Daniel Shoy, Jr
President & CEO
Daniel Shoy, Jr. serves as President & CEO of the East Lake Foundation. He is responsible for strategic planning and goal setting, the Foundation’s ongoing work with its partners, and progress toward the Foundation’s mission. The Foundation’s mission is to provide tools for families in The Villages of East Lake and students in the Charles R. Drew Charter School pipeline to build better lives for themselves and future generations through a holistic approach to community revitalization that incorporates mixed-income housing, cradle-to-college education and community wellness. Since joining the Foundation as Program Director in 2010, he has also served as Deputy Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer.
Daniel has 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector with organizations focused on youth and community development. Prior to joining the East Lake Foundation, Daniel worked for The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation for 10 years and was responsible for awarding $28M in grants.
Since 2002, Daniel has completed several leadership programs through the United Way of Greater Atlanta, Southeast Council of Foundations, Association of Black Foundation Executives, the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education, Leadership Atlanta, and Columbia University Business School.
Nationally, Daniel has demonstrated leadership as a board member for Grantmakers for Education, from 2007-2010, serving as Chair-Elect in 2009-2010.
Regionally, Daniel served on Georgia’s 2008 Race to the Top Taskforce – a collaboration between the Governor’s Office, the Georgia Department of Education, and the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement – helping to develop Georgia’s application for this competitive Federal Award.
Locally, Daniel currently serves on the boards of the East Lake Foundation, East Lake Housing Corporation, Charles R. Drew Charter School, and Hands on Atlanta. He previously served on Emory University’s Board of Governors, the University of Georgia Board of Visitors, and the Atlanta Public Schools’ Affordable Housing Taskforce. Daniel has been recognized by Atlanta Tribune as a Man of Distinction (2016) and as one of Georgia Trend Magazine’s Notable Georgians (2018). He’s been a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. since 1994.
Daniel is a first generation American from New York City, speaks two other languages and enjoys international travel. He earned a B.A. in History from Emory University in 1995 and in 2013 was named an Emory College Distinguished Alumni.
Director of Finance and Operations
Meisha White serves as the East Lake Foundation’s Director of Finance and Operations. In her role, she is responsible for the day-to-day accounting functions for the Foundation and Purpose Built Communities, including the maintenance of fiscal records, the preparation of financial reports and analyses, the oversight of financial transactions and the Audit and Tax Return. She also manages the Foundation’s Human Resources and Information Technology vendor relationships.
Meisha comes with over 20 years of accounting and management experience, with many of those years in the nonprofit sector. She is originally from Massachusetts by way of North Carolina, attending high school in Raleigh NC and Guilford College in Greensboro NC. She and her husband have two teenage daughters.
She has been recognized as a school Star Volunteer and is a two-time recipient of the Leadership Award. She has fulfilled the role as Treasurer for both the PTA board and her local Toastmasters club. She serves as a reading mentor for Everybody Wins Atlanta, a youth reading program developed for improving literacy for children.
Upon moving to Atlanta 11 years ago, she developed a love for tennis and currently holds a city championship title for a singles and doubles league. When not playing tennis, she is either watching tennis, running, or watching football.
Director of Communications and Marketing
Catherine Woodling, Director of Communications and Marketing. Catherine oversees strategic communications and media relations for the East Lake Initiative, working primarily with the East Lake Foundation, Drew Charter School and the East Lake Golf Club. Most recently, Catherine served as Corporate Communications Manager for The Home Depot where she was responsible for crisis/issues and human resources communications. Previously, she served as the Public Relations and Communications Manager for The Home Depot Foundation. Prior to joining The Home Depot, Catherine served as the Media Relations Officer for Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin.
As a native Atlantan, Catherine enjoys being involved in the community. She serves as a board member of the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper. She serves as Secretary of the East Lake Foundation and East Lake Housing Corporation’s Board. She is the Vice Chair of the City of Atlanta NPU-N, the former President of the Reynoldstown Civic Improvement League and is a member of the LEAD Atlanta Class of 2010. She has been recognized as one of Atlanta’s Power 30 Under 30(2007), Georgia Trend Magazine’s 40 Under 40 (2016) and Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 40 Under 40 (2017).
