We are a catalyst for social impact.

What We Do

 

The culture at PGCSIF is grounded in our fundamental belief that through innovative solutions, alignment across and within sectors, and a keen focus on results Prince George’s County can quickly shift course on a broad number of issues facing its most vulnerable populations. We recognize the pockets of opportunity in the County, as well as the disconnection between the multiple stakeholders who are attempting to address many of the same issues, largely in an unorganized or uncoordinated way.  Our expectation is that by identifying best and innovative practice, supporting local infrastructure, and aligning outcomes, we can bridge these gaps and quickly increase impact.

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Our Mission & Vision

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Prince George’s County Social Innovation Fund’s mission is to build social capital and invest in new approaches to solving social challenges in Prince George's County.

Our vision is to continuously identify appropriate models that support the County's infrastructure across public, private, religious, and non-profit sectors for improved quality of life.

We fundamentally believe that through innovative solutions, alignment across and within sectors, and a keen focus on results, Prince George’s County can quickly shift course on the challenges facing its most vulnerable populations. We recognize the opportunity in the County, as well as the disconnection between multiple stakeholders attempting to address the same issues. By identifying and adopting best and innovative practices, supporting local infrastructure, and aligning outcomes, we can bridge these gaps and quickly increase impact.

Our Values

innovation

We have a fundamental belief in the importance of testing solutions to accelerate progress on longstanding problems.

engagement

We engage the talents of multiple stakeholders, and galvanize commitment from those who have been disengaged in Prince George’s County.

Advocacy

We believe in an active citizenry that promotes wide-range access to resources and equal opportunities for the County residents.

Alignment

We are dedicated to alignment across and within sectors, achieving clarity to guide successful partnerships and coordinated action toward outcomes.

Outcome-focused

We believe in outcome- focused evaluation to assure impact.

 
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Our Approach

Social Entrepreneurship

Support pilot initiatives that attempt to solve pressing social challenges (directly or by supporting social entrepreneurs)

Leadership Development

Create a leadership pipeline that supports non-profits and strengthens their capacity

Results-Based Accountability

Focus on results – through community collaboratives, strategic alignment across sectors, and results measurement and reporting – for impact

PGCSIF Leadership

 
 
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tonia wellons, founder & managing director

In 2011, Tonia founded the Prince George’s County Social Innovation Fund (PGCSIF) in an effort to 'shift the narrative' and build social capital in the County. The Innovation Fund's flagship initiative, Forty Under 40 Prince George's, recognizes top talent in the County, and connects them to political, social, and economic opportunity; all the while sharing the important story of amazing people - under the age of 40 - who live and work in Prince George's.  PGCSIF has been an active voice in the community on policy, programmatic initiatives, and on inclusive decision-making.

Tonia is a Vice President at the Greater Washington Community Foundation and leads the Community Investment function which includes investment strategy, grant-making, community engagement, and partnerships. She has over 20 years of experience spanning senior leadership roles in both locally-oriented and international organizations, including the World Bank Group and the Peace Corps. Tonia also serves as a Fellow at the University of Maryland with the Lab for Applied Social Sciences and Research (LASSR) and the DO Good Institute. She has a master’s degree in Public Administration and International Development Policy from the University of Delaware, and a BA in Political Science from North Carolina A&T State University.

 
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MARK A LAWRENCE, FUND ADVISOR & BOARD CHAIRMAN

Mark A Lawrence has been a resident of Prince George’s County for 18 years. He is currently the founder and managing principal of Inncuvate Consulting LLC, which is a professional services firm and venture studio that exists to provide underserved communities access to sustainable life changing opportunities that creates wealth, bridges economic gaps, develops more serial entrepreneurs, fuels community growth and ultimately improves the standard of living. Inncuvate is focused on entrepreneurial ecosystems and believes in the power of technology-based enterprises as economic development and community growth engines. He has over 22 years of professional experience, including eighteen years at “Big 4” firms in a senior management capacity where he led and delivered consulting engagements that span across the private, public, and non-profit sector. 

