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Meet the Leadership Team

JOSEPH “JOE” HANDY
PRESIDENT & CEO

Joe Handy is the newly appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Black MBA Association®. He is an accomplished and multidisciplinary business and operations executive with an impeccable track record, strong business acumen, vision, and an entrepreneurial mindset.

Having served as the Georgia Aquarium’s President and Chief Operating Officer since 2017, he brings a strong history of leadership to his new role, along with more than 20 years of experience in cultural institutions. In 2005, Handy joined the Aquarium’s founding team as Director of Visitor Services. Grounded in his passion for the Aquarium’s mission, he rose through the ranks of Vice President of Guest Experience, Senior Vice President of Guest Experience, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, President and Chief Operating Officer, and most recently President of the Georgia Aquarium Foundation.

Beyond his work at Georgia Aquarium, Handy is heavily involved in the community. He serves on the Kennesaw State University (KSU) Foundation Board of Trustees and the Strategic Planning Committee, the Advisory Boards of KSU Business School, Central Atlanta Progress, the Morehouse Leadership Honor Society, and the Board of Directors for the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Handy is also a member of the 100 Black Men of N. Metro Atlanta and serves as Co-Chair of the Celebration Bowl Advisory Board.

Under Handy’s leadership, Georgia Aquarium was the recipient of the 2019 Marcus Downtown Economic Impact Award. Handy received the Atlanta Business League 2018 Men of Influence Award, the Georgia Senate Remarkable and Distinguished Georgian Resolution in March 2019, ICABA – Atlanta’s Leading Influencers Award in May 2019, and Secretary of State’s Outstanding Georgia Citizen Award in July 2019. He served as Executive in Residence at Kennesaw State’s College of Business for the Fall 2019 semester, is a member of the Leadership Atlanta 2019 Class, and most recently was announced as Chairman of the Board for Atlanta Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children (CASA).

Handy was born and raised in New York, where he graduated with honors from The College of New Rochelle with a Liberal Arts Degree and a concentration in Political Science. He later went on to earn his Executive MBA from KSU. While in New York, Handy spent nine years at the American Museum of Natural History and helped launch the Rose Center for Earth and Space.

Paula Fontana
Vice President, Strategic Programming Initiatives

As Vice President of Strategic Program Initiatives, Paula Fontana’s efforts are focused on the development, coordination, and implementation of new and existing programs and initiatives that help the NBMBAA® to fulfill its responsibility to our membership. Paula works to ensure that all programming is in accordance with the mission and goals of the NBMBAA®, which includes new initiatives to support the strategic direction of the organization.  To achieve successful outcomes of programming, Paula develops and implements long-term goals and objectives as well as establishing an evaluation framework to assess the strengths of the program and to identify areas for improvement.

Read Paula’s Full Bio

Annual membership contract, paid in monthly installments with automatic renewal Service begins as soon as your initial payment is processed. You will be charged 1/12 of the annual membership fee at the time of purchase, every month for the duration of your annual contract. Your membership contract will renew automatically, on your annual renewal date, until you cancel your membership in writing no later than 30 days prior to your annual renewal by contacting membership support. Renewal rates are subject to change, but you will be notified at least 30 days prior to your annual renewal date if your renewal rate will change. Should you cancel before your one-year term has expired, you will be charged 100% of your remaining contract obligation and your service will continue until the end of until the end of your contracted term. Cancellations can be made any time by contacting membership support in writing. Annual prepaid membership contract, with automatic renewal Service begins as soon as your payment is processed. You will be charged, immediately in full, the annual membership fee at the time of purchase. Your contract will renew automatically, on your annual renewal date, unless you cancel your membership in writing by no later than 30 days prior to your annual renewal date by contacting membership support. Renewal rates are subject to change, but you will be notified at least 30 days prior to your annual renewal date if your renewal rate will change. Should you cancel before your one-year term has expired, your payment is non-refundable, and your service will continue until the end of your contracted term. Cancellations can be made any time by contacting membership support in writing. Activation of Membership Memberships will become active upon processing of all materials at National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) headquarters. Existing Lifetime and Associate Lifetime Members The Lifetime or Associate Lifetime membership is no longer offered. Existing Lifetime or Associate Lifetime members who have paid in full are active for the duration of his or her lifetime, from their membership activation (see activation of membership). Lifetime or Associate Lifetime members are no longer eligible for any other membership type. Student Members Student memberships are active for 12 consecutive months, beginning at activation (see activation of membership). You will be considered a student member as long as you are actively enrolled in a recognized undergraduate or graduate degree program. Your membership should be upgraded to a Professional or Associate membership upon the expiration of your current membership, subsequent to graduation. You are required to submit proof of your current enrollment. The following items will be accepted as proof of current enrollment: • Letter from the registrar acknowledging your current enrollment status • Copy of your tuition bill • Class schedule reflecting your current enrollment. Should you fail to submit proof of current enrollment within 60 days, your membership may be terminated, and your payment will not be refunded. You will then need to reapply for membership. Refund Policy The NBMBAA will only provide refunds for the following reasons: • Verified duplication of billing • Verified overcharges • Submission of incorrect member type resulting in one of the above Refunds will be provided as follows: • Credit card payments will be credited to that same credit card. • Cash and check payments will be credited by NBMBAA check after 30 days, and only after initial payment has cleared our financial institution. * Refunds will be issued only upon request of the individual. The NBMBAA will vigorously defend itself against credit card charge backs. In the event that your credit card company requests a credit for charges, we will comply only to the extent that the request meets the requirements of the refund policy. (See above). Recurring Payments If you choose a recurring payments option to automatically renew your membership, you are responsible for canceling it prior to annual recurrence to avoid charges. Once charged, your membership will not be refunded. Notice of Photography and/or Videography As a condition of membership, individuals grant the National Black MBA Association an irrevocable nonexclusive license to use their name, image, voice and likeness for the purpose of advertising and promoting NBMBAA events, activities and products without any further approval from you or payment to you. It is the NBMBAA’s right to make visual and audio recordings, and still images of its members (collectively “Photography”) and to use the Photography and member’s name. However, none of the above shall be deemed as an endorsement for any NBMBAA product or service. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, members agree that the rights granted hereunder shall include the perpetual, worldwide right of NBMBAA to edit, telecast, rerun, record, publish, reproduce, use, license, print, distribute or otherwise exploit, in any manner and in any medium or forum, whether now known or hereafter devised. Terms and Conditions are subject to change without prior notification. Revised: April 5, 2017. NBMBAA®