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tretta bush

For nearly a decade Tretta Bush has been a sought Managerial Accountant specializing in small business operations. Her expertise in accounting, tax strategy, and operations has allowed her to successfully service a plethora of diverse businesses. Her roster of clients range from church leaders to benchmarking CEOs and their annual earnings have ranged from 60k to 100m. But it was Tretta’s personal experience with crippling debt that started the next leg of her journey.

Tretta’s financial prowess has been featured in ESSENCE Magazine and she has appeared on MSN.com as a financial expert. Tretta also carries a weekly segment on the Stellar Award Winning Radio 1000 offering practical tips on how to live a full life while being financially responsible.

Now, as a personal finance educator, Tretta uses personal mantra of “Building Wealth In My Stilettos” to drive home her commitment to being spiritually grounded, fabulous, and wealthy!


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j.W. Carpenter, jd

J.W. Carpenter has served as Executive Director of the Birmingham Education Foundation (BEF) since September 2013. Before coming to BEF, Carpenter served as the founding Executive Director for Teach For America Alabama-a branch of the nationally-recognized organization committed to providing and advocating for high quality education for students in low-income communities. Prior to his role with Teach For America, Carpenter was a litigator for the Birmingham law firm of Walston, Wells, and Birchall, LLP. Carpenter earned a B.A. in Political Science from Boston College and J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center. He serves on the boards of A+ Education Partnership, Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama, Operation Hope-Alabama, and k12 Lean Labs, and is also a member of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Birmingham, the PARCA Roundtable, and the GEAR UP-Birmingham Advisory Board. He was named Top 40 under 40 in Birmingham in 2010, and is an alumnus of Leadership Birmingham, Leadership Alabama, and Leadership UAB. In 2016, Carpenter was selected for a weeklong fellowship in Strategic Nonprofit Management at Harvard by the Alabama Association of Nonprofits and the Birmingham alumni chapter of Harvard Business School.


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Mashonda Taylor

Mashonda Taylor is the Chief Community Relations Officer for the Woodlawn Foundation, a holistic neighborhood revitalization organization committed to the elimination of generational poverty in the Woodlawn Community in Birmingham, Alabama. Since the foundation’s inception in 2010, they have developed a high quality mixed-income housing strategy, a cradle-to-college education pipeline, and community wellness programs to support and provide residents a better quality of life. As CCRO, Mashonda is committed to serving the residents of Woodlawn and leads all the Community Wellness efforts for the foundation. She is constantly establishing and building relationships in the community and evaluating not only the needs of the community, but also its assets. More recently, Mashonda is actively involved in the development of a Family Success Center that will house the foundation’s adult education and work force development programs.

Mashonda is a graduate of Loyola University New Orleans with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Gonzaga University with a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership. She is dedicated to community service and has served in many facets. Mashonda is a Commissioner for the Birmingham Planning Commission, the 2018-2019 Volunteer Vice President for the Junior League of Birmingham, and Executive Board Member for Jones Valley Teaching Farm, and is an Advisory Board Member for the Blackburn Institute at the University of Alabama. She is also a member of Class I of the Alabama Leadership Initiative, a Catalyst Fellow for the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, and a Trustee for Mount Hillard Baptist Church. More recently, Mashonda was awarded About Town's Trailblazer award for her philanthropy work in the community.