Prior to founding Inncuvate, Mark served as a Senior Manager at Deloitte Consulting LLP where led consulting teams and directly provided trusted business and technology advisory services. Prior to that he served as an Associate at Booz Allen Hamilton where he managed and guided large system implementation project teams in addition to medium and small strategic consulting teams. At Cable & Wireless USA he was responsible for planning and engineering telecommunications transmission networks. Mark started his professional career at MCI Communications Corporation. (now part of Verizon) provisioning and operating large telecommunications switched transmission networks. 

Mark is also very active in his community and passionate about his adopted hometown, Prince George’s County Maryland. Mark was recognized as a Forty UNDER 40 2012 honoree and has been an active supporter since. Mark has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering Technology from Temple University and a cross-disciplinary Master of Science in Telecommunications from the University of Maryland College Park. 

 

Steve Brigham, Public Engagement Associates

Steve Brigham has been a leader in the public engagement field over the past eighteen years, first in his role as COO and then President of AmericaSpeaks, and now as one of three principals in Public Engagement Associates. In that time, he has led or managed more than 150 public and stakeholder engagement projects in project design, public meeting design, and large and small group facilitation.

Nationally and internationally, his client projects have included World Economic Forum, The Belgian Biodiversity Platform, Clinton Global Initiative, the National Summit to Defend Democracy, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, the Center for Advancing Social Entrepreneurship, and a national youth obesity initiative.  

In the Washington, DC area, he has led engagement projects with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, the Washington D.C. Mayor’s Office, WMATA, Prince George’s County, Howard County Department of Planning and Zoning, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), and the NoMa Parks Foundation.

Steve has a passion for Prince George’s and a commitment to finding and supporting strategic collaborations in the county that advance both equity and prosperity. He is the author of Prince George’s Rising: Strategies for Equitable Prosperity and Development.
 

Kisha Brown, Legal + Tech Founder

Kisha is the founder of Justis Connection an online legal platform that promotes lawyers of color.  She is a Georgetown University Law Center graduate with a strong network in Maryland that spans communities and the legal profession.  She has worked for federal, state and local governments as well as the nonprofit and private sector. Barred 14 years ago, she has litigated in Baltimore City where she rose to be the President of the Alliance of Black Women Attorneys of Maryland.  She is no stranger to politics having lobbied for over 7 years and advised and supported several political campaigns in the state. She has served on numerous nonprofit boards and is currently a Director on the National Children Center’s Board and Vice-Chair of the Coppin State University Foundation Board.   

Kisha is a passionate and proactive strategist with a network that spans both the public and private sectors. She has a proven track record for spearheading initiatives and turnaround efforts to improve underdeveloped and underperforming organizations. She thrives in complex and challenging environments.

 

Judge Lisa Hall Johnson, District Court of Maryland

Lisa Hall Johnson was appointed to the District Court of Maryland by Governor Martin O’Malley on July 2, 2013 and has served as the District Administrative Judge for Prince George’s County District Court since January 2017.  Judge Hall Johnson began her career handling energy regulatory and complex civil defense matters. She then served as an Assistant State’s Attorney with the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office. After gaining valuable experience, she returned to private practice and focused on policyholder-side insurance coverage matters involving long-tail environmental claims, and civil defense matters including complex multi-district federal litigation. Prior to her appointment to the bench, Judge Hall Johnson was the Director of Litigation for Washington Gas Light Company.

Judge Hall Johnson was educated in Prince George’s County Public Schools, and received her B.A. from the University of Virginia, with a double major in Economics and Sociology.  She received her J.D. from Duke University School of Law, where she received the Duke Law Advocacy Award, was the first African-American woman to serve as the Chairperson of the Moot Court Board, and served as a staff editor of the Duke Environmental Law and Policy Forum.

Judge Hall Johnson has received numerous awards, including the National Bar Association’s Nation’s Best Advocate Award in 2012; the Prince George’s County Social Innovation Fund Forty Under 40 Award in 2012; the Maryland Legal Aid, Equal Justice Associate’s Award in 2011; the Maryland Daily Record Top 100 Women award in 2013, 2016, and 2018; and the VIP Award in 2016.

