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Meet the Leadership Team

Shawn H. Graham

SHAWN M. GRAHAM, CPA
INTERIM CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

(CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER)

Shawn M. Graham is the Interim Chief Executive Officer, recently transitioning from her role as the Chief Financial Officer for the National Black MBA Association, Inc. She brings a wealth of knowledge and leadership in her 30 years of experience leading global and national corporations in various industries.

Shawn’s experiences include global brokerage firms, performing due diligence on acquisitions for publicly traded broadcasting companies, training Business Managers, and setting up accounting software integrations. In her previous role as the Chief Financial Officer for the Fulton-DeKalb Hospital Authority (Authority), which is the owner of Grady Health System, she was responsible for the oversight and compliance of Grady’s Pension Plan, endowment funds, investment strategies, uncompensated care reporting, bond issuance of the $250M Center for Advanced Surgical Services, and the financial statements of the Authority.

Born and raised in New York City, Shawn graduated from Lehman College with her bachelor’s degree in Accounting; her Certification in Public Accounting from the Georgia State Board of Accountancy, and her Business & Executive Coaching Certification from FocalPoint in San Diego, California. She is a Fellow of the Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants and a member of the Association of International Certified Accountants. In 2021, Shawn was selected to the Atlanta Business League’s 100 Women of Influence, and in 2022 she received the League Leadership Award.

Shawn has always been passionate about working with the systemically excluded. Her community commitments include currently serving as Board Secretary for the Atlanta Business League, Board Treasurer for the Legislative Black Caucus of Georgia Foundation, Inc., and member of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc., Metropolitan Atlanta Chapter. In 2020, Shawn was appointed to serve a two-year term with the City of Atlanta Small Business Advisory Council.

Shawn’s previous commitments include serving as a former Advisory Board member for Georgia Piedmont Technical College School of Business and Treasurer for Focus on Caring, created by Gray Television, which provided support for company employees in distress via employee-funded charitable contributions.

Shawn loves to travel and spend time with her twin grandchildren she is raising, Aiden and Alaina.

Paula Fontana
INTERIM PRESIDENT

(VICE PRESIDENT, STRATEGIC PROGRAMMING INITIATIVES)

Paula is the Interim President, recently transitioning from her role as the Vice President of Strategic Programming Initiatives for the National Black MBA Association, Inc. Paula’s commitment to understanding member needs and creating initiatives and programming to fill those needs, intertwined with her passion for impacting and enriching lives provides the platform to make an impactful difference in serving National Black MBA Association® members.

Paula’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 members. To achieve successful outcomes, Paula develops and implements long-term goals and objectives as well as establishes an evaluation framework to assess the strengths of the program and to identify areas for improvement. As Interim President, Paula is looking to continue that work.

With a global mindset, Fontana also led the Association’s trade mission to Liberia and Ghana.

As a testament to her leadership and commitment to Black excellence, Fontana was nominated and selected to be a recipient of the 2022 BMe Vanguard Award. BMe Vanguards are a “collection of some of the brightest minds in fields such as business, education, public policy, culture, and social impact.” Additionally, Paula serves on the Board of the Forum on Education Abroad and is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Roderick Douthit

RODERICK DOUTHIT
VICE PRESIDENT, CORPORATE PARTNER DEVELOPMENT

As Vice President of Corporate Partner Development, Roderick Douthit has responsibility to drive revenue growth through sponsorship and fund development. He also will create and execute a sponsorship strategy that identifies new opportunities and grows the relationship with existing partners.

Roderick has over 25 years of marketing experience working at AT&T, Cox Communications, and SunTrust. Prior to coming to the NBMBAA, Roderick worked for Truist in Sports and Entertainment Marketing. During his nine years there he successfully negotiated sponsorships with NFL, NBA, MLB, and MLS teams, as well as properties like the Historic Ryman Auditorium.

A native of Winston-Salem, NC, Roderick received a Bachelor’s degree from North Carolina A&T State University and a Master’s degree from Georgia State University – J. Mack Robinson School of Business. Roderick is active in the community and serves on the Advisory Board for the MEAC/SWAC Challenge, Celebration Bowl, and Lakeside High School Touchdown Club.

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®