Mary Alyce Sweeney Foundation -

Rod Lewis
Rod Lewis
Founder/Deceased March 28, 2016

Rod's vision was always about children and helping others. While in high school he mentored the neighborhood kids in track and basketball as well as keeping them clear of gangs. He worked with the homeless and those individuals trying to recover from drug addictions by providing housing and clothing. His dedication to his vision and his love for Mary Alyce was his inspiration for creating the Mary Alyce Foundation.
Faye Sweeney
Faye Sweeney
President / Co-Founder

No work I have ever undertaken or accomplishment has been as rewarding as the work that I do for the Mary Alyce Foundation. My resume includes president of a janitorial franchise and management and audit positions in the tobacco and automobile industry. I am detailed and results oriented. I currently reside in Montgomery, Alabama where I work all year long, finding the best dresses and accessories that I can for our two day event. The difference we make in our communities is important. The impact we make on our young people is "priceless". You never know who is watching you and who sets you up as their role model. Our obligation is to serve those coming behind us.
Nzingha Beverley Sweeney Sheppard
Nzingha Beverley Sweeney Sheppard
Vice President

I was renamed Nzingha by my world traveling brother Jaja. So Nzingha is my preference. I have lived in New York City, Upstate New York and traveled throughout Europe, and Africa. I currently live in Louisville, KY which is home. I am an artist, an advocate for women's and minority rights, and a champion for young people. My resume includes illustrating a line of clothing, a jobs manual for General Motors, modeling, housing a forum for couples, and teaching art to children. I served on the Board of Kentucky Foundation for Women for 7 years. I now serve on the Board for the Kentucky Center for African America Heritage. My Husband and I own Nzingha Creations Gallery, a small Gallery in the West End of Louisville, where I hold classes for children ages 2-5. My goal is to give artists who have no venue a place to showcase their talent. I love the work I do for the Mary Alyce Foundation.
Gloria Sweeney Chatmond
Gloria Sweeney Chatmond
Board Member

I am mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, a member of Watson Memorial Baptist Church, Kentuckiana Black Nurses and KVCV ( Kentucky Voices for Crime Victims). I am a retired Psych-nurse and a Hospice volunteer for 26 years in the area of death and dying, guiding family members through the grieving process. I am an activist in my own right; picketed for the rights of nurses, and have written for those who could, or would not speak for themselves. I love people, so working with the Mary Alyce Foundation is very rewarding. Knowing that we can make a difference in the life of these young people for their special day is a joy and a blessing. Words I try to live by: " Lord let my words be tender and gracious today, for tomorrow I may have to eat them."
Adriane Sweeney-Moss
Adriane Sweeney-Moss
Board Member

I am the wife of an Educator and together we have 3 daughters and 1 son. Family only comes second to God. I have been in the healthcare industry for over 30 years. Nothing pleases me more than to help others and the Mary Alyce Foundation and my church enables me to be an outreach into the communities
Rosenita Strayhand-Dickerson
Rosenita Strayhand-Dickerson
Board Member

Montgomery Rosenita Strayhand Dickerson (RC) lives in Montgomery, Alabama and has been employed with the Chapter Thirteen Trustee for over 20 years, with an unofficial title of Problem Resolution Officer. RC is a published poet and for 15 years has spearheaded a Women’s Bible Study group. RC’s greatest asset is her ability to network. Whatever the need, she knows someone, who knows someone, who can get it done for you. Her motto is “ Hope..the ability to see past the Problem and into God’s Promise!”
Charisse Spalding
Charisse Spalding
Board of Directors

Though busy with her businesses and volunteer efforts: Owner of Charisse Spalding LLC Salon and CMS Properties, LLC and volunteer with the Lighthouse Academy, women for habitat, nativity academy, Brandeis Community Garden. Charisse is also a caregiver for her dad as well as keeps busy with her 6 grandchildren; Charisse still finds time for the Mary Alyce Foundation from giving advice to young ladies on the selection of dresses to promoting the Mary Alyce Foundation every chance that she gets. Charisse's motto is "give back and make a difference".
Taaj Uthman
Taaj Uthman
Board Member

Educator, Dancer, Historian, Mother, Wife, Family and Friends - all of these things are very important to me and not necessarily in the order as listed. Before coming a member of the Board, I was actively involved through volunteer efforts - nothing touches me as much as making a difference in the lives of others.
Roxanne Hastings
Roxanne Hastings
Board Member

Native of Chicago, Il. Mother of 2. Graduate of Sullivan College. Has been volunteering since she was 14 years old beginning with the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Also volunteered with the Alzheimer Association and American Cancer Society. Organized yearly family photo shoot at the Volunteers of America Shelter for homeless families in Louisville.
Lisa Bennett (Uthman)
Lisa Bennett (Uthman)
Board Member

Lisa has been a proud business owner in Louisville Kentucky for over 20 years. Lisa alongside her husband opened the first African Import store in Louisville (Kente International) bringing such items as Famous Artifacts, Clothing, Oils, Shea Butter and Black Soap. Kente International paved the way for other local businesses to sale items from Africa. Artifacts from Kente can be found in homes throughout Kentucky and beyond. Lisa has been busy in the community organizing such events as the first African Ball (gala for the Kentucky Derby) as well as the first black book fair at Burnett Avenue Baptist Church. She also helped start a book club for visually impaired adults "blind ladies navigating darkness". She loves working in the community and making a difference.
Vernell Duvall-Williams
Vernell Duvall-Williams
Board Member

I have been involved with working within my communities for the past 20 years. My experience ranges from working with high risk and homeless youths in Rochester, New York to working with families in Atlanta Georgia to provide support services such as emergency shelter and safe affordable permanent housing, crisis intervention, healthcare information, referrals, food vouchers, clothing, bus tokens, as well as linkage to other community shelter programs within the area. I currently am working with the elderly diagnosed with Alzheimer and Dementia. I have a duty to ensure my clients are treated with dignity, their spirit is nurtured, and families are given the independence of choice for their care. My work with the Mary Alyce Foundation affords me the opportunity return to the work that I love, making a difference in the life of our young people.
Chris Bishop
Chris Bishop
Coordinator - Event Planner