Donray Bennet

Donray Bennett is the Director of Strategic Engagement and Recruitment for the Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Akron where he develops and oversees programming that highlights the 19 departments to prospective students, current students, and the community. He is also the Founder of Diversity Relations Alliance; a collective of passionate professionals that address cultural awareness, relationship building, college success, and leadership development. As an undergraduate, he studied Business Management and Mathematics at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania. It is at Kutztown that he would later receive his Master of Education in Higher Education Student Affairs. Recipient of numerous student selected awards in the past, Donray is proudest in being asked to advise various student organizations over the years. Currently, he is the advisor to Asian Students in Akron, Black Students United, and UA Latinos.


Dallas A. Grundy

Dallas Grundy is the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of The University of Akron where he provides leadership, management and oversight of all University activities and serves as chief financial officer of The University of Akron Foundation. Previously, Dallas served as the Vice Dean of Business Affairs and Chief Financial Officer at the University of Pennsylvania’s Law School as well as the Associate Dean of Finance and Administration at the Rutgers’ Graduate School of Education. Dallas holds a BS in Civil Engineering as well as an MBA in MIS and Marketing – both from Rutgers University. Dallas is the Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Akron Urban League as well as a founding trustee for the Lawnside Education Foundation. He has served as Secretary and Board Member of the Renaissance Economic Development Corporation, an organization that facilitates economic development through real estate and property management in the Central New Jersey area.


Latoria Hamilton

Latoria Hamilton brings over 20 years of insurance industry experience to her role as associate professor of practice and director of the Risk Management Insurance Program at The University of Akron. During her time in the industry, Latoria noticed the shrinking industry-wide candidate pool as she worked to fill positions. She became a professor to contribute toward the building of future risk management & insurance professionals. Additionally, Latoria truly enjoys helping individuals learn risk management insurance concepts for personal development and career success. Latoria is proficient in directing, coaching, and training risk management & insurance industry professionals in the areas of Risk Management and varying lines of coverage to include Commercial General Liability, Professional Liability, Employment Practices, Commercial Property, Workers’ Compensation, Cyber, Personal Lines coverages, and more. She specializes in policy analyses, detailed coverage reviews, contract evaluations, and risk reduction methods. Moreover, Latoria is a customer-focused, problem-solving leader in the industry. She has a proven track record of outstanding performance evidenced by her success in helping clients resolve complex claims, find risk management solutions, and identify insurance coverages that best fit business and personal concerns. Latoria earned a B.S. degree in computer science and an M.B.A. degree. She currently holds adjuster licenses in thirteen states and Ohio Life, Heath & Accident, and Property & Casualty Agents licenses.


Emeka Obinnakwelu, Jr.

Emeka Obinnakwelu, Jr. is currently a doctoral student and a graduate research associate at The Ohio State University majoring in Counselor Education & Supervision. He is a graduate of The University of Akron and served as a graduate assistant in the Office of Multicultural Development during his time at UA.



Donald "Donnie" L. Bedney III

Donald (Donnie) L. Bedney III is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Parrish Street Capital. Throughout his career, he’s been involved in an amalgamation of opportunities in Consulting, Human Resources, Healthcare, and Private Equity in various companies such as ScaleCo Capital, Gallup, Press Ganey, and Duma Works. Donnie’s mission is to harness well-directed human capital to achieve extraordinary performance. As a culture transformation expert, he helps executives and their leadership teams achieve exceptional outcomes in the areas of safety, quality, customer experience, workforce, and engagement. He brings this commitment to superior performance to each of his clients and three decades of experience in translating organizational needs into successful business strategies. Overall, he desires to help 1 billion companies worldwide resist mediocrity and aim for institutional excellence as they develop their employees. Donnie was born in San Bernardino, CA, and raised in Southwest Michigan. He is blessed to have two beautiful daughters,  Sofia (4) and Sienna (2 months) with his wife, Dr. Taidine Lopes-Bedney.


Rodney Dennis, Sr.

Rodney Dennis, Sr. is a small business owner who has several Akron & Canton, Ohio based businesses, including Levels Barber College, Americas Barber & Beauty Supply, College Cutz, Levels Nail Academy, Levels Driving Academy, Hers Beauty Bar & Era Barber shop. Rodney Dennis is also a Licensed Barber in the state of Ohio and a Licensed Master Barber Instructor. Mr. Dennis studied Business Administration at the University of Akron. He became a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Incorporated while on campus. Mr. Dennis also served in the United States Army with the 237th Infantry Unit based in Fort Lee, Virginia, 2011 - 2016. Mr. Dennis is a highly sought-after master barber in the area. Lead by hard work, faith, and integrity, Dennis has become a trusted barber to many professionals in the area. He has also trained many of the barbers in the area today. He is the youngest instructor in the HISTORY of Ohio, with the highest state board test score in BEBC’s school history. His accolades consist of many awards. Mr. Rodney Dennis brings a wealth of information and experience to clipper cutting education and continues to give back to his students and community with his gift of barbering & leadership.