She graduated from the University of Arizona Honors College with a degree in Political Science. She is also a graduate of the Arizona Blue Chip Leadership Program, a formal four-year leadership program that emphasizes community involvement.
Operations and Special Initiatives Manager
Sharon Hall-Thomas is Operations and Special Initiatives Manager for the Foundation. Before joining the Foundation in 2000 as Executive Assistant, she served as an administrative assistant for the law firm of Rubin, Winter, Rapoport and Hall. She also worked as an administrative assistant for the Child Support Enforcement Agency, acting as liaison between the agency and the court system. She attended Georgia State University and volunteers regularly at Charles R. Drew Charter School in East Lake.
Jessie Bond is the Foundation’s Grants Manager, responsible for research and development of grant proposals, along with grants reporting for the Foundation. Jessie has served as a consultant to a number of nonprofits and foundations and was formerly Senior Program Officer for the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta as well as a Grants Officer for the Appalachian Community Fund. She began her career as a reporter and editor. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, Jessie also holds a masters from Georgetown University.
Dwayne Watkins servers as the Data Manager for the Foundation. He is primarily responsible for managing, storing, organizing and monitoring program data across the East Lake Initiative to show collaborative impact. Dwayne continues to research and stay informed on all data trends and initiatives that help strengthen and sustain the work being done across the East Lake initiative. He also continues cultivate ELF data by formalizing data practices, implementing data sharing agreements which hopes that the data model be replicated in other organizations across the country under the Purpose Built Communities umbrella.
Dwayne Watkins, a recipient of the 2016 Top 25 Game Changers in workforce, moved to “big City” of Atlanta from a small town called Lumber Bridge, North Carolina with hopes of changing the lives of at risk youth and underserved populations. He studied Sociology and Africana Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and immediately began what he calls “soul work” as he worked for a local nonprofit immediately after graduating college. Leveraging his education in data and evaluation, work experience in workforce development, coupled with his natural passion around social justice and interest in community redevelopment, The East Lake Foundation has been home and a natural fit for the last three years.
Jennifer W. McCrary
Director of Outreach and Engagement
Jennifer W. McCrary serves as the Director of Outreach and Engagement. Jennifer is an experienced workforce and community engagement professional who is passionate about people who want to improve themselves through personal and professional transformation.Her leadership and commitment has been nurtured through her work experience in higher education and non-profit leadership. She has always been a guiding force in her personal and professional relationships. Her optimistic and encouraging spirit has made her a positive agent of change.
Jennifer has worked and partnered with organizations such as 22nd Century Career Development Associates, The University of Alabama, The University of Georgia, Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta Technical College, Griffin Technical College, The Center for Working Families, Inc., The Sullivan Center, JLON Teleservices and Erotser, LLC.
Jennifer has over 10 years of workforce development experience, financial coaching training and partner and community engagement through programming. She is also certified in Global Career Development Facilitation and Offender Workforce Development. She is affiliated with the Professional Association of Professional Resume Writers and Career Coaches and the International Association of Coaches.
Jennifer is a native Atlantan, and a proud product of the Atlanta Public School System and University System of Georgia. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Educational Psychology from the University of Georgia and a Masters of Arts in Education from Clark Atlanta University. Her personal motto is to begin with the end in mind and see yourself already there!
Resident and Community Support Program Manager
Tywonia Orum serves as the Resident and Community Support Program Manager.
After 11 years of working with State Farm, Tywonia decided to transition into a career that would allow her to work with families and communities in a different way. Although not a stranger to humanitarian work, she decided to leave the corporate sector and follow her passion. She worked for several years with the Atlanta Housing Authority where she worked with special programs such as the family reunification and the disabled. Her service continued with The Housing Authority of DeKalb supporting families with housing stabilization. She served as executive assistant for the International Institute of Deaf Services, Inc. for more than 15 years and also worked with National Alliance of Black Interpreters, Inc. (NAOBI). She commutes to Birmingham weekly; where she has been a staff/contract interpreter for the deaf since 1997. Most recently, Tywonia was a Pathway Coach with The Center for Working Families where she worked with families to connect them with employment, job readiness supports, career coaching and other social supports.
Tywonia holds a Bachelor of Arts in Counseling from Samford University and brings a variety of career development training and housing experience to the families in The Villages of East Lake.