Communications Director, Leading on Opportunity
Loán Lake (pronounced Lo-An) is a public relations and communications professional and published writer who most recently served as the Marketing Manager for Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture. She is excited to use her skills and talents to make a positive impact in the communities in which she lives and previously co-founded economic development summits that connected the U.S. Virgin Islands diaspora living abroad to opportunities in the local community. Loán has worked with Fortune 500 companies, non-profit organizations, the federal government, and tourist destinations to increase brand visibility, develop content and messaging, engage community and corporate stakeholders, and develop marketing and communications strategy. She holds a Masters in Tourism and Hospitality Management from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Maryland at College Park. In 2009 she was inducted into Temple University’s Gallery of Success for her work in the tourism industry. Loán resides in Charlotte with her husband.
Community Impact Director, Leading on Opportunity
Areas of Focus: College & Career Readiness
Kevin Loux has a background in technology, economics, and law. Kevin most recently served at a bipartisan non-profit economic development organization led by a sitting Governor and Congressman as Director of Strategic Partnerships in Kentucky focused on transitioning the next generation into careers for the new economy. In addition to his economic development experience, his technical expertise positioned him to lead software development teams serving as a Scrum Master and Product Owner. His work experience and certifications in agile, scrum, and lean six-sigma methodologies enable him to creatively solve problems through technology to deliver increased value and improved efficiency. This unique perspective has enabled him to develop strategic plans for educational and workforce development efforts along with the strategic selection of KPIs and metrics for an evidence-based approach. Kevin completed his four‐year Bachelor Degree in two calendar years; receiving a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a focus in Business Economics from the University of Central Florida. He also received his Juris Doctor from the University of Kentucky while attending as a recipient of the Provost Fellowship. Aside from his formal education, technology has been an interest of his since a young age. Kevin lives in Charlotte along with his fiancée Tammy, and together they own a home in the city.
Administrative Assistant, Leading on Opportunity
A native of Charlotte, Nandi Relford is a motivated and results-focused professional adept at solving problems with integrity, ingenuity, and sensitivity while supporting the administrative needs of executives and teams. With a background in operations management and customer service, Nandi is skilled at assessing the urgency of priorities and managing stakeholder expectations. Nandi also holds the title of Third Class Petty Officer in the United States Navy. She currently serves in the United States Navy Reserves to support her fellow sailors and their families providing medical support and patient care. Nandi has been a servant partner in all her professional roles. Nandi is excited to assist organizational efforts to improve economic mobility in her hometown by leveraging her successes in previous administrative and operational supporting roles. Nandi is in the process of completing her Master’s Degree in Public Administration at Strayer University. She holds a Bachelors of Arts in History from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University in Greensboro, NC. Nandi lives in Charlotte with her son Evan.
Community Impact Director, Leading on Opportunity
Don M. Thomas is a thought leader, public servant and transformation-oriented practitioner. Don has dedicated his professional life to systems change, utilizing a transformation-oriented approach of solving immediate community issues while facilitating systems change. Don most recently served as a Community Partnership Coordinator for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, where his major responsibilities included creating comprehensive systems of support for students and schools by engaging families and community partners. He also serves as the Mecklenburg County Violence Prevention Committee Chair. Don is a Chicago native, where he worked as a Youth and Family Counselor supporting adjudicated youth, and a proud United States Army Veteran. Upon moving to Charlotte to join the rest of his family, he served as the National Outreach Coordinator for Exodus Foundation organizing a national, multi-city initiatives that took a systems approach focusing on disrupting the pipeline of African Americans into the criminal justice system. Don is certified in Advanced Youth Development (AYD), Anti-Racism Training and Organizing, Conflict Transformation, Trauma Informed Care and Peace Building. He received his Bachelor Degree in Politics and Government, as well as Biblical and Theological Studies from North Park University in Chicago. He earned a Masters Degree in Religious Leadership with a concentration in Social Transformation from Chicago Theological Seminary. Don has been married for 12 years and has 3 children.