Top 20, Inc. Board of Directors

Officers

Carolyn Upshaw-Royal, President

A.B. PreMed/Psychology, Princeton University 1973. M.A. Education, Michigan State University 1975. M.B.A. University of Michigan, 1995. J.D. Thomas Cooley Law School, 1999. Private Law Practice and Independent Consultant, Michigan Charter School evaluation and Federal No Child Left Behind Legislation Projects, 2000 to present. Director, Programs and Education, Next Energy, 2003 to 2006. Founder/Administrator/Lecturer, Lansing Minority Bar Passage Program, Lansing, MI. 1999 to 2002. Director, Contract and Grant Administration, Michigan Department of Career Development, 1996 to 2002. Acting Deputy Director, Small Business Services Bureau, Michigan Department of Commerce, 1993 to 1996. Director of Operations, Women Business Owners Services and Minority Business Enterprise, Michigan Department of Commerce, 1986 to 1993.

Serves as the Chief ExecutiveOfficer and presides at all meetings of the Board of Directors and itsExecutive Committee. Responsible for setting direction and providingleadership to the Board of Directors in achieving the goals of the corporation. Works with the Executive Committee to set agendas, policies, andundertakes strategic planning for the corporation. In conjunction with this role, she led a committee to develop the corporation's Articles of Incorporation, draft its non-profit application, design the program forms as well as the corporate policies and procedures.

 

Debra Williams, Vice President

B.S. School of Health Physical Education Recreation and Dance. Indiana University 1970 –M.A. Ball School of Education – Ball State University 1971. Educational Administration/Educational Psychology University of Michigan – Post Graduate Doctoral Studies – 1984. Teacher of Physical Education – School City of East Chicago 1971-1972. Coordinator Computer Assisted Basic Skills, Director Career and Hobby Exposition- Lake Shore Employment and Training 1985-1991, Director Ridgeland Transitional Living and Day Care Program, Coordinator of Public Relations, Director Development and Planning Family Rescue-Chicago, IL 1991-1999, Youth Services Account Manager –Hartgrove Hospital, Chicago, Il 2000-2006. Community Liaison/Recruitment Coordinator-University of Illinois, Chicago, Il 2006-2010.

Lead person responsible for coordinating the dance component of the corporation, which entails interviewing and selecting the dance instructor and overseeing the activities of the girls. Each semester, it is the goal of the board to host a dance workshop with a guest instructor, at least one field trip, when possible, to a college or professional modern dance event, and coordinate a spring dance recital. Also assists with corporate governance and actively undertakes a fiduciary role in the corporation.

Heads the mentoring program which is designed to assist the students to improve academically, enhance their self-esteem, and strengthen their character. Coordinates the development of the curriculum and lesson plans. In addition, will head the summer camp program which will introduce participants to a variety of fun activities while instilling values and discipline. Active in setting policy and direction for the corporation and assumes a fiduciary role as a director of the corporation.

Vivian Camille Clayton, Recording Secretary

Attended Purdue University Calumet and American Institute of Banking where she received a certificate for Accounting. She has worked in the legal field as a Legal Assistant/Paralegal for approximately 25 years. She has served on Boards for: Beachfront Dance – Board President and Gary Art Works – Secretary. She is also a Precinct Committee Person for her District, G1-15.

Serves as Recording Secretary and is responsible for giving notice of all meetings of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee, keeping an accurate list of the directors, and has the authority to certify any records, or copies of records, as the official records of the corporation. Maintains the minutes of the Board of Directors meetings

Assists in setting the corporation's goals, policies and directives. Serves as a fiduciary for the finances and resources of the corporation. Oversees the handling of all mailings for the organization's fundraising activities. Member of the dance committee which entails interviewing and selecting the dance instructor and overseeing the activities of the girls. Also assists with corporate governance and actively undertakes a fiduciary role in the corporation.

