Board of Directors
Ken Blackwell, Director
(for Mr. Blackwell's full bio
: click here
J. Kenneth Blackwell is on the board of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, is Senior Fellow for Family Empowerment at the Family Research Council, and serves on the Boards of the Club for Growth, National Taxpayers Union and Pastors Retreat Network.
His record of public service includes terms as mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio State Treasurer, Ohio Secretary of State, an undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission.
He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and presently serves on the advisory board of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs.
Mr. Blackwell's written commentaries have appeared in major newspapers across the country and is frequently heard or seen on radio, TV and the 'Net at Townhall.com, Salem Radio, Fox, CNN, MSNBC, and PBS.
He was a recipient of the National Leadership Award from the National Forum for Black Public Administrators and is a life member of the NAACP.
He holds B.S. and M.Ed. degrees from Xavier University (OH), and eight honorary doctorates from colleges and universities from Indiana to New Hampshire.
He and his wife of 39 years, Rosa, have been honored as one of the National Council of Negro Women’s Families of the Year. The Blackwell’s are recipients of the Cincinnati Historical Society’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Dreamkeeper Award. They have three adult children.
Ronald Court, President & Founder
Essex Junction, Vermont
Ronald Court initially founded the Booker T. Washington Society to celebrate the great educator's Sesquicentennial (150th) birthday on April 5, 2006. But the more he learned about Booker T's. life, the more he saw that Washington, with his philosophy of personal responsibility, practical education, and economic independence, exemplified the kind of citizen and values that made this country great.
He saw that BTW was -- and remains -- a positive role-model for all
Americans, especially young Americans. So, Ron now spends much of each year before schools, service clubs and churches, engaging their members to encourage and equip young Americans in their own communities to live, learn, and lead what he has coined, "The Booker T. Way".
He graduated from Boston University, served his country as an Army officer in Viet-Nam, and has enjoyed career opportunities in both the business and education spheres.
He has served his community as a Founding Director and Treasurer of Vermonters for Educational Choice, Director of the Boys & Girls Club of Burlington (VT), and a Rotary Club Director and member for over 30 years. He has also served as an elected Trustee, both of the Village of Essex Junction and of the Essex Alliance Church, where he currently attends.
Robert DeShay, Treasurer
Robert DeShay was born and grew up in Savannah, Georgia, and attended St. Pius X High School. Determined to get out of the segregated south, he studied hard and gained entrance to Holy Cross College in Massachusetts. He put himself through school by working nights and weekends to earn a degree in Economics in 1970.
For the next seven years, he served Worcester's business community and its wayward youths by assisting small business owners with their research, planning and financing proposal needs and by supervising outreach services delivery to Juvenile Court offenders.
To be of more value and service to his family and others, he applied to Dartmouth's Tuck School of Management and earned an MBA in 1979.
Thereupon, he commenced a 14 year stint with Xerox in Rochester and White Plains NY, initially in management and admin support roles, then in marketing and sales.
Relocating to Dallas, Robert embarked upon a third career, this time in real estate, eventually settling in as Real Estate Director with Newcrest Hotels, LLC. He has been involved in most all stages of real estate development, from initial market research to negotiating sites and managing acquisitions to zoning and permitting. He was instrumental in the development of over fifty projects involving new construction and redeveloped hotel properties throughout Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana.
Mr. DeShay brings to the BTW Society a wealth of financial and planning expertise.
He and his wife, Claudia, reside near Dallas, TX, where Mr. DeShay is once again assisting youthful offenders to get back on the right track.
Preston Dobbins, Director
Preston Dobbins, a co-founding partner of Big Mouth Presentations
, has been inspiring a culture of character among youths all across the country since 2004.
Before joining BigMouth, he worked with youth in after school programs and devoted much of his time to creating music. He is a national recording hip-hop artist under the name, "The Rapper Jesse Thomas" and his music has been heard throughout the US, the UK and Mexico.
Preston now uses his musical abilities to present the importance of good character to youth across America. With over 14 years experience working with youth, over 9 years experience in public speaking, and 17 years experience in music, Preston is a huge asset to Big Mouth Presentations and the the BTW Society. His expertise is presenting to students K-12 and helping to create new shows for youth.
