Communities Unlimited Board of Directors

​Board of Directors

 

Chris Page, Chairman of the Board
SVP, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors

Mr. Page leads the Donor Services team at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA), a nonprofit professional services organization based in New York that administers over $200 million in grant making annually.  He and his staff work globally with individual donors, charitable institutions and corporate foundations to develop strategies, manage grantmaking programs and assess their impact.  With over 30 years of nonprofit leadership experience, his career has been largely focused on issues of poverty alleviation, community development and family financial security.   Prior to joining RPA, Mr. Page served in the Ford Foundation’s rural poverty and economic development programs.  He is a Trustee of the Carbon Disclosure Project, a UK-based nonprofit global climate change reporting system utilized by over 3,000 organizations in 60 countries. 

Herman Strickland, Secretary/Treasurer of the Board
SVP, Pinnacle Financial Partners

Mr. Herman Strickland is a senior vice president and senior credit officer for Pinnacle in Memphis. Prior to joining Pinnacle in 2015, Strickland spent 34 years at First Tennessee Bank, where he led the company’s Diversity Banking group. Prior roles at First Tennessee included serving as a corporate relationship manager, senior credit officer and manager of commercial banking.

Strickland earned his bachelor’s degree in management from Arkansas State University and holds a master’s degree in finance from the University of Memphis. He is a graduate of the Darden School of Commercial Lending at the University of Virginia and is a former instructor at the Barret School of Banking.

Strickland has been active in the Memphis community throughout his career and currently serves on the boards of the Memphis Urban League, Benjamin Hooks Institute and the Southwest Tennessee Community College and Arkansas State University foundations. He also serves on the boards of Community Lift, Communities Unlimited, Seedco, the Rise Foundation and Leadership Memphis.

Wayne Fawbush
Consultant

Wayne Fawbush served as a Program Officer with the Economic Opportunity and Assets Unit of the Ford Foundation for six years. His grant making concentrated on helping low income families improve their livelihoods by creating wealth in their communities in ways that actually benefitted them. Previously, he was executive director of the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund that helped communities and businesses in rural Vermont improve their economic base and sell forest and agriculture products into profitable value added markets. He served as Deputy for Program Operations for the Farmers Home Administration at the Department of Agriculture during the Clinton administration.

Wayne served for 16 years as a representative and senator in the Oregon Legislature, concentrating on economic development in rural areas. He also owned and operated a pear and blueberry farm in Hood River, Ore., for 20 years. Wayne was an officer in the U.S. Air Force, including a tour in Vietnam. He earned a master’s degree from the University of Oregon.

Max Sprinkle
Attorney at Law, Sprinkle Firm

Mr. Sprinkle has an extensive entrepreneurial background as he has founded and operated several successful businesses. He also serves as a volunteer at Bowen business Law Group, PLUS Program, Academic Success Program, Moot Court Board, Mock Trial Team as well as several others. He received a B.S., Business Administration/Marketing from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and attended the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Bowen School of Law.

Salomon Torres
Owner/Consultant, Soluciones Consulting

Mr. Torres story is one of family, hard work, and success. He is the youngest of eight siblings and was raised in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas where he migrated with his family picking seasonal crops from the canneries of Wisconsin to the fields of California. Mr. Torres currently provides government affairs and commercial development consulting services from his Harlingen, Texas downtown office.  Previously, he served three years as Executive Director of the San Benito, Texas Economic Development Corporation. Mr. Torres served as district director in South Texas for Congressman Ruben Hinojosa for nine years and served three years on Capitol Hill for Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez and the House Small Business Committee.

Deborah "Debby" Warren
Principal, Debby Warren Consulting

Debby Warren has spent the past thirty-plus years promoting social and economic justice in the American South mostly working in the non-profit sector, including serving as the first Executive Director of both the Southern Rural Development Initiative (SRDI) and the Community Reinvestment Association of North Carolina (CRA-NC). She also served as co-Director of the legal services entity that preceded the NC Justice Center. Ms. Warren also taught at Duke University’s Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy, developing new courses on Nonprofit Leadership and Community Philanthropy.

Donna Kay Yeargan
Principal, DKY Consulting

Donna Kay Yeargan is a native Arkansan born and reared in Howard County. She has been actively engaged in political and social issues throughout her life. Donna Kay lives in her state as many of us live in our communities. After graduating from the University of Arkansas, where she was a campus leader, she married and moved to Foreman, Arkansas, where she was involved in civic and church activities and became active in local, regional and state activities. During that time, Donna Kay earned a Masters Degree from East Texas State University, now affiliated with Texas A&M.

Donna Kay has served on the University of Arkansas Alumni Board of Directors, the Natural State Committee, and has been Chairman of the State Parks Commission and the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council, along with a multitude of community and civic organizations. In 1999, Donna Kay joined newly-elected Blanche Lincoln as the Director of Economic Development. She held the post until 1997 when she was named State Director for Senator Lincoln, overseeing the state operations of Senator Lincoln’s offices in Arkansas. She continued in that post until January, 2011.

Leadership

Ines Polonius
Chief Executive Officer

Ines was a founding member and Executive Director of alt.Consulting. She led the growth of alt.Consulting from a staff of 4 to a staff of 13 today. She personally worked with more than 200 small businesses in manufacturing, distribution, service, and retail. She has conducted organizational and financial audits, facilitated planning sessions and customized management systems for these businesses. Ines and her team are working on small business financing models for businesses in low-wealth communities that utilize managerial assistance as a means to reduce risk. She has developed and taught numerous seminars on financial management and strategic planning.

As a Business Development Consultant at the North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development she served more than 30 clients through an intensive management consulting process. Ms. Polonius earned an MBA and a MA in Economics from Boston University. Prior to pursuing her graduate work, she worked for three years with rural micro-enterprise development projects in Chile and the Dominican Republic. She has also worked as a financial manager for a manufacturer and a distribution company in Hamburg, Germany. Ines received her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University.

Away from work Ines enjoys gardening and spending time with family and friends. She is an animal lover who offers a home to abandoned dogs. She is passionate about renewable energy, drives a Prius and is working on an affordable solar solution that would power her home.