BOARD OF DIRECTORS
LaTara Harris, Board Chair
LaTara Harris joined AT&T in March 2013 and serves as regional director of external & legislative affairs for AT&T in the Mid Atlantic. Her focus is on local legislative and regulatory affairs in Maryland, and the District of Columbia. Harris serves on the board of the District of Columbia’s Workforce Investment Council, the DC Chamber of Commerce, the Prince George’s Chamber of Commerce, Maryland Free, The Faunteroy Community Enrichment Center, Youth Leaders In Training, and is the Chairman of the Board of Crittenton Services of Greater Washington. She has been recognized for her contributions to her community and for her professional success by being named the 2017 Washington Business Journal – Minority Business Leader Award winner, the 2015 Maryland Daily Record – Maryland Top 100 Women Award winner, and a host of others. Harris earned her undergraduate degree from Bowie State University and her MBA from the University of Maryland. Ms. Harris is serving her first term as Crittenton’s Board Chair.
Peter Kovar, BOARD Treasurer
Mr. Kovar was elected as the Takoma Park City Councilmember representing Ward 1 in November 2015. Before retiring from a thirty-year career in government service, he served as Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and as the chief of staff for Congressman Barney Frank. He has worked on an array of legislative issues, including immigration policy, Medicare reform, environmental protection, government ethics, and economic development. Mr. Kovar is devoted to community involvement and is active with many local organizations and activities, including several youth and adult sports programs as well as community public safety initiatives. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Rochester. He is serving his second term on Crittenton’s board and as its Treasurer.
Aaron Myers, BOARD Secretary – Interim President & CEO
has served on Crittenton’s Board of Directors for 7+ years. Mr. Myers is an international touring Jazz artist based in Washington DC, activist and entrepreneur. Originally from Goodlow, Texas. Mr. Myers is a veteran of the United States Army where he’s certified as a Radio Telecommunications Specialist, and an alumnus of Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas. His political experience ranges from a mayoral run in Corsicana, Texas, Field Organizer for the Obama-Biden Campaign for Change, policy analysist, and political adviser to candidates and office holders. Mr. Myers is also a skilled volunteer coordinator, event manager, public speaker, and an experienced music instructor. While in Washington DC he previously served as National Director of the nonprofit Global Family Program and is the Minister of Music of Covenant Baptist United Church of Christ, a position he’s held for 12 years.
A jazz and soul musician, Mr. Myers is currently the Resident Artist at Mr. Henry’s Restaurant and Eaton DC. From a point of service, Mr. Myers is the founding Chair of the Board of Directors for the Capitol Hill Jazz Foundation and serves on the Board of Governors with the Recording Academy DC Chapter. Currently, he serves as Vice-Chair of the NAACP DC-Branch LGBTQIA Committee along with being a member of the board of directors for CTE Vision Foundation and Covenant Full Potential Development Center. Mr. Myers’ activism has been recognized by the Jazz Journalist Association and he’s been twice awarded a WAMMIE Award for his activism and service in Washington DC.
Celeste James, Executive Director of Community Health for Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States, leads Kaiser Permanente’s Community Health Department, which engages in program development and implementation, grantmaking, and public policy advocacy to create conditions for health and well-being in Kaiser Permanente communities, with a commitment to health, racial, and economic equity.
Celeste’s career spans 30 years in the health and media industry, including leading corporate communications for USA TODAY/Gannett Co., Inc., U.S. News & World Report magazine, and NPR (National Public Radio). Celeste also serves as a Commissioner on the Maryland State Governor’s Community Health Resources Commission, as co-chair of Washington Regional Food Funders, a collaborative of funders dedicated to improving our regional food system and a Board Member of Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers. Celeste is a graduate of Cleveland State University. She relaxes with great cuisine, music and laughter.
Ms. James is serving her first term on the Crittenton board.
Kymber Lovett-Menkiti is currently the Regional Director for the Maryland/DC Region for Keller Williams Realty International. In this role Kymber leads the growth of 19 offices with close to 5,000 real estate professionals across the region. She is one of the youngest female executives named to the role in the company’s history.
Prior to this, Kymber was the President of Sales for The Menkiti Group and for Keller Williams Capital Properties (KWCP), two companies recognized for growth, innovation, and for demonstrated success and achievement in the residential real estate industry. Kymber led strategy for the MG Residential sales team and built a local team of real estate professionals who have brokered the sale of over $1 billion in residential real estate, representing over 2,300 homes sold.
Most recently, Kymber serves as the President for DC Association of REALTORS® Kymber is also Chair of the CPMG Foundation, a joint project of The Menkiti Group and KWCP created to support the housing, education, and youth needs in the DC Metro area.
Kymber resides in the District with her husband and business partner, Bo Menkiti and their four sons.
Antonio Tijerino is the President and CEO of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, an organization that identifies, inspires, prepares, and positions Latino leaders in the classroom, community, and workforce. He has also served as the director of public relations in the communications department for the Fannie Mae Foundation, a manager for corporate communications and spokesperson for Nike, and an account supervisor for the Burson-Marsteller and Cohn & Wolf public relations firms in Washington.
