© 2010 Odyssey International Productions. All rights reserved.


The 2013 Odyssey International Productions Honorees

Lady Ella Dixon Jones

Lady Ella Dixon Jones, a long time Newark & Plainfield Resident and Retired Reading Specialist, was born March 29, 1918, in Columbia South Carolina. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in 1971 and completed requirements for her Master’s Degree in 1981. These documents are placed in 600 libraries throughout the United States; including the Library of Congress. She retired in 1991 from Mt. Vernon Elementary School, Newark, NJ as an Elementary School Educator and Reading Specialist, for 25 years. She has been a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc, North Jersey Alumni Chapter since 1971, a member of Who’s Who 2006-2007, recognized as a Reading Specialist, a member of New Jersey Bridge Unit of Newark, New Jersey; Eastern Division and a member of More Than Just Books; Plainfield Book Club.


Dr. Joyce Wilson Harley

Joyce Harley is an attorney specializing in community development, economic development, and public policy initiatives. She is the new Acting Vice President of Administration and Finance for Essex County College having recently served as the Essex County Administrator appointed to the post by Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo in March, 2005. The County Executive made history by appointing Joyce the first woman ever to the hold the position. Prior to joining Essex County, Ms. Harley served as the Executive Director of the Newark Downtown District, New Jersey’s largest Special Improvement District.

Ms. Alfa Demmellash

Alfa Demmellash co-founded Rising Tide Capital in May 2004. As Chief Executive Officer, she oversees strategic growth, programmatic innovation and stakeholder engagement at Rising Tide Capital. She graduated cum laude from Harvard University with a degree in Government. Alfa is the recipient of Honorary Doctorates from St. Peter's College and New Jersey City University and has won numerous awards for her work as a leading social entrepreneur.

Ms. Susan Hogan

Susan Hogan is Supplier Diversity Manager for the Procurement Organization at Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (PSEG) in Newark, New Jersey. Ms. Hogan’s background includes over thirty years of experience in all aspects of Supply Chain Management including twenty five years extensive experience in supplier diversity.

Ms. Donna Tucker

As Chief of Staff and Project Administrator for The Regional Alliance for Small Contractors Donna Tucker, administers Port Authority and NJ Transit M/W/D/SBE training and technical assistance contracts and administers Port Authority Aviation tenant contract compliance contracts. She leads various Regional Alliance outreach/networking and fundraising events, such as the Contractors’ Clearinghouse, Annual Networking Membership Luncheons and Annual Awards Luncheons.


Mr. Travis Reid

Travis Reid has extensive experience as an operational leader in the City of Newark’s government infrastructure. As a Policy Advisor to the Business Administrator, he managed Newark’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) projects. Adept at identifying organization efficiencies, Travis reengineered countless processes to create more effective systems. In the Office of Innovation and Performance Management, Travis led the office as its Assistant Director by managing Performance TRAC (Transparent, Results-driven, Accountable, Change Ready) and a city-wide Budget Operating Committee. Performance TRAC – a performance management system – tracked output, and outcome measures to evaluate the effectiveness of government programs.



Mr. Paul Lachhu

Paul Lachhu is the Chairman and CEO of Paradise Media Group, Publisher of DiversityPlus, Diversity Global and Diversity Canada Magazines. Through a lifetime of traveling and living in many countries Paul has been able to leverage diversity within the context of each individual culture to bring change in ways never imagined. With offices in China, Canada and the United States, Diversity Global and DiversityPlus Magazines are helping companies understand the challenges of working across cultures and race to do business with diverse suppliers while at the same time recruiting and retaining the best and brightest talent.


Donna K. Williams

Donna K. Williams is a lifelong citizen of Orange, NJ and a 1985 graduate of Orange High School.
A former attendee of Shaw University, who has served in the United States Air Force and currently, is enrolled at Thomas Edison College completing her degree in Public Administration with a minor in Labor Relations. Parents Clarence S. Williams (Connie-Deceased) and Frances Williams, both residents of Orange. Currently working as a legal assistant for the Professional Staff Congress which is the union that represents over 22,000 professionals and support staff at the City University of New York, Donna aids in keeping policies prudent. Donna has been a member of Local 153- OPEIU for 4years; but has been affiliated with the international since 2000, serving in the capacity of Shop-Steward and Business Representative. She also facilitates training for Omni Travel and Tours in Orange, NJ and is a licensed realtor with Jordan Baris Inc.


Rev. Pamela Carey

Rev. Carey is the founder and CEO of the Sister’s Fellowship Ministries, Inc. through the direction of the Lord, which began in 2005, it is a non-denominational ministry as well as a non-profit with a 501c3 status that ministers to the needs of women helping them build a solid foundation and establishing Christian life principles according to the word of God. The Sister’s Fellowship is a catalyst to those in need by reaching souls for the Kingdom of God nationwide. With a vision to encourage, provide support, and empower women to become effective and productive women of God, themselves, their families, church and communities.


Mr. Hassans Kriby

As a motivational speaker, author, and community consultant, H.L. Kirby is becoming one of the most sought after speakers, delivering powerful energetic messages of overcoming life’s obstacles and challenges, and “to live life and stop trying to make a life”. He has learned from his own experiences, and is now helping others to actually live life instead of letting it pass you by.

Lavita E. Johnson

After surviving a motorcycle accident that nearly took her life and left her occupationally disabled, Lavita Johnson retired from the Newark Police Department in 2008. Since then, she has fulfilled her passion for community service working as a full-time community activist in Newark. Currently, she serves on the Executive Boards of the Newark Bronze Shields and the Newark Branch of the NAACP. Lavita is also an active member of National Black Police Officers Association, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #12, Essex County Democratic Women and the Ras Baraka for Mayor Campaign. As if serving on two boards and participating in four other organizations is not enough to tire one out, Lavita also employs her considerable police skills serving the community as Chairperson of the Ivy Hill Neighborhood Association Block Watch Committee. Since 2010, Lavita has overseen the recruitment and training of more than 75 residents as official block watchers while also serving as community’s point person for communicating with Newark Police Department officials. Truly, Lavita pursues all of her community service activities with a purpose and passion that Vailsburg residents can admire and emulate.




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