The Board of Directors


Gordon is the founder and Executive Director of The Foundation for the Augmentation of African Americans in Film (FAAAF). The Foundation’s mission is to identify, inspire and prepare the next generation of African-American filmmakers as they continue to influence, craft and develop the evolving images of African-Americans in cinema. Gordon was installed as President of the Washington, DC-Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA) in 2002 and has continued to serve in this capacity, giving him the distinction of being one of a select few to head both a national film critic association and simultaneously lead a major award show.

He is the founder and Festival Director of the Lakefront Film Festival, launching in Columbia, Maryland in 2018. Gordon also is a member of the nation’s largest critic association, The Broadcast Film Critics (BFCA) as well as a critic for several outlets including and PBS’s (WETA-TV) Around Town. He is the host of the weekly film show, “Keeping It Reel with FilmGordon” on DC Radio.

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Judith Fitzgerald currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors, as well as the Chair of the Board’s Development Committee. Judith Fitzgerald is a graduate of Lincoln University in PA. and Boston College Law School. She has been a member of academia for 14 years. She is currently a faculty member at Walden University teaching in the graduate programs for Public Policy and Administration and Nonprofit Management. Prior to Walden University, Judith was a full-time lecturer at Bowie State University in the Criminal Justice program.  While teaching at Bowie, Judith was also an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland (College Park). Prior to teaching, Judith practiced law on the state and federal level. She also had a private practice that focused primarily on entertainment, business, real estate, and criminal law.

Fitzgerald’s passion for nonprofit service began decades ago when she accepted the position as Executive Director of ReInvent Inc., a nonprofit music, and pro-social arts program for at-risk youth in Baltimore City. Judith is currently a member of the Board of Directors for the Lincoln University Lions Chamber of Commerce, and Unified Community Connections (formerly United Cerebral Palsy of Central Maryland).

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K. Thomas Hutt is the founder and managing partner of Onyx Asset & Wealth Management, LLC. He started his career in financial services with a national certified public accounting firm in 1983 and became a partner in 1990 and still serves as a principal partner of the firm. He has taught as an adjunct professor in the areas accounting and finance at Morgan State University. He received a B.S. Degree in Accounting from St. Louis University and M.B.A. in Finance from Morgan State University. Mr. Hutt is an Investment Advisor Representative and is licensed as a Certified Financial Planner and Certified Public Accountant.

He is affiliated with non-profit organizations including Treasurer of the Celebration Community Development Corporation; and Deputy Director of Men In Ministry of Celebration Church, Columbia, MD. In the past, he served as Chairman for the Coppin State University Community Development Foundation; Treasurer of the Coppin State University Development Foundation and Member of the Parent’s Leadership Council of American University, Washington, D.C.

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3196_photo_9641Taneshia Nash Laird is an accomplished leader with a remarkable career that reflects an unwavering dedication to leveraging the arts and innovation as a platform for community and economic development. In 2017, she was appointed the Executive Director of The Arts Council of Princeton, an award-winning nonprofit organization with a rich history of presenting community-focused, cultural programming in the greater Princeton, NJ region. She is only the third executive director since the organization’s founding in 1967 and the first one of color.

A graduate of Bernard Baruch College with an extensive career in business development, project management, strategic communications, and contract negotiation, Nash Laird has lead initiatives that have revitalized distressed communities and caused them to thrive. She has been featured in the New York Times, Ebony, and Rolling Out, and regularly gives talks across the country on the intersection of the arts, innovation and economic development, and social entrepreneurship.

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IMG_7859Cecille Walks Peace has been an elementary school principal leading, managing and providing professional development training to over 65 staff members and fostering learning for over 800 scholars annually for twelve years earning the California Businesses for Educational Excellence Awards in multiple years. Ms. Walks Peace relocated to the East Coast where she became a District level administrator in an urban school system leading two multidisciplinary teams to support over 20 schools in the areas of Literacy, Mathematics, Special Education, Student Support, Family & Community Engagement, Human Capital and Data Analysis with training and consultative services to school leaders, as well as reporting school progress directly to the State. Ms. Walks Peace now coordinates Division and State level assessments incorporating data analysis in professional development for total school improvement. Ms. Walks Peace and her husband Dwight celebrated 25 years of marriage. They have two sons, Ian, a second-year medical student, and Evan a college freshman majoring in Business and Chinese.

