The African American Alliance of CDFI CEOs (The Alliance) has been working towards amplifying the priorities and voices of Black-led CDFIs, Black families, businesses, institutions, and communities since its founding in 2018. With over 56+ members across the nation, we believe that advocacy will drive a shift in both the financial sector and national policy that result in Black stability, prosperity, and wealth.
Our goal is to build a community of support and uplift Black CDFI CEOs by providing them access to learning opportunities designed to develop more impactful and sustained CDFIs.
As part of growing our impact across the nation in this New Year, The Alliance is excited to announce the addition of 6 passionate and talented individuals as new members of our team. Please join us in welcoming them and get to know them below:
Angela Milton serves as Membership Director. In her role, Angela is responsible for building member capacity, collecting and sharing best practices and membership engagement. She works closely with the President/CEO to plan, coordinate, and manage the creation of high-quality training activities for the members. Formerly an enlisted member of the U.S. Air Force, Angela has been an entrepreneur for more than 20 years, experienced in leadership, relationship-building, organizational development, project management, and implementation. She has numerous certifications and licenses and produced measurable results for her clients and in this role.
Charmaine Grafton serves as Executive Assistant and Office Manager. In her role, she ensures the smooth operation of the organization with her robust knowledge of office management and efficient handling of administrative tasks as well as her role as “The Gatekeeper” for the President/CEO. With over a decade of experience in professional office executive assistant positions, Charmaine skillfully manages administrative duties. Outside of work, Charmaine is active in the community and volunteers her time with several nonprofits that focus on youth, single moms, and housing insecurities. She’s also founded Sacred Beautè, where her vision is a world where single moms are fully empowered and self-sufficient.
Chavelle Sangokoya serves as Project Director. Driven by her passion for economic development and racial equity, Chavelle is responsible for leading The Alliance’s Women-led Initiative as well as the African American Equity Scorecard. Over the past seven years, she has effectively facilitated focus groups and working sessions with community stakeholders and entrepreneur support organizations (ESOs) to collaboratively build solutions to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in entrepreneurship. Leveraging her business operations and management background, Chavelle has designed and evaluated curriculum for early-stage entrepreneurs and launched a flagship rewards program that incentivizes Black entrepreneurs to work on their business and engage in local entrepreneur ecosystems.
Eleanor Reid serves as Development Director. In her role, Eleanor leads the fundraising efforts for AAA including grant writing, relationship building, and reporting. She has extensive grant writing experience among her more than 20 years of C-level consulting work including the successful raise of more than $30 million for a CDFI from a variety of public and private sources. She also served as COO for a NY-based blockchain company and partner for a boutique investment advisory firm. Eleanor holds a B.S. in Metallurgical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon and MBA from Stanford University.
Janice Rojas serves as Marketing & Communications Director. Bringing over 8+ years in marketing, Janice is passionate about storytelling, Janice takes on The Alliance’s marketing strategy efforts, content development, social media management, and elevating the organization’s impact. Prior to The Alliance, she led marketing efforts at several organizations, including Girl Scouts – N.C. Coastal Pines, Carolina Small Business Development Fund, and worked in internal communications at Blue Cross Blue Shield NC. Janice attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication with a concentration in Public Relations. When she’s not working, Janice enjoys reading contemporary fiction and nonfiction, journaling, and writing her own novels.
Ryan Gremillion serves as Policy & Research Director. In his role, he drives strategic initiatives and coalition building aimed at enhancing community and economic development, business growth, wealth creation, and financial protections in African American communities, particularly through the organization’s public policy activity. A native of Louisiana, he previously served as the Chief of Staff for the Office of Legislative Affairs, Policy and Workforce Support at the Louisiana Department of Education (LDE). Gremillion was a key figure in developing and implementing the regulatory and legislative strategies for both the LDE and its governing board, the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE). Prior to his LDE tenure, he served as Policy and Research Project Manager at the Baton Rouge Area Chamber where he managed policy issues related to entrepreneurship and small business, regional transportation, healthcare, and criminal justice.