Girls of Excellence, Inc. Board of Directors

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Toya Russell-Phillips, MBA

Founder, Board President and Chief Executive Officer

Mrs. Russell-Phillips, formerly Executive Director of B’Fly Girls, Inc. (2011-2019), has more than 20 years of nonprofit experience in management, operations, marketing, business strategy, program development, fundraising and community relations. Mrs. Russell-Phillips won an Emmy Award for the social justice video “Wat R U Fightn 4” in 2006 and has since won several community engagement and partnership awards. Serves on the Board of Directors of Grants World Foundation, Inc. and the burgeoning Georgia MENTOR Partnership Statewide Affiliate Providers’ Council and is National MENTOR Partnership Fellow (2019). Mrs. Russell-Phillips is strong advocate for girls and mentoring and continues to serve girls by launching Girls of Excellence, Inc. an innovative program that will serve multiple populations of girls in the Atlanta area and beyond.

“I am mentored…therefore I mentor.”

Lena Sherman

Sales Manager at Hyundai Capital America
Board Vice President
Founding Board Member

“When God says go, faith says yes, but fear says no.’ But when God says go, it’s not about’s about Him. I truly believe that is no greater gift you can give or receive than to honor your calling.””

Kathryn "Kandi" Jones

Founding Board Member

My purpose in life is to support and guide the young who are willing to learn.

“One of the greatest values of mentors is the ability to see ahead what others cannot see to help them navigate a course to their destination.”

– John C. Maxwell

Leah Labitue

Student Counselor/Graduation Coach
KIPP Atlanta Collegiate
Board Secretary
​Founding Board Member

My daily focus on humanity and service is guided by the wise words of Marian Wright Edelman.

“Service is the rent we pay for being.
It is the very purpose of life, and not something you do in your spare time.”

Victoria Wiley

Educational Consultant
Owner, Polished Etiquette

“I believe in my calling and purpose, to prepare young girls for their future and find their strength.”

“Every man and woman is born into the world to do something unique and something distinctive and if he or she does not do it, it will never be done.” – Benjamin E. Mays

Lerae Funderburg, ESQ

Funderburg Law

“If you light a lamp for someone else it will also brighten your path.” – Buddha

Dr. Nicole Powell Mitchell

Educator – Instructional Support Specialist
​DeKalb County

“The best antidote known for worry is work. The best cure for weariness is the challenge of helping someone who is even more tired. One of the great ironies of life is this: He or she who serves almost always benefits more than he or she who is served.” – Gordon B. Hinckley

Tesha Winslow

Corporate Loan Portfolio Manager

To mentor is leadership in action. I mentor to empower young people to see their endless possibilities on who they can be and what they can achieve. I seek for young people to develop their authentic self, and to dream big with confidence and expectation.

…You have the right to be exactly who you are.”– Michelle Obama

Simone Johnson-George

Owner/Principal Consultant
Physicode Healthcare Solutions, LLC                                                            Board Treasurer

Mentorship plays such an important role in the lives of our youth. My purpose is to make a difference to the children of tomorrow, encourage them to reach their full potential, and inspire them to believe within, the greatness that awaits them.

“​Never underestimate the difference you can make in the lives of others. Step forward,
reach out, help” – Pablo

Natasha A. Durkins

Director, Federal Aviation Administration,
Eastern Service Center

I believe that exposing our youth to a world outside of their own inspires in them a sense of curiosity that awakens a sense of possibility. As a result, they feel a freedom to dream bigger dreams for themselves that allow them to be exactly who they are meant to be, and to thrive.

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” –Maya Angelou

Sharlene Anderson

Workforce Manager
Hyundai Capital America

“When you change the child, you change the future.”
~ iEmpower kids!

Monica Fenton

Strategic Client Executive
United Healthcare

“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will…” Vince Lombardi Jr.

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