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Sally Slater has over 25 years experience in the hospitality industry and is dedicated to excellent customer service, destination knowledge, relationship building, customer retention, finding new business and working closely with her work colleagues and industry partners. Slater takes on a leadership role when needed to meet the challenging needs of her clients and team. She thrives in a team environment and works well independently.

Slater recently had the privilege of sharing her passion for sales and tourism industry in an effort to assist in the orientation of other industry professionals new to the DMO sales culture recently by instructing the Sales Academy 1 in Baton Rouge, LA.

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Willard A. Stanback is the principal of the law firm, WILLARD ALONZO STANBACK, P.C. Mr. Stanback relaunched the law firm in January of 2011 (the law firm previously provided services in 1997 and 1998). With offices in Trenton, NJ and New York City, the law firm provides services and counseling in technology law and licensing, intellectual property law, media and entertainment law, and business law.

Prior to the relaunch of his practice, Mr. Stanback was Senior Vice President, Legal Affairs for Scripps Networks (a division of Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc.), which owns and operates HGTV, Food Network, DIY Network, Cooking Channel, Great American Country, and Travel Channel. In this position, Mr. Stanback was responsible for negotiating various types of agreements and evaluating new business opportunities. He was the lead attorney supporting Scripps Networks’ distribution and international departments, representing its operations and IT departments, and managing its intellectual property portfolio. Prior to joining Scripps Networks, Mr. Stanback launched his own private practice (for the first time) with offices in New York City and Philadelphia. Prior to that, he served as senior counsel for SEGA Channel, a network that electronically distributed video games to cable television subscribers. Mr. Stanback has also served as an associate at Reed Smith in Philadelphia, PA and at Morgan & Finnegan in New York, NY.

Mr. Stanback is a 1989 graduate of the University of Virginia’s School of Law and a 1986 graduate of the University of Virginia’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, with a Masters of Engineering degree in Systems Engineering. He received his undergraduate degree in 1985 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Mechanical Engineering. He has been registered as a Patent Attorney with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and admitted to the bars of New York, New Jersey, District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and is licensed in Tennessee. In 2011, Mr. Stanback became a Certified Licensing Executive.

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As the Chief Health Officer of the District of Columbia, Dr. Ivan Walks became a fixture in many households in the United States and throughout the world during the 2001 anthrax attack on Washington, DC. As the incident commander of one of the largest public health interventions ever seen in the United States, Dr. Walks delivered “real time” updates on television and radio and was the medical expert selected to appear with Department of Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge on the Oprah Winfrey Show in order to address the public’s health concerns. Dr. Walks’ expertise in preparing for and responding to acts of bioterrorism has been publicly recognized at the highest levels of both the executive and legislative branches of the Federal Government. He has also been honored with the designation of “Public Health Hero” by the American Public Health Association and continues to be a national resource on preparedness for bioterrorism and other public health and homeland security threats.

Dr. Walks is the CEO of Ivan Walks and Associates, LLC a consulting firm that specializes in the policy and practice of Health, Human Services and Education with a commitment to proactive health security and a focus on the specific opportunities and challenges of diverse and urban communities. The Ivan Walks and Associates partner/client list ranges from the Fortune 500 to the local not-for-profit. Dr. Walks is also an Adjunct Associate Professor of Health Services Management and Leadership at The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services.

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The Puerto Rican-born reporter has worked for Maryland Public Television for more than 15 years, serving as a correspondent, fill-in anchor, or producer for a variety of MPT’s public affairs programs and its nationally distributed program MotorWeek. Prior to joining MPT, Ms. Vazquez was a general assignment reporter for WOFL, a Fox network station in Orlando, and a senior account executive for CBR Public Relations. Earlier she was a reporter for Baltimore’s WJZ-TV; an entertainment reporter for WHAS in Louisville, Kentucky; and a general assignment reporter for KWES in Midland, Texas. She began her broadcasting career as a morning show associate producer at WTVJ-TV in Miami.

Ms. Vazquez has earned numerous awards, ranging from two Emmy® Awards and a pair of Associated Press awards to several silver and bronze Telly Awards, a national program that salutes outstanding local, regional, and cable television programs and commercials. She has been recognized by the Detroit Press Club Foundation with International Wheel Awards for her work on MotorWeek and received a number of other honors – including five separate gold awards – from the peer-judged International Automotive Media Competition sponsored by the International Society for Vehicle Preservation. An alumna of Boston University, Ms. Vazquez earned a bachelor degree in broadcasting and film production.

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