Mr. Tijerino earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland. Mr. Tijerino is serving his third term on the Crittenton Board and serves on the Board’s communications task force and the governance committee.
Bryan is widely recognized as one of the nation’s top media and communications lawyers. A relentless advocate, Bryan is sought after by clients ranging from Fortune 50 companies to innovative startups for his exceptional understanding of spectrum management, transactions and strategic advocacy before multiple regulatory agencies. His commitment to excellence brings both loyal clients and leading industry honors.
Bryan’s years as Chief of Staff at the Federal Communications Commission under Chairman Michael Powell, along with his earlier work at the agency and beyond, give him a profound understanding of the often complex legal, political and regulatory environments where his clients operate. His keen instincts for achieving results have been honed at the center of the industry.
In addition to his role as Managing Partner, Bryan also leads the strategy and implementation of WBK’s award-winning communications, media and technology team, and directs client management and development.
Bryan lives by the pay it forward ethos, a philosophy he’s helped to infuse throughout WBK. He gives generously of his time and talents to support the community. Whether as a speaker, educator or thought-leader, Bryan is always focused on helping others succeed and encouraging the next generation to thrive.
He is serving his first term on the Crittenton Board and sixth term as Crittenton’s Celebration Event Co-Chair.
Kathleen Abernathy is the Special Counsel to Wilkinson Barker Knauer, LLP, has built an extraordinary career pioneering new ground for women while leading by example. From the first moment she was introduced to Crittenton, she immediately became a champion for the organization and our critical work helping teen girls overcome a breadth of challenges. She has also helped new college graduates to invest their talent, energy, and training in public service through the John Gardner Fellowship Association. Furthermore, she’s provided her leadership to build child advocacy coalitions as a board member of the organization Children Now.
Professionally, Ms. Abernathy recently returned to Wilkinson Barker Knauer, bringing years of top-level government and corporate experience. She was elected to the Board of Directors of Frontier Communications as an independent director in 2006, following her term as a Commissioner at the Federal Communications Commission from 2001 to 2005. In 2010, she joined Frontier as Chief Legal Officer and Executive Vice President, Regulatory and Governmental Affairs. She has also been a member of the Board of Directors of ISO New England since 2012. Prior to her term as an FCC Commissioner, Ms. Abernathy worked for a number of different telecommunications companies and law firms.
Ms. Abernathy received her B.A. magna cum laude from Marquette University and her J.D. from Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law, where she was a Distinguished Practitioner in Residence. She is a member of the District of Columbia Bar and the Federal Communications Bar Association, of which she is a Past-President, and has served as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center and The Columbus School of Law. She is serving her first term on the Crittenton Board.
Natali Fani-González was first appointed as a Commissioner of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) and a member of the Montgomery County Planning Board in 2014. Natali is the first Latinx and first millennial to serve on the five-member Board, which reviews master plans and policies governing growth and development throughout Montgomery County.
Born in Venezuela, Natali Fani-González is the founder and principal of the Rockville-based Matea Group, LLC, a dynamic public relations and translations firm that has worked on national and international issues. A human and civil rights activist and entrepreneur, she started her career as a lobbyist for CASA de Maryland, the largest Latino and immigrant organization in the state, and then joined the communications team of the Service Employee International Union Local 32BJ before starting her own public relations firm.
Fani-González graduated from Goucher College with bachelor degrees in political science and international relations, and holds a National Security Certificate from Georgetown University. Natali lives with husband Angel Gonzalez, an electrical engineer and a former U.S. Marine, and their two children in Wheaton, MD. She is serving her first term on the Crittenton board.
Jeanine is a senior executive and Harvard-trained lawyer with extensive experience in the public policy arena, focused on technology. Currently the General Counsel and Senior Vice President for Legal and Policy Affairs at the Internet Association, she’s also held positions in the U.S. federal government and in the private telecommunications sector. She’s a problem solver who uses her diverse set of skills as a communicator, advocate, and consensus-builder to find creative solutions that work for everyone. She has a strong record as a team leader and mentor; she’s known for motivating and training staff, especially junior level women, so that they can achieve new levels of success. She’s passionate about using technology for social good and most recently served on the Board of the CTIA Wireless Foundation.
Shayna is a Director in Guidehouse’s National Security Segment, who is driven by leading diverse teams, strengthening relationships (both internal and external), and delivering high quality solutions, in an effort to foster a stronger financial reporting and operational environment.
Shayna has 12 years of experience and is responsible for leading various high-profile and strategic initiatives, related to grants management, financial management, risk management, project management, and technical accounting support services, for clients across the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), with a specific focus on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) accounts.
Prior to joining the FEMA and the USCIS teams, Shayna supported several clients across PwC’s Public Sector Advisory Practice (i.e., CBP, FBI, GSA, etc.) and PwC’s Commercial Assurance Practice.
Shayna holds a BS in Business Administration, concentration in Accounting, and an MBA, concentration in Accounting, from Hampton University. Shayna is a Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM), Certified Internal Control Auditor (CICA), Certified Grants Management Specialist (CGMS), Certified Scrum Master (CSM), Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt (LSSYB), and Project Management Professional (PMP).