Aria was born and raised in San Francisco and received her Bachelor’s from Wheaton College, MA where she studied Psychology and Anthropology. She graduated from Drexel University, Philadelphia, in December 2017 with an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management.
During her junior year at Wheaton, Aria spent eight months in various regions of South Africa where she studied the psychological effects of living in the post-apartheid society. Upon graduation from Wheaton, Aria spent three years working in the fundraising department of Repair the World, a social justice organization in New York, where she raised funds to create volunteer opportunities for young adults. Aria then spent several years as an integral member of the Special Events department at NYU Langone Medical Center, helping plan and execute the hospital’s and School of Medicine’s annual fundraising galas. Currently, Aria is putting her MBA to use with Fairmount Ventures, Inc. where she is a nonprofit strategy and fundraising consultant.
Aria is passionate about making the world a better place and helping others. She has served as a Junior Board member for Harlem Educational Activities Fund, volunteered with NY Cares, and supported multiple do-gooder campaigns nationwide. In her free time, Aria enjoys cooking, exploring new restaurants in her neighborhood, and is eternally searching for the East Coast’s best burrito.
As a sought-after speaker, motivator, best-selling author, radio personality and business strategist, Sherita J. Herring has been instrumental in impacting countless communities, businesses and individuals all over the world, including in Africa, France, Canada, Pakistan, Cambodia, the Philippines, China, Trinidad/Tobago, and numerous municipalities throughout the United States. While working with these organizations and others, she has raised over $30 million in funding, and formed more than 600 international businesses.
As a former radio personality with world-wide listeners, Sherita’s weekly broadcast focused on highlighting global “difference makers”; building the capacity of small businesses and entrepreneurs; bridging cultural and racial communication gaps; and serving as a vital resource for marginalized populations in Southern California.
Because of her volunteerism and social connectedness (forming nonprofits, coaching and training), she has helped foster hospitals in Pakistan and Belize; restored forest and wetland ecosystems along the US Gulf Coast, reduce inmate tensions and improving communications through a comedy-based prison program; building water towers in the Philippines; serving orphans in Southeast Asia; and working with an entrepreneur to cure malaria and reducing youth suicide.
Through her Kreative Images Foundation, she has helped secure millions of dollars and developed hundreds of agencies that are operating in nearly 20 countries.
She has been featured in publications with First Lady Michelle Obama; honored with the acclaimed R&B singer Chaka Khan, and U.S. Congresswomen Maxine Waters and Diane Watson; and highlighted in Women of Colormagazine with Coretta Scott King and Maya Angelou.
Mrs. Phyllis Johnson is passionate about helping others and making a positive impact in the lives of the disenfranchised and marginalized. She is committed to the development of young people and has spent most of her life serving and mentoring them, through the Girl Guides and The Cat Island Association Juvenile Department in the Bahamas.
A practicing Anglican, she has served as Evangelism and Outreach Director with her husband with responsibility for the Big Brother Big Sister Program.
In 2010, she and her husband founded the New Providence American Youth Football Association, a non-profit organization that mentors young boys from ages 7-17 and provides them with the opportunity to further their education and return to become productive citizens. They have been able to secure over 21 scholarships for this program and the boys are thriving and making the organization proud.
Mrs. Johnson is a retired Senior Public Relations Manager with the National Airline of the Bahamas and is a certified Paralegal. She is the Administrator for Holiday Jet Express, a travel company and she provides consultancy services in Public Relations & Marketing.
Phyllis has contributed her time to the AGIF and will organize NGO training and enrollment in the Bahamas.
She is married to Craig Johnson and they have three children and two grandchildren.
Justin Laughlin is a strategist and consultant with a passion for solving complex problems and making a positive impact on the world. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from East Carolina University and holds both a Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Strategic Management from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.
He began his career by growing a part time restaurant job he had in college into a leadership position spanning multiple restaurants and hundreds of employees. With the Apple Gold Group, Justin served in an internal consulting capacity where he assessed individual locations and guided them to increased profitability. He also established new training programs for employees and trained the company’s management while helping to develop and implement a company-wide inventory management and forecasting program.
Justin then began working for Provident Funding Associates and their affiliate to improve their processes, craft business development strategies, and set them up for rapid growth. He established the company’s appraiser recruitment function, which realigned appraisal supply and demand across key markets, increasing efficiency, customer service levels, and growth potential.
Circle K recruited Justin to create a new structure of processes and provide strategic insights into the real estate function of a newly formed division, which covered three states. He was also sought out to provide strategic insights and solutions through internal consulting among the division’s other functions. After achieving success with these efforts, he was promoted to the company’s global real estate team, where he has worked on billions of dollars’ worth of M&A deals and real estate acquisitions and provided strategic guidance on deals across multiple countries.
Additionally, Justin has provided strategy and management consulting to companies, both in the US and internationally. He has used his consulting skill set to make a positive impact in the lives of those in need on several occasions, including providing marketing strategies to an NGO in Thailand and establishing a growth strategy for a company based in a South African township.
Over the years, Justin has been involved in the community by volunteering with the ALS Association and Habitat for Humanity. His goal is to bring together his expertise in strategy and leadership with his passion for helping others to add value to the AGIF, empowering the nonprofits it touches to achieve their important missions.
His professional background has been at Rosetta Stone (Fairfield Language Technologies) where he created a systems Quality Assurance team and developed its signature software product in mobile form; at BlackMesh where he was Director of Engineering and Emerging Technology; and at Facebook as a Production Engineer, responsible for tens of thousands of MySQL servers providing everything from automation to end-user support.
Coming from a long line of entrepreneurs, he is delighted to extend his technological expertise, management experience and dedication to the world to support the AGIF.