Janet Bailey Givens, Treasurer

Inaddition to current position as Treasurer of Top 20, Inc. Board of Directors2012-current, Janet also serves as Treasurer at International ChristianMinistries 2017-current. Enjoyed a 33-year career in administration at ArcelorMittal (formerly Inland Steel Company). Attended Indiana University Bloomingtonand IU Northwest. A member of Family Christian Center since 1988, serving inMaintenance, Production Security, Workman of the Word Bible Studies and FCCWorld Missions. Self-published author of "Mom,Can You Move My Legs? A Soldiers Mom Recounts the Compelling Story of Her Son'sInjury in Iraq" (Westbow Press, 2010). Monthly partnership with thefollowing charitable organizations: Arimborgo Ministries, Food Bank of NWI, GraceBeyond Borders of East Chicago, iDiscicple, International Christian Ministries,Jewish Voice, Joseph Prince, Joyce Meyer, LIFE International, Moody BibleInstitute, Quick Study, Jewish Jesus, Reach Beyond, Revelation Ministries,Samaritan Ministries, World Vision, Wounded Warriors Project.

Oversees the coordination of the budget and is responsible for conducting the financial affairs of the corporation, as directed and authorized by the Board of Directors and Executive Committee. The treasurer also assumes the responsibilities of a Financial Secretary since this position is not included among the offices of the Executive Committee. In the absence of this position and as stipulated in the Top 20, Inc. Bylaws, the Treasurer shall also receive all monies and check amounts for accuracy. All issued receipts must be accounted for and numbered.

Directors

 Bette Velasco Wilson, Board Member

Attended Milwaukee Area Technical College, Mequon Campus with focus in Computer Science 1995. Merchandiser for Gibson Greetings, Aramark and Levi's. Executive Assistant to Milwaukee area Sales Rep. for Levi's.1993-1997. Held leadership positions including PTO president, Milwaukee Public Schools, 1982-1985. Charms, Inc. corresponding secretary and vice president, 1989-2000. North Point Garden Club, corresponding secretary. Attended Seminars for New Concept Self Development, a community based organization that mentors high school students. Served as advisor to the Milwaukee Urban League Guild President, 2002-2006.

Serves as a director to help establish the legal corporate form and set the mission statement of the corporation. Responsible for helping set the corporation's goals, policies and directives. Additionally, serves as a fiduciary for the finances and resources of the corporation. Finally, as with all members of the board, is responsible to the public for the corporation's public relations and/or image.

Ella Mae Anderson Hogan, Board Member

B. A. Forensics Indiana University 1977. Lake County Probation Officer, Juvenile Division - 1977-1979. Security Officer 1986-1987, Production Supervisor, 1987-1996. Senior Employee Relations Representative 1996-present. General Motors- Fort Wayne, Indiana. Negotiates and Administers local agreements between GM and the local 2209of the UAW and administers the National Agreement between GM and the UAW.

Serves as a director to help establish the legal corporate form and set the mission statement of the corporation. Responsible for helping set the corporation's goals, policies and directives. Additionally, serves as a fiduciary for the finances and resources of the corporation. Finally, as with all members of the board, is responsible to the public for the corporation's public relations and/or image.


 Kathy Lofton, Board Member
Kathy spent the majority of her career at Arcelor Mittal, formerly known as Inland Steel Company, from 1978 until her retirement in 2005. During that time she served as an administrative assistant from 1992-2005 whose main responsibilities were to support management in the areas of payroll, human resources, scheduling, along with the general secretarial duties pertinent to the organization.  From 1992-2005 Kathy became a sales representative for the company developing relationships with internal and external customers, solicit, analyze, and communicate commercial intelligence, manage bookings to satisfy customer requirements, support the company’s financial objectives.  Kathy entered the nursing program at Ivy Tech from 2005-2007 and was able to implement those skills during her most recent position as Lead-Direct Support Specialist at Dungarvin-Indiana where she became responsible for the coordination of services for individuals suffering from developmental disabilities. Duties included financial, medical, recreational program services, family involvement, education, and household management.  

Serves as a director to help establish the legal corporate form and set the mission statement of the corporation. Responsible for helping set the corporation's goals, policies and directives. Additionally, serves as a fiduciary for the finances and resources of the corporation. Finally, as with all members of the board, is responsible to the public for the corporation's public relations and/or image.


