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Our Leadership Team

Bruce D. Berger, JD, MBA, presently serves as the Director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Development (CIED) and the interdisciplinary INNOLAB MAKERSPACE at Clark Atlanta University (CAU). Prior to joining CAU in late 2015 he served as the Associate Dean of Student Services and Administration at the Jesse H. Jones School of Business at Texas Southern University where he also taught the Global Strategic Management Capstone course in the MBA and Executive MBA programs. Before taking the position at Texas Southern, Bruce taught Business Law and experiential learning courses in both the undergraduate and MBA curricula at Western Carolina University’s School of Business where his students worked directly with the AB Tech Small Business Incubator and Blue Ridge Food Ventures in Asheville, NC. He currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Management at CAU teaching the Entrepreneurship curriculum and teaches Criminal Law in the Criminal Justice program.

 

 His instructional approach centers upon experiential learning through a practicum consulting pedagogy with student teams immersed in client companies for an entire semester while his lean startup course in Entrepreneurship turns ideation into a judged business pitch in 90 days.  

 

He served on the Board of Directors of the Houston Area Urban League’s Community Development Corporation (HAUDC) and was intimately involved in economic development, entrepreneurial ventures and university-community partnerships in Houston’s Greater Third Ward through a Texas Southern University-University of Houston-Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church community consortium. He is an angel investor and mentors several start-ups. In Atlanta, he serves on the Startup Atlanta and the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) Diversity & Inclusion Boards and is the principal investigator for the $950,000 Department of Commerce/Economic Development Agency CREATE grant which develops Southwest Atlanta technology-based startups in food, urban agriculture and food distribution in partnership with United Negro College Fund, Russell Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Truly Living Well, as well as the $500,000 Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) grant to promote student and faculty opportunities in the $75 Billion Atlanta STEM-FINTECH industry at three Atlanta University Center schools—CAU, Morehouse and Spelman. 

 

Prior to his academic career, he was a prosecutor and civil trial lawyer in Florida for over 25 years. He has started and owns several businesses including Outback Steakhouse franchises, a biomedical tech company, a business performance consultancy, and two real estate investment firms. He graduated from the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce at the University of Pennsylvania with a BS in Economics and later earned MBA and JD degrees at the University of Miami and The University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce Law Center, respectively. He is currently a member in good standing of The Florida Bar.

 

Jacqueline Williams is a experienced professional with solid management, leadership, and event planning skills. Jacqueline currently serves as the Program Manager for the UNCF Career Pathways Initiative and is proficient in online grants management applications to include Grants.gov, NSF Fastlane, Research.gov, eRACommons and Banner Web.  Ms. Williams is experienced in conference and event coordination for universities, local, state and federal agencies and recently organized and coordinated the Regional HBCU Summit on Adaptive Learning a major initiative for the Vice President for Academic Affairs and University Provost and served as coordinator and liaise for the NASA Road Tour.  Over the years, Jacqueline has managed and continues to coordinates a variety of student-oriented summer programs for high school students and teachers in STEM.  She has been employed with Clark Atlanta University for more than 25 years.

 

As an educator, grant writer, and program administrator I have spent 35 years developing solid relationships with stakeholders; implementing innovative programs that impact high student achievement; and building effective collaborations with diverse communities nationwide.

 

Currently, I serve as the Program Manager of Civic Engagement and Community Initiatives providing unique community-based programming for four Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in west Atlanta. These initiatives have empowered hundreds of parents, educators, leaders and businesses owners to learn effective ways of demonstrating professional growth, and  how to apply evidence –based approaches to family and community progress. 

 

A Seasoned Financial Professional, Jennifer has spent the past 20 years working for some of the largest financial institutions in the Country.  A native of Mobile, Alabama and a resident of Alpharetta, GA, Jennifer received her Accounting Degree from Tuskegee University.  After spending most of career as a Commercial Lender, she is currently working with the Atlanta University Center as their Fintech Program Consultant.  As the Program Consultant, Jennifer is responsible for coordinating speakers, obtaining sponsorship, researching professional development opportunities and job recruitment.  In her spare time Jennifer likes reading, biking, traveling and spending time with her husband and three kids.

 
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LaKesha Landers is the Program Director of Financial Literacy for the renowned HBCU Clark Atlanta University.  Additionally, LaKesha serves as Co-Chair of Universities and Colleges for Money Smart Week of Georgia, a nationally recognized initiative through the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, designed to help consumers learn a better way to manage their personal finances.  LaKesha offers her services to aid in development and enhancement of partnering schools, businesses, and organizations for providing financial education through activities, opportunities, and collaborates.  She has created and implemented modeled programs to allow young adults the opportunity to become financial literate, as well as opportunity for professional development.  LaKesha has an extensive background as a financial service leader in Higher Education with over 15 years of experience in state, public, proprietary, and private post-secondary institutions.  Utilizing her many talents such as her ability to speak a language that reaches all ages, and innovative ideas to introducing financial literacy, LaKesha has definitely made her mark as an educator.  She has taught on a collegiate level humanities, personal finance, and money management. In LaKesha’s former role with the Millennials Chamber Commerce she diligently worked to engage and collaborate with financial professionals and others in the public, private, and non-profit sectors coordinating efforts and strengthening financial literacy awareness within the community, businesses, entrepreneurs, colleges, and families.  Because of LaKesha’s leadership, community involvement, and program development, the Neighborhood Impact Awards recognized her as the honoree of the “Community Engagement Award”, and most recently nominated for the 2019 EIFLE award (Excellence in Financial Literacy Education) from the Institute of Financial Literacy.  She has been a feature in YBE Magazine PowHER edition, and spoken bi-costal at many conferences, summits, and global forums.  In addition to all that, LaKesha does it all as a community engager, and educator.  The most important job for LaKesha is being a mother to what she calls her “life line”, her two sons ages 8 and 14 who resides with her in Atlanta, Georgia.