Devin Rankin is a community advocate from Charlotte, North Carolina. He currently serves as the Executive Director for Hoodie’s House of Hope for Youth. Devin attended Winston-Salem State University, where he majored in Elementary Education. He is a Spring 2017 initiate into the Beta Iota Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, where he served as Chapter President. Devin is the founder of The See Change Collective. The See Change Collective was founded to support the local Charlotte community, in whatever capacity is necessary.
He is committed to working with Freedom School Partners, a non-profit organization devoted to decreasing the summer reading slide. He is a former member of the Red Sea of Sound Marching band and a member of Winston-Salem State Universities’ Royal court, where he served as Mister 1892.
Devin has been the recipient of the New Educator of The Year award, through Profound Gentleman, as well as the Frank Gilbert Service Award. He also was the featured story in the Profound Gentlemen inaugural magazine. His hobbies include: creative writing, running, solving problems, and trying new restaurants.
His life’s philosophy is 2 Timothy 1:7 "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind".
Cecil Burrowes is a 27-year financial industry veteran. In his current role he leads Diverse Customer Segment (DCS) Mass Market retention strategies for the Wells Fargo Diverse Segments group. He is responsible for driving retention focused strategies to increase penetration of diverse customer base specific to Asian, African American, Hispanic, LGBTQ, and Persons with disabilities. He and the DCS team work to understand the needs of Asian, Hispanic, and African American populations across the mass market segment.
In addition, he works to provide diverse customers access to all physical and virtual banking channels, while ideating and supporting creation of relevant products and services. Being an avid proponent of community outreach initiatives, he sits on the Board of Directors for Hoodies House of Hope for the Youth based in Charlotte and is an advisory board member of several other community programs.
Jeff Hood, a native of Queens, NY is a graduate of North Carolina Wesleyan College where he received a BA Degree. In September 2007, Jeff was inducted into the N.C. Wesleyan Sports Hall of Fame after having completed a stellar basketball career. In 2018, Jeff was recognized by the NBA's Charlotte Hornets as their Tissot Gift of Time Community Service Person of the Year. He was also Honored and Recognized as a "Made Man" of Charlotte, NC. In 2019 NOBLE recognized Jeff as their Civil Rights Justice by Action for Youth of the Year Award. Jeff, a long-standing member of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, is married to Gloria Sledge Hood and together have a wonderful daughter named Maya.
Jeff also specializes in event planning, fundraising and grant writing. He is credited with having initiated several Celebrity Charity Golf Classics, Concerts, Gala's, Youth Clinics, and the nationally recognized Hoodie's House National HS Hoop's Classic. Through spectator attendance, sponsorship and financial success, each of these charitable fundraising events have benefited youth housed within underserved Charlotte-Mecklenburg communities. Additionally, over the years, Jeff has amassed more than 20 million dollars of grant funds.
Cheryl Hood Francis is a recent retiree of the NYC Department of Education. During her 38-year tenure she served in multiple critical organizational roles. As Director Strategic Planning she was responsible for the development, implementation, and management of their $4.3 billion capital construction program and as Director of Internal Audit she oversaw a team of forensic auditors ensuring the adherence to existing policies and protocols as well as identification of opportunities for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization’s operations.
She is also the co-founder and advocate for the Hood-Louis College in Thomas-Elie, Haiti, a kindergarten through 6th grade elementary school.
Currently Cheryl is a long-time member of The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York where she serves in many capacities including Trustee and General Superintendent of the Sunday School. She is currently leading the development of a new youth initiative, the Allen Youth STEAM Center.
She is excited to serve as Board Chair of Hoodie’s House of Hope for Youth and sits on the Board of Directors of several education and youth focused not-for-profit organizations.
Vanderbelt Fears is a retired manufacturing senior executive who spent 30+ years in leadership roles for various engineered products companies. He joined HHHfY because of its impact on kids in underserved communities who have the ability to achieve success if given the resources necessary to elevate their skill sets and get exposure to opportunities to utilize those skills.
Will Carrouthers is a Finance Executive at Oportun, where he is responsible for FP&A and Business Finance activities in support of enterprise-wide operations.
Before working at Oportun, Will led several teams and functions over the course of his 17-yearcareer in the financial services industry working with such companies as Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Truist.
Will holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a MBA from The Georgia Institute of Technology. Will resides in Huntersville, NC where he serves his community and is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.
Leon Cox comes to Hoodie’s House of Hope with a wealth of experience and knowledge in the hospitality industry for the past 30 years. His hotel roles have been with brands such as Ritz Carlton, Westin, Marriot, and Intercontinental. Before moving to Raleigh, Leon was the general manager of the Marriott Executive Park in Charlotte. His latest general manager position was with the Sheraton Raleigh, where he got to do one of his favorite projects, helping to launch Jimmy V’s Osteria + Bar (V Foundation affiliate).
Attending N. C. State University has given this past project and Raleigh a special place in his heart. He is currently the general manager of the Westin Raleigh-Durham Airport, slated to open in the first quarter of 2023. Leon serves on several local boards in the area, loving to give back to the local community. He is immediate past chair of both Greater Raleigh Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Downtown Raleigh Alliance. He also chairs the Raleigh Convention Center Board, sits on the Raleigh Chamber Board of Directors, and is part of the Chancellor’s African American Community Advisory Council for N.C. State University. He is a founding board member of the Dereck Whittenburg Foundation, which has provided over 400 college students with scholarships to help them complete their education.
Leon has been married to his wife Martha for over 26 years and has three children (Tequila, Russell, and Jasmine). As noted above, Leon loves contributing to the success of youth. The Charlotte market is a place he once called home and enjoyed all that Charlotte offered.