Tracy Dowe

Tracy Dowe is a longtime supporter of the Greater Akron community, having begun his journey in the Rubber City as an undergraduate student and varsity soccer player at The University of Akron, where he also served as a team captain his senior year. In addition to holding a Bachelor of Science in Finance from The University of Akron, Tracy also earned his M.B.A. from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University with a concentration in Finance. Tracy is the City President and Middle Market Team Leader for Fifth Third Bank, a diversified financial services company of more than 20,000 employees who work collaboratively to deliver a better tomorrow to everyone they serve. Fifth Third is among one of the largest money managers in the Midwest, operating four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending, and Wealth & Asset Management. Tracy oversees Commercial Banking in the Akron market, along with the Canton and Youngstown markets, and leads the collaboration efforts of all the lines of businesses in the Akron market in order that Fifth Third serves their customers and constituents with a consistent and unified level of customer service and community engagement. He is a respected member of the business and civic community, serving on the boards of the United Way of Summit & Medina (Executive Committee and New Account Development Chair), Akron Art Museum, Development Finance Authority of Summit County, Greater Akron Musical Association (Governance Chair), and Business Volunteers Unlimited. Tracy is also a graduate of Leadership Akron, Class 34, or “Core 34”. Tracy and his wife, Donna, celebrated 20 years of marriage in 2022. They originally met while Donna was attending Kent State and he convinced her to transfer to the University of Akron! And now, they are the proud parents of two teenage children, Courtney and Jordi.


Chris Kaboth

Chris Kaboth has served as Vice-President of Finance, Vice-President of Operations, and President of a 100-year-old manufacturing company. He has also worked in the nonprofit sector. For over ten years, he served on the Board of Directors for a multi-million-dollar nonprofit. During his tenure, he served as Secretary, Vice-President, and two terms as Chairperson of the Board. He later contracted with the nonprofit first as their Interim Executive Director and then as their Interim Director of Finance and Special Projects. Kaboth served as the Director of Finance for ArtsNow, the local arts agency for Summit County. He has also served on the Palace Theatre’s Board of Directors and Finance Committee. He is currently serving on Legacy III’s Board of Directors as Treasurer and a member of the Finance Committee. Chris is a graduate of Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio. He has an MBA from Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia. He is a graduate of Leadership Stark County’s Signature Program. He was named one of Stark County’s “20 Under 40” in 2018. He most recently was a program participant for Heart-to-Heart Leadership’s Purposeful Leadership program in fall of 2023.


Luis Escudero Muniz

Luis Escudero Muniz is a UA alum ’18 with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. In 2022 he received the 5 Under 35 award from the University of Akron, which highlighted five influential graduates of the university. Luis has thirteen years of experience in hospitality and a passion for the development of dining and tequila experiences. He was awarded the certificate of Minority Entrepreneurship from JP Morgan Chase and is currently pursuing CLIMB accreditation through the Harvard Business School. With a focus on community development and progression, Luis serves on the board of Downtown Akron Partnership and a Partner/Sponsor of The LeBron James Family Foundation. Luis is a passionate and invested content creator, as he builds his YouTube channel, Tequila Talks, with one thousand subscribers on the platform, and the Tequilabae brand across TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitch!


Rodney Griggs

Rodney Griggs is an entrepreneur and CEO of Kingdom Construction and Builders with over 40 years of experience in the construction industry both commercial and residential. Mr. Griggs holds three utility patents. One patent serves as a new eco-friendly burial solution and the other two are designed to improve and simplify the nation’s voting experience. Mr. Griggs earned BA in Religious Education from Berean Bible College. Rodney has served on the Board of Directors for Summit County Housing Authority, East Akron Community House, and First Apostolic Faith Church. Rodney also serves as head coach for the semi-pro basketball team Akron Aviators, JV Coach for Copley High School, and AAU leagues. In addition to Rodney’s professional and business accomplishments, he is enthusiastic about community advancement, youth mentoring and apprenticeship. Rodney has a passion for teaching financial literacy, the power of credit, and sustainable generation wealth in Black and Brown communities.