Kirk Mensah

Kirk Mensah is a graduate of Virginia State University with a degree in Economics and Finance.  He was also a student athlete and a conference champion hurdler and sprinter. Kirk currently utilizes his skills and knowledge in mediation, arbitration, and contract negotiations as a Chief Steward within the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  In addition, Kirk assists employees in all issues regarding workplace rights. Prior to working as a steward, Kirk applied his analytical and financial skills within the Office of Housing's Mortgagee Review Board Division and OCFO’s Funds Control Assurance Division.  Prior to federal service, Kirk worked as a contractor performing post claim insurance reviews for the Office of Single Family Housing. In that capacity, he traveled across the country reviewing and analyzing post claim insurance and loss mitigation files for compliance with HUD guidelines.  In addition to his duties at HUD, Kirk tutors and mentors young superstars across the metro DC area. Kirk is also a successful personal trainer and prides himself with assisting his clients achieve their personal fitness goals. As an Executive Coach in HUD’s Executive Coaching Program, Kirk partners with his clients to accelerate their progress on specific areas of professional and personal development so that they can have an impactful, satisfying, and fulfilling life.

Tami Mullen, Principal & Senior Consultant                        

Passionate about arming small businesses with accessible business resources, Tami Mullen serves not only as Principal and Sr. Consultant for the Intuitive Group, a woman-owned government consulting firm based in Prince George's County, MD, but she also serves as the Founder of Clout Workspace, a collaborative shared workspace for business owners and local entrepreneurs.   With over 20 years of business development expertise, Ms. Mullen has spent her career assisting large and small businesses to expand their presence and footprint with desired clients for both the public and private sector.

At Intuitive Group, she has led her team's niche expertise in securing over $850 million in government contracts for their customers and the lead collaborator of Clout Workspace, she has continued to push the innovative vision of collective mindshare, leveraged networks, and supportive local ecosystems. She is a proud graduate of Hampton University and holds a Bachelors in Business Management and a Masters in Project Management.  


Gregory Parham, Senior Executive, Retired

Dr. Gregory Parham retired from the U.S. government in 2017 after being appointed by President Obama to be the Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for Administration in June 2013.  His responsibilities included leadership and oversight for facilities, information technology, procurement, property, homeland security, human resources, outreach, and executive correspondence.  Prior to this appointment he served as the Administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. While Administrator, he was also Commissioner of animal disease control programs in Mexico and Panama.

Trained as a veterinarian, he began his Federal service career in 1980 as a U. S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps Officer at the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, GA. After joining USDA in 1982 he worked for several agencies and was a member of the Senior Executive Service.  Dr. Parham is board certified in Veterinary Preventive Medicine and holds a masters degree in administrative science from the Johns Hopkins University, as well as, a doctorate degree in veterinary medicine and bachelors degree in microbiology from the Ohio State University.    

Dr. Parham was twice a recipient of Presidential Rank Awards and is also a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.  Since retirement, Dr. Parham has completed the Advanced Leadership initiative Fellowship at Harvard University.        

Tamara Wellons, Music Creator

Vocal Recording and Performing Artist, Tamara Wellons, has 15 years in the music industry and executive produced three full length albums (Life Is 2008; Songs for Janie 2012; Pretty 2016). Tamara recently established Media, Arts and Entertainment company, Her Dreams Productions and is a curator of music experiences and theatrical concerts for her audiences throughout Prince George’s County and the Mid-Atlantic Region.

Tamara’s voice flows flawlessly from Hymns to Soulful Dance music. Her songwriting across genres has shaped her profoundly diverse career, which has led to performances on prestigious national and international stages, from London’s Jazz Café to DC’s Blues Alley. Tamara has been a resident artist with the Arts and Humanities Program at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, regularly supporting the healing process through integrative health delivery of music services to patients, hospital staff and family. In 2014, Tamara received Placemaking Grant from Art Lives Here, a collaborative initiative in the Gateway Arts District to increase visibility for working artists, spur economic development, and affirm the community’s funky and diverse local cultures.  

In 2018, Tamara was elected to serve as Governor on the Board of the Washington DC Chapter of the Recording Academy and is a Founding Member of Eaton Workshop DC, a creative lab at the intersection of culture, media, hospitality, wellness and progressive social change.

Tamara is a former Prince George’s County Public School teacher and received a B.S. in Elementary Education from Bowie State University, where she was crowned Miss Bowie State University.