Linda Velasco, Board Member

B.S. Criminal Justice- Helen Bader School of Social Welfare, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. 1976 to 2002 Milwaukee Wisconsin Police Department. Retired Lieutenant of Police after twenty-five years of law enforcement. Recognized by the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) for being the first Latina police officer hired by the City of Milwaukee, WI police department in 1976. Since 2007 have worked in workforce development for low income people, in a Driver's License Recovery program to help people become more employable, and a workforce coalition consisting of community based organizations and local employers to promote seasonal and permanent employment opportunities. Member of Latino Peace Officer Association (LPOA) of Southeastern Wisconsin 1984 to present. LPOA has for twenty years provided academic scholarship for high school students preparing to enter college.

Serves as a director to help establish the legal corporate form and set the mission statement of the corporation. Responsible for helping set the corporation's goals, policies and directives. Additionally, serves as a fiduciary for the finances and resources of the corporation. Finally, as with all members of the board, is responsible to the public for the corporation's public relations and/or image.

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Matt Hunter, Board Member


11/2015-Present, Senior Energy Procurement Manager, Ecova, Inc., Crown Point, IN; 10/2012 – 11/2015 Senior Energy Procurement Manager, McShane, Hunter & Associates, LLC,Crown Point, IN, 07/2010-10/2012, South Shore Grants Center,Whiting, IN; 07/2010-10/2012, South Shore Grants Center,Whiting, IN; 01/2009-06/2010 Energy Management Consultant, Titus Group, Milwaukee; 04/2007-09/2008 Program Manager, Enterprise Accounts, Siemens Building Technologies, Buffalo Grove, IL; 07/2001-04/2007, Senior Associate, The Center of Workforce Innovations, Valparaiso, IN; 08/1999 - 05/2001, Executive Director, Hobart Industrial Economic Dev Corp, Hobart, IN

Serves as a director to help establish the legal corporate form and set the mission statement of the corporation. Responsible for helping set the corporation's goals, policies and directives. Additionally, serves as a fiduciary for the finances and resources of the corporation. Finally, as with all members of the board, is responsible to the public for the corporation's public relations and/or image.


 Mildred M. Ball, Board Member

Phys Ed, Health and Dance instructor at Washington High School from 1960-1977, during which time served 10 of those years as supervisor/coordinator of the Student Park Workers Neighborhood Youth Corps, also in East Chicago. Began a 20-year career in 1977 as Assistant Commissioner of Indiana High School Athletic Association. Received awards from National Federation of State High School Associations, Indiana Association of Athletic Officials, National Coalition of 100 Black Women, and NAACP (Benjamin Hooks Award), HPER John Endwright Distinguished Alumni Service Award. Co-founded the Neal-Marshall Alumni Club and served in many capacities with HPER, IU Alumni Association, and IUAA Executive Council. Master of Science in Secondary Education, Purdue. Continues to serve as a member of HPER Alumni Board, Dean's Associates, IU Athletics Council.

Mildred Ball was the founder of Top 20 and the idea to establish an organization to serve teenage girls in the City of East Chicago was her brain child. Mrs. Ball is extremely active in all aspects of the organization. As such, she provides guidance and wisdom to the board and will help move the organization to new heights.

Rita Jacque Gillis, Board Member

B.A. Criminology, Western Michigan University 1981. M.P.A.- Public Service Administration, Indiana University. 1994 To Present- Executive Director, East Chicago Urban Enterprise Association (Community And Economic Development Non Profit). 1989-1994- Program And Project Coordinator- School City Of East Chicago, Chapter 1 Program (Currently Referred To As Title 1 Program).

Serves as a director to help establish the legal corporate form and set the mission statement of the corporation. Responsible for helping set the corporation's goals, policies and directives. Additionally, serves as a fiduciary for the finances and resources of the corporation. Finally, as with all members of the board, is responsible to the public for the corporation's public relations and/or image.


Associate Members

In addition to traditional directors, the board allows for Associate members. These are individuals who did not participate as a member of the original Top 20 dance group at East Chicago Washington High School between the years 1961-1977. We also have a stipulation that allows our constituents to nominate a relative for membership. This individual may potentially be eligible to become a member of Top 20, Inc. based on the "Legacy" provision added to our bylaws on April 14, 2012. If a former Top 20 member has attended at least one Top 20, Inc. meeting since July 23, 2011, OR participated by assisting in the development of the organization in some capacity to date, and is at least 18 years of age, then she or he would be eligible as a Legacy member and would not need to be nominated as an associate member.

  • Bernadine Kennedy Kent
  • Terril Bailey