Our Goal: $1,000,000

Current Total:


Board of Directors

James R Taylor III James R. Taylor, III

James R Taylor, III is Founder of Virginia Housing and Community Development Corporation (VHCDC) and currently serves as its President. Mr. Taylor led efforts to train small business owners how to access capital and credit for their business and is a tireless advocate for micro-equity investment in small, disadvantaged businesses.

Mr. Taylor led the launch of the MBE Empowerment Fund, an initiative to invest in micro-business enterprises and provide scholarships for aspiring young entrepreneurs in Virginia. He also spearheaded the launch of investment clubs (partnerships) across the Commonwealth of Virginia to help minority business owners not just increase their own wealth, but the net worth of their companies. The initiative has a long-term objective of creating a network of investors that may provide startup and operating capital for micro-business enterprises within their community.

Mr. Taylor is tenured advocate for minority business enterprise. He regularly participates in round-table discussions, frequently contributes to magazine and newspaper articles on entrepreneurship and small business matters, and consistently introduces minorities, veterans, women, ex-felons, and youth to entrepeneural opportunities and resources within their communities. He led the launch of the Norfolk/Portsmouth Empowerment Zone - Small Business Resource Center and Business Information Center and was later instrumental in establishing the first professional services incubator.

In March, 2018, Mr. Taylor was elected to the Board of Directors of the Portsmouth Partnership. He represents VHCDC as a member (partner) of the Hampton Roads Small Business Investment Partnership. He is an active investor in several local ventures, including VHCDC Community Investment Partners, L.P.

Mr. Taylor, through VHCDC, is responsible for assisting more 1,500 clients, launching more than 350 micro business enterprises, and conducting more than 250 seminars, workshops, and business networking events throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. Mr. Taylor is a serial/social entrepreneur, an active investor, and a dedicated, caring business mentor.

Katrina S. Taylor Katrina S. Taylor, CPPB, VCO, VCCO
Vice President

Katrina S. Taylor is an experienced procurement professional with 30+ years of progressive knowledge working for state agencies and institutions of higher learning. She recently retired as Director of Materiel Management at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia. She is experienced in negotiating contracts including blanket and bulk commodity pricing agreements.

Ms. Taylor has thorough knowledge of contract law and editing legal documents for legal sufficiency in Commonwealth of Virginia contracts. She served as the central agency representative for Small, Women and Minority (SWaM) owned businesses, and trained institution procurement directors and assisted them in creating effective supplier diversity programs and initiatives.

Ms. Taylor has served the Commonwealth of Virginia at numerous agencies and universities, such as the Department of Labor, Norfolk State University, Old Dominion University, Department of General Services/Division of Purchases and Supply, and Christopher Newport University. Ms. Taylor has a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Norfolk State University and an Associate of Applied Science in Interior Design.

James A. Young James A. Young, Sr., CPA, CFA

James A. Young, Sr. is founder and managing member of JYE Financial and Accounting Solutions, LLC. Formerly a Senior Accountant at Capital Group, among the world's oldest and largest investment management organizations, He began his accounting career with Arthur Andersen LLP in New York City before joining Strickland & Jones, PC in Norfolk, Virginia. Through his own firm, Mr. Young helps small businesses, individuals, and non-profits with their tax and accounting issues, including providing auditing and other attestation services.

James graduated with a Bachelor’s in Science in Accounting in 1997. In 2009, he earned his Master of Business Administration from Old Dominion University and is currently pursuing a Master of Accounting degree from Old Dominion University. Since 2013, he has been an Adjunct Associate Professor of Business at Tidewater Community College.

James is a U.S. Navy veteran, who volunteers with several nonprofit organizations in the Hampton Roads area, including Nursing CAP, Inc., the National Association of Black Accountants, Modern Free and Accepted Masons of the World, Inc, and the Order of Eastern Stars.

Michael L. Baldwn Michael L. Baldwin

Mr. Michael L. Baldwin is Vice President of Operations for Faneuil Inc., where he collaborates with senior leaders from all departments in planning, developing, and executing plans to support the success of our internal team members and external partners. Michael is the former Vice President of Operational Performance for C3/CustomerConnectChannels, where he was responsible for the development of highly interactive training content to over 32,000 trainees at internal call center sites in Central America, Asia, Europe, and the United States.

From July, 2006 to July, 2010 he was Call Center Manager/Business Development Manager for MLB Solutions in Norfolk, VA where he recruited to revitalize a dormant sales operation for Affinity4, one of the largest affinity-based marketing and sales companies focusing on non-profit organizations. He developed and managed all of their call center operations between multiple locations and coordinated the full transition of all call center functions from Oklahoma to the new Virginia location within 45 days. Mr. Baldwin recruited, hired, trained and managed all call center employees in the new call center. He created and implemented all operational goals and developed performance improvement plans and reporting to aid in meeting and exceeding those goals and led several special projects within the company which resulted in the revamping of the company website, increased staff development sessions and IVR enhancements which improved the customer service experience. Designed and implemented sales and marketing plan to reinvigorate existing and establish new relationships with targeted non-profit organizations.

Mr. Baldwin is sought after by municipalities and private organizations to develop, direct and lead training sessions on a variety of topics. He is highly recognized for his ability to tailor training to the specific audience’s needs and by creating sessions which successfully combine the use of visual, auditory and kinesthetic learning styles.

Mr. Baldwin has over 15 years experience in call center operations, training, and consulting. He has strong expertise in training, quality, operations, and business management, with a proven track record of performance improvement.

Ariel K Heard Ariel K. Heard

Ariel K. Heard is Auto Service Supervisor with Government Employees Insurance Company (GEICO), the second largest auto insurer in America – based in Chevy Chase, Maryland – where since 2013 she has held ever-increasing positions of responsibility. Currently, she trains supervisors on department processes and best practices and leads daily sessions to achieve top performance and stabilize and improve morale.

Prior to joining GEICO, from 2007 to 2011 Ariel studied Mass Communications at Howard University, where she excelled media and journalism in newspapers, magazines, television, radio, film, websites, and Internet communications platforms. In 2015, she added Business Administration studies at Tidewater Community College and is continuing her studies towards a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at Saint Leo University in Chesapeake.

Ariel has significant volunteer experience with Habitat for Humanity, Ronald McDonald House, Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters (CHKD), Howard University Bisonnettes Dance Ensemble, and Multiple Sclerosis Society (Washington, DC).

Desiree Purvis Desiree Purvis

Desiree L. Purvis is an entrepreneur, business owner, visionary, motivational skill builder, a current Board member of Purvis Network Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit. Co-Owner of Bell's Haven group home for at risk young girls, which has been in operation since 2009. Ms. Purvis has been self-employed as a travel consultant since 2005. Ms. Purvis previously co-owned and operated a family neighborhood tavern. She is also a member of Outreach for Christ Ministries.

Previous community service activities have included volunteering for The Norfolk Food Bank, The Salvation Army, CHKD, Peer Recovery Support, and Women of Domestic Violence. She also provides companion services for the elderly and assists homeless women.

Ms. Purvis has an interest in increasing community sustainability, growth, employment opportunities and connecting individuals with support services. This is an active and ongoing endeavor toward assisting small, invisible, underserved and marginalized individuals.

Shannon 'Tee' Williams Shannon 'Tee' Williams

Shannon 'Tee' Williams is a 14 year veteran of the U.S. Navy. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Saint Leo University. She is a real estate consultant with more than eleven years residential sales experience and currently a member of the Benham Real Estate Group. She works with investors and enjoys working with first-time homebuyers.

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