Bill Federer, Director
St. Louis, Missouri
(for Mr. Federer's full bio
: click here
William J. Federer is a nationally known speaker, best-selling author, and president of Amerisearch, Inc.
, a publishing company dedicated to researching America's noble heritage.
Bill's American Minute
radio feature is broadcast daily across America and via the Internet.
He has written a dozen books, and his first, "America's God and Country Encyclopedia of Quotations
" sold over a half-million copies.
A former U.S. Congressional Candidate, Bill has appeared and/or been interviewed on countless TV programs and networks, thousands of radio programs, quoted and referenced in papers and magazines across the country, and spoken across America at events from Mount Rushmore to the Lincoln Memorial to the U.S. Capitol.
Bill has an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from American Christian College, and has been honored by the Freedoms Foundation, Bott Radio Network, American Legion, and the Eagle Forum.
Bill was raised in south St. Louis, 5th of eleven children, and graduated from Saint Louis University in 1980.
After college, Bill joined Federer Realty, founded in 1913 by his grandfather, William A. Federer. Along the way, Bill has worked in the oil & gas industries and has long been involved with community organizations, charity groups and churches - working with youth, families, elderly and minorities and also as a Scoutmaster, having been an Eagle Scout.
Bill and Susan, his high school sweetheart and wife of 33 years, have four grown children.
Gloria Jackson, Secretary
Los Angeles, California
Gloria Y. Jackson, a great-granddaughter of Booker T. Washington, is Founder and President of the Booker T. Washington Inspirational Network (BTWIN)
, an alliance of thinkers, writers, speakers, and all others committed to the vision and ideals of her great-grandfather.
Ms. Jackson challenges and inspires individuals to live by the same powerful values and ideals that inspired her great-grandfather: cohesive family, hard work, educational excellence, economic strength and independence through free enterprise.
She stresses the need for strong moral character and reverence for God: “Only by turning toward our founding Judeo/Christian values and principles, and by turning away from the politics of entitlement, race-baiting, and victimization, can we once again become a beacon of freedom throughout the world.”
A self-described, 'Christian first, and then a conservative who happens to be black', Ms. Jackson has appeared before many schools, universities, churches, associations as well as broadcast and print media, including: The Council for National Policy, Conservative Political Action Committee, The Constitutional Coalition, Trinity Broadcasting Network, California Federation of Republican Women, the Union Pacific Railroad, and Priests for Life.
She has co-authored, with her cousin, Sarah Rush, "Timeless Treasures - Reflections of God's Word in the Wisdom of Booker T. Washington
", a tribute to the pre-eminence of the Christian faith in their great-grandfather's life.
Ms. Jackson is a graduate of San Jose State in California and of the UCLA School of Law.
She remains a practicing lawyer and active real estate broker in the Los Angeles area.
Fred Wall, Vice-President
Fred Wall, founder of Creative Labels of Vermont
, was born in a little town called Shawville, in Quebec, Canada. A product of Christian upbringing, he learned early on to see business as a means to support oneself while serving others. His interest in the printing arts led him to the Montreal Graphic Arts Trade School, while continuing to dedicate his free time to various church groups, service clubs and community organizations.
Fred left Canada in I974 to pursue his printing career. While doing so, he joined a fraternal organization, rose through the ranks and eventually served on its Board of Governors for their Children's Hospital.
He founded Creative Labels of Vermont (CLOV) in 1983. Building a business from scratch proved a real struggle. So much so, that six years later, Fred turned his company over to God as CEO and gave himself the title of 'Second CEO'. Creative Labels has been successfully operating ever since.
With his company in God's hands (and Fred's son Dwane), Fred is free to serve God wherever he sees a need. In addition to serving as Vice President of the BTW Society, he serves on the Board of a Burlington, VT homeless shelter. Post-Katrina, he has built houses in Mississippi, and gone on several mission trips to N. Africa, Sudan and the Solomon Islands.
For the last six years, he and wife, Leslie, have spent three months each year in North Carolina, as volunteers with JAARS, the technical side of Wycliffe Bible Translators.
When he is not volunteering around the world, he make his home in Essex Junction, Vermont.
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