Berlon Hamilton

Berlon Hamilton currently serves as Director of Supplier Diversity for Cleveland Clinic. In this role, Berlon is responsible for promoting, driving, and executing supplier diversity inclusion across Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Mr. Hamilton has over 25 years of experience in Procurement, Business Development, stakeholder management and Supplier Diversity. Berlon’s supplier diversity and supply chain experience spans across various industries to include telecommunications, healthcare, and gas utilities. His tireless efforts to advocate and foster relationships for minority and diverse suppliers throughout his career has resulted in positive economic impact for diverse businesses across multiple industries, creating growth opportunities for those organizations. Berlon earned a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Master of Business Administration from Jackson State University. He obtained a Certificate in Supply Chain Management from DePaul University and also a Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity (CPSD).


Anthony Johnson

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Anthony experienced a childhood shaped by global travels due to his father's service in the Navy. He lived in Germany for four years and concluded his high school journey at Lakewood High. Anthony is currently a sophomore at The University of Akron pursuing a major in finance and interested in pursuing entrepreneurship. Some of Anthony’s accomplishments include leading an Army ROTC course at Camp Garfield, meeting billionaire Marc Lore, and collaborating on a sociology project, the homeless breaching experiment. Anthony is engaged in various organizations, such as the Financial Management Association, Investment Banking Club, African American Business Association, and Fisher Sales Club. Outside his academic pursuits, Anthony enjoys quality time with his three younger sisters, indulges in playing the saxophone, and dedicates time to personal development.


Samuel Johnson

A sophomore majoring in Cyber Forensics with a cybersecurity minor, Samuel actively shapes his college experience. In Army ROTC and the National Guard, he exemplifies leadership. Samuel, a tuba player for UAMB, balances military and artistic pursuits. Engaging in Combat Robotics showcases his innovation, while serving as an OMD Mentor and Orientation Leader reflects his commitment to mentorship, community, and helping people navigate new experiences. Outgoing and approachable, Samuel enjoys meeting and interacting with new people. With aspirations to work for the FBI or CIA, he envisions a future contributing to national security. Beyond that, he dreams of serving in the U.S. Congress, aiming for either the House of Representatives or the Senate. This multifaceted journey reflects Samuel's dedication to cyber forensics, military leadership, music, innovation, and a long-term commitment to public service.


Tyrone Johnson

Tyrone is a UA graduating senior with a computer science degree. He is currently a software developer at Goodyear Tire & Rubber, and embodies visionary leadership, bridging technology and entrepreneurship to empower young Black men in academia and business. As founder of the student chapter of the Collegiate100 at UA, he fosters growth for young Black men in Akron. Tyrone advocates for financial literacy and diversity as an ambassador for the Financial Literacy Institute, a member of ColorStack, and leading tech startup BeyondNAV. With over 7 years in the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Tyrone is a beacon, creating opportunities for young Black men in business while leaving an indelible mark on industry and community.


Anand Kathardekar

Anand Kathardekar is a junior at UA studying Biomedical Science and Marketing. Anand serves as a peer mentor in the Office of Multicultural Development (OMD). Anand is president of the Minority Association of Pre-Health/Pre-Medical Students, and part of UA Ambassadors. Outside of campus, Anand enjoys volunteering at Summa Health and serving as an intern for a local Akron non-profit that facilitates educational materials to low-income students.


Diauntae Morrow

Diauntae Morrow is owner of The Morrow Group & Company, a nationwide insurance brokerage located in the city of Cleveland. He currently serves as the president of the National African American Insurance Association (NAAIA). He recently accepted an adjunct insurance instructor position at a local community college. Diauntae was born and raised in the inner city of Cleveland. He graduated from the University of Toledo while serving as a member of the football team. Prior to entering the insurance industry, Morrow served as a Division 1 college coach. Diauntae has a passion for educating individuals about the importance of insurance. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his children and playing sports..


Ka’Travion Pointer

Ka’Travion is a first-generation student at the University of Akron as a sophomore majoring in Education. He currently serves as a peer mentor in the Office of Multicultural Development, a team leader for New Student Orientation, and a student assistant/tour guide with the Office of Admissions. Ka’Travion is also a substitute teacher for Akron Public Schools and has a sincere passion for education and his dedication to helping others is inspiring.


Jaden Vaughn

Jaden Vaughn, a senior at the University of Akron, is majoring in business administration with a focus on sales and marketing. He is a member of various UA organizations, including the STEP Program, Choose Ohio First, Upstart Creative Writing Club, The Financial Literature Club, and, most recently, the African American Business Association. Outside of school, he enjoys youth mentoring, open mic nights, basketball training, and ministry.