing and consulting firm located on Capitol Mall in downtown Sacramento. Mr. Johnson's firm has experienced over 327% growth and was recognized as the 7th fastest growing company in the Sacramento Area by the Sacramento Business Journal. Mr. Johnson was also recognized as one of the "40 under 40” by Sacramento Business Journal. Mr. Johnson was also recognized nationally as one of the "40 Next” a publication by Black Enterprise Magazine. Mr. Johnson is also the President of the Chris Johnson Basketball Academy, a company that teaches youth about the importance of determination, work ethic, and integrity. Mr. Johnson serves on the Board of Directors for the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce, Positive Coaches Alliance, and Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communicates from the University of California, Davis. 

William Jahmal Miller, MHA

Communications Manager, National Community Benefit, Health Policy and Research Division, Kaiser Permanente


Mr. William Jahmal Miller serves as the Communications Manager for Kaiser Permanente's National Community Benefit, Health Policy and Research Division at the company's headquarters in Oakland, California. Kaiser Permanente is a large, integrated health system employing over 160,000 people throughout 8 regions. In addition to providing high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of its members and communities, Kaiser's 2010 Community Benefit contributions and activities exceeded $1.8 billion.


After beginning his healthcare career in 1998 with Kaiser Permanente, he transitioned to begin his Administrative Fellowship with Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento. After completing the Fellowship, he served, progressively, in various management roles within Sutter Health. Throughout his career, he has led strategic marketing, communications, public relations, external affairs and branding efforts.


A graduate of Columbia University and the University of Southern California, Jahmal has over 13 years of professional experience within healthcare, and he's deeply committed to community service. Jahmal serves on the boards of the California Child Care Referral and Resource Network, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, Bloodsource and the Ronald McDonald House Charities. He is also a proud Senior Fellow of the Nehemiah Emerging Leaders Program sponsored by the American Leadership Forum & CORO.


In addition to managing the communications and public relations efforts for Kaiser's corporate social responsibility work, Jahmal was recently selected as the new Moderator for Kaiser Permanente's National Diversity Speaker Series. Upon launching his healthcare career with Kaiser Permanente, he was immediately intrigued by the organizational commitment to diversity management. As a result, his career has been inspired and impacted by Kaiser Permanente. It's a dream come true for him now to be able to give back to the Program by serving as the Moderator for the Series - just one fine example of Kaiser Permanente's national diversity strategy in action.

Stephen Kyle Nichols

Chief Communications Officer, Capistrano Unified School District


Stephen Nichols is the Chief Communications Officer for Capistrano Unified School District — California’s ninth largest school district — serving as the district’s spokesman in matters of public and media inquiry. Previously he served as the Public Information Officer for the Folsom Cordova Unified School District near Sacramento, Calif. Stephen began his career at Natomas Unified School District in Sacramento, which was the second most diverse school district in the United States (New York Times, 2006). He is the current president of the California School Public Relations Association (CalSPRA) and vice president of the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA). Stephen received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Classical Civilization and Political Science from Howard University and an MBA from Drexel University.

Amos Nugent

Special Education Technician, Sacramento County Office of Education


Amos Nugent is a Special Education Technician at the Sacramento County Office of Education and provides academic assistance to students who have behavioral or learning disabilities. He was previously a Team Leader for the 21st Century Advantage Program at Howard University where he organized a conference on financial literacy for Howard students and arranged a successful "feed-the-homeless” program. Mr. Nugent is the Founder and CEO of the Enlightened Minds Group Inc. in Sacramento, California. He is responsible for compiling a beginner's money management curriculum aimed at teaching low income families and individuals successful budgeting and investment strategies. As a member of the Greater Sacramento Urban League Young Professionals, he coordinates financial literacy initiatives for local high school and middle school students. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance from Howard University in Washington DC.

Rhonda Staley-Brooks

President and CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Sacramento Area


Rhonda Staley-Brooks is the President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Sacramento Area where she has been employed for 18 years. She was responsible for the organizational turnaround during her first few years as President and CEO. The agency now operates six regional offices in Sacramento, South Placer, Yolo, San Joaquin Counties, Yuba and Sutter Counties. The Big Brothers Big Sisters program focuses on teaching children to respect others, have positive relationships with peers and family, avoid delinquency, succeed in school, and manage their feelings appropriately. Ms. Staley-Brooks works with her board and staff to develop the strategic plans, operational plans and agency budget. Ms. Staley-Brooks was the assistant coach for the girl's basketball team at Arlene Hein Elementary School for the 2009 season and was a Big Sister for five years to a young girl through the Big Brothers Big Sisters Program. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Child Development from California State University, Sacramento. She continued her education through trainings such as the CEO Link with the Non-Profit Resource Center and Class 1 of the Nehemiah Emerging Leaders Program. Accomplishments include: Named TOP CEO by the Sacramento Magazine in 2006, Black History Month All Star Executive Leader award through the Maloof Sports & Entertainment Foundation in 2007 and most recently Top 40 Under 40 through the Sacramento Business Journal.

Melissa Tanner

Legislative Advocate, California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS)


Melissa Tanner is a Legislative Advocate for the California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS) in Sacramento, California. She provides technical direction and assistance to advocacy groups, retirement board members, staff and program directors. Ms. Tanner is responsible for developing legislative bill analyses, developing enrolled bill reports and analyzing legislation. Formerly, she was the Staff Services Manager and Associate Budget Analyst for the California Attorney General's Office in Sacramento, California. Ms. Tanner assigned legislative analyses to analysts and worked closely with the Office of Legislative Affairs to monitor and submit proposals. Ms. Tanner is the Chairwoman of the Board of Sow2Grow in Sacramento, California—a green development corporation that helps low-income residents achieve self-sufficiency while creating green awareness and economic growth in urban communities. She is an active volunteer at the Sacramento Food Bank and the California Alumni Association. Ms. Tanner received a Masters degree in Public Health from New York University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley.

Darrell Teat

Managing Director, Emerging Markets, Nehemiah Corporation of America


Darrell Teat is Managing Director, Emerging Markets with Nehemiah Corporation of America, a Sacramento, CA based social enterprise and development corporation. Darrell assists the CEO with high-priority projects and communications vital to the organization's continued success. Formerly, Darrell spent several years successfully creating sales development plans and establishing relationships with corporate and civic leaders resulting in increased profits for various consulting firms.


Darrell also serves as a Board Member of the American Diabetes Association, Sacramento Chapter and is President of the Nehemiah Emerging Leaders Alumni Association. Darrell was appointed by the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors to the Sherriff's Outreach Advisory Board and is Founder of the Tools 4 Schools Program, which collects school supplies to offset decreased public school funding.


Darrell earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications from Santa Clara University, where he was the Captain of the Men's Basketball Team. He is also a Sr. Fellow with the Nehemiah Emerging Leaders Program, a collaborative leadership development program between the Nehemiah Corporation of America, Coro Foundation and American Leadership Forum.


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