Board of Directors



James E. “Smuggie” Mitchell, Jr.

Charlotte City Council At-Large.

"Great leaders are made, not born. Next Level Leadership, Inc. will make great leaders for our community."


Arlena Hawthorne

BB&T Vice President, Treasury Operations

“In order to create safer and economically viable communities where we live, work and play, we need to prepare current and future leaders at all levels on how to become more effective by providing training in areas such as civic engagement, economic empowerment and volunteerism to help them solve problems and create meaningful solutions.”

Arlena Hawthorne


Ronnie Devine

Assistant Director Mecklenburg County Community Support Services

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and onvenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy.” Next Level Leadership, Inc. will develop leaders like Dr. King who can lead our communities and this nation.


Angela Jeter

Retired Educator

“Next Level Leadership will bridge the gap, between those individuals who are just getting involved in their communities, while having the opportunity to network with seasoned community leaders.”

Al Austin

Communications and Marketing

Al Austin

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Outreach DirectorNorth Carolina Department of Transportation

“We must continue to be intentional in creating informed, knowledgeable African American leaders for the ever-changing futures of our communities, city, state and country. The Next Level Leadership initiative will do just that and more.”

Strategic Planning

Alysia Osborne

Vice President of Planning and DevelopmentCharlotte Center City Partners

“Building capacity in the next generation of African American leaders is paramount to the success of our communities, the entire city and the broader country.”

Alysia Osborne
Brandi Williams

Alumni Affairs

Brandi Williams

Community Affairs ManagerCity of Charlotte

“True Leadership is about serving others.”